Thursday, 18 April 2019

Americana singer-songwriter Amber Cross touring in UK tour (April - May)

 Inside art for album Savage on the Downhill. Photo by Barry Goyette.

Ascendant California-based Americana singer-songwriter Amber Cross announces Ireland/UK tour from April 11-May 2, in support of new album 'Savage on the Downhill'

Amber Cross
Singer Songwriter/Folk | Home Town: Washington County, Maine
Accompanied by James Moore on guitar & mandolin
Amber Cross has created a record that is rich in authentic wonders. It is cleverly varied, deftly produced (Ray Bonneville, take a bow) and performed with such fervour and emotion that is just breathtaking....I actually burst into applause when it came to an end. Amber Cross has given us an album to savour - Fatea Magazine

Thu 18 April 2019 - Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham (17 York Road, Kings Heath B14 7SA) @ 7:30PM Events
Tue 23 April 2019 - Grateful Fred's House Concert 7:00PM Contact: Website
Thu 25 April 2019 - The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen (121 Gallowate, Scotland) 7:30PM Event
Fri 26 April 2019 - Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh (Website; 73 Cowgate, Scotland EH11JW) 7:00PM
Sun 28 April 2019 - The Canteen, Bristol (Website; 80 Stokes Croft, BS1 3QY)
Tue 30 April 2019 - Le Public Space, Newport (Website; Le Pub, 14 High Street, Wales NP20 1FW) @ 7:30PM
Thurs 2 May 2019 - Otterton Mill, Devon (Website; nr Budleigh Salterton, Devon, EX9 7HG) @ 7:00PM
Amber Cross - Shows

Praise for Amber Cross

“To me it’s unfathomable that Amber Cross isn’t one of the darlings of the Americana world but with releases like this it can surely only be a matter of time. When it comes to rootsy, these roots run deep and spread far. This is honest, real, and expertly crafted.” Duncan WarwickCountry Music People (5 stars)

“If there was any justice in this benighted world the name of Amber Cross would already be as familiar to devotees of the finest Americana as luminaries such as Nanci Griffith and Iris DeMent, and the California based singer-songwriter's latest self-released offering is already a strong contender for roots music album of the year despite the fact that 2019 is barely a month old.”Kevin BryanMessenger newspapers 

“Cross is a fine songwriter who knows exactly how to present herself. At times it seems she is uniquely capable of cutting across the vast expanses and through the painful intimate moments that define the Western folk genre.”  Glide magazine

“… the most thrilling folk singer-songwriter I've heard in recent years.”  Rambles.NET

Authenticity is a difficult thing to measure in American roots music. It’s not in the hat you wear, or the twang in your voice. It’s in how well you understand that the music comes from the land, and that its roots run deep. 

Americana songwriter Amber Cross understands this, and on her new album, Savage on the Downhill (Forst released July 2018), she makes music as beholden to the landscapes of Northern and Pacific California, where she lives and travels, as to the visually-rich songwriting she crafts around it. 

Her songs hang heavy with the yellow dust of dirt roads, plunge deep into the soft loam of the forest. 

As a hunter, a fisherman, and a woman of the backcountry, she knows the countryside well, and has a deep respect for the honest work that makes you a steward of the land. It’s something she shares with other roots musicians, a community she found attending her first Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. Her contacts from the gathering helped her connect with Savage on the Downhill’s producer, Canadian blues and roots musician Ray Bonneville. Travelling to Austin to record the album with Bonneville, Cross connected with other great American songwriters, Gurf Morlix and Tim O’Brien, who both came onboard for the album, with O’Brien complimenting her “no bullshit style of singing.” If there’s a rawness to Cross’ voice, a plainness to the words, it comes from the fact that Cross knows the roots of this music aren’t fancy. They’re built by hand and filled with honest words and hard-won truths.

