#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with John Gibbons


   

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Fresh off his set at Ireland’s Electric Picnic festival, I had the opportunity to chat to producer and DJ, John Gibbons, about the success of his recent single, ‘P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)’ and what he’s got in store for us in the coming months. We also had the chance to talk about who he’d really like to work with and what other passions he has, outside of music. It’s all here…


Hey John, how’s it going?
Really good thanks. Have just finished my set at Electric Picnic festival in Ireland, which is always a major highlight on the summer circuit so I’m in buoyant form and ready for the winter club season!

So you released ‘PYT’ back in April and the reception seems to have been incredible, how exciting has that been for you?
Very exciting indeed! The reaction to ‘PYT’ has been phenomenal all over the world and it’s immensely gratifying to receive constant feedback from so many people who feel it has done justice to the memory of Michael Jackson – something I was very conscious of whilst producing the track. I can’t wait for the next single now!

What future plans have you got? Any new singles or an album in the pipeline?
The most immediate plan is the release of the follow-up single to ‘PYT’. It’s an original track rather than a cover this time and will be out in the next couple of months so I’m looking forward to stepping things up another gear – it’s a banger! An album will follow at some point but for now the priority is the next couple of singles. I’ve a number of interesting remixes coming out soon too so keep an ear out for those.

Where do you take inspirations from when creating your music?
From all over. I listen to all styles of music and have done from a very young age so I like to draw inspiration from that diverse musical background. I also like to put a little of myself into each track so the direction of much of my music is also influenced by what’s going on in my life at any given time and sometimes past experiences also. Overall though, I want to make people feel good about themselves and transport them to a place where they can leave the world behind for just a few minutes while listening – expression is important but sharing the experience is even more important in my opinion.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
The Weeknd
. I’m a big fan of him and vocally I think he’s so perfectly suited to what I do that he’d be foolish not to collab with me – our track would undoubtedly be the biggest moment in both of our shows – hit me up Abel!

What music have you been listening to most recently?
In terms of dance music I’ve been listening to and playing out a lot of the new wave of latin-influenced house that’s been shutting down shows all over this summer – hit up my radio show every week to hear loads! Otherwise I’ve been listening to loads of Huntar, a UK artist who I’m a huge fan of and is gonna be massive, also Irish band, Walking On Cars, lots of UK grime and I’m also really enjoying Australian artist, Wish I Was, at the moment too.

If you had to cover/remix a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
I think ‘Glorious’ by Macklemore. The energy in that track is tailor-made for a big piano-house pop cover and his vocal would slot in deliciously. I can picture the live show together too – a high-octane match made in dancefloor heaven!

Do you have any other passions outside of music?
My big passion is tennis. Whilst I don’t play anything like as often as I used to in the past (which was all day every day as I grew up!), I’m still a huge fan of the sport and in particular Roger Federer – the guy is an inspiration on so many levels. I also love languages and am generally in the middle of learning a new one. At the moment it’s Polish!

What really grinds your gears?
The fact that most people in Western society spend too much time time looking outwards rather than inwards and down when we should be looking up. I feel the world would be a much better place if narcissism and vicariousness were replaced by quiet introspection and positive action.

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
The Truman Show. I know it’s not a recent movie but I watched it just yesterday. It’s my favourite movie of all time, closely followed by They Live. Two movies with mind-blowing messages for those with eyes to see…

If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Leonardo di Caprio – sure we already look practically identical!

If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
A Star Bar. That’s the direction I’m always reaching and where I’d be most at home!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Read between the lines…


John Gibbons‘ releases are all available:


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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Club Drive


   

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Having recently been impressed by Club Drive when I saw them support Marianas Trench on their UK tour, I had to chat to Aaron and find out a little more about him and the band. Here’s what he had to say…


So you released ‘Voyager’ back in May and the reception seems to have been amazing, how exciting has that been for you?
It’s been overwhelming to be honest. When we write and record new songs, the focus is very much on getting them to a place that we’re really happy with. We never really get time to think about the end goal, so when we get news that the song has been picked up by Radio 1 or people are hearing it in their local shops/restaurants it always catches us by surprise. It’s been an amazing year so far and we’re really grateful for everyone’s support.

What future plans have you got? Any new singles or an album in the pipeline?
Absolutely, all the above. Brand new single ‘International’ is on the way very soon complete with our favourite music video we’ve done to date. Then we’ll be hitting the studio during festival season to start work on our debut album.

How was your UK tour with Marianas Trench?
It was amazing to be honest, the guys and their team are incredible at what they do and seeing a band who are so enormous the world over, coming to the UK to play (by their usual standards) tiny venues, was really something! We got to see a lot more of the country than we usually do and the fans in each city were so welcoming of us as a support band. We really hope to see everyone again later this year!

Where do you take inspirations from when writing your music?
All sorts really. Artists and songs that we love from all decades, personal experiences that we’ve been or are going through and a lot of the time, without sounding preachy, events that are going on around us on a bigger scale usually help shape what we’re feeling at the time.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
Great question! I guess it depends on if we’re talking dead or alive so let’s go with…..

  • DeadMichael Jackson, obviously the biggest music icon of our lifetime and arguably ever.. But I actually think his vocal on our tracks would work so well!(saying that his vocal on any track sounds amazing)
  • Alive – is a harder one, we would love to collaborate with a female vocalist such as Katy Perry, Dua Lipa, Anne Marie, etc. but also we’d be really keen to hear the outcome of working with the likes of Sigma, Sigala, Mura Masa or The Chainsmokers, etc.

What music have you been listening to most recently?
Loads – we actually now have a “Club Drive Weekly” playlist on Spotify where each week we’ll share a list of new artists and songs that we’re really into, so recently it’s been the likes of Lower Than Atlantis, Eliza & The Bear, Don Broco, Clean Cut Kid, Dua Lipa & loads more!

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
Another tough one as there’s been a lot of bangers lately. I’m actually a sucker for the new Jonas Blue record ‘Mama’ – absolute tune & would love to see what we’d come up with giving that a go.

If someone famous was to cover one of your songs, who would you want it to be and which song?
Again, really tough question. Something like a John Mayer cover of ‘International’ would be really interesting OR maybe a Little Mix cover of ‘Spare Time’ just to hear something completely different.

Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Yeah, to be honest, we’re all really driven people and it’s probably what’s kept us together in harder times.. But I think any one of us would love to set up a business if the opportunity was there. We love sport, theatre, art, travelling and obviously food 😝 but Music is still very much top priority for us!

What really grinds your gears?
People with no manners, whether it’s a thank you for holding a door, an excuse me to get out the way or a thanks for letting someone go when driving. People with no manners REALLY wind us up! 

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
That’s a tough one, neither of them are particularly new but watched them both recently… War Dogs & Let’s Be Cops👌🏼

If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
I guess in 20 years time there’ll be an abundance of new, far more attractive, actors to chose from but based on who’s in the game today. I’d say the following:

  • Aaron – Robert Downey Jr (the guy can siiiiiing!)
  • Steve – Ryan Gosling (fun fact he’s an insane bass player)
  • Tommy – Jared Leto
  • Christian – Will Ferrell (cos you couldn’t not have Will Ferrel in your movie.. And he’s also an amazing drummer!)

If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
I’d probably go with Double Decker, there’s a harder side a softer side but ultimately what you see is what you get.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
ABC
Assume Nothing
Believe No-one
Check Everything


Club Drive‘s releases are all available:


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#Two4Tunesday: Katy Perry – ‘Chained To The Rhythm’ feat. Skip Marley & Maroon 5 – ‘Cold’ feat. Future


   

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Katy Perry – ‘Chained To The Rhythm’ featuring Skip Marley

Katy Perry is back! This tune is huge and not as much of a club-like banger as some of her previous singles; it’s quietly catchy. The addition of a verse from Skip Marley adds a certain edge to the track too.

Katy’s changed her image for this album too, sporting a new bleach-blonde look and a heavily pastel-pink theme to the single’s artwork and some of her press shots.

The song has quite a heavy 80s vibe to it yet it seems quite current and timeless all in the same moment. I think this song and upcoming album will see her continue to rise!

The music video is brilliant and the budget for it must have been astronomical. The style of the video is futurism and blends a sort of 1950s vibe with futuristic elements; it’s also very tongue-in-cheek about how tied to technology humanity has become. It’s well worth a watch!


‘Chained To The Rhythm’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/chained-to-the-rhythm-feat-skip-marley/id1203833700?i=1203833818



Maroon 5 – ‘Cold’ featuring Future

I love Maroon 5 – I don’t think they’ve ever released a bad song or album, in my eyes! Every album has been unique and takes the band in a completely different sonic direction. They’re a million miles away from Songs About Jane, but yet they still produce incredibly funky, fun and interesting music that pushes the stereotypical band image and sound to new heights!

This song is so different to all their previous singles with is heavy bass sounds, tropical house/jungle drum patterns and Adam Levigne‘s trademark falsetto vocals weaving throughout; it’s just a masterpiece of production and a thoroughly interesting sound for the band.

Naturally, this seems to be the second single (of which Don’t Wanna Know‘ was the first) to be taken from their upcoming, as-yet-untitled, sixth studio album. It’s set to be a promising release for the band!

The music video is seriously trippy too – check it out below. The end of the video is hilarious too – the perfect end to a perfectly weird video!


