Category Archives: Creativity

Verge Campus BU x Off the Cuff Present: Off The Verge (2018)

On the Verge of being Off the Verge.

This past Friday (April 6th, 2018), was the 3rd Edition of what was the Boston Breakthrough, revamped and renamed as Off the Verge. This year, team Verge Campus BU decided to partner with the major fashion club on Boston University’s campus, Off the Cuff, to bring a unique twist to our usual showcase. Once again, 8 artists were chosen and premiered, featured, shared, loved, and highlighted by our team of editorialists, marketers, and creatives.

All hands were on deck, decorating, preparing, laughing, dancing, sound checking, and more! It was a wonderful time, getting together with hard working, ecstatic students to put together an incredible showcase that was intensely and thoroughly created over the course of a month.

At the event, there were streetwear brands like Allston Crawl and Buch America; there was jewelry designed by BU student Ameera Hammouda; there was Sony Music U merchandise; and there was a food sponsor Eat Your Coffee.

The saying holds true, third time is the charm! Of the three production of this showcase, 2018’s, this year’s edition of the show was the best outcome yet with tons of amazing articles, playlists, photos, instastories, graphics, and a wild promo video (filmed and produced by Jared Brill), there was no doubt that the show was going to run just as well. As a matter of fact, it did, with the most attendance we have had, we were able to offer our performers and vendors a chance to share their craft to a full crowd.

However, we can not forget our main attraction, which was that the 8 artists (unfortunately, 7 due to medical reasons) performed throughout the night, serenading the audience and demonstrating their talents on the stage of BU Central under the lights and surround by glow sticks.

It was certainly a night to remember, and one to be proud of because of all the hard work our teammates put in together.

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As Editor-in-Chief of the Boston University chapter since its genesis, this was my last Boston Breakthrough event. The event I wanted to create in order to allow our team members to work together as an actual team, as a family. At the end of the day, this is my family. I love them all so dearly, both the old and the new, those whom have been with me since day 1 and the ones who just joined this last semester. Everything about Verge Campus has formed what I have been able to do, and what I have been able to see. Without this, I don’t think I would have ever bene able to become a leader, to understand that music industry or meet the people in the music scene who I have met. This is a thank you to not only my teammates for keeping me afloat and inspired and motivated, this is a thank you to all of the artists, both small and large, who have given me the chance to speak to them, to write about them, and to share their music and my words through this platform. Thank you to the artists who participate in Boston Breakthrough and thank you to Off the Cuff for this amazing collaboration.

Remember that what you give is what you get, and what you show passion in and hard work in will reflect back in the career or life path of your dreams. Don’t be afraid to work hard and don’t be afraid of others. But most importantly, don’t be afraid of yourself, because as long as words, music, friends, interests, and experiences exist, you will always be able to create and show off something incredible that was made or done entirely by you.

Here’s to once being on the verge to now being off the verge. 

Love, Neelu Mohaghegh (4.11.18)

(P.S. If you go to our Verge Campus BU Spotify account HERE, you can check out the exclusive playlists of all of our acts from the night of Off the Verge)

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A Provocative and Beautiful Spotify Original Series: I’m With the Banned

 

When people can’t travel, music can.

If there is anything in this world that has moved me more, or impacted me more, it would be this series. A beautiful documentary split into episodes of collaborations between two artists from two worlds. The US travel ban restricted 6 countries to come to this country, but music will not let that happen. Watch above.

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Spotify decided to give President Trump a backhanded slap for the absurdity and disgusting Travel Ban he put in place, which  is intended to keep citizens of Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Yemen, and Libya out of the U.S. completely. Spotify’s idea? Using what they do best, which is discover and share new music. With Spotify, beginning to enter the video realms of the digital industry, they produced their very own documentary series titled “I’m With the Banned“, in which they take an emerging artist from each one of those forbidden countries, and fly them over to Toronto, Canada (a safe zone), where they would collaborate with an American artist. The message relayed is that “Music has no boundaries”, “Music without borders”.

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In each of the 5 episodes so far produced, we get a glimpse into the worlds of each artist both from the U.S. perspective and from the third world country viewpoint, and we have the chance to learn how different their musical backgrounds are.

The U.S. artists are K. Flay, Desiigner, Pusha T, X Ambassadors, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Dr. Lonnie Smith.

