ROMAN LEWIS


Roman Lewis by mystupidsketchbook

Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is he?
“I’m a full time comedian who’s taken up music to play to bigger audiences and propel my comedy career to the next level. Only joking! ;)”

“I like music a lot. I’m a child of 17, hence me not taking this question as seriously as I should be. I listen to a lot of music and play quite a bit. I think that sums things up quite well. ”

Lewis’ debut EP Heartbreak will be out January 2019 via Bright Antenna Records.

WHAT is the inspiration behind his songs?
“I get the inspiration for my songs from my thoughts or feelings and just things I’m going through really. The beautiful thing about writing about your own experiences is you end up with little tokens of past selves you can keep with you. It also helps liberate things you didn’t even know you felt and let go of things you don’t want to feel anymore.”

Roman Lewis

WHERE did he grow up?
“I’ve lived in London all my life and couldn’t be happier about it. The music scene in London is amazing! I go to gigs at least every couple of weeks and have been for a long time. It’s also allowed me to a play a lots of gigs ever since the ripe old age 13. I’ve been at a French school all my life though so I’ve spent most of my summers in France.”

WHY are people drawn to his music?
“I don’t know but I’ll take it! I write a lot about myself and, as we’re all the same really, people can probably relate somehow. My biggest joy is listening to music so I’m just happy that I’m being a source of this joy for some people I guess.”

WHEN can I see him live?
“I’m supporting BLAENAVON in Guildford on 19th October and BLOXX in London on 22nd November, but I should hopefully have a bunch more coming up soon. I announce all my gigs on whatever social media kids are still using nowadays.”

HOW can I get to know him better?
Listen & Watch: Soundcloud // Spotify // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Instagram

BEN WOODS

Ben Woods by mystupidsketchbook

Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is he?
“My name is BEN WOODS. I played music casually when I was young and started playing in bands when I was a teenager. I’ve played and toured in a couple bands I’ve written songs for, or in friends’ bands in more supportive roles.”

“I think I started playing music because of the space I saw music performance opening up for people. I was a relatively shy and emotionally repressed young person, and I think despite the fact I would not have actively thought this at the time, I was attracted to the idea that people could get on stage and be allowed a little area and time to be incredibly emotionally forthright and confronting. Often to an obnoxious degree in a lot of cases with the music I was listening to as a twelve year old, and seemingly without really ever upsetting or scaring anyone! It was also just a fun thing to occupy me and my little friends’ time of course.”

Woods is set to release his debut album in December.

WHAT is the inspiration behind first single Lozenge?
“Funnily enough Lozenge is a song I wrote in a clinic I was in during a drug trial I did to fund the album it features on. I wrote it during a period in which I started feeling increasingly alienated by the city I have spent my whole life living in, but was too stubborn at the time to allow myself the time to grieve the things I needed to when I knew there were more things in front of me I wanted to get to. Getting to them required effort and money which costs time, so that’s why I was sitting in a hospital ward with a bunch of strangers when I wrote it.”

“The song is not particularly representative of the other music I’ve written and recorded recently in terms of energy, but I think it captures pretty well that manic, running desperately 100kph into the future whilst losing your shit feeling that takes us all every once in a while.”

Ben Woods Lozenge

WHERE did he grow up?
“I’ve always lived in Christchurch, New Zealand, which as you may have noticed by my last answer I have an up and down relationship with. I think that’s more to do with me and that I’ve been here all my life than the city itself, then sometimes I’m unsure. There are a lot of talented people I love here. The music scene that I’m most often attached to is pretty insular, and often not well attended, but there’s a good couple people who give a lot of time and energy to it and make nice things happen. Maybe because it’s often pretty relaxed and not always booming it means the people playing music put a lot of care into it, rather than half-arse it just to be part of something? There’s always an element of that, but I think that might be the case to some degree… Maybe that’s effected me somehow! ”

WHY are people drawn to his music?
“I’m not sure about other people, but I can say that when I have been enjoying my music most recently! It’s because it hopefully reflects a few things I love in other people’s music. Those things are pretty much just the ability to be super minimal with things and allowing sounds space, not being afraid to be vulnerable, and mixing weird sounds with really basic nice melodies.”

