The Buzz | Independent Music News •  Events •  Interviews • Resources
Content by Nick Backovic

Silex – The Dutch Rapper MC Discusses His New Hip Hop Album EP and Growing Up in Rotterdam

Silex Music MCSurviving as an independent recording artist in this day and age isn’t an easy thing by any means. It’s often a never-ending grind to get your songs recorded, played, and heard; and at the end of the day, unless you’re doing it primarily out of love for what it is that you do, the odds are very much against you. Hailing out of the Netherlands, independent rapper emcee Silex has been living this grind for years and has established his mark on Rotterdam’s hip-hop scene. With a new single out and an EP on the way, Silex now turns to the rest of the world.

His new single “Just You and Me” offers a hard-hitting lyrical delivery that reminds us what it’s supposed to be like to strive towards a dream despite the hardships and surrounding negativity that can sometimes hold us back, with Silex rapping about ‘staying hungry’ through some of the more difficult moments. “I’ve literally been hungry just pouring what little money I had into this dream,” he says about these times. “I didn’t think about food. If I wasn’t getting new equipment, I was buying beats or paying for studio time, photo shoots, videos, you name it.“ Through it all, it’s that same hunger to succeed that still keeps him going today. “I just feel that this is all I’m good at. You know how many times I’ve been told to give it up? To just let it go, and that it will never happen? But for some reason I just cant.”

L.A.-based director Cutter Hodierne on the making of his Sundance Film Festival debut

Fishing without Nets

Somali modern day piratesA few years ago, stories about modern-day pirates terrorizing the waters off the Somali coast started to emerge, and eventually it led to a small media frenzy. In 2008, the world watched as rescue measures were taken to save kidnapped French couple Bernadette and Jean-Yves Delanne, who were abducted by pirates while sailing home from Australia aboard their yacht, the Carre d’As. Eventually, French Special Forces freed the couple in an operation that left a pirate dead, and six more arrested. Although this happened several thousand miles away from the Californian coast, for Los Angeles based director Cutter Hodierne, the story hit close to home.

Just before he was born, Hodierne’s parents sold everything that they owned and bought a 32-foot cutter-rigged sailboat; Cutter spent the first three years of his life sailing the South Pacific Ocean. At the time, the area was one of the first and only places one would hear about modern-day pirate activity. When reminded of the French couple, Hodierne says, “That could’ve been us.” Over twenty years later, the early memories would lay down the groundwork in what would become the short-film that introduces Sundance to Cutter Hodierne.

Coeur de Pirate The French-Canadian Singer Songwriter takes her newest album on the road

Coeur de Pirate to Play Four U.S. Shows

Béatrice Martin Coeur de Pirate Béatrice Martin will be bringing her Coeur de Pirate project to the Northeastern United States for four dates this January. Despite her performing in French, the award-winning French-Canadian singer’s fan base has been expanding internationally to English-speaking audiences thanks to her rich and highly expressive, yet accessible songwriting. On several occasions, Canada’s CBC ‘Bucky Awards’ have proclaimed Coeur de Pirate as the ‘Best Reason to Learn French’. She has been certified Platinum in Canada and Belgium, Triple Platinum in France, and Gold in Switzerland.

On her 2011 sophomore album entitled Blonde (referring not only to her hair color, but also to the French-Canadian slang term for girlfriend), Coeur de Pirate melancholic-ally evokes a sixties sound and style, and does so with impressive maturity given her twenty-two years of age.

Independent Film Festival – The Road to Park City: A Sundance Preview

 

Sundance Film Festival The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah is only a few weeks away, with this year’s edition taking place from January 19th to 29th. As usual, the festival will be showcasing a wide variety of independent short and feature-length films. Whether you will get a chance to watch some of these films in Utah, or have to be a little more patient, we figured we would give you a little preview by going through some of the interesting films being presented at this year’s festival. There is a lot of quality content in this year’s program; we’ve merely narrowed down the list for you to help you get a head start.

California Solo
Director: Marshall Lewy
Screenwriter: Marshall Lewy
U.S.A., 2012, 93 min, color
English

Director Marshall Lewy’s second feature film tells the tale of washed-up rocker Lachlan MacAldonich, played by Robert Carlyle. Once a guitar player for a famous rock band, MacAldonich now lives a humble life in a dingy apartment in California, while working on an organic farm. After he is arrested for drunk driving, Lachlan is threatened by possible deportation: the only way he can avoid it is by proving that his departure would cause severe hardship on a loved one. The situation forces MacAldonich to dig up the past and face some relationships that he thought would never resurface.

Spotify: Independent Music Friend or Foe?

Spotify LogoIn the last year, the Swedish music platform Spotify has gained considerable media attention in the United States with their free online streaming service. Although many are hailing it as a great way of discovering new artists and music, many are also criticizing the site claiming that it fails to properly compensate independent artists.

Spotify offers a free service that can be accessed online, while access from a mobile device requires a paid “premium” membership. Furthermore, the paid membership allows you to bypass the video and audio advertisements that are present with the free account.

In 2010, Napster founder Sean Parker invested $15 million in Spotify’s development, and has since been involved by sitting on their board. Spotify cracked the ten million user mark that same year, with a quarter of the accounts belonging to paying customers. After many delays and years of negotiation with major record companies, the site finally launched its US version in July 2011.

Spotify compensates artists via their record labels by paying for both downloaded content and streaming. In some countries, record companies have marked a significant increase in revenue since joining Spotify. Not everyone is happy however, American rock duo The Black Keys have gone as far as pulling their newest album El Camino off the site. So why are so many speaking out against Spotify?