Category Archives: Interviews

SecretFangirls.com Interview THE HEYDAZE

NYC’s THE HEYDAZE are one to lookout for in 2015.  Since forming earlier this year, they’ve opened for Jesse McCartney and Timeflies, and had a sold out headlining show at Webster Hall.  The band crafts extremely catchy, feel good pop music that anyone can enjoy – the kind of music you want to play driving around with the windows down and the stereo up, singing along at the top of your lungs.

Their music is a collaborative effort between members Jesse Fink (vocals and guitar), Andrew Spelman (lead guitar), Alexander Glantz (drums), and Andrew Underberg (keyboard and production).  The band has a gift for writing  hooks, and songs infused with playful, tongue-in-cheek lyrics (See “Adderall,” “Don Juan,” etc.)

We sat down with THE HEYDAZE at Webster Hall before their last stop on Timeflies’ After Hours Tour and talked about everything from  how they met to what music they grew up listening to.  The band is just as fun as their music.  Watch our interview below!

You can see THE HEYDAZE in NYC at Gramercy Theatre on December 19th!  Trust us, you don’t want to miss this.  Get your tickets now!

Check out THE HEYDAZE on Soundcloud and Facebook and pickup a copy of “Don Juan” on iTunes!

Be sure to follow THE HEYDAZE & Secret Fangirls for more updates!

SecretFangirls.com Interview With Brett Steinberg

Our latest Artist To Watch, Brett Steinberg, just released his album “Age of Wonder” today!  Brett talked to us about everything from what music he listened to growing up to how he got the title for his album.   Read out interview below and be sure to pickup a copy of “Age of Wonder” on iTunes now!

SecretFangirls.com: Your new album is out now!  How did you come up with the title, “Age of Wonder”?

Brett Steinberg: The idea of “Age of Wonder” was inspired by a time in my life, that by all means I’m still living through, in which I’ve been questioning everything – our meaning, our purpose, why relationships of all forms fail and why they’re so significant to our happiness. I’m curious about everything and there is a positive sense of wonderment pertaining to that, but there is also the downside, because once you start questioning your own life, you’re faced with questions that you might fear to know the answer to. Ultimately, this sense of wonderment is a positive quality in my life, but it brings interesting, thought-provoking challenges that I address in this record. The ideas of potential loss of innocence and maintaining genuine appreciation and curiosity towards the world are prevalent on the album.

SF: How did you get started in music?

BS: I took piano lessons in 2nd grade, but when I realized that the ballad of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was not particularly my jam, I quit the piano for a while. I then started singing in 6th or 7th grade. My mom would play “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel or Michael Buble’s version of “Feeling Good” on the piano and I would sing along. I fell in-love with those heartfelt, anthemic piano ballads. I really picked up music in 8th grade when I learned piano and guitar and realized that people enjoyed my singing…at least sometimes! I simultaneously learned to create while learning my instruments because besides from introductory classes in school and occasional advice from my mom, I learned most of what I know from experimenting with chords and melody without any context of formal scales, progressions, or chord names. By no means am I classically trained; I’m mostly self taught.

SF: What song means the most to you on your new album?

BS: “We’re Not Done,” holds the most meaning to me because in the song I basically take a look at all that has gone wrong to the relationships and morals that I thought I knew the truth of growing up, and I say that I’m not giving up on them. I question which side I should take in both the internal and external struggles I’m fighting pertaining to growing up and understanding what it all means. This song is really a stand for keeping hope even in times that seem bleak. Relationships mend, and hindsight is 20/20, but this song was written in the thick of the battle and yet I was still able to understand that in the greater scheme of things, everything works itself out if you maintain a level head and a spark of perseverance.

SF: What artist(s) would you love to collaborate with?

BS: Coldplay, The Fray, Paul McCartney, Ryan Tedder, John Mayer, Jay-Z, Rick Rubin, Imagine Dragons, Alicia Keys, etc. I’d love to collaborate with so many incredible artists for different reasons. To grow as an artist myself would be a big one.

SF: What music did you listen to growing up?

BS: As a kid I exclusively listened to “Livin La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin until I was around 6 or 7. Then I got into Michelle Branch’s “Everywhere” and Vanessa Carlton’s “1000 miles” and those kinds of piano ballads when I was probably 8 to 10. I then had a huge phase listening to a lot of Nickelback and Linkin Park, during their “Minutes to Midnight” era. Then I heard John Mayer and my world changed. Shortly after that I heard “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay and fell in love with this piano driven anthemic alternative rock. I’ve mainly been inspired by pop/rock ever since.

SF: How would you describe your sound?

BS: Piano driven pop/rock with some soul. I’ve worked on that genre labeling for many years now, ha!

SF: Now that the album is out, what’s next for you?

BS: I’m playing a bunch of shows in support of the record and have printed CD’s out that I’ll be selling at all future shows. Besides that, I look forward to making more memories at shows and meeting as many people as possible. I love to connect with people through music and intend to keep doing so. Also, I’m always creating and writing; that never stops!

SF: Check out Brett’s upcoming tour dates HERE!

Be sure to follow Brett Steinberg & Secret Fangirls for more updates!

SecretFangirls.com Interview We Are Stations

Local NYC pop-rock band We Are Stations sat down with us following their opening slot on the “Live Forever Tour” with William Beckett, Against The Current, and Paradise Fears at the Highline Ballroom in NYC.  We talked about everything from how they got their band name to which artists they’d love to collaborate with.  They also filled us in on their new single “Keep Your Head Up” and what’s coming up next for We Are Stations.   And you’ll never guess who  lead singer Steven is a (not-so) secret fan of.  Watch our interview below!
 

 

We Are Stations has a perfect 90s influenced sound, which we can’t get enough of.  Be sure to pick up a copy of “Keep Your Head Up” on iTunes now and check out We Are Stations on SoundCloud.  Stay tuned for upcoming We Are Stations shows – they are definitely an artist you need to know.

Follow We Are Stations and Secret Fangirls on Twitter for the latest on your soon to be favorite new artists!

SecretFangirls.com Interview With Tiffany Houghton!

Nashville based singer-songwriter Tiffany Houghton had a prime spot opening for MKTO on the American Dream Tour this summer, which just wrapped up in Chicago.  We’re sure she gained quite a few new fans during the run!  Her upbeat pop-country sound (we hear a little Shania Twain and Avril Lavigne), fun personality, and awesome onstage energy definitely got the crowd pumped.   Tiffany is the perfect blend of sweet and sassy, just like her new single “The Best.”

We had the chance to sit down with Tiffany before the tour’s sold out NYC stop, and talked about her fans, what’s next for her, and who she’s a total fangirl for.   And of course we had to ask about the inspiration for her song, “Band Boy.”

Watch our interview with Tiffany Houghton below!

Pickup a copy of “The Best” on iTunes now!

Be sure to follow Tiffany Houghton & Secret Fangirls for more updates!

SecretFangirls.com Interview With Miguelito!

Miguelito has already conquered Latin America with his infectious music and youthful swagger.  Now, the 15 year old is setting his sights on dominating the United States.  Oh and did we mention that he won a Latin Grammy when he was just 8 years old?  This kid is making huge strides and there’s no sign of him slowing down any time soon.
 
His new single, “Suga Suga,” is a remake of The Archie’s classic, and features Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men.  We got the chance to talk to Miguelito and pick his brain about everything from his favorite 90s boyband, to crazy fan experiences, and even who he would love to tour with!

SecretFangirls.com: We’re big fans of your video for “Suga Suga.”  What made you choose such a classic song to rework?
 
Miguelito:  This is a song that I think not only adults know, but also kids.  And that makes it a really amazing song for me because I’m at a point in my career where I want to be able to grab as many fans as I can.  In Latin America, my fan base isn’t only teenagers or kids, it’s the whole family.  So that was one of the main points of why we did that song, because we wanted to be able to grab as many fans as we could and we knew that by doing a cover and reworking a song like “Sugar Sugar” we could [reach] parents, grandparents, and teenagers.
 
SF: Since we love 90s boy bands and since you collaborated with Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men on the single, we wanted to know: if you could collaborate with any other boy band member, past or present, who would you choose and why?
 
M: One guy I really like is Justin Timberlake, who started in *NSYNC.  Everyone would like to collaborate with him.  I would love to collaborate with him!  I grew up listening to him.  One of my inspirations is Michael Jackson and I see Justin as a young Michael Jackson.  He does things that are new and original, he’s being himself and that’s what I like about him.  He has a complete show, and he would be one of my main choices to collaborate with.  I think right now he’s one of the best in the industry.

SF:  Well, you’re only 15 and you have already released several albums and won a Latin Grammy.  What would you like to accomplish next?
 
