Charlie Castell’s New Original Christmas Song is The Joy and Peace We All Need This Christmas

English-born indie pop-rock singer/songwriter, now based in Los Angeles, writes his songs with a deep meaning being it. He fuses the guitar driven styles of artists like Radiohead and Oasis, the acoustics and orchestrations of Damien Rice and Ed Sheeran, with the classical songwriting of Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, and Burt Bacharach.

Inspired by love and seeing the world around him, his Christmas song, “We’ll Have a Christmas,” has a “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” meets “Last Christmas” meets “Merry Xmas (The War is Over)” vibe to it. “We’ll Have a Christmas” was born from the pandemic, after Charlie noticed all the injustice, hate, and anger the world began to grow, but specifically the United States.

“Over the last four years, I’ve got more and more involved with work to make the US a more loving and tolerant place; to elect leaders who make policies that help people,” shares Charlie. “For those of us working in this space, it’s been so hard to find peace, when so many public figures are just trying to create anger and hate. Add to that a global pandemic, and we’ve lived through maybe the most difficult years of our lives. I wanted a song that brought back the lovely warm feelings of Christmas, and gave people the freedom to relax and find peace again at the end of another very difficult and tragic year. That no matter what was going on, we could come together and find peace at Christmas.”

Listen here:

Charlies hope to spread peace and love throughout this country and the world by way of his music. The pandemic has made everyone’s lives more difficult already. He encourages others to feel joy during this holiday season. Listen to “We’ll Have a Christmas” now.

You can find Charlie Castell via:
Website // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // YouTube // Spotify // Soundcloud

YV Ministry Uses Music as a Spiritual Tool of Love and Connection

C-Aye and Kelley Nicole are the musical duo that makes up YV Ministry, born out of their musical worship work at Covenant Blessing Fellowship (CBF) in Wilmington, CA. While they’re a Christian duo, hoping to spread God’s love and feeling His spirit through music, these two accomplished artists have years of musical experience under their belts. C-Aye has worked for or shared the stage with such acclaimed producers and artists as Aaron Lindsey, Pop/R&B group All-4-One, Poo Bear, Donnie McClurkin, Kirk Franklin, Claude Deuce, Twinkie Clark, India.Arie, Hip-Hop and R&B hit writers Nate Dogg, Devine Evans, David “DQ” Quiñones, and more. As for Kelley Nicole, she was once a lead vocalist for the critically-acclaimed Afro-funk band, Soulfège, and has performed around the world. She’s even shared the stage with renowned artists Bobby McFerrin and El Debarge.

Their new single, “Glory and Honor,” is an R&B gospel and worship song with a message of love and spirituality. It was in a time of prayer that the song came to C-Aye. “I was thinking about the principle of keeping yourself focused on glorifying God, and if the work that you’re trying to do in life is honoring God, it keeps you on the path of that perspective. The perspective that glory & honor belong to God. The more we put effort into other stuff, the easier we split into distraction and the like,” says C-Aye. The overall message: life is simple when you stay focused on giving Glory & Honor to the one and only God.

“Glory and Honor” was a collaboration with the amazing Trey McLaughlin, a vocalist, producer, composer, and educator. He recognizes the beauty and fusing of sounds and genres to everyone a unique experience.

Listen here:

C-Aye’s musical journey began around age 11, when he first got involved with the music ministry in his home town of Augusta, GA. Thrown into the fire as he often says, he was a sought after music ministry leader at a young age, having either played for or led several music ministries “Some kind of way I got fascinated by piano,” says C-Aye. “I was so young it’s tough to remember. There was a lady that came to my elementary school and she had kiddie instruments and I remember being fascinated by it and really enjoying it. I started taking lessons. And pretty much any chance I got to make music I took it. Band, competitions at school, etc.” As he got older he had different experiences with people showing him technology and as he learned more about that he fell in love with production & engineering. When he moved to LA he moved with a bunch of people that had gone to the Berklee School of Music, and he learned that he didn’t know quite as much as he thought he did! That was the beginning of what he calls his “professional awakening.”

Kelley Nicole started playing piano in 1st grade in Teanack, New Jersey, but really fell in love with music and singing around the 4th grade when she surprised even herself by taking on the lead in a school play. She realized how important an outlet singing was for her, a girl who was pretty shy and found it hard to express herself fully to others. Regardless of that love however, academics and athletics were the focus for her in high school and she eventually was admitted to Harvard University. Most folks see Harvard as a place that develops people’s career interests in the law, medicine, or business. For Kelley Nicole, her love for music was rekindled and grew even bigger during her tenure there. It was in her senior year that she decided she needed to make music her career, someway or somehow. She was able to become a lead vocalist of the Afro-funk band, Soulfège. At one point, the group had one of the top 5 music videos in the country of Ghana, joining the likes of Usher and Beyonce at the time. Soulfege had a management opportunity in Los Angeles, which brought Kelley Nicole to LA, where she met C-Aye, at Covenant Blessing, where she had to audition for him.

That meeting sparked a life-long friendship. When Kelley Nicole decided to leave Soulfège, C-Aye helped her kick-start her solo work. Now together, using music as their chosen vessel, Kelley Nicole and C-Aye’s vision is to make YV Ministry a space where anyone can surrender themselves to the presence of God, and feel comforted, confident, and empowered by His everlasting love, covering, and supernatural guidance.

You can find YV Ministry via:
Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // YouTube // Spotify // Soundcloud

“Hit and Run” Shares the Message of Growth and Change Within Ourselves

Zack King, the young Minnesota musician, is not afraid to get real in his newest single “Hit and Run.” He isn’t afraid to get personal and vulnerable when it comes to his music, and “Hit and Run” is no different. This song in particular is about growth and the strength and bravery it takes to move forward rather than desperately hold onto the past. Zack shares that “trying to hold on to who you used to be can be toxic, especially when you don’t recognize that person anymore. Looking in the mirror and seeing a new person can be scary, but also rewarding. Why not give the new you a chance and see what good can come from it?” People evolve all the time. Zack asks whether you want to embrace who you become.

Zack just released the music video for “Hit and Run” which is a wonderful visualization of this journey. While this story is based on Zack’s own experience, he uses his knowledge to help others grow. This acoustic style pop meets grunge song is for those who don’t like who they’ve become. Zack, for example, felt lost and alone after graduating college and turned to drugs and alcohol to try and find who he was. On top of that, he treated the people he loves the most poorly. After time, all of these bad habits and behaviors towards himself and others made him realize that he no longer recognized the person staring back at him in the mirror. He became unrecognizable to himself. So, he set out to change for the better.

While he doesn’t like who he was looking back, he accepts it and sees that it wasn’t all bad. It was part of his journey and he was able to learn and grow as a person. “It’s okay to move on from a past life, especially when it will benefit you, and those around you,” Zack shares. “Don’t be afraid to take that leap from who you used to be, to who you want to become.”

Watch “Hit and Run” here:

You can find Zack King via:
Website // Instagram // Facebook // YouTube // Spotify // Apple Music // Bandcamp

If you’re interested in joining his private music community, click here!

If you want to join his general musical community, click here!

The World Appears the Same, But Things Have Changed in “Every Passing Mile”

Christian Parker is a seasoned singer songwriter, recording artist and guitarist from Canton, New York, United States. His new single, taken from the album of the same title, “Every Passing Mile” is a beautiful, emotional song with wistful lyrics and a haunting electric guitar hook.

Parker has been recording music for the last thirty years. Notably, his songs center around themes of the stories of others he knows, as well as the things that we all deal with. Worries, trials, successes, tribulations. The ever-changing ups and downs of life.

“Every Passing Mile” is the story of a relationship now gone. With the passing of time, the feelings for a love gone become more haunting, more memorable in some ways. There is a lovely bridge with the electric guitar, and a lilting chorus that complements Parker’s vocals.

Although melancholic and written with minor chords, this song has an uplifting chorus. There is rhythm, a unique sound to the electric guitar, and an overall musical sound that is profoundly memorable.

Listen to “Every Passing Mile” here:

You will want to listen to this song again and explore more of Parker’s music as you go.

Stay current with Christian Parker on his website:
Stream “Every Passing Mile” on Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube music.

“The Last Dream Ever Made” is a Powerful Telling for Those Who Feel Alone and Lost within the Perils of Bullying

Saint Mars comes from the musical minds of Marc Darcange and Angelo Bruschini, the lead guitarist of Massive Attack. They are driven by not only their musicality and creativity, but also Marc’s own experiences with bullying as a child. They released their first EP in 2017, which drew lots of press and worldwide attention. Everything changed in 2017 when they met Tryzdin Grubbs of Ohio, who they discovered through his viral video of Adele’s “Hello.” Hand picked by Marc Darcange, he and Tryzdin share a similar story of bullying, which made their connection a match made in heaven.

Their newest single, “The Last Dream Ever Made,” features Tryzdon’s powerful and beautiful vocals. The song is a pop synthwave track with a big Depeche Mode vibe. “This is a song I had in me since I started making music and the fact that it has finally been given birth thanks to the voice of a young teen of the generation Z sharing the same footprint of social problems has for me a meaning beyond words,” says Marc. The song means a lot to him and the group as a whole. While the song is inspired by the feelings of isolation and outcasted, it’s more about finding the light in the dark, the strength in the sadness, and not giving up no matter the circumstances. It’s a reminder that you will come out the other side.

Listen to “The Last Dream Ever Made” here:

Tryzdin shares what this song means to him: “Music is a passion and something I want to share with the world, and something I am so proud to be doing with Saint Mars! ‘The Last Dream Ever Made’ is so powerful and really truly captures what music is all about. Music is about being different, stepping out of your comfort zone, and BEING YOU. Don’t be like anyone else, do what your heart tells you to do. Love yourself and be confident.”

You can find more on Saint Mars and their story and Anti-Bullying campaign via:

Website // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // YouTube // Spotify // Soundcloud

Video Voyager: 3Q’s with Goose Bolton

Goose Bolton is a mysterious figure, who we are told came from outer space and crash landed here on earth in early AD 2021 after an intergalactic heist went awry. He has been releasing experimental music for a while, and his latest single/video “Lunatic” is one of them.

We spoke with Goose about this strange, yet powerful video:

Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically?

The song originated as a sonic accompaniment to a story about someone who starts hallucinating that inanimate objects can speak to them. When conceiving of a music video, I chose to visualize this song because it’s one of my favorites on my upcoming record and because, thematically, it felt like the most appropriate starting point to accompany the strange images and narratives that swirl around in my head. I didn’t feel locked into any single specific narrative with this song, and so the Tiger Ji (the director) and I could really let our minds run free during the brainstorming process. 

What was the inspiration behind this video(visuals, storyline, etc.)?

The initial inspiration for this video began a dream that Tiger had, which contained the specific image of men in business suits wriggling down a city street while wrapped in plastic. This was the springboard for us deciding that the video should be about a person who is seeing something crazy in the city (that only they can see) and their response to that. Initially, we were going to have the video’s main character be chased by fish people, but then we decided that lizard people would be more relevant to contemporary conspiracy theory as well as more thematically interesting, as it lets our main character wrestle with her own reptilian identity by the end of the film. We were aiming for a very specific mood that mingled elements of the absurd, science-fiction, horror, and comedy. I decided it made sense for the main character to be wearing a hospital gown after having escaped an asylum because the word “Lunatic” to me always seems like it’s a title assigned by society to an individual, rather than a subjective state that the individual feels (“crazy” for instance feels more like it can be either an assigned title or a subjective identity), so the hospital gown was the most efficient way to convey that this person is The Lunatic. The version of lunacy we wanted to explore in this music video is not mental illness. Rather, it is a label thrust upon a person by others in response to that person’s reaction to outside factors or new knowledge. This is important because the main character is not insane—she’s just the only person who can see the lizard people.

What was the process of making this video?

We filmed the video over 2 days across different areas of New York City in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. The final climactic scene with (spoilers) all of the dancing lizard people is the rooftop of a parking garage on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, most of the street pursuit scenes were shot in Bushwick, and we filmed the subway scene at the 2nd Ave subway stop in Manhattan as well. The shoot was incredibly smooth with zero hiccups. Tiger is the kind of director that has every single shot meticulously planned and storyboarded weeks ahead of the shoot, which led to a fun and efficient filming experience where we could focus primarily on the emotions and physicality of the actors in each scene. 

Watch “Lunatic” here: