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Seattle, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF | AFM

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Pop Alternative




"New Artist Reviews: Qualia"

Seattle has always been a city of innovation, especially in the world of music. Not needing to list the countless array of legendary musicians that have emerged from the "Emerald City," it will always remain a thriving incubator of talent. Seattle-based Michael Hazani whose performance alias is Qualia, is a new and deeply emotive indie rock project who is quickly gaining momentum in the underground music world.

Qualia was initially formed as a band in 2014 as a means of escape for Hazani from his daytime shackles as a freelance songwriter and producer for hire. Their debut track "This Is The Color Of My Dreams" was released that same year and instantly received attention because of its uncompromising lyricism and fully immersive soundscapes that whisked the listener away into the world of Qualia. The success of this track bolstered an East Coast tour which broadened their reach and gave Hazani a taste of the life he had long been thirsting for.

Hazani's accolades include being a semi-finalist in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition two years running and winning the John Lennon Songwriting Competition in 2014. In addition to these accolades, the group was also officially selected to play the A3E exposition at the highly acclaimed Berklee College of Music of which all the band members are alumni. Though mostly a solo project now, all of his hard work and musical prowess has been poured into Qualia which combines the familiarity of past music sensibilities with a style of indie rock for a new generation.

Heartfelt vocals, retro-electronic elements, moving choruses and lush soundscapes comprise his newest release Triptych. This three song EP is filled with all of the emotional candor one would hope to hear from an artist hailing from Seattle. Qualia's catchy melodies and poetic lyrical progressions let the listener glide through the ebbs and crescendos of his songs. Triptych is an EP that changes upon each listen as you slowly begin to understand his style and soul.

The EP begins with the upbeat and poppy track "Presque Vu" which is nostalgic of the simple and carefree nature of youth. Reminiscent of the emo-music sensation that swept through the late 1990s and early 2000s, Qualia adds new life to a familiar sound. The most evocative track of Triptych,"Guillotine," follows with a haunting introduction as his vocals slowly lead the listener into the song while impending instrumentals progress and build. "Guillotine" creates an escalating sensation, like being pulled acquiescently in a direction with your eyes closed.

In addition to singing and writing all three tracks, Hazani also contributed keys and electronic production during the recording process. The studio musicians who recorded on the album were Shawn Crowder on drums, Pier Luigi Salami on keys, mixing by Jay Marcovitz and mastering by Fred Sladkey. Triptych integrates imagination, drama, emotion and narrative while remaining cohesive in sound and organic in its origins. Though he did have studio musicians when recording the album, Qualia's live shows utilize a solo electronic setup that remains faithful to the integrity of his music. Currently located in Seattle, he plans to tour the West Coast before the end of 2015.

Website: www.qualia-music.com
Bandcamp: www.qualiasongs.bandcamp.com
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/qualiasongs
Facebook: www.facebook.com/qualiasongs - Huffington Post

"Play The Interactive Music Video Game For Qvalias Sound The Alarm"

QVALIA is a band—but only for performance purposes. Otherwise, the lyrics, production, and entire coding of the interactive “songscape” music videos that accompany the group's lush, transformative debut album, This is the Color of My Dreams, were all conceived and created solely by Michael Hazani.

His trajectory towards solo-artist started once he completed his mandatory Israeli army service and left the country two days later for an interview at Boston’s renowned Berklee School of Music. Hazani got in, and after four years of studying songwriting the musician moved to New York and became a EDM top-liner, helping produce and write lyrics for the high-budget genre. But with one year left on his visa, he turned down a Dr. Luke deal to create on his own—and it was time to indulge.

While working on the lyrics for the new LP, Hazani realized a physical space would be as important to the project as the sound and the words. If only he knew how to code, he could create lands as immersive as those he envisioned for each song. So he learned.

For his debut songscape, “Sound The Alarm,” premiering on The Creators Project today, players attempt to escape a maze for the duration of the song. But when the music stops, so do you. Players who make it out in time, however, are rewarded with a free album. It’s an immersive and depth-forming experience, a welcomed addition to a year filled with a multitude of music video-video game fusions—from Future's 8-bit "Move That Dope" to Rustie's Minecraft album stream.

We spoke to QVALIA about his newest playable soundscape, "Sound The Alarm":

The Creators Project: How do you pronounce QVALIA?

Michael Hazani: It’s pronounced kwah-LIA like the term that it’s named after.

What term?

It’s a term in phenomenology that means the inherent subjective way every being perceives sensory perceptions. It’s the way that this salad is going to taste differently for you than it is for me; we either don’t perceive it the same way or we’ll never know if we perceive is exactly the same way.

Where'd you learn it?

It’s something I stumbled upon through a YouTube video. I think it’s fascinating and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing the last four years—catering to other peoples tastes. I took real pride in that, whether it was music supervisor or producer for a commercial looking for just the right Plain White T’s ripoff, or with an artist.

With this, I decided that there are a lot of things I want to do musically, lyrically, conceptually that I’d never given myself permission to do because I always saw myself as a songwriter for other people. For the last year on my artist visa, I decided I’m going to give myself full permission to do whatever I can come up with and embrace the somewhat self indulgent element that happens to come with the territory. A few months after running across the term "qualia" I realized that’s exactly that.

What was it like working as an EDM writer?

There’s this phenomena of working-class topliners where you work through a third party and just churn out toplines that are later mixed and matched with beats depending on who’s looking. It’s so homogenous that anything can work on anything else. I just heard this YouTube video of someone playing four Martin Garrix tracks simultaneously and they work; same key, same BPM goes without saying, but the fact that the drops are at the same point...

What kinds of projects would you work on?

We would get requests, like, Justin Bieber’s "Beauty and The Beat" is huge now, give me something like that and then we’d spend half a day. I’m not complaining, it was a great studio with good people to work with and what not—but we spent half the day trying to distill what it is that makes that song work. What the formula, concept, melody and all these things were and try to reach something that’s, shall we say, kindly inspired by it, but not a direct rip-off. Then the typical feedback would be yeah, that’s not close enough. We need something that’s like "Beauty and The Beat." It was really soul-crushing.

I can imagine. How did you come up with the idea for the songscapes?

I’m a huge [Richard] Wagner fan. One of the things I admired most about him is that opera is traditionally written by collaborators—a libretto and a musician, the composer. The composer would usually be front and center and the libretto, the lyricist, wouldn’t really mean much. If you actually look at the lyrics of Mozart’s "Magic Flute" or "Marriage of Figaro," it’s gibberish. It doesn’t work on any level. It’s horrible and that was a convention. Not unlike pop today with the miniature backlash about how that Ariana Grande song doesn’t work grammatically. It was Wagner who first said he really wanted to write music. He didn’t just want to write the backing track, but he wanted to tell stories. He was a bit of a control freak, but he sort of had to be and he was one of the first people who wrote his own opera. He designed his own sets. He designed his own lighting. He did everyhing and that’s one of the most inspiring things. That defiance of conventions and just realizing how much freedom you have to do things.

When I was working on these songs, I used to take endless walks in the Hudson waterfronts and I would try to come up with lyrics and concepts. It led to the sense of environment and that I get the song's elements not only from the lyrics and instruments, but also where I am.

...And you just brought it to life.

At first it was wishful thinking. Like, I wish I could just create these vast spaces for every song and have people take walks through them to have that be another part of the sensory experience. But then I realized it’s all within reach. I don’t have to go to design school of have a degree in game design. I can just learn these things.

Was it easy for you?

Once I decided to put in the time, pretty much. A lot of the tools are free. YouTube isn’t just a treasure trove of kiddie videos, there’s a lot of tutorials. One of the things I learned in the army is how to learn. I was in the intelligence corp so we had a six-month prep course of 14-hours a day of Arabic and technology, so I know how to do something when I want to.

What were the programs called?

For asset design, which is basically just creating 3D objects and animations, there’s an open source program called Blender. You have to pay your dues to use the free program because if it's not money than it's time, sweat, tears and blood. I’m emphasizing that it’s free because privilege has nothing to do with this. It’s something anybody can do if they put their time into it. Autodesk has a whole suite of tools that allow you to take pictures and turn them into multimedia objects. And there’s a program called Unity, which if you’re a game designer you know about. There’s a free version of that as well. That involved a lot of coding, but it was worth it.

In "Sound The Alarm," the songscape we're premiering, players have to find a way to exit Theseus’ labyrinth. What went into that?

The biggest challenge was the concept. The ideas fell in one big spectrum. Total interactivity on one end, which is giving people total freedom to do whatever they want and use it exactly how they want, and the song would just be chunks of music that are totally responsive.There are a lot of cool things you can do, like have different stems different places and have people change the mix of the stems, so one side of the world is more drums and the other is more guitar. On the other hand, it's a regular music video where you have no interactivity. Both have their pros and cons. Apparently that’s the huge debate going back to the academic side of interactive media. You have traditional adventure games where you have to do X to get Y and you’re told a story through the game, but they also have open-ended games like GTA V, which is literally a never-ending world where you just do whatever you want. The question was where do I fit in.

What I really wanted to do was have that Greek myth as the total backdrop to the song and even if the intellectual connection doesn’t come across, which I doubt it will at least for everybody, at least it will be something emotional that will resonate. That’s why you have total freedom of motion, but you don’t have control of the music. There’s an objective, sort of. If you just walk around, trying but failing to find your way out, hopefully you still have a rewarding experience because there’s a lot to see and do. If you do figure out the way out—it’s pretty out of the box, but it’s understandable if you pay attention to clues—you get a free download of the album. I figured if someone spends that much time in it and really tried to get it, they probably like the music.

Click here to play QVALIA's interactive music video, "Sound the Alarm," and to snag your copy of LP This is the Color of My Dreams. - VICE Magazine's The Creators Project

"Qualia: Triptych"

It's not often that I encounter music that pushes the listener to go beyond the audio experience. I recently had a chance to listen to Triptych - the upcoming EP from Seattle-based artist QVALIA, and it not only makes me want more, but it also makes me want to dive into each track and experience each layer of composition.

At first blush, these are tight tracks with smart lyrics and clever arrangements that fall somewhere between the realm of the post-New Wave music rom the 80s, puzzle/RPG games of the 90s, and full-blown movie soundtracks with shades of Hans Zimmer and Tangerine Dream. Dig a little deeper and the notes have texture, and evoke images - triggering synapses from the other senses as they try to keep up with your ears. Triptych is the sophomore release for QVALIA (solo artist, Michael Hazani), coming off of the soundscapes presented in the debut album, This is the Color of My Dreams (which you need to experience).

The Triptych EP is set to be released on September 15, 2015 on Amazon, Spotify, and iTunes, as well as on Qualia's SoundCloud & Bandcamp pages!. In the meantime, check out the official QVALIA site, and for the latest news, you can follow QVALIA over on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. - Tersichore Music Reviews


Whimsical. Mystical. Adorable and I have to say sensational. And trust me it has nothing to do with Al. It just happened that way. And here’s how that happened.

<< REWIND <<

In an world, that’s thrashing out over-produced, mismatched, androgynous, synthetic, inhuman experiences musicality, and all things in-between … it’s easy to get lost in the blur. Or the desire to trump GAGA. Or hop-scotching with everything to prove trying to be everything to everyone.

Uncommercially viable, renegade on their own terms, lifetime kids who sound like they know what it really means to have fun. Sure they have some twang, but there’s nothing poppy about it. It’s alive with its own distinctive culture and it invites you to choose the flavour. You could settle on #indie or #alternative, but I know that you can do better than that.


Track 1: Presque Vu

Took me back – maybe he’s physic – to my own little kindergarten rendezvous of daisy chains and secret promises – but before I indulge in that rabbit hole lives this instant hit. Rippling through my DNA, drumming my fingers on the desk, it crawls under your skin and flashmobs ever pore into a dance-freak-break-out. You have no idea how hard it is to write this while my inner kid goes all candy-cotton on these infectious beats. This track has the power to spark a long forgotten memory or make 100 new ones. DOWNLOAD IT.

Track 2: Guillotine

Theatrical, lyrical, epic, and waiting for its #SYTYCD debut. That’s So You Think You Can Dance Att: Sonya / Travis / Anyone. This track has the power to drop you into the moment. Have you downloaded it yet? With a quiver in it’s vocals, a raw authentic rasp, and lingering melodies, explosions happen in the little moments. With just the right leverage. this track is going to ooze itself over the world. Get it before the tsunami crumbles over.

The Album debuts today. So you have plenty of time to get ahead of the curb and write the trends as they augment themselves into your frequency… The sophomore EP from QUALIA; now Seattle-based, the musical outfit remains faithful to its founding elements – anthemic melodies, un-obvious lyricism, creative arrangements and an unabashed love of all things digital, retro and pixelated.

Discover more over at www.qualia-music.com or www.facebook.com/qualiasongs - Red Carpet Living


‘This is the Color of My Dreams’ is a beautiful submission from New York based trio that likes their music similar to that of CHVRCHES and Hans Zimmer. Conceived by music producer and songwriter Michael Hazani, QVALIA, makes some pretty pleasant feel-good music. Light summer vibes is the feeling with this album and I must admit, I am a fan.

The album will be out on September 1st and is really one of my favorite submissions of the summer. This entire album puts breakdowns on the back burner and it seems that QVALIA has an incredibly reflective, but nonetheless passionate sound. From the feel-good vibes and catchy vocals in ‘Won’t Let Go’ to the eclectic ethereal sounds of ‘White as Bones’, this album is one that music lovers of all genre’s would definitely enjoy.

My personal favorite was ‘Stardust’. Simply addicting vocals dripping with potential for a collaboration with a progressive house producer, it has all the elements that people quite literally enjoy about music. An easy-going and lightweight tune that will be a welcome add to playlists everywhere! - Thefuture.fm

"QVALIA - This Is the Color of My Dreams"

Qvalia – This is the Color of My Dreams

Qvalia – This is the Color of My Dreams
The 7 song collection runs a total of 25:10. It is officially released today. If I have anything bad to say about it is that it is only 25 minutes long. The artwork and the liner notes are very nice. It is nice to see that some artists still provide the consumer with something more physical. I am going to do something I don’t normally do. I am going to give you my take on each track. Frankly, they are all that good. Let us start with the tracks and a little bit about each:
Sound the Alarm – This may well be my favorite off the collection. I like the way it starts with vinyl sounding scratch and the message of the song is great. The has a neat rhythm, great melody and lovely layered sounds.
Breach – This tune starts off running and grabs your attention with the first note. It is more popish than the previous track but it has some uniqueness going on with the bass and drum line which sets it apart from being just another pop tune.
Stardust – This one has nice vocals and a powerful chorus. I like the way he moves from full explosive musical section to emptier lighter ones with bass rifts. The composer again did a great job of keeping pop sounding but not caned and boring.
I Won’t Let Go – A great beat, slightly different vocally than the tracks already mentioned. Again, just enough twist on the pop sound to make this one really energetic and powerful. I would say that this song has the most movement and variety of any of them on the EP.
The Feel of Not to Feel – This song is a very nice flowing melody and softer song. Some really nice work using all the different synth sounds. The music is not a thick as the other music on this work but in a way to focus your ear on the wonderful vocals in this song. It rather reminds me of some of Howard Jones better work.
White as Bones – This one starts out with a reedy raspy keyboard and the dynamically flows down to some softer music and vocals only to return with and explosive chorus. This may be the most dynamic song on the work. It ends with a great crescendo of what sounds like every vocalist in New York and the rings out on a single tone. Very well done.
150 - This one is another softer slower song but the sonar like sounds and the poetry-like delivery of the lyrics is just beautiful

Overall, I am honestly very impressed. I think this work does a good job of being pop but different. It is both pleasant to listen to and very energetic and uplifting. - Indienation

"QVALIA Q & A (Interview with Michael Hazani, songwriter and lead singer in QVALIA)"

What does QVALIA mean and how was it decided upon as your band name?

QVALIA is a Latinized stylization of the word Qualia, which means “the internal and subjective component of sense perceptions”. It’s basically the difference between the way you and I perceive the color red, or warm summer rain, or the taste of salt.

After graduating from college and moving to NYC, I spent four years writing music for commercials, indie films, music libraries and other artists.

QVALIA, is the contrast to all of that. It’s the sense of personal experience, an individual musical expression. It’s music driven by a private need to communicate, rather than market a product or an artist. The term “Qualia” seems to capture that idea perfectly.

Your music has a somewhat broad range from political topics as heard in ‘Sound the Alarm’ to a modern 80’s feel (as heard in Stardust) to songs with a music soundtrack quality (as heard in ‘White as Bones’). How does this relate to topics that you may observe or partake in as individuals and as something that encompasses the various aspects of your creativity?

To paraphrase Walt Whitman: we are large; we contain multitudes. Every living person is a walking contradiction, a vast collection of ideas, passions, aversions. The music’s broad range is simply the result of being a human being in my late twenties. “Stardust” is about growing up, “150” is about spirituality in an atheistic zeigeist, “White as Bones” is about writer’s block; these are all things that I’m preoccupied by.

It probably would have helped us professionally to throw a couple of fun, feel-good love or party songs in the album – music that’s fun and radio-friendly without too much inherent meaning. I’ve certainly done that before, particularly when writing for film and TV; but I don’t think I can do that anymore, write about something I’m not actually obsessed with.

Most bands that are starting out release an EP or two prior to releasing an album. Why did you guys go straight to releasing an album as a brand new band?

That’s certainly a very smart approach, PR-wise. But for us – again, it goes back to the idea of a creative compass and giving yourself permission to serve your work in the right way. It just had to be an album. It needed to have a particular rhythm. The last song’s final lyrics had to echo the first song’s first verse. It had to be cyclical, to bite its own tail.

Here’s the thing: most bands don’t make it past their first or second album. Things fall apart. Of course, I’m optimistic, excited, and have long-term plans for QVALIA; but the main idea was – and still is – if you only get one chance to do it right, to do it the way it needs to be done, how are you going to go about it?

Which kind of visuals can your audience anticipate in your live performance?

The main concept, which we’re all excited about, is Songscapes; immersive, interactive, 3d virtual environments that enhance the emotional resonance of the music. We’ll be releasing the first one very soon – and anyone will be able to experience it at home. We have a trailer for them right here.

In an ideal show, they wouldn’t only be projected or displayed in some way, but would also be interactive, respond to our playing, or the audience’s movement, the temperature in the room, and so on. All of this is certainly doable but, since we’ve only just started out, we want to take our time with it to make sure it’s done the right way.

Do you ever worry if people will envision something different in a song in comparison the to imagery, locations or soundscape that you may have associated to the same song in it’s development?

The beauty behind Qualia is the idea that everyone experiences the same thing differently, individually. I’m really curious about future response to the Songscape experience. That’s really the point – not telling the world how to feel, but creating these musical dreamscapes and letting people engage with them in a way that appeals to them.

The technology that lets you do all those things is very new, and interactive art is still somewhat of an uncharted territory. Sure, it’s been experimented with a lot – a recent example is Radiohead’s Polyfauna app – but our Soundscapes are more specific, more contextualized and narrative-based, not as randomly procedural or user-generated as these things tend to be. I like to think of it as a form of interactive musical theater.

So far, my favorite type of player response is the one I never expected. I’m hoping for lots of those.

If we were to time travel and see what was in your walkman, which tape would we most likely find in it?

When I was 10, my favorite tape in the whole world was Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous”. Remember “Will You Be There”? I think I wore out the magnetic tape replaying that one. Then one day I accidentally recorded over it, which broke my heart at the time.

Where are some of your favourite places in NYC to write music?

I used to do a lot of writing for/with other artists in studios around town, and for a while my home base was StadiumRed, which is a top-of-the-line facility that’s run by great people. Their 100-year-old Steinway’s sound will take your breath away.

However, for this project, being an introvert and a typical only child, I could only really write this kind of music alone. I took endless walks by the Hudson river waterfront, listening to demos and track snippets, and the melodies and lyrics came slowly, organically, over several months.

Production also took place at Caveman Studio, my co-producer Jake Birch’s Brooklyn studio. It’s a comfortable, creative space and Jake was the perfect collaborator for this project; intuitive, brimful of great musical ideas, and very organized – which isn’t my strongest suit. We had a great musical Yin-and-Yang thing constantly happening.

‘150’ sounds like a song on the soundtrack of a Ridley Scott epic drama. If your album were attached to a movie soundtrack which movie would it be and why?

Thanks! That’s a really nice compliment.

I like to think that some of the songs would fit the vibe of a Von Trier movie – maybe Melancholia, if Wagner hadn’t already covered that base.

“I Won’t Let Go” was originally inspired by the 2004 Ronald Moore reboot of Battlestar Galactica. The song changed drastically in subsequent versions, although one of the main musical motifs from that show is still hidden in the very last bars. So if they ever reboot the reboot, I’ll be expecting a call from their music supervisor!

Do any of you play Minecraft while listening to Hans Zimmer, Yoko Kanno, Yanni or similar artist?

Not yet, but that’s a wonderful idea! Minecraft is great – I never really got into it, but my favorite thing growing up was my Legos, so I see how I could easily develop an addiction if I let myself slip. I also love watching those Minecraft remake videos, where they construct a functioning gameboy, or all of Westeros. A Hans Zimmer score would be very appropriate as the soundtrack to the creation of an entire virtual universe.

If so then what is the most elaborate thing that you have created and what were you listening to at the time?

If I ever do it, reconstructing the Ivory Tower from the first Neverending Story film while listening to that Klaus Doldinger soundtrack would definitely be one of the highlights of my existence.

Which song from the album is the favourite of each of you and why?

Shawn says his favorite is Stardust. He loves the big halftime groove, the melody and the synth arpeggio parts. Pier’s favorites are Stardust and Breach – we’re both enamoured of early 90’s rock and whenever we play these songs he really gets into it. They also have synth parts that are particularly fun to play live.

I don’t think I have a favorite song, but I do have occasional favorite moments within songs – a lyric or melodic phrase that just works. Maybe that’s all you can hope for – to make something that, even years later, makes you think “yeah, I’m not the same person anymore, and not all of my work has aged well, but that bit is still good”. I think everyone wishes for that in some way. - Noir Strassen Magazine

"QVALIA - This Is The Color Of My Dreams (Self-Released)"

New York’s QVALIA, like their contemporaries CHVRCHES, share more than just a stylized namesake, taking cues from various post-punk groups, and even the album artwork seems a nod to The Cure or Echo and the Bunnymen. Their debut album, This Is The Color Of My Dreams, ambitiously explores the electronic soundscapes of the 80’s and merges it succinctly with a modern twist.

Instrumentally, the album is verging on masterful. It echoes of mid-80’s synthpop and post-punk, hybrids of guitars and synthesizers like New Order and The Cure. Vince Clarke would have been proud to lay claim to songs like “Breach” or “The Feel Of Not To Feel It.” The problem, however, is often when the vocals come in. It’s not that they’re necessarily bad; it’s just that neither the vocals nor lyrics seem to fit in with the music.

Occasionally the lyrics, as on “Sound the Alarm,” verge on the silly, bandying about some of the most obvious and famous lines in the history of poetry. There just seems to be a linear disconnect, as if the vocals are entirely modern and post-irony, but the instrumentals seems decades old. In this way, QVALIA are even more like their peers than previously thought, and it’s really just down to a matter of personal taste. There’s no denying there’s definitely a big audience out there for an album like This Is The Color Of My Dreams. - The Big Takeover


Imagine Dragons and CHVRCHS had a baby, and named it QVALIA. With their debut album “This Is The Color of My Dreams”, out September 1st according to their facebook, they create an electronic pop with indie rock texture reminiscent of laid back New York city late nights. Their produced sound stems from Michael Hazani’s background as a music producer. His teaming up with other members of QVALIA, Pierluigi Salami and Shawn Crowder got them to reach the sound that creates the band. Electronic pop has been making an emergence lately with bands like their parent CHVRCHES (inheriting the V where is doesn’t belong) but QVALIA takes a different, more cinematic, route.

