SMC Spotlight No.1 | Mr. Wright ‘You’re Not Alone’ World Premiere Music Video Exclusive Interview

In the latter part of 2017, I was introduced to Nottingham, UK-born, Los Angeles-based Mr. Jason Anthoney Wright via a good friend of mine, Mr Stephen David Brooks. Now, those who have been following my podcast, ‘The Candice Anne Marshall Show‘episodes or even my interview with Mr. Brooks here on the Starlight Music Chronicles Spotlight will know that this is the second World Premiere video that has been launched on the SMC Spotlight as of today. Of course, when I was introduced, I was immediately drawn to Jason’s positive energy and spirit. ‘Hello Love! I am looking forward to working with you!‘ were his first words, and it went from there.

I first launched Mr. Wrights’ debut single ‘We’re Not Alone‘ on Limehead Radio back in the first part of this year and once again on my March 20th Birthday episode on The Candice Anne Marshall Show. In the meantime, I knew that the filming for this video was in progress and was anticipating the email from either Stephen or Jason in the coming week or so. After viewing it for the first time, knowing the background behind the song (helping those with PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc.), it only made sense to have this on the SMC Spotlight platform. We have campaigned many times for Morgans Mission Memorial Society and Richards’ Legacy Foundation in support of teen suicide and mental health awareness for our youth today. This song is not only beautiful in composition but its’ message of purity in this stunning video drives home the point that no matter how desperate we can become in our own sorrow or grief, there is someone there to listen or hear our plight. This supports the aforementioned organizations campaigns and I do hope that this song can become a theme song for many organizations like them.

In delving further into Jasons’ background, I discovered that he is not only an accomplished Singer/Songwriter, he is also an accomplished Actor who was featured in the award winning BBC TV program “The Monastery” and “The Monastery Revisited” in 2006. It only made sense to push the envelope a little further by really getting to know him via an exclusive interview to accompany the world premiere of ‘We’re Not Alone’ (see below).

This music video is a must see and the song is a must have. You’re eyes and ears will thank you! Jason, welcome to the SMC Spotlight family!

SMC Spotlight Exclusive Interview | Jason Anthoney Wright ‘Mr. Wright’

with Candice Anne Marshall

SMC – Hello Jason! Welcome to the SMC Spotlight! We have officially launched your new music video ‘You’re Not Alone’ today on the SMC Spotlight! We have garnered a lot of interest from our loyal followers for our World Premieres. We are excited to see where this goes for you! Can you tell us about the making of the music video and who your team was?

Mr. Wright – Thank you for having me on your show Candice, I appreciate you.  The making of the video was a lot of fun, but very straight forward. When you have a genius like Stephen David Brooks working with you, you know you’re in safe hands. His ideas and vision of how the video should look really have come to fruition. Stephen had said after hearing the song what he sees’. A Calvin Klein style advertisement video, and I was like, yes, I love that. So the team was Stephen and I, from start to finish. We met one sunny afternoon on Malibu beach and filmed. I took his directions, as to what he wanted to capture and two hour later he said that’s a wrap, I got all I need. It was really fun and easy.

SMC – What was it like to work with Stephen David Brooks for the filming of this new music video?

Mr. Wright – It was a sheer pleasure, fun, and easy to work with Stephen. Stephen is always prepared and one step ahead of the process. He knows what he wants you to do next. This always make shooting and working with a director fun and effective. I met Stephen many years ago via a friend, music legend Michael Garbutt in Chateau Marmont. Not only was it a fun night but we got on straight away and then again when he was in London on his way to Cannes, France, we went for few beers and our friendship has just simply blossomed. He is a genuine, kind person and I like him a lot.

SMC – Before we get into more specifics about the song, can you tell us about your background in music as well as acting? I read an interview earlier this year and you have quite an impressive background!

Mr. Wright – I started singing when I was in my early teens. It started with the hairbrush in the mirror hahaha, that vision makes me laugh; now I think about that. I had a little radio transmitter and would always be listening to it. I remember when the Pet Shop Boys released West End Girls. I just couldn’t hear it enough.  The radio station played and played it. It was funky, new,  fresh and exciting. I would stand in the mirror and mimic (West End Girl’s……..), me singing, it was funny. I knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry. My grandfather who was a DJ on a local radio station, Super Dads, was his radio name. He was the one who encouraged my singing and creativeness, when he past, my grandmother took that baton over.

I realized early in school/my early teens, that I was a creative. I liked how music and films made me feel. I was a very shy boy, so I had to work on building my confidence. One of my first big jobs at 16 was to tour with Queen Latifah and Monie Love. That’s when I first got my taste of what the entertainment industry was like.  At this time, I would hang out with friends like the lovely talented Academy Award Nominated Samantha Morton. She was training at this time at Central TV studio’s acting workshop and though I would have liked to go there too, I was a little preoccupied with music. So I put acting on the backboard for a while. Though the past years have seen me retraining seriously, and being involved as a lead in a BBC TV production.

SMC – Which industry are you focusing your energy toward now?

Mr. Wright – I’m focusing my energy towards music and acting. They are kind of entwined. Which I like as it keeps me busy.

SMC – Okay, let’s get into the lyrics for the new music video ‘You’re Not Alone’, how did this song evolve?

Mr. Wright – You know that is a great question. This song’s inspiration came from a TV show. I’m a part of the creative team. It’s about young adults whom learn that being different to others teenagers can be positive. They discover, having learning difficulties and mental health issues (Dyslexia, Autism, Bipolar, ADHD) as well as gender identity’s issue isn’t a prison sentence but possibly a gift that will help them soar to unimaginable heights.  In the song I wanted to express that none of us are alone. Our higher power is always with us carrying us.  It’s also a love story, letting those close-loved one know they are not alone. That you’ve got them.

SMC – What message do you hope to give to your fans?

Mr. Wright – I hope to give, Faith and Belief.  Because with out faith you cant believe. I believe we all have our very own individual Higher Power who is walking side by side with us, sometimes carrying us. If we learn to trust and believe that, this power has our best interest, then we find that life will unfold with more clarity and less distortion. Life is challenging and it those challenges that can make us stronger. We have to remember that we are not alone, though at time it feels like we are. I know there has been time in my life when I’ve felt alone. But with a good spiritual practice we find that we are not and have never been alone.

SMC – Our Editor Candice Anne Marshall spun this for ‘The Candice Anne Marshall Show’ on her March 29th episode. She received a lot of positive feedback for this song. How have your fans been responding to it so far?

Mr. Wright – I have you tell you. I have been getting great reviews from London to Hong Kong and back. Its so inspiring when one gets great feed back. It’s really inspiring to know that each and every listener hears something personal to them selves. This helps me to know, as it was a written reminder to my self (that I’m not alone) but also for every one in the world to understand neither are they.

SMC – Is there a full-length album or EP in the works?

Mr. Wright – Yes…. There will be an album to follow. It’s in the works.

SMC – Which social media platforms are you most active on and why?

Mr. Wright – I’m on, facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s a good way to interact with people all over the world. I admit, it’s taking some time for me to get up to speed with them all but I am really trying to build on them.

SMC – What are your thoughts on the state of the music industry today?

Mr. Wright – The music industry has seen such change of the last 20 years. Technology really has changed how music is distributed. There are both positive and negative for this. I’m trying to keep abreast of the next 20 years. Understanding the analytics of social behavior, likes and dislikes is becoming much more prevalent.

SMC – You seem to be your own leader in terms of your music. A lot of the time, I can compare ones’ music to someone in the past or present, but yours is truly unique. Have you been ever told that before?

Mr. Wright – That’s a lovely thing to say. Thank you. No I haven’t. That just made me smile big time. I try to have a unique identity in my sound. Though my inspirations come from icons like Al Green and The Isley Brothers ….my list goes on.

SMC – You are originally from the UK and now based in Los Angeles. Can you tell me how the music scene differs from each country in your view?

Mr. Wright – The music industry is larger here in the States.  There is a lot of talent and much more going on. In the UK the main music charts are very youth driven where as here in the USA, There are charts for Country, pop, hip hop, and so on. There is something for everyone. I guess because in the USA there is a 325 million people, which means more opportunity than the UK, which is 65 million. Though, the passion for music is still the same in both country’s and many a great artist have come out of both countries.

SMC – Indeed you have also worked with some pretty stellar Musicians! Can you tell us how they influenced your music and art?

Mr. Wright – Yes. I have been fortunate to work with some pretty cool and talented people. They have taught me to be true to my self. True to what I do best and then practice, practice, practice, until I can do it all backward. This is truly the way to be good at anything to keep practicing and thinking out of the box. They taught me to listen to many different types of music. You can find inspiration in all music. All music /sounds has a story.

SMC – Let’s get into your acting career – can you tell us a brief history timeline of which roles you played and films/television shows you appeared on?

Mr. Wright – My biggest TV show to date was in the UK.  I was the lead in a BBC TV series called The Monastery. But I’m yet to score a major TV/Film acting part in the US but it’s coming, so watch your TV screens, I’ll be up their soon. I’ve been retraining and it’s all coming together nicely.  All in gods plan and time.

SMC – How was or has the transition from music to acting been for you?

Mr. Wright – It’s been a nice transition as my music stage performance skills have helped with my confidence in acting and my acting skills have helped with making music videos. In the old days actors could sing, dance and act. Gene Kelly was one of my favorites to watch in my youth. So I have a lot to look forward too.

SMC – What plans do you have for live performances or in getting your music out to a live audience?

Mr. Wright – I am planning a few live dates.  I will for sure have all the dates up on my site soon here. It’s important to do live shows and have a personal communication/contact with an audience fans. Plus its fun…please keeps looking on my social media pages for dates.

SMC – I read in your bio that you have worked with ‘Top Producers’ – who are they and what was that experience like?

Mr. Wright – I have worked with many producer yes, Paul Wilson & Andy Watson (Absolute). Steve & Pete Lewinson (The Lewinson’s), Lady & A Tramp, Peter Bliss, DJ Journey and S.C.R.D. These teams and individuals have worked with, Simply Red, George Michael, Annie Lennox, Barbara Streisand’s, Pink, Luther Vandross, Spice Girl, Al Green, Tina Turner and many more greats.  It’s been, fun, humbling and an honor that these talented individuals and super producers, wanted to work with me. I have many new friends. I have learnt a lot over the years and they all taught me very important lessons.

SMC – How do you advertise your music? Do you promote via your connections in the industry or do you actively promote through your social media platforms?

Mr. Wright – I have been fortunate to have some key contact in the industry that have been very helpful and kind in helping me promote my music and I have done some via social media, which I really must get better at.

SMC – What are your thoughts on Radio vs. Spotify as a platform in getting your music out?

Mr. Wright – Radio, Radio, Radio,……..Radio will always be king………I love the radio. Spotify is good, im not knocking it. I’m simply a good old-fashioned radio person….video star, did not kill the radio star….hahaha

SMC – How would you say your personal outlook has evolved since you first began in the entertainment industry?

Mr. Wright – The things, I have learnt in life are, You just have to keep on trying, you never know when it’s your time to shine. So keep trying.  Be true to your self/art, be realistic, But have a go, what have you got to loose. Aim for the stars you may just hit the moon. I would also add that’s its important to have an education, know what’s going on in the world, be curious, have an interest. I love learning about cultures, art and love architecture. In this industry, it helps to be knowledgeable. You never know when it will help or whom you’ll meet and a conversation other than the entertainment business will make you look and sound smarter. People like smart people. People like kind people also. Never let your ego get the better of you. It’s a false high.  In addition know a little about marketing, accounting, legal aspects and contracts……..its not just about the music and being a star, its also about business. Know how a business is run, there are many elements to success.

SMC – What would you tell your ‘younger self’ today?

Mr. Wright – I’d tell my younger self to have courage and be kind.

SMC – What does the term ‘Success’ means to you?

Mr. Wright – Everyday above ground is a good day, that success to me. New day, new opportunities.

SMC – I always like to ask a wacky question in all my interviews – if you could have a dinner date with anyone dead or alive, who would it be with and why?

Mr. Wright – That’s a good question…I like it. I’d like to take you, Candice and Stephen to dinner to say thank you for all your support and this wonderful interview. It’s a blessing when we support each other and we should share happy, good moments and time with those that support us and believe in us. Letting key people know you appreciate them is a must for me…

SMC – Okay, final question: Can you tell us what we can expect next in terms of your music progression?

Mr. Wright – There will be more for you to listen too, so stay tuned !

Thank you Jason!

World Premiere | ‘You’re Not Alone’ by Mr. Wright

____________________

Social Media Links for Mr. Wright (click to be redirected): Website, Facebook, Instagram. Spotify, Twitter, imDb

SMC Spotlight No.1 | Ages and Ages Exclusive Interview ‘How It Feels’ single is good vibes for 2018!

by Candice Anne Marshall

Let me begin by saying that it has been a long time since I have had the chance to put an entry into the SMC Spotlight. Literally, Ages and Ages. I sat and pondered this…true, it has been a whirlwind last several months since launching my new podcast ‘The Candice Anne Marshall Show‘ on Spreaker, but what was the real reason for my abstinence from the writing world? There have been some pretty impressive interviews with celebrities that have come as a result of this move too. But it bothered me that I hadn’t had the same enthusiasm as I did since my last interview which was with Greta Van Fleet in December 2017. Then it hit me – I realized that the reason why this ‘writers block’ had occurred was because there hadn’t been a newer band or subject on the scene that had impressed me enough to feel inspired to keep the posts coming. I had officially reached writers ‘burn out’. Side note: this isn’t to say that the newer bands on the SMC Scene aren’t ‘good enough’, they are, I just needed to feel inspired again…

Enter: Ages and Ages.

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, the band has been on continuous request by my loyal fan following on both Starlight Music Chronicles and Candice Anne Marshall Official since first introducing them on UK radio late last year. I had been sent a press release from the bands’ awesome management team (which, by the way, major kudos for the quick responses to all my emails Dave!) and upon listening to them then, I was an instant fan. Since starting my own podcast in February 2018, I have been getting continuous requests by my loyal listeners to ‘play that awesome band’ again. I have done just that, launching Ages and Ages onto The Candice Anne Marshall Show officially with their song ‘How It Feels’ on March 13th, 2018. I plan on continuing to follow the bands’ journey as they gear up to release a new album in the near future (currently in the works).

So let me get into just why I feel Ages and Ages are the band to earn a spot on this prestigious SMC Spotlight platform as the first entry for 2018. Quite simply, their sound is just what the doctor ordered: it is both universal and extraordinarily unique. Quite the oxymoron right? I invite you to listen to the bands’ earlier work with their album ‘Alright You Restless‘ (released in 2011) then go straight to their new single ‘How It Feels‘ (released October 2017) and you will audibly hear that there are no boundaries with their sound. One couldn’t even say that they have evolved because their older work is just as substantial (excellent) as their new work (albeit different).

Recently, I caught up with band members Tim Perry and Rob Oberdofer for a glimpse into the timeline of Ages and Ages. Below is our exclusive interview and while you are at it, give their new single a listen. My recommendation:

PLAY LOUD.

________________________

SMC (Starlight Music Chronicles) Spotlight Exclusive Interview | Ages and Ages

with Candice Anne Marshall

SMC – Hello Ages and Ages! Welcome to the SMC (Starlight Music Chronicles) Spotlight! We are happy to have you as our face of March 2018! Our Editor, Candice Anne Marshall has played you on her radio show on Limehead Radio in the UK and will be spinning you on her new podcast ‘The Candice Anne Marshall Show’ on March 20th, her special birthday podcast! Before we get into the deep questions, can you give our readers a background on how and when you came to be the band?

Rob – Thanks for spinning our music, much appreciated! Short version of our history: we started playing together in 2009 in Portland, Oregon, USA. Since then, we’ve put out three records and played more shows than Coldplay. We have never played a show with Coldplay, and it’s entirely possible they don’t know who we are. I thought “Yellow” was a solid single.

SMC – I see that you released your earlier albums ‘Alright You Restless’ & ‘Divisionary’ to today with several more releases under your belts, what has the response been to your music within the music industry?

Tim – The music industry is a big, churning, bedpan with a lot of different turds in it. Too many turds to count. Some of these turds like us. And some do not. We’re just lucky to have a bedpan.

SMC – There is definitely a distinctive ‘shift’ in expression from your first album to the latest single ‘How It Feels’. How have you evolved sonically as a band? What was the turning point?

Tim – Yes. Well, we started off extremely organic. Nothing but physical instruments that you could hold in your hands and sounds that came from human bodies. Our first record was bone dry. No reverb or anything. We all just basically stood around one mic and sang. And yeah, that was a fun challenge and everything. But it wasn’t long before we wanted to branch out. We’ve been having a lot of fun lately with songs like “How it Feels,” because we get to make our own sounds; we get to chase tones and turn knobs until we get the feeling we’re after; something we truly own.

SMC – With so many of you in one band, is there ever an issue with cohesiveness? How does a band with six individuals create such magnificent works of art with so many possible personality differences?

Tim – Hey, thanks for the compliment. The songwriting is mostly done by a couple of us and the others help to actualize the ideas. We generally try and embrace our personality differences because the differences are what keeps things interesting…and embracing them is what keeps us from stabbing each other.

SMC – Do you have any full-length albums launching anytime soon?

Tim – Working on one right now, as a matter of fact!

SMC – Who has been most supportive of your music since incepting Ages and Ages? Are there any people/industry peers/radio hosts you would like to give a ‘shout out’ to?

Tim – We’ve had so much support along the way! First, all of the people who have come out to see us at shows around the world. Our manager Dave Grazinski is amazing and hilarious. Various radio stations, like KEXP and WFUV have been tremendously supportive.

SMC – I have seen some seriously amazing talent come from Portland! Can you tell us what the music scene is like there? Is there support for indie musicians?

Tim – This town is full of talented and creative people. And yes, it’s supportive – but it’s also pretty competitive. I think this a good thing because it lights the fire in people and makes them want to be better. I will also say that ever since Portland became a TV show, the culture has been changing a lot. There are so many people moving here and things are getting more expensive, which means it’s no longer as affordable as it used to be. Harder to make art when your practice space just got demolished to make way for another high rise. We’ll see what happens!

SMC – There are so many lovely nuances in your music and each song is so different and special. What instruments do you lean toward for song-writing?

Tim – I used to start with a guitar mostly. But lately, I’ve been sitting down with a keyboard and making all kinds of bleeps and blips until I find something that sticks.

SMC – Do you have any summer festival tours happening this year?

Rob – We’re sorting through offers and nailing down our plans soon…sorry, you’ll have to check the website!

SMC – Speaking of tours, can you tell us where you have toured, and which place or venue was your most memorable and why?

Rob – We’ve toured all over the US and Canada, and a bit in the UK and western Europe. Of course, New York and London are fun, but It’s mostly the oddball little towns that are the most memorable. There’s something extra special about small places with vibrant cultural scenes, like Brownsville Maine, Paonia Colorado, Haldern Germany.

SMC – What defines being ‘successful’ in the music industry for everyone in the band? (this can be answered by all or one)

Rob –We don’t need the validation of being a hyped FOMO band of the week or playing the Super Bowl halftime show or anything, but we do feel like we’ve got something meaningful to contribute to our cultural conversation. We just want to connect the music with the people that would dig it, which is tricky in the super-saturated media soup we’re in. If we can get paid enough to not have to sell our plasma, then that’s a bonus!

SMC -What would you say has been the defining moment where you knew your band was meant to succeed and continue in the music industry?

Tim – I’ll let you know when it happens!

SMC – Can you tell us who your ‘go-to’ team is in terms of your music videos? I love the ‘They Want More’ music video!

Tim – We’ve worked with different people. “They Want More” was done with Alicia Rose. She also did our very first video for a song called “Navy Parade” and our live video for “Divisionary.” She’s great.

SMC – What would you say is the most important message you want to give to your fans?

Rob – The songs are the message, though frequently they are more questions than statements. How about this: come to your own conclusions.

SMC – Speaking of fans, what age and location are the majority of your fans?

Tim – What’s weird and awesome is that I’ve noticed our fans are across the board as far as age goes. Lots of 20s and 30s, but we also have some more mature audience members, and for some reason, a ton of kids too. I don’t know how that happened, but that’s pretty cool.

SMC – Do any of you have individual projects you are working on outside Ages and Ages?

Rob – We’re all creative people, so yes, though the band is pretty consuming for Tim and I at the moment, as we are self-producing. Our bandmate Colin Jenkins is about to put out a solo record of RnB pop jams which is really cool. I highly recommend you check it out.

SMC – Can you tell us what’s next for the band in terms of new releases? Will there be any more new singles?

Rob – Yes, we plan to release a new single very soon. And probably another one after that. Then a record! We’re kind of moving at our own speed. Decided not to do the conventional “release a record, tour off the record, then write another record” thing this time around. We wanted to write things more in the moment and release them in that same moment.

SMC – What is the family support like? I noticed on your facebook page you listed an ‘extended family’….how have these individuals helped support the band and your music most?

Rob – Just tolerating the long recording hours and absences for touring is a huge gift from our families and loved ones. The extended family refers to the many musical friends that have shared the stage or recorded with us. Our lineup has shifted a fair amount over the years, because people move on to other projects, have babies, join a cult, whatever.

SMC – On your own home turf, what is the one thing you are most grateful for in terms of support for your music and the community?

Rob – Just people coming to the shows, knowing the music, singing along, and general merry-making. What else could a band ask for?

SMC – Where do you see the band headed career-wise in the next 6-12 months?

Tim – Have you ever seen the HBO movie about Bernie Madoff?

SMC – What has been the biggest compliment you have received for your music?

Rob – Mike Mills told me he dug my bass tone. President Obama had us on his re-election playlist which I guess is pretty cool too.

SMC – What has been your greatest challenge as a band?

Rob – Scheduling rehearsals. Seriously. You try and get six busy people in the same room twice a week.

SMC – Is there a funny story you can share with us while you were on tour? I find some of the best stories come from tour…

Rob – I once drove 100 miles the wrong way down the freeway, and we had to drive like maniacs to arrive crazy late to a sold-out show. Everyone had to pee really bad and we couldn’t stop. Wait…maybe that isn’t funny.

SMC – Okay, final question: If there was one thing you would like to achieve most as a band in the next year, what would that be?

Rob – We want to make a timeless masterpiece of a record. And get some more of those tacos from that place in Albuquerque.

SMC – Thank you Gentlemen!

Thank you!

_______________________

‘How It Feels’ synopsis from the bands YouTube:

The day we finished recording “How it Feels”, it was raining ashes in Portland from a fire in the Columbia River Gorge just outside of town. The sun was blotted out with smoke and at night the moon was red. If you talked to anyone out here, they would have told you it felt like end times. While we were recording this song, Harvey hit Texas, and Florida was waiting for Irma. Trump had blamed “many sides” in Charlottesville and threatened “fire and fury” against North Korea. It’s hard to know what to do with all of this. And amidst what seems like an imploding world, we still have our needs. We still need love. We still need affection. We still need to feel heard. This is a song about what it’s like to have these needs in what feels like end times. Our problems may be irrelevant in the scheme of things, but this doesn’t make them feel any less real. If you’re reading this, I hope you have someone to talk to and I hope you’re able to tell them how it feels.

Ages and ages social media links (click to view)

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

Purchase