Post Image

Interview with: City Cowboy

This month Swedish artist, City Cowboy spoke to us on his music process, influences and future work he wishes to accomplish, it was a pleasure speaking to him

How are you today, City Cowboy? 

CC: Great, thanks!

Would you mind telling us your story of how you entered music? 

CC: Sure thing! Growing up we had a piano in our home and my older sister took lessons. I used to sit by the piano too (when she wasn’t there) and just play around and gradually found that I could play too – without lessons! It turns out I have a pretty good ear when it comes to identifying notes and chords, but not perfect pitch. As a teen I bought my first synth, a Roland D5. I remember making my first multitimbral tracks with Steinberg pro 12 and 24 on an Atari ST. The excitement of first recording a bassline for instance and then adding strings, then drums and so on was great. Such a creative joy. Then I tried to add some vocals along with the background. The lyrics for my first songs were really pathetic. One early track was a real “bohoohoo-story” called “Turned down again”! My music making “career” had thus begun. Many years later, I started making music with a Yamaha Motif workstation that I still use today and under the name City Cowboy. And here we are!

How long have you been writing music?

CC: Since 1989

What types of music do you write? 

CC: I guess I would call it pop or synth pop. I solely use a workstation synth so I don’t include any other instruments, even though I do play the guitar and bass for instance. I like EDM and sometimes I do more electronic stuff, like the two Kraftwerk covers I have done so far. 

What processes do you use to create music? 

CC: I start with an idea for a song, it could be that I start with a chorus for instance. I play it on a keyboard and try to come up with words too. If I like it enough I try to compose a whole song with verses, bridge etc. When I know how I want the song to be, roughly at least, I do the sequencing on my workstation. I then record it onto my Tascam multitracker. Last, I work on the vocals and mix and master.

How are you involved in the Indie scene? 

CC: I try to make myself heard through diverse channels, my music can be found in various places on the net. I have also done some local “publicity stunts” here in my home town. (Even as a Santa…) As part of WEATNU records, I agree with Almark’s vision that everyone deserves to be heard. If there’s any quality there, it should eventually be discovered, one hopes.

What is happening in the music scene around your area of Sweden? 

CC: Well… I think the best place to be here in Sweden is probably Stockholm, our capital, or another of the major cities. That is not the case for me, I like country living so I try my best from here… Cowboy style…Yeeehaw!

Are you playing live or do you wish to online, perhaps through our label? 

CC: So far, City Cowboy hasn’t done any live performances at all. That would take some practical arrangements so to speak. But who knows in the future?

You just released new music, would you like to talk about that or something you might be working at the moment?

CC: My latest release is called “Down the Aisle” and it’s a bouncy, happy track celebrating love and marriage. As a Christian, I do believe that marriage is the highest form of union between two people. Something to cherish these days. For this Christmas I plan to make my version of the medieval song Veni Immanuel available to my fans. It’s an absolutely delightful song and I chose to do the lyrics all in Latin. So beautiful. I hope folks will appreciate it and that they won’t think my interpretation of it is too modern.

Are you working professionally or for the love of music? 

CC: Well, this “ol’ cowboy” has a regular day job and does his musical cowboying in his freetime! What I would really like is for the whole world to listen to my music. To really have people’s attention! The best thing is when I get a personal message or mail from someone who has been touched by one of my songs. It happens now and then.

You said you began with Atari ST, that’s interesting. 

CC: True. With a built-in midi interface, the ST was launched as more of a professional musician’s computer than the Commodore Amiga I believe. I played my fair share of games on it too of course! But that’s how I started sequencing songs.Delightful stuff.

What kinds of music are you passionate about when you listen in your quiet space? 

CC: If someone really had me in a stranglehold and FORCED me to choose just ONE favourite group, I think it would have to be Pet Shop Boys. Just for the sheer quality of their output through so many years. Their songs are really atmospheric I believe, and they always pay attention to lyrics. There’s often a melancholy touch there. Having said that, I do also give ample credit to Depeche Mode, Erasure, Jarre, Kraftwerk and Jay-jay Johansson for instance. That’s just within the synth genre. I do like other genres too and know quite a lot about classical. Bach is a favourite of course, Mozart too, but also romantic era stuff like Grieg. Early Music is also interesting. I dig jazz as well and hiphop. Some genres don’t interest me very much, including country, blues, soul and R&B.

