Category: Women Who Rock

Interview: Brooke Josephson discusses working with DJ Rocky G on infectious Re-mix of ‘Mr. Fix It’

Following the release of her acclaimed pop-rock EP, Sexy N’ Domesticated, singer-songwriter Brooke Josephson teamed up with international house producer Rocky G for an infectious remix of her single, “Mr. Fix It.” The electro-house version, complete with a progressive beat and dreamy synths, taunts female domestication by encouraging women to find someone who can cater to her needs.

The accompanying music video for “Mr. Fix It” showcases psychedelic visuals of the artist intermingled with scenes of a Rocky G live performance as well as Josephson’s adorable nine-year-old daughter, Shira.

AXS recently spoke with Brooke Josephson about the remix of “Mr. Fix It” and much more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: How did the idea to do a remake of “Mr. Fix It” come about?

Brooke Josephson: Over the summer I was reading stories about other women who were pursuing being independent artists (and other careers) while at the same time juggling being a full-time mom. I came across Rocky G’s video where she shared her story about being an international DJ and a mom of six. I thought that was amazing. So I reached out to thank her for her work and inspiration as well as to let her know what I had going on. She responded and the two of us started talking about collaborating. I sent her my music and we started dialoguing about the song and bouncing ideas for a video. She told me that she would be performing at an event in Amsterdam, so I flew over and that’s where we shot the video. We even incorporated some of the events into the video as well.

AXS: What was the process like for re-mixing your original song?

BJ: I sent Rocky G all the stems from the original recording. She laid down a beat, took the original vocals and then added filters and a few other effects to give it an electronic vibe. Then she added an original melody at the intro.

AXS: What was it like working with Rocky G?

BJ: It was so much fun. I quickly discovered that she’s the same version of me, only she was doing EDM music. Her normal routine includes doing shows from ten at night until five in the morning. Then she gets home and instead of going to bed, she stays up and gets the kids ready for school. Then she comes back home and naps and does her work until she has to pick them up again. The same juggle I do in L.A. is what she’s doing in Amsterdam. Even though our styles of music are different our lives are very similar and the drive for what we do is very much the same.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Brooke Josephson by Clicking Here!

Advertisements

Interview: Singer-songwriter Elizabeth Chan discusses her beautiful holiday album, ‘Best Gift Ever’

With a specialty in Christmas music, singer-songwriter Elizabeth Chan’s passion for the holiday has driven her to a career that’s unique from other recording artists. Case in point, her new album, Best Gift Ever, which is sure to become a soundtrack of the season.

Led by the infectiousness of the album’s title-track and Chan’s original renditions of such classics as “O Holy Night,” “The First Noelle” (aptly re-named in honor of her daughter), and the unearthed classic, “For Unto Us,” Best Gift Ever gives listeners a refreshing mix of tradition and universal acceptance.

In addition to the new album, Chan is also lending her voice to various charities and radio shows across the country. For her, it’s an honor to not only share her music with the world, but also to give back for the greater good.

AXS recently spoke with Elizabeth Chan about Best Gift Ever and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: What inspired you to take on a career as a Christmas songwriter and producer?

Elizabeth Chan: I’ve always wanted to write Christmas music from a very young age. When I was growing up, there was a radio station in New York City that went all Christmas every year, and I remember whenever the station would turn me and my sister would leave the radio on twenty-four hours a day. It wasn’t something I knew I could make a career out of until after I already had another career. I always knew I wanted to be a musician, but eventually chose a different path. Then about eight years ago, I had what I guess you’d call a quarter-life crisis. I thought, either I could keep working at the career I was at or do something that makes me happy. I think people are given one shot to do something with their life, and for me, it was music. I thought back to the one time in my life when I was truly happy, and that was when I listening to Christmas music and writing poems. I decided to give myself a shot, and here I am.

AXS: What’s your writing process like?

EC: I’m highly inspired by my family but also approach songwriting like a muscle you flex. I write Christmas music all year long. In the beginning, I’d force myself to write at least one Christmas song every day. Most of them were bad but I quickly amassed a vault of Christmas music. I now have my own sifting method where I’ll wait and see if I can recall a melody and lyrics of a song I wrote several years later. That’s how I know it has a classic, timelessness to it.

AXS: Let’s discuss a few original tracks from Best Gift Ever, starting with the title track. What’s the story behind it?

EC: My husband is the most-simple, happiest guy on the planet who never wants anything for his birthday, anniversary or Christmas. I’m always prodding him by asking, “What do you want? What do you want? What do you want” [laughs]. The bridge is always his answer: “Don’t worry about me. I have everything I want.” It’s also a universal theme with people. Every year, there’s always that sense of hey, what do you want this year? It was a good opportunity to write a song about the way everyone feels.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Elizabeth Chan by Clicking Here!

