Lyrikha Interview

Today, we are speaking with Lyrikha (Erica Leonard). Can you give us a little background information about yourself?  How did you get into music?


I was told I sang before I talked.   My mother was a great inspiration for me. She sang at home and church played the piano.  Her voice was so power I remember how it radiate our home.  I connected with music at a young age. I sang in church, school and then professionally as a career in music.  It was my calling as a child and needed to be expressed and experience. Continue reading “Lyrikha Interview”

Nipun’s NOOP sits down with us

Today, we are speaking with Nipun from NOOP. Can you give us a little background information about yourself? How did you get into music?

Well I guess my tryst with music started at the age of 6, when i found myself plonking keys on a family friend’s piano. Apparently I was making music, much the the awe of my parents. They saw the spark in me, and put me into piano classes. Over the years, my interest spread as my intrigue with music in general did… I picked up the guitar, bass, drums, mouth organ, flute, xylophone, djembe, and kept the list growing… when I lived in india, I formed a band called public issue, which ended up becoming pretty popular, resulting in a couple of national tours and a lot of awards. I guess that’s what started my professional music career… almost happened joyfully by accident. Music has always been my first love, so everything I’ve done has come purely from a place of joy, which I feel keeps it moving in the right direction Cuz it’s coming from a sacred space.


You have just released a single, E-Volve. What all do you do on this track?

With NOOP, I’ve thus far released the single “E-volve”.. there is plenty more to come… I released “E-volve” to see how honest music with no lyrics  would resonate with the world… I think in terms of notes, melodies and chords more than words… so the music kept coming to me…. I decided to experiment with it and it t out to see how people would like it… but it far exceeded expectations!  With over 100,000 views on Facebook and 30,000 views on YouTube within a week of its launch!

For E-volve, after I put the team together, conceptualized, composed, performed guitar, produced, executive produced, mixed, mastered and edited the entire song, and video. Having said that, every element and person that was a part of it was crucial to its success… I’m extremely grateful for the incredibly talented musicians and filmmakers that lent me their skills: Lemuel Clarke on drums, Renny Goh on keys, Gabriel coll on bass, with the help of my incredible co-producer Brittney Grabill, and cinematographer Isiah Taylor.


What does your recording set up look like (what do you use to record, what are your favorite tools)?

I wrk primarily from a home studio… so I’ve got a very powerful Mac Pro as my production computer, my midi drum kit to me left, my full range hammer-action keyboard to my right, my guitars and basses on a rack next to the keyboard, a native instruments maschine on my desk, and a behringer mixing board as well… everything runs through my UAD card that is built into my Mac Pro. My main DAW is logic. I find it wonderful as a Composer… very intuitive, easy to use and fluid workflow… I also use a vast library of virtual instruments to do my demos. However once the NOOP track was fully composed, We recorded everything LIVE at blue dream studios, because I really wanted the audio to be live so that it’s as organic as possible!


You describe yourself as an instrumental fusion project; which artists are the greatest influences for you and your music?

I really love to listen to a diverse range of music to expand my style. My playlists go from classical eastern and world music, through jazz, hip hop, funk, RnB, Soul, Pop and Progressive Rock.

Some of my main influences to my music would probably be Snarky Puppy, Dirty Loops, Shakti, Emily King, Vulfpeck, Jill Scott, Dixie Dregs, Stevie Wonder, Jordan Rudess, Mateus Asato, Guthrie Govan. As you can see, it’s quite a mixed bag.


Which sort of social media website have you had the best successes with? What about these online services are different from the traditional face to face meeting and performances that musicians utilize?

I’ve had the most success so far with Facebook. Primarily, because it’s easier for viewers to continue watching your videos while they continue scrolling… This really helps with today’s incredibly low attention span that people have. While it pops up on facebook, people usually don’t have the patience to watch a video for more than 10 seconds…. So having the video go down into a corner, while they continue to scroll, I think is a fantastic feature that facebook allows for. Youtube is still great, but it’s a lot harder to spread.

Social media services are very different from face to face meetings and performances, in the sense that they reach a wider audience, and an audience who’s schedule may not even be accommodating enough to come out to a show. However… I think the two can co-exist beautifully, because once you’ve got a fan online, they’ll go through the trouble of seeing you live, cuz eventually, there is no experience like a live experience.


What should listeners expect from your music in the future?

In a nutshell, my listeners should expect the unexpected. I love to let the music just flow, without trapping myself within genres, and specifics. I like to stay modern with my sounds and production, while keeping an extremely organic, musical flow… But then again, since my influences are so widespread, it really depends on what inspires me next… But the common thread, that you’ll find in all my music… is that it’ll be approachable, easy to listen to, smooth, and it’ll take you on a journey.


How has the radio/Pandora/Spotify/other online response been for your music?

Well,.. it’s only been a couple of days since NOOP’S Single was available online due to some technical glitches, but as of now NOOP’s Single is available online on all the various music platforms (itunes, Spotify, Pandora, etc…) . It’s a niche market, but the market exists, and the fans are loyal. Judging by the response we received during the launch, I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s received on these platforms!

How can interested NeuFutur readers locate samples of your music?

The easiest way as of right now is to follow our facebook page

And our Instagram page:


What does 2018 hold for your music?

Noop is going to be releasing another 2 singles very soon, after which we will be working on live performances, following which a full-length album will be in the works.

Thank you so much for your time.

My Pleasure




Luther Russell – Selective Memories: An Anthology

Throughout his musical career, Luther Russell has been many things, but predictable is not one of them. Since going solo in the late 1990s (after leaving the Freewheelers), he has flirted with funk and soul music, power pop, punk rock and even hints of blues. The proof of this eclectic resume is all over the stunning two-disc anthology “Selective Memories.” The set also includes Russell’s work with the Freewheelers and The Bootheels). Continue reading “Luther Russell – Selective Memories: An Anthology”

Dirty Sidewalks – Bring Down the House Lights (CD)

Sounding as if they collectively woke up from a decades-long coma, Seattle’s Dirty Sidewalks play as if they stopped listening to music even before The Jesus & Mary Chain’s first break up in 1999. Continue reading “Dirty Sidewalks – Bring Down the House Lights (CD)”

Collins and Streiss Interview

Today, we are speaking with Collins and Streiss. Can you give us a little background information about yourself? How did you get into music?

From early childhood, we both loved music and wanted to play and sing. For both of us, at the age of eight, Anton started on piano and Mark got his first guitar. Anton was encouraged to take lessons because of his natural musical ability. Mark heard the Beatles “She Loves You” and sung it as a toddler. Continue reading “Collins and Streiss Interview”

DownTown Mystic Talks “On E Street”

Today, we are speaking with Robert from DownTown Mystic. Can you give us a little background information about the band?

DownTown Mystic started about 20 years ago as a side project for myself. I was managing a few artists at the time and working with them in the studio. I had started as a writer/musician/artist and put it all aside when I started my company Sha-La Music, Inc. in 1987. Working with young bands made me miss my creative side, so I decided to record some of my songs with the bands I managed. I would finish a track when I had some down time and put it on a music industry CD sampler that would go to Radio. More often than not, some Tastemaker would hear the track and play it on their show, which was very cool for me. Eventually I got out of artist management and decided to go back to being an artist again full time. You could call it a mid-life crisis I guess. (LOL) I started writing and recording albums again and started to put out cds as DownTown Mystic. My 1st cd “Standing Still” was released in the US in 2010 and was largely ignored but made the EuroAmericana Top 25 Chart. Suddenly I was on the musical map! I got a Licensing Deal in Germany the following year and released “Standing Still” to critical acclaim in Europe and was on my way.
You have just released a new EP, “On E Street”. How does it add to the body of music that DownTown Mystic has created in the past?
First of all, the full title of the EP is “On E Street featuring Max Weinberg & Garry Tallent”.  I don’t know why you music journos seem to omit that in the reviews. (Editor’s Note: Features typically are excluded from album titles) Max and Garry are of course, the rhythm section (drums & bass) for Bruce Springsteen’s world famous E Street Band, who are stars in their own right. The reason I’m featuring Max & Garry in the title of the EP is because the 4 songs they play on are kind of rare for them. They’ve backed Bruce for over 40 years but have only played together on a handful of outside projects, including Ian Hunter after he left Mott The Hoople. I think there’s only been a total of 4 projects including mine, so this is a pretty big deal. There’s no other artist in the world right now (including Mr. Springsteen) who can say they have these 2 E Streeters on their project, which is why it deserves to be promoted as such. 3 of the tracks are on the Rock’n’Roll Romantic album, so they figure prominently with the music I’ve already created. They also add to my mission of bringing Rock’n’Roll into the 21st Century.
How did you become friends with Garry and Max [Weinberg]?
I met Garry via a 45 single that the band I was in had put out. We were playing a club in NYC where Garry’s girlfriend was a waitress. She came up to me after the show and asked if she could have a copy of the 45 for her boyfriend. I gave her the 45 and as an afterthought, asked her who her boyfriend was. She said Garry Tallent and I  choked out ”from the E Street Band”? The next time we played the club she came up to me and said Garry wanted to meet me. The rest is history. Actually, Garry became our defacto bass player for about 8 months and recorded with us on a production deal we had. After the group broke up we stayed in touch and continued to work together.
The funny thing with Max is that I didn’t meet him until Garry brought him down for the first session we did together. I say funny because I went to high school with Max (Columbia HS in Maplewood, NJ) and had friends that knew him. Max is a year older than me and I had friends in his class. When he came to the session I started to rattle off names to him, which he knew. He asked me to give him more names and it was like a high school reunion. Then he looked at me and said “do you remember this girl…” and simultaneously we both said her name! Garry’s watching all this and he can’t believe what he’s hearing. (LOL) She was the hottest girl in the school and we went on about her for like 10 minutes and Garry goes “I’ve got to meet this girl!” (LOL) As I look back, the ironic thing is that we were about to record “Hard Enough” and I probably modeled the girl in the song after this girl in our high school.
How has the popular response been for the songs on this EP?
The EP was just released in the UK and Europe via another Licensing Deal I signed last year with a UK label and so far the response has been very surprising and successful. Over 60 radio stations in the UK and Europe are playing the single “Way To Know” and it’s hit the Top 20 on 2 charts! I think a big part of the response is that the songs live up to the billing. What I mean is that you have 2 well known E Streeters playing on this project and I think listeners and fans expect to hear them playing on the kind of songs that are on the EP. I also think people are surprised by the songs because they’re probably expecting something along the lines of Bruce’s style and 3 of the 4 tracks are more up-tempo and in your face.
How can interested NeuFutur readers locate samples of the On E Street EP?
The EP can be heard on Spotify:
and also on SoundCloud:
We’ve asked you previously about your recording set up. Have you had any new additions to what you use to record? Have you any new favorite tools to use during your recording process?
Not really. I demo my music on a digital 8-Track Tascam recorder to work out ideas and vocals before I go in the studio. I keep it old school as much as possible.  The 8-Track forces me to keep it to only the essentials and refine the ideas I have.
Which sort of social media website have you had the best successes with lately?
I primarily use Twitter, which gets sent to other sites like FaceBook. I’ll eventually use Instagram more when I start using more photos.
We heard that And You Know Why was chosen for television. Can you go into a bit more detail?
I have a very good friend/ business associate in LA named Eddie Caldwell, who needed tracks for the short-lived TV series “The Carrie Diaries” (the pre-quel to “Sex And The City”). The music supervisor for the show, Alexandra Patsavas, is considered to be one of the top music supervisors working in LA. So this was a very big deal for Eddie as well as me. Alexandra P. was looking specifically for tracks that had been recorded in 1984 when the show takes place (talk about authenticity!). Eddie emailed me to see if I had any tracks recorded back then and I just happened to have some—what are the odds?! I sent Eddie like 6 tracks, one of which was “And You Know Why” with a female singer. I wrote the song and recorded the track in 1984 and it never saw the light of day until I recorded it with Max and Garry. Alexandra P. must have liked what Eddie sent her because she picked 3 of my songs for the show and one was the female version of “And You Know Why”, 30 years after the fact. You can’t make that up!
What does 2018 hold for your music; do you have any singles or releases that are on the horizon?
I’m currently working on the follow-up to “Rock’n’Roll Romantic”. It’s called “Lost and Found” which was a project I started in 2011 and abandoned. It’s got a more positive vibe overall and I think we all could use more positive vibes out there right now. It raises the bar musically for me and I’ll probably release some singles as a lead-up to releasing the full album later this year.
Thank you so much for your time.
Thank you James, always a pleasure.

