Category Archives: Playlists

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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Delving Into Rex Mac’s Talented Music: The Release of “ABLOOM” & More

He’s keeping it one hundo for us

Introducing a Massachusetts Asian-American native and a truly talented hip hopper in the scene, Rex Mac. This young lyrical master and hypnotic maestro has been working on music for years now.  He is also a journalist for Know Your Scene, but of course devotes his time and love to his one true craft.

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Since 2012, Rex has been transforming noise into ferocious, elegant tracks (but the passion really began when he was just 12). With a keen eye for the matching of sounds, this artist took his abilities to a whole new level when creating his recent project ABLOOM, which released this year. He demonstrates his competence and expertise in what he does each day, and it shows through the production of this album, which he did all on his own- wrote, produced, and mastered.

The songwriter mentions, “It took me four years to make Abloom, so I felt like a wholly new person by the time I finished it. I named the album after all of its songs were made, and the title just made sense. The image of a big, open flower that Abloom brings to mind was an effective way for me to visually reference vulnerability, honesty, life, the women in mine, and an overall born again feeling. Also, it’s kind of close to the word, ‘album,’ no?”

ABLOOM was created to discuss a deeper and darker topic that many are afraid to express transparently, and Rex made sure to be there to represent the masses. It is an album that touches upon the impacts of detrimental mental health and the thoughts and needs of those affected by it. With each track, he reaches into the soul and brings out the topics that matter most: doubt, self-love and relationships, and understanding. ABLOOM is bursting with various shining colors, vibes, and emotions. “Every song on Abloom tackles the idea of what it is to be your best self. For me, the album’s 10 tracks were simply the songs that materialized when I personally resolved to no longer let depression or anxiety suffocate my day to day. Those two themes have formed and still somewhat drive my narrative, but now I make my demons work for me. I use them as a means to let my listeners know they’re not alone.”

ABLOOM has received praise and review from such publications as Allston Pudding, Boston Hassle, Millennial Noise, and Mmmmaven.

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In an interview with Allston Pudding, the artist recalls, “Songs on the record that sound overly happy were actually made in moments I felt pretty down about myself and my lack of movement in life. In those moments, now that I look back, I think those songs materialized because I was writing love songs to myself in a time when I needed encouragement. ”

The album starts out with the title track, “Abloom”, which is the best intro for this compilation of ingenuity. Following that is “The World is Not Enough”, which is a fun, fast-paced single that kind of sounds like an acoustic version of a video game track. “East Meets West” is a witty tune that features a past GMAD-reviewed artist, Rowlan, a good friend of Rex’s.

To compare and contrast Rex’s music, he reminds you of new day Cam Meekins meets old-school Snoop Dogg & Slick Rick. The music itself is an impressive experimental sound like Kid Cudi’s, but incorporating more 90s West Coast G Funk and Kanye West millennial, forceful simplicity. All the beats are melodious, which is what I think I love most about his music. A healthy balance of tunes and tones, with smart, sincere lyrics.

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“How To Be Alone” is a track about learning to be isolated with oneself . What is very artistic and intriguing about his sounds too are that many of them lead down an unbeaten path of tempo change and rhythmic distortion into a whole new sounding song. It gives listeners a chance at a fresh new experience all in the same the track. At the end of this song, it concludes with a little Frank Sinatra-esque riff, without the autotune and just the raw vocals of Rex, telling the sincere truth of emotion.

“Mantra” is a bumpin’ track that gets you movin’ to the tempo, and the strings are an interesting touch giving it a more spiritual experience.

The whole album in its entirety is like a spoken journal of a man’s thoughts and emotions as he goes through his day, in his own narrative voice and locked inside the chambers of his own mind. “Sonically, I had a blast making the beats for this album. They’re quirky… minimalist. I had the Konmari method in mind when I selected sounds for its songs. The song, ‘The World Is Not Enough,’ doesn’t have a single kick drum or hi hat. ‘Rogues’ doesn’t have a single snare. There are secret songs not mentioned in the album’s tracklist. I wanted to give listeners a deep world to wander”, relays the artist.

