What inspires and influences a musician to compose the songs they write and sing? 

What inspires and influences a musician to compose the songs they write and sing?  Who are their muses?  Of musicians It has been asked what inspires you song but not who inspires so we decided to delve into that with a few artists  and asked them….  They are musicians that you need to check out and you will be able to hear their influences throughout the gambit of all songs.  Everyone has a different story that will enthral you.  You can stream them via the links or on your favourite music streaming service. 

Smokerface Chris Clay All that influences my music is really just hard times i’ve been through and overcame.  Joe Budden the artist who has been the most influential, his music is my favourite.  Also there was a local rapper back home in Hampton, Va named Big Kev that I grew up respecting and his music influenced me as well.  With my song coming out next week, just about not wanting to wake up i’d much rather spend my life in my dreams.  So now I want to record this music I write and make my dreams a reality.  That’s my whole goal, just to better my life and my surroundings.  I think I put out really good songs and a lot of people will relate to these lyrics.  I bet my music will be the influencing factor behind some peoples future moves.  I’d like to believe that

Mike Allen “The musicians who’ve inspired me the most throughout the years are Bjork, Meshuggah, Depeche Mode, Deftones, Trent Reznor, Aphex Twin, Maurice Jarre, Thomas Newman, Angelo Badalamenti”

Carmen Jackson Music that inspired me is of course the music of my Uncle Milt Jackson of the modern jazz quartet and as far as a vocalist goes Ella Fitzgerald, I always loved how she used her voice as an instrument!” The musician whom inspired me most is Ella Fitzgerald as an vocalist she had the ability to use her voice as an instrument utilising it as a trumpet or bass  which always fascinated me!

Robert Jeter “ Funny you should ask since I find myself going back to one of my first inspirations; Bob Dylan His formation took place in New York City and being in New York now myself I can even relate more: Tambourine Man for example is a Masterpiece in the folk song genre. The lyrics are superb, universal and timeless.  When you stand on a cold New York Street late at night you live his verses:  “Though I know the evening’s empire has returned to sand- Vanished from my hand. Left me blind here to stand but still not sleeping.My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet. I have no one to meet. And the ancient empty streets too dead for dreaming.”

Bluesmans DonI love the sound of blues roots and folk music. Rock it up a bit and it’s even better. A resonator guitar played with a slide? Wailing blues harp over a hard driving rhythm? Hell yes! The likes of George Thorogood, Larkin Poe, Samantha Fish, Will Wilde, Bonnie Raitt and Kim Wilson tend to play constantly on my personal playlists. These are the sounds I like to incorporate into my own music, but I’m not trying to sound like anyone else. I want people to hear my music and say “that sounds like BluesmanDon”. The best artists are the ones with that unmistakable signature sound. I like to start with something primitive, let it evolve into something new, and make it my own.

Nicky Roland “That’s a loaded question with a long chain of custody. It’s hard for me to list favourites, as my music tastes span the gamut from Lightnin’ Hopkins to Ryuichi Sakamoto, Check Berry to David Bowie and everything in between. Good music is good music.

 I grew up backstage at jazz festivals, so jazz and blues have always been central, but my passion really came out of R&B, funk and the emergence of electro, and ultimately house, techno and DnB. Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Marshall Jefferson. George Morel, Twilight 22\and Nucleus are still key parts of my personal playlists. It would be a miss for me not to also give a big shout out to dancehall, General Levey and the junglist massive in particular”.

Ronzoni Calzone “Your question speaks directly to the heart of the YT show I’m going to produce.  I’m going to speak in broad terms of what made me choose a musician’s life.  It’s never an easy decision.  It means hours of practice that you never earn a penny for, and a life of lugging heavy expensive musical equipment around to play on a postage stamp of a stage for drink tickets and pub food if you can manage it.  But there is some kind of pure and wondrous magic that happens when you have a killer night up upon the wicked stage.  There is a moment when you know you have changed the vibe in the entire room with your performance and the audience engages.  Music changes our brain patterns much in the same way our environment and emotional centers do.  The effects are instant, hearing the tones of a familiar song can immediately bring you back to somewhere you heard it and it was meaningful to you.  More on this topic for the show.

Now, about the past.  I was the child of immigrants from Nicaragua. From the moment I was born our house was filled with the sound of Cumbia and all kinds of latin dance music.  My Grandparents were into classical Latin music and deeply devoted to watching Lawrence Welk’s show here in the states.  So much so that they even attended one of the filmings in San Francisco and appeared dancing at the end of the show.  My childhood in the early 70s exposed me to the music the TV was hyping here in the states, The Monkees, The Partridge Family, The Osmans Shows, Sonny & Cher.  I was heavily into animations so the musical stylings of Carl Stallings, the crazy people who did music for Hanna & Barberra, The Flintstones.  There was also the music from 70s Spider Man cartoons performed by LA Studio heavyweight champions like Tommy Tedesco and Carol Kay.  TV music remained a crucial influence in my pre-musician days.  I mostly listened to Local AM radio music during much of my misspent  youth.  Then when FM became a thing, many new radio stations popped up.  Was a teen at that point and started to discover local college and pirate radio stations with low wattage.  I immediately noticed that these types of stations didn’t play the same old same way that all the corporate stations played.  On these new exotic stations I learned about every kind of music you could imagine.  Right about this time, I was entering high school, and that is where I made my tragic decision to pursue music.  The high school I ended up attending did the brilliant move of touring their school band around to the various grammar schools including mine.  I got to hear them perform 3 times in 3 years before I graduated.  They played popular songs arranged for the ensemble with horns and the whole bit.  I hadn’t seen much live music up until then and I was captivated.

At the very beginning of my freshmen year, there was an announcement on the school PA.  At the end of the announcement, they mentioned several instruments needed for the school band.  One of them was bass guitar.  I had performed (badly) on bass for our grammar school talent show, and we won.  Full of vigor and bravado (like a 4 year old in a Batman tee shirt), I marched right up to the band room during break and introduced myself to the band teacher.  I talked a great game about my skills as a bassist (I had zero in reality) and he took me on.  Couldn’t read a single note of music, but I faked it by ear as best I could.  Eventually my reading skills came together, and my ear improved radically.  Soon I was writing arrangements for the school band, of the popular musics of the day.  It was the early 80s and music was terrible.  We had to draw on the awful jazz arrangements our teacher would choose, and the stuff we students arranged for the band.  We had the advantage that we weren’t a marching band so we were able to have a full rhythm section with drums, guitar and bass.  With the addition of horns we were able to play some fun stuff, I have some old setlists sitting around somewhere.  The band leader would let us do 2 or 3 songs with just the rhythm section so we played some great rock music for the shows.  Playing rock and roll gave me latitude to really go for it and put some energy into the show.  The effect was always dramatic.  The kids would scream and go crazy when we switched to rock and roll mode.  That is when I felt the bug.  The first time I witnessed the effect, I was hooked.  Must become a Rock Star, I told myself.  It was a decision I would later regret, but that is a tale for the next time.”

The DML Conspiracy “David Lee Roth and Steven Tyler were big influences to me. Their showmanship was second to none. I loved watching these guys work pure magic from the stage and knew without hesitation that I wanted to be a singer in a rock & roll band.”

Thanks for reading~~~