Latvian Music News

December

2

Dec

New Christmas album by Very Cool People, Ralfs Eilands and Kristīne Prauliņa

On the 1st of December Latvian singers Ralfs Eilands and Kristīne Prauliņa and jazz-funk band Very Cool People are releasing the joint holiday album Snowman's Express. The album includes new original songs and self-arranged versions of well-known holiday tunes. The new album is creating a joyful party atmosphere in the best traditions of funk and soul.

The album consists of twelve songs including original pieces St. James and Call Me This Christmas, written by the participants of the Christmas project themselves. The first single of this album is Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmas Time, on the record you will also hear John Lennon's Happy Xmas (War Is Over), Christmas traditional pieces like Silent Night, Jingle Bells and Auld Lang Syne, as well as Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!, Winter Wonderland, Merry Christmas Baby and even Sugar Flute Laughter Dance from Pyotr Tchaikovsky's ballet Nutcracker, all passionately and skillfully arranged by one the best funkers from the Baltic States – Very Cool People.

Participants of the project Snowman’s Express: Ralfs Eilands – vocals;  Kristīne Prauliņa – vocals; Oskars Ozoliņš – trumpet; Māris Jēkabsons – tenor sax; Laura Rozenberga – trombone; Kristaps Lubovs – baritone sax; Elvijs Grafcovs – guitar;  Māris Vitkus – organ, keyboards & synth; Valters Sprūdžs – bass;  Andris Buiķis – drums, percussions, glockenspiel.

All tunes produced by E.Grafcovs, V.Sprūdžs & R.Eilands. All tunes arranged by E.Grafcovs & M.Jēkabons, except Call Me This Christmas arranged by V.Sprūdžs & M.Jēkabsons and Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy arranged by M.Jēkabsons.  Recorded by Ivars Ozols, Gints Lundbergs & Pauls Davis Megi from in July 2018 at Sound Division Studio (Riga, Latvia).  Additional vocal recordings by Edgars Skrāģis at Meduza/Jump Studio (Riga, Latvia);  mixed by Krišjānis Geidāns at Ansons Lab Studio (Riga, Latvia); mastered by Jānis Kalve at Labo Ierakstu Studio (Riga, Latvia). Design & artwork by Mārtiņš Legzdiņš.

“Very Cool People” is a jazz-funk band originated in Riga, Latvia. With a backbone in jazz, funk and soul, incorporating influences from surf, klezmer, rock and hip-hop, the band using contemporary tools is trying to put jazz & funk back to dancefloor and make it more accessible to ordinary, nowadays persons. In 2018 besides regular gigs in Latvia, the band has gone to a concert tour around South Korea in August and a concert tour in Hungary and Romania in November. The band is also nominated for the biggest European showcase “Eurosonic Noorderslag 2019”, which will take place on January 2019 in Groningen, The Netherlands.

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November

26

Nov

Festival Summer Sound announces the festival dates in Liepaja and a party in Riga

Summer Sound 2019 will take place in Liepaja on the 2nd and 3rd of August and it will be the 9th time when festival visitors are invited to enjoy music and art on the beach of Liepaja. But already on the 9th of March, the greatest spring party will take place at the Riga National Sports Manege - Summer Sound Spring Session.

For the first time in the history of the festival Summer Sound is organising a one night event in Riga with the participation of German electronical music DJ Tujamo, famous Latvian band Bermudu Divstūris and the party king of the festival - DJ Toms Grēviņš. It will be a flaming party throughout the night, marking the end of winter and the coming of summer. 

Uldis Pabērzis, Director of the Festival, explains the idea of organising the Summer Sound Spring Session party in March: “Summer 2018 was fantastic – rich with many different events. To prolong this wonderful summer mood for a moment and set the feeling for the summer of 2019, we, the organisers of the festival, have planned a spring event in Riga, which will allow us to recall the best moments from this summer and set the mood for the next year’s biggest beach event in Liepaja - Summer Sound".

Summer Sound Spring Session party will take place at the Riga National Sports Manege, at Kojusalas iela 9, Riga.

Summer Sound and Summer Sound Spring Session tickets are available at summersound.lv and all Biļešu Serviss box offices in Latvia.

Ticket prices till 9 December:

Summer Sound Spring Session - EUR 20

Festival Summer Sound - EUR 29

Unified ticket - Summer Sound Spring Session and Summer Sound festival - EUR 47

Tickets are only available at this special price until 9 December, later they will become more expensive.

In 2019, Summer Sound Festival will take place for the 9th time, and it has certainly become one of the most important summer music events in the Baltics. Thousands of visitors prove it, because each year they travel to the wonderful beach of Liepaja to enjoy two days of musical fun and relaxation right on the seaside. Every year the festival features more than 50 artists providing a diverse entertainment and activity programme.

Aldaris - bringing taste to the party, the festival is supported by Liepaja City, informative partner – Radio SWH.

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13

Nov

Chris Noah releases his first music video

Today on the 13th of November, the musician Chris Noah published his first music video for his single “Fall Through”, which has been made in collaboration with artists Peteris Viksna and Ieva Aleksejeva.

Chris Noah’s song “Fall Through” was released in the beginning of September to the most popular radio stations in Latvia and in music streaming platforms. The song “Fall Through” has received wide range of support not only from local listeners but also some foreign music tops and it has been added to some prestige music playlists both on YouTube and Spotify. British blogger “AlexRainBirdMusic” list, which includes this song, has been listened to more than 900 000 times and this song, has been added to many indie music lists in Spotify.

Authors of the music video tried not to hold on to the clichés, but they tried to preserve the video to suit the song, but at the same time letting the viewer make his own interpretations about what is seen. It has also been noted that this is the first music video of this artist and one of the main goals was to introduce the listeners with the main hero.

Chris Noah about the song: “In this song, I represent what it is like to be in a new relationship, when at first everything is great, everything is real, but when you stop and think about it, you realize that it has all been just in the beginning moments. We can indirectly see how fast our environment, perspective and feelings can change. It is just in our human nature that we are trying to find something new, or that we are trying to get answers to our uncertainties.”

Song has been made in collaboration with British music producer Kristofer Harris, who visited Latvia in May of 2018, to make three singles with this musician. Music video has been made, thanks to the collaboration with “Spirits & Wine”.

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12

Nov

Markus Riva and Aminata sing together for the “Last Dance”

Two Latvian pop acts, that are well known not only in Latvia, just have released a brand-new duet called “Last Dance”. It is written by Markus Riva and produced by Kaspars Ansons who stands behind Aminata’s 2015 Eurovision anthem “Love Injected”.

Both musicians are friends for several years, they both were competing at Supernova 2015 (National competition of Eurovision Song Contest), where  Aminata won and Markus with “Take Me Down” ended up at second place.

“I had this idea about a duet with Aminata for a long time because I love what she is doing, I love her attitude and music. When I was working on my latest album “I can”, I wrote this song “Last Dance” but because of the bad timing, we did not manage to record this as a duet. But luckily, soon after the album release, song is out as a single and features Aminata”, says Markus.

“I was very happy when Markus offered me to do a collaboration because I knew that it is going to  be a well produced and exciting project like Markus is himself. I was in love with “Last Dance” from the very first second - I like melody, lyrics and production by Kaspars Ansons. I am super excited about this collaboration and hope everyone else as well.

Both artists have worked on several projects with Kaspars Ansons, he has produced few tracks in Markus Riva latest LP release “I Can”. This is a sad song about fading relationships and last dance, last night together before there is someone else who will come. This is their very first duet together.

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12

Nov

Hot new act from Baltics Neon Saturdays release their album Freaks in The Ocean

Latvian four-piece Neon Saturdays released their second full-length album Freaks in The Ocean in November 9th. The latest effort undoubtedly puts them on the map as one of the finest new music groups from the Baltic states and is a strong signal that the new generation of artists from this region has a lot to offer.

Inspired by tragedy and much needed change

Intriguingly titled second album tells tales about the childhood and teenage years spend living in a post-soviet territory, the band explains.

“Growing up is rarely an uneventful experience isn’t it? It was quite an adventure for the four of us. The way childhood shaped our minds and characters was the reason we eventually found each other, I think. We became musicians because we were eager to comment on the world around us but felt too small or unimportant to just speak,” said the singer and leader of the band Andris Evelis.

“I guess you can say that we needed superhero costumes – an intricate mechanism that would give us confidence. Stage does that to you,” said the drummer Linards Lazdins.

“We think that this is the century of people who are plagued by the feeling of being out of place. Never before in history have we questioned social norms, our own values and behavior with more vigor than now. This causes both tragedy and much needed change and inspired us to the point we found ourselves dedicating a lot of our creative work to the current times we live in,” commented guitarist and songwriter Edvins Rakickis.

“The album touches on various topics such as breaking various societal routines, perils of repeating parental mistakes, endless search for something new when you think you've already seen it all. Each song is a separate story and is based on our own experiences both tragic and joyful. That is also why the vibe changes throughout the whole album,” said the bassist and songwriter Martins Rudzitis.

Written by Latvians, produced by a Scotsman

The 12 songs in Freaks in The Ocean were recorded and produced together with Scottish production genius Lewis Gardiner who has been working with the band for some time now. Gardiner had previously made a name for himself working with Ellie Goulding and the winner of 2016 British X Factor Matt Terry.

Talented and well-known sound engineers Andy “Hippy” Baldwin from Metropolis studios (UK) and multiple Grammy recipient Randy Merrill from Sterling Sound (USA) were recruited to put on some finishing touches. Merrill has previously worked with acts like Imagine Dragons, Lady Gaga, Adele and Katy Perry while Baldwin has acts like Oasis, Robbie Williams and The Who in his portfolio.

The third single titled Gravity has also been released world-wide as of now. The first single from the album titled Get Up was released back in April and found its way to numerous radio stations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, UK and Baltics. Same with the band’s second single from this album – Phoenix.

Neon Saturdays was founded in 2012 and released their debut album soon after. Since then a number of singles, made it to the TOP10 of the biggest Baltic radio stations after which Neon Saturdays toured the Baltic states as well as UK a couple of times.

In 2015 Neon Saturdays was one of the first Latvian acts to play The Great Escape in UK. In 2016 the band opened for the British rock band James.

In July 2018 the band opened for the American singer LP (Laura Pergolizzi) in Latvia, playing for 4000 people. Band’s music has also received a well-deserved recognition by Tim Fraser, an internationally well-known songwriter (Tina Turner, Billie Myers), partner of Artists United and a member of BASCA's Songwriters Executive Committee.

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October

25

Oct

“Very Cool People” going on an instrumental jazz-funk tour in Central Europe

On November 1st, the most popular jazz-funk band from Latvia “Very Cool People” is starting their first Central Europe tour with a home concert in Riga, the tour will continue with one concert in Kaunas, Lithuania, two concerts in Hungary and 5 concert streak with the band FUNKorporation (garage funk, jazzy soul, Balkan pop) in Romania.

“We are very thrilled to go on our first tour around Hungary & Romania, we have always wanted to have a tour around Central Europe, because mentality & culturally wise in our opinion we are very similar, so we hope that communication with audiences & people in general will be as great as at home! Also we are very happy to go around Romania with a fantastic local funk band FUNKorporation. So, hell yeah, we are ready to funk & make very cool parties in the venues we will be playing on this tour!” Very Cool People about the upcoming tour.

The tour dates and places:

11.1. - Shot Cafe - Riga, Latvia

11.3. - Babtynas - Žemaitkiemis Manor - Kaunas, Lithuania 

11.5. - Babel Camp - Balatonboglár, Hungary

11.6. -  Szimpla Kert - Budapest, Hungary

11.7 - Atelier Cafe - Cluj-Napoca 

11.8 - Jazz and Blues Club - Targu-Mures 

11.9 - Gravel Room - Satu Mare 

11.10 - Moszkva - Oradea 

11.11 - Reflektor Venue - Timisoara 

The upcoming tour is financially supported by the special purpose programme for touring by State Culture Capital Foundation, concerts in Romania are organized by the agency “Stairway Booking” (Romania).

