Music Premiere: "Vibe" with Fly By Midnight in our Exclusive Interview

 
Slavo (L) and Justin Bryte (R) of Fly By Midnight.

Slavo (L) and Justin Bryte (R) of Fly By Midnight.

It was a warm Wednesday night last week and as we walked the streets of New York City, the Lower West Side was alive and buzzing with the promise of a good time. We were heading to the swanky Soho House, known for it's vintage decadence, beautifully constructed menus, and mixologists with enough flair to shake a room and enough talent to pour a drink you'd never forget. New York-based, Retro-Pop duo, Fly By Midnight was hosting a secret show at The Vinyl Room and we were the last lucky few to get a glimpse of their musical energy in action. 

The stage was blue-lit, warm, and set up for an hour and a half of music that would soon capture a performance few could forget. Fly By Midnights' Justin Bryte and Slavo even having just touched down from a London tour one day prior were full of excitement and absolutely ready to not only embrace the mics, but showcase their brand new single: "Vibe". With electricity in the air and the crowd buzzing, the duo leaped onstage and got to work showing those in attendance the results of their hard work.

With Justin on the keys and Slavo on guitar, their vibrant sounds merged perfectly as their combined vocals told stories of young love, the pitfalls of modern dating, and how exciting it is finding that special vibe with someone new. The audience couldn't help dancing to every single track; a live showcase turned into a full party once the retro-pop team jumped off-stage and sang among the crowd. In all, Fly By Midnight is a brilliant duo that not only commands a stage but also make their passion for music shine brightly in each track. From the retro head-bobbing beats, catchy pop hooks, and lyrics that anyone can relate to, we can all agree that these guys will undoubtedly make a mark in music.

Before you run off to listen to their latest track, "Vibe", read our interview below with Justin and Slavo to get an exclusive inside look into their inspiration behind the music, touring advice for artists, and most importantly, who their favorite super heroes are.

Slavo (L) and Justin Bryte (R) of Fly By Midnight.

Slavo (L) and Justin Bryte (R) of Fly By Midnight.

- How did you both get into music and how did Fly By Midnight start?

J: Fly By Midnight has really been a culmination of both of our journeys building our craft as artists. I started off in a theatrical background. I was cast in plays like Pippin, Crazy For You and a handful of others. Mid high school years I had uploaded my first YouTube cover that caught way more attention than I had expected. From there I began listening to all genres of music and really fell in love with songwriting. It's always been to me about continuing to grow and learn more and that's the best part of Fly By Midnight. We're constantly pushing each other to be better and take our music in new & exciting directions.

S: I began playing guitar when I was 10 years old and made it an immediate goal to become good enough to play in my older brothers band. After about a year of playing my Fender Squire Strat non stop he let me join one of their band practices and I fell in love. I moved to New York from Florida (my hometown) about 4 years ago on my 19th birthday to pursue an engineering/producer apprenticeship at Chung King Studios. After that program ended, I needed a new reason to stay in NY and I found that in Fly By Midnight.  

- What were some of your favorite collaborations early on?

J: I think one of the best collaborations still has to be our cover of "We Don't Talk Anymore" with Nicole Medoro & Nicolette Mare. We had filmed it right before hopping on a flight to perform in China. The video was super simple & we genuinely had fun shooting it. I think that genuineness is what really sells these days and was a huge factor behind it performing as well as it did.

S: My favorite collab was probably the one we did before Fly By Midnight was technically a thing. The cover we did of “I Really Like You” by Carly Rae Jepsen was a lot of fun and laid the groundwork for what was to come of this duo. That collab was pivotal to surfacing the potential of our combined creativity.

Slavo on Guitar at Soho House. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Slavo on Guitar at Soho House. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

- What drew you to cover Charlie Puths' “We Don't Talk Anymore”, did you expect it to go viral?

J: We didn't expect it to go viral at all. Even the song choice was a bit out of the box for us being that it wasn't a single at the time. Slavo and I just thought it was the strongest song on his album so we brought in the girls and just vibed out.

S: That was early on in the Fly By Midnight project if I’m not mistaken and at that time I don’t think we had any expectations. Starting a new project requires a lot of trial and error to discover what excites you and what excites your audience and this was one of those where we discovered something special.

- What’s life like being on tour? Do you have any advice for artists looking to hit the road?

J: It's been such a fun ride. We love meeting new and old fans alike. Whether it's acoustic sessions at colleges or full blown festivals. My advice would be to always make it a point to meet as many people as you can after the shows. Take the time to make that connection. It's gone a really long way for us.

S: It’s one thing to make music that people enjoy, but when you get to physically see people react to something you’ve created night after night in unfamiliar places it’s truly special. I would second what Justin said. There’s nothing like making genuine human interaction with new fans/friends.

