Video Interview: Jamie Lawson

We caught up with Jamie for the third time and it was fabulous.

Cover The HITS

Our latest video series - covers performed by our favourite acts, exclusively for us.

Gig Photos: Angus and Julia Stone

You know it's a great gig, when the photographer starts dancing in the photo pit.

Access All Areas: Lewis Watson

Hang out with Lewis backstage and find out what that's like!

Gig Photos: Madeline Juno

We got to watch the talented Madeline interact with her wonderful fans in Stuttgart.

Get To Know: Leo




Hey guys!

I am so happy about how I seem to manage the split between working with unsigned acts and working with major labels.
It seems like you, the HITS readers, enjoy the variety and that's so wonderful.
Thank you for being such an open minded audience!

I love the variety of different collaborations and can't wait to keep showcasing amazing talents all the time.

Today I'd like to spotlight a wonderful artist who emailed me a while ago, Leo.

Please allow the musician to introduce herself.

Who are you?
I'm an indie-folk singer-songwriter based in Wollongong, NSW Australia. I write, perform and release music under the artist name Leo. My main instruments are guitar and vocals. I love having a go at other instruments I can get a hold of but those are best played without an audience, for now.

How would you describe your music?
I'm so bad at answering this question... Fairly mellow with little licks?
 If I could use just one word I'd say my music is 'emotional'.
My songs are inspired by feelings and I've found they touch some of the people who hear them. Someone once said my songs are "sad but beautiful". I know the sad part is true! The rest of it is up to who's listening.

What does music mean to you?
I was tempted to say EVERYTHING and leave it at that but I'll ramble some more.
I find music to be so damn powerful. It has the ability to say everything I can't. It can send you into your past or it can jolt you into right now and hold you there for a while. It can be so intimate while being universal.
Also, I can't function in any other job so it's my only hope.

Your guilty pleasure song is?
You know what? I've never spoken about it before but I'm just gonna embrace it. I like Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On'. I can't help it!

What have you released so far?
In June this year I released my debut single 'Daniel' and just this month I released my second single 'Let Her Go'. I'm a newbie to the world of releases and it feels farkin' awesome.

What is coming up?
I'm back in the studio working on my third single 'I Remember'.
This one is different again to the other two. My amazing producer Lindsay Martin got Greg Agar of Aussie, Sony signed band Syndicate to put down the piano tracks and he did a great job. I'm keen to have a play with some new elements and see what happens!
I'm hoping to have 'I Remember' out before the end of this year.





Leo online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram






Thank you for reading!







Credits //Text & Questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Answers: Leo

Video Interview: Lee MacDougall



Hey guys!

What a month this is!
I'm actually running around like a mad woman to film, photograph and write about some of the finest music in the world.
It's so much fun and it's always so exciting to share the content with you.

Last week I went to Stuttgart to see the wonderful Jamie Lawson live.
You know how I always check out support acts beforehand, and so I found out about Lee MacDougall.
Lee MacDougall is a singer/songwriter from Grimsby, England.

His music can best be described as acoustic, folk-pop with vivid, storytelling lyrics. Lee's songwriting stands out because of the way he's almost directing movies with his words.

Releases:
- If Walls Could Talk (EP)
- Falling In Love For The Last Time (EP)
- Stay (EP)
- Busk Till Dawn (album)
 

Now go and check out what Lee tells us about getting ready for tour, how Kurt Cobain made him want to be a musician, his next record and a lot more!




Many thanks to Lee for taking the time to arrange and do this interview!


Listen to Lee here:



Lee MacDougall online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram






Thank you for reading!







Credits // Text, Image & Video: Vanessa Jertschewske

Access All Areas: Ciaran Lavery & Tommy Reilly in Stuttgart




Hey guys!

Gig photography is often entitled as one of the most difficult parts of photography.

Whilst I'm very proud of my photography gallery (all access | black&white | colours), the last gig I visited didn't quite offer the photography situation I was hoping for.
Why? Because the venue was packed and I couldn't move at all.

So there honestly aren't enough photographs of the gig itself to put a gig photography post online.
But because I really wanted to write about the gig itself, I started thinking about possible posts.

Most of the times I get to film with the acts I see in concert and often that also leads to hanging out together.

The material I had from said last gig gives a good insight in a what happens before a gig.


On Wednesday (18th November) I met up with an artist I've featured a couple of times before,
Ciaran Lavery.
He brought along Tommy Reilly to support him on tour.

We met up before their gig at Café Galao in Stuttgart to film something secret. (ermm... #HITSBC16)

Afterwards I got to join the the Ciaran, Tommy, Lyndon and Matthias for dinner. (hashtag food porn!)
Besides having normal music and life related conversations, I also learned a lot about R. Kelly songs. 

I documented most of the fun below, so feel free to access all areas at this special gig!

(If you scroll down to the gig pictures, you'll be able to learn more about both artists and their music.)





Filmed a video in a dreamy location! Can't wait for you to see this!
Had a lot of fun fliming this one.





After dinner we all went for walk through Stuttgart.

Once we made it through certain dodgey areas, it began to look a lot like Christmas - the ice skating rink was already in action and all the fairy lights managed to spread a festive atmosphere.




Lads having a chat.






Exploring fancy buildings in Stuttgart.






Just need to point out how fantastic the weather was! It wasn't cold at all, so making the most of Stuttgart's sights was a dream!







This gorgeous mister made my photography heart happy.
Might start out in nature and animal photography.







After exploring Stuttgart, we then went back to the venue and the amazing "backstage" flat.
Playing a few more comedy songs, having a beer, and preparing for the gig was part of the time before the show.





Tommy Reilly is a singer/songwriter from Glasgow, Scotland.
His music marches into the acoustic direction, sprinkled with folk and pop/rock elements.

Tommy's sound varies from playfully experimental to melancholic and mature. Either way, it's very honest.
His vivid storytelling goes hand in hand with the gorgeous arrangements Tommy offers.

The Scottish musician has been very busy ever since he started out and therefore has appearances at T in the Park, Glastonbury and many other big festivals under his belt.

So far Tommy Reilly released three albums; "Words On The Floor", "Hello! I'm Tommy Reilly" and "Waking A Sleepwalker".
His first EP "Weightless" is about to be released.

Tommy Reilly online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram








Tommy played a 30 minutes support slot which consisted of beautiful songs and hilarious stories between those songs.
One wouldn't expect the young singer/songwriter to be such an entertainer.

With funny remarks and his beautiful and calming songs, Tommy quickly won over the crowd and had full control about things.







Listen to Tommy's song "This Time Of Year" below! 







Ciaran Lavery is a singer/songwriter from Aghagallon, Ireland.

His music is passionate, expresses all different states of heartache and could be classified as alternative folk / acoustic rock.

He's been making music for quite a while and already released a debut album ("Not Nearly Dark") and three EPs ("You Will Be A Stranger Now", "The Maker Of Things", "Kosher").

His music got him some fantastic feedback from Zane Lowe, Snow Patrol's very own Gary Lightbody and many more.


Ciaran Lavery online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram








Ciaran opened his set with an acapella track before bursting into a brilliant of the Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face" which definitely soaked the crowd in.

Having to face some sound difficulties with the PA system, Ciaran went back to singing without the support of guitar instrumentals which showed how talented he is.

His raspy, yet still soft voice tends to lead you through the tracks.
Ciaran's stage presence is also very entertaining, his rather sarcastic humour found a lot of fans in the Stuttgart crowd.







Listen to one of my favourite songs "Left For America" here.





After the gig we sat down and had some more great laughs.
If I told you what our conversations were about, you probably wouldn't believe it.
(Cats, The Princess Diaries, cats, more cats and cats.)






Many, many thanks to Ciaran and Tommy for being so wonderful! I had a fantastic time filming and hanging out with you.
You guys are hilarious!

Also, many thanks to Lyndon and Matthias who were incredibly lovely and funny as well!





Thank you for reading!








Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske

Get To Know: Josh Michaels



Hey guys!

 I never really know how passionate about music, you, the house in the sand readers, really are.
So whenever I get to meet some of you, or get to speak to you online, it's so nice to see how much we all love music.

So far there have been so many wonderful people spreading the word about house in the sand, it's seriously heart warming!

Since I know there are a lot of you waiting for new music, I can't wait to share great music with you.

Today we have Josh Michaels introducing himself to the wonderful HITS audience.

Enjoy!


Who are you?
I am Josh Michaels from New York. I am a singer/songwriter.

 How would you describe your music?
My music can best be described as pop/rock with a flare of an operatic style at times. I am trained in italian opera, my vibrato is pretty heavy. I try to incorporate all of that within my songs. 
Lyrically, I always write thinking of the audience first, trying to leave universal messages that anyone can link on to. I always write to inspire and lift people from whatever negative situation they are going through while listening to the track.

What does music mean to you?

Music to me reflects onto many variables. From the sound of the vocals or instrumentals depending on the tune, to diving into the meaning of the lyrics, music has the magic to move all of us through life. Ever since 4 years old when I realized the voice I was gifted with, I knew I had to share it with the world.
 
Your guilty pleasure song is?

Katy Perry - Firework ... Her lyrical meaning is spot on, when I hear it, it strengthens the power of my beliefs career wise ... I have been singing my whole life and working for my dreams forever. 
Many guys may say what the hell? Katy Perry, Firework? .. But I say I love it! It's inspirational.

What have you released so far?
 
