Premiere: Offbeat Magazine – Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band ‘Mystery’

“Mystery” is a highly anticipated release following the band’s last hit album, Unity, which debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes World Music Chart and No. 3 on the Billboard chart. “Mystery” explores themes of doubt, sparks of faith, and evokes a sense of trust in the fertility of what cannot be seen or explained. This collection of ten evocative songs addresses the current challenges of our time and offers inspiration to kindle the courage to move through the unknown. The album honors the wild and mysterious ways of spirit, an often hidden and unnamable force that can feel so distant, and yet in time can secretly heal a wound, mend a broken heart and restore our humanity.

Read the full premiere here

Premiere: Glide Magazine ‘The Dream’

GLIDE MAGAZINE PREMIERE: Starita ‘The Dream’ feat Christian Scott, Trent Park

From his collaborations with members of A Tribe Called Quest to Los Amigos Invisibles and Michael Franti and Spearhead, multi-talented artist and songwriter Starita has astounded worldwide audiences with his unique mix of electronic and acoustic instrumentations (drawn from his deep roots in dance, ambient, funk, rock, and techno music).

The Dream” is truly a collaboration between artists who managed to tap into the same musical wavelength and make something special.” 

The lush yet complex signature soundscape showcased within various artist collaborations have consistently produced jaw dropping, original out-of-the-box productions that dare to defy odds, break the ‘rules’ of music genres, rise vibrations, while offering a note of spiritual introspection.

“The Dream,” featuring acclaimed trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and soulful singer/songwriter Trent Park, is the fourth single release from Starita’s new compositional ambient, avant-garde, experimental album, The Wake Up Call, due out August 13th. The EP contains a body of work that expresses his journey of introspection across the various stages of the human experience (from openness and curiosity in childhood to pain, closure, resistance, and darkness in adulthood), leading to awareness, acceptance, and awakening on the search for peace and freedom. “Everything about this album elicits the awakening to our true nature and listening to ‘the Spirit,’” says Starita. The seven song collection showcases an intentionally open longer format that allows listeners time to drop in, access, connect, and flow with whatever emotions and memories that may surface throughout the sound journey.

Today Glide is excited to offer an exclusive premiere of the video for “The Dream,” a sure standout on the upcoming EP that showcases Starita’s unique and open-minded approach to collaboration. With delicate instrumentation that is enhanced by fitting visuals of serene settings, the song is a soothing journey into the idea of purification. There is an element of orchestral pop that is elevated through the enchanting jazz trumpet of Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, who lets his instrument float beautifully over the sonic landscape. Trent Park’s vocals add a level of emotional power to the song, slowly building alongside the music to reach a cathartic release. “The Dream” is truly a collaboration between artists who managed to tap into the same musical wavelength and make something special. 

“This song digs down and stirs up deep rooted emotions in the body to be purged and cleansed from the consciousness. The sound design, structure and production was designed to capture that purification. With the explosive journey that we all experience as humans – individually and collectively – this purification outlet is necessary and needed. To be able to use sound art to provide that access point is a tool that I tap into and hope that listeners can benefit from as well. While considered the most emotionally charged song on the album, it is also very relatable. The vocal melody and chord progression quite naturally reflects the visceral quality of the human emotional experience,” Starita remarks.

Drawing inspiration and guidance from ‘Spirit’ along with the textural and emotional range of his influences, Olafur Arnaulds and Nils Frahm’s bodies of work, Starita created a dramatic, neoclassical, compositional ambient, cinematic sound design (a blending of acoustic with electronic elements and instrumentation with analog synths) on this track that holds the expansive range of emotions – from intense devastation to hopeful – artfully. “This very special feature from Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah’s trumpet solo adds a unique layer of emotional intimacy to the song. Trent Park also dropped right into the spirit of this track; eloquently channeled this painful melody and conveyed the intensity of the song beautifully through his recognizably rich and soulful vocal interpretation. In the same fashion, guitarist Robin Applewood captured the energy left behind by his departed friend, playing the guitar part on an old classical guitar that was left to him. It has the original strings that came with the guitar when he inherited it. So, there is an energy and vibe to the sound although most would say the strings are dead and need to be changed. This track demonstrates the power of a masterful collaboration; bringing forth the best that each has to offer. With each piece that is added by an artist, we are symbolically weaving our collective stories, uniting our energies. I don’t think there could have been a better group of collaborators to express this message and piece of art,” Starita shares.

“When Starita first approached me about this collaboration,” Scott says, “I instantly resonated with this track because of the message I felt behind the song. There was a deep yearning energy; need for one to express their love and aspirations and holding that in a certain light. The reference to ‘someday’ in the lyrics was hopeful and grabbed me. This is a message relatable to us all. I wanted to use this time, during the pandemic, while the world was ‘resting’ and ‘reflecting,’ to explore musically. Starita’s genre-blending style of music, combining electronic and live instrumentation intrigued me. Listening to Starita’s initial interpretation of ‘The Dream’ piqued my interest and I was drawn to creating a trumpet piece to go with it. I wanted to explore what we can do together. The music industry is not set up to foster ‘building together,’ so this was the perfect opportunity to do so. As a conceptualist and producer, I share Starita’s vision of ‘letting go, not thinking, and letting it flow.’ That was the basic premise that was agreed upon by all of the collaborators….just let the song come naturally with no force from the mind. Let the heart lead. With that, I listened intently and created a sound that was very specific for this track. Many have heard me speak about the ‘whisper technique’ which is a warm air technique that only a few of us use. The technique is basically using warm air and prioritizing your breath at the mouthpiece of vibration. The warmer air actually rubs the inner-workings of the brass a little bit differently, which gives more of a hazy sound. To be able to get certain phrases out while the core air is warming up, you have to learn to refine warming the air up in your diaphragm and feigning phrases from your chest air, or frogging. It is so interesting and rewarding to witness what we have created together. It is my mission to unify people via their musical and cultural voices by tearing down the sonic and social constructs that separate them. To me the idea of ‘genre’ is the same. It’s just an extension of that type of self-segregating and kind of linear thinking. Similarly for this collaboration or my work with Stretch Music, my stance is the same, in order to stretch music, you have to be able to stretch yourself.”

“After listening to this sound journey, I hope that the listeners felt cleansed, had a moment that they needed, and perhaps let go of some emotional pain,” Park closes.

Starita ‘The Dream’ feat Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Trent Park and Robin Applewood

Premiere: Be Still’s First Release Premieres in Rolling Stone India

The Chennai-based singer was recruited by the San Francisco-based composer, who also has guitarist Robin Applewood on the track from ‘The Wake Up Call’

American artists Robin Applewood, Starita and Chennai-based Pratika Gopinath (from left) collaborate on “Changing.” Photos: Tam Starita, Nikita Borges

 

After a few years of establishing herself as the soulful voice in Pune alternative act Easy Wanderlings, vocalist Pratika Gopinath takes a step into solo material with a transnational collaboration called “Changing,” for San Francisco-based electronic/ambient/new age producer Michael Starita. The calming song, part of Starita’s upcoming album The Wake Up Call, also features fellow San Francisco guitarist and artist Robin Applewood.

For Gopinath, “Changing” comes as a breakthrough in terms of finally putting out solo material. She admits that there’s often too much pressure in the music industry and a struggle to be expressive, but she didn’t want to let go of this opportunity.

Starita — who has previously worked with hip-hop artist Childish Gambino as well as Indo-American producer-drummer and singer Madame Gandhi — says he chanced upon Gopinath’s work via Rolling Stone India. “I was blown away by the purity, soulfulness, ease, and spirit of her voice. Nothing about the collaboration and making of this track was planned. This container allowed us to effortlessly unleash the uniqueness and qualities that are within each of us as distinctive artists… to create music that is pure, interesting, and honest,” Starita says.

Given complete freedom to add her vocals and lyrics to the track, there’s a deep introspection that takes place on “Changing,” which Starita terms as the most accessible song on his upcoming record. Gopinath adds, “The process was completely remote and only through email and messages. Till date, we have not spoken in person or on the phone, but even so, surprisingly we were able to create something beautiful together.”

With this release to her name, the singer is writing more songs that she’s much more satisfied with, plus collaborations. “If all goes well, hopefully next year there will be a few more releases […] As for Easy Wanderlings, there are a lot of songs in the works, we’re hoping to release a single soon,” she says.

