Women of Soul – Sass and Power Standing the Test of Time

It is the year 2012 and the 21st century is well under way. New genres of music, like dubstep, are becoming popular. Technology and production is quickly advancing and people are creating new and exciting ways to express their musical talents. But one aspect will always stand the test of time…Soul.

No matter what performance you are watching, be it dance, singing and even interpretative art, the main objective of an artist is to communicate through their soul. The passion and heart in a performance is what makes us human beings. To feel sad, happy or fun is the epitome of entertainment.

For this reason, much credit should be given to the performers that wear their hearts on their sleeves without the help of production, sound and lighting.

The Women of Soul are just that! Divas from the nooks and crannies of Melbourne’s finest live venues.

Chelsea Wilson, the founder of Women of Soul, came up with the brilliant concept of organizing a collective of powerhouse singers to do a weekly showcase for the month of February.

Left: Chris Drossos – Australia Red Cross and Soul Enthusiast, Right: Chelsea Wilson – Founder of Women of Soul and Singer

The infamous Cherry Bar on ACDC lane was the venue for the weekly live act. A group of individual artists would perform their own originals each Thursday and then come together to perform classics such as ‘Whatta Man’ made popular by Salt N’ Pepa.

ACDC LANE – Cherry Bar

On the warm summer’s night of their last showcase, Milan, Karen Morales, Candice Monique and Alphamama graced the stage with their funky tempo ballads and sassy attitudes. Chelsea Wilson, also a singer, performed every Thursday alongside her fellow musicians.

Women of Soul – Opening all together with ‘Good Feeling’ – Etta James

Deep Street Soul was the house band for the event. Every singer performed with the same band which left the audience with a mixture of laughter, improvisation and ad-libing. The crowd couldn’t help but start to dance regardless of the sweat drenching their shirts. The Afro haired drummer and beret wearing guitarists only enhanced the funky atmosphere.

Deep Street Soul Band Members

Miss Chelsea Wilson was the first to perform. Her music was very memorable as her song Through With Loving You was one that i kept singing to myself on the way back to my car. Not only is she savvy with organizing events, she is also quite the performer. Her vivacious energy filled the room as she sang with a little rasp and danced with a ‘bop’ and ‘grind’.

Chelsea Wilson

Next up, the piano playing Karen Morales. She sat down through her performance as she led the house band with her keyboard playing skills. It was a bit difficult to hear her through her performance, not sure why, but from what could be heard, Karen has a sultry and delightful voice. It will be exciting to see what Miss Morales can bring in the future.

Karen Morales

Candice Monique was next to grace the stage. The minute this tall and exotic lady stepped out in front of us, you knew she was a force to be reckoned with. Her voice was like red velvet cupcakes, rich and filling. This woman really had something to say and oh how wonderful did she say it. A true poet, mixing spoken word and intricate melodies. Candice Monique is someone to look out for.

Candice Monique

Milan, the tall long-haired raven, owned the stage with her amazing juggling act – singing, playing the electric guitar and using the vocal pedal. Her reggae bass line and ‘cool’ swing really made her performance powerful. There were no flaws, just pure soul. It was mesmerizing to be in front of this lovely Sydney-sider.


Finally, my personal favourite, ALPHAMAMA came out with a kick and a punch. The crowd, feeding off her energy like a solar panel, danced, clapped and even sang along. This hot mama really knew how to speak to the crowd and get them involved. She was an absolute natural. Her strong women-anthems like, If Ya Gon’ Lie had everyone thinking about that one ‘ex-lover’ that needed to be shut down.


After all the performances, I was able to speak with some of the singers to get an idea of who they are as a person. All of them, as the lovely ladies they are, were more than happy to meet and talk with such a new blogger as myself and even give me a copy of their EPs.

ALPHAMAMA and her Stylist 

ALPHAMAMA’s latest EP 

May Johnston, another diva who played on a different night, was there to support her fellow musicians. She was also there to cheer on her band, Deep Street Soul. Towards the very end, she even hopped on stage and belted a few notes.

Left: May Johnston – Member of Deep Street Soul, Right: Chris Drossos 

Now that we have established soul is what keeps those back alley cats singing, I can’t wait to see what else Melbourne has to offer. The one thing I took away from this gig was that music and passion is truly shared within a family and that even though some of these singers had never met, music is truly universal. Until next time, be nice to one another 🙂


02 – My Journey to The Top – Making of “There Will Come a Day”

So the Journey Continues…

This is part 2 to “My Journey to The Top” series. “There Will Come a Day” is a song that I wrote on my little keyboard at around 3am one Winter morning. The song is basically talking about how one day, I will definitely get to where I want to be, but for now I am going to enjoy the ride!

I brought this song to my Producer, Chris Sebastian, and all I did was tell him the Chords of the song and sang it for him once. At first he was a little stressed at the fact that he hadn’t heard the song, but i thought it would be a cool creative method to not actually have him hear it.

So far so good! we gave the song a long intro and we used a few different techniques to make it really relevant.

The big feature we used throughout the chorus was a sidechain. We attached it to an electric guitar which then creates a wop wop sound similar to that of David Guetta’s music.

the rest is left up to the keyboard to make all the other sounds. we used a half time beat for the 1st verse and we put an effect on it which sounds a little dubsteppy!

This is where i sit 🙂 and sing, with my eyes closed as always 🙂 everytime i go in there it changes LOL!

This is the sound desk, everything goes through here 🙂 not really sure what else it does 🙂 probably alot!

Here is a video of the song ‘in progress’

Now all that there is left to do is, vocal production, finish track production and mixing 🙂

Parklife – Experience it at home

Hey all,

I am a firm believer that if you want something, the Universe will deliver. The only thing you have to do is not obsess about it!

I wanted to go to Parklife, but I didn’t have any money to pay for a ticket and it was 3 weeks away, so I left it.

Parklife was now one week away. A friend calls, says she an extra ticket and needs someone to go with her. She told me i could pay her back when i had the money.

Oh the Joy! In a week i will be seeing Kimbra, Katy B, Santigold, Crystal Fighters, Lykke Li, Diplo, Gossip, Example and many many more!

And now, the fun begins 🙂

At least there were other great acts 🙂

THIS PHOTO HAS A FUNNY STORY – I walked into the festival and of course they stoped me to check my big bag. I had a camera with me, much like the one in the photo above.

The guard then tells me that i am not allowed to have a camera like this. I’m thinking, why not? why wouldn’t you want someone to promote and document the festival?

I told him that i was a blogger, but he didn’t care. he said i should’ve gotten a media pass. Note to self: Get a media pass for the next festival 🙂

He then says that i have to check my camera into the cloakroom.

Are you serious? you want me to check a brand new SLR digital camera into a festival cloakroom? AHAHAHA….NO!

Unfortunately, i had no choice, especially if i wanted in, so the guard had a festival official escort me to the cloakroom. This lady however, was special. It was like she knew what i was thinking.

Once we got to the cloakroom, she walked away and didn’t even look back to see if i had checked the camera in.

so of course i did the right thing – i ran away 🙂 I mean come on…if i snuck a flask of Bacardi into Future, then i think a camera is not a big deal!

I told myself i wouldn’t take any pictures…well none that they would see anyway 🙂

The Atoll Stage

There we heaps of stages at Parklife and this was one of the small ones, but it had big acts.

One of the reasons why i came to Parklife was because I wanted to see Kimbra
 absolutely love this woman. Her style is quirky, but her melodies are different yet catchy. The way she plays around with vocal loops is amazing!

BUT, having a temporary lapse of brain waves, i read the 24hr times wrongly. i thought 13.45 meant 3.45pm…very smart laura!

Luckily i didn’t miss anything else that i wanted to see. First up – A main stage – Sahara

The Sidney Myer Music Bowl was really amazing. It was the first time i had ever been there and i can definitely say that this venue is one to that i would love to perform at.

It was great mix of open air, great sound and delightful visuals.

The First Act I saw to grace the Sahara stage was Santigold!

Santigold reminded me of an Electronic M.I.A. At first it took me awhile to get into, but after i went to Parklife, her songs were the ones that were stuck in my head. My favourite song from her was called CREATOR. The track is pretty sick

Her outfits were quite weird, but fun at the same time. She had two outfit changes. Her first outfit included a princess crown, quarter lengths tights, a tutu type skirt and a loose pink shirt. Her second outfit looked like a pimped out basketball uniform.

Her dancers brought a whole new meaning to BADONKADONK! The didn’t dance in the conventional pop way, but rather used a lot of quirky old school ghetto booty poppin’. Again, a little strange, but at the same time it totally suited the act.

The donkey i must say was a little random 🙂

Diplo was absolutely amazing! He really made the crowd go wild and played a fantastic set. His beats were off the chain and it kept you on a high for the whole set. He would slip a couple a commercial sounds in their as well, like Run the World by Beyonce and Black Eyed Peas, but he did it so well!


Another band that was on the Atoll stage, impressed me with their drums! Crystal Fighters definitely had a sound that is difficult to pinpoint. Their performance was centered on these big bongo type drums that they would every so often start to beat like it was a jungle call.