Interview: Nita Strauss Discusses Her Infectious Debut Solo Album, ‘Controlled Chaos’

Photo Katy Cooper

2018 has certainly been a memorable year for Nita Strauss. The guitarist, widely known for her time touring with Alice Cooper and for being one of the most in-demand clinicians on the planet, started the year out by unveiling her first Signature Model guitar, the Ibanez Jiva. This coincided with another round of live dates with Cooper as well as solo performances that included Wrestlemania and for the Los Angeles Rams as part of the NFL’s “Salute to Service”. Now, the beautiful blonde shredder is doing something else she’s never done before: releasing her monstrously cool, debut solo album, Controlled Chaos.

With help from her longtime visionary, Josh Villalta, the instrumental album is a snapshot of Strauss’ life as an artist and features an eclectic mix of emotion and guitar wizardry. From the dark and aggressive sounds of songs like “Our Most Desperate Hour” and “Mariana Trench,” to more peaceful tracks like “Hope Grows” and “Here With You,” there really is something for every taste. Strauss even gives a nod to Queen with a haunting version of “The Show Must Go On.”

AXS recently spoke with Nita Strauss about Controlled Chaos and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: How would you describe Controlled Chaos and how it relates to where you are as a guitarist?

Nita Strauss: This is my first album and first chance to show my personality, so I didn’t want to make a strictly rock or a strictly metal album. I wanted to make an album that encompasses all the different styles and emotions I’ve gone through as a person. On Controlled Chaos you’ll hear the dark and aggressive side (of course),4 but you’ll also hear a bright and fun side and a calm and peaceful side. It’s a snapshot of myself as a guitar player.

AXS: What’s your writing process like?

NS: For me, it starts with a story and with me saying this is what I want to talk about and here is how I want to talk about it. A common misconception people have about instrumental music is that it’s all just notes that work together in sequence. I learned from studying my guitar heroes that’s really not the case. I want to tell a story with the song but leave it to the listener to have their own interpretation of what each one is about. It’s not like a song with words where the lyric is already telling you what it means. These songs can be about whatever they make you feel. That’s the beauty of instrumental music.

AXS: What was the recording process like?

NS: I did a bulk of the recording on a break from the tour over the summer in L.A. The rest was done in the back of tour buses, venues and in hotel rooms. Anywhere I could set up my recording rig. Even if I only had a free hour in-between sound check and the show, I’d set up my equipment and get something done. It was grueling at times but was so worth it because I was able to be really hands on. The album came out exactly the way I wanted it to.

Read the rest of my
Interview with NIta Strauss by Clicking Here.

Interview: Rachel Reinert discusses her infectious debut single, ‘Cool’

Photo by Angela Talley

When singer-songwriter Rachel Reinert joined Gloriana at the age of eighteen, she began a whirlwind journey that yielded the band three critically-acclaimed albums, extensive tours and working with artists like Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band. The group was even awarded the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Vocal Group as well as earning an American Music Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

But Reinert had always envisioned herself as a solo artist, and in 2015 the sultry vocalist decided to fulfill her life’s ambition. She stepped away from the spotlight and began developing a sound that infuses her poetic voice with a California-country vibe.

The title of Reinert’s hook-laden debut single, “Cool,” is apropos. For not only does it introduce the beautiful songstress as a solo artist, but it also exposes her unique, groove-ridden combination of pop and country, with tasty elements of artists like The Eagles and The Stone Canyon Band.

AXS recently spoke with Rachel Reinert about “Cool,” her decision to leave Gloriana, and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: What was the driving force that made you decide to pursue a solo career?

Rachel Reinert: Time was the biggest factor. I had originally moved to Nashville from California when I was sixteen. I signed a publishing deal and had every intention of being a solo artist. I was on that path for a few years; doing a lot of writing and spinning my wheels. When I turned eighteen, I had the opportunity to be a part of Gloriana. It ended up being one of the most amazing experiences of my life for eight years. We had a great run, but after the third album, I thought in my heart of hearts that it was time to set out on a fresh start. So, I put my head down and started writing. I wanted my sound to be very California-country. Rooted in where I come from and the music I was raised on.

AXS: How did your new single, “Cool,” originate?

RR: I started writing with David Naish and Melissa Fuller. We developed this amazing rapport and friendship. Whenever I feel comfortable in a room with someone and can share my experiences and what’s on my mind, that’s when the best songs develop. That day, I went in and told them I wanted to write a song about my first love. So, we started diving into the story and how the relationship I was in went from first love to first heartbreak and being absolutely devastated. Then, over the span of almost fifteen years, the relationship developed into a true, genuine friendship. It’s an interesting dynamic about time and forgiveness and how all of those experiences make you into who you are and where you’re meant to be.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Rachel Reinert by Clicking Here!

