Artists like Zehero and his co-collaborators are helping to keep the Flint, Michigan hip hop scene thriving. One of their latest tracks is “Whoa,” which has some rather memorable opening lines to say the least. This is a good clean recording and stylistically it is crisp but chill. The rapping in some parts has a very organic quality to it, almost like they were recording freestyle. Also notable is that they do a good job matching the tone of the delivery with the “spacey” backing music. This is apparently all part of Zehero’s aptly titled mixtape “Spaced Out 2,” (the sequel to Spaced Out.) These jams are sure to keep you entertained.
“Dance Into the Party” is a new dance release from artist Ari B, which blends an eclectic mix of funk, pop and dance. The production quality on the video is excellent, a professional shoot with clearly a solid team involved on this project (Wayne Isham is credited as the director.) “Dance Into the Party” actually features some well choreographed dancing both from Ari B and her supporting cast (including breakdancing.) Ari B showcases some genuine singing ability here as well. Her voice is able to stand on its own, and the producer thankfully didn’t ruin it with overprocessing or unnecessary autotune effects….an wise choice which puts “Dance Into the Party” in a higher class of music than hundreds of similar songs by other artists in this genre.
Sky Gandy has a new track out featuring 2 Mellow. It’s called “Pictures” and the emotive and positive hip hop vocals are backed by a terrifically bright and minimalist musical number. The backing music reminds me of something you might hear on a classic NES game like Bubble Bobble, even though it’s a complete different genre of music. It just has the kind of tone. The rapping is also precise and impressive and its ability to alternate between fast and slow without missing a beat throughout the song. This is a very professional track with a lot of talent spread around.
Sky Gandy on youtube:
San Francisco based musician Maxwell Powers has released an indie synthpop EP titled “6 Things.” When I read that apparently it was recorded in the “corner of his living room,” I was expecting something that sounded like it came from a 90′s Fostex 4 track. However, the production quality strikes me as better than a standard indie lo-fi creation. Another element which differentiates “6 Things” from standard indie pop music would be the unique application of effects to the vocals. Synthesized and metallic, Maxwell’s vocals themselves become a kind of instrument in the songs, adding a dimension not typically found in this genre. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it at first, but he somehow makes it work. “6 Things” is a quality debut, which has characteristics that allow it to be approachable to both mainstream normies and indie pop fans.
For more info:
Italian-Spanish born artist Giorgio Hofmann has a video out for his new track “Ready Now.” The production quality and artistic direction of the video is impressive (it was directed by Directed by Daniele Testi.) Some really great film making here. If you didn’t know any better, you would think this is a video for a major label release. Giorgio’s musical style is basically contemporary pop / club jams with some Italian flair and high fashion. He kind of reminds me of an Italian version of Marky Mark but with more class and a better wardrobe. There is a lot of energy in this music which is bound to attract people. This formula just works.
For more info:
Alma Rosae has a new video out for her single “23.” It was produced by Kontrabandbeatz and is all set to appear on her upcoming EP “Wildchild Volume 1.” 23 is an assertive hip hop song. Alma displays her attitude throughout and makes it clear she doesn’t take shit from anyone, man or woman. She has an effective delivery style and genuine skills in the rhyming department. This is a solid hip hop single, and the Mickey’s neon sign in the background adds a nice aesthetic touch to the video, subtly reaffirming the ambiance.
For more info:
Known for her songwriting and poetry, Los Angeles based artist Marie Helen Abramyan is a creative force. Her poetry frequently explores seasonal themes. “A Summer’s Beach Day” is one such example of this. It’s an upbeat, optimistic poem which captures a the carefree and innocent ambiance of summertime at the beach. It takes you to those seemingly endless summers that make you forget about all the struggles of modern life.
A Summer’s Beach Day
By Marie Helen Abramyan
Unleashed, the sun’s glorious rays, blaze out from the summer’s blue sky, crystal clear
All year, it has saved it’s magnificent energy, to impress, at this time of year
Snow storms, are a distant memory, and there’s no cold weather, left to freight
Just long, hot, sun filled days, that gently roll into short, warm, starry nights
Leisurely beaches, wrapped with cool breezes, kissed by the bright sun
Welcome, lighthearted visitors, to make memories, for nostalgic fun
Fragrant warm winds, brushing the full leaves of the palm trees, as they sway
While rolling waves, keep busy, with joyous thundering clashes, on this sweltering day
The sweet aroma of watermelon, from picnics, fills the fresh, open, summer time air
As the iridescent sunset, colors the sky, with a crimson display, no other season can compare
Frolicking in the hot sand,wading the refreshing sea water, and soaking up the sunshine
Blissful, carefree, moments are scattered like seashells along the sprawling coastline
Delighted visitors of the beach,seeking respite, renew their energy with the sun’s power as the source
With the graciously, hospitable ocean serving as host, summer’s charm has come in full force
The FVYDID Podcast is an EDM oriented podcast from the music collective of the same name. Episode 39 features Northern NJ based DJ “BRB” AKA Be Right Back. BRB Takeover Mix 39 describes itself as “an amazing multi genre mix all the way from New Jersey.” It’s an eclectic blend of bass, hip hop and EDM. It reminds me a lot of the high quality old school mixes of the early 90s, in that it manages to be relaxing and high energy at the same time. The middle 1/3 portion has a really groovy retro vibe and is probably my favorite part of the mix.
For more info:
BRB producer / DJ from Jersey on Soundcloud
New hip hop track from DJ Khaled titled “ooshewanparty.” It’s a pretty straightforward party/club jam, though the track is interesting in that it incorporates a chimy backing, coming across almost like a rhythmic xylophone. It’s very hypnotic, which will effectively keep people on the dance floor entranced. Solo’s delivery and energy is consistent throughout in a solid performance.
“Let’s Make This Earth From House To Home” is a delightfully delicate indie pop release from the Los Angeles based band “Lyrics of Two.” The band was founded by poet and songwriter Marie Helen Abramyan. The song deals with universal humanist themes conveyed emotively by the singer. The sound is refreshingly organic and doesn’t contain any of the unnecessary electronic sound design or overprocessing that is so rampant in much of contemporary pop and even indie music. This release is a fine example of how substance and emotion provide a more fulfilling experience for the listener than a vapid track dressed up in slick packaging. It’s true for me anyway.
It’s easy to see how Marie Helen’s poetry style translates over to songwriting as her poems are very rhythmic and well choreographed, with timed rhymes strategically placed throughout. Her poems tend to reflect on the changing seasons. Marie is a busy bee on many fronts and just completed a children’s book titled “The Rhyming Tales Of The Helpful Friends And The Garden Show.” I recommend checking it out even if you don’t have children. Everyone should take the time to recapture a bit of childhood innocence once in a while.
For more info: