Pianos Can Sing Too: A Quick Look into Pop Piano Covers

It’s not every day that we get to hear piano renditions of hit songs. All we hear on the radio these days in the way of individual instrumental solos are classical pieces or a 10-second solo in another song. That’s why you should check out these two accomplished Gigmor pianists, Michael Bogomolny and David Galvan, both experienced cover artists, in their fantastic covers of popular songs. First, here is a stylish video of Bogomolny covering Santa Esmeralda’s “You’re My Everything.”

 

 

Now, watch Galvan in his impressively multi-dimensional take on Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book, in the form of a medley. Not only does he make it sound as though there are four hands playing the piano rather than two, he also manages to capture the essence and bounce of Chance the Rapper’s style and sway. Somehow, he manipulates the keys, adds his own style and rhythms, but never steers to far from Chance’s iconic beats. Galvan’s seemingly effortless performance is bound to make you do a slight double take.

 

 

Now, let’s bring it back to Bogomolny. With this song, you might remember it the best as a soulful, powerful John Legend hit – maybe one of his most famous and well-known. It graced the hit radio stations for months and got stuck in the heads of many, many, people at some point in time. However, here we have something different. Bogomolny captures the style of Legend in this cover of “All of Me,” but adds his own style to deepen the experience of a piano cover of a pop song. The emotion from the original lyrics sings through his hands, and tells its own story of the overwhelming pain of love – all vibrating up from the keys.

 

 

If that was not enough, take a look at one more great cover by David Galvan. He covers Drake’s “Too Good,” but takes it to a whole new level. Not only does he radiate Drake’s sounds, but he adds a completely new dimension only achievable by closely examining the melody on piano. Listen as he, like in the other videos, manages to sing the lyrics through his emotive playing and passionate rhythmic precision.

 

 

If you enjoyed that or are interested in more of their works, please check out both David and Michael on Gigmor. Hopefully you got a small taste of the world of pop music brought down to basics by some sweet, simple strokes of the keys.

 

Feature – Solo Costa Rican Artist Meli Malavasi

Gigmor artist, Costa Rican singer, Meli Malavasi, often combines rock and punk with the elegant smoothness of Latin vocals to create songs that are undeniably catchy and attention-grabbing. However, some of her works carry slow harmonies mixing with modern, syncopated guitar and drum rhythms that sway and pulse with passion. Check out “No Vuelvas Mas” which means “Do Not Return Anymore.”

 

 

Meli’s talents extend over a large musical range and across two languages. She is an accomplished songwriter, and writes songs both in Spanish and in English. Her versatility as an artist and songwriter has taken her far already. She was the winner of the International Songwriting Competition, in which she beat out over 20,000 other songwriters. Here she is singing “Open Your Eyes” at the Holiday Inn, Burbank.

 

 

Meli is already an accomplished performer, as she has performed in many notable venues such as The Mint, House of Blues, Amara Cafe, The Hotel Cafe, The Gibson Showroom, Levitt Pavilion, and many others. She also was given the opportunity to participate in The BMI/Warner- Chappell Songwriting Camp at the Gibson Showroom, and got to have some of her songs placed in TV shows “Bad Girls Club” and “American Pickers.” She was awarded with “Best Female Dance & World Artist” at the Indie Music Channel Awards. Malavasi is very flexible and versatile in her music, and often covers songs. Check her out performing “Invisible Sun,” a song by The Police, live at Drumfest in Costa Rica.

 

 

Most recently, Meli has worked on finishing her new Latin EP, Girasol. The album, now available on Soundcloud, was produced by Emmanuel Briceno, Musical Director from the 21-time Grammy Award Winning Band “Juanes.” It is comprised solely of emotional Spanish songs, driven by her multi-dimensional voice and graceful timbre. Though her previous music-both her originals and covers-was explicative of her talent, Girasol does it on a completely new level. Even if you do not speak or understand Spanish well enough to hear and absorb her lyrics, her emotional vocal style tells its own powerful story; with these songs, even if you don’t understand, you understand.

 

Be sure to check out Meli’s profile on Gigmor, check out her social media, and listen to her new EP. She has a few upcoming performances in Los Angeles, so for those interested living in LA or visiting soon, be on the lookout for Meli Malavasi and her unique style!

 

EMERGING ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: LA band Mainman

Today, we’re featuring Gigmor artist, Mainman, an Indie/Alternative group based in Los Angeles, California. Mainman found their sound by combining indie/psychedelic rock with surf and turf funk to create a repertoire of sundry tunes. The band’s song list includes a combination of originals and covers, each bringing a distinct new blend of sound. Check out their hit song “WWH” and the official music video that throws us back to the psychedelic visual-tint that we didn’t know we missed.

 

 

The band consists of four members. Lead singer Morgan Demeter’s voice is emotionally agitated and dimensional but soothing to the ear. He is backed by former Bear On Fire members; Chris Mintz-Plasse brings a smooth, steady yet moody foundation with the bass, while Nick Chamian sings along with Demeter on his guitar in his epic solos and consistently rich sound. The Hammerheads’ Ryan Dean’s command and ease with the drums binds together the group in performance, marrying the complication of sounds into a cohesive mix and makes the unexpected sound simple. Watch them playing “Feeling” live, “jammin’ in the van” in Ventura, CA back in May 2017.

 


Mainman is a fairly new group to the music scene – Wikipedia still hasn’t updated Mint-Plasse’s band-affiliation from his old one. Nevertheless, these guys are venturing into the music scene together with years of individual experience and a general love for making music. All of them are Los Angeles natives and still live in Southern California, a perfect hub for their style of music. They like to experiment and learn, and fluctuate between innovative original songs and some fun covers, and even some mixing. Listen to their “Vilify” mixed with their cover of Kendrick Lamar’s popular “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” performed at a small private concert, featuring their friend
Quintin ArsNova Pooler​ on keyboards.

 

 

Want more of their smooth, psychedelic, melancholy funk? Follow Mainman on Gigmor to get access to their music, social media pages, and gigging history so you can know when their next concert is. If you’re going to be in Los Angeles on January 12th come to Mainman’s show at the Satellite (buy your tickets here)! 

 

Gigmor’s New Live Music Marketplace

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Gigmor’s new live music marketplace. Our mission has always been to develop innovative technology that addresses inefficiencies in the music business. We started by matching musicians with compatible players in their area. Today we added a crucial element: connecting them to paying gigs. The Gigmor network now has 50,000 artists who have played at over 1,500 venues in the US and Canada.

Our team has been working hard since last summer building our new site: a next generation booking platform focused on helping talent seekers find and book qualified talent for their venue or event. (A talent seeker is anyone looking to hire musicians, e.g., talent buyers, venue managers, promoters, event planners, festivals, colleges and individuals.)

Talent seekers can now publish gig posts and when artists apply to those posts, talent seekers can see their music, ratings/reviews and gigging history before making a hiring decision. Artists can post avails, which will become a valuable directory of independent artists for consumers and industry pros alike. Members can follow each other, allowing them to track the posting and booking activity of other members. We’ll soon be adding robust analytics tools that will help quantify emerging artists’ fan bases by city or region.

We’re super stoked about the new site. But we’re really just getting started—we have a ton of enhancements in the works.

We want more people to experience the joy of live music because Gigmor has made it easy to find and book the right talent!

Spotlight on Alex Bloom: The College-Grad Among Us With An Album

It typically takes people a long time, or a while, or a lifetime to figure out what they want to do (in your career, in your life). And it usually takes even longer for most of us to figure out what we are good at (in our careers, and in our lives). Through the rose-colored frames that artistry brings, it’s easy to imagine that the creative types have it all mapped out in front of them. From the outside looking it, the artists seem cosmically preordained.

Gigmor sat down with Alex Bloom, a recent graduate of USC’s Thorton School of Music. A couple of months after graduation, he released his first solo project, Blue Room. Lyrically and musically, the album is touching. It’s only noticeable similarity to music today is in how original it is. Blue Room has complex simplicity —á la the Beatles—with nuances of Fleet Foxes folk and something similar to Elliot Smith. It’s a first album to be proud of. Alex spoke with us about his college experience, his non-cosmic ordination, and how he wrote the album.

