Friday, 31 July 2009

Band / Artist of the week

Name: Your Vegas

Genre: Pop / Rock / Indie



Your Vegas has an inspiring history…. Check it out…

..It all began in a small suburb of Leeds called Otley, where the band naturally formed. According to Girelli : ”You find three other people near the same age into music, you’re probably going to meet up and form a band.”

..And this is how it all began…They started out as a “grungy, Nirvana-influenced group” but over time the music opened up far more….

..And before they knew it the band was releasing a few indie singles and started touring the UK….

Up and down the motorway we woud go – doing what we call the toilet tours” says Coyle.

..their travels ranged from hitting the islands off of Scotland right down to visiting Plymouth..

But Your Vegas wanted more than this… and took the next step after a proposed major label deal fell through…

…guess where they travelled to?? Where do all Stars want to be??


Good old NEW YORK!!

…Their crowds grew bigger, major labels started coming around…and this was their real start to their career.

And all band members had one GOAL:


…“Write great, uplifting tunes and play for as many people as we can, and hopefully make people happy. We finally found the opportunity to do that by moving to the States.” Says Steel.

New York had been their opportunity to show the world their talent… and they succeeded… they recorded their album with David Bendeth last April naming the album: “A town and two cities”,

which reflects the bands past and present.

Coyle describes it as: “We grew up in a small town, and then spent a lot of time in Leeds – which is an amazing city for musicians. Then we came here to the States, and that was our last inspiration before recording the album. So I guess it’s about our journey, in a town and two cities".

How inspiring is their history?


Give it up for this week’s band:


Rhian Chodak

If we get a workspace will they come? Episode Six

Hello again. Although these blogs are coming out weekly I actually did the first five episodes in one go (well 2 or 3) over a month ago. So this is the first time in a while that I've sat down to compose my latest ramblings & as a result im a bit rusty. Hopefuly i'll get into the zone shortly.....once I've gone for a fag.

OK where were we? Oh yeah. Armour.....sigh. I say "sigh" now although this is episode 6 for you lot I'm actually on about episode 207 in "real time". So heres a quick snippet from your future: Its all getting a bit silly now. Thats to come later so for now I shall cast my mind back to where we were. (read more)

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Don't get in that lift....

Lifts annoy me, or rather those in them do. I got in a lift today so that I could get to the eighth floor of the building, which had 9 floors. I get in with the other 2 people, press the button and watch the doors start coming together. This woman ran towards the doors huffing and puffing, her eyes popping out of her head and she started forcing her way through the practically closed doors with her umbrella still open & her bags knocking everyone's knees as she struggled to get in. A huge sigh as she realized she had made it and then a satisfactory press of the button reading 'Floor 2.'

Floor 2!!!! What the f***!! Floor 2!! Bear in mind this building doesn't have a floor 1 so its just 3 very small flights of stairs to her floor. Ok that sounds a lot actually but seriously we are talking about at the most, 15 steps. I looked at her in disbelief that she had just held the bloody lift up so she could get out almost as quickly as she had got in. Looking at the slightly ajar mouths of my other lift passengers they too thought she was taking a large bite out of a very small digestive biscuit.

So moving on from this particular lift escapade I then got in another lift later in the day. The doors open and Holy Shiiiitteee I was met by an almost purple cloud of bargain basement, buy 1 get the rest of the basket free perfume. The haze reminded me of back in the days when 'SO!' and 'Impulse' body sprays were big on the scene, the more floral the better. This was definitely one of those purchases because I could feel the makeup evaporating off my face and I swear I may have even spotted a small group of pimples forming on my arm from the toxic fumes. I was clearly drunk or disorientated on this stuff cos I got in the lift!! I know, what an idiot!

I got in there and for 8 floors span in the smell, my tongue curling up to the roof of my mouth tasting the sweetness and its ability to seemingly start crushing my windpipe.

Collapsing outside of the lift at the end and gasping for air while clutching my chest was probably not the welcome the guy was expecting as I reached the ground level but seriously, he needed to be warned. I noted his wait for another lift. Thinking back now he probably thought I farted or something, mind you that would be an achievement...being able to fart a Laura Ashley 'Flamboyant floral' bed collection.

