Arts and Music posts


Manuel Marino Music Composer

Havana Brown: A talented triple threat


Born Angelique Meunier, Havana Brown is a Mauritian Australian DJ, singer, and dancer.

In 2008, Havana Brown joined Island Records Australia as a DJ after being scouted by the label’s manager. She subsequently released her Crave compilation album series, featuring various covers and inventive remixes. That same year, Brown supported Rihanna on the Australian leg of her Good Girl Gone Bad album tour. She later opened for the girl group the Pussycat Dolls during their Australian Doll Domination tour and Britney Spears on both the European and Australian segments of her Circus tour. Brown also supported Chris Brown on the Australian leg of his F.A.M.E. tour.

From 2009, Brown has been a DJ on the Australian statewide radio show, Party People, on the Today Network, airing every Saturday night. In 2011, she released her debut single, “We Run the Night,” which became triple platinum certified by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) after selling 210,000 copies. Brown was nominated for Breakthrough Artist Single and Highest Selling Single at the ARIA Music Awards. A remix of the track featuring rapper Pitbull was released in the U.S. in September, topping the U.S. Hot Dance Club Songs chart and reaching number 26 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Her second single, “Get It,” peaked at number 38 on the ARIA Singles Chart. Brown also toured with Enrique Iglesias for the Australian leg of his Euphoria tour in the same year.

In 2012, Brown released her debut EP, When the Lights Go Out, and made a guest appearance on the popular talent show America’s Got Talent. She supported Pitbull on his Planet Pit World Tour and represented Australia at the first ABU TV Song Festival in Seoul, South Korea. Brown released her third single from When the Lights Go Out, “Big Banana,” featuring artists R3hab and Prophet of 7Lions. The track peaked at number 15 on the US Dance/Electronic Songs chart and number 2 on the ARIA Dance Single Chart in Australia, earning a gold certification from ARIA.

In 2013, Brown debuted her studio album, Flashing Lights, collaborating with Afrojack, Cassie Davis, and RedOne, among others. The album reached number six on the ARIA Albums Chart. One of the album’s lead singles, “Warrior,” was certified platinum after selling over 70,000 copies and was nominated for Song of the Year at the ARIA Music Awards. Brown performed the song as a musical guest on The X Factor Australia. In 2014, she released new material, including the songs “Whatever We Want,” “Better Not Said,” and “No Ordinary Love.” Brown supported Bruno Mars on his The Moonshine Jungle Tour in Las Vegas and was nominated for Best Australia Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards as well as World’s Best Female Artist, World’s Best Live Act, World’s Best Entertainer of the Year, and World’s Best Song (for “Warrior”) at the World Music Awards.


David Gray Blazetrak Interview

BtBlackLogoToday we interview David Gray, David is Director of Support for, an impressive project where direct video responses are given from music industry professionals, helping new artists in their career in many ways.

MM: David, is the world’s first website that allows you to get directly in touch with established music industry experts and celebrity talent, how did you have this powerful idea?

The idea came from that fact that A&R are striving everyday to find new music. They are checking social media, going to clubs, networking, they are always actively looking for quality new music.

For an artist, one of the main ways to get in touch with an A&R was to mail them a CD and hope that someone listened to it. The artist would never know if the CD had been played and the artist would never get any feedback on why the record was not chosen, or what the artist could do to make it better. The process just ended there.

That is where the idea came from. We have A&R who are looking to find new music. We have artists who are looking to get their music heard and actually receive feedback on the record. Why not just marry the two? Blazetrak is as much a technology company as it is a music company. We saw two groups, each with a need and formed a way to get them together. This has changed the way music is discovered around the world and has allowed millions access to industry moguls they never would have accessed on their own. Everybody wins.

MM: I’ve seen submissions for Songwriters, Producers and Artists. Are there other interesting submission opportunities that help artists in their career?

Those are the main three, but you will find management, advertising, blogging, modeling and some other opportunities out there. We have had searches for video dancers, we have had lawyers and even professional athletes. We learned though that we wanted to do music really well, instead of a bunch of things moderately. Blazetrak keeps its focus on the music industry, but we do branch out into all aspects of music – not just main stream hip-hop. We have professionals searching for placements in commercials, film, video games -all styles and all genres – anywhere music is needed. By staying focused on a single industry, we hope to really make a difference here and see where that takes us in the future.