Justin on vocals at Soho House. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Justin on vocals at Soho House. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

- Who are your favorite artists today?

J: I've been really digging the throwback sounds of Computer Games & Fickle Friends. Imagine Dragons new album was so dope as well!

S: With music being so accessible I feel like my “favorite” artist is constantly changing. Right now I would say I’m really into Khalid and Thomas Rhett’s new album.

- If you could perform in any city or country, where would it be and why?

J: We definitely want to tour the whole world, but knowing how strong our influence is in the Philippines & Hong Kong  that would be on another level. We get so many comments from overseas and to meet those fans would be super rewarding.

S: I’ve always wanted to go to Australia. I know getting there would be brutal, but it’s always been on the top of my list. We actually have a cool little following down there as well.

Justin (L) and Slavo (R) onstage at The Vinyl Room. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Justin (L) and Slavo (R) onstage at The Vinyl Room. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

- Who's your favorite superhero? What's better: DC or Marvel Comics?

S: I’ve never been big into superheros, but I’ll have to go with Batman. I think it’s dope how he doesn’t technically have any powers, but he still manages to kick a**. With that being said I suppose I’m team DC.

J: Well I’m obsessed with superheros so it’s hard to just choose one. I’d say Marvel wise definitely Spiderman. I actually dressed up in a full costume to see the latest movie in theaters (geek alert). DC wise, probably Shazam. Love the idea of this young boy becoming this super powerful man by saying one word. I can’t choose one, ah!

- Can you tell us about your inspiration behind your latest track, “Vibe”?

S: “Vibe” was a track inspired by the word itself. The chorus and the concept came pretty easy, to be honest the verse and the pre chorus required the most effort. Once we had it all finished in front of us though, we knew it was something different and special for us.

J: It’s a song purely about attraction. The fun adventure of exploring feelings for someone new.

 

- What can we expect from Fly By Midnight in the future?

S: We’re constantly writing/producing/touring and building our platform. One thing we’ve always wanted to release was a body of work. Whether it be an EP or a full length album. Right now it’s all about timing, but that’s definitely in our near future.

J: I second that. Slavo & I are obsessed with creating and taking as much new material as we can on the road. We want to give the world a body of work that is Fly By Midnight. It’s only the beginning and that’s truly the exciting part.

 

Listen to the latest single "Vibe" now and be sure to follow them below!

Fly By Midnight

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#WomenInRock: Back to the Bowery with Revel In Romance

 
Revel In Romance at The Bowery Electric. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Revel In Romance at The Bowery Electric. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Last month we kicked off our first ever #WomenInRock showcase at The Bowery Electric, recognizing both women in music and the female-led independent bands making waves throughout New York City and further.

With the second installment of the series hosted at The Bowery again last week, we featured two phenomenal bands that offered a rock/alternative sound coupled with an unparalleled stage presence and electrically driven compositions.

DD White opened the show in front of an early Friday evening crowd, offering versatile sounds fueled with an energizing appetite, dynamic vocals and an intuitively robust drum set. The Detroit-based/NYC-living band was an instant hit among audiences, as DD White portrayed a riveting performance charged with influences of alternative-rock, soul and cabaret. Along with an energetic and in-your-face instrumentation, DD White’s performance was fantastically catchy, intimate and exciting. Lead singer, Tiffany Wiesend, dominated a league of charming yet powerful vocals that ushered DD White’s alluring, raw charisma on stage.

L to R: Collin Stanley (Guitar), Tiffany Wiesand (Lead Vox), and Chris Agar (Bass) Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

L to R: Collin Stanley (Guitar), Tiffany Wiesand (Lead Vox), and Chris Agar (Bass) Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Tiffany Wiesand of DD White on Lead Vox. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Tiffany Wiesand of DD White on Lead Vox. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Collin Stanley of DD White on Guitar. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Collin Stanley of DD White on Guitar. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Guitarist Collin Stanley and bassist Chris Agar were the backbone of this five-set band turned trio (as two members were unable to perform). Collin’s work on the strings was ultimately explosive. His blend of classic rock’ n’ roll and mid-90’s punk, provided edgy and addictive guitar riffs that blended perfectly with the bands overall pop-soul and cabaret-esque notes.

The bands performance of their latest singles “Even a Girl” and “Blame You” was an exhilarating and captivating experience that kept audiences struck. Tiffany’s roaring vocals were complimented beautifully with Agar’s funky play on bass and Stanley’s dynamic style on guitar. DD White’s opener was epic; another example of the soaring vibes, genuine talent and eclectic stage presence that many indie female-led bands have today.

Coming all the way from Atlanta, GA, Revel in Romance headlined our #WomeninRock showcase with an alternative-pop sound infused with hints of early 00’s rock. This five-piece band was loaded with an arsenal of gorgeous electric riffs, in-depth beats and profound rock melodies that quickly packed the room at The Bowery Electric.

