EXCLUSIVE: Alabama Rapper, JABO, Breaks Down the ‘Anatomy of a Street Genius’, Sidechick Issues, & Impact of Doe B’s Death
There always seem to be some concern when a college educated artist talk about street life in their songs. We’ve heard the whispers when 2 Chainz starting making real moves. Before him, Florida rapper Plies received backlash from various critics. Eventually, however, the hate faded away from both artists. They went on to build very successful music careers. So, does having an education REALLY disqualify a person’s “street cred”? It should’t.
Artist such as Birmingham, AL’s Javan Micah Ishman a.k.a. Jabo, is an example of how both worlds can intertwine with one another. His latest mixtape, Anatomy of a Street Genius, is described as a musical “collection of street and the intellectual combined together.” And what’s wrong with that if you grew up in that environment? Nothing. Jabo, like many others, didn’t allow the hardships (and the temporary luxuries) of the street life persuade him to go all-in. Although he could have easily gone that route, he decided to head to Alabama State University to further his education. But, while in college, Jabo painstakingly endured the same struggles that plague many of our neighborhoods…gun violence. He was shot twice during an attempted robbery. Then later, lost his catalog of music when a friends’ studio was robbed.
If you had to sum up Jabo’s 26 years of life, you can almost relate it to the parents and great-grandparents who survived Alabama’s civil rights movement. Growing up in one of the main focal areas of the Black struggle, Jabo embodies the spirit of perseverance and strength. And his personal testimony reads as such. After the loss of his music and being a victim to gun violence, he made the choice to continue pursuing a rap career. In an exclusive interview with STACKS Magazine, Jabo attributed his passion in life and music to his humble upbringings.
“We come from a place where, you know, people were raised by their grandparents. We had older people in the community that looked out for each other. It really ain’t like that no more. These days you got young people who’s parent that really ain’t caring what they kids do. They ripping and running. We knew Ms. Such-n-such will get you. Or Ms. Such-n-such will get you and you can’t go outside or you will get whooped the whole way down the block until you get home. You know what I mean. So its like, that’s where the soulfulness comes from. That sense of just being…feeling like we had to stick together to survive. Like when they say “it take a village..” In a way, yes it kinda do. The whole civil rights thing. That bring alot into it. That soulfulness. It’s just a real passion from where I come from.”
As an artist-on-the-rise, Jabo understands that the business of music can be as hateful as well. Sharing a little advice to other aspiring artists, the West Side Birmingham-native believes that conducting research can solve a lot of problems. Also, he insists that you have to be smart in where you spend your money and be willing to take risks.
“For somebody that’s coming out of high school, I would say at least give college a try. Go to college, give that a shot. You learn so many basic tools that you’ll need in this industry in college. Like how to deal with people in the corporate world. Most college professors will deal with you corporately. They are not your friends. They deal with you on a corporate level and that’s how the industry deal with you too. As far as the money aspect, I think you need to be smart on how you spend your money. Spend it in the right spots and you’ll be very successful. A lot of people have the money, but they just spend it in the wrong places. By the time they look around they’ve kind of blew through their budget. Nothing really happens for them. But, if you are spending that money in the right spots – and I’m not saying I know where all the right spots are – you got to get out there and shake the tree a little bit. You are going to make mistakes. You can’t be scared to take risks, can’t be scared to lose either. It is all a gamble. Once other people see that you are not afraid to lose (and you’ll gamble with your own money), they have more confidence in you. They see that this young man ain’t scared to lick the bottom of the barrel to come back up. So, I know if I put a little push behind him, he can stay up and he won’t fall.
It’s all about being smart and doing your research. A lot of people get into this without even Google’n “How to get your music on the radio”. It might be right there. But, we don’t even do the research. Researching, being smart with your money, spending it in the right places, and building relationships with people. So many people burn bridges at the early stages of their career because they think they’re “here” when they are really “here”. And when they burn the bridge, it’s like they go to try and…[move back up]. You can’t burn a bridge with people. Relationships last for a lifetime.”
Jabo’s viewpoint of “needing” college – or some form of education – to help an artist understand the business was perfect. Oftentimes we hear that school isn’t needed and that there are self-made millionaires who’ve never attended college. Although that may be true, at some point that millionaire had to read a book or ask questions to find out what next steps to take. So, Jabo should be applauded for understanding its [education's] importance.
On his latest project Anatomy of a Street Genius, listeners will hear a mixture of a lot of things. Jabo’s content mixes the negative with the positive, but maintains its local integrity with the production choices. He also features industry allies, Slim Thug and the late Doe B, on a couple joints. New York rapper Jadakiss is also featured on Jabo’s breakout hit “What I’m About”. During our discussion, he opens up about his relationships with Slim Thug and Jadakiss. He also explains the impact of Doe B’s death on the state of Alabama.
Jabo’s humble spirit and educated know-how has the potential to make him the next big thing. So many artists lose their way while reaching for success. After several unfortunate setbacks, Jabo’s still standing but is grateful for each step of his journey. If he continues to embody the spirit of his local civil rights heroes, Jabo has a great chance at becoming the star Alabama has long awaited for.
To stay updated on Jabo’s upcoming tour schedule and latest news, visit www.JaboEnt.com or follow him via Twitter/Instagram/Facebook @JaboEnt !
The music scene, especially in Atlanta, is never a dull moment. With the city claiming home-base to many of the industry’s top songwriters and producers, you are always running into a hungry young artist ready to make his or her mark in music.
One of those new artists is Devin Michael.
Last Thursday (Feb. 27), he hosted an album release/listening party at Nancy’s Pizza-Buckhead. The event was well-attended with his industry peers and local socialites. STACKS Magazine was on the scene as well to show support, although we had the pleasure of meeting Devin a while ago. During our initial conversation, Devin Michael seemed very genuine. You don’t meet many aspiring (or veteran) artists who are naturally sincere. So, it was refreshing to speak with Devin as we got a chance to get to know more about him. At that time, he spoke of the new project, which he premiered on Thursday night called L.O.V.E..
The acronym L.O.V. E. is defined as “Letting Out Various Emotions”. Devin said that, “each song is going to touch on a different emotion that you feel while you’re in love. Be it “jealousy”…sometimes you be in love and you get jealous. Or “happiness” because love is happy. But you know, just different emotions is going to be on it [the album].” The free album encompasses the emotions indeed, which may attest to his fondness of R&B singer Brandy. As his all-time favorite artist, Devin is highly inspired by Brandy’s vocal sincerity and technique.
The Portland, Oregon native has big plans for his future, which is also a surprise. Some indie artist have a difficult time planning for the next day, let alone 5 to 10 years down the road. When we spoke, Devin assured us he has goals and a 5 year plan mapped out.
In 5 years, I want to be on album number 2 or 3. Album 1 will be a couple songs platinum. I’m on the road and writing a song for Beyonce’s new album. Working on my first movie. And I have 3 songs on the Top 10 on the charts (one of mine, one is a duet, and the other is one of me singing and rapping).
And I want to have writing credits on every song.
I feel like a lot of male artists just want women; you got to be beyond that. It’s only going to last for so long if you are just thinking about that aspect. I got goals. So, I want to get to those goals. And the women will come.
Devin Michael has his career well-planned. With the assistance of a great team, we are sure all of his musical dreams will come alive.
Here are few photos from his L.O.V.E. release party:
To see the full gallery, CLICK HERE! Follow Devin Michael at @IAmDevin on Twitter.
Special thanks to Devin Michael & Jakeem Smith for the invite!
Gabe Lustman, better known as GABE, born originally from New Orleans, LA, the birthplace of Jazz and a great mixture of music, but currently resides in Atlanta, GA.
Humming and singing melodies before he could talk, a sure indication of the direction his life was headed for.
Traveling around the world with his family gave GABE a great perspective to different cultures, rhythms and styles. The more he travel the more he learned. His late father was a career Navy man who loved the sounds of The Temptations, The Who and The Beatles, to name a few. GABE says, “Listening to the pioneers of Pop/ R&B/ Rock influences was captivating, uplifting and gave me a desire for expression.”
