Leah Depala is a 14-year-old British-Indian singer-songwriter, based in Dubai. Her first single, Cold, has been streamed across all international music platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify. A&R scouts, take note, she’s still unsigned…
Words__Darren Haynes [First published in Hey Mag, September 2019]
You released your debut single, Cold, in September 2018. Tell us a little bit about the songwriting process.
Cold was the first full song I’d ever written. It’s about a hypothetical failed relationship. Once I’d finished it, I knew instantly that I wanted to release it. When I came up with the idea for the song, I sat down at my piano and played around to see what I could come up with and attempted to match it to some lyrics. I progressively added more and more to the song, while recording it on my voice notes on my phone, until the song was complete. It took me a few hours to finish the song. …
Rita Campbell is one of the hardest working people in the music industry. Having started writing songs at the age of 14, she learned her trade as a backing singer on the live music circuit. Her vocals and live performances made her famous in Russia and her songwriting skills took her to number one in the UK. The success of being top of the charts should have been sweet but the unfortunate coincidence of life turned the experience bitter-sweet.
Hey Mag caught up with Rita in London
Words_Darren Haynes [First published in Hey Mag, September 2019]
“A top line songwriter, like me, is someone who writes the melody and the lyrics” Rita explains. “People send me backing tracks and then I write a top line over it … the verse, the bridge, the middle eight, the chorus and then I send it back to them. …
Writer’s block. The mythical beast that plagues writers of all stripes. While songwriting is a somewhat unpredictable activity, I happen to believe that there are ways to hedge against freezing up when it comes time to write.
To that end, I’ve put together a few ways to get you past writer’s block that require nothing more than taking your craft seriously and paying attention to what’s going on in your creative process.
Words_Cliff Goldmacher [First published in Hey Mag, September 2019]
Two — or more — heads are better than one when it comes to dipping into the creative pool. If you’re finding yourself low on inspiration, scheduling a co-write can have a few benefits. Sometimes just the mere act of working with someone else can spark a fresh round of creativity. But, even if you still find yourself struggling, leaning on a co-writer’s inspiration for a while will go a long way towards rekindling your own. …
JuanDa Lotero is a Colombian Reggaetón artist. He has officially released 20 singles as a solo artist; more if you include his work as a featured artist. His collaboration with Dani y Magneto (Ve y Dile) has received 1.4M views on YouTube. He is something of a local sensation with fans in the United States, Mexico, Chile, Paraguay, in his home country and further afield.
Words_Nick Stephenson. [First published in Hey Mag, September 2019]
Tell us something about Latin American music that we might not know
Where to start? Latin America is very diverse in its culture. I know that for many people, we are seen as if we’re from the same country. You know what I mean? The Mexican stereotype with a hat and moustache. In reality, there is ethnological diversity as well as its music. …
IS LATIN MUSIC MORE POPULAR THAN EVER BEFORE?
It’s been called the ‘Despacito Effect’ by industry observers but is it true that Latin Music is more popular than ever before? With increasing numbers of Latin artists, releasing more and more tracks each year and then topping the charts, not just in Latin America, but around the world, one has to assume … Sí. Hey Mag investigates. Words_Darren Haynes. [First published in Hey Mag, September 2019]
The headlines speak for themselves:
Latin Music Is Reaching More Listeners Than Ever — Rolling Stone (11/18)
Latin Music Is Now More Popular Than Country & EDM In America — Forbes…
2018 witnessed the 70th anniversary of the LP, the ‘long player’, also known as the album. For people of a certain age and for vinyl junkies, the album is everything. Hey Mag takes a look at the music format that is making a comeback. Words_Darren Haynes [First published in Hey Mag, September 2019]
Long before the days of streaming, people of a certain age (me included) would buy an album and listen to it, in its entirety, only pausing to flip the black vinyl and drop the stylus on to the second side. The introduction of tape cassettes and CDs meant that we didn’t even need to do that. Play, listen and connect to the artist through their music. …
Mabel is having the kind of career that most young stars could only dream of, with a clutch of top 10 hits, a Brit nomination and a major US TV performance already under her belt. The British singer-songwriter talks about releasing her hotly-anticipated debut album after years of hard work, how she made it on her own without the help of her famous music star parents and why she relishes feeling nervous. Words_ Lucy Mapstone. [First published in Hey Mag, September 2019]
Wearing a Calvin Klein crop top and matching cycling shorts with a cardigan slung over the top, Mabel laughs at the suggestion that style is important to her. I’ve just asked her how much her appearance means to her as a music artist, because she’s clearly got a defined image — just a brief glance over her Instagram feed shows she favours a 90s-inspired look of colourful tracksuits with a feminine glam edge while rocking what appears to be a different hairstyle every day. …
The musician talks about being a grandfather to eight, the impact of knife crime in London — and his new children’s book, Hey Grandude!
Words_Alex O’Connell. [First published in Hey Mag, September 2019]
Paul McCartney is a grandude on a mission. Now 77, he has just finished a tour of North America, is back writing songs and busy turning the film It’s a Wonderful Life into his first Broadway musical. More surprisingly, he has written a bedtime story, Hey Grandude!, a picture book about a magical grandad who takes his grandchildren on adventures.
After a day’s work in the studio in London, he calls me as he’s driving along the Thames, apologising for the poor reception. “Yeah, this is Paul,” he says, the fuzz on the line like the distortion you get when a whammy bar is placed next to an amplifier. “I hope the signal holds. So let’s get going!” …
Billie Eilish, the teen star, talks about therapy, her boyfriend and how sudden fame has altered her life — for better and for worse.
Words_Decca Aitkenhead.[First published in Hey Mag, September 2019]
We’re all waiting for Billie Eilish, the singer breathlessly described as the future of pop by everyone from The Wall Street Journal to The New Yorker, Rolling Stone to The Washington Post. Currently the third most streamed artist on Spotify, her debut album shot straight to the top of the Billboard 100, with 12 of its songs among the 14 she has in the US singles charts — an all time record for a female artist. Its big hit, Bad Guy, reached No 1 in more than a dozen countries, her 2017 debut EP has now been in the charts for more than 18 months and she has more than 25m Instagram followers. Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer, likens the buzz around her to “what was happening with Nirvana in 1991”. Her last world tour sold out, her current one soon will too. …
Dream of being a songwriter but don’t know where to start? These tips for beginners will help you find your artistic flow. Words Gfire M [First published in Hey Mag, April 2019]
Set your surroundings up for songwriting since ideas can come at any time. You’ll want to commit those ideas to paper, a computer or voice recorder as soon as possible, so keep notebooks and pens in your home, work environment and car. Even a one-word title is worth writing down.
Know how to get to your phone’s recorder quickly — you can sing a melodic idea or say your lyrical idea and save it for later. …