Simon Richards has recently released his debut single, "Bee Bopping to My Life" and has his first album set to come out in September. Simon isn't your typical musician -- he actually had a past career as a doctor and has recently made his transition into music. He looks forward to helping people heal in a different way. His album, Kaleidoscope Worlds, is being released through Pyramid Records , Inc. We got the opportunity to talk with Simon about his album, his former career as a doctor, and how music has influenced his life.
Tell us a bit about your upcoming debut album.
My debut album, Kaleidoscope Worlds, I finished recording last year in November 2011. It took me two and half years and more than 1500 hours of studio production to finalize the album to where it is today. It was a truly amazing process and I really did pour my heart and soul into this album. I’m very excited to be sharing my first album with the world. It will be available for purchase in September 2012. Right now my single, Bee Bopping To My Life, is currently on the radio. It is a catchy summer song with a reggae influence.
Do you have any favorite singles off the album?
I would say that Children of the Ghetto, Joe’s Cafe, Come Fly with Me and Blown Away are my favorite songs off the album. “Children of The Ghetto” hits home for me because it portrays a serious message. The song in itself is focused on the under-privileged. It’s a message of hope and of never giving up, even when confronted with the harshest of realities, and always fighting for what you believe in. It is a very powerful song with an upbeat rhythmic song with a strong afro-influence.
How did you choose your first single "Bee Bopping to my Life" to be the first single released?
I decided to go with Bee Bopping to My Life because it is a fun, upbeat reggae song. I thought would be the perfect song to get out onto the radios just in time for summer. It’s a very bubbly, exciting song that is a catchy summer jam!
What made you transition from doctor to musician?
It was more to do with a spiritual journey that had started with medicine and was to continue through music. I wanted to go from the art of healing to the art of creating music. There was an inner force inside of me that always existed and I just allowed it to flow with questioning. It truly was an enlightening experience and felt as if I was going through a metamorphosis.
Do you see any similarities between your career as a doctor and your career as a musician?
Definitely! There is a distinct relationship as both professions are capable of healing and reaching the inner soul of people. Doctors and musicians help bring health and joy to people. I believe that I was born to be a healer and now that I am a musician I am still healing people around the world but in a different way.
How has music influenced your life?
It has allowed me to discover myself as a human being and become a better person. I am able to understand others on a different level and believe that I have truly grown in every field of life. I believe that music intertwines with every aspect of life.
If there was one catchphrase that you'd say you live your life to, what would it be?
I wear my soul on my sleeve.
You can visit Simon online here!
If you're familiar with Flo Rida, you're probably familiar with his friend and colleague, hip hop artist J. Dash. Also from Florida, this artist has recently made a huge splash in the music world with his top-of-the-charts single, "WOP." The single comes off his debut album, Tabloid Truth, and has reached the Top 100 on the Billboard charts. The album is sold exclusively through Wal-Mart. J. Dash chats with us about his past musical experience, his new album, and the lovely ladies of his life.
You are a piano prodigy who records hip hop music. Will we hear you playing piano in any of your tracks?
Yesterday afternoon, pop superstar and American Idol winner Kris Allen came to Robert Frost Middle School in Los Angeles to kick off Starburst's Music With The Masters Series; which benefits the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. The first of three events held in various cities over the coming months included Allen performing his hit single "Live Like We're Dying" with the school band and walking them on a tour through his musical history.
The presentation also featured Allen covering some of his favorite songs throughout time (including Coolio's "Gangstas Paradise" and to "keep the crowds interested," "Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears). He capped the presentation by performing his new hit "The Vision of Love." To top off the event, in conjunction with Starburst, he donated the piano used in both music video and his performance to the school. Overall, the event served as a great kick off to the series in conjunction with which Starburst is donated $250k to the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.
What comes to mind for many when talking pianists are large concert halls, bars with charming charming players like Billy Joel’s Piano Man, and even church. The piano has been a major player in many types of music--from Classic to Jazz to Rock and Country. It’s a versatile instrument that takes a lot of skill and heart to play. Years of training, memorizing, and building up dexterity go into learning piano pieces. Anyone just starting to learn to play the piano will wish they had more than ten fingers.
“Music can be an amazingly potent thing. When I sing into the microphone in the studio, I’m whispering my secrets in people’s ears. When it connects, it can be so powerful. It’s still a remarkable process to me.”
The image of a pianist sitting in front of eighty-eight keys, fingering depressing songs in a smoke-filled lounge has become something of a dismal cliché. More often then not, the injection of emotion in the songs is unjustified and insistent upon itself. However, the music performed by British singer/songwriter Matt Hales, aka Aqualung, is unapologetic in its portrayal of emotion. When he starts twinkling the keys and singing a heart-heavy song about life’s ups and downs, you are left with the feeling that your reaction to the music doesn’t matter. It will still maintain its level of sorrow, joy, sadness, or whatever emotion is derived from the music, without your approval. This says more about the talent of the artist than the vulnerability of the listener.