Zola Simone

For 18-year-old singer-songwriter, Zola Simone, music is much more than just a passion; it’s a way to make sense of the world and move through the ever-changing conditions of life. Her unique and refreshing sound that blends indie, pop, and R&B matched with her raw, vulnerable, and honest lyrics is what sets her apart from many of her peers. Zola is gearing up for a phenomenal year with new singles and an album, Now You See Me, set to drop later this year.

At such a young age, Zola has already learned the importance of her individuality. She is not afraid to unapologetically express herself as an artist through her music and her aesthetic. Zola’s music manages to traverse the challenging terrain of being both deeply personal and undeniably relatable.

Hailing from Boston, Zola Simone has built a fanbase around the New England area and has already sold out her first concert as a headliner. With collaborators such as three-time Boston Music Awards “Producer of The Year,” The Arcitype, Zola continues to evolve her sound and produce music that refreshes the industry.

Crimson Apple

It’s always been a paradox: Los Angeles is called the City of Angels, but it’s ripe with temptation that can steal your soul. From afar, though, its promising allure always beckons to innocent dreamers, artists, and musicians unaware of its sinister vibrations.

The Benson sisters grew up in a paradise in Hawaii surrounded by a loving family and community who nurtured their talents. Their hometown was a Garden of Eden, but just over yonder big-town success gleamed; the shiny juicy apple of LA called out to them.

The Benson sisters write from their experiences and emotions as they pursue their dreams and ambitions. The band’s aesthetic is a vibrant mosaic of the sisters’ influences, including pop, electronic, alternative, K-pop, J-pop, and indie-pop. CRIMSON APPLE counts as inspirations a refreshingly diverse mix of artists such as Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, Twenty One Pilots, etc.

CRIMSON APPLE is Colby Benson, lead vocals; Shelby Benson, guitar; Carthi Benson, bass; and Faith Benson, drums. Since the band’s inception in 2012, CRIMSON APPLE has shared stage with such venerated artists as All Time Low, The Plain White Ts, Switchfoot, One Republic, and Hawaiian music legends, HAPA. The group’s 2015 debut album, Hello, garnered commercial airing in Hawaii, and across the internet, including earning spins on iHeartMedia and Star 101.9. The year of its debut, the sisters also earned nominations for Alternative Album of the Year, Most Promising Artist of the Year, and Group of the Year at the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, Hawaii’s equivalent of the Grammy Awards.

In 2015, CRIMSON APPLE relocated to California to further pursue music. Since the move, the band has performed in numerous venues and festivals across the US.


Fusing the art of rhythm and poetry, Zamaera creates beauty in the duality of weaving delicate vocals with eloquent lyricism into the fabric of her identity as an artist. Breaking down the barrier between audience and artist with relatable and engaging music that resonates universally.

Growing up in Malaysia, music flowed through Zamaera’s home from a young age as her obsession led her to pick up guitar and piano lessons.  Never shy behind a microphone, she found solace on stage and performing to an audience. ““My love for poetry began at school and it evolved into songwriting,” says Zamaera. “At 17, I started my journey as a singer-songwriter, recorded the very first demo on my acoustic guitar, and sent it out to a few recording labels. I was thrilled to be offered a contract and signed at 17!”

After being signed, she continued her education abroad in Germany, which shaped and molded her songwriting process. “It spurred a ton of writing on my end,” says Zamaera regarding her time abroad. “It was a way of coping with everything I was experiencing at that time.” Upon returning to Malaysia, Zamaera dove head first into the rap universe of Southeast Asia, studying her favorite artists relentlessly to perfect her art. “I was surrounded by the best that hip-hop in Malaysia had to offer,” says Zamaera. “Joe Flizzow, SonaOne and Aman Ra were Malaysian artists that influenced and fueled my passion for rap. I will be forever grateful and thankful for the role that they’ve played in my journey.”

In 2017, Zamaera independently released her first single “Helly Kelly,” an explosive track to introduce herself to the industry, which took notice and within the same year, she signed an artist development deal with international recording label Lakefront Records. She also released her second single “Wanita” in her native language, which explores the importance of female empowerment.

