From Paris, an Interview with electro pop artist Bliss My Heart

(All photos by: Dawn Barucq)

Bliss My Heart is a new electro pop project from Paris. Led by singer/songwriter Jenna, its first three-song EP is entitled “Morningstar”. It takes on her love of the music of Bauhaus, Depeche Mode and Lana del Rey, the three artists she relates to the most. I had the chance to interview Jenna via e-mail, and below you will find the very interesting answers she provided regarding how she connects with the world and conveys her very emotion through music, as well as some insight on her upcoming releases and activities.

What is the first musical memory you have?

When I was 7 years old, my father worked as Moon Martin’s manager. One day, Moon was at home to record an álbum, and there were many guitars at home. I also remember my father bringing me to a music festival. It was very cool!

And when did you first arrive at the resolution of pursuing a career in the music industry?

I wrote my first song when I was 13. I understood from a very young age that music would be very important in my life. I have always written music and lyrics, sung, played guitar, piano… And I have always wanted to be in a serious musical project. When I met Damien Badey & Eddy Rateni last year, I knew it was the right moment to do it!

What was the inspiration for your first EP, “Morningstar”? When did you write these three songs? What was the reason or concept in choosing these three over any others you may have stocked already?

The inspiration for “Morningstar“ came from a journey I undertook. I visited places like California, Nevada, Monaco and London. And each and every time, I needed to set down my feelings in music. Cities like LA, Indian Wells or Goodsprings (in Nevada) gave me a lot of energy to compose music.

I wrote many songs, but we decided on those 3 to start the project, and record an EP. We’re working on new tracks right now.

In general, how do you write music? What is the process you usually follow?

I need to be alone to write music and lyrics. I do this job at home with my piano, my guitar and my computer. Then, as the demo is ready, I send it to Damien and Eddy. They work on the arrangements and the mix. We record vocals at Damien’s studio in Paris, and then Pete Maher masters the songs.

On the press release for “Morningstar” you mention three artists that are very strong points of reference: Bauhaus, Depeche Mode and Lana del Rey. Can you point out something you value in each one of them as artists, and that you have made a conscious effort to integrate or replicate in your own music?

I think Bauhaus is the first band that ever gave me the feeling (and also the need) to create music in a serious, committed way. The voice of Peter Murphy is awesome. I’m in love with Lana Del Rey’s universe, her wordplay is amazing I love her references, and her Californian side as well. I like what she says. Depeche Mode is the best band I’ve ever seen in concert in my life. I love how they process their music. The song “Going Backward“ is one of their best songs.

These 3 bands all have a different energy, and a different way to introduce their emotions. And I relate to that.

What is your understanding of South American music? Specifically, which artists from the RIver Plate región (IE Uruguay and Argentina) are known in your country, independently of the musical genres they ess

I know Elli Medeiros, as she is famous is France. And I also know and like Andrés Calamaro, and his band “Los Abuelos de la Nada”. You have amazing music. Very intense and very interesting. A french singer “Benjamin Biolay” released a record which is called “Palermo Hollywood” he recorded it in Buenos Aires, and it’s a favorite of mine!

What are your plans for the foreseeable future? Do you have more releases already scheduled? And when the time to play live and tour comes again, what would be your preferred context and setting for sharing your songs?

Because of the actual situation, it’s very hard to project anything regarding live music. We are working on a new track with my team, and right now I am focused on promoting my EP. And I also released a new video clip last week, “A Rose Diary“. The clip was shot in Les Alpes French Mountains, and it stars an adorable Huskie!

And given the opportunity to record or tour with any artist in the world, who would it be, and why? 

I would be very happy to record with Dave Gahan and Axl Rose. I love their universes, and the way they play and compose music. “Estranged“ from Guns N’Roses is one of the best song in the world.


Bliss My Heart on Spotify

Bliss My Heart on Instagram

Bliss My Heart on Facebook




Natalie Pryce Releases Its First Single: “Janine” & “Bisclavaret” (Videos)

Natalie Pryce

A band that operates in Glasgow, Natalie Pryce has just issued its first single. It’s a double A-sided release, made up of the songs “Janine” and “Bisclavaret” – two cuts that fittingly convey the band’s blend of jazz, blues and punk.

The dual essence of this release serves a specific purpose, namely exhibiting the band’s keenness on dichotomy, and establishing a ground where symmetry can be analyzed without compromises or apologies.

The tandem works as intended, as affection and abjection and are explored back and forth between these two compositions, resulting in the blackest of whites and vice versa.

For a limited time only, you can download both songs on the band’s website at no cost. And you can stay posted on their latest releases on Facebook and Soundcloud. Continue reading

New Video by Uruguayan Band “Ovejas Eléctricas”: “Ser Astronauta Hoy”

ovejas electricas pueblo de fantasmas

A band defying the tradition which dictates that groups with the word “electric” in their names shall perish when they’re young (see “Electric Flag” for a good example), “Ovejas Eléctricas” [Electric Sheep] up the ante with the release of a new promotional video.

It revolves around the song “Ser Astronauta Hoy” [To Be A Spaceman Today], and it has been extracted from their album “Pueblo de Fantasmas” [Ghost Town], which you can download for free on their own site.

