Spotlight

Smule Group Spotlight – Jazzology

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Super excited to have Jazzology as our Group spotlight. They are fairly new as a group, but nothing short of incredible – both visually and auditorily. Some of the best (of what we have seen) jazz musicians of Smule come together to perform live-like jazz. They give us an insight on their group and creating performances. Check it out below. Interview by Dave Olsen @ProducahMan and his team.

Give us a bio on our group

Jazzology is a group of 40 talented people from all over the globe that was started just over 3 months ago. It was founded by Daniel Hutchins (@PapaHutchins), Lonnie Wagonner (@Lonnie_ii_V_i) and myself (Dave Olsen @ProducahMan). We all met on Smule, singing and playing instruments on each others OCs. I was so excited to discover other jazz musicians here. Each of us had been experimenting with doing freestyle collabs playing instruments with some very talented singers and instrumentalists. When we started talking possibility of recording a full band with a horn section, we knew we had to do it! We have been blessed to have so many talented singers and musicians join us. We think there’s so much more that we can do musically with this idea and we’re excited to see where it goes.

What made you want to start a group using instruments on Smule (you don’t see it often)

The level of talent in the jazz community on Smule is truly mind boggling. There are some amazing jazz groups and there is a lot of cross pollination between members from the various groups. Jazz is improvisational at its core, so the people that gravitate to this music tend to be very creative types who enjoy mixing it up. For our Jazzology project, we were hoping to create the feeling of jamming inside a jazz club in NYC or Paris, except we’d be playing in cyberspace. It feels like a new frontier for improvisation.

Lonnie is from a small town in Indiana and Dan lives in a small town in the Texas Panhandle. So for them to meet up with other musicians to play jazz meant a lot of late night driving. Smule gave us the medium to play some great music with these all these talented cats from the comfort of our own homes.  Dan even quit one of his bands to focus more time on this project.

We started by recording a couple of jazz classics, Route 66 and Embraceable You, using group video. The response to our first collabs from the community was really incredible! It seemed like we had touched a nerve with the concept.

What are some challenges you run into when you when making it? Can you describe the process in going through these performances?

We want to make our recordings sound as live as possible. Jazz is really meant to be enjoyed live. The group video Freestyle option in Smule works best for this. However, It’s tricky to record a full band in Freestyle. If you record instruments like drums at too high a volume, the vocalists have to record at an even higher input level just to be heard. This leads to a distorted sound and parts start to get lost. The key to getting a good balance is to start with rhythm section tracks recorded at low volume. I learned from trial and error that recording with No FX works best for piano, bass and drums and Polish FX often works best for guitar. Then we add the horns, always have to be careful to record at low volume with very little FX.

This trial and error process definitely takes time. I like to call it ‘Smengineering’ (Smule Engineering). One feature we would love to see Smule come out with someday soon is a to enable the user who opens the group collab to mix the volume levels of the different tracks before publishing it (like you would in a recording studio). I know a lot of folks using this app for group collabs would truly appreciate having a feature like that!

Anything interesting happen in the making or process of these videos?

We’ve learned something new from doing each of the videos. It’s a new experience for many people in the group to sing on video and not have the lyrics flashing across the screen. It’s much closer to the experience of performing live on stage.

Usually we start a track with myself at the piano and my friend Justin Snikkar on bass. Afterwards, we layer on drums, horns and vocals. We recently had the opportunity to work with two amazing Smule partner artists, Black Waters (@BlackWaters) from Indonesia and Melissa Adams (@_MellyRose_) from my hometown Toronto. We wanted to try something new for their songs so I enlisted my friend Adam Warner on drums. Having the trio of bass/drums/piano playing together really brought new energy and flow to the sound. It also made it easier to layer parts on top of it because the rhythm section was now on one track instead of spread across multiple tracks. For Melly’s original song Shy, she worked out these awesome harms with Michelle (@Quiynie) and Lizzy (@LiisaFrank) while the horn players and I worked out an arrangement to fit with what they were singing. It was truly a collaborative process. and one that I hope we can repeat again and again. It really feels like being in a band except that the band is spread out on all corners of the globe!

What can we expect in the future and do you accept requests? 😛

We absolutely do take requests! It doesn’t have to be only Jazz. We love playing many different styles of music.

We’ve got a bunch of exciting collabs planned with the group as well as some collabs with some fantastic guest vocalists. I don’t want to spoil the surprise but you will see some more familiar faces from the Smule community singing with us very soon! We are also hoping to make a full length recording of originals & some jazzy covers down the road and who knows, we may even get to play live together at a Smule meet up someday soon!

We started a new thing calling Jammin’ with Jazzology where we open OCs from the @Jazzology page on Smule  with musicians from the group playing instruments. We got so many amazing joins to our first OC of Gershwin’s Summertime that we’re going to make that a regular thing. There’s been a few of the people joining wearing hats like the band too lol.

Please follow us on Smule so you get the notifications of OCs and see our latest songs!

Anything else?  

We just wanted to say a huge thanks to Smule for providing such an awesome platform for collaborating and sharing music with a such an amazing community of music lovers!

 

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July Monthly Spotlight: BlackWaters

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To celebrate our talented community, we decided to take it to the ones who knows it best – the community! Each month we will have a user to curate and feature talent and overall passionate singers and entertainers. We are happy to introducing Monthly User Picks Playlist!

How does it work?

Each month we take a user who excels in a category (Jazz, CosPlay, acoustic, instrumentals, accapella etc) and leave it to them to operate a playlist on our explore screen in the Sing! App.

We will be announcing the personality on the first day of new month and the playlist will be started the same day, so feel free to reach out to that personality if you have related performances you think deserved to be featured. It’s up to the personality on how often the playlist will be changed. We are expecting it to be rotated 2-4 times/month.

For the month of July, we are featuring @BlackWaters!

Many of you know him as BlackWaters on the app, but his real name is muhammad Ilham, or you can call him Iam (pronounced ee’um). He’s one of smule verified artist, He was born and raised in jakarta, Indonesia.

while being a lead vocalist on his band called BlackWaters. You can find his music on the Sing app! With his original song “Breeze.”

In addition to being lead vocalist, he also plays guitar, piano and a songwriter as well as a lyricist.

To possibly get picked, use the #BlackwatersPickRock and use video

A little about Iam:

  • My fav genres are: Rock, Soul, nusoul, RnB, ballad, funk, acid jazz.
  • My motto is work hard & play hard
  • My fav quote: When words fail, music speaks
  • My music influence are:
    The beatles, led zeppelin, nirvana, stevie wonder, michael jackson, jobim
  •  Make music events with smulenesians community called SNgigs
    alongside with ariyanti & bagus
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Smule Spotlight: Kaysoule

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Smule Spotlight: Kaysoule

Greetings, I’m Kaye from Atlanta, GA, Usa, My hobbies are Singing, cosmetology and drawing. I took a long break of singing for several years to grow and develop my family. I woke up one morning from a dream intrigued with the inspiration to sing and write music again so I started searching for something to practice on and strengthen my vocals and stumbled upon this Sing app I’m on Sing because I love music, and I enjoy the opportunity to sing with others not just locally but also around the world. I also enjoy listening to others versions of songs and hearing songs sung in other languages.

What makes you excited to Sing?

What makes me excited to sing is listening to others sing and hearing certain music that really hit home whether it be the beat the lyrics or the way in which the song is simply sung!! That stimulates and charges me up to sing.

If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?

It would be “Read All About it” by Emeli Sande I really like that song it has so much meaning and it speaks volumes on so many ideas and on so many levels.

Who influences you the most?

My husband influences me the most no matter what through the ups and downs. He’s always there to encourage me to perfect what I do. My family and friends also play a great role of influence. There are of course many great musical influences old and new school like Pattie Labelle, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Tina Marie, Sam cook, Stefanie Mills, Lauryn Hill, Aretha Franklin Lalah Hathaway and so many more just to name a few….

Share a personal fact no one would ever guess about you.

I’m not as young as I look lol… I’m a wife and Mother to some amazing children whom all have enjoyed singing on here, too. I collect healing stones which are very therapeutic. And I can make an delicious strawberry lemon pound cake so I’ve been told as it never last very long.

Can you share one quote or saying you love, that keeps you going in life?

One of my favorite quotes or saying is “Never Give Up!” That just about sums it up. That’s the Solution to almost everything! Knowing no matter what obstacles I may face keep moving forward and never give up.

If you could have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If I could eat one meal for the rest of my life it will be Salad fully loaded of course with onions, carrots, sundried tomatoes, olives, kimchi, roasted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, and my favorite Honey Glazed smoked Salmon and can’t forget my favorite dressing mmm mm delicious I can just taste it describing it!!!!!!!! This meal can be eaten at any time of day and its healthy and Nutritious…..

Thank you for taking a moment to know a little about me.

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Smule User Spotlight: @sekarkiranah

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Smule Spotlight: @sekarkiranah

 

My name is Sekar, but people just simply call me “Skay” because it’s different, unique, and recognizable. I am from Bontang in East Borneo, Indonesia: a small city which even lot of Indonesian people don’t know about (LOL). As unique as the town itself, my love for vanilla and tosca knows no bounds. It might border on obsession… but singing is my passion.