The songs on Savage on the Downhill are deeply visual and inextricably tied to nature, whether the California forests that Cross roams through, or the high deserts outside Austin, Texas, where she recorded the album. Even the title of the album paints a picture of Cross in the backcountry. “Savage” refers to a brand of hunting rifle, and the phrase “Savage on the Downhill” refers to how a tracker should hold a rifle so as not to bury the barrel into the dirt when side-hilling or climbing down an incline. Like any artist that works with their hands, Cross has a deep love and respect for tools, seeing the same artistry in a well-worn rifle butt that you would in a perfectly crafted song. “I have always been drawn to work that involves my hands,” Cross says. “It seems to me that this type of work is more creative. Or maybe it is that working with my hands pulls the creativity out of me in a way nothing else does.”

Throughout, Cross moves easily through different styles of country and folk songwriting, from Bakersfield outlaw attitude to Woody Guthrie plain-spoken folk. She’s a songwriter able to juxtapose a simple image with a powerful poetic emotion. On ‘Echoes’, she paints the picture of a humble domestic scene, then wonders what happens to a house when the people who made it a home have left it behind. On ‘Pack of Lies’, she moves between hard-hitting lines like “Pretending to love is a wicked game” and vision-laden verses like “Barking dogs rule the moonless night.”

It may come as no surprise that Amber Cross first came to music through singing in a small church in rural Maine, where she was born and raised. Her father was a small-town pastor and she was raised on the rough-hewn homilies of the hymnal. Now, Cross is creating her world by hand, working her songs until they shine with a worn polish, finding truth in tradition.

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Upon first hearing Amber Cross you might think you are listening to an archival Smithsonian recording. Her old-time voice is clear and captivating, like a strong muscle, fringed in lace. She's a singer and songwriter who writes from her own life’s struggles and experiences, delivering her stories with unforgettable power and emotion. 

Originally from Maine, Amber spent her early years surrounded by gospel music in a small town church where her father preached and her mother played piano. In 2003 Amber left her studies at New Mexico State University to pursue her love for music.  She moved up and down the coast of California; the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sierra Foothills, the San Joaquin River Valley, the coastal range of Sonoma County, and now San Luis Obispo County. She has opened for such artists as Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Gurf Morlix, Mary Gauthier and Dave Stamey, as well as made frequent guest performances with The Wronglers, Warren Hellman's band, founder of San Francisco's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. 

In March 2013 Amber released her debut album You Can Come InCountry Music People discovered the album and gave it a 5 Star Review and CD Of The Month, saying “Every now and again a debut CD arrives and you know about 30 seconds in that you are experiencing something a bit special... it's appeal is likely to be broad, from bluegrass, rootsy Appalachian, to country or honky-tonk.”

Reba McEntire returns to the charts as STRONGER THAN THE TRUTH debuts


The country legend's new album returns to some of her commercial roots, telling stories of domestic betrayal in grand yet thoroughly grounded fashion.

Reba McEntire returned to the charts debuting at No.4 on Billboard Top Country Albums with STRONGER THAN THE TRUTH (Rockin R/Big Machine/BMLG), which opened with 21,000 equivalent album units (19,800 sold).

The set launched as her 27th top 10, a sum that includes 13 No.1s. Stronger Than the Truth is the thirty-third studio album by the American country music superstar. It was released on April 5, 2019, by Big Machine Records.

A cowgirl to the core, REBA MCENTIRE has never been bashful about her Country roots. The iconic entertainer proves it with STRONGER THAN THE TRUTH, her thirty-third studio album, which dropped April 5 on Big Machine Records.
Reba co-produced the 12-track project with Buddy Cannon in Nashville, which follows her dual chart-topping, GRAMMY® and GMA Dove Awards-winning SING IT NOW: SONGS OF FAITH & HOPE.

Release Date: 5 April 2019
Label: Big Machine Records 
12 Tracks
Time: 47:20

Chart Success

Debut #1 UK Country iTunes Album Chart (#25 UK iTunes all-genres)

Debut #2 US Country iTunes Album Chart (#4 US iTunes all-genres)

Debut No.4 on Billboard Top Country Albums & No.22 all-genre Billboard 200 (21,000 equivalent album units)

Debut at No.3 on Official UK Country Album Top 20 (Week Ending 18 April 2019)

“The response to SING IT NOW: SONGS OF FAITH & HOPE reinforced my love for recording songs that speak to the heart. 

So when I started selecting songs for this album, I stuck with that same formula – go with the songs that touch my heart, and hopefully when you hear me singing it, they’ll touch yours too. 

That honesty once again revealed itself,” expressed Reba. “I grew up on an 8,000-acre family ranch singing at dance halls, honky-tonks and rodeos with my brother and sister. 

STRONGER THAN THE TRUTH takes me back to that kind of country music that I grew up with. I haven’t gotten to do that in a while, so I’m thrilled to pieces to release this new music.”

Fans can purchase exclusive album bundles at such as the 100-Proof Package (autographed vinyl, shot glass, bar tool set and t-shirt).  Reba shared more details about the project through a Facebook Live (Feb 15) in conjunction with the pre-order that includes an immediate download of the title track.

Reba talked about each of the tracks on STRONGER THAN THE TRUTH a week ahead of its release via a 12-series of Facebook posts also published on YouTube Listen to the audio here:

1. Swing All Night Long With You | Written by Sidney Cox, Jon Randall
2. Stronger Than The Truth | Written by Hannah Louise Blaylock, Autumn McEntire
3. Storm In A Shot Glass | Written by Mary Browder, Will Robinson, Leslie Satcher
4. Tammy Wynette Kind Of Pain | Written by Brandy Clark, Mark Narmore, Shelley Skidmore
5. Cactus In A Coffee Can | Written by Steve Seskin, Allen Shamblin Lyrics
6. Your Heart | Written by Kellys Collins
7. The Clown | Written by Dallas Davidson, Hillary Lindsey, James Slater
8. No U In Oklahoma | Written by Reba McEntire, Ronnie Dunn, Donna McSpadden
9. The Bar’s Getting Lower | Written by Kellys Collins, Erin Enderlin, Liz Hengber, Alex Kline
10. In His Mind | Written by Reba McEntire, Liz Hengber, Tommy Lee James
11. Freedom | Written by Jay Brunswick, Tommy Cecil, Jaida Dreyer, John Pierce
12. You Never Gave Up On Me | Written by Billy Aerts, Burton Collins

Behind The Scenes: Go in studio with Reba as she records "Storm In A Shot Glass"

Reba McEntire Locks Multiple Appearances Leading Up To New Album + Hosting ACM Awards (4/7)
Not missing a beat after the news of her forthcoming album and return as host of the ACM Awards, iconic entertainer Reba chatted with fans during a Facebook Live 
In addition to exclusive album bundles at

Reba ventured to New York City for a media blitz with national television and digital platform appearances. On Wednesday Feb 20, 2019, the 16-time winner revealed select 54th Academy of Country Music Awards™ nominees during 
CBS This Morning. Reba headed to a BUILD Series Q&A with a livestream via and capped the evening at The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

On Reba’s birthday (March 28) NPR Music gave listeners an exclusive first listen to the album.

McEntire sat down with Amna Nawaz (PBS New Hour) for a revealing chat about the changes she'd like to see in country music, how she achieved career success and why she’s now going back to her roots.

On April 7 Reba marked her sixteenth time hosting the ACM Awards live from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas which aired on the CBS Television Network at 8:00 PM ET/delayed PT.
Published on April 14, 2019 watch her perform "Freedom":

Reba McEntire‘s new album, Stronger Than the Truth, is filled with heartache, heartbreak and “you done me wrong” songs, but don’t read too much into them. After a painful and unwanted divorce in 2015, the country queen’s heart has long since healed.
If it wasn’t, McEntire, 64, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue, “I couldn’t be singing those songs.” Read More →

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Reba McEntire is a multi-media mogul, who has become a household name through a successful career that spans across music, television, film, theater and retail.
The Grand Ole Opry and Hollywood Bowl member has won 16 ACM Awards, 15 American Music Awards, 9 People’s Choice Awards and 6 CMA Awards, in addition to other philanthropic and leadership honors.

