Wednesday, July 14, 2010
My M.O. Madness : V.O.N.Y.A.R.T.I.S.T.S.P.O.T.L.I.G.H.T.
Do you know Katy Walker, Dion McKenzie, and Erika Buestami? Well you should. They are the three talented artist/songwriters that make up the band My M.O. VONY’s ARTISTSPOTLIGHT Feature, My M.O. is a band with explosive rhythms and catchy sounds that leave you wanting to hear more. VONY would like you to get to know them just like we do and soon everyone will too at our special APTsessions coming soon this summer. Erika is a stylish southeast Asian EmCee and singer from Australia, that handles lead vocals and bass. Katy is a red-haired eclectic DJ from Texas who plays keys and does production and vocals. Dion is a Jamaican born rocker, that shreds guitar and sings back-up vocals. This band has hit NYC by storm! They are quickly booking shows through out the indie music scene, playing locally in Brooklyn and Manhattan. My M.O. has created a friendly buzz, keeping audiences intrigued for more! Want to know more? Take a look at our interview with them...
Interview with My M.O.
*VONY: Can you identify your band members and explain, how did you three meet, and how long have you been working together?*
Katy Walker, keys vocals, production
Erika Buestami, lead vocals, bass
Dion Mckenzie vocals, guitar
KW: I met Dion thru a friend a few years back and we began writing What I Want and also other songs that I had previously written with some other song writers. My DJ partner introduced me to Erika bc I was looking for an engineer to mix the trax and turns out she was a vocalist and an all around awesome person. Erika moved into Dion's neighborhood and the rest is history.
DM: Yea, I was introduced to Erika through Katy, which was quite the experience. Didn't know what to make of her at first. She was quite peculiar, did a whole bunch of impersonations which were outright hysterical! I'm a bit more quiet and reserved when I meet people for the first time, so I was just observing her and I was intrigued and I wanted to know more. Erika has that magical effect.
*VONY: What's it like working with each other and how does your diverse background affect it?*
KW: We have a great synergy and an intensity that makes it exciting for the band's live show to get tight so the music gets out to the world. Its a very passionate collaboration and crazy fun to work together. For example, I've always had a fascination with Jamaica and the music from there so Dion being Jamaican, her life story and how both her and Erika got here from other countries, I came from Austin to New York City for music, we met miraculously, it is totally inspiring to me and truly meant to be.
DM: Aww, thanks Katy.
*VONY: "Modus operandi" or "Method of Operation" means a person's way of doing things or their style. What is your M.O. and why was it chosen as the band's name?*
KW: Well music is our mo, guess that’s kind of our tagline. It was chosen because music is the platform for expression. When I came up with the name, I was thinking even though music doesn't make money and the industry has changed so dramatically it is an incredibly influential part of our world and a major platform for all that I do business wise too. I-phone apps, websites, films, whatever, its a spring board. Here's a great quote from an 19th century author who was a woman that wrote under a mans name.
“I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs, and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.” –George Elliot
*VONY: You guys have a define style. Does anybody help you with your fashion looks?*
KW: Dion and Erika have an incredibly unique sense of style and aesthetic, we actually all have a similar sense of aesthetic and fairly different style though I think since Dion and I are both athletes we have this kind of sporty hip look and Erika is more exotic and pulls from a bunch of different cultures for her style choices. Yes we do have someone who has helped with our style, he has helped me try to wear things that are a bit more sexy and flattering to my figure etc because I tend to get wrapped up in the music and forget about the presentation.
*VONY: Your lyrics are quite catchy who writes the songs and what are the common themes of your songs?*
KW: We all contribute to different things on the songs. Bonfire we all worked together on the lyrics. I do all the beats and work with another producer sometimes on the tracks. The actual music are chord progressions I dream up and that Dion and i work together on. Now we come up with stuff live as a band and I'm looking forward to recording them into Logic and working with everyone on them. The themes are really hard to pin down, but its just about being an independent woman, the ups and downs of the soul mate search, breaking the mold and also having a good time.
*VONY: What do you want people to take away, when they listen to your music?*
KW: We are heartfelt artists that use music as a platform to move you, both physically and emotionally. Its not about how great we are and how we look and all that shit, its about making music that makes you think and feel sexy or sad or even motivated to create your place in the world. We love life, self-expression, and making music so we hope we inspire our fans to do the same.
*VONY: What's your advice to any youth thinking of pursuing music?*
KW: Music is self expression, you can find yourself in your art form so pursue it with all your heart but don't covet it, its a journey. But remember it takes time and patience. Study theory and understand how you can write music but that does not mean you have to stick with the mainstream format. The tighter you are technically but at the same time the more original your ideas, the more influential your music will be. Also music is a platform to do other things, master it first and it will open so many doors for you.
*VONY: I saw on your MySpace page that Prince and Micheal Jackson were some of your influences, how much of their style has influenced your music. What's your favorite song by either one?*
KW: Prince "I would die for you" and "Controversy" is one of my favorites. I love the fact that he was so heartfelt and such a great musician but wrote pop music. He messed with your head, the lyrics: is he gay or is he straight? is he black or is he white? He forced people to deal with uncomfortable subject matters like mixing races and even bisexuality while making hit records. He's a huge influence for me, how he crossed over pop into black music, and rock with crazy synths and beats, he just made totally classic, timeless music.
*VONY: A lot of people are concerned with what the Disney channel is portraying to our youth. Last month Miley Cyrus performed on dancing with the stars and it caused alot of controversy. She has been accused of wearing cleavage-baring corsets, grinding with dancers, pretending to make-out on stage, and she was even been busted for dirty dancing with her "The Last Song" director Adam Shankman. Do you think the press is attacking Miley Cyrus or should she really tone down her act?*
KW: Yes I think sex is something to be played with subtly. I also think she is a pop star that does not write her songs and is not a true artist so she is part of this totally different type of machine. Prince messed with sex a lot, but it was part of his persona, it worked for him. It doesn't work for her, a lot of artists try things that don't work for their careers and then they suffer the consequences. I think a lot about how much sex we put in the music, but we are also writing sophisticated songs for adults not for teeny boppers so we have a license to do whatever we want. But we are also women and we can only use our sexuality so much before people stop taking us seriously. Its a fine line.
*VONY: How far along are you guys in the process of making your debut album?*
KW: Its pretty much done but we are focusing on the EP first and will try to wrap all the small details on the songs by September. I want to release it in October so the momentum keeps up but some people say we should wait until January of next year. We'll see what happens.
*VONY: What can people expect to come from My M.O. in the near future?*
KW: A really great live show, hopefully tours outside the US. We are hoping to do a nice show for SXSW in Austin, my home town. The music videos are definitely working out for us, we have a very talented network of people collaborating with us. Bonfire is looking out to be the title track to the debut album now, so look out for a crazy music video for that.
*VONY: Art is ...(Complete the sentence)*
KW: Art is life. Life is Art.
If you want to hear more visit our MySpace ArtistSpotlight page where you can listen to their newest single "Monkey" and find links to their music downloads! VONY Always brings you the Artist's You should Know about!
Contributing Blogger: Jenna Adovasio ~VONYintern