Diamond Ft. Terri Walker – Love At First Sight

With a string of underground hits with artists such as Kele Le Roc, Mutya Buena and many more, 25 year old West London native Diamond, returned with the first single from his debut album Love at First Sight featuring former Def Jam UK artist Terri Walker.

With Afro/Latin Drums and an infectious chorus, this Soulful House track is highly favoured in clubs both in the UK and abroad. DJs have shown great interest in the track with high exposure on Mix CDs and radio stations such as BBC 1Xtra, Galaxy, Choice and the numerous underground stations.

The video is currently featured on the Total Kiss website and is supported by Sound Net and Creative Retail Entertainment. Also currently receiving high exposure, being placed in recognised shops such as Toni & Guy, Top Shop, JD Sports and a number of branded pubs and bars across the country.

The video for Love at first sight was shot in Movida by Bikini Films and features UK artists Kele Le Roc and Bashy – the man behind Kidulthood to Adulthood, who also appears on the remix version of the single.

Diamond is showing his innovation within the music industry with this track that appeals to a range of generations, and is paving the way for new UK dance music.

– Released: 29th September 2008

– For all Enquires contact:
http://www.myspace.com/blackdiamond01

R2R/GGI Entertainment.

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New Music Uptown!!!

It’s an eventful time for releases this week with Uptown Records now stocking the following for your vinyl collection:

*D-Malice – The Refix EP
*Roska – Elevated Levels EP
*Perempay – Buss It
*Crazy Cousins – Bongo Jam EP

Yes that’s correct!!….. All 4 are available NOW on vinyl @ Uptown Records!!!

Be sure to purchase your copies!!!

****Click Here for Uptown Records Store****

Vocalist Meleka has a chat with QoS

Meleka

Meleka

With the response that I’ve seen, demonstrated with 100 views within a week on YouTube, of the video showing Meleka’s live performance of the Crazi Cousinz remix of her upcoming single “Go”, I thought I’d catch up with the young vocalist to introduce the person behind the voice.

Check it out…..

QOS: I’m speaking to Meleka, 21 year old Singer/Songwriter from North West London. You’ve been said to be the next best thing out of the UK.
Meleka:
WOW!!

QOS: Tell me a little bit about your background……
Meleka:
I’ve been singing since I was 6. I won my first talent contest since I was 6. It’s been a bit of a long way….. In the past I’ve worked with Pheobe One from Choice FM. I’ve known her for a while. She’s written a few tracks for me in the past. I’ve worked with a few different people on recordings, but I hadn’t really got my foot in the door until HUGO Urban Rules competition, even though I have been singing for a long time.

QOS: What have been the benefits of winning that competition?
Meleka:
My single “Go” is going to be put out on Propaganda Records and also they market me as an artist. Get more people to know about me, especially people in the industry. What I’m doing, where I’m from, hear more of my music and just to really help me progress as an artist.

QOS: When are they going to be releasing your single??
Meleka:
It’s being released 3rd November and will be available on iTunes, it’ll also be available in other places, but I’m not 100% sure as yet.

QOS: Are the remixes going to be available?
Meleka:
There’s remixes that have been done by a few people. Crazi Cousinz, Diamond, Sid Mercutio, Doug McCourt and Booda Bassline. They will all be available on the single.

QOS: That is a lot of interest paid from within the industry and it also opens up your appeal across genres. Which brings me onto my next question, as to what type of music you listen to and where do you find your influences?
Meleka:
I like to listen to everything and give everything a chance. My personal CD collection is probably mostly R&B and Soul. I’m heavily into my 90’s Soul, like Joe, SWV, Lauryn Hill, so it’s very much those kinds of things, but recently I’ve had Nickleback’s new album playing in my car, I’ve got Lily Allen, I recently ordered Madonna’s album. So I’m trying to listen to all different kinds of music with all different kinds of sounds, and then I incorporate that into my own music. My dad was into a lot of Motown, Soul and Reggae, but my mum was more into Hip-Hop and Jazz, so I think that has had a lot to do with the sound I originally created. But my songs now come from my everyday life and what I experienced in school, as a teenager, university, the everyday struggles that I see friends and family going through, that’s where I tend to draw my current inspirations from. Obviously music too, but everyday real life is a big contributor.

QOS: I totally get what you mean……. You’re here now, after winning a talent competition when you were 6. Is that something you took part in frequently?
Meleka:
Yeah! I was doing talent competitions all the time. There were only 2 competitions that I didn’t win…..

QOS: Really? So would you call yourself a natural performer?
Meleka:
Well I love singing, and being on stage dancing around, I went to Sylvia Young, I used to do tap, ballet and Jazz so I’ve always been performing. So yes, I suppose it would be fair to say that…..

QOS: With winning all these competitions, did you feel that you was destined to win the HUGO Urban Rules?
Meleka:
Not at all. I look at life that nothing is owed to you. But at the same time everything happens for a reason. With the HUGO thing, when I had the link send over to me, I posted my demo CD to them not even realising that the last date for entry had already gone. But I never thought nothing of it and just let it pass. And then somebody called me to tell me that I was through to the final 15 and I was just shocked. But to make things worse, we missed our bus up there, and I was also really ill the evening before the final, so you know what I mean. Everything happens for a reason, but I wouldn’t say that my talents alone is what made me win. I think the fact that the judges could see how ill I was, I was there to win. I had a mentality that I had been through so much to get there, I had determination to a point where I just had to win it to make it all worth it.

QOS: What do you like most about performing?
Meleka:
I like live bands, they’re lots of fun. The interaction is great, the way they change up the songs slightly and make them their own so they stay an original creation of what you do. But at the same time, when you sing with a backing track, you know everything that’s gonna happen already, so it more about just doing your thing and you can be more confident about what you’re doing because you don’t need to concentrate on whether someone’s going to go off key or anything, so that very exciting for its own different reasons. There isn’t a preference though, I just like performing.

QOS: Have you got a favoured performance?
Meleka:
When I won the HUGO competition, that was my stand out performance. The crowd was the best I’ve ever performed for. They were so receptive and energetic, it was really wicked. Plus they knew I had worked for that performance so they were feeling my elation with me.

QOS: I’m hoping to see so much more of you around, but I was interested in what your highest aspirations were for you within your career?
Meleka:
I would have to say that for me it’s to win a Grammy. But I like to take things a day at a time, so for something more in line with where my career is right now, I would say that I would love to win a MOBO. That would be the pinnacle of my career for me right now, but hopefully I’d be able to do that an move on to the next step which could be something like winning a Brit or the Mercury Prize award. But I wouldn’t like to say that a winning a Grammy is the best thing that could happen to me, because it could never happen, but I could still be happy. So I’m just tryna set achievable goals as I go along and not try to run before I can walk. I would definitely like to go on a lot further than tomorrow, I mean I’d like to stay forever. But forever is a very long time, and right now I just have to keep working as hard as I can to get to the top. Whatever I do, I wanna be the best and I’m willing to put the work in, in order to be the best.

QOS: Is there anything else you want to share?
Meleka
: Just that the HUGO Urban Rules competition was a really good experience for me and I’m extremely grateful and for all the help. Especially Estelle and Sabrina picking me to win first place, that meant a lot. Taking part in the competition also put me in contact with a lot of people who I’ve stayed in contact with. So I’m very appreciative of the whole experience.

Meleka’s single “Go” is release November 3rd. Support her and buy a copy….. No Bootlegging!!!

Also check out her MySpace…..

Real, Live, Funky, Fresh!!

The time of year has come when many start to reduce their weekday social activities. The cold is kicking in, and the desire to leave the house in minimal amounts of clothing retreats. We all love our music in a social environment, but the endless weeks of raving are starting to become tedious and the anticipation is not felt with the same enthusiasm anymore. The negative actions of the immature ravers are starting to take their toll, and although you’d still like to socialise in a musical environment, you feel that this would equate to a change in genre.