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The retro hip hop tunes are honestly really invigorating because we don’t really hear this kind of sound anymore. “One Hundo” gives  us a taste of that. The whines of the 808’s and the slow and smooth flow of the voice and words remind you to appreciate the history of hip hop. Rex perfectly reflects that sound. Definitely my top pick on the album!

I wanted to understand what Rex thought of the current climate of the Massachusetts music scene, especially since there are so many talented ones out there, but such an underground niche hidden beneath the surface of it all. He thoughtfully answered:

“People keep asking why I never moved to New York or Los Angeles upon graduating college to pursue music, implying that the creative grounds are infertile out here. I’ve chosen to remain firmly planted in Massachusetts because I see all of its personality and potential. This is why when I’m not performing I’m writing articles on Boston artists and their backstories. I’m invested in why people do what they do, especially in an area where the infrastructure isn’t as supportive as it should be. Human spirit in the face of resilience is gangster. I thrive off the energy of our underdogs and channel it into my own work”. The artist proceeds with his reasoning:

“Massachusetts is so heavily revered for its leaders and establishments..from academia, to medical advancement, to sports. But for some reason, only a small number of the scene’s current hip hop artists are brought up in national conversation. I’m happy for all of Token and Joyner Lucas’s recent success, but I see so many more hip hop folk out here really executing thoughtful, creative visions.”

He also mentioned that even the female music and art scene is rising and is very strong.  He offers a few suggestions of women that are currently making waves of their own to see for ourselves, such as Jamilah Unique’s multi-genre showcase Art Plug; hip hop artist Oompa’s album, November 3rd; Amanda Shea’s Hope Inc. Showcase; and Anna Rae’s All Together Now POC/LGBTQ/Female focused showcase. “Ultimately, I just want to see a futurist rise out of Massachusetts. I want to see a Kanye or Pharrell pop up out of Boston. I’m not sure who it’ll be, but I won’t stop working till I see that person emerge” enthusiastically chimes the sonic connoisseur.

Rex is working hard, and putting his heart and soul, and every inch of being that there is of him in it. He’s proving that and no question will this artist be able to rise to more fame in which everything will finally blossom and bloom into a stunning career.

To hear more of Rex’s tracks off the album, listen HERE.

Also: Check Out This Exclusive Playlist of Some of Rex’s Favorite Tracks Right Now Both In & Out of Boston!

Be sure to follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, and Soundcloud. Check out his site HERE.

A New Year Means a New Playlist – Dreams of Consciousness

Press Reset, then Press Play, and listen for New Tunes to Soundtrack a New Year.

A new year has sprung, and everyone is coming up with their new year resolutions and their dreams and aspirations, and it’s always a very self-reflecting time of the year, so here is a new playlist for you to stay motivated and inspired.

With all that has been said and done, all that has been endured and all that has been conquered, we come to the final day. The final hoorah, as some might say. This is the day we look back at all that has happened over the course of the year. (Definitely some memories are better than others… eep). We think about times we laughed, times we cried, and times we just have really no idea what the hell was going on. Maybe we traveled across the world, maybe we landed the dream job, maybe we graduated, maybe we found true love, or maybe we self-realized something about ourselves. Whatever it was that made 2017 worth remembering hold on to that, and forget the negativity that has been lingering in the back of your mind. That is what time is. It comes and it goes. So let those moments go. Let them disintegrate into thin air and let 2018 be another time to experience the absurdities of life and its ups and downs. Let 2018 be a year of dreaming and achieving. Let it be a year of incredible adventures and undeniable memories.