How does the music begin, in your mind or outside? 

CC: In my mind I would say. Or by playing around on some kind of keyboard. It doesn’t have to be a synth of course, it could be an acoustic piano too. I’m quite a skilled player if I may say so myself! 😉 I never, EVER use any “ready made” beats or grooves or anything, I do everything on my own. If I do stuff that’s hard to play right, I might slow things down while recording of course. This kind of music does take some quantization. Other genres don’t need to be so rhythmically correct. 

Music theory or by ear? 

CC: I play by ear exclusively, although I have an understanding about score and musical theory like intervals, chords, rythm, your dominants and subdominant parallels and stuff…

How did you come up with the name “City Cowboy”?

CC: Well…first off, you need an artist name, right? Although I find that at least here in Sweden, a surprising amount of people actually use their real names as artist names. That definitey doesn’t suit me, as the person behind City Cowboy is very private and secretive… So…the cowboy is one of the most iconic male “figures” in the western world, right? And I thought the contradiction of a cowboy in the city was quite interesting. What does he really do there? He can’t work with his live stock, now can he? He probably wears a hat, but he can’t strap on his gun belt. Does he go to bars and drink? I don’t know, I just liked the name.

This is our 5th year: where do you see weatnu records going for 2020?

CC: In 2020 I think WEATNU Records might be ready to lift itself from the shades of relative obscurity and become an important player, really becoming the voice of smaller, upcoming artists.

How is #WEATNU helping artists from your point of view?

CC: WEATNU helps artists by being a fair label, a radio and now also a Digital Magazine. Great with this threefold power.

Marmite or Nutella? – Trick question.

CC: I never eat Nutella. The other I don’t know what it is! Not sure it’s available in Sweden. Try to eat healthy stuff mostly!

Thank you City Cowboy for doing this interview with us, good luck to you and your music. May your Christmas be well and Happy New Year!

CC: Many thanks for interviewing me!

#WEATNU Digital Magazine – Dec 2019

Follow City Cowboy on Twitter: @CityCowboooy

Read More
Post Image

Interview with Austeya

“Lithuanian born: Austeya moved to London to continue her career in music. Her powerful vocals and emotional electronic melodies create her style. Influenced by Kate Bush, Depeche Mode and Land Del Rey.”

Corbin: First and foremost, I would like to take the time to thank you for allowing me to conduct this interview with you. It’s been really an honor to see you join us and flourish as well as you have with your music career. I see you just got done with a photo shoot, how many times a year do you update this part of your portfolio?

Austeya: I do not have certain dates and times in mind for photo shoots. I just do it when I get an inspiration, this was a shoot with a photographer who is my friend as well, so it was really fun.

I am working on pictures now so hopefully some of it should come out soon!

Corbin: It looks like your live band is really helping to get your “brand” out there. Are there any plans for adding additional members to your live band?

Austeya: I think at the moment I am looking for a solution to play electronica music live. I was looking for people to help me do that, and I found some really great artists already. I am hoping to join these musicians and artists into one bigger production eventually.

Corbin: Would you do a mix of the electronica with your traditional set, or just have the show do a complete turnaround to the electronic side of your portfolio?

Austeya: This would be a completely new program, as we are working on writing new material right now. I am also due to release the new single “If I could” , which represents the new sound I am working towards.

Corbin: We’ve been looking forward to your single! Are going to be releasing it through WEATNU records?

Austeya: Yes definitely!

Corbin: I think last we spoke, you were headed to Lithuania. How much traveling have you done to collaborate with others across the globe?

Austeya: Quite a lot! I have worked with people in Lithuania, and also in Dallas, Texas. We shot couple of videos together, one is due to come out still. I of course work with several people in UK (and also in U.S.) but just remotely. Would be great to meet all of my collabs face to face one day!

Corbin: That would be exciting indeed! Out of all your musical endeavors, which do you see as being the most promising to help you “break through” to the masses?

Austeya: I am excited about my newest project where I’m working with an electronica musician who is also an animation artist, we are working on a new song right now and I think this could be a very promising combination of our skills. I also think that the release of “If I could” should be very successful, and we are in the process of creating a music video for it.

Corbin: WEATNU is glad to have an artist who is dedicated to getting her music/brand out there by all outlets possible. I saw your interview on Beatsta.com, and figured I would go a step further. Besides another outlet for your “Teach Me” EP, is WEATNU helping to expand your career outside the realm of possibilities prior to you joining our movement? What else can we do to help you along your path?

Austeya: I believe being part of WEATNU has definitely helped me to put my name out there and I am proud to say that I am part of something as special as this community. I could not stress more how important is being part of a group of talented artists who support each other.

I only feel like we should help out each other more with promoting live shows. I do quite a lot of live shows in London venues, and getting people there is difficult.

We should have WEATNU in UK where we could do regular meet-ups at each others gigs – I could champion this!

Corbin: I knew that was a great question to ask! Really gets those gears turning on an uncharted level for WEATNU. I would strongly urge you once this interview is posted to leave your contact email in it and/or reach out to those members in the UK (of which we have A LOT!!!!)

I can only help as much as I can, but as Almark and I have determined, WEATNU is literally what each individual member makes of it. We merely provide the tools to gain exposure and help nurture our members, but it is up to them to figure out what works best for their goals, and with that being said, why do you think (as far as your own experience with the WEATNU movement) so many artist / members have left us lately? What do you think WEATNU can do to retain its growing number of artist / members?

Austeya: Maybe because there were quite a few members and only a few people to run the promotion, each member was not getting enough attention. I think we should join the forces and get more people championing WEATNU promotion at their own locales! I think we should also try and partner with other, bigger networks that would help us gain even more exposure. I also think we should go out to industry events and promote what we do, this network has so much great music and personality to offer, it should be more well known!

Corbin: These are all great ideas! The only trouble is that not many artists in (or out of) WEATNU have that mentality. It takes a lot of time out of our week, let alone daily, to provide any promotion to all members as they create something new or have news of their endeavors to share. This leaves little time for each individual to create their own music if a very small number of people are willing to take any time to promote what everyone else is doing.

We recently have implemented a policy change in WEATNU, we are no longer doing PR for individuals. The main focus is the movement itself, which is now focused directly on it’s net-radio and label. When the new WEATNU.com is up and running we will be focusing only on those that are willing to put their music on the label. How do you feel about this new policy?

Austeya: I am not sure… Personally, I wish you would keep the PR going (as it is much more important than just having your album sitting on-line). You can do it (PR) on many websites, but with no sense of community (and promotion), the concept might loose its value. Just a thought.

Corbin: The concept behind the change is that with so many members in WEATNU, literally only about 20-30 people understand the concept of artists promoting other artists. The rest are just sitting back and riding the band wagon, not even willing to share even one member’s endeavors.

The cancer from within has stopped… This is what it has finally boiled down to: Will you share what EVERYONE (who is left after this policy change cleans the old system out) has that is news and music from this point on? Do you think others are going to be willing to do the same?

Austeya: I think as long as we communicate the message clearly, show a good example, and stress how important community is, members will follow the culture!

Corbin: So before joining WEATNU, how effective was your promotion? What outlets do you still channel outside of the WEATNU movement?

Austeya: Social media pretty much, also networking with people when going out to events. I have had some people helping me to spread the word along the way too…

Corbin: I gave up on being a star in my 20’s. Green Day, The White Stripes, and Jay Z had their respective industries on lock down and so I created my own solo career as Roofy. The music industry was so different back then. What are your goals and aspirations? How have they changed over the years?

Austeya: I think being a star is just a consequence of great dedication, hard work, talent and strong character. Having good connections can also help you break through. I am putting in all my hard work and I am dedicated to what I do, but over the years I realized that good things are always worth the wait, so, today I am not bothered about fame. I am more interested in creating something extraordinary which will draw the attention to my work and personality without having to rely on gimmicks.

Corbin: Exactly!! That is why the movement is what we as artists make of it. No gimmicks, just lots and lots of hard work (which is something you are very used to). Is there anything in particular you would like to give back to you fans, supporters, and assistants who have helped so much along the way?

Austeya: I would like to give all fans lots of inspiration to do something cool in life, fingers crossed I am successful.

Along the way I met some amazing people (including you guys) , and I could not be more grateful for the support and your taking the time to notice my work. But just to sum up, and to address those who helped me to develop the sounds, helped with promotion, live gigs, also to all musicians, make up and photography artists… I will pay in big sums of cash after I release that number 1 hit … or maybe the whole album? Work in progress basically 🙂 And I know that I cannot pay back for believing in this music and me, so that’s why I am also adding lots of love!

Roofy#WEATNU Digital Magazine

Intro by Almark

Follow Austeya on Twitter.

Read More
Post Image

Interview with Adryelle

“Original and passionate ‘DreamPop’ artist Adryelle. was kind enough to have a interview with us. Her music is comfortably wrapped in melancholy moods, while happily combined with influences of Depeche Mode and Tori Amos. Listen to her love of music, art and the future of her career.”

How are you today, Adryelle? – Pardon me for asking, but is this is your name or artist pseudonym?

Adryelle: Yes, that is my name! I’m doing very well, enjoying the warmer weather. How are you?

I’m good thank you. We are very glad to have this interview with you today here on #WEATNU DM.

Adryelle: Thank you, I am glad to be apart of it 🙂

Your music reminds me of Tori Amos and Depeche Mode? Beautiful combo!

Adryelle: Yes, thats how people have described my music.

Maybe also with a hint of Grimes so people are saying?

Adryelle: Yeah, I’ve got a lot of that too as well, similar with Banks, Kate Bush and Taylor Swift! haha.

What best describes your music in terms to a new listener/fan?

Adryelle: I would say electronic dreampop. Or chillwave. Your latest album ‘The Waiting Room” is out now on WEATNU Records. People are hearing this great music, any thoughts?

Adryelle: Yeah, its awesome to be apart of WEANTU and all of the artists involved. It’s a great community. I think there is so much music out there now and its hard for people to zone into specific genres. Providing a context for listeners is a great way to present specific music to the world and cut through everything else. And I think WEANTU is a great context for that.

We’re very glad to have you with us. The opening song on your album – ‘The Waiting Room’ – reminds me of Tori Amos’ Spark. Are there personal references to this song?

Adryelle: Thank you, but no, there’s no references to that song.

Just a burst of inspiration one day, poetically speaking?

Adryelle: Yes, I wrote the lyrics separate from the music, it didn’t come together all at once like a lot of songs do. But the lyrics and music worked well with each other. I worked on the music first and just kept building the layers up.

How do you normally approach song writing?

Adryelle: There are so many ways. Sometimes I will have a beat I’m working on and it will inspire a topic. Sometimes I will have a lyric and get an idea for the music. A lot of the time I will write a beat in logic and come up with a melody and then hear lyrics within the melody, and that will be the start of the lyrics. Then, I might just write the basic song on the piano or guitar. So there isn’t just one approach for me!

So you create via midi controller to Logic?

Adryelle: Yes, I have a midi keyboard I use, like my microkorg, or drum machine. I also have some vintage yamaha keyboards I use sometimes. Or then I will also record using real instruments as well, it could be on guitar or ukulele.

When did you begin your life of music?

Adryelle: I wrote my first song (which wasn’t much of a song) when I was 12. I played it for my friend Sarah and she laughed at me!

We’d like to hear that! [laughs]

Adryelle: Oh that is long gone 🙂

And were you trained vocally? – Beautiful vocals by the way!

Adryelle: I did take vocal lessons in college, I did 2 semesters of vocal training. And thank you 🙂

So music is very much a career as well as a passion for you?

Adryelle: Yes, very much!

How is the career of it going?

Adryelle: It’s going well!

I understand you’ve written and had your music played on BET and other television networks?

Adryelle: Yes, i had music on a few commercials that were aired on those networks

Are you still working in this direction? Adryelle: Yes, I would really like to get my music placed in some feature films. I’ve always thought it would be fun to score a film as well, dark ominous tones!

The ultimate dream even for myself.

The entire album of The Waiting Room is brilliant. Has it been well received on radio in various places?

Adryelle: Thank you. Yes, it has been played on a lot of internet radio. As far as traditional radio, I have not submitted it yet, but I do plan to submit to some college radio stations.

I’m sure it will be well received. This is first time I have listened to the whole of this album completely and every song is a work of art. How long did it take to complete?

Adryelle: It took about a year I think. Some songs I had laying around and just needed to put them together or finish them. I recorded it within about 6 months though. I definitely knew I wanted the album to be more electronic than my older stuff and knew what I wanted for it, so I think having that direction helped a lot.

While we are on the subject of Electronic, do you care to go over your past influences on how you came to write electronic-based music?

Adryelle: Sure. When I first started writing I was really into a lot of 80’s music and my first album had a lot of electronic elements. I moved away from that, but have always wanted to go back. I love how much you can do with electronic sounds. Its a whole other world. You can set whatever mood you want to set. I think my past stuff has some electronic elements but it isn’t full electronics.

When did you make the full transition? Adryelle: Well, The Waiting Room is my first album that is all electronic. My older stuff had elements of that sound but had real instruments as the base. I did a lot of piano based stuff.

So you start with a clean project, writing from the ground up, especially on the drums? Adryelle: Yes, definitely.

You mentioned once, that you use Reason as a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)?

Adryelle: Yes, I wrote a lot in Reason for The Waiting Room album, I additionally used Logic and Pro Tools. Now I’ve transitioned to using Logic primarily.

I personally get chills when I hear ‘The Waiting Room‘ title track, do you think others get them as well?

Adryelle: I’m not sure. I hope it effects people in some emotional way. As with all music, I think that its a success once you have reached peoples emotions. These songs on ‘The Waiting Room’ are pop-laced and catchy, such as with ‘Rainbows’ there appears to be a R&B sound, does this come from any influences?

Adryelle: Yes, I am heavily influenced by HipHop stuff. I’ve always loved Hiphop!


Adryelle: Yes, definitely!

Very cool, it had a more soulful edge back then. How is the general music scene in Baltimore?

Adryelle: Baltimore is cool. The scene is very diverse. There is a lot of avant garde, experimental electronic underground type stuff here as well as singer songwriter stuff. Its very eclectic and people are pretty supportive.

Is this well known, because I was clueless to it?! lol It’s great to hear that! Have you heard of Lie Craze? She writes an experimental ElectroPop sound.

No. I’ve not yet heard of her.

A collab between you two would be great, she’s one of our artists on #WEATNU.

Adryelle: Oh awesome!

Are you currently playing live anywhere? NYC by chance?

Adryelle: Yes, I’m playing in DC at The Treehouse Lounge on Thursday April 9th with The Starlight Natives. I just played in NYC about a month ago. That was a lot of fun and I hope to go back there soon.

Great! So you have other labels you’re on?

Adryelle: Yes, im on Single Engine Records which is a Baltimore based net label.

Working on new music?

Adryelle: Yes, currently I am working on a new album, in the process of writing that.

Any dates, or is that secret in the vault 😉

Adryelle: No, I dont have any dates yet, but I’m thinking sometime in the summer or fall 🙂

And where would you like to play live that you haven’t? Could go for the next SXSW?

Adryelle: I really want to do a west coast tour, and also Canada as well as Europe. I get alot of requests to come out to those areas. I think I might stay away from SXSW 🙂 Although you never know! I also want to play in Austin

Just like the 4AD artists, would you like to be apart of that?

Adryelle: Of 4AD?

That’s where Grimes went after the Arbutus label. 

Adryelle: I’d love to get onto 4AD Records! This music is very suited for their sound. You have a few remixes on the album. One is ‘Kiss the Daylight (SiLenCe Remix)’ – great work.

Adryelle: Yes, my friend Mike Baker did both remixes you hear on there. He is amazingly talented! He also has his own project at www.silencetheory.com

Any other plans for the future?

Adryelle: Yeah, my future plans are to tour more, as much as I can.

Awesome. Any final thoughts?

Adryelle: I guess just to keep an eye out for the new record sometime in the fall. Also, for people who are interested in staying updated, I have a mailing list you can sign up for at www.adryelle.com. Also thank you so much for this interview 🙂

One final question… Favorite coffee?

Adryelle: Zekes!! It’s a Baltimore thing!

And Thank you, Adryelle, for having this interview with #WEATNU Digital Magazine, and good luck with your future!

Adryelle: Thank you!

Interview by Almark – #WEATNU Digital Magazine Buy “The Waiting Room” on WEATNU Records

Read More