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Billy Gro – Thoughts on Less Love, the music industry, and Snow White Trash

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Billy Gro – Thoughts on Less Love, the music industry, and Snow White Trash

The single Snow White Trash (Trump’s Americans) by the Oklahoma Rock band LESS LOVE is angry and it is loud. With a uniquely strange video that has been nominated for a Los Angeles Music Video award and a growing range of airplay interest in the “censored for your protection,” radio-edit version of the very explicit song it is beginning to appear this might be the breaking point for a band that has just spent 14 years in artist development.

Enlightening us on his own personal experience with the band Billy Gro took the time to speak candidly in a recent letter to the editor.

Billy: Any time I am called upon to discuss music, or the industry built to sell it, I feel like I am discussing a beloved relative that has died. Sorrow, difficulty in forming cogent thoughts about the matter, and memory probably clouded by nostalgia muddle my attempts at discussing it.

I joined Less Love many years back [2006] initially as a way to assist Sky with some recording, arrangement, and sometimes songwriting. Intermittent meetings slowly evolved into a full-on band experience, complete with Less Love, and my passion project Wondernaut, sharing studio space, practice space, members, and more. Sky always had a nascent vision for what he wanted, and I tried to always help bring it forth. I often felt like that while he heard a symphony in his head, I was transposing nursery rhymes on a baby’s first keyboard. While I think Sky was often satisfied, I often felt adrift trying to help craft songs.

This is one of many things where Sky and I think differently. I always relied on manic inspiration, perhaps too heavily. Sky had a more workaday approach. “Inspiration is for amateurs,” said Chuck Close. Sky said treat it like a full-time job. And it worked for a while. We produced some good stuff. One of the overarching problems was that of finding a reliable singer.

In my formative years, I developed a worldview about so many facets of life that turned out to be just plain wrong. Among them, the average person was a passionate connoisseur of music, and that musicians strongly desired to play in bands for a living. Neither of these is true. Tied into this is that Less Love had difficulty keeping singers around. Sky had always gravitated to wanting a female singer, and a lot of them came and went. Dilletantes that liked the idea of singing in a band, but no real interest in the practical reality of it. I was trying somewhat hard to get Wondernaut off the ground, so I didn’t really want to be Less Love’s main singer. Sky had his own reservations.

In the middle of all of this, the music industry and music fandom were changing. People stopped buying music. People stopped caring about music. But then again, I don’t think they ever cared about it in the first place. To the average person, “Let it Be” is no more profound than “Shake It Off”. Music was something to simply be enjoyed in a cursory manner, not pondered upon. I had for most of my life mistakenly thought differently. Despite that, people came to care even less for music when it all became free on YouTube and streaming platforms. Simple economics. Unlimited supply equates to less demand and less value. Quality control plummets. “Paper plates vs. china” to paraphrase Dave Pensado.

This shift in the music industry was a little soul-crushing to me. I am something of a dreamer and my dreamworld came crashing down. A lie I told myself. A reality I turned a blind eye to. A cultural shift that saw rock music become virtually ignored, and music, in general, become homogenous and generic. I find it ironic that in an era when people are rabidly clamoring for diversity, that there are fewer songwriters contributing to Top 40 music than at any time I can remember. And the millions of other songwriters out there clamoring for attention are all stymied by cultural groupthink.

Around the time that Spotify became free on phones and my blossoming realization flowered, Sky was trying to write music and prepare for the next phase of Less Love. In my self-imposed grief, I lost the will to contribute anymore. The music industry was dying. Rock was dead. Maybe I was a bit too needy for validation from the world. What was the point of writing music anymore?

While I helped out in the studio as much as I could, I couldn’t really summon the desire to do it anymore. Touring, press, performances? I lost my desire. Even for my own project. But I gave my best effort at the time. I think?! Despite it all, I still cared about music and trying to help my friend and bandmate.

I remember working on “Snow White Trash” in this period. Sky had a vision for the song. I tried to help facilitate it. A particular drum beat. Guitar tone. Solo. I tried to help with vocal exercises and harmonies. I feel like it came together pretty well. I loved the offensive lyrics and how it would make people squirm when they heard them or when we discussed them out loud. Puritanism runs deep in America regardless of your political bent. We brought in several musicians to try to lend a voice to particular parts. A few different drummers if I remember correctly. I think I played the bass. Sky had long before had most of the guitar parts hashed out. It was just a matter of guitar tones and overall vibe. Making sure we didn’t let it devolve into the pitch-perfect nonsense that dominates earbuds these days.

And when Sky showed me his idea for the video, I heartily laughed out loud. We seldom see eye to eye on many things, but we definitely share a love of particular kinds of humor. The subtext of the chameleon and the subtle movements in the video relating to the music. The idea of people having to look at a near stationary image for several minutes in an age when attention spans are ridiculously stunted. Goddamn, it made me laugh!

Eventually, I grieved enough, but both Sky and I gravitated towards new phases in life. Around the same time, we both decided to leave America for more foreign locales. Sky to the Philippines, me to Russia. And we arrived at our destinations to learn that people outside of America still seem to care about rock music. So, while we are separated by thousands of miles, I still feel a part of Less Love. And I will always try to contribute if I can. I will do what I can in Russia, he in the Philippines, and maybe we can find that audience that the numbed-up, dumbed-down masses of America couldn’t provide.

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1924 Music Group Signs 90’s R&B Vocalist Qui Qui Martin To Independent Label

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1924 Music Group Signs 90's R&B Vocalist Qui Qui Martin To Independent Label

1924 Music Group is creating opportunities for the next generation of music stars. Founded by brothers Ivory and Jay Hawthorne, these two siblings are bringing a dream of theirs to life while ushering in the next set of music stars. Hailing from the historic city of Baltimore, Maryland, this independent label is changing the landscape in Baltimore. By creating a musical safe haven in an area that does not possess a major recording label, 1924 stands out among the other emerging indie labels opening the door to much success and influence.

Having signed rising stars Yung Inkky, Tio Taylor, GG C Mals,TPT Moody, Danger Aurora, Doll E Taylor, Chris Michael, Official Arri, Lotto Supreme, and engaged in a Co-Management deal with Kiya Alexius, 1924 Music Group has all of the resources necessary to take talent to the mainstream music market. With the diverse relationships they have built in the music industry with music legends such as Troy Taylor, and Drumma Boy Fresh, they have the backing from some of music’s most influential hitmakers in the game. Co-founder and owner of this independent label Ivory Hawthorne has had the pleasure of working with Lyfe Jennings, Just’us (formerly signed to Mary J Blige’s Matriarchs Records), Riplay, and currently has a joint partnership with Phantom Boyz Music.

Working with so many gifted and talented acts in music, 1924 is thrilled to announce the signing of Qui Qui Martin, the former lead singer of the 90’s girl group Isyss. Martin had this to say about signing with 1924: “1924 is more than just a label, it’s a family unit, a comradery. I feel my most creative when working with my team at 1924. Everyone seems to work organically with one another. 1924 isn’t just in the business of signing anyone. They must have a special talent and stardom that coincides with the other label mates. This in turn solidifies what 1924 music group is all about. Facilitating the careers of future stars. When I think of 1924 I think of a new age bad boy records.

It is clear that this label has all of its artists‘ best interests at heart and is applying pressure to creating diamonds that will shine brightly for the world to see. Currently, 1924 is working on putting out Qui Qui Martin’s forthcoming EP with the help of Lil Ronnie and working on Yung Inkky’s new material.

Press play below to stream Qui Qui Martin’s new “Nobody” single featuring fellow 1924 artist Tio Taylor.

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2022 Looks Like a pleasing year for Uva Musix Group (UMG)

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2022 Looks Like a pleasing year for Uva Musix Group (UMG)

Uva Musix Group (UMG)

New times have brought new challenges everywhere, especially in the music industry. With the new technology, anyone with access to the internet can make music, share it and promote it with the world. Because of this, it is difficult for new musicians to find the right music company to stand behind them and support them. So how do we know what is best? Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, smarter, and stronger, with a big desire to get things right. We want to help people with the experience gained and guide them to do the right thing.

A new music record label, founded early in 2021, from High Point, North Carolina, UMG (Uva Musix Group) is taking action with their uniqueness, offering a pleasant music experience for their clients, owned by three young men, Jordan Dillard, Derek Marshall, and Olaf Moreno, with their hearts in Hip-Hop/ Rap/ Melodic genre.

What makes them different from others? They will provide full support, stand strong behind their clients, let them focus on their originality, making great music and they will do the rest for them. “Putting the artist first and trying to help the artists grow and gain exposure,” they said.

UMG is all about passion and respect, which nowadays is very difficult to find. They will help their artist with their creativity, bringing out the best of them and feeding their fans with it. For one music artist, the most important thing is for his music to be heard everywhere and to achieve positive results, and for that to happen, it needs the support of a good and honest record label.

Once Bobby Unser said “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet”, and UMG is a big golden opportunity, especially for a local artist who seeks to leap into action with success. For starters, people can follow them on their Twitter and Instagram accounts which will follow in addition, and in the future on more platforms.

https://twitter.com/uvamusixgroup?s=21
https://www.instagram.com/uvamusixgroup/

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HOW EYAH CARVED HIMSELF A NICHE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

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HOW EYAH CARVED HIMSELF A NICHE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

No one took Sven Zwetsloot seriously when he stated his intentions of getting into the music industry. Even those closest to him thought it was a phase because, after all, he didn’t come from a musical family. However, Sven was determined to prove everyone wrong. Despite the mockery, he’d work hard and silenced his detractors once and for all.

Today, Sven Zwetsloot, better known by his stage name Eyah, is a Reggaeton music producer based in Texel, the Netherlands. Eyah is popular in the industry for originality, which is showcased in his last tracks.

As a composer, Eyah takes pride in his original compositions and tunes. One would believe that his journey in the music industry has therefore been easy, but that is not the case.

Eyah has had to learn a few things that have kept him going. By the time he was in the 12th grade, he was making house beats despite having no support system. Even though he didn’t have a proper place to practice, he made 2 tracks every day for two years until he got his own place. That’s how he developed his adaptable workflow, something he appreciates as a producer today. When Eyah turned 18, he started looking for ways to turn his passion into something profitable, but it didn’t happen overnight.

Eyah’s biggest influences are Tainy and Sky Rompiendo. He has learned how to creatively incorporate influences from science fiction and horror genres to create a sound that resonates with a wider audience.

Crafting recognizable lyrics, coupled with a groovy beat that the listener can appreciate is one of Eyah’s greatest joys. He conveys his feelings through every song he works on, and this is something very few producers can do. For now, he is working on some new projects that are waiting to be released. He’s been working with three big names in the industry and the works are in the final stages of production.

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