Gerard Edery – Morena me Llaman

Morena me Llaman is a powerful track that draws upon a rich musical tradition. Edery’s vocals are punctuated here

Maria Krupoves, adding a number of distinct twists and turns that listeners will continue to discover after numerous plays. The interaction is provided additional depth through the robust instrumentation on Morena me Llaman. There are more jangly and orderly elements to this composition that multiply the complexity to a degree that fans will be rewarded handsomely if they put a good amount of attention into the more subtle elements that are interspersed throughout the effort’s run time.

Gerard Edery – Morena me Llaman


Culture Club – Live At Wembley (DVD + CD)

Boy George was way ahead of his time. A band fronted by a male who performed in full make up and androgynous clothes was groundbreaking in the early 1980s, when gay were almost unheard of at the time. The fact that Cultural Club had remarkably catchy songs certainly helped prove that the band and Boy George were more than just a gimmick. In fact, their music is right up there with Madonna, Prince and Springsteen in having defined the era. That in mind, it’s almost as impressive to hear how well the music, songs like “Church of the Poison Mind,” “Do You Really Want to Hurt me” and “I’ll Tumble for Ya,” have held up more than three decades later. Nowhere is that more apparent than on the DVD/CD set Live At Wembley. Continue reading “Culture Club – Live At Wembley (DVD + CD)”


VAYA’s titular single is a slinky piece of hard rock that will tattoo its melodies deep into the minds and hearts of listeners. The act is able to call back to the halycon days of the 1980s and 1990s while keeping things current and contemporary. The vocals both tell a story and add to the overall harmonies of the effort.

ELEPHANTUS, the other new track from VAYA, slows things down and provides a more trippy and ambient sound than we’ve previously heard. The guitar / drum dynamic imbues this effort with a goth rock (imagine Sisters of Mercy meets Heart sound) sheen. The back and forth between the guitars/drums and the vocals pushes each to a higher plateau.


Stoutella | Knee Deep Brewing Company

Stoutella is Knee Deep Brewing Company’s (Auburn, CA) chocolate hazelnut milk stout.  The beer pours with a dark brown coloration and a fairly small head that dissipates fairly quickly. The presence of the hazelnuts in Stoutella calms down the tendency of milk stouts to be on the sweeter side of things through the presence of a fair amount of bitterness. There is a diverse set of flavors that are presented throughout one’s experience with a can or bottle of Stoutella.

Continue reading “Stoutella | Knee Deep Brewing Company”