Zandi Holup | An Artist In More Than One Way

“Every so often the music industry is thrown a curve ball and all you can do is hope it doesn’t strike out.” That is how Real Rock ’n Rolla reacted when they were handed new music to review back in March. That music was from Zandi Holup’s latest and first EP, Lone Star.

A Fort Washington, Pennsylvania native, Zandi worked steadily throughout her childhood doing numerous commercials, voice-overs, television spots, and films. She was featured in "A Birder's Guide to Everything,” starring Ben Kingsley and a 2014 Tribeca Film Festival contender, and the FX hit show, “Louie,” starring award-winning comic and writer, Louis CK.

At 13, while studying guitar, piano, and voice, her vocal coach encouraged the budding poet to explore songwriting. In 2007, Zandi heard Miranda Lambert’s "More Like Her,” and fell in love with the artistry and storytelling of country music.

A rocker at heart, she began experimenting how to blend both genres into her music. After years of honing her skills, Zandi crossed paths with Kiyanu Kim, the award-winning songwriter responsible for hits like Miley Cyrus’ emotional anthem, “Wrecking Ball.”

The duo hit it off and immediately got to work on Lone Star. “[It’s] my first country record… and I really enjoyed it. It was all done in my beloved New York with local musicians, and I’m very proud of it,” said Kim. Although recorded in the concrete jungle, Lone Star has passed the litmus test of the Music City Capital’s hard-to-please country fans. “The theme throughout [Lone Star] is a little rock with a little traditional country,” says Dayne Shuda of Country Music Life.

Real Rock 'n Rolla continues, “Lonestar is filled with empowered female anthems in the fashion of Carrie Underwood, but don’t think it ends there. The title track is a reflective ballad of a young woman dreaming of a better life.”

It was a hit for Donny & Marie, and decades later it’s working for Zandi Holup. A little bit country, mixed with a little bit of rock and roll, she is set to make her mark on the music scene. Winning audiences over with her charm, and critics over with her authenticity, the stage is set for Zandi to do just that.

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West Coast Fletch | The Soulful Jazz, Gospel Singer

As the story is told, West Coast Fletch started singing in church at the age of 5 Yrs. old. By the time he was 10, he learned the trombone and some drums. At 13, his parents bought him a guitar: he was divinely self taught. After which, he picked up bass guitar to help him write songs in a more complete way. 

Listen to his song It Ain’t Over (Til God Says It’s Over)

Growing up in a strict Christian home he was not allowed to listen to many secular artists. Fortunately, he wasn't always at home. Fletch listened to Blues, R&B, Funk and Jazz, as much as he could get. Today his music oozes with those lush elements with rich Gospel undertones. Able to turn a phrase on a dime, history is being made right now: His-Story !!! 

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Sylvia Fedrick | Touching Hearts So You Can Be The Best You

Sylvia Fedrick brings inspiration with Neo-Soul/Jazz flavor touching your soul and sings from her heart! 

Listen to her song Gentle Breeze

Sylvia Fedrick is an awarding winning Contemporary Gospel/Christian Artist. The Chicago native started singing at the age of 4, receiving much encouragement and coaching from her father Larry V. Fedrick. While growing up, Sylvia’s father educated her about Jazz, Blues and Gospel music. Sylvia would go from elementary school thru College performing in various stage productions, talent shows & competitions.

Though Sylvia is most known as an entertainer who has many passions, she is also the Founder & Visionary of the Annual Hat & Glove Inspiration Breakfast, which she was honored in 2013 for the “Women of Excellence” Award by the Chicago Defender.

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Steven Brown | Channeling Creativity Through His Heart and Voice

Steven Brown is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, actor, voice-over artist, speaker, teacher, comedian, author and IT professional. A 16-year Veteran of the US Navy and has traveled extensively during his time in the Navy and present.

Listen to his song Momentum

He remembers the time he did his first solo. When he heard the roars, the applause, right then he knew he was hooked!  Listen more here:

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Fiona Varner | Annointed by the Lord and now a Music Minister

Fiona Varner, a native of Prince George County Maryland, is a woman after God's own heart. Her passion for music keeps her vibrant and full of spunk. Fiona refuses to be boxed in and is not afraid to allow creativity to flow through her songs. Her multi-cultural sound is universal.

Listen to her song I Will Serve You

Fiona has a wonderful approach to her story: “It’s a we thing, not a me thing!”

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Debra D’Lane | Real Life Country Girl

For the past year she has been working on many projects including spending lots of time in the recording studio. She is also going to be doing a little acting. Yes, Debra has landed herself a part in an upcoming film where she will have the opportunity to perform her music as well. She just finished up an EP that was produced by Bill Warner of Warner Works in Nashville, Tn. Many of thesongs on the EP are written and or co-written by Kirsti Manna aka Songwriter Girl. Debra is also working with Rick Barker, former manager of Taylor Swift, to help guide and mentor her career.

Listen to her song One and Only

About Debra D'Lane

After raising the kids up to a certain age is when Debra decided to take the next step in her love for music.  “When your son says “Mom it’s time” I knew then it was time to get busy!” Debra has done just that! For the past year she has been working on many projects including spending lots of time in the recording studio. She is also going to be doing a little acting. Yes, Debra has landed herself a part in an upcoming film where she will have the opportunity to perform her music as well.  She just finished up an EP that was produced by Bill Warner of Warner Works in Nashville, Tn.  Many of the songs on the EP are written and or co-written by Kirsti Manna aka Songwriter Girl.  Debra is also working with Rick Barker, former manager of Taylor Swift, to help guide and mentor her career. Debra D' Lane is signed to the Heart Songs Corporation Label and managed by Jill Pavel. 

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TJ Leonard | A man who loves the country, and also loves his country music, but he is in Sweden!

Swedish country singer/songwriter, TJ Leonard got his first guitar from his grandfather, when he was eight; he taught his grandchild to play Swedish folk music and evergreens. Soon, TJ was introduced to pop and blues through his cousin, who was a little bit older and played in a famous Swedish pop band. At eighteen, TJ became lead singer and guitar player in a dance band. Many genres have passed through TJ’s life: Jazz, hard rock, gospel, soul/r&b, but not until country music came along, did it feel like home.

Listen to TJ's American Dream

TJ got into Country Music when he heard Keith Urban’s “Somebody like you”

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Kinderjazz | “We became parents, and Kinderjazz was born”

Kinder jazz is just fantabulous, I think the World is ready for these fabulous Aussies!

Listen to their song My Baby Loves to Cha Cha

The one-of-a-kind swing band for children has performed in some of the most prestigious venues in the world, and their recorded music is specifically written to engage young children, while simultaneously appealing to adults of all ages.  Parents love it because it is jazz and its educational in a fun way, grandparents love it because it takes them back.  Children love the rhythms and enjoy the instruments.

Kinderjazz is a 12 piece fully acoustic swing orchestra, featuring some of the best musicians in Australia. They have opened Manly Jazz Festival in 1998, and since then, have performed at the Sydney Opera House, Daring Harbour, the Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Parramatta Stadium, to more than 10,000 families, Carols in the Domain 2000 on Channel 7, Stadium Australia and many major venues around Australia. They are currently nominated for a 2016 Indie Music Channel Award and three 2016 Libera Awards, including Album of the Year.

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Theo Czuk | The Urban Folksinger

Dubbed “the Kurt Vonnegut of songwriting,” Theo Czuk is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and an award winning novelist. Lyrically akin to, and armed with, Vonnegut’s rapier wit and incisive insight, Theo’s slant on the world has been described as “catawampus and exhilarating.” 

An URBAN FOLKSINGER, Theo was born and raised on the hardscrabble streets of Detroit and spent his youth toe tapping boulevard curbs to the grooves of the city swelter. When at an early age he was introduced to Bob Dylan, the die was cast and the URBAN FOLKSINGER was chiseled.

With a rust-belt groove bolted under vocal, piano and guitar, songsmith Theo Czuk brings a gritty urban blue-collar sound to songs of love and hope and survival.

Listen to Theo's One More Shot of Cold

INDIE MUSIC DIGEST exclaims, “Theo brings the Mojo” and nominated TOO MANY SHADOWS for CD of the Year and added, “The music is highly original, extremely melodic with amazing writing and playing from all involved.” — Cyrus Rhodes

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Richard Lynch | Bringing back traditional country with his own style!

Richard Lynch is a man who breathes commitment, authenticity, and entertainment. Richard stands out in the crowd as a proud member of the last of a dying breed, the pure country artist!

