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R5- Los Angeles, California

Sweet jams in adolescent times. 

R5 is tearing up the scene.

Creating beats and playing guitar riffs consumed their down time- It’s in their veins.

Stories were told, laughs made, and bond between each member is more than blood.

[Shout-out to Ryland Lynch. Hands down the freshest lighting designer of this generation]

An album perfect for playing in the car. And by that: summer nights, with the top down, cruising down the highway and cranking the music up. Not just loud. Louder.

“Forget About You” about an emotional freefall sparked by love.

R5 12

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Justin James – Vancouver, B.C. / Cabarete, Dominican Republic

By Kim Laureen 

The best part of what we do is stumbling upon genuine people making real music. Vancouver native Justin James is a refreshing soul taking his one shot at life and making it count. Justin spends half the year touring and the other half finding inspiration in the surf, and creating beautiful music from the majestic view of the Dominican Republic. He has found his missing piece in that paradise he calls home.

1. Home is where your story begins please tell us about where you come from.

Canada! My home and native land. I was born in beautiful Vancouver on the Pacific Ocean and it was an incredible place to grow up. If you have never been to Vancouver it’s a must. One of the most beautiful cities in the world. And no we don’t live in igloos. 

2. How would you best describe your musical style?

My style is based on my island lifestyle. I moved to the tropics at 16 and fell in love with the carefree way of life. I write most of my music sitting on a beach so if I can drift someone away from the hustle and bustle of city life and transport them to an island for a few minutes…then I’ll be a happy camper.

3. We know you love windsurfing… tell us how it feels to you.

Fresh Independence! I fly over water. Any stress just disappears when I hit the ocean. I am very blessed to live in one of the worlds best water-sports destinations. Cabarete D.R. We have world class surfing, kiteboarding and windsurfing and I do them all. I have my gear set up ready to go. Yesterday I actually canceled a meeting when the wind picked up to a solid 25 knots. Priorities! Here is a video of me wind surfing in my back yard!

4. Where do your songs come from? Ideas/Experiences/Emotions Tell us how your creations take form.

The music comes from just playing and playing and letting a groovy chord progression pop up. Then most of the time the first few lyrics just flow and that’s enough to give direction. Inspiration doesn’t last for hours, it’s a flash and then it comes down to sanding the corners and polishing it . Then you need to play it live and sometimes I’m still tweaking it right up to the moment I’m about to record it! 

5. Can you share with us about your encounter with the tiger shark: the event that you say changed your life… what happened on that day and where did that journey take you?

Well to answer this question we would need a novel…but let’s say “everything happens for a reason”. I was a professional windsurfer and music was a hobby and today I’m a professional musician and windsurfing is my hobby. I can’t express how that day changed me. I don’t even think it dawned on me till years later. One thing I know for sure is that life can be cut short. The best way to realize that you better do what you love is to realize how short life is! 250 stitches…lost 1/2 my blood…1 year to walk again. How can I not chase my dream?

a jj surf

 Ana Gabriel Photography

6. How has your music evolved over the last decade?

I think if you work on your craft it just gets better. That is the hope anyway. I used to think I needed some crazy cool chords to impress but really all you need is a great chord progression, a great melody, great lyrics and a great delivery. That’s a lot of greats…but it beats crazy cool any day ;) a jj album cover

Get it here:  J U S T I N   J A M E S   I  S  L  A  N  D  S   

7. Which is your favourite song on your latest album ‘Islands’, and please tell us the meaning behind it.

My new album is “Islands”, which was released on August 13, 2013. One of my favourite songs is “Boy Overboard.” It’s about being overboard in love with all the terms of the song based around sailing and the ocean. “If you and I are ships out on the ocean, I will look for you on my Horizons.” It is not your typical radio song but it is one of my favourites. 

8. What do you like to do on a lazy Sunday?

Is it football season? If not…hit the beach…go surf, bbq, play some music w/ some friends. Nothing crazy.

a custom painted Taylor Guitar

9. While on the road aside from communication, what is the one thing you can not live without?

My guitar.

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ORLY- Sydney, Australia/ New York

Photos by Marvin Joseph
Hair & Make Up by Rhonda May 
Artwork by Galya Kay

Seamlessly blending the essence of soul with the sophistication of blues, Australian songstress ORLY burst onto the scene with the debut of her self­-titled EP in 2009. Armed with a transcendent voice, relateable lyrics, and a profound passion for music, ORLY quickly established herself as an emerging young voice in soul, touring throughout the world winning over fans with her impassioned performances.

Distraction latest Album by ORLY Available HERE

1. Home is where your story begins, can you tell us a bit about yours?

I grew up in the most beautiful city in the world, Sydney, Australia, with the greatest family ever. 

2. How did Music find you?

My sister is 9 years older than me. She played piano as a kid. She would sit for what I remember to be hours, playing Billy Joel songs on the piano and sing along. I’d hide behind her and watch her practice and was completely mesmerised. Once she walked away, I’d sit on the piano stool and pretend to be as good as her. By the time I was 4 or 5, I begged my parents to get me a piano teacher. That’s where it started… 

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ANA FREE- Portugal, London, LA

“Ana Free’s true zest for life and sympathetic heart, light the night to a new found soul with style and sass.”– Fresh Independence

Hailing from Portugal, finding roots in London, and currently exploring Los Angeles, Ana Free brought herself to life through the universal sensation YouTube.

It is apparent that songwriting runs through Ana Free’s veins, “I’m a songwriter at heart. The fact that I can sing is just an added bonus for what I love doing which is writing and coming up with ways to say what I feel and get it out. It’s a real therapy for me. I feel like no important chapter of my life is ever really closed or understood until I’ve “written” it out of my system.” She will fill you up and keep you real so come on and take a Free ride:

Learn more about Ana Free as we played twenty questions with her from one of our favorite places: Playa Del Carmen, MEXICO.

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