After first introducing himself to the world with the rock anthem that is “Party Hard” in 2001, Andrew W.K. has been a considerable staple of the music industry ever since, amassing himself a loyal following of fans on both sides of the Atlantic. Not content with just being a song-writer and performer, over the years he’d also tried his hand at TV and radio work, among other things, but he always comes back to the music. Currently preparing to release his new album You’re Not Alone next month, and tour the UK in April, Andrew spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about THAT song, what fans can expect from the upcoming shows and his as-yet unfulfilled dreams.

TITL: Hi Andrew, thanks for taking the time to talk to me today, it’s much appreciated.

Andrew W.K.: My pleasure. Thank you for connecting and being willing to help share the party message!

TITL: First of all, for those who are unfamiliar with you and your music, who exactly is Andrew W.K? What would you say are your worst and best traits?

AWK: I’m a singer and performer who answers to the party gods – sometimes alone, but mostly with others. I can be defeatist at times, like most people, and angry, self-centered, occasionally pessimistic…but I’m also very passionate about what I do – and a believer in sharing that passion with others. To some, that might not be much of a trait, but to me, I think self-belief is key, and if you have belief in yourself, then you can also give that belief or help others find that belief in themselves.

TITL: That’s a great trait to have. And you know, sometimes one good trait can overrule several bad ones…

AWK: Maybe not all bad traits, but yeah; it’s good to have a balance, even if it is slightly off kilter!

TITL: How does it feel to know your career is still going strong when so many of your artistic counterparts have fallen into obscurity?

AWK: I would say I’m probably as obscure today as I’ve ever been, but I also don’t think that’s a bad thing. Careers like many things come and go and I consider myself to be very fortunate to still be doing this – what I love – and sharing my passion and art with people who share many of the same values as I do, believe in my music as I do and enjoy living life each and every day with a party attitude.

TITL: Your debut single “Party Hard” remains a rock fan favourite, even 15 plus years after its release. What would you say it is about that song that makes it so popular with fans? Did you ever imagine it’d get the reaction it is, even now, when you first released it?

AWK: I felt very strongly about it from the beginning. You have to believe in what you’re doing and believe that it will be that powerful in order to do the work that’s required to make it and get it out there to people. Even then though, it’s still quite shocking to see it connect with people and to have anyone at all care about it. For all the people that do believe it, who do connect with it, need it be that song, “Party Hard” or something else I’ve written, there are literally billions of people who couldn’t care less. I’m very thankful that there has been enough of a connection with the song to allow me to continue doing this, and as to the why or how it’s made such a connection with people – if I knew that, I’d have written a thousand more songs like that. It’s a mysterious thing – I don’t know if anyone really has that answer.

TITL: What, to you, makes a great song, and with that in mind, which would you say is the greatest ever written and why?

AWK: I think the greatest song ever written hasn’t been written yet, and hopefully never will be, and that’s why people will, or at least I hope they will, continue to write songs in the hope of achieving that accolade, or whatever name you want to give it. Every song I write is another chance to give someone the greatest feeling that’s ever been made, the greatest sound that’s ever been heard, and the greatest musical experience that is out there and waiting for someone to tap into. To me, the greatest song, as and when it’s written will have a combination of great melody and rhythm, and words – but of course there is a lot of powerful music out there already that has no words to it. Sometimes music without lyrics can say even more than music that has them. Music exists on its own terms and seems to connect with the most primal and fundamental aspects of the human experience. It’s the sound of what being alive feels like; it’s the life force made audible. Music is endless, and so I don’t think it’s even possible to pick one defining musical moment or song and label it the greatest ever.

TITL: How does your new album You’re Not Alone which is out on March 2nd, differ from your past releases? How would you say it charts your artistic evolution as a songwriter and artist?

AWK: I don’t necessarily try to evolve, I just try to get better; better at making the feeling and meaning come through the songs. For me, this new album is a continuation of the same effort I’ve been putting into what I do since I started. It began with the first album and has progressed through everything I’ve done or tried to do since then. Some attempts have been more successful than others, but each one in any area of showbiz or entertainment I’ve tried my hand at, whether it’s music, performing, doing TV or radio, or writing…all of it is one big effort to try and generate that empowering, uplifting enthusiasm that makes the feeling of being alive better. This album is, hopefully, an improvement on that same effort.

TITL: Could you pick your favourite track, or two tracks from the album and if so, which are they and why?

