Audio Interview: Olly Murs

Listen to Olly Murs and HITS host Vanessa having a chat about his latest album and more.

Women In Music

What is it like working in the music industry as a woman?

Gig Photos: Tom Odell

Photos of Tom Odell with support acts The Beach and Jane's Party at Tonhalle Munich.

In The Studio: Jim Kroft

Here's what it looks like when you record an album within 48 hours.

Video Interview: Jane's Party

Canada's Jane's Party chat about playing covers, touring Europe and a lot more!

On Tour With: Hyena in Germany



Hey guys!

I love a good challenge!
In my opinion, challenges are the perfect way to stay creative and to keep pushing yourself in order to learn more.
When I first started out with this website, nothing really felt like a challenge - mainly because I didn't really think of it as more than just a hobby.

Now that it's way more than a hobby, there are times where I have to upgrade.
Upgrade the quality of the content, upgrade the variety of skills I can offer.

If I'm completely honest with you, I feel the need to improve my skills every day. But improvement takes time and it comes from hard work and practise.

There is one field that I have shyed away from for a very long time - videography.
I always felt like not having the right gear was stopping me.
Which has never stopped me when it comes to photography.

So I realised that videography is something you can learn without having the fanciest equipment on hand.
And that's why I decided I would use my time on tour with Hyena wisely to work on my video skills.

Today you get to be the judge and see if it worked out at all!
Before you dive into the video, please let me introduce you to Hyena.

Hyena are a 2016 founded band from Liverpool, UK.
Just last month the Alt-Rock trio got back from their first tour through Germany & Switzerland.
With gripping rhythms, powerful vocals and a lot of energy, the band from Liverpool, UK is taking over by storm and has already made it very clear that they belong on stage.

Hyena are:
Chris Pate (vocals, guitar)
Daz Mangan (bass)
Adam Rooney (drums, cajon)


Below you can check out what it looks like to be on tour with the very energetic (and chaotic) band.

The video includes a special appearance of our wonderful friend Ben Barritt and his amazing band!






Hyena online: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Bandcamp | Instagram



More of Hyena on house in the sand: exclusive performance | tour photos





Thank you for your visit!








Credits // Text, Image & Video: Vanessa Jertschewske | **with special thanks to the Hyena gang**

Audio Interview: Wrabel



Hey guys!

You know which interviews are the best?
The ones where you sit on your chair, with your phone in your hands, listening to the stories you're being told and constantely laughing your head off.
(silently, of course, because you're recording the conversation and don't want to have whale noises on there!)

I recently had just that experience and, as soon as the interview was finished, I just couldn't wait to share it with you.

An email introduced me to Wrabel, an absolutely talented and exciting musician.


Wrabel is a solo act from Los Angeles, United States.
He combines Pop and R'n'B elements in such graceful manner.

Stephen Wrabel has been writing music for almost ten years now after discovering his love for music at an early age.
He spent a year studying at Boston's Berklee College Of Music before he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career in music.
Wrabel has also written for many artists such as Adam Lambert, Ellie Goulding and Philipp Phillips.

In 2014, the talented musician released his debut EP "Sideways" and started his solo career.
The song "Ten Feet Tall", a beautiful piano ballad, was then used by Dutch DJ Afrojack which allowed Wrabel to kick off his career with style.

He is now working on his debut album which we will get to hear in 2017. 


Just a few days ago I got to chat to Wrabel on the phone and we had an absolutely relaxed conversation.
Listen to what he had to say about Berlin, Instagram, baby costumes, 11 Blocks and a lot more.
I guarantee this will brighten up your day!





Listen to "11 Blocks" here!






Wrabel online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram




Big thank you to Wrabel for the lovely chat!
With special thanks to Sony Music GER for arranging this interview.




Thank you for your visit!












Credits // | Image: Eliot Lee Hazel | **this interview was kindly arranged by Sony Music Germany**

Behind The Song: "Blame" by Lio Nicol



Hey guys!

I absolutely love understanding intentions behind art.
Sure, creating art is something organic and a lot of times you can't really explain it.

But a lot of time there's thought behind every word, every chord and every higher note.
And to me that's something incredibly interesting.

That's why the "Behind The Song" feature always gets me really excited.
I have such a great time putting these features together because reading what the artists have to say about their songs, is a lot of fun.

Today we're presenting a song which I think a lot of us can relate to.
Check out our Behind The Song with Lio Nicol!

Lio Nicol is a singer/songwriter based in Burbank, CA.

Her sound combines the rawness of Indie and the catchiness of Pop.
Influenced and inspired by artists such as Lily Allen, Aloe Black, Sara Bareilles and Michael Bublé, it's no surprise to find a lot of honesty, emotions, sass and quirky vibes in Lio's music.

