Sweet and power: the Vanilla Sugar Interview

Based out of Los Angeles, California, Vanilla Sugar dares to push the envelope of unprecedented and bold sounds. The eclectic mixtures is the release of Jessica Perry (JP Vanilla) on vocals, synthesizer, and guitars, a proposition which combines comprehensive alternative/electronic sample infused music with an electrifying stage presence. We craved to learn more so with big thanks to JP we explored origins, music, songwriting and more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Thank you for having me!

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

I am Vanilla Sugar – I started this project on a midi keyboard and iMac. I wanted to get the songs in my head out and into my car’s speakers.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

I have been performing in different bands since I was 12 years old. I have done Industrial, Punk, Metal, Pop – you name it! I learned from each band, and playing different genres has definitely helped craft what Vanilla Sugar is today.

What inspired the band name?

The PG13 version is that Vanilla Sugar seems like such a dainty name – when the music is actually very in your face and powerful. I love throwing off new audience members. They never know what to expect. The R rated (and completely true) version is this…I wanted a name for this that somehow had my name tied in all at once and not at all. My nickname is JP Vanilla. Hence the “Vanilla” in Vanilla Sugar….the “Sugar” comes from the term “Kitty sugar” (Feel free to Google when you’re not at work). Put those two meanings together and you’ll know what Vanilla Sugar means!

Was there any specific idea behind the project and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

I wanted the sound to be a mix of everything I enjoy listening to – which is Metal, Electronic music, Pop, etc. I blend my favorite aspects of each genre all together.

Do the same things still drive you from when you started up Vanilla sugar or have they evolved over time?

I would have to say the same things still drive me. I write lyrics from the heart – things that I have been through, things I overcame – I want to share it with the listener. You never know what someone is going through. Music helped me through a lot while I was growing up and I want to be able to return the favor.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

The sound is much more structured now – in a great way. Songs are smooth, clean and on time!

And that has been more of an organic movement of sound or you deliberately wanting to try new things?

A deliberate change – I am always trying to better the sound.

Presumably you haves a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on your music but your personal approach and ideas to creating it?

I love Grimes – she is a huge influence on me. I respect that she does everything DIY. Love that – and Mindless Self Indulgence – they taught me to be brave and not care what the formula is “supposed” to be when writing a song. They taught me to write what feels right.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Typically the song is made, often times starting with a synth melody. I write the lyrics from the feelings the music gives me.

You touched on lyrics earlier; the major sparks for that side are?

Life experiences. It’s a way for me to get things off my chest. I have a very bad habit of holding onto bad experiences and let it eat away at me. When I write the lyrics around the issue, it’s as if I am releasing it from myself and it’s a very freeing feeling.

Give us some background to your latest release.

This new album is my first one! I am very excited to share it with the world.  A lot of blood, sweat, and glitter have gone into this.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

I am trapped inside of my head a lot. This album dives into that, and I confront myself for the first time through lyrics. The music videos give a wonderful view into the insides of my brain.

Are you someone that goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

I prefer to develop songs as I record. I record little ideas at home, but ultimately my producer and I work songs out at the studio.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

I love playing live shows! It is wonderful to be able to connect with fans. My favorite part of the live show is when I get to go crazy with my keytar. I love feeling the music that way.

It is not easy for any new band or artist to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

I think there is always a place for opportunity to happen, you just need to work to make it happen. I tour often, and wide – from Los Angeles to Florida, and venturing out into Brazil, Japan, and the UK within the upcoming years.  It’s important to keep touring so you can grow your fanbase.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

I absolutely love social media when it comes to music. Before social media, promoting shows and your brand was difficult! Now, I can just create an event on Facebook and invite anyone all over the world! It’s a great way to keep in contact with your fans, and allow them to see the real you.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you again for having me! I host a Facebook & Instagram Live every Thursday night at 8pm PST. Please join – I would love to get to know you!

https://www.facebook.com/vanillasugarmusic/

Pete RingMaster 09/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mr.Kitty: Life

Mr.Kitty

Like a knowing soundtrack to every aspect of its title, Life the new album from US musician Mr.Kitty is a canvas for reflection, emotive dance, and drifts into diverse enveloping feelings inspired by its elegant and beautifully sculpted beauty. The most complete and rounded release from the Dallas based artist to date, the fifteen track album is a rich and smouldering wash of electronic pop and new wave adventure, an album to ignite the senses and invite the passions into a long and ardour fuelled companionship.

Mr.Kitty is Forrest Carney, who takes his inspirations from an eclectic array of artists such as Joy Division, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Crystal Castles, Pictureplane, and Grimes. His music employs numerous flavours and textures in addition to the basic tag we previously mentioned, elements of eighties post punk, gothic emotiveness, and electro ambience all playing their part in the depth and distinct characters of sound and individual songs. Released with Engraved Ritual, Life is the fourth album from Mr.Kitty, and part of a four album series consisting of two “light” and two “dark” albums, this drawing on the lighter shade of his imagination, though it is not without its rich and mesmeric shadows.

From opening song Insects, the album as well as seducing the ear and senses provides a visual backdrop to its songs in its coveratmospheric narratives and colour soaked expressive breath. Evocative and with lush emotional hues, Life provides the paint box and aural paper for the listener to explore their own dark corners and heart bred thoughts as well as those offered by and of the artists himself. Insects is an immediate medium to ignite those interactive qualities, its animated stroll and pulsating rhythmic veining an absorbing lure with the crystalline electro oscillation alongside another mesmeric suasion. The vocals of Mr.Kitty soon caress the ear with a sultry lure to their soothing texture, the artist a constant tempter across every song with his impressive and expressive delivery. The eighties inspiration is open within song and album though only another breeze to the refreshing wind wrapping the listener from the very first minute.

The impressive start is soon equalled by both Heaven and Unstable, the first cradling the senses with a choral kiss of angelic harmonies before heady rhythms and cantering melodic synth fascination emerges to explore the lofty heights already in place. The song bounds over thoughts and emotions with eagerness but a respectful energy that seduces the imagination and opens up its romance and that of its recipient. Like its predecessor it is virulently infectious, the roaming electronic atmosphere a spark to the simpler but no less effective and irresistible hooks and has thoughts in lustful expectations for its successors, something the darker but no less contagious Unstable feeds with poise and beauty. Across its provocative and slightly sinister embrace there is a Depeche Mode call to the veiled heart but again only a taste fused into something transparently contagious and unique.

Through the harsher touch of Sacrifice with its riveting and senses worrying intro and caustic intent, Holy Death where the vocals have a Dave Gahan lilt at times, and the excellent Labyrinth, the album continues to stretch the journey and venture into a wealth of emotions and thought taunting scenarios. The latter of the trio brings a Visage like melodic tonic to its glorious smouldering presence and though at times you want to sing “Fade To Grey” as the bulbous melodies suggest their source, the song is another striking highlight.

Those pinnacles just keep coming though as tracks such as the exceptional London, a song enjoying the added siren call of female vocals within its Pet Shop Boys like waltz, the stunning gothic cast Dearlove, and the intense Choke with its shadow fuelled drama, all explore imaginatively further impacting emotion lit pastures. With so many songs there are rare moments where some hold a similarity as they hold hands but it is rare and such the strength and potency of each and every one it is an ‘issue’ you are searching for just to offer up as a temper to the otherwise full acclaim it is hard not to place over Life.

As the closing Father provides the deepest emotive honesty of the album, the artist unafraid to venture where pain dwells, Life leaves a powerful and lingering imprint on mind and heart. It is an outstanding encounter that leaves no emotional stone unturned yet does so with a light and melodic energy which captures the passions. Mr.Kitty is destined to take electronic pop to new fields, Life the impossible to dismiss evidence.

https://www.facebook.com/mrkittydm

9/10

RingMaster 05/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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