All posts by Zander Harris

Florida Rapper, Denzel Curry Hints at Collaboration with Jack U

Screenshot 2016-06-11 at 6.41.17 PMThanks to a hint by Denzel Curry, we now know that there is a new Jack U collaboration which is in the works. The rapper disclosed this in an interview with XXL Mag and also on Periscope. The rapper streamed a section of the impromptu studio session featuring Diplo at the time when he had expressed interest in the collaboration.

According to XXL Mag, Denzel got together with Skrillex, popped off fireworks, lit blunts, and dug for samples during the entire session before coming up with a new track. At the moment, the track is unnamed but reports indicate that it will be released very soon. Commenting on the status of the collaboration, Denzel expressed optimism and excitement that the speed at which the collaboration is coming together is commendable and Skrillex is extremely quick with what he does.

Denzel has worked with Diplo previously, but it was certainly the first time he was teaming up with the likes of Skrillex. There are other artists that Denzel has teamed up with and done some nice music in the past including Gucci Mane, iLoveMakonnen, and Migos.

The Journey of Denzel Curry into Music

Born on February 16, 1995, Denzel R. Curry is one of the emerging American rappers from Carol City Florida. On September 3, 2013, Denzel released his first full length album named Nostalgic 64. On March 9, 2016, he released his follow-up album entitled Imperial.

For 19 years, Denzel lived in Carol City where he learnt to write poetry right from Elementary School. He got into rapping when he was in sixth grade. Later on, Denzel attended Miami’s Design and Architecture High School where he learnt for the first two years before being kicked out. It is in Miami Carol City Senior High School where Denzel started to create his Nostalgic 64 album while at the same time trying to graduate.

Between 2011 and 2012, Denzel released a number of mixtapes with his first coming out on September 24, 2011 entitled King Remembered Underground Tape 1991-1995. After this mixtape, he was formally ushered in as a member of the SpaceGhostPurpp hip hop group which was referred to as Raider Clan.

His second mixtape known as King of the Mischievous South Volume 1 Underground Tape 1996 attracted attention of the members of Odd Future including Earl Sweatshirt.

The style of rap in his third mixtape entitled Strictly for My R.V.I.D.X.R.S. was inspired by the late Tupac Shakur.

Before releasing Nostalgic 64 in the 2013/14 season, Denzel made a decision to leave Raider Clan and go solo. This album featured the likes of Lill Ugly Mane, Robb Bank$, Yung Simmie, Stephen A. Clark, Mike G, JK the Reaper, and Nell.

On June 9, 2015, Denzel made a double EP release entitled 32 Zel/Planet Shrooms. In 2016, his firsts release is a single entitled Flying Nimbus. Including guest appearances from Rick Ross and Joey BadA$$, Denzel released his second and latest studio album on March 9, 2016 known as Imperial.

The audience is waiting for the new collaboration and certainly expecting it to be top of the range just like the rest of his past music.

GenerationWhy- The Groovy New Single by ZHU

 Here it is!


Steven Zhu burst onto the music scene in 2014, and ever since then his fans have been thirsting for more and more. GenerationWhy is a new single by Zhu which embodies a youthful summer and is filled with good vibes. At the moment, Zhu is working on an album with Columbia Records scheduled to be released this year.

Steven Zhu was born in 1989. Famously known by his stage name Zhu, this artist is one of the few Chinese Americans electronic musicians, singers and record producers. He started being active on the music scene in 2014 when he was signed to Mind of a Genius Records. Up to mid-2014, Zhu has largely been anonymous preferring to be judged only through his music. GenerationWhy, his debut album is expected to be out by 29th July, 2016.

Zhu’s Musical Journey

In February 2014, Zhu released his first track known as Moves Like Ms Jackson which was a mashup of a number of songs by Outkast. This track was received positively by both reviewers and bloggers in the electronic music niche. Throughout February and March, Zhu released a number of other tracks which could be streamed from Soundcloud and later followed by an EP entitled the Nightday.

The reason why Zhu decided to release his music anonymously is because he viewed the current music climate as black and white and therefore sensed that his racial background would draw the attention from the music back to his own personality. He has created lots of engaging music this way and allowed his fans to focus more on the music than the person behind it.

The genres Zhu has based his music on include house, deep house, and electronic. The first time the artist opened up about himself was when his song Faded was nominated for a Grammy. During the interview, Zhu stated that his brand is all about art and his main concentration is on the songs and how his audience is responding. On 15th May, 2015, Zhu appeared on BBC Radio 1, After Hours show where he did a 40-minute DJ mix comprising mostly of unreleased remixes. It is on this show that he also announced his clothing line known Nightday Collection.

Columbia Records released his new single entitled In the Morning this year. This single is the first from his album, GenerationWhy, which the artist announced he will release after he is done with his Neon City Tour.

In addition to the Nightday extended play that was released on 20th April, 2014, Zhu released the Genesis series extended play on November 6, 2015, through Columbia Records as a digital download. Other tracks and remixes the artist has done include Stay Closer, Paradise Awaits, Superfriends, The One, Cocaine Model, As Crazy As It Is, Testarossa Music, Hold Up Wait A Minute, West Coast, and Gun. His collaboration with a number of artists including Gallant, Keznamdi, and Daniel Johns has served to propel his career and endear his music to lots of fans across the globe.

Better – The New Single from Mija and Vindata

Ever since they arrived on Skillex’s label, Mija and Vindata, the OWSLA crew members have been making critical impressions. They have been featured severally on the OWSLA Worldwide Broadcast and Nest HQ and done remixes of top artists including Missy Elliot and DJ Snake. In addition to the major festivals they have played all around the globe, the label mates have now released a new infectiously optimistic single known as Better.

The track is bright, bouncy, and comes complete with a video of the OWSLA crew in Miami. The single is certainly a future bass gem that brings together Mija’s playful and irresistible production with the airy synth work which has become known as Vindata’s trademark. Mija and Vindata are based in Los Angeles and this latest single puts them in the contest for the song of the summer.

Ryan Farber the Director

The visuals for the track which was directed by Ryan Farber captures every essence of good times atmosphere thanks to the variety of tour diary snapshots and hangs with friends. The Better video according to the producers didn’t really need much direction because the entire concept was based on showing a bunch of friends having fun and crazy time.

According to Farber, the idea of a conceptualized video is amazing because it involves piecing together of arbitrary moments and trying to find a rhythm and cohesive fashion in the process. However, the challenging part with the video according to the director is that filming was done at every point because no one knew exactly what was going to happen next. Moments were just unfolding and happening thus making the whole combination more of a suspense production.

During editing, Farber had the idea of splitting the video into two parts; Miami and LA. Because of the heavy tours, the director had to cut the video together and that was more of a challenge to him. Despite some delays in meeting deadlines, the Better track came out so nicely and everyone seems to like it.

Getting Up Close with Mija

Born 30th May, 1992, Amber Giles professionally known as Mija is an American DJ, promoter, and producer originally from Phoenix in Arizona. At age 17, Mija became a rave promoter after she gave up singing because of the inability of her family to support her. She grew fond of bass, drums, and hardcore.

Before coming to mainstream attention, Mija booked Skrillex and lived with several deejays at the age of 18. In 2012 at the age of 19 years, the promoter started deejaying on a full time basis in Phoenix. Giles got the name Mija which is Spanish for my daughter from her then-boyfriend. In October 2015, she was listed by Billboard as one of the 15 female deejays you need to know now. She believes that the male domination of electronic dance music is slowly giving way to the female folk and soon they will be equals.

She has appeared in a number of shows and festivals including the Bonnaroo Music Festival, Winter Music Conference in Miami, Full Flex Express Tour, and the HARD Summer music festivals.

Radiohead’s 9th Album is Out -A Moon Shaped Pool

The British Band,  Radiohead, has released its ninth 11-track album entitled “A Moon Shaped Pool”. This is their first since the last album known as The King of Limbs was released in 2011. Upon release, the record was available only on Tidal and Apple Music. However, a couple of singles could be found on Spotify. Official communication from Radiohead informed the public that they were doing all they could to get the rest of the album on the massive streaming service very soon.

There is a special edition of the new album which includes a number of bonus tracks, a piece of half-inch master tape and about 32 pages of artwork. The track list from the album contains the following songs:

  • Burn the Witch
  • Daydreaming
  • Decks Dark
  • Desert Island Disk
  • Ful Stop
  • Glass Eyes
  • Identikit
  • The Numbers
  • Present Tense
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief
  • True Love Waits

 

Burn the Witch is a rather old piece of music which acts as a getaway to the unfamiliar and darker waters within. The lyrics of Burn the Witch including “cheer at the gallows” and “avoid all eye contact” first appeared in 2003. However, Jonny Greenwood and his modernist string arrangement turns the orchestra into one giant pair of gnashing teeth.

Lead singer Thom Yorke, separated from his partner whom they had been with for 23 years last August and together they had two children. On Identikit, he brings out his emotions about this particular separation by saying “broken hearts make it rain”. However, this doesn’t make “A Moon Shaped Pool” a breakup album because separations do happen even in the harsh light of day.

Radiohead albums are the salt that contains nightmares and dreams and they have successfully managed to resist clarity in a healthy way. Their music is largely symbolic and irrespective of how you look at it, you can figure out something for yourself.

In Decks Dark, Yorke sings “there is a spacecraft blocking out the sky” and pulls out a scene from the Subterranean Homesick Blues a tribute to Bob Dylan song.

Glass Eyes is more of a hint to the longstanding morbid preoccupations of the band. The song is a flow of strings which penetrate straight into the heart. In a strikingly ordinary image, Yorke sings “hey it’s me, I just got off the train” and he picks up a phone and calls someone telling them he has just arrived. As the ballad draws to a close, he confesses “I feel this love turn cold”.

Throughout the entire album, Yorke’s enlightenment is constantly backed by a music pattern of expanse and abandon. At some point, the pianos sound like guitars and the guitars like pianos. The song The Numbers is inspired by the impending apocalypse thanks to climate change.

It can be said that Yorke has worked a great deal of fresh oxygen into these songs thus giving them a unique touch despite having existed in a sketch form for years. For instance, True Love Waits is quite an old song that has been doing rounds in various forms for more than two decades. The message these songs leave is profound and it feels like a geyser erupting from a scotched earth.

An In-Depth Look into EDC New York Artists

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Over the weekend of  May 14th and 15th, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) came to Citi Field at the heart of the concrete jungle in New York. EDC is arguably one of the world’s biggest festivals of electronic dance music. It began in Los Angeles, moved to Las Vegas, and then made its way to New York bringing over 79,000 visitors. The festival is characterized by its whimsical themes including carnival rights, dancing underneath a giant, attendees dressed in bold costumes, and the stylized owl face that graced the main stage.

This year’s EDC will go down in history as one of the festivals where artists including deejays and producers showcased their prowess. Below are 3 of these artists who proved their worth before the audience.

Dillon Francis

Born in Los Angeles, CA, Francis is a moombahton artist who has also achieved a number one spot at the Beatport releases chart thanks to his extended play Something, Something, Awesome. The rise to fame of Francis came courtesy of Diplo, an American producer who spotted the artist and went ahead to collaborate with him on the song Que Que featuring Maluca, the Latin pop artist. In late 2012, Francis started a tour known as Wet & Reckless Tour where he crisscrossed North America. In 2013, Francis toured U.S.A and Canada again on his Wurld Turr. In the same year, the artist was announced as one of the top MTV Clubland’s Artists to watch. During the EDC, Francis dropped a performance like no other thus electrifying the audience.

Yellow Claw

Yellow Claw is an Amsterdam-based deejay trio consisting of Jim Aasgier, Nizzle, and Bizzey. This trio is known for their music that spans a wide range of genres and oftentimes brings in elements of hip hop, trap music, moombahton, hardstyle, and dubstep. The popularity of Yellow Claw came in mid-2010 thanks to the Yellow Claw Thursday night party held at the Jimmy Woo, one of the most famous night clubs in Amsterdam. In 2012 and 2013, the group did a number of successful singles that sat at the top of Belgium and Dutch national charts. Each of the videos released gained massive popularity on YouTube with views beyond 4 million. In June, 2013, the deejay trio performed at Diplo and Friends on the BBC Radio. They have had a series of shows including the just concluded EDC where they thrilled the audience.

Adventure Club

This is a Canadian electronic dance music duo comprising Leighton James and Christian Srigley. While attending high school in Montreal, the duo formed as a hardcore pop-punk band before later deciding to venture into electronic sound. Some of the releases the duo has managed to put out include Flux Pavilion, Tiesto, Bring Me the Horizon, Greeley Estates, and Skrillex. The signature sound for this duo includes high-pitched female vocals interlaced with electronic sounds and heavy drops. They have managed to gain massive levels of exposure through online social networking sites such as the UKF Dubstep YouTube channel. With many successful tours, Adventure Club also added the EDC onto their list of successful shows this year. 

Other artists worth looking at as part of the EDC festival include Drezo and Marshmello. There is so much that went on and lots of stuff to learn and enjoy as well.