[TMN Exclusive] ZZ Ward – Gothic Theater – Denver, CO

Criminal feat. Freddie Gibbs

I had the pleasure of sitting down with the highly talented ZZ Ward (and her sweet pup Muddy Waters) to chat about her background, her inspirations and the surprise group she would listen to if she was ever stranded on a desert island.

TMN: First off ZZ we just wanted to welcome you back to the Mile High City and so glad you decided to stop on your tour here, you have quite a fan base all over the United States but Denver has some mad respect for your blues and your voice.

ZZ: Thank you, I love it here.

TMN: Let’s start off with a bit of your background. You are from a small town in Oregon, you started listening to blues because of your dad and hip-hop because of your brother and then, you started singing in your dad’s band when you were only twelve. That is such a unique musical background. Now, before you started singing, were you introduced to any instruments at a young age? Was singing where you started off?

ZZ: Singing was first, um, I didn’t get into guitar until like four or five years ago really. I played keyboard a little bit before I played guitar. None of those instruments I went to school for the lead blues player in my blues band taught me how to play guitar, very unconventional lessons. I’m a writer a heart so I just use things to write songs.

TMN: If you can just reminisce for a second, do you remember the bars you used to play in? How they smelled, what they looked like, the patrons who frequented the bar stools, can you just give us a little insight?

ZZ: (Laughs)They smelled great. I remember being young enough that people would always be like, you are so young, where does that big voice come from? Yeah, they were dirty dive bars there were not a lot of places to play where I was from in Oregon and once I knew I could go into a blues club and sing a standard blues song and jam with people then wherever I would go, which wasn’t a lot of places to be honest I once went to Tennessee and told my mom you have to sneak me in I know how to do this, tell them to get me in. They drew big X’s on my hand and I would go jam with anybody you know? Just to jam and play the blues. That was the one place I went outside of Oregon before touring now, I have seen so much of the country and some of the world.

TMN: What was your favorite song to sing with your dad’s band?

ZZ: My favorite song to sing, probably the standards “Dust my Broom” and “Please Love Me” and then “3 O’clock in the Morning Blues” those are songs, if you know anything about the blues, so many artists do those songs they are standard Blues songs but I heard Tina Turner sing those songs on an album she did with Ike and I was just blown away and I just had to cover every one of those songs.

TMN: So when did you have your “ah-ha” moment? Some artists have it, some do not, but in 2009 you made the move to LA to pursue your love for your music. What was it like when you first got there?

ZZ: I think I always knew I wanted to be a singer, I always knew that I wanted to do it but at some point I felt I had done everything I could possibly do in Roseburg. I would sell my demo cd’s out of the back of my 1990 Dodge Ram all the time in the back of parking lots and I would play around street corners with my guitar and I exhausted every option of where I was and I needed to get into a bigger music scene. And it was probably a month before I left where I told myself I got to go, I just have to go. And I was terrified but I went.

TMN: Sometimes you have to take those risks.

ZZ: Sometimes you really do.

TMN: Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, these are some of the names thrown around when used to describe your sound. How does that make you feel knowing your name is being placed up there with some of the queens of blue and soul music?

ZZ: It is very flattering. Someone was telling me today on the radio something someone had said or something that had written in the press, I was like what I didn’t know people said that about me. I mean hey it is something I have always wanted to be and do so I hope that is inspires other people to go after what they want.

TMN: Being a young artist who has worked with some big names in this field, Kendrick Lamar, Fitz and the Tantrums, what do you hope young artists who are trying to make it in the industry can take away from your music and your story?

ZZ: I would say, you are definitely, if you are trying to make it in music, you are not going to know where to start, you have to be patient with yourself. Because it is not like the stars are going to align and everything is going to happen for you overnight, you have to keep pressing on and keep going after your dreams. The best advice I could give to an aspiring artist or musician is to write your own music, that’s really important. And don’t wait for other people to do things for you, if you want to play live music, find people to play live music, book your own tours, even if it isn’t a huge major tour you can still get the ball rolling with things and then hopefully down the road you can meet people who can help you with things.

TMN: That being said, all age groups love your music. I know I sent my mom your music a while back and she adores you. How does that feel as an artist knowing that your music you speaks to people of all ages?

ZZ: It is really cool. I was actually paying attention to that last night. We played in Boise and I was looking at the crowd and it was such a diverse group of people that can connect with my music and I think it is great. That is inspiring for me, if I was up there and was only connecting with one group of people it might be kind of like, well this group of women can relate to me and/or these guys they think the music is sexy but it is cool that there is different people there for different reasons and for different reasons they connect with it.

TMN: Can we talk about “Dirty Shine” for just a minute? I mean, great terminology.

ZZ: Well for me, I mean, making my records, I didn’t realize how different my sound would be, it is unique and different and I didn’t know that going into it. I moved down from Oregon to LA and I didn’t know if I could sing Blues and Hip-Hop and be who I wanted to be and if people would like that. Dirty Shine just means embracing your authentic self which is what I felt like I did on this record and people connected with that and if anything that term can inspire people and my listeners.

TMN: Ok, now I’m going to shift to a few fun questions. Let’s start with what are three things you have in your purse at all times?

ZZ: (Laughs) Chapstick, my harmonica, and my cellphone.

TMN: Where is one of the best cities you have ever done a performance in, and yes I am biased, but I won’t hold anything against you :)

ZZ: Denver (Laughs) No Denver really stands out for us it really does. Denver, Atlanta, New York those are some stand out places. Nashville too.

TMN: If you were deserted on a desert island and could only have one artist’s record/cd/cassette tape to listen to, who would that be?

ZZ: Today? Van Morrison.

TMN: Nice, didn’t see that one coming.

ZZ: (Laughs) I bet not!

TMN: Your favorite hat, because let’s be serious you have an unbelievable collection of hats, kind of your signature wear.

ZZ: I do have a new favorite that I can’t wear out because I’m wearing it is my new music video.

TMN: (Laughs) So you don’t want anyone to see it quite yet.

ZZ: No! It is quite a stand out hat and I brought it with me on tour for some reason and I was like why did I bring this I’m not wearing it until the music video comes out.

TMN: And one last question I like to ask all artists whom I interview, if your music was an animal, which animal would it be and why?

ZZ: It would be a Border terrier because look at that face? (Points to her adorable dog Muddy Waters who has been sitting patiently through this whole interview) But Muddy is dirty and she doesn’t care, she doesn’t need to clean up, she is rock and roll.

TMN: Just like your music.

ZZ: (Laughs) Exactly.

TMN: ZZ thank you for taking some time before your show tonight to sit down with me and talk to us a little more about yourself. Best of luck this year and many years to come, we can’t wait to see everything you have in store!

ZZ: Thank you so much!

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[Dubstep] Destroid – Raise Your Fist (PatrickReza Remix)

Raise Your Fist (PatrickReza Remix) btprt.dj/Zrktyv

Shout out to one of our favorite young dubstep artists, PatrickReza, for this insane remix of Destroid’s “Raise Your Fist”. Reza takes this intense song and makes it very much mold into his own sound, with bouncy beats and strong melodies. Reza keeps the intensity of any and all Destroid songs though, with the machine talking throughout the whole piece telling all listeners it is time to raise your fist ::holding mine up in the air::
Reza made this song as part of a contest so if you love it, go show him that love by following the link below to vote. Voting begins June 25th.

Good luck Reza!

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[Disco-House] The S.O.S. Band – Take Your Time [Do It Right] (Solidisco Remix)

The S.O.S Band
Take Your Time (Do It Right) (Solidisco Remix)

Disco-House duo Solidisco, dug into their crate of obscure records for this one and may have found the perfect Summer remix along the way. With multiple releases on A-Trak’s tastemaking Fool’s Gold label, the pair seem to be the perfect ambassadors to bring one of our favorite dance genres to the masses. Taking The S.O.S. Band’s classic “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” was perhaps a risky move, but the original stays largely untouched with only minor tweaks; the BPM’s taken up to around 128, the drums hollowed out, but much more boisterous and a danceable four-to-the-floor bassline. All of these elements will no doubt culminate into a Summer time charge to the dance floor, and as an even greater bonus, Solidisco has included the track as a free download for aspiring DJ’s to rinse it in their sets or just to groove to in your vehicle of choice (here’s looking at you Vespa contingent). Grab it above.

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[Folk/Soul] Johnnyswim – Home vol. 1


Got to love those days when you stumble upon a new artist or group who just captures your ears and heart with their musical beauty.
I discovered the band Johnnyswim today, a duo from LA made up of Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez. The two began working together back in 2006 and found they had a passion for the same folk, soul and rock music. And when they put their vocals and instrumentals together, the heavenly Johnnyswim was born. Even more sweet, the two are also a couple. That may add to the melodies and addiction in their music.
They released a beautiful 5 track EP called “Home” a few months back full of songs of adoration, hope and overall, love. The first song, “Heart Beats” is a vivid song, with strong guitar playing and strong vocals from Amanda. The song tells the story of how strong a heart beat is, that the bumping in one’s chest brings back the memories that one tries to push down and forget. But we all know, a heartbeat won’t ever let you forget. My favorite song on this is “Paris in June”, perfect for this lovely summer month. It is a delicate song, again with peaceful guitar melodies and vocals by Abner, intertwined with the beautiful voice of Amanda. Favorite line: “A penny for your thoughts and a rose for your past.” The other three songs are just as light and airy, and there are some other languages strewn in the soulful pieces. These two artists have a gift and an ear for music and we can’t wait to hear more.

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The Trap Dojo #41


We’re kicking off this weeks Trap Dojo in a hard way with the newest track from trap music prodigy Alex Young, an original titled “Mastermind”. Don’t let the emotional electro build-up fool you, when this one drops, nothing will stop you from banging your head and attempting to shuffle, no matter where you are. Vinnie Maniscalco puts a fresh spin on an old favorite this week, remixing The Champs classic tune “Tequila”. With heavy bass and clever drum work, he flips the familiar sax tune on its head. Ookay and Pyramid Juke come together for a huge collaboration with this minimal track “Yen”, hope you have your subs turned up for this one. The name Aylen should be a familiar sight to you ninjas, so you know when he remixes Porter Robinson the result is going to be massive, complex trap banger. Both ETC!ETC! and CRNKN bring us two very different remixes of Tokimonsta. ETC!ETC! pulls some huge 808s and snares over some lyrics by Kool Keith, while CRNKN chills it out a bit. TRILLWAVE remixes “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch on their nostalgic EP www.trapgodz.com which also includes a remix of “What is Love” and “Believe” by Cher Theres plenty more heaters for you to discover in this weeks dojo, so be sure to check them out.

Alex Young
Mastermind (Original Mix)
Vinnie Maniscalco
Ookay & Pyramid Juke
Yen (Original Mix) ///FREE DOWNLOAD///
Porter Robinson
Say My Name (Aylen Trap Bootleg)
The Force Feat Kool Keith (ETC!ETC! REMIX)
Far East Movement
Turn Up The Love ( Rell The Soundbenders Death to Cupid Remix)
K Theory
Watch Me Kill It (Free Download)
Fallout (The Hi Yahs X Tron Johnson Remix)
Felix Cartel & Autoerotique
Alarm (KEYS N KRATES Remix)
Boys Noize
Go Hard
C+C Music Factory
Gonna Make you Sweat (Wick it Remix)
AC Slater
Party Animals Feat. Nina Sky (Flinch Remix)
Jesse Slayter
Assquake  Buzz Trillington x Shooter McNappin Bootleg
TWEET (Spenda C Remix) OUT NOW!!!!!
Shakedown (Original Mix)
The New Kings (Flaxo Remix)
Penthouse Penthouse
When Its Hot feat. Djemba Djemba & Mr. Carmack
Raindrops (Original Mix) Free Download
Things We Can Do ft. Reva DeVito
The xx
Together (Maxx Baer Edit)
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[TMN PREMIERE] Gentlemen Hall – Sail Into The Sun (RAC Mix)

Gentlemen Hall
Sail Into The Sun (RAC Mix)

As the calendar turned to June 1st, we knew we were going to have to start selecting some of our favorite summer tracks. Little did we know, that it would happen so quickly.

Dancy beats? Yep. Wavering vocals? You betcha. Anthemic choruses? Yes sir. While we were already enamored with the original of this tune (via Gentleman Hall), we knew fun remixes were coming down the pike. And after just four short months since it’s release, “Sail Into the Sun” has received a fresh new sound from one of our personal favorites.

Aside from having a solidified spot in our office rotation, RAC can always be counted on to serve up a fun remix. The best part about the Remixing Artist Collective though is the wide spectrum of genres he remixes, and creates through his remixes. Today we’re happy to bring you a premiere of their take on “Sail Into the Sun”. For this project, the amped-up poppy tempo of the original is dialed back a little bit creating a chill nu disco vibe. Even though the track has a different feel from the original, it still maintains it’s warm summery feel.

I had a blast working on this song. The source material is so catchy. – RAC
RAC is the band’s favorite DJ so when we reached out to Andre and he said he’d do it, we were running around the house jumping for joy. He completely nailed the remix. It’s quite euphoric. I can see it being used at chill out time after a night of partying. – Gentlemen Hall

Take a listen, and make sure this one lands in your next poolside playlist.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (June 2013 Round #1)

indie-dojo-music-ninjaAttitudes are infectious. If you’re grouchy, you better believe the world around you is gonna be just the same. And when you’re happy, you can easily pass that sunshine on to someone who needs it. So before you walk out the door, if you feel the slightest Oscar the Grouch puppeteering your thoughts, slow your roll for a minute. If you happen to have a hard time stopping your brain from becoming the Magneto of negative thoughts, we seem to find that music can be a real mood booster. And would you look at that….We just happen to have a free bump for you right here..Oh and don’t be afraid to pass it on…..Be the kind of infectious that lights up the world.

Hudson Taylor
Among Savages
A Dark Design
The Struggle
Sleeper Hold
French for Rabbits
Claimed by the Sea
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