Gigmor: So, you did it!  You made an album!

Alex: May 6th it was finished. And then I finished up a short film that will be coming out to soon for the album. feels like something coming to a close. I’ve been getting a lot of really great feedback, and it’s opening a lot of doors to writing with other artists or producing with them.

It’s like updating your LinkedIn profile after you getting a job, isn’t it? The second you get a job, the Internet starts e-mailing you.

Yes it’s like that. When I put out the album I started getting contacted by more musicians and artists being like, “Oh, you make music, too? Great, yes let’s collaborate.” And it’s really nice to feel some sort of validation for all that I’ve been working on for so long. In the meantime, when all things aren’t focused on writing and music, I’ve been working in a studio. I help with production and other little odd jobs around the studio. So that’s been cool. I don’t know, life is in a little bit of weird place right now.

Preach, same.

I spend a majority of my time writing demos and working on music.

I have another age-related question for you. I think that a lot of kids our age (the recent college grads and 20-somethings) are going through the motions of what they think they should be doing right now. They aren’t sure how happy it will make them in the long-term or even sometimes in the short-term, but they are doing it anyways. Do you feel that way ever about music? I’m trying to imagine what these feelings would be like for a young musician or artist or anyone that has started in on some specific, more creative path.

I’ve been working on music since I was about fourteen or fifteen years old. I’ve always had that to fall back on no matter what happens. Going to music school was kind of a consequence of that. I wanted to make music and become a better musician in whatever capacity I could. I still have this thing, writing songs and doing music in general. I guess the difference between me coming home from music school and someone like you coming back from Michigan — they have a job that they go to from 9 to 5. There is more structure there. I do all my ‘work’ on my own time. Or all the time. I don’t know, it sounds cliché.

No, no it doesn’t, it makes sense. You’ve figured it all out then, no more struggle.

(laughing) Yes, yes I’m set. No more struggle. Life is perfect.

Great, excellent. Interview over.

No, honestly it feels more like a constant struggle. I worked with a producer once who asked me about my highest aspiration for my music career and where I see it going. And I couldn’t really answer him, because I haven’t really thought that far ahead. So it’s pretty scary because I don’t know what lies ahead, and I don’t know what will be required from me moving forward in this career path. I just have to keep doing what I’ve been always doing since I was a kid. I’m lucky that I get to do what I love, but it’s still pretty scary. So I combat that fear with low expectations.

Makes sense. Let’s get into the making of the album. How was the writing process for you?

I decided last summer that I wanted to record. I was making demos in a studio in my backyard. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos to teach myself different instruments, like learning how to play the drums and tune them, too. I loved doing it, and I learned how to arrange music in the process. A lot of these songs were from that. Three or four are just from me in my backyard. There are a couple others that will never see the light of day.

In terms of when and how I wrote them, it was a gradual thing that happened over the past year. I wrote “One More Shot” in November of this year. It really all came together at the end of the year — I was taking too many credits at school and things got busy. So I’m glad I eventually got myself to complete it.

How did your music school education play into the making of this album? I don’t imagine that you sat down and wrote charts out for it. It was probably more organic than that, like you just messing around in your backyard.

Yeah, yeah that’s interesting. Writing and composing music for class is so much different for a class. I took a music arranging class and learned a bunch of things that nobody really needs to know about. Or with music theory classes, I would look at the mathematics of music. But when I’m arranging and writing my own music it’s all just by ear. I’m not bogged down by the logistics of it all, of all those things I learned in school, and I think I’m lucky to still have that. That was one of my biggest fears when I got to college, especially since when I got there I didn’t know how to read music.

You listen to the Beatles. You can just tell from listening to your album that you listen to a lot of the Beatles.

Oh yeah. They are the band that I always go back to. They’re probably my favorite band.

It’s that developed pop song vibe you’ve got going that made me think that. The pop song that sounds simple but is highly developed. Kudos to you there.

Listen to Alex Bloom’s album, Blue Room, on Spotify, iTunes, and Apple Music, and make sure to check out his profile on Gigmor.

Photo by Halle Pelfrey