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Nayvadius Cash (born Nayvadius D. Wilburn; November 20, 1983), better known by his stage name Future, is an American rapper from the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, who is signed to Epic Records, A1 Recordings and his own label Freebandz. After releasing a series of successful mixtapes between 2010 and 2011, Future signed a major label deal and in April 2012 released his debut album Pluto to positive reviews. The album spawned 5 singles, which charted on the Billboard Hot 100, and was later re-released in November as Pluto 3D. Future is currently working on his sophomore album Future Hendrix, which is planned for a 2013 release, and also performing with his group Freeband Gang, with whom he released 2 mixtapes since the beginning of the year.
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Nayvadius Cash (born Nayvadius D. Wilburn; November 20, 1983), better known by his stage name Future, is an American rapper from the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, who is signed to Epic Records, A1 Recordings and his own label Freebandz. After releasing a series of successful mixtapes between 2010 and 2011, Future signed a major label deal and in April 2012 released his debut album Pluto to positive reviews. The album spawned 5 singles, which charted on the Billboard Hot 100, and was later re-released in November as Pluto 3D. Future is currently working on his sophomore album Future Hendrix, which is planned for a 2013 release, and also performing with his group Freeband Gang, with whom he released 2 mixtapes since the beginning of the year.
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José Álvaro Osorio Balvín (born July 7, 1985), known artistically as J Balvin, is a Colombian reggaeton singer. Balvin was born in Medellín, the largest city of Antioquia, where he became interested in rap, dancehall, champeta and bachata at a young age. He is known for his song "Yo Te Lo Dije" and "Tranquila".
In popular culture
J Balvin was featured on the Colombian version of "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell Williams & T.I., although the remix was received poorly.
J Balvin is also featured in the Colombian remix of "The Way" by Ariana Grande.
J Balvin official website
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J Balvin Discography
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Tame Impala ( ) is an Australian rock band conceived by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker. The band began as a home-recording project for Parker, who writes, records, performs, and produces the music.
As a touring act, Parker (guitar, vocals) plays alongside Dominic Simper (guitar, synthesiser) and some members of Australian psychedelic rock band Pond – Jay Watson (synthesiser, vocals, guitar), Cam Avery (bass guitar, vocals), and Julien Barbagallo (drums, vocals). Previously signed to Modular Recordings, Tame Impala is now signed to Interscope Records in the US, and Fiction Records in the UK.
After a series of singles and EPs, in 2010, the band released their debut studio album, Innerspeaker, which was certified gold in Australia and well received by critics. Their 2012 follow-up, Lonerism, was also acclaimed, reaching platinum status in Australia and receiving a Grammy Award nomination for Best Alternative Music Album. The band's third album, Currents, was released in July 2015, and like its predecessor, it won ARIA Awards for Best Rock Album and Album of the Year. Parker won the APRA Award for Song of the Year 2016 for Currents' first track, "Let It Happen".
2007–2008: Early career
The origins of the act can be found in the Perth music scene. Parker played in a number of bands, one being the Dee Dee Dums, a rock duo that consisted of Parker (guitar) and Luke Epstein (drums). Tame Impala emerged in 2007 as a Kevin Parker home-recording project in this period and he posted a number of tracks on Myspace. This brought interest from a number of labels and eventually, he signed a worldwide deal with the independent Modular Recordings in July 2008. To transfer these recordings to a live-stage, Parker enlisted the help of Dominic Simper (bass) and Jay Watson (drums) and began playing at some local gigs.
2008–2009: Tame Impala EP
The signing was soon followed by the release of their self-titled debut EP in September 2008. Due to Parker's original artwork there was some confusion with the EP title and many believed it to be called "Antares Mira Sun". The artwork is an interpretation of a slide he saw in an astronomy lecture, which demonstrated the difference in size between the stars Antares, Mira and the Sun.The cover art is meant to be a painting; an interpretation of a diagram, so those labels are just there to make the diagram make sense. But lo and behold, there were reviews coming out saying "And Tame Impala's new EP 'Antares, Mira, Sun".
The Tame Impala EP reached the number 1 position on the Australian Independent Record Labels (AIR) Chart and number 10 on the ARIA Physical Singles Chart, with three songs, "Desire Be, Desire Go", "Half Full Glass of Wine" and "Skeleton Tiger" receiving national radio airplay on the Triple J radio station.Tours in 2008 included supports for You Am I, The Black Keys, Yeasayer and MGMT, as well as performances at Southbound Festival, Meredith Music Festival and Falls Festival, as well as national headline tours in support of their EP. Tours in 2009 included a sold-out six-date "Skeleton Tiger" national headline tour and a five-date UK tour (including Nevereverland UK), as well as performances at V Festival and Groovin The Moo, and a stadium tour with The Living End and Gyroscope.Tame Impala appeared on Triple J's Hottest 100 list in 2008—their first appearance on the list— with "Half Full Glass of Wine" at number 75. The song is also on the Hottest 100 compilation album.
2009–2010: "Sundown Syndrome"
Tame Impala's first single, "Sundown Syndrome", was recorded at Toerag Studios in London, UK, with recording engineer Liam Watson, while the band was in the UK in March 2009. "Sundown Syndrome" was premiered by Richard Kingsmill on his "2009" show on Triple J on Sunday 10 May 2009. The song was released in July 2009 on vinyl, and digitally with a cover of "Remember Me" by DJ Blue Boy.The band then headlined the inaugural "Rottofest" in August 2009, an annual comedy, film and music festival held on Rottnest Island off the coast of Western Australia. Following Rottofest, they embarked on a national tour through September and October 2009 in support of the single. "Remember Me" appeared at number 78 on Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2009."Sundown Syndrome" was included on the soundtrack of the Oscar-nominated film The Kids Are All Right. "Half Full Glass of Wine" was used in HBO's popular television series Entourage as the closing song for an episode.Tame Impala appeared at the Australian/New Zealand Big Day Out festival in early 2010, performing alongside bands such as Muse, The Mars Volta, Kasabian and Rise Against.
Tame Impala's debut album Innerspeaker was released on 21 May 2010. In the UK the official release date was 28 June, but iTunes accidentally made it available for purchase on 12 May. The album was released in the United States on 8 June to general and critical acclaim. Pitchfork named it Best New Music.In an interview with Triple J talking about the album's recent nomination for the J Award, Parker stated that they have secretly been recording a new album. "Jay and I have been recording pretty compulsively and album number two is nearing potential completion already and I'm so excited about it that I'm having trouble keeping myself from telling you all about it". This came as a big surprise as this statement was released only months after their debut album, Innerspeaker, was released.
The group was busy touring during mid-2010, with its "Innerspeaker album tour" commencing on 13 May 2010, as the opening band for MGMT's 2010 American tour. The band returned to Australia to play at Splendour in the Grass festival, which was followed by a European Tour in July (including an appearance at the Reading Festival) and a national Australian tour in October. In November they returned to the UK and Europe for a fifteen date tour, including their largest London headline show to date which was attended by Noel Gallagher, Tom Meighan, Sergio Pizzorno, Noel Fielding, Alexa Chung and Alison Mosshart, the band then went on to the United States and Canada for twenty headline dates including sold out shows in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. They also received four 2010 ARIA Music Awards nominations which include, "Album of the Year" and "Best Rock Album" for Innerspeaker, "Best Group" and also "Breakthrough Artist".On 29 November 2010, Innerspeaker won Australian youth-oriented radio network Triple J's highest honor, winning the J Award for Album of the Year.
On 7 December 2011, Parker began mixing the second Tame Impala album, Lonerism, with producer Dave Fridmann. On 2 March 2012, Tame Impala announced on Facebook that the new album was "finished, mixed, mastered, mooged, broinged, and beeped". Jay Watson expected it to be released in mid-2012, but it was released in October 2012.
Parker said that Lonerism "represents a departure from his previous work by incorporating an expanded sonic palette, more emotional song writing, and a more pronounced narrative perspective". It was created in a similar set up as Innerspeaker, whereby Parker wrote and recorded the majority of the album by himself at his girlfriend, Jivani Duke's, home in Perth, Australia. Parts of the recording also occurred in Parker's home studio in France.
While in France, Parker produced and played on the self-titled dream pop album by Melody's Echo Chamber, the project of French singer Melody Prochet. As a result, one of the tracks on Lonerism is titled "Endors Toi", which roughly translates from French to English as "fall asleep". The album cover is a photo taken by Parker of the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, France, with additional editing by Leif Podhajsky, a graphic designer who created the album art for Innerspeaker. The image ties into the themes of isolation of Lonerism, with a metal gate separating the viewer from the people in the Gardens.On 27 June 2012, the band released an album teaser on their Facebook Page. The band released the song "Apocalypse Dreams" for free download on 7 July 2012. The first single "Elephant" was released in July 2012. The album was released on 5 October in Australia, 8 October in the United Kingdom and 9 October in the United States. StillinRock described it as the best album of the year. The album features the songs "Apocalypse Dreams" and "Elephant", which are some of the first songs that Parker has co-written with Watson. "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" was released as the second single.
In November 2012, Lonerism won the 2012 J Award for Australian Album of the Year. It was the second time Tame Impala had won the award, after also winning it for their debut album Innerspeaker in 2010. They are the first band to win the J Award more than once. In January 2013, Lonerism was selected by Rolling Stone for the 2012 Album of the Year award after the band also won the award in 2011 for Innerspeaker. It was also announced as album of the year by UK magazine NME. Additionally, Lonerism was voted number one overall in Rolling Stone, Triple J, NME, Filter, Urban Outfitters, FasterLouder and Obscure Sound's 2012 Album of the Year polls. Lonerism became the first Australian album to win NME's album of the year. "Elephant" and "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" appeared at number 7 and 9 respectively in Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2012.The band began an international tour in 2012 through 2013, supported by The Growl. During this tour, they played major festivals, such as Coachella, Sasquatch Festival, and appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. For this tour Watson switched from drums to keyboards and Parker recruited Julien Barbagallo on drums.In September 2012, Tame Impala's first U.S. feature appeared on the cover of the publication The FADER, in its 82nd issue. "Elephant" was used in advertisements for the Blackberry Z10, in the second-season finale of HBO's Girls, and in the film The Fifth Estate.On 18 May 2013, it was announced via Facebook that Allbrook (1ST MENTION OF ALL ALLBROOK. WHEN DID KEITH JOIN THE BAND?) would leave the band to focus on other musical endeavors, and that Cam Avery of Pond and The Growl would take his place. Allbrook played his final gig with the band on their last Australian tour date of 2013 at Perth's Belvoir Amphitheatre, the same venue that Allbrook played his first gig with the band at in 2008. As a farewell gesture, the band played a cover of Outkast's "Prototype".Lonerism received a 2014 Grammy Award nomination in December 2013 in the Best Alternative Music Album category.Reflecting on the album in a 2019 interview about the impact of Lonerism with Beats 1 host Matt Wilkinson, Parker said he would dedicate the album to his younger self, as a teenager. "I'd give him a signed copy of the album, saying 'Don't worry, you got out the other end,'" Parker said, adding that he feels that Lonerism was a form of "therapy" for himself as a teenager. He continued: "I didn't have a solid base to fall back on then, so I was tackling a lot of things on my own. And I was just lost. I remember thinking, 'I've got no-one'. I remember once, when I was 15 or something, I was brushing my teeth, and I just broke down crying. I just felt so alone. And so, this album, it kind of validates... it makes that all [seem] like it had a purpose, like I wasn't just completely aimless and without hope. That's the thing about Lonerism - I listened to it this morning [before the interview], and I was like, 'It's got this weird hopefulness to it'. Maybe that's the charm of it. Maybe that's why it's done so well."
Parker added to Wilkinson that his favourite song on the album is Music To Walk Home By, and that his favourite lyric is from Elephant: "He pulled the mirrors off his Cadillac / 'Cause he doesn't like it looking like he looks back".
It is believed that Parker started recording the follow-up album to Lonerism at the beginning of 2014, due to various Instagram posts that showed recording taking place at Wave House in Western Australia, where the debut album Innerspeaker was recorded. Prior to this, Parker had been touring with Tame Impala and working on other musical projects, including his disco-funk band, AAA Aardvark Getdown Services. Parker said in May 2013:
Right now, doing another album doesn't excite me. There's something narrow-minded about thinking an album is the only way you can put out music, especially in the world we're in at the moment. Anything is possible. There's so many people doing interesting things with the internet and technology, there could be so many ways of making music and listening to it. It's 2013 and you can make music anywhere ... There are so many possibilities, my brain is overloading on them all. I just need to wait, think about things a bit more. Then I'll know what to do next.
In May 2014, Parker spoke of his growing inclination toward the recording of another album in a triple J radio interview, explaining that: "I'm getting more and more sucked into the world of making an album. It's weird how it happens naturally, it's almost feels like a seasonal thing. I've started to think about tracklistings and all the things that come with an album." Describing the sound of the new album, Parker said "I'm gonna try to make it a bit more minimal this time; only use what's needed ... instead of a supreme pizza, where you just throw everything on". Watson added: "[It's] probably gonna be less rock again and more electronic again, even more than the last one". Parker later stated that the inspiration behind the new polished sound of Tame Impala's third album came from listening to a Fleetwood Mac song. He said that the pureness and cleanness of Fleetwood Mac's song prompted him to attempt to create a more streamlined musical style within Currents.On 6 January 2015, Spinning Top Music announced that a new Tame Impala album will be released in 2015. During the same month, it was announced that the band would perform at the Boston Calling Music Festival in May 2015.On 11 March 2015, a new song entitled "Let It Happen" was released as a free download.On 5 April 2015, Tame Impala announced and released the album cover for Currents in a Facebook post. A few hours later the band released the first official single from the upcoming album on Facebook called "'Cause I'm a Man". Later that month, on 22 April 2015, Tame Impala officially released "Let it Happen" as the second single from the album. One week later, on 29 April 2015, Kevin Parker held an AMA on reddit, where he provoked fans to ask him to release a new song, then responding with "Disciples", which became the third single for the upcoming album Currents. On 7 May 2015 the band announced that the album would be released in 17 July 2015 and released the fourth single, "Eventually".During the same 30 April 2015 reddit AMA, Parker said, "Up until recently, from all of Tame Impala's record sales outside of Australia I had received.... zero dollars. Someone high up spent the money before it got to me. I may never get that money."In April 2016, Parker stated that he was writing new music but was unsure if it would be for Tame Impala or "for someone else".In October 2017, a Collector's Edition of Currents was announced. Released on 17 November, it included three B-sides and two remixes.
By the end of 2017, Tame Impala announced that they agreed to play the 2018 Mad Cool musical concert in Spain, which would be the first live music show the band agreed to play in 2018. Tame Impala also played a headline set at London's Citadel Festival in July 2018.
In July 2018, during an interview with Beats 1 anchor host Matt Wilkinson, Parker confirmed for the first time that he had begun working on the new Tame Impala album, adding that he was "ready to play some other songs live" and expressing an interest to headline a stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2019. He also stated that he would be "very disappointed" if the new record by Tame Impala wasn't released by summer 2019.On 1 July 2018, Tame Impala teamed up with artist ZHU to create the single "My Life".
In October 2018, Parker played bass in a collaborative set featuring Travis Scott (vocals) and John Mayer (guitar) on Saturday Night Live.On 10 October, the band was the opener for Moreno Beach's annual Desert Daze festival,On 14 October, female R&B singer SZA released the single "Together" featuring Tame Impala on YouTube. On 31 October, Tame Impala released a single song called "Only You" featuring Theophilus London.On January 2, 2019, Tame Impala was announced as a headliner for this year's Coachella Music Festival. They have been honoured to headline this years Primavera Sound festival commencing May 31, 2019, this feat only being achieved by one other Australian. Parker had recently announced a forthcoming new album is expected release during the summer.
Parker's music is heavily influenced by late 1960s and early 1970s psychedelic rock, which is achieved through various production methods. Some favoured and often-used effects by Parker include phasing, delay, reverb and fuzz.
Parker's decision to make the music for Tame Impala in the studio by himself is a result of Parker liking "the kind of music that is the result of one person constructing an awesome symphony of sound. You can layer your own voice 700 times for half a second if you want, and I just love that kind of music". However, Parker has to translate his music to a live setting with the band, and the band doesn't play the songs until they have been recorded. "The only jamming that's done as a band is done a long time after the song is recorded for the sake of the live environment. It's good for us, because we can take a song that's been recorded and do what we want to it: slow it down, speed it up, make it 10 seconds or 10 minutes long. It gives us a lot of freedom."Experimentation with different effects pedals such as Roland RE-20 Space Echo, has led to Parker creating new and unique sounds. "If you make an effort to not put the pedals in the order you're meant to, then you'll end up with something new sounding. We don't have any things that we got from another planet or anything, it's the same things everyone else has used." "People have a distortion pedal and then a reverb pedal. A reverb is meant to make it sound like it's in a cathedral or something. If you put it the other way around, it won't sound like a guitar being played in a church, it'll sound like a church being stuffed inside a shoebox and then exploded. You can do different things just by treating things differently."Parker also has a strong sense of melody in his music, having composed "excessively melodic music from about the age of 12 to 15". As a result of Parker's love of melody, he also has revealed that he has a "fetish for extremely sugary pop music" from artists like Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue.In addition to a love of melody, Parker also loves "fucked-up explosive cosmic music" in the vein of The Flaming Lips, with whom Parker collaborated on the track "Children of the Moon" in 2012, for the release The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends.Combining these two things, My Bloody Valentine have influenced Parker's music with their contrasting combination of loud guitars and ethereal melodies. Parker has "always been in love with the wall of sound as employed by My Bloody Valentine" and he tries to capture that "melancholy dreamy feel". Parker tries to incorporate this balance into his own music. "If I was singing, I wouldn't be able to match the tone of the instruments, which is really crunchy. The instruments are quite sonically brutal, but the voice is really soft, and I think that kind of resonates with people. It's kind of like My Bloody Valentine, where it's really brutal sounding, but kind of beautiful at the same time". Tame Impala live drummer Jay Watson has described Parker's music as containing "shoegazey guitar sound, but not played in a shoegazey manner".Electronic music is another influence. Parker has used rock instrumentation in an electronic manner, saying "The way we do music, it's organic, but it's meant to be quite repetitive and hypnotic, almost in a kind of electronic nature. Using our playing as though it was a living sample". A heavy feature on Innerspeaker is a pitch-shifted guitar tone that many mistook for a synth. Parker mentioned this by saying "I had a few obsessions when recording Innerspeaker. One was to make the guitars sound like synths and drums sound like drum samples and pretty much anything except guitars and drums. I'm obsessed with confusing people as to the origin of a sound."Parker was inspired to take up various creative endeavors at a young age, "I used to draw a lot when I was very young, and I used to get the most immense feeling of satisfaction from finishing a picture and looking back at it, even though I wasn't actually that good. When I started playing music I got the same feeling from making a song, even if it was just a few noises or drum patterns put together. It was all about the buzz from making something from nothing. Music always affected me greatly as a listener anyway, usually from listening to music in my dad's car or listening to him play guitar."Parker's process for making music is "I'll have a sudden, spontaneous vision of a song, have all the parts mapped out in mind, and do my best to record it as quick as I can. I'll find my eight-track and do a quick demo of just the riff, or a verse or a chorus. The song will go for like 30 seconds. I'll have a whole bunch of them [demos] and then I'll just choose which ones to make into full songs". For Parker, the music comes before the lyrics, "I usually write the lyrics after the melody and its timing have been decided. But the words have to be meaningful. I try to synchronise certain words with the best parts of the melody, but it can be really difficult and does my head in. I like to keep the meaning pretty open and ambiguous so that it's not just me that gets something out of the lyrics. I usually write lyrics from a persona rather than tell a specific story." Parker also said "Usually I am sufficiently motivated to think of new songs everyday, but I usually forget them. I seem to get an emotional kick out of sensing feelings of general desperation or hopelessness, whether it's me or someone near me or someone in a movie or anything. It's really difficult to sit down and force yourself to write a song, and that forced nature usually comes out in the song so I just have to wait until they come to me."Lo-fi music is also a favourite of Parker's, and he incorporated it heavily in the early days of Tame Impala, heard prominently on the Tame Impala EP. With the release of Innerspeaker, Parker went for a different approach to a lo-fi sound, aiming more for a more cosmic and sonic wall of sound, helped by mixer Dave Fridmann. Parker explained "It sounds more cohesive, like an organism. It has a different emotion to it, it brings out a different feeling when it's absolutely blaring at you. I love that sound."Parker has also stated that Supertramp, one of his favourite bands, are a major influence on the musical style of Tame Impala. Despite their difference in sound, he feels he is always somewhat "channeling Supertramp". He has said that listening to the Bee Gees on mushrooms and cocaine inspired him to change the sound of the music he was making on Currents. Responding to an interviewer's question regarding the subject in 2018, Jay Watson stated that while he does not do drugs any more, "I thought everything had asbestos in it for some reason, for a few years there."
