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  • Fernando Triff

Rising Star #2

Updated: May 10, 2023

In our Rising Star session 2, we'll be continuing our exploration of the most exciting and promising new voices in music.

We'll be showcasing a diverse range of artists from around the world, all of whom are pushing the boundaries of what's possible in music and carving out their unique sound.

From the introspective and emotive lyricism of singer-songwriters to the experimental and genre-bending sounds of electronic producers, our Rising Star session 2 has something for everyone. We'll be delving deep into the creative process of each artist, examining the influences and inspirations that drive them, and exploring the stories and themes behind their music.

As always, our goal is to bring you the best possible listening experience and to shine a spotlight on the most promising new artists in the industry. We hope you'll join us as we continue to discover and celebrate the rising stars of music.

KATIE BELLE - The Best You'll Ever Have

Katie Belle, an American contemporary pop artist, released her latest single, "The Best You'll Ever Have." Co-written by Belle and Fabio Campedelli and recorded and produced in Campedelli's LA studio, the song promises to be a hit with both Belle's pop music fans and newcomers alike.

"The Best You'll Ever Have" by Katie Belle is a contemporary pop track that showcases the artist's vocal range, songwriting ability, and personal experiences. The song is a reflection of Belle's struggles and triumphs in relationships and the music industry, making it an authentic and heartfelt representation of her artistry.

The production, done by Fabio Campedelli in his LA studio, is highly stylized yet minimalistic, giving the perfect balance to Belle's alluring vocal presence. The electronic arrangement used in the song adds to its contemporary sound, making it stand out in the pop music landscape.

The lyrics are both feisty and contemplative, as Belle grapples with the idea of resorting to unorthodox methods to gain one's attention, such as breaking up. However, the song's overall energy remains energetic throughout, making it a fun and catchy track to listen to.

Overall, "The Best You'll Ever Have" is a brilliantly performed, well-written, and attention-grabbing pop track that combines Katie Belle's unique vocal style with a richly detailed production. It is a promising addition to her discography and a testament to her musical talent.

LEARNINGTODIVE - Drums of War (feat. Bravo Bonez)

Bravo Bonez, the multi-talented producer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist, has unveiled his latest musical creation under the LearningToDive moniker. Specializing in '80s post-punk, New Romantic, and sophistic-pop, this identity takes on a more serious and thought-provoking tone than Bonez's usually upbeat, retro, or lo-fi-focused styles.

"Drums of War" is a reflection of Bravo's rather cynical attitude towards war and how populations are manipulated to achieve the aims of small groups of very powerful people. The Ukraine War has particularly affected Bravo, and this song is his emotional reaction to the way wars are built and promoted.

The track features a core driver of trip-hop, which is less syncopated but more driven than one would expect out of that genre. It includes drums, horns, pianos, and choirs that fill the song out into its emotional climax. "Drums of War" credits Bravo Bonez for writing and composing the song, co-produced by Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers, Mel C) and Bravo Bonez, engineered and mixed by Clint Murphy (Enter Shikari, 50 Cent).

It also features additional vocals by Alba Rose and drums by Greg Haver and was recorded at PureSound Studios in New Zealand, and mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, Nashville, USA.

This track demonstrates that LearningToDive's music is not just about upbeat or retro sounds, but also about exploring complex and darker themes. Bravo Bonez's unique sound and perspective are sure to captivate listeners.


Isabella Lavalle, the singer, songwriter, and producer behind the latest release, is taking the music world by storm. Her new single explores the excitement and uncertainty of falling for someone while dealing with outside opinions.

The modern, mainstream sound of the single is sure to resonate with a younger audience, perfect for Lavalle's age group in their 20s. Lavalle draws inspiration from a variety of artists, including Taylor Swift, Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel, Fall Out Boy, and Jeff Buckley.

While she has not played any notable gigs or festivals, the single was recorded in Lavalle's bedroom, showcasing her impressive production skills. For Lavalle, writing and singing are a way to deal with heartbreak and other emotional struggles.

"Love Interest" is a captivating dream pop track that showcases the impressive vocal talents of Isabella Lavalle. The song's ethereal instrumentation creates a dreamy soundscape that perfectly complements Lavalle's delicate yet powerful vocals. The track's lyrics are deeply personal, describing the intense emotions that come with falling for someone despite potential obstacles.