Pulling from their influences, QVALIA uses chords unlike most pop music. Ignoring popular music theory by throwing in minor chords to major music every once in a while is surprising enough these days, and making that sound work with pop music is somewhat refreshing. The string and percussion accompaniment scattered throughout the album comes from their influence of Hans Zimmer (who wrote the score to Inception, Transformers, and The Dark Knight) and becomes increasingly apparent in the song White as Bones. Now, if you don’t really know what the hell Im talking about, just ignore that last section and listen to my favorite song on the album I Wont Let Go below. Its feel good electro-indie-pop sound truly captures the bands pop aspect.

They don’t stop there. Taking the cinematic elements to another level, QVALIAs live performance includes pixelated imagery to accompany the music. Along with that, they are releasing (along with their full-length) interactive “songscapes” inspired by 90’s PC adventure games. You remember Half Life or Final Fantasy?..its a 90’s kids thing…(goddamn buzz feed). - Noise

"New Music: QVALIA Creates Songscapes, Not Just Music [Review] Read more at http://guardianlv.com/2014/10/new-music-qvalia-creates-songscapes-not-just-music-review/#wJ9eSOrmid6Q5S7J.99"

“New music” may not be the most accurate term for QVALIA’s debut album. In fact, “album” is not exactly the right word for what this project, started by producer Michael Hazani, has released. This Is the Color of My Dreams is a creation by QVALIA which defies conventions in almost every way possible. The album is meant to be listened to along with interactive videos inspired by the first high-resolution video games of the 90s. When listeners put together the music and the interactive world, Hazani calls the experience “songcapes.” The name of the project, QVALIA, implies that the way each person views the world is subjective, and thus the new music and visual pairing can be experienced in a myriad of ways.

Hazani has been producing new music for some years, attempting to create popular songs which are also original and heartfelt, but he found the concepts of “pop music” and “original expression” to be two ideas which seemed diametrically opposed to each other. He then teamed up with Pierluigi Salami and Shawn Crowder, with whom he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, and the newly formed band set out to create something new in pop music. They named the project QVALIA after the term “qualia,” which is defined as the quality of subjectivity which can be found in the way each person sees the world. Though humans generally regard the shared reality in daily life as concrete and objective, qualia suggests that each person may see a color or experience a feeling differently than the next. This is why QVALIA has designed This Is the Color of My Dreams to be listened to, seen, and experienced in many different ways and on many different levels.

The new music in the album itself is intricately composed and arranged with many different layers, unique, computer-driven melodies and swelling orchestral crescendos characterize songs like Sound the Alarm and Stardust. Hazani’s vocals bring a bit of a pop feel, however, they are also bold and emotive. The lyrics are themes anyone can appreciate, such as love and individuality. Scratch the surface a little, however, and listeners will find themes inspired by T.S. Eliot and John Keats, questioning the human condition and existence itself. With all these different layers to the music, listeners can choose to analyze and dig deep into the complex nature of each composition, or simply experience the beauty of This Is the Color of My Dreams and the emotions it creates.

Similarly, the interactive visual experiences, the first of which is has already been posted on QVALIA’s website, can be paired with the songs and experienced in a number of ways. Hazani is quick to point out, however, that though many of the “songscapes” have a goal or destination, they are not video games. Once again, the user can choose how he or she wants to experience the visuals. With the use of keyboard prompts and mouse, the user can move throughout the world haphazardly, try to get to the “destination” by the end of the song, move around in tandem with the music or just stand still and gaze at the vistas on the screen. By pairing the new music with the visual interaction, each listener can create a different experience each time they listen along with the visual piece. In this way the band is true to its theme of qualia in both name and deed.

There is obviously a lot going on within the new music in QVALIA’s debut album, but it seems Hazani’s point is not to make his work overly complicated or cerebral. Listeners may take from it what they will. They may choose to only listen to the album or to use the interactive experience without the music. They may choose to listen to and analyze the highly complex structure of each piece from a music theory or technical standpoint, or they may decide to simply put on headphones, navigate the virtual world and enjoy what they see and hear. This Is the Color of My Dreams asks the user to choose his or her experience, to make it their own, as indeed each person does with his or her perception of every aspect of reality. If the listener chooses to ignore all of that and just enjoy, however, QVALIA is happy with that, too.

The new music in This Is the Color of My Dreams can be streamed and downloaded on QVALIA’s Bandcamp page, and listeners should check back with the band’s website for more “songscapes” as they will post the new interactive visuals at regular intervals. QVALIA will also be touring during the fall and winter, and the “songscapes” will be part of each show on a larger scale. This Is the Color of My Dreams is among the best new music for fall, and with the added unique element of the interactive visual experience making QVALIA one of the most exciting projects of the past few years. - Guardian LV

"QVALIA – “Breach”"

QVALIA’s song Breach comes to us via Fluence, a really great way to discover music. The lyrics in this song can sometimes remind you of a song in a John Hughes movie that at times feel epic and other times a tad corny. I’m still really digging it though, especially that synth-pop feel that QVALIA definitely has a handle on. QVALIA is based in New York and has a whole idea for what music videos are going to be. Watch the trailer.

Bonus is Sound The Alarm which features clapping and alarm sounds – both great ideas for when you’re driving late at night through cornfields, as one does. - RHYME ET REASON




Immediately drawn in by the name, meet QVALIA. Newcomers to the New York scene, the group formed in 2014, and have just released their debut album, This Is The Color Of My Dreams, earlier this week. My ears were certainly pleased, that’s for sure. 7-tracks fill the record, and my only regret is that there aren’t more songs…just yet at least.

Invoking a bit of CHVRCHES flare, QVALIA sure does deliver. The catchy and brilliant piece “Sound the Alarm,” kick off the record with a powerful force of synths, pianos, and ASTONISHING vocal work from singer Michael Hazani. Tracks such as “Breach,” offer a new twist on a nostalgic 80s sound. The musicianship seems extremely smooth and appears to come naturally to the band.

“Stardust,” takes the record down with darker undertones which are wrapped in the arms of sugary harmonies and heart-wrenching vocals. “I Won’t Let Go,” brings the dance party back into full force, which is a track I have been blaring endlessly from my stereo speakers. The instrumentation is stunning on every level and it is almost hard to believe the band have only just begun. This is the work of seasoned musicians. “The Feel of Not to Feel It,” and “White Bones” evoke the sounds of the 80s without hesitation as it recalls powerhouse synths that are prominent and unforgettable. Closing out the record is “150,” a slow and heartfelt way to end the collection of songs. Check out QVALIA’s This Is The Color Of My Dreams, as it will not disappoint. - Modern Mystery Blog

"In between the dimensions of music – and colourful dreams"

Listening to this album reminds me of the fragments of quantum leaps across dimensions into alternate universes … It’s got that familiar nostalgic 80’s grounding that we all know (no matter how old you are), and yet it has time aura of psychedelia that puts this album in a lane of it’s very own.

They labelled their lane as the sounds of ” cinematic alternative pop” with a twang of rock electronica. Don’t you just love that? That in a world of set scales, you can step into (or between) an nuance and carve out a little piece of heaven. It’s that kind of dimension I remember about ULISIS … however, incomparable they might be.

This is definitely a new kid on the block – after all they only just gelled this year as a band of musical brothers … so that makes them even more watchable as they step into their own and place cinematic music into the commercial globe. There personal brand and photos could use with a little more development – but musically they seem to be finding their unique stamp on the world. More so since their inspirations are the likes of Keats, TS Eliot, Saint Exupery and the Book of Psalms.(in the lyrical sense). Yes. you heard me correctly …. Keats, TS Eliot, Saint Exupery and the Book of Psalms. History is being re-written here guys!

Then there’s this cover art which again takes you back towards legends from way back when of a different kind.Now, my art history is over 10 years rusty (and that’s just an excuse not to do the maths) but I’ll say it feels a little Monet to me.

Speaking of history, the first track drops into listen to “sound the alarm” which gets under your skin, pops up goosebumps, and gets you moving into a deepness that only music can hold you in. I’m expecting this is going to be the big-bang track off this album … and stardust (but then again I might be biased on that one!).

The musicality is an interesting blend of heart beats, war drums, beat boxes, riffs… ignites a sense of 30 seconds to Mars … it’s rusty … and not that well evolved but it’s there.

The resulting effort is a concise, diverse song cycle which while being accessible from the first listen rewards multiple spins and calls for a repeat visits to its wide pallet of sonic and emotional colours.

The album is only launching next month but you can get the exclusive FREE- FULL THROTTLE album run through when you tune into their facebook page – right here or via the twittersphere – here.

NOTE TO THE BAND: Keep pounding those beats and spreading the ECHO guys! Looking forward to seeing your evolution. - Red Carpet Living

"QVALIA's debut album takes you on an adventure"

QVALIA, a three-piece based out of New York City, is out to make their own stamp on the alternative pop scene with their debut record, "This is the Color of My Dreams."
In seven songs the three-piece band takes you on a musical adventure that will have you pressing repeat many times.
The album as a whole is a journey full of dark pop sounds that manages to steer just clear of the depression zone. Praise for that accomplishment mostly goes to lead singer Michael Hazani whose vocals may remind one of Adam Young who is better known by his stage name Owl City.
While the album only includes seven songs, there are definitely those that standout from the rest with the first one being the album opener "Sound the Alarm." Not only is it the perfect way to open the band's album, but it also feels as it's best suited to open their shows as well. The overall feel of the song sounds like it could've been a contender for Imagine Dragons' debut album, and it's booming chorus would surely bring an audience to their feet.
The next standout is called "I Won't Let Go." It has an instantly catchy rhythm guitar part repeating throughout along with a very crunchy drum beat. It's another one that will have people dancing on the floor, and turning it up on the radio.
Then there's "The Feel of Not to Feel It" which is mainly a standout due to the fact that it's one of the three noticeably slow songs on the record. It seems to be influenced by pop music from the 1980s, and has a very atmospheric vibe to it.
QVALIA have done something rare here. They have made a kind of pop music that doesn't feel as if it's made to attack your eardrums. The production is powerful without bringing fatigue to your hearing, which is something that is rarely done.
This new band has created a kind of pop music that's both catchy, adventurous, and allows the listener to escape to another place with each song. And it's a kind of music that has been greatly missed.
To stream their album, and purchase it, you can go to their official site.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/a-and-e/music/review-qvalia-s-debut-album-takes-you-on-an-adventure/article/401744#ixzz3CgDIabtp - Digital Journal


QVALIA nailed it. I can’t quite describe “it,” but this is it. Apparently, the album and live shows are “accompanied by interactive 3d songscapes inspired by 90’s PC adventure games.” I didn't look up the CGI videos. I decided to judge the music based solely on sound.

They nailed it because the music paints a picture. I feel and see color, warmth, cool breezes, and landscapes as I listen. It may be cheesy, but it’s true. I imagine that if I was cool enough (or stupid enough) to “party,” I would really enjoy these tracks. And I thought these things before I realized that the title is, This is the Color of My Dreams.

Vocals are important to me. Vocals quite literally make a song a song. The vocals here remind me of all my favorite male rock vocalists. The sound is part production and part mix, but mostly a professional in front of a mic.

There are no catchy hooks here; there are actual choruses. Listen to “Sound the Alarm,” “Stardust,” and “White as Bones” to understand what I mean. So, in some ways this is a more mature sound. But I think this is a sound that works today where the only sound that matters, sounds like EDM. No, this isn't EDM, but it’s just abstract enough, and just fast enough that it could mix well with a DJ, and vodka or Jack.

Throughout the album, various sounds and rhythms allude obviously to video game roots. And the band’s look makes it all very authentic. One look at these guys confirms that they spent some time in a basement with a keyboard, joystick, or controller (it’s likely that they still do). That’s comforting because it means this unique sound wasn't crafted or contrived - it just was.

No, I will not ever sing along to any of these songs. But they are good, while being totally unobtrusive. I could easily play this as background at any event. It’s ideal music for when you walk into a movie theater lobby and those almost recognizable songs play that you know you've never heard. QVALIA should start sending demos to AMC and Regal right now.

I admire the story of how they got here. A somewhat struggling career writer-musician decided to do what he loves. So far, so good. I give the album a 3.5 out of 5 stars. - Look to the Cookie

"Review by G. W. Hill"

Electronic pop music is the concept here. There is a range within that heading, but overall that sort of title fits. There isn’t a ton of change amongst many of the songs, yet it never feels redundant. This is just great pop music, really.

Track by Track Review

Sound the Alarm
Electronic, dramatic and quite pretty, this is great stuff. It’s sort of somewhere between a modern progressive rock and electro-pop music. At times the vocals make me think of Sting.

A bit more of a rocker, this is more pure pop in nature. It’s catchy and a lot of fun. It has a lot of energy to it. I love the soaring keyboard layers and the multiple layers of vocals, though.

Although there are no huge changes here, this one has a lot of pop elements. It feels a little over produced at times, though.

I Won't Let Go
This is another effective dosage of electronic pop music. It’s just fun.

The Feel of Not to Feel It
We get more of the same. I like the vocal hooks on this one a lot, though and it really has a lot of charm.

White as Bones
I love the keyboard sound on this. The song is a powerful one that works really well. It’s almost classical in some ways. It’s also one of the best tunes here. The vocals, the song itself and the instrumental textures just work so well together. It gets quite lush in tgxture near the end.

The best was saved for last. This is more electronic in some ways. It reminds me of both Oasis and Muse in different ways. The vocal line is powerful and the song is packed with emotion. - Music Street Journal

"“Sound The Alarm” by QVALIA"

New York-based cinematic alt-pop band, QVALIA, released an ambitious debut album titled This Is the Color of My Dreams on September 1. The QVALIA lineup consists of Michael Hazani (guitar and vocals), Pierluigi Salami (keys), and Shawn Crowder (drums), three musical soulmates who met while attending Berklee College of Music and have been playing together for years.

Stream the album in full at Soundcloud, or purchase it via bandcamp. Plus, check out the songscapes trailer here.

This Is the Color of My Dreams proudly wears its influences on its sleeve – analog synth and 80’s inspired guitar-laden melodies and percussive war drums a-la action film scores. - Painting the Silence

"QVALIA – This Is The Color Of My Dreams Review"

The best way to describe QVALIA’s debut album, This Is The Color Of My Dreams, is melodic. The band has managed to capture a tone that is both uplifting and yet mellowing at the same time. You feel both energized by the lyrics and the instrumentals, but also quite relaxed by the same thing that brings the music to an uplifting note. It’s an enigma.

This, as I said, is the debut album of QVALIA, which means the band has to work extra hard to get their name out there and get people listening. For a first album, they could have done far worse. In fact, I’d go so far as to say they managed to capture their genre perfectly, and even enhance upon it. Of course, that genre is a mixture of numerous, including Cinematic Rock, Orchestral, and Alternative Electronic Pop. You can hear aspects of each within their music, and it works well.

QVALIA - PressPhoto Fountain Gold

The first song on the album, “Sound the Alarm,” is easily the best available. It is incredibly catchy to listen to, and, like the rest of their music, quite uplifting. There are calming tones and smooth lyrics, both of which are enhanced to their fullest by the careful expertise of the instruments. This song is the perfect one to show how much talent QVALIA has in the music scene.

Following up Sound the Alarm is Breach. This one is easily the most recognizable on the album. You can instantly hear tones of 80’s rock and pop mixed into the music, though it does work out well enough to be interested. I’m not a fan of music from that era, but I’m enjoying Breach all the same. It has a light tone, but still remains faster than many of songs on the entire CD. Plus, it’s easy to follow along with the lyrics, which makes singing to it rather enjoyable.

QVALIA - PressPhoto Tunnel

Stardust, the third song of the album, feels like it was focused towards the pop genre. While I’m not a fan of pop in any way, I feel QVALIA was aiming for something here and they accomplished it with ease. This is a song that would work quite well within a romantic film and not feel out of place or withdraw the viewer from said movie. It’s incredibly romantic toned.

The album continues with a mixture of songs that come across as energetic, calming and more than a few that feel geared towards the romantic in all of us. I didn’t actually find a bad song within This Is The Color Of My Dreams. However, the style certainly isn’t for everyone. In fact, QVALIA is set within a set of genres that are rather niche, and may have a limited crowd. I certainly wouldn’t recommend not giving it a try, even if you’re not into electronic pop or the like. - Brilliantly Epic

"Introducing QVALIA- This Is The Color Of My Dreams Album Release Special"

Band/Artist: QVALIA
Location: New York
Styles: Cinematic Rock, Orchestral, Alt Electronic Pop
Similar to/RIYL: The Cure, CHVRCHES, Hans Zimmer, Autre Ne Veut
CD: This Is the Color of My Dreams
Release date: Sept. 1st, 2014

Michael Hazani – Vocals, Guitar
Pierluigi Salami – Keys
Shawn Crowder – Drums

QVALIA is a New York-based cinematic alt pop band, formed in 2014. Its lineup consists of Michael Hazani (guitar and vocals), Pierluigi Salami (keys) and Shawn Crowder (drums), three musical soulmates who met while attending Berklee College of Music and have been playing together for years.

QVALIA’s first album, “This Is the Color of My Dreams”, will be released September 1st, 2014; the promo singles will be accompanied by interactive, immersive 3d songscapes inspired by 90’s PC adventure games which QVALIA also incorporates into its live show, creating a one-of-a-kind juxtaposition between the emotionally open, heart-on-your-sleeve music and the pixelated, artificial, CGI-based songscapes.

1. Sound the Alarm
2. Breach
3. Stardust
4. I Won’t Let go
5. The Feel of Not to Feel It
6. White as Bones
7. 150

Produced by Michael Hazani and Jake Birch
Mixed by Jake Birch and Ethan Mentzer at Grand Street Studios and Caveman Studios
Mastered by Ricardo Gutierrez

QVALIA was conceived by Michael Hazani, a songwriter and music producer, as a musical outlet that did not need to conform to the strict demands of the pop market. “This Is the Color of My Dreams” proudly wears its influences on its sleeve – analog synth and 80’s inspired guitar-laden melodies, percussive war drums a-la action film scores, the constant interplay between the intimate miniature and the large-scale epic – while its overarching themes of mortality and hope are lyrically influenced by the likes of Keats, TS Eliot, Saint-Exupery and the Book of Psalms.

The resulting effort is a concise, diverse song cycle which – while being accessible from the first listen – rewards multiple spins and calls for repeat visits to its wide pallet of sonic and emotional colors. - Circuit Sweet


Producer Michael Hazani has a new and novel project, released in September, called QVALIA. With fellow band mates Pierluigi Salami and Shawn Crowder, Hazani has created an electronic alt-pop album which is among the more unique and interesting endeavors of the last fifteen years.

Hazani and his band call the singles from their debut album, This Is the Color of My Dreams, “songscapes.” This is because each single will be accompanied by an interactive visual experience as it’s released on the band’s website, QVALIA.co. The visual side of this unique project was inspired by the first high resolution video games in the 90s. Hazani is quick to point out that the visual experiences are not games, however. “Some of them have goals, but they are not games.” As users learn to navigate the virtual worlds, they can move around and change perspectives to fit the movement of the songs. The first “chapter,” the soungscape for the single “Sound the Alarm” is already posted on the band’s website.

The unique nature of the visual experience of QVALIA should in no way detract from the musical artistry of the album, however. This Is the Color of My Dreams is a beautiful epic electronic musical journey on par with M83’s Saturdays=Youth or Washed Out’s latest album. Each song is a beautifully composed and lyrically intricate, with obvious influences from T.S. Eliot and Psalms.

Lyrics, music, and visuals are all meant to explore the subjectivity of perception that is the definition of the term “qualia.” Hazani stays true to his theme while using multiple media to express it. The interactive visuals allow the listener to choose what he or she sees while listening to the music, and thus the perception of the music may change with each playing of it as well. Each person who visits the QVALIA site will perceive the experience differently, and will be able to change their perception each time they visit. It seems Hazani’s point with this project is to mirror the subjectivity found in the microcosm of the minutiae of details in everyday life, as well as the macrocosm of the shared reality of human existence. If the listener doesn’t feel like thinking about all of that, however, it’s still a beautiful, fun, and interesting piece of work that he or she can just sit down and enjoy. That’s kind of the point, as well.

QVALIA will be taking their songscapes on the road where fans can experience them all at once on a large screen, or they can go to QVALIA.co in order to try out the songscape experience of each single as it’s made available. The album is also available for download on the band’s Bandcamp page for $7, and the download there includes stills from some of the songscapes. However fans want to experience, QVALIA, there’s a way to do it.

Written by Layla Marino

Blog: (Dropping) Weird Science

Twitter: @dropweirdsci - ellenwood

"Review: Qualia “Tryptych” EP"

As the solo project of Michael Hazani, Qualia is a sensory overload of melodic madness in the best way. With lush atmospherics, depth of arrangement, and an infectious, up-beat style, this is an essential EP for any Indie Rock enthusiast.
As the opening track, “Presque Vu” is reminiscent of Super Mario meets Matt Nathanson as a fast-paced tempo collides with melodic intensity to create a catchy opener that will get your attention right out of the gate.
“Guilotine” is considerably more stripped-down. A simple drum beat and backing melodies lay the foundation for Hazani to tell his story. There's a fire in this track that has a slow-burn effect, building up in parts and then coming back down, but always keeping a level of intensity as its base.
“Tell Me A Story” is definitely the most radio ready of the three tracks. A groove-laden bass line and Pop-infused melodies kick off this track before the down-tempo melodics kick in. The two tempos play off of one another to create a well-rounded track that's a runaway favorite for best on the EP.
Overall, the only real downside to “Triptych” is that it only has three tracks. The EP will easily leave listeners wanting more, and, as both an artist and a listener, what more could one ask for? - Indie Obsessive

"Qualia - Tryptych EP (Self-Released)"

Seattle’s Qualia, essentially the solo project of musician Michael Hazani, has returned with their newest released, Tryptych. A follow up to the band’s debut from 2014, This Is The Color of My Dreams, the new EP is more of the same, uncompromisingly succinct vision. As hinted at in the title, Tryptych, is a collection of three songs unified in style, size, and power. Hazani’s sound is as modern as it is nostalgic, like a reexamination of 80’s synth power ballads. The sound and hooks are positively massive, as if meant to be heard only in the setting of a stadium.

With booming chants and extravagant vocals, there is a strong theatrical quality to these songs. This effect is achieved better than anywhere else on the opener, “Presque Vu.” The song begins with a little teaser of chiptune before exploding into a grandiose anthem. “Guillotine” begins and builds more slowly, but it’s a crescendo that’s gradual and by the end, the band feels like a full orchestra and choir. The final song, “Tell Me A Story” is the closest to art rock here, but it remains as equally catchy as its predecessors. Tryptych is out September 15th. - The Big Takeover


QVALIA's Debut Album "This Is the Color of My Dreams" came out in September 2014 and can be streamed and purchased at:

QVALIA's official website








Qualia was formed in 2014 by Michael Hazani as a musical refuge from his daytime gig as a freelance songwriter/producer for hire. The band's debut, “This Is the Color of My Dreams”, was released in 2014 and quickly garnered online buzz for its uncompromising lyricism and musicality, as well as the immersive, interactive 3d songscapes that accompanied the singles. In the same year Qualia (in band formation) toured the East Coast, broadened its reach and won the John Lennon Innovators In Music Competition, which led to a special performance at Berklee College of Music (of which all band members are alumni).

Qualia's newest EP, "Triptych", takes on a more organic approach while staying faithful to the integrity, imagination and drama of the band's previous music; now located in Seattle, Hazani plays Qualia shows utilizing a solo electronic setup and plans to tour the West Coast throughout 2015.

Band Members