Robert Alfond
United States
DANKO FROM LAY ZHANG’S MUSIC COLLECTIVE ‘D.N.A’ RELEASES NEW SINGLE “EXCEPT” Today, a new single is released under international idol Lay Zhang’s (LAY) very own music collective called the D.N.A Music Alliance, a curated collection of talented and emerging Chinese musicians that are to dominate the music industry on a global level. The new track, “Except,” is from rapper DANKO, which comes off the heels of back-to-back releases such as “21” by rapper GALI and “What She Said” by Vinida plus the group effort, “Break My Heart.” All releases are under the executive reproduction by LAY himself.

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D.N.A’s stacked line up consisting of 7 talented artists, including DANKO, GALI, Vinida and LAY himself debuted the collective with a full group project called “Cyphers.” Along with an experienced production team, with one of their producers being GRAMMY® award-winning producer Murda Beatz, this group of artists continues to expand its global reach. This next release sets the tone with a new subunit of the Alliance that is long-awaited and showcases a distinct style.

LAY’s production skills shine through in his ability to craft captivating melodies, intricate beats, and atmospheric soundscapes that elevate the overall quality and aesthetics of the song. His creative vision and attention to detail contribute to the success and sonic appeal of the track, showcasing his versatility and talent as a multi-faceted artist in the realm of music production.

With a fluid flow, GALI’s abilities are unmatchable when it comes to style, he is a chameleon when it comes to adapting to different styles of music. GALI effortlessly showcases his lyrics and clever rhymes with his songs. With impeccable control and sense of flow, the artist creates a new style of rap that captivates the listener from start to finish.

Shanghai-based, hip-hop pioneer GALI is a rising star in the Chinese hip-hop music scene. He has established himself as a rapper and one of the most watched rappers in China, having been third runner-up of the 2020 hit show, Rap of China. His thoughtful lyrics and connotative taste distinguish him from other rappers. He continued to demonstrate that he is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry with the recent release of a single titled. “Stay With ME ((因你而在)” with YIHUIK (苡慧). The well-known Chinese rapper is all set to take his fans on an electrifying journey when he brings his much-anticipated ATLANTIS tour to Melbourne’s 170 Russell on Sunday, July 23, fresh from a slot at Australia’s premier festival Splendour in the Grass.

China-based rapper, DANKO is no stranger to the public in Asia and has become a household name from his vibrant career. He debuted in 2011 with his first album, “Illusion Human Nature” and soon became part of several known groups. He’s toured the United States and has released an array of hit singles, even appearing on the hit TV show, “The Rap of China’’ like his predecessors that brought him to prominence. This latest release is a testament to DANKO and LAY’s undeniable chemistry as artist and producer. The track showcases the pair’s perfect blend of rhythmic beats and verses to catch melodies effortlessly executed under a classical instrumental.

LAY has been and continues to be a household name in Asia, and his career his been a whirlwind the last three years after joining forces with Steve Aoki and for the 2020 hit cross-cultural collaborationLove You More, reaching #1 on the QQ Music China chart. He then released a string of hits with an album, two EP’s, cross-genre collaborations and solo singles overseas further propelling his international star power. The Chinese icon is one of the most beloved stars in the region with a loyal and highly engaged 51 million followers on Weibo and over 14.2 million followers on Instagram. As a solo artist, the entrepreneur’s career has skyrocketed to tremendous success, becoming the highest-ranked Mando-pop star on Billboard 200 chart and the first Chinese artist to enter the iTunes Top 60 in the U.S.; with his third solo albumNAMANANA. Outside of music, he routinely showcases his skills for acting in TV and film roles, hosted multiple top-rated reality shows in Asia and is one of the most awarded artists in China. Now, LAY is working with a multitude of established and emerging artists to help bring their star power overseas with this project close to his heart.

 Folk singer Matt Zaddy Debuts Stunning Song “What Comes Around” With a sound that seamlessly blends folk rock and modern soul, there’s something for every music fan to love about singer/songwriter Matt Zaddy. For his new single, Zaddy went back in the studio with Emmy award winning and Juno nominated producer Ross Citrullo (The Sheepdogs, Julian Taylor Band). Together with Ross’ own version of the “Wrecking Crew,” and Matt’s partner in life and music, Heather Christine, this team of heavy hitters led to the high-energy result that is “What Comes Around.”

The song was inspired by the struggle to do what you love. When we’re busy, we don’t always think about the difficulties and hard times we all face in life. Despite how hard it is, all we can do is try to be positive, reflect, and remember to take it one day at a time; to fight another day to do what we love. This song is like a conversation that Zaddy is having in the mirror, or a conversation with his wife.

In essence, “What Comes Around” blends the uncertainty that comes with the daily grind with the hope you need to move forward, in a way that is motivating.

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The Tuesday Nighters Honor an Indigenous Soldier on New Single “Eddie” The Tuesday Nighters are a Canadian rock n’ roll band with a spirit found on the dance floors of downtown Toronto, and a soul in the small towns and countryside of Northern Ontario.

The song “Eddie” was inspired by the story of Private Eddie Namaypoke, an Indigenous soldier and residential school runaway who was killed in WWII and is buried in the Rome War Cemetery. The band wanted to honour him with this haunting retelling of Eddie’s very sad story through the power of music.

Songwriter Taylor Prestidge visited his grave there and later met his surviving family at Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung (The Manitou Mounds) in Northwestern Ontario (near Kenora). To our knowledge, this is the only time Eddie has been visited in that cemetery. This story was chronicled by Taylor in an article published in Maclean’s Remembrance Day Issue in 2016.

The band felt that it was extremely fitting that it was recorded at Jukasa Studio, which sits on the Six Nations Land. Furthermore, 50% of all proceeds from the song will be donated to the Downie Wenjack fund.

Take a moment to listen and reflect on “Eddie.”
Michel Neray Comes Alive on  “The Road” from debut LP As a singer-songwriter, Michel combines the lyrical sensibilities of Leonard Cohen, the musical styling of Jason Isbell, and the vocal versatility of Billy Joel. His songs are musical journeys that dig deep into the human experience, with ear worm worthy melodies and quirky, intelligent lyrics.

As a professional motivational speaker, Michel also peppers his live shows with stories and conversation that keep the audience engaged beyond the music.

Michel’s debut LP Kiss The Rock comes from an at first contradictory kayaking method. When you are in white water and approaching a jutting rock your instinct is to paddle away from the impediment, in reality the safest method is to lean into contact with the rock and let the current push you to its side. The metaphor of kissing the rock to life is all about embracing our challenges.

The collection of songs is a dynamic blend of Americana and singer-songwriter, where Michel’s unique artistic voice and inspirations meld. Focus single “The Road” is a reflective and vulnerable track, whilst being driving in tone and cathartic in meaning. An allegory to our personal journey as we travel through existence often in an uncertain space.

“we are all ‘driving through the night with one headlight, but it’s better than driving blind’.”

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Sia Shells Is Free On “Your Mermaid” Toronto based singer-songwriter and real life mermaid Sia Shells rhymes about the everyday magic we find through relationships, self love, reflection and dreams. Her emotive contralto vocals juxtaposed against enchanting lyrics and upbeat dream pop sounds instantly transport you underwater.

Coinciding perfectly with Disney’s live action version of The Little Mermaid, Sia has created “Your Mermaid,” an anthem for her ocean loving beach babes. The tropical seashell sounds evoke the nostalgia of Ariel, Flounder and co. while the chorus resembles the ethereal calls of a siren, managing to keep it positive and uplifting instead of too moody and dark.

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