MM: Can you tell us few interesting success stories of users after submitting their material?

Everybody wants to hear the Blazetrak success stories and there are many out there. We have placed artists on major labels, many producers have been discovered through Bt and gone on to work with major players in the industry. Songwriters discovered on Bt have written lyrics that have been heard around the world. We currently have 2 artists that are getting ready to really break mainstream in the US. The big successes are fun to look at, but really every response from a professional is a success in its own. A rapper from Iowa connects with a Grammy winning producer and gets advice on how to grow – A singer in India gets in touch with a vocal coach in Atlanta and they build a relationship through social media. That is that part of our site that gets discounted. Yes, you can make it big, but even if you don’t you are getting advice from the biggest players in the industry. This does not happen anywhere else, in any other market. Only in music and only on Blazetrak. That is really what makes us powerful.

MM: How will be the future of, what are the next goals?

I think the next main goal of Bt is social engagement – getting our users better able to connect with each other. The best unsigned musicians in the world use our site. It is time to connect the producer in Ohio, to the singer in Ireland and the songwriter in Georgia and get them all making music together. Technology allows us to shrink the world. We just need to put the right talent in the same (virtual) room and see what happens.

MM: Comparing to the old traditional channels, can we say that an artist today has many more opportunities than in the past?

Absolutely. And I would never say that the old channels are a waste. It is still important to play in clubs and local venues. Artists need to build a fan base for themselves and have the experience of local, organic growth. There are still plenty of people that are discovered this way. However, with social media outlets, especially Twitter, there is no reason to not always be on the cutting edge of what is new and happening now. Music is all about re-creation and making new sounds. Because of the internet, you don’t have to be in New York, LA, of London to get discovered. A few clicks can get you heard 5,000 miles away. I still respect the traditional grind of becoming big in music – it is an aspect of the industry that will never die. You have to live hard and take risks – always putting yourself out there for your art. However, don’t pass on the new technology either. A single Bt submission could take the place of years grinding it out. You have to explore all options.

MM: What do you think of internet and music in general, how do you see this connection?

Music was created to share. It is one of the original human art forms. Music makes us social, it tells our stories and makes us unique and similar at the same time. The internet allows us to share our stories across world. We are now able to explore new sounds and ideas that where impossible to find 20 years ago. Many purists argue that the internet and digital age have killed music, but that is not true. It has just opened up a new phase of music history and theory. We are able to do things now, that where not possible before. Think about how brass and stringed instruments changed music. Think about the first time a guitar was plugged in. All these things changed music. The internet is just the newest instrument. It beings us together. It helps us create and discover new sounds and talents. I think the internet was made for music.

MM: Thank you David for this important interview, I’m sure readers will be enthusiast of your answers and will check at once. Thanks again!

7 Greatest Albums of All Time

Paul McCartney performs in Dublin, Ireland on ...

Paul McCartney performs in Dublin, Ireland on July 10, 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scientifically, the greatest album of all time will never be pinpointed. Throughout the years, music publications and organizations have tried to decipher the greatest albums of all time with each list differing, of course. The following consists of seven albums typically reviewed and revered as the greatest albums of all time.

1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has been cited as the greatest album of all time by several publications and organizations including Rolling Stone and The National Association of Recording Merchandiser and several others. The album includes hits such as “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” The album won four Grammy Awards in 1968 and has sold more than 32 million copies since its release. The album is held as The Beatles experience into psychedelic rock. Prior to the release, The Beatles took a 2 month vacation, made claims to never play live again and declared they no longer wanted to be the mop-top boys, but wanted to be viewed as artists. For the album, Paul McCartney had the idea of having the band develop alter-egos and losing their identity.

2. Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys

Pet Sounds is recognized as one of the most influential albums in popular music. The Beach Boys released Pet Sounds in May of 1966. Lead vocalist, Brian Wilson had quit touring with the band and spent his off-time working with vocal harmonies, unconventional harmonies and recording. Pet Sounds includes the hit songs “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “God Only Knows.” The album includes sounds from an electro-theremin, dog whistles, barking dogs and Coca-Cola cans. In 2004, the Library of Congress preserved the album in National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant.”

3. Thriller, Micheal Jackson  

Michael Jackson wrote four of the nine songs on the Thriller album. The album was one of the first albums to use a music video as a promotional tool. During its release in 1982, Thriller sold a million albums per week at its peak and currently continues to sell 130,000 copies per year.

4. The White Album, The Beatles

The White Album is the self-titled Beatles album, known in popular culture as The White Album, for its plain white record sleeve and cover. The album was recorded following a group trip to visit Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India.  Ringo Starr quit The Beatles for a brief period of time during the recording of The White Album and Paul McCartney took up playing drums for two of the songs. The album marks the beginning of each member embarking upon their own solo career.

5. Purple Rain, Prince

The Purple Rain album was released along with the film, Purple Rain starring Price. Purple Rain is the sixth best selling soundtrack of all time. The album includes “When The Doves Cry” and “Purple Rain.” The album is prized for melding elements of funk, R&B, pop, rock and heavy metal.

6. What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye produced “What’s Going On” himself. The album is considered a song cycle album, with each song leading into the next song. The album tells the story of a Vietnam War veteran returning home from his fighting only to see fighting and suffering in his own country.

7. Nevermind, Nirvana

Nirvana’s Nevermind was never suppose to or expected to be a commercial success by neither Nirvana’s record label nor the band. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” became a surprise success and even surpassed Michael Jackson on the charts in 1992. The album is held responsible for being alternative rock to a mainstream crowd.

World’s 7 best female singers

Singer Britney Spears was one of the best sell...

Singer Britney Spears was one of the best selling female performers of the 2000s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though the music world is full of great female singers only a few have reached the level of greatness that these giants of American pop culture have. These amazing singers, old and new have made it to the top of the list with their incredible songs and voices. Check out for the best female singers of all time whose voices spin you all over.

1.  Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is pretty much everyone’s sweet heart. She started composing songs at a very young age. She released her first hit “Tim McGraw,” in 2006 which sold more than 2.5 million copies. In 2008, Swift won a Grammy Award for her album Fearless. Cover Girl also identified her talent and signed her to be their model in 2010. In 2012, Forbes magazine declared as the highest paid celebrity under 30, overtaking Justin Bieber, Rihana and Lady Gaga. She has also won six American music awards. Recently she was honored with the CMA Pinnacle award for her achievements as a country singer and for her love on “country music”. Taylor attended the 2013 American awards in Los Angeles which nominated her for five awards and honored her with four awards.

2.  Katy Perry

Katy Perry is among the world’s greatest artists. “I kissed a girl” made it to the top of Hot 100 and was named Billboard’s 2008 Song of the summer. Perry soon earned a huge fan base with her hits like “Hot n Cold” and “Waking Up in Vegas.” “California Gurls,” became one of Kate’s greatest hits ever, making it to the top of the Hot 100 for six weeks. The music video for “Firework” has collected 336 million YouTube views and Perry was honored with Video of the Year for this great work. Kate is not only a singer but also a successful business woman launching her own perfumes. With the support of great artists like Robyn, Marina and Janelle Monae, Kate performed “Teenage Dream” at Europe, Australia, Asia, North America and many other countries. By the end of 2011, the California Dreams made the 13th biggest hit of the year generating an income of $48.8 million. Perry has also acted in a family comedy that turned out to be the biggest hit. “Wide Awake,” which was written for her 3D movie “Part of me,” won the second place on the Hot 100 and has received 2.6 million downloads till now. In 2012, she was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year.

3.  Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is another Rock band queen of the world after Oprah Winfrey and her power is her talent and dedication to work with which she creates amazing songs that deeply touch you. Her original name is Stefani Angelina Germanotta which is not known to many. She began her career as writing songs for other artists until Akon discovered her while she was performing a show called “Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue.” Her single”Poker Face” and the debut album, The Fame, topped charts in all categories all over the globe. This international pop star’s debut single, “Just Dance,” became popular on radio. The song was also nominated for a Grammy Award in 2008 but it lost to Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” but this didn’t stop Gaga from ranking No.1 on the mainstream pop charts in January 2009. Later she released albums “The Fame Monster” and “Born This Way.”

4.  Rihanna

Robyn Rihanna Fenty popularly known as Rihanna released her first debut album, Music of the Sun, which entered the top ten of Billboard 200 and her debut single “Pon de Replay” was included in the Billboard Hot 100. With the release of her second and third albums, “A Girl Like Me” in 2006 and “Good girl Gone Bad” Rihanna became a fully fledged pop star and sex symbol. She received her first Grammy award for her debut single “Umbrella.”  Her sixth studio album “Talk That Talk” received the 2013 Grammy Award for the best music video.