Kevin Parker – vocals, guitar, bass, drums, synthesiser, productionLive
Kevin Parker – vocals, guitar (2007–present)
Jay Watson – drums (2007–12); synthesiser (2012–present)
Dominic Simper – bass (2007–2010); guitar, synthesiser (2009–present)
Cam Avery – bass (2013–present)
Julien Barbagallo – drums (2012–present)Past members
Nick Allbrook – guitar, synthesiser, bass (2010–2013)Timeline
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tame_ImpalaSource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tame_Impala
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Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones (/nɑːˈsɪər/; born September 14, 1973), better known by his stage name Nas /ˈnɑːz/, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. The son of jazz musician Olu Dara, Nas has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums and has sold over 25,000,000 records worldwide. He is also an entrepreneur through his own record label; he serves as associate publisher of Mass Appeal magazine and is the owner of a Fila sneaker store. He is currently signed to Mass Appeal Records.
His musical career began in 1991, as a featured artist on Main Source's "Live at the Barbeque". His debut album Illmatic (1994) received universal acclaim from both critics and the hip-hop community and is frequently ranked as the greatest hip hop album of all time. Nas's follow-up It Was Written debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, stayed on top for four consecutive weeks, went double platinum in two months, and made Nas internationally known. From 2001-05, Nas was involved in a highly publicised feud with fellow New York rapper Jay Z. Nas signed to Def Jam in 2006. In 2010, he released Distant Relatives, a collaboration album with reggae musician Damian Marley, donating all royalties to charities active in Africa. His eleventh studio album, Life Is Good (2012) was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
Nas is often named as one of the greatest hip-hop artists. MTV ranked him at number 5 on their list of "The Greatest MCs of All Time". In 2012, The Source ranked him number two on their list of the "Top 50 Lyricists of All Time". In 2013, Nas was ranked fourth on MTV's "Hottest MCs in the Game" list. About.com ranked him first on their list of the "50 Greatest MCs of All Time" in 2014, and a year later, Nas was featured on "The 10 Best Rappers of All Time" list by Billboard.
In 2016, Nas began narrating The Get Down and rapping as Adult Ezekiel of 1996.
Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones was born on September 14, 1973, in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Olu Dara (born Charles Jones III), is a jazz and blues musician, from Mississippi. His mother, Fannie Ann (Little) Jones, was a Postal Service worker from North Carolina. He has one sibling, a brother named Jabari Fret who is best known as "Jungle", a member of the hip-hop group Bravehearts. His father took his name "Olu Dara" from the Yoruba people. His African DNA indicates he has roots in countries with high Yoruba populations Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana – as well as Mali, the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Congo, and Senegal. His matrilineal DNA haplogroup is of African origin, found among the Yoruba and Fulbe populations in Western Africa. He also found that his Y-DNA traces directly back to Scandinavia, through which he is a descendant of the Vikings.
As a young child, Nas and his family relocated to the Queensbridge Houses in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. His neighbor, Willy "Ill Will" Graham, influenced his interest in hip hop by playing him records. His parents divorced in 1985, and he dropped out of school after the eighth grade. He educated himself about African culture through the Five Percent Nation and the Nuwaubian Nation. In his early years, he played the trumpet and began writing his own rhymes.
Late 1980s–1994: Underground beginnings and album debut
As a teenager, Nas enlisted his best friend and upstairs neighbor Willy "Ill Will" Graham as his DJ. Nas initially went by the nickname "Kid Wave" before adopting his more commonly known alias of "Nasty Nas". In the late-1980s, he met up with the producer Large Professor and went to the studio where Rakim and Kool G Rap were recording their albums. When they were not in the recording studio, Nas would go into the booth and record his own material. However, none of it was ever released. In 1991, Nas performed on Main Source's "Live at the Barbeque". In mid-1992, Nas was approached by MC Serch of 3rd Bass, who became his manager and secured Nas a record deal with Columbia Records during the same year. Nas made his solo debut under the name of "Nasty Nas" on the single "Halftime" from MC Serch's soundtrack for the film Zebrahead. Called the new Rakim, his rhyming skills attracted a significant amount of attention within the hip-hop community.
In 1994, Nas's debut album, Illmatic, was finally released. It was awarded best album of 1994 by The Source. It also featured production from Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S. and DJ Premier, as well as guest appearances from Nas's friend AZ and his father Olu Dara. The album spawned several singles, including "The World Is Yours", "It Ain't Hard to Tell", and "One Love". Shaheem Reid of MTV News called Illmatic "the first classic LP" of 1994. In 1994, Nas also recorded the song "One on One" for the soundtrack to the film Street Fighter. In his book To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic, William Jelani Cobb writes of Nas's impact at the time:
Nas, the poetic sage of the Queensbridge projects, was hailed as the second coming of Rakim—as if the first had reached his expiration date. [...] Nas never became 'the next Rakim,' nor did he really have to. Illmatic stood on its own terms. The sublime lyricism of the CD, combined with the fact that it was delivered into the crucible of the boiling East-West conflict, quickly solidified [his] reputation as the premier writer of his time.
Steve Huey of AllMusic described Nas's lyrics on Illmatic as "highly literate" and his raps "superbly fluid regardless of the size of his vocabulary", adding that Nas is "able to evoke the bleak reality of ghetto life without losing hope or forgetting the good times". Reviewing Nas's second album It Was Written, Leo Stanley of allmusic believed the rhymes to be not as complex as those in Illmatic but still "not only flow, but manage to tell coherent stories as well". About.com ranked Illmatic as the greatest hip-hop album of all time, and Prefix magazine praised it as "the best hip-hop record ever made".
1995–1997: Mainstream direction and The Firm
Columbia Records began to press Nas to work towards more commercial topics, such as that of The Notorious B.I.G., who had become successful by releasing street singles that still retained radio-friendly appeal. In 1995, Nas did guest performances on the albums Doe or Die by AZ, The Infamous by Mobb Deep, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx by Raekwon and 4,5,6 by Kool G Rap. Nas also parted ways with manager MC Serch, enlisted Steve Stoute, and began preparation for his second LP, It Was Written, consciously working towards a crossover-oriented sound. It Was Written, chiefly produced by Tone and Poke of Trackmasters, was released during the summer of 1996. Two singles, "If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)" (featuring Lauryn Hill of The Fugees) and "Street Dreams", including a remix with R. Kelly were instant hits. These songs were promoted by big-budget music videos directed by Hype Williams, making Nas a common name among mainstream hip-hop. It Was Written featured the debut of The Firm, a supergroup consisting of Nas, AZ, Foxy Brown, and Cormega. The album also expanded on Nas's Escobar persona, who lived more of a Scarface/Casino-esque lifestyle. On the other hand, Illmatic, which, while having numerous references to Scarface protagonist Tony Montana, was more about his early life growing up in the projects.
Signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment label, The Firm began working on their debut album. Halfway through the production of the album, Cormega was fired from the group by Steve Stoute, who had unsuccessfully attempted to force Cormega to sign a deal with his management company. Cormega subsequently became one of Nas's most vocal opponents and released a number of underground hip hop singles "dissing" Nas, Stoute, and Nature, who replaced Cormega as the fourth member of The Firm. Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ, and Nature Present The Firm: The Album was finally released in 1997 to mixed reviews. The album failed to live up to its expected sales, despite being certified platinum, and the members of the group disbanded to go their separate ways.
During this period, Nas was one of four rappers (the others being B-Real, KRS-One and RBX) in the hip-hop supergroup Group Therapy, who appeared on the song "East Coast/West Coast Killas" from Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath.
1998–2000: Inconsistent output
In late 1998, Nas began working on a double album, to be entitled I Am... The Autobiography; he intended it as the middle ground between Illmatic and It Was Written, with each track detailing a part of his life. In 1998, Nas co-wrote and starred in Hype Williams's 1998 feature film Belly. I Am... The Autobiography was completed in early 1999, and a music video was shot for its lead single, "Nas Is Like". It was produced by DJ Premier and contained vocal samples from "It Ain't Hard to Tell". Music critic M.F. DiBella noticed that Nas also covered "politics, the state of hip-hop, Y2K, race, and religion with his own unique perspective" in the album besides autobiographical lyrics. Much of the LP was leaked into MP3 format onto the Internet, and Nas and Stoute quickly recorded enough substitute material to constitute a single-disc release.
The second single on I Am... was "Hate Me Now", featuring Sean "Puffy" Combs, which was used as an example by Nas's critics accusing him of moving towards more commercial themes. The video featured Nas and Combs being crucified in a manner similar to Jesus Christ; after the video was completed, Combs requested his crucifixion scene be edited out of the video. However, the unedited copy of the "Hate Me Now" video made its way to MTV. Within minutes of the broadcast, Combs and his bodyguards allegedly made their way into Steve Stoute's office and assaulted him, at one point apparently hitting Stoute over the head with a champagne bottle. Stoute pressed charges, but he and Combs settled out-of-court that June. Columbia had scheduled to release the infringed material from I Am... under the title Nastradamus during the later half of 1999, but, at the last minute, Nas decided to record an entire new album for the 1999 release of Nastradamus. Nastradamus was therefore rushed to meet a November release date. Though critics were not kind to the album, it did result in a minor hit, "You Owe Me".
In 2000, Nas & Ill Will Records Presents QB's Finest, which is popularly known as simply QB's Finest, was released on Nas's Ill Will Records. QB's Finest is a compilation album that featured Nas and a number of other rappers from Queensbridge projects, including Mobb Deep, Nature, Capone, the Bravehearts, Tragedy Khadafi, Millennium Thug and Cormega, who had briefly reconciled with Nas. The album also featured guest appearances from Queensbridge hip-hop legends Roxanne Shanté, MC Shan, and Marley Marl. Shan and Marley Marl both appeared on the lead single "Da Bridge 2001", which was based on Shan & Marl's 1986 recording "The Bridge". Fans and critics feared that Nas's career was declining, artistically and commercially, as both I Am... and Nastradamus were criticised as inconsistent.
2001–2003: Feud with Jay-Z and artistic comeback
After trading veiled criticisms on various songs, freestyles and mixtape appearances, the highly publicised feud between Nas and Jay Z became widely known to the public in 2001. Jay-Z, in his song "Takeover", criticised Nas by calling him "fake" and his career "lame". Nas responded with "Ether", in which he compared Jay-Z to such characters as J.J. Evans from the sitcom Good Times and cigarette company mascot Joe Camel. The song was included on Nas's fifth studio album, Stillmatic, released in December 2001. His daughter, Destiny, is listed as an executive producer on Stillmatic so she can always receive royalty checks from the album. Stillmatic peaked at #5 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and featured the singles "Got Ur Self A..." and "One Mic".
In response to "Ether", Jay-Z released the song "Supa Ugly", which Hot 97 radio host Angie Martinez premiered on December 11, 2001. In the song, Jay-Z explicitly boasts about having an affair with Nas's girlfriend, Carmen Bryan. New York City hip-hop radio station Hot 97 issued a poll asking listeners which rapper made the better diss song; Nas won with 58% while Jay-Z got 42% of the votes. In 2002, in the midst of the feud between the two New York rappers, Eminem cited both Nas and Jay-Z as being two of the best MCs in the industry, in his song 'Till I Collapse. Both the feud and Stillmatic signalled an artistic comeback for Nas after a string of inconsistent albums. The Lost Tapes, a compilation of previously unreleased or bootlegged songs from 1997-2001, was released by Columbia in September 2002. The collection attained respectable sales and received rave reviews from critics.
In December 2002, Nas released the God's Son album including its lead single, "Made You Look" which utilised a pitched down sample of the Incredible Bongo Band's "Apache". The album peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts despite widespread Internet bootlegging. Time Magazine named his album best hip-hop album of the year. Vibe gave it four stars and The Source gave it four mics. The second single, "I Can", which reworked elements from Beethoven's "Für Elise", became Nas's biggest hit to date during the spring and summer of 2003, garnering substantial radio airplay on urban, rhythmic, and top 40 radio stations, as well as on the MTV and VH1 music video networks. God's Son also includes several songs dedicated to Nas's mother, who died of cancer in April 2002, including "Dance". In 2003, Nas was featured on the Korn song "Play Me", from Korn's Take a Look in the Mirror LP. Also in 2003, a live performance in New York City, featuring Ludacris, Jadakiss, and Darryl McDaniels (of Run-D.M.C. fame), was released on DVD as Made You Look: God's Son Live.
God's Son was critical in the power struggle between Nas and Jay-Z in the hip-hop industry at the time. In an article at the time, Joseph Jones of PopMatters stated, "Whether you like it or not, "Ether" did this. With God's Son, Nas has the opportunity to cement his status as the King of NY, at least for another 3-4-year term, or he could prove that he is not the savior that hip-hop fans should be pinning their hopes on." After the album's release, he began helping the Bravehearts, made up of his younger brother Jungle and friend Wiz (Wizard), put together their debut album, Bravehearted. The album features guest appearances from Nas, Nashawn (Millennium Thug), Lil Jon, and Jully Black.
2004–2006: Double album and Def Jam
Nas released his seventh album Street's Disciple, a sprawling double album, on November 30, 2004. It addressed subject matter both political and personal, including his impending marriage to recording artist Kelis. The double-sided single "Thief's Theme"/"You Know My Style" was released months before the album's release, followed by the single "Bridging the Gap" upon the album's release. Although Street's Disciple went platinum, it served as a drop-off from Nas's previous commercial successes.
In 2005, New York-based rapper 50 Cent dissed Nas on his song "Piggy Bank", which brought his reputation into question in hip-hop circles. In October, Nas made a surprise appearance at Jay-Z's highly publicised "I Declare War" concert, where they reconciled their beef. At the show, Jay-Z announced to the crowd, "It's bigger than "I Declare War". Let's go, Esco!" and Nas then joined him onstage, and the two performed Jay-Z's "Dead Presidents" (1996) together, a song that featured a prominent sample of Nas's 1994 track: "The World Is Yours" (1994). The reconciliation created the opportunity for Nas to sign a deal with Def Jam Recordings, of which Jay-Z was president at the time. He signed Nas in January 2006. The signing included an agreement that Nas was to be paid about $3,000,000, including a recording budget, for each of his first two albums with Def Jam.
2006–2008: Politicized efforts and controversies
Tentatively called Hip Hop Is Dead...The N, Hip Hop Is Dead was a commentary on the state of hip-hop and featured "Black Republican", a hyped collaboration with Jay-Z. The album debuted on Def Jam and Nas new imprint at that label, The Jones Experience, at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts, selling 355,000 copies—Nas's third number one album, along with It Was Written and I Am.... It also inspired reactions about the state of hip-hop, particularly controversy with Southern hip hop artists who felt the album's title was a criticism aimed at them. Nas's 2004 song "Thief's Theme" was featured in the 2006 film The Departed. Nas's former label, Columbia Records, released the compilation Greatest Hits in November.
On October 12, 2007, Nas announced that his next album would be called Nigger. Both progressive commentators, such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, and the conservative-aligned news channel Fox News were outraged; Jackson called on entertainers to stop using the epithet after comedian Michael Richards used it onstage in late 2006. Controversy escalated as the album's impending release date drew nearer, going as far as to spark rumors that Def Jam was planning to drop Nas unless he changed the title. Additionally, Fort Greene, Brooklyn assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries requested New York's Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to withdraw $84,000,000 from the state pension fund that has been invested into Universal and its parent company, Vivendi, if the album's title was not changed. On the opposite side of the spectrum, many of the most famous names in the entertainment industry expressed a sense of trust in Nas for using the racial epithet as the title of his full-length LP. Nas's management worried that the album would not be sold by chain stores such as Wal-Mart, thus limiting its distribution.
On May 19, 2008, Nas decided to forgo an album title. Responding to Jesse Jackson's remarks and use of the word "nigger", Nas called him "the biggest player hater", stating "His time is up. All you old niggas' time is up. We heard your voice, we saw your marching, we heard your sermons. We don't want to hear that shit no more. It's a new day. It's a new voice. I'm here now. We don't need Jesse; I'm here. I got this. We the voice now. It's no more Jesse. Sorry. Goodbye. You ain't helping nobody in the 'hood and that's the bottom line." He also said of the album's title:
It's important to me that this album gets to the fans. It's been a long time coming. I want my fans to know that creatively and lyrically, they can expect the same content and the same messages. The people will always know what the real title of this album is and what to call it.
The album was ultimately released on July 15, 2008, untitled. It featured production from Polow da Don, stic.man of Dead Prez, Sons of Light and J. Myers, "Hero", the album's lead single released on June 23, 2008, reached #97 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #87 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks. In July, Nas attained a shoe deal with Fila. In an interview with MTV News in July, Nas speculated that he might release two albums: one produced by DJ Premier and another by Dr. Dre—simultaneously the same day. Nas worked on Dr. Dre's studio album Detox. Nas was also awarded 'Emcee of the Year' in the HipHopDX 2008 Awards for his latest solo effort, the quality of his appearances on other albums and was described as having "become an artist who thrives off of reinvention and going against the system."
Bill O'Reilly and Virginia Tech controversy
On September 6, 2007, Nas performed at a free concert for the Virginia Tech student body and faculty, following the school shooting there. He was joined by John Mayer, Alan Jackson, Phil Vassar, and Dave Matthews Band. When announced that Nas was to perform, political commentator Bill O'Reilly and Fox News denounced the concert and called for Nas's removal, citing "violent" lyrics on songs such as "Shoot 'Em Up", "Got Urself a Gun", and "Made You Look". During his Talking Points Memo segment for August 15, 2007, an argument erupted in which O'Reilly claimed that it was not only Nas's lyrical content that made him inappropriate for the event, citing the gun conviction on Nas's criminal record. In the midst of his debate with author Bakari Kitwana (The Hip Hop Generation), who defended Nas, claiming that Fox News had "cherry picked" select fragments of the songs to make their case, O'Reilly shouted, "Even in his personal life, man, he's got a conviction for weapons, all right? He's got a weapons conviction, sir! On his sheet! This is a school that had a mass murderer with a shotgun gunning down people—this guy has got a conviction for weapons, and you say he's appropriate? Come on!" O'Reilly repeated the claim another five times before cutting the segment short.
On September 6, 2007, during his set at "A Concert for Virginia Tech", Nas twice referred to Bill O'Reilly as "a chump", prompting loud cheers by members of the crowd. About two weeks later, Nas was interviewed by Shaheem Reid of MTV News, where he criticised O'Reilly, calling him uncivilized and willing to go to extremes for publicity. Responding to O'Reilly, Nas, in an interview with MTV News, said:
He doesn't understand the younger generation. He deals with the past. The people he represents are Republican, older, a generation that has nothing to do with the reality of what's happening now with my generation. ... He's not really on my radar. People like him are supposed to be taught and people like me are supposed to let niggas like him know. I don't take him serious. His shit is all about getting facts twisted or whatever. I wouldn't honor anything Bill O'Reilly has to say. It just shows you what bloodsuckers like him do: They abuse something like the Virginia Tech tragedy for show ratings. You can't talk to a person like that.
On July 23, 2008, Nas appeared on The Colbert Report to discuss his opinion of O'Reilly and Fox News, which he accused of bias against the African-American community and re-challenged O'Reilly to a debate. During the appearance, Nas sat on boxes of more than 625,000 signatures gathered by online advocacy organisation Color of Change in support of a petition accusing Fox of race-baiting and fear-mongering.
2009–present: Collaboration and Life Is Good
At the 2009 Grammy Awards, Nas confirmed he was collaborating on an album with reggae singer Damian Marley which was expected to be released in the fall of 2009. Nas said of the collaboration in an interview "I was a big fan of his father and of course all the children, all the offspring, and Damian, I kind of looked at Damian as a rap guy. His stuff is not really singing, or if he does, it comes off more hard, like on some street shit. I always liked how reggae and hip-hop have always been intertwined and always kind of pushed each other, I always liked the connection. I'd worked with people before from the reggae world but when I worked with Damian, the whole workout was perfect". A portion of the profit was planned to go towards building a school in Africa. He went on to say that it was "too early to tell the title or anything like that". The Los Angeles Times reported that the album would be titled Distant Relatives. Nas also revealed that he would begin working on his tenth studio album following the release of Distant Relatives. During the fall of 2009, Nas used his live band Mulatto with music director Dustin Moore for concerts in Europe and Australia.
After announcing a possible release in 2010, a follow-up compilation to The Lost Tapes (2002) was delayed indefinitely due to issues between him and Def Jam. His eleventh studio album, Life Is Good (2012) was produced primarily by Salaam Remi and No I.D, and released on July 13, 2012. Nas called the album a "magic moment" in his rap career.
In 2011, Nas announced that he would release collaboration albums with Mobb Deep, Common, and a third with DJ Premier. Common said of the project in a 2011 interview, "At some point, we will do that. We'd talked about it and we had a good idea to call it Nas.Com. That was actually going to be a mixtape at one point. But we decided that we should make it an album." Life is Good would be nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
In January 2013, Nas announced he had begun working on his twelfth studio album, which would be his final album for Def Jam. The album was supposed to be released during 2015. In October 2013, DJ Premier said that his collaboration album with Nas, would be released following his twelfth studio album. In October 2013, Nas confirmed that a rumored song "Sinatra in the Sands" featuring Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, and Timbaland would be featured on the album.
