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!

In Memoriam: Mr. Leonard Cohen

When Leonard Cohen was 32 years old, he told his good friend, Adrienne Clarkson (the 26th Governor General of Canada) that poetry was, in many ways, analogous to polishing shoes. When she questioned his remark, he explained: “If you want people to have shiny shoes, you want to write those very good kinds of instructions.”

That phrasing —  “very good kinds of instructions” — feels  like an inadequate description of Cohen’s lifework. The Canadian-born, first-poet and second-musician was one of the greatest songwriters of our time, his only competition being with other greats like Dylan, Cash, and Williams. His songs were marvelously specific and contextual, yet always close enough to the imagination to be understandable. Cohen sang of long nights spent over red wine and cigarettes. He sang of his women lost and won, found in the misty halls of the Chelsea Hotel #2 or his moments spent next to the naked, the beautiful Suzanne. For all of the intertextuality that Cohen’s songs held, he never waned far from the truth that he understood. He was a famous lover of women who had a certain obsession with sexual love and the concurrent bodily pain of loneliness.

“Woman is the context of a man’s life. A man is the context of a woman’s life. That’s all we’re doing,” he told Clarkson in a 1989 interview. What love is, he continued, is the act of writing a song, endearment by endearment, touch by touch.

 

"Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen

 

No one can try to discuss Cohen’s songwriting prowess without mentioning his most well-known and respected masterpiece, the song that almost killed him: Hallelujah. Cohen wrote about 80 drafts verse for the song. One writing session at the Royalton Hotel in New York is remembered, when the writing of the song reduced Cohen to his underwear, banging his head into the ground. The original version of the song, as recorded on his Various Positions album, mentions several more biblical references than the most famous versions of the song.

Malcolm Gladwell recently discussed the song’s rise to fame. On his podcast, Revisionist History, Gladwell walked listeners through the agonizingly long time it took for Hallelujah to reach even mild fame. After taking Cohen a total of five years to write the song, the record companies didn’t like it. In 1984, CBS Records passed on Cohen’s album with the original “Hallelujah.” “It barely makes a ripple,” says Gladwell. And it’s true: Cohen went back and made edits to the song. He cleaned up the first verses, made it longer and darker, and shipped it back to the record company. It was eventually recorded, but not until musician John Cale reproduced the song did it start to seep into popular culture.

Cale reexamined Hallelujah, as most musicians must when approaching the delicate creation of another artist. He brought a level of vocal somberness and deep sincerity that Cohen couldn’t. Following Cale, with an electric guitar this time, Jeff Buckley brought up the song to even greater, inexplicably famous heights. With Buckley’s weepy, heart-wrenching musing of the song, “Hallelujah” reached equilibrium in both of its expression: as a poem and as a song.

With age, Cohen’s voice became more and more of a gravelly baritone. With age, his musicality did not change. He played simple chords on an acoustic guitar or chords on some cheap piano. At some points, or at most points, Cohen was anything but prolific. He spent years struggling to write something with strength, though it was those songs who were quickly transformed into the most celebrated, most beloved songs he would create. Among his 14 studio albums, there aren’t meant gold-plated hits. But there are miles and miles of poetry, of misunderstanding and understanding, of sex and love and everything in between, with wine and cigarettes and the moments shared in between.