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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.

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The Music Interviewed: Recap Edition Spotify Playlist

Interviewed

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

“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’!

Playlist: Big Sean Don & the House of Blues

A playlist Big Sean Don would approve.

Today is the big day for Boston as the American hip hop, rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, and musician, Big Sean, finally makes his stop to Boston for his tour to show off his amazing new album I Decided. This studio production released back in February this year through G.O.O.D. Music and Def Jam Recordings, and it  was received much appraisal for its stylings, making it to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200. Now, the rap mogul has hit the road sharing this project with his adoring fans.

The album features notable artists such as Jeremih, Migos, The-Dream, Jhené Aiko, Flint Chozen Choir, Starrah and Eminem! A dynamic production, no doubt!

This playlist is made just for your listening enjoyment, to hear the new and the old Big Sean and the amazing musical journey this hip hop artist has ventured on!

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For those of you who don’t know either, this G.O.O.D Music signee is known for spitting some of the best lines in the game, and is proud to now say that I Decided has become his fourth album (another success)!

What I am looking forward to most for this concert is hearing him perform his track “Same Time Pt. 1”, which is part of  a series collaboration with his lovely and talented partner Jhené Aiko. They go by the name of Twenty88, and they are most definitely an incredible power team as they feed off each others’ energy and charisma and passion.

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Exclusive merch for the Detroit show tonight only! 🙏🏾

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This concert is about to be one of the dopest experiences, Boston will have as Big Sean Don will be making blessings all over the stage his melodic fire.

So what you waiting for? Listen to the playlist above and some recap pics of the tour thus far below! Let’s give him a warm welcome, Boston!

Stick to the plan, stay focused! 💥💥💥

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A Woman’s Worth Playlist – Respect and Love to the Woman

You will lose if you chose to refuse to put her first / She will and she can find a man who knows her worth – Alicia Keys

This past Friday and Saturday, the country rioted for the women of this nation, against the terrors of the United States elect, Trump. This man who calls himself “our leader” had been a tyrant in his ways and thoughts about the female demographic throughout his campaign, making such vulgar, mys  derogitory

All of the major cities in the U.S. had an enormous March For Women, where men and woman and people of all ethnicities and ages stormed through the urban streets in protest against the president who showed his pure distaste of the female gender.

Well, President Trump, you have been proven mistaken, and do not underestimate this country and its power over you.

This playlist includes some of the best of woman vocal sensations from over the years such as:  Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Fifth Harmony, Tove Lo, Beyonce, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Tinashe, Zara Larsson, Neon Hitch, Bebe Rexha, Icona Pop, Haim, Alicia Keys, India Arie, Missy Elliott, Madonna, Adele, Banks, Laura Marling, Santigold, Leona Lewis, Kelly Clarkson, Whitney Houston, Lorde, and more!

So, all fellow girls, ladies, women, all over the world, this one’s for you!

So, this is for the ladies, the one’s who gathered together, with their families and friends, to stand up for themselves. Press play and amp up the girl power.

 

 

The “Before School Starts” Playlist

 

1 More Week Left!

At least for the Boston University Students, that is. It’s that time of winter break when you start to realize you kind of want your social life back but you fear the thought of studying and doing homework again! So, to keep you settled and get you excited for the new semester, while also keeping away from the negative mindset, here’s a playlist made for just “Before School Starts.”

We need to crank some of the best tunes that have been graciously given to us now, and that includes some new hits that just dropped in the past week *cough cough ~ Ed Sheeran* and film scores that swept the Golden Globes *cough cough ~ La La Land * Hmm, maybe I’m catching a cold.

But if we really know collegiate party music, then let’s be honest, it’s going to be a lot of electro-pop and R&B and that includes artists such as: The Weeknd, Cashmere Cat, The Chainsmokers, KREAM, SOHN, Kriss Kross, G-Eazy, ZAYN, Steve Aoki, Martin Jensen, Jon Bellion, and of course many many more.

Of all of the songs in this playlist, I have to say “Some Kind Of Drug” is a pretty incredible track, and I am very impressed with G-Eazy and Marc E. Bassy’s collaboration on this record. If you haven’t already listen to it, then you definitely better give it a shot (no pun intended). It’s a song with a great beat and the right vibe. It’s chill with a little excitement. It puts you in the “relax” mindset and it’s the perfect intimate jam. The vocals matched with the rap bars very well as they merged and converged into a tight nit, but loosely constructed song.

And of course, we can’t forget about Sheeran who has finally returned to us after some silence! And of course, his latest release is a hit! Go listen to “Shape of You” now and get jammin’!

School isn’t here yet, so let’s crank some uplifting tunes before it does start! Press Play!

 

 

A Playlist for the West Coasters As They Chill This Winter Break

West Coast, Best Coast.

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Now, before all my East Coasters get all huffy about things, I’m not siding with anyone here, I’m just saying when you’re in the dead of winter, the West Side doesn’t look as bad. Not to mention all of the amazing cultural creations that came from it and the people and the art and the food and on and on. So, this time, I decided to create a playlist that is dedicated to and for the West Coaster, who sits under the sun, takes in the waves, skates, surfs, raps, dances, and whatever it is you love to do there. You won’t just find the gold hidden in the rivers anymore, but gold in the music scene, in the fashion scene, in the film scene, and in the sports scene. But most importantly, Cali is one of the largest hubs for music, and where much of a genre’s characteristics were birthed and formed. Over the years, the tone of the West Coast have developed into new arrays of sound and noise, whether it’s mixing hip hop with EDM or indie folk with pop.

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Now, take a seat in that beach chair or get on your board and play these tunes as you groove to the rhythms and beats of good music. This playlist includes: Lauv, Mura Masa, Khalid, Big Sean, Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean, Disclosure, Kendrick Lamar, Tory Lanez, The Weeknd, Drake, Rihanna, Shoffy, ZHU, KAYTRANADA, John Legend, Jon Bellion, MØME, The Chainsmokers, Cheat Codes, The Neighbourhood, The 1975, Hoodie Allen, Bahari, Bon Iver,  James Blake, 2Pac, Nas, Coconut Records, Russ, Bryson Tiller, SOHN, BJ the Chicago Kid, J. Cole, Elephante, NERVO, Major Lazer, DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, and so many more.

It’s a playlist I really enjoy because it can incorporate so many types of sounds while still being intriguing and atmospheric. So enough of this, let’s play! To all my West Coasters, enjoy the vibes, to all my non-West Coasters, just zone out and imagine you’re there!