Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to review a very cool musician, who has found a way to merge her love of anime, with her love of music. If you haven’t heard of Amanda Lee (aka ‘LeeandLie` on YouTube), then you’re missing out on a uniquely talented singer/songwriter/voice actress. At the time of this blog post Amanda has over 1.2 million YouTube subscribers, & has worked on numerous anime/video game titles such as: Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, Overlord II, One Piece, Anonymous Noise, Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2, Yandere Simulator, & many more. In 2017 she also released her debut EP which included 5 original songs co-written by Amanda. Needless to say she has become a rising star both online & in the voice acting industry, so now let’s catch all of y’all up with the amazingness that is Amanda Lee. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video we’re going to talk about is Amanda’s ‘Sword Art Online- Crossing Field (Opening) [English ver]’ cover video, which was uploaded on September 2, 2012 (you can check out this video below). This is a very interesting video that really shows a unique take on this song. It’s very cool to see Amanda change the original Japanese lyrics into original English lyrics that still fit the beat of the music, but show her original take on the song. This skill shows that Amanda was a true artist even towards the beginning of her career. The next video we’re going to talk about is her ‘Dango Daikazoku (Ending) |English ver |’ cover video which was uploaded on February 22, 2014. Just in the 1 year & 5 months between this video & the Sword Art Online video, you can see a vast improvement in Amanda’s vocals, which shows just how dedicated she is to her craft. This cover is also a great example of how well Amanda can project the emotional undertones of a song, & really make her listener understand what the lyrics are trying to convey.
Next up we have Amanda’s ‘Pokemon – Pokemon Theme (Full Opening)’ video which features Natewantstobattle, which was uploaded on December 12, 2016 (you can check out this video below). This is definitely one of my favorite videos because it shows such a growth in Amanda’s artistry & video production skills. This video features revolving animation from all of the Pokemon generations from the 90s until present day which so unique & cool. This video shows the amount of thought Amanda puts into her videos, which proves how much she cares about her subscribers having a great experience on her channel. Lastly we have her ‘Debut EP Hourglass – Digital + Physical copies [Pre-Order NOW] video’, which was uploaded on August 14, 2017. This video features snippets of all 5 original songs on the ‘Hourglass’ EP, & really gives you a sense of Amanda’s personal musical style. In this EP the musical styles range from Pop, to Rock, to even EDM based. It definitely shows that Amanda is very comfortable as an artist, & that she will continue to impress us all as her career continues to grow.
You can keep up with everything Amanda is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ I have the honor of sharing an interview I recently did with two-time Grammy nominee Lisa Loeb! You may know Lisa from her platinum-selling hit #1 single ‘Stay (I Missed You), her various voice-over roles in shows such as ‘Spider-Man: The New Animated Series’, ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’, ‘Doc McStuffins’, etc., her eyewear line, or the various other projects that Lisa has had over the past two decades. In this interview we discuss Lisa’s music, eyewear line, her charitable foundation ‘Camp Lisa’, her musical influences, and so much more! Also please keep an eye out for Lisa’s singles ‘3,2,1 Let Go’, and ‘The Disappointing Pancake’, which will be released on vinyl via Blacktop Records on July 8th, 2016. You can also pick up the records at any of Lisa’s upcoming shows:
June 21 – Wolf Trap Theater-in-the-Woods, Virginia
June 22 – Sundown Music Series, Haddon Heights, NJ
July 10 – Oakville Children’s Festival, Ontario
July 11 – Stratford Masonic Concert Hall – Stratford, Ontario (SOLD OUT)
July 12 – Stratford Masonic Concert Hall – Stratford, Ontario
July 13 – Adelaide Hall – Toronto, Ontario
So now let’s get to the interview! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Celinda: First of all I would like to thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. Personally I am such a huge fan of your music, and I know that my readers are excited to hear about all of your new projects. Since we are on the topic of music, what/who would you say originally sparked your interest in music? Also, which bands/artists have influenced your music that would surprise your fans?
