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Lazie Indie Magazine -Edition 36 3rd Anniversary

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Lazie Indie MagazineApril 20233rd Anniversary EditionEdition -36SarantosSuraj ManiRussell FoisyMs LavonCindy & GC GroovePrem MurtiLoki OjhaSwapna AbrahamERIC SOMMER & THE FABULOUS PIEDMONTSLazie Indie Magazine3rd AnniversaryGreetings from fellow MusiciansOn CoverAudrey DuBois Harris

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ContentEditors CornerCindy and GC GrooveSwapna AbrahamEric Sommers and the fabulous PiedmontsSarantosPrem MurtiLoki OjhaMs. LavonSuraj ManiRussell Foisy3rd Anniversary GreetingsCover StoryAudrey DuBois HarrisLIM Page 5

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Editors CornerInformationThe magazine ispublished byJay Pillai (Lazie J)Print Edition 36The month ofpublishingApril - 2023Editorial TeamEditor: Jay PillaiEditorial shared inhonor withInge Zimmermann-ProbstCoordination andpromotion: ManojVerified by:Inge ZimmermannProbstGuest Columns:Emma GoldbergMs. BenitaLyia MetaCover Photo:Audrey DuBoisHarrisCover PhotoCourtesy:Audrey DuBoisHarris (cover artist)Thank you !!!for 3 years of supportThree years went in a flash and a lot more to do now. That is howlife takes one to unknown territories. LIM was not even a passionproject it was a friendly gesture to my fellow independentmusicans and this phenomenal growth has come out of theirsupport and participation. Ann Aria, Tomiko Dixon, Barbara andGrant from Galaxy FM, Jorg Klein, Emma Goldberg, DarshanShankar, Kathry Shipley, Lyia Meta, Sherise D Souza, RaveenPanday, Ms. Benita. Hari from Indian Joint and of course Manojalong with all those who actively sent entries from all over theworld. I am personally much obliged so is Lazie Indie Magazine.One person I need to talk about isInge Zimmermann-Probst akaSerious Music Germany. She is instrumental for keeping LIM withminimal errors and has been the silent behind the curtaincontributor and in a way the back bone of the LIM family. Thoughshe wanted to stay that way I kind of forced her to write this piecebelow and as a token of respect for all that she does for us I amsharing the editorial.Message fromInge Zimmermann-Probst:I would like to express my respect for your tireless work. Yousupport the musicians in every way. It is always a pleasure toread the magazine. I am part of the team right from the start andlook for typos and formatting errors before publication. Thatmeans I read every word of the magazine. I'm proud to be on theteam. I didn't even know many musicians before. Through themagazine I have the opportunity to get to know them and learnabout their musical development. I find that very interesting.Lazie Indie Magazine is international. I think that's great and notoften. All the musicians put all their heart and love into it andthat's why I love the magazine so much. Keep it up and cheers forthe next 3 years.Thank you all for your support... keep us going we will give ourbest as long as we can and that is the only promise we make...LIM Page 6

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Audrey DuBois Harris“Let’s Start with Love”The extraordinary beauty that is The VoiceAn interview by Lyia MetaThe Voice! it bestows and endeavors to deliver unparallelmagnificence as we surrender to its splendour and allowourselves to be swept away by its incandescence. TheOpera! Classical opera is a powerful and an all-encompassing living and breathing entity. It embracesyou, with pure emotion. Because opera isn’t truly aboutwords but the emotions that carry through it, I found that understanding the historybehind this vocal art was crucial in allowing one to thoroughly appreciate it. I havealways loved listening to the VOICE, any voice, any genre. That is what draws meinto any music. But to hear an opera singer’s trained vocal do what it does isphenomenal! And more so, to perhaps be able to embrace the freedom found in thedelivery of every note, is an overwhelming experience. This is a whole different ballgame! Years of rigorous training, culminating to that one thrilling aria thattranslates to so many emotions. It is a religious experience in pursuit of perfection!Technical mastery aside, being an opera singer is one of the most demandingoccupations in performing arts. Few are aware of the laborious training needed toachieve professional status. Like a professional athlete, opera singers haveconditioned themselves to perform consistently at a high level. That in itself is a featworth a standing ovation! Without delving too far into the topic, it would be ofinterest to note that the profession of opera singers goes far back to when Opera wasdeveloped early in 1600s in Italy, buoyant by the Renaissance psyche. This new artform combined words, music and drama, a practice that basically remains the sameeven today. “To decide upon a date that represents the birth of opera is a matter ofperspective. In 1637, the first commercial opera house Teatro San Cassiano inVenice opened. In London, two years later a second public opera house wasinaugurated. This was the beginning of a sophisticated entertainment industry” ¹ Ifirst connected with Audrey DuBois Harris when she and I were part of a cross-promotion PR endeavor for the release of our then current new albums. We wereprivileged to actually interview each other which allowed us to not only find outwhat we had in common but learn about our different approaches to performingand “running our businesses”! DuBois Harris noted on how “the pandemicreaffirmed that we are all connected.” And connected we were!!! We ‘met’ in ourvirtual world of music and arts, in mid-2021, when our world was in the throes ofthe COVID pandemic ‘shutdown’. Her breathtaking vocal quality and expression leftan impression on me. An insightful conversation ensued as we discussed in brief thetopics that we both held close to our hearts. DuBois Harris draws her inspirationfrom different sources: Culture, art, film, fashion, conversation and life experiences.As an artist she finds the need to constantly stretch and evolve. She does so in allher releases, blending her influences and inspirational resources into the music shecreates. A multi-award-winning vocalist, she is hailed by critics for possessing alustrous voice of extraordinary beauty and artistry of great dramatic depth. Anexquisite beauty to behold, in voice, spirit and form! A graduate of the New WorldLIM Page 8

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School of the Arts and The Juilliard School in NYC, with a vocal range that movesfrom the depth of a mezzo-soprano to the highs of a full lyric soprano, DuBoisHarris has graced the world’s stages in Opera, Classical, Jazz, Sacred, Gospel andInspirational music. Having toured Russia with Opera Noire of NY in collaborationwith The US State Department, under the baton of Maestro Anatolia Chepurnov andMaestro Sergei Kondrashev, she performed in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarskand Dubna with the Orpheus Radio Symphony Orchestra and the KrasnoyarskPhilharmonic. Known as Aretha Franklin’s favorite soprano, she was featured byThe Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, in her Gospel concert: Aretha presents theGospel Legends in Detroit, MI. Having received a multitude of accolades for herartistry, Dubois Harris holds the distinction of having performed on numerousoccasions as “The President’s Soloist,” singing the National Anthem, as well as atLIM Page 9

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“Christmas at The White House,” whereshe presented Classical, Sacred, Gospeland Christmas classics for PresidentBarack Obama and his guests. DuboisHarris was also privileged to be a part ofthe First National Assembly of Quebec'srecognized Nelson Mandela Daycelebration in Quebec, Canada, hosted atthe historic Union United Church whereSouth African President Nelson Mandelaspoke during his first official trip toCanada. An unforgettable ambassador ofmusic, some of the notable awards wonby Dubois Harris are The MarcelloGiordani Foundation InternationalCompetition (Italy), New Jersey VerismoOpera Competition, Gerda LissnerInternational Vocal Competition, HarlemOpera Theater Vocal Competition &Audience Award, Metropolitan OperaNational Council Auditions- EasternRegion District, Opera Index FoundationVocal Competition, Florida Grand OperaVocal Competition, Palm Beach OperaCompetition, NFAA Competition, and theNAACP National Vocal Competition.LM: Welcome to Lazie Indie Magazine.We are excited to have you here andallow our readers to discover a beautifulart form that tells a story through musicand singing. Could you tell me aboutyourself and your career?ADH: Thank you Lyia and Lazie IndieMagazine for having me anZd allowingme to share a bit about me and my artform with your readers. In terms of mycareer… I am a classically trained singer,songwriter and arranger. I also loveinfusing different styles into my music.LM: What drew you to Opera? Who wereyour influences?ADH: My introduction to Opera came at avery early age through my mother, churchand my school’s music programs. I wasmostly influenced by local classicalartists, though I didn’t know that I wouldbecome a professional singer at the time.My church [Allapattah Baptist Church -Miami, Fl.] would bring in members ofThe New World Symphony and wellknown local classical artists to performLIM Page 11

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during our Easter, Christmas and otherholiday concerts.LM: Having performed at some of theworld’s greatest stages, includingholding the distinction of havingperformed on not one but severaloccasions as “The President’s Soloist”singing the National Anthem, as well as“Christmas at The White House” whereyou presented Classical, Sacred, Gospeland Christmas classics for PresidentObama and his guests, do you ever feellike you are living the dream?ADH: I’m very grateful to have had manywonderful performing opportunities. Theones you mentioned are truly amazingand at times surreal to even me. These areindeed very special moments that I hopemy future grandchildren and theirchildren will one day talk about. Mydream is to continue to musically touchthe world with my recordings and LIVEperformances through Opera,Inspirational and Mainstream music.LM: What lessons have you taken awayfrom those experiences?ADH: Those experiences have confirmedone of the greatest lessons that I’velearned since the beginning of my musicalstudies and career: You must stayprepared and well studied.LM: Aside from vocal technique, whatkind of training would someone need toperform Opera at the professional level?ADH: There are many levels of endlesstraining and research involved in opera asa profession. In Opera, you’re alwaystelling a story through singing in variouslanguages and in different time periods.Studying opera’s core languages (Italian,French, German), acting and movementclasses, understanding and researchingthe historical context of the story andcharacters are all important. These arejust a few levels of training aside fromvocal lessons and coachings that areneeded for a professional Opera singer.LIM Page 14

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LM: What was your first opera production?ADH: My first opera production was Florida Grand Opera’s production of Der FliegendeHollander (The Flying Dutchman) by Richard Wagner. I was in high school at the time.LM: Your debut release of Testimonywas a collection of inspirational musicand hope-filled hymns, all of which wasproduced by you, where you not onlyproduced but did the arrangements forall the songs, as well as the songwritingfor the album’s title track: Testimony(God Can Do Anything But Fail). Howdid it feel being able to achieve that?ADH: That was indeed a personalachievement for me. Working onTestimony was a beautiful labor of love. Itwas important to me to have my debutvocal recording pay homage to mybeginnings and roots in the Baptistchurch. Hymns are at the core ofthat foundation. I started arranginghymns (sometimes on the spot) when Iwas a little girl singing solos at my localchurch, Allapattah Baptist Church.Producing the album and arranging thesongs were essential to the authenticityand creativity of the project. I didn’t wantsomeone else’s version and vision of whatmy personal testimony should sound like.I thoroughly enjoyed the process ofmaking every decision from song choiceto cover art come alive. The final result ismy salute to what sustained and continueto sustain me throughout my life: mydeep faith in God.LM: The most important thing indeveloping the operatic voice is having asolid foundation in classical singing.How do you maintain it and keep it inshape?ADH: Personal care of my voice is alwaystop priority. I take care of it like anewborn baby. That means not abusingit by screaming or talking too loud/toomuch, staying well hydrated, restrictingcertain foods/drinks, getting enoughsleep, knowing when to say “no”, and, ofcourse, vocal exercises.LIM Page 15

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LM: “The great Caruso’s breath controlwas such that he could deliver the longestphrase without any suggestion ofdifficulty, while his superb enunciationand an intense quality of pathos in hisvoice enabled him to reach and affectaudiences on the deepest level”. AlthoughI am sure this is achieved with years oftraining, can a vocalist lose this in thecourse of the years if she or he does notperform often enough despite vocalizingregularly?ADH: I’m not sure about that. However, Idon’t think the singer would lose this ifhe/she is maintaining good vocal healthwhile practicing proper vocal andbreathing exercises.LM: I have often wondered if opera wasas competitive as the contemporary Popworld of music? Are there politicsinvolved when it comes to choosingleads?ADH: Absolutely!LM: What advice would you givesomeone who is interested in learningOpera but doesn’t know how to start? Doyou believe that Opera can be learnt atany age?ADH: I would suggest to anyone who isinterested in learning opera to start with areputable vocal teacher who specializes inclassical singing. In addition to teachingvocal technique, that teacher can steeryou in the direction that may lead to yournext steps in your development as aclassical/opera singer. Everyone’s voice isdifferent. Vocal development happens atvarious stages. Professional opera singersare introduced to the art form at differenttimes in their lives. Some are introducedat a very early age while others may beintroduced in college. Age is just anumber. If you have the desire, go for it!LM: We have all had them but have youever had an embarrassing incident onstage where your voice cracked or youforgot the parts to an aria? If so, how didyou overcome that?ADH: Thankfully, I have not experiencedvocal cracking on stage. However, I haveforgotten words to an aria on a fewoccasions. Sometimes to well-knownarias. Ha! During those times, I simplymake something up on the spot whileremaining in character. In my experience,the audience didn’t realize the wordchange and loved the performance justthe same. Ha ha! Life happens. Even withgreat preparation, hiccups can occur. Givethe performance your best and keepmoving forward.LM: What was the most memorable dayin your career as an opera singer?ADH: One moment that stands out to methe most is when I was performing therole of Aida in Verdi’s Aida. It is a belovedrole for me that I hope to perform manytimes over in the future.LM: Would ever consider collaboratingwith another artist that isn’t a part of theclassically trained fraternity?ADH: Absolutely! I love collaboratingwith artists of different genres and styles.Art reflects life. We should all find waysto come together in spite of our differingviews, opinions, experiences, cultures andbackgrounds.LM: Any new music in the pipeline?What can we look forward to fromAudrey Dubois Harris in 2023?ADH: Yes! Talking about opera anddifferent genres, I am excited to shareLIM Page 16

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that I will be performing in more operasand concerts. I am also releasing amainstream album this year. Please lookout for my new single from the album“Let’s Start with Love” and tell everyoneyou know about it!LM: Do you have any parting words forour readers?ADH: Please follow me on social media(Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) andlearn more about what I’m doing on mywebsite: you once again, Lyia and LazieIndie Magazine, for this opportunity toshare with your readers!Some of Dubos Harris’ selectedachievements include performing on thered circle of TEDx Montreal Womenunder the annual themes of “Bridges” and“It’s About Time.” She was also thecreator of “Voices of Opera: A SoulfulCelebration” concert series, an excitingexperience of opera, Broadway, jazz andgospel that features an array of today’stop classical vocalists. She co-created andproduced, along with classical singer JolieRocke Brown, of “Celebrate Hymn”, aspirit-filled concert of hymns experiencedin a new way through Classical, Gospeland Jazz. DuBois Harris performed atprestigious institutions Yale Universityand Princeton University in an Ivy LeagueUniversity Tour. She has been the OfficialDay Soloist for the 110th (2017), 109th,108th, 107th and 105th Church of God inChrist Holy Convocation, performing formore than 40,000 attendees at theEdward Jones Dome in St. Louis,Missouri, that were televised to morethan 2 million viewers on The WordNetwork. With an impressive resume thatkeeps growing, Audrey DuBois Harris ispoised to become one of the greatestvoices in operatic history. Herdetermination and dedication to her art isastounding as she constantly grows andexperiments with different styles,incorporating it into every bit of morselshe shares with her audience. Whether onstage performing an aria or in the studioproducing and arranging music sherecords, DuBois Harris is a remarkablyversatile and intuitive artist. As a woman,mother, wife and artist, she inspires. As atrained vocalist dedicated to her art, sheis tireless, as she seeks to bring her verybest in everything she undertakes. Wheredo we draw the similarities found in theart that is the voice and opera to our ever-changing contemporary musicallandscape? How does this translate to themainstream world of music? Maybe theanswer can be found in the words of thelate and great tenor, Enrico Caruso- “Tobecome a singer requires work, work, andagain work! It need not be in any specialcorner or the earth; there is no one spotthat will domore for you than other places. It doesn’tmatter so much where you are if you haveintelligence and a good ear.”Audrey DuBois Harris socials &streaming: Page 17