Right now I am a psychology practitioner who works for special needs children at a local hospital in my town. The work is rewarding. The children are sweet and they deserve as much love and learning as any child does, because every children was born perfect. That’s the point that i’ll always keep on my mind.

One day, a friend of mine introduced me to ‘Sing!’. Just so you know, we don’t have many karaoke bars around, so this little app is amazing to me. An example of a great night to me would be singing karaoke at the table with a tray of delicious sushi. Not everybody’s idea of a great night but it is a blast.

What do you love the most about Sing!?

When I sing I just feel different. I am no longer me if that makes sense. The music becomes my blood and the rhythm becomes my soul. I love every part of the singing process very much while making it: from producing and arranging to recording and editing. Rock and Reggae music does this the most. I almost cannot contain myself when good tracks plays around me. Sing! helps me to do all of that too. The amazing software and tools they offer really help me as an artist.

 

If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?

A Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin. I am really obsessed to sing that song on a big stage. This song brings great energies, expressions, and goosebumps, so it will be great if i could sing that song on stage.

Who influences you the most?

It is not easy to pick who my biggest personal influence is. As the years went by, that role as biggest influence changed from person to person. To give it to just one does not work for me. I think in music’s term, it will be Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. They just gave me this “style” WOOHOO!

Share a fun experience

What most people do not know is how fun driving is for me. I really love to drive from one city to another, by myself. I became very good thanks to long commutes to my job. Maybe I was a taxi driver in a different life… Hahaha xD

Can you share one quote or saying you love, that keeps you going in life?

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” – Dr. Seuss

Favorite food?

SUSHI! Of course. Why? I don’t know why, but sushi is the only food that I never get bored with. I love sushi so much that i’ve considered marrying it.. LOL xD

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Smule Group Spotlight: XCLUSIVE

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Smule Group Spotlight: XCLUSIVE

We are an XCLUSIVE group of Smulers who enjoy our love for Smuling by sharing our various talents together via collaborations. Smule provides us this wonderful platform that brings together people from all over the world. It is through Smule that our XCLUSIVE collaborations from all across the globe are made possible.

What is your favorite style to sing as a group?

Acoustic

If you could get together in real life for 3 days, what would you do?

Do a group VOC together!

Please share any favorite memories as a group

Every group collaboration has its own sweet memories and we made plenty!

Who is your group leader(s) (Smule ID) for community to ask questions?

_ZalZack_X (Founder) and _aiRynRsz_X (Co Founder)

Name 5 qualities that you try to highlight in your group

Teamwork, Respect, Understanding, Sharing, Creativity

 

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Group Spotlight: WanderingChild

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Wandering Child’s (@WanderingChild) “Phantom Of The Opera” is a project directed by Harry Amyson (@HarryAmyson on Smule), which includes collaborations by 15 very talented Smulers who share a passion for the legendary “Phantom Of The Opera” musical. Each track has been customized/produced in accordance to a revised script from the original Broadway production. We have currently completed Act 1, and is scheduled to start recording Act after the year end holidays!
What is your favorite style to sing as a group?
Mostly musical theatre and showtunes, but we do sing other genres as well when we are not working on Phantom Of The Opera!
Name 5 qualities that you try to highlight in your group
1) Passionate – Each Phan in this group are dedicated to making this show a success!
2) Talented – Our Phans are incredibly skilled. Each Phan possesses a unique voice, and are able to act out their scenes impeccably.
3) Committed – Every single Phan in our group has put in their best efforts to get practice/final tracks recorded according to our strict timeline.
4) Supportive – We don’t use this platform simply to sing and record tracks, we have created amazing friendships across the world, and ever single one of us are there for emotional support.
5) Diverse – Our Phans come from America, Scotland, Malaysia, and Singapore!
If you could get together in real life for 3 days, what would you do?
We have always thought about having a get together over in America, where we would rent a holiday house together, eat good food, visit the beaches, and go to Universal Studios to enjoy Harry Potter, and not forgetting taking this time to sing and meet each others’ family and friends!
Please share any favorite memories as a group(if you have any)

1) Our collabs of other musicals!

– Les Mis, One Day More,

https://www.smule.com/recording/les-miserables-one-day-more/166486674_608783002 –
– Rent, Will I, https://www.smule.com/recording/rent-will-i/146862391_600115233

2) 20 rapid fire questions!

https://www.smule.com/recording/20-questions-time/166486674_584351785/ensembles

3) Singing Happy Birthday (and accidentally inviting THE birthday boy to sing HIS own song!) https://www.smule.com/recording/traditional-happy-birthday-to-you/166486674_604466131

4) Our Piangi (@nightowl1973)’s pictures of himself in hats!

5) Rejoicing at every completed track!

Who is your group leader(s) (Smule ID) for community to ask questions?

@HarryAmyson, @WanderingChild

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