“It’s always fuzzy when it comes to me explaining what I do. I’ve heard people call it pop, soul, alternative, R&B. but I would call it soul. Because everything I sing is from my soul.” —Travis Hunter-Brown, via Unrated Magazine
“Stop Saying You Love Me (When You Love My Dick)” was released by Travis Hunter-Brown in September of 2016.
“It took me over 6 years to finish this new Canon Blue album. Looking back, it’s crazy to see how much I changed in parallel to the making of the record. The arc of my life evolved so distinctly that I feel like the person who started this album is almost the exact opposite of the person who finished it.
‘Beholden’ is the first song on the record and is symbolic in the way that it sets the stage of what’s to come. Life only moves in one direction, and you can either accept the reality and truth of your life, or you can live in denial in a futile fight against it. Self acceptance is the great work for us all.” —Canon Blue
“Stevie Wonder’s early use of synthesizers, drum machines, and samplers, in a lot of ways, paved the way for hip-hop and sampling. Part of my motivation for this project was to highlight those contributions.” —Amerigo Gazaway
“The Sixth Superstition” is from Amerigo Gazaway’s 2017 Soul Mates Project release titled A Common Wonder, “[bringing] to life an imagined studio session between Chicago’s crowned prince of Hip-Hop, Common, and Motown legend, Stevie Wonder.” The track blends Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” with Common’s “The 6th Sense (Something You Feel).”
“Kyshona is also a music therapist who has worked in correctional institutions in Georgia and Tennessee, and with mentally ill and elderly patients. The insights she’s gained as a therapist have fed her songwriting, helping to make her one of the most compassionate and uplifting young voices in Nashville today.” —Ann Powers for NPR World Cafe
“A lot of my first songs were dealing with what I saw my patients struggling with. A lot of my songs were about the stories that I would hear from them. Because I can only take on so much of people dumping. So I had to get rid of it and shed it somehow. I think telling their stories was one way for me to go out in the world and be like, ‘There’s so much more happening out there.’ For me, that was therapeutic. I don’t like to talk about myself, but I’ll talk about everybody else if you want me to share a story.” —Kyshona Armstrong via the Nashville Scene
Released in February of 2017, this acoustic version of Kyshona Armstrong’s “Same Blood” accompanies the original release, and was recorded with James Farrell (keys), Simon Gugala (electric guitar), and Derrek Philips (percussion).
“‘Melt’ was the first song that I wrote to tracks. My typical song-writing method is to find the chords/melody on the piano and write the lyrics from there. This song was definitely more of a challenge for me because I wasn’t used to writing to pre-made chords/structures. The producers that I worked with had already placed the lines ‘If love is like fire I can make it burn brighter’ in the intro, so I decided to go with the whole ‘heat’ theme for the rest of the song.” —Natalie Madigan, via Purple Melon
“Melt” was released as a single by Natalie Madigan in April of 2017.
“We wanted to pull the curtain back on this video and use the production as part of the aesthetic, but for all the crew to remain as anonymous as possible. The idea was that we were exposing a bigger picture — a band performing a song with a crew producing a video because of the necessity for media and how that can overlap or hinder artistic expression. I think it’s most explicit in the shot where we see me pushing the dolly in front of the vocal shot as Ben sings, ‘Me and my friends do whatever the fuck we gotta do to get paid.’ It was important for Ben to look in the camera and address the viewer the whole time. We could have made this a ‘music video,’ but it was also important to us to do it live and make it as real as possible. This is all one take. No cut-ins. This is what was happening in the room.” —Director Joshua Shoemaker, via NPR
“This song is definitely one of my favorites and by far the most aggressive off the LP. I wanted to write something that was an anthem for the underdogs and just something about the experience of digging deep and pulling out the best we have inside.” —Sam Tinnesz, via No Country For New Nashville
“Legends Are Made” is from Sam Tinnesz’s 2017 Babel LP.
“For so long it’s been, ‘Don’t talk about these things, you’re going to make everybody sad and everybody uncomfortable.’ Well, fuck you, I’m going to talk about it.” —Margo Price, via Rolling Stone
“It was a special day shooting the video with Will Morgan Holland. He had the idea to sport Bowie’s Aladdin Sane lightning bolt, and I was into it. A little homage to the Starman intertwined with personal grief. We went up and down Nolensville Pike at spots he had picked, and hung out with the regulars. The Laundry Matt, The Dollar Store, Brett’s Basement Bar, Beverly’s Barber Shop. A lot of new friends make appearances.” —Lilly Hiatt, via Paste
“In 1952, Harry E. Smith brought out the legendary Anthology of American Folk Music, a collection of bangers originally recorded 1927-1932. The world would never be the same. Fast forward to 2017. Three freaks start to go to work on the tunes and suddenly find the tunes going to work on them.” —Crave On