Thus far I have 3 tracks released.
 "Above The Water", "Like The Rest", and "Awaken Now". My music can be found either on Soundcloud or Itunes. Currently all three tracks have been getting some great airplay as well as blog reviews, etc.

What is coming up? 
Currently I am working with various writers and producers on collaborations both here in the states as well as in the UK. 
My next song to be released is a co- write with Ali Ingle of Liverpool, titled "Passing By".





Josh Michaels online: Website | Facebook | Soundcloud





Thank you for reading!








Credits // Text & Questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Answers: Josh Michaels


Video Interview: Ryan O'Reilly



Hey guys!

The one thing I love the most about HITS is the super friendly people that help make this space of web so positive and welcoming.
I might work on the website on my own, but I collaborate with people all the time and so far each time has been a blast.

So I just want to take this little intro to thank everyone who's been involved in creating content for house in the sand, you guys are the loveliest.

And the artist you're about to see answering my question was no exception. Ryan O'Reilly and his band were absolutely lovely to work with.

Ryan O'Reilly and his band offer a big variety of sounds, still they march into the Folk and Americana direction. Their songwriting is mainly influenced by relationships with people as well as different places.
  Commuting between London (UK), Berlin (Germany) and Toronto (Canada) the band is obviously offered a wide range of city influences.

 Ryan O'Reilly and his band are:
Ryan O'Reilly
Tyler Kite
David Granshaw
Tom Juhas

Ryan started playing the guitar at the age of 10, when his father gave him a six-string saying “you’re never going to impress anyone with your looks or your charm so you’d better get good at this”. 
Eight years later Ryan still followed his father's advice and went to Toronto, Canada where he played countless open mics. His travels made him meet Tyler Kite and David Granshaw.

Them busking on London’s famous Portobello Road street market has opened many doors for the three musicians; people who enjoyed hearing their music invited them to their hometowns such as Oslo, Berlin, Lisbon, Napoli, Toronto and London - just to name a few.

Before his show in Ulm, we sat down to chat about Ryan's latest EP "Sometimes Things Just Happen", moving to Berlin, falling out of love with London, touring and a lot more!

I hope you enjoy!





Ryan O'Reilly online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram





Thank you for reading!




 




Credits // Text, Image & Video: Vanessa Jertschewske

Gig Photography: Ryan O'Reilly at Roxy, Ulm


 

Hey guys!

When artists sound amazing on records, it's cool.
But when you go to a show and they blow you away with their live sound, that's when you know they are talented.

I got to see an incredible act live just a few days ago.
It was so nice to see Ryan O'Reilly live after featuring him on HITS a few times before.


Ryan O'Reilly and his band offer a big variety of sounds, still they march into the Folk and Americana direction. Their songwriting is mainly influenced by relationships with people as well as different places.
  Commuting between London (UK), Berlin (Germany) and Toronto (Canada) the band is obviously offered a wide range of city influences.

 Ryan O'Reilly and his band are:
Ryan O'Reilly
Tyler Kite
David Granshaw
Tom Juhas

Ryan started playing the guitar at the age of 10, when his father gave him a six-string saying “you’re never going to impress anyone with your looks or your charm so you’d better get good at this”. 
Eight years later Ryan still followed his father's advice and went to Toronto, Canada where he played countless open mics. His travels made him meet Tyler Kite and David Granshaw.

Them busking on London’s famous Portobello Road street market has opened many doors for the three musicians; people who enjoyed hearing their music invited them to their hometowns such as Oslo, Berlin, Lisbon, Napoli, Toronto and London - just to name a few.


Ryan and his band made a stop in Ulm whilst touring Germany. Below are lots of impressions of the gig.

Support act for the night was Joe Astray, a folk singer/songwriter based in Hamburg, Germany.

Visit him on Facebook.
 









Ryan O'Reilly and his band went on stage and immediately bursted into the first song of their set.
With his stage presence, Ryan managed to control the crowd's attention from the very first minute.

He kept telling short stories about the songs and little anecdote from touring to entertain the listeners with more than just songs.













The band consisting of Tyler, David and Tom is absolutely brilliant.

The three musicians help giving the songs more grip and more energy on stage, each of them knows how to control their instrument and the communication between all members was fantastic.
















The setlist was a clever mix of ballads and up tempo folk rock tracks.
Towards the end it was only Ryan playing some acoustic songs without the band before they joined him once again for the encore.














I can honestly say that this was one of the best gigs I've seen this year.
Loved the mixture of honesty, wit and pure passion on stage!





























Chapeau to Ryan and the band - you guys sounded fantastic!

Thanks for having me and for the lovely little collaboration beforehand. Can't wait to share the content we created.





Ryan O'Reilly online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram





Thank you for reading!





Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske | Video via Ryan O'Reilly on YouTube