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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Crystal Waters: Exclusive Q&A

Crystal Waters is a phenomenally successful house-music artist who virtually needs no introduction. She burst onto the scene with the mega-successful "Gypsy Woman" in 1991 and has had a slew of club and radio hits ever since, including "100% Pure Love," "My Time," "Never Enough," "Destination Calabria"  (#1 in over 25 countries),"Le Bump," and, most recently, "Oh Mama Hey." A child prodigy, Crystal Waters is the youngest person inducted into the American Poetry Society. She was 14.  It was such a privilege to have the chance to interview Ms Waters, personally, as a long-time fan. The Q&A was arranged by promoter Barbara Sobel, to whom I express deep gratitude for the opportunity.

Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: Welcome, Crystal Waters, I am so pleased to finally have the privilege to talk with you. You have a great new single, "Be Kind," produced by Stonebridge, ready for release. How did this come together?
Crystal Waters:Thank you! Well it started when someone from Armada records contacted me and asked who would I like to work with on the label. I gave them several names including Stone's. They put us in touch but I wanted to meet him. We were both going to the ADE conference and decided to meet there. We were like, Forrest Gump's words, "2 peas in a pod." [Laughs] We've been good friends ever since.

DBB: I am thrilled I'll be meeting you at the press conference at Icon July 12th as I've been a fan (and Facebook friend) forever. Any questions that are off the menu for you?

CW: Hmm not really, I just don't talk about my family life. They are off the menu.



DBB: "Be Kind" looks like a potential club hit. How many Billboard dance chart hits have you had? How many charted internationally?
CW: Well the folks at Billboard say I have nine, I count about 16 [laughs]. Internationally I have no idea, there are so many countries, so many charts, I wouldn't know where to begin.

DBB: La da dee la da da. Can you ever escape that refrain? Would you like to? 
CW:[Laughs.] No, I'm very grateful for that. I always say I'll be like Tina Turner singing "Rollin on the River," sing it to the day I die.

DBB: Many of my readers may be unaware that you wrote "Gypsy Woman" for Ultra Nate. How was it that you came to record it yourself?
CW: Well, at the time I wanted to be the next Sade, and was doing more of that type of music. The Basement Boys asked me If I would write some songs for [Ultra Nate] while they were shopping my stuff..They sent me some tracks and the first two songs I wrote and recorded were "Gyspy" and "Makin' Happy." Without me knowing, they put it on my demo, and it it was snapped up right away.


DBB: It's probably well known that your dad was jazz great Junior Waters but probably less known your great-aunt is Ethel Waters, one of the first African-American actresses and vocalists to appear in movies. Did you meet and know her as a child? What do you think her career might be like if she were born to another generation?
CW: I'm told I met her as I child but I don't remember... from what I hear of her personality, I think she would be great in any generation.



DBB: "Come on Down," Crystal Waters. What ever inspired you to use the theme song for The Price Is Right for that song?

CW: I had just signed to Strictly Rhythm and my A&R, Gladys Pizzaro, had this track with a small sample of the theme song in it,no where near what it sounds like now. They had the hook and she wanted me to finish the lyrics. When we went to get clearance for the sample, the Price Is Right people asked if they could use it for their 50th Anniversary Campaign. They had big plans to use it in all their commercials with radio campaigns to send winners to the show and I would perform. Big stuff! So we beefed up the track to go along with the festivities. Unfortunately, 911 happened just before the campaign was to begin, everything was cancelled. At some point without my knowledge Strictly Rhythm released it. I don't think that version was the best for the clubs, I would have liked to use the original.


DBB: What inspired you to write dance music? Were there house or disco music songs, in particular, that grabbed your attention; that may have influenced you? Your dad was a jazz musician but what were you exposed to, musically, growing up?
CW: I think the Basement Boys influenced me, before them I never thought about writing to dance, I was doing my jazz/Sade thing.One thing we agreed on is that if I was gonna write to dance I had to keep my jazzy style. I think you can still hear it in this new track...

DBB: Have you met Sten (Stonebridge) before this collaboration for "Be Kind"?
DBB: Oh yeah!  [Laughs] After our meeting at the ADE, we decided I would come to Sweden to write. We both felt it was important to have that back and forth between writer and producer. I've been back and forth to Sweden several times. I believe we recorded 14 songs all together... hmmm maybe there's more to come?

