lewis lane

COOL COMPANY’S SLICE OF PARADISE
November 7, 2016 9:00 am

Are you ready to take a trip with Cool Company? The Brooklyn duo recently released their Slice of Paradise LP, and it’s a sublime taste of a tropical summer holiday, perfect for escaping these blustery autumn days.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS got to engage in some correspondence with Cool Yan and Fat Matt, and got the inside story on the album’s creation.

Congratulations on the recent release of your album Slice of Paradise. What’s the most important thing you learned during its production?
Y: I think on this project we really started to break out of our shell and take ownership of our style. We started being a little more experimental and just did what felt right to us even if we were bending some rules we may have been previously trying to abide by.

M: We developed a few techniques for processing Yan’s voice that I didn’t perfect until the end of the recording process. I was also learning about some of the Native Instruments Komplete plugins as I went, but that is just a part of being a musician. You are always better after working on a project than you were before.

Is there anything you were looking to do on the album that you couldn’t do on your previous releases?
M: On this album, we were able to bring in some talented instrumentalists and vocalists to add their sounds to the work. Yan and I can cover everything if we need, but adding back up vocals, brass, and guitar from people who were much more skilled in those specific areas gave the sound an extra dimension.

The songs on Slice of Paradise seem a lot less silly (for lack of a better term) than “Call You Back”, the song many of your fans may know you for. Was there a conscious effort to make more “serious” music?
Y: I think we’ve always made serious music since the beginning, but when it comes to the singles and one-off releases, we like to have a little fun and keep things light for our audience.  At the same time, with every song that we write, we continue to grow and some of this new music is representative of our continued growth.

Were you two friends in high school? I read you met in choir class.
M: We came from different grades and friend groups, but I think we each thought the other one was funny and we started hanging out. We also had Latin class together and Yan would always fall asleep because it was right after lunch. The Latin teacher would always get flustered when she saw him asleep and yell at him.

What was it like to meet back up in 2012? How did the creation of Cool Company come about?
Y: We started making music for fun with a bunch of our hometown homies and sometimes it’d just be the two of us chilling making tracks and writing raps. We noticed it had a totally different vibe and style than when we would all work together and it just sort of grew from there.

Are both of you originally from Brooklyn?
M: We are both from New Jersey; we moved to Brooklyn after releasing our first album. I guess we are part of the change; lots of creative types move into the city seeking an outlet to express themselves.

Is it financially difficult to be a musician in the city? Are you in a position where you need to balance a day job with your musical career?
M: It definitely requires some differences in lifestyle from friends of ours with full time jobs in Manhattan. People take Uber everywhere; I don’t even have the app on my phone. We get by by living relatively far out in Bushwick, sharing a big apartment with a bunch of other people, cooking meals instead of ordering, and generally trying to take care of things ourselves instead of paying someone else to do it.

For money, I work out of our studio recording, producing and mixing for other NYC artists, and teaching lessons. Yan works in a restaurant and occasionally does graphic design and songwriting and recording work.

Are there any bands in Brooklyn you feel deserve more attention?
M: There are a lot of great contemporary acts in BK, and we’ve been fortunate to be able to play shows with a few of them. Lewis Lane, Greg Banks, Lawrence, Blood Cultures, Lady Moon & the Eclipse, and The Northern Orchard are some of our favorites

What kind of music are you currently listening to?
Y: Right now I’m listening to a lot of top 40 stuff cuz I like stay in the loop, but I also listen to a lot of alternative R&B as well as some old school Motown. I’m always trying to find new music that I haven’t heard as well as keep up with what new stuff is being released, whether it’s real popular or more grassroots.

What albums would you recommend for someone looking to get more into soul and R&B music?
Y: I love anything from Frank Ocean, Anderson .Paak, The Weeknd (especially his earlier stuff, even though I still love his more current pop sound). Emily King, Esperanza Spalding, R. Kelly, Majid Jordan, there’s so much good stuff out there.

M: I’d recommend Emily King and Anderson .Paak as well, also King, this amazing group of 3 ladies making beautiful R&B music. For classic stuff, my favorites are Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield and Sly & The Family Stone.

What is your favorite NYC pizzeria?
M: My favorite is BD Pizza on Stanton St. near Arlene’s Grocery. It’s the only dollar pizza place I’ve found that gives you parmesan, plus the fact that it is a dollar makes it so much tastier.

What’s next? Are you planning to tour?
Y: We been really preoccupied with the Slice of Paradise record, so we haven’t been able to invest much energy into our live shows. But now that we’ve dropped the album, our next priority is gigging around the city, so look out for us playing around in the next few months or so. We also may set up a tour for next summer and hit some festivals. My family is from London, so we are also trying to get over to Europe for a few shows too.

LEWIS LANE AT BROOKLYN BOWL
August 10, 2015 5:09 pm

Last Friday Lewis Lane dominated Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn’s quirky bowling alley turned bar turned music venue. The bill also featured performances by edgy indie pop rockstars Hank & Cupcakes, and King Holiday.

LEWIS LANE pic

At 8PM sharp, Lewis Lane stepped on to the stage looking classy as hell in all black and rocking a short hair cut. The band blended perfectly with her sexy and smooth vocals. Her voice is naturally powerful and blew me away. Her indie pop sound reminded me of Adele- emotional lyrics that will take you right down memory lane. The deep and booming drums backing the songs are simplistic and the perfect touch on slower more personal tracks like “Low” (I’m a mess you made that clear/ I’ll get drunk and spill your beer). The crowd was grooving to each song, even if they were just sitting at the bar or eating diner. She performed her most popular track “Hunter” which is currently receiving a lot of attention from prominent indie blogs like The Wild Honey Pie. I came anticipating her performance of that track in particular and she nailed it to perfection. Lewis Lane puts on a great show because she is a natural performer. I definitely enjoyed myself and recommend all you #Beasts go support her at a show near you.

Written by Lupe Ramirez 

New Music Seminar Takes Over the Big Apple
June 30, 2015 1:20 pm

“Do you want to be part of the largest movement to build the music business- to be part of the community that is affecting change?”

As a music enthusiast, it’s important that you know about one of the most important music events in the city. Being able to attend the New Music Seminar this year, I’ve been really fortunate to be a part of the music business movement and to be able to engage with colleagues of the same interest.

By attending panels that tackled discussions such as the role of artist managers and where indie labels stand in the industry right now, I was able to expose myself to a range of knowledge and ideas that I wouldn’t have been able to answer myself. It was motivational seeing important music business individuals express their informed opinions and give us advice on how to handle situations. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited sitting through these discussions and taking notes like I was back in college studying for a test.

While these mind boggling topics of the music industry kept me occupied during the daytime, I’d have to say that I was pretty impressed with the festival performances that went on in the evening. The opening night red carpet was helday1_DIY-movementd at Webster Hall with an extensive line up of talented musicians including Alessia Cara, Fictionist, Bad Veins, Belmont Lights, Jay Stolar, Grace Weber, and Melanie Martinez. Although Webster Hall is one of my least favorite venues in the city, NMS managed to glam it up with a beautiful red carpet. The show started later than expected and I was pretty exhausted from all the waiting, but I was blown by the amount of talent I saw that night.

I discovered Alessia Cara for the first time and was astonished by her soulful voice. I was also taken aback by Belmont Light’s powerful stage presence; so much so that it was impossible to think a record label hasn’t picked them up yet. Expecting Melanie Martinez to make a grand entrance on stage as a last act, she peacefully strutted her way on stage with no shoes on while hardcore teen fans raged. Although she seemed reserved at first, her confidence projected through the room when she started singing. Her songs may sound depressing with lyrics like “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to,” but it gets pretty contagious and you’ll be singing it to yourself the next few days.

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The next two nights followed with an overwhelming line up of musicians who performed at DROM, Cake Shop, Pianos, and The Delancey. I ended up staying in Pianos for the first night seeing Little Racer, Lewis Lane, and Dear Rouge. Tuesday night had a line up which was tough for me to choose since my favorite bands were overlapping with each other. Most venues were pretty close to each other except for DROM, in which I exhausted myself running back and forth. I started the night with mellow tunes from Frances Cone, and checked out the indie-pop sister band Chaos Chaos afterwards right next door. I traveled all the way to DROM to see the last set of The Collection and made my way back to the lower east to see some Fort Lean because that Northside Festival showcase wasn’t enough for me. I definitely didn’t want to miss City of the Sun because no matter how many times you listen to them, they will never disappoint. There’s something about their tunes that put you in a euphoric state that leave you with the chills.

All in all, the New Music Seminar was a successful evening bursting at the windows and walls with talent, successful professionals, and innovative artists who live, breath, and work the ever-changing music industry!

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