January 16, 2018
We’re thrilled to announce that Pentatonic is set to host their first BlueJay session on Tuesday, January 23rd at 7pm.
Pentatonic is an online magazine publication that offers a variety of content including interviews, reviews, fresh playlists and recommendations for new underground and indie music. With such a wide variety of coverage, and plenty of artist discussed on their website, this BlueJay session looks geared up to be an exciting one!
Be sure to read our interview below to find out more about Pentatonic and why you’ll want to tune in to their weekly sessions every Tuesday!
In one sentence “We’re a music magazine aimed at the grass roots of the music industry”. The deeper you look into The Pentatonic the more you realise the depth of the music industry and the impact it has on the world. There’s a whole world out there that most people haven’t tapped into; we aim to bring this world to everybody’s attention and give the hardworking bands the publicity they deserve. There’s bands you’ve never heard of playing more shows and recording better music than half of the crap in the charts, you just need to look in the right places.
Music is a way of life, it runs through your body and pulses with your heart. The world ticks with the beat of a drum, from Brazilians with their samba music, to the Spanish with their flamenco; from African tribes with their ceremonial music to English parties with this beautiful blend of genres we are blessed with.
There’s new music popping up all over the place and even we can’t keep track of it all, our current favourites are Violet Contours, Ravellas, No Hot Ashes, Beach Royals; the list is endless. Tune into our sessions and keep and eye on our bi-weekly playlists to keep up to date with the new music we’re falling in love with.
We’re interested in the individuality of a band. Anybody can pick up a guitar and write a song about a party they had a university where they took drugs and fell in love with a girl; we want to hear something personal, something you’ve poured your heart and soul into. There’s no specific sound we look for, we love a wide variety from metal, indie, electronic, spoken work, r&b; you name it and we’ve got it playing in our ears.
Our Bluejay sessions will be an opportunity to showcase some of the best talent coming from all over the UK and keep you up to date with the best shows coming up. We will be playing you exclusive live recording with some of our favourite bands who we’ve met up with to perform stripped back acoustic versions of their songs.
We will be showcasing all genres of music from all over the UK, giving a platform to the artists who deserve it most, starting out with the winners of our poll for 2017’s best song, Ladies. If you want to hear your favourite song from Taylor Swift this probably isn’t the place for you, but if you want to hear an incredible song from your next favourite band then tune into “Pentatonic Presents” on Tuesdays!
Get your ears ready for Pentatonic’s session on January 23rd at 7pm by downloading the free Blue Jay app here:
December 12, 2017
We are delighted to announce that Rebecca from Stereo Stickman is hosting a BlueJay session on Sunday the 17th December at 7pm and we can’t quite contain our excitement!
Stereo Stickman is an online magazine that regularly posts articles featuring the latest underground music news. It is also a platform where unsigned artists can promote their music.
Their site features every genre from punk rock to soul, and is dedicated to showcasing lesser well-known artists.
Below is our interview with Rebecca, so read on to find out who she is and why she is so passionate about music.
I’d say it offers a mellow ambience with a gritty centre. A bit like a nectarine – soft on the outside, but the centre’s where it all began; that’s where the truth lies. (Does the truth lie?)
Music to me means freedom. To make it or to immerse yourself in it is to free yourself from concern for a while, from emotional turmoil or judgement or whatever it is that surrounds you and makes life difficult.
It’s powerful escapism, but it’s into a world of shared understanding and honest expression, rather than somewhere fictional.
A lot of artists say things in their music that they wouldn’t feel comfortable saying in conversation. Which is weird, but it works, and then we hear it, and we connect with it, and we’re glad they said it – we feel like they said it just for us.
That’s not just lyricism, that’s the whole mood of the music; the movement, the melody, the structure, the feeling it passes on to you.
My life revolves around music – creating it, writing about it, listening to it, talking about it, thinking about it. I love it.
It’s the one thing we can all connect through – all of us, all over the planet. That’s pretty magical, definitely something we need to preserve and utilise and celebrate.
I love writing songs, I’ve become part of some amazing communities online where we share and enjoy underground or under-the-radar releases, people are generally so supportive.
It changes the way you feel about making music when it becomes a gift for someone else, it’s no longer just an outlet for your own demons or joys – it has a slightly more colourful purpose.
I have so many songs I want to put out but it takes far too long getting things crafted and mixed and mastered to the point that it hits in the way that I want it to hit. I released an EP two years ago and my first official music video came out this summer.
