Indieterria meets Misha Dawn

Hello hello!

We are starting a brand new month with a BANG! April is going to be a very exciting month with several of our favourite bands performing far and wide, making waves on the independent music circuit and rocking huge crowds of people. Please be on the lookout for Nuns of the Tundra, Thousand Mountain (as they are releasing their debut EP shortly!!), The Americas and Junior Weeb among others.  The spring belongs to them and we will be reporting extensively about their achievements.  Of course, we will always find the time to look for a world-class talent and today we would like to introduce you dear readers to a truly bright star. Her name is Misha Dawn and she has charmed everyone who has ever heard her sing!

The Lady herself – Misha Dawn Patterson

Diva in the making 

Misha Dawn is every record label’s dream come true. She comes with a full package: looks, voice, multiple talents and experience. With her resume the size of a telephone book and her almost effortless ability of penning perfect songs, Misha is a force to be reckoned with. Before she dethrones Leona Lewis as the next British Queen of Pop, Indieterria sat down with her to discuss being a child prodigy, growing into a confident artist and getting highest grades from the harshest judging panel on popular reality TV program, The X-Factor.

Misha Dawn Patterson

Actress, Dancer, singer, songwriter, producer – you seem to have many faces and as many occupations! Please tell us who is Misha Dawn?

Misha Dawn: I’m a Gloucester born artist.  I write lyrics that will confront emotions, happiness and heart break. I am a person who strives to be the very best I can be in everything that I do! I am also a very creative and I like to have a “Plan B’ which is also the title of a song I just wrote! (laughing)
I love experiencing new things all the time along with travelling abroad and seeing/meeting different cultures. My early professional singing career has consisted of singing 50’s-80’s music in care homes.

You started your career very early, at the tender age of 7. Since then you appeared in numerous shows, musicals, radio programmes and live performances. Including appearing on live TV regarding a CD which you wrote also at the same time! Was it hard to be growing up in the spotlight?

Misha Dawn: I would have to answer that with a yes and no. As a child I was awfully shy and have had to seriously work on becoming confident which most people find hard to believe! I am not saying it wasn’t a passion of mine to be in the spotlight (I dreamt about it every day and I still do) but I had to fight against one feeling saying “YES THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT” and the other saying “RUN, EVERYONES WATCHING”. Once I got over my hurdle, I enjoyed everything so much more and I am now completely addicted to performing.

I am fortunate now that I don’t have major stage fright, for those of you who watched me on ‘Dinner Date’ TV show will know I have a bigger fear of flying bugs!

Misha Dawn with Sam and Ashley Worskett at the O2 Academy in Birmingham

It is almost hard to believe but you are also classically trained dancer! Has your comprehensive education helped you in your artistic endeavours?

Misha Dawn:  That’s 100% right. Dancing since the age of 3 had helped me tremendously. From dance performances, rhythm, appreciating different styles of music such as classical, jazz, modern and much more. However, at 12 years old, my injuries put an end to a professional ballet career and my life took a new turn. When I’m on stage, you will notice that I incorporate dance into my singing performances and I love it! I couldn’t imagine singing while standing still.

We would like to ask you about two milestones in your career: appearing on the cover of national WI Life magazine (May/June 2016 edition) and taking part in the X Factor in 2017. You passed 4 rounds with flying colour. Both must have been amazing experiences.

Misha & Ashley

Misha Dawn:  They were both a dream come true. Just thinking about it now, I cannot believe they happened and how lucky I am to have experienced them! I have always wondered what it would be like to have my face on the front cover of a magazine growing up and have watched X factor growing up for as long as I can remember and still doing so now! Getting 4 yes’s from the judges was amazing.

Your music blends, soul, jazz, hip-hop, pop and rock. You have been compared to Beyoncé, Sia and Jesse J. We could add Mica Paris and Mary J Blidge to the mix, especially when you are on stage rocking out with a full band. Your performance at recent Soundwave Music Competition at O2 Academy in Birmingham reminded us of Mary J Blidge singing an alternative version of “One” with U2.

