Stefan K, very 1st score award winner, talks to us

Stefan K. (standing for Kristinkov) was our very first winner for a score, back in December 2016. He also submitted the same motnh with another track that got finalist… The same category, against himself !

We went back to him to get to know more about his music.

Stefan, you were one of the three winners of the inaugural edition of the American Tracks Music Awards, back in 2016 (score category). Do you remember submitting and why?

Yes, I remember submitting. At that point, RJTD had already received a few awards and was featured on a few film festivals.

I was browsing through the Filmfreeway for festivals accepting music scores, and found American Tracks Music Awards. And I thought that it would be an appropriate place to submit. I was not disappointed.

Later, it was included in my album of film music titled “1:31 AM”.


Do you consider RJTD like a classic or regular music score ? Or what’s its originality ?

Well, the film music genre is still young, so, I believe it is too early to determine what is classic in it and what is not. There are constant experiments going on. People are trying different things to better convey the message they want to deliver.

RJTD is definitely experimental in all aspects, and, like everything I do in music, it also combines and fuses elements from different styles.

In addition, it is written using the compositional technique that I am developing, which, I believe, is well suited for conveying different, even contrasting emotions. There are no “clean” emotions in real life. It is always mixed – happiness and pain, sadness and hope and so on. And in RJTD it needed to be funny and scary.


You have a solid music background. Can you tell us about you and your music path ?

I started studying music at 5. Then music school, music college, conservatory, university. I was and am performing and recording with many wonderful musicians, in different countries and in many different styles and situations. All this has definitely influenced my compositional style.


Do you perform on stage you own music or are you a performer for other bands?

Yes, both, but not as often lately…


You published many songs and tracks already. Where can we find them ?

My music can be found anywhere where people usually get their music. iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, iHeart Radio and so on.


Is there something special bounding you to music made for film?

Music in film tells a story. It is there, because there is something that cannot be told with other means – visuals, dialogues, sound effects. This is usually about emotion, emotional state, feelings.

I like to do this, especially in situation when music tells something different, and really influences viewers’ emotional response.

Besides, musically it allows doing things that are not possible, or not appropriate in other genres. Thus, this enables a composer to be as creative as possible, which is very rewarding.

What are your music plans and projects for the next months ?

Recently, I wrote a score for a series pilot – e very nice, fun and non-violent story, or a series of stories, if there will be a continuation, which is expected. If so, I will be working on that.

My new album titled “A.M.A (Ask Me Anything)” is coming out these days.

So, please, check it out when you have nothing else to do. It is a first full-length album featuring me as a composer and a clarinet player. I’ve nicknamed it “clarinet, like you never heard before”, because it features clarinet in many unusual situations, which was never done before. Not on one album, at least. I have plans for my next album, and a few interesting collaborations are in the works.

The pair behind “House of Disaster” talk their double win at the American Tracks

Sergio and Elena form the two-side faced artist behind the “House of Disaster” project. This August, they got selected to 4 different categories during the same competition, and eventually took home Artist Revelation and Best Music. What a run ! We had to get back to them for an interview…
House of Disaster is the first submitter to win two different categories in competition on the same edition at the American Tracks Music Awards. Many congratulations. Can you tell us more on who you are, and how both of you form “House of Disaster” ?
House of Disaster is an Italian’s production and artistic couple and Company with a very special collaboration. We are also a real couple in our Life. Sergio is the musical part of the group; he comes from the electronic music, he was an international DJ. Elena comes from the theatrical and artistic world. She studied at the “Liceo Artistico” and  worked as costume creator in several touristic villages. After that she developed her ability in make-up-FX :  she is able to create with her crafts several scenographic effects. Both involved in artistic world but in different ways. 
You won best music with “Towards Glory”. This award usually goes to musical tracks, or instrumentals within our contest. This is the first time is goes to a score / film music. How would you define your own music : music for films, or music in another way ?
The best definition for our music is “our  polyhedrical feel”.
It is simply the product of our emotions, our love for any artistic field and of our synergy in our private Life such as in working Life.
Fortunately we are able to produce several type of music and, for this reason It could be used for films, spots, cinema, TV, media…
You won Artist Revelation, which is a big deal, with another track : “Dark Angel”. What about the genesis of this track, and the album that comes with it ?
The title “Dark Angels” was inspired by our personal vision and dark universe. In fact some of our Friends told us that our love for the dark and horror world is always in contrast with our kindness in real Life. We are the angels of the dark art ! 
Are both of these tracks pertaining to existing films ? Short or features ? 
Only “Dark Angels” has been use for a small segment in our short “Le Ombre di Sheila” fully produced and directed by us. 
Following on that short film, “Le Ombre di Sheila” (The Shadows of Sheila). What is it about ?
This is a short film that touches a very important theme for young boys and girls who live in very self-righteous families. But when everything seems loose… Something supernatural happens. Every moment of the work has been spiced with our dark and horror touch. This is just like our signature.
What was the job each of you assumed in this project ?
Together we have been the mind and the arms of the entire project in the dame ways. We first wrote the screenplay, selected the actors after a big casting. We both directed the actors and the camera operator. Sergio oversaw the audio and Elena the makeup, costumes and scenography. Together we assumed the entire organization from the begining to the end of the set. Sergio then composed all the tracks and worked on the sound design with the help of Elena.

Checking on your website, you have a lot of music to listen to here, your “Colonne Sonore”. You seem pretty creative. How long does it take you to compose a track ?

There is no a fixed time to compose. It depends on the particular sensations during the moment I’m composing.
Generally for a complex track with a complex mix of instruments the timing is about 2/7 days.
We have been asked for a soundtrack for an USA horror serie and in 1 day I have completed the entire track. 
Can you tell us about some music references you may have ? Some role models ? And some films you look at your own personal classics ?
My inspiration is my life, my family in which I can find all my energy and effort. I think my music is something innovative and different, this is the reason why I can firmly say that it is not a copy of anyone or inspired by no-one than my personal feelings. 
What are your ongoing or soon to come projects ? 
We can only say that we are going to work to another cinematographic project, surely another album and a couple of other top secret projects. 
Sorry but we can’t be more detailed for the moment. 🙂

Molly Smith : Artist revelation, July 2017

Molly Smith won Artist Revelation at the ATMA this July, with her song Born to Fight.

Currently a student at Montverde Academy in Florida, she answered our questions following her win.

Molly, you won artist revelation this July at the American Tracks Music Awards. Is this your first award at all ? How do you feel about it ?

I am so honored to win the artist revelation award. It is so exciting to be recognized for my own personal song. I’ve won talent shows at my school and theater/vocal related awards but never anything for songwriting.

What are your artists references ? Your influences ?

A lot of my influences come from Ed Sheeran, Damien Rice, Jose Vanders, and Halsey. I love the lyrics that Halsey writes, she’s very visual and I try to write in that similar style. I’ve always been inspired by piano ballads by Tom Odell and Lewis Capaldi, which I think is why a lot of my music is mostly ballads. Born to Fight is one of my few more upbeat songs. Twenty One Pilots has also always been a favorite of mine because of the way they mix genres. I listen to every genre of music so I feel like this starts to show in my writing.

Lyrics of “Born to Fight” are kind of dark, with deep feelings and the urge of fighting back. But you are only 15, where doe that anger comes from ?

Teen angst of course! But actually, the song comes from a serious place of realizing that what I want to do with my life is very difficult and will be filled with obstacles. This song is for all the people who told me I wasn’t good enough or I wouldn’t succeed. The lyrics are basically saying to those people, “I’m gonna make it because I won’t stop working hard until I do.” Born to Fight also is sort of a song to myself, after coming out of some difficult teenage years, that I wasn’t born to give up. I made it through the hard times because I fought my way through it. That’s pretty much how the idea blossomed.

The music on the contrary is more down tempo, giving some space to the lyrics and the story you tell. Are you the composer of the track ?

I composed the piano, melody, lyrics, and bass for the track, but the piece was produced at a music summer camp called “Prodigy Camp.” I was really lucky to get to work with producer Andy Park, his drummer Sean (who did all the percussion and is really brilliant), and was mentored by Tyson Motsenbocker and Kris Orlowski. Chappell Roan, a brand new artist who just released an awesome single on Spotify, mentored me on lyrics as well.

I was so honored to work with such talented mentors and I really learned a lot through the whole process.

We had a lot of fun playing around with the percussion and got really out of the box. Some of the sounds in the song are a mic stand sliding up, drum sticks on concrete, and dropping rocks on the ground.

Is Mollywood the name of your band ?

Mollywood is actually a nickname my parents gave me as a child, but for now I am sticking with Molly Smith as my artist name. I don’t really have a band so I’m just more of an acoustic solo act right now. When I perform I love to play some of my other originals and covers where I can do a unique spin on the song.

Your soundcloud lists more than 10 original songs and about as much as covers. Do you have an album out, or singles, where can people buy / listen to it ?

My single “Born to Fight” will be on iTunes, Spotify, and other streaming services August 11th ! Some of my songs are on youtube, including my original “Broken” and the rest are on soundcloud for now.

Do you work on your music on an everyday basis ?

Music has always been a stress reliever for me, so just about every day I play guitar or piano for about an hour. Usually when I write it comes in chunks. I’ll maybe stay up all night writing a song but then I won’t write anything for two weeks. I try to just let it come naturally. If I don’t seem to have any ideas I’ll just work on a cover or music theory.

What are your plans for the near future ?

In the future I would love to work on professionally recording an EP. Labels these days seem to want artists already established on social media, so I’ll also be posting videos on youtube much more often. Other than that I just gotta keep writing!

Gina Brooklyn, revelation from Ohio

Gina Brooklyn, who creates and resides in Akron, Ohio.  Surrounded by musicians growing up (her parents were in the local award-winning hard rock band Krank), her unwavering passion for all things music began at the age of 5, she recorded less than a decade later at OmniSound Studios in Nashville and Threshold Recording Studios in New York City. By the time she was 15, she recorded at Studio City Studios in Los Angeles, 515 Studios in Nashville, and Lava Room Recording Studios in Cleveland. Now only 16 years of age, she won June’s 2017 Artist Revelation Winner from The American Tracks Music Awards, with her single FACELESS.

Her website.

Her Facebook.

2017 Award Giveaway

The 2017 annual event of The Talent Factory took place on May 5 in Los Angeles.

All winners and nominees of the American Tracks Music Awards were invited. All those who were present got they certificate award in hand, and had the chance to have a QnA host by contest manager Matt Beurois, and got to talk about their song, their music videos, their craft.

Next annual event s scheduled on May 4*, in Los Angeles.

*Date is subject to slight change.


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