M:  I’m not a person that goes, “Oh, I wanna win this award next.”  I work for my fans because thanks to them, I am where I am right now, so I keep working for them.  Right now, I’m working on a rap-pop album in English, and I’m also making a new Spanish album for all my fans in Latin America.  I’m working on a crossover but I don’t want to want to leave my Latin side because those are my roots.  That’s where I started and I can’t just move on from there.  So that’s what I’m doing right now.  I’ve got a couple shows to do in Puerto Rico, then also Latin America in Mexico and next month in Texas.  We’re doing a lot of things and we’re just working, that’s what I like to do.

SF: You mentioned that you’re working on your English language album, how is recording going so far and what can you tell us about it?
 
M:  I’ve gotten the opportunities to do things that are really different from what I’ve done in the past.  We have an amazing album coming, and the song “Suga Suga” is going to be included, so are “Party Nonstop” and “Swaggin.”  We’re making an amazing album.  That’s what we’re trying to do.  It’s been amazing working with some great people:  Shawn Stockman, Andrew Lane – he worked with Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana, and High School Musical, and Mary J Blige.  Working with so many people who are so experienced in this music business makes it even better because they know a lot about the industry.  And I’ve been able to write multiple songs for this album.  We’re about to finish it and I’m super excited!  We’ve had a lot of success, something really good is happening.
 
SF: You’re already hugely popular in Central and South America, and you’re quickly building your fan base here in the U.S.  How has your life changed since moving to Los Angeles?
 
M: It’s changed in a lot of ways.  I came here to LA to live, and my mindset has changed a lot.  Now I know this is my life and this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.  I am putting more work into my career:  writing more songs, getting to the studio every day, doing more stuff than before.  And also, the fans in the US have been amazing.  I started my fan club and already have a lot of fans here in the US: New York, Miami, LA, Pennsylvania, Texas.  We’ve been lucky here in the US and doing a lot of new stuff that I think is helping my fan base grow. 
 
SF: How would you describe your musical style?
 
M:  My musical style varies – it’s not just one genre, it’s a lot of different genres together.  I like to try different things.  I want to create music for the family, not only for the teenagers or the kids, but [something] the parents and the grandparents can listen to it and be like “Oh, I like that song” and you can play it in the car.  So I think that’s how I would explain my music.  It’s pop, rap, urban [for] kids, teenagers, the whole family. 
 
SF: If you could create your dream tour lineup, what other artists would you love to tour with?
 
M:  First one, I gotta say Justin Timberlake.  He’s the main one.  I would put Drake on it, Jason Derulo because his new album is amazing.   Austin Mahone.  Demi Lovato – she’s amazing and I’ve been to her shows and they’re super cool!  And we can’t forget Beyonce, I gotta put Beyonce.  And I think I’d say Rihanna.  And another guy, Jay-Z.  That would be my lineup.  And we can’t forget me! 
 
SF: We were just saying that you with Austin Mahone would be a great tour together.
 
M:  It would, it would. [Austin] is an amazing artist and he’s growing up and I think there are a lot of teenagers that are starting to [get into] music.  Because before, a couple of years ago, there weren’t as many teenagers out there working it and doing music and now there are a lot of us.  I like that because there’s more talent out there than just adults.  So we teenagers can run this!
 
SF: What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to as a fan?
 
M:  The best concert I’ve been to was, I gotta say, the Jonas Brothers!  I went to a Jonas Brothers concert when I was like 9 or 10 in Puerto Rico and it was the best concert ever!
 
SF: We were big Jonas Brothers fans, too.
 
M: Yeah, when I grew up, it was kinda like Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, those were the artists.  All the Disney Channel stars.  I grew up listening to the Jonas Brothers.  And they had the Afros, and the moves, the moving stage, and it was great.  Yeah, I think that was the best show I’ve ever been to!
 
SF: We love it!   And now when you’re performing, what is something special you try to bring to all of your shows?
 
M: I just gotta be original.  Not do the same show over and over again because you know sometimes people don’t like to see that.  I’m performing a lot of times repeatedly in the same countries so I have to do different shows.  So if I come back for a second time, I try to change it a bit, change the things I say, the order of the songs, new dance moves on stage, bring up fans to the stage and do like, crazy stuff and make the show fun because I don’t want my shows to be just a concert.  I want them to be entertaining so the fans can have fun!  I try to top my last show like “Hey, let’s look at the mistakes in my last show, and let’s try to make it different this time.”

SF: Have you ever had any crazy fan encounters you could share with us?
 
M:  Crazy fan encounters…um man, I gotta say, when I was in Chile, actually.  After my show, all the crew went to the van to get to the airport for another show, and the fans just went out and they wouldn’t let us out.  We were surrounded by the fans and they were moving the van from side to side.  Oh my God, it was crazy because the van was moving really hard and I thought that maybe they were going to break a window or something. Fans in Latin America – they’re crazy though, like they live for their artists.