She joined an elite group of creators as one of the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors recipients for her lifetime artistic achievements alongside Cher, Philip Glass, Wayne Shorter and the creators of Hamilton.
Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson, CBS

Reba has made 13 ascents atop the Billboard Country chart, bolstering her successful record of 35 No. 1 singles and over 56 million albums sold worldwide.
The Oklahoma native is also an acclaimed actress with 11 movie credits to her name, a lead role on Broadway and a six-season starring run on the television sitcom Reba.
In 2005, she partnered with Dillard’s to launch her own lifestyle brand, and most recently launched the REBA by Justin™ western footwear collection at select retailers nationwide.
She was named the first female and musician to portray KFC’s iconic founder Colonel Harland Sanders in the brand’s celebrity colonel campaign.

Throughout 2019, she will bring that same bubbly energy and penchant for excellence to Las Vegas as part of the longest-running Country residency in The Colosseum’s history alongside her superstar pals for REBA, BROOKS & DUNN: Together In Vegas at Caesars.
The Country Music Hall of Fame member will also be featured in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s first exhibition of 2019, American Currents: The Music of 2018, from March 8, 2019 through February 8, 2020. Offering rich detail about the noteworthy figures and events in country music’s recent past, Reba is loaning her recent Kennedy Center Honors medallion and blue gown which she wore for the December 2018 ceremony.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Brooks & Dunn return to #1 with REBOOT!


The 2019 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee Makes History with
 the Most Top 10 Albums on the Billboard 200 by a Country Duo or Group

Nashville, TN - April 15, 2019 - The best-selling duo of all time, Brooks & Dunn, debuted at No. One this week on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart with their collaboration project REBOOT. It bowed with 31,000 equivalent album units earned (21,200 in traditional album sales) in the week ending April 11.

Proving “the timing couldn’t be better to celebrate the influence of Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks” (Music Row), the impressive feat marks the first time the duo has topped the album charts since 2009 while simultaneously earning the duo their 10th Billboard 200 Top 10 album, the most of any country duo or group in the chart’s history. The 12-track collection produced by Dann Huff “revisits some of the duo’s most iconic songs with the genre’s hottest young talents” (PEOPLE) including Kane Brown, Thomas Rhett, Brett Young, LANCO, Ashley McBryde, Brothers Osborne, Luke Combs, Midland, Cody Johnson, Jon Pardi, Tyler Booth and Kacey Musgraves.

“We always said that after all the crazy highs we’ve had along this journey, that the most important thing to us was that the music that held up over time,” said Ronnie Dunn. “To have a No. One record with these songs we love is wild and we’re so happy to have worked on this project with so many current talents. It is a testament to the power of collaboration.”

“These songs are so important to us, and we’re so thankful that they have had this chance to have new life breathed into them,” added Kix Brooks. “We had so much fun in the studio with everyone, it’s been a really special project for us.”

To mark the release, the next inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Brooks & Dunn, took an “electrifying performance” (Billboard) of “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” with Midland to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, watch here:

Additionally, there was a “thrilling take” (Rolling Stone) of “Brand New Man” with Luke Combs to Academy of Country Music Awards, watch here:

With 20 No. One hits stretching back to 1991, two Grammy awards, dozens of ACM and CMA honors and a discography counting more album sales than any duo in history – regardless of genre – Brooks & Dunn’s influence on today’s country has never been in question. Hits like “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” “My Maria,” “Only in America,” and “Believe” have propelled the duo to more than 30 million albums sold, with the New York Times heralding “together they helped drive the power-country era of the early-to-mid 1990s and continued to benefit from the sea change in the genre they helped initiate right through their most recent albums.” Their original “Merle Haggard meets The Rolling Stones” vibe made them progressive stars in their own right. In 2014, the duo announced their reunion along with long-time friend, Reba McEntire, for a residency called “Together in Vegas” at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, which received rave reviews and continues to be extended including more shows throughout this year.
For more information visit:

FOCUS ON Molly Tuttle: Debuts on Billboard Country Sales & Official UK Album Charts

Compass Records proudly announce the release of award-winning guitar virtuoso Molly Tuttle’s debut album

Thurs 18 April 2019 – The Greystones, Sheffield (Greystones Road, Sheffield S11 7BS) £16.50 Event
Fri 19 April 2019 – Live Room, Saltaire (Caroline Social Club, Caroline Street, Saltaire Shipley BD18 3JZ) £14 Event
Sat 20 April 2019 – Sage Gateshead Sage 2, Gateshead £13.60 Event

On the Official UK Country Album Top 20 (Week Ending 18 April 2019) WHEN YOU'RE READY (Compass) made a debut at No.6 and bowed at No.4 on the Official Americana Albums Chart Top 40 (Week Ending 18 April 2019).

