News — Artist Spotlight
Artist Spotlight: Victoria Vox - Singer-Songwriter / Ukulele Artist
Victoria has the ability to effortlessly rub her tummy and pat her head at the same time. In a musical perspective that means, not only does she have a stunning ukulele playing style, a voice that can effortlessly adapt to any musical genre, operate a pedal board with precision...she still has a secret weapon... the mouth trumpet.
Victoria has perfected a vocal technique that imitates the sound of a trumpet by blowing air through her lips, an incredible effect that at first raises a smile from the audience, often ending up with a standing ovation.
Artist Spotlight: Gil Norton - Respected And Influential Record Producer
As a highly respected and influential record producer, Gil Norton has worked with some of the biggest names in rock. A large list of Internationally acclaimed artists trust Gil at the controls. These have included Foo Fighters, Counting Crows, Echo &The Bunnymen, Feeder, Pixies, Marmozets, Band Of Skulls, JOANovARC and Jimmy Eat World, to name but a few. He takes up the story…
“I distinctly remember at the age of 12 how I wanted to be a sound engineer or a TV camera man. I felt so strongly about taking this path throughout my school years, that I left the 6th form after a year to take up an Audio Visual youth opportunity scheme that Knowsley Council were offering to promote the borough.
Artist Spotlight: Madonna Mallon - Trombonist at London Metropolitan Brass Band
Cold Play. There’s something about Christmas carols being played live by a brass band, the soothing dreamy purr of a French horn, the wispy liquid slur of a mellow trumpet to the throaty drawl of the trombone, then there’s the joyful thrum-pump parp parp sonic characteristics of the big brass tuba.
A congested London Paddington Station on the Eve of said festive occasion, was indeed looking like a train strike had just been announced as I arrived. My first thoughts were, at least I have relaxing music to listen to while they sort it out.
Artist Spotlight: Shane Ó Fearghail - It's All About The Song
Defining the word ‘Nomad’ can be partly described as: ‘A person at one roaming about for pasture, pastoral tribe, a member of a community of people who live in different locations, moving from one place to another. Let’s add a sprinkling of: ‘Seriously good singer songwriter, solo artist and musician’ and we have Shane Ó Fearghail.
In an interview from his base in Vienna, Austria, Shane talks to me about performing live and his uncanny ability to write songs with catchy hook lines and melodies that are heavily influenced by his Irish background.
Artist Spotlight: Edgar K. Muzah - Bassist With A Heart Of Gold
The music scene is getting better in Zimbabwe now, although there wasn’t that much work for musicians when I was there. I used to love listening to rhythmic music especially traditional African sounds which I could relate to and found both innovative and inspiring. I still love the percussive feel and resonating warmth of established instruments like the kalimba and marimba, and the cununo drum played with bamboo sticks.Even now, I’ll regularly get together with friends and we’ll play traditional songs or just improvise, sometimes with just vocalists and with cow bells, but you know... music is music at the end of the day.
As a child I was very lucky, I had the opportunity to study Ethnomusicology at the Zim College of Music. I was mentored by a guru called Chaka Chawasarira who is an amazing mbira player, he also makes these instruments and taught me how to play one to a high level.
Artist Spotlight: Zoë Bestel - Award Winning Artist With Haunting Vocals
For centuries, some of the finest songs, poems and books have been written by authors who have taken to the hills for inspiration as they wander ‘lonely as cloud’ or watch the mist role in from the ‘Mull of Kyntyre’.
Scotland’s Galloway Hills and surrounding coastline is indeed the landscape from where award winning nu-folk singer-songwriter and musician, Zoë Bestel draws motivation and creativity.
“I live on a farm in a pretty remote area with forests and mountain views from my windows”, says Zoë, “So a lot of my songs are themed about nature. I’m also close to the coast here and I’ve written a lot of songs about the sea which features on my new album set for release around the Spring of 2017”.
Artist Spotlight: Chris Buono - Multi Media Guitar Madman
Chris Buono’s name can be found on numerous guitar instructional media. From book titles published by Hal Leonard, Alfred and Cengage Learning to myriad bylines as a contributor and columnist for Guitar One, Guitar Player and Just Jazz Guitar to his industrious output with TrueFire and Guitarinstructor.com, Chris Buono is everywhere.
You need only watch one of the hundreds of videos of Chris that have been viewed millions of times over on YouTube to witness his immense knowledge of comping techniques, complex harmony, neck visions as well as his mind-numbing soloing techniques.
Along with Chris’ tenure as a Berklee professor his best selling books, TrueFire courses and Guitar Gym online classroom and course series have earned him respect all around the world as one of the finest teachers on the subject of high-level guitar playing.
Artist Spotlight: Bagpiper Craig McFarlane - A Journey Around The World
When it comes to piping the distance, Scottish piper Craig McFarlane is literally miles ahead of the pack. We interviewed Craig about his life long connection to the bagpipes, which has taken them both on a journey around the world:
“Hearing a piper in the hills is very atmospheric, especially in the highlands, or anywhere for that matter. I lived at Glastonbury for 10 years and I used to go up the Tor at night and play at sunset and in the morning at sunrise, especially when there was a full moon or a storm. It’s very evocative and just seems to fit in. The sound is instantly recognisable and designed to be played outside for raising the blood or the gathering of clans, as heard back in the battle days of the pipes.