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Music

It’s all about HER: Interview with Veva

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Cinema, Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

You can’t do an iconic teen movie without a punchy soundtrack. And Darren Stein got it right with the ‘GBF’ – just like he did 15 years ago with the ‘Jawbreaker’ OST. One of the highlights of the ‘GBF’ soundtrack is Veva’s ‘HER’ – delicious electro pop number with a killer chorus: ‘H, my hips, E, emotion, R, the rhythm’ (spelling and pop music always blend very well). I chatted with the girl behind the hips, emotions and the rhythm. Meet Florida-based singer Veva and get to know her story.  

Who is Veva and what’s her story?

Well, that’s a long story, and it kinda incorporates two questions. I grew up in Toledo, a small industrial town in Northwest Ohio, where my best friend and now music partner Matthew Paul only lived blocks away. We eventually met and it was over from there. His mom used to tell him that his twin was here when I arrived at his house. He noticed my pipes when I was about 14, and always encouraged me to pursue singing. Growing up in a poor family it was a struggle. But at my 6th grade recognition people started to notice my talent when I performed ‘Hero’ by Mariah Carey. Fast forward to middle school, and I was in choir, and then in high school I was in the gospel choir. After the death of my sister in the early 2000′s I decided to take the bull by the horns: Matthew and I pow wowed how we would get to the ‘American Idol’. I went but didn’t quite make the cut, so we started researching and after a long drawn out conversation I packed and took off to sunny Florida. We placed Craigslist adds and networked for a producer. Justin Diggs answered the call and that’s how “HER” was born. After that we buckled down in the studio and recorded many other tracks, but it wasn’t until ‘GBF’ that we finally had something.

What’s the story behind ‘HER’ and how did the song end up on the ‘GBF’ soundtrack?

Justin Diggs approached Matthew and me with the demo for ‘HER’ in early 2011 which had a hook but no verses and bridge at the time. I was like ‘Wow, this is a really great track! It has massive potential’. So we did an informal writing session which turned into ‘HER’. And we had many difficulties in the studio: I do believe at one point we lost a bunch of files. It really was an adventure. We then contacted Tom Baker for mastering and once we got it back, we just KNEW! I had the strangest feeling. Matthew has always been fan of ‘Jawbreaker’ so it didn’t surprise me while networking that he would run into the famous ‘Jawbreaker’ director Darren Stein. Matthew made the connection, he met Darren Stein and they became professional friends. Darren at the time was looking for new music for his movie ‘GBF’. Matthew sent him a few of our songs and Darren fell in love with ‘HER’ which alongside ‘Love Gun’ made its way into the film. ‘HER’ plays during the sexy slow motion strut scene and again in the credits and Love Gun plays in a hilar scene with Megan Mullally (Mrs. Van Camp), Michael Willet (Tanner) and Paul Iacono (Brent). ‘HER’ also made its way onto the ‘GBF’ soundtrack!

Do you have a GBF?

LOL Yes: Matthew Paul.

 Is ‘She’s a monster’ line anyhow connected to Lady Gaga?

As much as I Love Lady GaGa, that’s a no. ‘She’s a monster’ just means ‘she’s fierce, she’s on fire, she’s out of her shell’. We had no intent on that at all. Honestly I didn’t know anything about the connection until after the fact.

Are you a party girl? If so (and even if you’re not!) – share your wildest party experience with me. No holding back!

Well, there have been so many!!! Haha, but I would have to say that anytime Matthew Paul and Veva get together…Enough said!

What’s next for you?

Sky’s the limit! I’m working on a plethora of projects right now including a few music videos and more music. So I’m geared up and ready to take on the world! I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for myself and Team Veva! Get your fangs out!

You can get ‘GBF’ soundtrack on iTunes.

Angeles

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Music, Travel | Leave a comment

My latest mix was inspired by my recent trip to LA: the music, the emotions, the people, the palm trees.

