Maejor Releases new video "Nirvana"

“Everything I am doing is just about how can we be positive and put some positivity into the world,” says Maejor in an exclusive interview about his new single “Nirvana” and his upcoming debut solo album, Frequency.

maejor.jpg

 “The song is all about being yourself not worrying about what other people say being original, being unapologetic, not afraid to be who you are, with all my music I just wanna put out positive messages I just wanna put uplifting inspirational messages and that also extends into the video which is basically a bean of paying forward.”

Maejor describes the music video which was released today (4/4):

“At the beginning, there is a guy that needs help, I won’t go into too many details, I help him it follows him down the road he helps the next person, who then helps the next person like a chain of events it shows how each action we take creates a ripple effect, you know.”

 He continues “We want to put out good into the world and we never know where will lead and at the end there is a girl who has cancer she has a bald head and no one is playing with her and she is across the street watching some kids playing and I sit down next to her and I can see that she is sad and so I cut my hair bold to match her, she starts laughing and then brighten her day and we go over and play with the kids.”

 “I don’t think I write the lyrics of my songs, I hear them in my head it’s like a gift comes from another dimension you know, from heaven, from God, whatever you wanna say, but it’s not from me, I just hear them and I just write down and I just recorded, I don’t even write it down actually, I just recorded, that’s how the music came for that one.”

“And the beats we used from all over the world, we used some music from the Middle East, from Israel, I believe music is a universal language that combines everything together.”

 He is also releasing his 11-track Album around the end of May 2019, which will be all about uplifting inspirational music, “but it’s about frequency so it’s not always in the lyrics but the vibration of the music is meant to lift you up.”

Brandon Green, aka Maejor, is a 3x Grammy nominated artist, record producer, singer-songwriter and rapper from Detroit, Michigan. Maejor has written and produced songs for several prominent artists in the music industry, including Justin Bieber, Trey Songz, Keri Hilson, Ciara, T-Pain, Ne-Yo, Wiz Khalifa, Three 6 Mafia and is also part of the EDM duo AREA21 alongside Dutch DJ Martin Garrix.

 In 2010, Maejor was nominated for a Grammy Award, for his work on Trey Songz’s album Passion, Pain & Pleasure, and again in 2011, for Monica’s album, “Still Standing.” In 2012, Maejor produced two songs on Justin Bieber’s album, Believe, as well as the single ‘Say Something” by Austin Mahone.

 Maejor teamed up with Justin Bieber again in early 2013, co-producing his single “Heartbreaker,” and most recently producing 3 songs on Justin Bieber’s worldwide #1 album Purpose. In late 2013, Maejor also released a single titled “Lolly,” featuring Justin Bieber & Juicy J which became Maejor’s most successful single to date, peaking at number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. In Dec 2017 Maejor released a single with Latin superstar Anitta called “Vai Malandra” which reached the #1 spot on the Brazilian charts as well as #18 at the Global Spotify chart. The video has been viewed nearly 300 million times and the song streamed over 200m times worldwide.

SPOTIFY 2.3M MONTHLY LISTENERS / INSTAGRAM 1.3M FOLLOWERS / YOUTUBE 816K SUBSCRIBERS

Rilan Exclusive Interview and Release of new single "Love or Drugs"

Rilan – songwriter, Pop singer, and Glee Alumni dancer - is releasing his new single “Love or Drugs” today (March 22) and on April 2nd he will release its music video, where I make a Cameo.

“Making fun of Hollywood and all the things that we basically experience here (in Hollywood)”, Rilan said about his new song in my exclusive interview.

NEW COVER - THUMB (1).jpg

“Think about it why do we go to the club? We go out to either get fucked or get fucked up, we go out because we don’t really have real connections with people, not everyone is going to dinners having a good time and actually having a conversation, they are just trying to get involved in something where they will feel something because they are numb inside so basically I am making fun of that because when I came to Hollywood I was like, “This is great, I am the misfit artsy kid I am gonna fit in here”, I didn’t fit in here at all, because it’s very scene related, there is entertainment but there is also the nightlife scene and who is cool on Instagram, and how that influences everything, so just making fun of all those cool kids and parties that I have never been to and thought they would look like.”

He continues: “I always grow up in a theater kid, super theatrical, everything that had to do with performance all the artist that I admired were David Bowie, Prince and Madonna, all that glam pop, and when I came here in 2014 that was not cool here it was very much about a vibe, Lorde had just broken out, so was very minimum, music was very cool, wasn’t about going out there with dancers and performing and showing people what you got, it was more settle,  on the background and that’s kind of what’s everyone else dress and acted and I am not like that at all, I mean look at me I look like George Michael went to space. Basically I didn’t fit at all and I am not that type of a person that’s gonna go out and make a scene, I kind of make a scene on stage and that’s where I belong as oppose to getting on the dance floor and getting in debauchery or not, so when I came out here trying to make friends and basically get discovered in the music industry I was very shy and very put off by the scene the only way I knew how to talk about it was to make fun of it.”

He explained to us the lyrics: “The chorus is “I want your love, love, love, drugs, drugs, drugs, give me what you wanna give me I just want your love or drugs, whatever is better for me”, so it’s basically that time of the night when the lights goes on in the club and everyone is looking around, they are either who I am leaving with what I am getting to make this night make sense and have a good time because I don’t feel anything inside, when people are down they tend to try to find someone or something that’s going to make them feel better but they should look inside and deal with other things instead of coping with a problem. It’s a pop song but at the same time dies into some real problems that people have we are addicted to love and we are addicted to drugs and they are very similar.”

Rilan is always working in his cool studio in Hollywood, he said: “The music I have been writing around this time has been about not fitting in Hollywood and that kind of relationship I have with myself and other people and what I am seeing.  So, this was just me saying, when people were telling me to write relatable music that people were like I was like, I think the most relatable thing I can do is be myself.  People will see through a fake so this me making fun of what pop music is nowadays because it seems like it is very girls and fast cars and money and drugs and that’s what’s cool.  So, I am not really in that world, at least not yet.  Like I can’t really afford that lifestyle so I figured I would just make fun of it. And have this give a metaphor as to what it’s like to be alone here and kind of poke fun at all the cool kids cause I think that’s what’s pop music is supposed to be.”

“I’m from New Orleans, Louisiana so the most haunted city in the continental US.  Just so you know which probably explains why I am so creepy and weird.  Self-deprecating too.  I have been here five years. I mean like my parents are super cool.  I am sure they had a heart attack when I pulled out of college in Nashville after three months and then just moved here.  They have been supportive, but it was definitely a thing where my parents were like, “Oh great so you’ll go there (LA) and you’ll succeed within a year and everything will be fine, right?”  And I was like Oh yeah totally, it will happen super-fast.  No, it is so slow and it is hard.  And it is you know that kind of mentality certainly doesn’t help when you are involved in debauchery.  You know like night life and what not.  So, that’s kind of what I have seen, is seeing people who have been my friends who are artists that come on here with a dream and then kind of get lost in the scene. Making fun of it is my way of kind of staying out of it, you know.”

We also talked about the upcoming music video where he tells us about a scene with gas masks and smoke: “There are some parts that represent the different activity that kind of happens at parties and what I imagine happening when I’m not there.  The gas masks are pretty much the weed smoking scene where everyone is kind of connected to each other instead of a bong or whatnot.  So, it’s basically saying how we are trying to connect to people but we actually can’t cause you can’t see their faces but everything is connected with black tubing so it is kind of like a metaphor for sin and trying to fit in when actually you are not showing your real self. We got a little weird and artsy.”

And about the scenes under the water, he said: “When I hear the song and when I wrote the lyrics, I was thinking of this fantasy version of drugs and like being high and all that kind of stuff and I think LSD and I think mind-altering substances, freeing you are outside of your body so the best way for me to represent I think was being in the water where everything is flowing around you and you feel like you are not one with gravity.  So that really became the focus of the video when I met with Nick Alexander and Collier Landry helped me direct the video.  They were like I think we need even more water scenes.  I was like, “Oh that’s awesome” and then we know that was possible to get your camera under the water, but it was great.  It was 40 degrees outside and it was cold.  I think it really is something interesting because I haven’t really seen so much of that in a video.”

Besides his father, Michael Roppolo, who manages his day to day, Rilan is working with new producers ad co-managers: “This year I’m working with Randy Jackson, “yo dog”.  He’s a fellow Louisianan.  He’s from Baton Rouge, the capital which is like an hour away from New Orleans.  But we have talked about some of the same people that we know from there.  It’s so crazy. It’s a smaller big city you know.  He’s super cool.  He’s helping me and he is such a great guy.  He is super connected but also understands music so it’s great to work with somebody like that and I’ve been working with a plethora of producers and my co-writers.  I still work with Naz Tokio, who I did my single with three years ago, “Blindfolds”.  And then my other co-writer, Krysta Youngs.  She is awesome.  She is basically the other me.  There is another girl running around that looks basically the same as me just she, but she dresses like a unicorn.”

“Warner label signed “Love or Drugs” my new single, so they are going to be pushing that out in Scandinavia - Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark.  So, look for my face over there if you are over there.”

“I can only really write about what I have experienced or what I witness, so a lot of the songs are from my perspective of basically I always feel like a misfit in the city of cool kids.  Which I feel like everyone can kind of relate to.  I mean anyone who says that high school is the best time of their life peaked in high school.  Like definitely.  They are not living a life anymore.  You know what I mean?  They are probably like…”

And we both agreed that High School wasn’t fun: “Oh awful, horrible, terrible.  I guarantee you there are people I know who even I went to high school with they are like “That was the best time of my life.”  And I was like this is sad.  But I still kind of carry that with me of being that like freak.  So, it is about not fitting in and they are tongue in cheek because I think that satire is a lost art form now and I super sarcastic and I think that is something that is missing in pop music, along with mystery.  So, they are definitely pop but they are definitely theatrical.  There is a lot of influence from Queen and Prince and I guess there is a little Gaga in there too.  Kind of the people that I grew up loving.  But I have a song about wishing that I had a billionaire lover so that I could afford doing all the things that people do here.  I have a song about basically just wanting to stay home when everybody else is out and having a good time doing that.  I have a song called, “I feel Nothing” which is just about people that wear you down to the bone and you are just done with them, but at the same time while it is dark-themed it is all pop music so you can dance to it and you can have a good time and then when you go home later you can just cry about the lyrics.”    

My Cameo in the Video

My Cameo in the Video

 

Exclusive Interview with Levan Tsikurishvili - “AVICII: TRUE STORIES” Film Director

Long time Avicii’s collaborator, friend and filmmaker Levan Tsikurishvili is releasing a new powerful documentary AVICII: TRUE STORIES”, The Untold Story Behind The Artist.

The theatrical release will be December 14th in Los Angeles and December 21st in New York, with hopes for an Academy Awards nomination.

I sat with the Swedish director for an exclusive interview after a private screening in Los Angeles.

“We worked together for four years.  I think we were like longer than that, but he was just on and off, like one show here and there.  I remember the first tour I did with him was in Australia 2012, I believe.  We meet for the first time actually I was making music so the first time I saw him in person was at a festival that I was playing, and he was playing on as well.  And that was kind of like the first time I met him in person and then we met again at a dinner … I was a filmmaker at that time already.  In part, I was doing the music as well and I wanted to, you know can I get into this DJ world as well, but then I decided to quit with the music and only focus on filmmaking.  That was the year we started to work with each other,” Levan told me about his relationship with AVICII.

“I mean we were living together in the same house.  Very close,” He said.

avicii-true-stories.jpg

The film reveals the unvarnished truth behind the success of producer, songwriter and artist Avicii (A.K.A. Tim Bergling) winner of 2014 Billboard Award “Wake Me Up” in the Top Dance/Electronic Song category.

One of the world’s highest grossing live music artists getting paid $250,00 per show, whose seemingly sudden decision in 2016 to quit doing live shows came as a complete chock to his fans and the industry.

The film traces the artist/DJ’s life from his beginnings in Sweden, all the way to the joy of his success, from his chart-topping global radio hits and subsequent struggles with his physical and mental health. He was hospitalized for 11 days in 2012 with acute pancreatitis, a condition associated with excessive drinking. In 2014, he was hospitalized in Miami due to a blocked gall bladder which had to be removed along with his appendix.

Tsikurishvili followed Bergling for over four years, and captured fly-on-the-wall footage of his experiences and thinking.

Featuring appearances by Madonna, Chris Martin who said, “You are so talented man”, Nile RodgersDavid Guetta, Wyclef Jean who compared Avicii to Bach, Avicii’s former manager, Ash Pournouri and one of Avicii’s best friend’s Tiesto. 

The Film is a cautionary tale that explores the taxing nature and intensity of fame from the artist's point of view as much as it is a film for Avicii’s die-hard fans.

Levan said: “I mean as documentary film director you have the redline and you are trying to follow that redline in the editing process as much as possible, and it is always hard to “killing your dolly” as we call it in a documentary language which basically means that you have to sometimes cut out your like fabric pieces from the story because it does not fit.  You have to cut it out,” Levan told me about the story he wants to convey.

He continues: “The story I wanted to tell is in the doc I believe and the message that the documentary has is another side of the industry which maybe people doesn’t like to talk about and you know because you as a talent you are expected to be strong and a role model and you are expected to be the happy person for your fans and for the industry, and I think it is very important to at the same time keep yourself like in your mind to who you are and I think my documentary will show both sides of what it takes to be the talent.”

 “Yeah, we had been talking, you know, I used to talk with the characters rather than to ask them questions, because I believe that it is easier to get like the side of story that is really happening at the time,” He said about the footage in the film.

Avicii died on April 20, 2018 of an apparent suicide in Muscat, Oman, but Levan chose to not show his death in the film, he told: “We did the documentary before he passed away. There is a sign at the end of the documentary that says the year (2016).”

Levan’s last words and hope for this documentary are:

“What I want to say with the documentary is that hopefully, I want people to see the doc is that they can learn something. Especially young people that are very interested to get into the music industry or to become anything else when you are a talent it takes lots of energy to be the talent.  It could be very exciting but it could also be very difficult and I think that society today is telling you and me that to become somewhat successful it is very good which is the fact but at the same time it can also be very difficult.  Yeah, that’s hopefully where I want to understand and learn and feel that life can be difficult even though you are very successful as a professional.”

The documentary is now on Netflix.

Watch the trailer:

Selma Fonseca and Levan Tsikurishvili

Selma Fonseca and Levan Tsikurishvili