During his elementary years, GABE was so intrigued with music that he joined the school choir to pursue further vocal training.
After performing in a 9th grade talent show, GABE decided to pursue a career in singing. He spent 6 hours a day in the bathroom with cassette tapes dubbed from his Dads CD’s and Radio listening to The Temptations, The Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Michael Jackson, Prince, 98 degrees and Usher.
During high school sporting events, GABE sang The National Anthem in front of student faculty and peers. In 2006 he had his first collaboration with Minneapolis Producer Ricky Oyaro and was introduced to studio recording.
GABE has been tagged as a genius at work. While pursuing his career he met Minneapolis Pop Group LS3. While rehearsing with GABE singing lead to one of LS3 songs acapella on the rooftop set of MTV’s Top Pop Group, Craig Ferguson overheard them singing and sent his Executive Producer “Cole” out to ask them if they would be the musical guest to the Craig Ferguson Late Late Show on CBS.
From there this fantastic ride took him to collaborate with J.R. Rotem (Beluga Heights), Kay Gee (Divine Mill), Jai (Nextwun) at this point it was felt that GABE should be a solo artist, that’s when the persona of GABE really appeared.
As a solo artist, GABE had gained a wide audience of listeners, spectators and attendees to attend his live shows and global appeal worldwide. This prolific artist has been on tour with Chris Brown, Trey Songz and Cherish.
GABE songs have been aired on radio in Minneapolis, Atlanta and Michigan.
GABE has appeared on internet radio stations here in America as well as France, London, Australia and many others stations.
GABE has performed at Georgia State University, First Ave (Minneapolis), Café 290 (Atlanta) and released a mix tape with the help of production team JDP Productions, recorded “The Take Off,” (2010) selling 2000 copies independently in the first week and shortly after following up with “State Of Emergency” (2011) accumulating over 100,000 downloads in the first month of release. His most recent mix tape “The Memoirs” (2012) is currently circulating the web on varies Music Blogs & Youtube.
GABE brands all of his songs by writing all of his own lyrics and melodies. Working with him is a musicians dream.
Watch “Changed” below:
@TheKelseyNykole, of VH1′s ‘Couples Therapy’, Shares Her Plans as an Urban/Pop Artist & Being a Positive Role Model [EXCLUSIVE]
Rising starlet Kelsey Nicole Byers, better known to many as Kelsey Nykole, is setting her footprints in the entertainment industry. Kelsey Nykole is currently a cast member of VH1’s “Couples Therapy” Season 4, alongside rapper Ghostface Killah from the Wu Tang Clan.
Kelsey got her start in the entertainment business as a model. Kelsey is currently pursuing her music career and plans on taking her career to new heights. Kelsey has been nominated for music awards at the ‘Atlanta Underground Music Awards’ in 2012, as NYKKY B, and nominated for the 2012 ‘Indy Urban Music Awards’ winning ”Mixtape of the Year” & “Best Female R&B Artist” under the name Kelsey Nykole. She was a chosen artist to open for the ”Paradise Tour” at the Indianapolis Tour Stop and also called to Louisville, KY to open up for rapper Trina. The Indiana native known as “The Midwest Princess” discussed her accomplishments, her future plans, artists, and what she does in her free time during a recent interview.
How did you come up with the name Midwest Princess?
I didn’t come up with the name because of my swag. It was because of my passion and my drive behind my music. I actually got proclaimed that by a few producers I was in a session with. I was really getting around the Midwest and I was running it, building a name and they said you were the Midwest Princess and it kind of stuck from there.
How has your life changed since you appeared on VH1’s Couple Therapy?
My life has changed definitely in a great way. It is changed in a sense that when I walk the streets and when I go places, I get asked by fans running up for photos and things of that nature. It has brought a new platform for me to express my musical passion. I been building a lot more of a fan base when it comes to the music and I get a lot more support when it comes to my music. Which is amazing and beautiful, because you know you work so hard for so long. It comes a time when things start to pay off and that’s how it feels at this point. It’s all good. My life has changed socially because I interact with my fans a lot more on social networks than I used to. I interact with them definitely when I’m out and about. They notice me ’cause of my hair. It is my style and I can’t hide it. I can’t go incognito cause the hair it right there and it’s very noticeable. It’s all good. My life has definitely changed for the better and I’m excited.
Tell us about your singing career as pop/r&b singer, songwriter and are you currently working on anything in the studio?
My career as an artist, as a pop artist is my life, it’s my everything. I have been pursuing this dream professionally for almost five years. It’s been going wonderful. I jumped out there. It’s been my passion since I was a little girl. I knew this is what I wanted to do. Life hits and, in the teenage years, everything kind of blossoms out. I had a tragic incident that happened in my family that really woke me up and made me realize life is short. I have people depending on me and I want to set a great example out here for the person that the tragedy happened to. I really started to go very hard (that can’t stop won’t stop attitude towards pursuing my dreams) and something in my spirit really helps me with it. This is my purpose and what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s been amazing and over the years it’s been great growth, prosperity and blessings. Keeping my name good and respectable, definitely networking and showing my face in the right places and to the right people. Getting results, working hard, growing, developing as a artist and up to the point where it’s go time now. It’s time to take it to another level. As soon as I was done in the studio working on a lot of great music, I flew to Atlanta then to L.A., in the studio building a catalogue, writing and recording great music for my own project; be able to shop it to different artist out here. I’m definitely working on music and got a lot of great things lined up (a few music videos). Everything is all coming in due time. I’m very excited for everybody to hear it. Right now, there is a leak of a song, kind of a viral song – a song I did with super-producer/Grammy-award winning producer, Looney Tunez, called “Can’t Feel My Legs”. My actual single will be released in the spring and we are super-duper geeked about the world hearing the new sound and the music. So yeah, I’m working.
When you’re not in the studio, on TV or modeling, what do you do in your free time?
In my free time, I am working out, rehearsing, talking to family definitely, cuddling and loving on my child. It’s never a dull moment with me. I don’t like sitting around doing a lot of nothing. Sometimes, I will pray. I’m always using my energy and time wisely to ensure continuous prosperity in my career.
Any artists’ music you listen to often on your iPod? And, if you could collaborate with any, who would you choose and why?
I am a hardcore Beyonce fan, definitely blasting her music. I listen to Ghostface music. I listen to Amy Winehouse. I listen to Jazmine Sullivan. If I could collab with anyone right now, it would be super-duper dope to collab with August Alsina. I think we could definitely make great melodic-hypnotizing-sexy music together.
Would you ever do a collaboration with Ghostface?
Yes, absolutely. That’s definitely in the making, so keep it locked. Stay tuned.
What is your biggest accomplishment in this field of work?
I think my biggest accomplishment in my field of work thus far, is being a role model, being inspiring to younger girls. When I get tweets and get comments from younger girls when they want to be beautiful like me or they love my spirit – you know you such a good role model, such a good person. Just that love from these girls. Knowing I’m that somebody they can look up to, to set a new standard, that’s what I think is great for me over everything. I love entertaining crowds. I love the love I’m receiving and the support; getting that kind of response from the youth and from the next generation; being a new person to catch their eye and for them to pay attention to. Knowing that I have to set a great example, gives me life. I love it. That’s definitely what I plan to do. I have a vision board and one of the quotes I cut out says, “Pop stars stop saying you don’t want to be a role model because you’re”. We have a platform, there are people and kids looking at us all the time. They need something positive to look up to. I definitely want to be that. Not saying there aren’t any positive role models out there, there just aren’t enough. I definitely want to be that. That’s huge for me.
What else can we expect from you in the future?
You can expect everything from Kelsey Nykole. You can expect greatness, uncommon success from Kelsey Nykole, movies…the sky is not the limit. I’m reaching for the stars and beyond. You can expect great fashion from Kelsey Nykole, trend setting from Kelsey Nykole. You can expect great things from Kelsey Nykole, please believe that. So keep it locked and stay tuned.
Do you think the Indiana Pacers are going to win the championship this year?
