Thomas Geelens: Hope from Maastricht

Thomas Geelens feels passionate about playing guitar and singing acoustic pop, rock and soul. He wants to portray life through his lyrics and music in a truthful way with a sense of hope. This refreshing positive view of music is welcome in our modern day. Interestingly, Thomas is from Maastricht, Netherlands but told us he plans to play his music and promote himself in the U.S.

His hometown, Maastricht, is a university town with a multicultural feel. The town is culturally and architecturally diverse from the beautiful old fortress to modern museums. Because it is close to both Belgium and Germany and has several universities and colleges, Maastricht has a large international and university age population. It also has a good, dynamic arts scene of music, performing arts, and visual arts to get involved with.

But it was Thomas’ 10 day visit to New York, USA, that inspired him to begin writing lyrics and singing more seriously. Since then he has been working to write and perform his own music. His inspiration in the music world is American singer-songwriter John Mayer because of his sound and authentic approach to music. He also likes Axl Rose of Guns N’Roses, Mark Knopfler, The Script, Don Henley of the Eagles, George Michael, and Colton Avery. Thomas is drawn to strong male vocals and soulful lyrics.

Thomas is not just a dreamer, but someone who is taking steps towards finding success. He works hard to make sure his music has the sound and feel he wants it to have. In fact, his inspiration for his lyrics comes from his own life experiences. He is also getting to know the ins and outs of the music world including finding EDM producers, setting up music venues, and getting helpful feedback on his sound. Someone who puts passion and hard work into music often has more staying power.

To date, Thomas told us he has released two tracks and is hard at work on his first EP, “Stories From the Valley. Vol 1” that he hopes to have out in June. As for performing, he is planning to travel this summer for the USA 2018 Open Mic Summer Tour. You can find more information on his website. 

Thomas is on HearMeOut and likes the idea of the app because “Our voice is something even more personal than instant messaging which means you’re on a different plane of communication.” He observes that the platform creates respect between creators and users because it’s somewhere for artists and creators to share. Check out Thomas Geelens on HearMeOut.

Bianca Jade: Miami Soul

Some people stumble onto their future careers by accident while others are lead to what they love. Bianca Jade shared with us that she was lead to a music career through listening to great female vocalists Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Sade, and Amy Winehouse as a young girl. These strong artists, who sing gospel, soul, and pop bring emotion and depth to their sound that Bianca now brings to her own vocal performances.

Bianca is a Cuban American who lives in Miami, Florida. Her mother’s love and support helped her to gain a love for music. When she was young, her mother gave her an Aretha Franklin CD as a gift. Bianca shares “I would listen to “Respect” and “Chain of Fools over and over again singing along to it.”

Aretha Franklin, in fact, is one of the best known soul singers of the 1960s along with Ella Fitzgerald. Aretha started her career traveling the gospel circuit with her preacher father, then made her way through the ups and downs of the music business. She recorded 20 #1 R&B hits during her career and was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Having musical talent and singing well are often two different things. Bianca learned to sing through singing along to her favorite artists and practicing their vocal runs. She learned to play the keyboard as well to expand her music ability. She also attended a performing arts high school in Miami where she studied jazz and classical music.

If you want to hear some solid soul music, Bianca’s favorites are Leon Bridges and Eryn Allen Kane. Kane sings blues and jazz with an emotional depth and gospel music sound that hearkens back to an early Aretha Franklin.

You can catch Bianca’s new album B-Light which debuted April 2 on all music platforms. She has a double video out on YouTube that features her songs Sleeping Naked and Blight Ballad. Her message to listeners is to love yourself and be comfortable with who you are. Bianca points out that the video was created by a mostly female cast and crew.

When looking her up on social media, you can find Bianca by searching @BiancaJadeMusic. Bianca is also excited about being part of the HearMeOut community. Give her a listen on the app which has music in a range of genres from artists around the world.

Eliza May: Making Her Way As A DJ

When you think DJ, you may think of the morning talk radio or the guy who plays music at weddings. But actually there are other kinds of DJs who put effort and hustle into the music they play. Eliza May, born in Russia, saw an advertisement at her university for DJ courses. She told us that when she signed up, she thought it was to learn about DJ for radio but instead she learned how to be a club DJ.

Currently, she has changed her hobby into a career and has 7 years experience as an open format club DJ. She wants to take her skills to the next level so she has gotten into scratching and turntablism. As a bit of background, club DJs work hard to match their musical expression to that of their listeners. A DJ has to be able to blend and mix music through matching tempo and phase (beat).

Some DJs use software to blend the music for them, while others learn the tricks and skills to beat match on their own. A talented turntablist impresses with her or his ability to adjust or fade the music tracks and creatively produce a unique sound. Since DJs usually do not write lyrics or play the music on a musical instrument (such as a guitar or piano), they rely on a DJ controller and other hardware, as well as music tracks they select.

Radio announcers as well as people who play music at weddings, dances, and parties, are also called DJs but each type of DJ has a different job. Eliza lives in Los Angeles, California home to a great music scene. She knows it’s important to know your listeners and hustle to get a good following. As a girl, she played piano as well as attended music school. But now as a DJ she has several singles out on Soundcloud and Spotify, and of course, records music to HearMeOut.

As for her inspiration, she lists DJ Qbert and DJ I-Dee. She also admires DJ Angelo, DJ Craze, A-Trak and DJ Vekked. She also likes music producers Diplo, Party Favor, and Yellow Claw. (A music producer makes the music tracks that DJs work with). You can check out Eliza at her upcoming gig on April 28 at Heat Nightclub in Anaheim, CA.

Her new single “Up in the Club” got to #8 in the Beatport’s Trap & Future Bass Top 100. She enjoys meeting other artists and DJs so HearMeOut is a great way to share music and opinions. Eliza said, “I love how many talented musicians are on the app.” Talented at self promotion, Eliza is growing her career as she looks for new opportunities. Check out DJ Eliza May on HearMeOut.