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In Harmony

In Harmony

By Laura Ferreiro
In Harmony, hosted by entertainment journalist and M4G Media founder Laura Ferreiro, features groundbreaking conversations with leading figures in music, art, culture and beyond. Through in-depth discussions we explore their wellness practices, positive lifestyle habits they’ve adopted, challenges they’ve overcome, good causes they support and their inspiring stories of personal triumph to illuminate, inspire and empower you to live your most authentic life.
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Scottish-born singer/songwriter KT Tunstall burst onto the music scene in 2005 with her breakthrough hits “Suddenly I See” and “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.” While her career has since blossomed and she has become a multi-award-winning artist, with an Ivor Novello and BRIT awards under her belt as well as Grammy and Mercury Prize nominations, her confessional, down-to-earth charm has remained the same. As she approaches her seventh studio album, she talks about the ever-shifting face of the music industry, how to support artists while touring is off the table, her environmental activism, and how journaling and exploring her own spirituality has opened her mind and helped her stay grounded. TOPICS DISCUSSED · How lockdown has changed touring life and how crucial it is to support grassroots venues · Advice for anyone worried about their favorite artists · How streaming has radically changed the music industry and the harsh reality of trying to survive as a musician · The causes she’s supporting through her new single, “Wash Ya Hands” · How moving to LA helped her heal · How exploring nature has helped her stay grounded during lockdown · KT’s “soul, body and mind” album trilogy, and her latest musical endeavors · How journaling and exploring spirituality has influenced her creativity · Why it’s important to “zoom out” · Her environmental activism · What it’s like touring with Hall & Oates · Finding the silver linings of lockdown life RESOURCES KT Tunstall’s Patreon Listen to “Wash Ya Hands” WaterAid War Child Cape Farewell Reverb
July 29, 2020
Kam Franklin, lead singer for genre-blending soul group The Suffers, might well be described as a musical powerhouse with her rich mezzo-soprano vocals, but in fact her passions only begin with music and extend far beyond it. While she believes she is at her most productive when she brings joy through her myriad musical projects, she also channels her passion through the causes close to her heart, such as HeadCount, which uses the power of music to encourage fans to participate in the democratic process, and The Recording Academy. As a woman of color, Franklin has dedicated her career to paving the way for her successors so that they, too, can not only navigate – but thrive – in what is still a predominantly racist and sexist music industry. Ultimately she stresses the importance of self-care and self-love for her community in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement and the value of dreaming big when the world tries to minimize your voice. TOPICS DISCUSSED · The value of dreaming big · How the Black Lives Matter movement has been influencing her activism · How music is her strongest form of protest · Voting during the era of Covid-19 · How she got involved with HeadCount to increase voter participation among music fans · Leading with kindness · How practicing self-love has helped her reach her full potential · How she’s juggling three upcoming records · Navigating racism and sexism within the music industry · The importance of voting in the upcoming elections RESOURCES The Suffers Headcount Listen to “Your Ghost” Listen to “Take Me To The Good Times” The Recording Academy
July 22, 2020
Denise Kaufman has defied expectations her entire life. As vocalist, bassist and co-songwriter for the pioneering all-female ensemble Ace of Cups--a musical powerhouse during the Summer of Love—they counted Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead among their fans. Despite performing live with the same virtuosity as their male counterparts, Ace of Cups never had the opportunity to commit their genre-blending, psychedelic sound to a record until two years ago. Now in their 70s and approaching the release of their sophomore record, “Sing Your Dreams,” they show no signs of stopping there. Kaufman has had a passion for wellness her entire life, teaching yoga to the likes of Madonna, Jane Fonda and Quincy Jones, and surfing and swimming whenever she gets the chance. She runs an organic farm near her home on Kauai, eats a plant-based diet, and co-founded the Island School on Kauai, raising the next generation with her wisdom, harmony and balance. We talk about her rich cultural history, wellness tips and get up to speed on the projects and causes closest to her heart. TOPICS DISCUSSED · How Ace of Cups fit into the historical tapestry of rock music · Working with Jackson Browne and Bobby from Grateful Dead on their latest single “Made for Love” · How yoga, surfing and swimming have been crucial for her health · The importance of a plant-based diet and organic farming · Why she founded the Island School on Kauai and the importance of education and preserving Hawaiian culture · Her experience with yoga · Why Denise avoids sitting in chairs, and why squatting is the secret to staying limber · The connection between music and wellness · The causes Denise currently supports · Passing on lessons to achieving balance and harmony to her grandson and singer-songwriter, Eli Smart · No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s always a good time to be creative. RESOURCES Ace of Cups website Watch “Made for Love” Island School on Kauai The Squat Song Denise Kaufman’s website Camp Winnarainbow Seva Foundation Eli Smart’s website
July 15, 2020
As the saying goes, there’s no rest for the wicked – and, it would seem, no rest for Chadwick Stokes, either. Dividing his time between indie folk-rock band Dispatch, reggae-infused rock trio State Radio, and his solo venture, Chadwick Stokes & The Pintos – Stokes is a creative force to be reckoned with. But what is of primary importance to him is his human rights activism, which is interwoven into the very fibre of his being and his music. In 2007, State Radio began the tradition of launching service projects in each city the band visited. Service projects have become a staple of Chadwick’s performances, which often center on advocating for social change. His humanitarian efforts resulted in the formation of the non-profit Calling all Crows, which seeks to empower women around the world and engages the bands’ millions of fans in service projects around the world in which they volunteer in their local communities. TOPICS DISCUSSED · Chadwick Stokes’ unique quarantine experience · What causes Chad’s foundation, Calling all Crows, focuses on to effect change · His experiences volunteering with fans and establishing service projects in the cities where his bands perform · The importance of uplifting women and how they should hold more positions of power · Connecting the dots between Chad’s fans and important causes · Virtual service projects · What inspired Stokes’ activism and the power of music as a powerful agent of social change · The role of rock music and hip-hop in activism · Chad’s new solo project, Chadwick Stokes & The Pintos · Future plans for Dispatch and State Radio · How knockout basketball has been getting him through lockdown · How communing with nature is vital for staying mentally and physically healthy · The Black Lives Matter movement and his experience attending the protests RESOURCES Chadwick Stokes’ Website Chadwick Stokes on Facebook Dispatch on Facebook Chadwick Stokes on Instagram Calling All Crows Oxfam Why Not Both podcast
July 08, 2020
“Who the f***am I?” is a question we all ask ourselves, but for Alicia Bognanno, frontwoman of indie-rock outfit Bully, it has become the focus of her journey to self-acceptance. For the first time, she publicly shares her experiences being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, how she’s come to terms with it, and her tools for effectively managing her mood shifts. Through therapy, meditation and mindfulness practices – including Dharma Talks – Bognanno has been in a place to hone her sharp, grunge-inflected sound to perfection for her upcoming third album SUGAREGG. Three years in the making, it is her most confident record yet. It was a hard-won accomplishment that involved liberating herself from the need to prove herself in a male-dominated industry and accepting herself for who she is. TOPICS DISCUSSED · How Alicia overcame self-doubt to create her best work yet · Her experience with bipolar disorder, and the tools she uses to manage it every day in one of her first public conversations about it · How she found freedom in a typically male-dominated music industry · How Alicia feels about releasing Bully’s third record, SUGAREGG, which has been three years in the making · What she does to stay healthy and happy, including meditation and mindfulness practices · Her experiences with Dharma Talks · Why it’s more important than ever to use your platform to raise awareness about causes close to your heart · Making the shift from playing live to livestreams in the era Covid-19 RESOURCES Bully Wild Heart Meditation Center NAACP Rock ‘N’ Roll Camp for Girls Gideon’s Army Bully ‘Sugaregg’ Pre-order
July 01, 2020
Julie Edwards and Marc Smollin recently formed the avant-rock duo Heads Are Heavy. Formerly known as The Pity Party, they show no signs of slowing down. Having met in eighth grade, Smollin and Edwards have gone through life on the same wavelength, even when they’re continents apart. Edwards is also part of the globally successful female blues-rock duo Deap Vally and was recently involved in a collaboration with The Flaming Lips known as Deap Lips. Creatively joined at the hip, Julie and Marc dusted off forgotten demos they made together years ago and decided they should do something with them. That’s how they came to form Heads Are Heavy. They talk about their propulsive debut single “That Sounds Okay,” as well as coping mechanisms for dealing with physical pain, alternative forms of self-care, and their adventures touring around Europe. TOPICS DISCUSSED · The formation and evolution of Heads Are Heavy and Pity Party · The process of recording new music · Julie’s other bands Deap Vally and Deap Lips, a collaboration with The Flaming Lips · How one’s demeanour can affect your body over time · Techniques for managing chronic back pain · Why it’s never too late to practice wellness · The importance of accepting help from others · Minimalist goal setting and the value of setting a schedule · Learning to be mindful of how your physical and mental state are linked · Smollin’s experience with the Feldenkrais Method · How to relax and not resist physical pain · Giving birth during a global pandemic · Harnessing a mutual love of knitting to stay grounded · European tour stories RESOURCES · Heads Are Heavy debut single “That Sounds Okay” · The Pity Party · Deap Vally · Deap Lips · The Feldenkrais Method · Pony Sweat Aerobics
June 24, 2020
“The white homie asks what he can do to make a change / The answer to the question is not one simple thing / Equity and resources, the prison complex and reform of law enforcement / Where did love go? Don’t nobody know,” raps LA artist Thurz on his track “Lootin’” in the wake of the recent Black Lives Matter protests. The rapper is a descendant of both the Ivory Coast and Belize, and has dedicated his career to shedding light on important social issues, which came to the fore with his debut solo record LA Riot. Paying tribute to the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King beating in 1991, Thurz delved into the social, economic and political factors that have played into the systemic racism his community faces. We talk to Thurz about his most productive year yet, releasing new tracks every Thursday shaped by issues of the day including the current Black Lives Matter movement. He reflects on the messages behind LA Riot almost ten years after its release, shares his perspective on the importance of protesting, and what he’s doing at a local level to effect meaningful, long-lasting change. TOPICS DISCUSSED ON THIS EPISODE: · Reflecting on his debut album LA Riot, and the importance of creating art that is relevant to the struggle against racism in his community · His perspective on the Black Lives Matter protests · Unpacking the lyrics of his latest work and his thoughts on systemic oppression · Music as an agent of social change · Volunteering and effecting change at a local level · What he’s telling his kids about Black Lives Matter and interactions with the police · How he’s staying healthy and grounded during lockdown · Raising children vegan · Thurz’s Party In my Living Room series, which brings live music to local neighborhoods through highly produced house parties RESOURCES: Thurz on Thursday Playlist Thurz on Instagram Think Watts Foundation Los Angeles Urban League Kids for Peace Red Bull Music Party in My Living Room
June 17, 2020
Santino’s life mission has always been to create something beautiful. In this pursuit, he turned to the world of fashion, establishing a career as an innovative and successful fashion designer. He made a splash as a finalist on the fifth season of Project Runway, starred in On the Road with Austin and Santino alongside fellow Project Runway alum Austin Scarlett, and has appeared as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. But one day Santino started to explore beauty on a far deeper level: “I thought to myself, does the world really need another dress?” Beauty, he came to understand, was far more than aesthetic, and found that what we put in our bodies is crucial to our overall health – and often, what we were putting into it wasn’t very good. Opting for a raw food vegan diet, Santino became a chef and co-owner of Wild Living Foods restaurant in downtown LA, creating beautiful dishes that are healing as well as delicious. Santino tells us how he has used food as medicine to heal various diseases. He also talks about the prejudices he faced growing up mixed race in Missouri, how he came to stand tall in his identity, and how any thoughts that aren’t aligned with love are misguided. TOPICS DISCUSSED · Santino’s journey from fashion designing to becoming a partner and chef at the Wild Living Foods restaurant · Tackling health struggles after exhausting traditional Western medicine options and turning to food as medicine · Opting for a living plant-based diet and how that can be the greatest healer · Santino’s experience with fasting · Striking the balance between being both an introvert and an extrovert · Success stories of people overcoming their health issues by adopting a healthy vegan lifestyle · Santino's experiences with racism and prejudice growing up in the Midwest · The importance of compassion and sharing appreciation for one other RESOURCES · Wild Living Foods · True North Health Center · Santino on Instagram
June 03, 2020
Sophie Hawley-Weld is one half of the exuberant Grammy-nominated electronic dance-pop duo Sofi Tukker. Known for their unforgettable festival performances, Brazilian-tinged dance rhythms, and their hit song “Best Friend” that soundtracked an Apple iPhone campaign, the duo’s career trajectory has been meteoric. In order to stay at her best, Sophie incorporates several wellness practices into her daily life. We discuss a transformative 10-day silent meditation retreat Sophie embarked on, her lifelong love affair with yoga, and years of plant-based vegan eating – yes, even on tour. Though it has, at times, been a struggle, it’s contagious to feel well in mind and body, and Sophie Hawley-Weld is living proof of that. TOPICS DISCUSSED ON THIS EPISODE: · Sophie’s meditation practices · Methods for letting go of negative thoughts and reducing anxiety · The benefits of a plant-based vegan diet · Sophie’s background in teaching yoga, and which yoga practices she loves most · How to maintain a healthy lifestyle – even on the road · The importance of good nutrition · Sophie’s experiences with physical injury, and the importance of recognizing when to stop pushing yourself · Sophie’s experiences living a simple lifestyle in Brazil · Why it’s important to work to live, not live to work · How putting down our phones is vital for our mental health RESOURCES: Sofi Tukker Website Happy Cow
May 27, 2020
As the guitarist, lead vocalist and lyricist for indie-rock band Speedy Ortiz, Sadie Dupuis carves out new, refreshing narratives for women as the leading ladies in their own lives. It’s something she has extended to her solo venture, Sad13, tapping into her talents as both a producer and multi-instrumentalist with the release of her 2016 record, Slugger, and her upcoming album due out later this year. Sadie’s confessional brand of wit woven into her lyrics has established her reputation as a prolific poet. Now, Dupuis is using her platform to make the worlds of music and poetry accessible for rising talent with her independent label, Wax Nine. Elevating others is at the heart of her mission: advocating for food justice, prison reform and veganism are just a handful of the causes she promotes. TOPICS DISCUSSED ON THIS EPISODE: · Handling stresses that come with social distancing because of coronavirus · Being a workaholic and learning the importance of relaxation · How exercising has become essential for a healthy mind and body · Having a plant-based, vegan lifestyle and how Dupuis keeps it interesting – even on tour · How Sadie uses telehealth therapy sessions to stay balanced and grounded · Causes Dupuis supports including food justice and prison reform · The scoop on her upcoming Sad13 album · Collaborating with Lizzo · Her label, Wax Nine and its ethos · Her experiences with poetry and elevating others through the Wax Nine Journal · The wonders of tea RESOURCES: Speedy Ortiz website Sad13 website Union of Musicians and Allied Workers Support and Feed nonprofit founded by Billie Eilish’s mom Maggie Great Scott in Boston Fundraising Page National Bail Out Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) Wax 9 Record Label Wax 9 Poetry Behind the scenes on the Sadie Dupuis and Lizzo collaboration
May 20, 2020
GLEN PHILLIPS: A LESSON IN THE PRESENT TENSE Since founding chart-topping band Toad the Wet Sprocket and rising to prominence in the ‘90s, Glen Phillips has been creating an alchemy of carefree indie pop weighted with themes of vulnerability and personal introspection.  Now the accomplished singer-songwriter finds himself balancing the quest to stay healthy in mind and body while doing what he does best: touring and performing, taking on new challenges like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and leading communal singing groups, all while coming to terms with his place in the world. TOPICS DISCUSSED ON THIS EPISODE: · Staying healthy and balanced on tour, and the importance of relaxation and meditation · Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the challenges Phillips faced and how it changed his outlook on life · The power of music to bring people together · Why communal singing is a human birth-right and can be as effective as therapy · How to stay true to your artistry while making a living · Star Trek tattoos · The shifting face of the music industry and how to find a place within it · Does material wealth bring happiness? · Philanthropy and the important link between wealth and responsibility · The 2020 U.S. presidential race · The conflict between limiting the use of social media and staying connected in a demanding digital world. RESOURCES: Glen Phillips’ website African Women Rising Sierra Club The Hoping Machine The Wholehearted Chorus Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer The Biggest Little Farm documentary film Courage to Lead Poet David Whyte’s website
May 13, 2020
Introducing In Harmony
In this brief introduction you'll find out what In Harmony has in store, how it came into existence, and learn a little bit about our host, Laura Ferreiro.
April 30, 2020