Category Archives: Interviews

Interview: Royal Blood Talks Writing their True “First Album”, Not Being Restricted by their Band Size & More


Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration
Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Royal Blood is your favorite rock band’s new favorite rock band. The English duo, which is comprised of Mike Kerr (bass/vocals) and drummer Ben Thatcher, only formed a couple years ago but already they have huge co-signs from the Arctic Monkeys, the Foo Fighters, The Script and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, just to name a few. Their biggest single to date, ‘Figure It Out’, from their debut and self-titled album, goes hard and rocks as much as any 5-man rock band. Mike and Ben carry the weight and pressure that the Royal Blood name already holds in its huge expectations, but you wouldn’t guess it from their persona. We sat down with the guys this past month at Bonnaroo to get to know the laid back and confident rockers with a sense of humor.

Continue reading Interview: Royal Blood Talks Writing their True “First Album”, Not Being Restricted by their Band Size & More


Interview: Jack Antonoff Talks Vic Mensa, “Only One” Cover, New Album & More


Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration
Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Bonnaroo, more than any other festival of its kind, blends the music and comedy world through its bookings of some of biggest names in both areas. Sometimes the acts are 100% musical, as you don’t hear Billy Joel cracking many jokes in the middle of ‘Piano Man’. Sometimes the acts are nothing but comedy. While Jeff Ross has roasted comedians before, you won’t be hearing him drop any mixtapes in the future (at least I don’t think so). Then finally, sometimes the acts are more in the middle of the two worlds. Childish Gambino’s appearance at Bonnaroo was just about the music, but he still has a successful stand up comedy and television career. Ed Helms is best known for his work on “The Office” and the Hangover series, but he was killing it on the banjo Sunday night. Then you have Jack Antonoff, who isn’t as overtly comical as Ed and Gambino, but who is no stranger to comedy in both his personal and professional life. We met with Jack at Bonnaroo, shortly before he rocked the Tennessee crowd with his indie pop act “Bleachers”, to ask the leading guitarist of “fun.” about the comedy and music worlds, new music, and his forthcoming music festival.

Continue reading Interview: Jack Antonoff Talks Vic Mensa, “Only One” Cover, New Album & More

Concert Review: Halsey Opens for Imagine Dragons, Talks Chicago


Photo by Jesus Montero
Photo by Jesus Montero


Original to herself and her craft, Halsey is a 20-year-old on the rise. Hailing from Brooklyn, Halsey’s list of accomplishments are already piling high, and continuing her success, Halsey was invited to join Imagine Dragons for their North American “Smoke + Mirrors” tour. This tour is a big jump for the singer, who is about to release her debut studio album Badlands later this summer, as Halsey has gone from nightclub and small venue performances to now performing for packed arenas.

For her Chicago set last night, Halsey performed many songs from her recent release EP, Room 93, while she also featured songs from her upcoming album. Halsey’s performance was greeted with a large crowd in attendance just for her. Her gripping voice was accompanied with her suggestive powerful lyrics. We spoke to Halsey after her performance, to see if she enjoyed the Chicago crowd as much as the Windy City enjoyed her set.

“Chicago is my favorite city to perform in,” Halsey told us. “The crowd is highly respectful, I don’t know if it comes from being in a place that’s so heavy populated and full of divert. The kids here are less entitled, they want to come and hear the music, there not here to grab a fucking selfie. They just really embrace what I’m here to do that’s why I love returning hear. I think it’s an incredible mentality for music lovers to have.”

Halsey also had nothing but great things to say about her fans. “The fans are pretty intense and authentic and I love each and every single one of them to death. Something we struggle with me being a musician rather than a personality because a lot of kids relate to me and that’s a beautiful thing but at the end of the day I’m an artist and I’m here to perform.” And if you didn’t get to catch her performance last night, don’t worry because you will definitely have another chance real soon (find a tour date near you at Halsey’s website). “My fans are incredible, they sold out my headline tour for me. I’m so excited to get back on the road and go see them across the in U.S. in a couple of months in a tour for the album. It’s going to be amazing, nothing is better than playing a headline show because every single person is there for the exact same reason, which is you.” And while it isn’t a headlining set, we can only imagine that Halsey is excited to return in just a couple months for Lollapalooza.


Canadian indie rock band Metric opened up for Imagine Dragons. Enthusiastic lead vocals from Emily Hanies provided the energy to the crowd for their performance. Hanies’ free spirited and relaxed demeanor provided for a spirited feel, as the band brought the crowd to a new wave celebration. On tour to help support their upcoming sixth studio album release Pagans in Vegas (which is set to debut in late September), Metric provided Chicago fans a look inside what’s to come.

Imagine Dragons

From the start Imagine Dragons created a nonstop thrill ride that had everyone out of their seats. The live performance could have been measured by the sheer intense atmosphere created. Not often does a live performance live up to the studio quality that were used to, but Imagine Dragons surpasses that expectation by giving a chill defining live performance. The band performed all their top songs, with a set list that included: Deamons, Forever Young, Bet my Life, of course Radioactive, and many more. With Radioactive closing the show, the thousands of fans that filled in the Allstate Arena during a massive thunderstorm together, for a rock anthem sing-along.

To close the night, lead singer Dan Reynolds finished the show by thanking everyone for attending when they instead could have been watching the Chicago Blackhawks play the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Stanley Cup. He also announced when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup as he put on a Blackhawks cap.

Go Imagine Dragons, Go Halsey and Metric, and Go Hawks!


Interview | Young Fathers


Young Fathers

Coming off their critically acclaimed debut album, Young Fathers are back with one of the best albums of the year thus far with White Men Are Black Men Too. Alloysious Massaquoi took some time to discuss the role of pop music, the album’s production, race and identity, and the power of messaging through music.

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Interview | Elhae



Elhae is more important than you think he is. In a year where every other week a major artist is dropping release after release, Elhae has managed to not only stay afloat as an unsigned artist, but also quietly dominate the internet. With his recently released EP being filled to the brim with silky-smooth traditional R&B melodies over ethereal yet explosive instrumentals not to far removed from Soundcloud’s beat culture, Elhae’s latest release Aura EP is a project that effectively balances relatable and traditional content and songwriting with genre-stretching production. Coincidentally, Elhae has aligned himself with one of the biggest heavy-hitters in online beat culture, the LA-based Soulection collective. Although he isn’t listed as being officially apart of the collective, he remains affiliated and holds friendships with many notable artists and DJs involved.

Aura EP is a time-capsule of sorts for Elhae. The project delves into the makings and emotional tensions of a transitional time in his life, with songs delving into the intensities of passionate attractions, as well as the hardships of loves lost. Aura EP is honest, reflective, and ultimately catches the ear initially with it’s familiar 90’s R&B aesthetics, but has fans staying because of his sultry and soulful approach.

Meet Elhae, a young and talented artist from the South who might have just made the best project you haven’t heard yet this year.

It’s been just over two months since you premiered your Aura EP project with Noisey in February. Reflect a little bit on your experiences and feelings these last couple months, and how you see the project now?

I knew from the very beginning that AURA was special. There’s just moments in life where things line up, and I felt the timing was right when releasing it. That being said, the reception has been phenomenal and it’s gotten me to travel a bit and perform these songs I spent so much time working on. It’s a great feeling. I see the project as a great stepping stone for me.

The songwriting on Aura EP feels very intimate and personal, all with the appeal of major pop-R&B melodies. Talk about this balance and the decision to make Aura EP sonically your most accessible work yet.

It really wasn’t anything pre-meditated. These were songs I would go in and just vibe to. I’m in a phase where I like singing a bit more. Rapping is always fun, but melodies drive these records, and are more memorable if we’re being honest. It wasn’t until the project was done where I stood back and said to myself “this is pretty personal stuff”. I feel like people relate to that more though, I love giving people soundtracks to life, because at the end of the day we all deal with this kind of stuff. 

Does Aura EP do a good job of defining the sound of Elhae, or would you say this is simply a piece of what you can offer as an artist?

I’d say both. I love the sound AURA offers, however I wouldn’t say that’s what you should expect 2 or 3 years down the line. I’m always evolving, as a creative and as a person, so i’m not sure what an Elhae project will sound like later but right now I think the sound is good so we’ll see (laughs).

What kind of headspace were you in while you were writing Aura EP?

Kind of all over the place. I was more in a reminiscent state of mind. Thinking about past issues and present feelings. The evolution of emotions. It can get deep, but for the most part I was just trying to be as transparent as possible. Not only for fans listening, but for myself as well. AURA is something I can listen to years from now and say “I remember that, I remember feeling that way.”  

How long did it take to record the EP, and what was that process like?

It was pretty easy actually. I started around October or November of last year (2014), and wrapped it up late January. It was a situation where the people around me, my team, we were hungry. We knew this could be a great stepping stone for us, so we were all ready to work and get it done. A lot of back and forths with my producers, and a lot of time spent mixing with my engineer, making sure sonically it was up to par. I’d say about 90% of it was freestyled so it got done fairly quickly.   


Talk about the production on the record. Who are the producers involved, and how much of the production do you handle yourself?

Well there’s my right hand man, Ayo the Producer, and my other buddy Rascal. They carried the load. My homie Gravez did one track as well called “Time For You”, but for the most part Ayo and Rascal did a great job with understanding the sound I wanted. I took a step back and did more arranging than anything. I made sure the live guitar was here, or the violin and sax was there. I was very hands on with how I wanted the overall project to sound. Those two did a great job with listening and executing.  

All your projects you’ve offered on Soundcloud are 8 tracks long. Talk about having shorter, concise projects—do you think great projects can say more with less?

I never even noticed that (laughs). Maybe it’s a subconscious thing. I don’t know man, I just always want to leave the listener saying “wow, that was good, I wish it was longer.” I want fans to want a part 2, or 3, or 4. That’s the goal.

Is being an artist your sole focus right now?

At the moment yes, I of course want to do other things, but I want to make sure I finish the plate before adding more to it. 

Let’s talk about home plate, Atlanta. What’s it like growing up in one of the most musically diverse cities in the world?

I actually didn’t grow up here, I moved here about 4 years ago, but I grew up in a small town outside of Atlanta called Warner Robins, GA. That being said I traveled here a lot as a kid. I just remember the tall buildings and the music at that time wasn’t really what I was feeling. It was what I like to call the “snap era” (laughs). When I moved here I began to develop of love for the sound and what the city has to offer. It’s so many talented guys out here it’s really ridiculous if you sit back and think about it. I love it here though. 

With acclaim and buzz surrounding any project, labels and industry-talk are soon to follow. Have any labels reached out? What’s your ideology on selling music and being apart of a label? Do you think it’s necessary in music’s current climate?

Yeah, we’ve had a few labels reach out. I think it’s cool if the situation is right. At this point it really isn’t necessary, however I will say there are a few things labels can do that may be a bit more difficult to do as an indie. It’s all about timing and understanding on both parties on where you see your career heading.

How would you describe the record label/collective Soulection’s involvement in your career?

I love those guys to no end man. Really amazing group of people, and i’ll forever be loyal to the soil with them. Hannah Faith and Sango was the first to really get on board then after awhile the whole crew. Then when I met everyone in LA it was just the most amazing vibe i’ve ever had around people.


You recently did some live sets with Soulection at SXSW. What was that whole experience like, and what’s next in terms of touring and live shows for Elhae?

Yeah it was great, SXSW is always fun. Getting to mob around with the homies. We’re working on putting together a little tour now, but it’s in the early stages, so you’ll have to stay tuned regarding that.

Let’s talk about what’s next. How do you plan to follow up Aura EP? Is the new music you’ve been recording a departure from what Elhae fans are used to?

Not sure, guess you’ll have to wait and see.

Well, speaking on what’s next, you recently posted a picture of André 3000 on Instagram saying “At the root of it all I watch you be you, and it motivates me to be me. You’ve inspired what’s to come.” Talk about the sentiments behind this post and 3 Stacks’ influence on your life and your artistry.

I sat up one night and listened to almost every song he’s been apart of. Then I watched mad interviews, and just his poise is so cool man. I was thinking man, I really want to do that. I want to do that but in my own way. Just be me, and people appreciate it like they do 3 stacks. I was just really inspired, thats where that post came from.

Where do you see Elhae headed by the end of 2015?

I’m not one to jump the gun, but i’d hope a lot further than where I am currently (laughs).

Where do the plans for an album stand? Does that process start with a label first, or would you be interested in releasing a free album?

I’m torn on that actually, because the ideas I have for my first album is so vast I really don’t want to do it on my own. I’d rather do it with a backing behind it. However only time will tell. Until then you’ll get more singles, and videos coming.

You’ve said before that it wasn’t until you saw Pharrell’s ‘Frontin’ video that you knew you wanted to pursue music. So, talk about meeting Pharrell a while back and what that experience did for your life.

Craziest thing man, It was even better because it was a surprise. Everyone that knows me knows that guy is my hero so when I finally got to meet him, and not only meet him, have a conversation with him, it was one of the best days of my life. He gave me great advice and I got to pick his brain a bit. It was amazing and it made me that much more motivated to go out and pursue this dream.

Elhae stands for “Every Life Has An Ending”. How does this apply to your everyday life?

It’s just motivation. There’s days where I don’t want to work, I don’t want to write, I don’t want to be in the studio. As corny as it sounds it really does motivate me when I think about it, and I hope it does the same for other people. Life is really short, and I just want to be able to fulfill my dreams before God says, “it’s time to go.”

You can find all of Elhae’s music for stream/download on his Soundcloud. Stay updated and follow him on Twitter and Tumblr as well.

Interview: Tae Miles (Cleveland’s Best Kept Secret)


Very rarely does one listen to music from a local artist and end up being left surprised, enlightened and entertained. The surplus of Twitter rappers have created a cesspool in many a user’s mentions, and the idea of using social media to promote yourself to everyone within your reach has become less of a great tactic and more of a caricature. Cleveland rapper/singer/producer Tae Miles is only a few miles away from me, and I found his music through Twitter. After listening to him, I became entranced. He was one of the new guys that employed the Bone Thug cadence and delivery, but instead of biting it and letting St. Clair Avenue (a famous Cleveland street that Tae mentions on his latest single ‘Forfeit’) drip from his teeth, he transformed it into his own style, along with his other influences. He bleeds creative energy, charisma and humor in interviews. He has big aspirations and a clear vision, and he’s determined.

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Meet Indie Pop’s Emerging New Artist, Stalking Gia

Stalking Gia

Describing herself as a “songwriter first before anything else”, Stalking Gia landed a song-writing deal Warner / Chappell Music and is now launching her career as recording artist. And with her empowering debut single ‘War Paint‘ and her new uplifting track ‘Born Free’, which premiered yesterday at Nylon, Gia is two-for-two in her attempts to make a name for herself in the indie pop game. In less than a year’s time, she has drawn comparisons to Lana Del Rey, BANKS, Tove Lo and more.

Gia’s ongoing rise reminds me of the great artists before her that used their talents that first broke themselves into the industry to further pursue their goals as a musician. G.O.O.D Music’s Kacy Hill went from performing as a dancer on Kanye West’s Yeezus Tour to landing a recording deal with the man himself. And of course Kanye famously used his production talents on Jay-Z’s classic Blueprint album to score a rap deal with Roc-A-Fella Records. Now we have Stalking Gia, using her experiences co-writing music with Stevie Aiello (Thirty Seconds To Mars), Alex Suarez (Cobra Starship) and 3OH!3’s Sean Foreman, to now write for herself.  So we spoke with Stalking Gia to talk about the transition into her recording career!

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An Interview with Music Photographer Dan Garcia


Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration
Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Dan Garcia isn’t your “average photographer”. By day he is a 26-year-old lawyer from Wisconsin with no formal photography training. In fact, just a few months ago was his first time in a photo pit and his first time ever shooting with a DSLR camera. But despite breaking traditional norms for entering into the competitive music photography world, Garcia landed his first gig at Lollapalooza, where he shot for the first time among some of the best music photographers in the country. In less than a year’s time, he has shot photos of some of the biggest names in music, including Kanye West, Eminem, Outkast, Lorde, Calvin Harris, Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, Migos, FKA Twigs and Wilco, just to name a few. He also founded this very site, The Early Registration, (among other reasons) to continue to shoot concerts and also give opportunities for other young photographers to shoot shows throughout the country. For someone who describes himself both as “not a real photographer” but who ask views himself as one of the best music photographers in Chicago, we wanted to interview the young lawyer slash photographer.

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Interview | Bizzy Crook

Bizzy Crook


“Used to ask for a verse, they said $500. Now they want to do a record, n*gga f*ck your budget”, raps Miami-native Bizzy Crook on the title track for his newest mixtape No Hard Feelings. While these lines may come off as vengeful and a contradiction to his “no hard feelings” mentality, it really isn’t. Rather Bizzy Crook, like all great rappers should (but who often don’t), raps about his real life and true experiences, to a more personal level than most rappers ever touch. Whether he is writing about rappers who wanted to charge for a verse who later had a change of heart when Bizzy began to create a buzz, or even the darker moments of his life when he used to battle suicidal thoughts, Bizzy Crook keeps things authentic. And his name is no coincidence, as Bizzy stays busy as well, now touring with Wale as part of the MMG rapper’s Simply Nothing Tour. Fortunately though he was able to sit down with us after he rocked the crowd on his Milwaukee stop of the tour, to talk about his No Hard Feelings project, working with artists and producers like Pharrell, Nelly and Boi-1da, Chicago influences and more.

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A G.O.O.D. Conversation with Big Sean

Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration


Yesterday Detroit’s own Big Sean traveled to his sister city of Chicago to speak to aspiring artists at the Chicago Cultural Center, in an event held by Donda’s House (Kanye West’s nonprofit, named in honor of his late mother, Dr. Donda West). The “Behind The Mic” event consisted of a number of local performances, followed by a Q&A session where fans and the program’s hosts (including the Grammy Award winning Rhymefest) asked Big Sean a number of questions. Throughout the night, Sean gave advice to the young crowd, talked about his upcoming album and payed tribute to his late grandmother. After the event we met with Big Sean to discuss a number of topics, including the sound of his new album, Cruel Winter, a new “G.O.O.D. Fridays” and Kanye’s latest addition to the G.O.O.D. Music team, singer Kacy Hill.

Continue reading A G.O.O.D. Conversation with Big Sean