Page 18 and sources:¹ Becoming and being an Opera singer:Health, personality and skills MariaSandgrenAbout the ColumnistTHROUGH CORRIDORS is a column byLyia Meta “Musings, observations, musicrelated articles and interviews fromaround the globe. Anything and anyonethat resonate with me.” Lyia Meta is aninternational multi award-winning singerand songwriter, producer and anexhibited visual artist. When she is nottravelling and performing across thewaters, she performs full-time in theKuala Lumpur club circuit. She finds hergreatest influences in rock and blues, yetshe fearlessly defies genre barriers inevery project she creates.”LIM Page 18

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GC Groove is a duo band with Cindy on vocals and Garry on keys. At an initial stage,they started off as freelancers performing at various venues. The idea of a duo bandkicked off with their performance at a popular venue in Cochin. The element thatstands out with GC Groove is they sound powerful as a full band. As time went bythey released their first original The Night that changed everything, which was agreat turning point, followed by another song for the FIFA season, Game of Lovewhich was done for football lovers and got wide recognition. The band has a sizeablefollowing now and has the potential to make it big internationally.Lazie IndieMagazinecatches up with the band to know more about their plans...LIM Page 20

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LIM: You have had an exciting run so farin music, how do you see it yourself?Cindy: Its been challenging andinteresting, a journey of various musicexperiences and learning as well. We asGC Groove has been performing as a duoand also with full band so the experiencehas been really exciting and eventful.LIM: Who is/are your musical influences?Who inspired you to get into music as aserious option?Cindy: Many artists from the 80’s hasinspired me , but among all I feel I got theentire inspiration from my father, NanduLeo and his passion for music that mademe consider the same as a serious option.LIM: How do you go about your musiccreation? How are the songs written andproduced?Cindy: Music creation is one thing we areimmensely passionate about and it’s ateam effort with Garry and myselfcreating umpteen number of melodies.We love to compose songs of variousgenres. Being a session artist over theyears Garry has been composing andperforming with eminent artists from anearly age. I have been writing lyrics frommy school days, and Garry does the musicproduction and all its technicalities.LIM: Where does all here can we see yourmusic releases over the internet? Tell usabout your latest or upcoming release.Cindy: You can find our music on ourYouTube channel as well as in otherplatforms like Spotify, iTunes etc. We areplanning on releasing a few of ourprojects this year.LIM: What do you see as your biggestachievement in music as a band/artistand what do you see as a near miss inyour career?Cindy: I must say that being a part ofgood old music in today's world is a bigachievement and I have no regrets backdown the lane.LIM: Cindy, Your father Nandu Leo hasbeen a veteran in the music scene inTrivandrum (your town) for decades anda much-respected voice. Tell us moreabout him and his journey too as he isn'tquite keen to tell us about his story...LIM Page 21

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Cindy: My father started off his careerwith the band Bahnkrugher and went onto form his own band MOONSTONE .Music For Peace was formed by him andshows are held annually, Classic rockbeing the genre. He performs with hisband Bits N’ Pieces where Garry andmyself are a part of.LIM: What do you like to do the most inmusic? Writing, producing or performinglive... Even though each one has its ownflavor what do you like the absolute best?Cindy: We both love performing as muchas we love to do production but if you askme to choose then yes it would beperformingLIM: What are your immediate futureplans say for 2023?Cindy: A couple of collabs with somegreat artists, our original songs too to bereleased this year God willing.LIM: What was the best advice given toyou and what would you give as a piece ofadvice to fellow musicians?Cindy: The best advice given to me is bymy father and it's the fact that time waitsfor no one. Our advice to fellow musiciansis no matter what happens be yourself.Thank you.LIM Page 23

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A musician who represented India in International Gospel Music Platform, A worldrecord holder for being the most prolific songwriter, a music producer, an actor avlogger and a certified interier designer Thats quite a lot!! ...and yesSwapnaAbrahamhas a lot to speak about what she has done with a lot of success which istruly inspirational and yes it sends a subtle message to all those who think theydon't have time in their life. Just look at what she has achievedso far… Specially known for having represented India on the International GospelMusic platform, Performed Pop, Country, Rock Secular – Pop, Blues, Country,Rock, Acoustic, Folk, Soul in Countries like US, UK, Canada, Germany, Kenya,Tanzania, Bahrain, UAE, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, ThePhilippines, Australia, New Zealand, Israel & India and produced a 21 Albums outof which 19 are Gospel.LIM Page 25

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In 2020 - Awarded the world records insinging-songwriting by the Golden Bookof World Records •Longest quotidian featof composing, producing and publishingsong incessantly (April 08, 2017 -January 02, 2020)•Quotidian feat of composing, producingand publishing multiple songs incessantlyfor 100 days (March 08, 2019 - June 15,2019)•Most songs composed, produced andpublished by an individual in one day(January 01, 2020)•Longest quotidian feat of composing,producing and publishing children's songincessantly [they do not consider thechildren's song as a regular song, butcertainly call it children's song• Awarded the Aspire World Award forPassion for Excellence at the 31st GlobalWomen's Empowerment Summit 2012 –Awarded the Maestro Award – LAMP-ICONGO Karmaveer Chakra for thecontribution to gospel music.2010 - NeedStar Women's Day Citation"Role Model for her progress & success inthe field of Mainstream Career, Art &Entrepreneurship"Started Admiral Musics – a musicproduction entity. Admiral was a namecoined from the names of her children,Adrian and Amy.Started Kafeoke – the ‘Singing Cube’ inChennai. Encompassing two karaokelounges (one for English, and the other,Indian music) integrated in a cafe, aschool for singing and songwriting and anaudio recording studio.Started SA Recording Suite in Chennai -an audio recording and video editingstudio.Cast as “Donna” in the musical “MammaMia” directed by the late MithranDevanesan.Cast as “Meenakshi” in the Tamil featurefilm “Nadunissi Naaygal” directed byGautham Vasudev Menon.LIM Page 26

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Find out more about this fabulous mutlifaceted artist on the websitewww.swapnaabraham.webs.comJay from Lazie Indie Magazine speaks toSwapna Abraham.Jay: How do you feel your musicaljourney has been so far?Swapna: Marked by highs and lows justlike the music itself. After composing,producing, and publishing 21 albums over24 years, and with a dozen unpublishedsingles, I was going to give up musicaltogether in 2016 feeling unfulfilled. Iwas conflicted. Soon after, I decided to doa painful musical challenge for 1000 days:composing, producing, and publishing asong every day. I cannot even start toexplain how difficult this was. Eventuallyit was 2321 songs over the 1000 days withat least 2 made every day (live, and one ofwhich was for children) and culminatedin 4 world records in singing-songwritingand a doctorate (honoris causa) in music.Jay: How and when did you come intomusic? When did you make your firstclear step into music as a career?Swapna: I started singing at the age offour, started writing lyrics (poems) ataround nine years of age, and composedmy first song when I was fifteen. It wasafter I won University competitions twoyears in a row that I got invited tocollaborate.Jay: Why did you pick up the genre? Whowere your musical influences?Swapna: My style of music covers prettymuch the entire gamut from pop andcountry to folk and soul. I was anexclusive gospel music artist for abouttwo decades. My greatest influences wereGeorge Michael and Amy Grant.Jay: How do you go about writing yoursongs? How do you record and produceyour music?Swapna: If I don’t have a theme/ songidea in mind, I first compose the tunewith the chords and then fit the lyricsthemed on the emotion the tune incites. IfI know what I’m going to write about, thetune that comes up usually resonates withLIM Page 28