DBB: Thank you, Ms Waters. Any last shout-outs to your international fans?
CW:Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy! can you hear me? [Laughs]  Love you... see you on the road! Please check out my sites:
instagram/CrystalWaters
twitter/crystalwaters1 
Facebook.com/IamCrystalWaters  
IamCrystalWaters.com


Thursday, May 8, 2014

ALL ABOUT BEAVE: Kevin Scott Hall Interviews Dj Buddy Beaverhausen!

For the occasion of my upcoming birthday (that I celebrate this weekend), I was interviewed by Kevin Scott Hall so I can talk about me, me, me! Kevin is a cabaret critic, Bistro Awards committee member, reviewer and interviewer for Edge NY, the author of a novel (Off the Charts) and a recently published memoir, A Quarter Inch from My Heart. I will be interviewing him about the memoir very soon, prior to his book launch.


Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: All right, Mr. Hall, I'm ready for my close-up.

Kevin Scott Hall: All right! You seem to have equal love for music, film and books. What are your earliest memories of things you heard, saw or read that have influenced your artistic vision?

DBB: Well, I was a media fanatic from the time I was born. Even crawling around on all fours (which I still do at times, by the way), I recall drooling and watching the tv set, bathed in the cathode ray, watching black-and-white things like Your Hit Parade and Perry Como, not really comprehending but fascinated by the songs and personalities. The earliest film to really grip me on tv was something called King Dinosaur. It was about astronauts (male and female) who went to a prehistoric planet. The dinosaurs were played by your typical iguanas and other lizards. My literary interests developed about the same time. I insisted to be taught to read so I could read the Sunday funnies to myself. My Mom and grandparents painstakingly catered to my whim. Voila, I entered kindergarten already knowing the alphabet and how to even read some! As a result, I ultimately skipped second grade.

My grandparents, my mother and her whole side of the family loved pop music and constantly played 75 rpms and 45s in the house. My uncle Pat was just a teenager then and would come home with his high school friends (including girls in poodle skirts and boys in varsity jackets). They'd pop open the Pepsi and put the radio on, playing rock'n'roll. I was the star at their after-school event, scooped up and put on the table, seated. The girls would lift me up and dance around the kitchen with me. This was when I was two and three years old. The spinning around made me giddy and I associated music and dancing with fun. 

KSH: People might be surprised to learn that you haven't owned a television for several years.

DBB: Yeah, the tv that I purchased in '84 died in '99. And it felt like a relief, really. I rarely watched but did love having IFC and TCM! And HBO, frankly. Of course, today, you can stream and instantly view so much on-line. And thank God for friends that have tvs for special occasions like the Oscars. I might buy a big-screen tv someday soon, with DVD, VCR & Blu-Ray hooked up.

KSH: Why do you think gay culture is so obsessed with the diva, the powerful female figure?

DBB: I expect a shrink might say it has something to do with our mothers in the long run. And, with Mother's Day around the corner, I think we should also have a Diva's Day to celebrate annually.

KSH: It's probably hard for you to pick a favorite diva, right?

DBB: Right. [Laughs.] I have to say that of the dance-music divas I've interviewed -- and that would include Martha Wash, Inaya Day, France Joli, Janice Robinson; rock & roll divas like La La Brooks of The Crystals to Martha Redbone -- I couldn't say any single one of them was my favorite because each is unique and brought something fresh to the interview I conducted with her.

KSH: What do you uniquely bring to your role as a correspondent for Queens Our City Radio?

DBB: Actually, my role there is officially Dance Music Promoter. Many of my blog articles are syndicated there and now, as well, at Dance World Radio and Sobel Nation Radio. I think my possible uniqueness would just be in my flippant style and subject choices. I know everyone loves my weekly Diva Dish.

KSH: In your blogging, has anything surprised you about what has been a hit with readers?

DBB: It's all been surprising! Sometimes I write something I think is really terrific, really clever, you know? I spend a lot of time on it. And it just does ok. But sometimes, I just toss something off on a lark and it goes viral. Case in point: my "Advising Kelly Clarkson" article. You just never know what's going to be a hit and that's just as well. It keeps you on your toes. There's no formula for a successful blog piece as far as I can tell. I just try to be true to myself, have a little edge, be a little snarky, add some humor, make it fun, maybe a little outrageous. It must be working. Last month, once more, I had over 13,000 blog hits. And the international viewership of Leave It to Beaverhausen is the biggest surprise of all. I'm read just about everywhere. In fact, I'm huge in the Ukraine!