This August “Very Cool People” went on their first tour in South Korea, giving 7 concerts in festivals and clubs around the country. The band is also nominated for the biggest European showcase “Eurosonic Noorderslag 2019”, which will take place on January in Groningen, The Netherlands.

“Very Cool People” is a jazz-funk band originated in Riga, Latvia, by guitarist Elvijs Grafcovs. With a backbone in jazz, funk and soul, incorporating influences from surf, klezmer, rock and hip-hop, Very Cool People is creating modern, complicated and listenable music for a wide audience. The band using contemporary tools is trying to put jazz & funk back to dancefloor and make it more accessible to ordinary, nowadays persons. The band is an actively gigging band, in which all the members love & enjoy performing live shows more than anything. When they are on the stage they “blow the roof off” of the place & charge audience’s batteries with energy that is coming out from the guys when they are in act.

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23

Oct

Creepy vibes from Baltics! Latvia’s rising star Neon Saturdays release their newest single

Up-and-coming Latvian four-piece Neon Saturdays strike once again this Autumn by releasing their third single. The song titled “Gravity” was produced in UK along with the rest of the band’s second album and speaks about pitfalls of fanatical ambitiousness and idealism.

The importance of introspection

“Gravity should encourage people to take a good look at the dynamics of their own life – daily rhythms, patterns of behavior and numerous habits that slowly take us where they do,” explained the leader of the band Andris Evelis.

“This song tells the story of an ambitious person who is having a hard time accepting that the real world has limitations that can’t be suspended. A lot of effort is put in to try and break free of this down-force. The song ends with the protagonist reaching a deeper understanding that love and peace is what we as human beings truly need,” he continued.

Most of us aim to achieve these things by striving for material gains, overdoing and over delivering with hopes that somebody will notice and acknowledge that we are special, the singer added.

Unexpectedly creepy music video

Sonically Gravity will probably remind you of those old, weird, lesser-known sci-fi movies with deep and obscure storylines. The music video takes a twisted turn showing the band as unhinged, malevolent and almost non-human beings that are trapped in their reality, upside-down.

It was shot in a specially modified location and will definitely be one of the most interesting and unnerving things you’ll see this Autumn.

New single produced by UK’s finest

The song was recorded and produced together with Scottish production genius Lewis Gardiner who has been working with the band for some time now.

Gardiner had previously made a name for himself working with Ellie Goulding and the winner of 2016 British X Factor Matt Terry.

Talented and well-known sound engineer Andy “Hippy” Baldwin from Metropolis studios was recruited to lay on some finishing touches. Baldwin has previously worked with acts like Oasis, Robbie Williams and The Who.

Second full-length album coming soon

The band has also announced that the third single together with their second full-length album titled Freaks In The Ocean will be released in November 9th.

The first single of the album (Get Up) was released back in April and found its way to numerous radio stations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, UK and Baltics. Same with the band’s second single Phoenix.

The band released their debut album in 2012. Since then a number of singles have made it to the TOP10 of the biggest Baltic radio stations after which Neon Saturdays toured the Baltic states as well as UK a couple of times.

In 2015 Neon Saturdays was one of the first Latvian acts to play The Great Escape in UK. In 2016 the band opened for the British rock band James.

In July 2018 the band opened for the American singer LP (Laura Pergolizzi) in Latvia, playing for 4000 people.

Band’s music has also received a well-deserved recognition by Tim Fraser, an internationally well-known songwriter (Tina Turner, Billie Myers), partner of Artists United and a member of BASCA's Songwriters Executive Committee.

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10

Oct

New music video of Katrina Gupalo featuring Michael Douglas

An artist Jānis Romanovskis has created a dynamic music video to the song «No Wine» from the debut album of Katrina Gupalo & the Black Birds «Gentle & Done» — the action takes place in New York, and the video features Michael Douglas.

This is a story about the first encounter with New York, the music and arts mecca where everything is possible. Meeting the famous Hollywood actor Michael Douglas right before midnight at «Grand Central», as well. That is a story about overwhelming feelings, when one meets the big city lights, rhythms and unstoppable nights for the first time.

In the making-of process the artist Jānis Romanovskis has been inspired by «Vinyl», the TV collaboration of Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese. Alternation of quick and slow shots is dizzy and ecstatic. Million faces and impressions bring one into a united mind chaos. Documental fixation of the moment ends up in a musically fulfilled visualised videoframe. «You can press pause for almost every moment of the video to sneak peek into New York sights or some colorful character» — Jānis Romanovskis characterises his work.

«New York is a feeling, that’s an art, that’s an opportunity, that’s a miracle. «No Wine» in New York is a stepping stone for the creative flight: the next stop is mine, no phonogram, no wine, I’ll tell you everything, all dreams in one line.» — tells the author of the song Katrina Gupalo.

 

 «No Wine» song recording featured Miķelis Vanags on guitar, Gatis Gorkuša on drums, Kristiāns Kosītis on bass, Elvijs Endelis on drums, as well as sound engineers Artūrs Sedriks Sinkevičs and Pauls Dāvis Megi.

The next performance of Katrīna Gupalo is taking place on October 19, in the new culture centre "Siguldas devons"

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8

Oct

Very Cool People is releasing new single & music video “Pa Apli" featuring Mc Edavārdi, Mc ansi & Kristīne Prauliņa

Latvian jazz-funk group "Very Cool People" is released their second single from the upcoming new album, which will be released in February 2019. The song features latvian hip-hop musicians Edavārdi and ansis, as well as soul singer Kristīne Prauliņa.

The second single from the upcoming album is recorded in Latvian language. So far, VCP has released song in latvian just once in 2008, which makes it easy to calculate the regularity of the group's "Latvian" singles - once every ten years.

The first single "We Should Dance” from upcoming new album, was released in the in summer 2019 and was a success in local radio stations. Kristina Prauliņa also was participated in this song. VCP is not at all alien to regular collaborations with other musicians, so more guest artists will be heard in the upcoming album. Including Evilena Protectore, Ralfs Eilands and Maija Sējāne.

Participants in the single "Pa Apli": Elvijs Grafcovs (guitar), Maris Jekabsons (tenor sax), Kristaps Lubovs (baritone sax), Laura Rozenberga (trombone), Oskars Ozolins (trumpet), Maris Vitkus (keyboard), Andris Kaulins (Moog Synthesizer), Valter Sprūdžs (bass) and Andris Buiķis (drums).

Single recorded by Ivars Ozols and Edgars Skraģis, mix and master by Janis Kalve. Video by Valdis Krumins. Photo by Mārcis Baltskars.

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1

Oct

Order of events for the 3rd session of RIGaLIVE!

As previously announced, the 3rd session of the songwriting campus RIGaLIVE will be starting in two weeks. Just like last time, we are offering all interested parties to join in on a selection of lectures, lessons and master classes, regardless of one’s participation in the songwriting campus itself. These lectures are intended to be topical not only for musicians, but for other people related to the music industry.

Order of events for the 3rd session of RIGaLIVE:

October 9th:

o 15:00 – Opening of the 3rd session of RIGaLIVE

o 15:05 – a lecture regarding recordings and the distribution of rights between authors, as well as their registration in collective management organizations from the Copyright and Communication Consulting Agency/ Latvian Authors Association

o 15:40 – a songwriting master class from Lisbee Stainton – a renowned songwriter and songwriting teacher from the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM)

October 10th:

o 15:00 – an educational master class from Jake Beaumont-Nesbitt – the Executive Director at International Music Managers Forum (IMMF)

 

Everything will be taking place in the Great Hall at Latvia Culture College, located at Bruņinieku iela 57. The participation fee for both days - 20 per person, single day - €15 per person.

APLLY HERE: https://goo.gl/forms/pcTqH1f90xLFWet32

OR:

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