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Vinyl & Pepper – Artist Interviews Vinyl & Pepper – Artist Interviews Vinyl & Pepper – Artist Interviews Vinyl & Pepper – Artist Interviews

On 27, Sep 2015 | In | By jane

Vinyl & Pepper – Artist Interviews

8 SONGWRITERS ON VINYL, PEPPER, DESERT ISLANDS & THEIR FIRST EVER SONG

FEATURING: GRACE BARBE, EMBER SWIFT, FAYE BLAIS, DRU CHEN, BRIAN MACMILLAN, SAM LOHS, MISS QUINCY & SCOTT COOK

 

Grace BarbeGRACE BARBE

Seychelles singer/songwriter Grace Barbé calls her fresh sound, “Afro-Kreol”. Pop, reggae, funk and Afrobeat are blended with Moutya and Tinge rhythms specific to the Seychelles.  http://gracebarbe.com/

How did you feel the first time you heard the crackle of vinyl? Hmmm … fuzzy! Ha ha….as if I was back in the 70s. Vinyl always brings a smile to my face because of its warmth, richness and quality of sound.

What was the record? An old school vinyl of Seychelles music called ‘Souvenirs of Seychelles’ or something along those lines! The production was not that great but the synth sounds were super cheesy and super awesome. The best thing about that record that I still remember is the cheesy synths!

If you could take only one food to survive for eternity on a desert island, what would it be? Gee, I had to really think about this one. Does one food consist of a plate? Or does it need to be one item of food such as the celery stick? If a plate, I will take a plate of rice with chilli Creole fish curry and chutney. If one item of food … a giant pineapple!

How does the smell of freshly cracked pepper make you feel? If it’s not too close to my nose for me to sneeze, it’s a delight! Freshly cracked pepper takes my plate of food to whole new level, especially if it’s my mum’s specialty of chilli hot Creole fish curry and chutney. The pepper makes me feel like I’ve gone out fishing myself to catch the damn fish! BOOM!!

What was the name of the first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was it about? It was called ‘Annou Dans Sa Sega’, a Creole song I wrote back in Seychelles when I was about 5yrs old. The English translation is ‘Let’s All Dance the Sega’. Sega is a specific dance and rhythm from the Seychelles islands. I will never forget this song and I still remember the melody very well. The verse of the song was about how my mum gave me a lot of chopped wood so I can build a house made out of wood. All the verses repeated that line. The chorus went like this ‘Oh my dear, let’s all dance the Sega, so I can build the house made out of wood!’. And there you have it!

 

V Ember SwiftEMBER SWIFT

Canadian musician Ember Swift is an internationally touring artist who has released 11 albums & one DVD project since 1996. Residing in Beijing (China), she creates music advocating cross-cultural communication in three languages: English, French and Mandarin. http://www.emberswift.com/

How did you feel the first time you heard the crackle of vinyl? I grew up with vinyl as the standard. Now I think of the crackle with nostalgia, like a warm blanket on a cold night.

What was the record? In high school, I discovered that the family’s record player still worked and so I dusted it off and started collecting old Joni Mitchell vinyl. That record player and I became good friends again!

 If you could take only one food to survive for eternity on a desert island, what would it be? A diverse trail mix with dried fruits and nuts and seeds. I’m too practical—I zeroed in on that word ‘survive’ and thought, ‘Something with lots of nutrients and proteins … ’  Anyway, I make my own. I sort of live on it already!

How does the smell of freshly cracked pepper make you feel? Hungry!

What was the name of the first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was it about? The first song I wrote when I was 9 and it was called ‘Cats Can’t Catch The Chicken Pox.’ Of course, I wrote it when I was home for a week with the Chicken Pox and I was only able to play with the cats because I was infectious. Needless to say, it was a very soulful piece!

 

V Faye Blais

FAYE BLAIS

Canadian artist Faye Blais dishes out her indie-folk, lyrical-driven songs on electric and acoustic guitars, and keys—the perfect match for her stunning dynamic vocals.  http://www.fayeblais.com/

How did you feel the first time you heard the crackle of vinyl?  Like I had finally made it, back in time.

What was the record? I honestly can’t remember. But I do remember the first record I played on my own player in my apartment: ‘The Carpenters – Close to You’.

If you could take only one food to survive for eternity on a desert island, what would it be? Hummus (and chocolate!).

How does the smell of freshly cracked pepper make you feel? Like sneezing.

What was the name of the first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was it about? Haha. Oh dear. I’ve always feared this question. It was called “Mr. Rollercoaster Man”, and I was about 13 years old. It was about the “ups and downs” of life. Cause you know, I really knew what life was all about then.

 

V Dru ChenDRU CHEN 

Dru Chen is a 23-year-old pop, funk, and soul singer-songwriter. Dru turned down a Berklee scholarship to work on his own music. Armed with equal proficiency on voice, guitar, keyboards, bass and music production, Dru has quickly made a name for himself touring South East Asia and Australia. http://druchen.net

How did you feel the first time you heard the crackle of vinyl? It felt so warm and cuddly and familiar. My best mate Paul is a retro junkie and he had The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sticky Fingers’ on vinyl and it just sounded nasty! Funky rock. Then I heard D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’ on vinyl and it sounded so much different to the CD version.

What was the record? The Rolling Stones, ‘Sticky Fingers’. D’Angelo, ‘Voodoo’.

