Posts tagged with "Global Society"

AeroMobil

AeroMobil: The World’s First Flying Car

By Krish Narsinghani

As of late, 360 Magazine, had the opportunity to sit down with AeroMobil’s Chief Commercial Officer, Karl Hermanns, to discuss the first ever vehicle to fly and drive, the AeroMobil 4.0. The 360 team witnessed its beauty in-person and sat in the two-passenger cockpit whilst asking all the burnings questions that would be flying through one’s head. No pun intended.

Coming from the luxury brand and art space, Hermanns, was recently onboarded to strategize the launch plans and release for later this year. Currently in the soft launch phase, the world can expect the Aeromobil to be available for pre-order later this year and delivered to the first customers in 2024. With hundreds of hours of flight testing, the prototype is currently in Europe.

“We’ve all seen flying cars in movies and Science-Fiction for years and years. It’s finally real and will be in the sky two years from now… it’s an engineering miracle,” Hermanns pointed.

The 4.0 model number attached to the name stems from the 4th iteration of design for the craft – it’s been in development for about ten years. Each iteration has advanced the aerodynamics, technology and overall flight experience. For hundreds of years, it’s been impossible to get the science right but the engineering team, based in Europe, have solved travel hybridity for the first time. An engineer from the team was on-site and explained that the hardest challenge was getting the weight and proportions right of the two-ton beast to ensure proper takeoff when thinking of adding two passengers, fuel and baggage.

From an opening glance, the model screams Back to the Future. With wings spanning a total of thirty feet, the AeroMobil was the hottest attraction for guests wandering the Petersen Automotive Museum. The invention is fully automated with the wings folding into the body of the vehicle in under 90 seconds. It’s similar to those of a bird or insect the way it functions. It’s twenty feet in length and slender look may have a driver intimated at first, when in actuality, it’s size is comparable to that of an F-150 or Escalade. It’s worth noting that a four-seater version is also in design meant to be used as a ride-sharing service. Call it a “flying Uber” if you will, measured at an untapped 70 billion dollar market.

The vehicle wasn’t designed to compete with hyper cars at lightning speeds but for the intended use of traveling between land and air. Top driving speed is set at 100mph while flying spews a solid 160mph and 300 horsepower. With a range of 320 miles driving and 460 miles flying, passengers can minimize travel time and compete full trips with the one fuel up.

Comparatively, fully electric flying vehicles might be coming the market soon, but as of now they are less far along in terms of milage range. eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing) vehicles have a subsequently shorter flying distances of ten miles or so at a time, due to batteries weighing down the aircraft. The AeroMobil can be fueled at any normal gas station and only requires a 400 yard ramp for takeoff and landing. Talk about conveniency when saving more time driving all day, beating out traffic, and even dealing with delays at the the airport!

A light aircraft private pilot’s license is required to fly. Forty hours of training are required to get said license. A massive portion of the ten thousand landing strips are under utilized but are open to the public, plus infrastructure that’s already built. The AeroMobil will be priced at approximately two million USD.

A show model is currently available for viewing at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. Watch the commercial at the following link.

AeroMobil Show Model
Kenny Foster Album Art via True Public Relations for use by 360 Magazine

Kenny Foster – Somewhere in Middle America

Rising singer-songwriter Kenny Foster has released his latest single, “Somewhere In Middle America,” available on all digital streaming platforms and digital download now. The warm-hearted track paints a picture of a rural landscape where small town folks live simple lives, learning life’s biggest lessons—a place somewhere in middle America. The title track off Kenny’s upcoming album, due out in early summer, builds a sense of community and sets the scene for the album’s other tracks to exist within. 

“To help frame the record as a whole, this song is creating a sonic landscape that people can feel,” says Foster. “I wanted people that are never going to drive through Middle America to viscerally feel what it’s like to be there and for those that live there, I wanted to create something that resonated, sort of a nod, an ‘if-you-know-you-know’ situation.”

Taken from the pages of Kenny’s own story, “Somewhere In Middle America” explores the often overlooked and unpolished way of life in America’s heartland. The song illustrates the humble, yet wonderfully colorful, tapestry that is Middle America—eggs on the griddle, prom kings alongside Dairy Queens, sage wisdom from porch swing prophets, and a culture where having just enough was all you needed—for Kenny, this is home. 

