Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hip Hop Producer REL!G!ON Inks Deal With Planet Asia

Website: http://www.religionbeats.com/
Music: http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/song_details/3494440?play_now=true

"Get Rel!g!on" is the current rally cry surrounding the latest hip hop producer, who's already began dazzling artists and record labels with his skilled creations and innovative beats. Utilizing a fascinating mix of live playing and assorted sampling, the young producer from Vancouver, British Columbia is generating buzz in Canada as well as the U.S. Rel!g!on is already releasing his own material, as well as working with other artists to build his reputation as a bona fide hit machine in the hip hop game.

Released in January 2010, his first official release, Revelationz I garnered positive attention from reviewers and fans across the web. Featuring heavy hitters such as Chuck D of Public Enemy as well as Planet Asia and Moka Only, Rel!g!on's first record was nothing short of an instant hip hop success. His inspired, imaginative tracks laid the foundation for ultra skilled MCs to spit their finest rhymes and create memorable, catchy songs.

"Rel!g!on has a nice sound to his production, and it shouldn't be too much longer before his congregation of followers grows," said Emmanuel Wallace of RapReviews.com on Revelationz I.

Born in Ottawa, Rel!g!on grew up listening to his father's musical influence, which included a variety of instruments, singing, and an extensive record collection. Fascinated by keyboards and organs, the fledgling hip hop perfectionist began experimenting with records and a Casio SK 1, beginning the journey of honing his incredible skills. While he started with an old keyboard and entertaining diss tracks about his high school classmates, Rel!g!on rapidly progressed into a respected producer working with artists from Vancouver to New York.

The future is bright for Rel!g!on, as he shows absolutely no signs of slowing down, with a number of impressive projects currently in the works for hip hop fans across North America. He produced two tracks on Planet Asia's upcoming record Black Belt Theatre, which also features Raekwon, DJ Babu, Evidence, Ras Kass and will be at the helm for Planet Asia's entire next full length, slated for 2011. This summer will also see the anticipated release of a collaboration record between Rel!g!on and one of Pittsburgh's finest MCs, Jasiri X and New Orleans own Dain. Check out his MySpace page for music videos and streaming audio, and facebook.com/religionbeatz for the latest information and updates.

REL!G!ON Video for "Lucid" feat. Moka Only & E.d.g.e. Now on RapCity



MarilynMusic In The Studio With Jonny Rosch, Dorie Colangelo & D. Magic

Music: http://fairtilizer.com/track/120689

By Eric de Fontenay

Songwriters, composers and producers Casey Conrad and Michael Gaines of MarilynMusic hooked up at the Vertical Room in NYC over the last couple of weeks to work on four new tracks with several artists, including Dorie Colangelo and lead singer/front man for the legendary Blues Brothers Band, Jonny Rosch

"Love's Not The Same After You" is a mid-tempo rock song which showcases Dorie Colangelo vocals. The sultry crooner sings about love in an honest and pure tone and lamenting strings drive home her message. The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter recently released her album "63rd Street Recordings." Casey, who produced the album with Joanne Perica, also played the drums and bass.

Casey & Michael work on "Some Girls" - a Sugar Ray style, easy-going blues track perfect to the coming summertime season. Jonny also leads his own band, Jonny Rosch and Friends, which include members from Rod Stewart's band, Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, the Late Night with David Letterman band, the Saturday Night Live Band, and the Max Weinberg 7 (Late Show with Conan O'Brian), Smokey Joe's Cafe, Riverdance.

The duo also finished mixing a hot new single titled 'I'ma B A Celebrity' featuring up-and-coming Hip-Hop and R&B musician Devyn Of D. Magic. The track will be released digitally by MarilynMusic this summer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Talk With Jason Mraz At Music Matters Asia

By Eric de Fontenay

When Music Matters founder Jasper Donut broke the news to me that two-time Grammy winning artist Jason Mraz would be doing the conference finale, I have to admit that I wasn't all that familiar with him. Oh, I had heard his song "I'm Yours" a couple of times and seen his name pop-up on Mi2N as a Billboard-charting artist. But he, as so many major label artists, simply hadn't blipped on my radar screen. When I was informed that we'd be one of three international media outlets to have a private interview with the songwriter, I knew I had some research to do. The more I read about him, the more I looked forward to our meeting and hopefully understanding something of the secret that's made him an overnight star in Asia.

While billed as "an international superstar," his demeanor is if anything, a picture of humility. Warm and approachable, he's the type of guy you'd imagine sitting with around the campfire, discussing why music matters. And on the subject...

"I think music is the closest we're ever going to get to agreeing on what God is. In most cases, it's invisible, we only listen to it, and it has this power to move us, transform us, heal us, inspires us to contribute. Music, this invisible force, gives us an opportunity to raise awareness, raise money. I think even if you're deaf, you can feel the music vibrating through your soul. I think that it has a really powerful purpose.

"Our word, what we articulate, puts our thoughts into action, actually is a manifestation of that higher energy that fills us. So to put that word into song takes the message even further. I think when you speak it, it has a tendency to eventually just stop, but when you sing it, it's like you set it into motion forever and it just orbits the earth or it goes out into space."

Jason's third album "We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things" has proven to be a hit in Asia, receiving multiple platinum certifications in Korea (6x) and Indonesia (4x) as well as platinum certification in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. If that were not enough, the single "I'm Yours" has sold close to 5 million ringback tone downloads in South East Asia alone. So to what does he attribute this success?

"You know, I really wish I knew because it's not like I set out ahead of time with all of these elements in mind. I think if anything, the song "I'm Yours," did all the work, carried the weight. Because basically anywhere I showed up, people were already responding. I certainly didn't go there ahead of time and do the groundwork, no.

"Granted, we do have extraordinary companies. Warner Music had an extraordinary team spread out all across Asia that got the song out there to people. But also, the song was shared by fans and music lovers. Even before we got on board with our record companies, the song existed in the form of a demo which was available on the internet.

"So this story is really the success of a song and how it was the right message at the right time. It was a song that anybody could grab. It sounds like a nursery rhyme - a very simple melody and the message is all the sunshiny elements for peace and love. I think when you look at the history of music, there's always that song reoccurring - songs of peace and love and togetherness. So, really this is the story of a song, and I'm grateful that I get to be a part of that."

Part of that success though has to be traced to collaborations he's done with various Asian artists in the past. "When I did an extensive Asian tour last year, in every city I had a collaboration waiting for me because we had a duet on the album. It gave me the opportunity to work with female artists in many, many different countries which was exciting. I was also here to work with Japanese artists and a Chinese artist Khalil Fong when I was here last time."

Another element of his success is his use of social media sites like MySpace and Twitter to communicate with fans. This was actually a topic during the interview regarding a Twitter post he had shared with his fans about how the new album would be different from his previous works.

"Well, it's funny because when I make a record, I feel like I make the same record every time. But what's different is the time in which the album occurs, and it's certainly from my life. So what I said about this album being different than others is that so far, I haven't felt like I've had to sit down to write it - it's just being written. When I wake up in the morning, more verses get added to it, and that's kind of a bizarre experience for me. It's like something else is writing it and something else is giving me these messages, and I love that.

"So that was really my intention with that Twitter post - that this album was going to be different. Sonically, I hope it's different in that I've yet to really make an album that explores the full capacity of my vocals."

Jason will in fact be finishing work on the new album this June and July... but more about that in Part 2 of this interview later in the month.