Lisa: That’s such a huge question. There are so many musicians and performers who inspired me. My family, the music around me growing up, my friends’ taste in music, the music I was played at school and the music we sang and played at school, music I learned in piano and later guitar lessons, music on the radio. Wow, so much music all around me. I usually think of The Police as the band that made me want to play guitar in a band and write music. I also loved David Bowie’s dramatic singing, writing, storytelling, and all-around aura. I’m hugely influenced by Led Zeppelin, Olivia Newton John, The Cure, and soft pop from the 1970’s like Bread.
Celinda: I can definitely hear all of those influences in your music. So, how does it feel that Stay (I Missed You) is still such a recognizable and beloved song 22 years after its’ initial release?
Lisa: I love it. I think it’s incredible that people connect with me and my song so many years later. People really have sweet nostalgia as well as a current identification with the song. I think that’s why it’s still so powerful so many years later.
Celinda: Now let’s move on to the live action acting you’ve done on television and for films. Did you always want to foray into acting or was it something that you grew to love later in life?
Lisa: I always wanted to be actor, maybe even before I wanted to be a musician. I like the idea of being able to try on different characters and jobs and personalities. (That just sounded crazy.) I think it’s amazing to put yourself in another person’s shoes. I loved doing theater in school and college and always studied theater during the summers. I still use my acting training a lot during live performances and interpreting my own songs night after night. I still hope to spend more time training and doing more acting soon!
Celinda: That’s so exciting, I know I speak for all of your fans when I say we’re excited to see which acting projects you might take on in the future! Along with your live action acting, you’ve also voiced numerous characters on various videos games and television shows such as: ‘Spider-Man: The New Animated Series’, ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’, ‘Doc McStuffins’, etc., do you feel that your experience as a recording artist has helped you become more comfortable and confident as a voice actress?
Lisa: My acting experience coupled with recording music in the studio has really come together for voice acting. It’s a place I feel really comfortable and love the collaboration of working with producers, writers, directors, and engineers to come up with the right sound for the animated shows, commercials, and other voice work I do.
Celinda: I would like to take a moment to mention that I love your eyewear line; all of the pieces are gorgeous and very fashionable. Is there a story behind the creation of your eyewear line, or is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Lisa: The eyewear line is a dream come true. I’m a huge fan of glasses and finding the perfect pair for myself! I think glasses can add so much to a person’s face and can help express how a person sees life and how they relate to others. I love that my eyewear line can help women look beautiful, stylish, flirty, classic, and confident. People look to me for that and now I can finally help people. Literally, fans and people who like my glasses and my look stop me on the street to talk about glasses. I thought it was time for me to get more involved. We have lots of tortoiseshell, pops of color, shapes and sizes for different faces and skin tones. I love when people tell me that they wear their glasses because I wear my glasses.
Celinda: All of the pieces are amazing; you definitely have a great eye for fashion. Moving on, I would like to firstly congratulate you for all of the accomplishments that your organization ‘The Camp Lisa Foundation’ has achieved; it is truly inspiring to see artists give back. What would you say has been the most rewarding part of ‘Camp Lisa’, and what do you hope the foundation will accomplish in the future?
Lisa: It’s amazingly rewarding knowing that kids are going to have a summer camp experience, helping them build their confidence and character as well as connecting them to summer fun. I hope the foundation can continue to send more kids to summer camp! Buying my Camp Lisa record, my “Wake Up!” Blend coffee from https://www.coffeefool.com/collections/charity-coffees and making direct donations to me through The Camp Lisa Foundation through www.LisaLoeb.com are great ways that you can help!
Celinda: Your foundation’s mission is truly beautiful and will definitely continue making a positive impact on numerous children. So I read on your website that you earned a degree in comparative literature from Brown University; did you always aspire to become an author? Also, what inspired you to write children’s books?