SF: They’re really passionate.
 
M: Yeah, they’re really passionate but I like that, though.  It’s kinda cool to have that moment.
 
SF: Is there anything that you’d like to say to your fans?
 
M:  That they’re the best and without them I wouldn’t be where I am right now.  And just wait for more stuff from Miguelito because we have a lot of stuff coming.  We’re coming out with a clothing line, and my new album in English and an album in Spanish, and we’re doing shows, too.  We have a lot of things coming up, so follow me on my social pages @MiguelitoMTO on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, to stay updated.
 
SF: Do you have any plans for a US tour in the future?
 
M: Yes, we’re kinda planning a tour for next year.  Once we finish the album and put out one or two more singles, after that we’re gonna start planning the whole US tour!  Man, I’ve been dying to do that tour, but we’re planning everything the right way so everything comes out perfect!
 
SF: That sounds great! We can’t wait!   Thank you so much for talking with us!
 
M: Anytime, anytime! Thank you for your time!

Be sure to follow Miguelito & Secret Fangirls for more updates and pickup a copy of Miguelito’s new single “Suga Suga” on iTunes!

SecretFangirls.com Interview with Izzy Malik!

18-year-old singer songwriter Izzy Malik just released her self-titled debut EP in March.   We love her pop country sound, and the range of influences that go into her songs.  We talked to Izzy about her EP, funny fangirl moments, and how she’s learned from other artists when it comes to fans (She totally gets it!).   Listen to her track “Just Another Boy” below!

SecretFangirls.com: You just released your self titled EP.  What song did you have the most fun writing?   
Izzy Malik: I definitely had the most fun writing “Just Another Boy.” It’s based on a dream I had about Harry Styles and I going on a date at the Santa Monica Pier where the song was playing in the background. The minute I woke up, I rushed to get the song written down before I forgot. But “Malala” also holds a very special place in my heart, as her cause is very dear to me.

SF: How would you describe your sound?
IM: I would say pop with country and rock undertones!

SF: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
IM: Some of my biggest influences are Britney Spears, One Direction, The Ramones, Joan Jett, John Mayer, Shania Twain, and Carrie Underwood.

SF: If you could create a dream tour lineup, who would you want to tour with?
IM: It would be killer to tour with Guns N Roses, KISS, One Direction, John Mayer, The 1975, Ed Sheeran, or 5 Seconds of Summer. They’re all crazy talented and I’d be so honored to tour with any of them.

SF: What is the most memorable concert that you’ve been to?
IM: Definitely a Simple Plan show I went to when I was sixteen. It was amazing because I’d looked up to them so much for seven years and I was finally seeing them live. It was an unforgettable experience.

SF: Of any other musicians, dead or alive, who would you “fangirl” out over the most if you had the opportunity to meet them, and why?


IM: Elvis Presley or John Lennon! And of course Harry Styles. When they sing, it’s like magic. I look up to all three of them so much, they’re all legends.

SF: We love that you are fan yourself, and enjoy going to concerts and meeting other artists.   (Note: Check out IzzyMalik.com!)  What have you learned from these experiences as an artist?
IM: I’ve learned how treating your fans can directly affect your popularity! Even if you’re the most talented of people, if you don’t give your fans the love they deserve, you’re not going to go very far. Fans work so hard to get tickets, count the days to the show, and sometimes you’re the silver lining in their cloudy life. It means so much to them, a kind word, gesture, hug, or smile… It can change their life in the most profound of ways coming from someone they admire so greatly. As musicians, we must never forget that responsibility and make each and every one of them feel special and loved.

SF: Do you have any funny fangirl stories you could share?   
IM: Well, this wasn’t at a concert, but I was on Skype with my good friend, Chris Bourne of Hollywood Ending, and we were writing together, he’s a great writer and we often work together. All of a sudden he was like, “Oh, hey, James, come in here and say hi to my friend” and I freaked out because I’d been a fan of Busted since I was ten years old. I basically cried after I talked to James and Chris was just sitting there laughing. It was pretty great! They’re both awesome people and I’m so lucky to have a pal like Chris.

SF: Who are some of your favorite performers?
IM: One Direction for sure, Hunter Hayes, Britney Spears, All Time Low, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Simple Plan, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, and way more! I could probably fill a book with all of them. I still really want to see John Mayer and Shania Twain live!

