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kendrick lamar

Music

New Year, New Music: 13 Fresh Tracks from The Neighbourhood, Win and Woo, Jeezy and More!

January 5, 2018

It’s officially 2018, which means it’s time to let go of last year—and time to regain faith in good music (because we all know there wasn’t much of it in 2017).

While I don’t have a whole lot to kick off January with, there’s so far quite a bit on the horizon with upcoming album releases, including Camila Cabello (Jan. 12), Craig David (Jan. 19), Fickle Friends (March 16), and a bunch of TBDs. Sadly, after just hearing “Filthy,” the debut single off of Justin Timberlake‘s Feb. 2 Man of the Woods album, that’s one release I’m not looking forward to, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

In the meantime, let’s appreciate the 13 songs we’ve got in this month’s New Music January playlist, shall we?

The Neighbourhood just released “Stuck with Me,” the perfectly mellow tune to help you relax during those cold winter nights. If you want to stay on that chill path, Captain Kidd‘s “Wild” is the way to go. But if you want to kick things up a few notches, keep your ears perked up to electro tracks “In Love Again,” by Win and Woo and “Embrace” by Manics. And we can’t not give love to Jeezy FKA Young Jeezy, who teamed up with J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar on his latest single “American Dream.”

Scroll below for the full playlist, which also includes Party Nails, Scavenger Hunt, Allies for Everyone and POWERS:

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Music

New Music! Elizabeth Rose, Kate Boy, Santigold & More!

November 9, 2015

Elizabeth_Rose_skyelyfeElizabeth Rose never lets me down with her music, and “Shoulda Coulda Woulda” is no exception. This catchy, electro-pop gem is from the Aussie’s forthcoming full-length debut album Intra, and I can’t wait for its release!

This fresh track is one of 14 that are a part of this week’s New Music Monday. Also joining the list? Kate Boy‘s “Lion for Real,” which embodies every bit of the Stockholm-based electro group’s unique signature sound. The act finally released their long-awaited debut album “One,” after a handful of singles since 2012’s “Northern Lights.”

Santigold also brings us new music with the happy-go-lucky “Can’t Get Enough of Myself,” off her upcoming LP 99¢, which is her first since 2012’s Master of My Make-Believe.

Click below for the full playlist, which includes a really dope track “Working for It,” by ZHU, Skrillex and THEY, as well as Mura Masa‘s “Love for That,” Lazyboy Empire‘s tropical-inspired “Vampire,” Party Nails‘ “No Pressure,” Chelsea Lankes‘ vocally empowering “Home,” and “LA,” by Ty Dolla $ign, James Fauntleroy and Kendrick Lamar. I also couldn’t leave off “Adventure Of a Lifetime,” Coldplay‘s uptempo little step into disco.

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Music Food

Life Is Beautiful Festival: All the Behind-the-Scenes Secrets, from Co-Owner Ryan Doherty

September 22, 2015
Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

With fall underway, most of the year’s biggest music festivals are a thing of the past.

But Life Is Beautiful gives people a chance at one final big festival hurrah until 2016 Coachella.

Taking place this weekend in Downtown Las Vegas, the music and arts festival features huge talent, including Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Brandon Flowers, Snoop Dogg, Duran Duran, Kygo – and a slew of my favorites (Porter Robinson, Death Cab for Cutie, Madeon, Future IslandsGlass Animals, Peking Duk, Audien and What So Not).

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

Skyelyfe sat down at Soho House in West Hollywood with the festival’s co-owner, WENDOH Media‘s Ryan Doherty. Doherty discussed the headliner selection process, the things that set this festival greatly apart from the others and some of the year-long challenges that were faced in pulling this incredible experience together. 

Read on to learn six behind-the-scenes things to know about Life Is Beautiful festival:

1. The Setup Is Wild

“At a music festival, you’re usually in a venue. In this case, the entire downtown is turned into a venue,” Doherty said. “We fence off 17 blocks, we have stages and parking lots in the middle of the streets. There are casinos, bars, restaurants that become parts of the venue. It has this ever-evolving footprint that changes every year.”

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

2. Here’s How the Headliners Came to Be

“We had a lot of artists we went after for headliners,” Doherty said. “The festival scene has gotten so broad now. There’s a festival every weekend, and we’re all fighting over the same talent. We got lucky. We did end up getting who we wanted. Stevie Wonder was a big get for us. He’s not going to be playing for a [much longer] time. You never know when he’s going to hang it up, so for us to get him for a festival is a good get. We had hoped to get Imagine Dragons because we don’t have a local sports team. We have very few hometown heroes. So, the Killers and Imagine Dragons are like our two hometown heroes. and Kendrick, we kind of bet on that horse, so we got him a long time ago and hoped he would catch on fire. And so far, it’s paid off. He’s turned in some great festival performances already this year. His music is smart and conscious. One of the goals was to make the lineup diverse, and I think that was accomplished.” 

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

3. The Challenges of Putting Together L.I.B Differ from Other Festivals

“There are a million moving parts to a music festival,” Doherty explained. “There are tons of speed bumps, but no obstacles. It just takes a long time to get things done. Most of you go to a music festival and you have to deal with the personalities of rockstars. We have to deal with the personalities of chefs and rockstars. We have an entire speaker series, so we have all these speakers. It’s a lot of stars who have all different personalities and are all coming in from different places from all over the world. Just booking their travel is a full-time job.”

4. Just Dealing with Venue Matters Alone Took a Whole Year

“We have to shut down city blocks, rearrange traffic,” Doherty said. “When you have a venue you can walk into, like a Coachella, where it’s a big field, it’s a lot easier. We have residents that we move to hotels for a weekend, we have perimeter fences that we have to put up around 17 blocks. People are surprised it takes a whole year to put this together, but it’s 100,000 people across four pillars. We have the speaker series, we have the culinary program, then we have the musicians and then we have art.”

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

5. The Festival’s Learning Project Is Something That Doesn’t Exist Elsewhere

“It’s essentially built around the platform of small, 200-300-person theater-style engagements going on during the festival,” Doherty explained. “It’s short-form content. These are 20-minute sessions. The idea of it is so that if you’re in groups, you can divide off and two of you can catch a session while the others catch a music set and then you can meet up and get some food together. The learning project is really meant to inspire everyone. You’re not getting that at any other music festival – whether it’s an inspirational culinary experience or little pop-up demonstrations.”

6. Despite Its Las Vegas Location, L.I.B. Doesn’t Typically Bring Out the Party Animals

“It’s really not that kind of festival,” Doherty said. “It’s not that crazy type of environment.”

Music Uncategorized

3 Artists, 5 Questions Each: Get to Know Pierce Fulton, Kember & Cobi Mike

June 10, 2015

With so much impressive new music and so many rising artists today, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up! Because I know how tough it is for the average person to read up on every emerging act, I am giving you the Cliff’s Notes – so to speak – on three talented musicians with fresh material. Get to know their sound, their background and what they stand for in just a five-question skim for each.

Read on to learn about and listen to Pierce Fulton, Kember and Cobi Mike

PIERCE FULTON

Photo credit: Meredith Traux

Photo credit: Meredith Traux

Hailing from Vermont, 22-year-old DJ/producer Pierce Fulton is an EDM star on-the-rise with the success of his latest single “Kuaga (Lost Time).”

Although the currently touring artist has been producing music for several years, this is considered his most notable track to date. In less than two weeks since its release, Fulton garnered nearly 600,000 plays on Spotify, he currently gets more than 40 spins per week Sirius XM and he is set to perform at a handful of summer festivals, including New York’s Electric Zoo.

An added bonus? He’s pretty tight with Ansel Elgort, who – under the actor’s musical alter ego Ansolo – launched the song “Shirts & Skins” with him.

1) Describe your sound in five words:

Stuff I make when I’m bored. That’s technically six words, but whatevs.

2) Which of your songs has the most personal meaning to you and why?

I always talk about my song “West Egg” because I made it in an afternoon and it was just so quick and natural that it still sounds fresh to me. Sometimes I listen to it now and think like, “When the hell did I make that sound?” I just love that feeling. Sort of disconnecting from the ol’ brain while in work mode.

3) Describe your fan base:

The coolest cats in the world. I love everyone who takes part in my life. They’re literally the coolest and kindest people ever. The Tweets, Snapchats, Instagrams and Facebook posts I get make my day every day. Y’all rule.

4) Name 5 artists from any genre/time period you are absolutely smitten with:

Paul KalkbrennerBathsEgbertSteel PulseAmerica

5) What is your motto to live by?

Do weird stuff and just have fun.

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KEMBER

Photo credit: Kristy Benjamin

Photo credit: Kristy Benjamin

Kember is still basking in the joy of being recognized as a new artist worth knowing by Jay-Z‘s Tidal app. And one listen to his Love EP, released on May 7, you’ll understand just why he’s getting such recognition. The 28-year-old resides in good ol’ L.A., and just played a successful show at The Mint.

1) Describe your sound in five words:

PunchDrunkLoveFueledFun.

2) Which of your songs has the most personal meaning to you and why?

I write a lot! This whole EP is an embodiment of how love has affected me over the past few years. But if I must pick one I would have to say, [the Outro, “Nana’s Curtain Call”]. As funny as that may sound, reenacting those phone calls to my Nana as I once did when she was here brings me so much joy I can’t replace that feeling with anything.

3) Describe your fan base:

Underground lovers and dreamers of all ages who enjoy riding wave after wave of happiness.

4) Name 5 artists from any genre/time period you are absolutely smitten with:

MJ and Prince – The immortal gods who can never be dethroned.

Bill Withers – The greatest song writer of my world.

2Pac – His aura: bigger than life.

Rage Against the Machine – They taught me to question everything, and their amazing collaboration of hip hop, funk and rock fueled me daily.

N.E.R.D. – Being a biracial child, Pharrell [Williams] and Chad [Hugo] showed me how important it is to simply be yourself. Everything else works itself out. #OTHER.

5) What is your motto to live by?

Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride. – Anthony Bourdain.

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COBI MIKE

Photo credit: Steven Sewell

Photo credit: Steven Sewell

Cobi Mike – formerly the lead singer of Boston-based indie-pop band Gentlemen Hall – made a recent decision to leave the award-winning band to rediscover his voice and share his personal message. It has seemingly been a wise decision thus far, because “Walking Through Fire,” the first single from his four-song self-titled EP, charted #1 on Hype Machine. He also just performed at last weekend’s Make Music Pasadena festival.

1) Describe your sound in five words:

Alternative, rock, pop, electronic, psychedelic

2) Which of your songs has the most meaning to you and why?

“Walking Through the Fire” has a very significant meaning to me. I think the music video for it explains it better than I ever could.

3) Describe your fan base:

Free spirits

4) Name 5 artists from any genre/time period you are absolutely smitten with:

Kendrick Lamar, Little Dragon, Miike Snow, Son Lux, Toro Y Moi

5) What is your motto to live by?

“I will never betray my heart” – D’Angelo 

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Music

Get Acquainted with Singapore’s Indie Music Scene Through the Eyes of Rock Band Pleasantry

May 7, 2015
Photo credit: Marilyn Goh

Photo credit: Marilyn Goh

When I think of Singapore, indie rock isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but as shoegaze band Pleasantry proves, there is a thriving American-style music scene in the Southeast Asian country.

 The five-member group, who opened for Belle & Sebastian and Caribou earlier this year, is excitedly making its way closer to the states, playing overseas for the first time at Canadian Music Week tomorrow. The band (Samantha Teng, Isa Ong, Ahmad Ariff, Daniaal Adam and Haziq Hussain) will be in the company of big names, including Death Cab for Cutie, Colbie Caillat and Kiesza at Toronto’s big event. They’ll be touring in the U.S. directly following their trip to Canada.

Daniaal, the drummer for the band, chatted with skyelyfe about the club and music scene in Singapore, some American musical influences and Pleasantry’s sound – airy voices layered underneath swirling instrumentals.

Read on to get to know Pleasantry and check out their debut album Synapses below:

skyelyfe: How did the band name come to be?

Daniaal Adam: We were trying to come up with a band name that fit our sound at that time. “Pleasantry” was one of the first few names we thought of after we collectively described our music as pleasant.

SL: What is the music scene like in Singapore, and who are some of the most popular artists?

DA: The music scene in Singapore is relatively small, but there’s no shortage of talent. Everyone knows each other and supports one another at shows. There’s just so much love around, which is great to have! The music scene here has been progressing over the last few years as more local artists and bands take their music more seriously. Some of our favorites are .gif, Gentle Bones, ANECHOIS & Charlie Lim. But there are really so many other great ones worth mentioning!

SL: Which artists popular in America do you listen to? And who do you look to for musical inspiration?

DA: We love so many. We consume as much American pop culture as you guys do in America! All of us listen to quite a variety of music. I know some of the guys love Broken Social Scene, Givers, and American Football. I personally love Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, and The Mars Volta. I’d say each of us draw inspiration from fresh sounds and whatever pushes the boundaries of music.

SL: What are the most popular clubs for good music in Singapore and what is the scene like?

DA: Well, it depends on what you define as good music. There are a lot of clubs in Singapore that play EDM and house music. But our favorite has to be the Blujazz Cafe along Arab Street. It’s basically a three-story venue that has jazz playing on the ground floor, electronic music on the second floor, and indie bands on the third floor. Great food, drinks and vibes. It’s usually packed on Fridays and the weekends.

SL: How did you get into the shoegaze sound?

DA: At one point, we all played in our own shoegaze bands. Isa and Ariff were in a band called Amateur Takes Control. Haziq still plays in a shoegaze bands called ANECHOIS, and I used to play in an instrumental post-rock band called Lunar Node. So when we all came together with similar musical backgrounds, it was natural to have elements of shoegaze in our music.

SL: Anything else you can tell my readers about Singapore, music, the band or anything else of interest?

DA: Yes! For starters, a little bit more about ourselves. Isa and Ariff are currently in University finishing up their degrees. Haziq is an engineer and a big football fan. Samantha is working in a bank and loves fashion. And lastly, I am a marketing executive at a music label and a huge soccer fan. This upcoming North American tour will be our first time touring as a band and we can’t wait to play for you guys!

Photo credit: Ash

Photo credit: Ash

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