Does it really??

Check out this performance. I think a night with more of this would be a nice step sideways…….

I have to apologise for the sound quality of the video. I think someone was standing right next to the speaker!! LOL

Marcus Nasty takes a GIANT leap!!

Marcus 'UK House' Nasty

Marcus 'UK House' Nasty

The god-father of the UK Funky/UK House movement has been looking for a new place of residence for a while with guest appearances on various radio stations such as BBC 1xtra, Choice FM, BBC Radio 1 and Kiss FM, following various concerns with his former station regarding lack of support of the Funky Movement on top of unprofessionalism and feeling that at as a leading Funky DJ his most appropriate homage would be at a location that is still in possession of true innovation within the scene.

With a number of consecutive guest appearances on the station of leading competition, it has come as no surprise that Marcus Nasty has found his new residence on London’s Rinse 100.4 FM/www.Rinse.fm.

Being the home of various UK Funky producers, the official releases of a series of mix CDs, as well as the option to download regular podcasts of weekly shows, Marcus Nasty is delighted to inform his followers that you are invited to join him at his new home on Wednesdays 7-9pm GMT, where he will continue to provide the best selection available within the UK House/UK Funky category.

She’s A Devil In A Blue Dress

Having found his feet within the music industry, exploring the genres and creating a network with established players along the way, Doneao feels the time has come to step out from behind the scenes. Filming a video to accompany Devil in a Blue Dress, the hugely successful hit within the UK Funky scene……

It’s an early start for a Sunday morning with London’s Stanza club as the destination. This would usually bring the thought of an after party to mind, but today its all lights, camera, action. With everybody tired from the social activity within the past 12 hours, the only lay in on this day, seems to have been granted to the sun.

Arriving on set shortly before the hours of 10am, wardrobe, hair and make up shortly arrive with no delays, and an instant start is made on the transformation to make the temptress of the day and Doneao is more than impressed with his options of outfit. He decides on Suave & Chic, a winning choice every time.

Filming commences soon after midday and Doneao is pulling out his skanks in the bank for the camera. The director even has a shot dedicated to his feet!! Who knows, he may have been taking visual notes to try out in front of the mirror at home…….

Proving to be thirsty work, a break is called soon after an hour with orders taken for lunch, then its back to Doneao skanking out for the cameras again. By the time his shot is finished it 3pm, all the cast members have arrived and our Devil in the Blue Dress is ready. At this time, any man would think himself lucky to be scheduled for seduction by this temptress. But first he would have to wait…… Within the midst of lunch, there are changes of clothes taking place and a photo shoot is underway. Doneao is taking full advantage of the wardrobe in full entirety.

As late afternoon drifts into the evening hours, all stomachs are full and cameo appearance members present, its time to wrap up this beautiful creation. As shooting resumes within a party scene, the smiles are definitely not just for camera. Although this is work for all on Doneao’s path to success, the vibe depicted is surely real and will be watched back by those present, as the day Doneao entertained us and showed us a good time. Although the DJ did seem a bit restricted on his selection……

I managed to catch up with Doneao throughout the course of the day to discuss his road so far within his music career. This is what he had to say:

We’re here today filming Devil in a Blue Dress. Tell me a bit about the song’s background.

I originally released the track to DJs back in November last year. I gave them both an instrumental and a vocal to allow them to play their preference. I found that a lot of them originally played the instrumental, and then the one with the vocals started to creep in later.

What was the response you received during that time?

The response was huge! I released another track last July called “I” and “When You’re Alone”, but “Devil” seems to have really hit them. There’s been play listing on mainstream radio stations, so for me it’s a phenomenal success from the underground, especially as an independent artist and having to take care of my own marketing etc.

I believe your label is called Zephron Entertainment?

