The Peanut Gallery – Video Review

New Jersey Hip-Hop duo The Peanut Gallery recently released its first single “Deep Thoughts” from the upcoming “Tales from the Basement” album. Check out the track here:

The Peanut Gallery is made up prep school graduate and breakdancing Orlando and his partner in crime Flee Jones, an inner-city gangster using music as an outlet. They got together after their plans to start up Party of 5IVE went astray and now the duo are making songs they want to and connecting with fans on a deeper level.

The song starts off with a symphonic keyboard track and popping beats that get you in the mood to hear what deep thoughts could come from the unorthodox duo. Almost immediately, hints of OutKast and A Tribe Called Quest can be heard yet the duo takes their expressive style in their own direction. The music production by Flee Jones has been accurately compared to the likes of Dr. Dre, Ja Rule, and Ludacris.

The personal lyrics cover topics like getting locked and being denied, but the main takeaway is that Orlando will not change his outfit or stop rapping because that’s who he is. The track delivers the message of accepting who you are and making it as far as you can despite the haters that will inevitable try to tear you down. His poetic style of the song and the lack of a chorus allows Orlando to fully express what’s on his mind without having to conform to any typical songwriting patterns, creating a refreshing and unexpected take in the rap genre. “Everything I end up loving always seems to disappear” is the final line that puts into perspective the overall message of “Deep Thoughts” and allows the song to be relatable to other people who are going through similar experiences.

The video strongly features Orlando’s interest in plushies, especially one of cartoon character Arthur. The visualizations on camera represent what’s being said lyrically and there’s a humoristic tone with the acting throughout. The use of the dolls highlights Orlando’s comedic values and soft spots rather than trying to appear all hard like most other rappers do.

The Peanut Gallery are in the process of writing and producing their album and both plan on releasing various projects together along and touring this year. “Deep Thoughts” is available on iTunes Spotify and SoundCloud, and we know we’ll be seeing more of them as they continue to rise. Be sure to check out the album “Tales from the basement” coming out Oct. 13.

Find more of The Peanut Gallery on YouTube, Vevo, iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and Twitter.

True Studd – New Video Release

San Francisco-based rapper True Studd is has released her defiant gay pride anthem “I Am the Agenda,” an energetic display of her passion and commitment to the cause, inspired by the prevalence of gays in the music, film, sports and political arenas. Check out the video below:

True Studd’s goal is to stay authentic in the face of the unfairness surrounding gays and this authenticity shines throughout her debut EP “The Rise of the Gays.”

“I want my music to reveal that what you like and who you are doesn’t matter as long as you’re true,” True Studd said. “Every song has a message that anybody can connect with – at the end of the day remember we are all humans on one planet. My music is here to show the world we can do just as good or even more, and that my sexuality wasn’t chose but it’s just who I am.”

A new track “Ready or Not” has already been released on the EP, which releases on August 25 via Stay Current Productions, with pre-orders going on now. Check it out here:

“It’s our time now, and we are on the rise – now.”

To stay up to date with True Studd, check her out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, and YouTube.

Sydney Lauren – Solo Artist Interview

Sydney Lauren has recently released a new EP titled “Left in Motion,” a five-track record that covers both happy and sad songs. Sydney spoke with ETV today about the making of her EP, the meaning behind her songs and her plans for touring. Check out the track “Haunt Me” here:

Sydney grew up in a town called Harrison outside a New York City, a place that no doubt left an impression on her.

“I was definitely influenced by New York, living so close to the city gave me opportunities that opened my eyes to different music, art and experiences,” Sydney said. “It has an energy to it that will always influence me, I love it!”

Sydney wrote all the songs on “Left in Motion” in about five months, with another five months to fully complete the recordings. Sydney’s lyrics and melody found a home with co-writer Tad Kubler from the band The Hold Steady, who wrote and produced the music. The result is a collection of pop tracks and introspective ballads that showcase Sydney’s distinct vocals and hard-hitting lyrics.

“I’m so happy to finally have the music out after sitting with it for so long, now people can hear what I was working so hard on!” Sydney said.

The making of the EP was both challenging and liberating, as creativity and concentration became the focus during the recording sessions.

“I like the creativity that is constantly happening during recording,” Sydney said. “You have all the tools to test out new ideas which is always really fun. I found the hardest part to be the final vocals. It can be hard to fully emote when you’re singing in a silent room by yourself. We weren’t going to stop until they were the best they could be!”

One listen of the EP will evoke a multitude of emotions for any listener. “Haunt Me” is a song about leaving the past behind and not letting it linger on to haunt the present. The universal appeal is enough to hook new listeners, but it’s the deep meaning that goes beyond the surface that will keep them coming back for more. Sydney spills her heart out on this track and although she can write a happy song, she said the sad ones come out much stronger.

“I always like to make sure there is a big message or lesson learned in a song,” Sydney said. “It should make a point!”

A song on the EP that is more on the political side is “Save Us,” inspired by the 2016 Orlando shooting. See the video here:

The lyrics are in reaction to the terror that many felt after the incident occurred and how love and compassion will always outweigh hate. Her lyric “One shot to the masses / Builds stronger passion” demonstrates the real-life response of how people came together to comfort those in pain. The depth in Sydney’s lyrical approach is her greatest talent and we look forward to what’s in store for her next release. In the foreseeable future, Sydney plans on touring to share her songs to a greater audience around the world.

“I am hoping touring will occur in the next 12 months!” Sydney said. “I love performing and want to share these songs with people every day!”

To stay up to date with all things Sydney Lauren, be sure to check her out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud and her official site.

AJ Steel – Solo Artist Interview

Melbourne singer-songwriter AJ Steel is an upcoming talent from down under who is turning heads with his catchy tunes and pop rock style. Today, AJ spoke with ETV about his early influences, the making behind his latest single, and his writing style. Check out his single “Love You When It’s Bad” here:

Some of AJ’s influences growing up were Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and classical music, even going so far as falling asleep while listening to the 1812 Overture back in the day after a morning in the waves. So, it’s no surprise that he would enjoy the likes of “Pet Sounds” by the Beach Boys. He’s also a fan of The Beatles, U2, and Bob Dylan, all artists who are known for their memorable and deep lyrics. Although he is a skilled performer today, he stated that he didn’t start getting into music as early as most musicians do.

“I was probably a bit of a late starter when it comes to music,” AJ said. “I used to play the piano by ear when I was about 10 or 11, then I got side-tracked into surfing. I lived on the coast and it was a real beach town.  Everyone seemed to surf there. So, I didn’t get serious about it until I was about 16.”

Since then, he has established himself as a prolific songwriter. His songs have been added to satellite radio with more than 3 million listeners, have been used in independent films out of Los Angeles, and have received national airplay on commercial radio in Australia along with numerous internet radio stations worldwide.

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Photo via https://www.ajsteelmusic.com

AJ’s music is a mix of the alternative rock sound mixed with the endearing qualities of a good pop song. “Love You When It’s Bad” is an introspective track tinged with hope hanging on each note of the piano ballad. The song soars high in the second half with a full band sound and lyrical inspiration about how much people are prepared to go through to chase after the one they love.

“The song probably took about four months to do,” AJ said. “I’d work on it then have to put it away and then come back to it. I just couldn’t nail down the story for that one. I kind of knew what I wanted to say but it took some time to reveal itself. Some of them come quickly and some of them just take time. There’s not much you can do about it, you just have to keep working on it if you believe the idea has integrity. The recording and production process took some time as well. I tried all sorts of instrumentation and arrangements until I found an arrangement that worked.”

Indeed, it worked, and the story does present itself naturally as the song develops. Like many songs, parts of the production were easy to work on while other parts were either challenging or difficult. One challenge was making a song that covered new ground while also retaining elements of what made his previous work stand out.

“I don’t like to go over what feels like old ground, but sometimes you have to if you want to bring a song to life,” AJ said. “Sometimes you just fight it, you shouldn’t, but sometimes you just do.”

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Photo via https://www.ajsteelmusic.com

His latest song is just one of many songs he has done before. As a solo artist, AJ has released an EP and four singles, and from his previous band, he has released an EP and an album. To create his songs, he mostly creates them in his studio but is open to collaborating more.

“Music is more fun when there’s other people in the process, but so far I’ve kind of locked myself away,” AJ said. “After going solo, I really wanted to find my sound, what I wanted to say as an artist and that took a lot of time to dig right down and find the real artist I wanted to be. So, I had to lock myself away to do that.”

Overall, AJ Steel is a name to lookout for. He is currently working on two brand new singles, with one of them due out this month and another in the writing stage. As time keeps ticking, AJ will keep writing, recording and releasing new songs that will touch the hearts of many. His next big hit is just around the corner, and we hope you’re there when it arrives.

To find out more about AJ Steel, be sure to check him out on Soundcloud, YouTube, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and his official site.

Big Hair Girls – New Video Release

New York chant-pop duo Big Hair Girls released a new video for their single “Future Is Female.” Check it out here:

Big Hair Girls have created a fun dance track full of girl power that would feel right at home to fans of Shamir, MIA or Sofi Tukker. The pop duo is made up of sisters Venus and Lizzy Lightyear, and they grew up in New York as Russian / Romanian / Surinamese and Caribbean lineage. Their mother was an immigrant, their parents were strict, and their family didn’t have much money. They were bullied in their school years and they stood out during a time in their lives when they we wanted to fit in. Soon enough they realized their differences is what made them awesome and they stop straightening their hair and took the path to freedom and big hair. Their song “Future is Female” is an anthem for the Girl Power Movement and celebrates female empowerment.

Big Hair Girls started making music out of their bedroom studio and quickly became a staple of New York City’s underground scene, where they DJ at LGBTQ parties. It wasn’t until they linked up with producer Donny Dykowsky that they created their signature sound, which includes tropical, pop anthems inspired by themes of girl power, strength, unity, and individuality. The duo’s ultimate message is to embrace uniqueness and to spread positivity and acceptance. Lizzy and Venus have put themselves at the forefront of the growing army of glitter warriors and are ambassadors to the future of girl power.

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Image via Big Hair Girls

To stay up to date with everything Big Hair Girls, check them out on Twitter, Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, and their official site.