On Billboard Country Sales (pure sales; old methodology) it made a debut at No.16 selling 1,800 copies. 

Release Date: 5 April 2019
Label: Compass Records

Debut #4 UK Country iTunes Album Chart (#50 UK iTunes all-genres)
Debut #6 US Country iTunes Album Chart (#43 US iTunes all-genres)

11 Tracks
Time: 40:02
Genre: Americana

1. Million Miles 2. Take The Journey 3. Make My Mind Up 4. When You're Ready
5. The High Road 6. Don't Let Go 7. Light Came In (Power Went Out)
8. Messed With My Mind 9. Sleepwalking 10. Sit Back and Watch It Roll 11. Clue

Watch “Take The Journey”:

Most of these 11 new songs begin with Tutlle's solo finger-picking guitar, and it's lovely. So's her voice  - Mojo (Rating: 80/100)

Molly Tuttle was right to take time before releasing her first complete CD. The production, playing and songwriting coalesce into a striking statement that shows an already developed artist well on her way to the next level of her still nascent career. - American Songwriter (Rating: 80/100) /

When You're Ready is a sharply confident debut, as Tuttle proves an expressive vocalist and an idiosyncratic songwriter. - Uncut (Rating: 7/10)

Left to her own devices, Tuttle has emerged as a deft songwriter with an open heart, a keen ear for melody, and a flair for pairing dusty folk with Americana-kissed country-pop. - Allmusic (Rating: 3.1/2 STARS)

What drew people to Tuttle's music to begin with was that delightfully dissonant combination of sweet singing and monster-shredder guitar playing, and that's just not what this album delivers. - Exclaim (Rating: 6/10)

“Tuttle doesn't need the window dressing. Some of her material is a little thin, but as a songwriter she has a winning way with a melody. And the final cut, "Clue," shows her capabilities as a performer. The song highlights Tuttle's voice, with long vowels that soar and bluesy twists that suggest her next record will be better” – Associated Press 

WHEN YOU’RE READY, produced by Ryan Hewitt (The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers) showcases her astonishing range and versatility and shows that she is more than simply an Americana artist.
Between her expressive, crystalline voice and astounding flatpicking guitar skills, Tuttle has made history…”  Rolling Stone Country
An insightful, gifted songwriter who was crowned “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2018 Americana Music Awards on the strength of her EP RISE, Tuttle has broken boundaries and garnered the respect of her peers, winning fans for her incredible flat-picking guitar technique and confessional songwriting. Graced with a clear, true voice and a keen melodic sense, the 25-year-old seems poised for a long and exciting career. When You’re Ready, produced by Ryan Hewitt (The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers) showcases her astonishing range and versatility and shows that she is more than simply an Americana artist.
Since moving to Nashville in 2015, the native Californian has been welcomed into folk music, bluegrass, Americana, and traditional country communities – even as When You’re Ready stretches the boundaries of those genres. Over the past year, Molly has continued to accumulate accolades, winning Folk Alliance International’s honor for Song of the Year for “You Didn’t Call My Name” and taking home her second trophy for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year (the first woman in the history of the IBMA to win that honor).

WHEN YOU’RE READY is infused with an intoxicating wash of drums and electric guitar while still keeping Tuttle front and center. “I wanted to keep the focus on the songs,” she says, “but also make an interesting guitar record.”
“Come for Molly Tuttle’s impressive acoustic guitar skills and stay for her traveler’s anthem.” — REFINERY29

The album opens with “Million Miles,” a song that her songwriting collaborator Steve Poltz brought to her, mentioning that he and Jewel started it in the ‘90s and didn’t complete it. With their blessing, she finished the song and enlisted Sierra Hull to play mandolin and Jason Isbell to sing background vocals. The wistful track sets the tone for an album that offers subtle moments of reflection as well as dazzling musicianship.

Tuttle wrote or co-wrote all 11 tracks since moving to Nashville, giving the project a unified feeling. “A lot of the songs are more personal than I’ve written before, and many of them are conversational, like one person talking to another,” she says. But, when it comes to the messages of the songs, each one stands apart. “Take the Journey” provides encouragement, even as “The High Road” finds two individuals going their own way. Later, the subdued “Don’t Let Go” concludes with a spaced-out slow groove, while “Lights Came On (Power Went Out)” amplifies the album’s youthful energy. “Sleepwalking,” a gentle love song, may be the album’s most impassioned and emotionally intense moment.

“Her songs, singing and solos, much like her demeanor, tend to have an inward- looking elegance to them; they’re the outward expressions of a searching mind and a longtime dedication to cultivating her craft.” —Jewly Hight, NPR
“[Molly Tuttle] sings with the gentle authority of Gillian Welch, yet plays astoundingly fleet flat-picking guitar like Chet Atkins on superdrive.” —Paul Zollo, American Songwriter Magazine

“Molly Tuttle, blew away the unsuspecting crowd with her rapid fire bluegrass guitar work that would put even the most talented shredders to shame. It was a marvel to see such incredible technical skill combined with a sweet voice and fun, barn-storming songwriting.” —Write to the Beat

“Among the most brilliant guitarists in this new generation is Molly Tuttle, who seems as effortlessly conversant when flatpicking as when playing in the clawhammer style, and who is equally gifted as a singer-songwriter.” —Premier Guitar
“…a sort of high-wattage Alison Krauss-Taylor Swift hybrid — Tuttle effortlessly delivers a mélange of styles to accompany her powerful guitar licks throughout.” — Rolling Stone Country

“You will not believe the voice and talent this lady possesses”! – Alex Krupa’s Country Show

“I think she's got a real potential her voice a girlish innocence in between bluegraas and folk….She’s doing great things, more on the country spectrum than last album” – Marie Crichton BBC Shropshire

Embed: WE MET REBA: Celebrating being part of the #AmericanCurrents2018 exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (March 6).

Hello from London! I had a great time hanging out with Whispering Bob Harris on his BBC Radio 2 show this afternoon! 

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ABOUT: Tuttle grew up in California in a musical family, performing at festivals with her father and two brothers. As a young girl, she took violin lessons but eventually grew more interested in playing guitar. Fortunately, her father Jack Tuttle is a noted instructor in the Bay Area. “My dad brought me home a little guitar and he would sit with me whenever I wanted to play it and show me something,” she recalls. “He was really encouraging, and I think that’s what made me stick with the guitar. I liked having a fun thing to do with my dad and practicing didn’t feel like a chore.”
By the age of 11, Tuttle was attending bluegrass jams and decided that she wanted to do more singing. She took voice lessons from one of her neighbors, a classical vocal coach who taught proper technique without sacrificing phrasing. As a young woman interested in bluegrass, Tuttle admired bold songwriters like Hazel Dickens and looked up to Bay Area bluegrass musicians such as Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick.
As Tuttle matured, her musical tastes soon ranged from Bob Dylan and Gillian Welch to The Smiths and Neko Case. Because she kept seeing Townes Van Zandt referenced to by songwriters she admired, Tuttle dug into his catalog and found “White Freightliner Blues.” Her own exceptional rendition has become a showcase for her nimble playing, as well as a graceful nod to her musical heroes. And the circle continues; her own instructional videos of the song online have been discovered by the next generation of pickers, who look to her as a role model and for inspiration.
A virtuosic, award-winning guitarist with a gift for insightful songwriting, Molly Tuttle evolves her signature sound with boundary-breaking songs on her compelling debut album, When You’re Ready.
I love so many types of music,” she says “and it’s exciting to be a part of and embraced by different musical worlds, but when I’m creating I don’t think about genres or how it will fit into any particular format – it’s just music.”