Dido Talks Music, White Flag & Independence

How did music come to you?

I spent a lot of my childhood in my own head, making up stories. I didn’t have a lot of outside influences, so I was able to make my own decisions about what I wanted to do. My dad’s Irish music was very much a part of me.
I feel very warm towards Mum and Dad for giving us the independence they did. My childhood, and the fact we didn’t have a TV, gave me a boundless imagination. Looking back, I think that’s why I did music. I’d get home from school and the house would be so quiet.

‘I’m in love and I always will be.’ Tell us about White Flag…

That was about my ex fiance a long while back – we broke up and it was a classic heart break song. I really meant it at the time.
With anyone that you love you always have a love for them, it doesn’t just simply die. But in this case it was probably more true back then than it is now for me.
It’s a great song and I still enjoy performing it. I like watching the audience respond and feeling you can put everything into it.

Breakups have a way of building you up or tearing you down – it’s nice to see you so happy now.

The older you get, the more you realize you’re drifting toward a direction, and sometimes your significant other drifts into an opposite direction. You can’t blame anybody for it. I like being a strong, independent woman, and to be honest, I was never afraid to be on my own. It’s great to go on your own and discover new things just for yourself, to meet new people and all that. If you’re all on your own, then there is nobody there to guide you and you have to make all the decisions for yourself. It’s quite liberating in a way.

Life For Rent Is – it’s an interesting thought…

I’m too much of a control freak and I learned with ‘Life For Rent’ that my life isn’t really my own. I only rented it for a while, but if I don’t manage to buy it, to own it, then nothing of what I think is mine is really mine.

It seems too often that people assume that when you begin to succeed that you are rich – but it is not true – right?

Well we know that time and hard work bring us to a better place if we stay with it and are loyal but there was a time in fact, I’d just wanted to own something. Everyone thought of me as glamorous, rich and famous but all I had was some recording equipment and a battered old BMW.

Any advice for us women supporting women?

30 – 40 – 50 there is no age for women anymore. Time gives us something that others have yet to find. Be proud of yourself exactly as you are. Don’t be afraid to be on your own. Sometimes I feel it’s great to just disappear, grab a suitcase, switch the answering machine on and just go somewhere else.

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David Ramirez- On Tour Now


Photography by: Ruben Marin

Written by: Britt Nicole 

David Ramirez is a man in love. In love with music, the world and the very art of both: their intimate power to change people and affect change, in a multitude of ways. You can feel that he writes from experience, from his heart and explorations with the world and with himself—not just what he imagines it to be.

Since his late teens, he’s written his way through life, and you can hear it in his music, song-to-song, album-to-album. It’s completely organic and relatable—his voice changes and molds with his character, the visions he’s seen and stories he tells, just like growing up.


A born-Texan now based in Austin, he and his new band take you through childhood, death and everything in between. He shares moments he’s felt free, and moments he’s felt confined, visions of his more conservative childhood and visions of an open world. All with beautiful country/folk/rock, Tom Petty-esque tunes and a melodic Johnny Cash-like voice, wise beyond its years.

The music is nothing short of healing, invigorating, like the best music is.

“After the show, I would hope that [my fans] feel something. When you go see a great movie, you’re a different person walking out of that film then you were going into it. I want to do great work, and that applies to the shows as well. I want it to be a good time, but I do hope that people walk out of here differently then they came. That’s always the goal.”

And with the crowd as it was—it was clear that everyone felt more than just a good time. Clusters of fans sang along, cheered exuberantly at the start of a melodic love ballad, even slow-danced. Maybe they, too, had lived a free life, traveling in their car for 6-months, like David, or maybe they had experienced another similar feeling, through a completely different experience. Regardless, his music is relatable.


Though the event was at a popular bar and music venue, it was clear that a majority of the fans came specifically for David and his headline tour, maybe even back from his last San Diego show in May.

With a musician who believes in growth, life and reflection—and with a new band he’s excited to tour with—we can only expect much greater things.

David Ramirez On Tour Now

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Sun Culture- Nashville, TN

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What could the world use more of? -Always more cowbell.

Letting go means leaving something behind.


Title track, ‘Crooked Line’ sets the tone for a revival and caustic ambience to lure the ears into Sun Culture.

Crafts the perfect soundtrack for hot summer days.  

Sun Culture 2

Photo Credit: Mikaela Hamilton Photography

Sun Culture, a distinctive name. Tell us more:

 The whole idea for this project centered around fun music that had a summery vibe to it. I was thinking a lot about beaches and sunny days when we worked on this music.

How did Music find you?

I have always loved writing songs, and began pursuing that at a young age. I eventually signed with a major label as a solo artist and released a record, then returned to my first love: making music independently. That’s how Sun Culture was born.

 Does your musical inspiration derive from Nashville?

Nashville inspires me in many ways. I get to soak in the amazing music scene here and listen to all kinds of great new bands and songs, and I am also motivated by the immense pool of talent here, both as a songwriter and a producer.


Sun Culture, where was it recorded? Was the Album culminated to tell a story as a whole, or a compilation of eight songs over time?

 Sun Culture was one of the last records to come out of Fantasy Land Studio in Gallatin, TN before they moved to their new location in Nashville. My friend Jordan and I co-produced the record, and we wrote most of the songs while we were in the studio. As a result, I think this album is very much a snapshot of a moment in time for me.

 Would you share a story behind one of the songs?

Crooked Line is particularly meaningful to me because it speaks to how difficult it is to start over with something new. In many ways, this is how I felt about making the record. I was scared to start something new, and I knew it would take a lot of work, but I knew it was worth it. When we sat down to discuss the order of the songs, this was a clear choice to open the album.

 What does the perfect summer day look like to you?

 I’d love to be sipping lemonade outside with good friends and something delicious on the grill.

 Everyone is always looking for new music. Shout-out to who you cannot get enough of lately: 

 I’ve been really digging the new Magic Man and Strange Talk albums. Both very solid.

Sun Culture 5

 How did/have you grown as a songwriter since the Sun Culture Album?

 I tried to tackle some more complex topics on this record than what I’ve written in the past and tried to draw inspirations from some unexpected places.

There are hints that Sun Culture will be releasing a new single, ‘Young Blood.’ What is the essence behind this song?

 The song is all about the feeling of being young and invincible. It’s about those nights where you think you could can take on the world and win.

When in Nashville you must…

Visit Pancake Pantry! It just doesn’t get better than a good batch of fresh pancakes.

Sun Culture is hosting a Dinner Party. Fill in the blanks…

The dinner party is at Panda Express, because I have a serious addiction. I arrive in my spacious yet gas-efficient Kia Soul, wearing shorts and a tee along with the most glorious set of Crocs your eyes have ever beheld. I walk through the door with a Russian supermodel on my arm, much to the surprise of Abraham Lincoln, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and of course Juan Pablo. We listen to three copies of Yeezus on repeat, while drinking the finest Italian wines, coupled with value meals from Taco Bell. If the conversation is lacking, I simply attempt to present Ms. Swift with an award, then sit back and enjoy.

Sun Culture 3

Sun Culture has always wondered why?

Sun Culture has always wondered why not.

On a final note: A quote or piece of advice that will always stay with you?

 “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I cannot tell you how much this means to me. It really is true, pursue your passions and find a way to support yourself doing what you love.


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Nate Maingard – Cape Town, South Africa / London

Nate Maingard is living proof that amazing things come from Capetown where the surf is cold, the mountains rugged and raw creativity runs wild and free.

We caught up with him to find out more about the man behind his music.

Now located in London, Nate Maingard brings forth his organic essence and love for mankind in his latest album ‘In the Shadows’ which will drop on 12/12/13 but you can Pre Order it right here, right now:

I N   T H E   S H A D O W S 

1. Home is where your story begins, please tell us a little about yours and where you are from.

I’m from a little village in South Africa, on the outskirts of Cape Town. The village is named Scarborough and I grew up with the ocean and the mountain as my neighbours. I think those early years shaped my views of life a huge amount. Home is a recurring theme in my music.

a capetown

2. How do you best describe your musical style?

I would say lyrical and melodic. If we go for a genre, then indie-folk or folk-rock would probably describe it.

 3. When did you know music was going to be an important part of your life?

I come from a musical family and so I’ve always been around music. I think it started with lyrics for me though. From a very young age I was fascinated by the images lyrics could make in my mind; so I just grew into this place of writing music from wanting to communicate in the same way music has communicated with me.

4. Which lyrics are closest to your heart and tell us what they mean to you.

“See me trapped within this construct

Beating at the locked up door and

Gripped tight deep within my fist

Is the key to all I’ve missed

That the pain is just the teacher

And the cage is just a myth.”

I love that verse because it’s so true for me that sometimes I push so hard to make things how I want them to be when if I just relaxed the things I need already rest right in the palm of my hand.

a Nate collage

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