5.  Carly Rae Jepsen

This Canadian singer appeared on the music scene in 2008 with her album “Tug of War.” In 2010 she released her second album, “Curiosity,” which included “Call Me Maybe,” a tune that was positioned No.1 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. She was musically inspired by pop singer Natalie Imbruglia. Her video performance “The Roots” has earned her millions of fans on YouTube.

6.  Britney Spears

Britney Spears is one among the best pop singers of the world. She began her career in 1992 and her first debut “Baby One More Time” reached the top of the pop charts. Her album, “Oops! I Did It Again” was an instant No.1 hit on the album list, selling more than 1 million copies in the first week. Another greatest hit “My Prerogative” sold 5 million copies.

7.   Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lynn Lopez popularly known as J.Lo, is an American pop star, actress, fashion designer and television producer. Her musical career began with her debut Latin pop album, On the 6 in June 1999. The debut single “If you had my love,” was the greatest hit. She won 2 American music awards for pop/Rock Feamle Artist and Favorite Latin Artist. So far, she has sold more than forty-eight million albums worldwide.

Brianne Walter is a freelance journalist who has been writing about mobile technology, customer relationship management and women’s health for more than a decade. These days she is busy to contributes on Social Cloud

5 Great Reasons Music Cuts Stress

SXSW Music 2011 - Austin, TX

SXSW Music 2011 – Austin, TX (Photo credit: Kris Krug)

Stress is the big annoyance for every human. The reason is that it makes the person more vulnerable to himself or herself as well. Actually, in the reality, stress gives more diseases and disturbances in human body also. If you are in the continuous stress, then your performance will be deteriorated. Moreover, you will face the negative feedback in your work as well. Since, the stress is works on the human mind first and then it will work on the human body. Therefore, we will need the first treatment on the human mind. Actually, the human mind is very much delicate and soft. Therefore, we require the process for making relaxing the mind.

In this case, music is the ultimate balm for the wounded soul. Practically, music is the combination of the rhythms, which strikes our mind very precisely. The reason is that the power of music always enters into the subconscious area of our mind. Thereafter, it follows through the other parts of our body. Actually, it garners the stress related particles from our body and discharges it through our daily activities as well. Logically, it discharges our negative emotion from our body. You may think that how music cuts stress. It is the simple process of converting the sound energy into electrical energy. When music gets into the ear, then it converts into the electrical energy. This electrical energy transport through the nervous system.


It is true that music first strikes on the nervous systems and then it makes the brain pulses to coordinate accordingly. Moreover, the chemical transportation in the nervous system gets the high momentum when the music begins to show its power. Therefore, the tired nerves get solace from music itself. Actually, it minimizes its high activities and slows its performance as well. Therefore, the condition of the relaxation rises to the horizon.

In this state, the effect of stress gets its low level. Moreover, the stress will be minimized as well. If you deeply think, then you will see that music never goes through the straight lines. Rather, it goes through the branches in the nervous system. Therefore, the effect of the music will be very powerful and the person under stress will be on the way of recovery from the stress problem. In this case, music augments the chance of relaxation as well.


Music is a meditation itself. If you love it very much, then you will see that music will take you to the subconscious meditated state where you will be free from any kind of stress as well. When you will engross with the rhythms of music, then you will see that your mind is going into the deep reflective thought as well. This kind of condition will make your stress nowhere and you will be able to concentrate more on your life as well.

Actually, meditation soothes our nervous system in the bigger way and it automatically adjusts with our normal life as well. Actually, meditation will take you into the deep thought for long time and make your mind standstill for the moment as well. This kind of state will give you more stability in your life and your stress will say goodbye from your life. One interesting point for music is that it will create a different world when you are engrossed yourself with music.


Sometimes, you will see that some music will help you to move your body in the higher speed and this kind of music will generate elation in your mind as well. Therefore, you will be in a stress free mood. This state will give you full coolness in your personality and it will increase your performance level as well. It will give you great happiness in your life as well. Actually, this kind of happiness will make things better in your surroundings, which will ultimately help you to get away from stress.


Music will add the feelings of refreshment in your mind. The reason is that when you are working your daily chores, then you can play music in your background. It will help you to get away from your stress during your working time as well.


One big advantage of music is that it will bring maturation in your thinking. The reason is that every bit of music will store in your nervous system as a stress free particle and it will start to work when you are prone to the stress attack. These particles will mature your thinking ability as well.

Therefore, you stress will be cut when you will take music as your companion in your life and it will always give you total fulfillment in your life as well.

This Post is written by Brianne. She is a writer/blogger. She writes articles on Technology, social media, WordPress, Gamification, luxury interior design, website development and online development etc. These days she contributes on punchh

Jon Skinner and Music Gateway

Biblecode Sundays supporting Thin Lizzy 8 Aug 2012
Photo by markhillary
Manuel Marino: Today we interview Jon Skinner, Jon is a friend and also an impressive talent in the music Industry world. Jon is the mind behind a new project that will bring opportunities and contacts to musicians and producers all over the world!

1) Dear Jon, first, let’s talk about you. How your career began?

Jon Skinner: How long for you got? I’ll keep it short and sweet. From a very early age about 6 I was bought a drum kit for my birthday & loved music full stop. I recall the hand me down records I received from my dad, it was a mixture of disco, rock & a bit of classical, I loved a bit of the Three Degrees & Thin Lizzy at the age of 10 years old.

Career wise, it all started from a DJ perspective in 1987, at the age of 17, then had an opportunity to set up an independent record store in Guildford Surrey, just outside London.

It seemed like a natural progression to start producing and making records, in fact one of the store customers simply asked me if I would like to do a record, that was early ’93 and set about creating my first record label dance2 recordings.

Some highlights were Dj Supreme’s Tha Wildstyle, Mount Rushmore’s You Better & Reach & Spin’s Hyper, which I produced with Alex Ellenger & remixed the first two tracks, all of which were signed to Majors.

About 50 odd releases later I changed direction a little from house music and set up Aspect records & Perspective recordings, both drum & bass labels, however I stood true to my love of all things melody, song based and live elements, so I formed a live D&B band Pressure Rise.

A Pressure Rise album followed several singles & another album with singer / songwriter Dina Vass, before taking a break from the industry in 2006 to set up another company in the leisure industry.

2) Why you decided to create ?

JS: The need was simple, I had been in so many situations before where I wished I had access to a platform like Music Gateway, the amount of hours & money I would have saved in using a system like MG. There are so many barriers in the industry and what can be frustrating to some, is that talented people don’t always rise to the top and it can be more about who you know that how good you are. Music Gateway helps level the playing field, and provides clear opportunities across the board, rather than an elite.

3) What are your next plans for ?

JS: When I originally set down and wrote the business model, it had bells, whistles and multipurpose usage. I read a great book called REWORK, which I highly recommend you read if you are looking to start a business, it allows you to strip back the ideas and focus on priorities of the business, less is more, keep it simple & focused. So as for plans in the future, I have a shed full, but will keep these buttoned for now 🙂

4) What do you think about the music industry today?

JS: CHANGE, that’s the first word that springs to mind, it’s changed no end and still has a long way to go, there are many things still wrong with the industry in my opinion, for getting proper accounting sorted for the artists to balanced shares & splits for digital sales. The good news is, finally the majors have had their wake up call and seem to be listening for a change. The “Let’s bury our head in the sand” approach didn’t and never will work in any industry, the dinosaur fat cats are still jealous as F&%^ about Adele signing to an independent.

5) What do you think about music and technology?

JS: It’s a good that that technology can enhance and support an industry or an record produce, it will never replace a human, a feeling, a vibe or a moment of magic, but it can help with making those things happen more often. We live in such a small world these days, its time everyone started to think on a global level & a global marketplace cos its here now and the doors are wide open!

6) What can you tell us about the future of music and internet?

JS: I wouldn’t want to predict the future, but things are looking good, another word that springs to mind is opportunity, we aim to empower music professionals and aspiring talent, so things are looking good & very positive.

7) What will you do in the next months?

JS: Frankly speaking, I will be working my arse off with the launch, luckily I have a great team around me and some fantastic support & resource, but its head down all the way to launch and beyond.

MM: Thanks Jon for this great interview! You can be sure we will all be at, this huge project we are so happy you created! Have a wonderful day!