About Kenny Foster

Kenny Foster has shared the stage with artists including Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Brothers Osborne, Old Dominion, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Butch Walker, Lady A, and countless others. He was named one of the “Top 10 New Artists You Need to Know” by Rolling Stone and has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and Forbes. He has appeared in two Super Bowl commercials with Sheryl Crow and Danica Patrick, respectively. Kenny is also honored to be included in the CMA Foundation “It Starts with M.E.” National Campaign for Music Education and performed as part of the CMA Songwriters Series, alongside songwriting legends Lori McKenna, Marcus Hummon, Lee Thomas Miller, and Tenille Townes. Kenny has performed at the highly-acclaimed C2C Festival in London, and was also invited to perform at the launch of C2C Berlin and at the famed Melkweg venue in Amsterdam as support for Hunter Hayes, as well as recent domestic festival appearances at the ACM Party for a Cause, Americanafest and CMA Fest, among others. Kenny headlined an Armed Forces tour to Asia, performing at bases in Guam, Singapore and Diego Garcia.

Kenny is a long-time partner with the non-profit organization CreatiVets who pair Nashville songwriters with veterans to create a song out of their experiences that tells their story and hopefully provides some catharsis and healing. They released an album of these songs on Big Machine Records called “Veteran Songs” on July 4th, 2020 which included “Light Like Mine” co-written and performed by Foster. Additionally, Kenny hosted 32 episodes of a weekly online series called “Kuarantine with Kenny” for Sound of Nashville, featuring guests like Cam, Drake White, Lindsay Ell, and many others. Over this last year, Kenny has also released a series of singles called “The Vintage Collection” which are a culmination of demos of songs that, to this point, have only been heard at live shows but have included some fan favorites, including a duet with Mae Estes “Love You Now” (Co-written with Kirsti Manna of Blake Shelton’s “Austin”), “Lonely Land” (Co-written with Mando Saenz and Chris Rafetto) and “It Don’t Work Like That” (Co-written with Melissa Fuller).

Wisdome LA: Immersive Art Park

Wisdome LA, the city’s first and largest immersive art & music dome park, is back with another exhilarating experience. This free form “art battle” took place at an abstract venue tucked away in the Arts District of Los Angeles. The rules were simple – a group of twelve eclectic artists painted it out till the twenty-minute time period came to an end.

Initial thoughts walking into this dome shaped arena were perplexing. Futons were placed circling the locale for attendees to lounge along with two different stands for guests to purchase snacks and cocktails. In the center of the dome were twelve easels with the paint canvas displaying each individual artist’s name.

As the art battle commenced, the confusion of the crowd grew as they patiently watched these talented artists construct their masterpieces in twenty minutes. Viewers were doubtful at first on how well these paintings would turn out, but proven wrong as the timer winded down. Towards the end of the clock, all artisans had stunning finished pieces.

As the contest comes to culmination, an artist from Chicago, JUJU, took the trophy home as the medalist of this showdown. Wisdome LA is the place to be if you are looking for an enveloping and tranquil experience. Wisdome LA Co-Founder Stephen Powers says, “Wisdome LA’s key concept and main objective is to offer that virtual reality experience without goggles.” To be updated on future festivities refer to their website Wisdome.LA.

Wisdome LA Co-Founder: Stephen Powers

Educated in molecular biology at MIT, Stephen Powers is an entrepreneur, chief executive, Grammy-winning music producer, Emmy-nominated TV producer, marketing expert, Board Director, business consultant, and creative director with decades of high-level experience. Powers is CEO of Powers Omnimedia, a production, publishing and consultancy firm serving media clients, including Sony Pictures, Dream Awake, America Meditating Radio, Waterside Productions, The Shift Network, World Dignity Forum, The Global Summit, USC Institute of Creative Technologies, 360 Dome Pro, and Wisdome.LA, a leading technology and location- based entertainment provider of immersive VR dome theaters, where he currently serves as COO and Co-Founder.

Powers has previously served as CEO of Bodhi Tree; Co-Founder & CEO of Agape Media; Chief of Platform Expansion at Thrive Market, President of Miller & Kreisel Sound; Co-Founder & CEO of Drive Entertainment (Universal Music); Founder & President of Chameleon Music Group (Capitol-EMI); Director of A&R at Capitol Records Hollywood; President of the Board at Theatricum Botanicum; Director of Entertainment for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics; Founder & President of Mountain Railroad Records; and Founder & Executive Director of Charlotte’s Web for the Performing Arts. His numerous creative credits include record production, NP radio host, PBS Television writer and producer, editor, Nautilus Award-winning publisher, keynote speaker, and TV host.

DJ Koze Remix Artwork via Infamous PR for use by 360 Magazine

Lakou Mizik × Joseph Ray

Anjunadeep warmly welcomes DJ Koze for his Anjunadeep debut with his remix of Lakou Mizik & Joseph Ray’s ’Sanba Yo Pran Pale’.

One of electronic music’s most beloved artists, DJ Koze runs the acclaimed Pampa Records, where he puts out his own music alongside material from the likes of Mano Le Tough, Axel Boman and Robag Wruhme. His 2018 album ‘Knock Knock’, released on Pampa, was named as Pitchfork’s 3rd best album of the year, whilst his single ‘Pick Up’ was named track of the year by both Resident Advisor and Mixmag. Known for his inventive production style, he has remixed Gorillaz, Mount Kimbie, Moderat and Lapsley, and collaborated with Róisín Murphy, Bon Iver, José González, Caribou and Matthew Dear.

’Sanba Yo Pran Pale’ is Kosi’s first remix in two years and is typically eclectic. Reimagining the traditional Vodou song as a summer dance anthem, warping and stretching the original vocals from Lakou Mizik’s Sanba Zao onto a bed of catchy rhythmic synths and warm enveloping bass. Ten minutes long, the original mix has a nostalgic analogue warmth that feels perfect for an Indian summer’s day. To celebrate the release, Anjunadeep is pressing a limited run of white label vinyl, which are available for pre-order now.

About Leave the Bones

’Sanba Yo Pran Pale’ is the first track off Lakou Mizik & Joseph Ray’s album Leave the Bones, and is a traditional Haitian song steeped in Vodou tradition: “The Sanbas are the poets and keepers of Haitian history and culture. They pass on their wisdom through song and story. ‘Sanba Yo Pran Pale’ is an invitation to the Sanbas to speak their truth whilst paying respect to the Vodou ‘Lwa’ or spirits.”

Referred to by NPR as a “mesmerizing, haunting and uplifting journey into the heart of Haitian culture”, Leave the Bones has accrued 1M streams on Spotify and Apple Music and has garnered a wealth of global support from the tastemakers such as BBC Radio 1, 6 Music, The Times, Billboard, Crack Magazine, Mixmag, Songlines, The New York Times, and Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM. It is out now, available digitally and as a 2 x 12” LP.

Ellaè Lisquè

Ellaé Lisqué Star-Studded Fashion Show

PHOTO CREDIT: RUBEN DELACT 

On Thursday, September 2nd, 360 Magazine attended the Ellaè Lisquè’s fashion show in Los Angeles for the debut of their “Birthday Collection.” Designer Maxie J. chose a desert inspired theme for the models to walk through wearing her latest designs. The melanated event was filled with stars such as Christian Combs, Sevyn Streeter (who performed), Chris Brown, Slick Woods, Amber Riley, Clermont Twins (who opened the show), and many more to celebrate the Black designer and her latest collection.

While many fashion enthusiasts continue to have conversations about inclusion in the fashion industry, the Los Angeles native took matters into her own hands and built a table of her own. With uncompromising ambition & talent, Maxie J. first gave birth to her love child Ellaè Lisquè in 2014-a line intentionally created to make women feel sexy, bossy and sophisticated.

The fashion show took place at LA’s premier nightclub, Exchange LA, with decor by Wright Productions. 360 degree cameras were setup around the event for guests to shoot interactive videos in their outfits and share to their social media platforms. The “Birthday Collection” was elegant and chic for women of all sizes and ethnicities.

For more information on Maxie J. & Ellaè Lisquè visit: https://ellaelisque.com

Sevyn Streeter

Sevyn Streeter wearing Ellaè Lisquè

Lil Wayne’s Uproar Music Festival

By: Krish Narsinghani

Hip-hop icon and entrepreneur, Lil Wayne, celebrated his lifestyle marijuana and clothing brand, GKUA on Friday, August 13th. 360 Magazine had the opportunity to attend the festival filled with dance, hip-hop music and eclectic art installations.

Entering the Los Angeles Memorial Colosseum, located in downtown near the University of Southern California, a sweep of emotions from past soccer games and music concerts floods your mind; the atmosphere feeling post-pandemic everyone itching to see a good show. The festival night kicked off with different dance troupes competing against one another showcasing hip hop dance sets getting the crowd fired up. Samantha Long, along with celebrated dancers Lil Buck and Jon Boogz, presided over the final rounds of the Uproar Dance Competition. Various artists came out to support Wayne along with Young Money acts and newcomers with astonishing potential. Artists included Young Money featuring Gudda Gudda, Cory Gunz, Lil Twist, Hoodie Baby, Euro, Jay Jones, Yaj Kader, & Mellow Rackz, Polo G, Big Latto and the legend, Lil Wayne, himself to headline.

The event took place right on the outskirts of the stadium (still within the grounds) providing an intimate vibe with pieces of art displayed near the concessions. CampNova gave away VIP live stream tickets with every purchase of GKUA Ultra Premium cannabis products available for sale HERE. The livestream was presented by Mandolin that had a booth setup explaining the VIP ticket giveaway and how to interact with the show online using various emojis that could appear on the big screen. Merch company, Rose in Good Faith, partnered with Young Money merch and featured quality tees with a minimalistic approach.

The GKUA Creative Director, Baqi Kopelman, also told Forbes, the August concert is the first of more Lil Wayne events at the L.A. Coliseum. GKUA recently entered an exclusive agreement with the venue to host 4/20 events, including in-person and virtual parties, performances and other events. Overall, the festival felt authentic with fans craving more Friday night immersive experiences thrown by the Grammy-award winning rapper and his ever-growing brand. Find more info for future events at UPROAR Hip Hop Festival.

More on Lil Wayne:

Lil Wayne began his career as a near-novelty, a preteen delivering hardcore Southern hip-hop. Through years of maturation and prolific output, during which the delivery of his humorous and wordplay-heavy rhymes gradually changed from ringing and pugnacious to stoned and rasped, he developed into a million-selling artist with a massive body of work, one so inventive and cunning that it makes his claim of being the “best rapper alive” worth considering. Wayne debuted at the age of 12, received his first platinum certification only five years later as a member of the Hot Boys, and immediately thereafter became a formidable solo artist with Tha Block Is Hot (1999), his first of 12 Top Ten albums on the Billboard 200. During a period of constant output entailing not just successful full-lengths but also reputation-building mixtapes and featured appearances on pop hits like Destiny’s Child‘s “Soldier” (2004), he reached mainstream superstar status with Tha Carter III (2008). A triple-platinum blockbuster, it spawned the number one pop hit “Lollipop” and the number six follow-up “A Milli,” and netted three Grammy awards, including Best Rap Album. Throughout the 2010s, despite numerous legal and creative battles, Wayne continued to be a regular presence on the upper reaches of the charts with albums such as Tha Carter IV (2011) and I Am Not a Human Being II (2013), additional smash singles as a headliner, and a continually lengthening list of collaborative hits, including the multi-platinum “Sucker for Pain” (for the Suicide Squad soundtrack in 2016) and “I’m the One” (headlined by DJ Khaled in 2017). Since the latter hit, Wayne has topped the Billboard 200 with the consecutive LPs Tha Carter V (2018) and Funeral (2020). 

More on Uproar Festival:

UPROAR Hip Hop Festival was created by Lil Wayne to promote his lifestyle brand at GKUA. Located at The Torch at the LA Memorial Coliseum with Lil Wayne, YoungMoney and Friends is a VIP Party + Performances with some of your favorite hiphop artists and special guests! UPROAR is a fully immersive experience with music, dancing, art, vendors, food/beverages, celebrities and all your friends. Imagine a summer night complete with heat at The Coliseum, which has been declared a National Historic Landmark, is an awe-inspiring site, and once you enter the gates of The Torch, the energy of UPROAR will be everywhere!

More on GKUA:

GKUA Ultra Premium Products featured include –

  • GKUA Ultra Premium Flower: Sourced from the most experienced growers, GKUA will produce strains that are very limited, incredibly potent and impossibly difficult to find…truly the best flower! Available at launch is HOLLYGROVE a unique strain for Lil Wayne and GKUA and UPROAR a very limited strain.
  • GKUA Ultra Premium Battery Technology: This new proprietary ceramic heating element and cutting-edge design is optimized to efficiently deliver vape in easily controllable doses while elevating the user experience. The battery technology combined with GKUA Ultra Premium THC or CBD oil is the future of vape.
  • GKUA THC Vape: Sourced from the best cannabis with all organic inputs, GKUA’s THC Vape is an exclusive formulation that carefully transforms the highest quality cannabis into potent THC vape oil. Independently lab tested and certified for purity. GKUA Ultra Premium vape oil, pure and potent.
  • GKUA Ultra Premium Concentrates: Intensely potent and flavorful, GKUA Ultra Premium Concentrates are sourced from the finest cannabis flower with off-the-chart THC levels created for dabbing or adding to flower. Potency you can taste and feel.

To find out more about GKUA products and upcoming events, visit the website at gkua.com.

