Interview with Artist SmartBlackKid BTS Discussion with SmartBlackKid

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SmartBlackKid Interview

SmartBlackKid Interview

 

Fun Facts:

One thing I can’t leave home without….

Gemstones. I carry gemstones with me every single day.

What is on my iPod right now…. 

I don’t have an iPod, but my iPhone right now? Is playing Bad Like Jesse James by John Lee Hooker.

The last album I bought was…

Can’t tell you the last time I actually bought an album.

When it comes to music, I dream of…

Genie. Kidding. When it comes to music, I see colors swirling around

to match the sound. I see the vibration of the world rising with the right music.

 

Inside the Music with Hakhi Alakhun, SmartBlackKid

We recently checked in with Brooklyn musician, singer, and songwriter Hakhi Alakun to find out the scoop on his newest album release ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’. Check out the deets below!

Your album seems like a huge project, What moved you to release ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol.1’ ?

I gave myself no time to do any promotion when I released an album per month in 2012.  I literally would drop an album, rest for the first week of the new month; and by rest, I mean, gathering the songs, music, pre-production. 2nd week was recording. 3rd week was mixing and 4th week was mastering, packaging and release. When it was all finished? I couldn’t believe myself. But still no one except my immediate fan base from social media knew what I was doing. I knew back then that the next album would be the “Best Of” as a way to draw attention to catalog and actually promote the music.

Can you tell us about some of your music influences and what impact they have had on your style today?

My first real musical influence was Maurice White from Earth, Wind & Fire. My mom shoved one of their albums in my face when I was 5 and she asked me to read the lyrics and pay attention to the words. I did the same thing with Sly and the Family Stone, sitting and reading the lyrics. Then Prince happened to the world and his music helped me discover my voice as a singer. I have a pretty low baritone most times and can’t sing those high tenor songs. Prince had a baritone and a falsetto and by singing his music, I discovered I had the same thing. The energy and spirit of my music is heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix. Lyrically and creatively he seemed to always be reaching for new realities, new ways to hear sound, new ways to play guitar. I try to have that approach to making my own music, to not limit myself to hip hop or r&b just because I’m a black dude. But to really explore.

When did you discover that music was your passion?

I discovered music was my passion at 9yrs old. I asked my mom for piano lessons and she said we couldn’t afford them at the time.  Instead she bought me a Casio keyboard  which I took and sat with my boombox and taught myself how to play my favorite songs. I worked at this everyday with no motivation, and no encouragement. I just needed to know how to express myself with this instrument. I was in love with it and I couldn’t really stop until I developed some level of fluidity.

Everyday after school, I would hold these concerts in my room for about 2hrs, then I would have dinner and do my homework and be a normal kid.

It seems like your music is not just about music but there are some serious messages there, can you give us some insight into what that is all about?

I spent about 10 years of my life in the NYC underground poetry scene and from there I attended an unofficial “school of performing arts” so to speak. I was apart of a large community of artists ( writers, actors, dancers, photographers, musicians, poets, etc. etc) who performed regularly at various venues in the City. The standard was high and the expectation was excellence. I was a spoken word artist who always had a message about self-empowerment through the mind and through spirituality so a lot of my old writing habits from those days are still with me. I feel that writing song lyrics is a serious art and I have a lot to express but I have to be brief in a song. My time as a poet trained me, so to speak, to write about serious issues and themes in a way that is clear and simple. Plus, there’s no one really doing that right now. Bob Marley to me was the greatest example of music with messages done in a very wise and proverbial way. I’m reaching for that standard in my songwriting.

Do you feel that other artists need to be putting out more meaningful music content? If so, why?

Yes. Absolutely. There is a song for everything, every moment, every feeling, every circumstance that a human being can go through on Earth. But for some reason, today’s music only speaks to a few aspects of human life: social status, financial status and sexuality.  It’s a very limited means of self-expression against the backdrop of this very complicated world we live in. I personally need art to help me make sense of the world, and to hear the truth be affirmed. Music is bigger than money and fame; it’s a language of motivation , of love, of community, of society and I want to be counted among the musicians who wrote about more than myself. There are 13 and 14 year olds out there who are big thinkers just like I was as a kid. I want my music to be present for them.  If our world was a plant, and music was the water feeding this plant, it’s a plant that is wilting pretty bad I feel. I don’t feel the love, the insight, the wisdom, the motivation, the affirmation from a lot of today’s music. I hear a lot of the same themes in variation and repetition. Meanwhile, I’m over here trying to eat organic and not consume too many GMOs, I’m thinking about my right to privacy in the surveillance age, I’m talking about coming to terms with my shadows and my own dark side so that I’m not projecting it on others. I want to personally hear music about these things. So I write it.

If there were 3 words you could use to describe ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol.1”, what would they be?

Creative, Intelligent and Visionary.

The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol.1What is your most favorite track on the album so far?

Ohhhhh that is so hard. That’s like asking which finger is your favorite. Hmm.

I would say the song I’m most proud of is Labyrinths Within. I say that because it was inspired by a book

I read on shamanism. Most songs about people target another person as the antagonist, the cheating partner, someone didn’t love you enough, someone hurt you etc. etc. I wanted to write a song about what’s  really going on inside of people. What if your biggest enemy is really yourself? Your ego? We are often projecting what we dislike about ourselves unto others. We blame others for situations we create with our various levels of self-esteem. We are often looking for people to love us in place of not really loving ourselves. The song deals with that and in particular, betrayal , which is something a lot of people can relate to. I really like how I was able to capture a complex idea and turn it into what I feel is a funky, danceable, groove. That was cool. I also like Sell, Sell, Sell because it’s daring to say what people wouldn’t really dare say on a record. Today’s music sucks. Every song is favorite, really.

Your album is available in multiple media outlets, how has the response been from your fans thus far?

As an indie artist in control of my own business, I think the response has been really good but can also be better. Since I don’t have a major machine behind me, every move forward is a success.

If there were at least one takeaway for new listeners just tuning into SBK, what do you hope that one thing will be?

That real music played with real instruments with intelligent lyrics is very very very cool and worth owning and listening to regularly.

So, you do your own instrumentals, vocals, production, have your own label and publishing capabilities. Is there anything that you do not do?

There are instruments I can’t play, notes I can’t sing, and guitar riffs I’m still learning how to play. I have my limitations but I end up attacking them when I get ready. I also don’t eat GMO foods.  I don’t watch TV and I don’t believe everything I see and hear. 

If there were aspiring artists out there looking to follow a similar route in production and distribution, is there any advice that you would offer them?

Make sure you copyright your work twice. You need to own the sound recording AND the composition. Never take advice from amateurs and people who are NOT artists. Create time and space for self-care. Artists like to brag about how long they worked in the studio last night, or how hard they worked on this or that. But speaking for myself? I need to schedule some time at a spa and get a massage; and sit in a hot sauna to get my mind, body and spirit in the right balance.  Always create the conditions that inspire the best of your creativity.

When you are not in the studio or touring, where can your fans find you?

Wandering the streets of New York collecting ideas for songs. Or at a burlesque show being inspired the feminine form.

Your album just came out and is gaining traction, what’s next?

Next is releasing the video for Free Thought which will happen as soon as the planet Mercury comes out of retrograde. Then I will release a series of SBK videos to offer visual elements for the music. Also, be on the lookout for the SmartBlackKid Show which will be a series on YouTube later this fall.

Any parting words for our music-starved readers?

Visit smartblackkid.rocks and support an artist who actually cares about you-the music lover.

Check out our latest Music Review of ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1

The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1 A Mutli-dimensional Rock Perspective Rock Fusions: A Look at SmartBlackKid’s Latest Album Release

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SmartBlackKid

SmartBlackKidBrooklyn-based rock musician, singer, songwriter, and producer Hakhi Alakhun’s latest album release ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ is a multi-faceted journey through the organic roots of rock to the modern day. Delivering a captivating performance, SmartBlackKid introduces a series of potent numbers consisting of moving tunes, inspiring lyrics, and distinct artistry. If the world is finally in need of something fresh, different, completely original, then SmartBlackKid is poised to deliver and be received with open arms. While ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ stands in a class by itself, Alakhun extends a wide reach, touching a vast audience with relevant lyrical content.

Although the album commands its presence as a rock compilation, eclectic music fans will take delight in the variety of genres that have been fused together to create a truly profound listening experience. To engage in the style of SmartBlackKid, all that is required is an open mind and a ferocious appetite for meaningful content that strikes a chord with the mind and spirit. The artistic collective morphs from intense driving numbers to soft mellow performances while capturing a myriad of emotions and expressing varied energy. As we dive into the sounds of ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’, we will highlight some of the most memorable moments to watch out for throughout the albums stunning execution.

Inside the Album: The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1

The album opens up with “Stand Up”, an instant hook, line, and sinker number that teases listeners with a smooth introduction but then quickly revs up into an intense series of gritty guitar chords. A hypnotizing bass line kicks along the background of the score while SBK shreds out complicated riffs and saturates the track with highly-infectious vocals.

“Free Thought”, a single that was recently released from the album, is an upbeat number with a catching chorus and feel-good rhythms. Embedded within the track are powerful lyrics that awaken the mind. “Free Thought” is more than just a fun song; it carries a resounding message that will hit very close to home. Check out our BTS Look at “Free Thought”.

Another inspiring track on the album that fans will gravitate toward is “Powerful”, an uplifting number that is reminiscent to 90s alternative rock. SBK gives a righteous performance as he sings “born to be powerful”. SmartBlackKid is clearly an artist whose music is developed to transcend time.

Listeners will notice a change  in pace and style on the track “Labyrinths Within”, a groovy number that fuses rock and nuances of R&B. SBK delivers a Prince meets Lenny Kravitz production with an edgy twist. “Labyrinths Within” introduces a unique fusion of sultry instrumentals and soul-stirring lyrics.

“Shadow’s Way” draws attention immediately with its deep bluesy feel. SBK gives a remarkable vocal and musical performance on this clean production with wide appeal. “Shadow’s Way” has a cinematic energy that would make it an epic soundtrack for a blockbuster film’s climax.

The intricacies of rock’s evolution are most evident on “Talk About You”. SBK gives a raw performance, contrasting dark and haunting vocals with complex instrumentals. Lingering guitar riffs mirror the intensity of the lyrics as they shred out angry chords, the bass looming in the background. “Talk About You” has a noticeably darker ambiance than the previous tracks and still complements the full package.

Following the extreme performance on “Talk About You”, SmartBlackKid turns it down a scale on “Chill”, a mellow production with gentle rhythms and earnest lyrics. “Chill” sends off gentle melodies and warm waves as SBK gives a suave vocal performance.

“honestly, I just wanted to hear more guitar. I want to make some noise already.”-SmartBlackKid

SBK brings the musical landscape to life one again on “Are You Alive” a melodic number with dreamy instrumentals and inspirational songwriting. SBK really speaks to his audience with a powerful message, asking “are you alive?”. The song is robust with intricate layers and a guitar performance reminiscent to one of the greats, Santana.

“Live Again” is a dynamic number with driving rock instrumentation. SBK’s vocals are virtually flawless and of course listeners are treated to rich lyrical content. “Live Again” is a truly uplifting experience that speaks to the experience of those desperately in need of reinvention.

SBK further demonstrates his eclectic style on “Solar Flare”, a high-octane track with a rebellious energy. “Solar Flare” mashes up some of the most pronounced elements in rock and fuses them with a modern industrial sound. Dramatic chords and unconventional layers make this an unforgettable experience.

The energy remains on overdrive on “Sell, Sell, Sell”, where SmartBlackKid chronicles his relationship with music while revealing a hidden truth. SBK gives an unapologetic performance with brazen realism.

SBK delivers a strong performance on “Gimme Love”, an enjoyable number filtered with retro vibrations and edgy guitar riffs. The track is entertaining, outside-of-the box, and infectious.

“Deserve”, though consisting of music complexities, provides a seamless performance with effortless vocals and steady beats. This production gives way to relatable lyrics as SBK sings, “I deserve r-e-s-p-e-c-t”. When he sings, “you did not enter this life to live with fear”, it becomes clear that SBK has a message for the masses and it definitely needs to be heard.

SBK tells a remarkable story on “Take Your Power”, a full number with a moving social and political commentary. When SBK belts, “it’s time to take your power back”, listeners become aware that there is much more to ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ than what is witnessed at first glance.

The album begins to wind down with “Enough is Enough”, an instrumental number punctuated by heavy vibrations, and shredding guitar riffs. The production offers its fair share of chills as it digs deep into the embodiment of rock music with dramatic chords and emotive waves.

“These are the ways”, is a revolutionary sounding production that sheds light on matters of the heart. SBK gives a refreshing performance that renews the imagination. The song fuses together dream-pop elements, ambient layers, and picturesque melodies to deliver a fascinating display of ingenuity.

The album concludes with “Persevere”, a motivational track with a positive message for anyone needing a boost. Journeying through the many challenges faced by individuals who walk the earth, SBK has some significant words of encouragement to keep it pushing. “Persevere” is a strong finish to a noteworthy performance.

‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ is a much needed escape from the madness that surrounds us. Giving rock new meaning, SmartBlackKid innovates a fresh style that is conspicuously unmatched. While the album delivers compelling sound, it sends off messages that are equally as awe-inspiring. SBK gives fans the best of both worlds: good music and purposeful content.

SmartBlackKid_itunes

‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ is the 11th album release for SBK otherwise known as Hakhi Alakhun, singer, songwriter, musician, and producer. The NY-based released the album on September 13th, introducing himself to his newest army of fans. Hakhi’s previous 10 albums were released between April 2012 and January 2013 when he dropped one album per month. The album releases marked Alakhun’s 10-year long career in music which included private production work and serving as a lead guitarist for bands such as Lo Frequency and Bullyfoot Massive.

‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ was an enormous undertaking, a feat that many aspiring artists have yet to accomplish. Hakhi did not wait for success to come his way, he took it. The musician performed lead and background vocals on his album, played all the instruments, and produced the project on his own inside of his very own SBK Studios. Hakhi also has his own imprint 4PJMusic Group from which he published his music.

About his music content Alakhun says, “I’m daring to sing about what’s really on my mind, the future of society and our world. I can’t be the only one who cares about that”. Earlier this year, SBK released the single “Free Thought”, a social commentary about the right to privacy in the digital age.

The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol.1Hakhi got his start in music early at the age of 9. He wrote and composed his own work and later performed as a backup singer for local artists and was the lead vocalist for the jazz-funk band Copasetic where he performed at venues such as Nells. In 1998 he performed background vocals on Dennis Edward and The Weather Girls’ “Don’t Look Any Further”. After adventures as a spoken word artist in NY’s underground and a self-taught guitarist, Hakhi started his own band in 2001 called Synai along with Sayo Ogundiran. The band released ‘As Is’, an EP that had been compared to work done by Ani DiFranco and legend Prince.

Hakhi later joined Lo Frequency as the lead guitarist and traveled as a music educator around the world.  After traveling to places such as Beirut, Manama, and San Jose, Honduras, Hakhi performed before the UN General Assembly in 2012. He ventured out on his own taking the time to release one album per month, driven to create inspiring music. Hakhi says, “honestly, I just wanted to hear more guitar. I want to make some noise already.” Alakhun’s latest release ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1’ features songs from 5 of his albums. The album is currently available on iTunes, Apple Music, Bandcamp, Amazon Music, Google Play, SimfyAfrica, Tidal, Verve Life, Guvera, Juke, Rhapsody, eMusic, Target Music, Xbox Music, and many more digital stores. Learn more about SmartBlackKid by visiting the Official Website at www.smartblackkid.rocks.

Check Out our Exclusive Interview with SmartBlackKid

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Web Exclusive: Interview with Artist Zhanè Monique

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Zhane Monique Legacy of an Empress

Earlier this month we checked out the latest EP from Atlanta-based singer and songwriter Zhanè Monique. Our team caught up with the gifted young performer to find out what inspired her to release ‘Legacy of an Empress’ and what else is in store for this rising Queen. Check out our Exclusive Interview with Artist Zhanè Monique…

Artist Fun Facts

Zhane MoniqueOne thing I can’t leave home without…. One thing I can’t leave home without is my Phone.

What is on my iPod right now…. My iPhone takes the place of an iPod. It has every song that I’ve written in my Notes app

The last album I bought wasThe last Album I bought was Kehlani’s Album “You Should Be Here”

My dream collaboration would be…. My Dream collaboration would be to collab with Future. I think that would be extremely interesting and super fun. 

 

When did you first discover that you could sing?

I first discovered that i could really really sing around the age of 11.

Who are some of your musical inspirations?

Some of my musical inspirations are Whitney Houston, Destiny’s Child, Tasha Cobbs, and of  course Beyoncè herself!

Besides some of your musical influences, what other factors have played a role in shaping  your style?  My Mother and Aunt played huge influential roles in my life. Before i started listening to any  R&B artist, it’s was gospel everything!. They were the Children’s choir leaders and directors at  church and also full time Adults Choir members. They taught me everything i know. 

You have a very distinct sound though somewhat reminiscent to Beyoncè, how would Zhané  Monique describe her music to a newbie?

I would describe my music as ambient and distinct. Sometimes the music that I like to listen to  on a daily basis does influence the sound of my music but for the most part i try to come up with  different sounds from other music genres and incorporate it into R&B.

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How did your collaboration with Titus G. Productions come about?

I met Titus G. through an old classmate. He followed me on Instagram and asked if I would  be  interested in doing projects with people in the music business. I answered yes, we met up  exchanged contact information and i started working with Titus right away. 

Using 3 words, can you describe “Legacy of an Empress”? 

Three words that describe “Legacy of an Empress” is Birthright, Ruler, and Rare.

How did you decide on the title for your EP?

I wanted my title to represent a Legacy. The EP Title had to represent talent that can be passed  on for ages! With hard thinking, Titus and I just put two and two together and came up with  “Legacy of an Empress”.

What is your track “Lambs Become Lions” about?

The Track Lambs Become Lions is about a group of people who were being mistreated and  afraid to fight back or speak out about it. They finally built up enough courage to start a war  fighting to end the mistreatment and would not stop until they succeeded. Until Lambs (babies  or their up coming generation) become Lions (honored and worthy adults who fought for their  rights). Adults fought for their upcoming generation’s freedom and that generation fought for  their upcoming generation’s freedom until they were all free with equal rights.

If there is one thing that you hope listeners will take away from their experience with  “Legacy of an Empress, what do you hope it will be?

I want my listeners to be able to relate and gravitate to the stories that ‘Legacy of an Empress’  hold. The EP is basically a book of situations that people face every single day. It’s about Love  and passion, heartache and heartbreak, being the best at what you do, and never letting  anything stop you from making your dreams come true.

READ Our Review of Zhanè Monique Legacy of an Empress

As a young woman woman pursuing music, what challenges do you anticipate encountering  in the industry and if any, how will you respond?

As a young woman pursuing music, I expect there to be lots of competition. There are tons of  other female artists fighting to hit the top charts in the music industry just as I am. I am prepared  for pretenders coming to persuade me into signing unfair contracts and rip offs in general.  There’s a lot that comes with this music industry success… a lot that we do not ask for.

Do you feel it is the responsibility of artists to be role models for younger fans?

Yes, I absolutely feel that it is an artist’s responsibility to be a role model for younger fans. 

We have checked out some of your YouTube videos and you can definitely kick out some  awesome tunes, can your fans expect more videos from you this year?

You can definitely expect more videos from me this year on YouTube because a lot has changed  over the years from when I last posted. That’s part of the reason why I didn’t post video often or  back to back. I wanted my viewers to sporadically see the change in me and my vocal ability.

ZhaneMoniqueBesides singing, what other activities or interests do you have? Before I started singing I was a Teen model. I went to school at Barbizon Atlanta and attended  IMTA New York. I occasionally did fashion shows in Atlanta on the weekends that did not  interfere with school. I also started to pursue an acting career in which I did some work with J.  Pervis Talent and later signed with a talent agent called TDH Talent where I received my first  opportunity to be in a film called the “Choir Kid”, which totally related to me even though I did not receive the starring role

What other projects can listeners expect to hear from you in the next few months?

In the next few months you can definitely expect some upcoming and up­-to-­date youtube videos  of my original songs and some favorite and requested song covers! Any words of inspiration for other young women looking to pursue music?  My words of encouragement would be to “Buckle down and do what you have to do, so that you  can do whatever it is that you want to do later in your future” that is what that my Aunt always  tells me

Any words of inspiration for other young women looking to pursue music?

My words of encouragement would be to “Buckle down and do what you have to do, so that you can do whatever it is that you want to do later in your future” that is what that my Aunt always tells me.

 

 

Dos Floris Upcoming Release ‘The Widowed Earth’, an Extraordinary Electronic Encounter dos floris 'The Widowed Earth' Album: Music with a Message

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stampa_Florence1_plain_square

stampa_Florence1_plain_squareThe upcoming release, ‘The Widowed Earth’ by dos floris is certain to be a profound moment representing women in music. Florence Donovan, the Bologna-based singer and songwriter is a one-woman electronic music powerhouse whose bold performance demonstrates a multi-faceted experience on a personal note. ‘The Widowed Earth’ is much more than a collection of iconic tunes and marvelous musings. The album is in fact, an outstanding expression of creativity and insight, a personal testament to overcoming adversity.

Dos floris offers listeners a seamless performance that is both intuitive and intriguing. The album brings forth a unique style and distinct sophistication that will undoubtedly be embraced by a generous audience. From inspiring lyrics to moving instrumentals, ‘The Widowed Earth’ is an all-encompassing project that exudes sincerity. Stimulating the conscious while channeling the subconscious, dos floris creates a mind-bending journey for listeners who should immerse themselves inside of the album. Anticipating the debut of ‘The Widowed Earth’, we share a sneak peek into the album,  highlighting several extraordinary encounters that should not be missed.

Inside ‘The Widowed Earth’

The album opens with “From The Beginning” an eclectic prelude consisting of distinct special effects, preparing the listener for “Rivers”. “Rivers” abounds with compelling harmonies and playful melodies.  Dos floris croons softly, over the picturesque track as it delivers a slightly industrial feel. The track rises with luminescent energy as dos floris has a diverse vocal range.

“Rivers” is followed by “Silence” an ethereal production with enthralling instrumentals and hypnotic vocals. Rolling percussion advances the sound layers as dos floris performs mellow harmonies. Heavier electronic synths alter the tempo of the track as the percussion seems to march in tune with the singer’s heartfelt lyrics. Dos floris lets each note linger on, washing over the track with an effervescent wave.

One such dynamic track to absorb is “All The Kings Horses”, an upbeat song with a relevant message. Utilizing deep metaphors to tell a memorable story, dos floris plays with a series of thought-provoking lyrics, stimulating the mind with unmistakable eloquence. The track builds up and then morphs into a frenzied series of chords and electronic riffs, communicating the intensity of each verse.

“I couldn’t keep myself out of the story but came to realise how connected we are to our natural surroundings and how they can literally heal you”-Dos Floris

Fans, will experience futuristic elements on “Before You Loved Me”, a track that makes a theatrical debut with mysterious ambiance. Singing “before you loved me, there was no one to fear”, dos floris gives a chilling performance. Delicate melodies dance over the track as the vocals trail off into a sequence of calming waves. “Before You Loved Me” is wrought with emotion, drenched in pain, and remarkably genuine.