I think they have a strong possibility of winning. They are an amazing team and I’m rooting for them 100%.
So, you think they can beat the Miami Heat this year?
Oh yeah, definitely. They beat them before and they can do it again.
How can fans keep in contact with you with social networks?
You can keep in touch with Kelsey Nykole at HeyKelsey.com, I’m on the web on Instagram and Twitter @TheKelseyNykole. On Facebook and YouTube, you can search me at Kelsey Nykole. When searching for the kid, make sure you spell the Nykole (N Y K O L E). I spell it a little different. You can hit me up on heykelsey.com and find the links for the social networks under Connect tab. Hit me up y’all. Google me. It’s music, news, and interviews. Everything is there for you at your fingertips.
#OnTheBlock: @BravoOfVA Transitions from Ex-Convict to Freestyle Champion; Releases “For The Record” Video
Meet Taijuan “Bravo” Kenney of Richmond, Virgina. The emcee recently won the 2013 DTLR and Converse Rubber Tracks 16 Bar battle in New York City. Still riding the wave from this nationally recognized competition, Bravo remains on schedule with his plans to one day become a mogul and key figure in hip hop.
His journey into rap game is an interesting one. See, Bravo’s shoes just hit the Virginia soil in 2012. He has been incarcerated since 2002. But, Bravo’s 10 year bid helped him realize that even under the worst circumstances, you can still make the most of it. Which is why, the lyricist used this time to earn a GED and perfect his craft.
STACKS Magazine wanted to talk to Bravo to understand how he’s been able to remain positive and persevere. In addition, we wanted to congratulate him on his Converse 16 Bar Freestyle win and see how he felt about the Southern rap versus New York rap controversy. Check out his interview below…
On his start in rap…
Ok,. Well, I was rapping pretty much before I got incarcerated. But, I wasn’t taking it seriously. Then, I got incarcerated and did a lot of growing up and thinking – in that time I got my education [GED], took a few college courses and at that point I was growing and maturing. I realized that my writing had become a lot more mature. It became from a “like” to a “love”. I just went at it and did a lot of research on things I needed to know in terms of the industry and to come home and put things in motion. With God graces, I found a studio to record out of and we just went strong with it.
On his inspirations…
Musically, it was guys like Jay Z and ,of course, Rakim. I grew up under adult guys like that Nas, Jay Z, and Jadakiss. I like people with substance (people who are actually talking about something instead of what’s going on with music). Those are my music influences. Then, I had other influences like historical figures like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X…guys who sent a message because I like to send a message through my music as well. It leaves something behind for someone else can pick up, a journey that they can live by, and continue to live by. That’s what I like at the end of the day. There are going to be the kids that will be listening to it. So, you want to give them something influential because we are not always going to be around the kids and they are going to pick up on things. And, it may not always be good things but I want it to be good things.
On future endeavors…
Realistically, I’m 31 now. I really don’t want to be 40 years old still on stage. No disrespect to the guys that are still doing it. I really don’t want to be. Right now, I look at one of the stepping stones is to be me venturing off to having a shoe line, a clothing line, doing real estate things of that nature. Also, becoming a mogul as someone who can bring a lot of things to this city that I’m in now which is Richmond, which really don’t have anything, especially musically. It’s so hard for those who have the title to do things. I want to be the one for those people…to be the fore front of that. That’s my long term and short term goals.
On his Converse Battle Competition win…
I think it’s a combination of both. I seen people that has had the greatest talent in the world and they just can’t perform in front of a crowd. They get nervous and fumbled at the competition and he was a dope artist, but he couldn’t seize the moment. Then you have those who are talented and who can win the crowd. And that’s one of the things I did. I think I was the only person from Richmond there in New York in such a hostile environment. The guy from Baltimore had a million people there. I had to mentally win the crowd because what happens is the crowd had to choose who the winner is overall.
On why this battle was different than others…
I’ve been in a couple of battles, but this one was more magnified to the point where the other battles are regular battles. Guys around the way. Local crowds cheering you on. This one you had celebrities there like Mobb Deep was there. Buck Shot was there. Sway was there. Also, I was in a completely different city. I knew no one there it was just me and what I knew and my talent. It was a growth experience and at the same time. The magnitude was so much better. They [Converse & DTLR] did an awesome job they treated us like stars… courtesy t-shirts and signing autographs. They made us feel like we was apart of something big.
On what he received as the rap battle winner…
I got a shopping spree with DTLR. I got a single recording deal with DTLR, which I record at the Converse studio in Brooklyn. The single will be distributed to all DTLR stores and on DTLR radio constantly. I will be going on Sway in the morning soon. Then, MTV after that.
On the Trinidad James and Maino, South vs New York beef…
For one, I think New York rappers need to quit complaining. Honestly, I think you have to adapt to the times. I’m not saying you should change your morals and the way you do things. But, you need to adapt. I’ve seen a couple of NY artist do it, but that’s what you have to do is adapt to the times. I am very proud of the southern music even though I don’t agree to a lot of it. For the longest time, New York had things on lock and now that the south have it, I feel a lot of hate going on with the northern people…it’s all good. I just think people need to grow up and make music. Do what they feel is in their heart. Whether they make it big or not, as long as you did what you felt was right – at the end of the day that is what’s important.
On how he differs from other rap artists…
I bring a combination of old school hip hop and a little of the new. Even though I’m 31, I’m very hip to whats going on now and I’m able to talk the slang. I’m able to relate to the younger people. So I’m able to keep myself “old hip hop” and give off a message and do things like the old artist would like tell stories like Slick Rick and Nas did. Being able to paint those pictures where you can listen to it and it actually make you feel like you were there when they was telling a story. I think this is what’s missing, ultimately, is substance. Instead of everyone talking about popping molly and things like that. So, I think that’s what I will be bringing to the table.
On any future projects…
I do…actually the mixtape. This will be hosted by a DJ named, DJ Swerve Danerio. He is a big DJ here at Power 92. Then, after that, I will drop an EP called Single Print. After that that the album, Restraint Order.
On his advice to former inmates worried about stepping back into civilization…
Don’t think too much of it because the more you think about it the more you get discouraging. It could be and it definitely could be that the devil is working. You can’t be discouraged. Keep pushing and be strong man and allow God to do his will.
Follow Bravo on Twitter and Instagram @BravoOfVA and listen to his music at www.soundcloud.com/BravoofVa.
Video for “For The Record”:
Music has always been popular worldwide as it comes to suit each persons specific needs and feelings. The genres vary from pop to country to R&B to Rap/Hip-Hop, and that’s only the beginning. Cities such as Atlanta, Chicago and Miami; just to name a few, are already known for breaking up and coming artists. It’s done practically every day. Now, there is a city that many, maybe millions have never heard of before, called South Bend, also known as SBI. The city where both Vivica Foxx and Skylar Diggins are from. The city where everyone who resides there hate, but fails to leave. To be extremely specific, “the city of South Bend is the county seat of St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States, on the St. Joseph River near its southernmost bend, from which it derives its name.” Many remember SBI and associate it with Notre Dame. South Bend is filled with talent from kids, to teens, to adults.
What’s been hitting the headlines and even some local news stations lately is SBI artists. There are rappers such as T-Krazy, Bird B, Wally West, Billy East, DJ Noodles, Rex Rogun, Heavo and dozens more who has fans all over the city – and the horizons goes beyond the city. Each of the artist has collaborated on dozens of songs and shows with one another, and it’s likely if you visit South Bend, you’re bound to end up at one of their infamous performances. The most recent event in which several men took the stage together was at Club Fever on January 17. The Cypher Elites, who is a group of six young men, took their hottest lyrics and songs and put on the hottest show of the year thus far. This was a long awaited event and it was obvious by the outcome of the audience.
Prior to The Cypher Elite, there was a mixtape release party from one of South Bend’s female rappers, Bird B. She’d been rapping for years, but this past August is when she decided to take her music career seriously. With the help and love of other artists, like herself, Bird completed her mixtape within four months. With the talent and knowledge floating around within the small city, it’s only a matter of time before South Bend becomes known worldwide. Below is a clip from Birds recent mixtape party, featuring several artists mentioned above.
That is just a glimpse of what the city has to offer. In addition to these artist rapping and/or singing, they also all give back to their community in their own way. Some use their history as a way of telling kids what not to do. Some volunteer and give their time to other young men and women. These individuals are more than just musicians, rappers, and singers. They are people who aspire and aim to make a difference within their community.
Panama is indie artist who is making waves in the entertainment industry. From appearing on the cable series “The Wire” to honing his craft as a rapper, he’s setting the mark for other multi-talented individuals who wishes to pursue any career he or she chooses. His latest mixtape The Panama Canal released a few months ago to good reviews. Panama soon after released a new video “Money, Power, Respect”, showing that he’s taking this rap journey very seriously.
Check it out below:
Download the mixtape now at DatPiff.com!
Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @ ItsPanamaBaby
Chox-Mak is not your everyday artist he knows how to work the media and push his music all at the same time. Chox-Mak recently said in a interview that connecting with DJ YRS Jerzy is the best thing that happen for his music career. Now with these two dropping projects almost every week now it just shows how serious they are about their careers and where they see themselves being in the next couple of months. These two bring you another classic called “Jax The Ripper” which is a track with a old school meets new school type of vibe to it. They rarely disappoint the people that follow their movement so “Jax The Ripper” should be another dope track from Chox-Mak. This track was also produced by Pepsi Kalisz.
Soundcloud Link: https://soundcloud.com/iamdjyrsjerzy/chox-mak-ft-dj-yrs-jerzy-jax
Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9FeDLJjixY
Twitter: @Chox_Mak910 @IAMDJYRSJERZY
When a new artist comes around who can reach national and global audiences, something should be said about that. Well, this South Carolina-born singer is doing just that and is on his way to becoming the next household name.
Evin Gibson has spent the last several years honing in on his craft and mesmerizing listeners with his fusion of R&B and pop. His initial project “Life in E-Vision” was release independently and proved that anything can be achieved if you set your mind to it. He sold over 5,000 copies on his own and through various online music websites was able to create an international fan base. Evin has traveled to many places like Japan and Germany to spread his talents. He’s been invited to open up for Sunshine Anderson, Jill Scott, and even legendary R&B crooner Freddie Jackson. In addition, his singing abilities and heartfelt songs even reached the attention of his hometowns neighboring state of North Carolina, in which he received a nomination at the North Carolina Music Awards for Best Male R&B Artist.
Evin also had the experience of singing at the BET Experience and at a premier event for the television show “The Game.”
As an artist for Str8Wired Entertainment, his team is moving full steam ahead with his next project. Evin’s talent can’t be denied and his pretty boy looks is just the icing on the cake. If you haven’t heard of him before now, now it’s time to listen. STACKS Magazine’s staff writer, Abner Jackson II, recently spoke with the singer about his influences, what’s going to separate him from other artists, meeting the late Whitney Houston, and his future plans.
When did you realize you wanted to become a R&B singer and was there any artists whose work influenced you the most?
I always had a passion for music growing up around a lot of musicians and church. My family being so soiled in music…when I started listening to a lot of the old school records that were played by family and a lot of the new school records that were current growing up. I felt like I would take the instrumentals and make my own music to them and make my own songs to them. I did it to almost every song came out and had my own version for almost every song that came out and I decided this is something that I really want to do. I wanted to take my sound and expand it. I started making my own music from that point. It’s something that happened and throughout the years always been a part of my heart. Being able to do music now, is a dream come true. Artists that inspired me? No set artist inspired me. I listened to all the greats from Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, En Vogue, Boyz II Men…a variety of artists. So, I don’t have one set artist that inspired me. I just love great music.
For our readers who have never heard of your music, how would you explain your sound to them?
My music is R&B, pop, and with a core of good music. Basically, it’s a sound that is clean that talks about love, life, and experiences people go through. It’s a sound of great story, memo flows, basic R&B and pop, good music – it’s really hard to describe besides good music that touches your soul and relate to things you go through in your own life.
What makes your style/image as a male singer different from other young male artists?
I’m not trying to become someone I’m not. I’m just trying to put positive clean music out there for the public. I like to put a little bit of imagination. Music lacks imagination sometime nowadays and music sometimes lacks that imagination. I don’t like to come out and say exactly what the song is about, I like to put it so everybody can relate to it. Put their own story to it. My style is being true to me and what makes me happy and making sure I have a message in what I do. That’s my style and I don’t think a lot of people have that style. I think people lose their message sometimes. I’m a person who talks about message and love, not drama.
How did it feel to open up in concert for Jill Scott, Freddie Jackson and Sunshine Anderson?
I feel like to open up for any major artist is an accomplishment and it’s also one of those things you have to make sure you on point. It can be kind of scary. People came to see the artist. They came to see. You have to give it your all with everything; rather for the major artists I open up for or I’m doing my own show, I give it my all and try to keep it on that level. I can have fun and my audience can have fun. It’s always great to meet new people and explain yourself to new people. It’s always a wonderful, wonderful feeling anytime you get to do what you were born to do and love to do. It’s a great experience.
In your bio, it was mentioned that you performed at the BET Experience and during The Game’s premiere. How did those opportunities come about?
Anything I’m able to perform at is through my label Str8Wired Entertainment. They are able to get me into a lot of places and do a lot of things that expose me to a lot of people. They are doing a very good job at that. So, I’m really thankful for them, my publicist, and I’m really happy to have a good team around me. They see the opportunities where I fit in. They get me out there and if they like it, they get me to be a part of it. I’m just happy to have that team around me.
When you’re not in the studio or performing, what do you do in your free time?
I like to chill, relax and I’m a father. I love spending time with my kids and I’m a hands-own father. I love being with my kids and being a good dad. Teaching them and having fun with them basically. Watching movies…I’m really just a simple guy. Like to have fun, like to relax, chill, be with my kids and family.
What is your biggest accomplishment, thus far, in this field of work?
My biggest accomplishment in music, well there are quite a few musical landmarks that happened in my life. One particular thing that happened (that I’ll never forget) is meeting Whitney Houston, which is someone I always looked up to and I always thought was one of the greatest voices of all time. Getting to meet her in life through music and being able to meet her is a moment that time stood still. She is a musical icon and there are so many things that has happened to me that I been blessed to be able to do. From getting my songs on the radio, video on MTV, having a record number one on the radio station, being able to go to Japan and tour, having my CD sell overseas, etc. They are so many different accomplishments. But, being able to give back and being a part of a lot of the benefit concerts is some of the greatest things I enjoyed.
Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
I see myself doing the same thing I’m doing just on a larger scale reaching a bigger platform. I see myself really spreading the message of love and not so much of war and on the radio and do music. Having a good time and of course being respectful. I can see myself bringing a new platform of music back and teach kids through music and inspire others through music. Basically, just doing what I love to do and growing and touring and having a great time. Life is all about a great time right? Having a great time and being true to who I am, inspire people to follow their dreams, because that’s so important. When you in these positions to reach people, it’s very important that you be a good example. You show them life has its ups and downs. We all go through stuff, at the same time anybody can achieve anything. When you see people making it big, it does not mean you can’t make it big. It just means go out there and do it. I want people to get that message from Evin Gibson, my life and from what I been able to accomplish coming from a small town. Branching out and doing things very few get to do. If I can do it, anybody can do it. That goes for anybody in any field and not just music. I really want that message to be conveyed through what I do. This album I got coming out, I want people to be able to realize that is the message from that album, basically.
Watch Evin Gibson’s latest video “Instant Fire” below:
To learn more about this talented artist, visit www.EvinGibson.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvinGibson and on Facebook @ EvinGibsonMusic.
Special thanks to Jakeem Smith, of Jay Productions!
A recent finalist on ABC 7 Windy City LIVE ”Search for a Star” competition, Justin Ruff is 22 years young and more than ready to take over the R&B game. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio the young singer/songwriter says he’s been singing for as long as he can remember. Born to a single mother with her own musical aspirations, it was in his home that Justin was first introduced to jazz. His love for the genre grew after he was accepted into Cincinnati’s School for Creative & Performing Arts as a vocal music major. There he honed in on his jazz roots and began perfecting his craft. Fusing his R&B/Soul background with his love for jazz, he began creating a sound all his own. Upon graduating in the spring of 2008 he went on to win several local competitions including Mason and Blue Ash Idol. He was even awarded the opportunity to open for major acts such as Dwele, The Cool Kids and legendary jazz group, Manhattan Transfer.
In 2010 Justin moved to Chicago and enrolled in Roosevelt University as a vocal jazz major. The move to the big city opened him up to a much larger market. The R&B jazz sensation can now be seen performing all over the South loop from college campuses to intimate open mics. He recently made his debut EP, ”Introducing Justin Ruff” available for free download. For links to free music and all things Team Ruff, you can find and follow the singer on Twitter @JustinRuffMusic.
Artist EPK Link: http://www.reverbnation.com/rpk/justinruffmusic
Rapper formally known as “Imari Cartione” was born and raised on the southside of Atlanta Ga, started out rapping at an early age once he knew that he couldn’t live without music is when he realized he couldn’t see himself as anything else but a rapper. Breaking his self into the music industry he has worked with various artist such as RICH HOMIE QUAN, J MONEY, MYKO MONTANNA, and CKP just to name a few and has made quit a name for himself as an independent artist / song writer. This up and coming star is on the rise to great success with his talent, drive and ambition he is sure to go a long way.
DOWNLOAD “MONEY CALLING” MIXTAPE ON LIVEMIXTAPES.COM:
Imari Cartione FT. Mexico Ran “Homework” Directed by @Hall_of_Mirrors – YouTube
IMARI CARTIONE FEAT CHEESE RACKS | TALK 4 ME| Dir By @Hall_of_mirrors – YouTube
FOLLOW IMARI CARTIONE ON TWITTER @IMARICARTIONE !!
808 Blake (Producer / Co-Founder of SMKA) releases his first instrumental album presented by SMKA. The free album includes 10 tracks produced by 808 Blake. Over the last 5 years 808 Blake has produced for 100+ different artists, including: Juicy J, Dom Kennedy, Trinidad James, Freddie Gibbs, Chip Tha Ripper, Jarren Benton, Yelawolf, Aleon Craft, Outasight, Fashawn, Casey Veggies, Freeway, Skyzoo, Los, Phil Ade, Iamsu! and many more. 808 Blake embarks on a solitary journey to produce Love Child as a stand alone album without any MCs.
“I personally would like to introduce you to my new project 808 Blake’s Love Child. Inspired by artist like: Mandrill, Herbie Hancock, Roy Ayers and Boards of Canada. This project mixes psychedelic and ambient synths w/ the signature southern 808 sound while also sprinkling soul samples throughout. This project is a personal love of mind because it’s been my brainchild from start to finish and encompasses my fears, loves, and frustrations. I thank you from the bottom of my HEART!!!”
- 808 Blake
6. Purple Dream
7. Donkey Years
8. Born On Holloween
9. Daddy’s Boy
10. Rejected Love Child
- Cycles co-produced by NEVR
- Purple Dreams co-produced by Kyle King
- Daddy’s Boy recorded by Justin Padron
- Cover art by CJ Bryant
- No Shit Taken by Mike Walberg
TJ Chapman sent over this banger that features his new artist, K Camp. The song, which features Kwony Cash, has been heating up in the clubs in several cities. If you haven’t heard it, take a listen and let us know what you think.
In case the embedded player don’t work, listen to video version below.
Memphis native and R&B vocalist King Heartbreaker releases latest music video “Control” from his debut mixtape King R&B Shxt. The mixtape features production credits from Drumma Boy, Lexi Banks, and more.
Watch new video “Control”:
Download mixtape on Livemixtapes.com!
Solmanipulation is an EDM/Trap/Experimental collaborative project between Hip-Hop producer N8 the Gr8, R&B singer Maryann and Visual Artists Van Dope. Branching out from their roots the trio offers a more forward thinking electronic sound/visual than their previous ventures. They call their sound “DMT” short for Dance Music Trap. “The Best Things” is the first Audio/Visual release from the group’s upcoming project. The song is available for free download on their Soundcloud page, “Deeper” is also currently posted and will be the groups second release. Look out for more upcoming Solmanipulashun releases from their first yet to be named full length project.
Follow on Twitter @n8thegr8cuf @xtraordinaryann @van_inhalen !
Soundcloud Link: https://soundcloud.com/solmanipulashun/the-best-things
Watch the video below:
(Atlanta, GA) — He hasn’t been in the music business long, but JStavo, a young independent recording pop soul artist has created a major buzz not only in his home of Atlanta, GA but other states such as FL, DC, OK and SC, even being nominated for the 2013 Georgia Music Award (GMA) in the R&B Male and Video Category.
JStavo has been touring with American Idol & Grammy Award winner Fantasia and the Rock Soul Family. JStavo has been traveling entertaining audiences of all ages in the southeast. Most Recently JStavo opened for Fantasia & TGT (Tank, Ginuwine, Tyrese) at the Atlanta Civic Center with over 3000 people in attendance.
With his popular performances of his new iTunes smash single “I Heart U” and making rounds in the Atlanta underground music scene, clubs and events over the past few months; along with his accompanying You Tube video of his buzz single “Fancy” capturing the attention of online audiences.
“This is huge!” said JStavo. “I’m very excited about all of the great things happening in my music career as an entertainer, from being nominated for the Georgia Music Awards, the support of my fans and love from Fantasia and her team believing in my gift,” he said.
Since beginning his music career almost five years ago, JStavo has opened for other top R&B and Hip Hop recording artists such as Brian McKnight, Omarion, Amerie, Dougie Fresh and Slick Rick. He is managed by Entertainment Management and Consulting, also located in Atlanta.
For more information or for booking inquiries call 803.429.7577 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For media inquiries, call Dameon Daniels of Entertainment Management & Consulting, “L.L.C” at 803.429.7577.
Source: Dameon Daniels, EMC, LLC
Lyrics…Style…Focus…Taking Hip Hop to New Heightz: Benny Heightz has exploded out of New York City, gaining international attention with his first major single, “Match My Cash” featuring Rick Ross. Brought up in several burroughs of NY, Benny’s drive and talent quickly opened doors to new opportunities with NY producer and mentor KB. Benny Heightz has developed his skills with guidance from producers and local artists nationwide, from Atlanta (The Mechaniks) to LA. While signed to independent label Fyngamade, Benny worked with the talented producer Yung Fyngas, who has produced for such artists as UGK, Bun B, Stack Bundles, Lil Flip and DJ Double R.
Though his early years could be classified as chaotic, Benny never allowed his upbringing to define him. Early on, his focus and intense determination to offer a positive message through his music set Benny apart from his competition. His passion for music, his tireless work ethic, and his hard-hitting lyrical style are continually propelling him to new Heightz. Currently expanding his fan base in Europe, Benny Heightz is proof that music isn’t just about where you are from, it’s about where you are going!
Recently, her name has been coming up in various outlets as the next “it” girl. But, who is she exactly? After doing a little research, this fresh face is Lil Wayne’s newest protégé and she’s now a member of YMCMB.
Chanel West Coast. Her latest project, which released in early July, justifies the buzz she’s been receiving by the public. “Now You Know” is a mixtape with many well-known features and heavy influences of the hip-hop, pop, and R&B culture. As the self-proclaimed number one fan of the late Tupac Shakur, Chanel definitely has engulfed herself into the world of rap and is about to claim her spot. Not as just another white female rapper, but as emcee and singer with a style of her own that has the ability to surpass some of the others in her lane.
Although the mixtape is graced by only one producer, Rich Skillz, Robin Thicke, French Montana, Honey Cocaine, Snoop Dogg, and a few others lent their talents to the newcomer. If you haven’t checked it out, it is worth the listen. She gives you 18 dope tracks that can easily be played down South and any other environment where hip-hop are appreciated.
Listen to the live stream now and/or download her “Now You Know” mixtape via Livemixtapes.com!
After releasing his first three singles, Takticz has shown you his underground HipHop roots, mainstream appeal, and sense of humor with his latest Trillwave joint “Bounce”. This time he’s paying tribute to a classic, but still puts his own spin on the Gap Band favorite “Outstanding”. Check it out and enjoy this free download!
SoundCloud Link: https://soundcloud.com/n8thegr8cuf/takticz-outstanding-remake
via press release:
Maryann turns up the heat with her brand new single “Nothing You Could Say”. Far from a loss of words, Maryann takes a sharp turn from her RnB songstress role and gives you something new. After pairing with underground Hip-Hop producer N8 the Gr8 she released a full length, true- to form RnB record last summer. Since the release of her album “Timing Is Everything” Maryann has put out five tracks/visuals from her upcoming release titled “Futuristic Always”. The new record is already sprinkled with features from the likes of Devin the Dude, Guilty Simpson, and Chuuwee. Aside from writing her songs and songs for others, dabbling in production and graphics, she is also co-directing and editing numerous videos including this one. Maryann is proving that she is not a one hit wonder and is more of the new style hybrid artist it takes to make a lasting impression. The song and visual are her commentary about the industry, and feelings she has built up during her recent experiences. Packing more than a punch, this is not the first, or last you will hear from this blossoming artist.
Soundcloud Link: https://soundcloud.com/xtraordinaryann/maryann-nothing-you-could-say
The wait is over, after seven months in the making, fans are happy to be listening to the latest project from Moe called “Is Anybody Listening? 3”. The twenty-one year old rapper from New Orleans absolutely killed it in 2012 when he released four mixtapes in one year! The mixtapes received thousands and thousands of downloads and Moe positioned himself as a regularly featured artist on datPiff.com.
Despite his young age, Moe is not a novice in the rap game. He began spittin’ rhymes when he was just nine years old and used hip hop as a means to express himself throughout his life. His iconic beats and unique style have caused his fan base to continue to expand and his dedication in the studio has allowed him to keep up with the demand for his music.
The release of “Is Anybody Listening? 3” has come with months of anticipation and increasing buzz in the hip hop community and when asked for his thoughts on the excitement from the project, Moe had this to say, “I know every artist thinks they have the best fans in the world, but I believe I truly have the best. There are times when I’m tired and just want to take a night off but the love for music pushes me on. I want to say thank you to everyone who supported me.”
Moe is currently gearing up for his summer tour. To learn more about Moe visit www.twitter.com/WhoTFisMoe. Also, you download his “Is Anybody Listening? 3″ on Datpiff.com here–> http://www.datpiff.com/Moe-Is-Anybody-Listening-3-mixtape.493039.html .
Well, she’s may be a little too experienced to be featured in our On The Block series. But considering that we’re here in the south and haven’t heard of her, this could easily justify her entry.
Meet STORi. The New Jersey singer/songwriter has been making moves for a while. Apparently, those moves must’ve paid off. She recently signed a deal with Motown Records. Her ability to paint vivid pictures with words helped her stand out from the crowd. STORi mixes rap verses with some dope melodies…reminiscent of Lauryn Hill with a little Joss Stone included.
Point is…she sounds good. Her peers seem to think so as well. She teamed up with Juelz Santana on the Queen Latifah-inspired track “Just Another Day”. The song is featured on FunkMaster Flex’s Why You Mad At? Me Or Yourself? mixtape. Take a listen and let us know what you think.
Also, STORi premiered an exclusive track with Trinidad James called “Pocketbook”. You can check it out on her official website www.IAmStori.com.
She’s definitely an artist we’ll be sure to keep up with!
Kendrick La’Dale Hawkins Sr (aka “K Hawk“) is a 21 year old emcee from Belzoni, Mississippi. He has been entertaining for several years but decided to take a serious approach towards his music in his freshmen year of college. Kendrick gave away 100 free mixtapes of his first mixtape entitled “Most Likely To Drop Hits” as promotion to other students in 2011. In a week, his name and songs had spread across the campus to more than 3000 students on a 7500 student campus. He has performed at many clubs and successfully entertained the audience with dances and great songs! Backed by Push Power Promo, Kendrick is now on his way to taking his career to the next level.
Take a listen to two tracks submitted by K Hawk called “Turn Up” and “Let Me Get In”. Both are pretty nice and could be possible club bangers.
“Turn Up” – Direct Download
“Let Me Get In” – Direct Download
For more information on K Hawk, email his camp at email@example.com.
In case you’re wondering if all up-and-coming artists are here to duplicate what’s currently hip in music, guess again. As far as R&B goes, there’s a lack of originality, especially with male singers. Well, there’s a new crooner on the scene who’s ready to change the game.
Hailing from Virginia (by way of Texas), JStavo is prepping his first EP that he contends will be eclectic, refreshing, and something you can feel. He’s calling his sound Pop Soul. Well, STACKS Magazine recently got the opportunity to find out more about JStavo and this Pop Soul he ‘s bringing to the industry. Several interesting tidbits were learned during our conversation with JStavo. Check it out…
Tell our readers who you are, how long you’ve been singing, what was the inspiration for you to want to become an artist.
My name is JStavo. I’m from VA by way of Texas, just moved to Atlanta a year and a half ago trying to pursue the whole music thing. My inspiration for music ever since I was two, I always wanted to sing. I would always get caught dancing in my room. My mom would play music to sit me down and shut me up. Anything with music I would be a good person. Other than that, it wouldn’t happen. So basically, from two years old I knew what I wanted to do.
Where does the name come from?
My first name is Josh. And then it was sort of a middle name/nickname that my family, my cousins we’re all crazy so they used to call me Gustavo. Because…don’t ask me because I still don’t know. So at that point, when I knew I wanted to pursue music full time, once I got a little older. I just put the first letter of my first name which is Josh “J” plus “Gustavo”. Plus it sounds dope. Not Italian, but it sounds dope.
How would you describe your style of music?
I actually put myself in my own genre, Pop Soul. It’s basically, if you take popular music (whether it be Dance music, whether it be R&B, whether it be Alternative) and then you always add soul to it. That’s kind of where I’m at. ‘Cause I can kind of get on any type of track period. I’m very eclectic when it comes to music. I just make sure I add soul to it and Pop Soul.
What was your reason for moving to Atlanta?
A lot of producers and songwriters usually come here. When I first moved here, I know for a fact, it’s like anybody you meet their either doing music, acting or modeling, or they have their own company. I just needed a change. I definitely needed change to where I could grow and network better around music. So, Atlanta was the next best step.
Who were your influences growing up?
Well, my favorite singer of all time is Donnie Hathaway. Point blank period, it’s Donnie Hathaway all day. From him to Genuwine to Babyface to Gladys Knight. It ranges from old school to the 90’s ‘cause that’s the era I grew up in.
Have you worked with anyone yet? Any collaborations?
Well I’ve done…that’s really all I like to do is a bunch of collaborations with independent artists and artists that are up and coming. I truly believe in everybody coming up together. So, instead of going for the big names and this that and the other, you know just try to make sure my name gets out there. I’d rather do a collaboration with somebody that I believe in as an artist and believe in their artistry. Then kind of come up with them and everybody helps everybody.
Do you think male singers get enough shine? Do you think there is something lacking?
I really think currently a lot of the new artists that are coming out, and even some of the old artists that are come back out, they are getting stuck in a box. It’s kind of like the whole thing where they see what’s hot right now and their going for it, but it’s consistently not refreshing. It’s not refreshing. Where back in the day you had your Marvin Gaye’s, you had your O’Jays, everybody in the same genre, but you knew who everybody was. Everybody was unique. I think the reason why the make industry, as far as R&B artists or singers period, I really think that we are lacking in creativity and pushing the envelope. I remember Bobby Brown was always pushing the envelope. Like and it wasn’t that long ago when other artists were pushing the envelope. I just think now we’re stuck in just trying to either make money or be a sex symbol because that’s what sells right now. When in reality, you don’t have to do all of that.
How do you plan on competing with the others (artists)?
I actually feel that like people are waiting for something new. I think we’re so content with what we have right now. That we’re just like “oh ok, that’s fine.” But I really think people are waiting for new artists. Like Miguel came, and he’s like the new age Prince. Frank Ocean came out. None of them are doing what a lot of artists that are out right now are doing. They’re doing what they want to do, being creative. So I think what’s going to set me apart is my uniqueness and my sound. However, making sure that it’s refreshing and people can actually understand it (or it brings them back somewhere to a feeling). I think at the end of the day, nobody is really looking at the content. They’re really, like, looking for that feeling…and that’s what I’m trying to give them. Bump the content, bump what I’m saying if you can’t understand it, that’s cool. But, if you can feel it, then I’ve done my job.
Do you have a 5 year plan?
I used to have 5 year plans and 10 year plans. For some reason, plans never work out. I do, however, set goals for myself as big as getting a Grammy or performing at Madison Square Garden. I make sure I do big goals like that and speak it into existence and I just let God do the rest. Whatever comes in between that, then I’ll take it.
But, I don’t really believe in the 5 year plan because you really don’t know.
Who would you like to collaborate with?
I would really like to collaborate with Kanye just because he’s controversial. I don’t even know what we can create. But, just on his PR…just as a business move. Jay-Z. I would love to do a song with Jo Jo. Ciara. I love soft voices. So, Ciara would be one. I would love to do a song with Sting. He is crazy incredible. I think that would be it. As far as collaboration goes, for like my EP that’s coming out, I made it adamant that I was not going to have a lot of collaborations. I feel like that puts you in that “you can’t have a hit song” or “you can’t stand on your own feet.” So I want people to grasp my music. You know how rappers do with mixtapes. If they want to remix it, they can flip it around. Oh and A$AP Rocky also.
When can we expect the EP?
Actually, what we’re doing right now, we’re setting it up formally because there’s not an actual release date, because we actually do not have the single out yet (the official single). Right now, we’re just worried about pushing the buzz single to network and get a fan base and let people know I’m out there. So, as soon as we get the single out, then we can figure out exactly what’s the next step for the EP.
Any thoughts on the content on your EP?
For one, I’m not crying on any of my tracks. [laughs] As far as the EP, its’ going to be very eclectic. It’s really going to bring all ages back. When I say back, I don’t mean it’s going to be old school. I’m just that feeling you get when you hear a song. I’m going to bring that back. So, you’ll get dance tracks, smooth tracks, everything will be smooth though, I’ll say that.
What do you want the readers to know?
I have a website called www.jstavoworld.com. You can get any type of information from there. Twitter, Instagram, etc @ JStavo.
I just want the readers to get ready. If they want something refreshing, something new, but something they can feel…JStavo is the route to go.
If you’d like to hear JStavo’s music or see him perform, he’s scheduled for several upcoming shows.
2nd Annual Rip The Runway – Birmingham, Alabama (April 2013)
Sweet Auburn Festival – Atlanta, Georgia (May 11, 2013)
Underground Atlanta – Atlanta, Georgia (May 12, 2013)
9to5 40th Anniversary (September 2013)
Raised in a home heavily saturated in music, Maria “M.Free” Freeman wanted to be a singer ever since she could remember. She was challenged by family members to listen to and learn about various genres of music, not just the latest songs on popular radio stations. One of her earliest memories is of her and her grandfather having riffing competitions. “I was only about eight or nine years old and he would say ‘I bet you can’t ‘wiggle’ your voice like this’, and I would eagerly try to duplicate the notes he sang.” One musician or another was always blaring from the record player in the living room, and Maria absorbed the music without even knowing it.
When Maria was twelve, her grandmother took her to a Morgan State University Choir Christmas concert. After hearing live singers for the first time, she was hooked and began to practice every day hoping to develop a voice as beautiful as the ones she’d heard that night. She knew that there was nothing else she would rather do.
As Maria became older, she participated in as many music based activities as she could. By her first year in high school she found herself on six different choirs at one time, including the choir of a high school that she was not even enrolled in. Maria was hungry for music and tried to soak it up any way she could. Maria was also heavily influenced by Hip Hop. She would memorize the verses of artists like TuPac, Nas, Biggie and Lauren Hill and often fall asleep with headphones blasting shows like Strictly Hip Hop (WEAA Baltimore).
After graduating from high school, Maria enrolled in Morgan State University to pursue a Music degree. She also became a member of their world renowned choir, the same choir that wowed her years earlier. After five years of vocal coaching, vocal training and traveling abroad, Maria graduated from Morgan State University in 2005.
Maria has evolved into “M.Free”, a skilled vocalist, songwriter and arranger. She has traveled abroad to tour in Russia, the Czech Republic, Paris, France and Montreal, Quebec as well as many of the United States. She has performed with ensembles and orchestras around the world and worked with many professional recording artists including Darin Atwater and Soulful Symphony, Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Masur, Donald Lawrence, Kishna Davis, Yuri Temirkanov, Bobby McFerrin, Kirk Carr and more. She has also opened for many artists including P.J. Morton and sang back ground vocals on albums like Brittney Wright’s “The Beginning” and DDm’s “Winter and The Tinman’s Heart”.
In 2011, M.Free released a mixtape called “The Blueprint Free” an ode to Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint III”. The project is comprised of tracks Jay-Z used on his albums and lyrics written by Jay-Z, but instead of rapping, she sings them. The mixture of genres is magical…a reflection of the combination of musical genres Maria loved during her younger years. In addition to the Jay-Z remakes, the single “LOUD: Music Makes Me High” was also released on the mixtape. LOUD mixes essences of dance and Hip Hop with a hook sampling Bone Thugs N Harmony.
Partnered with the skill and talent of producers Joshua “Jay-O” Lay and Justin “King Midas” Lay, (Left Brain Productions) she doesn’t doubt, for a minute, that they have what it takes to reach the stars…literally.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD M. FREE’S MIXTAPE THE BLUEPRINT FREE
The next artist to be featured in our On The Block series is a songbird from the DMV. Recognizing singer/actress Brandy as her inspiration, Shannon Ramsey is devoted to using her voice as an inspiration to many other young women who’s trying to find their way.
Check out her bio and single “Crazy” below…
Shannon Ramsey, July 08, 1983, was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. She discovered her gift at a very early age, yet was extremely shy when it came to singing. Shannon was introduced to the music of all the greats, i.e. Phyllis Hyman, Anita Baker, Luther Vandross…etc, by none other than her father, Frederick D. Ramsey. Her father would play all of these amazing songs, while Shannon would lip sing every word because she was too shy to let anyone know she hand a huge talent. As, Shannon got older she step out of the “shy” slight and in the spotlight, after seeing the world renowned superstar “BRANDY”. Shannon began to realize pursuing her dream as a professional singer was not only possible, it was achievable. “…seeing Brandy on television and hearing her music allowed for me to see and believe a young African American girl could excel, pursue and achieve her dream…she was an inspiration for me…”
In 2002, Shannon decided to leave college to figure out her life and make decisions on what she truly wanted to be. She went to Germany and the Netherlands to sing and write songs with her cousin/mentor Kamary Phillips. It was during her travels that, Shannon realize she needed to come back home complete what she started, which was college and do it on her terms. In 2004, Shannon re-enrolled to Morgan State University, where she changed her major from Math/Chemistry to Liberal Arts. While at MSU, she was an active member of the world renowned Morgan State University Choir, with this ensemble she traveled to places, such as the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin and British Islands, and Prague, Chez Republic. Shannon is a proud member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity for Women, Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honors Society and a lifetime member of The National Honors Society. She graduated, with honors, from the university, with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Vocal Performance, in 2008.
She won a single demo package and distribution through Koch Records at the 92Q Annual Music Seminar. As the winner she won the coveted spot of opener for Little Wayne at Baltimore’s First Mariner Arena. She out performed over 100 Baltimore artists and brought the house down with her powerful voice. She went on to win the Philly Music Conference and has performed twice on the WORLD RENOWNED APOLLO stage. She has sung all over the US on her own as a solo artist and with her POWER HOUSE singing group FORGVN. Shannon was also one of four finalists from Maryland to star on the CW’s new HIT series THE NEXT. The list of things this young has done goes on and on…
Shannon is an active member and/or supporter of the following organizations:
- F.W.O. (For Woman Only, an organization designed to encourage and empower Women)
- UKE DYNASTY (A charm school for youth & young teen girls)
- Celebrate Life (an organization for the community designed to help uplift and inspire the community)
- WOP(Women of Power, a network of diverse women of influence throughout the region that help impact our communities in a positive way.)
Not only, is Shannon a singer/songwriter, she is the WIFE of Corey T Floyd and very proud MOTHER of their son, Christian M Floyd.
Shannon is an outgoing, dedicated, innovative, and extremely professional singer/song writer, actress and model, who was recently inducted as a Women Of Power. She is big on teamwork and leadership. Shannon believes and understands that her gift of voice and song are to help and heal someone else. She wants to be that example for all, that anyone can ASPIRE, PURSUE & ACCOMPLISHED their DESTINY! Shannon’s famous slogan is… “Given up ain’t something great people do!”
Follow Shannon Ramsey on Twitter & Youtube @shannonramsey00. Stay updated on her music at https://www.reverbnation.com/shannonramsey .
Representing Northern California, singer Maryann is new on the block but clearly has the look and talent to make it big.
Maryann, Northern California’s freshest female vocalist, is hitting the scene hard in 2012. With a sound reminiscent of 90′s R&B stars such as Aaliyah or Janet Jackson, she draws on these influences, yet has a voice and style all her own. Growing up around all genres of music, Maryann has channeled that exposure into a versatile style. She is creating music that combines Soul, R&B, Pop, Electronic, and Hip-Hop, to find a sound that will appeal to the masses. Not only has Maryann been writing and performing her own songs, but she’s also been writing for other artists. She has been featured on a number of hip-hop projects, such as The CUF’s “Caviar Vol. 1″, and the Lost Tribe “Sophie” album on a song with Talib Kweli.
Teaming up with producer N8 the Gr8, the two have been experimenting over the past few years and have come up with a sound quite unique. The first release from the duo is Maryann’s solo record “Timing is Everything” (Available Now). The record is a mix of Hip-Hop, Pop, R&B and Electronic influence. The album features artists like Eligh (Living Legends) and Onry Ozzborn (Greyskul), and sure to have something for every taste. The duo is currently working on a follow up project to “Timing is Everything” titled “Futuristic Always” expected early 2013. Current singles (with accompanying videos) from the project include “Shades of Grey” and “I Could Give A”. This album will also feature a few surprise guests, Devin the Dude being the first named. With their experimental nature, expect a few surprises! Be on the lookout for this emerging talent, with her wide range of abilities she has the potential be the start of a new trend in R&B music.
To hear more from Maryann, go to www.Ncrowdentertainment.com. Follow her on Twitter @XtraordinaryAnn!
Check out her latest video, “Make Or Break Us”. Directed by N8 the Gr8.
Sheezy Aka Shawn is a female emcee who resides in Atlanta, GA. After starting Real Right Entertainment, LLC. in 2008, the female emcee decided to make a name for herself in Atlanta and recorded her first song entitled “Aka Pimp.” The song’s video views peaked at 100k views simultaneously via WSHH as the single impacted the streets of Atlanta and nightclubs. This emcee possesses a keen sense of confidence in her lyrics, life choices and style. Her unexpected break into the music industry was the love of Sheezy Aka Shawn blunt personality throughout the influential of the nightlife in Atlanta which led her to embrace her talent and craft as a rising female emcee. The name itself represents the emcee as a whole body of energy, creativity and style: the “Sheezy” is the more energetic side of the emcee and “Aka Shawn” gives off the more laid back and serious side.
Although she grew up on a variety of musical genres, Sheezy Aka Shawn is most inspired by the Motown era and R&B. The Temptations, Otis Redding and current day artists such as Gucci Mane, Alicia Keys, Usher, and NeYo are all influences, but she has kept her career focus on rap and becoming a notable female emcee in the future. Sheezy Aka Shawn describes her music as having a “Texas Southern Rap” sound- which combines a blunt style and distinction while rapping about what people normally think but rarely say out loud. Her lyrics entice the type of fans that enjoy music for music. She looks to target an audience that lacks judgment and strong opinion, but who also experiences real life situations and can relate to her music.
Sheezy Aka Shawn is most passionate about her creativity in the musical industry. Starting an idea, taking the steps to produce that idea and aligning the idea with a melody may seem like a challenge for most; but to this emcee it is simply free expression. She begins with a concept (i.e. hook or verse) and if it stands out enough she will add onto the concept until it is at least 50% complete and then its studio time! This emcee defines her position in music as a well-rounded woman with a passion of real music.
Sheezy Aka Shawn is currently signed to her independent label, and desires to work cohesively with major labels so that she can keep majority control of her work. Although admitting she has room for improvement, her ultimate goal is to motivate her fans on a worldwide level. She enjoys being in a position where she can make a career out of doing something that she loves; moreover, Sheezy wants more so that she can give more.
[Twitter @TheRealAkaShawn or Facebook.com/TheRealAkaShawn]
Check out Sheezy’s new track, “Glistening” below:
For more info: Bookings, DJ drop requests, and Features ->Real Right Entertainment BookShawnSheezy@gmail.com.
Press requests and interviews: Aleesha Carter, K.A.C. Images and U, LLC firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, here’s a refreshing way to start 2013! As such, STACKS Magazine re-introduces our special series called On The Block. This series is a platform where new and non-commercial artists can feature their music projects. So, to jump the new year off… hailing from state of Virginia, meet The Kid Named Breezy.
(via press release) The year was 1993, your clothes were pastel, your hat was sideways, and “Boom! Shake the Room” was on repeat in your tape deck. The fashion and culture from that era may have disappeared but the memories still remains today, and that’s exactly what inspired rap sensation, The Kid Named Breezy, in his newest mix tape.
The Mix tape entitled “93” dropped on November 13th and it promises to combine classic old school hip hop with a modern twist. This project has received an enormous buzz in the underground world and the fans have been very vocal about their excitement.
Most of the anticipation is because of the tremendous success of his latest single, “See About Us” feat. Pusha T. The track received radio play all over the country and it became an instant YouTube sensation with its edgy and original video.
Breezy was born in 1992 and although he wasn’t old enough to remember it, ‘93’ was a monumental year for him and for hip hop. While hip hop was celebrating its rising popularity across the globe, Breezys family was mourning the loss of his mother. Now, nearly 20 years later, he is ready to address the emotions of growing up without a mother by using the sounds of music from that year.
The mix tape will be followed with several headlining concerts, multiple release parties, charitable events, and of course his weekly video blogs. For more information visit www.LiferHouse.com.
Video: “See About Us” feat. Pusha T
Download or stream his “93″ mixtape at datpiff.com. Follow him on Twitter @KidNamedBreezy !
Having already gotten off to a good start, up and coming singer/songwriter Elle Varner is getting closer and closer to the release date for her debut album, Perfectly Imperfect. Being the writer of all of the songs on the album, Varner has somewhat set the tone for what’s to come with her hit debut single “Only Wanna Give It To You” featuring J. Cole and her latest chart hit “Refill”. Perfectly Imperfect goes on sale August 7th.
Check out the tracklist below and listen to Elle’s new single “I Don’t Care”.
Perfectly Imperfect Tracklist
1. “Only Wanna Give It to You” feat. J. Cole
3. “Sound Proof Room”
4. “I Don’t Care”
5. “Not Tonight”
7. “Oh What a Night”
8. “Stop the Clock”
9. “Welcome Home”
10. “Damn Good Friends”
11. “So Fly”
Will you be picking up a copy???