The return of Danity Kane

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Talk about perfect timing… What were the chances that I’d get to LA exactly the same time when Danity Kane would do their comeback show?! I mean 4 months ago we wouldn’t even dream about ever hearing ‘Show Stopper’ live again and here we are now – with 4 of 5 ladies back together to remind us about their driving skills and bad girl agendas. And make me feel like I’m 16 all over again!

Just like their original career, the show was short (about 50 minutes), fierce and charming. Danity Kane was never a huge band: they weren’t as corky as Girls Aloud, or brand-friendly as The Pussycat Dolls, but they were always pretty decent: 5 sexy girls with enough sass and charisma to record two great albums and provide enough drama for 4 seasons of Diddy-produced ‘Making the band’ show on MTV. The band split during a heated series finale in 2008 and girls started solo projects (with Aubrey O’Day and Dawn Richards attracting the most attention). Yet somehow a lot of their material aged incredibly well – I personally never really got over the brilliance of ‘Show Stopper’ and ‘Bad Girl’. They were always way too good with the whole ‘silly sexy’ vibe.

Watching them perform together again after all these years was surprisingly satisfying. What was missing during recent Girls Aloud reunion (the chemistry between the girls and the sense that they’re really back) was very present here. Everything was spot on: the dancing, the singing, the fun. The highlight of the show was girls’ solo mini-performances which highlighted their upbringings (‘That explains a lot’ said Shannon after Aubrey did her version of ‘Like a Virgin’). And the whole concert was all about their show stopping charismas: Aubrey was dry humping the curtains and grinding on the speakers, Dawn was waving her ridiculously long hair and shooting the fierceness all over the place, Aundrea was literally jumping with excitement and Shannon has finally replaced ‘cute’ with ‘sexy’ providing killer moves and striking new looks. It was a girlband show from heaven. The one that was made for the fans: we got all the hits and some amazing album tracks (‘You know you want my strip tease, If you want it say please’!). The lack of new material (we only got one song towards the end) was rather disappointing but then again there’s hopefully more to come so a night dedicated to the band’s past was more than alright with me. These bad girls are on FIRE.

Interview with Jeremy from PARAMORE

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Paramore had a pretty good year. Their fourth self-titled became a huge success and made several ‘best-of-2013’ lists. They toured like crazy – and even came to Moscow for one of the biggest summer festivals. Back in May I chatted with band’s bass guitarist Jeremy Davis for Rolling Stone Russia about his pizza-delivering past, recording a song for ‘Twilight’ and the best gig Paramore ever had.

How are you?

I’m good, I’m currently in Boston. We have a show here tonight.

It’s a cool city. Have any of you ever been to Russia or the upcoming show is going to be your first one?

None of us has been to Russia. And we’re so excited about it. We just started filling out all the paperwork we need for our visas. Russia’s one of those places: I have no idea what it’s gonna be like. It’s really exciting.

It’s been more than 3 years since the last album was released. What did you learn during that time? Was it a necessary break? 

Music is our lives, so to not be playing shows for that long it was really hard for us. But it was nice for us to be home and have normal life. We constantly tour and we’re never home, so it was nice – to act like normal people: watch movies and TV shows when they come out. Normally we watch it all on DVD all the way through, and now we’d watch it like normal people and wait for the next week. That was kinda boring, but the rest was good.

When we got to start recording, we had a lot of plans and ideas. We were very happy that we were able to pull off a lot of things that we did, like having a gospel choir or a strings orchestra on the album. We really had enough time to experiment and try new things.

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GIMME MORE BRITNEEEEY

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The day is today. My debut NYC DJ gig is happening tonight at fabulous ‘FairyTail Lounge’ (500 W 48th st). It’s called ‘Gimme More Britney’ so expect Britney’s classics, new hits and brilliant b-sides. And a delicious dose of pop, r’n'b and hip-hop. I’m uber excited!