Overall, Lavalle's new single is an exciting addition to the modern pop scene, with a relatable and catchy message that will surely resonate with many.

GARY DRANOW - Day I Was Born

Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions, a blues-rock trio from Park City, Utah, have released their latest single "Day I was Born" on April 7th, 2023. Gary Dranow's music is not just about entertainment but also provides comfort to those who are also walking a difficult path.

After creating successful business endeavors in the world of outdoor sports, bandleader Gary Dranow turned to music to help him cope with bipolar disorder and the effects of a stroke. The result is a genre-defying collection of songs that touch the hearts of listeners.

Dranow is no stranger to the local music scene in Park City, Utah, and has gained a loyal following of fans who appreciate his electrifying live performances. "Day I Was Born" takes listeners on a journey through Dranow's musical influences, blending traditional blues with a modern edge that showcases his unique sound.

"Day I Was Born" by Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions is a blues-rock classic that showcases the band's exceptional musicianship and Dranow's exceptional guitar skills. The track is a boogie blues gem that takes listeners on a journey through Dranow's musical influences, blending traditional blues with a modern edge that showcases his unique sound.

In conclusion, "Day I Was Born" is a testament to Gary Dranow's talent as a guitarist and his ability to create music that resonates with listeners on a deeper level. With the release of "Desty Road," Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions are poised to take the music world by storm with their unique sound and captivating live performances.


Carson Aday is a young musician from Texas whose talents have captured the attention of radio stations and record labels. With his unique style that blends vintage tones with modern production, Aday has created a buzz in the music industry that has only just begun.

Aday's passion for music began when he was just 14 years old. His parents bought an electric piano, and the next day, he played a rendition of Beethoven's Für Elise that left them stunned. Within weeks, Aday was taking piano lessons and competing in global competitions. He was even labeled a piano prodigy and put on a path to become a concert pianist.

However, Aday's love for other instruments, including electric guitar, bass drums, and vocals, led him to explore a different path. He realized that the earlier label of "Piano Prodigy" was limiting him and began writing music at 16 years old. Since then, Aday has written and recorded two full LPs and is currently working on a third with Grammy-Award Winning Mikal Blue.

"Molly" is a declaration of Aday's talent and potential, according to Scott Ayers, an audio engineer and producer with 21 years in the industry and two Emmy Awards. The song showcases Aday's versatility and depth as he played every instrument heard and contributed all the vocals. The track is a blend of 1980s synthesizer pop style with panned guitars and pokes of Chopin, a nod to his classical training as a pianist.

Carson Aday is a rising star whose musical talents are only beginning to be realized. His passion for music and his unique style have captured the attention of the music industry, and his fans eagerly await his next move.


Introducing heavy on the heart., a brand new alternative rock band hailing from Long Island, NY. The group consists of Nikki Brady (vocals), Costas Themistocleous (guitar), Nick Kolokathis (drums), and Andrew Nicolae (bass). Heavy on the heart. was formed by Nikki and Costas in the summer of 2021, with drummer Nick joining in October of that same year and Andrew rounding out the lineup in October 2022.

The band's main influences include Third Eye Blind, The Dangerous Summer, Paramore, Hot Mulligan, blink-182, and We Are the In Crowd. They recently opened for The Color Fred in January and have numerous tours booked throughout the summer of 2023.

Their debut record "It's You That Needs To Think" will be available in September, and they are already planning to enter the studio with Gary Cioni at Sound Acres Recording Studio to record the follow-up record.

Their single "Mr. Know It All" was produced by Gary Cioni at Sound Acres Recording Studio, mixed by Gary Cioffi Jr. at Maximum Sound Studio, and mastered by Joel Wanasek. The song is inspired by a bad experience Nikki had when she dated a man who was also dating another woman named Nicole and showcases their unique blend of alternative and emo-pop rock, complete with powerful vocals that pack an emotional punch.

BLAIR DJUNA - Don't Tell Me

Blair Djuna, an alternative pop artist from Sydney, Australia, has been making waves in the music scene with his unique sound that draws influence from various popular artists such as The Weeknd, Troye Sivan, and Harry Styles. Derrick, who goes by the stage name Blair Djuna, started writing and performing music at the age of sixteen and has been developing his craft ever since.