A Spanish-language album which sounds noticeably English, “Pueblo de Fantasmas” is made up of ten songs – the CD was actually started as an EP that got expanded along the way, becoming a full work on its own right. At least half the numbers are A-side quality – the physical opener “Larga Distancia” [Long Distance] with its clinging guitars and defeatist lyrics that still speak of fulfillment, the broody, Radiohead-esque “Un Pie En La Tierra” [One Foot In The Earth], “Entre Máquinas” [Between Machines] with vocals and melodies that soar as much as the lyrics demand… My personal favorite is “El Sol y Otras Mentiras” [The Sun and Other Lies], mainly on strength of the lyrics, which recapitulate the one conversation I had with the band in person not so long ago, and their stance as regards the contemporary music scene. And the seesawing fade (from minute 3:50 onwards) is also a good example of the attention they pay to detail when crafting their songs.

ovejas electricas uruguay Continue reading

“My Place” by Contraste (Video)

Tapa Contraste

Uruguayan punk rockers Contraste have just released their first official music video. It’s set to the music of “My Place”, their new promotional cut.

Contraste is made up of Bruno Espino (Vocals), Adrián Fontaiña (guitars), Koki (bass) and Germán Bonet (drums). A slightly different lineup of the band had released an eponymous demo on 2010 (free download), and “My Place” signals a change of pace, as it’s only suitable – the song is entirely in English. Continue reading

Biafran Lion to Release his New Album, “The Return of the Lion”

biafran lion 1

Born in Las Vegas, Biafran Lion is a reggae/hip-hop musician who currently resides in Uruguay. His history with the music of our country goes a long way back, actually, as he first visited Uruguay in the early 90s, and he lent his musicianship to bands such as La Abuela Coca and Kongo Bongo.

He has released more than half a dozen albums, and his next record is coming in November. It’s titled “The Return of The Lion”, and it’s an album that’s meant to enliven the summer up, while also carrying the social commentary that characterizes his best music.

biafran lion 2
You can listen to Biafran Lion’s music on his Soundcloud profile, and these two are the cuts I keep coming back to:

“Lovers At Midnight” by Jordy (Video)

jordy del plata

Jordy is a Uruguayan saxophonist who resides in New York, and he has just released an album entitled “Jordy Del Plata” (iTunes link). He is currently promoting it in the US, and soon he’ll come back to Uruguay to play some dates.

The song is called “Lovers At Midnight”, and its lilting melody is enough to carry you to the warmest of memories:

The band comprises Daniel Freelikeme on guitar, Minerva Borjas Owen on keyboards, Renzo Vargas on drums and Jose Morillo on bass.

Check Jordy’s Facebook fanpage to know more about future dates and upcoming releases.

An Interview With MiXTi FORi

mixti fori

(This interview was originally posted in Spanish on No Quiero Ser Normal. To read  the original post, follow this link)

Who are the members of MiXTi FORi? And how long have you been playing together?

MiXTi FORi was started in the year 2000 by Marcos Da Silva (guitars, vocals) and its ranks have shifted a lot until arriving at its current lineup:, with Diego Nacimiento (drums and vocals) and Julio Montero (bass and backing vocals).
The band has released many EPs independently, it has been featured on several local and international compilations and it has also issued a LP titled “Incapaz de Amplificarse” in the year 2011, both online and as a physical CD. Continue reading

“Extrañándote” by Nadia Costa (Live at the Sala Zitarrosa)

nadia costa sala zitarrosa

Nadia Costa was one of the two artists that performed at the Sala Zitarrosa when I presented my newest book, “Ayer La Lluvia” [Yesterday The Rain].

The book is made up of short stories and a novella that deal with different types of love. So, her music was a perfect match for such a title – all of her compositions are nothing but studies on the vagaries of love and affection.

She opened up the show that night and had her live debut as a solo artist on the prized Sala Zitarrosa, a venue reserved for the highest-ranking of performers only.

This is an excerpt from her live performance. The song is titled “Extrañándote” [Missing You], and it’s one of the compositions of hers that cut the deepest. For me, it works in parallel with “Lejos De Ti” [Far Away From You], a scorching ballad that is highly-likely to be her next single.

The clip was shot by Habemus, a new audiovisual team. The music itself was recorded live by producer/composer Nelson “Cable” Silvera, and our great friend Joaquín Vinci lent us a hand, and gave the sound a little more sheen overall.

An Interview With Bananas, a Young Uruguayan Band

NoQuieroSerNormal is a superb new blog where you can read about up-and-coming Uruguayan artists. It’s run by Gabriel Skrilec. And from now on, you’ll be able to read the interviews posted there on MusicKO, duly translated into English. The first one I’m translating is the one Gabriel conducted with Bananas, a band that has recently come together. Click here to read the original post (in Spanish).


bananas uruguay
Who are the members of “Bananas”, and how long have you been around?

Bananas are Rodrigo Curbelo on guitar and vocals, Pablo Martín on bass and backing vocals, Nicolás Bello on drums, and Rodrigo Hurtado on synths and keyboards. The band was formally started on late September/early October 2012, although a previous line-up did exist (Rodrigo Hurtado was not involved back then).


Continue reading

Los Oxford (Uruguayan Independent Artist)

Los Oxford

A band whose members have really interesting musical backgrounds, Los Oxford grouped together in 2003. I became aware of their existence a long time ago, as one of their members got in touch with me and requested a review when I wrote about another Uruguayan band, Soundays.  And I have always meant to write about them.
And now, the moment has come like sudden rain. Some things are just meant to be…
I have always meant to marry Colbie Caillat, for example. But that’s yet to materialize.
I mean, I know it’s within my reach. It’s meant to be. Just the other day I came across this pearl of wisdom on Facebook, and it renewed all these hopes which were starting to falter:


And if you need any more proof… Elvis Costello married Diana Krall!!! What else is there to say? C’mon!

Elvis Costello Diana Krall

OK, that’s the inanity out of the way for today…

The story of Los Oxfords goes a bit like this:

The band was started in 2003, in Montevideo (Uruguay). Continue reading