Misha Dawn:  Wow what can I say! For my performance at the O2 to be compared to Mary J Blidge singing with U2 is incredible. It has taken me many, many years of grafting to get where I am and with a comment like that it shows my hard work has paid off! I will continue to grow and every time I perform I make a promise to myself that I will always be better than he last time. My biggest rival is myself.

Talking about your live band, can you introduce your guitarist and drummer to our readers? You share a special bond with them, it was a pure joy watching you perform together.

Misha Dawn: Thank you very much! My guitarist is called Ashley Worskett, he is inspirational and my drummer is called Sam Worskett. Both are brilliant musicians and I am so glad I found them by taking a chance on advertising online for band members. I’m buzzing to see what the future holds performing with them at festivals, parties, events – you name it!

Ashley Worskett – Misha`s guitarist and we swear a new Bernard Butler!

Your latest single “Live It Up” is a well written and produced track that could be a launching pad to Top 20. Tell us more about it. 

Misha Dawn:  Thank you very much! I wrote and produced the song myself a couple of years ago and released the music video on YouTube quite recently. I really wanted a feel-good track for all ages, something you can play when you’re going out, in the car, feeling low, or whatever the reason may be. I made sure my “Live it Up” music video was ‘jammed packed’ full of fun and friends. I have put it on all major downloading sites such as Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and if it did get to the top 20…I would be utterly lost for words.

It’s only April and 2018 has already been a very busy year for you. What are your plans for the nearest months?

Misha Dawn:  I really want to get out there and play for fans and supporters. For the next few months I will be working on a new single of mine which I am so excited for. It is my best song yet. I wrote and produced it and I’m planning to have it uploaded onto all major downloading sites and Youtube. Music video will soon follow, so please be on the lookout and tell me what you think! Also, I’m booking a lot shows and I would like to perform with other artists such as Ella Eyre who is an inspiration to me in the music world.

Misha at the o2 Academy in Birmingham, 24.02.2018

You can follow Misha on social media:
https://www.mishadawn.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MishaDawnOfficial
https://www.instagram.com/mishadawn
https://twitter.com/MishaDawn_
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGkad0FIbHHALgftQBJ3F2A

Additional article you may find interesting:
http://www.starnow.co.uk/Misha3star

After our meeting with Misha at the SoundWave competition in Birmingham, we are sure she will go a long, long way. Vanadian Avenue will be closely monitoring Misha’s next steps and hopefully we will be able to chronicle her journey to stardom.

Please visit us soon as our next blog will be even more esciting!

See you soon,
Rita and Mal

**** Update 17/04/2018****

Misha, Ashley and Samuel on stage – this was such a powerful performance!

Misha’s concert at the SoundWave Competition at the O2 Arena in Birmingham left us truly impressed. Not only we were amazed by her extraordinary performing abilities but we were equally dazzled with her backing band. To learn more about them, we spoke to guitar player Ashley Worskett (we swear he is a new Bernie Butler!) to discuss the beginnings of their successful collaboration, musical influences and recent trip to London town.

 Would you like to tell us how did you and Misha meet and how long have you worked together?

Ashley Worskett: I started working with Misha after responding to her advert on a popular casting website. She gave me a call, I sent her some demo tapes and she liked them. She also needed a drummer so I suggested my brother Sam, who was 16 at the time. Sam is also a violinist and he had just returned from a music tour in Venice. He is still at school, but he agreed to do the gig to help Misha out.

We all met for the first time at a rehearsal studio. We all got on well, learnt the songs and 2 days later performed at the O2 Academy. So it was all a bit of a crazy!

Ashley and Samuel playing with Misha at o2 Academy in Birmingham

Your performance on stage during the SoundWave competition was fantastic. Please tell us more about yourself. Who is Ashley Worskett, how long have you been you playing and who inspires you?

Ashley Worskett:  I am 20 years old musician that have been performing drama for several years. I attended a highly regarded drama theatre in Warwick and I am currently a student at the University of Gloucester. I’ve been playing guitar for 5 years. My main musical inspiration comes from the virtuoso heavy metal guitarists from the 80’s, people like Eddie Van Halen and Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme. I like listening to bands like Whitesnake, Mötley Crüe and Metallica. Jake E Lee and George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob are also ripping guitarists that I take inspiration from!

You recently travelled to London. Did you have fun?

Ashley Worskett:  Yeah! London was amazing. I had to get up at 1 am to catch the bus from where I live in Cheltenham, to get to the film studio in London for 7 am. I was taking part in a feature film, being produced by one of the major studios. It’s a biopic about a well-known rock band from the 70’s and 80’s and it’s due for release later this year. It was an exciting day, and great to be working with truly professional people in the film industry!

We are sure that Misha, Sam & Ashley Worskett are people worth watching in the nearest future. We always say that the talented kids are the  future and we have enough talent in West Midlands for several decades.

xxx
M+R

Indieterria meets Population:7

Hey, hey!

Time does fly quickly when you are having a good time and recently we have been having the time of our lives (yes, Baby is not sitting in the corner anymore!). We have been to countless gigs, several parties, open mic nights and even to a Halloween extravaganza, but this is a tale for another day 🙂

Today, we would like to introduce you to one of the best neo soul musical collectives from The Midlands. They are called Population:7 and they are very popular among  faithful city residents. You should see their gig at Marrs’ Bar during Worcester Music Festival, it was so packed that Rita got a panic attack (she is claustrophobic), yet people still wanted to get in and were queuing outside! Something like that has not happened since the early 90’s according to the owners and we truly believe them.

Ladies and Gents, let us introduce you to a group that can make old Worcester City dance like the stars on BBC1 on Saturday night 🙂

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Population: 7 

Haydn Rogers: Vocals
Rachael Medhurst: Vocals
Sam Ruane: Vocals
Rob King: Guitar/Synth/Vocals
Pete Mann: Guitar/Vocals
Rob Taylor: Bass/Synth
Jon Kasch: Sax
Hannah Webb: Sax/Flute/Clarinet
Carl Browne: Drums

Population:7 official logo

Being in a band these days is certainly not a walk in the park, yet the technology available can make musicians’ lives so much easier.  The least experienced group will sound pretty good in the studio even if minimal production is applied. Reconstructing that decent sound on stage is another keg of beer whatsoever. In the spotlight, lack of skills or sloppy presence can send the unlucky ones straight into rock and roll oblivion. Don’t be alarmed, Population: 7 are fantastic on the record and in concert. To be honest, they are one of the few bands that can make you dance and jump right from the start. Talking to them is a pleasure as well. We met with Haydn Rogers to discuss their three records, linguistics and the dynamics of working in a musical collective.

There is no doubt that Population:7 is a fantastic name for a band. It’s short, easy to remember and carries a certain element of mystery. Can it be linked to the current population of Earth (7 billions people) or does it mean something completely different?

Haydn Rogers : Finally! Someone gets our name right! Yes, it is a reference to there being 7 Billion people on our planet (currently its 7,571,613,961, but it changes every second). I think we were having a conversation about Desmond Morris (a prolific scientist and writer) and exponential population growth and it all went from there. You would not believe how many people come up to us at shows and say something like: “What’s with the name? There’s like 9 of you and your name has a 7 in it!” Maybe it’s because of groups like SClub7 that people just assume its’s how many members you have!

Group picture

You are so far the biggest group we had a pleasure to host on our blog.  Would you be so kind to introduce all 9 members of your collective? Don’t worry, we like long answers!

Haydn Rogers: Currently, there are roughly 9 of us. I say roughly because we have members that come and play with us for a season or jam with us from time to time. On vocals we have Sam Ruane (alias Ruane), Rachael Medhurst and me (alias Phantom). On the guitars, we have Pete Mann (alias Swagadon), Rob King (he also plays synthesizer) and Rob Taylor who plays bass guitar. Carl Browne is our drummer but this summer he was replaced by Ben Pemberton as Carl was away. Also, there is Hannah Webb who plays alto saxophone, clarinet and flute. We’ve played with loads of other great players that we hope to play with again in the future.

Other bands are struggling to recruit members, yet you managed to gather quite a crowd. How did you all meet? Have you started out as a regular 3 or 4 piece band and kept adding new instruments or vocalists or have you just got together one day and decided to make music?

Haydn Rogers (laughing): We all met in a submarine, just off the coast of Puerto Rica. The Cubans had taken a top secret super weapon that would endanger all of the Eastern Sea on board. So, naturally we were in a nuclear stand off until we started playing this groove in the mess hall (witch for some reason was full of instruments). It was so righteous that we played it over the sub space radio and the Cubans heard it and immediately de-armed themselves and opened the peace negotiations. After that, we decided to form a fusion band instead of a top secret black ops division of MI6.

Or….

I met Sam Ruane few years back when I was playing with Rob King in a band called This Wicked Tongue. We were just chilling in the living room when Sam told us he was a rapper which really impressed us. After little collaboration with Sam’s band TWT, we decided to “do some hip-hop”. At that point we all gathered around a totally out dated lamp-shade iMac (absolute classic computer) and we would make beats with whatever we could get our hands on. At the same time, Pete Mann AKA Swagadon (a mysterious blues/rock/math demon) started writing with us and playing guitar, adding a whole new dimension of insane riffs and enigmatic dance routines. Slowey, we started working with other artists as well. Members of TWT and another group named Mansize were always involved with playing parts and jamming. Two girls, Tina Maynard and Anya Pulver did some fantastic vocals on our first album “Dead City”. When both bands broke up, half of their members moved to Bristol, the other half stayed in Worcester and we formed Population: 7. We wanted it to be a live act and not just a living room/studio project. The first incarnation included Sam, myself, Rob Taylor, Rob King, Pete Mann and Rachael Medhurst, who joined shortly after our first album was released. We needed a drummer, so we sent a couple of our songs to Carl Browne, our mutual friend. It was just few days before our first gig and he nailed everything without rehearsal. We asked him to join us and he said “Indeed shall!” The last person to join was Hannah Webb. She brought a new element to our music with the saxophone, clarinet and flute, giving us a funkier/jazzier sound. We also played with two other amazing sax players along the way – John Kasch (the blues wizard of sax, incredible player) and Katie Ind (amazing jazz multi instrumentalist).

The band in action at Mello Festival

You easily blend jazz, hip-hop, soul, R’n’B and funk into a powerful cocktail of rhythm and irresistible melodies. In your opinion, does Population: 7 sound fits any particular genre or are you happy to keep your fingers in many pies?

Haydn Rogers:  Thank you! I think we initially intended Population: 7 to be a live hip-hop group but through all of our different influences and ideas of what that should be, we ended up with something very different. Our music is an expression of our love for playing, jamming and creating, we get into a room and it just happens. The creative process is organic that way, more intuitive than conscious. The influences from other genres are intrinsically a part of us so when we play they manifest through us and form our fusion of sounds. We can be put into genres or a single genre but that is more for the listener to decide, we are too close to what we are doing to truly know. Also we’re happy to keep exploring music; it is always an adventure and a voyage of discovery

You have impressed Andrew Marston of BBC Hereford and Worcester so much that he described you as one of the best neo-soul acts in the country. After seeing you live he wrote:“What an incredible live performance. Fun, energetic and have the crowd enjoying themselves as much as the band!” It’s hard to disagree with his words as you nearly brought the entire Marrs Bar down during Worcester Music Festival on Saturday 16th of September. It was packed tight.

Giging at Marrs Bar in Worcester

Haydn Rogers:  We are very thankful to Andrew and the BBC Hereford and Worcester for playing our music and having us on at Lake Fest last year! We put a lot of effort into making sure our live shows are full of energy and it’s great to know that people appreciate that when we play. The Marrs Bar concert organized by The Task in Hand was a really enjoyable night for us and the crowd was amazing! This makes it easier for us to perform and have a great time doing it. It was a packed night and the atmosphere was intense. To capture that energy, we decided to film part of the show to make a video for our song “Swag” which will be out soon! We loved the other bands playing that night with us as well: Hoggs Bison, Theo, To The Wall, Esteban and Rosebud – check all of these out if you haven’t already!

Recently Population:7 has recorded two albums: “WHYP7” in 2016 and “Fiero” earlier this year. Despite just a year of difference between both releases, there is a massive change in your sound. “Fiero” is much more complex and adventurous. You use various singing and rapping techniques, you are not afraid to experiment with ambient and dubstep, everything seems to flow more naturally, almost with ease. We can freely use the word “mature” to describe it. You have evolved considerably as a band in a really short period of time.

Haydn Rogers: Again, thank you! A lot changed for us in that time including members and musical tastes so the music naturally moved with us. We also had time to play a lot of shows and practice hard, further discovering our sound and what P7 is and means to us. The sound will no doubt continue to change and evolve as we do as people. Music is all about people really, it’s a social thing. It is as much about our relationships and culture as it is about notes and musical structure. That is its true power – it connects people or sometimes the opposite – in our case we all agree on how it makes us feel which drives us to achieve more. We are currently bringing together the material we have been working on for the last year with a view to turn it into an album to record sometime next year.

We are intrigued by the name of the album. Tell us, what exactly is “Fiero”?

Cover of Fiero album

Haydn Rogers:  “Fiero” is an Italian word that has several meanings. I first came across it when I read “Emotions revealed: Understanding faces and feelings” by psychologist Paul Ekman. It is amazing, read it! Jane McGonigal, American game designer and author gives a good definition of fiero in her book “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World”.  She says: “Fiero is what we feel after we triumph over adversity. You know it when you feel it – and when you see it. That’s because we almost all express fiero in exactly the same way: we throw our arms over our head and yell”. We decided to use “Fiero” as the album title after having lots of problems with the titular song. There was a very tricky section in this song, that when we eventually got it right this is exactly what we felt. It also means fierce or proud and is also the name of a 1988 mid-engined Pontiac.

Two tracks included on and “Fiero” are standing out: the hypnotic “I Say” and the crowd pleasing “Blindspot” which opens the record. We’d love to hear more about those songs.

P7 at Lake Fest rocking the BBC Introducing stage

Haydn Rogers: “I Say” is a song about not feeling in control of your life but accepting that fact. It’s also a lot of fun to play and there’s a flute bit in it that Hannah came up with that completely defines that track. “Blind Spot” is one of our older songs and has changed a fair bit over the years until we recorded it for “Fiero”.  We also did a music video for it earlier this year in our friend Diff’s basement. Thanks Diff, you are a legend!

The collective is constantly on the move. You play a lot of shows at home and away. Recently you have supported Benji and Hibbz in Birmingham at a sold out concert and enchanted the audience during very successful performances at Lakeview Festival and at The Wharf in Stourport-on-Severn.  Where will your fans have to see you live next?

Haydn Rogers: We really enjoyed playing with Benji and Hibbz at the Hare and Hounds in Birmingham. They are a really talented bunch of musicians and great people too! We ended up having a freestyle jam with them and the other act, Glimmer & Wiz.  It is really refreshing playing with a band that is genuinely up for live jamming. We have a couple of shows coming up. Please come and see us on 2nd of November at the Marrs Bar supporting the Toasters and 2nd December at the George and Dragon in Belper. We’re also planning to do a Christmas Show show at the Marrs’ Bar but we are still confirming the dates.

Another group picture from the vast band’s archives

You can follow Population:7 at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/population7
Twitter: https://twitter.com/p7_population7
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/population-7
Reverb Nation: https://www.reverbnation.com/population7
Bandcamp: https://population7.bandcamp.com

 

You want to hire them for your gig? Please send all request to Population7uk@gmail.com! They will get your party started like nobody else. Trust us, we haven’t danced for years but our feet start moving on their own! It’s a dangerous thing to go to their performances. You never know, you might be off  showing your best moves on the dance floor in no time!

Have a fantastic Novermber kids and keep your eyes open. Population:7 are going to be even bigger, very, very soon.

xoxo
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz