No Coachella? No Stagecoach? No problem!

Dirty Hollywood

Alright music festival junkies, I’ve got a little surprise for you. While I can’t grant you acres of desert frolicking grounds via a blog, or alcohol, or a party I CAN tell you how to cope until next year. Or for the really brave the weeks inbetween the Outlands music festival in San Fransisco. So go out to your local Kmart, Walmart, Target, whatever and grab a cooler, some adult beverages, and a kiddie pool to sit in for good measure. I’ve scoured the town and internet, to bring you what is sure to be some of the best indie artists you may not have heard of yet. Afterall, we all go to music festivals to hear, and discover amazing music yes? As eclectic as Coachella is, I have diversified these artists to give everyone some one to love.

First up is Roc Nation’s very own JAngel . You’ve heard his hits he’s written for R.Kelly, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Lovato, and Lil Wayne, to name a few. His latest venture is his band Guns That Kill Kings. I sat down with JAngel and got to ask him a few questions for you all.

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Where are you originally from and do you incorporate alot of that into your music?
I was born in New Orleans, LA raised in Houston, Tx.
I absolutely incorporate my southern influence into my music.
From my New Orleans Jazz & Soul roots to my Texas Country Music as well as Underground Screw Music created by the late DJ Screw.

What influences you?
For the most part LIFE & it’s experiences influences me the most.
I see my life as a movie and I am continuously writing its soundtrack.

Tell me about your sound, where would you like to take your music?
It’s a hybrid between Classic Rock, 60’s & 70’s Soul & Modern Hip Hop.
I want to break all musical barriers and create something absolutely unique & before its time that gives shock value on all levels to the audience. I want to make Legendary Music that influences all genres of music for future generations.

What can we as an audience expect next from you.
Just finished writing & producing records for Rihannas next album that drops the top of the year as well as Will.i.Am & his artist Leah McFall. Currently I’m working on finishing up the Guns That Kill Kings debut LP. That is an amazing body of work that will carry the listeners Heart, Soul & mind into depths they never thought existed in music. Simply put I am holding no punches & taking no prisoners. I want to creatively & musically murder every band in the industry.

Live fast, Die a Legend. PEN THERAPY.

Where can we find you and your music online?

Instagram: JAngelMusic
Twitter.com/JAngelMusic
RocNation.com/artists/J-Angel

Gotta keep the Flavor alive and simmering by adding this bombshell to the line up. Next up is Francesca Ramirez. This Puerto Rican bombshell is fresh off of her Russian tour, opening for Armenchik. You can check out her music video with the European sensation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nTPw538VEk
I’m confident when I say, we can all expect big things from this little lady here. Wanna know more about this bombshell? I had a feeling you would, so here you go dolls.
Where are you from? I was born and raised in Puerto Rico.

francesca1

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you discovered performing was your passion?

I started performing at a very young age on dancing shows in school and TV. It was then when my father made me the lead singer of his band at only 12 years old. That’s when I began my music career. Later that same year I suffered from a devastating boating accident. I was unable to perform for 5 years. 12 surgeries later and long treatments, I was recovering, and finally able to slowly get back into the music business. That’s when I decided to audition for ‘Making the Band 3’ with P.Diddy. At only 17 years old I had the confidence to audition against 50,000 other girls and make the house and the show. It was very challenging for me since English wasn’t my first language, and I had just come back from a long and painful recovery process. I went on to the final round but unfortunately, Diddy didn’t make a band out of that specific show. When I went back home things got complicated and I had to endure 3 more surgeries and more setbacks. Two years later the nightmare was finally over, giving me the chance to fully follow my dream. I was lucky enough to meet Robin Antin. Robin was amazed by my talent and wanted to make me a member of group called “The Paradiso Girls” signed by Interscope Records. I turned down the offer, to focus on myself as a solo artist. A few months later Robin offered me the lead position for the PussyCat Dolls Burlesque Show so I accepted and the rest is history. It’s a long road, but the journey is worth it. Currently I have my single ‘With or Without You’ available on itunes. The song is produced by Fuego the creator of many hit records such as “Turn up the music”- Chris Brown and ” Whatcha Say” – Jason Derulo. Along the recording process I was approached by Armenian Sensation Armenchick to do a duet. I was thrilled to meet and collaborate with him. The Song Kiss me by Francesca and Armenchick is now the biggest hit of Armenchick’s career and had built a huge platform overseas where I’m also performing my own songs. We recently wrapped on a one month Russian tour doing 20 shows in 10 different cities. Now I’m excited to embark on the next chapter in my career.

You can find Francesca online here:

Twitter: twitter.com/MissFrancescaR
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FrancescaRamirez5
Francescaramirez.com

Next up is an incredible band located in Austin, Texas at the moment. The Venus Illuminato! Their band member Rob Franco might look familiar, or will at the very least. He’s in the upcoming film ‘Sin City 2’.
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Where are you all originally from and do you incorporate a lot of that into your music?

All of us are from different parts of the country except for Julie and me, we’re brother and sister. We’re from the suburbs of Chicago. Rob’s from outside of San Antonio, Texas, Devin is from Vashon Island off the coast of Seattle and Alex is from Kansas City. Rob and I first met in LA. I guess that was kind of an influence. I worked on a television documentary show called “Unsung” out there and ended up meeting and talking pretty extensively with a lot of artists outside the genre of music I normally listen to. I got really into soul and Motown and started to appreciate what makes those songs resonate with people and, make them great. I’ve incorporated a lot of that into my writing. Getting really succinct and trying to write good melodic hooks and keep it “dancey”. Growing up in Seattle, Devin was around a lot of garage rock and that definitely comes through in the aesthetics of how he sometimes will approach a song. Keeps it a little gritty. Growing up in Chicago I was definitely into Chicago bands, especially Smashing Pumpkins and to this day the sound they were able to achieve on albums like Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie is still very influential.

How did you all meet and come together?

Rob and I met through a mutual friend, he was moving to LA after living in Guadalajara, Mexico and living in a tee pee on an animal sanctuary. He lived in New York before that and was good friends with a playwright out there that, I had gone to middle school with. His nickname was actually Venus Illuminato and that’s how we got the band name. Rob and I moved out to Austin and I got a job at a vintage guitar shop. We were looking for a new bass player and I heard Alex noodling around in the shop. We struck up a conversation and I asked him to join the band. His roommate was Devin and so we got a 2 for 1 bass and drummer deal. We all gelled pretty immediately. Julie is obvious, she’s my little sis, but she was starting to get itchy in Chicago and decided to move out to Austin. We needed some back up percussion and vocals and so she joined the band.

What influences you?

I think just about anything can be influential, not necessarily just other music. You read something or see a film and it makes you think of an idea. Musically you can take something completely unrelated and apply it to a song or a lyrical idea. I think emotion is an obvious one. What you’re going through or dealing with, all of that shapes how you approach your instrument or writing lyrics. It’s a mindset thing. From a musical perspective we’ve been into a lot of Motown lately and stuff that’s a little more groove oriented than we have been in the past.

Tell me about your sound, where would you like to take your music?

In the LA days we were a lot more acoustic and a lot more meandering. We wrote some stuff that was 10 minutes plus, epic songs that try and take you on a long journey. I think we’ve gotten to a place where we feel like we can do that same thing but put it in a much more listener friendly format. I think it’s also that Motown influence creeping in again. A great song doesn’t have to be super long with 12 ideas in it. It can just have 3 ideas that are honed to be as impactful as possible and the song will be more effective. If we have a great part, then we play it 2 times instead of 20, 2 times is just as effective. We’ve also gotten a lot more electric and more psychedelic. I think we’re moving to a place where we can be as interesting as possible while making people sing along and want to move to the music. We want it to be short and sweet, but still be something you want to hear tripping out in Joshua Tree at 3 in the morning.

What can we as an audience expect next from you?

A full length album hopefully out by summer and a lot of live shows. We’re going to be hitting the road.
Where can we find you and your music online?

thevenusilluminato.com
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/pages/The-Venus-Illuminato/89098546060

Finally I have Mike Foy for all my rap lovers out there. Mike is also an actor here in Los Angeles and has guest starred on every major TV show you can think of. From Dexter, The Shield, to CSI he’s been there done that. And now he’s flexing his musical ability as well. Here’s Mike’s Q+A for you all 😀

mikefoy

Where are you from originally? Does that influence your music?

I’m originally from Connecticut but moved to LA from Tennessee where I started my music career. I’ve always been a big fan of east coast hip hop so I tend to have more of an east coast vibe, with a classic hip hop element.

What inspires you?

Being able to create art influences me. As far as people, artists who were heavy influences on me growing up were; LL Cool J, Jay Z, Nas, and Eminem.

Tell me about your sound, where would you like to take your music?

I consider my sound a classic blend of hip hop mixed with a new age. Musically, skies the limit. The dream is to be a multiplatinum artist touring the world with a few grammys under my belt.

Here’s where you can find Mike Foy online:
www.skryptent.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/skryptent

There you are dolls! Go check out their music and throw your own indie music fest at home with your friends this weekend. XO

Carolina Bonetti
Carolina is an actress, voice over artist, writer, and mac and cheese enthusiast. She currently resides in LA with frequent trips to her "small town home" NYC.

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