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the theme, and then the lyrics are addedto it. I proceed with recording a demo,sung and played aligned with theintended style on an interactive keyboardand handover the orchestral work to anartist selected based on the instrumentthat will dominate the song. Once theframework is ready, session artistes fill intheirs. The mixing and mastering aredone by another engineer than the onewho recorded all.Jay: Which is your latest music release?Swapna: The single – No Love Lost, aCountry-Crossover song. I’d like to say,it’s pretty retro.Jay: Tell us what you like the most...Writing, producing or performing?Swapna: Performing. Then composing.Jay:What is your plan for the immediatefuture, say 2023?Swapna: I’ve another 7 singles to bereleased and am spacing them throughthe rest of the year. Also the 1000 songsfor children planned to be released by thelast quarter. I do hope to get back toperforming in 2024.Jay: Tell us more about any tour or event/your latest collaboration with DevanEkambaram.Swapna: I love what Devan brings to asong in vocal arrangement and rendition,love the timber of his voice. He did hisperfectly in No Love Lost.Jay: What is the best advice given to youand what would you share with fellowyoung artist?Swapna: Best advice received was frommy daughter when she was nine – “Ifyou’re not doing anything good with whatyou’re good at, you’re up to no good inyour life”. And here’s my two cents - Ihave learnt that the best and worst thingsare always yet to come. To remain humbleand simple at the best and fearless andtruthful at the worst. That whether on astage or in seclusion, one impacts thelives of many.LIM Page 29

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Eric Sommer and The Fabulous Piedmonts are Eric Sommer (guitar-vocals); Jimmy"Four Fingers" Hauer (stand-up bass, Stingray electric); and Amanda Sycamore(percussion). Eric Sommer is the writer, lead singer and guitar player for this standout collection of musical souls. His credits are strong and diverse, starting in Bostonopening for Little Feat tours. Sommer also shared bills with David Bromberg, JohnHammond Jr. and Leon Redbone; then fronted gene-bending power trio TheAtomics, who toured for several years with Mission of Burma, Gang of Four, DeadKennedys and Bugsy Low-Low, which subsequently led him to London. Eric thenmoved to Aarhus, Denmark, playing with Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds for twoyears off and on while picking up acoustic tours in Germany, Denmark, andHolland. Sommer has recorded five albums -- one with The Atomics, and withBrooklyn Bolero Producers at Room 13 in Brooklyn. Numerous singles followed;LIM Page 31

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the output will soon be enhanced with anew release by The Piedmonts. Sommerhas developed a unique acoustic style thatcombines picking grooves reminiscent ofSteve Howe and Doc Watson with histour-mates from The Atomics’ influences,which include The Cars and a bit of ZZTop; and country pop-styled songs ofHank Williams channeled through a littleShania Twain, Jerry Jeff Walker, andBlack Crowes. Jimmy “Four Fingers”Hauer is a virtuoso on stand-up doublebass as well as Stingray electric. He hasplayed all over the world and is a sought-after session bass in the North CarolinaTriangle. Vocals, bass, and a groovecatalog that stretches all the way toBloomington, Indiana, make Hauer themaster of the lower register and part ofthe rhythm section that is at the heart ofThe Piedmonts sound. Jimmy and theBass are one – it’s like seeing a youngRon Carter blended with JamesJamerson, with a little Slim Jim Phantomsqueezed in between. There is room onoccasion for some exciting bass solos, andbetween Amanda and Jimmy, no octave istoo great, no register too low. They arethe best rhythm section in town!Percussionist Amanda Sycamore bringsher considerable skills to a multi-facetedmusical cyclone -- back-up vocals and aremarkable variety of tools turns thesesongs into a unique storm of perfectly-timed sound waves. Amanda can'tremember a time when she wasn't playingmusic. She holds a bachelor's andmaster’s degree in percussionperformance from UNCG, and hasperformed with Drum CorpsInternational, Busch GardensEntertainment, and various touring actsincluding The Irish Tenors, Paul Anka,and Kenny G. She is currently thePrincipal Percussionist for the SalisburySymphony and enjoys sharing her love ofmusic by teaching private percussion andpiano lessons in her home studio.Sycamore also enjoys working with musicpublisher C. Alan Publications, where shecomposes works for percussionensembles and solo marimba.LIM: Tell us a little about the musicalmission of your band?Eric: Hi! This is Eric Sommer: From myperspective our mission is to create anexciting musical experience every time weperform. We have material we havedeveloped and rehearsed into a very solidand highly musical show. It is polishedand tight, and we are updating andadding new material all the time. Wewant to be self sustaining, and we areworking very hard to achieve that goal.LIM: What's the music scene like whereyou live, and how does your group fit in?Eric: I am in Chapel Hill, NC - it is anincredibly vibrant, evolving andindependent musical environment. It hasbeen a little quiet for a few years and weare truly shaking things up - ourapproach, our unique musicalpresentation, instrumentation and thelevel of musical talent and experience issomething remarkable; this musicalentity has tremendous possibilities, and itis a powerful force… Amanda is from theGreensboro area and that is anotherhistorically vibrant musical environment.LIM: Let's discuss each of your otherband member's musical backgrounds, asLIM Page 32

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well as your own?Eric: Jim Hauer plays the upright bassand electric bass. His background is inBlues and Jazz. He has played in severaljazz trios and understands the unique rolea bassist has in a three piece. Jim playedin classical and concert bands throughhigh school and college, and numerousjazz ensembles, pit orchestras, bluesbands, and other groups over the last40-50 years.Eric Sommer is a singer,writer and guitar player with a style that'sa cross between Billie Joe Shaver, TajMahal, Willie Porter and Steve Howe,delivered like a velvet hammer - CrownRoyal poured over #2 sandpaper. With aunique set-up that generally includes 4-5guitars, 3-4 small amps and a stompbox,it is guitar, slide & open tuning stuffwrapped around songs for people whocare about things that matter: insane ex-girlfriends, wrinkled shirts, failed love,broken hearts, bad coffee, flat tires, gasstation hot dogs,dumb pets... andcheckout lines. Not to be missed Ericstarted his musical career in the Bostonarea and has been a regular player onmany national tours and showcases. Heworked in Europe for two years with NickLowe and acts Bram Tchaikovsky andWreckless Eric on Danish, German andBritish rock stages, returned to Bostonand formed The Atomics, a cult power-pop band in South Boston. His influencesare as diverse as Townes Van Zandt, SteveEarle, Steve Howe and The Ramones. Mr.Sommer's current project with power trio"The Solar Flares" shake up Chet Atkinsand David Bromberg influences withthose of Randy Travis and British RockerElvis Costello - a remarkable mix. He hasbeen on the road, in the studio, on stage,in front of or behind Jerry Douglas, LeonRedbone, John Mayall, Dr. John, DavidBromberg, Andy McKee, John HammondJr., too many to name...Amanda Sycamore My first musicalperformance experiences in school wereLIM Page 33

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reading notes off the page andregurgitating what I read. As I matured asa performer, I became more interested ininterpreting what I was seeing on thepage in order to create something Iwanted to express or would want to hear,and in some cases not even using the pageand simply listening and expressing myown musicianship in the moment tocreate what I felt was the bestperformance of a work. Surroundingmyself over the years with musicians whowere top of their game in their genre hasbeen invaluable in learning aboutdifferent genres and styles as well as howto interpret the percussion parts in eachof those styles. “I am a romanticcomposer fan girl. I listen to Holst,Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Grieg, Mahlerand truly hear where current "popular"music draws from. I can't listen to a singlemovie soundtrack, pop song orpercussion ensemble piece without tellingyou what symphonic experience it camefrom.”LIM:What are some of your favoritemusic venues in the US?Eric: I love every room - there are no favsfor me because when I play a room, nomatter what has gone before, the roomgroove has shared its history with me andnow my history is part of that room. It isan ongoing conversation I have betweenme and the vibes in each and everyroom… Summer is coming.LIM: Are Eric Sommer and the FabulousPiedmonts taking to the road, and if so,where/when?Eric: While the entire tour is not yetfinalized, there are a number of NewJersey and Pennsylvania dates that havebeen confirmed, and there is a lot ofinterest in Virginia and the Chesapeakearea. We will be in Atlantic City,Princeton and on the Jersey Shore, andthere are opportunities on Block Islandand Martha’s Vinyard, but we willannounce in late June any additions tothe East Coast Schedule in late July andearly August.LIM: Any new recordings being planned?Eric: We are in the studio in mid-AprilLIM Page 34

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The Piedmonts are:Jimmy "Four Fingers" Hauer • Bass, Double BassVocals Amanda Sycamore: Percussion, ChimesVocals Eric Sommer: Guitar (Telecaster, Stratocaster), Acoustic Guitars, Harmonica.hoping to cut a 6 song EP to bereleased as soon as possible.LIM: Is there anything else you would liketo discuss, or tell our readers here?Eric: Eric Sommer and The FabulousPiedmonts are a Roots Rock powder kegwrapped around a burrowing bass clef.Huh? Yeah, it's a run-on musicalsentence, one that's headin' down to 96octaves below absolute zero. it'll hitMiami, get turned around on a dime, andcome back on a red-eye... just in time forCorn Flakes! The Piedmonts are a uniquemusical force. Ok, everybody says that,but this is one amazing combination ofinfluences. So much so, it's a bit of ahead-scratcher just trying to describe it...but here goes: North Carolina'sAmericana Standard! It's a high-octanemix of rock-steady percussion supplied byAmanda Sycamore, mixed with thebottom-driven bass gymnastics of JimmyHauer and the guitar-laced lines of leadsinger Eric Sommer. But this simplecollection of words is nothing like seeingthis show live. Right off the bat, the slideguitar that opens "Red Dress" will grabyou in mid-sentence, and when therhythm section kicks in a few bars later, ifyou are not up and moving around orswinging from the stage lights, check yourpulse. You might be dead... As the enginekeeps revving up, The Piedmonts' musicalwall of sound starts to hit you like the hotkiss at the end of a wet fist: a combinationof Punk, Power Pop, Motown ballads,Muscle Shoals and blues-based CharlieMusslewhite-type grooves that pick youup, bounce you across the room, put youup on the ceiling and then ease you downslowly while you try to pick your jaw backup. Don't take anyone's word for it. Gosee for yourself!Wait, what? You're still here? GO!###LIM Page 36

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Sarantos is a DIY international award-winning solo music artist, Top 5 iTunes UKCharting singer-songwriter, #1 iTunes South Africa Charting Folk & Country artist,proud nerd, multi-instrumentalist, book author, comic book nut, radio show host,poet and part time spy. He's an alien who landed here to infect the human race andspread the disease of music. 2023 is Year #10 and has Sarantos working hardcontinuing to release a new song, music video, book chapter and poem every monthmaking his music come to life! In six years, he has released 18 albums with 226original tracks as well as 9 fiction/fantasy books that parallel the songs! He has hadnumerous media placements for his songs, instrumentals & cues...Let us speak to him to learn more about his career so far and his immediate futureplans...LIM Page 38

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Jay: You have had a rising career in musicso far creating a substantial fan baseworldwide with our music. When youlook back, how do you feel was yourjourney so far?Sarantos: To be honest, I don’t reallythink back and reflect as often as I’d like.I guess that’s what happens when you’retoo busy. I’m happy with how things haveprogressed but of course regret manywasted years doing certain things thewrong way. I consider this part of mystory though. I feel like I’m halfway towhere I wanna be...Jay: Who/what were your musicalinfluences and how did you arrive at thisgenre you play?Sarantos: I’m inspired by many manypeople but the top five are Survivor,Journey, Queen, Michael Jackson and EdSheeran. I’ve always been a rocker atheart. I’m also an 80s child. So the bestway I can describe my music is a fusion of80s rock mixed with modern pop androck elements.Jay: How do you go about selecting yoursongs?Sarantos: One nice thing about me is I’vegot over 4,000 songs in my toolbox. But abad thing about me is I’ve got over 4,000songs on my drive. So yeah it’s tough topick out which song I’m gonna releaseeach month. Some of it is just what I’m inthe mood for but I always try to payattention to variety. I don’t want to putout the same kind of song every singlemonth so I will try to vary the topicwhether it’s happy or sad, vary the BPM,the key of the song and the style. I like toexperiment. I’ve tried every genreimaginable!Jay: How do you record and produceyour music? Do you have any specialgear/recording system which you feel isimportant to bring out the kind of voiceyou want? if so why?Sarantos: It’s different every time. In thepast, I’ve used session musicians I hiredto do what I wanted but as I’ve becomemore musically experienced, I try to domost things on my own. My maininstrument is the piano and keyboard,LIM Page 39

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which means I think I can play everyinstrument on the computer. My dream isto one day to record all instruments andvocals in a professional studio instead ofmy family room, which has terribleacoustics by the way. Can you imagine?Jay: Where do we find your music on theinternet?Sarantos: Everywhere! Here are somelinks where for free, you can listen to thesong and view the video:Website http://www.melogia.comSarantos Youtube: Sarantos Apple Music: Sarantos Spotify: SarantosPandora: Deezer: Facebook artist page: SarantosTwitter: SarantosInstagram: SarantosTik Tok: @sarantos LinkedIn: The Songwriter ShowRSS feed: The Songwriter Show on iHeartRadio: Soundcloud: Page 40

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Tumblr: Sarantos Vimeo: SarantosReverbnation: Book Shop Page: Amazon Author Book Page: What gives you the kick... Writing,producing or playing live and why?Sarantos: I love performing live the most,but I’m gonna be honest here – without adoubt, writing lyrics is still the mostpowerful thing for me.Jay: Tell us about the success of your newsingle, "Another Surgery":Sarantos: I try not to get caught up onnumbers and honestly I couldn’t tell youhow successful it is or isn’t. All I can tellyou it’s a very personal song about myhealth issues and about my dad whopassed away and it’s really important tome.Jay: What are your immediate futureplans say, for 2023?Sarantos: I am currently working on mynext music video launch. I just had a songplace on the top in the UK for iTunes onthe Singer Songwriter charts. It’s going tobe an exciting year!!Jay: Being a very successful musicianyourself what would you tell an upcomingmusician to keep in mind when a) he/sheis struggling to get recognized and b) oncehe/she has just made a mark in the sceneand needs to sustain here?Sarantos: Ask yourself if this is a job orhobby for you. Adjust your goals andworkflow accordingly. Sleep well,workout, meditate and have time toyourself. It’s not 100% music all the time.Enjoy your friends and family. Yourbrain, ears and mind need a break. Takeit. It will help you focus more.- Thank youLIM Page 41

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Prem Murti is skilled in singing, music composition, production, mixingengineering, and voice-over artistry. He had the privilege of working with severalnotable record labels, including Saregama, Zee and Shemaroo, collaborating withnumerous artists in India and abroad. One of his most memorable moments waswhen his rendition of the song ‘Toofan Ko Aana Hai (Ik Pyar Ka Nagma Hai)’ wentviral across all social media platforms during the pandemic times. Additionally, hehad the honour of doing the official Lo-Fi mixes of the GRAMMY winning album‘Divine Tides’ by Stewart Copeland and Ricky Kej. He also co-arranged and sanglead vocals on Vande Bharatam, which was performed at the Republic Day parade atIndia Gate where 500 dancers danced to it. He made an Anthem- ‘Salaam’ dedicatedto the armed forces with GRAMMY winner Ricky Kej under Azadi Ka AmritMahotsav. He is recognized for his calming and restorative voice, performing a vastLIM Page 43

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repertoire of devotional songs, mantras,and other spiritually upliftingcompositions.Jay from LIM speaks toPrem.Jay: How do you feel your musicaljourney has been so far?PM: I am blessed that people have lovedmy work in all forms, be it as a singer,music composer, producer or as a voiceover artist. I started as a music producerfor radios and private albums, and not asinger initially. I used to sing scratchversions of the songs I was composing/producing. My clients and friends startedsuggesting that I have a good voice and Ishould consider singing and releasing myown songs. During the pandemic times Irecorded a rendition of the song ‘ToofanKo Aana Hai (Ik Pyar Ka Nagma Hai)’which went viral across all social mediaplatforms. That was when I got so manysong requests from followers all overIndia that I started singing on aregular basis.Jay: How and when did you come intomusic? When did you make your firstclear step into music as a career?PM: I had no prior musical backgroundand music had been a very subconsciousdream, but formally I started learningmusic during my graduation days. I learntvocals and also Tabla a little bit.Harmonium was self-taught. Once I gotmy first job, I started investing in music.From every salary I used to buy newsoftware, gears, microphones etc andbuilt my home studio. I used to downloadthe eBooks and user manuals and learntDAWs and their third-party plugins. Atthat time no one was there to guide me soeventually I ended up learning and usingmultiple DAWs one by one and finallysettled on Cubase, which I continue to useto this day.Jay: Why did you pick up the genre? Whowere your musical influences?PM: From Shankar-Jaikishan to ShankarEhsaan Loy :) I grew up listening to allLIM Page 44

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types of music. My personal favourite areRD Burman and A R Rahman for theirdistinctive and unconventional approachin making music. They are known forblending technology with traditionalinstruments while preserving theemotional side of the music. They are likeinstitutions in the music industry.Jay: How do you go about writing music?How do you record and produce yourmusic?PM: Sometimes I get lyrics and I have tocompose melody for it, or vice versa.Melody comes naturally to me. If I haveto compose in a certain Raga or scale, Iuse my instruments and improvise. As aproducer either someone comes to mebecause they love my style ofarrangements and they want my touch intheir songs, or sometimes I have to fit intheir shoes and think like them as anextension of their mind and workaccording to their vision. First fewminutes of the production process arevery crucial, where lots of ideas come tomy mind, including the groove andsignature hook line, riffs etc I use asimple mic or any instrument to capturethose, and later refine themprofessionally using session musicians orwith virtual instruments. While callingmusicians and singers I prefer studioswhere they feel more comfortable anddeliver their best performances, asopposed to inviting them to the bestsounding studios but not being able tofully utilise the performer’s potential.Jay: Which is your latest music release?Tell us more about your works so farPM: My latest release is ‘Love and Peace’.It is a song where I tried to bring togetherartists from various parts of the world tocelebrate the values of kindness, unity,and understanding. GRAMMY nominatedvocalist Natalie Ai Kamauu from Hawaiilends her soothing voice to the track. Themusic has been composed, arranged andproduced by me and the lyrics have beenwritten by Mike Greenly, an Americanwriter, who is also the lyricist of theofficial traditional state song of Virginia.The song includes Shanti (Peace) Mantrasung by me that adds a spiritual andtranscendent quality to the song. Otherartists involved are Tess Remy-Schumacher (who has been featured inthe GRAMMY - winning classicalcompendium album “An Adoption Story”by Kitt Wakeley), Annemarie Picerno onbacking vocals, An Vedi on Violin, RussHewitt on Guitar and MeganSchoenbohm Brentwood as a Yogini.Jay: Tell us what you like the most...Writing, producing or performing?PM: Producing. It’s like sculpting amusical idea and giving it a distinctappearance. While producing I canincorporate various aspects of music atone place: I can compose music pieces,counter melodies, play instruments, cansing (harmonies, backings), canexperiment with instrumentations,collaborate with various musicians and soon. Performing live is also special andvery rewarding where you engage withthe audience and get their instantfeedback!Jay: What is your plan for the immediatefuture, say 2023?PM: Mainly 2 things: Firstly, I would loveto do more of global music-collaboratingwith artists of different genres, culturesLIM Page 45

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etc. in India and abroad. Good musicdeserves to be heard by everyone, beyondany language or geographical barrier.Secondly, I would like to serve my place/state of birth, musically. Bihar has a richheritage of folk music. I am planning togive it a new dimension with my singingand musical arrangements. I have alreadydone some Bhojpuri folk music in pastand people loved it.Jay: Tell us more about any tour or eventthat you rate your best... how was yourexperience/learnings from that.PM: In April 2022 I shared stage withMulti-Grammy winner Ricky Kej inBangalore for a concert dedicated toIndian Army. It was an honour toperform live in front of 5,000 soldiersalong with some fabulous and moretalented singers and musicians.Jay: What is the best advice given to youand what would you share with fellowyoung artist?PM: Advice given to me: Not directly, butwatching interviews of my favouriteartists, I learnt that to stand out as anartist, it's important to develop a uniquestyle that is recognizable in my work.When someone listens to my voice/music,they should be able to identify it as mine.Advice to fellow young artists: Though Iam still not in a position to give advice, Iwould suggest focusing on building astrong foundation. Come prepared beforeentering in the professional world. Whileit’s true you can always continue learningwhile on the job, but the industry hasalready so many things to teach you, likebusiness part, relationshipLIM Page 46

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Loki Ojha is a multi-talented individual hailing from India. He is an independentartist, motivational speaker, creative producer, director, and CG artist, known forhis captivating music videos and performance skills. His music has been widelyrecognized and has received worldwide recognition, with features in 15 film festivalsglobally. His music is available on all major music platforms, including iTunes,Tidal, Amazon Music, Spotify, and more. With a passion for music, dance,animation, vocals, and visual effects, Loki Ojha continues to captivate audiences andmake his mark in the industry.Jay from LIM spoke to Loki Ojha about his career inmusic and his plans for the immediate future...LIM Page 48

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Jay: Hi Loki, welcome to Lazie IndieMagazine. You have had an exciting runso far in music, how do you see ityourself?Loki Ojha: Thank you for acknowledgingmy journey in music so far. It has been anexciting and fulfilling ride for me. I seemyself as someone who is constantlyevolving, learning, and striving toimprove as an artist. While I am proud ofmy accomplishments, I also recognizethat there is always room for growth andexploration in music, and I am excited tosee where my journey will take me next.Jay: Who is/are your musical influences?Who inspired you to get into music as aserious option?Loki Ojha: I strongly believe that eachartist possesses their own unique set ofskills and talents, making themincomparable to others. However, if I hadto name one artist who has had asignificant influence on me as an artistand performer, it would have to beMichael Jackson. His ability to captivateand entertain audiences through hismusic and performances is somethingthat truly inspires meJay: How do you go about your musiccreation? How are the songs written andproduced?Loki Ojha: The process of music creationcan vary greatly from artist to artist. Istart with a beat or instrumental track.Once the initial idea is formed, thenfleshing out the song structure. Thisinvolves experimenting with differentsounds and arrangements, in terms ofproduction, I use digital audioworkstations. It includes software tools.Ultimately, the goal is to create a polishedand cohesive final product that reflectsthe artist's vision and connects with theiraudience.Jay: Where can we see your musicreleases over the internet? Tell us aboutyour latest or upcoming release.Loki Ojha: If you search for "LOKI OJHA"on Google, you'll be able to find all mysocial media links and stay updated onmy latest songs. My music is available onpopular platforms such as iTunes, Tidal,LIM Page 49

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Amazon Music, and Spotify, so you canlisten to it anytime, anywhere.Few links Dancing Soul Loki'sShare of Soul Agony YouTube What do you see as your biggestachievement in music as a band/artistand what do you see as a near miss inyour career?Loki Ojha: While I consider my musiccareer to be a work in progress, mybiggest achievement so far has beenreaching a wide audience and receivingpositive feedback from my fans. In termsof a near miss, I believe that not having asolid team of like-minded individualswith a shared vision and drive to achievesuccess has been a setback in my pursuitof charting on the Billboard. However, Iam constantly seeking to collaborate withtalented musicians and industryprofessionals who can help me take mycareer to the next level.Jay: What do you like to do the most inmusic ? writing, producing or performinglive...Loki Ojha: Even though each one has itsown flavor what do you like the absolutebest? As a musician, I find that eachaspect of music - writing, producing, andperforming - has its own unique appeal.However, if I had to choose just one, Iwould say that beat-making is what Ienjoy the most. There's something trulyspecial about connecting and bringingyour music to life. The energy andexcitement is unparalleled and it's alwaysa thrill to see how the listener reacts toyour music.Jay: What are your immediate futureplans say for 2023?Loki Ojha: My ultimate goal as a musicianis to create more music that isexperimental and exposes me to a wideraudience. I aspire to reach fans all overthe world and be recognized on musiccharts globally. I believe that music is auniversal language that has the power toconnect people and cultures, and I wantto contribute to that in my own uniqueway.Jay: What was the best advice given toyou and what would you give as a piece ofadvice to fellow musicians?Loki Ojha: As a piece of advice to fellowmusicians, I would say to always strive forexcellence in your craft, but to not losesight of the passion and love for musicthat brought you here in the first place.Keep pushing yourself to grow and evolveas an artist, but never forget why youstarted creating music in the first place.Also, don't be afraid to take risks and trynew things - that's often where the magichappens.-Thank youLIM Page 50

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Terri Thorpe aka Ms. Lavon is an entertainer as singer sonwriter, performing artist,actor while she is also a successfull business woman running her multiplebusinesses and it doesnt stop there She is also a Communtiy outreach leader helpingchildren. That is quite a handful!!! We catch up with this multi tasker to know moreabout her.Ms. Benita from Lazie Indie Magazine speaks to Terri Thorpe aka Ms.Lavon. Let us check out!!!LIM Page 52

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Ms. Benita: Where are you from & whereare you living now?Ms. Lavon: I’m from Neck. SlaughterNeck Delaware to be exact. I live andwork in Milford Delaware currently.Ms. Benita: What age did you decide to domusic?Ms. Lavon: I decided to start a career inmusic at the age of 43.Ms. Benita: Why did you choose the stagename Ms Lavon?Ms. Lavon: Lavon is my Middle name so Ithought it fits my style better.Ms. Benita: Who inspired you over theyears as an artist?Ms. Lavon: Whitney Houston, SWV, ToniBraxton, Brown Stone & Trinity 5 ‘ 7 &Pastor Shirley Caesar & more...Ms. Benita: You not only are a recordingArtist you are a writer, producer &engineer as well? What prompted thiscareer choice?Ms. Lavon: Working with people likeBoatman Productions & ChainZ Gully.Ms. Benita: What is Ms Lavon MusicShop News?Ms. Lavon: Ms Lavon Music Shop News isa segment where I interview different upand coming artists.Ms. Benita: What is Ms Lavon MusicShop?Ms. Lavon: Ms Lavon’s music shop iswhere you can view & purchase musicwritten by me. All funds will go towardsmy show Silenced Child CareConfession’s.Ms. Benita: You also film & producemusic video and more. How did you getstarted doing this?Ms. Lavon: I learned from life experience.I had the best mentors. Boatman, Chainz& Ms. BenitaMs. Benita: You are also in severalindependent films as well what are they?Ms. Lavon: Yes I was in Wispers which isan independent film about humantrafficking. I also have roles in otherfilms. My song So Sad featuring MsBenita is on the sound track. It hasalready won several awards.Ms. Benita: You are a child care provideras well. What is the name of your learningLIM Page 53

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center and how long have you been doingthis?Ms. Lavon: Yes my 1st child care centerwas called Love A Valuable One Now &Love A Valuable One 2. 2 stands fortogether we own. Both are no longer openhence why Child Care Confessions cameabout. The name of my current Center isTops Childcare LLC. In 2008 Joe Bidenhelped me Open my childcare center. I’vebeen in business for 15 years.Ms. Benita: What is your new show childconfessions about? What prompted thisshow?Ms. Lavon: Childcare Confessions is agroup of Childcare providers that will besharing their experiences about Childcarethat you would not normally hear about.This was formed to help better our allchildcare facilities. What prompted wasinjustice against childcare providers dueto injustice and the lack of representationfor the Childcare Providers. Confessionswill be shared & the injustice will beexposed on this show.Ms. Benita: Is there anything else youwould want people to know about you?Ms. Lavon: I put God 1st & try to dothings in a positive way. One thing I hateis when people say they know me whenthey really don’t. I want people tounderstand that there is more to me thanmeets the eye.Ms. Benita: Give your social mediaplatforms & other important informationon how to reach you or follow you.Ms. Lavon: My social media platforms areTerri Cannon Thorpe on FB T12canon onIG!LIM Page 54

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About the ColumnistDr. Benita Rufus-Gassi is an awardwinning Community Activist with aDoctorate in Theology. She is anInternational Reporter for TMBSNetwork & Affiliates. She is the Ceo &Executive Producer of TMBS TV & RadioNetwork International Media Outlet! Sheis a all-around entertainer. Go to learn more...LIM Page 55

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A few people has played such a vital role as Suraj Mani in supporting indie music inIndia. His company Aum I Artist created the TV program called Music Mojo whichbecame the mainstay of Indie music in the south of India. Suraj is known for beingthe face of one of the top Rock bands in India - "Motherjane". A great story tellerhimself he further told a lot stories as Suraj Mani and the Tatva trip and now he hascome out with his latest work Oceania which is an adaptation of George Orwell story1984. Being an Indie musician myself I should say that the plaform what Suraj hadcreated along with his colleagues has helped artists like myself to express ourselvesand the massive Mojo Rising festival which they conducted annually. I (Jay Pillai)wanted to dig deep in to Surajs career and his music. So I drove down to his placeand asked him a few questions that may be of interest to our readers... Lets read...LIM Page 57

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Jay: You’ve been there for 20 plus yearsin the scene. So when you look back, whatdo you see yourself having transformedinto over the years.SM: Where I am now is a vocalist and asongwriter. I am also a storyteller. Withme, everything is a very heartfelt piece ofmy life that I’m putting out in art. Bydoing that I’m also allowing others toparticipate in the story. If I write my ownstory, it becomes an exclusive event.When you put your story in the form ofart, it is an invitation for every body toparticipate. Over the years when I hearpeople say ‘I don’t feel alone when I hearsome of your songs’, that message of‘you’re not alone’ is something Iconsciously or unconsciously do. Yourhopes, dreams and disappointments… allof this makes up life. It is not just thehighs. And your ability to outlast thenegatives is what sets you apart.Jay: Where did it all start? How did it allcome to be?SM: I’ve never done music during myschool days as such. I’ve covered somemusic when I was in the eighth standardand I found a greatest hits compilation ofthe beatles. That really resonated with meand I have come to love music. But ifsomebody would ask me to sing loudly, Icouldn’t do it. I would just blast the tapeloudly so it would drown out my voice.Then I went to engineering college andthat’s where people started telling me thatI could sing well. But still I found itdifficult to sing in public. But with thehelp of guys around I found my voice. Thefirst song I ever sang was yesterday, I justclosed my eyes and sang, in a group ofaround twelve-thirteen people. That got alot of people telling me that I sing welltoo. Then some seniors got me singing tooand they also started talking about mesinging well. After I finished myengineering and came to Bangalore.There I saw a band called stone cold, andthey invited me to jam with them. Butunfortunately I had to move back toKerala and played with Joboy for a littlebit.Jay: How did Motherjane come intoLIM Page 58

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being and who picked whom?SM: John and Clyde were batch mates incollege. They needed to do an event and itwas a cover band starting out. I jammedwith them and played a couple of DeepPurple and Maiden and stuff. And thenBaiju and I got around to just noodlingtogether. Later they invited me to join theband. Initially I wanted to quit because itfelt like the band wasn’t going anywhere.But then we started playing originalmusic and that sparked off the actualband, this was around 2000. All of us haddifferent tastes at that time and I evenremember being asked to sing somegrowls and death metal stuff, which Iwasn’t into at all. But our eclectic tastesactually contributed to our original taste.Jay: What were your thoughts onreleasing your original music?SM: It was a peculiar situation for usinitially. We had written this one songand then someone told us that NLS washappening. But the condition was that weneeded three original song. So we hadMaya already done and then we also didMindstreet and with three songs weplayed the event. We even won someawards. But what got me very excited wasthat people came to us and told us ouroriginal songs were really good. Thatacted as the driving force inspiring us tomake more original music.Jay: How did the name Motherjane comeby?SM: The simplest story is the truth whichis, when the band was rehearsing and stilldidn’t have a name for an upcoming gig -a friend of the band came into the roomand just said, “call the band Motherjane”and the name stuck. I wasn’t a part of theband back then, I came in when the bandwas about four years into the scene.Jay: How do you typically composemusic?SM: I have always written the lyrics first.The only song I haven’t written the lyricswas mindstreet. We were stoppingLIM Page 61

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practise one day and that song came out of this riff that Rex Vijayan was playing. Itdeveloped into a song and then I went home and wrote the lyrics. But otherwise it isalways lyrics first, I will write and finish the lyrics and then I have no idea how, butit naturally sings to me.Jay: How was your recording processes?SM: there were only a few bands recording at that point such as thermal and aquarter. Money was a difficulty back then and studio times was expensive. Ourrecording was done in Kochi and the mixing and mastering was done by Didier assuggested by Thermal and Quarter.Jay: Usually in our Indian productions, the Master kind of takes away the originalityfrom the song and your hopes of a really good output would be lost.SM: I do agree with that to support that statement, our records were initiallyLIM Page 62

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rejected by The Great Indian Rock andthen after mixing and mastering withDidier, it was easily approved.Jay: Talking about Tattva Trip. When youstarted the project, what was your mindaiming at? Is it about reinvention ordoing something entirely new?SM: I felt compelled to tell my story. Inorder to remain honest in the process andart. It is a compulsion to make sense ofmy life. I took that chance to pull at thedifferent threads and finally they tookshape as songs. I did one EP called rinseand repeat during the lockdown and itwent to No. 2 on world independentmusic charts. It was just me on guitarsand a tabla player.Jay: What is the direction you want totake with Tattva Trip? Is there a Dylan-esque aspect to it?SM: I am more inclined towards Cohenmore than Dylan, so I would say it ismore Cohenesque in terms of whom Iadore more. Cohen has a lot of spiritualelements that resonates with me. He ismore about understanding life and that’swhere I gravitate more towards. If youtake a band, it is the band that willhighlights these emotions. At the essenceof the whole thing, I am writing aboutwhat I felt and stuck through it. Anymusician who collaborates with meallows me to expand the palette of themusic.Jay: Is your music more emotiondependant or word centric?SM: Both, I am very emotional in mymusic and I put my heart and soul intomy music. It is also very word centrictoo.Jay: You also had another version ofyou through Aum I artistes. Tell usmore...SM: That was just me paying forwardor so to speak. When Motherjanestarted out we never could makevideos to showcase talents and wenever had the opportunities that bandsfrom the North used to have. Aum Iartistes also managed Motherjane, soafter Motherjane, I approached kappaTV and in association with them wemade videos for bands on thatchannel. We ensured that the bandswere paid too. And these bands couldget more gigs based on the videos theyshowcased. Every band was given theirpay check on the day of theperformance. So it is setting aprecedence of what to expect for thebands.Jay: What’s waiting for you in the nexttwo years from where you are now?SM: I just finished recording a newalbum, mixed and mastered too. Justwaiting for the album art and it’sinspired by the novel 1984 by GeorgeOrwell. It’s about a dystopian fictionalcountry called Oceania . It is me andan accoustic guitar and I think we havedone a pretty decent job of presentingthe concept through this you can checkit out ( Suraj Mani plays the album tome).It was a treat to a serious musiclistener and all I can say about what Iheard was " This is an album thatcomes from a very matured musicianwho knows how to tell a story and itLIM Page 63

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doesn't need too many instruments to convey the story in the most powerful way...Kudos! to Suraj Mani for pulling this off so good. When I drove back from Suraj'splace to my home all that was ringing in my ear were the songs and the story ofthose songs . I can say that there is more to come out of this seasoned musician andit is only going to sound better each time. Suraj Mani has done his bit as a musicianand as a genuine promoter of independent music and all those who have used theplatform of Music Mojo has been immensely benifited from this gentle man whocreated great music and supported great musicians. Lazie Indie Magazine is aboutmusicians and people who support independent musicians and here we havespotted some one who fits into both. Lazie Indie Magazine and all of us here dothink what Suraj has contributed to music world as and artist and a promoter needsto be told and celebrated. We are glad we spoke to him ... and until next time... ciao!LIM Page 64

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Emma Goldberg speaks to Russell Foisy who is a recording artist and a radio showhost. We get to know more about his music career from a fan of music to someonewho actually creates them and then the growth from his frist album till date ...Let usknow more about his influences, his music making process and yes his futureplans... Lets read...LIM Page 66

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Emma: Hi Russell Foisy, welcome toLazie Indie Magazine. You have had along and exciting career in music so far,how do you see it yourself?RF: A dream come true to share my songswith the world and receive very kindcomments.Emma: Who is/are your musicalinfluences? How did you pick up music asa career option?RF: I began singing in a choir when I wasyoung and was very interested inharmony. My musical influences are TheEagles and Pink Floyd, just brilliantEmma: How do you go about your musiccreation? How are the songs written andproduced?RF: Melody, Lyrics, Chord Compositionin this order, write with a Mish mash ofwords then structure later to verse,chorus and bridge .Emma: Where can we see your musicreleases over the internet? Tell us aboutyour latest or upcoming release.RF: I am on Spotify, Apple iTunes andAmazon on the web, in 2022 releasedCauseway Bridge EP(five new tracks) anda single "Dream".Emma: What do you look to convey toyour listeners when you create music,which dominates, a lyrical theme or amusical feeling?RF: I need to be a story teller from start tofinish in my song, it's important for mylistener to understand my meaning.Emma: What do you like to do the mostin music? writing, producing orperforming liveRF: First is writing, the quiet gathering ofthoughts is so creative for me.Emma: What are your immediate futureplans say for 2023?RF: This year I will focus on writing andpromoting my music, I will appear in aOriginal Lyrics Song Festival in DelandFlorida on April 22ndEmma: Among all your collaborationswhich one is the dearest to you and why?LIM Page 67

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RF: Kory Manchester is my music brotherwho played all guitars, bass and mandolinon my EP release. Glock-9ne played keysand kick drum on my single DreamEmma: What was the best advice given toyou and what would you give as piece ofadvice to fellow musicians?RF: Stay on your success path and don'tstop, especially when negative people getin the way.About the ColumnistEmma Goldberg is French Pop Singer,Composer, Video Producer, Authorwriting in Italian, Spanish, English,French. She also is a radio host in Radio242 UK introducing independentmusicians to audiences across UK, Franceand the nearby countries. Emma has herown radio show called Just like Emmawhich is maintained here for the columnshe contributes toLazie Indie Magazine.LIM Page 68

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