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AFI has announced an extensive run of 2022 U.S. headline tour dates in support of their recently-released 11th studio album Bodies (Rise Records). Tickets to the dates, which begin in February and feature support from Cold Cave, will be on sale to fan club members this Wednesday, June 23 from 10am-10pm local time. Local pre-sales will take place this Thursday, June 24 from 10am-10pm local time, and the official on-sale begins on Friday, June 25 at 10am local time. See below for the full list of dates.

"So anxiously, we’ve awaited the ability to perform our eleventh record for you," says AFI's Davey Havok. "This winter, please join us in the Bodies celebration long overdue."


TOUR DATES:

2/11 - SOMA - San Diego, CA

2/12 - The Theater at Virgin Hotel - Las Vegas, NV

2/14 - Marquee Theatre - Phoenix, AZ

2/15 - The Rialto Theatre - Tucson, AZ

2/18 - House of Blues - Dallas, TX

2/19 - White Oak Music Hall - Houston, TX

2/20 - Emo's - Austin, TX

2/22 - Buckhead Theatre - Atlanta, GA

2/23 - House of Blues - Orlando, FL

2/25 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC

3/1 - Royale - Boston, MA

3/3 - Terminal 5 - New York, NY

3/5 - Franklin Music Hall - Philadelphia, PA

3/8 - Stage AE - Pittsburgh, PA

3/9 - Agora Theatre - Cleveland, OH

3/11 - Royal Oak Theatre - Detroit, MI

3/12 - The Rave - Milwaukee, WI

3/13 - Riviera Theatre - Chicago, IL

3/15 - Fillmore - Minneapolis, MN

3/17 - Fillmore Auditorium - Denver, CO

3/18 - Union Event Center - Salt Lake City, UT

3/19 - Revolution Center - Boise, ID

3/21 - Showbox SoDo - Seattle, WA

3/22 - Roseland Theater - Portland, OR

3/24 - Fox Theater - Oakland, CA

3/25 - Hollywood Palladium - Los Angeles, CA


Bullet For My Valentine announce their self-titled, seventh album Bullet For My Valentine. The record will be released on October 22 via Spinefarm /Search & Destroy and sees the band open a bold new chapter. It's easily their heaviest, fiercest album so far. Watch the video for the new single "Knives," directed by Fiona Garden, HERE.

 "This is the beginning of Bullet 2.0," says vocalist and lead guitarist Matt Tuck. "It signifies where we are right now. The music is fresh, it's aggressive, it's more visceral and passionate than it's ever been."

Bullet For My Valentine follows the success of their last album, 2018's Gravity, which saw the metal juggernauts' catalogue surpass 1 BILLION (yes, with a B!) streams in the U.S. That accomplishment solidifies Bullet's hard-earned status as one of the most elite bands in the hard rock scene.

 On the last cycle, Bullet For My Valentine played their biggest shows to date, including a UK arena tour and a massive show at London's Alexandra Palace. But this time around, the band has taken things back to basics. Bullet For My Valentine is stacked with squealing solos and monstrous riffs that will delight fans — both new and old.

"I think it's the most ferocious side of Bullet For My Valentine that I've ever known," says lead guitarist Michael "Padge" Paget. "It's time for us to put out a really angry, heavy, aggressive record. I just can't wait to grimace on stage!"

"I wanted to come out guns blazing, fucking middle fingers flying, and just go for the throat," agrees Tuck. "I think this is a far more aggressive, intense part of Bullet For My Valentine. It's always been there. I've just never opened the floodgates on it. I want to take people's heads off in a metaphorical way."

True to their word, the first single, "Knives," arrives like a punch in the face. 

Tuck began writing the album in September 2019 before the Coronavirus pandemic brought things screeching to a halt in early 2020. But in June 2020, Tuck and long-time producer, Carl Bown, who co-produced the band's 2015 album, Venom, and produced and mixed Gravity, picked up the pace again. Together, they hunkered down at Treehouse Studio in Chesterfield, where the remainder of the album was written. 

Aptly self-titled, the band has triumphed, creating an album that will cement its place in the metal pantheon.

Pre-orders for Bullet For My Valentine's seventh studio album are now live, with an instant download of the first single, "Knives," and special bundle options, including a unique clipping from the backdrop used on the bands ‘Venom' world tour from 2015 – 2017, t-shirts, hoodies, gold & silver cassettes, and limited vinyl. Get it right HERE.


BFMV have also launched an official fan club, dubbed "Army of Noise," via Patreon. Sign up HERE.


TRACKLISTING:

1. Parasite

2. Knives

3. My Reverie

4. No Happy Ever After

5. Can't Escape The Waves

6. Bastards

7. Rainbow Veins

8. Shatter

9. Paralysed

10. Death By A Thousand Cuts


Icelandic Dark Metal band Sorg released their new album "Haf sem ber tímans og harmanna farg". The release was recorded, mixed and mastered at "Galdr Studios" by Víðir "Mýrmann" Thrastarsonand.

Check out the release at the following links:

https://sorgband.bandcamp.com/releases

https://open.spotify.com/album/1iHqJWna7XsZ252YdSqZ65

Sorg was formed as a one-man project by Icelandic painter, musician and philosopher - Víðir "Mýrmann" Thrastarsonand. The influence is a variety of disparate rock and metal genres, and contains interest in alchemy, romanticism,  folklore,  philosophy and history.


Black metal mixers with atmospheric doom and death metal thrown in comes KADESTORM who have released a couple of full-length's with new music in the works! The band gives us a brief chat about togetherness and music.


1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

This has been a solo project from its inception. It's been around since 2003, and I've worked on numerous concepts and demos that never really saw the light of day. I've had session players and people who've helped in the past, but again, none of this was ever released.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

I've just kept it under my own name since it is a solo project and I've had a difficult time coming up with an alternate name.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

The vision for the project itself emerged in London, United Kingdom, but most of my recent work has been done up in Skegness, Lincolnshire. As far as the Extreme Metal scene is concerned, there isn't any established scene in Skegness. Metal Archives shows that there is one other Stoner/Groove Metal band in town called Stone The Hydra; the guitarist and vocalist for this band, Liam Underwood, plays with a very prominent Lincoln-based Progressive Death Metal band called Luna's Call. Both bands have some solidly heavy work on offer.

4. How would you describe your style?

There's plenty that can be said about styling and genre, but at its simplest, it's Black Metal with Atmospheric Doom Metal and Death Metal elements.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

The first full-length LP was released in 2014, which I was never satisfied with and have grown to reject. I recently released a full length digital LP, titled Ascension. It's comprised of three very long tracks and one can expect a dark and very heavy atmospheric experience going through this album. Narcoleptica Productions got in touch about doing a limited run of physical CDs, which are due for release very soon on both their Band Camp page as well as my own.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

I do, but it's unlikely to materialize in the near future.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

No. This functions as a studio project.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

It's always uncertain, but as and when the situation calls, something will be created.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

https://kadestorm.bandcamp.com/ and https://narcolepticaprod.bandcamp.com/album/ascension.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Each listener should have their own experience and take away what they can, personally, from the work.


Singer/songwriter JOHNNY STANEC has been releasing music for a while now, under his own name, experimenting with different styles and what not. He has a couple of single's out and about, with more music underway, including possibly playing shows! Lots more is discussed below.


1. Please tell us about your history.

Well, I've been around for a little while, actually. I co-founded a band back in the mid-2000s called First In Space. We wrote hooky rock and roll in the vein of Tom Petty and bands like the Replacements and Gin Blossoms. We released five full-lengths over a decade of performing. It was a good run, but it came to an end in 2018.

During one of our breaks, about ten years ago, I recorded a solo album with songs I had left over from previous recording sessions. It was odd at first to release something under my own name. I always saw myself as a person in a band and not as a solo artist, especially given the type of music I write, but after a while that feeling went away. Around that same time I performed my first solo shows, mostly they were acoustic, but there were a few with a backing band. 

After that, I released more solo music off and on until my band called it quits for good in 2018. After that I became really focused on my approach to releasing music as a solo performer. I never spent as much time before on my solo recordings and some of them were sparse and more acoustic songwriter type songs. But with no band to focus on, I wanted my solo music to be just as fleshed out as what my band did, and I released my first "focused" solo record in 2018 called 'The Future of Nothing'. After that I started playing much more on my own, and throughout 2018 and 2019 I did some light touring of the Midwest and east coast. The pandemic put a halt to shows for a while, but it gave me a chance to spend time recording new music. For most of 2020 I recorded songs and remixed old songs for re-release. I put out a vinyl collection in late 2020 called 'Never Met A Stranger', and in early 2021 I released highlights from old recordings that had been remixed and remastered. 

2. What’s the origin of the artist name?

I'm currently releasing music under my given name. No band name or alterego. I've never considered using a project name for myself, I figure being me is unique enough.

3. Where are you based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local artists you could recommend?

I'm from the town Bruce Springsteen sang about, Youngstown, OH, which people usually find interesting. It's a small city and it has all the problems associated with that. However, there has always been a small, but vibrant musical culture. The arts have always been supported here, even through our toughest times. Outsiders would probably be surprised to know we have a symphony and a long-running playhouse that puts on live performances. We also have a world-class art museum and a quality university all within the city limits. That is evident in the diverse range of music being made here. Many genres of music are represented here within the local acts and it is always evolving. Plus, we are located midway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, so that makes it a great stop for touring acts, of nearly any size.

4. How would you describe your style?

That is always a tough question... I am a songwriter first and as I go forward I like to think I am constantly changing and trying new things and challenging myself. For the longest time I wrote music that got categorized as "powerpop", which isn't a term I am fond of, if I am being honest. I play guitar and back when I started releasing music, that music was guitar-driven, melodic rock music. But along the way I've tried my hand at Americana-tinged folk rock, sparse acoustic tracks and more musically layered Britpop-inspired rock tunes. I am not focused on one specific style as much as I am focused on how everything comes together. I like layering in various instruments and giving each song its own flavor while still letting the original composition be heard.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

I've actually just finished releasing "highlights" from previous records. I went through a sort of reimagining of my back catalog and had my favorite songs remixed and remastered. I packaged them into two volumes. The first volume, 'Northerner: Collective Vol. 1" focused on more recent songs written in late 2019 and throughout 2020. That collection featured most of the songs from my vinyl release from late last year, plus some other tracks I hadn't put out yet. The second volume, "Early Colors: Collective Vol. 2" included the best songs from my old releases that had been remastered. If I include my vinyl collection, 'Never Met A Stranger' and 2018's 'The Future of Nothing', then those round out what's available for listening. 

I like to think that everything that is out there is worth hearing. I may be new to most people, but I have been at it for a while. I've released acoustic songs, folk rock, alternative-rock-leaning guitar music and everything in between. 

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

My new single 'It Was Easy Now' comes out June 18th and can be heard anywhere music is streamed. I have another single releasing August 13th titled, 'Feels Like I'm Fading Away'. Both are, what I feel anyway, some of my best work. I am excited for both songs to be heard, and by hopefully an ever growing audience. After that, I have been recording more new songs for release later this year. I am planning on some additional singles to come out in the fall and into the coming winter.

Lyric Video for 'It Was Easy Now' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH6DvYvX0Ic.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

Obviously Covid stopped touring and playing shows, but in the couple of years before the pandemic I was playing pretty consistently in cities from Chicago to New York, plus regional and local shows. I am just getting back into booking shows for the upcoming fall. Smaller acts like myself really had our momentum killed when the shutdown hit last year. I even know of places I played that closed for good, which is heartbreaking. My first show back will be in September and other dates are in the works. I hope to get back out to places I have visited in the past and perhaps a few others. That will continue into the following year as things get back to normal. I think once newly reopened places get themselves sorted out over the next month or two that live music will really be back in full swing. Larger acts are already announcing tours, festivals are happening and smaller bands are popping up again with smaller capacity venues starting to fill their calendars.

8. What plans do you have for the future?

I'm always writing and recording. I love the practice of making music and have no intentions of ever stopping. It has always been my passion and pursuing it is me living my own version of success. I write because I need to sort out my thoughts and I am forever chasing the next great melody. After these two upcoming singles, more will be on the horizon. For now I am focusing on one song at a time. In the past it was always about a full-length album and making that statement. Plus, I just did that in late 2020, so that release is still available on vinyl (find that link below for anyone interested). I think once I release a few more singles this year that I will want to go back to making a full-length again. I am sure by early 2022 I will have one in the works!

https://johnnystanec.bandcamp.com/album/never-met-a-stranger.

9. Where can we listen to your music and where can we buy your stuff?

Listeners can find my music streaming anywhere music is available. Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc. I also sell my music through Bandcamp. Even YouTube has my music streaming, plus some videos from past releases!

Bandcamp - https://johnnystanec.bandcamp.com/.

Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/artist/0smPQFYEVNXpKo4Dm2vxzX.

Apple Music - https://music.apple.com/us/artist/johnny-stanec/430450296.

YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9aLpTEmdsBsrQtvGlExl4A.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

I have always been focused on the melody, harmony and lyrics. I write songs about my life, my point of view and the various ways I cope with the passing of time and the events I have experienced along the way. I think my message is universal and even a casual listener could get something out of what I am doing. I think music is a form of therapy and in every way essential to our life. I know there are people out there that will hear what I do and take something away from it. I believe my songs can have a broad appeal. Time will tell. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, I appreciate it!


Metalhead rockers FLEISCHKRIEG have been around for sometime now, releasing their debut album come the fall! But that does not stop the band from writing material towards the next release. The band talks about touring and music.


1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.  

It all started with a chance encounter via an Uber ride.  Richard Cranor was working as an Uber driver and picked up a group of drunk passengers during a holiday in Seattle, one of which happened to be Thomas Crawford.  During conversation, it came up that both individuals had solo industrial music projects and similar musical interests. After watching Thomas perform his solo music, “Ceraphym”, Richard asked him to contribute to his FleischKrieg vision.

After a few months, the two relocated from Seattle to Los Angeles and began work on their debut album, Herzblut.  By recommendation from their album producer, we hired Nick Mason (Living Dead Drummer) to play drums.  A few months later, we played a virtual tour with performers.  Having seen Kaylie Cortez perform with DK-Zero and her solo project Nuda, FleischKrieg had to have her as part of the group.  

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name? 

Germans seem to have the market cornered on industrial metal, with their neue deutsche härte scene being a big inspiration for our sound. Richard came up with the name as a way to pay homage to the fatherland influences - and to express a truth about the human condition. The English translation of the band name literally means “Flesh War” - which describes the battle for self-preservation we are always fighting, our bodies being a resource others exploit for one nefarious purpose or another.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend? 

We started in Seattle, Washington, but have since moved to Los Angeles.  The scene is hard to say at the moment since it’s been closed due to the pandemic. As for local bands, we know a few that are more popular like DK-Zero, Dawn of Ashes, and 3Teeth.

4. How would you describe your style? 

It’s a bit of a throwback style to 80s goth synth, but with a harder metal edge. Very rhythmic, tribal...atmospheric. Rammstein riffs with Depeche Mode synths is how we’ve heard it described before.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works? 

Our debut album, Herzblut, will be released this fall.  In April, we released our first single entitled Fool’s Folly, with a music video.  We’re releasing our second single and video, Reach, on July 2nd.  Additionally, we’ll release our cover of Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood on September 10th.  We’ll likely set up a preorder for physical merchandise (including vinyl) in September via our bandcamp page.

6. Do you have any new music in the works? 

We are starting the writing process for the next release, but nothing definitive on that since we’re still in the process of releasing our debut album.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?  

We completed a virtual tour in March with our friends in Cryptamnesia and Nuda.  It was five shows across five different time zones.  We’re in the planning stages for our first non-virtual tour in the United States later this year.  With things starting to open up, the venues are being flooded with show requests and make-up dates, but we hope to have more details soon.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band? 

Our initial goal is to really get on the road. We have goals to play at least three different continents by the end of next year. Europe is on the top of that list. There is such a huge appetite for the music we play in that area and have great responses from fans on that side of the pond.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff? 

You can find links to all of our available music and merch on our website, www.fleischkrieg.com. You might even find a way to purchase our old demos before they go away.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

 What’s old is new again, enjoy the opportunity to dance and destroy things at the same time. It’s fun!


Russian Melodic Death Metal band Smerdead released their new single "Погасший маяк". The release was recorded in "USSRstudio" and "WattaStudio". Mixed/mastered were done at "WhiteBoxStudio" by Alexander Dorohin and Denis Shurakov.

Check out the track at the following links:

https://smerdead.bandcamp.com/track/single-2021

https://open.spotify.com/album/1se9hvTe40EVlQEy0hLhGi

Smerdead  was formed in Siberia, Russia in 2018 by  Kozlodyor (Vocals), Smerd (Guitars), Khrych (Bass) and Dorf (Drums) to play music that the band members called "Zombie Metal".


Elemental fantasy band AMETHYST have a handful of songs out and about, with new music expected out in the form of their debut album out real soon! The band discusses their music, and wanting to tour abroad by the next year!


1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Amethyst started out as a many other bands but always looking for the right people to team with, there were years of trial and error, with many musicians until we stop trying and almost abandoned the whole project.  But in 2015 we gave it a final trial, and we said to ourselves, this time we will do it differently, after a few more changes Geo offered to join in the vocals to Fabi Salas, who was singing in a rock covers  band, she accepted and soon after Kendal joined in the keyboards, after that the band started working hard as we all had the same goal in mind and enjoyed what we were doing.  Current members are Fabi Salas on Vocals, Kendal Rodriguez keyboards, Geo Leiton on guitars and me on bass, Elias Vega.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

It was Geo who came up with the name, we were looking for something hard but beautiful at the same time, as this was the concept of the music we were creating.  One day Geo’s son, Saul, suggested the name and it ringed, as the Amethyst stone is very beautiful but at the same time is one of the hardest minerals, just like the concept of the art we were creating.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

The band is based in Costa Rica, our metal music scene is small but I feel it is growing with great bands coming out and making good music in a professional way, image conscious and with great sound, about great local bands you need to check Delirare.  

4. How would you describe your style?

Our style varies from the different influences that each of us provide, we try to create fantasy realms when creating music something embellished with female voices over a heavy base, we could say that Amethyst's music is like a fantasy artwork dark and magical at the same time. 

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

We have just released our sixth theme called “Straight to hell” a song about human frailties and how the excessive lifestyle could create a hell here on earth, About our previous singles you can find melodic ballads like “Beyond my own eyes” about the beloved passing away and Limerencia which is a more theatrical song with a video reminiscing the Belle Epoque and it was our first song in Spanish, this was actually inspired in a grave inscription from one of our largest cemeteries.  And we also have the more powerful songs like “Night of the three moons (NOT3M)” and “The timekeeper” also the more cinematic “Crimson wings”.  People can expect music from our hearts, we are not aiming to something in particular when we compose, but we rather follow our in-the-moment inspiration.  We like to explore sounds, play with our influences, and there you can find everything from jazz to world music but always over a metal and rock base.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

Yes we are about to complete our debut album, and it will be published later during this year.  Unfortunately pandemics stopped our goals from 2020 which included an international gig as we did in 2019, but we are still actively working on new music too.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

Well, we stopped playing live shows but are looking for touring abroad by 2022, in the hopes that pandemics will be over by then. We are also working on a new show  and this will go along with our next album proposal.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

We are working hard and the best we can in our music, there’s a project to collaborate with a theater company that will be a huge production, but we are still checking on the details and again pandemics is a big obstacle for performing arts.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

We are in all platforms, Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, … and also every song we have published has its own video, you can check our YouTube channel Amethyst Sanctuary or visit our website www.amethystzone.com, there’s the store section with some cool stuff and t-shirts.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Every artist feels great when the public appreciates their work, we would like our public to enjoy our music and remember it like a travel, something with the ability to take you somewhere else drawing magical passages through the Amethyst sound.


Modern hard rockers mixed with electric pop is MODERN WELFARE. They have a single out with a lot more in-store for release, including them writing all new material because they are always writing away! They are also in the works with arranging some new shows and touring too! The band talks about all of this stuff and more below.


1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

The band started out in Pittsburgh pa. Lucas Hay (vocals) and Dan Renz (Guitar) founded the band bringing on John Yabut (Drums) and Byron Taylor (Guitar). 

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

The Band Name was chosen because of our message. We want our music to bring people together to help people overcome. We hope our music will help people do that one day. 

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We Just Moved to Orlando. Our first show here is July 16th. We haven’t really had the chance to check out the music scene because of covid but we are hitting the ground running since shows are coming back. 

4. How would you describe your style?

Our Style is Modern Hard Rock mixed with electric Pop. 

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

We released one single so far but plan on releasing 5 more before November. All the songs are hard rock, but some have more of a pop punk influence.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

We are always writing. We hope to have another six songs recorded and ready for release by April of next year. 

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

We are currently working with our team to plan more shows and a tour this year. So far, the only show we can confirm is July 16th At the Haven Lounge in winter park Florida. 

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

We plan to Write music, Preform Music and hopefully help people along the way like so many bands have helped us. 

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Our Music is available anywhere music is streamed. You can also purchase our music and merch via our website www.modernwelfareofficial.com.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

We want them to remember the feelings they get when listening to our music, the memories it may have brought up in hopes that people will talk about their experiences and their traumas and talk to each other. Music is a powerful tool to opening up places in our mind we have locked away. 


Alternative pop singer/songwriter NIA CC has dabbled in R&B and just pretty much creates her own material. Speaking of which she did release and EP and does have newer music in the works as well. Just see what more she has to say from our chat below.


1. Please tell us about your musical history.

I began taking piano lessons at the age of 4, and wrote my first song, about Disney World, when I was 8 years old realizing early on that songwriting was something I wanted to do. I grew up listening to artists like Corinne Bailey and Taylor Swift, and I loved how they were always able to play live with their guitar on hand, something that was harder to do with an immobile piano. So at age 12, I decided to teach myself how to play both the guitar and the ukulele so I could carry them with me to open mics and to school. Throughout school I was very active in the performing arts from show choir, and to dance classes ranging from ballet to jazz and hip hop. 

As a student at the University of Virginia, where I just graduated from last month, I was the Music Director for the all female award winning A Capella group, the Virginia Sil’hooettes, and a writer and performer for the student run show The Black Monologues. With a degree in music and African American studies, I recently released my self-written and self-produced undergraduate thesis album titled “On Trial” that explores the history and dynamics of Blackness at UVA through a collection of songs. That said, songwriting is like a diary for me. It’s the outlet where I’m able to be my full authentic self and tell my story, whether it be about Disney World or heartbreak. And as someone who tends to live in this world with a lot of passion and feelings, I have a lot of stories to tell. Currently, I  have a catalogue of 500+ songs to my name and I can’t wait to continue writing more. 

2. Is there a story behind your name?

It’s funny because my real, legal, full name is actually “Nia C. C. Williams” so Nia C. C. is my artist name, but it’s also just literally my name, which was something that a lot of school teachers thought I was lying about growing up. But my parents really wanted to name my middle name after my grandmothers whose names both start with C, Claudie and Constance, but they didn’t want there to be arguments over whose name was first. So to make things fair, they just put two C’s there in honor of them, and of course we always change the order of whose name comes first depending on which house we’re at. So that’s what the C. C. stands for. Or, as I told a lot of my classmates when I was younger, “The C. C. Stands for my favorite food, cotton candy.” Which of course was only believed for so long, but that’s something I still like to joke about to this day. 

3. Where are you based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local artists you could recommend?

Well I’ve just finished school at the University of Virginia last month, so I’ve been based out of Charlottesville, Virginia for the past four years. The scene here is getting more and more robust every day from the indie scene to the rap scene. That said, because I’ve been a part of the college music scene for most of my time in Charlottesville, artists are always coming and going, which can be exciting but also a bit daunting. While in Charlottesville one of the main projects I’ve been focused on was my undergraduate thesis album I wrote for school titled “On Trial” which is an album that follows the figurative trial of “Blackness vs. The University of Virginia and analyzes the impacts of white supremacy at the University of Virginia on the Black community. Working on that project allowed me to get closer with a lot of artists, especially black artists in the Charlottesville area and at UVA. Some of those artists include K.I.A.S. and Wayne, both of whom are amazing. That said, I’m excited to move to Los Angeles this August and keep meeting and working with other artists, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. 

4. How would you describe your style?

I like to describe my music as a diary that fell into my guitar and started telling stories. I consider myself an American alt pop singer songwriter, although I also like to dabble a bit in R&B. As a Black Woman, this was always a bit scary and even a bit of a sore spot for me, because I’m an artist who constantly sings with my guitar, and there weren’t many Black mainstream pop artists doing that as I grew up. I always felt like people were pressuring me to switch genres or didn’t take me as seriously when I first started out playing the guitar and writing country songs. Since then, I’ve gained more confidence in the music I write and the genres I typically sing in, and I’m happy to see that Black woman singing with guitars is a space that’s only growing, and I’m excited to be a part of it. Nonetheless, I like to say that my music is always authentic, and it’s like a cloud, sometimes dreary, sometimes rainy and sometimes cheerful, but always moving.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

Last summer I released my first EP “All Things Nia C. C.'' where every song was both written and recorded by me, and 3 of the 5 songs produced by me. That was a huge milestone for me as I like to say that I’m a song-writer who sings and a student of producing. I also released a few self-written and self-produced singles including “Home,” A song I wrote in honor of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, meant to address any inequality and police brutality in America. Each of these releases was terrifying for me. Releasing music is always so scary, especially when it’s just you. There’s no one to share that feeling of accomplishment or insecurity with, and I was always so insecure about releasing my music. “Maybe I should’ve changed that lyric” or “ that bass definitely could have sounded better” and that insecurity was only amplified as I began to release things I produced. Music that I truly poured my heart and soul into. But I decided that letting the world hear a part of me, even if that part didn’t always feel perfect, was better than not letting them hear anything at all. That said, something listeners can always expect from my work is authenticity and a story, no matter how juvenile it may be. And of course, probably a guitar in there somewhere. 

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

I do! I have a ton of new music in the works that I can’t wait to share! I tend to have a lot of feelings, and as I said before writing is like a diary for me, so I’m always creating something new that I’m excited for people to hear. One of the releases I’m really looking forward to is “Animal” which is a song I wrote during the pandemic that I love performing. so I can’t wait for people to hear it.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

As of now I don’t have anything planned out, but that’s something I’m definitely working on, especially as we start to return to normalcy and with my move to Los Angeles. That said, I love performing live with my guitar and interacting with the audience. That’s really what gives me energy.  For example, I performed this Instagram Live show titled “Nia CC: Unplugged” and every week I ask the viewers to give me words to write a song with, and I bring back the song everything with all the words the next week, and I love doing it! It’s always challenging me to be a better writer, especially when I get those inevitably really hard words like “ubiquitous” which I was able to include a song titled “Liquid Courage” that I hope to record soon, end it also gives the listeners a chance to be a part of the story and the process. So while I continue to perform open mics, and work up to eventually touring one day, you can catch me performing my Instagram Live show “Nia CC: Unplugged” every Sunday at 7:30 EST, or catch the recorded version on YouTube. And feel free to leave some words to write with in the comments! 

8. What plans do you have for the future?

That’s always such a scary question because it feels like the future is always changing. Right now, my plan is to continue chasing song-writing and singing as full heartedly as I can, keep releasing new music, and start performing more sets to build a fan base. I also see a lot more recordings in my future which makes me really excited, and pushes me out of my comfort zone of just singing songs with my guitar live. Nonetheless, no matter what the future holds, singing and songwriting will always be a part of my life. 

9. Where can we listen to your music and where can we buy your stuff?

You can find my music on all streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music. You can also find my music on YouTube, where I’ve uploaded a lot of live videos of me singing songs in addition to my recorded music. One of the things I’ve liked to do recently is write “Response songs” which is where I respond to a song that’s already been written from another point of view, and that’s also something I’ve loved doing and posting on all my social media pages along with YouTube.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

My authenticity in the stories I tell. One of the reasons I’ve always loved songwriting is because of the way it’s allowed me to express myself in a way that everyone can enjoy, while also telling my truth along with the stories that are important to me. Music and the arts in general or some thing that I believe brings the world together and teaches us how to empathize and care for one another, and as a Black woman living in America, that’s always been something that was important to me. So whether the song I’ve released is about oppression and equality, or heartbreak, or in this case, the Percy Jackson series with my new single Monsters, I want the listener to walk away with a new story, and know that story was authentic and truly represents me.

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