Interview with Joe Montaro (broey.)

This was an interview with Joe Montaro (known publicly as broey) from Scranton, Pennsylvania (in the US), the town known famously from the American television sitcom “The Office.” He is currently 23 years old and consider himself to be unique. Here below was my interview with him.

W.: What makes you start your music career?

Joe Montaro: I’ve always had a passion for music and have a lineage of musicians in my family. I’m a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and have been playing music for about 13 years. I started messing around with garage band on mac when I was in my teens, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to get more serious about production. After listening to pop music and hip hop for so long, I grew tired of hearing the same chord progressions and themes within the music, so I decided to take my own path and do something that hasn’t been done yet. I try to remember that often times the best songs are the ones that haven’t been made yet… so why not make them? There’s something so powerful about creating in my mind. Creation is the work of the gods. So, in a sense, being an artist is similar to being a god.

W.: Are there singers/bands that influenced your music career, and how have they influenced you (in any way)?

Montaro: There are a lot of bands/artists that have influenced me. Kanye West is a major influence in my music. He helped show me that there are literally endless possibilities when it comes to making music. From sample flipping in his music, to being just downright outrageous with grabbing people’s attention, he showed me that the best way to make great art is with no barriers. The way that he is able to pull emotions out of people is what I admire most about his art. I try to mimic that for myself. I’m also influenced by Tame Impala and Kevin’s groovy and experimental sound. Tame Impala is another artist that taught me that when it comes to making great music, there’s literally no rules. Do whatever you want to do. That helps you develop your true style. There are many other artists that inspire me. Too many to name, but I am always listening to new music in order to find inspiration and new ways to expand my sound.

W.: What made you want to use that vinyl-type sound in your music?

Montaro: Man, there’s just something about vinyl that really gets me going. The initial drop of that needle onto the record gives me such pleasure. Those who have listened to vinyl know that it’s such a pleasant listening experience. Who knew that so much as a scratch from a needle could give such a raw and distinct tone? Some of the vinyl actually comes from vinyl samples, but I LOVE vinyl and think most music sounds better on it so I try to emulate that sound as best as I could. Also, fun fact, if you listen to my songs with a crossfade of a few seconds it sounds like you’re listening to a continuous vinyl record. I thought that was something cool I could do to kind of set myself apart from other artists. In the future I hope to release my work on vinyl and cassette because that’s what I was essentially raised on. It’s cool to see they haven’t gone out of style.

W.: What are some of the well-known vinyl tracks that you have sampled?

Montaro: You’ll be able to hear one on my track “Paradise”. It uses an Erik Satie sample, but with a twist. That’s my most popular track currently and it’s been featured on thebootlegboy’s YouTube mix “Raining in O S A K A”. It fits in very well with the setting for the mix. That’s really the only song I have published so far that uses a vinyl sample, but stay tuned there will be more. I have a playlist of song I intend to flip when I get the opportunity.

W.: Your music sounds very retro (in my own opinion) and jazzy (with the combination of hip-hop beats), and I really liked it! What made you want to produce music in this type?

Montaro: The type of music I produce is often referred to as “Lofi” or “Chillhop”. These genres are primarily jazz with hip hop beats like you stated. I’m a big fan of these types because I grew up listening to old school hip hop, which I feel is very prevalent within those genres in regard to the beat, and soul type music, which is where the rhythm parts come in. My guitar playing style in my opinion is soulful, bluesy, and jazzy and having an up-beat boom bap type of beat really is something that makes me groove. I don’t use vocals on my tracks because I want people to hear my music and go to a place that makes them feel just right, instead of hearing me tell them what is going on. It’s more fun to see what other people get out of it rather than me telling you what to get out of it. Words often get in the way. We should talk less and feel more.

W.: I saw you produced your first album, “A Walk in the Park.” Tell us about the album and the story that you want to express through this album.

Montaro: A Walk in the Park is essentially a concept piece. I’ve always had a great deal of admiration for artists who can conceptualize their work into something deeper than how it appears on the surface. When I first started producing this album, I wanted to accomplish just that: conceptualize and tell a story. Well, with a great circle of support and inspiration, this was my attempt at both. “A Walk in the Park” is an album that uses children’s book type illustrations along with synonymous track titles to help tell a story. It was super cool working with my friend Geori Vázquez, the artist who did the illustrations, to help bring this story to life. She really nailed what I was going for and I am super grateful for what she did. I encourage those who listen to create their own backstory and find a deeper meaning to the project other than what it appears to be! Art is a wonderful way to express ourselves and get a deeper understanding of each other. You can find the illustrations both on my Instagram and on my Bandcamp page (if you click on each individual track it will show you the piece for that track!)

W.: Tell us the process of producing your beats.

Montaro: My production process is really rather simple (to me at least). I always begin with a melody because that is what helps draw attention and catch the listener’s ear. Then I’ll either add a bass line then drum beat or vice versa to help figure out the groove. From there I just try to find complimentary sounds and melodies to help support the main melody. I have a general structure that I try to stick with, but of course when it comes down to it, it may not always be applicable. You have to be willing to break the rules and use everything at your disposal to make something truly unique and truly you. It’s never about equipment or lack thereof, it’s about the sounds you have and what you decide to do with them. I usually am able to hear one sound and know immediately where I want to go with it, but sometimes it’s not always that easy. Creatives often encounter roadblocks. My advice is to just keep pushing through because consistency is the only way to excel at anything in this life.

W.: Please tell us one of the favorite tracks you produced right now and why you liked it/why it was so special.

Montaro: I think “Reverie” is one of my favorite tracks that I’ve made so far. I remember during production having the melody and drum pattern on repeat for HOURS just admiring and vibing to it. I pictured this as being a song you’d listen to during the summer, cruising with the windows down or at your summer cookouts. I struggled with this track originally because I knew that it had potential and I wanted it to be perfect. It took me a few days to figure out how all the pieces would go, but once I heard the finished piece I didn’t even wait and immediately uploaded the two track EP “Daydreams, Vol. 1”. I couldn’t wait to share it because the sound was so dreamy and airy and took me to this place where everything was just right. I wanted everyone to experience that.

W.: What are your goals for the future?

Montaro: My goals for the future right now are a little all over the place. I am currently enrolling in graduate programs to receive an MSW and I hope to one day be a school social worker. Music for me at this moment is my outlet and something I enjoy doing for fun. It allows me to meet new people and have some awesome experiences too. With the right series of events I could see it being a full time job for me, but right now I want to make sure that I am able to provide for myself and a family down the line. So right now, I am taking steps that are beneficial towards both my music career as well as my professional career.

W.: Are there any final thoughts you want to share with our readers? 

Montaro: My final thoughts are that I want to note how incredibly grateful I am for all the opportunities I’ve had so far in my life in regard to music and life in general. I think is very important for all of us to recognize what we have when others may not be as fortunate. I hope that one day I could give back as much as I’ve been given in this life.

I want to thank W. for allowing me this opportunity to be interviewed and I hope that you guys were able to learn a little more about me. Hopefully, you’ll be seeing and hearing more about me in the near future! Follow me on my socials and on your preferred streaming services so you can be notified when I release new music. Also, make sure if you like my songs to add them to your playlists! There are some exciting things in the works and I’m sure you guys won’t want to miss out! (:

Thank you for the kind words, and we thank Joe Montaro for responding to these questions and to accept this interview with us. Follow him on twitter: @broeybeats and on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/broeybeats/

Checkout his bandcamp page with all his music here: https://broey.bandcamp.com/

His music is also on Spotify. The music was absolutely a delight to listen to, and I have added a lot of his music to my playlist (shows how much I enjoyed listening to the music!). 


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April Fools or not April Fools?

Warning: what you are about to see might be an April fools joke. It’s up to your clever minds to determine which of the following is real or not real. 

A lot of people wanted to know about my personal details, such as my age, where I live, who I am as a person, what I’m doing with my life, etc. Since today is April 1st (also known as April fools day), therefore I will have an opportunity to let you know about myself and tomorrow I’ll publish a blog post to talk about whether all this is true or not.

As many of you fans know, I am currently living in Taipei, Taiwan as a living. I am currently working in the education field(you can decide if I am a student or a teacher in this case). Therefore, this should coincide with my age (any age could do education though…)

I am generally nice and a person with a pleasant mind  (as most of you reached out probably knew), but most of you probably don’t know that I rage a lot and sometimes might be a little depressed due to the workload I have. That is why I have the blog (initially) to calm myself down and share some of my thoughts with you. As the blog expanded to having interviews with many people around the world and many people started reading my blog, I started developing my blog in my free time and hope to expand my interviews to the mode of videos and use YouTube to present my interviews. (Youtubers make a lot of money these days, aren’t they).

But most importantly, I’m here to talk about my name. Some have wondered what my real name is. I initially started the blog having called myself “Dave”, because I felt like that is a common name for me to start. However, there were a lot of “Dave Wang” around the world, given the generality and the commonness of the name, I decided to use “W.” because that’s something uncommon. But actually, my real name is Walter. 