My lesson for the day - avoid lifts.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


A few weeks ago I was convinced to venture into the torrential rain and head to a music venue in Notting Hill. I was there to see 'We have Band' and they were definitely worth the wet weather, slippery streets and trek home.

They are a 3 piece band, who are absolutely incredible live. I had not, admittedly, done my homework, so i did not know what to expect.

at 10pm they came on stage - all dressed in white - and rocked it out.

The only female, in the middle, was like an incarnation from a 60's Kubrick music video - if ever he were to make one. She danced like a woman possessed, and with her waving arms and outlandish moves - she had us all mesmerised.

It was, by far, one of the most energetic performance I had ever seen.

If you like your percussion hard, your moves radical and your tunes addictive, then WE HAVE BAND are the group for you.

Review: Katie Cowell

Sunday, 26 July 2009


When I first heard this track my soul jumped out through my nose slapped me across the face and screamed, "Thats what I ment when I said play some of that real real shite, BIATCH!"

You might recognise the name Goapele, well thats because she is the same lady who brought us the amazing 'Closer'. This time she has teamed up with Bedrock and 'Milk and Honey' is one of my favourite tracks right now.

And if you thought that wasn't enough, the track is also up for Free on her website.

The video will soon come. They finished filming two weeks ago and are just putting the finishing touches to it.

And me being the nice guy that I am, here's the 'Closer' video.



Friday, 24 July 2009

Now that's a coincidence....

Catch Kobi Onyame @ Fat Talent LIVE Fri 14th for tickets


I know a lot of you producers out there are looking for ways to get your music heard not just by a wider audience but also the right people who can propel you to that next level. Well, one way to get yourself ahead of the pack is by doing a good remix of a popular song. The other way is to do a good remix of a popular song which is actually part of a competition, with a decent prize.

Here's one that I got sent to me just yesterday.

Enter, do your remix and see if you can beat the thousands of people that are going to put their stuff forward. Oh, and you best believe I'm going to be giving in my two cents as well!!

Enter Contest

A bit of Action for your weekend.....

One of the simplest things to do in Photoshop is setting up
Action - an automated task that you can assign to a batch
of images, a whole folder of images or just a few that you
pick.This could be something as simple as a certain way of
saving things or resizing to certain dimensions but can go
as far as your imagination will take you really.

I use actions to apply logos to my work when putting on
social networking sites or shareware and I also commonly
use it when doing particular events, adding a set standard
'curve' action to adhere to all images which I know in
general, will work with everything. The other thing I tend
to use it for is saving files when I am e
diting each one,
saves you saving as each time and saves loads of time for
more important stuff!(Like making a cuppa while all your
work saves!)

The 'Action' tab can be found alongside the history tab and
within the same palette. If yours is not visible then add it
in your
view function.

Basically what you are doing is recording an Action and then
saving it so that you can use it on a load of other files later.

First you need to decide what action you are saving, for
this purpose I am picking
'Curves'. Open up one of the
files from the batch of images you are going to edit and
you thinkwill need a similar curve action on.

Once opened go to your Action Tab and click on the 'New' Icon
as illustrated. Save your Action as something memorable - you
can even colour code it if you wish to group your actions
later. Once saved it is instantly recording and
anything you
do to that image will be saved within the 'Action.'

So curves - open up the curves (CTRL M or in Adjustments) and do a
standard curve that you like for contrast. Now save the image and close. Now stop the action using the stop button as illustrated.

Your action is now saved.

Now your going to want to apply this curves action to a whole bunch of images to save you a load of time where you could be otherwise watching the JK show or making yourself a coffee. Either way it saves you time and your mouse finger!

So still in photoshop, with action stopped and image closed, go to File - Automate - Batch. Once here you will be able to select the 'Action' you require (plus a load of automated pre loaded actions) and then the folder to which this action should apply.

You can then select how to save the images. So do nothing and they stay open or save them to a specific folder or location. You can even go as far as specifying different file names or extensions.

Once you have decided all of that (see red arrows) press ok, sit back and watch the action take place!

Yep, its that simple.

C x

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Jay Z - DOA (Chase & Status Remix)

Had to share this one with you....I was recently introduced to this remix by DJ CHEF! and now Iv'e got it on repeat. Love it!