Devin Maier and Saxony Raine of Revel In Romance. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Devin Maier and Saxony Raine of Revel In Romance. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Award-winning vocalist, Saxony Raine, lead the performance with poetically soothing harmonies that were rich with emotional lyrics, crushingly reckless pop vocals and enchanting arrangements that gave a breath of life to Revel’s tight instrumentation. Saxony’s voice on “Echoes” and “Dust” were a prime example of lyrical depth and thematic storytelling filled with passionate sentiment that propelled Revel In Romance into a powerful and invigorating performance elicited with the themes of love, pain, passion and sex.

Guitarists Parker Rehklau and Devin Maier were an essential component of the bands alternative-pop inspired sound bursting with galvanizing strings, pulse-jolting rhythms and punk-rock swag. Rehklau and Maier were the highlights of the performance as they illustrated their strong guitar play in front of the crowd as they drew closer to the embolden rock melodies piercing sharply through the Bowery’s amplifiers. 

Devin Maier and Saxony Raine of Revel In Romance. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Devin Maier and Saxony Raine of Revel In Romance. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Mark Robinson of Revel In Romance on Drums. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Mark Robinson of Revel In Romance on Drums. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

L to R: Devin Maier (Guitar), Mark Robinson (Drums), Saxony Raine (Lead Vox), Remington Rehklau (Bass), and Parker Rehklau (Guitar). Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

L to R: Devin Maier (Guitar), Mark Robinson (Drums), Saxony Raine (Lead Vox), Remington Rehklau (Bass), and Parker Rehklau (Guitar). Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Revel In Romance complex sound and measured instrumentation offered us an overall sound that fit beautifully throughout the night, displaying how female-led indie-bands not only emerging with great music, but also by providing incredible experiences that fans can remember.

With the second installment of our #WomenInRock show behind, we're already well underway to planning the next series' installments. The artists we've had the pleasure of working with thus far are a clear sign as to just how many hard working bands fly under the radar. With this series, we hope to highlight more with each months show. Stay tuned for our next segment!

 

DD White | Facebook | Twitter

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Revel In Romance | Facebook | Twitter

Instagram | YouTube | SoundCloud | Apple Music

 

 

Indie-Rock Artist Vagabon Lands Front-Page on Pitchfork's "Rising" Series

 

We at TFAK want to congratulate our friends at Vagabon for their front-page editorial on Pitchfork's "Rising" Series! Please check out their interview with Laetitia Tamko to learn more about her music, influences, and how she's grown as an artist living in New York City. 

Watch their music video for The Embers below, and follow them on social media today.

 

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / SoundCloud

 

Article: Matthew Schnipper / Photo: Ebru Yildiz / All Credits To Pitchfork

 

Marcus Machado - Bringing Back Lead Guitar at Soul in the Horn 2016

 
Marcus Machado at SummerStage 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos. 

Marcus Machado at SummerStage 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos. 

It was the Soul in the Horn festival at Herbert Von King Park in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn last Wednesday and the amphitheater was filled with the thick, smooth, sounds of Marcus Machado and his guitar. Performing among a line up of talented acts, such as Maurice “Mobetta” Brown and Kendra Foster, Machado stands out amongst a roster of serious talent that flowed together beautifully at this years Soul in the Horn Festival.

Machado strummed his guitar effortlessly with a full and powerful sound. The jazzy notes and bluesy rock arrangements closely resembled those from Machado’s legendary influencers, such as Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Carlos Santana and Eddie Hazel to name a few. Yet, Machado projected an upbeat, fun, unique and intricate arrangement that blend the sounds of blues, rock and jazz masterfully. During his performance, a five-piece band accompanied Machado on the drums, sax, bass, keys and smooth vocals, filling out the sound. Songs ranged from classic jazz, to full on “I absolutely must move my shoulders” funk.

Marcus Machado and band at SummerStage 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Marcus Machado and band at SummerStage 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Marcus Machado at SummerStage 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

Marcus Machado at SummerStage 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

The music had the whole crowd moving and filled the summery air with a sweet, smooth and positive vibe. One that Machado purposely created, reminding the audience to “give love” and “practice peace” throughout his performance. At a particularly beautiful moment, before one of his closing songs, he asked the audience to hold up their peace signs as he dedicated the piece to those we lost in the tragic Orlando attack, as well as Mohammad Ali and Prince, whom we also lost this year. The amphitheater quickly filled with peace signs in the air and a subtle moment of silence before launching into another graceful, roaring, guitar track.