On April 16, 2014, on the twentieth anniversary of Illmatic, the documentary Nas: Time Is Illmatic was premiered which recounted circumstances leading up to Nas's debut album. It was reported on September 10, that Nas has finished his last album with Def Jam. On October 30, Nas released a song which might have been the first single on his new album, titled "The Season", produced by J Dilla. Nas has also collaborated with the Australian hip-hop group, Bliss N Eso, in 2014. They released the track "I Am Somebody" in May 2014. Nas was featured on the song "We Are" from Justin Bieber's fourth studio album, Purpose, released in November 2015.
Nas was announced as one of the executive producers of the Netflix original series, The Get Down, prior to its release in August 2016. He also appeared on DJ Khaled's album Major Key, on a track simply titled "Nas Album Done", suggesting an upcoming album was not only completed, but also was imminent.
On October 16, 2016, he received the Jimmy Iovine Icon Award At 2016 REVOLT Music Conference for having a lasting impact and unique influence on music, numerous years in the rap business, his partnership with Hennessy, and Mass Appeal imprint by Puff Daddy.
In November 2016, Nas collaborated with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dave East and Aloe Blacc on a song called "Wrote My Way Out", which appears on The Hamilton Mixtape.
On April 12, 2017, Nas released the song Angel Dust as soundtrack for TV series The Getdown. It contains a sample of the Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson song Angel Dust.
Nas has been praised for his ability to create a "devastating match between lyrics and production" by journalist Peter Shapiro, as well as creating a "potent evocation of life on the street", and he has even been compared to Rakim for his lyrical technique. In his book Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop (2009), writer Adam Bradley states, "Nas is perhaps contemporary rap's greatest innovator in storytelling. His catalog includes songs narrated before birth ('Fetus') and after death ('Amongst Kings'), biographies ('UBR [Unauthorized Biography of Rakim]') and autobiographies ('Doo Rags'), allegorical tales ('Money Is My Bitch') and epistolary ones ('One Love'), he's rapped in the voice of a woman ('Sekou Story') and even of a gun ('I Gave You Power')." Robert Christgau writes that "Nas has been transfiguring [gangsta rap] since Illmatic". Kool Moe Dee notes that Nas has an "off-beat conversational flow" in his book There's a God on the Mic – he says: "before Nas, every MC focused on rhyming with a cadence that ultimately put the words that rhymed on beat with the snare drum. Nas created a style of rapping that was more conversational than ever before".
O.C. of D.I.T.C. comments in the book How to Rap: "Nas did the song backwards ['Rewind']... that was a brilliant idea". Also in How to Rap, 2Mex of The Visionaries describes Nas's flow as "effervescent", Rah Digga says Nas's lyrics have "intricacy", Bootie Brown of The Pharcyde explains that Nas does not always have to make words rhyme as he is "charismatic", and Nas is also described as having a "densely packed" flow, with compound rhymes that "run over from one beat into the next or even into another bar".
In 2006, Nas was ranked fifth on MTV's "10 Greatest MCs of All Time" list. In 2012, The Source ranked him No. 2 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. In 2013, Nas was ranked fourth on MTV's "Hottest MCs in the Game" list. His debut Illmatic is widely considered among the greatest hip hop albums of all time.
On April 10, 2013, Nas ventured into the business of magazine publishing. As a businessman and investor, he invested an undisclosed six figure sum into Mass Appeal Magazine, where he will serve as the publication's associate publisher. On the Mass Appeal deal, he will be joined by creative firm Decon and White Owl Capital Partners, an early stage investment firm with business interests in technology, media and energy located in North America, Europe and China. In June 2013, he also announced on Twitter that he was opening his own sneaker store, signalling his entrance into the retail industry. He inked a deal with the company Fila back in 2008, serving as one of its main spokespersons. Nas has also struck a business partner with the annual Rock The Bells music festival and a deal with the online retail company 12Society.com. In September 2013, he invested in a technology startup company, a job search appmaker called Proven. In 2014, Nas invested as part of a $2.8M round in viral video startup ViralGains another addition to Queens-bridge venture partners portfolio. Nas also has a partnership with Hennessy and has been working with their "Wild Rabbit" campaign.
In May 2014 Nas partnered with job placement startup Koru to fund a scholarship for 10 college graduates to go through Koru's training program. Nas also will be joining the startup as a guest coach. Nas is a co-owner of a Cloud-based service known as LANDR. Warner Music Group, Nas and the Plus Eight Equity Fund (which is backed by Pete Tong, Richie Hawtin, Tiga and John Acquaviva) are among the participants in a $6.2 million funding round. LANDR is an automated, drag-and-drop digital audio postproduction tool. Landr automates "mastering", the final stage in audio production before music gets sent out to the world. In June 2015, Nas expanded his business portfolio when he joined forces with New York City soul food restaurant Sweet Chick. He plans to expand the restaurant brand nationally. He owns his own clothing line called HSTRY. In 2014, About.com ranked him first on their list of the "50 Greatest MCs of All Time". In 2015, Nas was also named on Billboard's list of "The 10 Best Rappers of All Time."
Nas is a spokesperson and mentor for P'Tones Records, a non-profit after school music program with the mission "to create constructive opportunities for urban youth through no-cost music programs."
On June 15, 1994, Nas's ex-fiancée Carmen Bryan gave birth to their daughter, Destiny She later confessed to Nas that she had a relationship with his then-rival rapper and nemesis Jay-Z, also accusing Jay-Z of putting subliminal messages in his lyrics about their relationship together, causing an even bigger rift in the feud between the two hit rap music giants.
Nas also briefly dated Mary J. Blige. In 2005, Nas married R&B singer Kelis in Atlanta after a two-year relationship. On April 30, 2009, a spokesperson confirmed that Kelis filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Kelis gave birth to Nas's first son on July 21, 2009, although the event was soured by a disagreement which ended in Nas announcing the birth of his son, Knight, at a gig in Queens, NY, against Kelis's wishes. The birth was also announced by Nas via an online video. The couple's divorce was finalized on May 21, 2010.
In January 2012 Nas was involved in a dispute with a concert promoter in Angola, having accepted $300,000 for a concert in Luanda, Angola's capital for New Year's Eve and then not showing up. American promoter Patrick Allocco and his son, who arranged for Nas's concert, were detained at gunpoint and taken to an Angolan jail by the local promoter who fronted the $300,000 for the concert. Only after the US Embassy intervened were the promoter and his son allowed to leave jail—but were placed under house arrest at their hotel. As of the end of the month Nas returned all $300,000 and after 49 days of travel ban Allocco and his son were both been released.
On March 15, 2012, Nas became the first rapper to have a personal verified account on Rap Genius where he explains all his own lyrics and commenting on the lyrics of other rappers he admires.
In September 2009 the U.S. Internal Revenue Service filed a federal tax lien against Nas for over $2.5 million, seeking unpaid taxes dating back to 2006. By early 2011 this figure had ballooned to over $6.4 million. Early in 2012 reports emerged that the IRS had filed papers in Georgia to garnish a portion of Nas's earnings from material published under BMI and ASCAP, until his delinquent tax bill is settled.
In May 2013, it was announced that Nas would open a sneaker store in Las Vegas called 12AM RUN (pronounced Midnight Run) as part of The LINQ retail development.
In July 2013, he was honored by Harvard University, as the institution established the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship, which would serve to fund scholars and artists who show potential and creativity in the arts in connection to hip hop.
In an October 2014 episode of PBS's Finding Your Roots programme, Nas learned about five generations of his ancestry. His great-great-great-grandmother, Pocahontas Little, was a slave who was sold for $830. When host Henry Louis Gates showed Nas her bill of sale and told him more about the man who bought her, Nas remarked that he is considering buying the land where he lived. Nas is also shown the marriage certificate of his great-great-great-grandmother, Pocahontas and great-great-great-grandfather, Calvin.
Nas is a New York Mets fan.
On the May 23, 2017 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, rapper Nicki Minaj confirmed that she and Nas are dating.
Awards and nominations
The Grammy Awards are held annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Nas has 13 nominations.
MTV Video Music Awards
BET Hip Hop Awards
Sports Emmy Award
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NasSource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nas
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Get Christine and the Queens songs and albums from:
Héloïse Letissier (born 1 June 1988) is a French singer songwriter originating from Nantes who since 2012 is signed to the French independent Because Music record label. Her musical project known as Christine and the Queens is a mix of music, performance, art videos, drawings and photography.
Letissier studied theatre at École normale supérieure de Lyon (ENS Lyon) moving to Paris in 2010 where she concluded her studies. When in London, she was inspired by the work of local drag queen musicians who accompanied her in one of her early concerts and they became her "Queens" as a backing band. She dedicated many of her creations to them and to all transvestites describing her genre as "freakpop". She adopted the name Christine and the Queens releasing her debut EP Miséricorde independently followed by another EP in 2012 called Mac Abbey with the minor hits "Narcissus is back" and "Cripple". She also opened to shows by Lykke Li, The Dø and Woodkid in 2012 and Lilly Wood and the Prick in 2013. Her third release is the EP Nuit 17 à 52 her first charting on SNEP, official French Albums Chart, with the title track becoming her first charting single on SNEP.
In 2012, Christine and the Queens won the Best Discovered Act known as Découverte du Printemps de Bourges and also the Adami Premières Francos 2012 award.
The 13th of February 2015, she is rewarded with the best female artist, and best video clip of 2014 at the Victoires de la musique.
The single "Tilted", translated from "Christine" was released in February 2015 in the United States as an introduction to her first EP in English "St Claude"expected in April 2015. Edited by Neon Gold Records, it will be accompanied by a serie of concerts in North America with Marina and the Diamonds.
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James Blake Litherland (born 26 September 1988), known as James Blake, is an English singer, songwriter, musician and producer from London. He first received recognition in 2010 for a trio of dubstep-influenced EPs, and the following year his self-titled debut album was released in the United Kingdom to critical praise. His second studio album Overgrown was released in 2013 and was awarded the Mercury Prize. His third studio album The Colour in Anything was released in 2016. Blake has also released remix work under the moniker Harmonimix.
Blake received his first Grammy nomination at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards for Best New Artist. At the 2014 Brit Awards, Blake was nominated for the Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist.
James Blake is the son of musician James Litherland, and showed a strong interest and aptitude in music from a young age. He received classical training in piano as a child, and completed primary education at Grange Park Primary School, Winchmore Hill and secondary education at The Latymer School, Edmonton. Later on, he attended Goldsmiths, University of London, where he received a degree in Popular Music. While at school, Blake and friends hosted a series of "Bass Society" music nights that featured UK artists such as Distance, Skream and Benga.
2009–10: Early releases
Blake began his music career by releasing his debut 12" record, entitled "Air & Lack Thereof" in the United Kingdom during July 2009, while being persistent in recording songs in his bedroom. Having been released on the imprint record label, Hemlock, the extended-play became a favourite of BBC Radio 1 DJ Gilles Peterson. Soon after the release of the record Blake was invited by Peterson to do a special mix on his international show, including an exclusive Mount Kimbie track. As a second-year composition assignment for his studies at Goldsmiths, he submitted the soon-to-be-released Klavierwerke EP, which was awarded high marks.
A third EP, entitled CMYK, was released through R&S Records during 2010. The title track, "CMYK" was selected by BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw as his Record of the Week and also received airplay from other DJs. On 29 September 2010, Zane Lowe selected Blake's cover version of "Limit to Your Love" as his "Hottest Record in the World". The song was written and originally recorded by Feist and appeared on her studio album, The Reminder. The single was released in the United Kingdom on 28 November 2010, where it debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number 47.
2011: Self-titled album
Blake was nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2011, an annual poll that highlights the forthcoming year's likely successful musicians; he was eventually placed second, ahead of fellow shortlisted acts; The Vaccines, Jamie Woon and Clare Maguire. It was also revealed on 15 December 2010 that Blake had been made the runner-up behind singer-songwriter Jessie J at the BRIT Awards' "Critic's Choice". In January 2011, Blake was awarded Single of the Year (2010) for "CMYK" at Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards. Blake's work found itself on numerous 2010 year-end best-of lists, with "CMYK" ranking 24th on Frontier Psychiatrist's top 40 songs of the year, the Bells Sketch/CMYK/Klavierwerke EPs ranking 8th on Pitchfork Media's top 50 albums of 2010, and "I Only Know (What I Know Now)" ranking 8th on Pitchfork's top 100 tracks of 2010.
Blake revealed in late December 2010 that his album would be self-titled, and the 11-track James Blake was released on 7 February 2011. Only days after the original announcement was made, the album was leaked onto the internet. On 9 January 2011, "The Wilhelm Scream" was trailed as the album's second single ("Limit To Your Love" was also included on the album). In February 2011, James Blake first appeared on the cover of the publication The Fader, in its 72nd issue. Blake debuted a collaboration with Bon Iver called "Fall Creek Boys Choir" in August 2011 and during the next month, the BBC released an exclusive mix by Blake, which included 10 of his unreleased songs. These included "Deeds", "Olivia Kept", and "Evening Fell Hard for Us". During the final weeks of 2012, James Blake performed three "intimate" shows where he debuted new songs.
Later that year, Blake released both the Enough Thunder and Love What Happened Here EPs in 2011. These EPs, noticeably more structured than his previous releases, featured R&B-tinged work as opposed to the experimental electronic style found on CMYK. Some reviewers expressed doubt about Blake's stylistic movement, with Pitchfork's Larry Fitzmaurice saying that "[his] reliance on piano-based singer/songwriter electro-soul perhaps played it a bit too safe, prompting comparisons to the once-outré, now-gear spinning career of fellow avant-crooner Jamie Lidell".
Early in 2012, Blake spent time with American rapper Kanye West (who named Blake as his favorite artist) and singer Justin Vernon. Later that year, Blake announced a new collaborative non-single release under the moniker Harmonimix with British rapper Trim; the single "Confidence Boost/Saying" was released on 24 September 2012. Also in 2012, Blake and friends (including Foat, Nick Sigsworth, and touring musicians Rob McAndrews and Ben Assiter) secured a residency at the club Plastic People as the collective 1-800 Dinosaur, hosting a series of impromptu dance nights. In the summer of 2013, the collective launched a label of the same name, on which Blake and other artists released material.
Blake announced via Facebook on 7 February 2013 that his second album, Overgrown, would be released on 8 April. The first single from the album, "Retrograde", was debuted the same day on BBC Radio 1, and was released on 11 February. On 25 February, the track listing and album art were revealed. It was selected as Variance Magazine's Album of the Year as of December 2013. The album features guest appearances from noted electronic music producer Brian Eno and Wu-Tang Clan producer and rapper RZA, and further developed the song-based R&B work of his previous releases. The release received critical acclaim and was awarded the 2013 Mercury Prize. Blake noted to Hot Press that his relationship had been an influence on the album.
2014–present: The Colour in Anything
In December 2014, during his BBC Radio 1 Residency, Blake announced that his third studio album would be titled Radio Silence and would be released in the first half of 2015. He later confirmed that the album would feature Bon Iver and Kanye West, as well as feature guitar work from Connan Mockasin.
On February 11, 2016, Blake premiered a new song entitled "Modern Soul" during his BBC Radio 1 residency. On April 14, 2016, Blake revealed during a surprise hosting spot on BBC Radio 1 that he'd finished the album, and that it was 18 tracks in length. He stated that it includes one track that stretches to 20 minutes in length. Later in the broadcast he premiered a new song titled 'Timeless', though did not say whether it would be included on the album. In a May 2016 interview with BBC Radio 1, Blake stated that he began work on the album in England, and after "running out of steam" went to the United States to complete the recording at Shangri La Studios with producer Rick Rubin.
Blake produced and was featured on the song "Forward" from Beyonce's 2016 album Lemonade. He also co-wrote the album's opening track, "Pray You Catch Me". On April 28, social media posts by Blake and his label, 1-800 Dinosaur, reposted photos of a mural by children's novel illustrator Sir Quentin Blake (best known for his work with writer Roald Dahl) that hinted at the new album title The Colour in Anything; this was confirmed as the title of his new album several days later. The album was released on May 6, 2016.
On September 1, 2016, James Blake released a remix of Timeless featuring Vince Staples.
Blake's early releases are fragmented electronic works influenced by UK dance and bass styles, (such as 2-step and the stark dubstep of artists like Burial and Digital Mystikz), '90s trip hop, and contemporary R&B. On his acclaimed trio of 2010 EPs (The Bells Sketch, CMYK, and Klavierwerke), Blake's own voice is obscured or processed in favor of vocal samples from '90s R&B, prominent sub-bass frequencies, and minimal, jittery rhythms. During this period, Blake's work was tagged by journalists as "post-dubstep", alluding to his movement beyond the style's characteristics. By the time of his 2011 debut album, Blake's vocals and piano had become more foregrounded while traditional song structures became increasingly apparent, reflecting the influence of gospel, soul, and ambient music. His second album Overgrown (2013) continued this trend, integrating an electronic approach with balladry and Blake's soul-inflected vocals, and featuring contributions from hip hop artist RZA and electronic musician Brian Eno. Discussing his stylistic development, critic Mark Fisher wrote that "listening back to Blake's records in chronological sequence is like hearing a ghost gradually assume material form [...] out of digital ether." Author Madison Moore noted the prominent use of minimalism, sparseness, and silence in Blake's work, a quality also noted by Eno in 2013: "he takes a lot of stuff out and ends up with very skeletal pieces."
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Erykah Abi Wright (born Erica Abi Wright; February 26, 1971), better known by her stage name Erykah Badu (/ˈɛrᵻkə bɑːˈduː/), is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, activist, and actress. Badu's career began after opening a show for D'Angelo in 1994 in her hometown; record label executive Kedar Massenburg was highly impressed with her performance and signed her to Kedar Entertainment. Her first album, Baduizm, was released on February 11, 1997. It spawned three singles: "On & On", "Next Lifetime" and "Otherside of the Game". The album was certified triple Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Badu's first live album, Live, was released on November 18, 1997 and was certified double Platinum by the RIAA.
Badu's second studio album, Mama's Gun, was released on October 31, 2000. It spawned three singles: "Bag Lady", which became her first top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #6, "Didn't Cha Know?" and "Cleva". The album was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Badu's third album, Worldwide Underground, was released on September 16, 2003. It generated three singles: "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)", "Danger" and "Back in the Day (Puff)" with 'Love' becoming her second song to reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #9. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA. Badu's fourth album, New Amerykah Part One, was released on February 26, 2008. It spawned two singles: "Honey" and "Soldier". New Amerykah Part Two was released in 2010 and fared well both critically and commercially. It contained the album's lead single "Window Seat", which led to controversy.
Musically her work includes elements from R&B, hip hop and jazz. She is best known for her role in the rise of the neo soul subgenre. She is known as the "First Lady of Neo-Soul" or the "Queen of Neo-Soul". Early in her career, Badu was recognizable for wearing very large and colorful headwraps. For her musical sensibilities, she has often been compared to jazz great Billie Holiday. She was a core member of the Soulquarians. As an actress, she has played a wide range of supporting roles in movies including Blues Brothers 2000, The Cider House Rules and House of D. She also speaks at length in the documentaries Before the Music Dies and The Black Power Mixtapes.
Erykah Badu was born Erica Abi Wright in Dallas, Texas on February 26, 1971. Her mother raised her, her brother Eevin, and her sister Nayrok alone after their father, William Wright Jr., deserted the family early in their lives. To provide for her family, the children's paternal grandmother often helped to look after them while Badu's mother, Kolleen Maria Wright (née Gipson), worked as an actress in theatrical productions. Influenced by her mother, Badu had her first taste of show business at the age of four, singing and dancing with her mother at the Dallas Theater Center.
By the age of 14, Badu was free-styling for a local radio station alongside such talent as Roy Hargrove. In her youth, she had decided to change the spelling of her first name from Erica to Erykah, as she believed her original name was a "slave name." The term 'kah' signifies the inner self. She adopted a surname of Badu because it is her favorite jazz scat sound; also, among the Akan people in Ghana, it is the term for the 10th-born child.
Upon graduating from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Badu went on to study theater at Grambling State University, a historically black university. To concentrate on music full-time, she left the university in 1993 before graduating, and took on several minimum-wage jobs to support herself. She taught drama and dance to children at the South Dallas Cultural Center.
Working and touring with her cousin, Robert "Free" Bradford, she recorded a 19-song demo, Country Cousins, which attracted the attention of Kedar Massenburg. He set Badu up to record a duet with D'Angelo, "Your Precious Love," and eventually signed her to a record deal with Universal Records.
Baduizm, Badu's debut album, was released in early 1997. The album was met with critical and commercial success, debuting at number two on the Billboard charts and number one on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Baduizm's commercial and critical success helped establish Badu as one of the emerging neo soul genre's leading artists. Her particular style of singing drew many comparisons to Billie Holiday. Baduizm was certified three times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, Gold by the British Phonographic Industry and the Canadian Recording Industry Association.
The album produced four singles, the lead single "On & On" was released in January 1996, and reached number twelve on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts and the UK Singles Charts, as well as making an appearance on the New Zealand charts. The album and lead single also gave Badu her first nomination and win at the Grammy Awards, where On & On won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and the album won Best R&B Album.
Badu recorded her first live album, Live, while pregnant with Seven, and the release of the recording coincided with his birth. The album was released on November 18, 1997 and reached number four on the US Billboard 200 and number one on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The album was certified two times platinum by RIAA for shipments of over two million copies. The album's lead single, "Tyrone", was released in October 1997 and became another R&B hit single. "Tyrone", lyrically, is a song chiding a selfish, cheap, and inattentive boyfriend. Badu also collaborated with the Roots (who had previously handled production duties on a number of tracks on Baduizm) on their breakthrough 1999 release, Things Fall Apart. She was featured on the song "You Got Me", by The Roots and American female rapper Eve, co-written by Jill Scott, the song peaked at 39 in the US and 31 in the UK. The song went on to win The Roots and Badu a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1999.
Mama's Gun and Worldwide Underground (2000–06)
After taking some time off to raise her child, Badu returned in 2000 with Mama's Gun. The album was characterized as more organic in sound than her previous studio album, and primarily produced by the Soulquarians and noted bassist Pino Palladino. A remix of one of the album's songs, "Bag Lady", was issued as the first single and topped the R&B charts for seven weeks. The album was well-received, with the lyrical content winning notices from many publications. Reviewers found some of her lyrics hard to decipher on her initial releases. Despite not charting as high as her first two albums, Mama's Gun was another platinum-selling success, and "Bag Lady" was nominated for a Grammy Award.
By 2000, Badu was in a romantic relationship with fellow Soulquarian Common. The two released "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)" as a collaboration on the Brown Sugar soundtrack. "Love of My Life" hit #9 on the pop charts, topped the R&B listings, and in 2003 Badu was awarded her fourth Grammy Award for it. In 2001 Badu embarked on the Mama's Gun World Tour. The tour started in North America on February 10 in Cleveland, Ohio at the Allen Theatre. Badu will perform two nights in Washington, D.C. and Chicago. The tour itinerary will continue with additional dates throughout the summer in Europe and the U.S. After the release of Mama's Gun and "Love of My Life", Badu suffered writer's block.
On September 16, 2003, she released her third studio album Worldwide Underground, the album was more jam-oriented than any of her prior releases, and Badu said that the album was designed to as "one continuous groove." Upon release Worldwide Underground, the album was met with some criticism for its loose, unconventional structure and songwriting, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics. Commercially the album fared well and debuted at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart in the week of October 4, 2003, selling 143,561 copies in its first week. Ultimately spending 11 weeks on the Billboard 200, it also entered at number two on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and spent 30 weeks on the chart. By December 2003, the album had sold 394,000 copies domestically. On October 28, 2003, Worldwide Underground was certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America, following sales in excess of 500,000 copies in the United States. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album has sold 609,000 copies in the United States.
Its first single, "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip Hop)", peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The second single "Danger" reached number 82 on the Hot 100 and number 27 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, while the third single "Back in the Day (Puff)" peaked at number 62 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Badu received four further Grammy nominations for the album. She also contributed to Zap Mama's album Ancestry in Progress (2004), adding her vocals to the track "Bandy Bandy." Badu embarked on the "Worldwide Underground Tour" in 2004. The U.S. trek kicked-off February 3, in New Orleans and ran through the winter and spring with supporting act Floetry joining the tour February 5 in Houston. The Roots made a special opening act appearance at the show of February 11 in Los Angeles. Badu resumed the tour during the fall with additional dates in America and Europe.
In 2005, she was a judge for the 4th Annual Independent Music Awards, to support independent artists' careers. Badu founded the Sugar Water Festival, a music festival co-found by Badu, Queen Latifah and Jill Scott. The trek played to amphitheaters and arenas in the United States during the summer of 2005 and 2006. It began in 2005 as an event to bring awareness to health issues to African-American women. British duo Floetry opened shows during the 2005 run. The festival was relaunched briefly in 2006 with Kelis opening the show and comedian Mo'Nique hosting the festival. 2006 was the final year for the outing. The festival had plans to expand into Europe and Asia, however, this did not come to fruition. The Summer Tour was a concert tour in 2006 by Badu. The tour started on June 10, in Knoxville, TN, with three shows in the U.S. and resumed in July for several shows in Europe. Badu co-headlined with dates in August with Jill Scott and Queen Latifah at the "Sugar Water Festival".
New Amerykah Part One (2007–09)
After receiving her first computer as a Christmas gift, Badu began communicating and receiving music from Questlove among others, including Q-Tip and J Dilla. Badu later began to use her laptop as a mini recording studio to construct various backing tracks for songs, which led to the album's primary recording sessions at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. In 2007 Badu was said to have three albums in the works for release during 2007 and 2008. "Honey", a new single produced by 9th Wonder, was leaked online in November 2007. The fourth studio album, titled New Amerykah Part One, was released by Universal Motown Records, in the United States on February 26, 2008, Badu's 37th birthday. It was released in European countries on February 29, in Australia and the United Kingdom on March 3, and in Japan on March 12. Both Japanese and Australian editions contain the bonus track "Real Thang". The album's digital release to the iTunes Store featured the song's "Tumbling Dice Remix" as a bonus track. New Amerykah Part One was also released as a double vinyl LP on March 11, and on USB stick format.
The album's lead single, "Honey", was released on December 11, 2007. It reached number 88 on the US Billboard Hot 100, on which it spent three weeks. The song also charted at number 22 and spent 17 weeks on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Upon release New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) received universal acclaim from music critics. In the United States, the album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 125,000 copies in its first week. It was Badu's best opening week since her debut album Baduizm in 1997. It also entered at number two on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. According to Nielsen Soundscan, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) sold 359,000 copies in the United States by early 2010.
Erykah Badu performed at the 10th annual Voodoo Experience in New Orleans the weekend before Halloween 2008. In the United Kingdom, the album charted at number 55 on the UK Albums Chart, on which it spent one week. In France, it debuted at number 49 and spent 11 weeks on the French Albums Chart. In Switzerland, it debuted at number 10 and spent six weeks on the Swiss Albums Top 100. In the Netherlands, the album entered at number 25 and spent seven weeks on the Mega Album Top 100. In Poland, it reached number nine and spent eight weeks on the Polish Albums Chart. The album's highest international charting was number five in Sweden, where it charted for seven weeks.
During 2008 and 2009 Badu embarked on two world tours. The Vortex Tour (2008) was a tour in support of, New Amerykah Part One. The U.S. tour kicked off May 4, in Detroit, MI ending on June 15, in Albuquerque, N.M. The second leg of tour reached Europe on June 25, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Badu toured across Europe playing shows that included an itinerary for the month of July. Several more shows were added throughout August in the U.S.. The Jam Tour was a summer music concert tour in 2009. The tour started in March, Badu played dates across North America twice and Europe, which ended in Dallas, Texas on October 16. During the U.S. second leg, Badu was featured as a special guest co-headliner on hip-hop artist Mos Def's "Ecstatic Tour" on select September dates.
New Amerykah Part Two and Window Seat controversy (2010–14)
"New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)" Badu's fifth studio album was released March 30, 2010, on Universal Motown in the United States. It was released in Japan on April 14, 2010. Upon release the album was met with general acclaim from music critics. The album debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 110,000 copies in its first week. It also entered at number two on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. In the United Kingdom, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) debuted at number 56 on the UK Albums Chart and at number nine on the R&B Albums Chart. In Canada, the album debuted at number 36 on the Top 100 and at number five on the R&B Top 50 chart. New Amerykah Part Two achieved moderate chart success in international markets, peaking within the top-50 in several countries, including Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark.
During March 2010, Badu promoted the album through television performances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Wendy Williams Show, Chelsea Lately, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Good Day New York. She also appeared on the April issue cover of EQ magazine and was featured in the April issues of Nylon and Playboy, while she is also scheduled to appear in upcoming issues of several publications, including Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York, Spin, Vibe, Paste, and People, among many other publications. Badu performed at a surprise midnight show on March 31, 2010 at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles.
The internet-only promotional single "Jump up in the Air (Stay There)", featuring Lil Wayne and Bilal, was released on Badu's official website in January 2010. RC Williams, Badu's musical director, said that a music video for the track was shot in Dallas. The album's first official single, "Window Seat", was released by Badu through a downloadable link on her Twitter page. The song peaked at number 16 on Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album's second single, "Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY)", was released March 24, 2010 by Badu as a free download online. It spent three weeks on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, peaking at number 87. On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, Vimeo.com released a new video for "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long", directed by Flying Lotus. The video was tweeted by Badu herself and friend and associated music act Questlove from the Roots.
On March 13, 2010, Badu filmed the video for her song "Window Seat", at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. She wrote on her Twitter feed that the video "was shot guerrilla style, no crew, 1 take, no closed set, no warning, 2 min., Downtown Dallas, then ran like hell." The team did not acquire permission or permits from the city. In the video, Badu shed her clothes as she walked along a Dallas sidewalk until she was nude at the site where Kennedy was shot. A shot rang out as the song ended, Badu's head jerked back, and she fell to the ground. Children with their families could be seen nearby as Badu stripped. When asked about stripping nude in the presence of minors, Badu said, "I didn't think about them until I saw them, and in my mind I tried to telepathically communicate my good intent to them. That's all I could do, and I hoped they wouldn't be traumatized."
In response, Badu said on The Wanda Sykes Show on April 3, 2010, that it was not her intention to insult the memory of the late President John F. Kennedy (JFK): "My point was grossly misunderstood all over America. JFK is one of my heroes, one of the nation's heroes. John F. Kennedy was a revolutionary; he was not afraid to butt heads with America, and I was not afraid to show America my butt-naked truth." Coodie and Chike, directors of the "Window Seat" video, said they had bail money ready during filming, in case Badu was arrested. Badu said the video was a protest against "groupthink" and was inspired by Matt and Kim's music video "Lessons Learned." Badu has also said she has "no regrets".
In 2011 Badu appeared on Flying Lotus' fourth album, Until the Quiet Comes. Badu appeared on the debut album by the supergroup Rocketjuice and The Moon, which was released in March 2012 and album Black Radio by Robert Glasper. In 2013, Badu appeared on "Treehome95" from Tyler, The Creator's second studio album, Wolf as well as appearing on the song "Heaven for the Sinner" from Bonobo's album, The North Borders. Badu featured on Janelle Monáe first single from her second studio album The Electric Lady, "Q.U.E.E.N.", the song, premiered on SoundCloud and made available for download purchase at the iTunes Store on April 23, 2013. The song peaked at 47 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.
The Bomb Factory Performances (2015-2016)
On Thursday, March 26, 2015, Erykah Badu performed at The Bomb Factory in her hometown, Dallas, Texas, for the Deep Ellum venue's grand opening. The sold-out show also featured fellow Dallas native, singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe. Prior to doors opening, there was a line wrapped around the streets of the 50,000 square feet venue, waiting both for Badu and to see the new performance space. The show began at 8:00pm and finished at 1:00am, due to Badu's well-received marathon set.
Badu held her annual "Still Boomin'" sold-out birthday bash concert at The Bomb Factory on Friday, February 26, 2016, marking her second performance at the venue since its grand opening eleven months prior. The event was hosted by comedian and close friend of Badu's, Dave Chappelle, and featured a surprise appearance from Outkast frontman, André 3000. Badu enlisted Dallas local hip hop acts -topic, Zach Witness, and Cameron McCloud as her supporting acts.
Mixtape and new album (2015)
In May 2013, Erykah Badu announced she is writing for her next project, but she is not placing a time constraint on it. In July 2014, Badu revealed she was still working on the album and had been recording in April in Africa where she was "laying down drum tracks". Badu continued to reveal that prior to her trip to Africa she has meetings with her record label to set a deadline for the album. Later that year Badu expanded on the album, stating she was working with producer Flying Lotus, who she met via MySpace years ago, they later met in L.A. at guitarist Steve Wilson's house. In 2015 Badu appeared on "Rememory" a song from Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment's album Surf. In July 2015, Badu released a free mixtape of her favorite recordings, describing the set as "carefully and lovingly selected high frequency tones for the soul." The mixtape features mostly-vintage funk, soul and jazz songs.
In early October, Badu released a remix of Drake's single "Hotline Bling", and later released a mixtape entitled But You Caint Use My Phone on November 27, 2015, making it available for digital download and streaming exclusively through Apple Music. After one week of exclusive release on iTunes, But You Caint Use My Phone was released to other digital retailers and streaming services on December 4, 2015. The mixtape was released without the knowledge of her label Universal, due to Badu sending the record straight to iTunes. It also marked Badu's first release under her own record label, Control Freaq. But You Caint Use My Phone received generally positive reviews from music critics and debuted at number 14 on the Billboard 200, selling 35,000 equivalent album units in its first week.
Badu has also ventured into acting. She made her debut as a supporting role in the 1998 film Blues Brothers 2000, playing Queen Mousette. The film gained mostly mixed to negative reviews from film critics and was considered a commercial failure. Badu made her second appearances in The Cider House Rules (1999), where she played the character of Rose Rose. The film fared well both critically and commercially, with Badu receiving numerous awards and nominations including a win at the 2000 Black Reel Awards for best supporting actress as well as nominations for Screen Actors Guild Awards and Satellite Awards.
In 2004 Badu returned to the screen playing Lady/Bernadette in House of D. Badu also had small roles in Before the Music Dies (2005), and Dave Chappelle's Block Party (2006). She is reported to have a leading role alongside Mos Def in the upcoming indie film, Bobby Zero, which tells a story of a struggling couple, who hit rock bottom after Mos Def's character gives up his artistic dream to pursue an advertising corporate job to live on. She also appeared in scenes of the music video of Miko Marks' 2006 recording "Mama" and Common's video for "The Light," as well as making a special appearance on the sitcom Girlfriends.
In 2008 Badu became the face of fashion designer Tom Ford White Patchouli fragrance. Ford, longtime friends with Badu, considered her the best choice for the campaign. "I have always considered her a true beauty ... she just fits", says Ford. In late December 2013, it was announced that Badu would become the face of Givenchy's 2014 Spring collection.
Badu also remains an activist in her hometown of South Dallas. In Nation19 Magazine Badu talked about why she set up her own charity organization, titled Beautiful Love Incorporated Non Profit Development (B.L.I.N.D. 501c3). The charity was established in 1997 and aims to provide "community-driven development for inner-city youth" through the use of music, dance, theater and visual arts. The organization's first endeavor was to establish a base of operations. Erykah chose to renovate and reopen the Black Forest Theater in South Dallas. The Black Forest serves as a community center, bringing people together in order to celebrate the art and culture of south Dallas. The Black Forest's stage is equipped for shows and performances, and has hosted both free and fundraising concerts by music artists including Prince, Snoop Dogg, Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Dead Prez, Talib Kweli and Questlove from The Roots. All of the artists volunteered their time to help with the charity. As an outreach for B.L.I.N.D., Erykah traveled to Africa in February 2003, where she worked with children affected by AIDS and poverty. Erykah has also received the Key to the City of Dallas and been recognized in Philanthropy Magazine for her efforts in community service.
Musically her work includes elements from R&B, hip hop and jazz. For her musical sensibilities, she has often been compared to jazz great Billie Holiday. Badu's style is a prime example of neo-soul, as she focuses on the contemporary styles of the genres soul and hip hop. Mama's Gun is a neo soul album, that incorporates funk, soul, and jazz styles. The album has been viewed by critics as a female companion to neo soul artist D'Angelo's second album Voodoo (2000), which features a similar musical style and direction. Worldwide Underground followed in the same vein as Badu's previous efforts, the album was a neo-soul album prominently incorporating hip hop and funk elements, the album features an unconventional musical structure. New Amerykah Part One, music is dense, stylistic amalgam that primarily incorporates funk, soul, and hip hop genres, as well as jazz and electronica. In contrast to its predecessor New Amerykah Part One (2008), which was digitally produced and political in tone, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) incorporates sampling and live instrumentation.
Lyrically Badu expresses a deeper message, as opposed to common R&B music. The majority of Badu's music is greatly influenced by her beliefs of the Nation of Gods and Earths and her exploration of her African heritage. The songs in Badu's album, "Baduizm" express her personal take on life. Her philosophy is influenced by African ideology, African-centered and Five Percent theologies and Southern African-American folk traditions. Mama's Gun has an confessional lyrical theme by Badu, which cover themes of insecurity, social issues and personal relationships. Worldwide Underground contains minimal songwriting concerning hip hop culture, love, ghetto life, and gang culture. New Amerykah Part One is an esoteric concept album with sociopolitical themes and mostly downbeat subject matter, featuring more impersonal topics and social commentary than on Badu's previous work. Its subject matter deals with social concerns and struggles within the African-American community, exploring topics such as institutional racism, religion, poverty, urban violence, the abuse of power, complacency, cultural identity, drug addiction, and nihilism. Badu has said that the album discusses "religion, [...] poor families, the undermining of the working class, the so-called minority.", Lyrically New Amerykah Part Two, contains more personal lyrics focus on themes of romance and relationships. Badu has described its sound as "very analog".
During Badu's childhood and school years, she drew influences from a variety of hip-hop artists including Kool Herc, Red Alert, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Spinderella and Salt 'n' Pepa; expanding on this she noted the previous rappers as being "very inspiring to me, because they were the people who conducted feelings". Badu is inspired by "stimulating" experiences, she was also influenced greatly by her music teacher Ms. Goodman. Her teacher encouraged her to take up music. Badu also takes influence from her grandmother and her religious views which Erykah described as a lesson saying "When you do it, it gotta be real, or that's not it."
In 1997, Badu received six nominations and won three, Favorite Female Solo Single for "On & On", Favorite Female Solo Album for Baduizm and Best R&B/Soul or Rap Song of the Year for "On & On" at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. In 1998, Badu received fourteen nominations and won eight, including Favorite R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist at the American Music Awards; Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "On & On" and Best R&B Album for Baduizm at the Grammy Awards; Outstanding New Artist and Outstanding Female Artist at the NAACP Image Awards; Favorite Female Soul/R&B Single for "On & On", Favorite Female Soul/R&B Album for Baduizm and Favorite New R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist for "On & On" at the Soul Train Music Awards.
In 2000, Badu received two nominations and won one, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the Grammy Awards. In 2003, Badu received twelve nominations and won two, including Video of the Year for "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)" at the BET Awards and Best Urban/Alternative Performance for "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)" at the Grammy Awards. In 2008, Badu received eleven nominations and won two, including Best Director for "Honey" at the BET Awards and Best Direction in a Video for "Honey" at the MTV Video Music Awards. Overall, Badu has won 16 awards from 59 nominations.
Although she disputes the term, Erykah Badu has been dubbed "the first lady of neo soul" and "the queen of neo-soul". Baduizm's commercial and critical success earned Erykah Badu popularity at the time and helped establish her as one of the emerging neo soul genre's leading artists. Along with D'Angelo's Brown Sugar (1995) and Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (1996), the album has been recognized by music writers for beginning neo soul's popularity and helping the genre obtain commercial visibility at the time.
Badu has been a vegetarian for over 20 years, and had been a vegan for two years in 2008: "Vegan food is soul food in its truest form. Soul food means to feed the soul. And to me, your soul is your intent. If your intent is pure, you are pure." Badu splits her time between Dallas and the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.
In 1995, Badu became involved with rapper André 3000 of OutKast, with whom she had her first child, a son named Seven Sirius Benjamin, who was born on November 18, 1997. Their relationship ended sometime in 1999. Their relationship inspired André 3000 to write the song "Ms. Jackson". In 2000, Badu was in a romantic relationship with fellow Soulquarian Common; their relationship ended in 2002. On July 5, 2004, Badu gave birth to a daughter, Puma Sabti Curry; Puma's father is West Coast rapper The D.O.C., originally from Dallas. On February 1, 2009, Badu gave birth to her third child, a girl named Mars Merkaba Thedford, with her boyfriend of five years, rapper Jay Electronica. It was a family event attended by Puma and Seven as well.
On April 2, 2010, Badu was charged with disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor, for appearing nude in Dealey Plaza in Dallas while filming the social-political, performance art, self-directed music video for "Window Seat." No witnesses called police at the time of the incident, but the Dallas police actively sought witnesses after the release of the video. Sgt. Warren Mitchell said the decision to cite Badu for a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 – came after witness Ida Espinosa, 32, of Vernon, offered a sworn statement to police Thursday, April 1. Espinosa declined to comment to The Associated Press. On April 28, 2010, Badu pleaded not guilty rather than paying the fee by mail. On August 13, she paid the $500 ticket and began a term of six months' probation.
In April 2014, Badu came under fire by the US-based Human Rights Foundation, for performing at the birthday celebration of Swaziland's ruler and monarch, King Mswati III. Mswati, credited as Africa's last absolute monarch, is considered to be a serial human-rights abuser, ruling in luxury in a country famed for its poverty and spiralling HIV rates. Badu presented Mswati with a $100 bill, and a good-luck stone.
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Get FKA Twigs songs and albums from:
Tahliah Debrett Barnett (born 16 January 1988), better known by her stage name FKA twigs, is an English singer-songwriter, producer and dancer originally from Gloucestershire and currently based in London. "FKA" stands for "Formerly Known As". Her debut album, LP1, was released in August 2014.
Tahliah Barnett was born in Gloucestershire. Her father is Jamaican, and her mother, who used to be a dancer and a gymnast, is part English and Spanish. Barnett was raised by her mother and stepfather. She did not meet her father, a jazz dancer, until she was 18. She grew up in a rural part of Gloucestershire, and she has described the county as "kind of in the middle of nowhere." She attended St. Edward's School, Cheltenham, a Catholic school where she was the only mixed-race girl.
At 16 Barnett started making music in youth clubs.
At the age of 17, twigs moved to London to pursue a career as a dancer. She worked as a backup dancer in music videos by artists such as Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran, and Taio Cruz. She was a backup dancer for Jessie J in her 2010 video for "Do It like a Dude", and appeared again in her 2011 video for "Price Tag". In 2011, she appeared in a two-minute BBC comedy sketch titled Beyonce Wants Groceries, in which she was a backup dancer in a supermarket. In August 2012, twigs was photographed for the cover of i-D magazine.
She became known as twigs for the way her joints crack. She added the initialism FKA (Formerly Known As) to her name when another artist called twigs complained about her use of the name.
Twigs self-released her music debut, EP1 on Bandcamp on 4 December 2012. She posted a video for each song on her YouTube channel. On 1 August 2013, twigs released the video for her first single "Water Me" on YouTube. The video was directed by Jesse Kanda. On 6 August 2013, The Guardian profiled twigs for their "New Band of the Day" feature, describing her as "the UK's best example to date of ethereal, twisted R&B."
Twigs's second extended play, EP2, was released through the Young Turks record label on 10 September 2013. It was produced by twigs and Arca. Pitchfork gave EP2 a rating of 8/10. In December 2013, she was nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2014 prize, and was chosen by Spotify for their Spotlight on 2014 list. Twigs was then featured on Billboard's 14 Artists to Watch in 2014.
In April 2014, twigs appeared on the cover of The Fader for its 91st issue. She then directed and starred in the music video for "Ouch Ouch" by rapper Lucki Eck$. She also produced the track. Twigs's debut album, LP1, was released in August 2014 through Young Turks. Time magazine gave the album a positive review, saying that twigs has "made that transition to one of the most compelling and complex acts in R&B." On 13 August, twigs announced a world tour starting on 2 October at The Dome in Brighton, England and ending on 3 December in Orlando, Florida at The Social.
On 20 August 2014, FKA twigs posted three videos on her YouTube channel: a video starring London dance crew Wet Wipez, directed and scored by twigs; a remix of the song "Ache" titled "tw-Ache"; and the Lucki Eck$ track "Ouch Ouch", which was produced by twigs.
Twigs's album LP1 is one of the nominees for the 2014 Mercury Prize. In September 2014, FKA Twigs performed on BBC's Later with Jools Holland.
She has been in a relationship with actor Robert Pattinson since September 2014.
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Get Deerhunter songs and albums from:
Deerhunter is an American four-piece rock group originating from Atlanta, Georgia. The band, consisting of Bradford Cox, Moses Archuleta, Josh Fauver, and Lockett Pundt, have described themselves as "ambient punk," though they incorporate a wide range of genres, including noise rock, art rock, shoegaze, and post-punk, as well significant pop elements. The band has gone through several line-up changes and the death of a member.
Lead singer Bradford Cox has cited many musical influences that contribute to Deerhunter's sound, some of which include The Clean, The Fall, The Flying Lizards, Kompakt records, The Birthday Party, The Bad Seeds, Stereolab, and Liars. However, if their influences had to be "narrowed down", Cox would note their "defining influences" as Echo & the Bunnymen, Brian Eno, David Bowie and My Bloody Valentine. However Bradford Cox also states he takes influences from Motown including Martha and the Vandellas.
Deerhunter have garnered a reputation for their intense live shows. Cox has worn sundresses and has performed with fake blood smeared over his face and hands, their live show being "much more savage" than their albums. In his explanation of the sundresses Cox has said, "I don't like the idea of going around stage in just jeans and a t-shirt. It seems anticlimactic."
Deerhunter have supported many bands on tour, including Nine Inch Nails, TV on the Radio, Project Pat, Liars, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Spoon, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Fiery Furnaces, Ex-Models and Battles.
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Get Primal Scream songs and albums from:
Primal Scream are a Scottish alternative rock band originally formed in 1982 in Glasgow by Bobby Gillespie (vocals) and Jim Beattie. The current lineup consists of Gillespie, Andrew Innes (guitar), Martin Duffy (keyboards), Simone Butler (bass) and Darrin Mooney (drums). Barrie Cadogan has toured and recorded with the band since 2006 as a replacement after the departure of guitarist Robert "Throb" Young.
The band performed throughout 1982-1984, but their career did not take off until Gillespie left his position as drummer of The Jesus and Mary Chain. The band were a key part of the mid-1980s indie pop scene, but eventually moved away from their more jangly sound, taking on more psychedelic and then garage rock influences, before incorporating a dance music element to their sound. Their 1991 album Screamadelica broke the band into the mainstream. Their latest album More Light was released on 13 May 2013.
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Solange Piaget Knowles (born June 24, 1986), who performs under the mononym Solange, is an American singer-songwriter, actress, model, dancer, and DJ. Knowles was born and raised in Houston, Texas along with her older sister singer Beyoncé. Showing an interest in music recording at an early age, she eventually broke into the music scene at 16. She has released two studios albums: Solo Star in 2003 and her most successful album to date, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams in 2008, which peaked at number nine in the US Billboard 200 chart. Knowles is currently recording her third studio album for an early 2013 release. A new video and single for "Losing You" were released on October 2, 2012. Knowles worked with Dev Hynes and Pharrel Williams on this album. Solange is releasing her first extended play entitled True which releases on November 27, 2012 under Terrible Records. This marks for preparation of her third studio album.
Knowles' work has earned her several achievements, including working with Destiny's Child, BET Awards and Soul Train Music Award nominations and three consecutive singles notched at the number one spot on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play. In October 2012, Solange, among other celebrities such as Idris Elba, Nick Cannon, and Pauly D were nominated for Celebrity DJ Of The Year Award from The Golden Spin Awards. Winner has not been announced as of yet.
Knowles appeared on the big screen in Johnson Family Vacation. She provided a song for the soundtrack, though it was not used in the film. She also appeared in the straight-to-video Bring It On: All or Nothing, which co-starred Hayden Panettiere, of the TV series Heroes. In January 2012, Knowles signed a modeling contract with Next Model Management. She has been honored by the American Society of Culture Critics for her contributions to music and fashion.
Knowles has been compared to her sister by the media, but she dismisses the notion, saying they are artistically different.
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Get Maribou State songs and albums from:
Maribou State have steadily built a glowing international reputation via a string of well-loved EPs and a fistful of remixes (including Kelis, Lana del Ray, Ultraísta) since 2011. Plaudits from the electronic press have flowed thick and fast alongside support from radio heavyweights: Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens, Annie Mac, B. Traits, Pete Tong and Gilles Peterson amongst others.
The past 18 months has been a glorious blur, with weekends dedicated to touring – the duo have zipped around UK, Europe, the US and Australia – whilst keeping a strict 9-to-5 work ethic in the studio during the week that has enabled them to record their finest work to date. It's hard to pick out highlights, but Glastonbury, Warehouse Project, and Bestival were particularly special milestones.
Intrigues by the dynamics of electronic music for the dance floor as much as the richness and human quality of live instrumentation and song craft, they have worked tirelessly to evolve and forge a unique, compelling and deeply soulful marriage of the organic and the synthetic, showcased on their forthcoming debut.
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Get Neneh Cherry songs and albums from:
Neneh Cherry Blank Project is her first solo album in 16 years – a collaboration with RocketNumberNine, produced by Four Tet, and featuring a guest appearance by Robyn. The 10-track album, recorded and mixed over a 5-day period will be out February 25th, 2014 on Smalltown Supersound. It follows 2012's The Cherry Thing, a collaborative record with free jazz, noise collective The Thing, which featured new versions of songs by The Stooges, MF Doom, Ornette Coleman, amongst others.
While her energy and demeanor may not have changed since the days of Rip Rig + Panic, musically, Blank Project is a departure from anything Neneh has previously done, initially written as a means of working through personal tragedy. What stands out upon first listen is the album's sparseness: loose drums and a few synthesizers are the only accompaniment to Neneh's wildly poetic, sometimes-spoken, sometimes-screeching, soul-flooded and raw vocals. The space created by this minimal aesthetic leaves room for occasional pistes and flurries of rapid, yet throbbing and thunderous instrumentation.
Featuring combined elements of beat poetry, avant-electronica and beautiful vocal melodies, it's a record that uses simple ideas to create something entirely original. And despite the personal struggles, Neneh was working through in writing this new material, the songs are far from introverted.
As many are aware, the stories from Neneh's early years are astonishing. She spent her childhood living 50/50 between a loft in New York and in the South of Sweden with her mother and stepfather, the legendary jazz musician Don Cherry. She's been lifted onto Miles Davis' lap, Allen Ginsberg regularly passed through their home in an evening and as she got older, she could pop in on Arthur Russell, Talking Heads and The Modern Lovers who all lived in the same loft complex in Long Island City New York. At 14, she started taking trips to Harlem with Ari Up of the Slits at a time when few would venture so far uptown. Soon after, she left home and moved to London, and spent the next 20 years inside the crucial developments in British subculture.
As post-punk became the site of 80s Britain's artistic and political resistance, she helped form the anarchic multi-ethnic, multi-genre Rip, Rig + Panic, and she was one of the first to bring hip-hop culture to a British audience with "Buffalo Stance" and Raw Like Sushi. Although at points her career had brushes with the mainstream, Neneh remained staunchly counter-culture.
Through post-punk's adherence to mixed-race line-ups and antigovernment stance, to UK rap's refusal of the conventions of pop, triphop's connection with the politicized elements of rave culture and, through 1996's Man, where Neneh introduced elements of Senegalese language to mainstream audiences for the first time via the mammoth "7 Seconds" single featuring Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour, and now, with Blank Project, Neneh continues to arrive at moments in musical history when there is an opportunity to subvert ideas of popular culture. She is subverting once again, only this time, although this record is musically bold, Neneh sees the stasis she's challenging isn't musical or societal, but her own.
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Get Low songs and albums from:
Low is an American indie rock group from Duluth, Minnesota, formed in 1993. As of 2010, the group is composed of Alan Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums and vocals), both founding members, and Steve Garrington (bass guitar).
Their music is commonly described as "slowcore," a rock subgenre characterised by slow tempos and minimalist arrangements. Though Low's members disapprove of the term slowcore, the band is among the earliest to adopt and popularize the style, making them considerable contributors to the slowcore movement.
Parker and Sparhawk's striking vocal harmonies represent perhaps the group's most distinctive element; critic Denise Sullivan writes that their shared vocals are "as chilling as anything Gram and Emmylou ever conspired on -- though that's not to say it's country-tinged, just straight from the heart."Content provided by: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_%28band%29
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Get Dirty Projectors songs and albums from:
Dirty Projectors are a Brooklyn-based experimental rock band led by Dave Longstreth. The band currently consists of Longstreth along with Amber Coffman (vocals, guitar), Angel Deradoorian (vocals, keyboard, samples, guitar, bass), Brian McOmber (drums), Nat Baldwin (bass) and Haley Dekle (vocals).Content: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_Projectors
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Get Modeselektor songs and albums from:
Modeselektor is an electronic music band formed in Berlin, featuring Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary. The group draws heavily from IDM, glitch, electro and hip hop. In an interview the group said regarding their sound: "Happy metal, hard rap, country-ambient, Russian crunk. We don't like it if people tag us as being a certain style or school or scene or whatever. We don't really care about all that." Content: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modeselektor
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Get Guided By Voices songs and albums from:
Guided by Voices (often abbreviated as GBV) is an American indie rock band originating from Dayton, Ohio. It made frequent personnel changes but always maintained the presence of principal songwriter Robert Pollard. Guided by Voices initially disbanded in 2004, though many of its former members remain musically involved in solo careers or other projects.
Noted at first for its lo-fi aesthetic and typically Portastudio four-tracks-to-cassette production methods, Guided by Voices' music revealed influences from post-British Invasion garage rock, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, punk rock and post-punk. The band also garnered much attention for its prolific output, with a seemingly endless stream of releases. Most songs are in the two-minute range, but many are even shorter; often they end abruptly or are intertwined with odd and homemade sound effects.
In 2010, the "classic lineup" of Guided by Voices reunited to perform at Matador Records 21st anniversary party, and subsequently undertook a national tour. After reforming, the band released six new albums. The band broke up for a second time in late 2014, but reunited once more in February 2016.
Early years (1983–1991)
Formed in Dayton, Ohio in the early 1980s, Guided by Voices began their career as a bar band working the local scene. As lineups and day-jobs shifted, however, Pollard moved the band towards a studio-only orientation. Guided by Voices' recording career began with a stream of self-financed, independent releases including Devil Between My Toes, Sandbox, Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia, and Same Place The Fly Got Smashed. With only a few hundred copies of each album being pressed, these tended to circulate only among the band members' family and friends.
With the release of the ultra-limited album Propeller in 1992 (of which only 500 copies were pressed, each with a unique, handmade cover), Guided by Voices for the first time gained some recognition outside of their hometown. This was due in part to gaining fans in the college rock circuit and bands such as Sonic Youth, R.E.M. and The Breeders. New York City and Philadelphia were host to Guided by Voices' return to the live stage (and first shows outside of Ohio) in 1993. At this time, the always-fluid Guided by Voices lineup coalesced around the core of Pollard, guitarists Tobin Sprout and Mitch Mitchell (not to be confused with Jimi Hendrix's drummer), bassist Greg Demos, and drummer Kevin Fennell. Sprout, who was briefly featured in an early-'80s version of the band, had re-joined circa Propeller and soon became Pollard's primary musical foil, in addition to contributing several of his own songs to the band's catalog. 1993 also saw the release of Vampire on Titus, as well as the Fast Japanese Spin Cycle and Static Airplane Jive EPs. Over the next year, the band began to receive national media exposure from sources such as Spin magazine.
In 1994, after culling both new songs and reams of archival recordings from GBV's history, Pollard delivered the indie landmark Bee Thousand via Scat Records, with a distribution deal through indie label Matador Records. Soon, the band officially signed with Matador, concurrent with Pollard and his bandmates finally retiring from their day jobs to work in music full-time. The band surprised early audiences accustomed to the generally shambling, lo-fi and collage-like quality of the records with their energetic live show, featuring Pollard's homegrown rock theatrics (consisting of karate-kicks, leaps, and Roger Daltrey-inspired mic-twirling), Mitch Mitchell's windmilling and chain smoking, sometime bassist Greg Demos' striped pants, a never-ending barrage of tunes that all seemed to clock in under 90 seconds, and prodigious alcohol consumption all around.
Their true Matador debut came in 1995 with Alien Lanes, which, despite a five-figure recording allowance, was constructed out of home-recorded snippets on the cheap. The band's underground following continued to grow, with notices coming from mainstream sources such as MTV and Rolling Stone. After sessions for a concept album entitled The Power of Suck were aborted, the band assembled Under the Bushes Under the Stars out of their first 24-track studio sessions, recorded with Kim Deal and Steve Albini among others, in 1996. However, the strain of heavy touring would ultimately lead to the demise of the "classic lineup", with Sprout deciding to retire from the road in order to focus on raising his first child, his painting, and his solo musical career. Sprout and Pollard marked the occasion by releasing simultaneous solo albums on the same day in 1996: Sprout's Carnival Boy and Pollard's Not in My Airforce, with each making a guest appearance on the other's album. Pollard maintained an active, parallel solo and side project career alongside GBV releases for the remainder of that band's existence. These records were primarily self-released. Because GBV alumni were regularly featured, and songs from these albums were frequently included in GBV setlists, they are informally considered to be part of the GBV canon. Also in 1995, the band contributed the song "Sensational Gravity Boy" to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Bothered produced by the Red Hot Organization.
Major label (1997–2001)
Pollard created a new incarnation of Guided by Voices with Cleveland glam rockers Cobra Verde in 1997. The following album Mag Earwhig!, combined a new hard-rocking swagger with classic lo-fi fragments and one track, "Jane of the Waking Universe", that featured the classic lineup for one last time. However, after another year of rigorous touring, the "Guided by Verde" lineup split in late 1997 following Pollard's announcement in an interview that he intended to work with other musicians on the next Guided by Voices project.
Cobra Verde's Doug Gillard was tapped for yet another new Guided by Voices lineup in 1998, which also included "classic"-era bassist Greg Demos, former Breeders drummer Jim Macpherson, and eventually, former Amps/Breeders guitarist Nate Farley. Departing from Matador, this lineup (without Farley) worked with producer Ric Ocasek to create what was intended to be Guided by Voices' major label debut. Initially produced for Capitol Records, Do the Collapse was repeatedly delayed and finally released in mid-1999 on pseudo-indie label TVT. (In the UK it was released on Creation Records). Featuring a slick, heavily processed sound previously foreign to GBV albums, Do the Collapse failed to catch on at radio, and was for the most part greeted with mixed reviews.
Through touring heavily throughout 1999 and 2000, Guided by Voices' live act became legendary, with shows often stretching past the three-hour mark, and populated by an endless stream of new and classic songs, Pollard solo tracks, impromptu covers of The Who, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones, all accompanied by continuous alcohol consumption. In addition to multiple swings through the United States and Europe, 2000 saw the band's first and only visits to Australia and Japan. 2000 was capped with the release of the massive Suitcase, a four-disc, 100-song trawl through three decades worth of Pollard's enormous reserve of unreleased material. (Two more box sets of unreleased songs, Suitcase 2 and Suitcase 3, were released in October 2005 and November 2009, respectively.)
2001's Isolation Drills was recorded with Rob Schnapf, who aimed to capture the band's live sound more closely than did Ocasek. Though the album debuted in Billboard's top 200 and received higher critical notices than its predecessor, it did not achieve the sought-after radio breakthrough.
Later years (2002–2004)
After departing from TVT in 2002, Guided by Voices returned to Matador and released Universal Truths and Cycles, a departure from the previous two radio-aspiring albums, and a return to the band's mid-90's, mid-fi aesthetic. Universal Truths producer Todd Tobias would also record the band's final two albums for Matador. 2003 saw the release of the prog-styled Earthquake Glue, followed by the anthology box set Hardcore UFOs: Revelations, Epiphanies and Fast Food in the Western Hemisphere and the greatest hits compilation Best of Guided by Voices: Human Amusements at Hourly Rates.
In 2004, Pollard announced he was disbanding Guided by Voices following the release of the Half-Smiles of the Decomposed LP, and a final farewell tour. According to Pollard:
This feels like the last album for Guided by Voices. I've always said that when I make a record that I'm totally satisfied with as befitting a final album, then that will be it. And this is it.
On November 9, 2004 Guided by Voices performed on the stage of Austin City Limits, broadcast by PBS on January 22, 2005. Their last television appearance was on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on December 2, 2004. They played the single, "Everybody Thinks I'm a Raincloud (When I'm Not Looking)". After a select round of final US shows, Guided by Voices played their final show at The Metro in Chicago on December 31, 2004. The four-hour, 63-song marathon finale is documented on the DVD The Electrifying Conclusion.
Pollard released his first post-GBV album in 2006 on Merge Records. The album, titled From a Compound Eye was a double LP produced by Todd Tobias. Later Pollard albums have been released on Merge and Pollard's own label, Guided by Voices Inc.
Following GBV's demise, Pollard was frequently asked about band reunions. In 2007 he told MAGNET: "To me, it's just cashing in. If you're gonna get the band back together, it should be to support a new record, not just to play the hits. That's like doing the county-fair circuit. I don't see Guided By Voices reforming. For one thing, there were 50 or 60 people in Guided By Voices over time."
Pollard also commented on the fact that GBV and his solo output are basicially the same, when he told Harp Magazine in 2005, "You know, a lot of people try to distinguish things between what is Robert Pollard and what is Guided By Voices. I tell them basically that there is no difference; I am Robert Pollard and I am Guided By Voices."
In 2008, Pollard admitted to almost bringing GBV back for his album Robert Pollard Is Off to Business but decided against it, instead forming a new label titled Guided by Voices Inc.
The 1998–1999 lineup of the band reunited for a few songs, for Pollard's 50th birthday in 2007.
In October 2008, it was announced that Guided by Voices' music would be used for a 3-D film musical based on the life of Cleopatra to be directed by Steven Soderbergh with script by former GBV member Jim Greer. Soderbergh and Greer will rewrite the lyrics of the songs to fit the story. Soderbergh had previously used a Guided by Voices song in his film Full Frontal, and wrote an introduction to Greer's book on the band. Pollard wrote the soundtrack to Soderbergh's film Bubble, and that music was released as Music for 'Bubble'.
In June 2010, Matador Records announced that the "Classic '93–'96 Lineup" would reunite to perform at the label's 21st Anniversary celebration in Las Vegas, in October of that year. A full reunion tour was subsequently announced, with the band selling out nearly every date. The tour included stops at Hoboken's Maxwell's and the Southgate House in Newport, Kentucky, two venues that the band had built a history with due to legendary shows there in the past. When asked by Spinner if there might ever be another proper GBV record Pollard said "I've thought about it sometimes but it's a very long shot," he says. "We all kind of do our own thing. I'm not completely eliminating the possibility."
On September 21, 2011, it was announced that a new GBV album, Let's Go Eat the Factory, had been recorded for release in January 2012. On January 4, 2012, the band performed their single "The Unsinkable Fats Domino" on the Late Show with David Letterman to promote Let's Go Eat the Factory. During their performance, bassist Greg Demos fell while attempting a dance move. However, Demos was not seriously injured and the band continued to perform their song.
The band canceled what was to have been their first post-reunion show in the UK at the All Tomorrow's Parties 'I'll Be Your Mirror' festival at Alexandra Palace, London, in May 2012 as well as a planned appearance at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona. The band's management denied reports that the cancellations were due to them splitting up again and confirmed they were still working on new material.
The band released a second post-reformation LP, Class Clown Spots a UFO, on June 12, 2012. Generally regarded by fans as the best of the latter-years' albums, it marked a return in tenor and quality to this line-up's mid-90s heyday. A third, The Bears for Lunch, followed in November. GBV began touring again in September 2012 with a 13 show "Tour of the South", starting in Dayton, Ohio, on September 8, 2012, which included gigs in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and stops in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, New Orleans, Texas (Houston and Austin), Missouri and Kansas, with the final show on September 29, 2012 in St. Louis. Another album, English Little League, was released in 2013.
In a July 2013 interview with Magnet Magazine, Pollard stated that English Little League could be the final GBV album. However, in September, a fifth reunion record, Motivational Jumpsuit, was confirmed for release on Guided By Voices Inc. and Fire Records in February 2014. A sixth reunion album, Cool Planet, was released on May 13, 2014.
On September 18, 2014, GBV abruptly released a statement on Facebook that they had once again disbanded. Remaining tour dates were canceled.
Second reunion (2016–present)
In February 2016, the official Guided By Voices Facebook page announced that GBV has been announced to headline the Sled Island Festival on June 25 and that a "strikingly fresh Guided By Voices album in the works," on which Pollard plays all the instruments. Pollard subsequently confirmed the new lineup for the band which would include returning drummer Kevin March along with newcomers guitarist Bobby Bare, Jr., guitarist Nick Mitchell and bassist Mark Shue.
For a show on July 16, 2016, guitarist Nick Mitchell was replaced by former member Doug Gillard. Gillard subsequently rejoined Guided by Voices permanently later that month.
Robert Pollard - vocals (1986-2004, 2010-2014, 2016-present)
Kevin March - drums (2001-2004, 2014, 2016–present)
Bobby Bare, Jr. - guitar (2016–present)
Doug Gillard - guitar (1997-2004, 2016-present)
Mark Shue - bass (2016–present)
Mitch Mitchell - guitar (1986-1997, 2010-2014)
Tobin Sprout - guitar (1986-1997, 2010-2014)
Jim Pollard - guitar (1986-1992)
Kevin Fennell - drums (1986-1989, 1993-1997, 2010–2014)
Don Thrasher - drums (1989-1992)
Greg Demos - bass (1990-2001, 2010-2014)
Dave Swanson - drums (1997-1998)
Jim MacPherson - drums (1998-2001)
Nate Farley - guitar (2001-2004)
Tim Tobias - bass (2001-2004)
Nick Mitchell - guitar (2016)
Guided by Voices Day
In 2004, during the band's originally announced final tour, many cities around the United States proclaimed a certain day to be "Guided by Voices Day" in that city. Among the cities were:
Saint Paul, Minnesota – June 6
Houston, Texas – October 1
Newport, Kentucky – October 22
Bloomington, Indiana – October 25
Austin, Texas – November 5
Dallas, Texas – November 6
San Diego, California – November 11
Los Angeles, California – November 12
New York, New York – December 5
Chicago, Illinois – December 30
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Get Julia Holter songs and albums from:
Holter's songwriting stems from a mythological reverence of that which is incomprehensibly beautiful. Her Eating the Stars EP (2007) was a first attempt at musically transcribing this beauty, while discovering the honest enjoyment of unadulterated creativity. The anonymous authorship and shimmering gold detail of medieval illuminated manuscripts particularly inspired the ornately-orchestrated pop song mystery of Stars. Holter's debut album Tragedy (Leaving Records, 2011) embraced similar strains of shimmer, but used sparser textures in a narrative context.
Pond is a psychedelic rock band from Perth, Western Australia, which formed in 2008. Featuring an ever-changing line-up, the current line up is Nick Allbrook, Jay Watson, Joseph Ryan, Jamie Terry, and Julien Barbagallo.
Pond were formed in Perth, Western Australia, in 2008 with members Nick Allbrook, Jay Watson and Joseph Ryan. The original idea of Pond was to be able to get anyone they wanted to play whatever they wanted in a collaborative musical project.
Their first album was released soon after in January 2009, titled Psychedelic Mango which contained many psychedelic rock and pop elements. Their second album, Corridors of Blissterday, was completed live with an eight piece band in five days, and released in June 2009. This led to the creation of their 2010 album, Frond, released in May 2010, featuring a heavier pop influence than previously heard from them.
After the success of Tame Impala's 2010 breakthrough debut album Innerspeaker, a band which shares three members with Pond, the album Beard, Wives, Denim was recorded in 2010 and later released to critical acclaim in March 2012.
Pond toured the United States in 2012, appearing at festivals such as South by Southwest, with another album titled Hobo Rocket set for release in the future. On 26 May 2012, NME magazine named Pond "The Hottest New Band In The World" in their "Hot List" issue. On 28 June 2012, Pond had a one-off performance with Can frontman Damo Suzuki, one of Pond's biggest inspirations and musical idols.
Another album titled Man, It Feels Like Space Again is set to be recorded and released after the release of Hobo Rocket. Originally, Man, It Feels Like Space Again was planned to be the next Pond album release, but instead Hobo Rocket was chosen to be recorded and released beforehand. Pond described Hobo Rocket as being "much better than Beard, Wives, Denim. On 15 October 2014, Pond confirmed that the new album "Man, It Feels Like Space Again" will be released on 23 January 2015.
Nick "Paisley Adams" Allbrook – vocals, flute, keys, guitar
Jay "Wesley Goldtouch/Wirey B. Buddah" Watson – drums & backing vocals
Joseph "Shoseph Orion McJam" Ryan – guitar, keys & backing vocals
Jamie Terry – Keys
Julien "Frenchie" Barbagallo – bass
* Kevin Parker recorded drums for most of Beard, Wives, Denim
Nick "Paisley Adams" Allbrook – vocals, flute & sometimes keys
Jay "Wesley Goldtouch/Wirey B. Buddah" Watson – guitar, keys, bass, drums & backing vocals
Joseph "Shoseph Orion McJam" Ryan – guitar, bass & backing vocals
Jamie Terry – keys & bass
Cameron Avery – drums & bass
Richard "Aslan McPride" Ingham – guitar & percussion
Nick "Odin Bombadillo" Odell – percussion
Jeremy "Ayayayai" Cope – keys & percussion
Matthew "Celestius Maximus Argyle" Saville – drums
Kevin "Kaykay Sorbet" Parker – drums
Matt Handley - drums
Julien Barbagallo - bass
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Get Tim Hecker songs and albums from:
Tim Hecker is an electronic musician and sound artist based in Los Angeles, USA and Montreal, Canada. Hecker previously recorded under the moniker Jetone, but has become better known internationally for his ambient recordings mainly released through Kranky Records under his own name. His latest album Love Streams will be released on his new label 4AD on 8 April 2016.
Born in Vancouver, Hecker is the son of two art teachers who spent his formative years developing an interest in music. He moved to Montreal in 1998 to study at Concordia University and explore his artistic interests further. After completing his studies, Hecker pursued a professional career outside music and worked as a political analyst for the Canadian Government. After leaving his employment in 2006 he enrolled at McGill University to pursue a PhD with the subject area of urban noise, which was submitted at the end of 2013. He has also worked as a lecturer in sound culture the Art History and Communications department. He is a producer of electronica and has performed internationally as a DJ (Jetone) and electronic musician.
His early career was characterised by an interest in techno, expressed under the Jetone moniker. Disenchanted with this direction, Hecker began exploring more abstract notions of sound and collages, describing this process as 'very brutal, bloody, bone-crushing experiences'. His current method of working involves the use of pipe organ sounds which are digitally processed and distorted. For the album Ravedeath, 1972, Hecker travelled to Iceland where together with Ben Frost, he recorded parts in a church. Live performances contain improvisations by processing organ sounds that are manipulated, with great fluctuations in volume.
In 2012, Hecker collaborated with Daniel Lopatin (who records as Oneohtrix Point Never) on an improvisatory project which became Instrumental Tourist (2012). Following 2013's Virgins, Hecker convened once again in Reykjavik for sessions across 2014 and 2015, to create what would become Love Streams. Collaborators include Ben Frost, Johann Johannsson, Kara-Lis Coverdale and Grimur Helgason, whilst the 15th century choral works by Josquin des Prez birthed the foundations of the album. Hecker admits to thinking about ideas like "liturgical aesthetics after Yeezus" and the "transcendental voice in the age of auto-tune" during its creation.
In addition to touring with Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Sigur Rós and recording with the likes of Fly Pan Am, Hecker has also collaborated with Christof Migone, Martin Tétreault and Aidan Baker. He has also contributed remixes to other artists, including Isis.
Haunt Me, Haunt Me Do It Again (2001)
Radio Amor (2003)
Harmony in Ultraviolet (2006)
An Imaginary Country (2009)
Ravedeath, 1972 (2011)
Love Streams (2016)
EPs & Other
Trade Winds, White Noise (2002)
My Love Is Rotten to the Core (2002)
Radio Marti / Radio Havana (2004)
Mort Aux Vaches (2005)
Dropped Pianos (2011)
Fantasma Parastasie with Aidan Baker (Nadja) (2008)
Instrumental Tourist with Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) (2012)
Tennis - 'Self-Heal Mishap' (Undertaker Mix) (2003)
Isis - 'Carry' (2004)
Isis - 'Carry' (Tim Hecker Remix Second Version) (2004)
TV Pow - 'Whiteout' (2005)
Ensemble - 'Disown, Delete' (2006)
Colin Stetson - 'Time Is Advancing With Fitful Irregularity White Pulse Mix' (2009)
Bell Orchestre - 'Water / Light / Shifts' (Remix) (2009)
Genghis Tron - 'Board Up The House' (Tim Hecker Remix) (2009)
Ellen Allien - 'Sun The Rain' (Tim Hecker Remix) (2011)
John Cale - Suffocation Raga For John Cale (Tim Hecker Transition) (2012)
Mogwai - 'Rano Pano' (Tim Hecker Remix) (2012)
Ellen Allien - 'Sun The Rain' (Tim Hecker Rmx) (2013)
The Field - 'No. No...' (Tim Hecker Mix) (2014)
Hundred Waters - 'Down From The Rafters' (Tim Hecker Remix) (2014)
Dorian Concept - 'The Sky Opposite' (Tim Hecker Remix) (2015)
Hecker occasionally makes sound installations and has collaborated with visual artists such as Stan Douglas and Charles Stankievech.
Hecker, along with other musicians Ben Frost and Steve Goodman (Kode9) and artists Piotr Jakubowicz, Marcel Weber (MFO) and Manuel Sepulveda (Optigram), provided music for Unsound Festival's sensory installation, 'Ephemera'.
Hecker composed the score for 2016's The Free World, selected to be shown in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Tim Hecker at AllMusic
Tim Hecker at Alien8 Recordings
Discography at Discogs
Hampson, Simon. "Tim Hecker Interview." Cyclic Defrost, 3 March 2007.
Henderson, Lee. "Tim Hecker: Resisting the Technophilia." Splendid eZine, 2003.
Schepper, Ron. "An Interview with Tim Hecker." Junkmedia, 27 September 2004.
Nguyen, Mac. "Interview: Tim Hecker." The Silent Ballet, 28 March 2010.
Bergmann, Brett. "Global Movement, Local Detail: The Music of Tim Hecker." eContact! 11.2 — Figures canadiennes (2) / Canadian Figures (2) (July 2009). Montréal: CEC.
Hecker, Tim. "Guest List Top 10." Pitchfork. 27 October 2006.
Richardson, Mark. "Tim Hecker: Harmony in Ultraviolet." Pitchfork. CD Review. 16 October 2006.
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Get Carcass songs and albums from:
Carcass are an extreme metal band from England, formed in 1985 and disbanded in 1995. A reunion was enacted in 2008 without one of its original members, drummer Ken Owen.
Although widely regarded as pioneers of the grindcore genre, their early work was also tagged as "splatter death metal", "hardgore" and "goregrind" on account of their morbid lyrics and gruesome album covers.Content: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcass_%28band%29
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Get Stereolab songs and albums from:
Stereolab are an alternative music band formed in 1990 in London, England. The band originally comprised songwriting team Tim Gane (guitar/keyboards) and Lætitia Sadier (vocals/keyboards/guitar), both of whom remained at the helm across many lineup changes. Other long-time members include Mary Hansen (backing vocals/keyboards/guitar), who played with the group from 1992 until her accidental death in 2002, and Andy Ramsay (drums), who joined in 1993, and who is still in the official line-up.
Called "one of the most fiercely independent and original groups of the Nineties", Stereolab were one of the first bands to be termed "post-rock". Their primary musical influence was 1970s krautrock, which they combined with lounge, 1960s pop, and experimental pop music. They were noted for their heavy use of vintage electronic keyboards, and their sound often overlays a repetitive "motorik" beat with female vocals sung in English or French. Stereolab often incorporates socio-political themes into their lyrics. Some critics say the group's lyrics carry a strong Marxist message, and both Gane and Sadier admit to being influenced by the Surrealist and Situationist cultural and political movements. Gane is skeptical of labels such as "Marxist pop", and defends the band against accusations of "sloganeering".
Although many of the band's albums have been underground hits, they never found larger commercial success. The band were released from their recording contract with Warner Bros. Records when Warner's imprint Elektra Records folded. The release was reportedly due to poor record sales, and since then Stereolab's self-owned label, Duophonic Records, has signed a distribution deal with Too Pure. Duophonic holds the copyrights to the band's recordings, and on this label the band has released many limited-edition records. In 2009, Stereolab announced via their website that they were going on indefinite hiatus.
In 1985, Tim Gane formed McCarthy, a band from Essex, England known for their left-wing politics. Gane met the French-born Lætitia Sadier at a McCarthy concert in Paris and the two quickly fell in love. The musically-inclined Sadier was disillusioned with the rock scene in France and soon moved to London to be with Gane and pursue her career. In 1990, after three albums, McCarthy broke up and Gane immediately formed Stereolab with Sadier (who had also contributed vocals to McCarthy's final album) and ex-Chills bassist Martin Kean. The group's name was taken from a division of Vanguard Records demonstrating hi-fi effects.
Gane and Sadier, along with future Stereolab manager Martin Pike, created a record label called Duophonic Super 45s which, along with later offshoot Duophonic Ultra High Frequency Disks, would become commonly known as "Duophonic". The 10 inch vinyl EP Super 45 was the first release for both band and label, and was sold through mail order and the Rough Trade Shop in London. Super 45's band-designed album art and packaging was the first of many customized and limited-edition Duophonic records. In a 1996 interview in The Wire Gane calls the "do-it-yourself" aesthetic behind Duophonic "empowering", and says that by releasing one's own music "you learn; it creates more music, more ideas". Other independent bands such as Tortoise, Broadcast, and Labradford would also release material on Duophonic.
Stereolab followed up with another EP, Super-Electric, and a single, "Stunning Debut Album" (which was neither debut nor album). The band's early material was rock and guitar-oriented; of Super-Electric, Jason Ankeny wrote in AllMusic that "Droning guitars, skeletal rhythms, and pop hooks--not vintage synths and pointillist melodies--were their calling cards ..." In 1992, Stereolab's first full-length album, Peng!, and first compilation, Switched On, were released on independent label Too Pure. Around this time, the lineup consisted of Gane and Sadier plus vocalist Mary Hansen, drummer Andy Ramsay, bassist Duncan Brown, keyboardist Katharine Gifford, and guitarist Sean O'Hagan of the 1980s famed Microdisney duo. Hansen, an Australian, had been in touch with Gane since his McCarthy days. After joining, she and Sadier developed a style of vocal counterpoint that distinguished Stereolab's sound until Hansen's death ten years later in 2002. O'Hagan would later leave to form The High Llamas, but would frequently return to contribute to Stereolab's records.
Beginning with their 1993 EP Space Age Bachelor Pad Music, the band began to incorporate easy-listening elements into their sound. This release raised Stereolab's profile and landed them a major-label American record deal with Elektra Records. Their next album, 1993's Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements, was their first American release under Elektra, and became an underground hit in both the U.S. and the U.K. Mark Jenkins commented in The Washington Post that with this album, Stereolab "continues the glorious drones of their indie work, giving celestial sweep to their garage-rock organ pumping and rhythm-guitar strumming". In the U.K. it was released on Duophonic Ultra High Frequency Disks, which is responsible for domestic releases of Stereolab's major albums. The year would also see a collaboration with industrial stalwarts Nurse With Wound, in the form of the Crumb Duck EP.
On 8 January 1994, Stereolab achieved their first chart entry when 1993 EP Jenny Ondioline entered at number 75 on the UK Singles Chart. (Over the next three years, four more releases by the band would appear on this chart, ending with the EP Miss Modular in 1997.) With their 1994 album, Mars Audiac Quintet, Stereolab focused more on pop and less on rock, resulting in what AllMusic described as "what may be the group's most accessible, tightly-written album".Mars Audiac Quintet makes heavy use of vintage electronic instruments, and also contains the single "Ping Pong", which gained press coverage for its allegedly explicitly Marxist lyrics. After releasing a 1995 collection of singles and B-sides called Refried Ectoplasm: Switched On, Vol. 2, Stereolab followed with an EP titled Music for the Amorphous Body Study Center. This EP was their musical contribution to an interactive art exhibit put on in collaboration with New York City artist Charles Long.
Stereolab's 1996 album, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, was a critical success and was played heavily on college radio. A record that "captivated alternative rock", it represented Stereolab's "high-water mark" according to music journalists Tom Moon and Joshua Klein, respectively. Krautrock techniques were still present, but the band stirred the pot with hip-hop sounds and complex instrumental arrangements. Stephan Davet of French newspaper Le Monde claimed to see musical influences as diverse as The Velvet Underground, Burt Bacharach, and Françoise Hardy on the album.John McEntire of the band Tortoise assisted with production and played on Emperor Tomato Ketchup. Katharine Gifford was replaced by Morgane Lhote before recording, and bassist Duncan Brown by Richard Harrison after.
Also in 1996, Stereolab collaborated with Herbie Mann on the song "One Note Samba/Surfboard" for the AIDS-Benefit album Red Hot + Rio produced by the Red Hot Organization.
Dots and Loops was released in 1997, and was Stereolab's first album to enter the Billboard 200 charts, peaking at number 111. Barney Hoskyns wrote in Rolling Stone that with it the group moved "ever further away from the one-chord Velvets drone-mesh of its early days" toward easy listening and Europop. A review in German newspaper Die Zeit echoed this observation, claiming that in Dots and Loops Stereolab transformed the harder Velvet Underground-like riffs of previous releases into "softer sounds and noisy playfulness". Contributors to the album once again included John McEntire, along with Sean O'Hagan of The High Llamas and Jan St. Werner of German electropop duo Mouse on Mars. A second Nurse With Wound collaboration, Simple Headphone Mind, appeared in 1997, and the third installment of the "Switched On" series, Aluminum Tunes, followed in 1998. In 1998, Stereolab collaborated with French avant-garde singer and poet Brigitte Fontaine in single "Calimero".
The band took a break from touring while Gane and Sadier had a child. In 1999, Stereolab's next album appeared, titled Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night. Co-produced by McEntire and American producer Jim O'Rourke, the album earned mixed reviews for its lighter sound, and peaked at number 154 on the Billboard 200. An unsigned NME review said that "this record has far more in common with bad jazz and progressive rock than any experimental art-rock tradition." In a 1999 The Washington Post article, Mark Jenkins asked Gane about the album's apparent lack of guitars; Gane responded, "There's a lot less upfront, distorted guitar ... But it's still quite guitar-based music. Every single track has a guitar on it." Stereolab added a new bassist, Simon Johns, for the Cobra and Phases Group ... tour.
The album Sound-Dust followed in 2001, and rose to number 178 on the Billboard 200. Again featuring producers McEntire and O'Rourke, it was more warmly received than Cobra and Phases Group .... Critic Joshua Klein said that "the emphasis this time sounds less on unfocused experimentation and more on melody ... a breezy and welcome return to form for the British band." Klein also commented that "never has it been harder to discern just what Sadier is singing, but rarely has her gibberish sounded so pleasant."
In 2002, as they were planning their next album, the band started building a studio north of Bordeaux, France. October saw the release of ABC Music: The Radio 1 Sessions; a compilation of BBC Radio 1 sessions. That year also marked an end to Gane and Sadier's romantic relationship. As the year was coming to a close, tragedy struck.
On 9 December, longstanding band member Mary Hansen was killed when hit by a truck while riding her bicycle. Born in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia, Hansen earned the most attention for her vocal work with Stereolab, although she also played the guitar and keyboards. The music journalist Pierre Perrone said that Hansen's "playful nature and mischievous sense of humour came through in the way she approached the backing vocals she contributed to Stereolab and the distinctive harmonies she created with Sadier." For the next few months, Stereolab lay dormant as the members grieved. They eventually decided to continue; as Sadier explained in a 2004 interview: "Losing Mary is still incredibly painful ... But it's also an opportunity to transform and move on. It's a new version. We've always had new versions, people coming in and out. That's life." (Future album and concert reviews would mention the effects of Hansen's absence.) In a 2004 interview, Sadier said that "Our dedication to her on the album 2004's Margerine Eclipse says, 'We will love you till the end', meaning of our lives. I'm not religious, but I feel Mary's energy is still around somewhere. It didn't just disappear."
The 2003 EP Instant 0 in the Universe was recorded in France, and was Stereolab's first release following Hansen's death. According to music journalist Jim DeRogatis, the EP marked a return to their earlier, harder sound--"free from the pseudo-funk moves and avant-garde tinkering that had been inspired by Chicago producer Jim O'Rourke". That year, Sadier's side-project, Monade, released its debut album Socialisme Ou Barbarie: The Bedroom Recordings. Both the name of the group and the title of the album are references to the work of Greek-French intellectual Cornelius Castoriadis.
The album Margerine Eclipse followed in 2004 with generally positive reviews, and peaked at number 174 on the US Billboard 200. The track "Feel and Triple" was written in tribute to Hansen; according to Sadier "I was reflecting on my years with her ... reflecting on how we sometimes found it hard to express the love we had for one another."The Observer's Molloy Woodcraft awarded the album four out of five stars, and described Sadier's vocal performance as "life- and love-affirming", and the record as a whole as "Complex and catchy, bold and beatific." Kelefa Sanneh argued in Rolling Stone that Margerine Eclipse was "full of familiar noises and aimless melodies".Margerine Eclipse was Stereolab's last record to be released on American label Elektra Records, which shut down that same year. Future material would be released on Too Pure, the same label which had released some of the band's earliest material.
Margerine Eclipse was followed by Oscillons from the Anti-Sun; a 2005 three-CD and one-DVD retrospective of the group's rarer material. Monade's second album, A Few Steps More, also appeared that year. In 2005 and 2006, Stereolab released six limited-edition singles which were later released as a collection in Fab Four Suture, and contained material which Mark Jenkins thought continued the brisker sound of the band's post-Hansen work.Serene Velocity, a "best-of" compilation focusing on the band's Elektra years, was released in late 2006. By June 2007, Stereolab's lineup comprised Tim Gane, Lætitia Sadier, Andy Ramsay, Simon Johns, Dominic Jeffrey, Joseph Watson, and Joseph Walters. The band had finished the production of their next album, entitled Chemical Chords, which was released in August 2008 on the 4AD label. The release of the album was followed by an autumn tour of Europe and the United States.
They toured Australia in February 2009 as part of the St Jerome's Laneway Festival. In April the same year, manager Martin Pike announced a pause in the band's career together for the time being. After 19 years, he said that they felt it was time to take a rest and move on to new projects.
In November 2010, the band released Not Music, a collection of unreleased material recorded at the same time as Chemical Chords.
At a performance on 21 June 2013 at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival held at Pontins in Camber Sands, Cavern Of Anti-Matter (a trio featuring former Stereolab members Tim Gane and Joe Dilworth) were joined onstage by Lætitia Sadier for a performance of "Blue Milk" (from Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night), thus effecting a partial Stereolab reunion. The song is mentioned repeatedly in the festival programme as being highly influential on the work of festival curators Deerhunter, and band member Bradford Cox also joined the group onstage for this performance.
Stereolab's music combines a droning rock sound with lounge instrumentals, overlaid with sing-song female vocals and pop melodies. Their records are heavily influenced by the "motorik" technique of 1970s krautrock groups such as Neu! and Faust. Tim Gane has supported the comparison: "Neu! did minimalism and drones, but in a very pop way." Stereolab's style also incorporates easy-listening music of the 1950s and '60s. Said Joshua Klein in The Washington Post, "Years before everyone else caught on, Stereolab was referencing the 1970s German bands Can and Neu!, the Mexican lounge music master Esquivel and the decidedly unhip Burt Bacharach."
The band make use of vintage analog electronic instruments such as the Farfisa and Vox organs, and the Moog synthesizer, which was featured prominently on 1994's Mars Audiac Quintet. Gane has praised these older instruments for their superior controllability: "We use the older effects because they're more direct, more extreme, and they're more like plasticine: you can shape them into loads of things."Funk, jazz, and Brazilian music were inspirations, and the sounds of minimalist composers Philip Glass and Steve Reich can be found on 1999's Cobra and Phases Group .... Several critics have commented that the band's later work, like Instant 0 in the Universe (2003) and Margerine Eclipse (2004), sound similar to their guitar-driven earlier style.
Lætitia Sadier's French and English vocals have been a part of Stereolab's sound since the beginning. She writes the group's lyrics, which tend to lean towards Marxist social commentary rather than "affairs of the heart" (in the opinion of music journalist Simon Reynolds). In reference to Sadier's laid-back delivery, Peter Shapiro wrote in The Wire that she has all the "emotional histrionics" of 1960s German singer Nico. Sometimes Sadier will just sing wordlessly along with the music. Before Mary Hansen's death in 2002, she and Sadier would often trade vocals back-and-forth in a singsong manner that has been described as "eerie" and "hypnotic". Critic Jim Harrington commented that Hansen's absence is noticeable on live performances of Stereolab's older tracks, and that their newer songs could have benefited from her backing vocals.
In interviews, Gane and Sadier have discussed their musical philosophy. According to Gane "to be unique was more important than to be good." On the subject of being too obscure, he said in a 1996 interview that "maybe the area where we're on dodgy ground, is this idea that you need great knowledge of esoteric music to understand what we're doing." Sadier responded to Gane, saying that she "thinks we have achieved a music that will make sense to a lot of people whether they know about Steve Reich or not." The duo were up-front about their desire to grow the group's sound: for Gane, "otherwise it just sounds like what other people are doing," and for Sadier, "you trust that there is more and that it can be done more interesting."
Stereolab toured regularly to support their album releases. In a 1996 The Washington Post gig review, Mark Jenkins wrote that Stereolab started out favoring an "easy-listening syncopation", but eventually reverted to a "messier, more urgent sound" characteristic of their earlier performances. In another review Jenkins said that the band's live songs "frequently veered into more cacophonous, guitar-dominated territory", in contrast to lighter albums like Cobra and Phases Group .... In the Minneapolis Star Tribune Jon Bream compared the band's live sound to feedback-driven rock bands like The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. Several critics have said that Stereolab lacked stage presence, arguing that Sadier's vocal delivery was too subdued and that the band tended to play instead of perform its music. Regarding being onstage, Gane has said that "I don't like to be the center of attention ... I just get into the music and am not really aware of the people there. That's my way of getting through it."
Lyrics and titles:
Stereolab's music is politically and philosophically charged. Lætitia Sadier, who writes the group's lyrics, has reportedly been inspired by her anger at the Iraq War. The Surrealist and Situationist cultural and political movements were also influences, as noted by Sadier and Gane in a 1999 Salon.com interview. Stewart Mason commented in an AllMusic review that the lyrics from the 1997 song "Miss Modular" "sound influenced by the Situationist theory of the 'spectacle'." When asked to explain her intentions in a 1991 Melody Maker interview, Sadier responded that "Basically I want to change the world. I want to make people think about how they live every day, shake them a bit."
Critics have seen Marxist allusions in the band's lyrics, and several have gone so far as to call the band members themselves Marxist. "Ping Pong", a single included on Mars Audiac Quintet (1994), has been put forward as evidence. In the song, Sadier sings "about capitalism's cruel cycles of slump and recovery" with lyrics that constitute "a plainspoken explanation of one of the central tenets of Marxian economic analysis" (said critics Simon Reynolds and Stewart Mason, respectively). The song opens with the lines:
It's alright 'cause the historical pattern has shown,
How the economical cycle tends to revolve,
In a round of decades three stages stand out in a loop,
A slump and war then peel back to square one and back for more.
Band members have resisted attempts to link the group and its music to Marxism. In a 1999 interview, Gane stated that "none of us are Marxists ... I've never even read Marx." Although Gane admitted that his partner's lyrics touch on political topics, he argued that they do not cross the line into "sloganeering". Sadier herself has mentioned that she has read very little Marx. In contrast, Cornelius Castoriadis, a radical political philosopher but strong critic of Marxism, has been mentioned as a marking influence in her thinking. Her side project's name (Monade) and its first album's title (Socialisme ou Barbarie) are also references to the work of Castoriadis.
Stereolab's album and song titles occasionally reference avant-garde political groups and artists. Gane said that the title of their 1999 album Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night contains the names of two Surrealist organizations, "CoBrA" and "Phases Group". The title of the first song on Dots and Loops, "Brakhage", is a nod to experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage. Other examples are the 1992 compilation Switched On, named after a 1969 Wendy Carlos album, and the 1992 single "John Cage Bubblegum", named after experimental composer John Cage.
Stereolab have been called "one of the most influential alternative bands of the '90s", and one of "the decade's most innovative British bands." Simon Reynolds commented in Rolling Stone that the group's earlier records form "an endlessly seductive body of work that sounds always the same, always different." In The Wire, Peter Shapiro compared the band favorably to Britpop bands Oasis and Blur, and defended their music against the charge that it is "nothing but the sum total of its arcane reference points." Stereolab were one of the first groups to be called post-rock--in a 1996 article, journalist Angela Lewis applied the "new term" to Stereolab and three other bands who have connections to the group. The band's 1996 album Emperor Tomato Ketchup, their "high-water mark" according to critic Joshua Klein, was a critical success and underground hit. Stereolab have also received negative press. Barney Hoskyns questioned the longevity of their music in a 1996 Mojo review, saying that their records "sound more like arid experiments than music born of emotional need." In The Guardian, Dave Simpson stated: "With their borrowings from early, obscure Kraftwerk and hip obtuse sources, Stereolab sound like a band of rock critics rather than musicians." Lætitia Sadier's vocals were cited by author Stuart Shea as often being "indecipherable."
A variety of artists, musical and otherwise, have collaborated with Stereolab. In 1995 the group teamed up with sculptor Charles Long for an interactive art show in New York City, for which Long provided the exhibits and Stereolab the music. They have released tracks by and toured with post-rock band Tortoise, while John McEntire of Tortoise has in turn worked on several Stereolab albums. In the 1990s Stereolab and veteran industrial band Nurse With Wound released two limited-edition records together; both contained Nurse With Wound remixes of original tracks provided by Stereolab.
Stylistically, music journalist J. D. Considine credits the band for anticipating and driving the late 1990s revival of vintage analog instruments among indie rock bands. Indie rock band Pavement (who also toured with Stereolab) acknowledged the group's sound on their song "Half A Canyon." Stereolab alumni have also founded bands of their own. Guitarist Sean O'Hagan went on to form The High Llamas, while keyboardist Katharine Gifford created Snowpony with a former member of My Bloody Valentine. Sadier herself has released three albums with her four-piece side-project Monade, whose sound Mark Jenkins called a "little more Parisian" than Stereolab's. Australian band Turnstyle sampled "OLV 26" from Emperor Tomato Ketchup on their debut album and going as far as using Andy Ramsay to mix and master their reunion album "Time equals Function".
Despite earning critical acclaim and a sizable fanbase, commercial success eluded the group. Early in their career, their 1993 EP Jenny Ondioline entered the UK Singles Chart, but financial issues prevented the band from printing enough records to satisfy demand. When Elektra Records was closed down by Warner Bros. Records in 2004, Stereolab was dropped along with many other artists, reportedly because of poor sales. Since then, Stereolab's self-owned label Duophonic has inked a worldwide distribution deal with independent label Too Pure. Through Duophonic the band both licenses their music and releases it directly (depending on geographic market). According to Tim Gane, "... we license our recordings and just give them to people, then we don't have to ask for permission if we want to use it. We just want to be in control of our own music."
Artists covering Stereolab's songs have included Iron & Wine ("Peng! 33"), Editors ("French Disko"), The Raveonettes ("French Disko"), and The Flowers of Hell ("Super-Electric")
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Get Lizzo songs and albums from:
I ain't your hook girl, I'm your feature
And I don't need your attention because of my features - "Hot Dish"
Lizzo has arrived.
In 2014's hip-hop culture, built on stale rhymes about sex, money and drugs, Houston-bred, Minneapolis-based artist, Lizzo relies on inventive wordplay and an ability to seamlessly flow between rapping and singing to set her above the rest. Her debut solo release LIZZOBANGERS lives and dies by Lizzo's unique delivery and cadence, fueled by the depth of her pop-culture, social and historic references, ranging from Lizzie Borden to Cogsworth to Anna Wintour.
It's that L to the I to the Z Z O / Ain't got no time for the C3P0, Wookie, rookie / Never knock nookie, but I'd rather stack cookies / Looking at the sunset the color of Snookie - "Faded"
The Guardian says LIZZOBANGERS sounds like an old school major label rap release by a female MC...think Salt-n-Pepa and Queen Latifah for some idea of the comically frank and feisty lyrics and the dexterously deployed snippets and samples."
LIZZOBANGERS crystallizes Lizzo's multifaceted approach. The album is the result of a creative collaboration between Lizzo and producers Lazerbeak (Doomtree) and Ryan Olson (Gayngs/Polica). Described as being "audacious, raucously inventive and fun," by The Boston Globe, the album displaces the stereotypes and expectations of what a rapper should sound like.
Lizzo has spent serious time with gospel, R&B, rock and classical music over the years, and draws from her diverse influences on Lizzobangers' party-starting beats. Accompanied by production from Doomtree's Lazerbeak, she shows off deliriously taut rap flow as well as refined singing capabilities on her debut. This quick-witted, deviantly funny, very real new arrival from the Totally Gross National Product family fairly sizzles with talent. Get stuck in now, says Dazed & Confused
Beyond the pop references and inventive wordplay, LIZZOBANGERS goes deep into challenging stereotypes, societal norms and the state of our culture in a rare matter-of-fact and non-politicized way.
Chicago Sun Times declares: "The lead single, "Batches and Cookies (feat. Sophia Eris)," astutely dishonors climbing social ladders: "Thrift store shopping look like Anna Wintour/ You ain't gotta ask about it 'cuz I been hurr / Ridin' in them chariots like we in Ben-Hur". But it is the track "W.E.R.K," in which she advises her own young fans: "Look like a girl/ Act like a lady/ Think like a man/ Werk like a boss," that will catapult her."
Born in Detroit in the late 80's, Lizzo spent much of her formative years in the church, where she was raised on the gospel sounds of The Winans, The Clark Sisters, and Fred Hammond, along with mainstay secular artists such as Stevie Wonder and Elton John. At the age of 10 her family moved to Houston, TX, and Lizzo was exposed to a wide array of emerging Southern musical styles, from the trademark chopped and screwed rap tracks of the underground, to the progressive and polished R&B sounds of groups like Destiny's Child that were raising the city's national profile to new heights. In fact, it was after she skipped class to catch a Destiny's Child performance at Wal-Mart that Lizzo—then a 5th grader-- was inspired to start writing music on her own.
Over the next decade that decision would take her through the trenches of some of the most varied musical genres: R&B girl groups (I.N.I.T.I.A.L.S., Cornrow Clique, The Chalice), progressive rock bands (Elypseas), electro-pop duos (Lizzo & The Larva Ink), and her current trap-based hip-hop collective/crew GRRRL PRTY. Meanwhile, she graduated with a classical flute degree from the University of Houston and turned down a scholarship for graduate studies at the Paris Conservatory in order to pursue her current projects.
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Get Empress Of songs and albums from:
Empress Of is the solo project of New York based, American singer-songwriter, Lorely Rodriguez. Ethnically, her parents are Spanish-Honduran descents. She gained attention in 2012 for anonymously releasing a series of 1 minute-long demos (via YouTube) prefaced only by a solid color entitled "Colorminutes". Her first 7" single, "Champagne" was released soon after on November 5, 2012 through a limited run via No Recordings.
Lorely's artist name was inspired by a tarot card reading she did with a friend: "The first card he pulled out was an Empress card and I was like, 'It's me, I am Empress.' [...] the Empress card is connected to fertility and mothering and strength. It's kind of nice to have those feelings."
On April 2, 2013, her bilingual 4-track EP, "Systems" was released via Double Denim/Terrible Records in the UK & North America respectively. Since the release of her EP, she's showcased at SXSW, Iceland Airwaves and Pitchfork's Summer Music Festival and toured as a support act with the likes of Jamie Liddell, Jungle, Kimbra and Florence and The Machine.
"Water Water", the first single off her debut full-length Me was released on April 14, 2015. She has also revealed a Spanish-language version of the track, 'Agua Agua' "so that [her] mother listens [to her] music. Me was released on September 11, 2015 via XL Recordings/Terrible. The album was recorded in Mexico City.
Lorely was raised by her mother in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Lorely's first experiences with music were listening to her father's cassette tapes of The Beatles and Pet Shop Boys. She now resides in Brooklyn, NY. Much of her album Me addresses the hardships she faces living in Brooklyn: "I hate the rats, I hate the rent, I hate all these shitty guys, I hate capitalism. [...] I am getting cat-called in the street, just being a woman walking and I should just be able to walk down the street, you know."
Lorely has a degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston. She cites Julee Cruise, Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, The Zombies, and The Beach Boys as some of her musical inspirations.
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Get Jarvis Cocker songs and albums from:
Jarvis Branson Cocker (born 19 September 1963) is an English musician and former frontman for the band Pulp. Through his work with the band, Cocker became a figurehead of the Britpop movement of the mid-1990s.Content: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarvis_Cocker
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Get Richie Hawtin songs and albums from:
Richard "Richie" Hawtin (born June 4, 1970, Banbury, Oxfordshire) is a Canadian electronic musician and DJ who was an influential part of Detroit techno's second wave of artists in the early 1990s and a leading exponent of Minimal techno since the mid-1990s. He is best known for his abstract, minimal works under the alias Plastikman.
Hawtin is known for DJing minimal techno sets making use of laptop computers and digital mixing equipment. In May 1990, Hawtin and fellow second-waver John Acquaviva founded the Plus 8 record label, which they named after their turntable's pitch adjust function. In 1998, Hawtin launched Minus records.
Hawtin was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England, but moved when he was aged nine to LaSalle, Ontario, a suburb of Windsor, Ontario, and just across the river from Detroit, the birthplace of techno. His father worked as a robotics technician at General Motors, and was a fan of electronic music, introducing his son to Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream at an early age. He has one brother, Matthew, who is a visual artist and ambient music DJ. Hawtin attended Sandwich Secondary High School in LaSalle. He began to DJ in clubs in Detroit at 17, and his early style was a mix of house music and techno.
With Canadian DJ John Acquaviva he formed the label Plus 8 in 1990 to release his own tracks under the name F.U.S.E. He spent part of 2002 and 2003 living in New York City, and has since moved to Berlin, Germany. He said, "I'd always wanted to move to Europe. I needed somewhere that was inspiring and where there were like-minded musicians and artists, somewhere you could still experiment with music and with life. Berlin is so liberal in so many different ways; there's an amazing club scene, there's a great development software tech scene, there are so many resources here."
Hawtin has recorded music under the aliases Plastikman, F.U.S.E., Concept 1, Forcept 1, Circuit Breaker, Robotman, Chrome, Spark, Xenon, R.H.X., Jack Master, Richard Michaels and UP!. He also recorded and performed, in combination with other artists, under group names such as The Hard Brothers, Hard Trax (with his brother Matthew Hawtin), 0733, Cybersonik (with Daniel Bell and John Acquaviva), Final Exposure (with Joey Beltram and Mundo Muzique), Just For Fun (with Holger Wick), Narod Niki (with Akufen, Cabanne, Dandy Jack, Daniel Bell, Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos, Robert Henke and Thomas Franzmann), Two Guys In The Basement (with John Acquaviva), Spawn (with Fred Giannelli and Daniel Bell) and States Of Mind (with Acquaviva).
He was the mastermind of huge raves in the Detroit area, he ran several club nights, a yearly party at City Club and a sold out show at The Necto (nightclub) Additionally, Hawtin and Pete Namlook collaborated to produce the From Within series of albums which blend minimal techno and ambient. He has also released an album Sounds of the Third Season with Sven Väth.
In 2006, Hawtin collaborated with choreographer Enzo Cosimi on a composition called "9.20" for the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. He said, "Enzo and I are very much interested in pushing boundaries, both as artists and for our audiences. Working together for the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Games delivers the creative endeavor to not only entertain a huge audience, but to also introduce them to sights and sounds that they may have never experienced before."
Slices magazine launched a series of biographies in 2007 called "Pioneers of Electronic Music"; their first issue was a 60 minute biographical documentary on Hawtin. The film follows his career from his early days crossing the border to Detroit to his current life in Berlin, and contains interviews with many colleagues and family members.
2011 saw the release of Arkives 1993 - 2010, a massive box set containing everything Hawtin has released under his Plastikman moniker, as well as a new mixed set and previously unreleased material. The collection includes CDs, vinyl, digital downloads and a DVD.
In 2012 Hawtin worked with Loco Dice and Ean Golden in promoting Electronic Dance Music on a tour of North American universities entitled CNTRL: Beyond EDM, which included music production seminars, lessons in the music business, and live music performances.
Hawtin dismisses speculation as to the demise of dance music. In a 2009 interview he said, "In the last few years, the interest in electronic music has gone back up, the quality of the music has gone back up, there's a buzz which reminds you of the early days," he insists. "From where I'm sitting right now, dance music is more vibrant than ever. In some countries you'll always have the press saying it's going down and writing it off, but somewhere else the interest level is soaring and people are discovering this music for the first time, like in South America, where it's completely kicking off – it's unbelievable down there. There are some great festivals and parties in Europe, and over the last five years I've seen Ibiza go from complete cheesy shite music to the resurgence of a number of different types of progressive electronic music."
In November 2013, Hawtin performed as Plastikman at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. This performance inspired him to finish a new Plastikman LP. "It put me back in the studio and inspired me enough to work on new material, and in five days I created a new album," he said. The album will be released in 2014.
F.U.S.E.: Dimension Intrusion, 1993
Plastikman: Sheet One, 1993
Plastikman: Musik, 1994
Plastikman: Recycled Plastik, 1994
Plastikman: Sickness (EP), 1997
Concept 1: 96:CD, 1998
Concept 1: 96:VR, 1998 (remixed by Thomas Brinkmann)
Plastikman: Consumed, 1998
Plastikman: Artifakts [bc], 1998
Plastikman: Closer, 2003
Plastikman: Kompilation, 2010
Plastikman: Arkives, 2011
Plastikman: New Album, 2014
DJ mix compilations
Richie Hawtin: Mixmag Live!, 1995 (Live DJ mix album)
Richie Hawtin: Decks, EFX & 909, 1999 (DJ mix album)
Richie Hawtin: DE9: Closer to the Edit, 2001 (DJ mix album)
Richie Hawtin and Sven Väth: Sound of the Third Season, 2002 (DJ mix album)
Richie Hawtin and Ricardo Villalobos Live at the Robert Johnson, Offenbach, Germany, 2004 (11 hour DJ set)
Richie Hawtin: DE9 | Transitions, 2005 (DJ mix album)
Richie Hawtin: DE9 lite: Electronic Adventures, 2006 (DJ mix album, produced with MixMag)
Richie Hawtin: Sounds from Can Elles, 2008 (unmixed various artist compilation, free with DJ Magazine issue 467)
Richie Hawtin: Mixmag presents: Richie Hawtin - New Horizons, 2012 (DJ mix album)
Plastikman's official site
Richie Hawtin's Minus record label site
Richie Hawtin discography at Discogs
Concert Review and Historical Essay
Richie Hawtin at the Internet Movie Database
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Get Julien Baker songs and albums from:
Sometimes, things just seem to happen for a reason. The pieces fall into place in unexpected ways, and life takes a turn no one could have predicted. This rings strikingly true for the solo career of Memphis, Tennessee's Julien Baker.
For years, Baker and a group of close friends have performed as the band Forrister (formerly The Star Killers), but when college took her four hours away, her need to continue creating found an outlet through solo work. The intent was never to make these songs her main focus, yet the process proved to be startlingly cathartic. As each song came into shape, it became more apparent that Baker had genuinely deep, surprisingly dark stories to tell from her thus far short life (she turns 20 this fall). Tales of her experiences are staggering, and when set to her haunting guitar playing, the results are gut wrenching and heartfelt, relatable yet very personal. There's something wonderfully hypnotizing about Baker gently confessing her soul with such tremendous honesty.
At the prompting of a friend, Baker ventured to Richmond, Virginia to record a number of her new songs at Spacebomb Studios. The tracks from this session were circulated among Baker's friends, meeting high praise and lots of encouragement for the songs to see a proper release. Soon, she found a home on 6131 Records' increasingly diverse roster, and plans were made to release her debut full length, 'Sprained Ankle.'
To call 'Sprained Ankle' a happy accident would be misleading as to the nature of these poignant, emotive songs. Yet no one, least of all Baker, could have predicted she'd be releasing an album, especially as a solo artist. Thankfully, now the world will be able to share in her passion and sorrow.
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Get Beak> songs and albums from:
Sometimes a band can be no more than the sum of it's parts, but BEAK> are an equation in which it's impossible to define equivalents or totals. Instead the meeting of three talent's form a foundation from which idea's assimilate and propagate.
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Get Loyle Carner songs and albums from:
Benjamin Coyle-Larner, better known by the stage name Loyle Carner, is a British rap music artist and actor from South London. His sound has been described by NME as 'sensitive and eloquent' and by The Guardian as 'confessional hip-hop'.
At the age of thirteen, Coyle-Larner had a small role in the 2008 film 10,000 BC, credited as Young Hunter. He received a drama scholarship to the Brit School and took up a drama degree at the Drama Centre before dropping out to focus on his music.
Relettering his surnames to create the stage name of Loyle Carner, he played his first official gig at The Button Factory in Dublin in October 2012 supporting MF Doom. He released his first EP in September 2014, titled A Little Late. He supported Joey Badass on his UK tour and went on to play the 2015 United Kingdom festival season, including Glastonbury Festival. He went on tour and collaborated with award-winning poet and spoken-word artist Kate Tempest in late 2015. In October 2015 he played on Huw Stephens' BBC Radio 1 show as part of their Piano Sessions series.
Loyle Carner on Twitter
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Get Cardi B songs and albums from:
What began simply as a journey of self expression, quickly catapulted Bronx native, Belcalis "Cardi B" Almanzar into social media stardom. When Cardi B launched her official Instagram page, @iamcardib which now boasts well over 1 Million followers. It was unbeknownst to her that sharing 15 second "tirades" and "tell it like it is" videos with a comedic twist would impact her life so drastically. Cardi B's rambunctious spirit and brave tongue garnered instant online popularity, rapidly increasing her fanbase, including stars like Nelly, Drake, Lee Daniels and 50 Cent. Playful with a sassy edge, Cardi B stands firmly on the motto "be yourself" and "never apologize for being who you are"!
Cardi B has evolved into an entertainer and actress in just a short time. She was asked to walk in September 2015 New York Fashion Week designer, Gypsy sport, official NYFW runway show. Recently becoming the newest character to what has become one of the largest TV franchises in history, Love and Hip Hop New York. She also was recently invited to co-host MTV2's Uncommon sense with Charlamagne the God!
Cardi B has evolved into a highly sought after personality, entertainer, and fashion forward trendsetter. Obtaining the attention of film industry Gods like Lee Daniels, established radio personalities like Ebro and Charlagmagne the God, and A list celebrity stylists like Patricia Fields, Cardi is headed only in one direction, and that's up!
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Get Kate Tempest songs and albums from:
Kate Tempest grew up in South-East London, where she still lives. She started out as a rapper, toured the spoken word circuit for a number of years, and now works as a poet and playwright too. Her work includes 'Balance', her first album with her band Sound of Rum, 'Everything Speaks in its Own Way', her first collection of poems, published on her own imprint Zingaro, which comes with a CD and DVD of live performance; 'GlassHouse', a forum theatre play for Cardboard Citizens; and the plays 'WASTED' (Published by Methuen Drama) and 'Hopelessly Devoted' for new writing theatre company Paines Plough.
Her epic poem Brand New Ancients won both the Ted Hughes Prize for innovation in poetry and a Herald Angel Award. It is published by Picador and is touring nationwide until April 2014. After a sell out show at St Anne's Warehouse, Brooklyn, Brand New Ancients received a rave review in the New York Times and came to international attention.
She continues to work with music, and featured on the track Our Town, a collaboration with producer duo letthemusicplay (Greco-Roman.) She also featured on the track Hot Night Cold Spaceship (Speedy Wunderground) and has collaborated with Sinead O'Connor, Damien Dempsey and Bastille.
Her debut solo album came out on Big Dada in 2014, which she made with acclaimed music producer Dan Carey.
She has performed at Glastonbury and all major UK festivals, as well as performing internationally. She sold out the Old Vic Theatre in London for the launch of Everything Speaks... and has appeared on BBC TV and radio many times performing her poems. She has been commissioned to write for The Royal Shakespeare Company, Amnesty International, Barnado's and Channel 4 Television.
Her second poetry collection will be publisher by Picador in Autumn 2014 and her debut novel The Bricks that Built the Houses will be published by Bloomsbury in 2015.
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Get Shellac songs and albums from:
Shellac (sometimes referred to as 'Shellac of North America') is an american rock music group formed in chicago, illinois, in 1992 by Steve Albini (guitar and vocals), Bob Weston (bass guitar vocals) and Todd Trainer (drums). They have been classified as post-hardcore, noise rock and math rock. Albini has claimed they refer to themselves as 'Shellac of North America', "when we're being pretentious." They have a distinctive, minimalist sound based on unusual and urgent time signatures, repetitive heavy rhythms, an angular guitar sound, and Albini's surreal, bitingly sarcastic lyrics. Songs typically do not have traditional verse/chorus/verse structure and the arrangements are sparse, to the point where some describe them as "amelodic". Shellac's signature sound is often associated with their enthusiasm for vintage Travis Bean guitars, a rare brand of aluminium-based instruments. Albini is also known to use copper plectrums and unique guitar straps that fit around the waist rather than over the shoulder. The band prefers the intimacy of smaller clubs, and live appearances are sporadic. Both Weston and Albini are renowned recording engineers, and use their preferred methods with Shellac: Albini prefers a very clean, analogue recording sound with little or no overdubbing, and he is meticulous about microphone placings and equipment - this is reflected in Shellac's no nonsense approach to their own music, both in the studio and live. Shellac are also renowned for their unconventional modus operandi. Touring is often an excuse for the band to take time away from their day jobs (Albini and Weston are both recording engineers; Trainer works at a commercial photographer's studio in Minneapolis) instead of being used to promote a recent record or even for financial gain. Indeed, Shellac do not have a "fixed fee" for performances like most bands, instead preferring to take the door charge minus expenses such as promotion, running costs and venue fees. They have also been known to ask venues to remove ticket charges they regard as unnecessary, which have become common in Europe and America. An early claim from the band was that all of their songs were about two of Albini's favourite subjects: Baseball and Canada. In actuality, Albini and Weston's songs can refer to a broad range of topics, from the highly emotional to examinations of everyday minutiae. However, regardless of the subject, each song is presented in the same deadpan, occasionally violent manner. An example can be found in the concluding tracks from the band's album 1000 Hurts. Although both songs have a title referring to a mundane house-hold object, these items are in actuality symbolic of a larger theme. Weston's "Shoe Song" deals with the realisation of love and its subsequent loss, whereas Albini's "Watch Song" details irrational anger and aggression. Shoe Song also heavily references post-rock band Slint, who were produced by Albini. Shellac are known for their mercurial nature, which has produced some interesting records and events. Most notably, they recorded an instrumental album known as The Futurist for a modern dance troupe. Unwilling to grant what the band considered a sub-par recording a wider audience, they pressed approximately 700 vinyl LP copies of the music and gave them away as gifts to friends. The front cover was a list of the recipients, with the relevant name encircled. Shellac also played a Halloween show as the anarchic British punk group The Sex Pistols, featuring former The Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acid singer David Yow as Johnny Rotten. Both of the aforementioned can now be found on several file-sharing networks. In 2002, the band was also responsible for curating the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Camber Sands, england. Amongst fans of independent rock, these weekends have achieved legendary status and featured performances from some of the world's finest groups. Knowing that most of the audience had come specifically to see Shellac, the band went on first every morning as an incentive for the festival-goers to be up in time to see the other acts. An album of live tracks from this festival was also released on atp records. In December 2004, Shellac recorded a final BBC Session dedicated their longtime fan John Peel. Peel had been an ardent supporter of the band and his death earlier in the year came as a great shock to the independent music community. In 2005, Shellac were recorded playing 'Steady As She Goes' in an abandoned house as part of a film project called Burn To Shine, organised by Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty and film-maker Christoph Green. This is the only available recorded video footage of the band playing live.
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Get Nitzer Ebb songs and albums from:
Nitzer Ebb () are a British EBM group formed in 1982 by Essex school friends Vaughan "Bon" Harris (programming, synthesizers, drums, vocals), Douglas McCarthy (vocals), and David Gooday (drums).
The group released their demo, Basic Pain Procedure in 1983, but it was two years until they met PWL producer Phil Harding, who produced their 1985 debut single "Isn't It Funny How Your Body Works?" and helped them set up their own label, Power Of Voice Communications. The band at the time was inspired by the post-punk scene and specifically acts like "Siouxsie and the Banshees, Killing Joke and Bauhaus who were having a big influence on us, in some ways stylistically but also in the energy that they gave".They released three more singles on their own label, "Warsaw Ghetto" (1985), "Warsaw Ghetto Remixes" (1986) and "Let Your Body Learn" (1986), before signing to Mute Records in 1986. The singles "Murderous" (1986) and "Let Your Body Learn" (1987) followed, building their reputation in the Electronic Body Music and Hard Beat scenes, as well as making inroads into the developing Chicago House scene."Join In The Chant" (1987) became part of the Balearic beat scene that influenced the UK acid house scene.
Their debut album That Total Age was released in 1987. Depeche Mode, longtime friends and label mates of the band, invited them to open for the European leg of their hugely successful Music For The Masses Tour in 1987.David Gooday left after the tour and they completed their next album Belief (1989) as a duo. Mark 'Flood' Ellis became their new producer. They recruited Julian Beeston to assist them their own world tour and he soon became a regular contributor both on and off stage. In 1989, they teamed up with German EBM pioneers Die Krupps to rerecord their 1981 single, "Wahre Arbeit - Wahrer Lohn" as "The Machineries Of Joy".The third Nitzer Ebb album Showtime, released in 1990, revealed a less confrontational sound. The single "Fun To Be Had" (1990) featured a remix by George Clinton and was a hit on the US dance chart.
Their fourth album, Ebbhead (1991), showcased a more considered, orchestrated songwriting style, produced by Alan Wilder from Depeche Mode and Flood. They promote the album with a global tour that took them from the southern US to northern Siberia.Their fifth album Big Hit (1995), featured a greater use of 'real' instruments, especially guitars and drums. McCarthy and Harris recruited a new third member, Jason Payne [percussion], to their main line-up, and also brought in John Napier [guitar, percussion] to assist with live performances.Big Hit was the final release by the band for almost 15 years. McCarthy was a regular collaborator with Alan Wilder's Recoil project and records with French electronic producer Terence Fixmer as Fixmer/McCarthy. Bon Harris relocated to Los Angeles where he became a successful producer and recorded as 13mg and as a member of Maven.
Recent years and reunion
Nitzer Ebb began work on new material in Los Angeles early in 2007, with a retrospective documentary still in the pipeline. During 2007, Nitzer Ebb continued its trend of replacing drummers as Kourtney Klein left the band to be replaced by Jason Payne. A first track, "Once You Say," with Depeche Mode songwriter Martin L. Gore on backing vocals, was played in June 2007 by Dave Clarke in his White Noise show on VPRO's 3 Voor 12. This track, along with "Payroll," were debuted live as Nitzer Ebb played a handful of shows and festivals during 2007. These tracks are featured on Nitzer Ebb's newest album, Industrial Complex.
McCarthy and Harris reunited up with Jason Payne and producer Flood to finish up the first new Nitzer Ebb record in over a decade. In the meantime, Fixmer/McCarthy released its second album in June 2008, Into the Night.
The band announced a US tour for fall–winter 2009 and were selected as the opening act of the January and February European and Russian dates of Depeche Mode's Tour of the Universe in 2010.
Influences and legacy
The single "Murderous" has been sampled by other electronic music acts, such as Information Society (on "Now That I Have You") and Kode IV (on "Success").
Bon Harris – programming, synthesizers, drums, vocals, bass guitar (1982–present)
Douglas McCarthy – vocals, guitar (1982–present)
Jason Payne – drums, percussion (1992-1995, 2007–present)Former members
David Gooday – vocals, drums, percussion (1982-1987)
Duc Nhan Nguyen – drums, percussion (1987-1988)
Julian Beeston – drums, percussion (1989-1992)Touring members
David Lovering – drums (1994–1995)
John Napier – guitar, percussion (1995)
Kourtney Klein – drums (2006-2007)
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Get Yaeji songs and albums from:
Kathy Yaeji Lee (born August 6, 1993), known professionally as Yaeji, is a Korean-American electronic music artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her style blends elements of house music and hip hop with mellow, quiet vocals sung in both English and Korean.
Kathy Yaeji Lee was born August 6, 1993 in Flushing, Queens as a single child in a Korean family. Growing up, Yaeji moved from New York to Atlanta when she was 5, and then to South Korea in the third grade. While living in South Korea, Yaeji switched between different international schools on a yearly basis, forcing her to find friends on the Internet, where she would first discover music. Yaeji also briefly attended school in Japan before moving back to Korea.
Yaeji eventually moved back to the United States to study conceptual art, East Asian studies and graphic design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Yaeji embraced DJing as a hobby while attending Carnegie Mellon, after learning how to use Traktor and beginning to DJ at house parties. She DJed for two years before learning Ableton, making her own music and debuting on Carnegie Mellon's college radio station. Yaeji graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 2015.
After graduation, Yaeji moved back to New York City to get involved in the music scene and DJ. Her first single, "New York '93", referring to her year of birth, was issued on the New York City label Godmode on February 29, 2016, followed by a cover of "Guap" by Australian DJ Mall Grab that May. She had previously uploaded songs to SoundCloud, although they were removed; this included "Areyouami", which was released when she was at college.
Her debut eponymous EP, including both prior singles, was released by Godmode on March 31, 2017.
She began to gain attention following her first Boiler Room session in May 2017, which involved a remix of Drake's single "Passionfruit". The song was later released officially on Godmode's Soundcloud page.
The first of several stand-alone singles, "Therapy" was issued in July 2017, followed by a two-track digital single, Remixes, Vol. 1, on August 1 and the "Last Breath" single on August 28.
The music video for the single "Drink I'm Sippin On" was released on 88rising's YouTube channel in October 2017, quickly gaining over a million views in two weeks.
On November 3, 2017, Yaeji released her second EP, EP2, to positive reviews and moderate commercial success. The video for "Raingurl" was released on November 16.
She was named to the BBC's Sound of 2018 longlist in November 2017.
Yaeji performed at the 2018 Coachella Festival.
Yaeji currently lives in Brooklyn.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YaejiSource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaeji
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Helena Hauff is a German DJ and record producer based in Hamburg. She is known for her "stripped-down techno and electro tracks," that are recorded using strictly analog equipment and draws influences from acid house, EBM and industrial music.
Hauff, who has studied physics and systematic music science, previously worked as a DJ at Hamburg's Golden Pudel Club, where she hosted a night called Birds and Other Instruments. She released her debut record, Actio Reactio EP, in 2013. Following a series of releases from various different labels, including James Dean Brown's Hypnobeat record label, she released her debut full-length album, Discreet Desires, through Werkdiscs records in 2015. The album was listed as number 19 on Rolling Stone's list of "20 Best EDM and Electronic Albums of 2015."
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_HauffSource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_Hauff