“Water” is another enchanting number that expresses heartfelt songwriting. A beautiful piano accompaniment accentuates the performance as dos floris’ vocals seem to endure until infinity. “Water” converges with “The Other Side”, a breezy production with inspirational lyrics. “The Other Side” is a mellow number with uplifting energy.

Throughout the album, fans can expect to be engrossed in relevant lyrical content that touches the soul. Dos floris’ voice only makes the messages embedded within each song even more delightful to enjoy as  her voice is most inviting.

“That Day” will draw listeners in with upbeat instrumentals and catchy percussion. Poetic lyrics over the trend-setting rhythms make this track stand out as a timely work of art with a futuristic flair. Dos floris once again uses descriptive lyrics to create an animated illustration through song.

The album turns toward the cinematic with “The Widowed Earth”, a evocative number that captures the spirit with reverberating vocals and an effortless accompaniment. The track has a slightly dark ambiance as it carries a solemn tune.

“Walking In The Night” unfolds with instrumentals that resemble a beating heart. As listeners can hear what sounds like the earth crushing beneath one’s feet, atmospheric sound elements begin to surface. Dos floris gives a soulful performance demonstrating a vast range, building a sonic landscape.

Dos takes listeners into a dreamy realm on “To The Wolves Part II”, a stylish track robust with ambient waves and soothing melodies. A prepossessing vocal performance fuses with orchestra instrumentals to create a dramatic backdrop for the song which is surely stunning, leaving fans in awe. As dos floris sings, “I feel safe in your arms”, listeners are taken to a place of much needed serenity.

The album concludes with “To The Wolves Part I”, another artistic endeavor that touches the heart and mind.  Get a glimpse into dos floris upcoming album release “The Widowed Earth” on YouTube.

Watch dos floris “The Widowed Earth”, Streaming Now on YouTube

In summary, ‘The Widowed Earth’ is a sensory experience with an experimental approach. The eclectic fusion of instrumentals and vocal performance creates a rare experience that won’t soon be forgotten. Through words conveyed with passionate accord, dos floris illustrates a visually stunning work of art. The album emerges from the shadows into the light, warming listeners in a bright ray of hope.

stampa_Florence_4Musician, singer, and songwriter dos floris got an early start in music at the young age of 5, she later learned how to play the guitar as a 20-something. As a multi-instrumentalist, dos floris also played the piano and found music to be an escape from the mundane nuances of school life.  In an interview featured in Know Me Better Music, the artist cited influences such as Tina Turner and PJ Harvey. Her sound has been likened to notable artists such as Tori Amos, Sinead O’Connor, and Kate Bush but the artist describes her own sound as “avant garde, romantic dream pop”. Dos floris’ upcoming album release ‘The Widowed Earth’ has been described as an “an empowering story for young men and women, girls and boys, who may be struggling with an eating disorder.” Dos floris confronted Anorexia, turning away from music, friends and activities for a period of 5 years.

Having overcome the challenge with the help of family, friends, and nature dos floris reemerged with a new outlook and revived passion for music. The artist hopes that girls and boys struggling with an eating disorder will find the strength to overcome such challenges. Dos will also include a personal message  which will be printed inside the CD casing. Dos floris has shown herself to be a positive role model, giving hope to those who suffer in silence and also in the face of the public. After founding her first band, touring and appearing on radio and TV decided to venture out on a solo endeavor, the culmination of which is ‘The Widowed Earth’. The album is scheduled to be released on November 5th, 2015. To learn more about dos floris, follow the artist on her Official Website www.dosfloris.com and check out the links below for more music.

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Midnight Mosaic Outside The Lines Quintessential Funk Soul Party Unleashed

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OutsideTheLines2-2Pop, Funk, and rock collide on the latest release from New Jersey-based band Midnight Mosaic “Outside The Lines”. The energetic track is a polished number with infectious appeal. For a brief moment, “Outside The Lines” takes you back to the punk and alternative sounds of the 90s but, upon hearing the first few chords, you will soon realize that this band of eclectic musicians is introducing a revolutionary style unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.

Midnight Mosaic emerges with a distinct, upbeat pop-melody with a flicker of old-school rhythm. Funky instrumentals cascade with rock-infused vocals. The band performs and entertaining number with intense energy reminiscent to Red Hot Chili Peppers. Lead vocalist A.t. Hunte along with Dee M. translate ingenious songwriting with an impressive showcase of dynamic range and varied tone. You cannot help but to immerse yourself in the sounds of this remarkable band.

Fast paced rhythms and beautifully layered synths give “Outside The Lines” a timely feel while powerful guitar riffs and moving percussion will get you up and moving. This memorable soundscape takes place as the band uses relevant metaphors to connect with listeners on content that highly relatable in the sense of relationships. There is no doubt that this is a song with a resounding message composed to hit very close to the core. With voice and music combined, Midnight Mosaic performs a captivating number that has absolutely no borders. It is no wonder that Midnight Mosaic is #1 in the region for Indie Rock & Soul on Reverbnation.

Listen to Midnight Mosaic Outside The Lines on Soundcloud

Consisting of A.t. Hunte (Vocals), Jon Skylark (Bass), Ant (Guitar),AJ (Drums), Harrisyn Hartt (Keyboards/Synths), and Dee M (Backing Vocals), Midnight Mosaic is an eclectic original band that delivers a rock and soul fusion. Blending together genres of soul, funk, dance, and pop, the band has innovated a fresh cut, indie voice for today’s generation. Citing influences such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maroon, 5, and the Foo Fighters, the band was described by Samantha Weinraub at That Music Mag as being “a mosaic of different genres of music, fused together to assemble a collective sound”.

“Outside The Lines” is the latest release from the band who hails from Asbury Park, NJ. The band worked with Grammy Award-Winning Producer David Ivory (Halestorm, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Patti LaBelle). The single was also mastered by Grammy Award-Winning Tom Coyne (Adele, Beyoncé, Pink, Taylor Swift, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Marc Anthony, Usher, Maroon 5, Maxwell, Miguel, Arianna Grande, Martin Sloveig, Carlos Vives, Prince Roys, A Tribe Called Quest, One Direction, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears), who celebrated his work with Sam Smith’s 2015 Record of the Year, In The Lonely Hour and chart-topping single “Stay With Me”. Pablo Batista lent his expertise to percussion for the single. “Outside The Lines” is currently available for purchase on iTunes and Spotify. Learn more about Midnight Mosaic by visiting their official website at www.midnightmosaicband.com.

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Artist EsZ (Erron’s Attic) Brings GTA 5 Mayhem to Life on Latest Release ‘Up in The Clouds’ EsZ “Up in The Clouds” an Innovative Metaphor

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ESZArtist EsZ is brining luring listeners into the mind of a fervent video gamer on his fresh-cut track release “Up in the Clouds”. While bringing the mayhem of GTA 5 to life with complex metaphors, the track seizes the ear with arresting energy. As EsZ lyrically wanders between a fictitious realm and glimpses of reality, one cannot help but be drawn into the fascinating yet perplexing adventure that is to ensue.

For video game noobs just getting their chops wet, “Up in the Clouds” would orchestrate an effective greeting with the award-winning game that continues to soar in popularity. In a rather inventive manner, EsZ enables listeners to get familiar with nuances of game, experience scenes in great detail, and meet the acquaintance of important characters from a first-person point of view. With lyrics like “this is a game but I ain’t playin”, we suspect however, after studying the artist’s earlier work, that there is more to “Up in the Clouds” than meets the eye.

EsZ, who happens to have a gift for words not often seen since the emergence of artists like Kanye West in ’96, is known for creating illustrative observations of the world around him. These observations frequently include the good, the bad and the ugly, all delivered in a gorgeous symphony of clever rhymes and tongue-twisting lyrical patterns. EsZ who says, “The song is about video game addiction and escaping reality”, makes his purpose known through various complexities interwoven throughout the track.

Surreal Adventures on EsZ Up in the Clouds Release

“Up in the Clouds” is an innovative track that builds with frantic intensity. The production mirrors the dark yet dreamy effects of the video game while contrasting imagination and reality. A catchy bass-line and ambient instrumentals haunt the score as EsZ’s performance brings the surreal adventure off-screen and into the mind.

It is no wonder that in just a short time, the track has garnered thousands of plays on streaming music sites. EsZ has a unique way of creating timely content that appeals to a contemporary audience. He does so by connecting with listeners using personal stories and relevant themes. In a time where narcissism runs on overdrive, what glitters must be gold, and when you are only as good as your best selfie, EsZ brings music fans back down to reality as an intuitive artist. Keeping nothing on reserve and giving an unapologetic performance, the New York-based artist tells a story that almost anyone can relate to.  Amidst what initially seems like an ode to shiny cars and rims, big booty strippers, and guns-a-blazin’, there is a twist. EsZ tells us “Up in the Clouds” is, “a metaphor for the rap game..fame”.

Listen to EsZ (Erron’s Attic) “Up in the Clouds”, Now Streaming on Soundcloud.

Based in Brooklyn, hip hop artist EsZ is not only an artist but a force to be reckoned with. He is a one-man creative collective that blends the worlds of art and music into a fascinating experience. The artist who in his interview with Underground Hip Hop Blog cites influences such as Jay-Z, Eminem, Naz, and many others, has a distinct style that resounds with a wide audience. Dig into more music, art, and find out what’s hot off the press for EsZ on his Official Website www.erronsattic.com.

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SmartBlackKid “Free Thought” Modern Rock Innovation SmartBlackKid Single “Free Thought” Delivers Unconventional Wisdom

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SBKImage1Sure, we have all heard of one-man-bands before but, we have never heard anything that sounds like the latest single from Brooklyn musician SmartBlackKid. His latest release “Free Thought” from his album ‘The Best of SmartBlackKid Vol. 1, is a powerful blend of modern rock sounds, alternative energy, and classic rock overtones. If cookie-cutter sounds are what you fancy, then exit stage right because SmartBlackKid is delivering anything but the standard. For an invigorating adventure outside of the norm and into the unconventional, immerse yourself into the sounds SmartBlackKid on “FreeThought”, now streaming on Bandcamp.

Listen to SmartBlackKid “FreeThought” Now

“Free Thought” originally made its appearance on SmartBlackKid’s debut album release ‘Change Reaction’. The artist describes the song as a “social commentary on maintaining rights to privacy and freedom in the digital age”.  The song delivers a fierce production complete with addicting instrumentals and captivating lyrics. The New York-based rocker and multi-instrumentalist seems to channel the spirit of Jimi Hendrix and the influence of Led Zeppelin as he shreds out possessing riffs and extraordinary chords. SmartBlackKid however, demonstrates his own commanding presence, giving an authoritative performance that will most certainly go unmatched.

All too often music consumers are encouraged to go with the flow, embrace sounds that conform to social constructs, whether we like them or not. And, if we don’t like them, they are played over and over again until inevitably we end up singing along to a meaningless tune with a catchy beat. SmartBlackKid shares a different experience with listeners, one that encompasses a fusion of past and present, and one that is rich with creativity and innovation.

“You are a powerplant. An energy company. An energy source. You supply power to everything in your reality…”

-Hakhi Alakhun

 

Based in Brooklyn, NY SmartBlackKid is a creative rock endeavor belonging to musician, singer, songwriter, and producer Hakhi Alakhun. The artist is a self-taught musician who took up the keyboard at age 9. He began writing and composing music and later performed as a backup singer during the 90s for groups such as Copasetic. As a diverse artist, Hakhi performed backup vocals for Dennis Edward and the Weather Girls 1998 track ‘Don’t Look Any Further’. He later taught himself to play the guitar after circling the underground scene as a spoken word artist. Teaming up with Sayo Ogundiran, Hakhi formed the band Synai and released the EP ‘AS IS’ which critics compared to work by Ani DiFranco and Prince.

