By Daniel Warren Hill
One of three singles released on the compilation, “Softy,” “If You Want It” is joined by “Nevermind It To Hell” and “Delusional,” each highlighting some aspect of BELAGANAS’ genre-twisting nature rooted in rock, rap, punk, and pop. At one point, the band playfully described their sound as: “if the Beastie Boys were depressed high schoolers who liked pop music,” however, this Phoenix, AZ power trio, formed in 2016 by vocalists Joey J and Shanker with guitarist and drummer Nick Wille, has certainly crafted and refined a unique sound of their own.
For the band, “Softy” is an acronym for ‘Songs Originally for the Youth,’ a collection of singles conveying a ‘coming of age’ kind of feel; full of self discovery and the complications of love but spoken with the blunt honesty of youth. Wille acknowledges, “All of the songs on Softy are kind of about the urge to express one’s feelings, even if hurts others’ feelings.”
“If You Want It” is an example of how the personal contributions of individual band members contribute to each songs’ multifaceted perspective, empathizing with a large audience of listeners. “I think it was right after I had gotten in an argument with my girl at the time and we had resolved things, but it was still hurting,” says Joey J “and it kinda came from feeling like I didn’t know what had gone wrong, but I just wanted us to be good.” That sentiment is summed up well by Wille, saying, “I have issues, you have issues, if we want let’s make it work.” Meanwhile, Shanker’s viewpoint is a bit more defensive, suggesting the track “is about that feeling you get when you make it out the other side of a bad ‘situationship’, shares Shanker. “When you’re looking back and saying ‘yeah, screw everything I’m doing me.”
Directed by Dick Dorado and Michael Friendo of Rhodes Creative, the music video for “If You Want It” took inspiration from music videos by Missy Elliott, Biggie, and Eminem and was influenced by modern directors Jack Begert (Aminé, Lil Nas X) and Cole Bennett (Lil Keed, Famous Dex). Continuing to highlight multiple perspectives, the video has a strong sense of color and contrast, one set designed like an exotic love jungle, and another staged as if the band members are scientists working through a difficult physics problem.
Daniel Warren Hill is an American musician, writer, and motivational speaker. He is best known as the frontman for Washington DC area Alternative Rock band YellowTieGuy, as co-founder of Capitol Groove Collective, and increasing the exposure of artists on a global scale through his work with Alchemical Records.
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As the leader of nineties pop rockers 4 Non Blondes Linda Perry broke down barriers in the male dominates music business and created one of the decade’s most catchy songs: “What’s Up?” Perry released one stellar album with the band before going out on her own.
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