KSH: From the interviews you have done, did you get any startling revelations from anyone that stand out?

DBB: Oh, for sure! Karin Nagi's life story was amazing. It blew me away. Marilyn Michaels was candid and a real hoot! Like Bob Esty, she doesn't hold back. And I'm always surprised by the very different paths people have taken to become successful. I'm always so engaged by hearing about people's lives; I really consider interviewing a real privilege and a joy. Debby Holiday, Carol Hahn, Amber Dirks... They've all been fascinating. And so sweet! I can honestly say I never met a diva I didn't like! So far.

KSH:  How would you describe the state of dance music today, and what the future holds for it?

DBB: There is distinctly a burgeoning embrace of '70s disco, '80s New Wave, Hi-NRG and '90s classic House styles. I think this is a backlash against the trend of recent predictable, even monotonous, dance mixes of radio pop hits, especially in the USA. Big labels put a lot of money into promoting their products on the dancefloor. It used to be club music crossed over to the radio. But there's new interest in club music especially made for clubs again, and most of this comes with love of the music from indie labels. So, I'm hopeful about the future and the type of dance music my blog promotes and supports.

KSH: Who would be your dream interview?

DBB: Oh, Lord, there are so many people I admire in the world of entertainment whom I'd love to have the opportunity to talk to and dish the dirt. I think it's fair to say I could die happy if I interviewed Bette Midler. I think she's been on her guard sometimes during mainstream interviews, especially on tv, but I'd like to think I could get her "In the Mood" to let loose a little with the right questions and, of course, a little Beaverhausen attitude. She knows her core fan base after all. As do I.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Exclusive Q&A with Dr Frank Spinelli, Author of Pee-Shy

Exclusive Q&A with Dr Frank Spinelli, Author of Pee-Shy

Frank Spinelli, M.D.'s  Pee-Shy appeared in bookstores and became available on the internet at the start of the new year. I more or less previewed the book when I copy edited the initial draft before it ever went to the publisher (Kensington Books). (If nothing else, we both learned how to properly spell Barcalounger.) Pee-Shy is infused with drama, humor, wit and even suspense, and I think most readers will find it hard to put down. This is a powerfully and frankly (yes, pun intended) told memoir and the ramifications of childhood sexual abuse that last a lifetime. Highly recommended and I wish Dr. Spinelli every success with it.
 
Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: Dr Spinelli, thank you so much for doing this Q&A with us at Leave It to Beaverhausen and Queens NYC Our City Internet Radio. I was so impressed by Pee-Shy and I have to tell you there is so much in it that I can relate to. The personal insecurities, the misguided (even emotionally masochistic) romantic involvements and -- at the heart of your memoir -- being molested at age 11. What compelled you to write this story in the first place? 
Dr Frank Spinelli: I had always wanted to tell my story, but the subject of child molestation has been told many times before. I didn’t think I had anything new to add. Then, in 2008, I discovered my former child molester had adopted a boy 25 years earlier, wrote a book and was awarded Father of the Year. That’s when I knew I had to tell my story. Little did I know that was only the tip of the iceberg.

DBB: Your memoir is very, very candid and, when I read your first draft, my immediate but, at the time, unexpressed concern was whether the public at large was ready for this. However, it is obviously a critical success and very well received and embraced by its readers (five out of five stars on Amazon's customer reviews). Were you surprised by the praise and the reception this has received?  

DFS: Yes, surprised and thankful. The literary reviews have been wonderful, but to read reviews by readers is so humbling. Of course, you hope people buy your book, but when someone actually takes the time to write a good review... there’s nothing better than that.
 

DBB: I know your manuscript went through various drafts, rewrites and perhaps more than one editor. Would you tell us a little about the process of getting Pee-Shy from first draft to final copy? 
DFS: I wrote a first draft and my agent read it. Then we had several conversations about what Pee-Shy was actually about. Once we derived that it was about a family in which one of its members suffered a traumatic experience, I went back and focused on that particular part. It’s not just about a boy who was molested. It’s more about how a childhood trauma affects someone well into adulthood, and how that person navigates his life so that the trauma doesn’t define him. I’m very adamant about referring to myself as a survivor and not a victim of child sexual abuse.

