Christopher Marciano is a Pop and R&B Singer-Songwriter from Rhode Island. Throughout his songs - such as Runaway, Stubborn, and I’m Just Me - Christopher promotes mental health awareness and diversity. His passion for these movements keeps Christopher dedicated to his work.
"The moment I found myself avoiding mirrors is the moment I knew something had to change. I needed to take everyone on that journey towards finding transparency and if I helped just one person along the way, then I've done what I needed to do."
Like many others, Christopher’s performances have been put to a standstill this summer. This is particularly unfortunate as his favourite part of music is being on stage. In the meantime, he is staying busy writing for other artists and being involved in events to promote positive change, such as the Black Momentum Online Gala, run by The Bervann Foundation this past June. What is exceptional about Christopher is that he is also using this time to check in on the mental health of others - including strangers.
“This is so important to me. I have connected with amazing people, just by asking others how they are doing during this time. It is something, that I will continue to do even after the pandemic.”
He may have been slowed down by the pandemic, but not stopped. Christopher successfully managed to film a new music video, despite the inability to implement some elements originally planned. With a fantastic support team of his own, they were able to complete the video with what they had.
For other artists, Christopher recognizes that each journey and path is unique, and offers some advice:
“As long as you are doing everything possible to ensure your mental health is on point then you are good. I would also say that surrounding yourself with genuine people is crucial.”
We eagerly await Christopher’s first album being released. Bringing it as close to perfection as possible, he finds the more time he is away from the studio, the more he ends up tweaking the album.
“Once it is done, I will probably shed a few tears. It is amazing so far and I am so excited about it.”
Baz Francis is a musician and songwriter who has worked as a solo artist, collaborated with other artists, and has been a member of two bands: Magic Eight Ball and Mansion Harlots. He lived in the United Kingdom until 2017 when he moved his life and music career to the United States. In addition to being a musician and music lover, he is a vegan, dog owner, and a fan of the English soccer team Chelsea.
During the pandemic, Baz has been staying busy with working on a few singles, collaborating remotely on projects, being interviewed, taking part in web sessions, and filming many musical home movies - often by request through social media.
“The virus postponed my US solo tour but put me into writing and recording mode, which I was able to find sanctuary in during the pandemic.”
Baz has focused on staying creative to work around the monotony of isolation. He strives to work with different people, treats song requests as personal challenges, and pushes to learn new things - mixing up what he can to keep his music fresh.
“Remembering that studio work is often like a quarantined existence anyway has helped me view this period as a blank canvas to be creative within.”
Anxiety may accompany times like these - Baz recommends finding joy in the small pleasures of your day and setting new challenges. This will help you to stay entertained and silence worries. He is a firm believer that solitude can be transformed into a time of reflection and inspiration.
“Find your happy place then run with it”.
Deborah Josephine Roberts was born and lives in a central county of England. Her passion for art blossomed during her school years where she was encouraged to pursue her love of drawing and painting, looking forward to taking her art exams with great enthusiasm. During the COVID lockdown the artist has appreciated this quiet time and to spend it on her favourite pastime, painting. Also, being able to reconnect with nature during this time has helped to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere in which to create.
Deborah learned to appreciate Opera and Classical music at a young age, as her mother often listened to famous arias and pieces at home during the years of her growth. In particular, Pavarotti's voice echoed a lot in the young painter's soul.
Deborah began painting a special collection of portraits of famous musicians and opera singers, asking her subjects if they would like to support her artistic idea. This fueled her passion into work worth admiring. Her paintings were received with great interest and approval after being displayed at the opening of the Canwood Gallery in Herefordshire, alongside works by international artists, including Carl Andre and Peter Sellers. Deborah's dream has always been to create an artistic work that could combine both her passions: art and music.
Her path has sometimes been a challenge, but her desire has always been to leave something uniquely beautiful in art to future generations. Since then Deborah continues to receive commissions from people who have seen her works, including opera singers and musicians. Deborah is convinced that artists and musicians bring so much to the world and to all people.
"Music and art have always gone hand in hand and my paintings have always been inspired by the love I have for both.”
Following a long forgotten tradition of portraying musicians from the world of classical music, Deborah’s work captures in the painting once again some of the great composers, conductors, and opera singers who perform today all over the world.
Her portraiture technique has been appreciated by the musicians included in this unique collection for which she is very grateful and each portrait has been personally signed by each of them. The first portrait was signed and authenticated by an Italian tenor much loved all over the world, Andrea Bocelli.
Andrea Bocelli is an Italian singer, songwriter and record producer with great success as a crossover artist of Classical and Pop music. Andrea is praised for his beautiful voice, was made Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2006, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.
After painting this unique portrait, Deborah continued with great pleasure to paint many other artists and musicians. This was a very rewarding experience and is a very fulfilling artistic path for Deborah.
Interested in learning more? Visit Deborah's website below, or contact her directly at Deborahroberts950@gmail.com
Nashville has been through quite a lot this spring. Early March, its citizens were hit with a massive Tornado. Some people, like artist Katie Cole, lucked out and their homes were only targets of the Covid-19 lockdown. Even still, the tornado took out a large chunk of Nashville, including the power for three days.
Like many, these moments of crisis have disturbed the normal work process of musicians, artists, and songwriters. Ever persistent, they have worked around these obstacles and found ways to work creatively during these unusual circumstances. For Katie, live performances, media appearances, and collaborations were some aspects of her career that were deeply affected.
Katie Cole is an Australian-born Americana artist currently residing in Nashville.
She is also a side musician for The Smashing Pumpkins, and has toured the world. Katie’s situation is unique given her multiple talents, leading her to have a dual role in the music industry and two different sets of audiences. Katie has opened for music icons such as Glen Campbell, America, and Billy Corgan with The Smashing Pumpkins. Kris Kristofferson also appeared on her 2014 album.
Before Covid-19 derailed regular life, Katie had released her single Lie to Me, and was gearing up for a video release in April. Combined with live shows leading to CMA Fest and GearFest in June, followed by a Smashing Pumpkins Stadium tour with Guns N Roses in July - Katie had a busy schedule ahead of her. When the lockdown came, her last live show was March 13th in Nashville. Other shows, festivals, and tours were eventually cancelled.
“I was left with a new outlook for recording, promotion and surviving the year. A level of uncertainty arrived where everything I had planned came to a halt.”
Katie’s approach since the lockdown has focused on online promotion for a new video released May 8th, Time On My Hands. Continuing her momentum and creativity, she records weekly YouTube videos, has a two part video interview series beginning mid June, and has increased her commitment to playing high quality live music online.
With a range of songs from originals to requests, movie songs, music from the 60’s, 80’s and Grunge, Katie has kept busy during these times. She is amazed at how generous her fans can be tipping on the $1 admission fees.
“They know my touring is cancelled and this is a way they can help and see some great music too.”
Katie has been writing on her own for most of Covid-19, though does have one co-writer scheduled via Zoom - her friend Jason Nix.
“I know a lot of people co-write every day. I still prefer to be in the room with somebody… but [Zoom] is a great method if you’re working with someone you already know.”
Beyond co-writing, Zoom and phone calls have come in handy for the increased media and story interviews.
“A little more than usual as during this uncertain time, the only thing you can count on is that people are probably looking at their phones more than usual.”
Today, music can be seen as disposable - to be consumed at whim. Katie does not subscribe to this. She did not rush to release music during the lockdown and capitalise on a captive audience. Instead, she stayed true to her song writing technique and timeline - where it can take a year to write an album.
Katie is an independent artist, but she also makes competitive global music with Grammy award winning producer Howard Willing. As such, her songs cannot be recorded and released without many people, studios and pro mastering engineers involved. Nothing Katie writes and records is released in a short window; each single release has a 4-8 week run up with everything thought out.
The most recent songs Katie recorded were at Blackbird Studios in Nashville with acclaimed session musicians. Despite the pressures she is facing from Covid-19, we will be seeing another single release from her soon.