Lisa: I really should have studied theater, music, psychology- all areas that interested me the most, but at the time I felt I needed a liberal arts major, and that was it. I’ve always enjoyed interpretation, and meta-thinking, and overthinking, so it seemed like a good major. I think it’s important to spend quiet connected time with kids, away from the TV and the computers and phones. These illustrated books help a parent/caregiver/teacher do just that. These books are fun to explore and read and re-read. I made two kids’ books of lyrics, activities, and recipes for kids ‘Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs’ and ‘Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Movin’ & Shakin’: The Air Band Song and Other Toe-tapping Tunes’ and I think a lot of those songs would make really great board books one song at a time. I have a children’s book up my sleeve now too!
Celinda: That’s so interesting! I know we’re all super excited to read and hear this new book! Moving back to the topic of music for a second, your singles ‘3,2,1 Let Go’ and ‘The Disappointing Pancake’ will be released on 7inch vinyl on July 8th, 2016 in Canada via Blacktop Records. Personally I love the throwback feel of vinyl that you just can’t get with digital or even cd releases, but what inspired you to release these singles on vinyl?
Lisa: “3,2,1 Let Go!” is the kind of song you want to hear on vinyl, and since there’s only one song on each side, you really can focus on listening over and over to each song, since once you hear the songs, you’ll want to listen over and over. ; ) “The Disappointing Pancake” is one of my most popular songs, taken from both the ‘Camp Lisa’ record and the ‘Silly Sing-Along’ book, so I thought I’d highlight it here on this special release. Plus, even though it was originally written for kids, I think grownups enjoy hearing it- a story that’s different from your lost love song.
Celinda: Thank you again Lisa for taking the time to speak with me today, it was truly an honor. Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your fans who are reading this interview?
Lisa: I can’t wait to come to Canada! It’s been really too long since I’ve been there. Yay! Yay for us. I can’t wait to see you!
Keep up with everything Lisa is doing:
Eyewear Line: http://www.lisaloebeyewear.com/
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to feature Andy Kirka aka RUNAGROUND, a phenomenal singer/songwriter/producer that you will be obsessing over! This is a channel that you HAVE to subscribe to, because regardless of your personal music tastes, you will find covers that you will be replaying all day. It’s rare that you find a musician that can take any song and make it sound original while also keeping the elements that originally made the song a hit. So now let’s get to the music! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first song that we’re going to talk about is RUNAGROUND’s live cover of ‘Set Fire To The Rain’ by Adele, which was uploaded on August 2nd, 2012. I thought that this was an amazing cover to kick tings off with, because we really get to see Andy’s powerful vocals. Needless to say, one of the most important rules of YouTube is that you HAVE to make a great first impression. This cover not only mesmerizes you, but leaves you wanting more. Ok, now let’s move on to RUNAGROUND’s cover of ‘Impossible’, which you can check out below (the James Arthur rendition, which is different than the song’s original version by R&B singer Shontelle), which was uploaded on January 21st, 2013. This cover does a really awesome job of showing Andy’s artistic talent, by displaying that he can fully connect to the emotions of a song. In this video you can really feel the venerability of the song’s lyrics, and Andy does a cool job of mixing the soulfulness of the original version of this song, with a cool punk pop edge that makes this rendition very unique.
Now we’re going to talk about RUNAGROUND’s cover of ‘Take Your Time’ by Sam Hunt, which was uploaded on December 29th, 2014. This cover really showed Andy’s talent as a performer, and since we already know that he’s an amazing vocalist, it was really cool to hear his rapping skills. This cover will really make you excited to see how RUNAGROUND’s sound changed in the future. The last video that we’re going to talk about is RUNAGROUND’s official music video for their original song ‘Solace’, which was uploaded on August 21st, 2014 (you can check it out below). This is a really beautifully shot video that has cool camera angles, and really keeps your attention from start to finish. The song is really catchy, and will stay at the top of all of your playlists this fall. It’s so cool to see RUNAGROUNDS original music, since we originally fell in love with the band’s covers. It’s great to see this band’s growth, and will leave you waiting to see what this awesome band does next.
Keep up with everything RUNAGROUND is doing:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to talk about an AMAZING Country music band that you just gotta check out. If you’ve never heard of High Valley then please keep reading! These guys will instantly hook you with their incredible vocals, and insanely catchy songs. If you’re already a fan of this band then you know just how awesome they are, if you haven’t heard of them then prepare to be amazed. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
High Valley is a Canadian Country music band that has already made a HUGE splash in the Country Music scene. Because of this, they have already opened up for music legends such as: Little Big Town, Alan Jackson, and Shania Twain. They have also worked with country music stars such as singer/songwriter/producer Paul Bradt (who has won numerous music awards both in the U.S. and Canada, and also co-wrote the song ‘For You’, which was performed by Johnny Cash and Dave Matthews for the soundtrack of the film ‘We Were Soldiers’). Most recently High Valley worked with songwriter/producer Seth Mosley (who won a Grammy Award in 2015, and has worked with Contemporary Christian music superstars such as: Michael W. Smith, Mercy Me, Hawk Nelson who we covered in a previous blog which you can check out here: http://celindareyesblog.com/2015/03/monday-memos-hawk-nelson-your-new-favorite-band-has-arrived/, Jeremy Camp, Newsboys, and many others), and co-wrote songs with Ben Stennis (who has worked with country music superstars such as: Jason Aldean, Chase Rice, Tim Hicks), Fred Wilhelm (who has worked with country music legends such as: Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town) and award-winning Canadian country music songwriter Deric Ruttan.
Ok, now that you know a little bit about the band, let’s get to the music! Now I really wish that I could talk about all of this music that High Valley has released because it’s AMAZING (if you want me to talk more about this band please leave a comment below), but I choose 3 songs that I feel will really get you excited about High Valley. The first song that we’re going to talk about is High Valley’s cover of Bucky Covington’s 2010 single ‘A Father’s Love (The Only Way He Knew How), which was included on the band’s 2010 self-titled album. I absolutely loved this cover because High Valley slowed the song down just a bit which made it feel fresh, but were also able to keep the vibe of the original version that fans have come to love. Through this cover, High Valley is really able to make you feel the emotion of the lyrics, and you find yourself getting completely lost in the story they tell. The next song that we’re going to talk about is High Valley’s ‘Rescue You’, the 1st single off of their 2014 album ‘Country Line’. This is such a fun, high energy song, that is perfect to sing along to in the car. The message of the song is really sweet, and before you know it you WILL be completely addicted to this song. Ok, the final song that we’re going to talk about today is the band’s latest single off ‘She’s With Me’ (which you can check out the official music video for below).Personally this is one of my favorite High Valley songs, because it’s a really high energy song, with infectious lyrics, and it’s the perfect mix of country with just a touch of indie pop. You will definitely have this song on repeat for a LONG time. After hearing ‘She’s With Me’, I’m really excited to see what this incredible band will do next.
Keep up with everything High Valley is doing:
YouTube: High Valley
ITunes: High Valley
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’, we’re going to talk about a PHENOMINAL singer/songwriter who you will completely fangirl (and fanboy) over from the moment you hear her. If you haven’t stumbled across one of Rebecca Shearing’s AMAZING covers then you have no idea how deprived your ears are. Not only can she sing and play the piano, but she also has the ability to perfectly tackle any genre of music and make it sound completely fresh and unique. So now let’s get to what y’all are waiting for, the music! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Rebecca’s cover of ‘Happy’ by Leona Lewis, which was uploaded on January 30th, 2010 (you can check out the video below). I thought that this was an awesome video to kick things off with, because the song is not only technically challenging but should make you experience the feels when you listen to it. Rebecca does a really good job displaying her vocal skills in this cover, and it definitely makes you eager to see what she’ll tackle next. The next video that we’re going to discuss is Rebecca’s rendition of ‘Gangnam Style’ by PSY, which was uploaded on October 15th, 2012. When I saw this video, I was immediately intrigued, and honestly it was everything I thought it would be and so much more! Rebecca did an AMAZING job rearranging this song into a cool jazzy rendition that will give the song a really fun, fresh vibe. It’s a fun play on this viral hit, that will have you addicted to ‘Gangnam style all over again.
Next up, we have Rebecca’s cover of ‘Just Give Me a Reason’ by Pink feat. Nate Ruess, which was uploaded on March 25th, 2013. In this cover Rebecca really showed off her artistry, by fully engaging herself in the song, and bringing out the emotions that the lyrics of this song have. The fact that Rebecca was able to show that she’s an amazing storyteller in this video, only makes me more excited see what incredible original music she releases in the future. The final cover that we’re going to discuss is Rebecca’s cover of ‘Flashlight’ by Jessie J from the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack, which was uploaded on June 12th, 2015 (and you can check out below). This was such a breathtakingly beautiful cover, and will make you become even more obsessed with Rebecca’s channel. This video really proves that Rebecca has continued to perfect her craft, and now is not only able to sing/play the piano EXTREMELY well, but is also a true artist that will captivate your from the first not to the last, and will leave you constantly wanting more. With all the growth we’ve already seen from her, I can’t wait to see where Rebecca’s career takes her next.
Keep up with Rebecca on the following sites:
YouTube: Rebecca Shearing
Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’, we are going to talk about an INCREDIBLE YouTube musician that you may or may not already be obsessed with. Trust me if you’ve never heard of Elyar Fox, then you need to continue reading this post. This 19 year old singer/songwriter from London is quickly taking over the music industry and the hearts of his fans one click at a time. Excited to hear more? Are you sure that you’re ready? Ok, then let’s go!
The first song that we’re going to talk about is Elyar’s ‘Treasure/When I Was Your Man’ by Bruno Mars video, which was uploaded on Mach 27th, 2013. I thought that this was a really cool Bruno Mars themed mash-up, which took two very different songs and perfectly matched them up. This video really showed off what a great musician Elyar’s is, and will have you hooked from the first note to the last. Next up we have his ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit cover, which was uploaded on April 7th, 2014 (you can’t check out the video below). I chose to include this video because it showed Elyar performing live. In this video we really get a look into Elyar’s performance style. Although we already knew that Elyar was a talents vocalist/musician, we really get to see how he is able to take command on stage and leave his audience spellbound. This video definitely shows that his performance skills are above and beyond that of a new artist. Just imagine how amazing he’ll be in a few years?
Now we’ll look at Elyar’s rendition of ‘Somebody To You’ by The Vamps feat. Demi Lovato, which was uploaded on June 4th, 2014. It was really cool to see Elyar take on a really fun, energetic song, because we really got to see his personality shine through. This cover really shows that Elyar is able to take on a just about any type of song, and will definitely get you excited to hear more of his covers. It’s cool to see your fav YouTubers really have fun with what they do, and we can certainly see that Elyar is having a lot of fun on this video which only makes us love him even more. Finally we’ll look at Elyar’s cover of ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, which was uploaded on April 19th, 2015 (you can check out the video below). This is definitely a tough song to cover because you not only have to sing the song correctly, but you also have to be able to show the deep emotions behind the lyrics. As everyone knows, this song was originally written as a tribute to ‘Fast and The Furious’ alum Paul Walker who sadly passed away in 2013. Because of this connection, this is a song that has to be sung with a lot of heartfelt emotion in order to maintain the magic of the original version. Elyar does an incredible job of capturing the emotions behind this song, and will definitely make you cry after you hear it.
Keep up with everything Elyar is doing:
Twitter: Elyar (@ElyarFox) | Twitter
Website: Elyar Fox – The official website
Instagram: Elyar Fox (@elyarfox) • Instagram
Facebook: Elyar Fox | Facebook
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss an awesome new band that y’all will hear about A LOT this year. If you haven’t heard of Hey Anna, then you are definitely missing out. This cool indie-pop band’s music has already been featured on numerous awesome websites, and more recently on nylon.com (yeah they’re really THAT cool). The band is comprised of Anna Rauch-Sassen,(vocals), Erin Rauch-Sassen (guitar), Katie Rauch-Sassen (keyboard), Matthew Langer, and Jamie DiTringo. With their debut album ‘Run KoKo’ dropping later this summer, this is the band that you NEED to know about now, before all your friends become obsessed with them. Luckily for us, Hey Anna has recently released a new singe entitled ‘Island’, to get us prepared for the wave of awesomeness that ‘Run KoKo’ will bring. So are y’all ready to discuss ‘Island’? Ok, let’s go!
If you’re looking for a fun, yet soothing summer anthem, then ‘Island’ is perfect for you. This song combines the best of Indie and Pop music, into a song that you will be singing along to all year long. I have seriously had ‘Island’ on repeat for the past few days, because it just has this incredible energy that completely makes you incapable of not having it constantly on repeat. I am soooo excited that Hey Anna released ‘Island’ as their upcoming album’s lead single, because it really gets you excited to see what their full album will sound like. It’s not very often that you hear a single and think “wow this band is going to be unstoppable”, but that’s exactly the feeling you get after listening to ‘Island’. So get ready people of the internet, because Hey Anna is about to shake up the music industry in a BIG way!
Keep up to date with everything Hey Anna is doing:
Twitter: HEY ANNA (@heyannamusic) | Twitter
Website: HEY ANNA
Instagram: HEY ANNA (@heyannaband) • Instagram
SoundCloud: HEY ANNA | Free Listening on SoundCloud
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to discuss an awesome singer/songwriter that y’all will love! If you haven’t heard of Samantha Dorrance then remember her name now, because you will keep hearing her name for YEARS to come. Samantha is a singer/songwriter/actress/dancer/and TV presenter, who has been featured on Disney Channel (both in the U.K. and U.S.), on the BBC1 show Doctors, and in multiple theatre productions. So now let’s get to what you came here for, let’s talk about the music! Ready? Let’s go!
The first thing that we’re going to talk about, is Samantha’s cover of ‘Cups (When I’m Gone)’ (uploaded on July 6th, 2013, you can check out the video below) which was performed by Anna Kendrick in the movie Pitch Perfect. This was a really fun cover to watch because Samantha is able to show that she can captivate an audience, and hold their attention from the first second of the performance to the last. Honestly if she does this well with just a cup and her voice, I can’t imagine what else she is capable of. This version of ‘Cups (When I’m Gone)’ will definitely be stuck in your head ALLL day, and you wouldn’t want it any other way. Next up we’re going to talk about Samantha’s cover of ‘Kiss Me’ by Sixpence None The Richer, which was uploaded on May 21st, 2014. This is another really fun video that really shows off Samantha’s vocal ability and natural presence in front of the camera. This is a beautifully shot video, which really adds to the romantic, whimsical feel of the song. Fans will love that Samantha was able to make a rendition of this song that keeps the vibe of the original version, but also adds a little something extra that makes it feel like a Samantha original.
Next up we’re going to talk about Samantha’s cover of Love Me Like You Do’ by Ellie Goulding, which was uploaded on January 23rd, 2015. This video was done as a collaboration with YouTube producer/songwriter Shaun Reynolds, and will definitely blow you away once you hear it. The cover is very entertaining, and will make you an instant fan of Samantha’s distinctly unique voice. We really get to see the large range of Samantha’s vocal talents, and you will definitely replay this song all year long (yeah it’s seriously THAT good). The final song that we’re going to talk about actually isn’t a cover. Yup, we’re going to talk about Samantha’s latest original song! The latest song that you’re going to HAVE to add to your playlists is called ‘Going My Way’, and the official music video was uploaded on March 2nd, 2015 (you can check out the video below). This is another really sweet song that will just make you feel really happy, and will have you singing along really quickly. The story revolves around a girl who hasn’t been in great relationships before but now is with someone who makes her feel insanely happy (sounds like the relationship a lot of us have with Starbucks, doesn’t it?). This is another video that is very well shot, and definitely lives up to creativity and professionalism that we now know is Samantha’s trademark. This video gets 5 balloons up (you’ll get this reference once you see the video), and you should definitely subscribe to Samantha to see what else she has in store!
Keep up with everything Samantha is doing: