Conceived and conducted by Vincent Rees, the Red Planet Orchestra combine classical composition with a contemporary structure of electronic ambient music.
With sound artist Pete Smith, the Red Planet Orchestra has accumulated a growing body of work both rich in invention and subtlety. A sound palette of future memories and past dreams. Each release has created a landscape of intense serenity.
Their debut album, Aurora Symphony, was warmly received and now a firm favourite among fans – All albums feature original artwork conceived by Belgium artist Nicolas Crombez.
The Red Planet Orchestra continue to compose music for emerging film soundtracks such as the brilliant ‘Gorka’
Aurora Symphony – 2013
Secrets of Eternity – 2013
We Breathe Together-2014
States of Space -2014
The Angry Silence -2014
Time of Dark Consequences – 2016
Contamination – 2016
If you subscribe to a subscription music service such as Spotify or Apple Music you probably pay $10 a month. And if you are like most people, you probably do so believing your money goes to the artists you listen to. Unfortunately, you are wrong.
The reality is only some of your money is paid to the artists you listen to. The rest of your money (and it’s probably most of your money) goes somewhere else. That “somewhere else” is decided by a small group of subscribers who have gained control over your money thanks to a mathematical flaw in how artist royalties are calculated. This flaw cheats real artists with real fans, rewards fake artists with no fans, and perhaps worst of all communicates to most streaming music subscribers a simple, awful, message: Your choices don’t count, and you don’t matter.
If you love music and want your money to go to the artists that you listen to, consider this simple hack. It’s easy to do, breaks no laws, does not violate any terms of service, directs more money to your favorite artists, but doesn’t actually require you to listen to any music, and best of all, it could force the music industry to make streaming royalties fair(er) for everyone. Sounds good, right?
So let’s cut to the chase. Here’s the hack: This September,when you aren’t listening to music, put your favorite indie artists on repeat, and turn the sound down low.
You might be saying “Wait a second, turn the sound down? How the heck does that do anything?”
Good question, let me explain.
The Flaw in the Big Pool
Streaming services (Spotify, Apple, etc.) calculate royalties for artists by putting all of the subscription revenue in one big pool. The services then take out 30% for themselves. The remaining 70% is set aside for royalties.
This giant bag of royalties is then divided by the overall number of streams (aka “plays” or “listens”). The result is called the “per-stream royalty rate”.
The problem lies in the fact that this “Big Pool method” only cares about one thing, and one thing only: the overall number of streams. It does not care even a tiny little bit about how many subscribers generated those streams.
So why is this bad?
You Are Worthless
Imagine a hypothetical artist on a streaming service. Which do you think that artist would rather have: 10,000 fans who stream a song once, or one fan who streams it 10,001 times? Seems obvious, right? 10,000 fans is much better than one fan! But the Big Pool method, which only cares about the number of clicks, says the single person is worth more!
So this guy…
…is worth more than this huge crowd?
The message to artists and fans is crystal clear: the only fans that matter are the ones who click a lot. Everyone else can suck it.
This is bad for the artist, but astoundingly it’s even worse for streaming services: if each subscriber is paying $10 a month then those 10,000 subscribers would generate $1.2M in annual revenue, while the single user only generates a measly $120. Clearly the services benefit from getting more subscribers, not more streams, so why are they incentivizing streams and ignoring subscribers?
It’s as if a car dealership paid the biggest commissions to the employees who sold the fewest number of cheap cars, and completely stiffed the employees who sold lots of expensive ones!
But Wait, It Gets Worse
If the Big Pool rewards artists who get lots of streams, major labels can sign artists who can get a lot of streams. But what if artists aren’t the only ones getting lots of streams?
Click fraud is rarely discussed in the context of streaming music, but it’s fairly simple for a fraudster to generate more in royalties than they pay in subscription fees. All a fraudster has to do is set up a fake artist account with fake music, and then they can use bots to generate clicks for their pretend artist. If each stream is worth $0.007 a click, the fraudster only needs 1,429 streams to make their $10 subscription fee back, at which point additional clicks are pure profit.
