Month: May 2015

Newest indie hope on the radar.

There are big moments of splendeur coming from “A Modern Man”, however for everyone that knows him, no surprises there. He is without a doubt somebody that we are going to hear much more from during 2012, as he introduces his own take of British inspired adult indie pop to the world. It’s FM primed, a sort of match made between pop establishment and indie heaven. I meet up with him on a warm spring night and most of all wants to ask him, if as someone that sees himself as a full time bohemain feels about becoming a surprise superstar.

A Modern Man

A Modern Man

You draw inspirations from British Music, who are your real influences there?

Hmm I really have no clue where my inspiration comes from to be honest. However, the music that I tend to always return to listen to again and again all have an emphasis on the song writing rather than the production or sound.

But if I have to mention some artists it would have to be acts like David Bowie, the Verve and a lot of the bands from the Britpop era and of the more recent bands I would say the Vaccines and to some extent Elbow.

What is the single most important theme in your songs?

A good hook for a chorus! I always start with a hook I believe is as strong as possible. I don’t allow myself to write the rest of the song until I know that the core figure in the chorus is as strong as possible.

The funny thing is this is most often only a 4 too 6 seconds figure. But if you get that right you can step by step unfold the rest of the song starting with the full chorus and the verses. Guess you can say I’m pretty obsessed with choruses. We use to jokingly put it that the most important job for a verse is to create an emotional demand for the chorus.

Are you more a recording artist or a live artist?

At the time being I will have to answer that I’m more of a recording artist. Its two rather different disciplines in my opinion. Being able to completely dive into the recording universe is to me an extremely important thing in terms of defining my own sound.

You are very much a bohemian living in the Berlin at the moment, how does affect your music not to be in the UK?

Well the Berlin music scene is very different from the UK sound I identify with. Berlin is like a catalogue of electronic music where every sub style has its followers. If this will influence my own song writing are too early to say. But for sure staying in this city makes me listen to much more from the electronic underground than I would other vice do.

Your songs are kind of bittersweet, but also with a lot of hope and joy, is that the right way to put it?

Oh don’t get me started on this topic. I do hope that people feel an general underlying appeal to take responsible for their life. My biggest wish is that my songs make people feel powerful and daring when it comes to living.

I’ve personally always hade a melancholy side that I on the one hand cherish but on the other often found limiting me from living the life I want. The album is going to be called Transformations you know and many of the songs are inspired by personal transformations I have done during the last years.


Your label is doing everything rather different than any other player in the business, does that bother you or is it fun to be part of?

In the beginning it was a bit confusing how things where done at BritishPopSongs but now its just great being part of a label not afraid of doing things their own way. I mean, this industry is changing so rapidly and a lot of the old players don’t adapt fast enough as I see it. Of course there are times where you simply have no clue if is a crazy or absolutely brilliant plan they are about to roll out hahaha.

No to be honest I am very grateful to be working with somebody that is both as crazy and talented as Ian and the rest of the BritishPopSong team.

Debut single Liberty is out shortly through BritishPopSongs UK.

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Who is the Stian Summer project?

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“Even since I was kid the kind of songs that i really really liked and played over and over again and again were the ones that were simply brilliantly catchy!” Ian laughs.

Sitting in the sofa on a rather cold sunny friday afternoon in the always busy and cramped office space of BritishPopSongs.

“I kind of always thinks that the last song that I’ve made is the best one I have ever done, I’m not sure if that is very wise, actually kind of  stupid, so I kind of keep it to myself,  always”

the Stian Summer project is as it name indicates, a project on par with something like Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz but without the characters.  It’s ideally a record label on mission, a mission to kick-start a movement with a ‘What’s the hell attitude, let’s have fun” build around some real catchy upbeat songs, songs that are no rip-offs, no easy rides, simply as catchy as possible.

“What I like to see, is crowds jumping up and down as crazy as soon as the music sets in!” It’s music for grown-ups that kind of refuse to grow up, at least gracefully”

The 80’s England was full of great stuff, the Cure, the Smiths but there was also some HUGE sounding anthems back then. And one thing England has always has been top class at, is producing amazing songs and amazing singers. They have been so good to the global music scene, and music would have been no where  it has been without all those talented people on the islands.  Today it is much more fragmented and spread across many cities and countries on the planet..

the Stian Summer project digs deep into the concept that music should basically be fun. The songs should catch you first time around, and they should make you want to PRESS REPEAT as soon as over.