Yes, Walter. You might be shocked by reading utill this point of the article. You might be wondering “is Walter a common name”? A lot of people had the name “Walter.” Examples include Sir Walter Raleigh (English gentlemen, writer, explorer who was known of popularizing tobacco), Walter Disney (yes, that was his real name), Walter Cronkite (yes, that guy who was remembered as the most trusted man in America + news business during his time), Walter Mondale (former Vice Present of the US), and many more.

You can start calling me Walter, but I prefer to go with W. After all, this is “W. Wang’s World Commentary”, a brand name I have developed. This is my blog, so I can do anything I wanted.

I want to see your reaction to this blog post. Email me if you think if all of the following is true or not (my email: wworldcommentary@gmail.com), or tweet me at @wworldcomment1.

In the meantime, I wish you the very best, happy April fools, and hope you don’t get pranked a lot today.


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Interview with Manipulant (also known as David Speakman)

This is an interview with David Speakman, also known professionally as Manipulant based on Lancaster (a little city in Pennsylvania, USA).

W.: Tell us a bit about yourself.

David Speakman: Hello, I’m David Speakman by day and Manipulant when time allows. I hail from a lovely little city in Pennsylvania, USA called Lancaster.  Lancaster has more record stores per capita than any place in the world (I’m pretty sure I just made that up, but there are loads of record stores here) I am an Aquarian (2/11) My favorite candy bar is Hershey’s with almonds and my favorite ice cream is Häagen-Dazs Swiss Almond Vanilla (So I guess I like almonds, I never put that together).

W.: What makes you start your music career?

Speakman: I have loved music as long as I can remember. Whenever I got a couple dollars I was off to the record store, so I guess it was inevitable that I would someday make my own. I think I started out banging on coffee cans or whatever else I could find that made an interesting sound and evolved into banging on coffee cans or whatever I can find that makes an interesting sound.

W.: Are there singers/bands that influenced your music career, and how have they influenced you (in any way)?

Speakman:I think all music influences what I do/ or don’t do in some way. But that is the easy way out. I will give you three albums that most influence what I try to do: OMD – Dazzle Ships. This was the first album I ever heard that made me realize I could incorporate any sound or any thing I wanted into a song and that was very appealing to me.  The Fall – In: Palace Of Swords Reversed.  This was the craziest thing I had ever heard at the time. A madman (?) ranting seemingly about whatever popped into in head over a repetitive gro ove. Genius. Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones.  This album taught me two things-it was ok to write songs about the misfits in this world and that those coffee cans I used to beat on could actually work in a song. Sixteen shells from a thirty-ought six is still one of my favorite grooves. I hop around uncontrollably whenever I hear it.

W.: An non-related music question: let’s talk about your name. You have an interesting name of Manipulant. Could you tell us the story behind your name? 

Speakman: Manipulant just fit what I was doing on a couple levels. I have a job in the wine business and the term Récoltant-Manipulant (which translates roughly to estate champagne) always seemed cool to me. That and the fact that I do a fair amount of sound manipulation in my music made it a natural fit. Unfortunately, Manipulant translates differently across languages and is probably viewed negatively in some.  But, I like the name and it’s too late to change it now because the t-shirts have already been made.

W.: You have a new album released on valentines day. Could you give us a preview of the album, and why do you want to release it on 2/14?

Speakman: I’d love to. It is being released on 2/14 because that was the date chosen by Cap’n Bob at Submarine Broadcasting Company. I agreed because I’m an appeaser – and it falls near my birthday so that was pretty cool.

The album, Sundries & Souvenir is a collection of songs dating back to 2016 when Manipulant first became a thing and carries through 2018. I did record one new song called Melted Roses, Invisible just for the occasion.

It is being released in every format known to man – and some unknown. Vinyl, cassette, CD, Digital and something that cave people called 8-track.

W.: Tell us some of your favorite song from your music career and why.

Speakman: Electric Cigarette is a song I wrote in 2015 that was released on an album called Méthode de Narration.  It also appears on Sundries & Souvenir.  I think it is important to me because it was the beginning of what Manipulant is now.

W.: Could you tell us about what the song “electric cigarette” is about and why it’s the beginning of what you are now?

Speakman: E-cig was born from a chance interaction on a city street. A noticeably distressed (and probably high) man approached me offering an electronic cigarette. Of course, I attempted to blow him off by hurrying past, but as I walked by him he said something like-Take it, Jesus gave it to me and I don’t want it.  I didn’t think anything else about, but I awoke in the middle of the night and penned about a half-dozen versus about the encounter on the back of an envelope.

