2018

Jean Deaux Talks Upcoming EP ‘Krash’ & Shares New Single “Back 2 You”

by Asia Burris | published: Aug 15, 2018

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Multi-faceted artist Jean Deaux has easily become one of my favorites in music. Not only due to her witty, metaphorical lyricism or off centered infectious style, but because of her sincerity to staying exactly true to who she is. Her ebullient and jabber tone radiates confidence and not in any form of egotism. She’s an artist that knows what she wants to create and deliver, and she plans to do just that with her upcoming work.

As she prepares for the release of a new EP, entitled Krash, Jean Deaux is dropping off her latest cut today titled “Back 2 You.” A straight high energy bop, the newest single was created alongside producer Phoelix (who too has his own work – peep his latest project Tempo). “Phoelix was making this on our tour bus during the ‘Swanita’ tour. I came out the back room and ran to the front of the bus like “yeooooo! GIVE ME THIS RIGHT NOW,”” Jean Deaux mentioned when asked about the track. “He actually never gave it to me until after tour. I didn’t even think about the words (laughs). I just let it flow. I had come off tour wanting to make something that just felt good and powerful. The words matched, I think.”

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The artwork is just as impressive, taking us back through time with a nostalgic ode to Black women of yesteryear. “In my artistry I’m very inspired by my ancestors, science (physics), and just colors in general. My music before kind of matched that but the looks were dry, looking back. Jean Deaux is a time traveler and I’m using the visuals to explore that. Tapping into any era I find myself in,” she shared. “This look was inspired by black women of the 50s/60s. I used pictures of women like Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, and the most gorgeous Nancy Wilson to inspire me. The photographer Nailah Howze and the stylist Jinju really helped pull this inspiration together and brought it to life for me.”

While “Back 2 You” is the latest offering, Jean assured that there’s more to come with a few special collaborations to look out for on the EP. “Ugh, I have some queens on the project! All people I genuinely love and appreciate as artists. Kari Faux has a raw verse on a very hard song on the project. However my song “Code” with Drea The Vibe Dealer is going to blow some minds.” When asked about the inspiration for the upcoming record, Jean Deaux related her inspiration to her late cousin, John Walt: “The only song over a year old on this project is the song I made on the day he passed, and it’s one of the most special songs on the project. It deserved to be surrounded by special pieces of music that continue to tell my story. But this chapter is going to be a good one, for sure.”

Krash is due out this fall. As we wait, get through mid-week with Jean Deaux’s “Back 2 You” below, read more from our chat, and revisit her exclusive Roll Back, Play That playlist with us here.

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NyAsia: Over the past year or so, I’ve become even more of a follower of your work not just for the music but for you as a person and creative. Everything you deliver is so sincere, which is sometimes hard to come by for an artist. What has kept you balanced in staying true to yourself as a woman while also being a known singer, songwriter, and rapper?

Jean Deaux: Okay sis, I see you with these great questions! Hmm, I think I’m really just going with the flow. I’m blessed that people can see the sincerity with that. We all just want to figure our shit out and enjoy life, but we learn that there’s levels to that. Music is so important because it conveys the pieces of ourselves we’d often leave out of an everyday conversation. It’s why I love music so much, it travels through you. I think just focusing on that, letting life flow through me, and taking it for what it is – that keeps me SANE (laughs). Sane enough to find a balance and sane enough to be ok if I lose it.

Has it ever been difficult for you to be so vulnerable and have your work open for critique? I ask this because as black women, we’re often harshly criticized for any and everything we share with the world. We see it all of the time on blogs and music sites. How do you manage working in such a white male dominated industry?

I’m very strong. I’ve always had tough skin. If it ain’t a nigga in the street who can intimidate me, there damn sure won’t be a Brad to do it. However, when it comes to putting my art out, I’m smart with my business and I’m understanding with my audience. I respect that people even take the time to listen to me. I appreciate any feedback on my music from people truly digesting my work. Noted, people can be a bit entitled with their opinions, but it’s all apart of the deal.

Let’s talk about what’s to come! It seems like this new project will be a very important one. From following you online, it seems like you’ve been working really hard on it while also working through a lot of personal and private issues. Do you think that this project will serve as a way to heal for you?

Releasing this music is going to be everything for me. I can understand any artist who’s ever been in a situation, not able to release a body of work that they’ve invested their souls into. Most of my frustration is just wanting to get over that hump, seeing all my work pay off.

Any special features or collaborations on the project that you can talk about?

Ugh, I have some queens on the project! All people I genuinely love and appreciate as artists. Kari Faux has a raw verse on a very hard song on the project. However my song “Code” with Drea The Vibe Dealer is going to blow some minds.

Speaking of collaborations, I’m interested in knowing, who are some people on your wish list to work with creatively?

Ummm, hey Solo! Definitely looking forward to working with more women. Solange, Nao, Kamaiyah, Tierra Whack too. I’d also love to get some bars off on some Kendrick shit one day for sure.

Outside of your own work, are you interested in any other fields? For some reason, I can see you tapping into the film world and really killing it. Whether that be acting or even behind the scenes doing score.

I’m definitely going to do some more director work! Very soon, finally shooting videos for myself and the first video for this project is going to shake the damn table for multiple reasons. I’d love to get more into acting as well and I’ve even done some auditions. I don’t know about SCORING. I’m a big fan of composers and I respect the craft too much. I’d love to be a part of it one day though, who knows.

Your music has been so versatile over your career so far and as an artist, I’m sure it can be challenging being so multifaceted at times. What feel can we expect on this new project? More singing, more rapping, or combination of both?

Honestly I will always do what I feel a song needs. If it needs just a flow, gibberish, if it just needs ooohs & ahhs, crooning, whatever. The vessel can become any form, so I find it more of a blessing than a challenge. The only challenge is perfecting every part of my craft, vocally, visually. I think this project won’t even have the listener thinking about what I’m doing. They’re just gonna feel the music, and that’s all I want.

How has living, recording and working in Chicago affected your work. It’s always been a music and cultural inclined city, but in this very moment, every artist is absolutely killing it there. I’m sure you’re proud to call the city home.

I’m definitely proud and apart of a big renaissance right now. Its bittersweet though, creating in a city where so many big good and bad events have happened. I think it’s why artists here find their gusto and then move away. But it will ALWAYS be home.

What has really served as your inspiration as you wrap up new music? Is there a specific person, activity or even idea that has been that one thing to keep you going?

My late cousin, John Walt definitely. The only song over a year old on this project is the song I made on the day he passed, and it’s one of the most special songs on the project. It deserved to be surrounded by special pieces of music that continue to tell my story. But this chapter is going to be a good one, for sure.

2018

The Camp Flog Gnaw 2018 Lineup Includes Ms. Lauryn Hill, Tyler, The Creator, The Internet, SZA and More

by Shantel Pass | published: Aug 14, 2018

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This year’s Camp Flog Gnaw lineup has officially been announced and it’s better than ever. This year’s headliners include Ms. Lauryn Hill, SZA and the festival’s founder himself,  Tyler, The Creator, among others. You can also expect to see performances from Tierra Whack, Raphael Saadiq, Little Dragon, Jorja Smith, Virgil Abloh, Jaden Smith, Ama Lou, Kali Uchis and repeat performers The Internet.

Camp Flog Gnaw’s seventh iteration is going down Saturday, November 10th and Sunday, November 11th at Dodger Stadium Grounds in Los Angeles. Ticket sales begin Friday, August 17th at Noon (PDT) here. This year Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every pass sold will go to LAC+USC Breathmobile keeping kids out of the emergency room and in school and BreatheLA which promotes clean air and healthy lungs through education, research, technology and advocacy.

2018

Moses Sumney Shares ‘Black in Deep Red, 2014’ EP

by Shantel Pass | published: Aug 10, 2018

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Moses Sumney returns today with a three-track EP that is as emotionally stirring as his gorgeous debut album, Aromanticism. Black in Deep Red, 2014 tackles the topic of hate and the racist ideologies that keep racism fermenting in society. The opening track “Power?” hears a rally’s chant boasting community power before Moses joins the chant eventually framing said possession of power as a question (as implied in the title’s stylization). “Call-to-Arms” is where lullaby meets melancholy. Eccentric, sweet and disruptive, the wordless track sends Moses’s vocal expressions into cascading percussion-led instrumentation. The EP ends with the straight-shooting “Rank & File,” a lyrical battlecry that confronts the futility of police by reflecting on the murder of Michael Brown (a Black boy who took his final breath in Deep Red blood when he was murdered by a Ferguson, MO cop in 2014). Listen to Moses Sumney’s Black in Deep Red, 2014 below. 

2018

Standing On The Corner Releases Enigmatic “SahBabii /\ Now, Nation End, 38:15” Video

by Saint Heron | published: Aug 09, 2018

A new visual from Standing On The Corner for “SahBabii /\ Now, Nation End, 38:15” arrives today and it proves that there really is freedom in art. The video centers gripping illustrations by Mortis Studio in scenes that easily keep up with Standing On The Corner’s thoughtfully frazzled lyrics. “SahBabii /\ Now, Nation End, 38:15” comes from the collective’s 2017 effort, Red Burns, in which “we had more to say about how we feel, more than trying to be good songwriters,” Corner member Gio said in an interview. He continued, “We were going through a lot while this album was coming to be. There were personal things and… impending doom. I hope that gets across in the album, this obsession or theme with the end of the world as we know it.

Watch the enigmatic “SahBabii /\ Now, Nation End, 38:15” video above.

2018

Watch Tyler, the Creator’s Cinema Inspired Visual For “See You Again”

by Maia Seals | published: Aug 08, 2018

It’s no surprise that Tyler, The Creator is still a visual genius. Since making his debut back in 2009, hes had no problem gaining/maintaining a huge following of fans that embraced his hyperbolic sound. Tyler has always touched on topics that teens, and now adults, needed to hear in music. Sometimes it felt like a lot, especially when you have people chanting “Kill people burn shit fuck school” at 15 years old, but it was a way to release anger and anxiety. Tyler, The Creator made it okay to be an artsy Black kid that was ANGRY sometimes and needed to yell and rage about it. He started a movement for teens that sometimes needed a space to not GAF, we needed that.

Fast forwarding through all of his incredible visual collaborations, from “IFHY” to “She” to “Who Dat Boy,” is pure insanity. Video after video, Tyler never takes his foot off your neck. He’s constantly pushed himself out of the mold and creates stunning visuals to match his constantly changing sound. His newest visual for “See You Again” (ft. Kali Uchis), from his previous Flower Boy album, doesn’t miss.

Very Wes Anderson inspired, the video starts on a naval ship. A$AP Rocky makes a cameo as his next door shipmate. The colors range from muted blues to vibrant turquoise, rubber duck yellow, and blood red. Following Anderson’s rule of symmetry, there is always a person or object directly centered. Kali Uchis can be seen sitting in a little boat, in which her three other riders plop into the water at the end of her first chorus. There are so many details in between here and the song switch at 2:16 that you feel as though you’ve watched a full-length film.

Tyler literally walks into the “Where This Flower Blooms” segment, sporting a very golf wang inspired fit: white shirt, bucket hat, sneakers, a loose cardigan over shoulders, and a black pair of dress pants. He switches into Halloween ghost gear, with white sheets hanging on a line as a backdrop. He raps here until he’s unveiled as a swarm of bees.

Please take the time to watch Tyler, The Creators newest visual masterpiece above.

2018

The Internet Announce Hive Mind Tour Dates

by Shantel Pass | published: Aug 08, 2018

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We’re all still happily spinning The Internet‘s fourth studio album Hive Mind and in about two months, we’ll be screaming the lyrics at one of their live shows. The Internet have announced the “Hive Mind Tour” which appears to begin immediately following their supporting run on tour with the Gorillaz.

A first leg will begin October 14th at Afropunk‘s Carnival of Consciousness in Atlanta and will stop in Minneapolis, LA, Seattle and more before it wraps November 3rd at the House of Blues in San Diego. After a week, The Internet will set out again on November 11th in Phoenix and will hit Vegas, Dallas, Houston and more before it’s last stop in Detroit. The Internet confirmed via Twitter that more dates would be announced “very soon.” Until then, check out the current dates below or in the flyer above.

Tickets for the “Hive Mind Tour” go on sale Friday, August 10th at 10 a.m.

Hive Mind Tour Dates:
October 8 – Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena (with Gorillaz)
October 9 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre (with Gorillaz)
October 11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center (with Gorillaz)
October 13 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center (with Gorillaz)
October 14 – Atlanta, GA @ Afropunk
October 16 – Chicago, IL @ United Center (with Gorillaz)
October 17 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
October 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Demon Dayz Festival
October 21 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
October 24 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
October 25 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
October 26 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo
October 28 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace Of Spades
October 31 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ Fremont Theater
November 3 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
November 11 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
November 12 – Las Vegas, NV @ House Of Blues
November 15 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
November 16 – San Antonio, TX @ The Aztec Theatre
November 18 – Houston, TX @ House Of Blues
November 19 – Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues
November 20 – New Orleans, LA @ House Of Blues
November 26 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
November 27 – Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
December 1 – Richmond, VA @ The National
December 5 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
December 12 – Detroit, MI @ Saint Andrews Hall

2018

H.E.R. Shares Album Prelude EP ‘I Used to Know Her: The Prelude’

by Shantel Pass | published: Aug 03, 2018

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H.E.R. is on fire these days and if you’ve been down since the original Vol. 1 EP, you saw this coming. The multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter completed a U.S. and overseas run of her headlining ‘Lights On’ tour and is now supporting Chris Brown on his tour. Keeping up with her Instagram, it’s obvious she’s also been hard at work on a new album. Today we’re getting the project’s “prelude,” a phenomenal album teaser in the form of H.E.R.’s third EP titled I Used To Know Her: The Prelude.

The six-track EP contains a feature from Bryson Tiller on the hazy “Could’ve Been” where she reminds a lover of what they once shared. Among the other five cuts, the only additional feature is from DJ Scratch on the album’s potent opener “Lost Soul,” a Lauryn Hill “Lost Ones” tapped number that places fame goals and social media hang-ups under a microscope. “A lost soul can’t lead the people,” she chants in an impactful refrain. Personal favorite “As I Am” is the perfect number to get you right back in your bag whenever you forget who you are.

Listen to H.E.R.’s I Used To Know Her: The Prelude below.

2018

Moses Sumney Announces ‘Black in Deep Red, 2014’ EP, Shares Lead Single “Rank & File”

by Maia Seals | published: Aug 01, 2018

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Yesterday afternoon, Moses Sumney tweeted out a 3D motion army man video teaser along with the caption “New music — Tomorrow“. As promised, he has now released a military chant-themed track titled “Rank & File.” Centered on the racism-rooted, police murders of Black people, the song was inspired by the jury verdict and ruling on the tragic murder of Mike Brown. Fiery lyrics challenge the thoughtlessness of officer action in a lyrical exposé on cops’ blatant “to protect and serve” neglect. “…Say protect and serve us/ But murder’s not service/ Now i don’t care what i’ve been told (Hey, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)/ To kill so quick is animal (Hey, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)/ Now i don’t care what they might say (Hey, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)/ It’s gon’ come back around one day…” he sings between protest soundbites of chants and questions for community “authorities.” Later in the track, he introduces one of the most powerful lines of the song, calmly singing, “If we make you nervous, what is your purpose?

Although, “Rank & File” has been sung live as a part of Sumneys various concert sets over the years, it should be noted that the studio version has dropped marking the 4th anniversary of Mike Brown’s death. Tragically, the track is still relevant to the state of the US today. “Rank & File” is the first single for Sumney’s forthcoming EP, Black in Deep Red, 2014.

Listen to “Rank & File” below.

2018

Janet Mock, Ian Isiah and More Appear in Blood Orange’s “Jewelry” Visual

by Shantel Pass | published: Jul 29, 2018

The second visual from Blood Orange‘s next album, Negro Swan, was unveiled just hours after its predecessor “Charcoal Baby.” Just as symbolic and empowering, the visual finds Blood Orange and a group of friends (including fellow musician Ian Isiah) freely shirtless and with celebratory energy in a tree-lined park. The group of friends, unapologetically embodying who they are opposed to what they’re expected to look like, appear after an empowering spoken intro from the gorgeous Janet Mock (who also makes a cameo in the video’s opening scene) on image, expectation and “showing up.”

Blood Orange’s Negro Swan is due August 24th via Domino. Watch the “Jewelry” visual directed by Dev Hynes above.

2018

ICYMI: VanJess’s Debut Album ‘Silk Canvas’ Arrives

by Shantel Pass | published: Jul 28, 2018

If you’ve been paying attention, VanJess‘s debut album is definitely one you’ve been waiting for. Having wowed and wooed us with their uniquely Soul-tinged Electronic jams since they first landed on our radar years ago, the arrival of Silk Canvas – the ladies’ debut album – means our summer playlists are getting some new additions. Fourteen tracks of grooving, lusty and laidback energy comprise a pleasingly on-brand inaugural work for the Nigerian-American sisters and, regardless of what you’re into, we’re willing to bet there’s something on Silk Canvas for everyone.

Previously released jams “Touch The Floor” featuring Masego, “Addicted,” “Through Enough” featuring GoldLink, “Easy” featuring Berhana and Leikeli47 and (most recently) “Control Me” are included among nine cuts including keep-it-real number “Filters” and the KAYTRANADA-produced “Another Lover.” As the only additional feature, Little Simz makes a fantastic appearance on the album’s final track “Rewind Time.”

Listen to VanJess’s Silk Canvas below via Spotify and Apple Music and watch the visual for “Control Me” above.

2018

Blood Orange Shares First ‘Negro Swan’ Visual for “Charcoal Baby”

by Shantel Pass | published: Jul 26, 2018

There’s less than a month left in the countdown to Blood Orange‘s Negro Swan LP and the anticipation continues to build with project’s lead single and companion visual’s unveiling. “Charcoal Baby” opens with a meaningfully-spoken examination of the word “family” as the split screen visual finds the singer/songwriter and musician headed in two different directions. The speaker says, “You ask me what family is, and I think of family as community. I think of the spaces where you don’t have to shrink yourself, where you don’t have to pretend or to perform. You can fully show up and be vulnerable in silence, completely empty, and that’s completely enough. You show up as you are, without judgment, without ridicule, without fear or violence or policing or containment, and you can be there, and you’re filled all the way up. We get to choose our families. We are not limited by biology. We get to make ourselves, and we get to make our family.” Both sides of the video embody the comforting bliss of embracing our selves’ various forms and the power of unconditionally-supporting, familial acceptance. As the two celebrations ensue, it becomes clear that Blood Orange was headed to the same exact place in the video’s beginning scene, a Family Restoration Center.

Negro Swan is slated for release on August 24th and the album’s title was taken from a line in this very song where Blood Orange sings, “no one wants to be the negro swan.” You can pre-order the album now and watch the symbolically emotive, Crack Stevens-directed “Charcoal Baby” visual above.

2018

Matt Martians Directs The Internet’s “La Di Da” Visual

by Shantel Pass | published: Jul 25, 2018

The second member-directed visual from The Internet is here with Matt Martians taking over for Hive Mind single “La Di Da.” Opening with home video style footage of road trip and vacation house kickbacks, the video finds The Internet indulging in carefree good times. Syd‘s, Matt‘s, Steve‘s, Patrick‘s and Chris’ personalities shine through in a park scene where they each purely engage each others’ silly and unbothered energy as crooned in the song’s lyrics. Lover boy Matt teleports the “La Di Da” visual to a futurist setting while he balms the angsty concern of his suitors with the smooth assurance that he’s more than enough to go around in a glow in the dark scene that leads to the track’s bridge. The visual closes with a performance scene snippet of “Wanna Be” from Syd.

The Internet’s Hive Mind album is available for purchase and streaming. Watch Matt’s visual for “La Di Da” above and Syd’s visual for “Come Over” here.