POP ROCK DUO 'NOMAD & LOLA' RELEASES DEBUT EP 'NOIR'
The modern-day power music couple, NOMAD & LOLA, combine their vast musical knowledge and expertise with charisma and steamy chemistry in their debut EP, NOIR, set to release this friday. The husband and wife duo carefully selected five iconic tracks that they reimagined with a dark pop cinematic twist. Joined by an all-star cast of consummate musicians including Phil Lassiter (trumpet player for Prince), Dave Hooper (Drummer for Dave Koz), and Dmitry Gorodetsky (Bassist for Charlie Puth), Richie Pena (Drums/Programmer for Babyface).
Pulling from their incredibly diverse backgrounds, the husband and wife duo have brought their best assets together to create their own style in the reflection of legendary couples, such as Sonny & Cher, Johnny & June and Ricky & Lucy. With a background in Pop, Rock, Latin, Soul, Classical, Funk, Jazz, and fluent in over 2 dozen stringed instruments, NOMAD’s composition credits include countless TV shows, commercials, films, as well as chart topping albums. In addition to his impressive collection of A-list artists he’s worked with, he is also the Music director and guitarist for Grammy-winning producer and songwriter, Kenny Babyface Edmonds. Combined with Lola’s fiery personality and powerful vocal range, the two united their talents and wide spectrum of musical influences to breath new life into five classic songs from the worlds of rock (Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall”) to love ballads from the 40s and 50s (“Besame Mucho” and “Similau”). The EP also includes Nancy Sinatra’s smash 60s single “Bang-Bang” and a mash-up of Nina Simone's “Summertime” and George Harrison's “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.
Working side by side with Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds for over a decade as his music director and guitarist, NOMAD’S music credits read like the guest-list at the GRAMMYS, working with various artists, such as Rodney Jerkins, David Foster, Walter A., Tommy Simms, Bernie Herms, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Justin Bieber, Colbie Caillat, Josh Groban, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Toby Mac, and Leslie Odom Jr.
NOMAD's compositions are in circulation in over 300 TV shows, commercials, films, as well as chart-topping albums. In his career, he’s been fortunate enough to work with iconic composers such as Danny Elfman (Men in Black 3), John Powell (Ferdinand, Happy Feet 1 & 2, Mr. & Mrs. Smith), and A.R. Rahman.
Culminating a lifetime of experience, NOMAD’s latest endeavor is CAREER MUSICIAN, a podcast highlighting interviews with other industry professionals, providing insight and practical wisdom for the next generation of aspiring career musicians.
LOLA hails from the San Fernando Valley, where she grew up performing at a young age. Since grade school, she’s played leading roles at her local church and school musicals. Soon she was introduced to songwriting by a well-seasoned songwriter, by age 18 she was writing and performing her own songs with a group of talented musicians throughout the local valley dive bar circuit, opening for acts like Sweet.
Lola’s passion for music deepened as she worked and played at LA’s premier rehearsal studio, CenterStaging, where she was exposed to some of the greatest artists in the world coming through LA, including Steven Tyler, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, P!nk, and everyone in-between. It was at that same studio where she had her start as an On Air Personality/Host for Rehearsals.com and where she met her future bandmate/soulmate, NOMAD.
Today, Lola runs the day to day business for their boutique music library On The Level Music Inc, working closely with music supervisors, directors, post production companies / editors, musicians, singers, as well as other composers. When Lola is not on the road with Nomad, she can be found rolling around the US with Grave Digger and 13 other monster trucks as the host for the very popular Monster Jam Live event show.
The new EP from NOMAD & LOLA, NOIR, is now available for pre-order on iTunes before its release. Anyone who takes advantage of the pre-order will receive free download! For more details, go to nomadandlola.com.
DYNAMIC SINGER PRODUCER DROPS HIT SINGLE FOR FALL RELEASE
NIE: How excited are you about your debut EP entitled ‘NOIR’ releasing this week. What can you tell us about your music?