That morning, I immediately began working on the song-though I only ended up using a couple of the lines I had written on the envelope.

The reason I say it was the beginning of what Manipulant now is, is because it was written completely on a DAW (digital audio workstation) rather than a traditional band type of setting where different members contributed parts to it. Though I later added some live guitar and percussion to it, it put the idea into my head that I could compose and record myself on a computer. Some of what I now record is done 100% on my DAW with an occasional helper from live instruments.

W.: You have collaborated with Stoneygate (which I have interviewed before) for the single “Run.” Tell us about you collaboration experience.

Speakman: I approached Stoneygate with a song I was working on that really felt like it needed a female vocal.  She was an absolute joy to work with and I think she appreciated working outside of her comfort zone on it with me.  I do have to say, it is a much better song with her on it. Don’t be surprised if we pair up again in the future. I recommend working with other artists on occasion. It gives new perspective to your own work and you might even learn something.

Note: You can read my past interview with Stoneygate here: https://wworldcommentary.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/interview-thursday-jacky-stoneygate/

W.: What are your goals for the future?

Speakman: I hope to someday write the perfect pop song… and then completely ruin it.

W.: Why do you want to write a pop song, and then ruin it, given that the vast majority of the music market today relies on pop music?

Speakman: That answer was a bit tongue-in-cheek, though I don’t like the way popular music is force fed to the public. Given the choice, most people will still take the “Blue Pill” and remain in the fabricated reality of modern pop music, but some will choose red. As far as me ruining the perfect pop song, many a song have started out in my head as something that could easily fall into the formulaic main stream. It is once I begin the recording process and Maniputize it with my clangs and echoes and hums that it becomes something less of a pop song.

W.: Are there any final thoughts you want share with our readers? 

Speakman: Thank you for bringing obscure and borderline listenable stuff like mine to the masses. And to those reading this, yes, you are more cool than anybody else for seeking out new obscure and borderline listenable stuff like mine.

Also, I asked David if he could give us a preview of his new album released on valentines day. Here is the preview from his new album “Sundries & Souvenir”, as well as the preorder link: https://submarinebroadcastingco.bandcamp.com/album/sundries-souvenir

We thank Manipulant (David Speakman) for responding to these questions and to accept this interview with us. Check out his new album (released on 2/14/2019) when it releases then. You can follow him on twitter: @ManipulantMusic

His website is here: http://manipulantmusic.com/


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Interview with Sharon West

Thanks to Sharon West for allowing me to use these photos.

This is an interview with Sharon West, a singer-songwriter based from Yorkshire in the UK. Below is my interview with her:

W.: What makes you start your music career?

Sharon West: I have been a singer since my teens and worked in bands travelling up and down the country entertaining audiences at military bases, cabaret venues and clubs for quite a few years. I have always wanted to write my own songs but it took me a long time and the support of a friend to finally put pen to paper and start writing.

W.: Are there any singers/bands that influenced your music career, and how have they influenced you (in any way)?

West: I have so many musical influences, as I am a lover of so many genres of music. I love the 80’s pop and dance music, especially artists such as George Michael and Alison Monet but also love the likes of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles (which were bands). I was brought up listening to big ballad singers like Barbara Streisand. It’s always been about the voice for me.

W.: What are some of your favorite music that you like to listen to now?

West: I love many current artists but tend to listen to Years and Years, Dua Lipa, and love all the collaborations, like what Jax Jones is doing right now. It would be great to do a collaboration with a prominent DJ. I also totally love the new Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus track (“Nothing Breaks Like a Heart”), the vocal from Miley Cyrus reminds me of Stevie Nicks.

W.: I saw that most of the songs rely on personal experiences. What’s the most memorable personal experience that you had that helped you turned into a song?

West: I do definitely write about things that are personal to me as they’re more meaningful and seem to resonate with a lot of people. One of the songs I’m currently working on relates to a very unhealthy relationship when I was younger and the journey I have been on ever since, not easy memories but good song writing material.

W.: What makes you want to work with DJs?

West: My producer is a DJ and I have a lot of DJ friends which is why I suppose I was drawn to that kind of music. And there’s the fact that a DJ can put a totally different spin on your song with a really good remix.

W.: Give us a preview of your debut album and the release date.

West: The album is still a work in progress and I’m hoping it will be ready for late spring. It will include all of my latest releases but will also feature some totally unheard tracks that I’m so excited for people to hear.

W.: What are your goals for the future?

West: In the future who knows? Everyone wants a hit song don’t they? So it would be amazing if something I released had a commercial chart position. Other than that I’d love my songs to be part of film or TV scores so I can leave a slightly bigger impression on the world.

W.: Good luck with that! Are there any final thoughts you want to share with our readers?

West: I really would like to thank everyone who has downloaded and streamed my music so far, it really is a privilege for me to have people relate to what I write. I really hope everyone enjoys listening to the new music as much as I have loved writing and recording it.

We thank Sharon West for answering these questions and to accept this interview with us. You can follow her on twitter: @Norahw1969

You can check out her website here: http://www.sharonwest.co.uk/

Follow her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/westysmusic/

Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/westysmusic/


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Interview with Sanjay Raja

The following is an interview with Sanjay Raja, who had a lot of jobs in his lifetime. He was a former fighter in a variety of martial arts styles, founded Team No Excuses Fitness and Nutrition in 2012, published author, national speaker, and professional actor. Here below is my interview with him.

W.: Please introduce yourself and what you do.

Sanjay Raja: My name is Sanjay Raja and I was a former fighter in a variety of martial arts styles, in 2012 I founded Team No Excuses Fitness and Nutrition, a worldwide nutrition and fitness education company to help children and adults achieve their nutrition and fitness goals through education and cutting through all the misinformation and I have been interviewed on a variety of platforms about my views on nutrition and fitness.  

W.: Please talk about some of your highlights from your film/commercial/modeling career.

Raja:I have been blessed with the opportunity to be casted in a number of projects in film, TV, and commercials. My first big break as an actor came when I was casted for a recurring role on season 4 of the Netflix show “House of Cards”. I had the opportunity to work with amazing actors including Robin Wright who directed both my episodes.

I have done a number of short films including a film where I get to play a transgender woman which was an amazing experience as this film shed light on the social injustices the transgender community faces on a daily basis. Most recently I appeared on the the show “Startup” on the Sony Network where I was a reporter and got to speak my native language of Hindi on camera. I have a feature film called “The Favorite” set to release in theaters nationwide in June 2019.

I also have done commercials for IBM and other major bands that have aired in other countries like India because of my East-Indian background.

W.: Next, let’s talk about your writing career. You have published your book “The Food Talk.” Tell us more about the book and what do you want to convey through the book.

Raja: I was inspired to write the book after my twins were born. As a first time father I watched as my wife at the time handled all the feeding responsibilities for the kids as she followed what her mom did. Even though I wasn’t an experienced parent I just felt there had to be a better way to feed kids and prep them to eat healthier foods as they got older. So I started taking a more active part in feeding my kids and eventually I took over all the feeding duties for the kids. I started writing down all my ideas I implemented in feeding my kids and parenting them and after they turned 4 yrs old I started writing the book with all my notes I had taken down for the first 4 yrs of their life.

The book doesn’t just teach parents how to feed their children it discusses various methods I have used with success with my kids and my clients who seek my advice and services from feeding their children, setting rules and guidelines to set them up for success through various stages of their lives, exercise tips to get kids excited about physical fitness, and other important lessons through actionable steps that parents or caregivers can implement with success. The book also has a food diary included so parents can track their progress of their children and for themselves to clean up their diet as this book is not about implementing a diet but a true lifestyle change. The message I want to convey through the book is simple:

A. children learn their nutritional habits through their parents so we have to lead by example.

B. Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic and it is never too early to implement and educate kids healthy nutrition and fitness habits.

C. Parents and caregivers should have “The Food Talk’ on a daily basis with their kids as food will be a part of their lives for as long as they live and they will pass on the knowledge they learn from parents to their own children and so on and so forth.

W.: Why do you want to become a nutrition expert and promote healthiness to the community?

Raja: I enjoy helping people as i am an entrepreneur and I own my own fitness & nutrition company in Team No Excuses Fitness which is worldwide company dedicated to helping parents, children, adults of all ages achieve their nutrition and fitness goals. I dealt with obesity issues as a child which also led to psychological issues when it came to food and I want to help parents & caregivers avoid having these issues with their own children through my expertise which I have gained from helping families for numerous years and through my experience as a former athlete.

W.: Have you had positive responses from your company Team No Excuses Fitness? 

Raja: It has taken time to gain traction as I started the company in 2012 but over the years I have had the honor to help numerous people of all ages, children and families in helping them achieve their nutrition and fitness goals.

As the philosophy of my company is to help implement a sustainable lifestyle change through nutrition and fitness and not push fad diets and quick fixes I have gained clients for team no excuses fitness through a strong referral base from satisfied clients who have become friends. In 2019 I have expanded my services and now I work with more corporate clients as for 4 weeks starting at the end of February 2019 I was hired to teach self-defense and martial arts to the entire faculty and staff @ Caltech in Pasadena California. In addition I have partnered with a number companies on the east and west coast who share my philosophy on nutrition and fitness.

As my company continues to grow I look forward to spreading my message to a bigger audience as now more than ever with the rising rates of obesity in adults and children have grown to an epidemic level.

W.; I see that you have degrees in biology, chemistry, and physical science. How does the degrees of three major sciences help you in what you are doing now? 

Raja: These degrees help me to have a baseline level of knowledge when it comes to science and nutrition. I also have experience in the medical field as I spent over 10 years educating surgeons on various surgical techniques with various medical devices. All my degrees and experience in the medical field have given my great insight to how nutrition has such a prominent effect on our bodies and daily lives.

W.: I heard that you also did a podcast with Ally (from Ally’s Attic Show) called “The Food Talk.” (same name as your book) Tell about your collaboration with Ally and how that has been (since we interviewed her a few weeks ago) 

Raja: Yes, Ally and I did a podcast based around my book and expertise called The Food Talk with Sanjay Raja in the Attic. It was a show where we discussed everything from nutrition&fitness to everything in between and we developed a solid following from these podcasts. I am now part of another podcast where I will be speaking on nutrition&fitness topics and other subject matters including motivation which will start this Wednesday and will be on every Wednesday at 7pm CST. Here is the link to that show:

https://www.spreaker.com/show/hti-radio-the-food-talk-with-sanjay-raja

(Note: You can read my interview with Ally here: https://wworldcommentary.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/interview-with-ally-from-allys-attic-show/)

W.: With many jobs in life, how do you tend to balance each of your jobs?

Raja: As long as I can remember I always liked to multitask and have my hands in multiple projects. As a single father of twins my most important job is being a dad first and giving my kids as many unique experiences so they can learn about the world and have a global perspective of the world. I am a planner and a goal setter so I meticulously plan my days and weeks to make sure I have accomplished all my short and long term goals as everything I do helps me set a positive example for my kids to accomplish their goals in life.

W.: What are your goals for the future? 

Raja: My long-term goals include not only getting my message out to a worldwide audience regarding fitness and nutrition education for kids and families but also to further advance my career as an actor, national/international speaker, and entrepreneur. I also recently finished filming a pilot episode for a show based around my book “The Food Talk” and am excited about speaking with different networks to pick up the show so my message can have a truly global audience.

W.: Are there any final thoughts you want to share with our readers?

Raja: The subject of nutrition and fitness seems like such a daunting subject for parents and caregivers to discuss with their kids as so many take the path of least resistance with children. Make no mistake this is one of the most important talks you can have with your children as this not only affects their well being but the choices they make will affect their lives on a daily basis and the habits and knowledge they learn will be passed on to future generations; therefore my message is simple it’s never too early or too late to educate kids on healthy nutrition and fitness habits that will last a lifetime.

We thank Sanjay Raja for answering these questions and to accept this interview with us. You can follow him on twitter: @GoBigRaja. Check out his website from Teams No Excuses Fitness here: http://teamnoexcusesfitness.com/

Check out his website here: http://sanjaysraja.com/


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Interview with Rafid from +-Life

This is an interview with Rafid from Singapore, who is the owner and writer of the blog +-Life. +-Life is a blog that focuses on self-improvement, life hacks, and lifestyle. He publishes topics such as positivity, mindfulness, productivity, and health (just to name a few). Below is my interview with him:

W.: Why do you want to start this blog, +-Life?

Rafid: When I was around the age of 18 or 19, I read my very first self-improvement article – the health benefits of drinking a lot of water. So after being intrigued by all these beneficial claims from the simple act of just drinking more water, I decided to give it a shot. I noticed a HUGE difference in my mood, energy and productivity, mainly because I eventually found that I was severely dehydrated all the time. I was hooked ever since and have always been on the lookout for ways to improve myself and be the best version of myself as I possibly can. As I got deeper and more invested in self-improvement, I started wanting to share my perspectives and personal experiences with others, hoping that it would help anyone who came across what I’m writing. I’ve always liked writing too so starting a blog made the most sense to me, compared to making videos or podcasts.

W.: What do you hope that the readers will understand after they read your articles?

Rafid: I’ve always hoped that readers will find what I write applicable to their lives in some way. And even if they may not agree with the things that I say, there’s nothing wrong with learning more about another person’s experiences and perspectives. What’s more important is knowing that such an opinion exists, keeping an open mind and continuing to learn like a sponge and grow in the process.