WHEN can I see him live?
“I’ve just finished a tour of New Zealand recently. I’m opening for another NZ band TINY RUINS this month. Am hoping to play as much as I can over the summer period here and get around as far as I can.”

HOW can I get to know him better?
Listen & Watch: Soundcloud // Spotify // Bandcamp // Youtube
Follow: Facebook

ELIZA SHADDAD

Eliza Shaddad by mystupidsketchbook

Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is she?
“I’m ELIZA SHADDAD. A Sudanese/Scottish musician based in London. I sung pretty much from birth apparently and I studied piano at school. I wrote my first song aged 8 and I got my first guitar at 16. I learned about music at folk festivals, which I used to work at during summer holidays, and then after studying Philosophy at Uni I went to a conservatoire to study Jazz.”

Eliza’s debut album Future is out on 28th October on Beatnik Creative.

WHAT is the inspiration behind her songs?
“I think the lyrics are pretty straightforward really. I’m mostly inspired by emotions and personal relationships, though I strive to widen that view. Musically I guess my forthcoming album has shades of folk storytelling combined with 90s grunge and trip hop and East Coast surf pop.”

ElizaShaddad_Melanie Tjeong.jpg

Photo: Melanie Tjeong

WHERE did she grow up?
“My mum worked abroad so me and my brother grew up in Spain, Nigeria, Poland, Slovakia and Russia. I loved it, and I think I love escaping because of it. And that informs my relationships, which in turn informs my music. I guess I’ve been exposed to a lot of different sounds and musical structures which has influenced the way I write too.”

“I live in London now so the music scene is pretty epic.”

WHY the title Future for her debut album?
“Because it was time to move on.”

WHEN can I see her live?
I’m on tour with BETH ROWLEY this month, TURIN BRAKES next month, and then we have headline UK dates in November and in Europe in December. Come :)”. Tickets here.

HOW can I get to know her better?
Listen & Watch: Website // Soundcloud // Spotify // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

LONNIE STOREY

Lonnie Storey by mystupidsketchbook

Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is he?
LONNIE STOREY got obsessed with THE BEATLES when he was about ten years old, after watching Yellow Submarine round his friends’ house.

“It just made me want to be a Beatle and play music. I even had a dodgy moptop for a bit too. Since then music’s been the focal point of my life and I started playing my Dad’s old guitar all the time thanks to that cracker of a film.”

“When I started playing, me and my cousins used to sit in my Grandma’s shed and write music together for hours, we wrote a song called ‘cool girl’. I think it was the first song I ever wrote and it was unsurprisingly a total shocker, but I’ve written hundreds of songs since then. Hopefully I’ve come on a bit.”

Lonnie’s debut release Make it Slow is out now.

WHAT is the inspiration behind Make it Slow?
Make it Slow is pretty sad really. It’s about taking forever to break up with someone and all the miscommunication that comes before, during and after it. It’s a reluctant acceptance of leaving the comfort of being really close with a person and taking the fall out of it gradually. I wanted it to come across as positive and relaxed musically however. I wanted to express all those feelings with some optimism. I tend to write about rubbish things, but from a positive point of view. I find it really therapeutic.”

“I take my inspiration from all over the place, DAVID BYRNE and JOHN MARTYN have always been classic inspirations for me. Artists like UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA and ARIEL PINK are pretty big inspirations right now too.”

Lonnie Storey by Rachel Marshall

Photo: Rachel Marshall

WHERE did he grow up?
“I grew up in this place called Ugley. Isn’t that rubbish? It’s actually really lovely though it’s a really rural place where I used to sit in fields and write poems when I was an anxty teenager. I was a runner-up in an Ugley Beauty contest once too.”

“I think growing up in Ugley made me really appreciate any sort of new live music because no one ever played there so on the weekends I’d always jump on a train to see bands play. Even if I wasn’t really into the bands playing it became a bit of a ritual to go to as many gigs as I could afford. I think it made me pretty open minded to all sorts of different music, because there wasn’t masses of choice.”

“I’ve lived in London for a few years now. I love that there’s so much going on here. It’s refreshing as the scene is always growing and moving around. There’s always new stuff to soak in and get inspired by. Reprezent are my local radio station and they always push new stuff I like.”

“I’m also recording quite a bit in Liverpool at the mo and I’m getting quite drawn into the scene there. I love a band called HER’S from up there who are one of my absolute faves right now.”

WHY are people drawn to his music?
“Someone told me recently my voice made them want to fall asleep. Hopefully they didn’t mean they were bored but they were bobbing their head around and humming along which isn’t an awful sign! People have been telling me they’re really into the dreamy sound I’m coming up with and that it’s catchy too which is well lovely to hear.”

WHEN can I see him live?
“I’m booking up my first shows for this project at the moment. Keep an eye on my socials, I should be playing pretty soon!”

Lonnie is also supporting MARTHA HILL at the Hope and Anchor in London on 2nd November.

HOW can I get to know him better?
Listen: Soundcloud // Spotify
Follow: Facebook // Instagram

LORKIN O’REILLY

Lorkin O’Reilly by mystupidsketchbook

Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is he?
LORKIN O’REILLY
is a 24-year-old Scottish folk songwriter based in the state of New York.

His debut album Heaven Depends is out now via Team Love Records.

WHERE did he grow up?
“I grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, but now live in Catskill, NY. Initially I came out here as a volunteer, working on a therapeutic farm with young adults with special needs. That was when I really began writing, I found an old guitar in the basement which I restrung and tuned up. Before then I was listening to THIN LIZZY, BLACK SABBATH and ZEPPELIN, but being alone in my room with an acoustic shifted my impulse and direction hugely.”

WHAT music inspires him?
“For the past few years I’ve been listening to DICK GAUGHAN, MARK KOZELEK, JOE PUG, LAURA MARLING, FIONN REGAN, DANIEL BACHMAN, DONOVAN, SCOTT HUTCHISON, CHRIS SMITHER, JOHN MARTYN, THE FELICE BROTHERS, THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH, NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL and MC TAYLOR.”

LorkinOReilly

WHY the title Heaven Depends for his debut album?
“I wrote the record whilst working with a construction company in Poughkeepsie, NY, building liquor stores, car dealerships and office blocks. I worked with many fellow immigrants, most of whom were undocumented. The title came from there, a sort of play on the ‘American Dream’.”

WHEN can I see him live?
Have a look here for all the live dates.

HOW can I get to know him better?
Listen & Watch: Website // Bandcamp // Spotify // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

JOHNNY KILLS

Johnny Kills by mystupidsketchbook

Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO are they?
JOHNNY KILLS are TIM, biological brother LEWIS LLOYD-KINNINGS and spiritual brother CAMERON GIPP. “We’d been in and out of several different bands with different line ups together for a few years in Cambridge, but started doing stuff as JOHNNY KILLS about two years ago. We posted a couple of demos online a bit before but that’s when we got our shit together. Pretty ridiculously we started up just as CAMERON started uni in Brighton, TIM started uni in York and LEWIS moved to London, so we didn’t make it easy for ourselves. But we’ve finished now so kicking things up a gear.”

JOHNNY KILLS‘ new single Who’s Counting? is out now on Killing Moon Records.

WHAT is the inspiration behind their songs?
“We tend to write songs about the stage of life we’re at – in our early 20s and pretty clueless. We describe it as early 20s panic because most of our songs detail the problems with a lower case p that you face at this age – stuff like awkward social situations, feeling that you don’t really know what you’re doing and young relationships, all with an unhealthy dose of overthinking.”

“In terms of music inspiration, we love loads of stuff but I guess at the moment we’re more noticeably influenced by fuzzy garagey rock – so bands like FIDLAR, WAVVES, YUCK. A fuzzy sound for fuzzy times. There’s loads of other bands we love too, like WOLF PARADE, BLACK HONEY, CARSEAT HEAD REST to name just a few.”

Johnny Kills

WHERE are they from?
“We’ve been pretty spread out between the three of us, so hopefully that’s meant we’ve seen and taken cues from a lot of different acts. Brighton is known for its great music scene with BLACK HONEY, MAGIC GANG and THYLA leading the way at the moment. London obviously always has loads going on and York is underrated for music we feel, being a vibrant student city. Cambridge also shaped us a lot, with there being some great bands we grew up with like FOREST and also BLOODY KNEES to look up to. Those guys were probably where we were first introduced to the ‘fuzz on everything’ approach we’re taking at the moment.”

WHY the name Johnny Kills?
“That’s a secret.”

WHEN can I see them live?
Have a look here for upcoming events.

HOW can I get to know them better?
Listen & Watch: Soundcloud // Spotify // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

RALPH

Ralph by mystupidsketchbook

Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is she?
“I’m RALPH, I do synth/pop/disco/soul/rnb music. I studied vocal performance at an arts high school in Toronto where I got over my stage fright and learned that I actually loved the stage. After that I sang in a couple different music projects – I knew I liked doing music and it made me happy, BUT I wasn’t sure if it was THE thing for me. I actually wanted to do acting. Until, I went to go see one of my favorite artists (PATRICK WATSON) play a massive outdoor show in Montreal. I was surrounded by thousands of people totally mesmerized by his music and all of a sudden, I had this clarity. It was crazy. I got a tattoo of his lyrics to commemorate that feeling.”

WHAT is the inspiration behind her songs?
“I guess I naturally gravitate towards writing about relationships – whether it’s with yourself, or with others. It’s a universal concept that defines so much of our lives and emotional make up, so I like that listeners can really relate to the words. Because of my folk/singer songwriter roots, I love narrative song writing and incorporate that into my pop songs. I’m always striving to create catchy dance tracks with lyrical depth.”

RALPH

WHERE did she grow up?
“I’ve lived in downtown Toronto my whole life, although I did live in Copenhagen for one year doing school. I’m really lucky because both my parents have country properties near Toronto that we share with my aunts uncles cousins etc. So, although I’m a big city girl and I love wild, hot nights biking around Toronto, I also appreciate sneaking away for quiet weekends. When I write in the country, my songs end up being more sad and emotional, where as when I’m writing in the city, they’re dance-y and fun.”

“Toronto has such an insane music scene, I feel really privileged to be a part of it, especially right now with so many artists popping off (DANIEL CAESAR, JESSIE REYEZ, DRAKE). Whenever I need inspiration or satisfaction, I’ll go see a friend’s band play – there’s literally music everywhere.”

WHY are people drawn to her music?
“I think people like my music because it borrows from old and new – a friend once described it as timeless and I loved that, such a wicked compliment. Ideally I want my songs to connect with a variety of listeners, even people who wouldn’t normally give ‘pop’ a chance. I also spend a lot of time on my lyrics, and I think that’s another reason people feel drawn to the songs. When I’m writing about a specific, important moment – a break up, the beginnings of a crush – I really try to nail the feeling through words and even vocal delivery.”

WHEN can I see her live?
“I’m doing a festival on August 18th called Elora River Fest and CARLY RAE is performing the same day! I’m so excited to fan girl and dance. We’re doing some fun Canada dates in the fall and hopefully sprinkling in some Europe…also have some fun tour plans we’re excited to announce soon. Follow me on IG to keep up!”

HOW can I get to know her better?
Listen & Watch: Soundcloud // Spotify // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

FAR CASPIAN

Far Caspian by mystupidsketchbook

Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO are they?
“We are FAR CASPIAN. JOEL (singer/guitar), ALESSIO (bass), JOF (drums) and NATH (lead Guitar). We started playing together in January after JOEL decided to turn his recording project into a band. ”

WHAT is the inspiration behind their songs?
“We try to sing about things people our age are experiencing. Moving into adulthood, figuring out who you are, what’s going on around us socially and of course the classic ‘I like this girl but she doesn’t like me’ type situations. The first EP (out later this year via UK label Dance To The Radio) is largely inspired by events growing up and moving away from your hometown.”

“We all have different inspirations but some bands that we have in common are JOY DIVISION, DR DOG, TAME IMPALA and KINGS OF LEON.”

WHERE are they from?
“Our upbringings are all quite contrasting. JOEL was raised in a small town in Ireland whereas ALESSIO is from London. NATH is from Coventry and JOF moved around, living in Dubai and Spain. So I think we all draw inspiration from those places and find a balance in the middle. I think all of us being from different places works really well for us as we don’t necessarily have a ‘Local sound’.”