It’s more of a production company. It’s a small company and at the moment I can only look after myself. I would like to build on it, but our first release is going to be “African Warrior”. But I’ve had to start from the bottom. I managed to push “Devil” to a point where 1xtra approached me, but Choice FM and other commercial stations were from me working hard on the streets. I try not to push things in people’s faces though and I think that contributed a lot to “Devil” blowing up more than “I”. Simply because I let the people choose and there was more hype for “Devil”, so more people have got involved.

You’ve been on the music scene for a while haven’t you?

Yeah. Since I was 19. Going back to the times of UK Garage. My first proper tune was “Bounce” which was right in the beginning stages of my creativity. I knew when I was 6 that I wanted to do music and then when I turned 16, my dad helped me get my first studio. Then I had to really find myself musically, and “Bounce” was the first finished tune that I really ever made. But you make a whole heap of tunes and you think they’re ok, but they’re more like preparation. “Bounce” really showed me that I could make tracks that people liked, but I hadn’t homed in on my creativity, I still had to study myself. Not taking anything away from “Bounce”. It was a good experience and got me in the limelight, but I would advise people that before releasing a track, it’s a good idea to have more ready. Because if it bombs you got more behind you, and if it blows, people are gonna wanna hear more and I wasn’t prepared……There were about 3 years between my first 2 singles and during that time I really got to learn my craft.

So would you say that “I” was the produce of a more matured Doneao?

I didn’t actually produce “I”, and I don’t really work with other producers, being a producer myself. But I would say I homed in on my craft before “I”, while making Grime. Then when I starting making House, I found some real inspiration within my creativity, because “I” was my first House track and I just wanted to keep making more.

Where do you find the inspirations when making your House tracks?

When funky first started to come about, I wanted to know more about it and I started to research House music and its structures, and I learnt that even Garage originated from House. Then I realised there were more sub genres such as Acid, Dance, Electro and I felt that this is the genre where I really wanted to be, reflecting on the fact that I originated within Garage. Not having produced “I” myself and it being totally different to anything that I had made, I wanted to see what I could come up with and “Devil in a Blue Dress” and a few other tracks is really what I got. So even though I’ve been on the scene for a while, I’ve been finding myself and where I belong during that time.

With Devil already being so successful on the underground, where do you see the single going after the official release?

All the way hopefully!! I can only hope to get a number one from it. I’ll push as hard as I can to see how far it can go. If it doesn’t reach number one, I can only hope that it does the best it can do. I’m working hard for it, the whole team are. Anyone that’s interested in my music, I’ll be willing to meet the demand.

We saw you at Glastonbury earlier on this year. What was that experience like for you?

That was heavy man!! But it weren’t just me. It was me and my band, we’re a team. If I get signed, I would like to be signed with them. But it was a great experience. It was the first time we played and all the equipment was like new and the live sound system. We’ve done other live gigs, but that was the biggest.

Is this the first time you’ve done a video too?

This is my first solo video. I’ve done cameos here and there, but this one is all about me. I’ve never really let people see my face, but this tune got so big, I knew that if I wanted to continue promoting it, I’d have to step out from behind the scenes and into the spotlight.

How are you finding the experience?

I’m embracing it at the moment, it’s a bit different from what I’m used to doing, but there’s going to be other things as well like magazine interviews etc but I’m used to staying in the studio and putting tunes out. That’s it. I know how to market myself indirectly, but not in the spotlight. This is the first part of the whole experience for me personally, but the second stage for the single.

So what can we expect in the future?

I’m due to release another 2 singles which I’ve already had good responses for from DJs. I also done a few PA’s in Aiya Napa and Funky seems to be really smashing it over there alongside Niche. But those tracks are still new on the underground so it may be a while before they become as mainstream as “Devil”. In about 3 months time, I think I’ll be in a better position to see what those tracks are really doing, and how I’m truthfully finding the whole experience.

Nah… That’s Funky!! It’s leaking…… and it STINKS!!!