‘Cold’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/cold-feat-future/id1204595283?i=1204595505


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#Two4Tunesday: Tulisa – ‘Sweet Like Chocolate’ & KYKO – ‘Horizon’


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Tulisa – ‘Sweet Like Chocolate’

Tulisa is finally back with some brand new music and possibly one of her most divisive releases yet!

The track is a partial cover of the classic, 1999 garage track ‘Sweet Like Chocolate’ by Shanks & BigfootTulisa‘s version of the track puts a new spin on the chorus but she’s written her own verses to it. It’s a fun and uplifting song however fans have been divided by it, some love it, while others saw it that she was ruining the original.

What are your thoughts; love or loath? Personally we love it as it’s great to see Tulisa back on the scene?


‘Sweet Like Chocolate’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sweet-like-chocolate-feat./id1149315195?i=1149315213



KYKO – ‘Horizon’

After stumbling upon KYKO‘s previous release, ‘Native’, I have been on the lookout for his releases ever since!

I’m really excited that he’s released this follow-up, ‘Horizon’ and am eager for an album to follow.

The combination of guitars and electronic sounds are beautiful – a real auditory treat!

No video has been released yet, but as usual, we’ll keep you posted.


‘Horizon’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/horizon/id1142624488?i=1142624775


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Flo Rida – ‘I Don’t Like It, I Love It’ & Cash Cash – ‘Take Me Home’

Flo Rida & Cash Cash are gracing our #Two4Tunesday post this week; both amazing tunes…so enjoy!

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There is no doubt about it, Flo Rida has made quite the success of himself! He’s collaborated with handfuls of artists and amassed over 75 million downloads worldwide!

His latest release, ‘I Don’t Like It, I Love It’ has got that funk vibe thanks to Earth, Wind & Fire bassist, Verdine White. The chorus hook is by hip-gyrating, line-blurring, Robin Thicke. This song makes for an interesting sound for Flo Rida, since he’s normally renowned for his pop/club bangers.


‘I Don’t Like It, I Love It’ is available on iTunes right now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-dont-like-it-i-love-it-feat./id995403219


Flo Rida – ‘I Don’t Like It, I Love It’ featuring Robin Thicke & Verdine White


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Cash Cash are an EDM trio made up of brothers Jean Paul Makhlouf and Alex Makhlouf, alongside Samuel Frisch. The group  started as more of a pop-rock band (think Forever The Sickest Kids) but have completely morphed into their current producer/DJ outfit. They have remixed some big-name artist’s songs, including Katy Perry’s, ‘Birthday’ and Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Catch My Breath’ as well as release several of their own albums and a single in tribute of Michael Jackson‘s passing.

One of their most recent songs was ‘Take Me Home’ featuring Bebe Rexha and its electro-house sound is truly infectious. It may have been released in 2014, but I’ve recently rediscovered it and am still loving it now!


‘Take Me Home’ can be downloaded now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/take-me-home-feat.-bebe-rexha/id807417251


Cash Cash – ‘Take Me Home’ featuring Bebe Rexha

And that’s it for this week’s #Two4Tunesday! Have you got two songs you’re loving right now? Leave your comments below.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#FeelGoodFriday: Alesha Dixon – ‘The Way We Are’

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Alesha Dixon recaptured my attention recently on one of the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals, when she performed her latest single, ‘The Way We Are’.

This is the first sign of a new single and album in approximately 5 years and sees her take on a very summery vibe and is actually quite reminiscent of some previous releases by Tulisa. I also think it has influences of some of Clean Bandits‘ work too.

Obviously, she’s come a long way since her Mis-Teeq days and this catchy number is perfect for a #FeelGoodFriday track! I think it might just see her rise back to the limelight once more (after her 5 year break!); I’m even going to go out there and predict a Top 10 hit for her, with this song!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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Alesha Dixon’s latest singe, ‘The Way We Are’, is released on 21st June 2015 and can be pre-ordered on iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-way-we-are-single/id992499785

She is also releasing a special “rap mix” of the track, which features a Mis-Teeq style rap of hers, during the breakdown of the song. This can also be pre-ordered on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-way-we-are-rap-mix-single/id998900116


#ThrowbackThursday: Modjo – ‘Lady (Hear Me Tonight)’

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It’s an insane thought to me, that this song is now nearly FIFTEEN! (Yes, 15!!!!!) years old! That means I was only 12 when this song came out! I distinctly remember buying the CD single of this track – I played it on repeat for weeks on end and I love it just as much now, as I did back then!

The song features a guitar sample of ‘Soup for One’, originally by Chic.

When it was released, it peaked at Number 1 in the charts, back in 2000, for 3 consecutive weeks (10th September 2000 – 24th September 2000). This track was pretty much a one-hit wonder for the French duo – although they released subsequent tracks from their album, the rest failed to enter the Top 10.

I hope you can get your groove on to this track today, as much as I can.

Does this song hold any memories for you? If so, what? What Throwback Thursday are you feeling this week?

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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