The artists from the banned are: Waayaha Cusub (Somalia), Methal (Yemen), Moh Flow (Syria), Kasra (Iran), Sufyvan (Sudan), and Ahmed Fakroun  (Libya).

Each collaboration fabricates a different product and outcome. They’re all beautiful. They remix elements of their cultures into one and meld the DNAs of their music into a completely new  and exciting species of song. The best part is that each composition has a story, and through that story they tell the tale of what music means to these artists and where it has come from for them.

Why is this series important? Besides the fact that they are very cool and fascinating films, they also show how large corporations, like Spotify, can make a difference. They have the power to influence society in what they hear and who they are moved by far more than the president does. This makes them more forceful in sending messages to the masses. With a platform like Spotify that can transcend oceans and mountains to all parts of the world , and that anyone and everyone can use, it only makes sense that they stand to have a significant voice in the lives of the world’s population.

Music is an intangible, yet an impactful product, that I can safely say EVERYONE listens to, even if against their own will.

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Spotify is also a culture. It feeds lifestyles with the sounds we want to hear, but as a bonus, it offers the sounds that we need to hear. With video now involved and a shaky political climate, Spotify has the power to show that there are no differences in a human being when it comes down to it. At the end of the day, we’re all music lovers. At the end of the day, we all live a life and we all have something we love. This series shows a step in the right direction. It shows that businesses can be good, fair, and caring. Spotify is taking a stance and it’s using its best retaliation strategy: discovery. Real people meeting with real people and producing music, producing a beat, and a song. With Spotify playing this card for change, it only shows that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Be sure to check out the full length documentary (31 mins) on Spotify, as well as watch the episodic series above, and then listen to the playlist. Truly an incredible movement.

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Scientists Are Close to Finding a Cure for Hearing Loss

Human hearing loss could be reversible.

This is your gift, say buh-bye to hearing aids. Anyone who loves concerts and music as much as I do, understands that the fear of losing your hearing is always lingering above our heads, even if we don’t want to admit it. Did you know that, “many animals regenerate the tiny hair cells that enable hearing”? This is what The Atlantic‘s Jessa Gamble reported when writing about a conducted research study that could possibly help us humans do the same and prevent hearing loss overall.

Hearing loss and deafness is a major issue in our species today. Almost over 1/3 of senior citizens suffer from hearing loss. And you don’t just have to be old. Back in 2010, CBS News reported that one in five teens also suffered from the ear failure due to the loud music played through their earbuds, headphones, and at concerts. However, with the recent studies, this problem may no longer exist, and it may be reversible.

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As of right now, Audion is collaborating with the pharmaceutical entity, Eli Lilly, to create compounds that might fit the found mold.  They have received generous donations to contribute to their research funds, but the struggle is in the fact that there is now a lot of competition out there. It is wonderful that there are so many people out there trying to solve this case, though, because without the music that makes us move, our worlds would lead silent, desolate lives. We wouldn’t be able to sing or dance or play or enjoy the sounds of music. Could you even imagine?!

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There are now several large therapeutic companies hard at work in the labs trying to develop a simple way to multiply cells that would then turn into ear cells. Whether this discovery will occur in the near future or not, many are on top of it, and it seems that yes, indeed it could be a possibility!

For now, still wear your earplugs if you’re close to the stage because you want to still hear the music, don’t you?

Cool Babies Listen to Lullaby Versions of LCD Soundsystem, Daft Punk, OutKast & More

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Now you can either be the coolest or have the coolest baby around, who is extremely well-musically versed, with these lullaby versions of famous songs!

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There is a famous children’s music label out there, and it goes by the name Rockabye Baby!.  Oh, edgy! This year marks its 10th year around and they are planning on celebrating big time for the anniversary. This year they put together and constructed an album of their own titled Birthday Party which includes some of the greatest pop songs of our generation, but baby style. How cool is that? These people warped and tuned and mixed and mastered complex melodies and songs into simple, bubbly tunes that any kid would enjoy to doze off to.  This compilation is not fully out yet, but from what has been reported by sources like Pitchfork and Stereogum, it should be released sometime on October 14th. No joke, I probably will be checking out this album just to hear how they were able to revamp the sounds of OutKast’s “Hey Ya” into toddler speak and completely transform the electricity of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” into a sleepy-cutsie sonic tune.  The entirety of the album is meant to be the sickest way to get your baby to enjoy hardcore music, without too much of the noise, and you get to expose them to good stuff at an early age!

Rockabye Baby!’s motto is: Lullaby renditions of baby’s favorite rock bands. 

So, I think they’re doing a pretty good job of what they do. We got a little sneak peak though of the kid label’s lullaby track of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” so you can hear it above! And check out the rest of the track list and the cover art below to see if any of your favorites are on there! ROCK ON, LITTLE ONES!

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Rockabye Baby! Birthday Party Track List:

01 The Beatles: “Birthday”:
02 Kool & The Gang: “Celebration”
03 Black Eyed Peas: “Let’s Get It Started”
04 Pitbull: “Don’t Stop the Party”
05 Miley Cyrus: “Party in the U.S.A.”
06 Cyndi Lauper: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
07 David Bowie: “Let’s Dance”
08 Daft Punk: “Get Lucky”
09 P!nk: “Get the Party Started”
10 Deee-lite: “Groove Is in the Heart”
11 Chic: “Good Times”
12 Marvin Gaye: “Got to Give It Up”
13 Michael Jackson: “Rock With You”
14 OutKast: “Hey Ya!”
15 LCD Soundsystem: “All My Friends”

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Pitchfork

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Further References: Pitchfork

[Exclusive] Behind the Lens: Meet Director Brian Petchers of Cam Meekins’ Music Video ‘Risk’

 

This is a piece on an artist, a director named Brian Petchers, who sees the world from a purely unique perspective, one where he teaches observers that this is how people should treasure life, touch minds and live dreams.

When music needs a visual, which path do you take? Is it dark? Is it light? Is it real or make-believe? Why not make it a complete sensory experience?  Meet Brian Petchers, music video director and visual connoisseur, who recently worked on a project with Boston-rapper Cam Meekins.

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Brian Petchers

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Think ephemeral, think beauty, think a light that flashes across your eyes, the foggy and warped interpretation of your vision in front of you and then passing by.

Think nostalgic and think dreamy. Think reasons unspoken and reality versus a dream. This is how Petchers, a man of his art, a man who has a gift at such a young age, executes his work. The Connecticut-native had a chance to connect with me to discuss his behind-the-scenes process of his recent music video release for Cam Meekins’, single ”Risk.” Meekins is a young artist with a large reputation in the city for being a voice for the Massachusetts hip hop scene.

He decided to then approach the director in hopes of recording his new music video, which Petchers took graciously. However, this wouldn’t be the first time that the duo would work together; in fact, this would be the third time, so they have the musical chemistry already there.

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In the video we follow along a story line of boy meets girl, but in a way that not most directors do. The vision is wavy and blurred yet extremely vivid. It’s the actual interpretations of a late night party while intoxicated and in love, giving the entire clip a true and real character. This is how the Skidmore College alum sees the world and the events that occur in it, and how he teaches observers that this is how people should treasure life, touch minds and live dreams.

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Petchers was more than excited to discuss the development and concept of the Meekin’s music video from the ‘director’s point of view.’ “We shot this in Boston and it has a strong summer-time and youthful feel,” explains the visual creator. “Cam and I worked together on two video’s “Cut Me Off” and “The Receipt” in 2012. He reached out on Twitter to see if I wanted to direct the lead video off his new project Art is The Reason,” and “he sent me over the song and I wrote a treatment. I wanted to push the boundaries creatively while still staying within Cam’s brand. The things I wanted to make sure I captured was a youthful, summer-time Boston feel. What we landed on was a candid rooftop social setting in Southie turned into a more abstract almost mysterious late night party.”

I love the way that Petchers plays with light and the shades and hues of natural light, and the shadows and highly exposed areas of artificial lighting. Emphasizing hands, hair, and other body parts, the celebration of human life. He messes with time and space, things that are seen, things that are ambiguous, and things that are just there as white noise. He emphasizes the things that seem fictional and makes them real.

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“Smoke, light, and motion are all visual themes within the video that echo the nature and momentum of the track. The video has a light narrative of Cam pursuing the lead female,” says the videographer, describing how he planned to build a plot out of the rapper’s music. He continues, “I prepped a storyboard and shot list. (It’s great when you can get it as close to your vision as possible.) My goal is to create visuals that show the world through my eyes.” You can see those sketches and images below as side by sides of what the drawing/visualization looks like vs. the footage.

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The entirety of the construction of the expose spanned a course of 2 full days all over the city of Boston. He says, “I wanted to make sure the visuals fell in line with my personal aesthetic: candid, beautiful, youthful, American, nostalgic. I think we did a good job of achieving this.” Within just a few quick weeks, the director was ready to release the video for Meekins to promote his song through in early July. You can watch the video in its entirety above.

Amazing. The song itself has a fun beat, and a light trill pattern, much like a trop-house mix, but it has a nostalgic tune, like the risk you wish you took, but didn’t, and now you’re looking back at it. It’s the sound of a bold man (Meekins) and his opinions through his lyrics, as he describes his own summer tale. The song screams “no matter what gets in our way, we’re going to ‘think about the good times’ and enjoy this moment.” It’s a light-hearted tune perfect for the adventurous-hearts and the passionate beings.

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Now, here is a little more about the director and his other work. In the past, the artist has collaborated with artists such as Big Sean, Soulja Boy, Dylan Owen, Timeflies, Chuuwee, Steve Aoki, Logic, Cam Meekins and OnCue among many others. He has also been working for the enterprise mogul company Forbes, making commercials and documentaries for the organization.

In addition to the already numerous successes, Petchers was recently nominated for the Cannes Young Director Award for his work with Dylan Owen, “There’s More To Life.” Watch it here now.

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When watching his pieces, it feels as if you were thrown into the dimensions of a Tarrence Malik film such as The Tree Of Life, or that of an Andrew Dominik creation, such as The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. He fabricates cinematography like the world is a photograph, or a series of photographs- beautiful, flawed, unique and extraordinary. In every one of his productions, from commercials, to music videos, to his own short pieces, Petchers closely examines the subjects and the environments he puts together like pieces of a puzzle that make up his vision.

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There is not even an inkling of doubt that this young man of the millennial generation, who now resides in NYC, is going to be leading the industry in an artistic revolution, led completely by a youthful, colorful, and complex imagination.

You can now follow along this creative’s journey by following him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and by checking out his official site.

*All Photographs and Visuals by Brian Petchers*

The Weeknd Shows Off His New Spring/Summer 2016 Fashion Line

You’ll feel like the baddest-chick or guy ever to where the letters XO when you see The Weeknd‘s new merchandise for his summer line!

The Weeknd has been noted as one of the best contemporary R&B/Hip hop artists of our generation. His music is rich, erotic, and dreamy as he hits the falsetto notes like an angel. At this year’s 2016 Billboard Music Awards, the “Can’t Feel My Face” artist won big, taking home 8 awards including including Top Hot 100 Artist and Top R&B Artist. But not only is he an artist of music, and extravagant hairstyles, but he is also an artist of design and merchandising.

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The Weeknd’s fashion line is called XO like his infamous stage brand and logo. The publication OOTLYFE made a remark that the singer “is simply at the point whereas anything he tags his name on results into a frenzy of profit.” And they’re not wrong! His clothing and other merchandise have been making sales through the roof in the past year! After contracting and joining up with the highly-esteemed fashion designer Alexander Wang, in 2015, his garments have become one of the hottest trends in artist history.

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They’re so simple and monochromatic, yet so chic. They give off an edge and toughness for both male and female consumers, while also being sporty and fresh. There are not enormous amounts of graphics, and if anything, it could be most closely related to the Calvin Kleins’ underwear line. All of apparel is engraved by the lettering “XO” and include wear like short-sleeve hoodies, crewnecks, crop tops, bodysuits, sweatpants, T-Shirts, snapbacks, socks, jerseys, and even a beach towel for your summer getaway.

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This is all part of The Weeknd’s Spring/Summer collection, but he’s been in the game long enough to know what the fans want this summer. He continues to use his two-toned hues of black and white, but has also added a bonus coloration of army green as well!

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The Kissland and Trilogy artist began this path down the fashion industry back in 2014, and he never went out of style, just like how he we’ll never get tired of serenading us to the infectious lyrics and seductive tunes of his music.

You can check out the rest of his gear at his Official Fan Merchandise site. What XO swag do you front?

Further References: OOTLYFE, HighSnobiety, Hypetrak

Watch Stunning Visual “Friends” by Francis and The Lights ft. Bon Iver, & Kanye West

 

Prepare yourself for the most stunningly simplistic wonderland you shall ever see.

In this Jake Schreier directed visual, Francis and The Lights (Francis Farewell Starlite) introduces us to one of his beautiful pieces of music “Friends,” which features some of his own friends such as the indie band Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and the G.O.O.D. Music founder Kanye West!

I know what you’re thinking. Bon Iver and Kanye West in the same sentence?! Never. But yes, together they have become a part of Francis’s beautiful escapade, dancing and singing to a whimsical tune that is dreamy and otherworldly.  This entire music video was a large collaborative effort of talented and artistic minds. The song itself was written by Rostam Batmanglij, which some of you may know as a member of the former eclectic indie-pop band Vampire Weekend. The track was then produced by a multitude of minds from Cashmere Cat, to Benny Blanco, to Ariel Rechtshaid.

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Francis Farewell Starlite

The choreography is strange, awkward, and dazzling. The music is contagious. The sounds of the synths and vocals are infectious and nostalgic. The lighting is perfection between shadows and extreme exposure. The environment is plain, boxy, and fascinating. One word to best describe this exposé is extraordinarily schizophrenic- in the best possible way. It is also interesting seeing the Chicago-rapper being so solemn for once compared to the usual controversial and epic ventures he is displaying for the general public.

This is not the only joint work the New York artist has come across. He has also been a coveted collaborator for the likes of Chance the Rapper and Frank Ocean. In fact, if you weren’t able to notice it, this song is actually what was sampled in Chance’s “Summer Friends” track off his hit beloved album, Coloring Book. The rapper was nothing but grateful to Francis for allowing him to use that segment in his song before he was ever able to show his own track to the world. How generous! You can see in the tweet below, Chance humbled by the grace of Francis’ generosity.

In addition, according to Consequence of Sound, Vernon has actually had a chance to work with West in the past back to when the hip hopper was working on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

In this single, you can feel the summer vibes of friendship flow between the air around. It’s literally the sounds of children and choirs and birds and sunshine and all things good and positive, while still remaining as down-to-earth as possible.

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Justin Vernon

If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself pressing play on the video above, and then repeating that another 20 times because you just can’t get enough. So what are you waiting for? Press that Ye button now and let’s get friendly! (And don’t forget to let us know what you think.)

Adidas and Kanye West Announce New Fashion Partnership

Guess what, everyone? The Kanye West x Adidas line is not going anywhere soon, instead they’re getting cozy and planning on creating a long-term relationship.

On Wednesday morning, the top notch sportswear company went public about officially tying the knot with the hip hop artist, West. This would be a partnership that would last and would include the creation of Yeezy’s sneakers, apparel, gear, and retail stores for his Yeezy line. The two brand-names (yes, Ye really is his own brand) will form an entity called “adidas + KANYE WEST.” Of course, his name better be in ALL CAPS. Here is a recent tweet the company posted about this news:

In this announcement, the College Dropout rapper discussed the overwhelming success of what he’s created so far with adidas, and how he looks forward to what will come next for the entire venture.

“These past two years adidas and Yeezy have given a glimpse into our future,” West said to press. “This partnership illustrates that anyone with a dream can dream without limitations.”

The athletic company let fans know that this new enterprise would expand West’s line of fashion even further in the industry, beyond just a lifestyle product, but more to a performance design as well. Adidas’ CMO, Eric Liedtke, made a comment about these new endeavors:“with adidas + KANYE WEST we are exploring new territories by opening up the sports world to Kanye’s creativity,” he said. “This is what adidas has always been about, empowering creators to create the new.”

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The entity also noted that this new direction will be “the most significant partnership ever created between an athletic brand and a non-athlete.”

Back in 2013, West signed his initial adidas deal. This was after he had made some public criticisms towards his former company Nike. The first Kanye West x adidas product that was ever to release was the adidas Yeezy 750 Boost in February of 2015, and it blew up the sales of the company. And the rest was history.

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Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost

These new retail stores designed just for Yeezys will serve as “distinct hubs for adidas and West developed Yeezy product[s].” And as a result of all of this change, this will make West’s Yeezy line much more readily accessible to the fans who have been dying to have it.