W.: Have you been getting feedback about your blog posts?

Rafid: Oh yes and I’m very open to them because I like hearing people’s impression of the blog and the articles, even if they’re negative. Close friends of mine have commented on how they felt about certain posts and even the design of the blog. So far, feedback and comments have been positive and inspiring but I’m more than happy to welcome criticisms!

W.: What do you recommend to our readers regarding healthier and better lives?

Rafid: If I had to recommend a practical piece of advice that will pay dividends for bettering our lives in the long run, it would be to exercise. I know it sounds overly-simplistic but there’s probably no other activity/action/habit that has made a greater positive impact on my mental, emotional and physical well-being than regular exercise. Exercise creates a HUGE domino effect. When you exercise regularly, you’re in better shape and you feel good. When you’re in better shape and you feel good, you become more confident and productive. You feel less sluggish, become more active, and it just leads to a host of other beneficial things in your life. The benefits of exercise cannot be overstated. If the thought of exercise seems overwhelming, just start small. Start walking more. Do a few jumping jacks. Do just one push up. Something is better than nothing and it builds up over time. Or you could just start by drinking more water.

W.: Do you have an exercising combination that you would like to share with our readers?

Rafid: When it comes to exercise and actually sticking to a workout routine, perhaps the most important thing to take note of is sustainability. We’re always too caught up in wanting to see results as fast as possible that we overlook the importance of coming up with an exercise routine that we can actually stick to in the long term, without feeling overburdened. So I would advise to start small, especially if you haven’t exercised in a long time or you haven’t really formed a habit of exercising. Focus on convenience and low volume. If your goal is fat/weight loss, focus on high-intensity cardio but keep it low volume. Start with doing 10 high jumps every day. You can do them anywhere, they’re high-intensity and you don’t need that much space to do them. If your goal is to build muscle, focus on bodyweight exercises for a start. Do just ONE set of max push-ups and inverted pull-ups every day. As you get more comfortable with exercising over time, you can start adding more volume but ONLY IF you’re comfortable with the current volume.

W.: Other than drinking more water, is there any diet we can have where we can make ourselves healthier?

Rafid: Diets are typically hard to follow in the long term. Think of keto diets which require you to eat only fats and protein, paleo diets which require you to avoid dairy products and grains, and many other diets which have some sort of protocol to follow. One of the few diets I would actually recommend to anyone looking to live a better, healthier life is intermittent fasting or IF, for short. Actually, I wouldn’t even call it a diet because you don’t have to change how much you eat. You still eat the same amount of food and calories. What changes is WHEN you eat. Instead of having breakfast, lunch and dinner, what you’re going to do is skip breakfast, eat lunch later then eat dinner earlier. In other words, you’re going to shorten your eating window – 8 hours to be exact. So if you ate lunch at 1 pm, you should stop consuming calories at 9 pm. This means you’ll be fasting for 16 hours while having an eating window of 8 hours (also known as 16:8). Intermittent fasting has a ton of health benefits such as weight loss, boosts brain health, lowers risks of contracting Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and improves heart health. All of these benefits just from fasting.

W.: What are your goals in the future?

Rafid: To be honest, I don’t really have much goals for the blog except for it be exposed to as many people as possible. I just want to help people out with what I have to say and having a huge audience would definitely help with that. It would be nice to make more money out of this, but that is not the primary aim of this blog and never will be. Helping people out comes first, money second.

W.: Are there any final comments you want to share with our readers? 

Rafid: Never stop improving. There’s always some area of our lives that we can improve on, be it emotionally, mentally, spiritually or physically, which will result in a better quality of life. Strive to be the best version of yourself.

We thank Rafid from +-Life for answering these questions and to accept this interview with us. You can check out his blog here: https://plusminuslife.wordpress.com/

Follow them on twitter: @_PlusMinusLife_


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Interview with Robert P. Kreitz II

This is an interview with Robert Paul Kreitz II, a producer/DJ with Ilisho Records.

W.: What makes you start your music career?

Robert P. Kreitz II: After graduating with my Associates in Studio Arts, 2017, I was running into a tough time finding any type of work locally. I increasingly started to feel uncertainness about the unknown; which started to manifest into anxiety over the uncertain circumstance. I began to look for ways to channel this energy, I found myself reflecting on myself and the situation, I realized that there still was a large void in my life I was missing music, my lifeline. I rediscovered my love and passion for underground music. So, I pulled out my cd case and started playing music. Unsatisfied from my selection I downloaded a DAW program and started experimenting with different sounds. And from that point on, everything just started moving forward, I had my momentum.

W.: Are there any singers/bands that influenced your music career, and how have they influenced you (in any way)?

Kreitz II: My father was a huge music collector and loved hanging out in all the record stores in SF Bay Area. I remember it like it was yesterday. As well as, going everywhere with him. We didn’t have a vehicle so, he would take me on the public transportation, which made for long days for me as a very young child.  He spent hours playing and looking for music to add to his vast collection, which exposed me to a plethora of artist and genres. A lot of this music still inspires me today. Having so much culture at an extremely young age really influenced my love for music. This allows me to play into my versatility as a DJ. Listening to a large range of music has influenced my style when writing my tracks from the big band era, 70’s Classic Rock, Disco, Detroit style Techno, Soulful House, and Break-Beats. Some specific artist who influenced and made a huge impact on my sound are, “Jane Child, Beastie Boys, Run DNC, Sisters of Mercy, AC/DC, and Pink Floyd. Producers and DJs such as DRC, Babydoc and the Dentist, DJ Denise (aka DJ D), and Frequency Eight (SF) have all impacted me in one way or another. This is how I learned to embrace and develop my Hard Techno Sound. I pull from my roots and build off this.

W.: Tell us some of your favorite/best tracks you have released right now.

Kreitz II: From my latest album “If you Can’t Stand This Heat.,” is “Dreams or Reality”, a deep emotional track I produced, dedicated to my late mother, who passed little more than a year ago now. The second track is “Lesson on Counting” which got a rave review on Instagram. I was feeling creative when I joked about composing and producing a thumping techno track about counting… It felt right at home with me. Finally, I wanted to mention my equally favorite track, “We to Sorry” which is the first track I wrote, as soon as I uploaded it, it immediately caught the attention of Ilisho Records who offered to sign me to their label.

W.: You mentioned in your bio that you are a self-taught DJ. Are there any difficulties while you are learning by yourself? What suggestions would you give to self-learners?

Kreitz II: I did teach myself how to DJ, and now how to be a producer. It has been 20 years since the beginning of this journey and the time has flown by. Times have changed; it was a completely different game that was played all together back then compared to now. I taught myself to spin vinyl records, which had to be ordered through specific catalogues. If I was lucky, I would be able to hear a few second preview online. Then have a couple weeks wait for the purchase to arrive in time to be spun at a gig I was scheduled to play. If I needed to learn something or needed clarification, I asked somebody, or went to events and learned a few things here and there by observing DJs spinning. If I was lucky enough to get close to the DJ booth. Another good tool that I used to teach myself, was to continuously be listening and analyzing DJ’s mixtapes. This exercise helped me develop my “DJ EAR”. These are how I dealt with the challenges back in the day. A lot of this can still be applied today if you are using vinyl.

The wonderful thing nowadays, is that the heralding in of the digital world, social media platforms and YouTube now gives aspiring DJ’s the right tools to make your dream a reality in less time that it probably took me. Those 3 things have changed the face of music and redefined what it is to be a DJ. These are excellent tools that should be used. There are tutorials and lectures especially if you are new to marketing.

My personal advice to aspiring artist teaching themselves how to stay motivated and be ready to standup to the challenge. Learning a new skill when most did not have the luxury of pulling up a “YouTube” tutorial. I learned by watching DJ spin life, and by making plenty of mistakes. I learned by just practicing an extreme amount of time. The best advice that I can give to other self-learners is ask as many questions as you can with other DJ’s, never give up and stick with it.

W.: What are your goals for the future?

Kreitz II: When it comes to the future, I want to continue educating myself on producing, mastering my music, and collaborating with other artists. I am also getting ready for my first Art auction to help raise money to showcase and tour my music to where my fans and supporters are. This year I am focusing on Building my fanbase around my music. Also, to start to put my “team” together.

W.: Are there any final thoughts you want to share with our readers?

Kreitz II: Just remember to be true to yourself, always be consistent in whatever you do. When you decide to commit to learning something or accomplishing a goal, be prepared to work hard, be challenged, be faced with obstacles and great opposition. This is normal and learning to face all this stead fast and with a spirit of winning, you will overcome all this effortlessly. You will see the results always end up in favor of you!

We thank Robert P. Kreitz for answering these questions and to accept this interview with us. You can follow him on twitter: @Kreitzli

You can hear some of his tracks/podcast here: https://www.mixcloud.com/robert-kreitz/

https://www.beatport.com/artist/robert-p-kreitz-ii/704667

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