Saturday, 26 August 2017

on self-promotion

I'd like to report singing discrimination.

Come see why a music blogger doesn't want my song: "You have a nice voice, but you're not using it correctly. I would love to hear some high vocals from you on the next song." How do you like this, kids? Maybe these deductions are too refined for a hayseed like me? I have three questions for the progressive music community:

1. Does singing high notes make use of the low voice correct? 
2. Are male singers with deep voices being often given this kind of advice?
3. What would Johnny Cash do?





Monday, 24 July 2017

Too Country For Rock And Roll

'Weird vocals, and sounds like country' 
random SubmitHub blogger feedback




In order to promote our release I've been sending it to blogs and magazines, and I also bought 50 premium credits on SubmitHub, which meant I was supposed to get feedback from bloggers. That's how we found out we were country artists. And blues artists to some people. Money well spent xD. There even were some parallels drawn between us and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

First we were like: "They can't be serious. Country artists would laugh in our faces. Do they know what blues sounds like?  What's wrong with country after all?" And then we were listening carefully to the music those bloggers actually approved, music that doesn't sound like country, where vocals are not weird (not for me), music that was supposed to sound innovative, unlike our oldschool countryish song. 

We're not naive anymore. From the 80's they only took nasty keyboard sounds, and not tiger print pants, hair and fat riffs. Tons of reverb, weak songwriting, snobbish beat, boring vocals, emotionlessness - would you waste more than half a second to understand this is nothing but modern hipster shit?  You can't even tell one artist from another, so who cares about the genre? Their shoegaze and indie folk sound equally mediocre to me. Vice versa, half a second of slide guitar is enough for the bearded guys to know this is country, blues or classic rock - they don't care what in particular. To them it's not cool.

 We're at war, kids. Not only I live in Russia (this simple fact is enough to seek compassion), and have to spend a fortune to travel abroad anytime I want to make a record and play a good show. Getting people to listen to my music appers to be quite a task, as my media presence depends on people who've hardly heard anything better than Momford and Sons in their entire lives. 

I think somehow I'll find a way. At the end of the day, to me things are not so bad as long as people discuss my music, and not my genitals. Watch the video, and listen to the poor big girl unburdening her mind.




Tuesday, 18 July 2017

I could be brown I could be blue


On Saturday Denis and I were on the national radio. Hard to believe, but true. A friend of a DJ saw our video on Facebook and loved it, and we spent an hour talking about music and playing our own songs for the whole country. An hour in the parallel reality, where we were living the life we want. Just like 10 days in the UK this May, where we were only recording and playing shows. 

Will I live to see the day this carriage doesn't turn into a pumking? Will we just be doing what musicians do? Psychologists say one should live here and now. I know I must be old enough not to expect anything. But everytime a TV show, a radio show, an article, a single review happens, I think: "This is the moment I've been waiting for". Well, the night after the radio show I've got +1 YouTube subscription.  





Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Daily Mail, Roses, and Freaks

There you go. You asked for it - we dit it. Live version of our cover. I post my songs, I post a cover a week, and, believe it or not, more than a year ago, when we recorded our voices, made a video in my apartment and posted it online, there was no way we could predict Daily Mail would do an article about this particular video, and then I would get interviewed on talkRADIO. Btw doing a live interview over the phone in English is no joke! So, no, it wasn't fake. I'm pretty sure, those who hate it are still gonna hate it though, but I enjoyed the idea of doing what people wanted to see, given that usually nobody cares.

We know what impression we make. We know our voices are not for everyone. To ourselves we are not freaks at all, this is just how we sing and always have, but are we being we serious? No, neither should you be. I believe, for some of you our cover is entertaining, but we do not think we make great art when we cover Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue this way. This is a great song, but this is not my song.
Thank you guys for watching, thank you for all your likes, messages and comments. Now I know many people outside Russia are interested - and this is absolutely inspiring.


See you on the other side.
Jools.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnRKCzISOU4&lc=z13kgnn5dviadtx4a04cix2hsubms5wbaig

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

from the suburbia with love

Although I live in the capital, musicwise I've always been shy of my provinciality. In this post I talked about it. Yes I like what I do but what if? I may take the whole thing serously, the diy or die and stuff, but  there's a chance, due to the provinciality mentioned above, I am nothing but rediculous in the eyes of a big clever Western Man, and I'll never know why. Rediculuos like the golden bracelette Joe bought for Chandler. And I'll never be part of their Western World and will stay in Russia forever (no, no, please, no). Today part of the nightmare came true ;)

All of a sudden a bunch of americans came here and LAUGHED at me. 'Sounds like mcvickers from beavis and butthead'. Ouch. This one is rather complimentary: 'Sounds good... but I can not watch her sing.... she makes too many Faces?' 'Sing it in your regular tone.. thats terrible. Sounds very forced'. I actually agree, but when you make a cover a week why not sing higher just once. This is not even my song. People don't know this and  Facebook Team only knows what brought them to my video, I'm not boosting it.

And you know what, I realized there's nothing to be afraid of. What really brings a musician down is being unnoticed. Besides the hype (let's players and beauty bloggers would call those poor 10 comments a puddle) brings likes to my facebook page, and this is what I make covers for. And after The Voice participation I am rather immune to the bad comments in the Internet. Even to the Western bad comments.


photo by Pavel Swei taken from https://www.facebook.com/yebenya/

Hello I'm Jools

Here's all I've got to say about my music contests experience. 
By the way, those 'auditions' sketches before and after the song are based on real events..
When participating on TV contests it's easy to get hooked on quick fame, and it's tough when you find yourself forgotten several months after. I got rid of my addiction this year when refused to participate on The Voice of Ukraine.
It's better to post your songs for several people on Facebook as there's nothing better than doing what you really want. A TV show will not give you that.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Jaded Mandarin

Couple of weeks ago, when I went to Novosibirsk for another corporate event I was told a story about our local popstar, who was famous in the 90s. On board a private jet during a flight to Chukotka (the region where Abramovich used to be a governor) she was catching mandarin cantels in her mouth and was paid a 1000 euros per every caught one. People who make huge money without actually working enjoy humiliating artists. And they feel small themselves when they invite extremely popular media personalities. Dignity is relative, and I personally always feel humiliated when I sing at private events even without mandarins.
There's no show business in Russia. End of discussion. Performing at private events is the way famous artists make money. Why bother selling tickets and albums if you can be a billioner's favorite trained pet. And there still are people in our impoverished after 2014 country, who throw lavish parties for their own delight.
I'm not famous, rich guys don't feel small when they see me. It's been four years since The Voice, but someone out there still wants me to sing my blind auditions song and say: "Good evening ladies and gentlemen, happy new year, enjoy your meal". Things can't be that easy though. In order to please a customer you ought to sing with a children's choir dressed like a teacher, or sing as a duo with another talent show participant, the one you detest of course, or play a cow (true story). And every time I stand behind the stage and hear a pathetic voice calling my name, I think: "Never again". This money is not that big by the way, but bigger than I earn a month as a music teacher.  You're a rocknroll soul who writes original songs, but you get paid for playing a cow and singing 'I wanna be loved by you' an octave lower. They don't pay for your songs. They don't offer anything else. Only a cow. What would you do? And you know, one of the things didn't know before I performed on The Voice is how hard it is to refuse money.