LOLA: We are extremely excited for our debut EP NOIR coming out [this Friday] October 4th. We feel this project captured the essence of both our combined identities as artists and Nomad’s composition/production skills. In the beginning we started out as individual artists with two very different styles, eventually after years of working together we have cultivated our sound. Our approach to NOIR was to be as cinematic as possible while remaining mainstream.
NOMAD: I’m excited about the fact that we finished our first official project together as a duo! I can tell you that the music on this EP is dynamic, sultry, sophisticated, moody and dark at times. It is extremely dense in its production layers as we approached it much like composing for picture.
The melodies were written from the original songwriters since this first EP is all covers. However, we did embellish each song with our own unique style of harmonizing, rephrasing, musical instrumentation and overall performances.
NIE: What does this EP mean to you individually and how is it different than what we’ve heard before?
LOLA: I love this EP NOIR because it is genre-less. We have selected 5 cover songs from different genres and given them a dark pop make-over with a cinematic twist, creating something new and all our own. We started with a classic Spanish ballad “Bésame Mucho”, then quickly transport our listener’s into the 1960’s with “Bang Bang”, which segues nicely to an Afro-Cuban folk song “Similau”. Halfway through this musical time warp known as NOIR, we are met with a mash up of The Beatles and Nina Simone resulting in “Summertime / While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. Coming down from it all we end up being thrusted into the 1980’s with Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall”. If you pre-order the EP before it comes out on October 4th, you will also receive a free download of our cover of Pat Benatar’s “HeartBreaker” as a bonus track.
NOMAD: Since this is our first official release we feel like it is indicative of our sound, or at least one facet our who we are as sonic artists. Which brings us to the point of our versatility which is quite vast. Myself being of Cuban descent I have a love for anything with a Latin feel, but equally hold dear the genres of RnB, Rock, Country, Jazz etc…This material should encompass all of these influences in some way, as that has always been my goal as a producer, composer and artist.
NIE: There’s going to be five iconic tracks. What made you choose those specific tracks and why? And what about each of them resonant with you individually?
LOLA: Each track has its own special meaning. “Besame Mucho” because Nomad is my Latin Lover, who has serenaded me countless times with this song. “Bang Bang” is one of my all time favorites, because the subject matter is dark and controversial, just like me. I love old black and white film & TV, so naturally I learned “Similau” from an episode of “I Love Lucy”. Personally I feel NOMAD & LOLA are the modern day versions of Ricky & Lucy. Why you may ask? 1) We’re married 2) NOMAD is a real Cuban band leader, seriously this is how I met him 3) I may not be a red head, however this blonde is always trying to get into the show, and manages to drive Nomad absolutely bonkers while doing it. “Summertime / While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is the first of many mash up cover songs. We chose this particular one first because it perfectly matched the other tracks dark pop theme. We actually love creating mash up cover songs and have a few more coming down the line, so be sure to follow @NomadAndLola and stay tuned! Lastly, we end with the first cover song we ever recorded, Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall”. This is one of the most powerful rock heavy tracks I’ve ever done and I love each and every second of it! This is the song to help you smash through any aggression you may be experiencing. I like to think that we made Sir Roger Waters proud.
NOMAD: The song selection was pretty organic as we always sing covers in our own unique style. Performing a varied list of songs each gig, we’ve gravitated toward the ones that speak to us stylistically or sentiment wise or both. For me the Summertime / While My Guitar Gently Weeps mashup is perhaps the most unique by the obvious juxtaposition, while Bésame Mucho, Bang Bang and Similau share a sultry dark characteristic with sprinkles of Latin influence throughout. Another Brick In The Wall speaks to me in the epic nature of the arrangement as it climaxes into an arena type anthem.
NIE: Can we hear a quick exclusive sneak peek of one your favorite songs from the EP? And what about the song you choose speaks to you on a deep, creative level?
LOLA: Bang Bang was the first single off the EP, the song and music video are out now. The video was shot in my mothers backyard where I grew up as a child. There is a lot of History in those hills, much like the controversial subject matter of the song, the location where we shot also has some historical controversy linked to it. So for me its an ode to my past demons and angels.
NOMAD: Yes, Summertime / While My Guitar Gently Weeps is currently out and available on all platforms. This song mashup is special because of the arbitrary pairing and the guitar magic that I was able to conjure from many of my influences, the obvious being George Harrison amongst a barrage of others.
NIE: Nomad – how has working with such artists as Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Justin Bieber, Josh Groban, just to name a few, impacted your ability as a musician, and how has those collaborations help your duo relationship with Lola?
NOMAD: The process of working with mega-star artists throughout my career has taught me many things. Perhaps the most paramount for me has been to have confidence in what I do. There’s a big difference between confidence and arrogance so I always try to be ultra self aware. As a career musician I’ve always been cognizant of the fact that this is still a business and that I chose this as my career. Which inherently means that I must take it just as seriously as one would with any other type of career. Whether it be law, medicine, corporate etc, the fact remains that this is The Entertainment Industry, which means it’s still a business like any other.
As far as working with Lola, working with these celebrity status artists has taught me that I need to be professionally courteous and diplomatic throughout the entire process. From writing the songs, arranging, rehearsing, recording, performing etc. In other words, there should be no difference in how I interact and communicate with Lola then there is with all of these other artists.
“Don’t let others influence your goals.”
NIE: Lola – How has your experience partnering up with Nomad help hone your songwriting skills and be able to create the music you both bring to the world?
LOLA: NOMAD is a beast in the studio and on stage, and I do feel incredibly lucky to have him as my musical partner. I trust him fully when it comes to the musical aspects of any production. NOMAD is truly a master at his craft. My strong suits are lyrics and storytelling and Nomad trusts me when it comes to that side. Together we both have input on each others work but it’s a beautiful system that we have created and the best part is it works! Now working with your spouse is a whole other challenge ;-)
NIE: Nomad, we see you also work in the film industry with a song in a new movie on Netflix, and composed a score for two upcoming productions. What can you tell us about those projects? And how different is your technique for each of those projects verse the work on producing NOIR?
NOMAD: Well, that’s a great question which hopefully yields an informative answer! (lol) The song I wrote, performed, produced, and recorded for the Netflix movie BEATS, is called “AfroCuBrazil”, which is an amalgam of it’s African, Cuban, and Brazilian roots in which the title suggests. This spawned from a direct request by the music department of the project.
I’ve also recently scored an independent documentary about a man named Lolo who has run his barbershop on Catalina Island for over 50 years. This piece has an obvious Latin theme throughout as Lolo’s roots are Latin. The theme song which I created just for Lolo called “Lolo’s Theme”, is a jovial expression of the bright natured personality of Lolo himself.
Riviera is a short dramatic piece that I scored which stars Robert Lozardo (The Mayans, The Mule) and my brother Jayvo Scott. This piece was different as it called for an extremely dramatic and dynamic sentiment. I used a baritone guitar for the main theme along with crafty sound design fx that I created from scratch instead of using stock samples so that the picture has a unique sonic tone to go along with complexity of the storyline and picture.
The last part of the question, how does working on these types of projects differ from producing Nomad & Lola songs? Well, it’s interesting because since we are seeking licensing opportunities for the music we create, we have a tendency to focus on cinema from the beginning of creation. Whether it’s for a film, TV show, or our own album, the continuity of our picture-friendly sound always resides.
NIE: What is your biggest reward about being a musician, and why?
LOLA: Connection. That’s it. I write about things I know and have experienced. It is my greatest hope for someone else to say, “YES, I’ve felt that way too!” or “YES, I understand exactly what your saying”. All I want is to to create a space in the listeners head where they can escape and connect with themselves as well as the world around them.
NOMAD: The biggest reward for me is the ability to literally make something out of nothing on a moments notice. Having the command of my instrument to instantly create a beautiful piece of music, or to play and sing something I hear in my minds-eye is truly a blessing which I do not take for granted.