Interview: Punk pioneer Palmyra Delran discusses her infectious new single, ‘Come Spy With Me’

Photo: Fred Lammers

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Palmyra Delran has often been referred to as the “Lucille Ball of Rock ‘n’ Roll” by the legendary Little Steven Van Zandt. But the trash-pop maven and punk pioneer is provoking espionage with her infectiously cool new single, “Come Spy With Me.”

The song is the title-track of Delran’s new album that’s due out Nov. 9. The album mixes groove-ridden elements from the early days of punk and explores subjects like today’s volatile political climate. “Come Spy With Me” also features an arsenal of special guests, including Van Zandt, Debbie Harry (Blondie), and John Carlucci (Fuzztones).

AXS is excited to premiere Delran’s new single, “Come Spy With Me” and recently spoke with about the new music and more in this exclusive interview.

AXS: What inspired the new track, “Come Spy With Me”?

Palmyra Delran: Initially, it was sort of a nod to cool spy shows like “Get Smart”. I’ve always liked the image of people talking into shoes and watches, which are things you can actually do now. I also love those clunky flashcubes on cameras. There was always something so funny about snapping a picture, getting temporarily blinded by the flash and then it would click to the next position. Then I made the connection between that and how weird the world has become. You see surveillance cameras on almost every corner and wonder why people even bother committing crimes. Everything is recorded and they’re sometimes in custody by the next day.

AXS: How would you describe your sound?

PD: Trash Pop… not Pop Trash. Trashy Pop describes the sound of the pop music. My stuff is a little rough but still catchy – with harmonies, hooks and riffs. It’s gotta be melodic!

Read my new
Interview with Palmyra Delan by Clicking Here!

Interview: Brynn Elliott discusses her anthemic debut EP, Time Of Our Lives

Photo By Jimmy Fontaine

Brynn Elliott’s debut EP, Time of Our Lives is a beautifully crafted, living diary from the songstress’ four years in college. Her music is inspired by life, feminism, friendship and a deep understand of the human condition.

Songs like her hook-laden “Might Not Like Me” speak to that female empowerment, while the groove-ridden title track and the ethereal “Internet You” talk of living in the moment and not hiding behind faux personas.

Time Of Our Lives is an infectiously palpable debut from a rising star, and better still, just a taste of what’s to come.

AXS recently spoke with Brynn Elliott about her new EP and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: How would you describe the new EP, Time Of Our Lives, in terms of its sound?

Brynn Elliott: For this EP, I wanted to write empowering anthems because that’s what I was experiencing in college. Each of the five songs came from that four-year journey. Sonically, there’s a lot of eighties empowerment and angst because that’s what the songs are about.

AXS What inspires you when you write and create?

BE: It usually starts with an idea. I studied philosophy at school and love the process of thinking slowly and trying to understand an intuitive or universal idea about the world or human beings. For me, that’s what songwriting is. The best songs come from that one idea; whether it’s the Internet, being a woman in 2018, or the simple experience of falling in love. It always starts with a concept or idea.

AXS: Let’s discuss a few tracks from the new EP beginning with the song, “Internet You”. What can you tell me about it?

BE: I have a section in my phone filled with concepts and titles and one of them was for a song that was originally called “Internet Love.” It’s weird how the Internet is shaping our romantic interactions. Sometimes, I would be set up through mutual friends and would check out their Instagram before we met. Then, when we did meet in person, I noticed the person I met in real life was different from the Internet version. We spend so much time curating an image of ourselves that we tend to forget to put the same energy into our relationships. It’s about making the real you the best that it can be.

AXS: How about the track, “Might Not Like Me?”

BE: That’s a song I wrote when I was going through this break-up. I was in a relationship with this guy who made me feel like I was too much into music and school. I was very busy with school and on the road touring on the weekends. He made me feel like I needed to dim my light. I was always concerned about what other people thought of me and that song is about the moment I decided to let him know how I felt. It was my decision to be myself and not worry about the opinions of others.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Brynn Elliott by Clicking Here!

Shira’s Story Corner: Brooke Josephson Discusses Daughter’s Inspiring Cause

Shira Josephson

There’s an old adage that says the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and in the case of acclaimed singer/songwriter/artist Brooke Josephson, that sentiment couldn’t be more true. Josephson’s creative gene has been passed down to her daughter, Shira, in a uniquely wonderful way.

Shira Josephson, a book lover and Junior Ambassador at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, noticed that many of the hospital’s patients were so ill that they didn’t have access to the hospital’s first-floor story corner. So the resilient eight-year-old did what any forward-thinking artist would do — she created one of her own.

