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MAY AND THE BEAUTY OF BALLERINO

Since Adele I don’t believe I have heard the depth of a voice like that of May. She brings an ambience of darkness – light and the feeling that something really amazing is about to happen. It has been a blessing to work with her since meeting in New York and we are so pleased to bring you her latest offering ‘Ballerino’

Thank you May – it ‘s beautiful.

M A Y 

Ballerino is filled with Parisian undertones – please share how this resonates within you

Firstly, I love French music. The romance and melancholy of artists like Edith Piaf and Jacque Brel resonates with me… I have always found inspiration in music with great depth and beauty like theirs.

For this song in particular – A few years ago I lived in Paris and this past July I returned for the first time. The visit brought back many memories and took my mind back to a time when I was younger and more naive. It was during this reflection that I was inspired to begin writing ‘Ballerino.’

With similarities to both the works of Nina Simone and Leonard Cohen can you tell us about these influences

Leonard Cohen is my favorite artist. I listen to his records constantly and was introduced to his music by my mother. Alongside his beautiful music, I admire his lyrics and poetry.

Whilst recording ‘Ballerino’, (which was live) I took myself to a place where I imagined Nina Simone would be back in the day – In an underground, smoke filled jazz club. I wanted the song to sound heartfelt and authentic.

With 2016 holding some heavy moments for all – did it have an affect on your song writing

2016 was a very emotional year for so many of us worldwide, and also personally for me as I very sadly lost my father in November. I wanted to enter into 2017 with a message of love, acceptance and hope.

Regarding my songwriting, I am inspired by life and whether that be something that brings me joy or complete despair, I find great comfort in putting my emotions into song.

a may music

What can you tell us about the making of this beautiful video Ballerino

I originally had the idea to film a more abstract and lyrical piece with a music box ballerina twirling in slow-motion. Then I met with my friend, director Meredith Truax, who quite literally brought my idea to life and introduced me to the wonderful dancer, Shay Bares. Shay was incredibly moved by the song, and choreographed his dance especially for the video. His performance was exquisite and from the moment he stepped into the spotlight and in front of the camera I knew it was going to be something special. I am so thankful for the finished product, and to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such talented people.

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Jesse Kinch – Long Island NY

a jesse

” Jim Morrison returns but with all the character he was lacking in his haze. Far beyond his 20 years Jesse Kinch a real ‘thinker’ shows his generation the best of the old and the new. Watch him go… ”  – Fresh Independence

 Home is where your story begins, please tell us a little about yours.

I consider myself really fortunate…I grew up in a very loving, musical, and free spirited household. I never felt any pressure to be something I wasn’t. It was always what I wanted to be that mattered and I’m always grateful for that. My parents were always very supportive of my musical dreams. I have to say that my fondest memories in my home are the ones that involve music. There was always music playing every single day…everything from 60’s to 90’s rock…and other than rock, there were many other kinds of music being played like soft ballads from Sarah Brightman or Andrea Bocelli. When I was a child, I always remember waking up to music and closing my eyes to music…I was introduced to one great song after another. I also recall watching a lot of concerts on T.V. with my family. A few I can think of off the top of my head are Stevie Nicks live at red rocks, Yanni, Jimi at Monterey, Fleetwood Mac’s “The Dance”, and Rage against the Machine live in Mexico City. Those were my favorites! Growing up in my home was the reason I was exposed to so many different artists at such a young age. When I think about it, the word “home” is very special to me. I don’t feel that it has just one superficial meaning. It is where I heard my first song, played my first note, sang my first song, wrote my first song, and most importantly, it was a place I always felt most secure and creative.

How do you best describe your musical style?

I feel that many things coincide with each other to make up my musical style. Every song I’ve ever loved, every lyric and voice that has touched my soul, every experience that sits in my memory… I think that all subconsciously comes out of me when I perform and write. It all makes up who I am. When I perform, I put absolutely all my energy into my vocal and playing. I always found myself attracted to the singers who would belt out a song with every ounce of passion they have in their soul. Every song I sing on stage seems to stir up certain emotions and feelings that I never express or show in person…so I let it all out right there in that moment…and naturally just lose myself in the music. Even when I record, I make sure I put that same passion and energy into the song just as I do on stage. When it comes to my songs…I feel my style is something melodic, driving, and kind of dark…I think in general that’s the type of music I’ve always listened to. Dynamically, I think a lot of my songs start off softer, then gradually build into something heavier…I can also completely transition from singing something driving and intense to singing a soft ballad. I absolutely love ballads…Since I was little I could listen to something so soft and beautiful and then put on a rock song. I think it is so important to have a ballad or two in the mix of an album or a show…It adds to the dynamics and… really….I would feel one dimensional without listening or singing ballads.

a jess

 Tell us a little about how the song writing process works for you.

I’ll sit in my sanctuary…my music room…alone…free…just me and my guitar…strum a few open chords and I’ll hum a melody. If that melody catches my ear, it’s a song. Usually after that, I start to sing syllables, then syllables turn into words, which turns into a lyric that makes sense and means something to me. For some reason music and melody always come first, but I always feel that if you come up with something really melodic, you need a strong lyric to compliment the music and melody. It’s the icing on the cake, you know? Sure…the boxer by Simon and Garfunkel has a nice melody and guitar pick, but what would it be without “I am just a poor boy though my story’s seldom told…I have squandered my resistance for a pocket full of mumbles such are promises”. Also like I said before…I feel that everything I listen to subconsciously comes out of me when I write. Usually the night before I come up with something, I listen to a lot of my favorite records. As a writer, listening to music and lyrics is some of the best inspiration I can have.

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