POP - Crossover

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Katie Ferrara - Break Free

Katie Ferrara for Front Page 2020Katie Ferrara has been a friend of Riveting Riffs Magazine for more than a decade and it fair to say that we have watched her grow as a songwriter, her voice become richer and fuller as a singer and her musicianship as a guitarist has continued to compliment both well. During the course of relating this interview / conversation we are going to break with typical journalistic style and instead of referring to her by just her last name, we will often just call her Katie. You will want to pay close attention during the course of this conversation however, as she recounts an interesting story about her surname.

It had been more than three years since we last sat down to chat and this time the nature of our conversation focused on Katie Ferrara’s current album Break Free, her tours in Europe in recent years and whatever happened to that cute little dog from a previous music video, and finally where does she find all those cute guys that are now appearing in her videos.

Break Free is an album amply populated with love songs, but not the kind of mushy Pop songs that substitute hooks for substance, but rather missives that cause you to reflect on relationships you may have experienced in your own life. We wondered if perhaps we had forgotten love songs she had previously written.

“I did write some love songs before (she laughs lightly), but they weren’t romantic songs,” she replies. Read More

Jemima - Things I Never Said

Jemima Photo AA young Australian singer, songwriter and musician from Newcastle, by the name of Jemima just released her EP Things I Never Said, a collection of five songs that are more value for your money than most full-length albums. Get ready world, because this young woman is going to be a star. She writes good lyrics, has good vocals and has an engaging personality. She also has a very sharp marketing mind.

The first song on the EP, is “As You Are,” and it clocks in at three minutes and twenty seconds and has the perfect blend of retro Pop and modern Pop, with an easy flowing melody. Jemima tracked her own background vocals creating the feel of some of the early sixties all-girl groups. One should not however think of this song as an attempt to merely giving rebirth to an era of music that has long since vanished, by the time she was born, but instead it is an artist who knows what she likes and has taken the best from what she heard as a child, while listening to her parents’ records and bringing to both her songwriting and to the studio a keen sense for what resonates with audiences today.

She says, “I am twenty-four and I discovered this music by sitting in my garage, as a kid and going through my parents’ records and cassette tapes. I really liked that music. I wasn’t into Justin Bieber or whatever other music kids my age were listening to. It (the music on the records) sounded so intriguing to me and there is such a focus on storytelling, which I loved. It sounded more genuine to me. I went to school as Elvis when I was ten years old. I had the black wig on, and I wore a gold cape. I had this skintight white Read More

Cecilia Krull - My Life is Going On

Cecilia Krull AOne should not be surprised that the team of composer Manel Santisteban and lyricist / singer Cecilia Krull from Spain have another hit song, but nobody could have anticipated the enormous success of “My Life is Going On,” the theme song for La casa de papel (Money Heist) (Editor’s note: In Spanish all of the words in a title do not always appear in capitals) which is directly linked to the second most watched Netflix show in the world. This is not the first time that Cecilia Krull has made a big splash on the movie, television and Netflix scenes, as she collaborated with Mala Rodríguez on “Agnus Dei,” for the Netflix series Vis a Vis (2015 - 2019). Other collaborations with Manel Santisteban include, “La Verdad,” for the television series El Accidente (2018), “Something’s Triggered,” for the film Trés metros sobre el cielo and “All My Fears,” for the film Fuga de cérebros.  In addition, Cecilia Krull is a highly respected solo artist, known for writing, recording and performing songs that blur the genre lines between Jazz, light Pop and Adult contemporary themes. She will also soon be releasing her first album.

Cecilia Krull was gracious enough to take a few minutes and visit with us at Riveting Riffs Magazine earlier this month.

As for the success of her song “My Life is Going On,” from La casa de papel Cecilia Krull says, “It is a dream come true! I never expected that success and worldwide. It’s crazy. All of my life I have been a singer and I grew up in a musicians’ family, so this is a very huge thing. It is like the difference before and after La casa de papel. I am not famous, but the song is famous. I am traveling all around the world. Many people in many countries  Read More

Fiona Joy Hawkins -- From Australia

Fiona Joy Hawkins 2020 Photo Front PageAustralian composer and pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins who has toured internationally numerous times including several performances at the infamous Carnegie Hall in the United States, joined us recently from her home on top of a hill in Kendall. A home she describes as, “You can kind of see the edge of the village everywhere. It is lovely here.”

She joined us to talk about her new album Moving Through Worlds, a collection of fourteen songs that she composed (with the exception of Prelude in E Minor) and describes on the album’s cover as, “A Piano Journey that Finds Joy.” Fans of Fiona Joy Hawkins will be familiar with the names of some of the team that she assembled for this album, as they have been a part of that musical journey for several years now. Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton and Rebecca Daniel is back playing violin and she also did the violin arrangements. Tom Eaton also mixed and mastered the record.

The album is released on Hawkins’ own label Little Hartley Music. The album jacket is stylish with artwork and graphics created by Alicia Moodley and Junior Massive, with photography by Liz Linder and Rob Smith.

Fiona Joy Hawkins takes a few moments to give us a peek inside her songwriting process.

“Songs come to me in different ways. Sometimes I may just be singing in the shower and I will come across something really pretty. I will think, okay while I have it in my head I will go to  Read More

Camila Knight - Music from Barcelona

Camila Knight Photo Front PageCamila Knight from Barcelona, Spain is a cerebral singer, songwriter and musician. Although, she is from a completely different set of musical influences and is of a different demeanor than Taylor Swift, she reminds this writer, at least of the early days in Swift’s career when she became one of the first artists to build a strong fanbase through the use of the internet. Camila Knight is doing the same thing (more about that later), but it is also her lyrics that long after the music has stopped leave you thinking about them and applying them to your own life and reinterpreting them in the context of what, at this writing has been a historic almost fourteen months of COVID-19.

She talks about her song “Home,” which you can listen to and watch on YouTube, “I wrote “Home,” last year during lockdown 1.0 and I was uncertain about what was going to happen next. I did not expect the whole craziness with COVID, and I saw people with the fear of what would come next. (They were thinking) I am the next one and how will COVID affect me? I did not want to give into fear, and I wanted to communicate in this song, that you don’t have to give into fear. I was expressing my feeling of gratitude for little things in life. I was grateful for being healthy, safe, having a home and for my loved ones. I was trying to keep my spirits high. I wanted to communicate that we have the strength to overcome this and without fear. Maybe this is a moment of probation for us. (The message) is to appreciate what you have and your loved ones.”

Did it ever enter Camila Knight’s mind to hold back releasing some of her songs, since there has been little to no live performances by artists anywhere in the world during these COVID times?

“The first song that I released during COVID  Read More

Pear Duo - No Boundaries

Pear Duo Photo Front PagePear Duo comprised of pianist / composer and arranger Curtis Brengle and singer / songwriter and musician Julie Ragins recently released their new album No Boundaries, a wonderful and diverse collection of songs that are a mix of original tunes and cover songs. The husband and wife singing combo bring a wealth of musical experience painted across a vast genre palette to this recording. Their combined history has seen them perform with The Moody Blues, Chaka Kahn, Sheena Easton, Pointer Sisters, Ray Charles, Sergio Mendes and numerous other stellar artists. The affable couple sat down with yours truly and Riveting Riffs Magazine recently to talk about their new album.

Curtis notes the fact that they do have such a vast genre palette to choose from is what led to the title No Boundaries for this record.

“We are not going to limit ourselves to a particular style,” he says and Julie adds, “Much to the chagrin of every platform on the internet that wants to pigeonhole you in a single genre.”

Our conversation wanders in another direction for a moment as we ponder whether or not the music industry still wants to pigeonhole artists into specific genres.

Julie Ragins says, “The first question everybody asks you is what kind of music do you play? They want an elevator pitch answer. They want to hear Country. They want to hear Blues; they want to hear Rock and Roll. They do not want (to hear you say well Read More

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