The young songwriter moved to California back in 2010 to pursue a career in music.
Proving it was the right decision, she has now played at The Dragon Boat Festival, Durango Expo, House Of Blues San Diego and a lot more.

Her powerful vocals, relatable lyrics and catchy melodies have managed to impress many music fans.

Her recent release "Blame" tells us a very common story.
The lovely Lio took some time to tell us more about the song and what it means to her.

Check it out!


Lio: "Blame" was written in a garage in San Diego!
The entirety of the song is about one person suddenly realizing their relationship won't ever work and never really did.
And because only one person in the relationship has come to this realization, the other person starts throwing blame; and that's where the line "I'm not the only one to blame" comes in, because it's never a one-way street.

I really do believe in the statement "love is blind", because when you are in-love and constantly looking for the best in someone or something, you are subconsciously refusing to see parts of reality.
But you can only do that for so long, until your gut comes in and is like "YO, what the heck is going on here!"

Once that realization starts to emerge, it's a downward spiral into reality that becomes hard to battle.
You start seeing things clearly, even if you don't want to and it sucks. When that happens to me, I start to retreat and take time for my self, to really think about things.
And that's what the first lines of the song are about;

"Headlights coming towards me.
I still try avoiding
all the things that make it hard to let it go.
Rain drops continue falling,
far off I hear you calling
but I just want to be alone."

The rest of the song takes you through a couple different scenes. The second verse is somewhat of a break-up scene, and the bridge and the end of the song are the scenes where they are finally parting ways.

So yeah! I don't usually like saying too much about a song, but this one is fun to explain, because there are so many different pieces to it and a lot of ways it could be interpreted.
Over all I love this song and I hope everyone finds a meaning of their own in it, regardless of what it means to me.

Listen to "Blame" now:




Lio Nicol online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram






Thank you for your visit!









Credits // Text intro: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: via LaFamos | Text "Behind The Song": Lio Nicol

Gig Photos: K.Flay at Baby's All Right, New York




Hey guys!

With today's post I get to introduce you to our newest member of the team!

Before you get to take a glimpse at her work, and also get to learn more about her, I just want to let you know that I'm super excited about this.

It's so inspiring and interesting to work with photographers and writers who are excited about creating content for HITS.

Everyone benefits from this, especially you, the wonderful readers, because we have a lot more going on.

Alright, now give it up for the newest member!

We now have the incredibly talented Gina Garcia from New York, USA joining us. 

You can get to know Gina better here.

 
Please support her online: website | twitter | instagram


Check out her photos below!

____________________________________________________________________

Date: 18th November 2016
Venue:
Baby's All Right, New York

Support Act:
Nightly





Nightly are an Alternative band from the United States.

Inspired by bands such as The Killers, Coldpay and U2; the two cousins Jonathan and Joey have created the very unique and refreshing sound for Nightly.

Just last month the band released their debut EP "Honest".
It's a genre-blending four track recording which also includes the band's very own cover of Beyoncé's "XO".

Said cover got more than 1 million streams within six weeks and even won over the people who work for Spotify.

With the musicians constantly writing and touring, we are sure we'll hear a lot more from Nightly in 2017!




Nightly online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Tumblr | Instagram






















____________________________________________________________________________

HEADLINER: K.FLAY



K.Flay is a solo artist based in San Francisco, USA.

She blends the key elements of Alternative, Indie and Hip Hop and has managed to create a signature sound which her fans love.

K.Flay has released a bunch of mixtapes, as well as the following recordings:
EP: K.Flay (2010)
EP: Eyes Shut (2012)
EP: What If It Is (2013)
Album: Life As A Dog (2014)
EP: Crush Me (2016)

October and November 2016 have seen K.Flay play an almost completely sold out tour through the States which speaks for itself.

Check out her music and the photos below!




K. Flay online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram
























Thank you for your visit!








&







Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Gina Garcia | a ticket and photo pass have kindly been provided

Album Review: "DNCE" by DNCE



Hey guys!

I don't have too many memories from 5th grade, because 
a) it's been a long time since
b) it wasn't necessarily my favourite time of my young life

However, I remember that in 5th grade there were a few girls who tried to embarrass me because of my music taste.
It's something that hurt me but never really made me feel bad.
And, well, nowadays it's one of the things that has gotten me the furthest in my "career".

I also find it extremely funny because the band they tried to trash were the Jonas Brothers.
One of those brothers is now in a band called DNCE and the world has gone crazy about their music.

So, I guess the point of this intro is - never let anyone make you feel weird because of the music you like. Both, you and the artists, are passionate and that's all that matters.
#hatersgonnahate #loversgonnaDNCE 

That being said, let's chat about DNCE's debut album, yeah?

Band: DNCE
Title: DNCE
Genre: Pop, Funk
Label: Republic Records
Release Date: 18th November 2016

DNCE is a four piece outfit based in Los Angeles, US.

The band found together through a couple connections and is now here to share their alternative, funk music with us.  

DNCE consists of:
Joe Jonas (vocals)
JinJoo Lee (guitar)
Cole Whittle (bass, keyboard)
Jack Lawless (drums

Their debut single "Cake By The Ocean" ended up double-platinum and allowed the band to enter the pop industry with a bang.

After releasing their debut EP "SWAAY", touring with Selena Gomez and winning "Best New Artist" at the MTV Video Music Awards, DNCE have just dropped their highly anticipate self-titled long player.

We're excited to tell you what we think about the 14-track album.


Tracklist:
1) DNCE
2) Body Moves
3) Cake By The Ocean
4) Doctor You
5) Toothbrush
6) Blown (ft. Kent Jones)
7) Good Day
8) Almost
9) Naked
10) Truthfully
11) Be Mean
12) Zoom
13) Pay My Rent
14) Unsweet

The album greets you with the super funky and catchy title track.
"DNCE" is the band's very own invitation to get freaky and to have fun. Joe Jonas' vocals show just how much the vocals can actually control the mood a song.
From high pitched chants to energetic notes- the opener has it all and sets the scene for a very genre blending album.

"Body Moves" might just be that one single that really represents the best side of the band; a steady but clever drum beat, a funky bassline, sweetly badass guitar riffs and a wide range of vocals.
As I'm typing the words of this review, I'm also dancing in my seat, enjoying the funky masterpiece the band delivered.

By now I'm sure you all know DNCE's first single "Cake By The Ocean" - a funky and very groovy track. The instrumental itself is just as catchy as the lyrics are; the funky guitar riff compliments the very lively bass line.
The drum part is kept very straight forward - it's simple, yet it ties the song together in such clever manner. It invites you to dance (no pun intended) and have a good time.
Lyrically "Cake By The Ocean" is no masterpiece, but it's a fun song. You'll be able to sing along quickly and just have a good time.
Joe's vocals deliver the track in the right way and fit the whole "carefree, sunshine vibe" DNCE is going for.

The acoustic guitar makes its' first appearance on "Good Day".
 A mellow acoustic guitar, multi-layered vocals and claps lead you into the song before the rhythm section shows us why bass and drums are crucial for danceable songs.

Showing us that they can do more than upbeat groove, DNCE slow it down with "Almost", a slightly bluesy and very emotional track. Smooth and raspy vocals take their turns whilst the e-guitar confidentally leads you through the song.

To sum it up: DNCE made it very clear that they're ready to make the pop world their own.
This debut album is one of the funkiest ones the mainstream charts have heard in a while. Filled with personality, fun, rainbows and badass basslines, there's something for everyone.
We're impressed and want to attend a DNCE gig ASAP.
Seriously.


You should listen to these tracks: Body Moves, Cake By The Ocean, Good Day






DNCE online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram




Thank you for your visit!











Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: DNCE

Audio Interview: Olly Murs



Hey guys! 

I feel like making a little speech about how important feedback from the audience is.
Not just because it shows the creators that people care, but also because it helps us to create the content you want to see.

I've re-introduced the audio interviews to you and have gotten a lot of feedback, which has helped me to figure out whether to improve this segment or to drop it.
As you can probably tell by the title of this post, I'm able to work on it and create more features like this.

Because of that I recently had a chat with Olly Murs which you'll be able to listen to down below!


Olly Murs is a well-known Pop artist based in London, UK.

He had his start in the music industry back in 2009 when he made it to the finale of the UK's The X Factor.
Ever since Olly released 4 albums which all went Platinum, he toured with One Direction and Robbie Williams and proved that he is far more than an ex-casting show contestant.

He considers his brand new album "24 HRS" a fresh start, a way to express another musical side of him.
The writing and recording process of the latest Murs long player has been completely different to the previous ones and therefore showcases the singer is embracing change.

So far he released these albums:
Olly Murs (2010)
In Case You Didn't Know (2011)
Right Place Right Time (2012)
Never Been Better (2014)
24 HRS (2016)

I got to chat with Olly on the phone and we spoke about his new album, the video shoot for this heart warmingly hilarious music video, the best advice he's ever gotten and a lot more.

Before you listen to the interview, be prepared for the signal to cut off twice. It was pretty hilarious for me but might be slightly confusing to listen to without knowing what's going on.

I hope you'll enjoy it!



Curious what the "Grow Up" video looks like?
We've got you covered, check it out below! 





Olly Murs online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram





With thanks to Peter and Sony Music UK for arranging the interview.
Thank you to Olly for taking the time to have a chat.




Thank you for your visit!













Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Sony Music

Gig Photos: Bear's Den at Melkweg, Amsterdam




Hey guys!

Chatting to friends is such a wonderful way to discover music you haven't heard before.
I just think it's so cool to hear people talk about music they enjoy.

As soon as you listen to the recommended music, it sort of feels more personal because you know your friend enjoys it.

Typing this, I'm really wondering, whether more people can relate to that or if it's just me being a weirdo.
Please let me know, I need to know.

Enough of my random blabbering!
Today we have gig photos of Bear's Den for you! A band I got to know through our photographer Saar who covered the gig for HITS.

Find out more below!

Bear's Den are a two piece from London, UK.
They combine the songwriting elements of Folk music with the rawness and energy of Indie-Rock.

The duo consisting of Andrew David and Kev Jones have recently toured Europe & the UK with a backing band which allowed them to deliver the full band sound you can hear on their albums.

Formed in 2012, Bear's Den so released two EPs:
- "Agape" (2013)
- "Without/Within" (2014)

and two albums:
- "Islands" (2014)
- "Red Earth & Pouring Rain" (2016)

Our wonderful Holland based photographer Saar went to see the band at Melkweg in Amsterdam on November 12th 2016.

You can get to know Saar here, please also support her on Twitter and Instagram.


Check out the photos below!
Let us know if you went to the gig and share your experience with us!


















Make sure to check out Bear's Den recent music video for their fantastic song "Dew On The Vine" below.





Bear's Den online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram





Thank you for your visit!







&







Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Photography: Saar de Graaf | a ticket and photo pass were kindly provided

Ticket Giveaway: Wrabel in Berlin [ended]



Hey guys!

The wonderful people of Sony Music GER have just introduced me to one of my new favourite artists.
And because we know a lot of you will understand my excitement once you hear the music,
they're also letting me host a giveaway for you!

You'll be able to win tickets to Wrabel's show and I honestly envy you.
I wish I could go!

The artist is Wrabel and whilst I can't wait for you to learn more about him,
we'll save that for the upcoming interview.

Make sure you listen to the song below and let the music make the noise.
(beautiful noise, that is)


GIVEAWAY


We're giving away 2 (two) tickets for Wrabel's showcase in Berlin.
Wrabel is one of those artists who soak you in with their unique approach of creating art.


Date: 23th November 2016
Venue: Maze
Address: Mehringdamm 61, 10961 Kreuzberg - Berlin (GER)

Note: travel expenses will not be paid, tickets cannot be cashed out


Here's how you can enter the giveaway:
Option 1: Twitter
- tweet us (@houseinthesand) and tell us whether you need 1 ticket or 2 tickets

Option 2: Facebook
- message us (www.facebook.com/houseinthesand) and let us know whether you need 1 ticket or 2 tickets

Option 3: email
- send an email to houseinthesand@web.de and tell us whether you need 1 ticket or 2 tickets


DEADLINE: 20th November 2016 - 10am UK time
- winners will be announced and contacted shortly after that -

Winners will be picked out randomly.
We will either give 1 ticket to two winners, or give the pair to one winner so you can bring a friend.


Listen to the piano version of Wrabel's recent single "11 Blocks" and prepare to be swept away.





Wrabel online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram




With special thanks to Sony Music GER for the tickets.


Thank you for your visit!












Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Eliot Lee Hazel

Access All Areas: Hyena on tour



Hey guys! 

I remember the first time I got one of the well known "AAA" passes.
AAA is the cool sounding short form of "Access All Areas" - it means you can go wherever you please at a gig.

The first time I got to do that was at a Martin and James gig where I got to photograph soundcheck, film backstage and then go on stage to photograph the band.
It all felt super special and new back then.

Nowadays I get to do that very often and also have "earned" many AAA's by being a member of the band's crew.

Because I like sharing experiences (not food, though), I've created the "Access All Areas" feature, where I share some impressions of the gigs.

Previous AAAs: Ciaran Lavery & Tommy Reilly | Chris Pate | Hudson Taylor

Last month I spent a few days with the talented dudes of Hyena.

The Alt-Rock trio just got back from their first tour through Germany & Switzerland.
With gripping rhythms, powerful vocals and a lot of energy, the band from Liverpool, UK is taking over by storm and has already made it very clear that they belong on stage.

Hyena are:
Chris Pate (vocals, guitar)
Daz Mangan (bass)
Adam Rooney (drums, cajon)

Last month the band played at the best venue in Germany - Riffelhof in Burgrieden.
On their way to the venue, they picked me up and stuffed me into the car.

Now, get ready to jump into the car with us and take a look behind the scenes.


You'll find photos from the car journey, the backstage area, the room I got to stay in, and of course, photos from the show.

Enjoy!







































































Hyena online: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Bandcamp | Instagram





Thank you for your visit!



















Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske