EP44 : Sean Smith

 

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Daniel Alexander Interview By Scott McGlynn

Daniel has noticed big changes in the music industry since he began recording 6 years ago. In the beginning of his career, producers tried to force their vision of what he needed to act, dress and sound like. Fearing his music would lose it’s identity, Daniel resolved to remain true to his artistry.

Daniel Quoted “The freedom to express myself honestly is what makes me relatable.”

I met up with Daniel, To see more about his career, LGBT, and who would he love to perform with…

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Scott:  How did it all come about getting into music? 

Daniel: There isn’t one specific answer to this. It was more of an affinity I’ve always had. Since I was 6 years old, I was fascinated with Pop culture and music. My first cassette was Madonna’s “The Immaculate Collection.” Shortly after, my first CD was Britney’s first album “Baby, One More Time.”

When I was 8, I wrote my first song entitled “Clouds.” It won the school literary contest. Shortly after, Madonna’s “Evita” came out and I started singing “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” and my mom took notice of my voice. I started lessons then eventually auditioned for one of the top performing arts magnet schools in the country and I was admitted for my freshman year of high school. After high school, I was in college for 5 minutes and I realized that school wasn’t going to teach me how to achieve Pop stardom, so I dropped out. I started working with producers, emailing everyone imaginable and the rest is history!

 

Scott:  Your new EP “Beautiful” tell me about it? 

Daniel: My single “Beautiful” is all about empowerment and plain fun! 

At the moment, we live in an extremely divided country. We all need to express our individuality and let ourselves go. It’s about liberation, originality, sex and all the things that make us up as human beings. Confidence is the theme!

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Scott: Whats your ideas of the music video for this song? 

Daniel: My ideas for the video are grunge, downtown Pop. I want to get some dirt on my boots and just have a good time. Whether it’s being pushed around in a shopping cart or using the concrete urban backdrops of Miami, this video will be an expression of how I’m currently feeling.

 

Scott: Being a gay music artist, Do you or have you found its hard to break the industry? 

Daniel: Not at all! I think we live in a time where being gay has no influence or negative cloud over a commercial career. While there is still work to be done as far as equality is concerned, the commercial market has made being gay a much more mainstream topic. At the end of the day, I’m an artist, not just a “gay artist.” Whether a male artist says “boy” or “girl” in his music, It can still resonate with many different people. I personally don’t shy away from being myself.

 

Scott: Whats your thoughts on Disney and kids movies bringing out LGBT characters? 

Daniel: I personally considered Disney’s movement on the equality front groundbreaking! I respect their fearless expression of all different kinds of people, regardless of the backwards, negative opinions of those who may not understand. Disney embodies what it is to be inclusive. It is telling all those little boys and girls who may not have the proper support systems that they are not freaks. They are beautiful just the way they are! That’s the most important message we can deliver. 

 

Scott: What music did your grow up on? 

Daniel: A lot of Pop! Madonna, Britney and Mariah Carey were the artists who inspired me to become who I am today. They are responsible for helping me find my talent and discovering that I had a voice. 

 

Scott: If you could perform with anyone who would it be and why?  

Daniel: Currently, my two main picks would be Lady Gaga and JoJo. Both of these woman express themselves and use their talent as they see fit. They make no apologies and stay completely true to themselves. As far as males, my first pick would have to be Zayn. In my opinion, he is one of the greatest voices and songwriters of our time.  His voice is once in a generation. 

 

Scott: Whats your plans for the summer of 2017? 

Daniel: My plans for the summer of 2017 are getting over to the UK to perform and break the market. That is my current goal! 

 

 

Check out Daniels Links Here…

Cecil Interview By Scott McGlynn

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Cecil the Berkshire born artist’s music has grown in notoriety over the last year most notably being featured recently on BBC Radio 2. She has been championed regionally by BBC Introducing Berkshire and has performed live for both BBC Coventry & Warwickshire and BBC Oxfordshire respectively as well as featuring on many other radio shows in the UK. I caught up with Cecil to find out more…

Scott: What inspired you to be a music artist? 

Cecil:  Music has always been a big part of my life very early on in my childhood, as my mum used to play drums in a rock band and they would get together every weekend to jam. I think that instantly makes my mum cooler than me?!

Scott: Can you remember you first single or EP download you bought?

Cecil:  Well there was no such thing as downloading in the days where I bought my first record! God that makes me sound old! It was actually Green Days American Idiot album I bought. What a rebel I was!

Scott:  Tell me your top 3 music artists / bands you love and why?

Cecil: Coldplay have to be my first I just love them always have always will. I like how current they always keep themselves but always with their signature Coldplay touch.

Frank Sinatra, as who could deny, old blues eyes and silky vocals! And also most importantly he reminds me of home and my mum and dad. 

Also…Lana Del Rey I just love how artistic she is. She is very magical and it’s quite rare what she does, which I completely admire. 

Scott: Tell me about you experience with BBC Radio 2, That must of been a huge highlight in you career?  

Cecil:  Yes! I honestly couldn’t believe it I was over the moon. I actually found out I had been played by someone commenting on a YouTube video saying they heard my song on BBC 2, so as you can imagine I frantically told everyone I knew even the neighbors dog, Amber who is super cute! 

Scott: Tell me more about you debut EP “Silly Business” 

Cecil: So my EP Silly Business was released this April 7th! Get your copy on iTunes now guys ;). There are songs I have written on there that are years old and some I have written late last year so quite a journey of songs! It’s mostly about heartbreak with a previous relationship I had on and off for years. So I think the songs are pretty relatable! It was such an exciting creative process and I’m so happy with the outcome.

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Scott: Are you working on your album? If so, Tell me about it 

Cecil: Yes I’m currently working on the album, it’s going to be a lot more up tempo than the EP, thought I’d ease people into me first haha. Sorry I like to laugh at my own jokes. I’m super excited about the album as it shows me growing as an artist creatively and is a lot more modern sounding so I’m hoping it’s going to connect with a lot more people.

Scott: Other than music, what else is you passion? Do you like acting or theatre? 

Cecil: Well I really like musical theatre but unfortunately I can’t dance to save my life, so that was a no go for me! But I actually prefer performing my own songs it gives me way more of a buzz! 

Scott: Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself?

Cecil: Well I broke my nose at 5 years old running into a stone post, I’ve always been so clumsy, it never got fixed so it’s actually still broken to this day and when my nose wasn’t swollen anymore and having a follow up at the doctors my mum actually remembers the doctor saying “people would pay to have their noses look like this”. So we decided nothing needed to be done, so a win win! 

And also splitting my lip so bad just a year later after my nose breaking while falling out of bed on holiday in Italy, it was basically hanging off my face. My mum and dad had to rush me to the hospital,as you can imagine they were beside themselves, my dad actually fainted in the operating theatre! They hit the jackpot with me didn’t they. 

My birthday falls on St Patricks day so there is never an excuse not to go out! It’s always eventful. I’m promising myself one year to go to Dublin on my birthday and celebrate it it true Irish style!

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Scott: You have a few performing dates coming up, Can you tell us where and when? 

Cecil: 

Surya, LONDON – Apr 22nd 

Lock Stock & Barrel, NEWBURY – Apr 28th

New Cross Inn, LONDON – Sun May 7th

Gullivers, MANCHESTER – Tues May 16th(supporting Eleanor Mcevoy)

Notting Hill Arts Club, LONDON – Weds May 17th

Lechlade Festival, LECHLADE  – May bank holiday weekend 27th or 28th

Brightfest, OXFORD – June 3rd

Samfest, SURREY – June 24th

The Royal Henley Regatta, HENLEY – Weds 28th Jun – Sat 1st Jul

Henley festival, HENLEY  – Fri Jul 7th 7pm Bedouin stage

Godiva Festival, COVENTRY  – sat 8th

Jagfest , ALLESLEY – sun 9th

Wellowfest, NOTTINGHAM – Sat 15th Jul

Priory Live Festival, ORPINGTON  – Sat Aug 12th

BBC Radio 2’s Carfest (south), HAMPSHIRE – Sun Aug 27th 1:30-2pm

 

Silly Business [Live @BBC Radio Oxford]

 

For more information on Cecil please visit her Website, Facebook, and Twitter links below:
http://www.cecilmusic.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/cecilmusicuk/

 

The Retired Greyhound Trust: Let’s hear it for the Boy(s) – Charity single

Crufts 2017

Most of you know I am a huge animal lover, I have number of dogs at home, You would of seen on my social media Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Snapchat everywhere. 

I was at crufts March 2017 and i came across “The Retired Greyhound Trust” which I fell in love with from the staff / dogs  and what they do! Here’s more about them…and a brand new charity single by music artist Allan Jay.

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The Retired Greyhound Trust (RGT) released their debut charity single, Let’s hear it for the Boy, performed by chart-topping artist Allan Jay. 

Originally a 1980’s #No.1 hit for Deniece Williams, the song’s title is also the name of their current campaign which is to highlight the plight of male greyhounds awaiting their new home.

Allan Jay: Below 

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Male greyhounds waiting for their new home have reached an all-time high in the RGTkennels, equating to about 1,000 greyhounds at any given point, 800 of which are boys. Jo Blake, Operations and Welfare Manager for the Trust explains “We generally work to keep a fifty fifty ratio of males to females available for adoption but our waiting lists are now at least 80% boys*.

People looking for a greyhound often come to us specifically looking to take on a girl, owing to preconceived ideas that they make better pets. We’re working hard to educate the public that every greyhound is an individual and there are no hard and fast rules as to suitability for homing based on gender alone.”

Headline names from the world of entertainment who have endorsed the Retired Greyhound Trust include Leona Lewis, Russell Watson, Jilly Cooper, Vicki Michelle, Twiggy, Uri Geller, Craig Levein and former Gladiator, James Crossley. James Crossley is also the face of this campaign and says ‘‘I want to help break the myths that surround greyhounds and the boys in particular. They make great family pets and fit in well to the home environment, A number of these celebrities already own a greyhound of their own and the Trust are engaging with them offering up opportunities to perform a cameo role in the music video accompanying the song.

The awareness campaign is wholly supported by the gay community, who will be adding a fun element to the music video accompanying the song’s release, which is being shot in Brighton. Best Male Artist 2015 and LBGTQ Music Award 2016, Let’s hear it for the boy recording artist Allan Jay says “I’m delighted to be involved in this campaign and I think the lyrics say it all – let’s give the boy a chance. I sincerely hope we can find the home that they so deserve” Around 8,000 greyhounds retire from greyhound racing each year and the RGT homes around 4000 each year. Racing greyhounds transition very well from track to sofa when they retire, forming an integral part of any home.

 

You can buy the CD right here – https://greyhoundtruststore.com/products/lets-hear-it-for-the-boy-cd 

 

The Famous Dogs From TV & Film

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Manika Interview By Scott McGlynn

 

Manika a multi talented music artist…

From TOP 10 billboard to Touring with “One Direction” 

I exclusively Skype called Manika to talk about her brand new APP,

Her favourite 1D guy, Hitting the billboard charts and MUCH MORE…

 

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Scott McGlynn: What inspired you growing up to become a music artist? 

Manika: I’ve always felt most comfortable and most myself when performing! There was not a particular moment that inspired me to want to become a music artist, it’s just always been a part of who I am! 🙂

Scott McGlynn: From a young age you were awarded a number of awards, At New York’s National Performing Arts Festival when you won Most Outstanding Performance Award three years in a row.

What was your reaction?

Manika: That moment and shortly after when Frank DiLeo took on managing me was when I realised that not only did I WANT to become a music artist, but maybe I actually could professionally as my career!

 

Scott McGlynn: What was it like touring with “One Direction” any gossip you can give us about them? 

Manika: It was AMAZING! Some of the best few months of my life! I kept a personal private diary and pics of all my experiences with Harry, Niall, Liam, Zayn and Louis.

My One Direction Tour Diary: Secrets of the Road is now available ONLY in the Manika APP! Available worldwide for free on iPhones, iPads, iPods APP store and Google Play for Android devices.

Check it out here… smarturl.it/Manika

Scott McGlynn: You must have a favourite 1D! Who is it?  

Manika:  They’re each my favourite for different reasons 😉

I got super close with all of them. In fact, I just posted excerpt from my One Direction tour diary “Hot Tub Night with One Direction” in the Manika APP go check it out.

 

Scott McGlynn: You’ve had a number of amazing hits! Which is you most memorable song to perform and why? 

Manika: Hmm… I would say I don’t have a most memorable song to perform but besides the One Direction tour I do have a most memorable performance! My performance at the Wine Amplified music festival at MGM Las Vegas was definitely most memorable with stilt walkers, fire dancers, pole dancers, live snakes, hand balancers…one crazy crazy set!

Check out the video of this concert in the Manika APP 🙂

Scott McGlynn: Congratulations on your new APP! Tell us more about it…

Manika: Everything Manika that you can find anywhere online complied into one place…

PLUS exclusive music and videos and my One Direction tour diary and pics that can be found ONLY and EXCLUSIVELY in the Manika APP!  Plus I am constantly holding awesome contests in there! You can download the Manika APP for free on iPhones, iPads, iPods through the APP store and Android devices through Google Play.

Click Here:  smarturl.it/Manika
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Scott McGlynn: You have charted numerous times  top 10 / top 20 in the Billboard charts, Peaking at number 7 with your single “How Can I Love”!  Must have been a very proud moment…What was your reaction ?

Manika: I remember when my first single charted top 30 in U.S. Billboard Single Sales.  Then my songs “B.Y.O.Bugatti” and “I Might Go…” both broke top 20.

Then my single “How Can I Love” broke top 10 at number 7!  Seriously so surreal! I feel so fortunate and blessed to have amazing fans who are so supportive and allow me to share my creativity with the world 🙂

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Scott McGlynn: Which music artist inspires you in the charts today?

Manika: I love Beyoncé! Talk about sexy girl power! Also Miley Cyrus is super cool too!

Scott McGlynn: Are we seeing you on tour in America / UK in 2017?

Manika: Keep checking my Manika APP

Also My Twitter – Manika Official

Facebook – Manika Official

Instagram – Manika Official

For upcoming dates 😉

Scott McGlynn: Lastly, Whats your top 3 items you can never live without? 

Manika:

1. My phone so I can stay in touch with fans and always share new content with them…Plus I’m your typical (part) Asian so I’m always taking a million pics of everything LOL!!

2. I’m a vegetarian so I either need my protein shakes or tofu to stay energetic…or else I get super super sleepy

3. I am super into essential oils and almost always take some with me. From headaches, to stomach aches to nerves and stress I have one for everything 😉

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James Hughes Interview By Scott McGlynn

James Hughes from Glasgow, Hit our screens this summer appearing on The X Factor getting through to 

Nicole Scherzinger judges houses.

I met up with James to talk about X Factor, Up Coming Gigs, Matt Terry and Honey G!

 

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Scott McGlynn: We seen you get to Nicole Scherzinger’s judges houses, Tell me about you X-Factor experience?

James Hughes: I loved the the whole X Factor experience. Its unforgettable, there are ups and downs and its a tough!

I feel you have to be emotionally prepared for The X Factor or else it will slowly brake you. I’m happy I auditioned for The X Factor and I’m happy I’ve seen what the show can do to peoples lives.

SM: I honestly loved your audition and six chair challenge song choice “Tina Turner – Proud Mary” Your a fan of the classic i noticed, Did you grow up listening to the old divas / classics?

JH: I don’t think your much of a performer if you didn’t listen to old diva classics. The soul and passion in that music tells its own story and is nothing like the “MUSIC” we hear today.

SM: Do you think you will audition again next year (2017) ?

JH: I’ve been changing my mind so much when asked this question. I would go back if I was guaranteed to make it to the live shows, if not then i wouldn’t go back!

SM: Who are you loving on the show and why?

JH: There’s only one person left on the show that I like and its Matt Terry! I didn’t think Matt would be able to handle live shows but he’s proven me wrong and is smashing it every week. Apart from Matt I don’t really see anyone on the same level.

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SM: I’ve seen on your Twitter your not a fan of Honey G can you tell me why? What was she like behind the scenes?

JH: I’ve been pretty harsh on Honey G, She’s done well to get where she has got but she has no talent and doesn’t deserve a place in that competition!

That’s what Britain’s Got Talents is for, joke acts.

SM: Being on the XF  gives you a platform, Will we be seeing you performing anywhere soon?

JH: I have lots of things planned and I’m really excited about them! I’m going to be performing in a lot of different placed and I can’t wait to tell everyone what I have planned!

SM: Do you ever suffer from nerves? If you do how do you prepare yourself?

JH: I don’t suffer from nerves, I’m a very confident individual.

Everyone gets nervous including me but I think I control it well. I just go into my own little world and do what I do best which is perform.

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SM: Can you tell me your first single you bought?

JH: I think the first single I bought was “Love on Top by Beyoncé” I’ve bought so many!

SM: Who are you loving in the charts right now?

JH: I’m not really loving anyone in the charts at the moment, I don’t really think their’s any soulful songs with meaning so I’m not really interested with any current music.

 

Twitter James Hughes / Instagram James Hughes

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I don’t own any rights to images used in this interview.