The funky scene barriers both of the underground music industry and its ocean shores are breaking, and is being embraced by many with hope that it is here to stay. However there seems to be a cancer, eating away at its ability from within. The true representatives not only love and nurture the evolution that it has become. But they also respect it for its true potential.

Changes in technology throughout the years have brought many changes in music production and distribution. We’ve seen a substantial rise in downloads ie file sharing and MP3 transfer and are incredibly aware of its many effects on music industry sales, including how it can have adverse effects on a rising genre.

With many upcoming funky DJs, the competition for top status is not only focused on one’s mixing ability but also on the tunes possessed ie top producers, classics and exclusive club bangers. This is very useful to producers wishing to gain exposure for a newly produced track. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be working for producers at present, as the scene is dealing with a heavy leakage problem which is creating a vile stink!!

Change in technology has also witnessed a change from vinyl to CD. Music is no longer pressed but burned in a substantial amount of reduced time. This means that distribution is no longer reduced to the producer or record label and can be passed amongst friends and foe alike. This means that a producer releasing new material is at danger of sabotage in the FULL potential of his work as soon as it leaves his sole possession.

CD Swaps

Would a DJ be as willing to press a record as much as transfer a file or burn a CD?? Has the greed for status forsaken the love and respect for music??

To combat this we have seen various methods of first exposure exercised, including special personal dubplates which limits usage to the sole DJ themselves. The level of determination possessed by saboteurs has been highlighted in this instance incredibly, where a track has been manipulated and even in extreme instances own dubplates made by the DJ himself, and then distributed at a poorer sound quality, having detrimental effects to the original producer.

A DJ playing a bootlegged copy of a track in a club or on a mix CD however, will not earn himself a status he desires. A producer who is aware who he has trusted with his work will also not be appreciative of his work being traded for receipt of another. Regardless of the appreciation that you like his creation, and are proud to possess it, an act to reap the benefits of his/her empire, leads to a number of less sales when released. Would a DJ be as willing to press a record as much as transfer a file or burn a CD?? Has the greed for status forsaken the love and respect for music??

UK Funky.Com

£1.99 per track @ UK Funky.Com

The producers of funky are also members of the scene which makes perpetrators more evident. Like with every mass problem, a crackdown on these pirate DJs who are leaking productions to gain status with bookings and a following is required. Swapping of music within the DJ fraternity has been indicated to have generated from lack of releases within the genre, so a producer needs to ensure there is a plan for his production prior to generating outside exposure. A network with trustworthy DJs and notice of a release date taking full advantage of the utilities ie networking sites and MP3 stores informs those who are not lucky enough to already own the track of when it will be available. With this information in place, a DJ is aware that to give or receive this track is a violation to agendas. Nevertheless, the likelihood of selling 10000 vinyls or MP3s is low and once a track is released there is nothing that can be done to stop file sharing, but revenue can be made in other ways ie Live PAs etc.

DJs who are swapping however, have been called to realise that within distributing this track prior to release, once owned by a vast number, the profitability decreases, which in turn deters the producer’s efforts to release the track officially also causing frustration.

UKFunky.Com, the website at the forefront of the funky scene from within the scene have recently opened up a new MP3 store to allow producers to showcase their productions and allows purchase of music at a mere £1.99 per track. At such a price, this has eliminated any reason to download a song with risk of gaining a virus, or even asking the producer for the track directly, although I’m sure this is preferred by a producer than for you to download it. With hope, as the MP3 store grows, the leak will begin to evaporate and the financial potential and gain for the foundations of the scene will grow. Alongside this, will be more productions of increased standard as more producers will be able to invest more into the music.

Funky is being played on all mainstream radio and additional internet based stations. There is now exposure to the general public on a much wider scale geographically. A DJ wishing to get to and remain at the top status level of the scene needs to realise that the existence of the scene relies on its commercial marketability. Frustrated producers will eventually explore other genres.