“Don’t waste time as it’s the most treasurable entity in life.”
NIE: What has been the most challenging for you in your career, and why?
LOLA: Being “discovered” is the hardest part. We can write the songs, record the songs, we can even make music videos for the songs. But in this pay-to-play world its very hard for true independents to get time in any spotlight without having to pay for it. Going viral is like winning a lottery in someways, there’s good and bad to it. Being talented will only get you part of the way, it takes a lot of dedication and perseverance for an independent act like us to survive.
NOMAD: The most challenging aspect of my career has been re-invention. As any type of artist will tell you, complacency is the end of ingenuity. Therefore I’ve always strived to reinvent myself in what ever aspect or permutation I could think of. For instance, the NOMAD alias is not my brith given name, however I believe it is extremely indicative of who I am as a musical artist. Traversing the globe over the past several decades literally playing my guitar and singing for thousands of people.
“Be true to yourself and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”
NIE: What obstacles do you face as a musician and what do you do to overcome and achieve your goals?
LOLA: Music is intangible which makes it one of the biggest disposable commodities, a commodity that oddly no one can live without. I think its sad that there is such power in music, but no regard for the art form itself, unless of course you have a high number of followers then you become somewhat important - which to me says it more about popularity than art but maybe Im biased.
NOMAD: Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles as a musician is creating a source, or many sources of steady income. This principle hasn’t changed since the beginning of musicians as artists for commerce, however the methods in which we earn income have morphed over time to include a whole host of possibilities. Still it can be very difficult to pin point those opportunities in which you excel and really develop a constant income stream.
NIE: What would you say is the biggest asset for anyone in the music industry to achieve?
LOLA: Owning themselves. Meaning that they aren’t told what to write about, or who to collaborate with. They are free to create as they please and aren’t beholden to anyone else’s idea of what their art should be. They are well received by their dedicated fans who connect with them for being honest.
NOMAD: The biggest asset for any professional musician to achieve is to establish their own I.P. (Intellectual Property) catalog which produces residual income for years to come. This alone will give any artist the ability to sustain themselves as they pursue their artistic identity and hone their voice. How one does this can vary, but the end result is the same, royalties based off of their songs, compositions, productions, arrangements etc.
NIE: What are some of your secret tips that help you in this industry to keep grounded and focused?
LOLA: Be You! If your trying to be anyone else other than yourself, it just won’t work. This goes for everything in life, going on auditions, job interviews, doing live performances, networking, recording, you name it. If you are not being genuine you will be snuffed out. The overall experience will be defeating and far from inspired. My mom gave me this advice when I was about 10 years old; “If you’re going to be a performer, you can’t be afraid of making an ass out of yourself.” Meaning you can’t care about what anyone thinks about you. Just be committed in everything you do and you will shine.
NOMAD: Meditation as in the manifestation via inner dialogue affirmations. In other words, I don’t typically sit and mediate in isolation for long periods of time, however I do use simple mantras and self-talk to remain motivated on a consistent basis.
Additionally, organization and discipline with my time, money, and creative energies all help create self sustainability within this often time crazy biz of music!
NIE: Who inspires you to be a better at your profession?
LOLA: I take inspiration from every aspect of the world around me and in someway every person I come in contact with has shaped me. I am inspired by women like Lucille Ball and Judy Garland, these women knew exactly what they wanted and didn’t take no for an answer. Like wise I am also in complete in awe of Nomad, he knows what he’s capable of, his worth, and how to get what he wants. I love watching him conduct rehearsals or soundcheck it’s like watching Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen. There is something about watching a true master at work, its very inspiring.
NOMAD: My wife, business partner and band mate is number one on the list of who inspires me. On a daily basis I literally cannot count the ways in which she does so. It is of utmost importance in my opinion to surround yourself with people who bring you up, charge you with the responsibility of being the best version of yourself, and who exude positive energy and love.
As well, I listen to a plethora of podcasts, vlogs, and audio books for a daily dose of positive energy which in turn spawns more ideas and fuel for creating and persevering.
NIE: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to pursue a career in the field?
LOLA: Follow Nomads podcast @TheCareerMusician. There’s a lot to learn from those who have already been down the paths that you want to travel. It takes a certain personality type to be a performer. It’s far from glamorous. The saying “All that glitters ain’t gold” is very true. If you truly want to be an artist, find something worth saying and say it. Be true to yourself and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
NOMAD:Be sure this is want you want to pursue. Music is not a one size fits all type of lifestyle. It takes so much discipline and determination often times which must be mustered from within while in the face of extreme resistance and rejection.
If you do make the decision to do this for a living I would also recommend learning another craft/skillset and study business as well. In other words, learn how to be well rounded in many facets of the entertainment industry as a whole.
NIE: What are the most impactful words of wisdom someone told you and who was it?
LOLA: Everything has been said before, it’s your job as a songwriter to figure out something worth saying and how to say it in a way that no one has ever heard it before. - Jerry Giddons (Songwriting Partner / Guru)
NOMAD: If you can envision it, you can achieve it. My father - Osvaldo Roberto Jesus Ripoll.
NIE: What are three things you would say to your younger self that you know now?
Go for it, you got this!
The World is bigger than you know.
Don’t let others influence your goals.
Don’t waste time as it’s the most treasurable entity in life.
Learn the art of negotiation & overall business acumen sooner.
Make good decisions by analysis and not being hasteful.
NIE: So what else is next for the both of you and as a duo? Any upcoming shows/performances, guest appearances, etc.?
Oct 2nd 2019 - NOMAD & LOLA EP Release Party & Fundraiser. Nomad & Lola perform live at D’Argenzio’s Winery in Burbank CA. Teaming up with Jordan Middle School raising funds for The Jordan CougarLab’s Digital Advanced Media and Engineering programs. 20% of your D’Argenzio Bill and 50% of all Nomad & Lola EP Sales that night will go towards the Jordan CougarLab. To donate to the Jordan CougarLab click here.
Oct 4th 2019 NOMAD & LOLA Debut EP NOIR AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE!
Oct 10th - 24th 2019 - NOMAD Tours Japan with Kenny Babyface Edmonds. Nomad returns to Japan once again as the Musical Director and Guitarist for Kenny Babyface Edmonds for a 2 week tour in Tokyo and Osaka.
Oct 17th 2019 - Premiere of Similau music video only on the Nomad & Lola YouTube channel.
Oct 25th 2019 - NOMAD plays Cancun Jazz Festival with Kenny Babyface Edmonds. Nomad hits the Cancun Jazz Festival stage as the Musical Director and Guitarist for Kenny Babyface Edmonds.
Nov. 7th 2019 - Premiere of Besame Mucho music video only on the Nomad & Lola YouTube channel.
Nov. 25th 2019 - Nomad & Lola Holiday Playlist Released via Spotify. Stream all your Holiday Favorite Tunes plus the New Holiday song by Nomad & Lola “Christmas On The Coast”.
Stay tuned for new original music by Nomad & Lola coming early 2020. Be sure to follow @NomadAndLola on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, iTunes, and Youtube for music, videos, concerts and so much more!
NIE: Thank you for having this interview with us. Before we let you go though, is there anyone you would like to thank?
LOLA: Thank you to News In Entertainment for taking the time to chat with us and for asking really in depth questions, we truly enjoyed talking with you and your readers.
NOMAD: I would like to thank Eddie Torres for referring us to you. He’s a great friend and colleague in the biz. I would also like to thank Lola for being my tried and true partner in so many facets. And finally, I would like to thank whoever takes the time to read this interview, listen to our music, or check us out online or live!
Featured image Nomad & Lola at Harvelle’s January 2019 Downtown Long Beach, California | Courtesy of Robert Downs Photography