MATT LEGRAND CHATS “12.00AM” AND HIS ARTISTIC INSPIRATION 0 91

Having already earned himself coverage from the likes of The Huffington Post among others, it’s fair to say that Matt LeGrand’s career is steadily on the rise. His latest single “12.00AM” was released in July and while already working on his big plans for 2019, Matt spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about being inspired by Ed Sheeran and his one big goal for the future.

TITL: How would you sum yourself and your music up in 4 words?

Matt LeGrand: Lord. Of. The. Rings.

TITL: What would you say makes you different from all your artistic counterparts?

MLG: Simply just me being me. I know that always sounds like a broken record but it’s true! Out of the 7 and a half billion people in this world, no one has the same DNA or fingerprint. No one can unlock my iPhone but me! So many of us try and be like others. We constantly compare ourselves to others and I guess it’s normal. I do it all the time and I think it’s a necessary part of the self-discovery process. The important part is to always come back to yourself while you take a little from everything you’ve experienced. That is how I believe a character is built.

TITL: Which one artist are you personally and professionally most influenced and inspired by and how does their music impact your own?

A: I’m very inspired by Ed Sheeran. The honesty in his art is what I find the most incredible. He isn’t hiding behind anything. You can tell that he is fully present and has compassion towards everything that he does, whether it’s performing or an interview. He cares about his audience and he doesn’t let nonsense interfere with the responsibility he has every time he gets up on that stage. Ed Sheeran has inspired me to write music that means something to me.

TITL: You were discovered by Bryant Reid, the man responsible for launching the careers of Usher and Toni Braxton. How did the two of you come to meet and how have Bryant’s connections and his career in the industry impacted your own career so far?

MLG: Bryant and I met in Chicago when I was stuck in a little bit of a mess. I did not have the right people surrounding me and there were way too many “cooks in the kitchen.” Bryant got me out of it and now has taken full control as we get ready to go full force. When I met Bryant, he cared so much for the project and still cares about it the same way today. More importantly he cares about my family and me. Life has gotten a whole lot easier now and I have everything I need to get to where I need to be.

TITL: Is there a story behind your latest track “12:00AM”?

MLG: This song was a collaboration with a team down in Atlanta. It only took about 5 hours to write and record it to completion. It’s a really simple song about wanting to see a person that you miss. The song’s title, “12:00 am”, is really more than just a point in time but a feeling of exhilaration that takes over you. It’s about that feeling of getting to see that person after a long day.

TITL: You’ve so far had your music featured on the likes of Huffington Post and MTV-U among others. Of all the comments and support you’ve received so far, is their one media feature/blog post that stands out most prominently?

MLG: Yes! I released a Christmas cover last year and it was written up in the Huffington Post the day after Thanksgiving. Seeing my face on an article on one of the biggest commercial days of the year was really something!

TITL: What would be the nicest and best thing a media outlet or fan could say about you and your music?

MLG: That I helped people to be themselves and just have a good time.

TITL: We’re a few months away from the end of the year – what’s in store for you up until that point, and have you started planning for 2019 yet? 

MLG: I am closing out the year with an album and more videos. We are planning to hit the ground running even before 2019!

TITL: Finally then, as your career continues to build traction and support, what’s the ultimate goal? Where do you want to be 5-10 years from now and what would you like your musical legacy to be?

MLG: The ultimate goal is to grow my brand enough so I can start to do the work that is most important to me. That is to expand MXM Entertainment. We’d like to create safe social settings that people can creatively express themselves in any way they’d like. We’d like to work with individuals and coach them through their journey of making their dreams come to life. The goal is to serve others and give back.

Check out the video for “12.00AM” below and for more information on Matt LeGrand, visit his website, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

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BLISSBLISS SHARE THE VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE “BULLETPROOF” 0 54

Blending their varied tastes and musical influences that range from rock and jazz to pop and R&B, BlissBliss have always made music that is truly unique to who they are, both personally and professionally, and showcase this through each and every one of their releases. Following on from previous single “I’m Coming Through”, which was released in September, the duo – Renee and Lang Bliss – have today unveiled the video for their latest track “Bulletproof”, and ThisIsTheLatest are delighted to premiere it to the world.

Asked about the track, taken from their EP 3, which was released last month, the pair said:

“We loved the way that Bulletproof turned out. It originally began with a very different concept but using the same title. But as we saw the theme of relationships developing on the EP, the thought of a couple who constantly fought, wanting love to make them Bulletproof, felt like a really great direction.”

Check out the video for “Bulletproof” below and for more information on BlissBliss, visit their website, give their page a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Header photo credit: Jose Guzman Colon.

CHRIS STILLS TELLS ALL ABOUT HIS NEW ALBUM & THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA 0 27

Having just released his first album in 10 years titled ‘Don’t Be Afraid’, it’s safe to say the last few months of 2018 in particular have been pretty big for Chris Stills. With the collection already championed by the likes of Mojo among others, while playing a few shows here in the UK, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Chris to find out more about his artistic influences, the one venue he’d most like to play and how it felt to have his work featured in two Oscar winning films.

TITL: For those unfamiliar with you and your music, how would you sum yourself and your sound up in a few words?

Chris Stills: I grew up with the fundamentals. A folk, blues and rock foundation. Dylan, Stones, Beatles, Pink Floyd, CSN, Neil Young, The Police, U2, AC/DC, Motown… all of it. Depending on my mood and what I’m trying to achieve with a song, I reach to the music I love for inspiration. That also includes my contemporaries like Rufus Wainwright, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley etc…What you get is a nice mixed bag of songs… kind of like a mixed tape you’d make a friend.

TITL: With so many other bands and artists around, what makes you stand out? If you had to sell yourself to a music fan, what would you tell them? 

CS: I write songs, then I work hard to record, mix and master them. I play them in various venues large and small with different formations. I’ll sell you at the show. And maybe over dinner.

TITL: To what extent have your musical influences changed over the course of your life and how do and have those influences impact the music you’ve made and make now?

CS: Music has a funny way of influencing you at different times for different reasons. I hate to admit it, but I’ve only recently discovered the Harry Nilsson record Pussy Cats which is at this very moment affecting me profoundly.

TITL: Which one band or artist might you say you sound most similar to? 

CS: Only the best ones.

TITL: Who or what is your biggest inspiration when it comes to music and song-writing? 

CS: It’s a funny thing that one… you don’t wanna look too high otherwise you get cold feet and wanna give up because your heroes can make you feel like you just pale in comparison. I think my biggest inspiration is making the time, then actually taking it, and not taking myself too seriously. Things tend to get better and better as you go.

TITL: Your new album has been praised by the likes of Mojo and Classic Rock among others, but do you actually care much about what critics think or are you more concerned with the thoughts of your fans? 

CS: It’s always nice to get a nod here and there but if I was here for it I might as well be selling yogurt. My favorite place to know whether people are into what I’m doing is on stage. It’s immediate and clear. No filters.

TITL: The album features co-writes/collaborations with Ryan Adams and Zac Rae of Death Cab For Cutie. How did those collaborations come about and what did each bring to the writing/creative process for the album?

CS: I met Ryan when we were just kids. We were guys in the 3rd room at the time of The Rolling Stones who were working on Bridges to Babylon. We were just a couple of kids back then but really became close when he and Ethan Johns asked me to come play on Gold. At some point later Ryan had built his studio, PaxAm and invited me to come be creative there. With him… without him. He was ever so supportive. He ended up helping me finish Criminal Mind.

Zac Rea is force of nature in his own right. If you want that X-Factor in your music he will deliver every time. He’s one of my favorite people to work with and like Ryan and really everyone else really helped me make this record.

TITL: If you had to pick your favourite song on the album, which would it be and why? 

CS: They all hold a very special place. I guess some of the more fun sessions were the ones that were recorded with the most folks playing at the same time. “Lonely Nights”, “Don’t be Afraid”… those were some exciting times in the studio.

TITL: Your music has been included in several films, including I, Tonya and American Hustle as well as in the US version of the hit show Shameless, in which you also appeared. What impact did having that happen have on your career in terms of audience/fan base interaction and interest? 

CS: Well, it doesn’t hurt to be a part of Academy Award winning film. Or working with David O’Russell, Mark Batson, John Wells or Sue Jacobs. I mean, they’re the best in their fields. If anything it’s a good confidence booster, isn’t it?

TITL: As a modern day artist, and given how long you’ve been in and around the industry, how are you finding social media’s impact on your career? Would you agree it’s a vital tool in today’s world or do you think we as a general society have become far too reliant on it?

CS: I think social media has leveled the playing field. Sadly it also seems to have sucked all the life out of any mystery in this world. But you really have to have lived when that still existed to know what I’m talking about. Is social media vital? Yes. It’s running everything and everyone into a big opaque blobby data mine.

TITL: You’ve got a final number of 2018 shows coming up. For anyone who hasn’t seen you before, what can people expect from your performances?

CS: For me, my shows are like a release… all the energy that goes into it… the work, the travel, the road, the life… it all culminates on stage.

TITL: If you could play one venue that you haven’t yet, which would it be and why? 

CS: I have always dreamed of playing the Royal Albert Hall. Do I really need to ex.plain that one?

TITL: Finally then, now that 2018 is almost over, have you started planning for 2019 yet? What can fans expect to see and hear from you in the near future? 

CS: Plan nothing. Be careless. Enjoy yourselves. And somewhere in 2019, another Chris Stills record will come rumbling in.

To keep up to date with Chris Stills, visit his website, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Instagram. His album ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ is available now. Photo credit: Dove Shore.