Playlist: HITS magazine

To celebrate the release of our first print issues, here's a playlist featuring all artists involved.

HITS x Berlin

We hosted our very first live gig in Berlin - and this is what it looked like.

Cover The HITS

Our latest video series - covers performed by our favourite acts, exclusively for us.

Video Interview: Scenic Route To Alaska

Melting away in front of Stuttgart's castle, we had a chat about touring, band names, Toy Story and a lot more.

Find us on YouTube!

Visit us on the 'tubes for interviews, exclusive performances and outtakes.

Video Interview: Jamie Lawson (round two)

Hey guys!

Most of the times I sit here writing my intros with an exact idea of what I want to say.
But sometimes I feel like there is so much to say, that I'm not quite sure what to mention.

Today is that kind of day.

Before I start the actual post, I want to talk about those artists who deserve every bit of success.
 I want to talk about how nice it is to see this parts of the music industry being an actual community, a friendly community.
 I want to talk how much I love this job.

You see, all of those topics are slightly different and just don't make one intro.

And the artist who is to blame for this "word vomit" is Jamie Lawson.
He's no new name to the house in the sand community, in fact, we can call him a friend of the blog.

Jamie Lawson is a singer/songwriter originally from Plymouth, UK now based in London, UK.
To describe his story, I'd need to write a couple of pages. To avoid that, I'll try to give you the "quick JL guide", but please make sure to check out Jamie's full bio.

The musician from the United Kingdom has been writing and releasing music for years, he's been gigging loads and has built himself a loyal fanbase.

Between our first interview in November 2014 and this one, taped in November 2015,
 Jamie got signed to Ed Sheeran's label (Gingerbread Man Records), supported acts such as One Direction on tour, appeared on countless radio and TV shows and released his selftitled record which he's now taking on the road.

The man who's "taking off and landing" all the time sat down with me to chat about touring with One Direction, performing on the Ellen show, playing in front of massive audiences and more.


I just want to say a massive thank you to Jamie for being incredibly sweet and arranging our filming session himself. It was so nice to catch up on what has happened. To see an artist, I've discovered "before the madness", do so well is exactly what I do this for!

Please check out Jamie's album if you haven't already, it'll be released in Germany later this month.

Jamie Lawson online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text, Image & Video: Vanessa Jertschewske 

Introducing: Flying Vinyl

Hey guys!

Early December 2014 I discovered a record shop near my hometown and bought five vinyls within the blink of an eye. (Elvis Presley, Simon & Garfunkel, Fleetwood Mac and two records for my mum.)

The only problem? I didn't have a record player at that point.
So Christmas 2014 gifted me with a gorgeous record player and the obsession started.

Whenever I get a new record, it feels a lot like Christmas all over again.
So far I've got a lovely collection of old gems as well as my favourite new records.

Needless to say that I got incredibly excited when I discovered Flying Vinyl - so please let me introduce you to them.

What is Flying Vinyl?
Flying Vinyl is a team of music lovers who keep the vinyl industry alive via a subscription service.
It's a company for those who still own a record player and love a good vinyl collection.
It's a company for those who love discovering new music. 

What's in it?
- 5 exclusively pressed 7 inch vinyls (one of them is coloured), that makes two songs on each vinyl
- 1 A6 booklet including artist details
- 1 piece of merchandise (past items: lyrics sheets, polaroids and art prints)

The music you'll receive is carefully selected.
Flying Vinyl works alongside some great indie labels in order to present you some of the finest, new talent around.

Previous boxes featured acts such as Eaves, Beach Baby and Kid Wave (remember Kid Wave? We interviewed them last year!)

How does it work?
You subscribe to the service and Flying Vinyl will deliver you a fantastic box of music each month.

Costs for the monthly subscription are: 30€ + a small few to get it shipped to you (they ship world wide!)

You can also get a yearly subscription for 324€ which obviously saves you some money.

What I personally love about Flying Vinyl's customer service is that you can cancel your subscription any time you want. They don't hold you to a contract, you simply have to email them and talk to them.
This is the kind of service I cherish.

Example of the box?
Flying Vinyl kindly sent my their November box and -spoiler- I fell in love with it.

November issue:
Black Honey - "Corrine" & "Mothership"
Asylums - "Missing Persons" & "Joy In A Small Wage"
The Belligerents - "Voices" & "Looking At You"
Bo Rocha - "Tangerine Flake" & "Live Fast Or Die"
Pleasure Beach - "Go" & "Dreamer To The Dawn"

+ A6 booklet
+ Black Honey art print

Why should we get it?
Because vinyls are BLOODY BRILLIANT.
If you already have a collecton of vinyls, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.
It's the intimate feeling, the exclusive athmosphere that makes listening to records such a fantastic experience.

I love that Flying Vinyl combines the joy of vinyls with the excitement of finding new artists. 
As a music lover with some knowledge of the current music scene, I can honestly say that I fell in love with the selection they sent me.

If you're open to new music (which I think you are, afterall, you're reading HITS), then I can only encourage you to subscribe to Flying Vinyl.

Now, what are you waiting for - check out Flying Vinyl!!!

Flying Vinyl online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske | **the item in the post was kindly sponsored by Flying Vinyl**

my blogging gear

Hey guys!

I love technology.
Sometimes it annoys and confuses me, but most of the time I really appreciate the little gagdets we have in life.
Therefore I'd like to write a little post about what items I use when I create content for house in the sand.
I often find myself reading posts about what other bloggers use and think they're really helpful.

There are a lot of people who curse technology, but I honestly think that if you're aware of it and use it wisely, it helps you get some fantastic results.

Before you start reading, please keep in mind that I take this job very seriously and decided to invest in the items below. It took me a while to buy them all because a lot of them are quite expensive.
This is in no way a "showing off" post.

If you're looking for equipment, take your time and do your research - that's the best advice I can give.

I did not name all brands for all of the items because some of them really don't matter to me.
If you want to know which brand certain items are anyway, feel free to get in touch.

laptop: of course this is the most important bit. I couldn't write any posts without my laptop. I do prefer them over computers just because I can carry it with me.
Being able to have your laptop on the road when you're travelling is pretty essential for me.

I am very lucky to know an IT company who always helps me get the right laptop for my needs. I'm currently using a Fujitsu and I love it a lot. It's a great travel companion as it's not very sensitive.

external hard disk drive: I end up with thousands of photographs and hundreds of videos each year, so having back ups and extra storage is very useful.

speakers: let's be honest, the sound on laptops is just crap. I own speakers by Trust which I simply plug into my laptop to have great sound! Yay!

camera: I use the Canon EOS 70D. I've had it for two years now and I still adore it.
 It's comfortable to use, it's simple to control, yet it doesn't restrict your creativity. My favourite feature is that it's got wifi. That means you can connect the camera with your smartphone to either use it as a remote control or to save the images on your phone.
(Hello social media!)

battery grip: I decided to get a battery grip for my camera about a year ago.
A battery grip holds extra batteries for your camera whilst it also gives your camera a square shaped form which makes it more comfortable to shoot portraits.

lenses: here comes the complicated part! Getting the right lens for your needs is probably one of the most challenging tasks when it comes to shopping gear.
I need my lenses to serve me well in music photography, travel photography, portraits and videos.

My favourite lens is my Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM. It's my go to lens for gigs. I've used it for every gig in 2015 and it's probably the greatest investment I got so far.

For filming interviews I use the kit lens EFS 18-55mm, it has got a quite autofocus which is super important for videos.

Knowing 2016 will consist of a lot of travelling, backstage documentaries and arena shows, I recently bought the Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 lens. This one is not the highest quality lens you can get but I know I'll use regularly so it's definitely no waste of money.

sd cards: these little buddies are necessary. I don't have a brand I prefer. What I rely on is buying the largest one I can afford. I own a 64GB sd card and it's just so comforting to know you won't run out of storrage on a busy day (or even week).
Of course a lot of people prefer multiple cards so you don't lose all of your images if something goes wrong. (Sensible! I just seem to enjoy living on the edge.)

external video microphone: something that annoys me on a regular basis yet I would recommend it to everyone who films a lot. This microphone brought my content to another level, it picks up any sound incredibly well and the quality is amazing. It's the Rode videomic.
So yeah, it can annoying to carry it around (even though it's very light!) but it's definitely worth it and I wouldn't ever film without it again.

tripods: for the video interviews it's ideal to have a tripod.
I have two - the one on the picture above is "the tall one" as it has a maximum height of 2 meters.
The other one I have is a super small one which I use when I have to travel and don't want to carry my massive one with me. Putting it onto a table works well enough.

polaroid & film: no essential but something I love dearly.
A little while ago I upgraded from the Instax Mini 8 (great camera!) to the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic. I absolutely love those instant photos and really treasure my growing collection.

phone: phones... those little things we seem to be addicted to. But I actually need mine for work. Social Media and being able to call people I work with is a must. I use the iPhone 5s but my contract is about to let me get a new one. Despite what a lot of people say, I do love Apple so I'll stick to it.

music player: of course the music blogger needs a music player. Again, Apple knows how to make me happy and so I'm using the iPod 5 with 64GB storage.

what is a player without headphones? Here I'm just using the in-ear headphones that came with my iPod.

portable mobile charger: aka life saver. This little buddy is a charger for your phone (or any device you can connect via USB). It's so useful when you need google maps on your phone to navigate you to wherever you need to go.
Phone batteries die so quickly so I think having one of those in your bag is very sensible.

And that's it!
I think I covered everything I could think of that I use for creating content.

If you enjoyed this post, please let me know. :)

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske

Song Of The Day: "Under My Spell" by Hey Bulldog


Hey guys!

 Sometimes it's all about optimising your work. 
Learning more about your craft, finding new ways of doing what you've been doing for a while and diving into your subject even deeper.

That's what I'm currently doing; I'm very focused on taking things to another level and I hope that the results will be visible soon.

Today I've re-worked a familiar feature, the song of the day.
I thoroughly hope you enjoy the slight facelift this segment of HITS got, feel free to let me know.

The band:
Hey Bulldog are a three piece Psychedelic Blues Rock band based in Manchester, UK.
It all started with singer and frontman Rob who recorded the first EP on his own before then turning the project into a full band.

Hey Bulldog are:
Rob Manton (vocals, guitar)
Matt Parry (bass, vocals)
Ben Howarth-Lees (drums)

Over the course of the last couple of years, the band built themselves a loyal fanbase, convinced a lot of critics of the online and radio media world and played tons of gigs and festivals.

The song:
"Under My Spell" catches your attention the second it starts. 
With a very straight forward drum beat and an energetic bassline. The guitar riff is just as infectious as the vocals are. 
The song invites you to have a good time, yet it's not too "in your face" - the band manages to walk on the fine line between being a lot and being too much. 

In one word: 

Check this out!

Hey Bulldog online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube

Thank you for reading!


Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Hey Bulldog 

Get To Know: Anna Margolina

Hey guys!

Another year, another couple of days to introduce you to new acts.

I'm very excited about all the music we'll get to hear this year, all the new releases, new acts - I think it's going to be fantastic.
This is house in the sand's fourth year and it shall be one of our bests.

So let's not waste any time and get started!

Today the absolutely lovely Anna Margolina who's based in Berlin is here to introduce herself.
Please welcome her!

Who are you?
I grew up in Minsk/Belarus in a musicians family, so I am breathing music since the first moment. Got my first piano lessons at the age of 5, until we immigrated to Berlin.

I decided to become a singer when I was a teenager, but it took me some time to find my way from classical music to jazz. Berlin is a great place for trying out new things and meeting amazing people - my band members came here from all across the world: Greece, Austria, England and Spain.

How would you describe your music?
The main character is vocal jazz, but it has definitely colours of soul, folk and pop music. I am also writing my own songs. I remember a man tried to convince me, that “Dreams for sale” was a famous movie soundtrack - that was the best compliment I got so far. Thanks so much to my friend, who has written the lyrics.

What does music mean to you?
First of all, it is my way to express emotions I could never put into words.
Music also makes me forget about time and obliges me to live in the moment. When I am performing on stage, I cannot allow myself to daydream – it`s the audience, that has to be carried away.

Your guilty pleasure song is?
It is so hard to say. I am barely ashamed of my musical taste, although I maybe should be :)
Let`s say it`s “All that she wants” by Ace of Base. Probably 20 years from now people will also make fun of the music we are celebrating today.

What have you released so far?
I don`t have any official releases yet, but you can find many recordings on Soundcloud.

What is coming up?
There are new songs of my own and arrangements in Yiddish, French and Russian, that I`ll be performing in the upcoming concert season. I met fantastic people, who I collaborate with, and who I can count on, in case I need help or support – which is a gift, really.

I am also happy to have discovered the beautiful platform of “house in the
sand” - thanks so much for having me!

Anna Margolina online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text & Questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image & Answers: Anna Margolina

Performance Of The Day: "Waiting For The Gods" by Jim Kroft

Hey guys!

A lot of the posts I publish on house in the sand are prepared posts.
But sometimes I don't feel like preparing a post, sometimes I just want to sit down and write about a song that's very special to me and publish it right away. 

And that's the beauty of blogging; you can decide what you write about and how to write about it.
You're allowed to have an opinion and you're allowed to share it. 

The reason I started blogging was feeling a need to share fantastic music. Almost four years down the road, that's still the goal.
When I started I had this group of artists who supported me and my ideas.
All those years later, we still support each other and it's wonderful.

One of those artists is Jim Kroft, a Scottish musician based in Berlin, Germany.
Jim's music varies from acoustic to alternative to indie rock, but no matter which genre overweights, his songs always send a message.

Jim Kroft is one of those artists who seem to know how to do it all; he obviously makes music, is an incredible photographer and a brilliant videographer. 
 Just recently he released his first DVD for his music&travel project, "JOURNEYS".

This performance of "Waiting For The Gods" was filmed for and by Berlin Sessions, a fantastic channel you should definitely check out!

"Waiting For The Gods" is featured on Jim's EP "Journeys #1" which you can find here.
I think this song really show cases Jim Kroft's sound - it's intense, honest and full of personality.

It's comforting but it's still thought provoking.

Please take some time to check out the video below. 

This might not be the most journalism worthy post, but this is a shout out and a "well done" to a good friend who deserves every bit of exposure.

Jim Kroft online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Tumblr | Instagram

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Jim Kroft (via Facebook) | Video: Berlin Sessions (via YouTube)