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In this fun and eclectic playlist, there are songs to help spark the fireworks that your mind holds. The playlist includes artists like: Foster the People, Khalid, Lauv, Blackbear, Cashmere Cat, SZA, Jeremy Zucker, Moon Taxi, Quinn XCII, Alina Baraz, Daniel Caesar, Louis the Child, Opia, R.LUM.R, joan, San Holo, Odesza, Banks, GoldLink and more!

With music that is calming, dreamy, exciting, and intense, you will be listening to all of the sounds you want to hear to start the new year off right!

So tune in, zone out, and go into your dreams of consciousness above! Liked what you heard? Follow us on Spotify HERE for more customized playlists!

The Music Interviewed: Recap Edition Spotify Playlist

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This weekend, I decided to do take a trip down memory lane, and look back at all of the artists that I was able to interview this past summer. All were amazing acts that all relayed such interesting facts to me about themselves and their music.

Here are the artists of the summer of 2017. For each one, you can go back to the interview to see what they had to say!

R.LUM.R: [Genre Alt-R&B]

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Emmit Fenn: [Genre: Indie-Electronic]

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NaÏka: [World / Pop]

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Blonder: [Synth-Rock]

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Amy Shark: [Indie-Pop]

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Coast Modern: [Indie-Rock]

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RKCB [Indie-Electronic]: COMING SOON

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WHETHAN [Electronic/Pop]: COMING SOON

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Also, I will be starting my own side project involving a creative visual portfolio of all of the interviews I have had with artists since my time with Verge Campus / GoodMusicAllDay. It is a bittersweet kind of project, but it’s a way for me to preserve all of the incredible conversations I have had with these talented artists and my goodbye to the blog as this is my final year at Boston University. I want to create almost a mini zine, based on the interview questions I asked each artist and their responses using Instagram as my platform. It’s a zine created by the artists themselves and will be called “Interzined”. So, if you’re interested, stay tuned and follow the profile HERE. 🙂 Thanks to  everyone who has read my articles since day one and to those who have been reading my articles now. It means so much to me to be able to share my love for what I am passionate about, which is music, and to all of the talented emerging artists out there, thank you for letting me share your music with others.

The Playlist for Those Who Relate to “Bad At Love”

Halsey may have been on to something.

Despite the fact that this playlist of the week is named after Halsey’s recent release “Bad At Love” off her hit album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, there is a lot of truth to the title.

A lot of of us feel that we just are not in the right mind set, or perhaps we don’t feel like we know ourselves well enough to enter love. AND THAT’S FINE. Love is a whirling mess for most, and it’s tough. But when you do find the one, it’s the most incredible thing ever, the most important, because it’s the thing that pushes you forward and gives you passion and gives you reason. Until you find that one though, you’re going to need some music that helps you get through the confusion, whether a happy tune or a melancholy one, it’s ok to not be ok, and it’s ok to keep waiting and figuring it all out, because in the end, the most important love is the one for yourself. Sorry for the corny message today, but Halsey’s new single “Bad At Love” was just such a great track, and it really hit a chord that I think so many can understand and feel connected to.

So this playlist is to the lovers out there who have a lot of love to give, but have nowhere to put it for now. Music heals the best anyways. So enjoy this compilation of music from Halsey to Hermitude to Axel Mansoor to SZA, Paramore, Dagny, Cashmere Cat, Blackbear, Jon Bellion, and many more!

Keep following for weekly updates of playlists with fresh new sounds and themed tracklists to get you through the summer! And, if you have suggestions, let me know what songs you want to hear on the next playlist

A Playlist Made to Help You ‘Refresh, Rewind, & Revibe’ This Summer

Sometimes, after those longs days of constantly doing work to the point that your bones are about to break and your brains about to shut down, you need sometime to press the refresh button.

That is what this playlist is here for. This is your ticket to the ultimate sounds that will help you unwind and rewind your mind, and will help you get back into the right chill zone your body needs. It’s only healthy to revibe yourself once in a while and there’s no better way to do so than through the power of music.

In this small playlist, we get to play around with some of the musical stylings of fragmentation and composition, where melodies form from scattered pieces of sound strung together into one. Where disassociation is welcomed and where you are able to bring a track to life by its own musical chaos.

I have always really been a big fan of what I call “Vibe Music” or “Mood Music”, which is in essence just the true sounds of distraction all focused into one cohesive song. The talents of these producers, such as Cashmere Cat, KAYTRANADA, Lido, Mura Masa, Shy Girls, and more are artists who helps us listen to the roots of our music as they slowly form before our ears.

Production is an art of its own and growing to become a genre of its own in the music industry. It is incredible. And I do think that the music is able to create a newer feeling in all of us like no other tunes could.

Listen to the music now to get your fresh start. Keep tuning in for new musical compilations to come and be ready for some great playlists made just for you to fill your day with music.

 

 

The Music That’s “Not The Type” of Playlist You Find

This is not your ordinary playlist.

Nope, if you were looking for a playlist with a theme or some sort of consistency, then you came to the wrong post, because this one is a list filled with tracks that will keep you wondering what will be played next.

I was feeling a little all over the place this week and thought that it was time to find a playlist that addressed a similar kind of emotion. Thus, came to life the “Not The Type” playlist.  From The Weeknd, to Stamos, to ZAYN, to Kendrick Lamar, to Blackbear, to Trey Songz, to Cashmere Cat, to Sleeping Lion, to Jax Jones, to Danny Ocean, to Sampha, to Charlie Puth, to Nick Cannon (Indian song, not Mariah Carey’s ex.), Kiiara, Luis Fonsi, Matt Maeson, Sonder, GoldLink, Opia, Sir Sly, One Republic and more and more and more under the sun of names you may or may not know. The list is pretty extensive, and sometimes, that’s all we really need for intense, long weeks that have us going in a million directions. You can turn to music to know just how you’re feeling, and the best kind of therapy can be the noise. So, drift away or hair whip and head bang your way through finals or that chaotic week of work that has you so indecisive, that you’re really willing to  jam out to anything and everything.

These are vibes galore in this list! Personally, I find that the growing trend of electro-[insert other genre combo here], has really made the biggest and most impressive mark on the music scene today, which is why you might that to be the one commonality amongst the tracks below. But enough of this explanation of weirdness and discontinuity, and let’s have a good time to some hits and some fresh new finds for our ears to hear.

Press play below now!

 

“Brisa”: A Fun Latino Playlist For Breezy Summer Days

It’s almost summer time and you know what that means? Sunshine, late nights, music, friends, food, fun, adventures, (maybe internships), and more!

Here is a bit of a twist with our regular weekly playlists. This week, we bring you the sounds of the incredible genre of latino music! Honestly, I don’t know why you wouldn’t like Latino music when it was one of the roots of the multitude of sounds we incorporate in music today!

The vibes of the Spanish guitar, the rhythms and beats of various instruments, and the incantations of silky, melodic vocals run chills up your spine and make sure that your hips don’t lie. I’m serious, you will always be swaying or dancing to these beautiful, exciting tracks.

In this playlist, we incorporate some of the big leagues of the mainstream today, including: Luis Fonsi, who just released a fantastic new remix, featuring Justin Bieber, for his already acclaimed single “Despacito”, J Balvin (*swoons*),  Zion & Lennox,  Enrique Iglesias, Danny Ocean, Nicky Jam, Shakira, Maluma, Ricky Martin, and many more!

Music fills the air this summer with the hot sensations of this musical genre!

Directions for how to use this playlist?: Click on the link above, have a get together with friends, press play and dance the night (or day) away!

I will always be adding more music and more jams to your library of sounds, because you can’t go about your day in silence! So stay tuned each week, when I keep updating the records for your listening enjoyment.

So, have a great summer break guys and catch ya’ soon! Happy Summah’ Lovin’!