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Backstage Pass: Limitless

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an independent artist from Ourtunez. This week, we talked with Limitless about his origins as an artist. You can check him out on our Indie Rap Station on Ourtunez.com

Vincent Valentine, aka Limitless, has a boundless future. He treats his music like any other art form. His artistic nature separates him from other rappers. Limitless expresses his creativity in his calm, intellectual lines that don’t only make your head nod, they give you a look inside the mind of a musician.

Limitless was raised in Saint Paul, MN and grew up in the Midwest as a half white half Vietnamese kid with a dream. He always had a passion for the arts. Some of his other hobbies include photography, drawing, and making youtube videos. “I moved a Las Vegas about a year ago, and am currently writing, producing, and editing my own songs,” he said.

Limitless officially started making music in 2011, “but I have been writing songs, poetry, and rapping/singing since I was very young”. His influences include Snoop Dogg, Bone Thug N Harmony, Ludacris, and Eminem. He also respects a lot of new rappers coming up who are bringing diversity to rap, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, and Tyler, the Creator to name a few.

limitless

Limitless: Ourtunez Featured Artist

Limitless understands the importance of sending a message with his music. “I like to send positive messages, but at the same time I mainly want to differentiate myself from everyone else. I am not just another kid trying to rap, its a part of who I am and creating art is my passion,” he said. We can’t wait to see what is in store for this true artist.

-Nino Munaco (nino@ourtunez.com)

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Ourtunez Contest: Win $500 for Guitar Center and More!

Starting May 1st, Ourtunez will host it’s first Indie Contest. 50 of our best independent artists will compete for prizes. Each artist will submit one song and the users will decide the winner. Points will be awarded for plays, likes, and favorites. The winner will be announced at the end of the month.

Guitar Center

Win a $500 Guitar Center gift certificate!

The winner will receive the following: a $500 gift certificate for Guitar Center; a social media promotional package which includes a blog interview, social media posts, and a featured playlist with your music. The winner will also be included in Ourtunez marketing promotions for 1 month. 

Email support@ourtunez.com with the Track Title of the song you are submitting.

Good luck!

 

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Backstage Pass: Annalise Emerick

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an independent artist from Ourtunez. This week, we chatted with Annalise Emerick about her moving music and her travels. You can check her out on our Indie Folk Station on Ourtunez.com

Annalise Emerick is living a nomadic life. Moving all over America has given her music meaning and has prepared her for a career as a touring musician. Her songs are moving and appeal to a broad spectrum of music lovers.

Annalise has lived in Seattle, Austin, Nashville, Boston and now Nashville again. “I’ve never gotten 100% comfortable in any city and I’m always looking ahead toward the next step or the next chapter,” she said. She studied music in Nashville and moved to Boston to launch her music career. The song “You Win” is a love song about her relationship with Nashville. “Nashville is a great town but you really have to be careful not to get too comfortable while you’re there, at least that’s how I feel,” she said. She was motivated to get better by the amount of talent in Nashville but found it could also be discouraging.

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Annalise Emerick: Ourtunez Featured Artist

Right before her move in 2011, she recorded Starry-Eyed, a seven track, emotionally driven EP. It tells her story of a young woman moving forward in life, falling in and out of love, starting out hopeful, getting heart-broken, and learning from experiences. Now equipped with a set of beautiful songs, she was ready for her move.

Boston was a great place for her to launch her career. “I was able to play a lot of shows and really learn how to be an independent musician while having the support of the local scene behind me,” she said. Annalise fit in well with the Boston folk scene. She enjoyed being a day’s drive from major cities like NYC, Toronto, and Philly for her tours, which she does A LOT.

Take one look at her nationwide tour schedule and you’ll see she’s absolutely booked for the next 5 months, performing about 20 shows a month. She has new material for this massive tour as well. Her new album has just been mastered and Annalise is really excited for people to hear it. “It’s a lot more americana/country/folk than Starry-Eyed. I feel like my songwriting is much stronger than it was back when we recorded Starry-Eyed so I hope people hear how I’ve matured over the past few years in life and in writing,” she said.

Annalise Emerick is another independent artist on Ourtunez that is doing it the right way. Her songs are a part of her and come from within. They transcend everything that divides us and hits right at the core of the human spirit, the heart.

-Nino Munaco (nino@ourtunez.com) Ourtunez Editor

Backstage Pass: Soul Khan

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an artist exclusive to Ourtunez. This week, we talked to Soul Khan and his ascendence from a viral battle rapper to an explosive artist. You can check him out on our Indie Rap Station on Ourtunez.com

Brooklyn-based MC Soul Khan is making big waves in the hip-hop community, and doing it all the right way. His music is a true reflection on his nature; staying true to his roots, never being trendy, venomous to his enemies, sometimes goofy, speaking on real life issues, and being humble.

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Soul Khan, Ourtunez Featured Artist

Noah Weston was born in the Los Angeles area and moved to up-state New York in 2003 for college. Upon graduating he moved to Brooklyn in 2007. “My West Coast roots influence me through the California artists I listened to (everybody from Ice Cube to the Pharcyde to Ras Kass) to my once very tranquil temperament, which has cracked with age and involvement in a decaying world.” His number one influence is Stevie Wonder.

Soul Khan rose to fame through being an internationally renown battle rapper. He started battling seriously in 2008. Videos of him humiliating his foes went viral, and people around the world saw his raw talent. “I was definitely shocked when my battles took off. It was a pleasant surprise but a phase I’m glad to have moved on,” Soul Khan said. When asked if he missed the battle scene, which he left in 2010 to focus on his studio career, he said, “Nah. But I’m grateful to have made an impression.”

Since leaving the battle scene, Soul Khan has released an album, Soul Like Khan, and a series of four mixtapes (all on Ourtunez) and joined the Brown Bag All Stars, a group of producers and MCs from Brooklyn. He’s played at some of the biggest music festivals in America, Bonnaroo and SXSW. He is currently working on a song with Lupe Fiasco and the Justice League and is on famed turntablist Q-Bert’s upcoming album.

Soul Khan’s style is nostalgic and modern at the same time. Hip-hop fans old and new can relate to his music. His topics include anything from politics/economics to faults of the human condition. One of his songs, “Morning Alone” tells a deep tale of a lonely widow. Such songs remind us of Pac’s “Brenda’s Got a Baby”, a poetic, soulful song that tells us the woe of an individual. In another song, “Alec Baldwin” Soul Khan displays his insane rhythm and flow he’s mastered over the years. His baritone vocals give power to his message.

2014 is going to be a big year for Soul Khan. He is dropping 2 albums this year, one free and the other for money. “The free one is more sample-driven and blisteringly vicious rappity raps to melt everybody’s flesh and bury my enemies and the paid one is a stadium boombap project that seeks to unite underground and mainstream spheres of listeners.”  We’re more than thrilled to see what 2014 has in store for this true artist.

What makes Soul Khan a special artist, outside of his music, is his humility. Independent artists like him are loyal to their fans. Although he doesn’t miss battle rapping, he is thankful for the opportunities it has given him. “Can’t be mad at the good fortune I’ve enjoyed. More talented people than I have had way fewer opportunities.” Despite being in a genre dominated by fads, cockiness, and ignorance, Soul Khan keeps it real.

-Nino Munaco (nino@ourtunez.com), Ourtunez Editor

 

Ourtunez Welcomes Comedians!

Ourtunez has expanded its horizons and included a comedy station! With mainstream clips from the most popular comedians and entertainers, we feature our talented independent artists and give them airtime alongside the greats. The tracks we play are diverse, whether it’s a clip from a stand-up show, or a satirical song. Share some laughs and upload your comedy! Sign up is easy, and uploading your tracks takes no time. Register on Ourtunez.com today and instantly receive the benefits, the most of which is EXPOSUREGet noticed with Ourtunez today. (Recently featured on Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld’s podcast “If I Were You”)

Comedy

For more details on how to sign up and upload, here is a short tutorial.

Ourtunez – Artist Tutorial Final from Digital Productions on Vimeo.

Ourtunez.com – Sign Up Here

 

Backstage Pass: oneclipleft

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an artist exclusive to Ourtunez. This week, we talked to oneclipleft and discussed his unique recording methods. You can check him out on our Indie Rock Station on Ourtunez.com

Here’s one for all you metal-heads out there. oneclipleft, a one-man band from Georgia, delivers that well-orchestrated, hard sound with inspiring and enlightened lyrics. It truly is amazing that one man can produce all this authentic music.

Will Prowell, 28, is the name behind oneclipleft. Besides music, he teaches college writing courses. Not only are his writing skills displayed in his music, but for our interview he typed two full pages of answers to our questions, full of thoughtful responses and google-worthy vocabulary. He has lived along the east coast his whole life, from West Virginia to Florida. He now resides in Georgia.

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Will grew up a fan of all genres of rock, but at age 12 his tastes began to shift. He received Metallica’s “…And Justice For All” and played it ’til the tape wore out. “Metallica has been, and still is, my biggest influence, but I am very open to various rock and metal genres,” he said. He begged for a guitar and finally got what he was asking for. He’s played for two bands, The 13th Floor in high school and Firehead in college.

Firehead (2006-2007) did not last long. But the sound of it, they had a great time, especially during their live shows. “We focused on not only playing to the best of our ability, but also having fun with the crowd as well….We even finished one set by destroying some of our unneeded equipment with our guitars, old-school Nirvana style,” he said. Will, who now makes all his music on his own, would in the future like to form a full band for live performances. “I would love nothing more than to return to the stage.”

Will writes the music to every instrument heard in oneclipleft’s tracks. His process is pretty unique. After recording a guitar part he can’t get out of his head, he starts layering. After the music is finished, he comes up with a lyrical theme fit for the song, and writes thought-provoking lyrics, one of which is a sharp criticism of our nation’s government. This theme is evident in his debut album “A More Perfect Union” (2011). He is currently working on a new album which he plans to release late 2014 or early 2015. The message he aims to send with his music is as follows:

“I aim to inspire people to question their surroundings and think for themselves. Blindly accepting or rejecting anything can be disastrous, as is being unwilling to say ‘I don’t know’ or even ‘I was wrong.’ If my music can persuade even one person to begin challenging their assumptions, then I consider my message wildly successful. No authority figure, no book, no outside source should replace what people can discover on their own if they try. Challenge everything.”

Well said.

 

-Nino Munaco (nino@ourtunez.com)

Backstage Pass: Midwest Rico

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an artist exclusive to Ourtunez. This week, we met up with Midwest Rico and discussed how hardships in his life inspire his music. You can check him out on our Indie Rap Station on Ourtunez.com

LaVelle Hall (Midwest Rico) had to go through many obstacles to get to where he is now, a budding hip-hop artist out of Detroit. He paints pictures with his lyrics about life in the streets, having to go through homelessness himself and resort to crime for money. He writes music to help him cope with the struggles he has dealt with and to inspire others in similar situations. We held an interview at Nocturnal Entertainment, an up-and-coming recording studio in Southfield, Michigan.

Rico’s musical career started when he was about 14. His mother, realizing his son’s talent for singing, made him go to an audition to sing backup for Kierra “Kiki” Sheard, a gospel singer. Soon he was traveling and touring with her, and Rico got his first taste of what the music life was all about. “I fell in love with it,” he said.

Midwest Rico Ourtunez Featured Artist

Midwest Rico
Ourtunez Featured Artist

Music was not Rico’s first dream of success. He had aspirations of becoming a football player and after playing at Inkster High School as a DB/LB, alongside future University of Michigan QB Devin Gardner, he received a scholarship for Northern Michigan University. It was there when his dream started to fade. “I got sick and had to come home and like a bunch of obstacles just hit like real fast. Like ended up being homeless and, just selling drugs and a bunch of other crazy stuff.” But as one dream faded, another was taking taking form.

In this dark time in his life, Rico found inspiration through his music. He started rapping his freshman year at Northern Michigan, where “Freestyle Fridays” with the football team turned into battle rapping, where he would “kill dudes bro”. When the school year started, people started to notice his skills. He started to record songs under the name Fresh Kid, like his remake of “5 o’clock” by T-Pain. When he left school he focused more on his music, which he saw was influencing the lives of people around him. “I was touching a lot of people and that’s what I like to do. I like to help people, so seeing me inspire people, and really get people through everyday life just kinda inspired me to make more music.”

Midwest Rico started to develop a style all his own. With influences from his gospel upbringing, R&B influences like Ginuwine, and Hip-Hop legends as Jay-Z, Nas, 2Pac, and Biggie, Rico puts his own spin on the genre. “Everybody compares rappers who sing to Drake, so I’ve been trying to capture my own style and still make it comfortable.” He’s had many names through the past few years going from Rico Suave to Rico Love to Rico DaVinci. He plans on sticking with Midwest Rico.

Midwest Rico’s new single “Helluva Night” tells a dark story. 3 years ago, his close friend, Previn Dixon, who he played football with at Inkster, was shot and killed during a robbery attempt and police chase that started in Dearborn and ended tragically on Ashton St. in Detroit. Rico visits the place where his “big brother” was taken in his music video. A week earlier, Rico received a call from Dixon who sounded scared for his life and felt his days were numbered. “He was fearless so it was weird to be hearing somebody I looked at like Iron Man to be saying he was scared he was gonna die,” Rico recalls. Rico told Dixon to just get some rest and that he would pray for him. Sure enough, Rico heard the bad news after practice where he and Dixon shared many memories. Now 21, Midwest Rico has matured and found an outlet to cope with this tragedy.

Through hardship and pain, Midwest Rico has risen above. He has shared the stage with Gucci Mane, Kid Ink, MGK, and Dom Kennedy, to name a few. His next project, for now titled “21”, is in the works and he’s planning on doing it big. You can listen to his new single and upcoming projects on Ourtunez. “Ourtunez is dope.” We couldn’t agree more.

Here are some clips from our interview. We thank Midwest Rico for his time and Nocturnal Entertainment for being great hosts.

-Nino Munaco (nino@ourtunez.com)  Ourtunez Editor

Backstage Pass: The ERERs

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an artist exclusive to Ourtunez. This week, we joined The ERERs and discussed past and future projects. You can check them out on our Indie Rock Station on Ourtunez.com

If you think Rock is dead, or has been mutilated to a genre unrecognizable by human ears, think again. The ERERs, from Troy, Michigan, have a unique sound that moves your feet without even knowing it. You wouldn’t believe that such a full sound is coming from only three members. They give hope to rock purists nationwide.

The ERERs Ourtunez Featured Artist

The ERERs
Ourtunez Featured Artist

The three members include Matt Riesterer on guitar and vocals, Chris Fichter on drums, and Jamie Mosshart on bass. These 3 rocker(er)s make some seriously good music, but off stage they are some of the goofiest dudes. For example, in a recent interview, they described their top influences to their music as “leather jackets and pizza.” And to be honest, we can totally taste some spicy pepperoni and hear the crackling leather when we listen to this band. Their hobbies outside of music include “imported Beer, domestic boobs, shark week (for real. See Matt’s tattoo.) and fist fights.” You know, the rock star life.

They have uploaded their “Tombstone EP” on Ourtunez and we have all been big fans ever since. It was recorded January and February of 2013 and consists of six amazing head nodding rock songs. “We were all pumped up about it and basically learned the songs as we recorded them.”


The ERERs have upcoming shows on March 6th at the 51 North Brewery in Lake Orion, and on March 7th at Capo’s Lounge in Hamtramck. If you’re anywhere in southeast Michigan on those days, we highly recommend you see this band. They describe their live shows as “sweaty, fuzzy, loud, and semi-erect.” Sounds like a hell of a time.

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They are releasing a new EP in April and we couldn’t be more excited to hear it. A release show in April is in the works as well. The ERERs have great chemistry and it shows in their music. “We were meant for each otherer.” Big things are in store for this gritty rock band. (Photography by Katya Stewart)

-Nino Munaco (nino@ourtunez.com)  Ourtunez Editor

Backstage Pass: Immune

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an artist exclusive to Ourtunez. This week, we joined Immune and discussed where they started and building a fan base. You can check him out on our Indie Rock Station on Ourtunez.com

Immune, from Los Angeles California, have been running the hard rock scene around the west coast since 2008 and are still going at it full force. All young musicians from the start, it wasn’t until they came together before they realized their full potential.

“We have all been playing instruments since we were very young, but we started playing together professionally around 2008.”

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With a range of influences from all across the classic rock, heavy metal board from the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Beatles all the way to new age hero’s such as Radiohead and Alice in Chains. Its a wonderful mix that helps them define their own unique sound.

“We are a blend of classic rock riffs mixed with a modern rock approach. Old school songwriting with a new school sound!”

When it comes to making new music, it rarely turns out like you expected,but with so many different creative minds contributing, it always comes out brilliant. It’s a simple process too, one musician starts to kick a beat while the others chimes in with a melody.

“Watching a song take shape from the early stages of a basic riff and melody is such a cool process. How it turns out is rarely how it started, and it is always a very interesting experience.”

When a band is young, new to the scene, playing as many live shows as possible is the best way to start a fan base. When you’ve been around for sometime, your fans will expect you to produce new material at a faster rate. Perfecting your craft is the perfect way to keep them begging for more.

“Touring makes sense only if you have a reason to do so…building a fan base online is time better spent.”

LiveThe future of music lies in the hands of it’s listener, which makes streaming radio the greatest medium of all for music lovers across the globe. Ourtunez is also part of that future, not just as a streaming radio website, but as a helping hand in bringing indie artists to the spotlight. When other sites treat them like a number at a checkout counter, Ourtunez gives you a loving mothers affection.

“People want and expect music to be available anywhere, anytime. We all live our lives on our phones and digital devices now, and streaming radio is a great opportunity to reach the biggest possible audience.”

Backstage Pass: Escaping Pavement

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an artist exclusive to Ourtunez. This week, we joined Escaping Pavement and discussed Americana and touring the mitten state. You can check him out on our Indie Country/Folk Station on Ourtunez.com

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Trying to achieve an old, americana sound is hard to come by these days around Detroit. With so many different genres that float around the city, it seems like traditional tunes are few and far between. Escaping Pavement are fairly new around town, but have strong roots thanks to two phenomenal duo, Emily and Aaron, who have for the last couple of years been putting the final pieces into the puzzle.

Aaron have been playing together in various bands though for at least 7 years now. Escaping Pavement is kind of like the culmination of all the things we’ve learned and kept with us from being in those bands,” said Emily.

It’s a combination between their beautiful harmonization, country edge, and energetic backing makes for a show not to be missed. Dabbling in a little bit of everything fun and western, front woman Emily Burns describes their sound nicely.

Americana on the rocks with a splash of folk.  Or it’s also been referred to as Folk-rockin altercana.”

1375680_518283501595207_1994248203_nNot only showcasing their wonderful talent around the metro area, playing small gigs in Northern Michigan help bring Escaping Pavement new fans from all over the mitten state. Having played multiple shows at Short’s Pub, one of Michigan’s premiere craft breweries, only goes to show that having a strong blend between creating new music and establishing new fans, is a health mix.

Of course it’s important to create new material to keep things interesting for both us and our fans. At the same time, I think we have the most success in gaining new fans by playing that music live in different markets,” said Emily.

Making your way in the world today, takes everything you got. Take a brake from all your worries, because here at Ourtunez we establish a connection with our featured artists, providing them their own independent station. Every other streaming website may not have your best intentions in mind, but have no fear, we got cha man.

I hope to see the music industry thriving with independent artists making a living on live shows and merchandise. Although I don’t see much hope for the recorded music market with the way things are headed now.”