With two successful singles under her belt, Nike approached Zamaera with an endorsement opportunity. Capitalizing on the momentum of the endorsement, Zamaera dropped her first mixtape titled DontZzOnMe in June of 2018. The SoundCloud release offers ten tracks to showcase her take on Nicki Minaj’s “Chun Li’’ and Drake’s “God’s Plan.” In addition, MTV Asia premiered their reboot of Yo! MTV Raps Cypher, featuring Zamaera among other prominent artists from South East Asia.

Set for international release in October 2018, Zamaera’s debut EP will be accompanied by a South East Asian tour. This 4-track EP features its first single titled “ZvsZ,” which captures her soulful songwriting and hard-pressing rhythm and poetry, a reflection of that artistic duality that pulls listeners into her gravitational energy.

Magic Giant

The LA-based indie-folk band Magic Giant have sold out legendary venues ranging from Los Angeles’ Troubadour to Mercury Lounge in New York City, headlined festivals such as RiSE in the Mojave Desert for 14,000 people, and played celebrated events including Rock the Vote. Their latest release, “Set On Fire,” charted at #4 on Spotify’s US Viral 50 and the band has been featured on Spotify’s New Music Tuesday and declared an “Artist on the Verge” by Billboard. These successes almost didn’t happen because the band itself almost didn’t happen.

The folk revival band was first imagined in 2012 when lead singer Austin Bis made a New Year’s resolution to follow his childhood dream and put a band together. New to Los Angeles, Austin asked around in an attempt to find someone who could play banjo, fiddle, and sing harmonies and was quickly introduced to Zambricki, another recent LA transplant. Together they played a handful of shows and though they had a great time, things soon fizzled out. Six months later, the talent-buyer from the Sweetlife Music Festival reached out, unaware that the band was on hiatus, and attempted to book them after seeing one of the band’s rare early performances. Austin and Zambricki couldn’t turn down the offer, and thus the rebirth of the band began. The duo received a thunderous response from the crowd and soon parlayed one festival into two, landing a slot at the inaugural Life Is Beautiful Festival. Soon after, they started weaving mandolins with live horns and drum machines into their sound, and added a crucial piece to the puzzle: Brian “Zangarang” Zaghi on upright bass and guitar. The trio played their first show as the newly minted Magic Giant in March 2014.

The band self-produced its debut EP, which featured notable musicians including Rashawn Ross of Dave Matthews Band and Spencer Ludwig of Capital Cities. The Magic Giant EP was released in March of 2015 to critical acclaim. NPR proclaimed, “This L.A. indie-folk band has a festival anthem on its hands” and the band was brought in for a performance on KEXP hosted by John Richards. Since then, Magic Giant has moved bodies and souls in over thirty cities across North America, building a reputation for its infectious sing-alongs and communal live experiences, blending folk instruments with big drums and dance rhythms. They are currently working on their debut full-length record from their 1940’s bomb-shelter-turned-studio in Silver Lake, California.

Magic Giant is Austin Bis [lead vocals], Zambricki [banjo, mandolin, fiddle] and Brian “Zangarang” Zaghi [upright bass, guitar].

Smoke Season

LA-based indie duo, Smoke Season, describe their powerhouse blend of electronic and soul in four words: “Fleetwood Mac with beats”. Gabrielle Wortman and Jason Rosen, the duo that comprises Smoke Season, have carved out a sonic niche for themselves in the indie world — drawing on electronic, rock steady and soul influences to create something “utterly fascinating” (axs).

In November 2017, the group released their original single, “Wolves,” described by The Line of Best Fit as “indie-pop at its best” and announced a collaboration with UK-based audio technology brand, MQA, on an advertising campaign featuring the single.  “Good Days,” released in summer 2017, was featured in Season 2 of BBC America’s Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency.  The duo has received acclaim from major press outlets such as W Magazine, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Clash Magazine, LA Weekly, and The New York Times, to name a few.

Smoke Season continues to be an influence in the fashion world — recently announcing a merchandise line designed by lead singer, Gabrielle, and featuring one-of-a-kind vintage products.  The line’s first round of merchandise sold out within 12 hours of going live.

The pair has also risen as a voice for social change: flying to Standing Rock North Dakota to support DAPL protests and released videos focusing on bullying of LGBTQ youth (“Loose”), support for veterans (“When The Smoke Clears”), and immigration reform (“Emilia”).

Their 2016 Ouroboros EP featured a socially conscious short film that was featured at the 2017 Cannes Film and 2017 Hollyshort Film Festivals.

Smoke Season performed at SXSW 2017 and completed an international fall 2017 tour including stops in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York City and London.


Scottish-based ONR appeared on the music scene practically overnight after leaking his first single, “Jericho” through indie music label, Leftwing, before being signed to Capitol Records. With an understated confidence and maturity, he cites David Bowie and Arcade Fire as his musical inspirations.

He has been featured in major publications such as the The Village Voice, Huffington Post, BBC Introducing, CLASH Magazine, Culture Collide, Alternative Press, Vents Magazine, and Lemonade Magazine. Later this year he will be performing at Leeds, Great Escape, and on support dates with Mondo Cozmo. ONR is currently working with producers Mark Crew (Bastille, Rag & Bone Man), Doc McKinney (The Weeknd) and legendary mixer Spike Stent (Massive Attack, Frank Ocean).

His latest single “AMERICAN GODS” (released Feb 16th) was featured on New Music Friday, Young and Free, and Viral 50 UK playlists on Spotify, as well as Breaking Alternative, Best of the Week playlists on Apple Music. His debut EP will be released spring of 2018.

The Ramona Flowers

The Ramona Flowers formed in 2012 when Dave Betts (keys/guitar) met (singer) Steve Bird for the first time at a fancy dress party. The former was dressed as Freddie Mercury and the latter as a vacuum cleaner. Yes? and they recruited (drummer) Ed Gallimore after a girl Betts knew was stood up on a Tinder date by a “good-looking guy” who was also a professional drummer. The romance wasn’t to be, but Gallimore was soon drafted into the band’s line-up. This is all fact?

What is certainly true is Betts, Sam James (guitar) and Wayne Jones (bass) met Bird and Gallimore and The Ramona Flowers were born…

Having initially banded together in their shared search to find the sweet spot between rock and electronica, The Ramona Flowers have progressed through two albums – Dismantle And Rebuild (2014) and Part Time Spies (2016) – to their finely-honed third long-player, Strangers. Their most electronic and dancefloor-ready offering to date, its creation was overseen – as was its predecessor – by American, London-based producer Chris Zane (Passion Pit, Friendly Fires, St Lucia).

The last few years have seen The Ramona Flowers playing concerts around the world, making many new fans – including the singer of U2. When Bono heard his daughter playing Lust And Lies, the pulsing and atmospheric lead track from the band’s 2013 EP of the same name, it caught his ear. Bono contacted the band and subsequently recruited the song’s producer Andy Barlow (one half of electronic duo Lamb) to help in the making of the Irish super group’s latest album, Songs Of Experience.

As a statement of intent, the title track from Strangers sets the tone of The Ramona Flowers’ new approach. A nocturnal- sounding club track with a vocoder hookline, it finds Bird lyrically concerned with re-exploring the early passion of a relationship. “It’s about when you meet somebody and that first sort of whirlwind of how great it is,” says the singer. “It’s wanting to repeat it all again.”

For Strangers, The Ramona Flowers employed a new creative modus operandi of the collective members writing separately, using computers and synthesizers, before bringing the songs to the rest of the band in the studio to complete as a team. Hence the music’s more electronic focus.

Among the band’s more recent adventures are a memorable set at Glastonbury 2017 and a trip to Japan to play at the 2017 Fuji Rock Festival, where they were astounded to find themselves performing at the decidedly un-rock’n’roll time of 10.30AM to 5,000 avid fans. “They were singing along and knew all the words,” Bird marvels.

Three albums in, The Ramona Flowers deserve to be ranked up there with the contemporary artists and bands they most admire and feel an affinity with: Phoenix, M83, Everything Everything, Sampha, Wild Beasts. With Strangers, they surely will be, since they’re performing at peak level.
“I think this record is much more accessible to a wider audience,” says Sam James. “The sound of the band is big. I think we’ve been growing towards this over the last two records. This is the best album we’ve ever done.”

Berried Alive

In queso didn’t know, Charles and Kaylie Caswell – the pear behind the Portland, Oregon-based outfit Berried Alive – will release their latest jam, “Melon-Choly,” on May 10, 2022. Alongside the release of the new track – which is soda-rn good you’ll turnip the volume and yell “holy crépe, this band isn’t forking around” – the husband and wife duo have announced that their sixth album will be released in 2022 and will push the boundaries of Berried Alive both sonicly and emotionally. “These songs represent a lot of different styles and genres of music,” the band admits, addressing the explosion of sound found on the new record. “We personally listen to a lot of different styles of music, and we like different things about each style, so we’ve incorporated some elements of our favorite styles into one sound.”

The results have been egg-splosiveCLASH kicked off the year, highlighting the band’s ability to blur the limes of genre using the lead single, “Sit There Like A Lemon,” stating it “melds together EDM, rock, metal, and vivid pop textures.” Zooming in on the band’s hope of normalizing difficult conversations by tackling the complexities of mental health, Wonderland confessed that the dark and triumphant track “Pearanoid,” the second released from the forthcoming LP, proves that “there is no darkness which Berried Alive cannot overcome.”

Today’s single, “Melon-Choly,” reinforces the recurring theme of the record – that nothing is im-popsicle if you refuse to cake your eye off the prize. You shrimply have to do whatever it takes to overcome the obstacles that may be in front of you. Using introspective lyrics, the song is told from the perspective of an imaginary rockstar and zooms in on the grueling life of spending extended periods away from home and the emotional toll of surviving another grinding tour. Like the previous two singles, it spotlights elements of depression, loneliness, anxiety, paranoia, and other symptoms that many people suffer through frequently. These themes mirror the experiences Charles and Kaylie encountered during their engagement and first year of their marriage. Craving a butter life for themselves, the couple refused to cave to the pear pressure to follow the standard industry blueprint. Ditching studio time and traditional tour routings, the duo decided to relish their time together.

Taking matters into their own hands has been the best path for Berried Alive to dill with the workload that comes with being a creator. The results have been considerable. As Charles writes, produces, mixes, and masters the outfit’s music, which has gathered nearly 50-melon streams globally, and spawned five studio albums featuring 30 pun-based singles, some of which have caught the attention of Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Kaylie contributes lyrics and the occasional basslines, while creating and designing the band’s clothing brand and streetwear line. Their unique line includes wearable art like bomber jackets, a varsity jacket style sweater, sneakers, joggers, and hoodies, which all feature the band’s adorable strawberry and crossbones logo.

Like their music, which they’ve created with the intention of helping people feel connected and less alone in the world, they hope that by creating in a way that is accessible and impactful for the everyday person, they can provide some encourage-mint to help people choose to juice be themselves.

Boy Epic

Synesthesia is a state of consciousness where visuals fill the mind as a person listens to music. This concept is central to the work of the enigmatic Boy Epic, the noir-pop artist, who creates music so vivid that it transcends sound. And if you’re not born with the cognitive pathway to experience this, Boy Epic—who sees his songs before he writes them—will gallantly usher you down that road himself.

Take the single, “Trust,” from his debut EP, Everyone’s Strange. The song opens with ominous whistling, not unlike that from Kill Bill, then explodes into a percussive anthem that plays off his velvety vocals. “Lyrically, I was trying to show a person who’s been hurt so much that you wouldn’t hurt them,” he says. “It’s just like, ‘Break down your walls.’” But that is only half the song’s story. It soundtracks his Sin City meets Fight Club mini-movie—shadowed in shades of white, red, and gunpowder gray—where he wins that love he fights hard for until it slips away.

His sleek, cinematic aesthetic has already amassed an organic-fan following in the form of Instagram and Twitter followers. The stark video for his wanton tribal-hymn “Fifty Shades” (inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey) has earned more than 12 million YouTube views. And the throbbing, mercurial “Scars,” an ode to Suicide Squad, most recently landed in the trailer for ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Not bad for an elusive, stylish provocateur who manifested Boy Epic out of Dallas, TX.

This is what we do know about Boy Epic. The name is seemingly arbitrary, lifted from a newspaper headline about a young boy’s accidental hot-air balloon adventure. Yet it also serves as an intriguing red herring to his unconventional childhood and the richly emotional work that resulted from it. “Boy Epic is my character,” he says.  “I can always change his life in my videos.  But there is always a lot of truth to the work I put into my character.”

His parents divorced when he was barely a year old, so he grew up in what he calls, “split worlds.” Bright ’80s synth-pop wafted through his mom’s house, willfully exorcising her personal and romantic hardships. In contrast, his father, a professional bowler, hung around a gritty crowd. “After bowling, they would go to the bar, play darts, and drink and smoke. Every time the Eagles would come on, they would sing along,” Boy Epic recalls. “I was in the back watching this, playing pool.” He was 13 years old.

His dad was less fatherly and more of a cool friend, taking the preteen to see revivals of films by directors such as Scorsese and Tarantino. Goodfellas, in particular, struck a chord. Says Boy Epic, “I wanted to be just like them. I mean, I didn’t want to murder people or sell drugs. I just wanted their lingo. I mimicked what they said, and it formed my accent. That’s why I don’t sound like I’m from Texas.”

After a health setback, his father’s spirit died. “He’s given up on life,” explains Boy Epic. “All the heartache my family has gone through—that has inspired me the most. I feel like I have a responsibility to people who listen to my music to talk about the dark feelings they may be feeling. Hopefully, they’ll get through them, too.”

Navigating through grim realities and the urge to surmount them became the theme of Everyone’s Strange. “It’s the Inception-Christopher Nolan dream within a dream within a dream concept.” For instance, “Wolf,” a triumph of both ethereal minimalism and contemplative R&B, is, he says, “about self-hate. Constantly wanting more and more. Accepting defeat.” The video is act 2 of the thrilling-then-bleak “Trust” story, an out-of-body vantage point of his comatose paramour.

“There is definitely a lot of truth to the work I put into my character,” he says. The three-story arc driving Everyone’s Strange recounts the impact he’s seen of drugs on people. The glitchy, seductive “3 AM,” a nod to the erotica of Eyes Wide Shut, completes the narrative. It has yet to be shot, but expect it to get mind-trippingly sci-fi in the way it mingles fact with fiction.

“I look at songs like movies. I think about storyboards, the climax—visualizing what my character might go through or who he might be going through it with,” he says of his songwriting process. “The movie works its way through my mind as I write lyrics.” Even his live show is filmic: Boy Epic, before a white screen, his band artfully in silhouette behind him.

Growing up, Boy Epic taught himself the guitar and the piano. “My aunt was the Fort Worth symphony director. When I was a kid, she’d sit me down on the piano bench next to her as she played. It was so mesmerizing,” he says. “Piano, to this day, remains my favorite instrument. Even though I don’t play it very well….” A shy teen, he dabbled in pop-punk and emo, but really identified with indie artists who were storytellers. “I wanted to write songs and put people in an emotional place where they could visualize their own movie with my lyrics.”

For Everyone’s Strange, Boy Epic collaborated with producer Jason Evigan (Maroon 5, Kehlani,) and Cutdown Trees (a.k.a. Christopher Shelton, who also plays synths in his band). No songwriting experience was the same. “Trust” began with a synth hook from Jason. “Wolf” was flushed out from a melody in Boy Epic’s head. And the EP’s fourth song, the industrial-funk slow jam “Kanye’s in My Head,” was born of its beat. “I thought, ‘This isn’t normal. What am I gonna write about? So I thought about my generation and how fucked up it is, but also how great it is,” he says. “Who’s the modern rock star? Kanye West has that ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude.”

The video is its own entity, an intermission of sorts from the EP’s “Trust-Wolf-3AM” trilogy. “It was very much a timepiece for me. The American flag represents how the world is falling apart. I spray-painted ‘Kanye’ over the flag because people are losing control,” he says. “When Kanye is in my head, I lose control.”

Only, in reality, Boy Epic rarely loses sight of the game. “I’m heavily involved in everything in the studio. I do not leave the room, ever,” he says. “I don’t like the idea of people writing songs for me, because I would lose who I am.” He even directs and edits his own videos, which he learned via YouTube tutorials. “Basically, I’m using my music videos as a resume until the day comes that I have time to audition for a movie,” he says. “I have a body of work now.”

As hands-on as Boy Epic can be, once his job is complete, he finds it deeply satisfying to set his work out into the ether for interpretation. And that is where synesthesia comes in. “Not everybody is going to listen to my music through my videos,” he says. “It’s important to me that when you hear a song, you can see something in your mind.”

This even applies to his mom, who initially saw darkness. “My music disturbed her at first. She used to ask me, ‘Why is everything you do so depressing? And I’d say, ‘Because there are a lot of depressed people in the world, and I’m trying to help them.’ But now she totally gets it. ‘I’m good, mom. If anything, this makes me normal.’ This is very therapeutic for me. I hope it is for others, too.”