Listen to “Changing” below. Stream on Spotify and Apple Music

 

Starita Reaches Across Borders On a Virtual Collaboration With Indian Artist Pratika Gopinath Of Easy Wanderlings and Robin Applewood

***For Immediate Release***

Contact Tam Akiko tam@staritamusic.com
US-BASED GENRE-BLENDING MUSIC ARTIST, STARITA REACHES ACROSS BORDERS ON A VIRTUAL COLLABORATION WITH INDIAN INDIE ARTIST PRATIKA GOPINATH OF EASY WANDERLINGS AND MUSIC RENAISSANCE MAN, ROBIN APPLEWOOD; RELEASING THE FIRST SINGLE ENTITLED “CHANGING” OF NEW AGE ALBUM  ON NOVEMBER 18TH, 2020 …

Photography/Cover Art Direction Credit: Tam Starita

One of electronic music’s rising stars just so happens to be a Southern boy at heart. Mississippian Starita has wowed international crowds with his innate knack for blending acoustic instruments into an electronic song, which he argues is indicative of his roots.’ – PopMatters
“Changing” is the first single release from Starita’s new avant-garde, ambient, new age album, “The Wake Up Call”; a body of work that expresses his journey of introspection across the various stages of the human experience (from openness and curiosity in childhood to pain, closure, resistance, and darkness in adulthood), leading to awareness, acceptance, and awakening on the search for peace and freedom.  Due to the reflective nature of the message, “Changing” is the most open and approachable song on the album. While this neo-classical and ambient soundscape direction differs from his previous releases, Starita’s signature sound blending resonates clearly on this track and album, as he masterfully combines acoustic and electronic elements using analog synths and sound design. This is also a well-matched global virtual collaboration between US and India artists; featuring the soulful and jazzy vocals of Pratika Gopinath, lead vocalist of the group, Easy Wanderlings of Chennai, South India, guitarist and musical renaissance man, Robin Applewood, of the San Francisco Bay Area, US, and genre-blending artist, Starita, also residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, US.
“The basic premise agreed upon by all of the collaborators for this track and album was to allow the song and its elements to flow together naturally with no force from the mind; letting the heart lead. As a result the song, in a sense, wrote itself,” says Starita. “It started with Robin Applewood who channeled the guitar part masterfully; played on an old classical guitar that was left to him by a close deceased friend.  Since it has the original strings that came with the guitar, there was an inherited energy, meaning, and vibe to the sound, even though most would say that the strings are dead or need to be changed.” Starita expanded. “I wanted the guitar piece to create a pillowy bed of clouds with layers of arpeggios that could be expanded upon,” Applewood added. “From this, I built electronic elements around the guitar piece, leading to the theme of the song. As this all evolved from a natural flow state, I invited Pratika Gopinath to collaborate as the vocalist after hearing her performance with Easy Wanderlings through Rolling Stone India.  I was blown away by the purity, soulfulness, ease, and spirit of her voice. Nothing about the collaboration and making of this track was planned. This container allowed us to effortlessly unleash the uniqueness and qualities that are within each of us as distinctive artists… to create music that is pure, interesting, and honest.” Starita concluded.
“After listening to the opening track on this album, I want the listener to close their eyes and sink into the song.  Instead of thinking about their opinions of it, I want them to feel the song, take note of where the song takes them, and be in the moment. Music is powerful in that it offers us the opportunity to feel instead of think, yet we often don’t allow ourselves to do so. As this track is called ‘Changing,’ and is about the journey of new beginnings, it’s the perfect opportunity to try something NEW.” says Gopinath.
Starita’s “Changing” is available across all digital service providers on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

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ABOUT STARITA: 
Starita, is a Mississippi born, 2-time GRAMMY®/Latin Grammy recognized multi-talented producer, songwriter, and artist whose work spans a multitude of genres. His work and unexpected collaborations with Childish Gambino, A Tribe Called Quest, Madame Gandhi, Rebelution, Los Amigos Invisibles, Michael Franti and Spearhead, and many others, offer a unique genre blending style incorporating electronic elements blended with live instrumentation that stems from his deep roots in electronic, ambient, classical, and new age music. Fans are often pleasantly surprised by the unexpected outcome; an out-of-the box production resulting in a lush yet complex soundscape.

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Media Inquiries
Tam Akiko
Starita Music
tam@staritamusic.com
Ph 415.562.4859