M-Angel

When I say I listen to a bit of everything, I mean it. Growing up in Maryland, my Cameroonian mother exposed me to 80s pop rock, 90s alternative, Michael Jackson and a lot of Celine Dion. My French father loved Classical music, the Beatles and Pink Floyd. My brother listened to rap, Hip-Hop and Bob Marley when my sister and I were fans of *NSYNC, Britney and Christina. As a teen, I listened to R&B/Hip-Hop, fell in love with 50s pop, and my friends (and crushes) introduced me to a slew of International music, including Euro Techno, Brazilian rock and Dancehall. Basically, my musical ear is as diverse as my cultural background.

Ovela

When I started College back in 2006, I had no idea what my life passion was. Then I came across beat production software. In that moment, everything made sense. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. That was it! I was meant to create and share my unique vision of music with the world. I say unique because I make it my mission to unify all music genres and erase the boundaries put in place by closed-minded money-hungry businesspeople. I wake up every morning and spend countless of hours in the studio to produce the perfect sound, that I enjoy primarily. If you happen to like it too, I consider it a bonus.

Overview

Formed in 2008 as Freedom of Speech until a name change in 2009, Dark Light is a musical collective consisting of artists M-Angel and Ovela, based in Montreal, Quebec. Dark Light draws from its cultural diversity to produce music that blends together a variety of genres — they call their genre Nouvo Sound. Every song is a full collaboration between M-Angel and Ovela, who have a hand in all aspects of the production process and branding. There are a few areas in which the two do not generally collaborate: M-Angel is the lyricist and singer while Ovela is the beat producer.

The collective is part of the new generation of musicians who handle most things independently, from music and video production to web design and Marketing. They also represent today’s digital artists who produce all their tracks on electronic software and use social media networks to regularly communicate and share with their fan base. They are also part of the new wave of artists who are single-oriented rather than album-oriented, meaning they make every song count and instead of focusing on genre consistency, their songs are united by a common theme.

 

The History

Freedom of Speech

In 2008, Freedom of Speech was created after Ovela was introduced to the field of Music Production by M-Angel’s brother, artist and producer Poncho French. Weeks of practice and learning went into understanding music softwares, sound layering, and finding the right balance between instruments, drums, and vocals. Freedom of Speech became known to an intimate fan base made up of friends and family. This was a good start, but the collective felt that branding and direction just weren’t representative enough of who they were. The collective produced and released a few singles under the name of Freedom of Speech, including “Looking for A Reason,” “Freedom,” “The Spirit of the Night,” and “Eternelle Romance.” None of Freedom of Speech’s tracks are currently available to the public.

New Name, New Game

In early 2009, Ovela expressed a desire for rebranding and after a brainstorming session, the name Dark Light was agreed upon, since it so perfectly represented the two artist, often at odds with one another but who need each other to exist harmoniously. Ovela received a Sound Engineering diploma from Recording Arts Canada in 2010, and DL benefited from a gain in musical knowledge and from new friends and connections, including Ovela’s classmate Izra L from the band H’SAO, who featured on the single “Denial (remix).” Between 2009 and early 2011, the songs that now make up the “Beware The Fusion” EP were released, including “Vengeful,” “Denial,” “Paper pt. 2,” and “Winter Never Ends.” Around this time, M-Angel had also picked up an interest in video production and started collecting footage for future project… which were suddenly halted.

 

Obstacles

Early in 2011, the collective was faced with an issue that is common to International individuals living abroad: Ovela’s immigration status in Canada was to expire, which prompted his return to Algeria. During their first year apart, the collective experienced a dip, a period of silence and conflict, during which both parties had to decide on their next moves, both personally and professionally. There came a point when the fate of Dark Light was uncertain, what with tensions rising and distance growing between M-Angel and Ovela. Distance itself can be a strain on a relationship, but what made things more difficult was that Ovela had little access to the internet for most of 2011. After a difficult year, changes in both artists’ personal lives — coupled with access to communication methods — helped them realize the importance of their bond and the collective’s potential.

A Fresh Start

Against all odds, the music percevered, mostly limited to the reworking of existing tracks produced before Ovela’s departure. In late 2011, an investment in new music equipment raised the level of Dark Light’s music production. The collective took advantage of their enhanced sound to refurbish former tracks. This was also around the time when the term “Nouvo Sound” was first coined, now defined as the genre-less genre that encompasses Dark Light’s music. Nouvo Sound is more than just Fusion, EDM, or Pop. It goes beyond what is currently understood as Genre music and challenges the notion by inviting it to reinvent itself. Dark Light was slowly exploring its love for multi-genre music, which was to become the basis of their identity.

 

2012

With a new year came new energy and new challenges. Despite the distance that separated M-Angel and Ovela, the two decided to make things work and tried long distance collaborating, until a return could be arranged. M-Angel renewed her interest in video production and photography and a new passion for Dark Light fueled her motivation to complete a few big projects, including one of their biggest projects to date, “Still Winter,” a Dubstep remix of their R&B track “Winter Never Ends” (2009). The self-produced music video — released in early 2012 with footage shot both in Montreal before Ovela’s departure and in Washington DC — was a huge and overwhelming success for the collective. Heads started to turn and Dark Light was now grabbing people’s attention with its novelty. Other tracks and videos were to follow in 2012, including “Blown” and “Dreams Come True.”

Nouvo Sound

While producing new original tracks was a bit difficult, M-Angel focused on producing creative and original covers to gain a fan following and demonstrate Dark Light’s knack for taking songs from one genre and combining them with another. A few covers were released and well-received, including “Je t’aimais, je t’aime et je t’aimerai,” “Somebody That I Used To Know,” and “Cold As Ice.” Meanwhile, the flame that burned between Ovela and M-Angel was reignited following a few personal events, which fueled the couple’s determination to reunite. Ovela was finally able to return to Montreal in May of 2013. Blissfully reunited, Dark Light could now approach their project with a new perspective and new resolve.

 

Loin de toi

While in Algeria, Ovela managed to constantly improve his production skills by learning to use new software, researching music technique, and working alongside Industry specialists in a prestigious studio (Studio Casbah, Algiers). M-Angel cultivated her vocal mixing skills and also explored her talents as a producer. With the team back together, a new vision quickly came to be — “Loin de toi,”” a new album that would tell the tale of separation, long distance relationships, and being reunited with a bond that is stronger than ever. Dark Light spent most of 2013 working on singles for this new album, still under way. “Loin de toi” will clearly depict the collective’s maturity in skill and vision, refinement and an understanding of that which represents Dark Light, multi-genre music #MGMC.

What’s To Come

The collective has big plans for 2015, including the completion and release of the Loin de toi album, live performances & showcases, more music videos, publishing deals, etc. Currently, Dark Light is just focusing on promoting the new album and fostering a network of productive Industry contacts that may shed some light on the collective’s future, pun intended.

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