DBB: Wasn't there one point where an editor had a problem with the title of the book and suggested you change it? 

DFS: My previous agent said, “No publisher will go for that title,” and so for a time, I called it Gone the Son. Then I switched agents. The first thing my current agent, David Forrer, said was, "You need to change the title because it's dreary." I explained that I originally wanted Pee-Shy. He loved it. Fortunately, the publisher did too. Most authors don't have final say in choosing the title or the cover art. I was very, very lucky Kensington shared my vision. Pee-Shy sets the tone of the book. Yes, it’s a serious subject but there is humor in it.
 

DBB: Gone the Son would be an awful title! Pshaw, thank God it's Pee-Shy! So happy the published book is titled that and it ends the same way you originally wrote it. I think it's the perfect ending and even a touch poetic. Since your first draft, the man who sexually abused you as a child (William Fox, your Scoutmaster) died in prison in 2013. You address that in the book in a single, factual sentence. But how did you actually feel when you received this news? 
DFS: I was numb for weeks. My therapist said I was grieving. I remember thinking, grieve my molester? No way. Actually, I was grieving the loss of a part of childhood. Bill Fox’s death didn’t bring me "closure." It simply gave me peace in knowing that he was never going to touch another boy again.

DBB: Pee-Shy has a rather kaleidoscopic narrative of vivid memories and characters. It's poignant, sad but also with flashes of humor. When you sat down to write this book initially, how did things flow from your memory onto the page? Structuring this into a cohesive whole had to have been difficult I imagine. 

DFS: Growing up, I read Stephen King novels. He had such a way with writing scenes and dialogue involving children. So I fashioned Pee-Shy like an early Stephen King novel: beginning in the present, flashing back to the past and then returning to the present. For many people who experience a traumatizing event, the memories remain so vivid because the trauma leaves an imprint. I had no problem recalling the events of those two years I was being molested. Conversely, there are individuals who block out the memories of a trauma and, in Pee-Shy, that is made painfully clear in the character of Johnathan.

DBB: Fox's home comes across as a very dark, foreboding place in the book. I know you're a big Hitchcock fan and, what with the bedridden mother, it has a touch of Norman Bates/Psycho to it, doesn't it? In fact, when you first saw Psycho, did it by any chance summon up thoughts of Bill Fox and his house? 
 
DFS: That’s so funny you mentioned Hitchcock and Psycho.... Bill Fox’s home reminded me of Norman Bates’ house, complete with the old woman in the corner. As a child, it was a unsettling place to visit. I never knew what to expect when I climbed up the stairs to his room. I can still see the guns on his desk, the Farrah Fawcett poster over his bed and the drab wood paneling on the walls. That rooms still haunts my dreams.

DBB: Two adjectives that come to mind about this book are "brave" and "bold." Did you sense you were being either (or both) while you were writing your memoir?  
DFS: The words that came to mind while I was writing were “obsessed” and “driven.” I was living in a tunnel of focus, completely oblivious to my surroundings because all I wanted to do was write this book. As you know, my husband became ill while I was writing. I incorporated that into the story because I wanted to show how life goes on even though I was working with the police to apprehend Bill. Despite whatever notions I had of being Nancy Drew, I had to stop solving my mystery to be with my family. 

DBB: You previously had a success with your wellness manual, The Advocate Guide to Gay Men's Health (available, along with Pee-Shy, at Amazon.com). I seem to remember you once saying that Dr Ruth inspired you to write this. Am I right about this or did I just dream this up? 
DFS: You have a very good memory. I owe everything to Dr. Ruth's radio show. She was my sexual myth buster. As a young gay boy growing up with staunch Italian Catholic immigrant parents, I didn’t learn about the birds and bees. I had no idea where babies came from. So you can imagine how na├»ve I was about gay sex. Listening to Dr. Ruth in the back seat of my parents’ Cadillac as we drove home from my grandfather’s house over the Verazzano Bridge from Brooklyn to Staten Island, I clutched my Culture Club pin, praying my mother wouldn’t turn the channel because I was desperate to hear what Dr. Ruth had to say. After I wrote the Advocate Guide, I met Dr. Ruth. We had lunch and I kissed her on the cheek as a thank you.

DBB: Great story! You're donating a portion of your earnings from Pee-Shy to the Gay Men's Health Crisis. Can you tell us a little about your involvement with GMHC? 

DFS: I’m proud to be on the board of the first and oldest HIV service organization. Children who were abused are more likely to engage in unprotected sex. The fastest rising rates of HIV infection are among African American men who have sex with men ages 13-24. I've been treating men and women with HIV my entire career. Being a member of GMHC has been a wonderful experience, and so supporting them with the proceeds from Pee-Shy felt like the right thing to do. 

DBB: Thank you, Dr. Spinelli. My best wishes for you and this brilliant, new memoir and to Chad, your whole family and, of course, to Hoffman. Now, are you ready to hit the talk show circuit? And, when they make a film version of Pee-Shy, who should direct and who should portray the adult Frank Spinelli? 
DFS: Well, it goes without saying that it would have to be an Italian director like Martin Scorsese to capture the family dynamic and who better to play me in a movie than … I don’t know…. James Franco? I mean, if you’re going to make a movie about your life, the guy playing you should be handsome. Otherwise, why bother.

Monday, January 13, 2014

EXTRA! EXTRA! Bob Esty Blabs It Exclusively to Beaverhausen About Barbra & CHER

Bob Esty Blabs It to Beaverhausen about Barbra & Cher ~ Part One

It was a true pleasure for me to have the joy of interviewing Bob Esty again. I love hearing his "backstage" stories because they're always full of good humor and he's so vivid and forthcoming. The legendary producer has talked with me before http://blabittobeaverhausen.blogspot.com/2013/09/links-to-parts-1-through-4-of-my.html, but that four-part interview went on quite long and we had to postpone focusing on his work with Barbra Streisand and Cher because that would require further, serious Q&A. Can we talk? Well, now, eight months later we can, and it was worth the wait! The original interview took place before the holiday season settled in on us. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed conducting the interview with this iconic dance-music producer. Bob lives in L.A. and is still very active as a songwriter/producer/arranger.

Artwork courtesy of Dj Jandry
Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: Bob, so good to talk to you again. Happy holidays!
Bob Esty: Thank you. To you, too!

DBB: Let's start with a hypothetical question. Barbra and Cher each call you to produce their next album. Due to conflicting time constraints, you can only do one and both are offering the same money. Whom would you work with?
BE: I think Barbra. I know her better because I worked with her at least three or four other times after "Main Event." And I really haven't seen Cher in years. You know, she's autographed things for me. [We both laugh.] If she wants to do the type of music she does, I could be a producer, though Barbra is doing the types of things I'm producing now. I've been doing non-disco music for many years. But I love both of them.

DBB: Have you heard Cher's new album?
BE: I haven't yet. I saw her on BBC America's Graham Norton Show. She did a ballad and, of course, brought the house down. And I've heard her new dance single, "It's a Woman's World" and I thought it was great. And I never saw the Barbra Brooklyn concert. Even though people say she doesn't have the same kind of energy, obviously....
DBB: Who does?
BE: Right. And not the same kind of attitude. I loved Motown growing up, and I loved Bette Midler more than Barbra at the time. I mean, I liked [Barbra's] singing but I wasn't that into it.
DBB: From my point of view, I think Barbra has the better voice by a traditional standard but Bette's gritty; Bette's real.
BE: I almost produced her.
DBB: Aww, Bob! Aww!
BE: Yeah. Ah, well...!

DBB: Have you heard the Donna Summer remix album they recently released?
BE: I didn't like what I heard of it. "Last Dance" did not have the energy of the original production I did for Paul [Jabara]. It was sort of a Donna Summer watered-down energy. And Universal didn't have the tapes. They couldn't do anything else! Universal LOST the tapes; they can't find the tapes!
DBB: That is really amazing.
BE: Yeah!

DBB: Let me ask you what brought you to produce Barbra Streisand's "The Main Event" and do you recall your first encounter with her and what it was like?
BE: Yes! Paul Jabara and Bruce Roberts wrote this song, though Barbra initially was against it because she didn't want to sing a song in this movie. But Jason [Gould, Barbra's son] liked "Last Dance" and "Take Me Home" and talked her into doing the song with me and Paul.
DBB: How old was Jason at the time?
BE: Fourteen, I think. But, basically, at first, I didn't want to do this because I just finished producing disco songs for Andy Williams and the Beach Boys and I didn't feel "Main Event" lent itself to a disco arrangement. But I worked with Paul in his apartment and came up with ideas and the format of the song. I worked on it on piano and did the chord changes and everything else. And Paul really wanted to work with Barbra because that was his goal in life! He wrote a Broadway musical about her: Rachael Lily Rosenblum. That's when Paul and I met because of Ellen Green, who starred after Bette Midler turned the part down. I went to the audition with Ellen because we had the same manager in New York. Robert Stigwood produced the show and ~ oh, God! ~ it was overblown to the nth degree. I felt it would have done better off-Broadway....
DBB: You're right! Your instincts were right. I think if it was produced off-Broadway, it could have been a smash.
BE: So that's where I met Paul who moved to California, where I was living since January 1975. Anyhow, "The Main Event"! We met Barbra on the hottest day of August at her Malibu ranch, dripping wet with sweat. Paul, Bruce Roberts and I in a convertible. So, I was the Baltimore boy with sunburn while the other guys were tanned. I really didn't want to go. For another thing, I had worked with Lesley Ann Warren, who had been married to Jon Peters, and he was going to be there with Barbra. I was arranging a song for Lesley on The Tonight Show where I saw her shaking, crying and just not being her usual self. Later, in the parking lot, she was scolded by Jon Peters for not wearing the right dress. And now I was meeting him with Barbra.
The first thing I saw when we got to the ranch was Barbra in a schmatta and no make-up. But looking great and so friendly and gracious! And Jon Peters was there, standing off to the side and not saying anything. Anyhow, Barbra wanted to show me the art deco house she had built with art deco motifs. So she took me through this and it was quite, you know, a display. I loved it but I didn't know she was so into this. The other thing: I noticed the garden and it was full of corn. And she said: "I planted that!" And I thought, "With those nails?!"
DBB: Maybe she dug the holes for the seeds with her fingers.
BE: [laughs] Well, she served corn later! And I remember the house was painted yellow. It had a grand piano inside. And Jason was there, so I met him. And Bruce Roberts sat behind me when I was asked to play the piano. Paul Jabara was drinking, slouching and leaning on the piano. Barbra was also standing at the piano as I played the arrangement [for "Main Event"]. She loved it, except, she said to me, "There's nothing about 'fight'." "Uh-oh-oh," I thought and Paul looked at me like "Ooo!" But he reminded me of a song we wrote for The Village People with sort of a corny hook:"Fight, fight, fight, fight, fight! For what you want!"
DBB: Did that ever get released?
BE: No. I figured out the bass line of that unreleased song and I played and sang it to Barbra. "That's it!" she cried out. But then she said, "But I'm not doing 'The Main Event.'" I thought Bruce Roberts would be mad and I talked her into doing it as a medley of "The Main Event/Fight." Barbra said "I don't like "Main Event' and I don't like that 'Extra! Extra!' It sounds like a newspaper song." I said, "No, no, you have to sing it like this [demonstrates what Barbra was later to record], then she said, "Oh. I'll try that." I sang the guide vocal for her later and I sang the whole fucking song and she was flabbergasted, sitting on a couch there, looking at me cross-eyed.
At the recording session, Bruce played piano of my arrangement and I conducted the strings. Barbra sang it live and when it came through the headphones, it just sounded brilliant and thrilling. But Paul Jabara hated it because the arrangement was too simple for him. When we eventually did the vocal session, Barbra really appreciated being directed. She appreciated whatever I did for her, really.

DBB: Well, that's a producer's job, right?
BE: Yeah, of course. But, Cher, on the other hand, when we did "Take Me Home," didn't want me at the first vocal session.

[Stay tuned for Part 2]



Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014 Hot Remixes for Massive Ego

Sound of the Download: 2014 Remixes

Now you can hear Marc Massive and Empire State Human/Massive Ego's freshly remodeled "Sound of the Download" to kick off the new year in dance music, straight from Sobel Promotions.

I was fortunate to have conducted an exclusive Q&A with Marc last September http://blabittobeaverhausen.blogspot.com/2013/09/massive-egomania-q-with-massive-egos.html and it's always a pleasure to hear him and Massive Ego back with something new. Or, well, sort of new, that is. Re-gifted, maybe.

"Sound Of The Download" was previously released on a very limited basis, mostly in the UK, but now it is about to go international with an exclusive remix package featuring work by Matt Pop, Julian Marsh, Joe Gillan, Mike Jolly, Mr.Sharman, Huffnpoof, Part of the Art, Karrades and Paul Rayner.

Matt Pop's and Mike Jolly's pure hiNRG and Julian Marsh's (http://djbuddybeaverhausen.blogspot.com/2013/08/my-exclusive-q-with-remixer-producer-dj.html) and Joe Gillan's upbeat house approaches are brilliant and all the remixers bring their individual talents and re-conceptualizations on this particular pop tune into play for an especially nice reinvention for dancefloors around the world at the top of this new year.

So, thanks to Marc Massive, Massive Ego, Empire State Human, Barbara Sobel and Sobel Promotions and all the above, very talented remixers for their efforts in getting us to celebrate with joy and something uplifting at the start of 2014!



Thursday, December 26, 2013

LaLa Brooks Blabs It to Beaverhausen!

Here's the link to my Exclusive Q&A with LaLa Brooks at Leave It to Beaverhausen. LaLa was the lead singer of Phil Spector's classic '60s girl group, The Crystals, and she just released a new solo album. This interview will also appear at Queens Our City Radio!

//djbuddybeaverhausen.blogspot.com/2013/12/exclusive-q-with-la-la-brooks-of.html

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Talk to the Rohan: Exclusive Q&A with Producer Rohan Tarry

It was my pleasure to have the opportunity ~ arranged via Barbara Sobel ~ to interview dance music producer (and English gentleman) Rohan Tarry. In a world that may, sometimes, seem full of "cookie cutter" music producers, Mr Tarry is a discriminating, individualistic and sometimes eclectic, frequently brilliant independent figure in the business. Ten years ago, Rohan Tarry was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and he speaks frankly about it here and its impact on his musicianship. This is a remarkable interview I hope you will read and share. 


Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: Hello, Rohan and happy holidays to you and your family. Do you have any special plans for celebrating this time of year?  
Rohan Tarry: Thanks, and season's greetings to you and yours. Some quiet local family time in Bristol is the order on Xmas day. Between Xmas and New Year, it'll be catching up with some friends, then a trip to my mum's magical place on Dartmoor for some Devon family time deep in the tranquil English countryside. Oh, and Xmas coffee aplenty. Coffee where the milk and sugar is replaced with Baileys Irish Cream. Mmmm..... 

DBB: Sounds good to me. You're a life-long resident of Bristol, UK. What were your musical influences growing up there? 
RT: I grew up in Exeter (a small provincial city in SW England) but the Bristol music scene has been hugely important to me since I first lived here back in '89. The emergence of the "Bristol sound" at the turn of the '90's taking on influences from early dance music, hip-hop and reggae (i.e., Portishead + Massive Attack) ticked all the boxes for me and opened my ears to different ways of making music. 

DBB:  When did you know you wanted to work in the music industry? 
RT: I was fascinated by it at school but they steered me towards a scientific career. It wasn't till I was working as a medical biochemist in a hospital lab in the early 90's that I really thought I could give it a go. Started by playing flute with house DJ's, something I did throughout the 90's with some of the biggest names in British clubland. Doing an evening course in music tech in about '92 introduced me to using computers to make music. Back then it was an Atari ST and Cubase v.2 but I was hooked by the idea. I started my first studio kind of by accident. I found somewhere to put my home studio which happened to be in a building which included some rehearsal rooms. Before I knew it I was running a commercial studio! 


DBB: Pretty amazing! Tell us about RexKwondo and what you have on your professional plate right now that we can look forward to. 
RT: RexKwondo is a project with my long-term finest friend and hugely talented musician, Tony 'T-Bone' Psarelis. It started with us just hanging out in the studio, sharing our love of electronic influenced music from the 80's forward. Before long, we both realized that we had a lot in common musically and started writing together. It was never our intention to sound like anyone else except perhaps in touches of our influences. A particular shared love of Tears For Fears and their use of synths and more traditional instruments to craft ace songs undoubtedly had an impact. The way we write is, I think, somewhat unique in our approach to sound sources, whether it's a synth, guitar, vocals, samples (from the thousands of random records in the studio), strings or woodwind and brass. If it feels right to us we use it or play it. Okay, so it means we've never quite fitted with whatever the musical zeitgeist is but hey, being like everyone else is overrated. We've had to scale things back as MS has impacted more heavily on me which means our, at best times slow, work-rate has diminished somewhat. As a result this year we plan to release some stuff, like Kamikaze Love, that we feel got overlooked in the past but also have a number of new songs we're working on which will get an airing in '14. 

