Tag Archive | "Hollywood Records"

Demi Lovato Gives Back to Her Fans With Free Album on Google Play

Demi Lovato Gives Back to Her Fans With Free Album on Google Play

Demi Lovato

‘Demi’

Multi-platinum Hollywood Records recording artist Demi Lovato is giving fans a “Heart Attack” by partnering with Google Play to offer her self-titled album DEMI for FREE  for one week, starting on September 9, 2014. It’s her “thank you!” to fans and a celebration of the Demi World Tour.

The free album includes Demi’s latest single “”Really Don’t Care,” chart topping tracks “Heart Attack” and “Neon Lights” and will also include a special bonus track of her never before released audio recording of “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran.

Download the DEMI album FOR FREE* on Google Play from September 9-15, 2014 at:
https://play.google.com/store/music/collection/promotion_20008fa_aotw

*Only available to US residents.

Demi launched the promotion via a personal video announcement to fans on YouTube, as well as on her other social media platforms. Check it out below:

ABOUT DEMI LOVATO: Demi Lovato is a singer, songwriter, and television star with a fan base that includes over 24 million die-hard Twitter followers, 36 million fans on Facebook and over 6 million subscribers on her YouTube channels . She is a platinum-selling recording artist whose latest album, Demi is a chart topper on Google Play. The lead single— “Heart Attack”— earned Platinum status just 10 weeks after launch. Demi is currently on the road for the DEMI WORLD TOUR.  In addition to her musical accomplishments, she released the New York Times best-selling book STAYING STRONG: 365 DAYS A YEAR in 2014 and returned to television as a judge and mentor on “The X-Factor” and starred in Fox’s hit series “Glee.” She is an outspoken advocate for young people everywhere and has become a role model by talking openly about her personal experiences and speaking out against bullying, among other issues. She serves as an official Ambassador for We Day and the organization Free the Children. She recently launched The Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program, which helps people struggling with mental health and/or addiction issues cover the cost of treatment.

For More Info on Demi, visit:

Official Website: www.DemiLovato.com

YouTube/VEVO: www.youtube.com/DemiLovatoVEVO

YouTube: YouTube.com/DemiLovato

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/demilovato

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ddlovato

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Cherri Bomb’s Miranda Miller Discusses The Band’s Powerful Debut Album!

Cherri Bomb’s Miranda Miller Discusses The Band’s Powerful Debut Album!

Every once in a while, a new rock band comes along that catches the ear of even the most jaded music fan. Such is the case with Cherri Bomb, that exploded onto the scene earlier this year with their powerful single “Shake The Ground” from the soundtrack of one of this year’s biggest films, “The Avengers.” The band has graced the stages of some of the world’s largest festivals, opened for rock royalty such as the Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins, and is looking forward to spending part of the summer on the Vans Warped Tour..Having just released their impressive debut album, “This Is The End of Control,” released via Hollywood Records, this talented all-girl lineup is poised to take the world by storm — and they are not even out of their teens! Jason Price of the mighty Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with guitarist Miranda Miller to discuss the band’s formation, the creation of their first kick-ass rock album, what the future holds for them and much more!

Miranda Miller

What are your first memories of music in your life?

I have been around music my whole life. My whole family is made up of musicians. My dad used to take me to see concerts and we would watch Beatles movies together. I was just always brought up around music and it has always been there. It is hard to pick one thing that is my standout memory, it has just always been there! I started out singing and my grandpa is a jazz pianist. He asked me if I wanted to take piano lessons when I was 4 years old. I said, “Sure!” Little did I know that would be my life’s passion!

Who would you cite as your biggest influences as an artist?

My biggest influence and inspiration would have to be Paul McCartney. My dad turned me on to the Beatles when I was really young and they have always been a huge influence on me and my taste in music. I have a lot of great memories of watching “Yellow Submarine” with my dad and I have all of their albums. Paul McCartney’s songwriting ability has always really inspired me. I really get inspired by a lot of musicians with differents styles. I listen to jazz, theater, rock, pop and everything else!

You ladies were all from the East Coast originally, correct?

Yeah, we were all born on the East Coast. The sisters were from New York, Julia was from New Jersey and I was from Florida. We all moved to California for better opportunities for what we wanted to do, which was music. We all just happened to find each other after we moved to California.

Let’s talk a little about that. For those who may not be familiar with the band, how did Cherri Bomb originally form?

Julie Pierce, our lead guitarist, she wanted to find an all-girl band. She put up flyers in music stores and posted things on Craigslist. She found Nia Lovelis, our drummer, first. Nia was looking for a band as well. They got together and jammed out and it worked! They went through a few other people first but I had sent them some videos of me playing and singing. When I got back from where I had been visiting, I went in and played some covers with them and it was really awesome! At that point, the last member we were looking for was a bassist. Nia’s sister, Rena, played guitar, so we asked her to pick up a bass and she was our bassist from then on!

Cherri Bomb

I am sure you answered this a million times but tell us how the name of the band came about.

Nia and Rena had a book called “Cherry Bomb: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick, and a Hotter Girlfriend — and to Living Life Like a Rock Star” by Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna. At the time we were trying to come up with a name for the band, they were reading that book. They told us we should read it too! After reading it, we kinda decided that name really fit our personality because it is about being a rocker chick. It was really just cute, funny and awesome, so we decided to go with that name!

Your manager is all-star drummer Samantha Maloney. What have you learned from her about music business in general? I am sure she can offer up some unique perspectives.

It has been really great having her because she has been through so much in the music business. She helps us avoid some of the mistakes that a lot of people make. We have learned so many things, the first being to wear earplugs so we don’t go deaf! [laughs] It is not so much “little lessons” as much as her constantly being there and helping us figure out what we have to do to get our music out there.

“This Is The End of Control” is a very impressive debut. Can you tell us a little about your writing process and how it shaped this album?

The whole process of writing “This Is The End of Control” was extremely creative which was awesome for all of us. It was the four of us and our producers. We would go sit in a room and someone would play a guitar riff and we would go off of that or we would pull out our poetry books and start writing some lyrics. It was great because even when we were recording, we would be recording three songs and then would have an idea for another one. We would get so excited and it became really hard to pick which songs to put on the album because we had written so many but it was so much fun!

Cherri Bomb: 'This Is The End of Control'

What does the title of the album mean to you personally?

To me, it means us taking control of where we are going with our lives. There are a lot of people who try to put their input in like, “You’ve gotta do this!” or “You’ve gotta do that!” But you know what? This is our lives, this is our band and we are going to do what we want with it, so, “This is the end of control!” [laughs]

From start to finish, what was the biggest challenge in putting this album together?

I think the biggest challenge that presented itself was being new to recording. We had recorded our EP and a few demos but this was our first time putting together an entire album. We really wanted this album to be as good as we could possibly make it. It is kinda hard to know when to stop or when to say, “That is good enough,” because, being perfectionists, we wanted everything to be perfect! [laughs] I think that was probably the biggest challenge.

What is the biggest thing you learned about yourself along the way?

I definitely learned a lot about myself through the process. I learned where I need to stop and take a break because sometimes you just push through and you forget to eat, you forget to sleep and you get so caught up in the music! I definitely discovered my limitations. I also learned, as a musician, what I needed to work on and what guitar skills I could get better at. I learned a lot of good techniques while recording which I can now use for the live shows.

At first glance a lot of people would be quick to compare you to The Runaways, which is a great compliment. Do you think it is any easier today for an all-girl band to get respect than it was back in their heyday?

I would think it was harder back then just because it hadn’t really happened yet. There weren’t any all-girl bands that had really made it. Now, there have been a few. Some people may not recognize them but there have been quite a few. Sure sometimes it is hard to gain respect but we kinda want to prove that is not what is important. What is important is our music!

You’ve played a lot of shows this summer at huge festivals, playing to huge crowds. What has that experience been like for you?

Playing in all of the places that we have placed has been absolutely amazing! We have gotten a lot of different experiences that have helped us along the way. We have also gotten a lot of advice from the people we have opened for, like the Foo Fighters and The Smashing Pumpkins. The festivals have been amazing and have exposed us to different crowds and fan bases. We have really made a strong connection with the fans, which has been awesome!

You spent a lot of time with the songs on “This Is The End of Control.” What is your favorite song to play live?

My favorite song to play live is “Shake The Ground” because it is so much fun. I don’t know how to describe it but it is so much fun to play on stage. You can feel the energy from the crowd and the other people in the band. It is amazing!

Julie Pierce and Miranda Miller

What can fans expect from your live shows?

Our live shows are definitely really energetic! It is kinda like four girls coming together and exploding! Which is definitely dangerous! [laughs]

How about music videos. Can we expect to see more of the band in that realm?

Ya know, we have actually been talking about videos. I am not sure when the next one is going to happen but we definitely want to do some more videos because they are always fun to make!

What about touring? Any clues as to what is happening there, both long and short term?

We are actually getting ready right now for Warped Tour! We are doing the July 17th through August 5th dates! We are so psyched about that! We are also going to be doing some East Coast dates and some stuff around the Warped tour.

That’s great! Sounds like you are going to have an exciting summer!

Yeah, we definitely are!

Miranda Miller of Cherri Bomb

Is touring something you look forward to even though it can be a bit grueling in the summer months?

Yeah, we love touring! Instead of getting homesick, we get “toursick!” [laughs] We just have so much fun on tour, whether it is meeting other bands, playing for new people or traveling — it is just an amazing experience!

Have you had a “Spinal Tap Moment” on stage where something totally unexpected or totally ridiculous happened to you?

[laughs] I don’t know if we have had anything as extreme as a Spinal Tap moment yet! [laughs] We have had some crazy problems on stage. We recently had a show where for one of the songs, both Julia and my guitars cut out! So the whole song became some sort of drum and bass solo! [laughs] So, we have had some ridiculous things like that but we are still waiting for our Spinal Tap moment!

As you mentioned, you got some great advice from some industry giants along your journey. What is the best piece of advice you can pass along to someone looking to make their career in the industry?

I would just say not to let anyone get in the way of what you want to do. It is your life, you only have one! So, you might as well do what you want with it!

In your opinion, what does the future hold for Cherri Bomb?

Actually, we have been talking about starting to write for a possible second album. We are always practicing for live shows and acoustic stuff. We are always working on all of those elements and hopefully something good will come out of it!

Anything you want to tell your fans before I let you go?

I would just like to thank everyone who has supported us so far. We really appreciate it and we are really excited to see where we will go next!

Thanks for your time today, Miranda! All the best to you and the girls!

Thanks so much!

Connect with Cherri Bomb:

www.cherribombband.com
www.facebook.com/cherribombband
www.twitter.com/cherribombband
www.youtube.com/cherribombband

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Redlight King: Kaz Talks Influences, The Debut Album And The Future!

Redlight King: Kaz Talks Influences, The Debut Album And The Future!

There’s stubborn. And then there’s Kaz stubborn. The singer-songwriter of Redlight King refused to take no for an answer when music business suits denied his request to sample a Neil Young classic, pressing relentlessly until he got a “yes.” More importantly, Kaz held on to vanquish the inner demons that nearly wrecked him several years ago. Now, with “Something for the Pain,” Redlight King’s redemptive Hollywood Records debut album, Kaz relives both his darkest days and the turn-around, when he clawed his way back to the light. 

Kaz grew up in Hamilton, Ont., once a booming steel center on the shores of Lake Ontario, and now struggling in the global economic meltdown. He grew up in middle class home where his parents “struggled to pay the bills.” Like his dad, Kaz loved cars and drag racing (Redlight King is named for the light “tree” that signals the start of a race). As he grew, music also began to take hold. He loved Queen, Springsteen, Dylan and Lennon no less than A Tribe Called Quest, Rakim, Treach and Nas. He started writing early on, recording his first track at age 16. But in his teens, music took a back seat to judo. He was good enough for a shot at Canada’s Olympic training center to prepare for the 2000 Games. But he didn’t make the team — a blow that would take a toll later. 

Meanwhile, Kaz returned to music, landing a deal and releasing an album in Canada. That led to a Juno Award nomination for Best New Artist, but the affirmation wasn’t enough to halt a steep slide. “You know why it’s happening,” he recalls of his struggle with substance abuse. “You don’t know where the end is, you’ve lost all rationality. You’re borderline insane. But in the end, you make a decision to start again, and the only way was to forgive myself for my mistakes.” 

It worked. Kaz came back strong, headed to California in a rebuilt ‘49 Mercury pick-up and converted his two-year nightmare into the song cycle that became “Something for the Pain.” Says Kaz, “Writing songs when you’re in a dark place is dangerous. The songs I wrote for this album I won’t write again. I won’t have to.” 

Just because he lives in Los Angeles now doesn’t mean he’s gone Hollywood. When the mood strikes, he takes his rebuilt 1950 Harley up the PCH, just to clear his head. Hot rodder that he is, Kaz is currently restoring a rare 1937 Lincoln Zephyr coupe, with plans to make “a film capturing the journey and process of bringing the car back to life,” he says. “Hot rod culture runs deep in my roots.” 

Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Redlight King’s charismatic frontman to discuss his influences, the making of “Something For The Pain,” and what the future holds for this band on the rise!

What are your first memories of music in your life?

When I was a little kid we had an old record player cabinet in the living room. I remember lifting the top, and holding it up with my head in order to put the records on. I was fascinated by the process and just watching and listening.

What made you pursue music as a career instead of going a s different route?

I feel my best when i’m making music. It only made sense to pursue my passion and to contribute to something bigger than myself.

Who would you cite as your biggest influences as an artist and songwriter?

Some of my influences as a songwriter are Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Queen, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, The Pharcyde, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, The Clash and Bob Marley.

For those who may not be familiar with the origin of the name Redlight King. Where did that name come from?

It was initially inspired by my father’s race car built in the 70’s. He called it The Redlight Bandit. Redlight King is a term for people who break the rules, and regardless of the odds, stand by the decisions they make; and continue to push those boundaries regardless of the outcome.

Redlight King: "Something For The Pain"

What can you tell us about your writing process for “Something For The Pain”?

It was a record that was written over three years and there were well over twenty songs that were on the cutting room floor.

What was the biggest challenge in putting the album together?

The entire process was challenging from finding the resources to capture a great sound, to laying down tracks in a studio setting when it’s not a live to the floor situation. I spent a lot of time with the arrangements.

“Bullet in My Hand’ is a very powerful song and one that introduced a lot of fans to your work. How that song come about?

I initially co-wrote the song with my friend Tawgs, I wanted to write a song about a very fragile moment, and the process that brought me to that moment where i faced my own mortality. A moment where in a split second everything can change.

When you look back at your musical work so far, how do you feel you have evolved as an artist?

I’ve become a better musician, I’ve listened to a lot more music and continue to see as many live shows as i can. I don’t force things anymore, I write what feels good, I stay in the moment and reach for what is real.

What is the biggest thing you have you learned about yourself along the way?

I tend to be a knucklehead sometimes!

You recently toured with Everlast. What was that experience like for you?

The shows were great, I’ve bought most of his records, so it was a blast playing with him and his band.

Is touring the land something that you look forward to?

Touring is a big part of our existence, we definitely look forward to connecting with people and hanging out in some of our favorite cities. Some of the drives can get rough and back to back shows with a long drive can take its toll. You take the good with the bad, it’s what we do.

What do you hope that people come away with after seeing your live show?

The biggest compliment for us would be people wanting to come and see us again.

Where are you in regard to new music and a possible return to the studio for a followup?

Half of the second record is already written and in the demo stage, the recording process is under discussion and we’ll dial it in as we get closer to winding down on this record.

What is the best piece of advice that you can pass along to someone who wants to pursue a career in music?

If you’re in it for the money, you’re in the wrong business.

In your opinion, what does the future hold for Redlight King?

We are constantly evolving, working, recording, rehearsing, and playing live shows.

Anything you want to tell your fans before I let you go?

Thanks for calling your local radio station and requesting our songs, it keeps us alive, and thanks for supporting live music!

For all the latest new and tour dates from Redlight King, visit the official website at www.redlightkingmusic.com. Be sure to “like” the band on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redlightking and follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/theredlightking.

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Syd Duran of Valora Discusses The Band’s Highly Anticipated Debut Album!

Syd Duran of Valora Discusses The Band’s Highly Anticipated Debut Album!

It is no secret that rock music has been in dire need of transfusion of new creative blood for years now. Luckily, frontwoman Syd Duran and her bandmates are about to breathe some life back into the scene. For their upcoming debut album, “I Waited for You,” was produced by Grammy-nominated Johnny K (Disturbed, Finger 11) and mixed by Neil Avron (Fallout Boy, Linkin Park.) Throughout the album’s 11 tracks, Syd sings with fearsome conviction, summoning all the just powers of rock into her three-octave range. But Syd is about more than technique or stage presence. She has stories to tell: stories about isolation and betrayal, of misbegotten love and life out of whack. As the album shows, her rock vocal chops would mean nothing if Syd didn’t sing from the heart. It’s simple and raw – no horns, no synths, no auto-tuned perfection. Valora’s passion, soul and dedication to their craft is something that has turned the heads of industry insiders, music critics and won them legions of fans. However, at the end of the day, it is the band’s unique and powerful sound that has quickly established then as one of the top band’s to watch in 2012! Icon Vs. Icon recently took part in a Q&A with Syd Duran to gain some insight on the origins of Valora, the making of  “I Waited for You,” and what fans can look forward to in the months to come. 

Syd Duran of Valora

What are your first memories of music in your life?

I was raised in the church, and grew up listening to a lot of gospel singers. As a kid, I remember listening to Yolanda Adams while completing my chores.

What made you pursue music as a career instead of going a s different route?

Singing was the only thing I truly loved to do. For as long as I can remember, music was more than hobby, but a lifestyle for me.

Who would you cite as your biggest influences as an artist?

Jack White.

For those who may not be familiar with the band. How did Valora come about originally?

I started the band in 2008. Our current single “I Waited For You” was already written, and I was ready to get it out there for the world to hear. I searched for other musicians who were as committed to music as I was, and we began performing anywhere that would have us.

What is the meaning behind the band’s name, Valora?

Essentially it means “valor.” With that comes strength and empowerment, which are all things I have tried to incorporate in the writing of Valora music.

What can you tell us about your typical writing process?

There’s nothing typical about it. I have to have an open mind when I’m getting ready to write a song. I love collaborations as well as writing on my own with acoustic guitar. It really depends on the personalities and preferences of the group of songwriters you are working with. Sometimes we have a semi-produced track that we sit down and write to. Other times we start compeletly from scratch.

You wrote some songs with Kara DioGuardi. What did you learn during that process?

I learned that honesty is the key to heartfelt music.

You worked with Ahmet Zappa on a graphic novel. What can you tell us about it?

The album shaped the experience of creating the graphic novel. The stories and illustrations were inspired by the music.

Coming In April of 2012

As an artist, what was the biggest challenge in putting the album together?

I wrote over 100 songs for this album. The challenge was holding out for the best group of songs to put on the final track list.

You worked with Johnny K on the record. What did he bring to the table for a project like this?

Johnny really understands the importance of purity in music. What you hear on the recorded album is what you will hear during Valora’s live performance, particularly in regards to vocals.

The album’s release date will be here before you know it. How are the tour plans coming along and is that something your are looking forward to?

Touring is the best part! I can’t wait to get on the road and begin really promoting the album!

What do you hope people come away with after seeing your live show?

My goal is to take them to a place they weren’t expecting to go. I don’t hold back anything in my live performance, and my intention is to overwhelm the audience with an outrageous performance, submerging them in Valora’s world for as long as we are on the stage.

You were featured in Revolver Magazine as part of their ‘Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock’. That is a pretty big honor. Do you feel that has had any impact on the band’s growth?

Absolutely! I am so thankful to Revolver Magazine for giving me the opportunity to stand alongside legendary frontwomen like Amy Lee.

Syd Duran

This debut album has been a long time in the making and is shaping up to be very impressive. What is the biggest thing you have you learned about yourself long the way?

I learned that public speaking (interviews) doesn’t have to be a scary, dreadful thing. The more I do it, the more I like it!

What is the best piece of advice that you can pass along to someone who wants to pursue a career in music?

I believe the songs are still the most important factor in setting you apart from everyone else crowding up the music industry. If you have a great song, you have a chance.

In your opinion, what does the future hold for Valora? Both long term and short?

As the front woman of Valora, and as an individual, I’ve seen and experienced… A LOT. Some days are great, and others, seriously unfortunate. I can confidently say that nothing will hinder Valora’s constant creation of new music. The future looks bright and promising.

To learn more about Valora, check out their official website at www.valoraofficial.com. To stay in contact, like their official Facebook page and follow them on follow them on Twitter.

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Get To Know Hollywood Records Recording Artists Valora In New Video Interview

Get To Know Hollywood Records Recording Artists Valora In New Video Interview

PunkVideosRock.com took some time to talk to rock band Valora about their upcoming new album, possible touring, as well as the origin of their band name. For more information on Valora, fans can check out their official site, www.valoraofficial.com, as well as their Facebook and Twitter pages.

The official video for their first single, “I Waited For You,” is available for fans to watch now.

Moments into Valora’s Hollywood Records debut album, “I Waited for You,” it hits home, singer Syd Duran is the real deal. Throughout the album’s 11 tracks, Syd sings with fearsome conviction, summoning all the just powers of rock into her three-octave range. But Syd is about more than technique or stage presence. She has stories to tell: stories about isolation and betrayal, of misbegotten love and life out of whack. As the album shows, her rock vocal chops would mean nothing if Syd didn’t sing from the heart. “I didn’t want to write a feel-good record,” she says. “You don’t always feel good. For the most part, in life you’re getting over something.”

