Songbird is a two day festival showcasing fifty of the most talented and promising singer-songwriters currently touring Europe, all brought together under the roof of one of Rotterdam’s most famous music venues. Add an appreciative crowd in an intimate setting and you have a good idea of how much Rotterdam’s Songbird Festival rocks.

And of course, if there’s a musical event worth filming then you can be sure that the Rockstone team will there to capture it and deliver it directly to you for your musical enjoyment!

We picked some of our favourite artists and coaxed them out onto the wintery streets of Rotterdam and into the warmth of a nearby café to perform and talk to our presenter Nadja. Day one of the festival had an international flavour: we filmed artists Sivu, Alex Vargas and Rae Morris from the UK, and Chris Ayer from the States. If you like your music raw, passionate and fortified with powerful lyrics, then check out these artists and add them to your playlist! You can thank us later…

Alex Vargas (UK)

If there’s any musical justice in the world, Alex Vargas is going to be big, really big. An intense singer-songwriter with an incredible voice, Alex writes songs that will touch you at the core. We caught up with him after the show and talked about audience banter in different cities, telling his own stories through his songs, his last EP Howl, and writing lyrics under pressure on the Tube!

The Interview

Emerging from the dark shadows of Rotterdam’s icy streets, Alex Vargas gave us an intense and arresting performance of ‘Wasteland’. His powerful, deep, blues-infused voice echoed around the square, literally stopping people in their tracks to listen. Watch his captivating performance and you’ll understand why!

Alex Vargas – Wasteland

Sivu (UK)

Sivu is talented singer and multi-instrumentalist James Page. He brings a creative twist to everything he does from his music and videos, all the way to his artist name – Sivu is ‘page’ in Finnish. ‘One of many signals’, he delivers his own blend of layered, impressive left-field pop crowned with his unique vocals.

Sivu performed his tracks ‘Sleep’ and ‘Miracle Miracle’ for us on a chilly Rotterdam square. We also talked to him about playing sold out shows on tour with London Grammar, losing his mind whilst creating his own ‘Fear and Loathing’ experience for the ‘I lost myself’ video, and being just one of many ‘signals’.

The Interview

Sivu – Sleep

Sivu – Miracle Miracle

Rae Morris (UK)

Rae Morris writes raw, beautiful, soul-rousing songs, rich with contemplation. Her powerful voice soars over delicate piano motifs to create arresting ballads. Morris was already one of our pre-festival highlights, but even with our high expectations she still managed to blow us away with her performances of ‘Skin’, an exclusive from her new album coming out next year, and her song ‘This Time’.

We caught up with Rae in her cosy dressing room backstage. A genuinely lovely lady and talent to watch, we talked about how performing music is her at her rawest state, looking forward to the new album in early summer 2014, and unleashing her inner ‘Sasha Fierce’ onstage!

The Interview

Rae Morris – This Time

Rae Morris – Skin

Chris Ayer (US)

Described as “part street poet, part philosopher”, Chris Ayer delivers his own blend of uplifting rock infused folk/pop. Picked up for awards in the States for his songwriting, Chris has been touring Europe this year, captivating his fans with his latest album ‘The Noise’.

Chris performed his the first single of ‘The Noise’, called ‘The Infinite Abyss of Space’. While chatting to us, he also revealed his favourite audiences, how philosophy influences his songwriting and lyrics, and his tips for budding musicians.

The Interview

Chris Ayer – The Infinite Abyss of Space

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