They mixed the drums with electronica and loops. the best way to describe them is new age folk music. they even had some elements of dubstep, which was actually quite refreshing.

Their look = hippie!

Drinks on offer at Parklife! if you brought back the little cup, you got a $1 back. Glad to see the festival staying green 🙂

Mickey Mouse also decided to make an appearance 🙂

Lykke Li had one of the most impressive shows in terms of production. There was a lot of smoke and lights which was perfect for her act.

One of my friend’s said this act was very inspiring to her and because she is a fashion designer, she was sketching in her head the whole time!

Her music wasn’t necessarily to my liking, but the feel was very epic.

couple of friends who came along for the ride 🙂

Last but not least, GOSSIP They were really good and lead singer Beth Ditto was actually quite funny.

at the time, i wasn’t too impressed with the performance mostly because i didn’t know a lot of their music, but it seemed as though the buzz died as they were the act that came on after DIPLO.

Don’t get me wrong, they sounded great and by the looks of this one girl who was propelling herself up against the fence and licking her lips, the performance was awesome.

I just didn’t feel that it should have followed Diplo. The arrangement of acts might have been a little weird.

And there you have it. Highlights from Parklife. It was definitely a lot of fun and i wish i got more photos of Katy B and Example, but unfortunately i was still on the down low with my camera while i was watching them.

Katy B i would have to say was definitely one of my favourite though. GO AND CHECK HER OUT!



My Journey to the Top – The Making and Recording of My Song – ‘WHY’

Hello my trustee readers,

So as many of you know, I am a singer/songwriter that hopes to one day be a very successful recording artist and performer.

Diligence, action and faith are the most important aspects in this business. In saying that, I have taken it upon myself to record and release my debut EP independently.

This new blog series, ‘My Journey to the Top’, will give you an all access pass to the efforts i will take in getting where i want to be…i.e. BEYONCE 🙂

In this post, I will show you a behind the scenes look in the making and recording of my song ‘WHY’.

‘WHY’ is the 4th song i am recording for my EP. It was written by myself and Hughie Hanily, my brilliant guitarist who is a genius in all things music.

Let’s see inside the studio:

Meet Chris Sebastian. Some of you might know him as Guy Sebastian’s brother. 

Chris is my producer. A producer is someone who oversees the actual recording and production of a record. He creates the track, records my vocals and does a mix and master of the song. Sometimes the mixing and mastering is done by someone else, but it depends on the producer.

I write all of my own songs, but sometimes producers actually participate in the writing. In terms of copyright, you own and can get royalties for the lyrics and the chords (written music) of a song.

Chris has written many songs with me, but only one has made the cut for my EP, Southern Lights  

Basically i bring a song, that i have written, to him and we both work together to create the final production.

His musicality is different to mine, but in the end we make it work!

We use a Software Program called Logic Pro to make and create the song.

Each instrument in the song is recorded in midi format using different plug-ins. A Plug-in is a ‘kit’ or a certain group of sounds that you can use to make the instrumental tracks of your song.

In order to record the instrument, you simply open the sound you want and use the keyboard that you see in the above photo to ‘play’ or ‘tap’ out the music.

The range of plug-ins or kits is tremendous. Among others, i have used Trillion, Omnisphere and Nexus to record my music. These are all plug-ins that have been used by bigtime producers such as Timbaland and Jay-Z.

This is a photo of the Plug-in Nexus.

If you look closely, it gives you a list of different sounds and different instruments.

You first start off with an idea of what you want, then you sift through the HUNDREDS of sounds to find the right one!

You can control the gain, reverb output etc of the sound as well. Just like a sound desk.

yea that’s Gangster…Chris’ dog. He’s our mascot also who loves to sing 🙂

Next come the vocalsYou only put down the basic instruments of the track then you record the vocals.

After the vocals are done, then the rest of the production is done.

Vocal production is probably the best part, but also the most tedious. Singing it perfectly, recording it a hundred times and doing all the backing vocals is very tiring, but worth it.

Other things go into the vocal production such as harmonies, delays, repeats, reverb and echo. Those are the basic ones, but there are also plug-ins for vocals as well.Some you may have heard of i.e. auto tune 🙂

i don’t use auto tune because it has a funny sound to it that i don’t like, but there are instances where i do need pitch correction so i use a plug-in called Melodyne.

Sometimes you can use actual instruments to record. Usually you have to mic up acoustic instruments even if they are semi-acoustic. This is because using the direct input doesn’t produce the best feeling or sound out of the instrument. Using a really good mic is always best.