Listen to Richard's “It’s All In My Head”

Richard Lynch is an American country music artist, who has compiled a long list of country hits and chart toppers in the world of traditional country music. The sounds of Richard Lynch are reminiscent of the classics that started it all. The same passion and raw truth that fueled the likes of Conway Twitty, Keith Whitley, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, and Hank Williams is sewn into the fabric of Richard Lynch. In a world of fabricated country stars, Richard Lynch stands out in the crowd as a proud member of the last of a dying breed, the pure country music artist. His rock solid country roots span 3 decades, it comes up with the sun each morning, and it settles in the music he writes and the songs he sings.. The spirit of Richard Lynch is that which is attached to the working man's soul. It's real and it's timeless. It's country, the way country was meant to be.

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Don Gates | Reinventing His Music World

Don Gates was born in Concord, New Hampshire. Born into a large family with a myriad of musical talents it was only natural that he too would have an avid love of music. He grew up in Tampa, Florida and there he would be exposed to various genres of music. This exposure would lead him to Tampa’s underground metal scene where he would become known globally for his harmonic, as well as melodic guitar riffs and leads.

Fortunately, making a name for himself in metal didn’t pull him away from his country roots. Through the years of playing and recording metal he would always find himself drifting off into another world, that world was naturally country music. After having nearly 25 years under his belt and taking part in writing albums that are known today as classics in the genre, and building a resume that most “metal heads” only dream about, he decided it was time to hang up the distorted monster guitar and saddle up the acoustics he had collected for so many years and bring his real dream to life. And that dream was to go back where he belonged, home.

Listen to Don Gate's song Why

Country music has been his passion for the greater part of his life; with influences from Keith Whitley, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Gary Allen as well as the old legends Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Waylon, the list goes on and on. Combining his love of country with his past musical career he brings a fresh new sound to the industry with his first EP release “Almost A Cowboy”.

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Nathalie Miranda | Exciting talent from the UK!

“At the age of 3 I decided to be a singer." "I want to make music that matches who I am."

Musically it is distinctly Nathalie Miranda.... The voice to melt radios, the beats that drop either side of the Atlantic. 

Listen to Nathalie Miranda's song Just Can't Get Enough

Nathalie Miranda, a fantastically talented singer/songwriter from London, writing fresh, provocative words and melodies, which when coupled with her vocal range, give a new and exciting sound. Nathalie grew up in North London listening to her Dad's record collection. She says "I loved listening to Etta James, Aretha Franklin plus 80's big vocalists Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, and more recently Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera.

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Ed Roman | Laying One Down for Music and Passion

Don't ever let the negativity of others put you down. That's what Ed Roman has always told himself, and now, what he is telling the people around him. He reaches out to everyone through his music.

Listen to Ed Roman's song Taking Flight

Check out more of his magic on today's episode.

About Ed Roman

Ed Roman is an Award-winning singer/songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist from Shelburne, Ontario, Canada.  Blurring the lines between pop, rock, folk, and country music genres, Ed’s uniquely crafted songs have received regular rotation on more than 100 terrestrial radio stations across North America and more than 400 stations, worldwide.  

Recently, this Top 100 and #1 Reverbnation artist traveled to Jamaica to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid to the island, while shooting the music video for “Jamaica.”

Ed is also a Heart Songs for Veterans artist, donating money to help veterans. His current album, Letters From High Latitudes (an homage to his Ontario home) is a critically-acclaimed vehicle for Ed’s socio-political, earthly-conscious and globally-aware messages.  This earthy, funky and magical mix of music has earned Ed Roman airplay chart recognition and won over legions of fans around the world, known as “Ed Heads.”

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BJ Wilbanks | All for Authenticity and Genuine Connections

Being authentic and connecting with his audience through music are two of BJ Wilbanks's main career goals. He doesn't care much for manufactured content; he wants the REAL thing.

He picked up the guitar at a very young age and started writing music and performing at age 13, and BJ has been going ever since.

Listen to his cool, soothing voice and those rockin' guitar skills on episode 97!

Listen to BJ WIlbanks' song Right Back Home

About BJ WIlbanks

Georgia native BJ Wilbanks creates blues-infused rock music reminiscent of a bygone era, combining deeply-rooted Delta blues, funk, soul, and acoustic Southern rock to create a sound that is familiar, yet uniquely his own. BJ has developed his own sub-genre of Americana which he refers to as “back porch soul.” His tales of heartache, love, and life combine artfully with an engaging live performance.

BJ’s original songs range from heart break romantic to bad a$$ stomp-your-foot groove. He’ll often sling his guitar over his lap to play a slide tune that will transport you to a smoky blues bar in the bayou and then chase it with a tune that will bring you back to reality with an original rock anthem. Simply said, BJ Wilbanks has the ability to take you on a musical journey.

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Rob Carona | Oh My Carona!

Rob is never one to say no to a challenge. When he first started, he knew he had to make ends meet for his young family. When he met Jill Pavel, he was already making music and rocking it - but now, he does it with purpose and passion for our war heroes!

Check out Rob Carona's song Drive

About Rob Carona

As an established and successful recording artist, songwriter, producer, and public speaker, Rob Carona brings multiple talents to the stage and the studio. With 15 years of experience as a performer and writer, Rob captivates his audience with a sound that blends country, rock, and soul influences almost seamlessly. Rob brings his years of piano and guitar experience to the stage, but it’s the soulful quality of his voice, and heartfelt honesty in his lyrics that draw fans back for more.

“I write about the “real stuff”…when someone hears my songs, I want them to say ‘Yeah, this guy gets me’. I just want people to be inspired by my music and lyrics. They should be able to bob their head, smile, and never get the songs out of their heads." - RC

Having gathered inspiration from Keith Urban, The Black Crowes and Need To Breathe, Rob has a unique style and persona that is captivating while remaining accessible and relatable to his audience. Whether he is performing in an amphitheater or a stripped down acoustic venue, Rob maintains a level of integrity and diversity in his music that is refreshing in today’s mainstream music scene.

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Cowboy Troy | Rounding Up the Music Scene

Rounding up the music scene in Nashville is Cowboy Troy!  Rap, rock, and country - his ingredients for an awesome mix of music! It's nothing like you've ever heard before.

Also, check out his strategies on how to reach his fans and audience, as well as how he deals with the standards of business in the music industry!

Listen to Cowboy Troy's Countdown to Vacation

About Cowboy Troy

Cowboy Troy rapped his way into the country mainstream on the first cut of Big & Rich’s 2004 debut Horse Of A Different Color. And while his admonition to “let go of all your preconceived notions” certainly wasn’t the first time elements of rap had been incorporated into country, it was the boldest statement yet. Explaining the journey that placed Troy Coleman at this unlikely intersection is as complicated as explaining the evolution of American culture. At the same time it’s as simple as the story of a kid from Texas who did what all kids do–he soaked up the world around him.

Troy spent his childhood in Ft. Worth, where his dad took him to rodeos and stock shows. “We’d listen to Willie Nelson, Jerry Reed, Charlie Daniels, Kenny Rogers, and other artists who were getting airplay on the adult contemporary stations at that time,” Troy says. “I didn’t realize it was country music, I just knew it was what my parents listened to before they went to work in the morning.” Troy spent his high school years in Dallas and collegiate years in Austin, Texas at the University of Texas. A six-foot five-inch, hick-hop artist is going to get a response, and Cowboy Troy is okay with the strong reactions and endless questions. “I have crazy intentions,” he says with a grin. But a nyone who thinks that the Cowboy Troy experience ends there, doubts his country credentials, or is inclined to dismiss him as a novelty, is in for quite a surprise. “People have different paths,” Troy says. “I’m not going to apologize for my music, because this is who I am. I didn’t just wake up one morning, put on a cowboy hat, and get a gig rapping on a country album.

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Camille Rae | Small-Town Girl with a Big Heart and Powerful Voice

Stop whatever you're doing and listen up! Camille Rae is in town! This girl has such a powerful, captivating voice that you'll surely ask for more! 

Talented and passionate about helping others, Camille definitely has a bright future ahead of her! You really gotta check her out!

Listen to Shadows Dance Tonight

About Camille Rae

The redheaded singer/songwriter from Mount Vernon, KY, knew at an early age that her natural ability with music would encompass her life. "I started singing in church at 3 years old, " says Camille, "so I can't remember not wanting to perform. That same year I sang "Somewhere Out There" [from the movie An American Tail] with a high school choir behind me - I kept going, I just didn't want to stop singing."

The multi-talented songstress can sing all genres of music, ranging from classical to bluegrass, but finds her home in country, because of her exposure to the genre from a young age.  Influenced by country female powerhouses such as Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Wynona Judd, and Trisha Yearwood, mixed with current influences include Kelly Clarkson and 20's jazz singer Betsy Smith, her songs capture all the different stages in her life.

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Paul PJ Taylor | The One-Man Band from the UK!

PJ Taylor wants to show the world that he still has a lot to offer - so he's working doubly hard to step up his already-epic music game a notch! 

He performs his gigs alone and calls himself a one-man band! Well, buddy, that ain't so bad because the music he produces is the bomb!

Listen to PJ Taylor's song (Easy Escape)

About Paul PJ Taylor

Paul Taylor (originally known as PJ Taylor) is a singer and songwriter from Central London with a passion for making music. He has a growing fanbase worldwide especially in the US, Australia, and Canada as well as UK. Though not an instrumentalist he can create the lyrics and melodies himself. His songs are catchy, well written and they are very meaningful and ambiguous to his listeners. Taylor started off performing covers of classic songs but it wasn't until 2006 when he realised that he had a talent for writing his own songs. Taylor was voted Unsigned Artist Of 2012, 2013 and 2014 on podcast Wills Room Live and he is becoming known to be one of the best songwriters in the United Kingdom. His first album You Ain't Seen The Best Of Me was released on 27th November 2012. PJ Taylor has revealed to his fans that there will be another album.

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Amelia Presley | Let's Go on a Southern Vacation!

She gives justice to her name and the King of Rock n Roll! Amelia Presley graces us with her presence as she shares her story and musical journey. She's the Southern girl who will surely blow you away with her powerful voice and a topnotch production!

About Amelia Presley

Amelia Presley is a Country Singer-Songwriter and Recording/Performing Artist with nearly 100 songs written and a 10 song album released. Presley enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in October of 2010 and was discharged in August of 2015.  In that time, she received orders to six different units, resulting in a range of songs incorporating experiences from each of those places. Prior to joining the military, she grew up on a farm in Franklin Creek, MS. From an early age, she aspired to follow in the footsteps of her cousin, Elvis Presley. She began writing songs as soon as she was able to write and would memorize the melodies. After joining the Coast Guard, she was first stationed at Air Station New Orleans, Louisiana and began to pursue music heavily.

Hortly before discharging from the military, she toured with Country Music legend, Ronnie McDowell and continues to play nationwide.  She now lives in her home state of Mississippi and is in the process of recording her second album in Nashville.  Her newest single, Hard Headed Mama, was released in January of 2016.  In March of 2016, Amelia Presley signed to the label, Heart Songs Corporation, after becoming an ambassador for Heart Songs For Veterans.

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J Edwards | Steppin’ Up with That Country Vibe

He was born into a musical family and grew up singing in church. Today, he sings for war veterans, and he indeed is more than an artist - he's a hero.

J Edwards from Nashville gives us a taste of his music that screams country all over. He's one heck of a dude, and man, you gotta listen to that powerful voice!

Listen to his song Cinderella

About J Edwards

J Edwards was born in the northeastern corner of Arkansas, but spent most of his early years traveling across the country with his evangelist father and singing family. Edwards grew up with an instrument of some sort in his hands from necessity, playing what ever was needed at the nightly services. After traveling some on his own throughout the U.S. and some over seas tours in the christian music market, J Edwards settled into playing blues locally in Columbia, SC. With his catchy songs and raspy singing voice, it didn’t take long for him to build a close knit following of friends and fans.

After commuting for 5 years, J Edwards moved to Nashville at the end of 2012 to concentrate more on songwriting. Though his voice still holds those strong qualities of a New Orleans blues man, Nashville has begun to recognize his ability to write and perform in many other genres including Country and Americana. While working on a new “Southern Soul" album in the summer of 2014, J Edwards decided to stop and concentrate completely on an idea he had for honoring Veterans, active military and their families. "Heroes" was finished in October, 2014 and is the most purpose-filled project Edwards has ever done. J Edwards plays weekly when at home in Nashville, but spends most of his time on the road playing large and small venues across the country.

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