INTRODUCING THE KEY FIGURES OF THE ROYALTI VIRTUE RECORD LABEL 88

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.

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BEAR WITH ME TALKS “AFTER ME”, UPCOMING PERFORMANCES & FUTURE PLANS 37

Having started out as part of the Danish Aarhus underground scene, vocalist, keyboard and bass player Thorbjørn Kaas AKA Bear With Me has just released his debut single and has plenty of ideas about where he’d like his music to take him in the future. He spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about where in the world he’d most like to play and what his ultimate goal as an artist is.

TITL: For anyone who hasn’t heard of you or your music, how would you sum up Bear With Me?

Bear With Me: It is about having fun, experimenting and see where the moment will take you. I’d like to think of it as very personal, current music with an analogue feel or just danceable melancholia.

TITL: Which few bands or artists would you say you’re most influenced by and how do those influences come across in the music you make?

BWM: I find a lot of comfort listening to various dream-pop and shoegaze bands, such as Beach House, Cocteau Twins, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine to name a few. I seek that swirly vibe but in a more upbeat manner. Hopefully people will enjoy listening to the music on the dance-floor, but also under more chilled circumstances, too.

TITL: Is there one band or artist you most commonly find yourself being compared to, and if so, do you mind such comparisons?

BWM: Since ”After Me” is the first single there hasn’t been that many comparisons yet. But Röyksopp, Tame Impala and Air have been mentioned. I think they sum up the vibe in good way, and even though their approaches to music are different Bear With Me could easily be described as a mix of those three.

TITL: Tell me about your debut single “After Me”. Is there a story behind the song and what do you want listeners to take from it when they hear it?

BWM: It’s about losing someone who were once close to you. Even though it is hard to say goodbye and let go you can always hope that the person can stay in your thoughts and still be a part of your life. I would describe the song as both melancholic and hopeful. It’s an homage to any kind of close relation between people, but also an acknowledgement of how delicate and changeful such bonds can be.

TITL: Have you started thinking about what your next single might be and are there plans for an EP/album in the works?

BWM: There’s a recording session planned in August with some great guys. It’s not decided whether it’s gonna be an album or an EP yet.

TITL: Do you have any tour/performance plans lined up, and if so, for those who haven’t seen you live before, what can you tell them to expect?

BWM: We are playing with our friends in Moon Loves Honey on the 27th April at Radar in Aarhus. It’ll be the second time we’ve played the music outside the rehearsal room, so I guess people can expect something unheard.

TITL: If you could perform with any three bands or artists, who can be living or dead, who would you choose and where would you play?

BWM: 1. I would love to play with a big jazz glitterati at the time where things went down. For example Thelonious Monk at Village Vanguard or something. 2. I guess a lot of people would want to be any of the performing artist at Woodstock festival 69’. In that case I would prefer to play the tambourine. – it’s not so demanding. 3. I have a feeling that I would enjoy to play the bass in Mac Demarco’s band.  I’ve always wanted to play at Orange Scene at Roskilde Festival – the largest scene on the largest festival in Denmark – so I think that would be a fitting location.

TITL: Are there any other plans or projects in the pipeline for the coming months you can tell me about?

BWM: I’m arranging a one-day festival the 16th of June. Besides Bear With Me, the greatest acts of Aarhus will be present.

TITL: Finally then, where would you like to see yourself five years from now and what’s the ultimate goal?

BWM: I’d like to see myself, and my band, a long way from Aarhus, in a bus, touring all kinds of places. The ultimate goal is to make an album however we want, whenever we want and to perform wherever we want. We want success and hopefully, freedom is a by-product of that.

Give “After Me” a listen below and for more information on Bear With Me, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Instagram.

 

 

LISA LINKE TALKS CURRENT PROJECTS, DREAM ROLES & FUTURE PLANS 32

With roles in Modern Family and This Is Us among others already under her belt, as well as her regular appearances on the webseries Successful People, Lisa Linke has earned herself praise from fans and critics alike in recent years, and earned every positive word that’s been spoken or written about her. While her career shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Lisa to chat first auditions, dream roles and her advice for aspiring actors.

TITL: When did you first realize that you wanted to make performing a career? Was there any particular show or film you watched that made you think: “That’s who I want to be…that’s what I want to do?”

Lisa Linke: I think I realized I wanted to make it a career after I was already living in Chicago, studying improvisation and seeing people perform on stages and actually make a living doing it. I don’t have any artist role models in my family – everyone is business or education (or both) and so the idea of being an artist was really scary and challenging. So, until I saw people doing it and doing work that I found fun and engaging, then I could allow myself to really entertain that as a possibility. I don’t think it was as much as a particular show or film, but more being surrounded with people that I knew and liked and saw them doing this awesome thing.

TITL: Whose careers are you most inspired and influenced by? How do their careers impact your own?

LL: I’m always inspired by people who create their own content. They really take ahold of their own path and just start making art that demonstrates their style and voice. I like doing that. I think whenever anyone makes a successful series that is specific and authentic, it gives permission for everyone else to try and do that, too. And when it’s successful, it shows studios and networks that people are craving that kind of content, so they go looking for it to buy.

TITL: Can you recall your first audition?

LL: Ever? Nope. I always did plays in school growing up. I can remember my audition to join the improv group in grad school, which made me fall in love with improv. I knew nothing about improv, but I’d seen a show in Atlanta before I moved back to Illinois to go to grad school, and I absolutely loved it and wanted to learn how to do it! We did this warm up game and I was so excited, I physically pushed the person next to me, and the woman leading the exercise jumped in and was like “don’t do that”. But in a nice way, because she hadn’t said we couldn’t, and I was legit so excited.

TITL: Which of your auditions are you most proud of and why?

LL: I’m most proud of auditions where I did what I wanted to do in the room. It’s really easy to get thrown off throughout the day, traffic sucks or you can’t find parking, people are rude or it’s hot or you didn’t get the material as early as you wanted or whatever happens – life happens – but your job is to get in the room and deliver. The job is booking the job, and when I do a good job, and get good feedback in the room, or get a pin or check avail or a booking then I feel really good about what I did. I can feel good about what I did in the room even if I get zero feedback, too. I know what I did in the room and what I wanted to do.

TITL: Prior to auditioning for a part, how much research/background do you do in terms of the broadcast company/the show itself/other members of the cast, and do you find that such research helps?

LL: Oh, it helps immensely! You have to know your stuff. You have to know what show you’re going in for – what network it is on, what tone the show has and what the writer has written before. All that stuff just makes your audition more accurate. I didn’t know any of this before I started studying out here in LA, but I am a real research geek now the minute I get an audition.

TITL: You’ve starred in hit shows including This Is Us, Modern Family and the Netflix series LOVE. Of all the roles and characters you’ve played so far, do you have any particular favourites and do you have any fun memories you can share from time on the sets?

LL: Well, Modern Family was really amazing because it was a special day on set. They were on location, and Chris Martin was on set that day. All the crew was kind of twitterpated with him and it was easy to see why – he is literally the nicest person on earth. He was so cool to talk to in the hair/makeup trailer, and then so kind and funny on set. He entertained everyone in between takes with his guitar. Everyone was having a great time! For me, being on This Is Us was amazing because they moved so fast and it was being directed by Ken Olin and I’ve always been a fan of his, from way back in thirtysomething days. So, to see him direct was just fantastic. LOVE was incredible because Nisha Ganatra, the director, loved to improvise and I got to improvise a ton on set. That was wonderful, and to work with Gillian Jacobs, Paul Rust, Ed Beagley, Jr. and Kathy Baker was a total dream! I love working, period. Everything else on top of that is gravy.

TITL: What’s your dream role and which TV show would you most like to star/guest star in? Are there any actors or actresses you really want to work with?

LL: I do comedy and love it, but I watch a ton of drama! I think I’d love to be on something super tense like The Americans or Homeland. I get so hooked watching it and the acting on those shows is amazing. I love working with everyone because I like learning from everyone – but to work with someone who has made their own content, like Melissa McCarthy, Issa Rae, or Amy Schumer would be amazing.

TITL: What made you want to be a part of the web series Successful People, and do you think there will be many other such series being made in the coming years, due to the boom in and power of technology and the internet?

LL: Yes! There are so many series being made right now, it’s so easy to create content on a small scale.  I did the first season because Artie & Theresa – the creators & stars – asked me to, and then when they invited me back with a series regular role for the second season, I was thrilled! That character is seriously the most obnoxious in the world. I loved playing her!

TITL: You’ve won a number of awards including Lead Actress at LAWebfest and overall web series winner at the Chicago Comedy Film Festival. How much do accolades like that mean to you, and would you say you’re more of an individual who cares more strongly about what your fans/followers think and that you can and do take on projects you feel passionate about?

LL: Thank you! It’s always nice to take a piece of work you’ve created and have it be recognized. Festivals are a great part of online content life. I like making content I’m proud of and want to do. It’s a lot of work to do – so usually I have to be really interested in the project and want to make it and get it out there in the world, or be asked to work with people that I adore and have a blast working with.

TITL: The entertainment business is cut-throat and competitive. With that in mind, and given your impressive resume, what advice would you give to those just starting out? What three traits would you say people need in order to survive in this fickle industry?

LL: Ah! You’re very kind. I’ve been told that you need two of the following three: luck, talent and perseverance. You can’t work on luck, but you can work on the other two. I say get your butt in a class and stay there! And create your own content.

TITL: Finally then, are there any projects or plans in the pipeline you can tell me about? What’s next for you and what are your goals for the remainder of the year?

LL: Yes! I just released Dog Therapist with my friend Gwen, and it’s a super short web series – all episodes are under a minute! We had a blast and I hope we do some more like it. I have a guest star on a Disney show coming out sometime this spring/summer, so I can’t wait for that to be announced! And of course, I’m creating more content. Do you sense a theme!?

For more information on Lisa Linke, visit her website or you can follow her on Twitter. Header photo credit: Birdie Thompson.