Last summer, Shira and her mother started Shira’s Story Corner, a video series where the young girl reads some of her favorite books that are later shared with patients. Shira’s weekly series was an insant success; bringing comfort and virtual companionship to many of the non-profit hospital’s isolated patients.

The Junior Ambassadors are the hospital’s youth fundraising group, and following a recent trip to New York City where she befriended another girl, Shira wrote and illustrated her own book, “The Girl On The Subway,” to help raise funds for the hospital. To date, Shira has raised more than $13,000 from book sales and other fundraising efforts.

On Saturday, October 6th, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles will hold its annual Junior Ambassador Action Day, where every donation made will be matched dollar for dollar. This year, The Josephson Family and Shira’s Story Corner are the matching donors. In addition to other fundraising activities planned for the day, Shira will be selling copies of “The Girl On The Subway” as well as her brand new book, “The Fickle Cat Called Pickles,” with all proceeds benefiting CHLA.

As for Shira’s mother, Brooke Josephson, the songstress will be back in New York City on September 21st for a performance at Prohibition. The show will be in support of her amazing new EP, “Sexy N’ Domesticated’. She’ll follow it up with a trip to Amsterdam to shoot the video for a remix of her song, “Mr. Fix It”, with DJ Rocky G.

I recently spoke with Brooke Josephson about Shira’s cause and much more in this exclusive new interview.

How did your family become involved with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles?

A few of Shira’s classmates in pre-school had been patients at the hospital and were blown away by the work they had done for them and their families. Then, two weeks before Shira graduated from pre-school, she fell and broke her arm pretty badly. It required her going under anesthesia for surgery and having to wear three different casts. The time she was away from us was very brief but it left such an impact on her. Then she started thinking about her friends who had been born with heart defects and needed to have surgery every few years. That’s when we started donating and getting involved. 

When did Shira’s love of reading originate?

I’ve always loved books. Even when I growing up, I’d always volunteer in our school library re-shelving books while everyone else was at recess. When Shira was a baby, I’d read to her every night. Then, once she started reading on her own, it became a passion for her as well.

How did she become involved the Junior Ambassador program and what inspired Shira’s Story Corner?

When Shira was going into first grade, we started looking into other ways of getting involved instead of just writing a check. That’s when we found out about the Junior Ambassador program, and Shira loved it right away. The program is a mixture of kids from the community as well as current patients. Shira was able to work alongside kids her own age right up to high school seniors. It was during her second training session, when they were doing a tour of the hospital, that they came to the end of the hall, where doors led to floors where the kids were too sick to have visitors.

Afterwards, Shira seemed sad, so I asked her what was wrong. She explained to me that the tour had ended because they couldn’t go past a certain point. Then she lit up and came up with an idea. There was a story corner on the first floor of the hospital; and even though the sick kids couldn’t go there, what if she could make her own story corner and bring it to them? One where she could read books and I could make videos for them to watch. It took off from there! 

What inspired Shira to write her own book, “The Girl On The Subway”?

Part of being a Junior Ambassador is creating your own fundraisers, and it was at one of the brainstorming sessions that Shira decided to make her own book. Part of that came from a story she’d read called “The Chocolate Bar” that a little boy had written for his friend who had a rare disease. They had sold the book to raise money for his friend’s treatment. Since we had recently taken a trip to New York, Shira wanted to write a book about a girl her age she met on the subway. To date, she’s raised more than $13,000 between her book and other fundraising. Even other kids in her elementary school have joined the Junior Ambassador program after seeing the work she’s done. It’s been exciting to watch the ripple effect.

What can you tell me about her new book, “The Fickle Cat Called Pickles?” 

She actually came up with the idea when she was being interviewed about “The Girl On The Subway” for the hospital. She loves to eat pickles and always wanted to have a cat, but because of allergies, we can only have dogs. One of the cool things was when she was drawing the characters. She wanted the middle part of their bodies to be in the shape of a pickle and the cat’s head to have a heart-shaped face.

Let’s talk about this year’s Children’s Hospital of L.A. Junior Ambassador Action Day.

It’s one day set aside where every dollar donated to the hospital is matched. This year on Action Day, Saturday, October 6th, you can purchase copies of Shira’s books, or you can also go to the CHLA website to make a donation.

Is there a message you’d like people to take away from Shira’s work?

I’m blown away by kids and their courage, even with Shira’s book, “The Girl On The Subway”. She literally just met the girl, and when the adults saw how well they were interacting they asked her how long the two of them had been friends. Shira told them, “We just met.” Then everyone started asking each other why we can’t do this as adults. It was humbling and inspiring. We all need the ability to look each other in the eye and make the world a better place.