DBB: I understand that Sobel Nation recently remixed a charity record you did. Could you talk to us about that? 
RT: MS has had an increasingly detrimental effect on me in the 10 years since diagnosis. The studio is my refuge from it. Music is the finest therapy I know. When locked in and making music, the troubles of the outside world, and largely my failing health, disappear. The worst thing is that as MS has gotten hold of me, my ability to play instruments and put in the hours required to keep it running have been impaired to the point where I can no longer afford it. This came up in conversation with the charming Barbara Sobel to which she said "..I can do something about that...'" The idea to do a charity record to help support me came straight from her beautiful, caring mind. The response, and it's swiftness, frankly bowled me over! To have such great people as Coco Star (providing an ace vocal), Guru Josh Proiect and Mike Jolly onboard from the getgo is rather humbling. Tony and I have been working on a RexKwondo mix too so it should be a fabulous package


DBB: What do you think about the state of dance music today?

RT: "Dance music" has become, over the last 20 years, such a fragmented genre that is seems somewhat incongruous to talk about it as one thing. Throughout this time, it has come to be a staple of the global music scene. There is so much variety of style that it's become a raft of genres in their own right. Across the board there is good and bad, as with any music. There is now so much out there that we really rely more than ever on good DJ's with decent quality filters to help discern which deserves our attention. 

DBB: I was listening to your work with Tara Busch and Maf Lewis as Dynamo Dresden (album available at iTunes). Very soothing, beautifully composed and dreamy. Fair to say, I don't think this was produced with big room peak hour in mind. What sound or genre were you working in; who do you think would be the ideal audience for Dynamo Dresden? I see the term "trip-hop" is used on the Soundcloud page (where one can hear these marvelous tracks). And are those dolphins I hear sampled in the mix on some tracks or is it all electronic?

RT: The Dynamo Dresden album, Remember, is something I'm really proud of. Working with such a towering vocal talent as Tara Busch and the inimitable force of nature that is Maf Lewis was, mostly, a true privilege. It was always very much a post-club sound we were going for. "Trip-hop" is just the genre that had the closest fit and people like to attach such labels . We were happy to let the DJ remixers do what they're best at and provide some proper dancefloor mixes although we often toughened the sound in live performance. The "dolphin" sounds are a mixture of synth and Tara playing a theremin. 


DBB: How did RexKwondo and Dynamo Dresden get their names?

RT: Deciding on band names is always something of a challenge. In the end, I've found the only way is to go for something that rolls off the tongue nicely. Dynamo Dresden were named after an East German soccer team that Maf was a fan of. RexKwondo came after a number of poor names which I won't afflict on you. It had become rather a sticking point but one night in the studio after a couple of glasses of wine and some combustible comestibles we watched the marvelous Napoleon Dynamite and there it was. 

DBB: What was the first song you ever produced?

RT: This is a tough question as I've been at it so long! I bought a cassette 4-track at 18 which would have been my first attempts. I think only my mum has copies of that stuff which is just one more reason, of many, to always be nice to my mum! Have worked with all kinds of people over the years from Motorhead to Kylie Minogue and everything in between. Probably the best known thing is a track I produced in about 2001for a DJ friend of mine, Jean Jacques Smoothie, called "2 People." 

DBB: Rohan, thank you for your time and effort in answering these questions. Is there anything you'd like to shout out to our readers around the world that perhaps I didn't cover? Wishing you a very happy New Year!

RT: Thanks for asking me. Very excited about the forthcoming charity single. Becoming part of the Sobel Family has helped me turn '14 from what looked rather bleak into a much more potentially chirpy and bright year. Tony and I have found a way of working remotely, me in the studio in Bristol and him in London, which should help ensure there's plenty RexKwondo to come. Happy New Year to you all and may '14 bring you love and happiness by the bucket load!