Soul in The Horn 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

Soul in The Horn 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos

If his undeniable talent isn't’ enough to consume you, his stage presence will be. Machado stands tall and cool, front and center of the stage, holding his guitar like it’s an extension of himself and strumming it casually as if it’s completely second nature. He has a swagger to the way he moves about the stage; nodding at this band and coyly demonstrating that he’s the one in charge.

Marcus Machado at Soul in The Horn 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Marcus Machado at Soul in The Horn 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

It’s not often you see the guitarist front and center, leading the show; which Machado is trying to change. As he said in Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Next Young Gun” featured article, “While I feel like these days there’s a lot of great players out there, something has changed where you don't’ really see guitar players as the lead people.” He’s doing his part to bring it back. The entire band was amazing, and delivered a full sound, but the guitar lead the way. And those guitar solos? Damn.

Soul in The Horn 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Soul in The Horn 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Soul in The Horn 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Soul in The Horn 2016. Photo courtesy of Kevin Vallejos.

Seeing Machado playing live is a must. He willfully, and unapologetically, commands the stage beautifully with his presence, skill, and effervescent sense of love and harmony. He has dates here in New York from now through December. His guitar-powered EP, 29 is currently streaming on Spotify and on his website, Official Marcus Machado, where you can also see all of his show dates, bio and music. This artist is an act you don’t want to miss! 

 

Listen to Marcus Machado today on...

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French HipHop/Blues Band Scarecrow Put On a Roaring Performance at Drom NYC

 

Very rarely do we get the chance to witness a group of music who can grasp the sounds of different cultures so effortlessly and harness them as their own. With the power of a roaring bluesy vocal, a groovy baseline and a smoking late 80’s/early 90’s sound, Scarecrow - The Blues Hip Hop showed us how artists can successfully master that calling. 

With much thanks to the combined efforts of The French Embassy and Bureau Export, Scarecrow showcased their talents for the France Rocks SummerFest in New York for the first time in over two years last Friday. We caught their performance at the mysteriously intimate and gypsy-esque Drom NYC amongst a group of music enthusiasts excited to take part in the French quartet’s latest act as they prepared for their second album, The Last, releasing this coming Friday.

Scarecrow’s featured performance was a spine chilling and aggressive piece that spoke of the band’s ingenuity and aesthetic appeal. Ahead of a thunderous and enticing intro, lead vocalist and bluesman, Slim Paul, let out a roaring vocal that channeled across the shadowy halls of Drom, crawling up its back-stage curtains and hurling towards us. It was a unique sound that truly blew us away: A kick-ass note that personified beautifully through Paul’s affirmed lyrical and edgy voice, labeling its mark at any New Orleans jazz club or Memphis BBQ joint.

What followed was a genre binding and sound twisting bar from French emcee, Antibiotik Daw, who also masterfully scratched the turntables with late 80’s/early 90’s urban adlibs, screeching hints of Chuck D, Run DMC and The Wu Tang Clan. Although we unfortunately couldn’t understand the fast hitting French lyrics, it was Antibiotik’s confidence, swag and all-out vibe that helped get our heads bopping, while the bluesy bass lines from Jamo and funky drum set from Le Pap, helped solidify Scarecrow’s urban and bluesy musical arrangements.

What really struck us was Scarecrow’s consistency. Whether their song was predominately hip-hop, blues, funk or a bit of both, the quartet meshed the sounds together flawlessly. When Antibiotik viciously spit on the mic, Slim Paul's raw vocals and Jamo's gripping guitar play brought Scarecrow's performance from the sounds of classic hop-hop into the essence of rock. Accompanied by Antibiotik’s scratches, we were constantly taken for a musical ride that stopped along 80’s hip-hop, 70’s funk and good old fashion dirt-road blues.

Scarecrow’s hip-hop elements, raw rural bluesy notes and urban-esque vibe provided the finishing touches on an already bubbling melting pot that billowed a steam enriched with generations of musical influences, cultures and instrumentation. Scarecrow’s continuous efforts to bridge together American and French music are groundbreaking. With sounds reminiscent of both Screamin' Jay Hawkins and 90's Hip-Hop, the group truly is deserving of their international praise. Their ability to embrace these different sounds allows them to conquer audiences in not only the U.S. or Europe, but throughout the world as they've performed over 400 shows in 10 countries and have a tenacity to produce even more.

This group can truly be an inspiration to aspiring artists and bands across the globe not only for their incredible showcases, gritty music, and cool vibes but for how they can bring cultures together. Somehow we seemed to have lost that in both the mainstream and independent music scenes, but Scarecrow tackles it head on. Truly, they are one of the best bands we’ve seen this year. Can’t wait to catch these guys again. Their new album, The Last, will be available for streaming and digital download this Friday, June 24, 2016. Make sure to catch Scarecrow the next time they’re in your city!

Make sure to listen and follow to Scarecrow – The Blues Hip-Hop music below.

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