Hakhi brings over 10 years of experience to the industry having worked in private music production and as a leading guitarist for the bands Lo Frequency and Bullyfoot Massive. His adventures took him to Beirut, Lebanon, Manama, Bahrain, San Jose, and Honduras where he participated in cultural exchanges, educating and teaching music. Before leaving the band, Hakhi played before the UN General Assembly in 2012.

“Free Thought” is the first single from SmartBlackKid’s album ‘The Best of SmatBlackKid Vol. 1’ which was released on September 13th. The compilation album is available at over 30 different music stores including iTunes and Apple Music. Through the popular music site Bandcamp, Hakhi Alakhun has released 10 different albums, releasing one album per month between April of 2012 and January 2013.

Hakhi’s latest project consists of a true to life one-man-band. The artist performs both lead and background vocals, plays every instrument, and produced the entire album himself at his very own SBK Studios. If that isn’t enough, Hakhi Alakhun has established his own imprint 4PJMusic Group through which his music is published. About his work, Hakhi says, “Im daring to sing about what’s really on my mind, the future of society and our world. I can’t be the only one who cares about that.” Learn more about SmartBlackKid by visiting the official website at www.smartblackkid.rocks

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Summer Love Pops: LA-based Singer Al-x Releases Official Music Video ALWAYS Al-x “Always” Official Music Video Release

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Always_Cover_Alx_smallWe cannot think of a better way to close out the summer than with the fresh release of pop singer Al-x’s latest single “ALWAYS”. The artist has announced the official music video release for the lighthearted love song, now streaming for your listening pleasure on YouTube. If there is one thing that we can all agree on, the world can use a whole lot more love! On “ALWAYS” Al-x delivers delicate guitar-infused rhythms, glittery synths, and of course a beautiful vocal performance. If you enjoy listening to music from artists such as Taylor Swift and Colbie Calliat, you will enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of Al-x.

The music video for “ALWAYS” compiles the fabulous elements of summer into a visually stunning experience. From rolling waves that wash ashore, to sandy beaches, and breathtaking sunsets, Al-x creates the perfect backdrop as she softly croons heartfelt lyrics and strums an infectious tune. “ALWAYS’ is a song that is as carefree and memorable as Al-x’s windswept, red hair as she playfully dances throughout different frames, singing about unbreakable true love.

“ALWAYS” is an uplifting number with feel-good energy. Al-x introduces fun, dance-worthy beats fused with a gentle acoustic feel. Her youthful vocals illuminate the song as she delivers meaningful versus and a catchy chorus. Al-x describes “ALWAYS” as a “fun smile-inducing song about summer love that turns eternal, from the city of eternal summer”.

Watch Al-x ALWAYS OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO

Alx_streetBased in LA, AL-x is a singer, songwriter, and musician. Her music is a unique fusion of pop, contemporary pop, and electronica. Al-x delivers a refreshing style with mass-appeal that almost anyone can relate to. Having developed a catalog of over 300 songs, the artist has garnered acclaim for her performances at numbers LA venues including the Knitting Factory, Whisky a Go Go, The Key Club, The House of Blues, and many more. With a growing international fan-base, Al-x has worked with several musicians and producers, including renowned members of icon Madonna’s own music team. No stranger to music, Al-x has released over 3 EPs and continues to expand her reach as an artist. Keep up with Al-x on her Official Website www.alexmusicsite.com. Follow the links below for more music.

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Reigning with Soul: Zhanè Monique Debuts ‘Legacy of an Empress’ EP Southern Soul Meets Trip Hop on Zhanè Monique 'Legacy of an Empress' EP Release

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One may be surprised to know that a young artist of today is able to deliver a voice that is reminiscent to the distinct sounds of decades past. With the exception of a few notable performers, music today often seems to lack the substance and talent once experienced with industry pioneers. One young performer from Atlanta, Georgia however, is breaking ground with a fiercely contemporary sound that channels the vibrations of classic soul singers and the modern nuances of a millennial generation. The artist’s name is Zhanè Monique, and she is a young lady whose music seems to be well beyond her years.

We recently got an insider look into the debut EP release by Zhanè Monique titled ‘Legacy of an Empress’. The EP consists of 7 distinct tracks that demonstrate the performer’s diversity as a singer and songwriter. ‘Legacy of an Empress’ conveys itself with regal quality just as the name of the project suggests. As the the EP opens with “Young Teen” a short interlude, it swiftly becomes evident that Zhanè Monique is not your average recording artist nor your average teen. She is a gifted performer destined to leave an indelible mark on the surface of the music landscape.

As Zhanè introduces herself to listeners singing the lyrics, “I’m just a young teen trying to fulfill my dreams” it is clear that the talented artist is on a mission and taking no prisoners. At first glance, Zhanè’s head-turning sound strikes a familiar chord. Fans of Beyonce will gravitate toward Zhanè’s execution of vocals which resound in a similar fashion. She delivers passionate vocals with comparable dexterity and range. There are few artists today, especially in pop that can truly hit a wide range of notes much less sing at all; even fewer female R&B artists are exposed to audiences through the mainstream music, so ‘Legacy of an Empress’ is a refreshing glimpse into a new generation of rising artists.

 

Check out our Insider Look into ‘Legacy of an Empress’ by Zhanè Monique

 

“Highs & Lows” is a flawless production that emerges with an acoustic feel as Zhanè belts out a mellow tune. The track, which morphs into an eclectic-sounding number expresses unique instrumentals against poetic lyrics.

“Drift” is a progressively modern number with a trendy feel. As Zhanè delivers bold lyrics she pays homage to the “ATL”. The track is an infectious production drenched in flavorful instrumental layers and complex elements.

Perhaps one of the most notable tracks on ‘Legacy of an Empress’ is “Lambs Became Lions” , a powerful number that tells a vivid tale. Using fascinating metaphors, Zhanè delivers a moving experience with a salient message.

LOOK FOR OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ZHANÈ MONIQUE

Zhanè Monique continues her exquisite story-telling on “Legacy”, a slow-tempo track with distorted instrumentals and deep, soulful lyrics. The track, produced by ZM has a darker feel giving way to her purposeful delivery. The performer demonstrates a vast vocal range on the melodic “Hope”, a powerful track that touches the soul and endears the heart. Concluding the EP with an even stronger finish is “She Can Have You (A World in Chains)”, an unconventional production with captivating lyrics and inspiring instrumentals. Zhanè Monique gives an impressive performance throughout ‘Legacy of an Empress’. The EP is a remarkable blend of R&B, soul, electronic, and alternative sounds with a light hip-hop flair.

Listen to the sounds of Zhanè Monique ‘Legacy of an Empress’ now streaming on Soundcloud

Zhanè Monique is an Atlanta-based singer and songwriter who got an early start in music as a young child. Having performed in her church choir as a youngster, Zhanè is no stranger to the stage. ‘Legacy of an Empress’,  the artist’s debut release chronicles her personal experiences as a teenager growing up. ‘Legacy of an Empress’ is currently available for purchase in your favorite digital music stores. Catch up with Zhanè Monique Online by following the links below…

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Band We Are Doom Debut EP ‘The D’ is Intensely Modern

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We Are DoomWhen you encounter a group musicians who happen to go by the name We Are Doom, what you might expect to witness is a post-apocalyptic cataclysm of sorts. Are you scared yet? If you are a boy band you should be. Even more chilling however, is the fact that the opposite holds true for the Colorado-based band. Upon discovering We Are Doom’s latest EP release titled ‘The D’, you will quickly realize that the sounds being performed are anything but destructive. In fact, ‘The D’ is a modern collection of trendy yet, eclectic songs that seem to restore balance to current music climate.

If you find yourself reminiscing about rock music from the 90s and the early naughties, you will enjoy taking a listen to ‘The D’. Punk fan? Alternative lover? EDM much? No issues there, ‘The D’ has you covered. We Are Doom, who describes their style as indie-electronic-alternative hails from Denver, Colorado and delivers a performance that is just about as scenic as the Centennial State itself. Listeners can expect to be immersed in a myriad of genres carefully crafted and fused together to create an original sound.

While electronic music has experienced quite an upsurge in mainstream music and pop continues to reign as King, alternative fans are often left feeling abandoned as their favorite bands venture to adopt unrecognizable styles. Modern rock acts find success while holding on to the nuances of classic rock, and technology has forged the most unlikely collaborations. While Taylor Swift has been crowned a media maven, 1D bids farewell and the rest of us are wondering why the term “boy band” has yet to be retired if they still aren’t actually playing instruments.

Whatever holds true for today’s feisty music consumer, the fact is that music will continue to converge, morph, and reinvent itself. Musicians that are keenly aware of this are likely to succeed and those that are not will inevitably be lost among the “what ever happened to one-hit wonders”. Staying power requires a timeless classic that is created today and still loved tomorrow. We Are Doom seems to have this figured out; not only does this band croon out some remarkable harmonies, they play instruments as too. Performing 8 original songs for the masses, We Are Doom gives music lovers a delectable taste of what is to come.

The Rundown: We Are Doom ‘The D’

Inside the Tracks

‘The D’ opens up with an upbeat track titled “Ignite”. The synth-driven production performs flawlessly with glossy instrumentals and dance-infused rhythms. The convergence of pop-rock vocals, rich music composition, and free-spirited electronic layers make the track an instant favorite for anyone who enjoys uplifting music.

“Ignite” is followed by “Shooting Star”, a mature mix with a distinct presence. Righteous instrumentals and lush harmonies wash over the production with the greatest of ease. We Are Doom demonstrates their vast soundscape very early in the EP as each track delivers its own energy.

Up next, the band performs “Feels Like Paradise”, a fun number with massive appeal. “Feels Like Paradise” could easily be an club hit as it delivers plenty of energy and a mainstream performance. The song’s flirty lyrics intertwine fabulously with the sultry electronic layers.

Throwback fans of bands such as Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and Blink 182 will get a kick out of “Harmonixxx”, an upbeat alternative number with reverberating guitars and intense percussion. We Are Doom channels their inner Nirvana on “G.D.S.” another passionate number with punk conventions, speedy riffs, and powerful vocals.

The EP remains set to high-octane on “Sail Away”, another strong number with rock-infused instrumentals and vivid storytelling. The band then softens the edge with “We’ll Find A Way”, a melodic track with pop vocals and heartfelt lyrics. “We’ll Find A Way” is a lighthearted mix with delicate synths and colorful melodies. Concluding with a resounding production on “Spider Webs”, We Are Doom wraps up the EP with fierce instrumentals and driving rhythms that grip the spirit with youthful exuberance.

In summary, ‘The D’ is the type of release that will either have you heading to the club or diving into a mosh pit. The juxtaposition of throwback alternative elements and modern electronic instrumentals provide a fascinating interpretation of today’s young artists and their experiences in the world around them. ‘The D’ is a highly relatable EP that delivers addicting music that is performed with immaculate precision. Though the band considers themselves to be indie, their production style is anything but. Listeners can anticipate polished numbers that are cut to pure perfection, musical dope for the ear.

Listen to We Are Doom Ignite, Streaming Now on Soundcloud

We Are Doom is comprised of Jerry Vargas (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Wesley Pasillas (Drums), Tony Millan (Bass), and Julio Antillion (Guitar). Combined, the band members have almost 10 years of experience as musicians and were for the most part self-taught multi-instrumentalists. Citing influences such as The Hives, The Strokes, Bloc Party, Muse, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Led Zeppelin, and many others, the band formed and decided to develop their own unique style. We Are Doom is based in Denver, Colorado and performs at several different venues across the state. ‘The D’, the debut EP from We Are Doom was released on August 19th and is currently available for purchase at digital music stores. Learn more about We Are Doom by visiting their official website at www.we-are-doom.com.

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