If you could take only one food to survive for eternity on a desert island, what would it be? Probably something versatile that had a bit of everything in it. A nice big stew with meats, veggies, spices, onions, etcetera would work just fine for me!

How does the smell of freshly cracked pepper make you feel? Refreshed! Makes me think of those ‘Captains Table’ crackers with cracked pepper that you would top with pieces of salmon, sliced cherry tomatoes and serve with guacamole or any kind of nice dip!

What was the name of the first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was it about? ‘Trainwrecks’ which is on my first EP Intentions. I was 15. It was about an ex-girlfriend in high school. We were delicate souls, ha ha.

V Brian MacmillanBRIAN MACMILLAN

Brian MacMillan is a Canadian musician. When he’s not touring his own music he can be found playing for a handful of award winning musicians. And when he’s not doing that he can usually be found engineering, producing, scoring, and performing music for himself and others at his studio, The Bakeshop. http://www.brianmacmillanmusic.com/

How did you feel the first time you heard the crackle of vinyl? The first time I heard vinyl I immediately fell in love. It made me feel like I was camping. Super nostalgic and cozy. A magical world in the speakers. It’s still one of the most mind boggling pieces of science to me, how the complexities of music are stamped into vinyl.

 What was the record? The record was Tea For The Tillerman by Cat Stevens. Still one of my favourites. Remains probably my top go to when I need to reconnect with my love of music.

If you could take only one food to survive for eternity on a desert island, what would it be? My desert island food would be coconuts. Hydrating, eat them, brush your teeth with the shells and even cut things with it. All purpose. The island would likely have them already anyway so that would leave more room to bring a guitar or records.

How does the smell of freshly cracked pepper make you feel?  Freshly cracked pepper is inspiring and sneeze worthy. I like it.

What was the name of the first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was it about? I wrote my first official song when I was 16. It was an instrumental called ‘Crazy Cactus Tree’. I just bought a Jimi fuzz pedal and was loving it. ‘Running Away’ was the first lyric-based song I wrote, about a kid who faces the monster in the closet.

 

V Sam LohsSAM LOHS

Sam Lohs feels luckier than most. She has spent over 20 years in the music world traveling the globe with bands such as ‘Fruit’ and ‘Rosie Burgess Trio’. Recently she released a brand new solo album ‘How You See Me’. http://samlohs.com/

How did you feel the first time you heard the crackle of vinyl? I don’t remember a specific time when I heard a record (I’m too young) but I do recall feeling safe and happy any time Mum or Dad would play records in the house (which was often). It would invoke a feeling of joy because it meant they were happy or that people were coming around for a party (which also happened often) So in short, vinyl = good times in our house.

What was the record? Again, no specific album, but I do remember a lot of Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Everly Brothers and strangely, Meatloaf.

If you could take only one food to survive for eternity on a desert island, what would it be? Is tequila a food? Actually, vegie  pizza—all food groups covered

How does the smell of freshly cracked pepper make you feel? Strangely turned on. Always has, always will and I’m not complaining.

What was the name of the first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was it about? It was called ‘Weird World’; I was 13. It was my one and only political song. I even managed to rhyme ‘two month parole’ with ‘The world’s going down the plughole’—genius.

 

V Miss QuincyMISS QUINCY

Miss Quincy & The Showdown is an all-girl rock n’ roll band.  Sounds like Joan Jett and the early Stones spending the night together in a Tarantino movie. http://www.missquincy.net/

How did you feel the first time you heard the crackle of vinyl? It just sounded like music being played.  My parents had a big record collection filled with all the country greats.

What was the record? Kenny Rogers,  ‘The Gambler’. I really loved the cover of that record, it seemed so exotic to me: dealers, gamblers and saloon girls.

If you could take only one food to survive for eternity on a desert island, what would it be? Moose meat. Without a doubt.

How does the smell of freshly cracked pepper make you feel? I love fresh cracked pepper. The vangina, our tour van, is always equipped with sea salt and pepper grinders.  Both are essential tour items. I can feel at home anywhere if I have those two things.

What was the name of the first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was it about? I don’t remember the name of the song, but I know it was a love song far beyond my 12 years. There were many borrowed metaphors from the popular country songs of the day. I feel thankful that I cannot remember it.

 

V Scott CookSCOTT COOK

Alberta, Canada’s prairie balladeer Scott Cook has spent the last seven years along the highways and byways of Canada, the USA, Europe, and Asia.  In February he’ll be touring Australia supporting his fourth DIY release, One More Time Around. You can read more about Scott’s adventures in this edition of Mojo Junction here. http://www.scottcook.net/ 

How did you feel the first time you heard the crackle of vinyl? It was the only way we heard music at home when I was little, so that’s kind of like asking a fish about water.  The sound of vinyl means more to me now than it did then.  It’s like the first few seconds of spotty screen when a filmstrip begins.  It sounds like A RECORD’s about to play.

What was the record? I couldn’t say what record I heard first, but the Muppet Movie soundtrack and then Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’ made memorable early impressions on me.

If you could take only one food to survive for eternity on a desert island, what would it be? I’m gonna cheat and say curry, since there are so many kinds and they’re all yummy.

How does the smell of freshly cracked pepper make you feel? Kind of like the crackle of vinyl.

What was the name of the first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was it about? Again, hard to say what was my first, but I can clearly remember an early and very embarrassing hip-hop song called ‘Bust It’, which was about busting it, whatever that is.

 

Concept & interviews by Aurora Jane

 

 

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