Valora

“I Waited for You” was produced by Grammy-nominated Johnny K (Disturbed, Finger 11) and mixed by Neil Avron (Fallout Boy, Linkin Park.) It’s simple and raw – no horns, no synths, no auto-tuned perfection. “The main thing Johnny had to understand about Valora was the feeling I want people to get when they hear my voice,” Syd says. “I needed to find a producer that valued vocals as much as I do.”

The album opens with the savagely indignant “I Waited For You,” a song Syd co-wrote a few years ago, and which drew early attention to the band. “I’m really proud of it,” she says. “I wrote it right out of high school.” Other songs, like “Extreme” (“All the girls think I’m a bit psycho/ Maybe I am but that’s the way I roll”), “Live” and “Forgotten,” sustain the disequilibrium. The latter track, about a nasty break-up, was co-written with Kara DioGuardi, who applied some artistic tough love on Syd to get the best out of her during the writing process.

“I’m a very introverted person,” Syd says, “but Kara demanded I tell her about everything that was hurting me. “She said, ‘I can tell you’re kind of a bitch.’ She got a lot more out of me than I was prepared to share. The end result was ‘Forgotten.’”

Upbeat tracks like “You Make It Ok,” “No Matter What” and the DioGuardi-co-penned “I Like What You’re Doing” flirt with sense of respite, but Valora keeps the mood edgy, off balance and always rocking. “Life Hungover” (co-written with the powerhouse team of Antonina Armato and Tim James) delves into the impact of a sober life (think double-entendre), while “Irreversible” is a devastating memorial to a friend who took her own life. Notes Syd of the song, “You never get to say what you wanted, how much they meant to you, until it’s too late.” The album closes with “Summer Stay,” one of Syd’s favorites, in part due to its lush Queen-like chord progression.

Musically, Valora could be considered fans of hard rock bands such as Muse and Foo Fighters, but within the band’s style flows an expanse of rock influences. “My favorite bands center around a great vocalist,” Syd says. “Any band that has a killer front person, I’m gonna be interested.”

A California native, Syd grew up in Uptown Whittier. Though she started taking voice and guitar lessons around age 11, it was much earlier when she first knew music was her destiny. At age 5, she heard the National Anthem sung at a Dodger game, and that was it. But having a direction didn’t mean she had an easy time of it.

“I was different,” she says. “Being an outsider made me a little lonely, but that’s what made me what I am now.” She wasn’t one of the cool kids, but she began writing and playing some cool rock ‘n’ roll with a chosen few who understood her. Musically, Syd’s influences spanned genres and generations, including gospel singer Yolanda Adams, Jack White, Janis Joplin, Chrissie Hynde, Jeff Buckley and Muse. On stage, Syd notes, “I liked to channel flamboyant male artists. I like Iggy Pop and Chris Robinson. Both have that seductive, intriguing side of a woman coupled with the strength and power that’s traditionally thought of as male.”

She and her band began knocking on music industry doors, and eventually some of them opened. For a paltry $500, an early incarnation of Valora snuck into Whittier High after hours and shot their own DIY video for “I Waited For You,” which intrigued Hollywood Records execs. Cut to Syd paying a visit to the label. “I was asked to play one of my songs for them right then and there,” she recalls. “All I had was this out-of-tune guitar, but it was one of those ‘no turning back’ moments. I walked out with a record deal.”

Around the time Syd launched into recording the album, Ahmet Zappa and his Monsterfoot Productions created a graphic novel based on the heroic female character “Valora,” as envisioned by Syd. The first three chapters have been made into videos, telling the story against a soundtrack of Valora’s music. “Ahmet liked the record and was inspired to do the novel,” Syd recalls. “What intrigued him is that Valora wasn’t just a name of a band, it was this character, a kick-ass girl who saves people. Having these great visuals like the graphic novel and motion capture videos is another cool way for people to discover who Valora is.”

With the album completed, Valora is ready to hit the road. The band has been playing shows across Southern California, making friends and prepping for big things to come. But nothing bigger than anything Syd envisioned for herself a long time ago. “I have never been afraid to be on a stage in front of people,” says Syd. “It goes back to being the outcast. I’m saying ‘If you come to one of my shows, I’m the entertainment.’ I don’t ever hold back.”

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