SF: Now that the EP is out, what is next for you?
IM: I’m going to be releasing my new music video for “Just Another Boy” very soon and then will be hitting the road, details to come. Then back to the studio and I’ll have some more material out soon! 🙂

Pickup a copy of Izzy Malik’s EP on iTunes now!  Be sure to follow Izzy Malik on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram and check out her official site!

SecretFangirls.com Interview With Born Cages!

One of our favorite local NYC bands to burst onto the scene in recent months, Born Cages, are gearing up to release a debut full length with Razor&Tie/Washington Square Music later this year.  Since October, we’ve been lucky enough to watch their audiences grow from about 15 people to close to 200 people! Comprised of lead singer/guitarist Vlad Holiday, keyboardist Amanda Carl, bassist Pete Malleo, and drummer Dave Tantao, Born Cages capture pure energy and emotion on “The Sidelines EP” with some pretty insane guitar solos and infectious melodies. 

In anticipation of the band’s new album, rumored to be out this fall (fingers crossed), Holiday graciously took the time to answer some of our burning questions! 

SecretFangirls.com: There are rumors of a fall release for a Born Cages full length album. Is there any truth to them?
Vlad Holiday: We’re working our way to the album. We’re gonna be doing some more touring before we release it, but we’re definitely hoping to have it out this year.

 

SF: Is there a song on the album or that you’ve written that you are itching to release?
VH: There’s a couple that come to mind. Actually I haven’t told anyone this yet, but we’re going to release a new track from the album very soon, so keep an ear out for that! It’s definitely one that I’ve been itching to put out.
 

SF: What song means the most to you that you’ve written?  Will it make it on the album?
VH: That’s tough to say…but I wrote a song about a fan that was going through some very dark times. It ended up being one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written, and will definitely be on the album. A couple months ago we toured in his area and sang the song live for him for the first time – it was kind of a surreal feeling.
 
SF: Is there a specific inspiration or vibe that has to be present to write?
VH: There definitely needs to be inspiration. I can try to edit a song or part at almost any time, but I can’t force myself to write a song from nothing when I’m not inspired.
 
SF: Do you guys have any pre show rituals?
VH: I like to warm up my voice before every show. Actually it suffers a bit when I don’t. I sing along backstage to this weird playlist I have on my iPhone, and typically all the other bands stare at me like I’m doing voodoo.

 

SF: What would be your “must-haves” on a tour rider?
VH: Wifi and alcohol are nice.
 
SF: What is your favorite song to perform live?
VH: I love playing the songs people know. We’ve been fortunate enough to start having people singing along every now and then, and one of the biggest validation for creating a song or performing a song is for the audience to relate and to join in on the experience.
 
SF: Who would be on your dream tour lineup?  
VH: Let’s say The Vaccines, Metric, Haerts, and us. I’m gonna leave the obvious arena bands off this list.
 
SF: What musician would you totally “fan girl” over if you met?
VH: I totally didn’t fan girl when I met Metric’s drummer Joules and told him that my band covered his. So, I wouldn’t know… Oh, and I’ve always said I need to shake Paul McCartney’s hand before I die. Scr3w the h8ers
 
SF: What was the first concert you went to?
VH: Queens Of The Stone Age when Songs For The Deaf came out.
 
SF: Who are your biggest musical influences?
VH: That’s classified information, lady. Well the truth is, my biggest musical inspirations come from different corners for different reasons. I love blues guitar music, but not in love with some of the songwriting or vocals in that field. I love ambient and moody songs like Lykke Li’s for example, but when I’m in a certain mood I’ll need some M.I.A. to pretend to dance to. I love U2 for their lyrics and grandeur but sometimes I need something that rocks a bit harder. I love The Beatles, but… well they’re just all around great. I’ve got too many musical influences to even narrow it down to a list of 10 without it feeling like it’s taken out of context. The best way to know who inspires someone to write is to listen to what they write.

Watch the video for Born Cages’ latest single, “Don’t Look Back” now!

You can catch Born Cages live on tour this June!
June 7th – MilkBoy – Philadelphia, PA  – Buy Tickets
June 8th – Marlin Room at Webster Hall – New York, NY – Buy Tickets
June 9th – Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 – New York, NY – Suggested donation $5 (or a sweet high five!)
June 30th – Pianos – New York, NY – Buy Tickets
July 3rd – Glasslands – Brooklyn, NY – Buy Tickets

Pick up a copy of “The Sidelines EP” on iTunes or Amazon so you can sing along at the show!

Be sure to follow Born Cages and SecretFangirls.com on Twitter for the latest on all of your favorite artists!

Header Photo:  Nicole Mago