He has released several successful songs and music videos as a solo artist, providing him with a wide range of experience despite his young age. Working and collaborating with several established musicians and producers as solo artist since 2012 has allowed him to acquire music production skills. Studying at JMC Academy and graduating with a Bachelor of Music in 2017 has also been pivotal in developing his skills and honing a distinct sound.

Blair Djuna's latest release, "Don't Tell Me," is a well-crafted, funky modern pop track that combines catchy hooks with an undeniably confident sense of personality. Fronted by Blair's charismatic vocal prowess, "Don't Tell Me" is the type of track that you simply can't help but move to.

Whether it's the truly catchy melody lines, foot-stomping grooves, or absorbing sonic textures, this is one of those songs that will satisfy many a pop enthusiast. The production quality of "Don't Tell Me" is top-notch, with its polished sound and attention to detail. The song's sonic textures add depth and dimension to the track, creating an immersive listening experience.

Blair Djuna's talent, experience, and unique sound have earned him a spot as a rising star in the Australian alternative pop scene. His ability to incorporate various musical styles into his music while maintaining his distinct sound is what sets him apart from other artists. With several successful releases and a growing fanbase, Blair Djuna is an artist to keep an eye on.

DON DRAGO - Paradise Ft. Bezz Believe & Nawlage 2K5

Don Drago is a name to watch in the music industry, with his unique blend of tropical pop and hip-hop inspiring listeners to seize the day, celebrate their accomplishments, and have fun. Born and raised in Florida, Don began pursuing music during his pre-teen years and has since developed a sound that is all his own.

Influenced by hip-hop and pop greats like Nelly, Eminem, and Ludacris, Don Drago's music combines crafty lyrics with an upbeat accompaniment that will have your head bobbing from start to finish. His latest release, "Paradise," featuring Bezz Believe and Nawlage 2K5, is a highly anticipated summer hit that seamlessly fuses pop, rap, and dance. It's the kind of song that will transport you to a sunny beach and have you dancing in the sand.

Passionate about self-improvement and positivity, Don Drago's music showcases messages that encourage listeners to take responsibility for their situation, hustle, and achieve their goals. He believes that music can solve problems in his own life and the lives of his listeners, fostering an emotional connection that is both powerful and inspiring.

Don's personal story is a testament to the power of hard work and determination. He has excelled in live performances, winning 1st place at the Coast to Coast music competition, and rocking the stage at places like Crow Bar and Pegasus Lounge. Don Drago is proof that no matter where you come from, you can make good choices, work hard, and become successful.

Don Drago's "Paradise" is the perfect soundtrack for summer, and the fusion of pop, rap, and dance elements creates a unique and unforgettable listening experience. The trio's musical prowess shines through in the captivating performance, making it clear that they are rising stars in the music industry. The song showcases Don Drago's passion for self-improvement and positivity, with messages of taking responsibility for your situation and hustling to achieve your goals.


Introducing Proklaim, a gifted MC originally from Uganda and raised in Zambia, now residing in Namibia. His passion lies in using hip-hop music to uplift the name of God, and he does so with excellence and fervor.

Proklaim is a trailblazer, fusing the aesthetics of authentic poetry and charm with contemporary, innovative production. His music carries a message, akin to Tupac's, yet it is strikingly engaging and energizing. Unlike most contemporary rappers, Proklaim possesses a distinctive lyrical style, infusing reggae soul with pure hip-hop.

Proklaim's latest single "Around" seems to be a unique fusion of afrobeat and hip-hop with a commercial appeal. The fact that the song was recorded in Namibia and mixed by Lu Diaz in Florida, features a soulful tune on a stunning beat giving it a global appeal and indicating the quality of his work.

Proklaim's motto for his music states, "Kings have fallen at the hands of the trifling." This underscores his commitment to using hip-hop music to glorify God and inspire his audience to live their best lives.

In summary, Proklaim is a remarkable MC, causing ripples in Namibia with his message-driven hip-hop music. He is a pioneer, blending the essence of genuine poetry and charisma with progressive production. His music is full of vibrancy and serves as a source of motivation for his listeners. Keep an eye out for Proklaim as he continues to push the boundaries of hip-hop.


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