“Where I (JOEL) was raised, there wasn’t much of a scene so I had to just make one up for myself. That was sort of the beginning of FAR CASPIAN. There were very few gigs so writing and recording songs in my bedroom was a way to still create.”

Far Caspian

WHY are they called FAR CASPIAN?
“We all loved C.S. LEWIS’s books as kids and the majority of the band’s favourite book was ‘Prince Caspian’. We didn’t want to name it the exact same as the book’s title so we switched Prince to Far. We also thought about Aslan but that was taken!”

WHEN can I see them live?
Catch them in Leeds on 26th September at The Key Club: Dork Presents (with Indoor Pets and whenyoung).

HOW can I get to know them better?
Listen & Watch: Soundcloud // Spotify // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

FIL BO RIVA

Fil Bo Riva by mystupidscketchbook

Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is he?
“I’m FIL BO RIVA and I first started doing music at around 10. My neighbours were big BEATLES fans and we used to hang there a lot and listen to music. They had a basement with drums and other instruments and we just started playing there.”

WHAT is the inspiration behind his songs?
“I sing about love or themes that develop from love. For me that’s the core of everything else and I simply feel very comfortable writing about those things. My inspiration is mainly restricted to the girl I’m with right now, that’s where everything comes from… other times it’s things I’ve gone through in the past. In the end I simply love writing – sometimes it’s real things but other times I just make up a story for fun.”

WHERE did he grow up?
“I grew up between Italy and Ireland. These places made me what I am today and I’m very glad and lucky I had this chance. Italy gave me my first knowledge in music and in Ireland I developed everything I knew to the next level. I’m living in Berlin at the moment and this city was the last stop before I started taking music seriously. It made us grow up and gave us what we achieved today. I personally think the music scene here is extremely good and you can find a lot of good people willing to work with you.

Fil Bo Riva by Juliane Spaete
Photo: Juliane Spaete

WHY the name ‘Fil Bo Riva’?
“’Fil Bo’ is simply cut out of my real name (FILIPPO BONAMICI). ‘Riva’ was one of 50 other names I had written in my notebook and collected for about half a year. I wanted to have a name with 3 words because I found it sounded and looked more interesting.”

WHEN can I see him live?
“We’ll be playing quite a few festivals over the summer…”. Find all dates here.

HOW can I get to know him better?
Listen & Watch: Website // Spotify // Soundcloud // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

​AISHA BADRU

Aisha Badru by mystupidscketchbook
Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is she?
“My name is, AISHA BADRU. I’m a singer-songwriter from Yonkers, New York. I’ve always had a love for singing and I’ve always had a passion for literature, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I taught myself how to play the guitar and started writing my own songs. I used to have extreme stage-fright, so it took a lot of courage to go from the bedroom to having millions of streams on Spotify.”

AISHA‘s debut album Pendulum is out now on Nettwerk.

WHAT is the inspiration behind her songs?
“I sing a lot about finding strength in times of peril. In the beginning, I pulled a lot of inspiration from my personal relationships, but now as I’ve been on an accelerated spiritual journey and have been getting a more complete view of the world through traveling, I’m beginning to pull from the collective issues that we all share.”

WHERE did she grow up?
“I grew up in a low income neigborhood in Southwest Yonkers. Growing up in that sort of environment presents challenges because there aren’t many resources and opportunities available to help you to propel upward.”

“My experience growing up there has shaped who I am as an artist because it has allowed me to form a deep understanding of existing systematic issues and how a lack of resources can push you to repeat patterns that keep you in a hole. With that said, it has awakened my revolutionary spirit that comes through on songs like Mind On Fire.”

Aisha Badru Photo Credit Zev Schmitz
Photo: Zev Schmitz

WHY the title Pendulum for her debut album?
Pendulum represents the swing between the light and dark aspects of life. One day I was sitting on the bus and the word popped into my head and immediately I knew that it would be the title of my album. I think it’s fitting because although my album may appear melancholy, if you really listen, the overall message points to the light at the end of the tunnel.”

WHEN can I see her live?
“I’m planning a US tour for the summer and a European tour for the fall. You can follow me on social media for updates regarding specifics.”

HOW can I get to know her better?
Listen & Watch: Website // Spotify // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram