Bad Friends, Good Enemies – the brilliant debut of Basheba

At the end of this month, amazing newcomer Basheba releases her debut EP, Bad Friends, Good Enemies. You may or may not be familiar with her, but one thing is certain – you will be hearing a lot of Basheba in the not too distant future. The North West Londoner blends R&B, blues, and gospel to deliver spectacular vocals and a dark intensity that is laced with hope. We caught up with her out front of the release thanks to Kate Whitmarsh of Space Promotions. This is Dirty Love (Your Love): How did you choose your name?

Basheba: It comes from my favourite place to visit in Barbados, Bathsheba. The scenery and views are amazing. It’s somewhere I could never get bored of. So when thinking of a name I decided I wanted a name that meant something to me. It came to me one day and I thought maybe, and that I’d live with it for a while. Then the next day I was on the train to the studio and a woman was carrying a bag with a map of Barbados on it, in bold writing it highlighted Bathsheba. That sealed it for me; I felt it was a sign. When I got to the studio I asked my producer Dean Barratt what he thought and he agreed. I later decided to take out the ‘TH’ to make it easier for people to remember and spell. What is your favorite original song or album to date? Why?

Basheba: My favourite song to date is the lead track from my upcoming EP. The track is called ‘Hold on’. I wrote it at a time when I felt lost. It’s a song about young people in the UK and how they are abandoned by society. It’s quite deep, if I were to explain the full concept I would need a couple more pages. Who are your major influences? What do you take from them? What do you add or do differently?

Basheba: I am influenced by many different artists and genres. I grew up listening to Marvin Gaye, Rolling Stones, Nina Simone amongst others. I have never tried to replicate what another artist does. I’ve always tried to use my own experiences and emotions to write and create my music. What song do you wish you’d written? How would it sound as performed by you?

Basheba: I wish I wrote the whole of Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s going on’ Album. I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. It’s timeless. What does the future hold – is there a particular direction you’d like to take your music?

Basheba: The future is looking very exciting. I’m releasing my debut EP ‘Bad friends, good enemies’ on the 26th of October. I am also working on my debut album. I love doing live shows so next year I am on a mission to get some festivals. What are your best and worst experiences to date?

Basheba: My best experience would have to be the filming of Dirty Love (Your Love). It was such a fun weekend. And worst. Honestly I don’t think I have had a “worst” experience. This past year is easily a contender for the best year of my life. Are you signed to a label? Are you looking for a label?

Basheba: I’m not signed; I do have my own label that I am building at the moment. Being signed by a major is obviously the dream for most artists. But I am enjoying just grafting at the moment. I hope a deal will come when the time is right. What would you like your fans/audience to know about you?

Basheba: I’d like them to know that I’m not as solemn and miserable as I may portray! I’d like to think I’m quite a happy person. Tell us about your live gigs. What is it like to see you perform in the flesh?

Basheba: Being on stage is actually where I am most comfortable. I love putting on a show. My band are awesome, alone they are worth seeing live. Where can we see you in the near future?

Basheba: I am playing at Westfield in Shepherds Bush for Juicy Couture on the 18th of October.

This sounds like a particularly good night to be in Shepherds Bush. Juicy Couture is already on to the next big thing. You can check out the video for No More on our facebook page and get more Basheba on YouTube and facebook.

We Are The Catalyst featuring Kenny Boufadene and Cat Fey

Watc_3_april14_mediumScandanavia – in particularly Sweden – is an awesome source of up and coming talent, especially in Drunken Mermaid’s favorite vein…metal. We’ve featured Pound, Red Nova, and now, thanks to Stuart at One Night Stand Management – We Are the Catalyst! Their new Album, Monuments, releases October 1. Here’s Fight for Air: Tell us about yourselves – how did We Are The Catalyst form? How did you choose your name?

Kenny: We Are The Catalyst was formed in Varberg, Sweden, by Cat Fey and Kenny Boufadene in November of 2012. After several years of touring and releasing albums as members of the Swedish Modern Metal act One Without, (In which we toured with bands like Dead By April, Katatonia and Evergrey, and were signed to Lifeforce Records and released two albums) we both felt the need to do something different from what we had previously done both musically and ideologicallym hence “We Are The Catalyst”

The meaning of the band name is simply that if you want something to change, you have to start that change yourself, being the catalyst.

When we started to write songs for WATC we quickly realized how easy it was for us to work together only the two of us in the studio, me making the foundation of the songs with the music, and then having Cat bringing in the vocals, then working together to polish the songs as much as possible, and not being satisfied until they felt really special and worked through. We had not worked this much in detail before in any other band we were in, and looking back I feel that we maybe hurried the songwriting to much in our old bands, and had to many people involved in the writing. Working just the two of us has been so much easier in the end, and I already look forward to writing our next album.

When we write songs we mainly just work directly in the studio and try out tons of ideas on the songs before making the final cut, and it has been a great start for us, as is evident in “Monuments”. What is your favorite album?

Kenny: Bring Me The Horizon’s “Sempiternal” – because it has such a raw energy as well as having a very produced sound. It doesn´t hurt that there´s an ominous sound to the songs as well as an epic atmosphere, and a “Pop meets Metal”-vibe to it . I often get tired of albums pretty quickly, but this album I have been listening to almost constantly since it was released. I just can´t go many days without hearing “Can You Feel My Heart” or “Shadow Moses”.

They really deserve all the success they get! Who are your major influences? What do you take from them? What do you add or do differently?

Kenny: Tons of influences! Many of them subtle in our sound, some of them you might hear more, not going to say which is which because I honestly don´t know! But some of the big ones are bands that I grew up listening to, like Linkin Park, 30 Seconds To Mars, In Flames, Katatonia, Killswitch Engage, Soilwork and Kent.

Others are more recent additions, like Bring Me The Horizon, Paramore, Skrillex, Ellie Goulding and many more. I learn something from all of them and conciously or unconciously add that influence to our songs. I also get very inspired and influenced by movie scores, as I feel that there are so much potential and story telling in that kind of “background music”. What song do you wish you’d written? How would it sound as performed by you?

Kenny: “Can You Feel My Heart” by Bring Me The Horizon, It would probably sound the same as I wouldn´t want to change a thing! Seriously one of the best songs ever written. What does the future hold – is there a particular direction you’d like to take your music?

Kenny: We have started writing a few new songs the last couple of weeks (as we are always writing songs, not just when working on an album) and currently I have been in a kind of dark mood, making the songs more ominous than the ones on “Monuments”. Some of them have also become more heavy, more “Metal” in a way, and more serious in the feel, so will be interesting to see how they turn out in the end and if they make the next album or not. I don´t think we want to be too dark in the end, but there certainly is a lot of those songs being written by us at the moment. Are you signed to a label? Are you looking for a label or artist’s representation?

Kenny: We are currently talking to several labels, as we have been getting quite a lot of bigger label interest with “Monuments”, but I really can´t say any more at the moment. As for representation we are working with One Night Stand Management in the UK and Chris Bianchi (Mercenary Management/CB Entertainment) in the US. What would you like your fans/audience to know about you?

Kenny: Aside from the music, my biggest interest is playing video games. Also, me and Cat are married and have a daughter. 🙂 Could be that´s why we work so well together! Tell us about your live gigs. What is it like to see you perform in the flesh?

Kenny: Intense! Where can we see you in the near future?

Kenny: We are currently booking tour dates for early 2015, but no dates are official yet! Keep your eyes out and your ears open!

We will, no doubt. In the meantime, check out more of We Are The Catalyst on their official website, facebook, and Twitter. You can see their video for “Tomorrow” on Drunken Mermaid’s facebook page.

Coming next: Basheba, Absynth Quintet, Gordon Duthie, Alec Morrison, and news from Brother Octopus!