Its head & shoulders above the original so props go to the UK duo Chase & Status on the buttons. Instructions: Hit play, turn your speakers up and watch out for the dirty bassline.....


Being a music producer myself sometimes you have to come up with clever and inventive ways of creating the sound your really want. I have sampled everything from the 'Transformers' movie sound effects to shower sprays on plastic curtains and used them to create music. Obviously you wouldn't know this from hearing the final results but trust me, we know exactly what we are doing.

Here is a video of Divinci doing just that.

*Not to be confused with UK producer DaVinche.


FreeStyle aka DJ CHEF!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

A belated big up to Fat Talent LIVE!

Fat Talent LIVE is well worth a visit. I’ve been to a fair few talent shows in my time, some where I’ve politely clapped and wished for the curtain call, others where I’ve genuinely enjoyed the performances. This one, where the talented Chocolate Blonde launches into an impressively energetic song and dance to kick off proceedings was something very special indeed.

It was actually, honestly, the cream of unsigned talent, comprised of many young people, and a group of ESPECIALLY young people who go by the name of 'Fools Gold' had travelled all the way from Lincoln to perform. The dedication to music and fashion was evident in what I and a packed room full of guests witnessed. I thought I’d seen all the heartfelt ballads there were to witness in the world, until Jeremy St. John got his teeth into his reggae-inspired performance, and literally caused me a headache with the applause he earned. So, basically, I’m a resident at each and every live event from now.

On a recession busting note, the drinks aren’t too bad a price either, and there’s a lovely balcony for smokes and, I was surprised to discover, a full BBQ! I’m telling you... you don’t have any better way to spend a Sunday evening.

Next date: Fri 14th Aug @ the Cobden club - (click to purchase your ticket)

Review: Kirsty Simmonds

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


Tried and tested
Tried and bested
Let not those who continually come second think less of their actions

Calm and rested
Calm and bested
Let not the Lazy feel they have no place in society for they are key

Smart but bested
Let not the intelligent look down on others for they see things you cannot

Always be keen, always learning, always listening
You do not know where your next source of wisdom will come from
Even a BROKE ASS clock is RIGHT twice a day
Posted by: Future

Chocolate Blonde World

Each week we will be following the crazy world of Miss Chocolate Blonde as we document her rise to the T.O.P. This week's installment, focuses on CB meeting up with Ashton John, a documentary maker who has been filming her since Feb this year.

The documentary is being pitched to channel 4 so exciting times! the footage also gives you a fly-on-the-wall peek at the positive feedback she received from the industry panel at this years Cityshowcase.Note: It's right at the end so stick with it and try and keep up with all the crazy antics at the beginning of the clip!!

If i build it will they come? (and will it fit them when they get here?) Episode Five

Two weeks had passed since I'd done anything armour orientated. I'd had to stall work on the project on account of working in London. Remember, no one is getting paid for their work on Joey & Robins film. Thats fine as we've all agreed to do it anyway for the love of it in our free time. Downside for Joey & Robin is it means that whenever paid work comes our way all thoughts of running around a derelict, bombed out building pretending to fight monsters dressed like a futuristic madman take a back seat!

Such was the case for me as I'd been called down to London to be part of the special effects crew for a car commercial that for reasons that elude me was treated with pentagon levels of security. Maddest of all was that no-one was allowed to know of this cars existence but across the road in the tube station was a fucking massive poster advertising it!
(read more)

Monday, 20 July 2009

The Drive Thru

50% of Americans are fat/obese. This is quite a staggering statistic when considering the size of the continent. I remember being in America and driving home (hotel) at about 3am in the morning. I was struck by the sight of a Dunkin Donuts all day drive through in quite a remote area and even more surprisingly there were a few cars waiting to get their fill of either late night satisfaction or early morning bliss (whichever way you look at it). Even more telling was the sight of the customer currently at the window. He was HUGE. I mean the way I remember it he was struggling to get both hands over his belly to collect his pack of 24 donuts. America why do you do this to your people?

Anyway some people claim fast and junk foods are instrumental to society as they keep the general masses fat and lazy. I mean who wants a country full of lean and mean people rearing to go at any opportunity. Right away you would have twice the amount of protestors, twice the amount of environmentalists and more people in general would be conscious of ongoing issues and more willing to question the government.

