DENA aka Denitza Torodrova, the Bulgaria-born Berliner who made her initial splash with the irreverent summer-drag-rap anthem “Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools” in 2012, has announced her debut album, Flash, for release on February 24th, via Normal Surround/!K7.
Her quirk is consistent with the glimpses of her work thus far, but so much about the way DENA writes music has matured since those early releases on Kitsune and Greedhead. DENA draws musical inspiration from ’90s R&B as much as contemporary dance music and her Balkan roots, but her ethos is decidedly pop, inventive yet approachable and meant to be consumed.
DENA’s songwriting in a third language has matured wildly and that hurdle itself has become a major thematic spoke in the wheel of her art, lending songs an outside-looking-in hue. Flash refers to an experience, the second it takes to swipe a digital memory from a touch screen, the impression our projected selves leave on other people, and that moment of insight that comes from creating something even it lives for just an instant we can only hope to freeze in time. It’s a memorable assertion from an impressive young woman, to say the least.
Born in Montreal Kofi “Friday” Carmichael has had aspirations of being a music mogul since the late eighties. His musical ambition has always been tied in with his attraction to the allure of the street life which led Friday to start selling drugs at age seventeen. In his teenage years while trying to be a young Hustler in training, Friday started a group called Southside with childhood friends Douglas “Lord Raz” Sangster and Russel “Rebel Lion” Adams. The group name was originated from the South Shore region where the three grew up. As part of the Eye Spy Crew conglomerate along with DJ Majess, Tara Chase and Mister Phayze, Southside shared the stage with their comrades to open up for Redman, Mobb Deep, The Roots and many other Hip Hop superstars.
In 1997 Friday moved to the west end neighborhood in Toronto called Parkdale. His mission was to attend school at Harris Institute of the Arts in the music marketing and management program. While going to school Friday’s street ties became even deeper as he got more familiar with the downtown Toronto scene. This proved for a rocky road and in 1999 Friday left school in his last semester and started working for the Warner Music Canada Street Team for a woman named Kim McKenzie. By the year 2000 Friday and Lord Raz (Now called The Souljah Prophets) incorporated the company AWOL (A Way Of Life) Record Inc. Things were looking up and with Friday’s work ethic and perseverance he was promoted to Toronto team leader while Mrs. McKenzie was expanding forming KMSP (Kim McKenzie Street Promotion) and being hired by Warner music, Sony Music and various independent companies to promote upcoming albums across Canada. Eventually Mrs. McKenzie moved on to work as a marketing manager for Sony Music Canada and Friday was graced with the whole cross Canada street team to take over the workload and soon after renamed KMSP to the AWOL Street Team.
As the years past Friday’s industry experience and knowledge transitioned into managing new artist. His first stables of artist were Peter Bonez and femcee Black Pearl. The changing landscape of the music industry started taking its toll and by 2003 the AWOL Street Team rapidly lost steam. Friday had moved on from his two previous artist management situation and began focussing on recording his first solo mixtape “The Connect”. By 2004 “The Connect” was born followed quickly by “The Connect Vol.2”. Even though rapping was a dream, artist management was always still an option and that year Friday met and started managing Bunz an aspiring Rapper who also played college Basketball in the US. In early 2005 Friday started managing a budding artist name Scandalis who was known for winning various high profile battles in Toronto and being a part of the notorious super group Empire. Empire was known for being a fun loving but rambunctious and hard to handle which made Friday apprehensive of taking on the whole group, on the flipside Empire member T.R.A.(The Rhyme Animal ) was responsible for starting the famed mixtape series S.A.R.S (Sick Artist Runnin’ Sh%T). Never afraid of a challenge, Friday began managing Empire and took on the role of A&R and executive producer for their highly anticipated LP “Get It” AWOL was defiantly becoming a well known label across Canada and Friday executive produced Bunz’s “Welcome 2 Deuces and Trays”, “Above The Rim” and “He Got Game” as well as the Friday/Bunz combo Mixtape “The Ghetto Newz/Deuces n Trays”, Scandalis’ “After the Battle” and co-executive produced S.A.R.S. volume 4,5 and 6 all while releasing “The Connect volume 3 and 4”. He acquired another young artist named Keele, started co-managing and hosting parties with the popular DJ Law and eventually scored a distribution deal with Hip Hop Canada Digital/E1 Entertainment.
Before the Empire “Get It” LP was complete he released Empire’s “B4UGETIT” mixtape as well as Empire’s Tribute series which spawned 3 classic mixtapes over instrumentals from Nas, Mobb Deep and Wu Tang Clan. In October of 2009 the “Get It” LP was finally released promoted by the lead singles /videos “Impossible/Run up in Tha Spot”, “Boom n Pound” and “1 Thing Wrong”. The LP was a certified classic with production from Tone Masons, Rich Kidd, Noah “40” Shebbib and many more.
Unfortunately with heavy street affiliations, Friday was arrested in December 2009 for Drug and Firearm possession and sentenced in July 2010 to three years and nine months in the Federal Penitentiary. During his time away his distribution deal expired but was still able to release “The Connect volume 5” with previously recorded material. In February 2011 he was released on APR (Accelerated Parole Review) and after a few bumps in the road he has continued to consistently release material.
Friday has released “Home But Not Free” and the combo effort with Bunz “Instant Classic” full of new material and dropped formerly unreleased material on “The Connect Volume 6, 6.1 and 7”. Things are defiantly looking up again, Friday has tackled his past struggles with alcohol and detail it in his inspirational blog “The Sober Emcee” he is on the verge of releasing his first novel “15 Minutes” and always still being enthusiastic about music has recently released Bunz’s solo mixtape “Fountain of Youth” as well as “Home But Not Free part 2 and 3” In July 2013 he released “The Rick Resurrection” which was a free promotion LP. On November 22, 2013 Friday will be releasing his first official LP “Born 2 Win” through AWOL Records Inc and Urbnet Records. After overcoming adversity AWOL Records Inc. is still very much alive and no matter the obstacle AWOL is STILL the Team!
Shah’s debut EP, Today, has broken free from the constraints of modern Hip-Hop. A boy who’s experienced run-ins with the law in multiple countries went on to be a part of the New Orleans Saints XLIV Superbowl Championship team. The same kid who was kicked out of high school went on to obtain one of the toughest College degrees. His story will compel you, but it is his music that will addict you. In Shah’s words, “This is just day one.”
Diplomats capo Jim Jones returned to the game today with a brand new EP entitled “We Own The Night”, featuring 6 new songs, including Jim’s current radio single “Nasty Girl” featuring Jeremih. The video to “Nasty Girl” should be dropping in the weeks to come as well.
The new EP features Jeremih, Philthy Rich, Trav, Charlie Rock and more.
Following the Success of V.I.C’s “Wobble,” Cupid’s “Cupid Shuffle,” and DJ Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide,” “Big Thang 4 Big Girls (BT4BG)” by Mississippi-native artist Kounty Line is the latest installment of the line dance craze. In the last month, several line dance crews have created their own YouTube videos to the catchy “Big Thang 4 Big Girls (BT4BG),” and now the official lyric video, recently named “the best lyric video of all time” by Yahoo! Music
Confirming the opinion of many, the singer/ songwriter behind the Wolf Haley (Tyler, the Creator) directed video for “Glowing” is D.A.
D.A., in a deal that includes Christian Clancy and 4 Strikes Inc, will put his music out through Harvest Records. Today, the artist shares a new song entitled “Farm.” Both “Farm” and “Glowing” are now available on iTunes. For more info on D.A. visit www.dawallach.com.
D.A. Wallach is a recording artist and songwriter who was discovered by Kanye West and Pharrell Williams while he was an undergraduate at Harvard College.
With over 120 million views to his YouTube channel, and the recent explosive success of labelmates Dizzy Wright and Jarren Benton, Funk Volume label co-founder Hopsin adds fuel to his already game-changing firestorm with the release of his long awaited sophomore album Knock Madness. Known for explicitly detailing his struggle toward success as an independent artist, as well as scorching critiques of the current state of hip-hop music and its effects on youth culture, the new album finds Hopsin conveying various emotional states. From delving into sorrow and grief in “Old Friend” to the witty, abrasive and blunt “Hop is Back,” which featured widely discussed jabs at Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West, Hopsin provides conceptual versatility with Knock Madness. The album features a guest appearance from Tech N9ne as well as appearances from Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton, SwizZz and more.
Hopsin is heavily involved in every step of the production of his music as co-founder of his indie label Funk Volume as well as his videos in which he acts, directs and edits. His multitude of talents have gained him over 647,000 YouTube subscribers and the video for KM’s second single “Hop Is Back” has over 2 million YouTube views since its debut. Hopsin and Funk Volume have also recently released their documentary, Independent Living, available for streaming or purchase here. After being available for only a day, Knock Madness has already received a warm response from HipHopDX, who deemed it, “a perfect album for die-hard fans & his bar-for-bar execution and self-awareness yield a solid listen.” The album has hit the #2 spot on the iTunes Hip-Hop charts and #4 on the overall charts.
Sarge teams up with Dead Poe producer Dianetics to put together this work of fine art. Fueled by soulful infusions, classic boom bap feels, and anime sound clips this project is truly hip hop. “Sargenetics” is available for free download via the Dead Poe bandcamp page. Look for upcoming Sgt. Over releases feat Reks and Termanology for the “Big Music lp” dropping early 2014 also feat Ransom, Ras Kass, Tash (Alkaholiks), Sean Price, and Lil Fame of MOP.
Brought to you by Montreal’s own Dj/Producer ” DJ Manifest ” is the sequel to last year’s critically acclaimed “Musa” Beat Tape.
This Project includes 9 well crafted soulful inspired tracks for you to ride around the city during night time with a beautiful woman by your side.
Remember…It’s cuffing season & Musa 2.0 is exactly what you need to relax & have a good time.
Bound 2 — The Solidisco Remix of “Bound 2″ takes the track to France with its French Touch style, where you might find Kanye working on his latest fashion creations. This free download focuses on the Charlie Wilson vocals, so be sure you make sure you’ve got your leather joggers on before you turn this one up.
Cashmere Cat is the production alias of young Norwegian producer Magnus August Hoiberg – who has caught a buzz this year amidst rumors of some big name production work alongside Rihanna hit-maker Benny Blanco. But while perhaps this is a story you got used to this year as our artists produced for Lil Wayne, Jay Z, Drake, Pusha T, Future, Jeremih, Ludacris, Rick Ross & Kanye West – we’re here to present new music with it’s own purpose. Not dependent on vocalists, Cashmere Cat’s own music is crammed full of smart melodic ideas and arrangement. These are songs built in equal parts from glittering RnB, touching on French electro, driven by the heavyweight bottom end of 00′s club Hip Hop – this is wide, cinematic and unabashedly bright new dance music. Rarely does a new artist emerge with such a unique voice across their work – Cashmere Cat is unconcerned with where he fits with DJs and is more influenced by Pop & Hip Hop than today’s stadium filling dance acts. But his music is smarter for it.
Ahead of his first vinyl release in January – the four track Wedding Bells EP – we bring you a taste of what’s to come with a single entitled “With Me”. Thick, satin grand piano chords open an unusually romantic refrain which collides into Death Grips-esk distorted percussion and Cat’s hallmark autotune solos building towards euphoric thizzing crescendo before collapsing to a single beating broken-heart.
For those previously familiar with Cashmere Cat, the Wedding Bells EP represents the next stage in his development with striking attention to detail whilst never loosing its hooks. Along with support so far from: Kode 9, Éclair Fifi, Nguzunguzu, Hud Mo, Rustie, Baauer, Diplo, Skrillex, A Trak, Brodinski – We are honored to be working with CC to bring you his attempt at a perfect thing in an imperfect world.
If, like us, you can’t remember the last time you heard a song featuring an audacious Disney sample and lots of casual blasphemy then today is your lucky day. Delusionists have just released Messiah Complex, which you can check out here.
While touring with the Legendary Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), the two emcees put together a song from their let over inspiration after arriving safely back to their home turf in the North West region. MoStafa preps your ears in the first verse only to tag team the hook with Landon Wordswell and let him finish the last verse out. We proudly bring you “Listen”.