I hope to release a lot more in 2018. We have a home studio and we’re happy where we are right now, so there’s nothing standing in the way.
The first time I ever heard a Tracy Chapman song was the moment I realised music could be awesome. I was probably 17, in a bar in Greece somewhere with a friend from college.
Before then it had all been mainstream radio, I had no wider knowledge of what was out there (although I did play to death a Eurythmics tape as a child, mainly ‘There Must Be an Angel’).
Soon after that I discovered the Chilli Peppers, Pearl Jam, Incubus, Eminem, Faithless, Zero 7, Sublime, Brand New, Audioslave, Jimi Hendrix – I became obsessed. I used to root through people’s CD collections and just write down or borrow anything I hadn’t heard yet.
I love music that’s expressive, passionate, creative, unexpected. Genre doesn’t play too much of a role.
Probably not. I’m fairly reserved when it comes to my own music. I’m excited to talk about and share other people’s creative work.
Some of these musicians are incredible and you just want so much for the world to love them with you.
It will be like when you get home from a night out and you take turns sharing your favourite new songs with each other on YouTube. Except every turn is mine. Ha.
We post daily music reviews and interviews for the most part. These are in-depth write-ups of new releases.
I try to highlight the strengths in the music, the things that grab you the most, and if I can take that and turn it into a sentence and then quote that sentence – hopefully it gets the newsfeed scrollers to stop by and press play.
On top of that, there are tons of articles on creativity, performance anxiety, music production, how to get gigs, music tech features – anything goes, anything that might be of value to fellow songwriters and composers, or of interest to music fans in general.
We’re always happy to welcome new writers as well if anyone has a passion for music or a story to tell.
What do you look for in the artists that you review? What compels you to feature an artist on your featured page?
The same as with my personal influences I guess, anything that has a bit of an alternative glow to it but that is still professionally and considerately crafted.
If you love what you do, and you take the time to make it sound how it did in your head when you were first cooking it up – that will show, and it will work.
It also helps if they’re someone pleasant or easy to communicate with. It’s much more rewarding and meaningful if you can build something that lasts. Everyone’s welcome.
Getting people to click through is the big one. Getting likes for a quote or some artwork is great, but the content is the soul of the project.
No matter how incredible the track is or what you’ve written about it, people will scroll right past if you don’t offer that something special in the brief snippet that appears in front of them.
If you spend time learning where the audiences are, you can work out ways to approach and promote stuff that’s of value to them.
Everyone loves finding new music, but there’s so much out there that we often don’t trust or have time for a brand-new face or name.
As a website for everyone, we try to share as many articles as possible about various musical topics, so that we can grow our community, maybe change the way people hear certain types of music, then everyone gets something out of it and the reviews become even more valuable for the artists involved.
This year has been phenomenal. Off the top of my head – Cranford Hollow are incredible, the perfect soundtrack to drive to. Drive On Mak, superb, so creative – brilliant story tellers.
For EDM or ambient soundscapes – Woochia (stunning), DJ Foh, Anton Cullen, JEIA – her creativity is through the roof. The Jason Gisser Band, Neonomora, Ben Brookes, Jacob Didas.
I can’t even, I would just go on and on. I love that I get to do this every day.
I’ll introduce my favourite tracks each week, ranging from throughout the past two years. I’ll talk about why they’re so special, what you should be able to get from it, maybe interesting stories behind some of the songs, maybe ponder what a certain lyric meant.
I’ll probably waffle on about song writing and how therapeutic it is to make or embrace music.
There will be lots of excitement and enthusiasm but presented in a fairly mellow manner. The tone may depend on whether or not the show coincides with coffee-time or whisky-time (or both – it is Christmas after all).
Most probably I’ll get the occasional guest in to chat about all things musically magical.
Anyone and everyone who is working hard at their craft and creating original music from the heart. It could range from the delicate and acoustic to the heavy and hard hitting.
The first show is going to be huge as I’ve been brewing this particular playlist for a while now.
In future, if anyone would be like to be featured – just check out the contact tab at stereostickman.com or drop me a message on social media.
I’m always up for connecting with creative minds.
Thank you so much for the interview and opportunity BlueJay – you guys are amazing. I hope 2018 brings you plenty of awesomeness!
You should also check out Stereo Stickman on SoundCloud for some of their favourite artists.
Tune in to Rebecca’s session on Sunday the 17th December at 7pm by downloading the free BlueJay app here:
December 11, 2017
We are so excited to announce that Vapour Trail will host a BlueJay session on Thursday 14th December at 7pm!
Vapour Trail is a blog dedicated to discussing music and artists, covering a wide range of genres. They discuss the music that has had an impact on them, as well as promoting new and upcoming performers. Music blogs are a great way to discover new music or promote your own!
Read on to discover more about what Vapour Trail do in our exclusive interview.
Music is everything, a constant soundtrack to light up an otherwise drab life.
I think personally David Bowie is the biggest influence on my life. A beautiful freak, unafraid to constantly bend any expectations cast upon him.
I’m also very much influenced by other people unafraid to be weird, like Sparks, Sun Ra and Julian Cope.
I make a bit of electronic music, but I’m not ready for it to see the light of day.
Vapour Trail is a site that combines lots of old, overlooked music, and the brightest new guitar music. Not restricted to one genre, simply anything that excites me goes up on the site.
We’ve got no room for mediocrity. Our deputy editor is called Aimee and she likes a lot more electronic stuff, so there’s always a good mix.
Anything that gets me excited goes on the site, be it a garage rock group, an experimental pop artist, or a disco producer.
You’ll be subject to all of these should you choose to tune into the BlueJay sessions, and so much more.
It’s difficult, but I think the way to go about it is tell the truth all the time. If you only get excited about good things, when you get excited, someone will believe you love it. Quality control is important.
Madonnatron are really great, they were our album of the year, and we also interviewed them, and we’re also chuffed to have interviewed shoegaze legends Ride and Curve as well this year.
A number of other favourites at the moment include HMLTD, Starcrawler, Hotel Lux, Wolfgang Tilmans and Baxter Dury.
A mix of the old and new, newbies that make your pulse race and lost classics that make your heart pulsate.
Expect good tunes, and a lot of anecdotes that aren’t as funny as we think they are. I won’t tell you just what we’ll spin, you’ll have to tune in to hear.
We’ve got about 50% new and 50% old artists. The first show features Slick Rick, Starcrawler and Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft.
Don’t miss our exclusive session with Vapour Trail on Thursday December 14th! Download the free BlueJay app here:
December 4, 2017
We are delighted to announce that Loner Noise will host a BlueJay session on Monday the 18th of December at 7pm.
Below we have an exclusive interview with Loner Noise, where you can find out more about what they stand for and why they are so passionate about music.
Loner Noise is a record label that is made to suit the outsider. Its popularity has skyrocketed since it was formed in 2014, and it now boasts a wide range of original and less well-known artists.
Expect to discover some new and upcoming artists! We’re sure you’ll delight in Loner Noise’s mixture of diverse and interesting rock music.
Are they doing anything vital and different. There’s so much music out there and a vast swathe of it sounds the same as something else. A taste of originality is a wonderful thing.
There are two music industries. The one we operate in, the DIY one with gigging musicians in vans who are doing it for themselves and for the love of it will always endure, though a vast swathe of grassroots venues have been threatened up and down the country lately by gentrification.
The other one, the major label big business side of things, that’s probably about to undergo an upheaval.
Spotify’s never turned a profit in its history, so it’ll be interesting to see how that gets dealt with and whether it reaches a point of sustainability before it digs too much of a financial hole.
Probably that I give a shit about their creative output. I’d never work with anyone that I don’t wholeheartedly believe in, because life’s too short, and they know that.
It’s much easier to stay up late pushing out PR emails or getting tour contacts around your regular job when you think the music is worth it.
There are as many fantastic records coming out today as ever, you’ve just got to get your ears to the ground.
A lot of stuff that wouldn’t get funding to be released finds an audience now because putting out content has become completely democratised.
When on tour I once jumped into a concrete ceiling beam at a basement show and cracked my head open, playing another 45 minutes with blood streaming down my face and a concussion before finally going to hospital.
It was pretty rad, but the staples were unpleasant.
There’s no recipe for success any more, and most independent bands don’t have a lot of money to put behind their efforts, so it comes down to being consistently original and always excellent, but most importantly, thick skinned and persistent.
The amount of bands I know who could have been world beaters that burned out and broke up is tragic.
Signing contracts without a lawyer and a clear, cynical head.
A lot of bands have a horrendous mental burden that they place on themselves to succeed, and if the reality doesn’t measure up it can be quite difficult.
If there’s a record you’ve made that you think is good enough for you to break big, don’t expect it to happen, and instead just appreciate it as a piece of art you’ve made, that way you’ll be intrinsically much happier, and it might not feel like you’re emptying out your soul as much every time you put something out.
Stay organised, and remember to appreciate the little things.
Follow Loner Noise on Social Media:
Don’t miss our exclusive session with Loner Noise! Download the free BlueJay app here:
November 24, 2017
We are so excited to announce that UAC Management will host a BlueJay session at 7pm on Thursday 30th November! Expect a mix of tracks from a selection of talented artists, all managed by UAC. Read on to find out more about what UAC are about, including an exclusive interview from Hristo Penchev – Owner/Founder of UAC Management.
Launched in the UK in 2014, UAC Management offers a variety of services for artists; including PR, branding, marketing, media networking and design. With teams based in the UK, Germany and USA, they work to develop and manage emerging alternative artists.
In 2016, UAC established their own media platform under the name UpAndComingTV – offering web shows, band interviews and original segments on new and exciting acts that might be worth discovering. Having worked with 22 bands in its first year, releasing 39 videos and collaborating with artists such as Neck Deep and Enter Shikari, UAC’s media platform offers a space for artists to get their sound heard.
We will also be blessed with individual sessions from UAC artists! Here’s what’s to come:
Lady Jane’s Revenge – Wednesday 27th December at 7pm
All Tied Up – Wednesday 3rd January at 7pm
Talent. Passion. Distinguishable and unique character, vision and charisma. Personality and mentality. These are the most valuable qualities for us as they not only describe an artist that has the potential to be successful, but also influential status in the music industry from a business perspective.
We look for artists who are happy to participate in the professional, respective relationship that we believe needs to be established for progress to be achieved by all parties. So, respect, trust, patience and maturity are also crucial qualities that we value very much.
For us, only one thing is certain – the industry will be always successful, influential and well-performing. We can never predict the exact shape and form that the music sphere will transform itself to, we only know that changes will constantly occur and musicians will need to adjust themselves in order to be successful.
However, we can be always sure that the ability of the artist to invoke and encourage emotional contact with the audience will always be a valued talent that would never be out dated or irrelevant.
Musicians face many obstacles in the current music industry. There is a growing tendency of focusing too much on the business performance of an artist or group as a brand and ignoring the social aspects.
Not being able or willing to fulfil people’s perceptions of success and battling negative prejudices can be very damaging for the mental state of a person when trying to develop a profile in the music business.
I believe the aspect that our musicians are mostly impressed and attracted by when it comes to collaborating with UAC Management is not entirely and necessarily what we do, but how we do it.
The specifics and the unique characteristics of the duties that we perform are based on the very personal and dedicated approach that we utilize in the process of helping artists to achieve their goals. We offer every musician constant and personal support, as well as sincere opinions.
UpAndComingTV is a project that I have been interested in developing for a very long time. Being fortunate enough to spend a considerable amount of time in communication with a vast selection of artists caused me to notice that there is a significant and alarming disproportion between the true and genuine profiles of the successful musicians and the narratives about them that the media is building and presenting.
So, our biggest intention behind creating our own media platform was to provide the general audience with the opportunity to experience the feeling of personal interaction with a successful artist. Our main goal was showcase the individual features and personalities behind the products that everyone knows about and give these artists the chance and the freedom to appear in the way that they want to, instead of promoting themselves as they might feel obliged to.
Collaborating with new, fresh and young acts is such an attractive concept for us, due to the level of satisfaction that cooperating with highly driven, ambitious and excited to learn and progress personalities brings us. We have very strict and précised idea of success that is not based entirely on achieving short term goals, which many other establishments in the industry would be tempted by.
Developing a young band from the early stages of its career gives us the opportunity to correctly shape and form mentality and general approach during the crucial stages of the development process, rather than working towards the very exhausting and time-consuming task to change and modify already constructed perceptions and notions that older bands may have.
Not to mention that such collaborations give us a big sense of purpose as well – to be aware that people count on you to help them achieve something that they are so personally invested in is something very meaningful to us.
The main purpose and principle of the music is something that we will always focus on – to encourage a positive impact and influencing the lives of people seeking comfort through music.
Having said that, we highly appreciate artistic value and artists that operate through talent, passion, vision and character. Hence, we do not put any limitations to our preferences in terms of music genres to collaborate with.
There is a recent story that we feel very proud of. Not long ago, we started a collaboration with Heart Support – an award-winning non-profitable organization (2016 Artist Philanthropic Award at the Alternative Press Awards). They aim to provide every music fan struggling with addiction, depression and suicide idealisation, to find hope by uniting the best bands in the industry and fans alike; carrying a message of hope, healing, and restoration.
The result is an amazing community developed by like-minded people that are working towards creating a positive impact to the world, founded by the incredible Jake Luhrs, also known as the front man of the Grammy-nominated August Burns Red!
We are actually very proud of this partnership, as this opportunity is providing us with the amazing chance to be involved in a movement that is much bigger than us and to truly inspire and influence a meaningful and important change, as well as to contribute to the community that has provided us with so much through our lives.
The music business environment continues to establish new standards and requirements in terms of operational efficiency, dynamics between the different parties and constructing methodologies in the process of achieving the desired results that all the participants in the music world have to adapt to in order to establish a sustainable career.
Long story short, the music management’s duties are not simply directed towards generating professional opportunities and providing them to the client, but mainly to recognize the importance of being capable of participating in every part of the music industry cycle in order to assure the highest possible chance for an artist to achieve career growth and improvement.
Usually, a considerable amount of the new and young artists lack the ability to objectively and rationally judge themselves and the situations they experience, which can lead to very damaging consequences in terms of their career progress.
Some acts stop investing effort in their career, yet they have high expectations regarding the results that they receive and tend to blame everyone but themselves. Some groups always seek help and are very vocal about not receiving such in the process of their career development, but at the same time constructive criticism is always claimed as unreasonable by them.
Overall, many bands would present themselves as developed professionals and have high demands, but would still tend to base important decisions regarding their growth on personal and emotional perceptions and preferences that are not related with the professional aspect of their activity in any way.
Believe in yourself, but always assess yourself, your talent and your career objectively. The music industry is full of people that want to use you and benefit from you in one way or another, so it’s important to be careful and understand the dynamics between the different operations in the business. However, never be sceptical. Don’t allow your fears, prejudices or reservations to damage the progress of your career, because only trusting and working with other people can provide you with the opportunity to achieve personal and professional growth to the level that you are targeting.
Always be respectful towards everything that you are generating from both the industry professionals and the audience – no one owes you anything, so be kind and thankful for every chance for exposure that is being presented to you. Be persistent and devoted to your goals and don’t let the opinions coming from other people, the society or anyone in general affect your passion and desire to succeed through your talents. Only the persistent, patient and the truly devoted acts manage to achieve success, so never let anything slow you down.
Be sure to tune into UAC Management’s exclusive session at 7pm Thursday 30th November! Download the free app here:
October 10, 2017
We are so happy to have Singer/Songwriter Liam McClair host a BlueJay session on Wednesday October 11th at 7pm!
“A genuinely gifted songwriter who matches the depth of his writing with the passion in his voice” – Chris Hawkins BBC 6 Music
Liam has been making waves amongst the Mancunian music scene since 2014 and has gone from performing at small venues to headlining his own sell-out shows in 2015 and 2016.
He has played some of the UKs major festivals such as Kendall Calling and The Isle of Wight Festival, as well as opening for the likes of Circa Waves, Blossoms, Billy Bragg, Newton Faulkner and Echo & The Bunnymen.
We caught up with Liam to find out a bit more about life as a professional singer!
I’m a singer songwriter based in Manchester, playing Acoustic Pop with a sort of Folk and Indie influence.
Music means a lot, it’s now my profession which is amazing and something I never thought would happen! I love hearing new tracks and exploring new genres.
I was a big fan of a lot of male singer songwriters growing up. There seemed to be a boom in that area with people like Paolo Nutini, James Morrison, Ray LaMontagne, James Blunt, Newton Faulkner etc all coming to prominence around the same time. As I’ve got a little older I love listening to Alt-J and Radiohead and would love to record music like theirs, it’s so unique and interesting. At the same time, listening to Neil Young and James Taylor – I really admire their acoustic tracks.
A big mix really! My Mum and Dad had an eclectic taste, from Joni Mitchell to Radiohead and The Rolling Stones to The Beatles. Having 2 older Sisters meant listening also to lots of Shania Twain and whichever boy band was popular at the time!
I’ve got to say I love a bit of Stevie Wonder, so either Signed, Sealed, Delivered or Superstitious.
I like going to the pub and then if I were to go out for a night out it would be great to see some live music or listen to some old Motown songs. I used to love that as a student, discovering a dingey bar playing old Motown songs.
I’m not sure really, I binge on crisps! But if its in terms of music, I got really into early 2000s RnB so Ashanti and Usher etc.
A good mix of tunes, some solemn classic singer songwriter woeful tunes and then some more upbeat and enjoyable tracks to shake your hips to.