Bliss FM
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"The Sound of Bliss"

By Emily Dillinger/The Connection
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Clad with sunglasses and a microphone, John Carmichael spits out lyrics like the Jay-Z prodigy he is. Minutes into a recent show at Jammin’ Java, the tall, gangly, white guy from Vienna proved to the crowd he can rap. And alongside counterpart Sebastien Christie, producer-genius (not to mention guitar player and singer), the duo known as Bliss FM promises to be an unstoppable force.
Fast-forward one week later and I have the two founding members of Bliss FM, Carmichael and Christie, both seniors at Marshall High School, dishing about the band, their inspirations, and future plans in between bites of burrito at the Vienna Chipotle.
Bliss FM is a relatively new partnership. "Sebastien and I met sophomore year of high school," explains Carmichael. "We were both in different bands at the time, and then one day it kicked in that we should do music together. Our first project was last year in May." The band released a very well received 10-song demo that month.
Their sound is what makes the group such a standout. Christie grew up listening to punk rock. He counts Blink-182 as one of his biggest influences. Carmichael, however, claims rap was the first form of music he was ever exposed to. "My parents don’t listen to any music. Growing up, my older friends influenced what I listened to, and they happened to listen to rap." Carmichael would always be able to sing along to the music his friends played. "We would go to my friend’s house and mess around and freestyle. Then one day they just said, ‘wow, John, you’re so much better than us at this.’"
Then he just started writing. Carmichael takes inspiration from the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye West. "[Jay-Z] listens to the beat, and then tries to imagine what the song would be about. I think that works out better. It’s hard to just say like, ‘okay, write me a track about women who have been abused!’" he laughs. As producer, Christie is responsible for providing the beat. "I’ll make the instrumental, sometimes I write a chorus to it, and then I’ll send it to John," says Christie.
Their substantial lyrics add a whole other layer to their music. When asked what inspires them when writing a song, both Christie and Carmichael said "life" simultaneously. In an attempt to be a bit more specific, Carmichael explained the back story of one of their most personal songs, "Inside I’m Torn." The song is a simple ballad with only vocals and piano. "Inside the song are personal references to all my friends. The story I told in it is actually about someone I know," says Carmichael. "Anyone can relate to it, though."
The boys admit that the students at Marshall High School comprise their largest fan base. Hardcore groupies wore homemade Bliss-FM tees to their recent show at Jammin’ Java. "We have friends at other high schools who promote our music, so it’s getting out there," Christie assures. "We definitely appeal to a teenage demographic, but also just people who appreciate good music. [Our music] isn’t watered down."
Perhaps their biggest break so far was a few weeks ago, when Bliss FM performed at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. One of their friends-slash-managers told the group to sign up for the event called "Exposure" featuring local bands. Carmichael and Christie performed along with Roxy Hernandez and Mike Pak, among others. Hernandez and Pak are a part of the "Bliss FM family." They deejay and sing during live performances with the band. Carmichael felt confident going in to the show at the 9:30 Club because it was the first time he actually knew all of his lyrics. "I’d perform with my old band and go on stage not knowing what I was going to say. I improvised," he explains. Then he admits to having a little stage fright: "Two minutes before we went on I was nervous. But then I heard the crowd - we had a crazy crowd. At that point it was like ‘stop being nervous this is going to be good.’"
The 9:30 Club gig was a huge success for Bliss FM. While performing "Time Goes By," a track off of their old demo, Christie was surprised to be drowned out by the crowd singing over his lyrics. "It was an awesome feeling," says Christie.
Carmichael went on to (very humbly) say that after talking to people who were at the event, Bliss FM had easily one of the best shows there. "Some of our performance even ended up on YouTube. Afterwards, I felt like a local celebrity."
As for future plans, much is up in the air. Christie plans to attend college in Nashville to study audio engineering. Carmichael may follow him. They also plan to start seriously working with a manager. "He wants us to start touring this summer. We haven’t talked too much about it. He sees us as being independent, not on a major label, but [still] getting a lot of exposure," says Carmichael. "I don’t see myself getting through 4 years of college, though. It’ll come to a point where we’ll decide ‘yeah, this music thing is being successful. Let’s take off a year or 2 and just try it.’ And just going from there."
In the very near future, Bliss FM will release "The Calm," their first full-length album. The album will be available on iTunes in mid-April.
If you can’t wait until then, check out their MySpace page to hear a sample of their songs (www.myspace.com/blissfm). Christie and Carmichael also encourage people to contact them for their old demo.
"Bliss FM stands for ‘bliss for the masses,’" Carmichael says. "We want to make good music for everyone." - Connection Newspaper


"Artist Spotlight: Bliss FM"

“It’s Just the Beginning..”

Recently Fresh pair of DMV’S had the opportunity to kick it with Bliss FM’s “ATOM” Christie (Vocal/producer) John Carmichael (Emcee) and rap about their album “The Food” ( dropped Jan. 27th .08) Bliss FM are an interesting pair that do hip hop their way, and like no other. Strong believers that they can bring the guitar to hip hop and the way they do makes you glad they did . Bliss FM defiantly will make your speakers scream with joy and sigh with relief because they are the FATEST kids around “No Pun Intended”. Astoundingly, they know no better coming from a musical background. They’re strong believers in the theory of minimalist; little is more. These two college kids see the music they make as a way of life; not a way to get paid. So you won’t see braggadocios metaphors or smilies,”The Pride” won’t let’em but of life’s ka-winky-dinks ,kicks and crap. Their artfully blended music blurs the genre lines and leaves the audience ready to wear that ,“Plain Gold Ring” in it’s commitment to hip hop. In this interview you’ll feel of one step closer to the men behind the music.

We present to you, the uncut (home video styled,lol) version of the interview. Stay tuned for more on Bliss FM in the near future. Stamp’d Special Thanks to Blythe “Breezy” for the write up and for filming.

Here’s some linkage. Make use. - Freshpairofdmvs.com


Discography

Self-Titled CD - 2007
The Food - 2009
Painters of the Portrait - Dec 28. 2009

Photos

Bio

Bliss FM was created in the summer of 2007 after John Carmichael and Sebastien “Atom” Christie met in high school. John, the emcee grew up on hip-hop obsessing over the culture since elementary school. He pulls inspiration from growing up in Northern Virginia and also spending summers in Serbia, an eastern-european country, where the rest of his family lives. He began rapping in high school, freestyling with his friends just for fun and soon after that he became very serious about his craft. Since a very young age, Sebastien held a guitar in his hands. His father Spanish and his mother French, he is tri-lingual and this plays a big part in who he is. After years of Jazz Band, he played in a few high-school bands before finding Carmichael. They called them selves Bliss-FM which stands for Bliss for the Masses, the bands mission statement. The duo released a self-titled project at the end of 2007 to very warm reactions from fellow students. They would become more serious about their craft and spend the next year strictly making music and doing small shows in the area. In early 2009, there second effort, The Food, was released locally and on the internet receiving over 1000 downloads and earning them a local buzz. After press from They would bring over 100 people out to an already packed 930 club for a battle of the bands and as accounts go from that night, “The crowd left after they were done.” Capitalizing off the success of that show the band booked a gig at Jammin’ Java, one of the premier venues in the Washington, D.C. area. They would sell out this show and a stunning performance earned them coverage from local newspapers including The Vienna Connection.Poised to do big things after signing with a personal manager, the release of their new CD entitled “Painters of the Portrait” is a 5 song disk that is sure to turn heads. Recorded in Plush Studios in Orlando and Mastered at Sterling Sound in New York; This CD is the bands best effort yet.