There’s seemingly something in Toronto’s water resulting in a high quantity of soulful electronic music. The latest, awesomest export is River Tiber, a 22-year old producer, singer, and visual artist whose debut EP The Star Falls drops today. Equal parts Sade and Thom Yorke, this is perfect Autumn listening.
How “deconstructed” can a group get? How about just one vocal, one bass, one guitar, and a basic beat supplied by stomping on a mini-tambourine-doohickey? That’s exactly what everyone’s favourite storyteller/narrator, Les Claypool, is incorporating in his new band, Duo de Twang. While Les is still pulling double duty with the Primus lads, he has also found the time to unite with his old buddy, Bryan Kehoe, who fans will recognize from several past Claypool projects, and also as one of the main actors from Les’ hilarious jam band mockumentary, ‘Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo.’ But unlike Primus, DDT focuses more on the Americana/rootsy side of things – as heard throughout the band’s debut recording ‘Four Foot Shack’, to be released via ATO Records and MapleMusic Recordings on February 4th.
And as evidenced by DDT’s live shows and debut, Les and Bryan mostly mix traditional tunes, popular covers, and readings of Primus classics (all of which are usually barely recognizable when compared to the original versions). Case in point, the inclusion of “Battle of New Orleans,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “Man in the Box,” “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,” and “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver” on DDT’s debut disc. “A lot of it is just stumbling across it,” explains Les about how a tune is selected to be twang-ified. “You’re twanging away, and then all of a sudden, something just comes out. And then you laugh about it…or you don’t. And then you move on. There are tons of songs that we’ve stumbled across, and these ones just happened to be the ones that stuck.”
Upon hearing ‘Four Foot Shack’ you’ll quickly discover that Les and Bryan made it a point to keep things as live-sounding as humanly possible. “It was very live,” admits Les. “In fact, it was a little difficult, with all the bleed of the stomping and the bass and the vocals. Every now and again you can hear the studio refrigerator come on or the dog barking at something outside in the background. Once it was there, you had to kind of leave it.”
Les added, “The Twang project is me exploring a lot of stuff that I personally listen to; Johnny Horton, Vernon Dalhart, Jerry Reed, Bob Wills, Eddy Cochran stuff like that – it’s another door for me to open. I’m doing this sort of Luther Perkins, Johnny Cash guitar-ish type part on my bass, by doing the old ding-dinka-ding, dinka-ding-dinka-ding on a lot of the stuff. It took me a little bit to get that. Now that I’ve gotten it, I can pull songs out of the air and it’s surprising how many songs easily succumb to the twang, and can be complimented by the twang. When all is said and done, it’s just a hell of a fun project for me right now. I’ll do it ’til it’s not fun anymore.”
Recently I had the pleasure of producing a song for an artist of mine named Drea entitled “So Good” and was humbled when the Chef Raekwon wanted to jump on the official remix. Hoping you enjoy and post the official “So Good” Remix ft. Raekwon as well!
Christopher Ellis, the youngest son of the late legendary Jamaican vocalist and rocksteady pioneer Alton Ellis, steps on the scene as one of reggae’s most promising singers of this generation. He released his debut EP Better Than Love on the Marley-owned label Ghetto Youths International and reveals his brand new track “Left Unsaid.” The FADER premieres this “gorgeously sung taste about biting your tongue.”
To celebrate the forthcoming “Know More” mix tape drop hosted by Ohio’s own DJ Steph Floss & DJ Bandcamp via Datpiff, Stalley releases the “Swangin’” Ol School remix. Produced by the Block Beattaz and featuring Houston Legends Lil Keke, Trae tha Truth, Bun B, E.S.G. & Chamillionaire, the “Swangin’” Ol School remix picks up where Stalley left off on his Honest Cowboy EP. You can catch Stalley currently on the road with Lupe Fiasco on the Tetsuo & Youth Preview Tour! For tickets, visit 330stalley.com/tour
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Psymbionic is at it once again with a funky glitch hop remix of Peter Frampton’s classic, “Do You Feel Like We Do”. Premiered by Vibe Magazine, this classy reworking fuses the original elements with thick, modulated bass tones and no small amount of punchy drum power. This newest free offering comes as Psymbionic finishes his upcoming two part album, due out in early 2014.