Others simply think that fast food joints run the world and they fund wars inorder to get their grubby hands on the local market. The truth is that just having a franchise in any given country doesn’t achieve their aims..... oh no, the last piece of the jigsaw is to get the drive through. Thats when you know that the demand is seriously there and you can truly reap the benefits of a nation slowly punishing themselves to obesity.

Words: Future

Sunday, 19 July 2009

What's in a name?!

I’m late! For the second time this week!

I am late posting my blog (apologies) and I was late to work on Tuesday. In my defence, I have not been sleeping well at all this week!

I know what it is, but not sure if you guys are ready for that kind of revelation! See as I research the industry into which I am heading, I have come across some rather disturbing stuff. Stuff I do not know enough about to pass on to others, but none-the-less, it has caused me to have quite a few sleepless nights!

In a nutshell, I have been looking at the price of fame! What some people believe they have to do and are willing to do, in order to ‘Make it!’

I have my limits. Don’t we all? It’s just some people’s limits are further than others.

Hand on heart, there is only so much I am willing to do for my music! Only so much I am willing to sacrifice. Don’t get me wrong, I will push and kick at the doors of opportunity until I break it off the hinges, but if, during my kicking and pushing, I am offered a key by someone who wants me to lower my morals and beliefs in return, the answer is NO!

My reading did make me stop and think though! While watching the documentaries and reading the stories about this celeb and that, it made me put things into perspective. And I believe I have learnt a few important lessons. I don’t believe I would ever, ‘sell out’ for more fame, don’t believe I would take it too far, in order to be a top selling artist. But how can you truly be sure you won’t? How do you know that in that moment, when the opportunity arises, or the question is asked, how do you know you won’t take it too far?

There is a thin line between desire and destiny! Isn’t there?

What I desire; what I really want may not be what I am destined to have! But I feel as long as I do everything I can, without doing anything I would be ashamed of, only then will I know if it was destined or not. For the record, I truly believe I am, in reality… who knows! Lol

So anyway.... There is the reason for my lateness. I have been pondering, researching and not sleeping! A wonderful week indeed.

The subject for this blog was supposed to be ‘Stage names!’ Thankfully, me wondering about what I am willing to do and how far I would go links to my name!

How I hear you ask? Well... my name, Yelitza, is Russian and means ‘To shine!’ Don’t you just love it? Surely that is a sign I am destined?

See I often get a lot of people asking me what my name is and then what my stage name is, clearly expecting them to be different. When I explain that they are both the same, more often than not, they seem a little surprised.

Some understand that there is little need to change it as my name is unique enough. A few feel that as it is kind of difficult to pronounce, so for that reason I should go under another name. Others think it is better to separate you at home from the, you on the stage.

This here was one of the things I touched upon while doing my disturbing research; the idea of someone else being on stage, a pseudonym, an alter-ego etc. Some celebs say that it is not them on the stage. Someone else takes over! They even use this to argue that they are not responsible for their actions and their influence over their audience.

But I feel that it is me on stage! It is me singing and performing so why not use my name! With me, what you see is what you get. Plus I have the massive bonus of having a pretty cool name anyway, so why not use it! Surely as a performer you want a name that means ‘To shine’, I already have that.

This does raise an important point though. Regardless of whether you use your real name, your tag name or nickname, your name is and should be something memorable; something that reflects you and what your music is about.

So my tip for this session is to make sure you have a catchy name! As with all of my tips, it’s not rocket science but sometimes, things are so obvious or so simple, that they go over people’s heads! I am guilty of this all of the time.

Catchy name: Give yourself a distinctive yet easily remembered stage name. Mine is not that easy at first but it is once you see it in writing. Plus it is very unique to the music world. And catchy too!

I sometimes break it down in syllables when sending out promos and letters, but that too adds to its originality. At the end of the day your name is your calling card and like a business, you don’t want to have the same name as someone else because it causes confusion. Yeah, maybe you can benefit from the popularity of someone else with the same name, but what about the negatives, any bad press linked to that name, could be linked to you. Or when people turn up expecting Jane X and you’re there, what if they kick off? Who wants to take the risk really?

You are unique as a performer, so your name should be unique too!

Let me know your views... until next time, stay distinctive and fabulous.

Don’t forget you can see me performing every month in Brum.

Tootles… Flutter