EVeryman Interview

1. What are you working on right now?
I’m Currently working on my new EVeryman solo EP entitled “Good Deeds.”  I am also working on finishing up new final Little giants EP that I began with Pumpkin.  Little Giants is Pumpkin and my hip hop group.  We are a throw back to 90’s era hip hop. I have also started the process of creating a 501(c)(3) non for profit foundation called The Little Giant Acorn Foundation For The Arts.
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2. What was your favorite 90’s jam?
That’s a tough one, but Award Tour by A tribe Called Quest might have to be it…Maybe Root Down by the Beastie Boys also…
3. How long have you been making music?
I have been playing with my family’s records since I can remember I wanted to be a dj and a rapper.  I have actually been making my own music since 2007.  I started freestyle rapping in 2001 with my college roommate who went by DropAflo at the time.  He was a famous rapper in Italy for a time.
4. What inspires you?
 
I am inspired by film, tv shows, the media, politics, women and other music artists.  especially old school hip hop. Daily interactions with our fellow humans…
5. What changes would you like to see to the music industry to make it more profitable?
I think artists should get more love and respect.  It’s hard with so many new producers and artists out there.  Music is easy to get for free.  I think no one should sell music anymore… Just make money off shows and tours.  Live performance is where it is at anyway for me.
6 . What would you like to do more of?
More tours and more live shows that benefit a charity or go towards educating the youth in arts and music.
7. Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?
Running several programs to help give free arts and music education to those who want it.  Making music and making films that help to promote positive change in the world.  Working with likeminded peers to help progress the arts community while helping on a much larger global scale through arts and music and theatre events.
8. What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?
Make sure you are not attached to a final outcome.  Don’t quit doing it if you truly love it.  If you don’t find what your passion is and go and do that because the world truly needs those who are putting their energy into something they actually care about. Don’t be an artists for the money.  If you’re in it for the money GET OUT! We are artists because we want to express something truly human about ourselves.  Because we want to share our perspective on the world through the abstract.  Don’t be fooled by glitter and gold.  The entertainment industry is pretty messed up.  But it does allow us to shine in our own way if we can detach fro the “right” way to do things.  There is no “right” way if you are focused and committed to your art no matter what then you are doing it right!
9. What are typical mistakes people make when trying to pursue this career?
They are attached to an outcome… They are in it for the money… They expect results right way… They compare themselves to their peers and artists that inspire them… Remember you are you and the world wants to see you, not your version of who you think they want you to be.  BE YOU!!! ❤

10. Could you fill us in on the Little Giant Acorn Foundation?image1.JPG
 

Nick “Pumpkin” Alvarado was a beloved musician, clown and most importantly, friend to so many in our community. While he is sadly no longer with us, his spirit lives on through his music and the thousands of people he touched over the years. To honor his memory, the Little Giant Acorn Foundation memorial fund has been established to help childrn who want to pursue a career in music or performing arts that otherwise couldn’t afford to.

As of now, this very moment, we are raising funds to ensure that we can have the money for legal fees to become a 501-(c)(3), set up a board of trustees and sponsors, create a fundraising video campaign, and to organize a team to teach our first round of Little Giant Acorn Summer camp!

Another goal of the fundraising is to finish Nick’s music. Pumpkin and Little Giants both had music that was nearly finished that still needs to be released and shared wit the masses. All the funds raised here will go back into the memorial fund. A remix charity album will be created by Pumpkin’s Peers with remixes from : Fort Knox Five, JPOD, K-Lab, CloZee, Spiltmilk, and many more!  Grassroots has made for which all sales go to the foundation and we are also selling memorial t-shirts.

By purchasing this limited edition t-shirt, you are ensuring Nick’s spirit continues to shine bright while also helping to inspire the next generation of little acorns.

 

We had our first foundation fundraiser on October 28th The First Annual Pumpkin Ball, in which we raised over $3000 for the charity.

Stay tuned for much more on special events, classes, workshops, and how you can help children who can’t afford an education in the arts and music on their own. ♥

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2017 EVERYMAN AND QDUP TOUR INFO:Qdup Everyman Logo_Solo.jpg
 
LA’s Evan ‘Everyman’ Shafran and Washington, DC’s Jason ‘Qdup’ Brown are embarking on a co-headlining tour together in 2017! We are looking to have the guys hit February through March. Let me know if you have any holds we can grab.
Over the past several years, both have earned increased recognition by releasing acclaimed original music and delivering genre-defying DJ sets consistently at clubs and festivals across the US and abroad.
In the wake of tragedy, the last year has thrust the two of them into the spotlight having each respectively stepped into the shoes of their fallen friends and music collaborators Nicholas ‘Pumpkin’ Alvarado and Jon Horvath of Fort Knox Five. Qdup has been touring extensively with Steve Raskin from the Fort Knox family performing a unique Four Deck Set that incorporates live mash-ups and turntablism since the passing of Jon H in late 2015. Similarly, Everyman has been rocking festivals and club shows heavily over the spring and summer since the passing of Nick earlier in 2016. His well-received Pumpkin tribute sets included a showcase of their Little Giants hip hop project, which Pumpkin and Everyman collaborated on. On their forthcoming tour, Qdup and Everyman will showcase Everyman’s distinct MC skills with a hip hop set featuring original music – including Little Giants work as well as other material. Along with their separate DJ sets, Qdup and Everyman are sure to bring a true block party vibe that will run the gamut of dance floor infused breaks, hip hop, funk, house and bass music that the boys are known for championing.
In honor of Pumpkin, Everyman has recently started a society called ‘Little Giant Acorn Foundation for the Arts’, a not-for-profit charity organization established to provide music and arts programs to children who do not have the means to attain them otherwise. A portion of all proceeds from this tour will go to benefit the foundation and keep the Pumpkin legacy alive. 
 

Shamik Interview

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Photos by Kelly Jacob

  1. What are you working on right now?

 Keeping busy at the moment. The latest release on my label, Sensing Waves, just came out. I have been training in Vancouver for the past year to become a voice actor. I just finished my commercial demo, so I’m getting ready to start auditioning for things on
line. I have a bunch of new beats on the go for a few different projects as well. It’s been a good year, and I’m just getting everything in order this month to keep the momentum going into 2017.

 

 2. What was some of your earliest musical influences?

 My sister and I grew up singing in our religious organization, so music has been around since I was very young. It’s great because I had roots in traditional Indian music, and was also heavily influenced by 80’s & 90’s Western pop culture. I had tapes, listened to my dad’s records (everything from Stevie Wonder to Santana), and used to borrow music out of the public library. I was pretty into Michael Jackson w
hen I was a kid. I remember seeing footage of his concerts when Thriller and Bad came out thinking he was the coolest entertainer in the world. I listened to the radio a lot and watched MuchMusic. I used to record audio from the radio and listen to it over and over again. My sister used to record all the Much programs to VHS, and we’d watch those repeatedly too.

  1. How long have you been making music?

 All in all, I have been performing my whole life and I released my first album in 2006. I have been beatboxing for about 15 years. I started performing at underground shows around 2002, proper shows in 2005, international in 2007. I started producing in 2012. When I was a kid and teenager, I also sang and played tablas.

  1. What inspires you?

 Music and nature. My day to day involves listening to records and looking for music online. So not much has changed since the VHS days haha. Everything is just a bit more accessible now.

Living on the west coast with mountains and ocean around me keeps me motivated and inspired.

Photography is another one of my passions, so I try to go out and take photos every week all over the city. I’ve been in BC for 8 years now and am always discovering new places.

Ideas inspire me as well. I tend to take on a few projects at a time, so I’m usually excited while I’m in the different stages of creation.

 

  1. What changes would you like to see to the music industry to make it more profitable?

 I hope things comes full circle again and more people pay for music. Bandcamp releases, physical copies, concert tickets. It’s all already happening, but I hope it increases even more. I know Spotify and Apple Music are pretty convenient, and there is value to being easily discoverable…but I hope there’s more people seeking out stuff instead of hoping a playlist will do the work.

 

        6 . What would you like to do more of?  Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

 I want to keep focusing on Too Attached. The project challenges me to get betToo Attached press shot.jpgter as a producer and write songs differently. I think what Vivek and I are doing is pretty fun and freeing, so I look forward to our growth. I would like my Channeling India series to get noticed in the UK. Some of the best Indian electronic pioneers are from the UK, and I looked up to them when I made Channeling India vol 1. It would be great to share my music out there where there is a huge Indian community. I still feel like the series has somehow gone over a lot of people’s heads, but I’m sure there will still be a volume 3 down the road. My ideal life would be making music, getting booked as a voice actor, getting better at photography, and building on my label. I would love to have more money to spend on Sensing Waves, doing physical releases when there is even more interest, and putting more energy into the visual components. I haven’t toured overseas since 2012, so I would love to take my music internationally again and also tour more with my sister. I also aspire to keep attaining more balance in my life. It can be difficult to navigate having so many goals, so I hope I can live life more seamlessly. At the moment, it’s kind of a healthy chaos.

  1. What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

 Make goals. Short term and long term. I have a whiteboard on my wall kind of like a to do list. I write on it weekly and cross things out as I go. I find that it’s very much like keeping my eyes on the prize, or having a daily reminder of what I’m working towards. Many times my short term goals are what I need to accomplish to attain my long term goals.

Invest in your career. Your art is your own small business, and you have to spend money to make money. It’s like you are the plant and you are also watering it. Make art because you want to and for yourself. If you have the idea within you, then that’s all you need to begin. Focusing on the results or what people will think can leave you lost or distracted. It doesn’t matter how old you are or if you’re just starting out. You are on your own timeline.

Apply for everything. A lot of my early success came from applying for every festival, sending my CD to promoters in the mail, and spending time reading about events. If you don’t get booked or accepted, keep applying!

Embrace your day job. I know a lot of my peers who have quit their day jobs, and found a way to make art full time. All the power to them. However, if you are funding all your personal projects through working, you have to find a way to be content at work. I used to look at my job as a burden or time wasted, but now I am grateful to have the means to make it all happen. It’s good to have a safety net. I also think it’s great to keep increasing your skills. You might get really good at one thing and want to pursue that…but sometimes having several skills can lead to multiple incomes down the road. I have been teaching myself Ableton Live, Lightroom, Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro all via the internet. DIY!!

 

  1. What are typical mistakes people make when trying to pursue this career?

 I can’t speak for everyone, but I think my biggest mistake would be not believing in myself. I have had a lot of ups and downs in my career. After every tour or release I’ve wanted more even if things were great. Other times, I’ve felt like a vision was overlooked or failed. I think once I turned the 10 year corner of my music career, my faith was renewed. I know now that I just have to keep putting in work. I didn’t think I could become a producer. I thought I would have to spend all this money on gear and making a studio. Now that I have a studio in my place (after steadily buying stuff over the years), it feels pretty natural. I can’t sit and regret not getting here sooner, but I know that I can do a lot if I keep going for it.

 

  1. I saw Too Attached when you played in Edmonton, and I loved it! What can we expect from Too Attached in the future?

Cheers man. This past summer we did 3 dates with Lal, and played at Pride in Toronto…and we recently did 7 dates opening for Tegan & Sara across Canada. I have been working on a bunch of beats for Vivek, and she has sent me some demos as well. It’s a unique dynamic being in a sibling duo with me in Vancouver and her in Toronto…so we have been sending each other ideas via the internet. We are hoping to spend the next few months writing new material, and we should have a new album out in the fall of next year. This past tour was our focus for most of September and October, so it will be nice to make music again. Our first EP was created with us handling our parts in our own cities, but I will most likely go to Toronto next year…so we can complete the album there together.

 

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Photos by Kelly Jacob

Nada Deva Interview

 What are you working on right now? 

Currently, I am in the middle of writing a 3 track EP for BioWare. My tracks will be featured in the game “Mass Effect: Andromeda.” The music could be be playing in 3 different game hubs. The Aya race outdoor area, the humanoid club, or in an intergalactic pirate bar.

 

 

 Were you influenced by any old tapes/cds? In what way?
I’ve been listening to Global Underground featuring Deep Dish recorded live in Moscow since the year 2000. This is the set that got me deep into the realm of electronic music. To this day I listen, to these sets annually. The progressive and nostalgic sounds have been timeless and appeals most to me during the fall. This set still inspires me to this day.
 How long have you been making music? 
I’ve been dabbling into production for years but didn’t start to seriousAH20161.jpgly produce music until 2012. This was the year of after the death of my mom. I wrote the album “Life after death” soon afterwards. The album represents the hard fight my mom had and the aftermath of my personal healing to follow.
 What changes would you like to see to the music industry to make it more profitable? 
This is hard to say. Every year the music has been changing radically from a traditional supply and demand of record sales to 360 artist branding. Hopefully it will be easier for artists to get on streaming platforms like spotify to make a profit.
 What would you like to do more of? 
Using more analog synths. Currently I am using software synths but thinking about getting a virus synth.
 Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?
To be still producing music on a regular. Some people take pictures but I like to write music. A song that I write is like a personal time capsule. Every time I listen to one of my older songs, It brings be back to the era of my life of when i made the track.
I loved your set at Astral Harvest this year, can we expect this as a new direction for Nada Deva? It seemed like there was a lot more bass house in the mix. 
Yes! We are still on a Nu Disco and Brazilian bass tip but we are always actively still the UK garage and bass house vibes. Over the years, we try not to conform to a single genre but take the elements we love about hot/current genres and just build sets to our personal liking. We have been getting more into tech house.
How did you get involved with Astral Harvest? What are your responsibilities? 
I can’t remember what year to be exact but I will guess 2003/4.  My friend’s older brother “Bron Wells” (Catch the beat (CJSR)), was playing at the infamous “GOMP” event Intox 2. I showed up with vinyl to play the open decks with success! From then, I started hanging out with the crew and start playing at the afterparties and eventually joined GOMP. The original volunteers of Gomp was a group of friends that was ended up forming “Techno Hippy Crew”. They started with a handful of hall parties, a couple of bar nights and eventually threw the first Astral Harvest music festival. Within the first year, i was involved as an artist and a wakachan volunteer. Not until year 2 I joined up and started playing different roles over the years. I currently work with the talent team on bookings and programming.
What are some of the most important factors for artists applying for Astral Harvest?
Focus on your craft and all aspects behind your branding. We look at the relevance, social media, if they are a serious artist. Do they have a local or internet following? If they post a mix, is it mastered? In a world of 1000s+ bedroom Djs, we like to support artists that are taking their craft to the next level.
What can we expect from Astral Harvest this year? Any teasers or updates you’d like to share?
A general re vamp of the programming, headliners in the manor and more of a psy/prog presence . Also expect a couple of new crew showcases.

Beat Burglar Interview

 

I sat down with James McCormick, aka Beat Burglar, and chatted about his career, his aspirations, and I hope you find it as titillating as I did. You can find links to his music and his upcoming show at the bottom of the interview.

I give you…

Beat Burglar

What are you working on right now?15319579_10154591524201648_883078701_n

At the moment I have a few things on the burner. As far as production and djing goes I have a handful of original tracks I am looking to release in the new year along side a bunch of edits and remixes.

https://soundcloud.com/the-beat-burglar

The production team and myself from Wheelhouse Productions are also working very hard on our upcoming year which includes our annual 80‘s Theme ski trip to Jasper in February and the new design and production of this seasons Manor stage at Astral Harvest Music and Arts festival. Along side the production I am also doing the Marketing & Social Media Management with Astral Harvest again this year which entails the new platform for the festival as well as all our promotional material and events leading up to the harvest in July.

I also have a handful of shows I am performing at starting with a New Years event in Edmonton at The Brixx with Poppa Squats & Klusterfunk.

It’s going to be an exciting year for sure!

 

I know you’re one heckuva DJ, what kind of genres do you play?

I play a wide range of music. Good music is good music I always say.  Trip-Hop and hip hop were my first true loves when I was introduced to electronic music. I grew up with some really great musical influences in my family and my fathers jukebox which was always stocked with an amazing collection of old 45’s.  They easiest way to put it is: I love hip hop, breaks, house, downtempo and drum & bass as the basis for tempo and percussion. Atmospherically, I definitely lean towards and really groovy funk, soul or disco for dance music but I really like my folk, rock, blues, reggae and everything in between. So it gives me a lot of options to play dance music and chill stuff. All of that ends up kind of being peppered with my love of turntablism.

 

How long have you been making music?

I have been playing music and DJing for almost 12 years. As soon as I graduated high school I went to Shambhala and watched enough DJ Shadow videos to be convinced to buy turntables. I used to play bass in band camp when I was in school but that doesn’t really count. I spent more time disrupting my class than learning. I also love to play drums and have been dabbling in that for about 10 years, and I have been working on electronic music production for a solid 5 years now.

 

What inspires you?

I would say music and people inspire me. The people I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by really makes me happy. Edmonton is full of so many driven, amazing people that it’s a very good place to continue to inspire and be inspired.  It’s crazy how tight and deep the connection run amongst the music community across Western Canada. That perpetual growth of family that stems from the festival culture is truly extraordinary.

 

What changes would you like to see to the music industry to make it more profitable?

Well I feel the industry can be incredible profitable now. Flashback 20 years, the most lucrative route as a big musician was touring and record sales. Now with the way content and media is availbale, festival touring seems to be the real money maker and the festivals continue to expand season to season. But I also feel like its that age old struggle being the little guy on the totem pole wether you’re a band or a dj. I would love to see every dj/producer/band I know make a living doing their thing. You can make some good money once you’ve put in the work and gained that success playing what you love, but I’ve never expected to make money from this. I think people that want to get involved in the industry and make would have the best luck doing corporate gigs, or if you are skilled at lighting, sound or construction there are always cool projects to be involved in. The only way I can see things being more profitable for me is to keep plugging away and keep putting in the time, or if the government paid me unemployment to be a dj 😉 ei for djs. That would be the life.

Who were you, or would you, feel nervous about meeting?

DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Bonobo and John from Fort Knox 5 have always been those people on my list. I’ve met the four of them now. Hard to pick the words to say to people like that. Total fan boy mode. The other person on that hit list would be Gord Downie from The Hip, The Chemical Brothers and Norman Cook aka Fat Boy Slim.

What would you like to do more of? Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?

I think I would like to do more traveling/gigging for sure but I’m very happy where I’m at. In 10 years, I see myself doing the same things I’m doing now but bigger and better. I have plans to build the studio of my dreams and a bigger shop for building and working on projects. Contributing to this movement though Wheelhouse, my music and Astral Harvest,  doing what I can to bring dance music to dance people is really a dream come true.

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