“That’s the way i react myself, if I want to press repeat when it’s over, then it’s a good song. If I doesn’t  then it’s simply just an OK song”

The most insane about the musical universe of TSSP is that there isn’t anything else out there quite like it. Sure you’ll hear bits of David Bowie, the Cure, the Smiths in there, but at the same time not at all. The songs are brilliantly catchy and the tunes sounds as sweet as ever.

In the end it is simply an unconditional love of pop culture that is behind the TSSP. Choruses to die for, arms in the air and the rest,  and only future will show that this band project is about to hit gold with such an infectious blend of power pop for the grown up generation.

the Stian Summer project is out now on BritishPopSongs UK.

 

BritishPopSongs releases She Told She Loved Me Not

Few things lasts as long as great musical memories. Things like “that” very first record you bought when kid will always get played on you iPod or stereo once in a while.
Stroy repeats itself when you as a musician and producer gets inspired by the sounds from way back.
There is something about the 80’s British Sound. For sure, the production does not seem to have aged well, but the songwriting and the very nerve in the songs are often way better than anything that comes out these days. Queen, U2 etc all had their heyday in the 80’s and are still among the best today.

Tellingly, Ian Nilsen from BritishPopSongs will agree on this. The 80’s was all made for a special atmosphere and if you combine that with great britpop moments you cant go much wrong. and London label BritishPopSongs is very much that..

By getting inspired by the best of 70’s to 90’s British Pop Music… coupled with some more than decent tunes, produced with some flair and imagination… and finally getting singers and lyric writers in that got something at heart (or just get on doing it yourselves under a bunch of synonyms)… you sum it up and you have the essential BritishPopSongs.

and with well over 50 singles lined up for future releases we haven’t heard the last from this bunch yet, far from it.

Stian Summer

Stian Summer

She Told She Loved Me Not by the Stian Summer Project is out now.

http://www.britishpopsongs.co.uk

Ian Nilsen – hyper active lover of good music

Ian Nilsen - Spring 2014

As Ian Nilsen from hip online label BritishPopSongs flicks through the songs on his beloved iPod you can see why people often classify him as a hyper active lover of good music as much as the passionated person behind his label and everything that is around it.

“He’s a real nut case when it comes to doing things that men likes, car wash, DIY etc, but when it comes to coming up with new ideas for his business there is nothing stopping him” says a close friend and fellow musical entrepreneur.

Ian is not unduly concerned with his manic approach to get his beloved sounds out and about even if it means that phone calls are often left unanswered for days.

Ian Nilsen:
“Call it what you like, It’s all good in the end. I think that if you are not passionate about what you do then it will shine though on your output. Too many people around these days just want to be famous for the sake of it, to stick out so to say. Me not, I actually rather that I could do what I want to do, and still be pretty secretive, however I have by now realized that it’s not an option. It’s a bit like running in circles”

If anything, Ian is happy to put all those ideas to life without being dependent on anyone else so to speak. After having drawn a line over much he had done earlier he sat down and made up some master plan about how he would realize his dreams. He moved around a bit, met people that he had known when teenager, but also hundreds of others that, often 5-10 years younger than him, inspired him more than he had been inspired before.

“It was, kind of, meeting all those people that was kids when i left home, and that had been educated very differently than myself and that had a real go at the world. Sure that has changed a bit now with the globe in a financial mess, but this will never have me giving up on my work, quite the other way round”

From Kim Wilde to Blondie, the inspirations of SoStina

I meet up with fast rising newcomer so:Stina to learn about her musical heroes. With songs initially debuted as an “experiment”, I feel that she probably has recorded what could very well end up as “a best song ever” and find my self rather surpriced when I learn that some of her real influences actually comes from the great area of British female pop. Enter the 80’s

You draw inspirations from British Music, who are your real influences there

The first artist that comes to mind is Kim Wilde. When I was 12 I brought home her album Love Moves – it was on a cassette tape at that time and it was from the library. It played non-stop for weeks – or more likely it was for months. I loved the emotions that she captured in her songs and her attitude. Still do. Blondie is another influence even though I haven’t intentionally listened to their music, but a few years back when I bought my first Blondie album ever, I discovered that I already knew a lot of their songs, without knowing the band.. And Dido. I like the way her voice is very natural I’d almost say neutral or naked sounding. She has this very straight forward way of singing. It’s simply honest and authentic. Other British artists I have been listening to a lot are Elton John, Queen and David Bowie.

You got a great cover for TONITE, tell about it

Well, one day I took a picture of myself using my webcam playing around with different looks and different effects on my mac book. You know, the things girls do… I just had my hair cut and did a few shots with it hair randomly (at least I made it look that way) and partly covering my face. And one of them ended up on the cover. It exhibits the attitude that we were looking for. And It’s got attitude… Revealing just enough to make people curious about that girl in black and grey scales covering her eye with a lock of hair and with a mouth that cannot decide wether to smile, kiss or tell you to f* off… haha.

Your songs are kind of bittersweet, but also with a lot of hope and joy, is that right

It’s spot on! I guess it’s sort of my thing. I sometimes attempt to write a happy and sweet song, because I want to show the world that I am a happy, openminded and smiling person most of the time, but it always makes me feel a little foolish. Like I am not being completely honest. And then I simply cannot finish the song.

So instead of thinking in terms of “happy and sweet songs” I am now thinking more in terms of “uplifting songs”. Being uplifted just means feeling a little better after having done whatever uplifting activity you have been doing. You don’t have to feel entirely happy or like celebrating all day, but you feel a little – or a lot – better than you felt before, which might still be miserable. But if miserable replaced suicidal, that’s good, right? Ok I can see that I sidetracked myself a bit there… Anyway, I like outlining the contrasts of life in my songs. These contrasts are reminders to myself that there are always two sides to a coin and that both sides are equally important. They support each other and are each others raison d’être.

The darkness makes light possible. You cannot be sad if you have never known happiness. The bittersweetness is a way for me to picture that. I find comfort in knowing that sadness is just the other side of happiness. Not worse, not better. That a feeling of loss is a natural result of love and having cared about something or someone. A lot of the suffering we experience in our lives comes from an attempt to either push away the bad things or try to hold on to the good things. The more we resist or grasp, the more we suffer because nothing is permanent. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing. Basically the best thing to do is to let go of all of our desires.
That way we can live in the moment and fully take it in an enjoy it. No expectations, no disappointments, just curiosity about what this crazy little life will bring us next. Back to me writing bittersweet songs infused with hope and joy, I believe that there is this inherent goodness in all of us, no matter what side the coin lands on.

This inner light – you can call it joy or love or God – shines even on the cloudiest day. For me writing about the clouds instead of the light is just a little more interesting. And to me writing about the clouds is just another way of writing about the sun. I see it as a recognition of our inner light when we dare speak, write or sing about things that hurt.

When I write about these things, it is not because some negative feeling has taken over, but on the contrary it’s because a part of me is holding on to a hope and a belief that my inner joy will be shining through again one day. If everything was completely dark I wouldn’t even bother to write…

ian Nilsen: I wouldn’t do it any other way!

the Stian Summer project aka Ian Nilsen has revelaed that he wouldn’t do his pet project any other way – despite being runing hip indie pop label BritishPopSongs at the same time.

 

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The man about town told a German journalist that he simply could not bin a project that has such an amount of fun built into it’s very core. “Not in a million years I could drop this on the floor.”

He went on to say that now that his beloved label is taking off big time, he feels that he is in it for life.

“You know, I feel i have worked my butt off for this, so even if I end up being accused of being here, there and everywhere, I’ll probably just say, yeah`and?”.

Not being exactly a tyran, he is certainly someone who talks your socks off! he said once that allthough, writing and producing was his main call, it could simply not be his sole focus from now on. “i started this to have massive amounts of fun really. It’s been tough at times, when you are running against the wind, and are a bit early on all those new ideas, but in the end, no regrets. I get to talk to some people who thought I was some prankster and a fake, so it’s funny now to see how they react on the success we are enjoying at the moment”

But Ian has also being re-evaluating himself in terms of where who should put himself in all this. It’s cool enough being Mr. everything, but you’ll need to focus on  many aspects. “When I was first starting in music, I was young and naive, and yes, did tons of mistakes, but you know what? You evntually learn from your mistakes, and then you have no fear. So I guess I overdo everything these days. I’m just too much.” (laughs)

Check out BritishPopSongs UK on http://www,britishpopsongs.co.uk