Posts Tagged ‘Prince’

Charley says INTERVIEW! Labrinth

April 20, 2012

“I wanted it to sound like an earthquake,
but not an earthquake without HD!”

Earlier this month Labrinth was in Belgium to open for Drake at Vorst Nationaal in Brussels. Just before he took to the stage I had a chat with the British singer, songwriter and producer extraordinaire!

With his Tinie Tempah featuring hit single “Earthquake” being one of the slickest productions in recent pop history and his debut album “Electronic Earth” available now on Spotify and iTunes we had plenty to discuss.

So treat yourself to Labrinth’s online album sampler and check out the interview for everything from the importance of artwork to his rumoured collaboration with Tulisa and the age old quesion… Is Simon Cowell as scary as he’s made out to be?

Charley: It’s super lame, but I have to ask, how many phone interviews have started with the journalist saying “Labrinth, come in”?

Labrinth: *laughs* So far, in Belgium, none! You can be the first!

Charley: I saw you tweet about getting to discover Brussels before your show here, how did you like it?

Labrinth: Brussels was really nice! It’s just weird to be here though, cause it’s such a different culture. The way everybody is and the way they approach things, it’s just very different.

Charley: I have to congratulate you on your album “Electronic Earth” being number 2 in the UK mid weeks, that must be awesome? [Note: Since this interview Labrinth’s album did in fact get to number 2 in the album charts where it’s still comfortably top 10]

Labrinth: Yeah, it’s really wild! I’ve been working for a long time and with a few artists and stuff like that, so you never expect these things, you just keep pushing for it, man.

Charley: For those who haven’t yet checked out your album, how would you describe it?

Labrinth: I would say it’s quite mixed, it’s got quite a lot of variety on it. If you’re into commercial variety, then I’m the guy for you.

Charley: I saw on your official web store that there’s this amazing 10 disc Limited Edition Boxset of your album with specially created artwork. How important is it for you to have that kind of releases?

Labrinth: It’s definitely important for me. It feels more engaging. It’s getting me and my fans closer and letting them know what I’m about and what I’m into. I just felt like sometimes we forget about the artwork in albums, cause of course there’s a lot of digital sales these days. I feel like this album will sell well physically cause there’s been a bit of time put into it.

Charley: Do you have any prized possessions like that in your own album collection as well?

Labrinth: Yeah, I think “Purple Rain” was sick, it was the first album I ever bought and I love the artwork on that. Parliament-Funkadelic album sleeves were insane… Of course Earth, Wind & Fire… Loads of old school bands! Especially from the 70’s, they have amazing artwork.

Charley: Back to your album, one of the singles was “Earthquake” which had a super cool video. Now, at one point you’re in this black cloak, and this might just be me, but is that a Star Wars reference?

Labrinth: It is! I’m a Jedi fan! I’ve always loved it, so I thought why not have a little tribute in my video to something I’m into.

Charley: One of the best things for me about “Earthquake” is how there’s so much going on in the production and yet it doesn’t feel cluttered. How do you find the right balance for that?

Labrinth: That’s definitely me going absolutely insane and throwing all the paint on the canvas while working closely with Serban Ghenea, who’s an amazing engineer. He helps me find some clarity in all the madness. I wanted it to sound like an earthquake, but not an earthquake without HD! *laughs*

Charley: One of my favourite tracks on the album is “Sundown“. I love how even without listening to the lyrics it’s dark and dirty and sexy… How do you go about creating an atmosphere like that?

Labrinth: That’s all mood, man. “Sundown” came to me randomly in the middle of the day. Sometimes those are the best songs where the melody comes to you, the vibe comes to you and you just have your way with it. That track for me is one of my favourites on the album, cause it’s just honest. You can hear my heart and my soul in it, honestly. Maybe not lyrically, but definitely in terms of the vibe, definitely.

Charley: I saw this YouTube clip where you show a camera crew around your studio and you just seemed to lit up talking about it. Is that your happy place?

Labrinth: Yeah, man, it definitely is! Oh my God, I love my home and my home is the studio, so… When I go back to the studio I just feel like… “It’s creative time!” It does take me to my happy place, but the stage as well!

Charley: To go from the comfort of your studio onto that stage, what was it like taking that step?

Labrinth: It was scary, man! Cause of course, I was performing alongside Tinie Tempah after producing his first two records and he brought me on a lot of shows, but it was a bit weird thinking about being the artist fronting your own music. It took a bit of time, but we just kept on working at it and it feels like I’m the right place right now. If you come down to my shows you can hear how my sound and the vibe works. I feel like I’ve got my music on stage now and people are hearing it and it’s full of integrity.

Charley: You mentioned producing for other people and one of my favourite productions of yours is Ms Dynamite’s “Neva Soft“. People mainly know her from her big mainstream hits, how do you go from that to those amazing minimalistic D&B beats?

Labrinth: I think one thing that everyone’s going to learn about me is that I’m not an artist that has one style. It’s not me trying to blow my own trumpet or anything, it’s just that’s the way I like music anyway. One day you’ll hear me producing a dirty hip hop record that sounds amazing and then the next you’ll hear me producing a jazz record. That’s what I’m about, I just want to make music and hopefully people love that and enjoy what I put out.

Charley: Is there any truth to the rumours that you’re working on Tulisa‘s solo album?

Labrinth: She asked me to work on some tracks for her and we had a chat about it, but we haven’t confirmed yet.

Charley: Well I hope you do anyway!

Labrinth: Excellent, thank you very much.

Charley: Now one last question, you’re signed to Simon Cowell’s record label Syco. Is he as scary as people make him out to be?

Labrinth: No, man! He’s definitely not! I think it’s about giving him the right stuff. If he likes your music he doesn’t turn into the horrible person he seems to be on The X Factor.

Charley: Well, with your track record that shouldn’t be a problem!

“Electronic Earth” by Labrinth is available on Spotify and iTunes.

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Charley says ARTIST! Glenn Claes (Winner Of The Voice Van Vlaanderen)

March 21, 2012

Meet Glenn Claes, the very first winner of The Voice Van Vlaanderen.

Flanders fell in love with the singing plumber from the moment he poked his head out of his camper’s door. Worried about being late to his audition, he’d decided to drive to the studio the day before, parked his camper van on the parking lot and spent the night there.

For his much hyped audition he sang “I Shot The Sheriff”. Before he’d even properly sung the first two lines all four chairs had turned. Under the guidance of his coach, Arid lead singer Jasper Steverlinck, Glenn sailed through the battles and secured his spot as one of the red hot favourites for the live shows.

Glenn Claes – The Sound Of Silence
http://vtm.be/the-voice-van-vlaanderen/artikel/emotionele-glenn-met-sound-of-silence

In those live shows Glenn impressed even more with renditions of “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man“, “Have A Nice Day“, “Big Jet Plane“, “Message In A Bottle” and “Naive“.

However, it was his take on Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound Of Silence” that really captured the nation and even shot to number 2 in the official charts. An emotional Glenn wore a Pukkelpop t-shirt for his heartfelt performance. He dedicated the song to the victims of the 2011 festival drama, one of which was his friend.

In the final Glenn beat runner-up Silke to the title with 52% of the votes. His winner’s single “Knight In Shining Armour” was written by coach Jasper Steverlinck, because they didn’t like the proposed song he was handed. Not a bad move, considering the lovely acoustic-y song got him straight into the Flemish top 5. With a physical single now in stores as well, that number 1 seems within reaching distance!

“Knight In Shining Armour” by Glenn Claes is available in stores and online at Spotify and iTunes.
Studio versions of “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man”, “Naive” and “The Sound Of Silence” by Glenn Claes are available on Spotify and iTunes.

See also: Charley says LIST! The Voice Van Vlaanderen: The Aftermath

Charley says VIDEO! Alyssa – Get On Your Feet

February 13, 2012

So remember how Friday I was raving about Axelle Aerts being the one to watch in The Voice Van Vlaanderen?

Yeah, she got voted off.

Axelle’s performance of Jessie J’s “Domino” got off to a shaky start when she came out on stage having forgotten to put in her in-ear monitors. Despite redeeming herself once she finally popped them in, the public decided not to send her straight through to next week. After the final sing-off Axelle’s coach Natalia decided she would eventually find her way to pop stardom anyhow, so put through “now or never” contestant Yass. Lame.

As mentioned before, it’s a small consolation, but a studio recording of Axelle’s song is available for download on iTunes as well as being on the first “The Voice Van Vlaanderen” compilation that’s in stores right now.

But not at all hope is lost for first week evictees! Axelle, record companies, take note!

When Idool 2011 narrowed its contestants down to 10 finalists last year, Alyssa Luypaert seemed to be the perfect pop star in waiting. Until she got booted off in week one. Boy, I sure know how to pick my early favourites…

Alyssa was picked up by SonicAngel and has just released her debut single “Get On Your Feet“, a dancepop anthem that suits her in a way her disappointing Idool performance of “Waiting For Tonight” sadly didn’t. The track was co-written by Ingrid Mank, Idool vocal coach, singer-songwriter and the woman responsible for the greatest talent show group single ever.

So, I guess what I’m saying is:

– Someone give Axelle a record deal, please
– Alyssa has released her debut single
– The chorus of said debut single reminds me of the Friends clip below. (The jury’s still out whether or not that last one’s a good thing)

Alyssa’s “Get On Your Feet” is available now on iTunes and Spotify.

See also: Charley says TV! Axelle on The Voice Van Vlaanderen
See also: Charley says VIDEO! Idool 2011 – More To Me