AWK: I don’t know if I have any feeling of ‘pride’ about any of them. I don’t know what that feeling even means. I’m impressed by certain things that people I care about do, but does that mean I’m proud of them? I was always told that pride is a sin, right – that it’s one of the seven deadly sins. I have a strong feeling of achievement and fulfilment about the songs on the album and I’m glad it’s done and is ready to be put out there.

TITL: You’re heading out on a UK tour in April. For those who have never seen you before, what can people expect from an Andrew W.K. show?

AWK: I’m with my full rock and roll band – three guitar players, bass player, keyboard player, drummer and I’ll also be playing keyboards and of course singing. Some of the people in the band have been with me since 2000, since the very start and we also have newer band members as well. With all due respect to everyone who has ever been in my band, I must say that we, as we are right now, are the best we’ve ever been as a band, and that’s largely because of the people who are in it and because of our focus and the time we’ve put into what we do – the experience we have under our belts. I feel what we can bring to the stage now is the best we’ve ever had to offer those who come to the shows. We’re the best we’ve ever been at generating that powerful, electric feeling in a room. We’ll give everything we have and I have no doubt that everyone who comes to see us, who stands in those venues with us, will give everything they have too; not to us per se, but to the party gods who we’ll be worshipping together in that shared space.

TITL: Of all the shows you’ve played throughout your career, is there one that stands out?

AWK: No, and this is no dig at the question or any others like it, but those sort of definitive, absolute, singular experiences I find to be quite elusive. The best concert, the best place to play, the one moment in your life that changed everything…I think most people would have a hard time summing up or isolating or pin-pointing such singular moments in their life, because then everything else becomes secondary. I don’t want there to be one best show – I want tons of best shows; tons of memorable shows, tons of favourite songs. Thinking about it any other way I feel is sort of disrespectful to the whole phenomenon of getting to be alive. It can be quite satisfying to, somewhere in your mind, sometimes have a hierarchy of experiences from best to worst and sometimes it’s necessary to do that and at others it’s unavoidable, but when it comes to art and culture, experiences are meant to liberate us from that need to order and make perfect sense of everything.

There’s not one concert that stands out and I’m thankful for that – they’ve all been incredible in different ways – even the ‘worst’ concerts, which are often a result of technical problems or other challenges. At shows like that, People in the crowd might say to us afterwards that the gig was awful, but our guitar player Dave Pino will usually respond with something along the lines of: “Dude that was the best one yet!” There are so many different outlooks and perspectives as to what makes a show good or bad, and so trying to define a great show can be and is very difficult, and so I personally try to appreciate the good and bad, and just be grateful for getting to do what I do every time I step out on stage.

TITL: You’re a frequent tweeter, but how, in general, do you feel about social media? Do you think there are any downsides to the power it has in terms of how it can and does impact an artists’ career and ability to reach an audience?

AWK: I can’t think of any downsides in that regard. I think it’s an incredibly powerful tool and it’s just another amazing method of communication. It’s not the same, but certainly similar to how television, even film and moving images, were huge breakthroughs and created new ways to express information and receive it. At the same time, you can be sceptical and somewhat cynical about it – it all depends on how you use it. The computer is a tool; an instrument, just like a screwdriver which you can use to either build incredible things or stab someone in the eye and make them go blind. Be careful how you use it.

TITL: Finally then, given how much you’ve achieved so far in your career, what advice would you give to aspiring, up and coming bands and artists who are looking to make their own mark on the music world? More personally, there any objectives and dreams you have left to fulfil?

AWK: Play as much music as you possibly can. Never allow the frustrations or even the rewards of the surrounding activities to take away from your love of simply playing music, because that you can always have. No matter what else happens to me, for example, as long as I can play piano, I know that I’ll have a true, reliable happiness in my life – the rest is just icing on the cake.

As for the things I still want to fulfil, I have no doubt there are many, but I guess I’ll find out what they are, if, as and when they happen. I try to let these opportunities present themselves, almost like assignments from destiny, and then do my best to fulfil them, or make the most of them, in honour of them. There’s not much that I can consciously plan out in terms of ‘I’m first going to do this….then I’ll do that.’ I have aspirations and dreams and things that I’d like to do for the sake of the experience, but only by the grace of the party gods – I leave it up to them.

For more information on Andrew W.K., including a list of his tour dates and ticket information, visit his website, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter. His new album You’re Not Alone is available for pre-order now.

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Thursday 8th March marks a very special day – International Women’s Day. Though gender equality should be celebrated every day, it’s a chance for us to really shine a light on the female figures in our lives and those in our wider society that dedicate their lives to the cause. What better way to celebrate the event than by belting out a ton of songs by our favourite female artists? This will give you a level up in sassiness and add an extra ‘oomph’ to your moves! Whether you’re celebrating the event at one of our venues or from home – take this playlist with you!


















As an independent record label that champions itself on “investing in the music and the talented artists that create it”, Royalti Virtue can be considered a label with a difference. Determined to work as one collective unit, while all the while producing music of several different genres, RV allow and encourage their acts to collaborate, innovate and be ambitious in their musical goals. Here, TITL meets some of the labels’ hottest artists and grills them on their artistic inspirations, plans for the future and how social media is helping boost their audience.

TITL: How would you each describe yourselves in three words?

Da’Rell Miller: Humble, creative and caring.

Darnell Overstreet: Intuitive, passionate, unstoppable.

Dre. D: Entrepreneur, teacher, role model.

Rob Peaples: Incredible, creative, motivated.

Jay Rock: Talent, leader, writer.

TITL: What would each of you say is your unique selling point in terms of the music you make and how you’re making your mark on the industry?

Da’Rell: We are not just a label but a real family that push each other to live our purpose in life. We come together to make not only creative music from our own perspective but to also create other lanes for artists or people like us who needs a team by their side.

Darnell: I haven’t made or sold anything yet. I’m plotting but a move won’t be made for me till January.

WalkerDown: What makes us unique is that even though it’s young artists making the music, we stand out by sounding like us.

Dre: I give the people something to remember and think about by being passionate and creative.

TITL: Which band or artist would you each say you sound most similar to and is such sound intentional or just part of the creative process?

Da’Rell: I don’t know about artists I sound like but heard from my dad that I sound like Eazy – E or Too Short when I rap; I don’t hear it but I respect both artists. I really don’t try to sound like any artist at all but I do get inspired to be inspirational like those artists or like 2pac, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, Bone Thus N Harmony, Hopsin, Eminem, Lupe Fiasco and Andre 3000.

Darnell: I don’t think I sound like anyone. I try to shy away from that and try to be original.

Rob: Part of the creative process.

Jay Rock & Dre: Part of the process.

TITL: You’ve all worked together on the track “Billboard.” How did the collaboration come about?

Da’Rell: Well me, Dre D and my cousin Telly Boi Hogg was in the studio working on music and I always wanted to put Dre D on a song since we’ve never had before in two or three years of knowing each other. Plus I wanted to put his group WalkerDown on a song but the first pitch Dre D didn’t like so Dre D and my cousin Telly Boi Hogg worked on a beat Billboard beat together. I took it home and sent the chorus idea to him. He liked it, so I asked Darnell who I met from one of my business partners Ja`ni Griot to be on the song. We just put our verses on it and Dre D had an Idea to have all of us say the chorus which was perfect.

Darnell: I was asked for the feature. He played the song, so I gave him a verse.

WalkerDown: Well Da’Rell heard our first single “Wat It Is” and he said we would be a perfect fit for the song since we are an upcoming young group.

Dre. D: At first, I was like “I can help produce the track…” Then when I heard everyone snapping on it I was like ‘aw yeah put me in the game coach!’

TITL: What, in your minds, makes a great song and, which song would you say is the greatest ever written and why?

Da’Rell: I love content and what the artist is saying in each verse or the theme of the song. I can’t honestly say there is a greatest song ever written because there are so many artists creating amazing songs that touch me at different times. My favorite artist that I personally can’t listening to non-stop is Michael Jackson. There is also a new artist I like too, a Christian rapper artist named Seckond Chaynce. I would love to collaborate with him one day. He speaks about his faith and how we should stop doing wrong in the world. He can sing, R ‘n’ B, rap, gospel, rock and country. I’ve never heard an African American do all of them before.

Darnell: “Real” by Kendrick Lamar.

WalkerDown: I would say once we know the concept of the song we’re gonna kill it. The best song to us is “WalkerDown” and that is because we are holding the name Walker Down for our family.

Dre: I like to tell stories to my audience because everyone I can say loves a great story with a dope instrumental behind it. The best song I’ve ever written was and is “Reachin” because I am dedicating the song to my city and my family.

TITL: In this technological day and age where everyone seems to know everybody else’s business, how do you feel about social media and how big of a part has it played in so far getting your name and music out there to an audience? Do you think it’s a necessary tool for artists today or is it still possible for you and them to achieve success without it?

Da’Rell: I love and hate social media. What I mean is I love the fact that we can see or read about other people’s success stories or know about their journey to success or what amazing things are going on in their lives but the bad side is that people can talk about so much negative stuff on social media which can suck because people a lot of times are more negative than positive or want to just pick on somebody else for no reason. Social media plays a big part in getting an audience now since pretty much everybody is on some type of social media site.

If it wasn’t for social media we wouldn’t have met our manager Mike Lemaic who lives in the UK and who is teaching us about the business in the industry and developing the label. Social media has perks and weakness which we have to deal with. Fans love to know about our personal lives but we shouldn’t spill every emotion to the public because sometimes people can and will use certain things against us for their own enjoyment. People need to and should watch what they put online.

Darnell: It’s a faster way of getting out there fast. It’s a better way to me that is.

WalkerDown: It’s very helpful because, with us being young, we don’t have to go to the streets; the streets comes to us. It’s also a necessary tool because it’s an easy way for artists to collaborate.

Dre: It’s helped me spread my message to the world. I think it’s necessary to have social media because the fans can hear new music every-day from a variety of artists.

TITL: What are your upcoming performance plans?

Da’Rell: We haven’t decided yet but once we gain the right fan base we can decide with our manager which places might work best. We really want to perform at Comic Con, Wizard Con and nerdy like places since all of us at and on the label watch anime and superhero shows.

Darnell: I can’t give that out right now.

WalkerDown: Right now we are in the process of getting a booking manager, so no we don’t have any at the moment.

Dre: Once I get enough music to keep the crowds moving, that’s when I will be setting up some dates.

TITL: There’s also an EP, due for release this month. Without giving too much away, what can you tell me about it?

Da’Rell: All I can say without giving spoilers is that the artists on the label did their things on this label project. We all have our own sound and unique creative musical art but the fact we can work together on a project like this tells we can do more in the future. We have five songs for the world to listen to as an introductory project for the label as each artist on the label is also working on separate music.

We’re giving the world that Royalti Virtue good vibe feel music with some young unique talents in different genres. We have special guests like Kim Cameron, Dre D, WalkerDown, Darnel Overstreet and Elevated Music who have helped put our project together with special features.

WalkerDown: First of all, it’s dope! It’s giving you an inside on what WalkerDown came from and what we stand for.

Dre: It’s crazy that you mention that because my latest EP “Nuthin Else Matters” was released in March too, but with this EP I’m touching the people inner self-consciously.

TITL: Finally then, individually, both personally and professionally, what are your ambitions for 2018? What goals do you hope to achieve and where do you see the music industry going in the coming year?

Da’Rell: My personal and professional ambitions for 2018 is to spark the world and young or older artists to create a team and make their dreams come true. The label wants to tour and collaborate with other artists making unique music. My goal is for the label to be heard internationally and to hopefully start touring by the summer time or at least do some shows with the whole roster. Another goal is to hopefully be on radio stations and gain a lot of fans from around the world with and for each of the Royalti Virtue artists.

I see the music industry in 2018 growing in independent artists rather than mainstream record label artists. I feel since streaming sites are changing for artists in the future that artists will start having less music on streaming sites and more physical copies like back in the day. Since streaming isn’t paying artists much, I feel artists will start having more of their songs or projects in several other places; in stores or at their tours, in order for fans to purchase them, especially if streaming sites don’t up their royalty rates.

Darnell: By the end of this year, I plan to move from my home state. I will also be putting the time into my music with proper marketing and promos. I can be in a great place by the end of next year. The bars are there and I finally found my voice. Maybe a name as well. But as a collective – my team and I will strive to reach the top.

Rob: My ambition is to strive for greatness in 2018. I hope to make a name for WalkerDown in the industry.

Jay Rock: My ambition is to have the name WalkerDown in everyone conversation. I hope that you’ll see us LIVE and I can see the industry welcoming new young artists like us WalkerDown!

Dre: To give the fans more visual and positive music. I hope that someone will understand my drive for the music industry; and the industry will open up for Indiana artists!

Check out “Billboard” below and to find out more about Royalti Virtue, visit the website or like the page on Facebook.