Category: Interviews

Interviews with some well-known and new faces of fashion, music and entertainment.

Chatting With: BGT star Gabz

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with and asking Britains Got Talent star Gabz some questions about her music, career and highlights.

1. Who is Gabz? Tell us a bit about you.

I’m is a singer/songwriter, rapper & musician who loves music, food & her amazing supporters! 🙂

2. How was the Britain’s Got Talent experience?

It was amazing! It was the first time I’d done anything like that as I’d only ever performed at school and church before so I was really nervous & had no idea it would go as well as it did!

3. Are you still in contact with many of the BGT contestants?

Some of them. I follow a lot of the other contestants on twitter & we sometimes direct message & I’ve actually bumped into Jack & Cormac, Steve Hewlett, Jordan O’Keefe, Francine Lewis, Jack Carroll & Richard & Adam a few times since the show at events.

4. What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Definitely having my song Lighters (The One) reach number six in the Official UK Charts! I still can’t quite believe it!!

5. You’ve played pretty big gigs, which has been your favourite?

Gotta be the BlackPool iFest where they switch on the illuminations as the crowd was huge & I’m quite a fangirl & Lawson, Professor Green, The Vamps & loads more were there so I was excited meeting them & watching their sets.

6. Who are your musical influences?

Jessie J & Ed Sheeran. They’re both amazing singers but also their songwriting is incredible too! As a singer/songwriter it’s cool to see others doing both!

7. Your new track ‘Counting Scars’ has just been released, whats the story behind it?

The song’s about messing something up & being really upset about it. I left it quite open when writing it so that it can relate to people in different ways but for me the idea stemmed from me messing up my mock GCSE’s and being gutted with the results! Luckily that spurred me on to revise more for the real GCSE’s which went really well! 🙂

8. What can we expect next from Gabz?

Well the EP is available for Pre-order now & will have some really different songs on it from ‘Counting Scars’ which is a ballad, ‘Up’ which is up beat pop and also a dance track & some rapping so hopefully there’ll be something for everyone! But after the EP I’m hoping to start using my YouTube channel a lot more.

9. Whats your dream goal?

I’d love to be really successful in music, touring, writing, recording and hopefully being able to give back and do lots of charity work.

10. What would you say to young people looking to get into music like yourself?

It’s really hard work but don’t give up & just have fun!

Check out and download Gabz new track Counting Scars now:

Feature by @Kenneth_Giles

Talk On Tuesday with Keith Cullen

This week I caught up with rising star Keith Cullen. I am tipping him for the top and I was lucky enough to get him to answer some questions for you while he was home in Ireland before jetting back to LA. The singer/songwriter chats to me about music, inspirations and what’s next.

1. Tell us a bit about you! Where your from, why music etc.

Dublin born, raised in Kildare and now living the American Dream in LA, I chose music or should I say music chose me, Music has always been my first love and my passion and I just feel so grateful that I now get to call this my Job and that I get to do this full time.

2. Your song ‘Say Something’ featured on the new High Strung OST, how did that come about?

You could call this “ The Luck of the Irish”, while I was recording the song in a studio in LA the producer of the movie Michael Damian overheard the song as he just happened to be in the same studio and knew immediately that the song was a fit for the movie and my management team handled it from there.

3. What’s the story behind ‘Say Something’?

It was the first song I wrote when I landed in LA and it is a song about honesty and integrity, I really feel like in this day and age the power of social media has led to a real disconnect within people. I feel like an online connect has led to a massive human disconnection and that is what I am writing about in this song

4. I remember seeing you live in 2010 in the Twisted Pepper, have you been gigging and working on music all this time?

Yes is the answer, I have been working away consistently to create the illusion of becoming an overnight success which as we all know in this industry takes years of hard work, dedication and really perfecting your craft. This gig like so many of the gigs that I performed in the beginning was me learning to perform on stage and really get comfortable up there and connect with the audience which I feel is so important.

5. What advice would you give to aspiring singers and songwriters out there?

It all comes down to having a great song and this is at every level of the industry. It always comes back to having a great song and making great music, so take your time to perfect your song, invest in the music and work with the best people. My producer JJ Daly, who I have worked with since the beginning, has been instrumental in the breakthrough into the American market.

6. You travel a lot back and forth from America, is that where people need to be to pursue their dream?

It all depends on each persons individual dream. For me, America has always been my goal and as much as I love Ireland I feel like the American market is a good fit for my music.

7. What are your views on the Irish music scene right now?

I think that there has been and continues to be some amazing talent consistently coming from Ireland right now, you have the obvious heavy hitters like U2, The Script, Kodaline, Hozier and then amazing talents such as Gavin James, The Academics, and Scoops who I went to see last week in Whelan’s.

8. What artists are you currently listening to?

Andra Day, One Republic, Charles Pasi, Rhodes, Tom Odell and a mix of everything else in between that’s current.

9. Who are your biggest inspirations in music and life?

In music, without question it is Ryan Tedder from a songwriting perspective, but I feel like inspiration is a daily thing and is ever changing depending on who you surround yourself with and your circumstances.

10. What can we expect next from Keith Cullen?

We are releasing Say Something in the US, followed by my debut album “ Dear Future Me”, so stay tuned for lots of exciting news.

11. What is your ultimate goal?

Having just signed a management deal in the states with Phil Quartararo – Former CEO at Virgin records, Warner Bros and EMI who are credited with household names like Madonna, Smashing Pumpkins, Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, Eric Clapton and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. As a senior VP for Island Records, he was instrumental in breaking U2 into the American market. If I could have 1% of that success that would be enough to keep me very happy so I’m excited about what’s to come.

12. Anything to say to your fans?

THANK YOU, for your continued support and patience. This album has taken a while to perfect so THANK YOU for sticking with me, and know that every message, text, tweet of support means the world to me.

13. Where can people find your music and news online?

https://www.facebook.com/keithcullenmusic

https://www.instagram.com/keithcullen/

https://twitter.com/keithcullen

Also go download Keith’s music now on  iTunes

 

Thank you to Keith for sitting down and chatting with me and I will be keeping you all in the loop with Keith’s career as it takes off. I wish him all the success with his new release and music.

Feature by @Kenneth_Giles

One Week Blogging – What, Why, Where?

Just over a week ago I published my first blog, I stepped into the unknown and put myself into the blogging arena like so many others are nowadays, but what have I learned? I will give you a little insight into my last week, what came before and what I hope is ahead for Pop On Down and myself.

I am still a little baffled that in just one week so many people offered their help and support and so many others got behind the blog and have had a read of one of the articles whether it was to check out new music, see how good (or bad) it is or just to be supportive. From people sharing the social networking pages, the blog itself and inviting friends to check it out, I am truly grateful to them.

Obviously you will always have doubters or people who will check out your new ventures just to see them and then gossip about them but the way I see it, ‘thanks a million, you gave me another view’. They may not have a clue that they are actually helping you out but they are. As the old saying goes, ‘no publicity is bad publicity’ and this is similar, every view, share and like counts.

So what are the stats after just a week? Well, unbelievably the blog has been viewed by over 700 unique visitors, coming from Ireland majoritively but also America, Australia, the U.K., Germany, Sweden and China (not bad for a little blog from a small North Dublin area). Pop On Down has also just reached over 200 followers on Twitter and 330 Facebook likes, so to say I am happy is an understatement.

I am not, in any way, thinking that this will be a worldwide blog as I am well aware of the millions of people blogging and doing it a hell of a lot better than me but I am proud of what it has achieved in just a week. It’s just about keeping it going in that direction now! :/

A number of close friends who are bloggers themselves have also helped with giving me tips and advice on it like ‘make it more personal’, ‘don’t be afraid to say something you believe’ and ‘take risks with what you write’, so here goes, a picture of me, with a caption of what I’m thinking and doing today!

 

So what have I learned? When I decided that I was going to launch a music blog, I knew I needed to get some people on side otherwise it would go nowhere! Luckily I had a cool group of friends and family who were more than happy to promote the hell out of it and get people looking at it. Likewise, I had a few bloggers willing to share it with their readers and support what I was doing. Therefore I have learned that there are certainly people you can rely on to always help and then on the other hand, some who do not want to see you getting that extra step on the ladder but that’s OK, you do what you feel is right in situations so don’t regret them afterwards, just go with it, you made the decision for a reason.

I’ve seen many people within my own field of work say ‘why don’t they support each other?’ and yes I agree that this is the case. Why would you not want to see someone trying to do the exact same thing as you succeed at it? Jealousy, bitterness or just down right bad attitude, whatever it is I don’t know but think how cool the world would be if everyone supported each other. In music and performing it is probably the worst, every performer trying to get ahead of the next and will do whatever it takes to get ahead ( I’ve seen enough of it in my time). Sad really but you will never change it, I’m just lucky that my group of friends and family are supportive and we encourage each other to be better (than each other at times).

What is the plan for Pop On Down? I will be keeping the blogging going and will introduce new elements to the blog as well as continuing features on music, new artists and events. There will inevitably be days were it is not as busy on the blog but I will try my best to keep you all up to date with the latest new music and what you need to know. (I know what your thinking now, ‘I only read this because he asks me to”)

Finally, thank you for being a part of the first week of Pop On Down, helping to share the blog and getting involved in it all, even though most of you did not get a choice in it. I will try take all the feedback on board and make the blogs even more exciting and entertaining.

So for now, get sharing, liking, following, tweeting, retweeting and everything else you can do on social media.

Cheers everyone,

Kenneth

New Month, New Adventure, New Music

Ok, so technically it is not a new month until tomorrow but I just haven’t got the patience to wait to let you all know what I have been up to this past while.

Pop On Down is like my new baby, I have been thinking about blogging for a while now and this is what it has resulted in, a blog based primarily on music news, new artists (and old of course), reviews, interviews and more. Think of it as your one-stop shop for all your music needs.

So I know you are all wondering, where did the name come from? Pop On Down was decided from sitting around the kitchen table with a cup of tea, laptop infront of me and people throwing ideas around for a great name which was both relaxed as well as representative of what I was going to do. Almost instantly the suggestion was thrown out that we all love a good cup of tea, a chat and hanging out. We all ‘pop on down’ to our parents and friends to discuss the latest news or gossip about whatever we saw on Facebook this week so it fits quite nicely I think. The name also lends itself well to the gig goers among us who are constantly ‘popping on down’ to local and big name gigs.

So why music you ask? Well, why not I say. I have always been a big pop music fan and I am not afraid to admit it. My parents will tell you, I never watched a cartoon as a child, I always just wanted MTV on in the morning and I would be happy. At the age of 3, I was at a Take That concert dancing in the aisles, singing every word and enjoying every minute of it.

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Apart from loving listening to music, I have delved into the pop industry in the past as well as the broadcasting and journalism side of things as well. I am not saying I am the Lord of Music or that I know the ins and outs of pop or anything like that really but I do know a good song when I hear it and I am not too bad at writing a few lines either.

Pop On Down will not only bring you the big names in music but we also want to promote new artists from around the world with our artist interviews, reviews and gig guide.

So, now that I have introduced myself and you know a little bit about me and Pop On Down, I really hope you will find my blog interesting and enjoy it as much as I enjoy writing it.

Come on and Pop On Down,

Kenneth 😉

 

Make sure to get social with me at

www.twitter.com/PopOnDown

www.facebook.com/PopOnDown

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