NEON IS ON Mix

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Mikey Moscow's NEON IS ON Mix

It’s about time I made a mix – so here we go: my debut attempt mixing some of the music I’m playing tonight at my NEON IS ON party. It’s also downloadable and workout/jogging friendly;)

Nick Thayer – Like Boom
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Wanz – Thrift Shop (RSK & Hipster Magee Remix)
Katy Tiz – Red Cup
Iggy Azealia – Bounce
Kreayshawn – Go Hard (Dave Aude Dirty Extended)
Jennifer Lopez – Live It Up
Rihanna ft David Guetta – Right Now (Mike Boot Remix)
Lana Del Rey – Young and Beautiful (Panic City Remix)
Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera – Feel This Moment (Sidney Samson Remix)
Kelly Clarkson – People Like Us (Show & Tell Radio Edit)
Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble (Codeko Dubstep Remix)
Stafford Brothers feat. Lil Wayne & Christina Milian – Hello (Elso Remix)

The Dolly Rockers

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“What is that? Did some hooker give it to you?” – Daniele returns the red-stained note to the seller. It’s Friday night around 9pm and I’m in London’s Soho with the The Dolly Rockers – British pop trio with Lucie, Daniele and Sophie rocking their ‘girly rockstars’ image to the perfect ten (it’s Lucie’s Birthday tomorrow, so there’s a celebration to be had after our interview). Right now we’re in a tiny iphone-cases-store: Lucie’s getting her 1st ever iphone cover as an early Birthday present and I get one with the British flag – ‘Something to remember from London’ as Daniele put it. Once we’re done harassing the seller and Daniele’s done lecturing him on his ridiculously high prices, we’re off to find a quite spot to chat which (how surprising) turns out to be impossible in that area. At some point we stop at a random burlesque show as Sophie convinces us it’s a ‘fun drag show’. We stay at the bar for the whole show (which involves a very amusing-looking old fella and several middle-aged women in bikini dancing around him) and then re-locate to a sushi spot for a wine-filled conversation.

By then I knew by fact that I was right about following these girls’ career for the last 4 years – ever since I saw their hilarious ‘how-to-wire-a-plug’ YouTube video (which is sadly offline these days – most likely due to the fact there was a line-up change with Daniele replacing Brooke). 4 years into the game and The Dolly Rockers are still one of the (if not simply The) funniest and most colorful girlbands out there. The trick here is rather obvious: there’s nothing fake or manufactured about the trio, as they’ve basically three friends who just happen to also record music together (under control of pop guru RedOne). And now’s the good time to get to know the girls as they promise to finally release new music this year: it’s really been too long since their 2009’s tongue-in-cheek classics ‘Gold Digger’ and ‘How Did I End Up With You?’. And as the girls played me one of their new RedOne-produced songs, I can assure you: The Dolly Rockers have some pretty sick bangers up their sleeves. You can read our interview below: there’s all you need to know about working with RedOne, killer hangovers, drinking games and the importance of looking like a proper popstar at all times. Getting dollyrocked felt way too good.

Also the Russian version of the interview is at Rolling Stone.

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Chromeo

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Seriously not sure what my legs are doing while I’m interviewing Chromeo last Friday.

Interview with The Raveonettes

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My recent (bourbon-filled) trip to Saint Petersburg coincided with the first Russian gig of the Danish indie rockers The Raveonettes, who I’ve discovered on the soundtrack for the ‘Ringer’ series back in 2012. I met up with a slightly tired Sharin and Sune a couple of hours before their show to discuss their sweet/noisy sound, latest album (which includes a very nice dreamy ode to New York called ‘She Owns The Streets’), social media and balancing life at home with being an artist. Sharin was doing most of the talking.

Russian version of the interview’s on the Rolling Stone Russia website and the original one – under ‘More’.

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Articles for ‘Akzia’

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The article I wrote for the March and April issues Moscow-based newspaper ‘Akzia’. You can download the full issues on newspaper’s website

March

The piece on ‘Keds’ – the play from Moscow’s Praktika theater.

April

Interview with indie pop heroes Dragonette – that marks our third interview. By the way their ‘Live in this city’ was recently featured on ’90210′ which actually doesn’t matter that much, but was a sweet surprise for me.

And my report on my February trip to Israel via Taglit program. If you’re a Jew under the age of 26 – be aware of this awesome opportunity.