In recording ‘WHY’ we got Hughie to play the whole song and it sounded amazing.

Guitar of choice for recording…definitely Maidstone.

After all the recording is done. The worst and most tedious part is next. The producer has to make it perfect, comping and cutting and editing and making it worthy of being on the radio. This takes A LOT of time.

It makes it worse for him if i don’t sing something perfectly in time or in perfect pitch so you can imagine how difficult it is.

It usually takes anywhere between 35 – 40 hours to record a song depending on how well you do and whether you like the finished product

Here is a video of what the song sounds like in the middle of production 🙂

I am still learning the whole process of recording, but it’s definitely the hardest part in this industry and most expensive. Doing it right and learning to master takes time, but the sooner you get in the studio…the quicker you will learn 🙂

MSFW Highlights – Singing at Fashion Connect and seeing Prussia – Marion Liese and Lisa Taranto at Made in Melbourne


Fashion in the form of costume can do wonders for a stage performance. While Melbourne offers exquisite bands, singers and musicians, i find there seems to be a lack of entertainment that extends into other creative arts.

There is a reason why artists such as Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Katy Perry do so well. It’s because they include so many different elements in their work. It’s not just about the music!

One of my goals is to team up with an up and coming fashion designer and hopefully rise together 🙂

The Melbourne Spring Fashion Week was the best place for me to start looking for inspiration on what i could do to make a killer show and stage performance.

Trying to expose myself to as many forms of art and trying to create a unique vision is difficult, but the only way to do so is to put yourself out there.

Fashion Connect and the Made in Melbourne Fashion Show were two of my favourite fashion events of the week. The funny thing is I GOT TO SING AT FASHION CONNECT BY ACCIDENT 🙂

 Here is the story:

I walked into The Carlton Hotel and as I received one of Fashion Connect’s fabulous goody bags, my friends were putting their business cards into a big bowl. I unfortunately did not have any business cards yet, but i did have a flyer, so i put that in. 

Front of the flyer 🙂Back of the flyer (PS – THIS IS A LISA TARANTO DRESS ) 🙂

As the night went on, everyone started to gather around the main foyer. I wasn’t really paying any attention, but then i heard my name Laura Loe. I was so confused. I made it known that i was there, but still had no idea what they were saying.

I looked over to see the hostess, the lovely Amber Renae, holding up my flyer saying “Laura Loe, an up and coming singer”. i was shocked. Then a friend tapped me on the shoulder and said “Go up, you won the lucky draw”, which by the way was perfume by Marc Jacobs. 

Amber Renae on the left, Micah Boutin centre, AND ME 🙂

Suddenly, the lights turned on and Amber Renae proceeded to ask me if i could sing a little something. Feeling like adrenaline had been injected into my hear, i asked the crowd to suggest something…to my surprise they said BEYONCE

So i started singing Single Ladies…of course! Everyone seemed to like it and clapped and i just walked away not really knowing what just happened.

Next thing you know, a talent agent from Cinema Models approaches me and asks for my name and number. It was amazing! I couldn’t believe what happened (in a future post i’ll let you know what happened with Cinema Models, but for now it’s a secret ) 🙂

Getting back to the night. It was amazing to see drag queens, Minty Fresh and Cher Nobyl do a wonderful performance to Lady Gaga’s acoustic rendition on Poker Face.

Cher Nobyl on the left and Minty Fresh on the right.There were so many people who wore fantastic clothes, but i couldn’t get everyone’s picture as i dropped by camero…boo, but i did get one that of someone who wore pom poms. they were awesome!

The goody bags were actually amazing! $200 worth of stuff, Chai Tea, Lindt Chocolate, Kevin Murphy Hair Products, Marc Jacobs Perfume Samplers, Swisse Suplements, Jewellry by Equip and lip balm. 

Some friendlies of the night 🙂

All in all, it was a lot of fun and the people were all dressed to impress. Great Work OC Communications and Events and of course the lovely Oscar Calvo 🙂

TO FINISH, I will leave you with some on Made In Melbourne’s fantastic Fashion Designers. Here are the few that i thought were the best 🙂



PRUSSIA (Personal Favourite)

Beautiful Runway at Melbourne Central 

Mister Mode and the KO-OP boys – Potential places to do gigs :)

Happy Tuesday Everyone 🙂

Over the weekend I went to the Re-launch of the Mister Mode Fashion Night Market. My very good friend Tish Tambakau created the event during Uni, but though she would take it to the streets and make it bigger than she could ever expect….and she did just that!

The venue Mister Mode used (soon to be demolished) is owned by The KO-OP boys who run the South Yarra Market and own various warehouses and venues around Melbourne. Really great people to know if you want to throw an event.


Lets give a break down of what, why, when, where, how, who of the night 🙂 Drinks, Music, Fashion, Bargains, Food, booze bus, limousines and Big Teddy Bear Bouncers all wrapped up into one 🙂

Here is the front door to Mister Mode – In true warehouse fashion – COME ON IN!

How can i not show you my outfit…lol

Meet Tish – Yep…the crazy Red Head 🙂 (love u)

Early on in the night i got a shot of the massive DJ booth built with TVs…really cool effectthe stalls were put to one side so that there could be a dance floorMeet Dave who is apart of The KO-OP. He was nice enough to run a sausage stall during the night with a retro disco ball 🙂 Got to talking to him about their south yarra markets and how one day i would love to perform there. He seemed to be interested so i’m excited to see where it will lead 🙂Here is one of the stall holders EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP. Mel runs a vintage clothing stall that makes appearances all over Melbourne. Head on over and ‘like’ her page as she had some pretty sick things to sell. I especially like the little animal that her dad spent hours making out of wood 🙂

itsn’t she gorgeous…she should be modeling those clothes!

Another one of the stall holders calls themselves Vice Versa. They had some pretty cool designs using ORGANIC MATERIAL. Making fashion sustainable is always a good thing. not to mention the designs were pretty cool too. BOOZE BOOZE BOOZE BOOZE BUUUUUSSSSS 🙂 there was an actual bus that had alcohol. Here is a photo of our trusty bartender ADAM. isn’t he cute? 🙂They even had a random LIMOUSINE parked right next to the bus. It was so random yet cool. lol. The funny thing about it was the Dave and another guy from THE KO-OP owned the limo and bought it off EBAY…now how about that? Hot damn! SOMEONE PLEASE GET THIS WOMAN A MODELING CONTRACT…my gorgeous girl NajahWOW LAURA….AREN’T YOU GRACEFUL LOL!The best thing about fashion events is that you get to meet people from all walks of life and those that create all sorts of different things (IT”S ALSO GREAT TO MEET PEOPLE WHO COULD POSSIBLY DRESS ME IN THE FUTURE 🙂 ). This is Iyan, and he actually made the brooch from ice cream sticks. now that is something i would love to do…eat and then stick the remainder all together!i was soo busy meeting everyone and having fun that i actually forgot to shop, but there was one thing that did catch my eye and i just had to have it. Especially since it only cost $5…THAT’S RIGHT! Another cute purchase bought from Mister Mode. Only $10. love it!ANYONE HUNGRY? HOME MADE CUPCAKES TO BE EATEN WHILE YOU SHOP. they have really thought of everything haven’t they 🙂 I couldn’t resist! TRIPLE CHOC CHIP and RED VELVET 🙂Tish’s stall earlier in the night. Can you tell which ones are related to Mis Mode?Tish’s stall LATER in the night….after a few drinks that is 🙂They said it would be priced well and by God did they mean it 🙂Some of Mister Mode’s Patrons …….. 🙂Mister Mode’s staff…and my friends 🙂 great job as the bag packers guys 🙂 P.S. all of those Mister Mode logos where done one by one and by hand. RESTECPA! 🙂BARGAINS GALORE 🙂hahahahahhaahaha……wtfYES YES…GIVE IT TO ME!….FIERCE…YOUR ON FIRE….RAAWWRR…lolNo real reason….just cuz….:)MISTER MODE TEAM 🙂 good work guys 🙂AND THERE YOU HAVE IT GUYS…….MISTER MODE did fantastic on their comeback after being on hiatus for a year. Can’t wait to go to the December event. Make sure everyone gets involved this time. Yours truly will also be performing at the December night market (fingers crossed). Until next time…keep a look out on Mister Mode’s blog 🙂 Hot damn!

Everguide Launch party @ Revolver Upstairs


Free drinks, a photobooth, Hello Morning performing and a sea full of great looking people. Twas definitely fun….apart from the heat which turned felt like a massive humid orgy, but i wouldn’t expect any less from Revolver 🙂

Everguide launched there new Music, Entertainment and Arts & Culture guide. If you’re feeling bored at home, just download the new Everguide App and it’ll put you in your bangin’ heels in no time.

I was able to meet a lot of people in creative industry that i am sure will be able to help me with my music 🙂 Keep Left PR was also amazing in setting up the event. Revolver was just as packed as a Saturday Night…minus the 7am taxi ride 🙂