But that’s assuming they even paid $10 for the subscription in the first place: it’s possible to purchase stolen premium accounts on the black market, making the scheme profitable almost immediately. The potential profits are substantial: At Spotify it only takes 31 seconds of streaming to trigger a royalty payment, which means as many as 86,400 streams a month can be generated, resulting in over $600 of royalties. At Apple Music the threshold is just 20 seconds, making it hypothetically possible to clear 129,600 streams and $900 in royalties in just one month!
If the amount of click fraud activity on Google, Facebook, and Twitter is any indication (estimated to be over $6 billion a year), the problem could be far worse than any of the services will admit, or possibly even realize, and there’s no way for artists or fans to determine how much revenue has been stolen. It’s like someone sucking the oil out from under your property: you don’t even know it’s happening.
Click fraud is not the only way to cheat the system. One band made an album of completely silent tracks and told their “fans” to play the blank album on repeat while they slept. If a subscriber did as instructed the band earned $195 in royalties from that single subscriber in just one month. But if each subscriber only pays $10 in subscription fees,then where did the other $185 come from?
It came from people like you.
The media suggests that Spotify was the one being “scammed” by this “clever” and “brilliant” stunt, but in reality Spotify suffered no financial loss at all. The $20,000 that the band received didn’t come out of Spotify’s pockets, it came out of the 70% in royalties earmarked for artists. In essence what happened is every artist on Spotify got paid a little less thanks to an album with no music on it.
To understand why, we need to talk about how “average” can be an illusion.
Think of it this way: imagine you are in a room with a random group of people. What is the average income of everyone in the room? It’s likely that roughly half will be above average, and the other half will be below average.
Now what happens when Bill Gates walks into the room?
Everyone in the room is below average now, thanks to Bill.
The same effect is happening in streaming music: a small number of super-heavy-usage subscribers have raised the “average” usage to the point thatmost subscribers are now below average.
We can illustrate this with a graph:
To understand how heavy-users wind up in control of your money, it helps to look at how royalties flow at the individual level:
Every user pays $10 a month, which generates $7 in royalties. If the per-stream rate of $0.007 is determined by dividing overall revenue by overall plays, then simple math tells us the “average” subscriber is streaming 1,000 times (1,000 * $0.007 = $7.00).
So if you stream 200 tracks in a month you will send $1.40 to the artists you listened to (200 * $0.007 = $1.40), and the remaining $5.60 of your $7 is now up for grabs. So who’s grabbing it?
Well, let’s imagine a heavy-user who streams 1,800 tracks in a month. As a result of all this streaming they send $12.60 in royalties to the artists they listen to (1,800 * $0.007 = $12.60). Since they only contributed $7 towards royalties, they are $5.60 short. Guess where that money comes from?
It’s worth noting that many (if not most) of these heavy-usage “subscribers” are probably not individuals at all. They are actually offices, restaurants, gyms, hair salons, etc. Businesses like these can stream up to 24 hours a day — far more than you as an individual could ever hope to do. And they probably don’t share your taste in music either. But they pay the same $10 you do, so why do they get to decide where your money goes?
It’s like you bought a CD and the store told you that you had to listen to it 1,000 times, or they will give your money to Nickelback.
That’s fucked up.
The Subscriber Share Method
There is a better way to approach streaming royalties, one which addresses all of these problems, and it’s called Subscriber Share.
The premise behind Subscriber Share is simple: the only artists that should receive your money are the artists you listen to. Subscriber Share simply divides up your $7 based on how much time you spend listening to each artist. So if you listen to an artist exclusively, then that artist will get the entire $7, but if you listen less they get proportionately less.
As an example, if you listen to Alt-J 25% of the time, then Alt-J would get $1.75 ($7.00 * 25% = $1.75):
Let’s compare this with the Big Pool: if you typically stream 200 streams per month (that’s roughly 13 hours of streaming), then playing Alt-J 25% of the time would equal 50 streams. Since each stream gets a flat $0.007 per stream, the band will recieve just 35 cents. (50 * $0.007 = $0.35)
A nice feature of Subscriber Share is that it is very difficult to turn a profit with click fraud: instead of turning $10 into $600, a fraudster would be turning $10 into $7, and would waste a lot of bandwidth while doing so.
If the fraudster used stolen premium accounts (reducing their cost from $10 to $1 per account), they could still make as much as $6 per account, but that is nowhere near as attractive as making $600 is it? And the difficulty level to do this at scale goes way up. If the industry switched to Subscriber Share most click frauders would move to greener pastures.
Mission Impossible: Minimum Wage
Subscriber Share can also be a huge benefit to small bands just starting out. If a band has a respectable fan base of 5,000 fans then they need $12.06 from every one of these fans in order to earn the federal minimum wage for four people, $60,320. In years past they would sell their fans a CD. But now under the Big Pool they need an ungodly number of streams to make minimum wage: 8.6 million streams.
This means every single fan has to stream the band’s music 1,716 times. Assuming a four minute song that’s over 114 hours of listening, and if their fanbase averages 200 streams per month then that means their fans would need to listen to the band 71% of the time for an entire year!
Subscriber Share only requires the fans to listen to the band 14.36% of the time, so if the typical fan averages 200 streams a month, then just 29 streams a month is sufficient, and the fan will only spend 22 hours in total listening to the band’s music. This is far more plausible for a new artist.
But intriguingly, Subscriber Share also enables fans to financially support an artist using even less effort: If a band can convince their 5,000 fans to listen to them exclusively for two months, the band will earn $70k, and the fans will only have to click once each month in order to do this.
Subscriber Share enables listeners to directly support the artists they care about without having to expend extraordinary amounts of energy to do so.
The result of Subscriber Share is that each and every fan winds up being far more valuable to artists. It honors the intent of the listener, and incentivizes getting more fans, bringing the goals of everyone (services, labels, artists and fans) into alignment.
If you think about it, this is how most of the genres we love got started in the first place. Hip hop, jazz, blues, reggae, punk, grunge, etc, all came from a small group of musicians, and a small group of fans, supporting each other. Who was the biggest beneficiary of this in the end? The music industry.
What Are We Waiting For?
It boils down to two big obstacles: fear, and inertia.
To be fair, the music industry has been on the wrong end of the economic stick for well over a decade now, and talking about changing royalty methods just as it seems like things are about to get better is understandably scary.
The other problem is inertia. Institutions hate change, it’s expensive and hard, and you have to rethink everything attached to that change. Inevitably various special interests will arise and fight for the status quo. It can be very tricky to overcome their objections.
So it is difficult for the music industry to change, even when they know it’s in their best interest. They are like a cat stuck in a tree. They got themselves up, and can’t figure out how to get down.
If the industry is immobilized by fear, and can’t be persuaded to move in the right direction with logic, then one possible way to get them to get them out of the tree is to make it even scarier if they don’tmove. In other words: We need to scare the cat out of the tree.
And that’s where our little hack comes in…
A Silent Protest This September
A critical aspect of streaming music services is that the services can’t tell if the volume is turned down. If the music is playing the “clicks” still count, even if no one is listening. This can be used to our advantage.
Normally a typical subscriber can’t keep up with heavy users, in part because many of these heavy users aren’t even individuals to begin with: they’re actually offices, hair salons, gyms, yoga studios, and restaurants.But if typical subscribers streamed music 24/7, and just turned the volume down when they weren’t listening, then maybe they could catch up!
And if these silent protestors streamed strictly independent artists, major labels would have to worry about the value of their streams decreasing! That could be enough to persuade them to reconsider the use of the Big Pool method, and if the major labels jump out of the Big Pool tree, the rest of the music industry will follow.
Even a small number of people engaging in this silent protest will have a measurable impact: just doing it for one day will double most people’s monthly consumption, and doing it for one week will result in more streams than a typical subscriber consumes in a year! But obviously the more the merrier. So let’s throw the idea out there and see what happens:
For the month of September, let’s stream indie bands 24/7 non-stop, with the volume turned down to one.
Note: It’s recommended that you turn the volume low, but not all the way to zero, and you should change your selected indie artist on a daily basis (or even better use playlists with multiple artists), so that you aren’t mistaken as a bot by the services.
If this works the music industry will be forced make royalties fair(er) for all musicians and fans. If it fails a couple of indie bands will get a bigger check than usual. What have we got to lose by trying?
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A music company “scam” has left artists thousands of pounds out of pocket, with one singer saying she now faces being made homeless because of her losses.
By Guy Lynn and George Greenwood, BBC News
In an apparent fraud, management firm Band Management Universal (BMU) charged up to £4,000 for services and continued to sign clients despite having numerous complaints about not meeting promises.
Head of the Musicians’ Union Horace Trubridge called it the worst scam he had seen in the past 20 years.
BMU could not be reached for comment.
The company, registered in Farringdon, London, has shut its website and email accounts and cancelled its phones.
Singer Sarah Kaloczi said she paid £2,000 to BMU for a contract that was supposed to include music production, marketing, gigs and tours, as well as help to secure a recording contract.
The company failed to deliver these services or refund her money and she now faces being evicted from her flat.
“They took everything I had put my heart and soul into and just shattered it into pieces,” she said.
She claims she suffered a “hate campaign” after she spoke out.
She received abusive messages attacking her looks and mental health, and received a number of targeted negative reviews after complaining about the company online.
Ms Kaloczi has been signed off work for 18 months with anxiety, depression and panic attacks, lost her job and could not bring herself to perform for a year afterwards.
“At 27, I don’t want to have to keep falling on my dad. I just want to make him proud, look after him for a change,” she said.
The BBC spoke to more than 20 artists telling a similar story, but the true number affected could be much higher.
Some said they got limited services from BMU, such as photography or studio sessions, while others received nothing.
Over time the company became harder and harder for artists to reach. BMU also failed to pay some contractors.
Artists said the apparent head of BMU, known to them as Matthias, would spend hours on the phone talking to them about his plans for their careers, but they never met him in person and suspected he used a false name.
They said they did meet some BMU representatives, but claimed the people seemed to have been hired in for the meetings.
Dutch singer Jasper Roelofsen said Matthias pressured him to pay, bombarding him and his band at the time, Counting Wolves, with messages promising them the chance to work with well-known artists.
Mr Roelofsen said Matthias told him “the quicker you get the money to me, the quicker we can get started”.
The band never received the promised services and lost £3,840.
“We could have used that money to do something useful for our careers, but instead we burned it.”
Mr Trubridge described BMU as the worst example of music fraud he had seen in the past 20 years.
“Oh, it is a scam, definitely. There’s no doubt about it,” he said.
“As soon as we hear that an artist has been asked to put their hand in their own pocket by a management company, big alarm bells start to ring.”
He said paying management companies for services was widely seen as unethical in the industry, though was not uncommon.
In this article we use machine learning to explore the ways that neighborhoods are connected by live music.
“Every day’s an endless stream
Of cigarettes and magazines.
And each town looks the same to me, the movies and the factories…”
From Right Here to Everywhere
A musical scene can indelibly define a place. The specific culture of a neighborhood can give birth to a new sound. From New Orleans Jazz to DC Hardcore, Greenwich Village Folk to Queensbridge Hip Hop, musical scenes have been intertwined with the identity of geographic areas ranging from specific street intersections (Haight Ashbury) to entire metropolitan areas (Nashville).
At the same time, since antiquity, music has travelled — from medieval troubadours, to the traveling opera companies of the mid-nineteenth century, through to the decades long cross-country meanderings of the Grateful Dead.
With the rise of the internet and streaming services, new music can reach millions of geographically distributed fans at once, allowing highly specific genres like Chicago Footwork to develop a passionate following in London and even find new expression in cities as far away as Hiroshima. Increasingly the internet itself is the metropolis where genres like Vaporwave and Seapunk are born.
Yet, despite the simultaneous, everywhere nature of the internet and music streaming — or perhaps because of it — touring remains a vital (if troubled) facet of the music industry. Musicians continue to connect with fans in neighborhoods across the globe through live shows. In this article we explore the links between these geographically distributed fanbases and ask: how do touring musicians connect neighborhoods?
Since forming Topos last February, we’ve been fascinated by a simple question: what does distance mean in the 21st century? While in past articles we’ve explored holistic understandings of distance that leverage a wide range of heterogeneous data and technologies (first in New York City, then more broadly across the US), in this article, we focus narrowly on a single dataset and technological approach. In particular, we take the tour dates of musicians traveling across the US from 2008 to the present as the basis for a machine learning model that allows us to develop a tour-based distance metric relating neighborhoods across the US. We then use this metric to algorithmically generate venue and neighborhood suggestions for touring musicians.
Below: A sampling of touring patterns across the U.S.
A Model Built on Co-occurrence
Collaborative Filtering (CF) is one of the most widely used machine learning approaches for determining distance between entities. Once calculated, these distances are often used to power recommendations. From Spotify’s Discover Weekly to Amazon’s product recommendations, CF algorithms form an important part of many well known recommendation engines.
The fuel for CF recommendations are datasets where candidate recommendable items co-occur. Amazon’s recommendations are fueled by the co-occurrence of items in users’ shopping carts; Spotify’s Discover Weekly is fueled by the co-occurrence of songs in user generated playlists and listening histories. In our case, the co-occurrence of venues and neighborhoods on the schedules of touring musicians provided the input for our CF-based similarity metric. We were able to construct these schedules by hooking into the setlist.fm API, an incredible resource that has data on concerts in the US dating back to 1850.
Exploration: Neighborhood Similarity
We start exploring our tour-based similarity metric by looking at three very different neighborhoods: Bushwick NYC, Downtown LA, and Maryvale, Phoenix
Bushwick is most similar to other well known hipster neighborhoods across the US. It is perhaps telling that there is not one but two bands whose names start with the word “Acid” amongst the most popular acts in the list of similar neighborhoods.
Popular Musical Acts: Acid Mothers Temple, John Maus, Ty Segall, Widowspeak, Acid Baby Jesus
Home to the 21,000-seat Staples Center, Downtown LA’s most similar neighborhoods are other centrally located neighborhoods surrounding big arenas like the Boston Garden and Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. Popular acts in these neighborhoods tend to be top-of-the-charts musicians and — across the board — the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a band famous for going directly to arenas without ever having played smaller clubs or opening for other bands.
Popular Musical Acts: Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry,Justin Bieber, Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Maryvale — famously one of first planned communities in the United States — is located on the edge of the city of Phoenix; its most similar neighborhoods tend be outside of major metropolitan city centers (Fair Park Dallas), or to form small municipalities in their own rights (Tinley Park IL, Englewood CO). Mainstream Country and Metal are generally the most popular genres, with a solid showing from 70s Classic Rock Bands (Journey, Boston, Styx).
By allowing only the strongest links (>top .1 percentile) between neighborhoods to remain, we can observe some interesting neighborhood groupings. One striking aspect of these groups is their diversity: some are tightly connected geographically (Group 2) while others span the breadth of the country (Group 5); some have narrow genre preferences (Group 4) while others exhibit more eclectic tastes (Group 1).
Group 1: Pacific Northwest
Separated by 182 Miles, this small cluster of two neighborhoods spans a wide range of genres. Within this stylistic diversity, the most frequent acts tend to be older, established medium-popularity performers
Top acts: Indigo Girls, The B‐52s, Brandi Carlile, Ziggy Marley, Aimee Mann
Group 2: Insider NYC
Separated by just 4 Miles, this small cluster is the tightest geographically. Group 2 is also the most ‘local’, with 16 of the top 20 (mainly alt/indie) performers based in NYC.
Top Acts: Widowspeak, Moon Hooch, Men and Whales, The Bottom Dollars, Sharon Van Etten
Group 3: Almost Country
Largely comprised of western neighborhoods (with Tinley Park IL as the sole exception), group 3 has a corresponding passion for country music; half of the top ten acts are mainstream country musicians (Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Zac Brown Band, Rascal Flatts). As in the earlier exploration of Maryvale, Mainstream metal and 70’s classic rock are also favorites.
Top Acts: Brad Paisley, Slipknot, Luke Bryan, Mötley Crüe, Journey
Group 4: Central Downtown Areas
Connecting centrally located downtown areas, Group 4 is the most geographically dispersed. In contrast to this geographic diversity, Group 4 is tightly focused on a particular spectrum of sound — the pop-punk/emo/post-punk continuum (with some Comedic Metal — Steel Panther, Gwar — sprinkled in).
Top Acts: Steel Panther, Say Anything, All Time Low, The Used, Mayday Parade
Group 5: Arena Haloes
Centered around huge stadiums (NYC’s Madison Square Garden, The Boston Garden, Chicago’s United Center) the neighborhoods in Group 5 are visited by arena-filling superstars like Bon Jovi, Kanye West, and of course, Billy Joel whose monthly MSG residency (and accompanying helicopter commute) has become legendary.
Top Acts: Trans‐Siberian Orchestra, Bon Jovi, Roger Waters, Rihanna, Katy Perry
Similarity metrics are often constructed in order to power recommendation engines. And where Spotify might recommend an album or Netflix might suggest a movie, here we give examples of using our similarity metric to recommend venues and neighborhoods for touring musicians, focusing on locations where the musician rarely, if ever, performs. For each act, we also produce a list of similar musicians based on their touring schedules.
We then flip directions and focus on location, recommending musicians who have yet to perform but would be most likely to find an audience for a sampling of venues.
From Nodes to Edges
In this article, we’ve constructed a narrow, highly specific view of place, ignoring myriad factors that shape neighborhoods. While there is a small but statistically significant correlation between the similarity metric constructed here and the Topos Similarity Index (which increases for certain cities), these measures are largely orthogonal. The TSI is a holistic measure of similarity, encompassing everything from the form of the built environment to the ratio of big box stores to local retailers, while here we have worked with a single data source pertaining to one facet of culture.
Yet even this narrow view reveals much about neighborhoods, from their form (the connected downtown neighborhoods surrounding large arenas) to their milieu (the hipster neighborhoods connected to Bushwick).
We believe this approach starts to demonstrate the potential of understanding location as a set of relationships rather than solely as a set of isolated points or regions to which metrics are ascribed. Many applications of Location Intelligence — from opening a new store to planning a trip, launching a political campaign to arranging a tour — are ultimately about relationships: Brand and customer, traveller and a foreign culture, politician and constituent, touring musician and fan. Understanding the manifold ways one place is similar to another provides rich context for expanding these relationships into new territories.
This post is part of an ongoing series capturing different insights we generate while developing our platform. We would love to hear your feedback. If you enjoyed this article please share and 👏 a few times so other people can see it too.
Dear friends, our amazing project is coming soon. I’m very proud to play in this rock opera in the role of Sinbad’s beloved by the name of Zahra.
Dear friends, our amazing project is coming soon. I’m very proud to play in this rock opera in the role of Sinbad’s beloved by the name of Zahra. The music is composed by the talented composer Ridvan Sadirkhanov. The first time in the east will be presented to you a rock opera. Written on the motives of the fairy tale “The Traveler Sinbad” from the book “1001 Nights”
Music-Liberetto – Ridvan Sadirkhanov
Music Producer – Эмиль Миняшев
Painter – М. Кузнецова
Text reads -Adalet Shukurov
Sinbad – Mick Rafiyev
Zara – Gulshan MG Ibadova
Solo-Guitar – И. Якубов
Other roles – Azer Rzazade Javid Samadov Ilham Nazarov Ш. Керимов Н. Ализаде Ю. Моторина М. Рзаева Р. Садырханов Э. Миняшев
Тексты к ариям – Лейла Алиева Rafael Huseyn А. Гаджиев Р. Садырханов Видади(пер. К. Симонов) А. Милани Ш.М. Каджар Н. Гумилёв Й.В. Сладек С.Т. Кольридж
Dear friends, I would like to present you my new Aria “The Miracle of Love which was written for my voice. Music and words of Aria belong to a Brilliant Italian composer and my Friend Maestro Pierpaolo Lucca
In the near future we will make a music video for this brilliant composition. I will wait for your likes, comments and shares
The Italian Brass Week is an international festival born 19 years ago under the artistic direction of Luca Benucci, the first horn of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. During these years, the festival and the Association have dealt with the formation of thousands of young artists from all over the world, with the aim of consolidating a reality that too often goes unnoticed and give the opportunity to emerging musicians to participate at a primary visibility event for the world of brass and music.
The mission is the enhancement of great Italian and foreign talents, through promotion and cultural exchange. The festival gives the opportunity to young students, new professionals and professionals to take part in an event of international importance, to play and learn from the most important musicians in the world of brass, being part of the greatest orchestras, conservatories and universities.
The high level of training and the quality of the event were rewarded with the bronze medal of the President of the Republic and with many other awards, obtained for the importance of the event and for involving generations of young musicians, who were trained and they have become excellent interpreters.
The Italian Brass Week has moved to various locations in Tuscany, Santa Fiora, Vinci, to land last year in Florence, because Florence is an important reference for cultural growth. It is a city devoted to hospitality and already culturally renowned as a meeting point between present and past.
During these years the artistic quality of the festival has always been guaranteed by the presence of virtuosos and soloists from all over the world, Italian, European and international teachers, jazz bands and brass ensembles who participate, compare and play together in an important moment for the professional growth of all the young people taking part in the festival.
ENTERFIRE was created by NIKI B (Nicholas Nikoloudis) in 2017. It is a project which talks mostly about the time that is passing without mercy and the world which is changing continuously. The songs crafted meticulously combined with powerful lyrics have resulted in melodic metal with trash influence. The vocals can change from clean to brutal, scream and distorted depending on the feel of the song.
The videoclip for the band’s new single ‘Slave of time’ was shot at the ancient theatre of Thassos island in Greece. Many thanks to Thomas Doukinitsas who directed and shot the music video.
The leader of the band, Niki B, was born in Wales, UK, but he was raised on a greek island. From a youngster he grew up in a musical environment thanks to the rock bar owned by his family. He was deeply inspired by all the metal gods he was listening to and it did not take long until he started to feel the attraction of guitars. During his teenage years he played lead guitar and vocals in different bands, performed in live shows and recorded albums.
He knew where his dreams would lead him from a young teenager and in 2014 he decided to move to London to study music in a professional environment. From the time he started to master the guitar professionally he had to learn different styles and genres of music which took his techniques to a different level. On gaining new skills he explored innovative ways to produce new material.
Always wanting to evolve as an artist, Niki B became interested in the field of music production. From the moment he produced his first song he gained knowledge and he developed himself, until nowadays he is composing, recording and mastering his own music in his music studio.
Kunal, the bassist of ENTERFIRE, remembers when his love for music began “back to 1994, when my dad popped in Aerosmith’s – ‘Get A Grip’ into the car cassette player I was mesmerised by the gorgeous tones of a guitar through a Marshall Amplifier”. He started playing guitar in 2007 and followed a Pro Guitar course and a production and sound engineering course. He played bass for different bands, but also served as a producer and vocalist. “My preferred genres are, Punk, Classic Rock and Heavy Metal. My influences include Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, AC/DC, Deep Purple, Motorhead, Anthrax, Kiss, Aerosmith, Guns N Roses, Pantera, Ozzy Osbourne, Blink 182, Sum 41.”
The rhythm guitarist, Ioakeim is the youngest member of the band and he discovered heavy metal, metalcore, thrash metal and death metal at the age of 12. By the age of 15 he was already playing in melodic death metal bands as a lead guitarist and bassist. In 2016 he moved to London to study guitar at the British Institute of Modern Music. He finds his inspiration in bands such as Pantera, Avenged Sevenfold, Death, Sodom, Venom, Rotting Christ, Amon Amarth, Lamb of God, Slayer, Megadeth and Judas Priest.
Nick started playing drums at the age of 8 and during high school he was rocking the bars with his band. He decided to move in the UK at 18 and joined a BA creative musicianship course at Bimm London. “Through my time there I studied some interesting modules such as instrument technique , creative technology application and the basics of using Ableton and Logic software to create and record music.” His inspiration is coming from drummers such as John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) , Nicko Mcbrain (Iron Maiden), Mike Portnoy (ex Dream Theater).
Many young girls dream of becoming singers and pop stars. They emulate their idols, singing along into the hairbrush handle with the mirror as an appreciative audience. I speak as a brother to two sisters and a father of two daughters!
However, very few young women have the courage and talent to go out, stand up and perform in front of a real live audience. Kacey Hacquoil is one of those rare young women who not only writes her own songs but possess the confidence and personality, as a performer, to put it out there for the world to enjoy.
A little bit of Kelly Clarkson at the Horse and Hound this evening with Acoustic Jersey 😄