About GKUA Ultra Premium
Lil Wayne, artistic giant and connoisseur of cannabis, has created the ultimate cannabis brand, GKUA Ultra Premium. Lil Wayne provides inspiration to millions of people and now he is delivering it in one more form, the best high of your life. Produced from the finest cannabis, GKUA Ultra Premium products are Lil Wayne tasted and approved. GKUA strives to inspire artists and dreamers and supports the arts through collaborations with new artists in multiple mediums. GKUA Ultra Premium products are available in select California dispensaries and now across the US. For more information about GKUA Ultra Premium products and events, visit gku
a.com.

Photo via Jim Merlis of Big Hassle Media for use by 360 Magazine

THE RADICAL × JOSHUA HENRY

The Radical, a weekly podcast, hosted by Nick Terzo, wraps up its first year by welcoming Tony-winning musician-actor Joshua Henry tomorrow. The host and Henry, known for his work with Lin-Manuel Miranda on “Hamilton” and “In The Heights,” delve into a myriad of subjects including filming Miranda’s directorial debut “Tick Tick Boom”, the disappointment of a show-closing early, his family inspiring the songwriting on his new EP “Guaranteed”, and the physical and spiritual regimens that keep his performances energized.

Henry portrayed the lead role of Aaron Burr in the first U.S. tour of Hamilton, previously playing the role in the Chicago production that began performances in late September 2016. After Hamilton, Henry portrayed the lead role of Billy Bigelow in a Broadway revival of Carousel. Henry will release his debut album Grow on September 10th. More details on the album will be coming soon.

Henry follows a wide breadth of artists interviewed including music producer, bassist, and television personality Randy Jackson, Rock n Roll Hall of Famers Ann Wilson (Heart) and Ilan Rubin (Nine Inch Nails), music pioneers John Doe, Rob Halford Bob Mould, Rufus Wainwright, TV composer Jonathan Wolff, radio pioneer Jason Bentley, songwriter and Toad The Wet Sprocket’s Glen Phillips and film supervisor Randall Poster.

With The Radical, Terzo reverse-engineers the creative process and its pathways to success. The show takes deep dives into the skills, tactics, and experiences of innovators and creators in fields such as Music, Film, Architecture, and Entrepreneurship. His guests are examples of the strength and ingenuity it takes to scale the many walls of resistance. He guides world-class artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs through their pivotal moments and stories.

Nick Terzo is a renowned leader in the entertainment industry with a proven track record in artist development, M&A, strategic partnerships, and creative leadership. Throughout his career, Terzo has served in executive and senior A&R roles at The Walt Disney Company, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group. As founder of Radical MG Terzo advises rights holders and private equity funds on music catalog sales and acquisition strategies.

In the past few years, he has served as Vice President of Business Development & Operations for the international booking and artist management company, Madison House, and as Vice President of Strategy Development for music royalty finance platform, Royalty Exchange. Terzo has served on the SXSW Interactive Programming Board and as a mentor for the Thiel Foundation, Techstars Music, Boomtown Accelerator, and DreamIt Ventures.

The Radical podcast is produced by award-winning sound-mixer Sean O’Neil known for his work on the David Bowie: Finding Fame documentary.

The Radical podcast is available everywhere podcasts are available including Apple, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon among others.

Money illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The Growth of Blockchain

Blockchain Companies hit $30.4B in Total Funding, a 44% Increase in a Year

The increasing number of organizations accepting cryptocurrency and the growing interest in blockchain technology continue driving the entire sector’s impressive growth. However, recent years have also witnessed a surge in the number of venture capitalists pouring money into blockchain companies.

According to data presented by BlockArabia.com, blockchain companies raised $30.4bn in total funding, a massive 44% increase in a year.

Investment Activity Soared by 515% YTD

By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the groundwork for the new type of internet. Although initially invented for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, by improving online security and streamlining fundraising and payment options, blockchain technology was adopted by many companies across different industries.

The Crunchbase data showed 2018 was a record year for investment activity in the blockchain market, with companies raising around $10.7bn in funding rounds that year. However, the next two years brought a significant slowdown in venture capital funding.

In 2019, blockchain companies raised $4.3bn, with the cumulative funding amount rising to $20bn that year. However, statistics show 2020 brought even less fresh capital, with companies raising only $2.4bn.

After two challenging years for blockchain companies looking to attract investments and expand their business, investors flocked to this sector in 2021. In the first quarter, startups focusing on blockchain technology raised around $2.9bn, more than in all of 2020. The strong investment activity continued in the second quarter of the year, with companies raising another $4.1bn.

The Crunchbase data showed blockchain startups raised around $8bn YTD, a staggering 515% increase compared to a year ago period, and 20% more than in 2019 and 2020 combined.

US Blockchain Startups Raised $12.5B, more than European and Asian Companies Combined

Statistics show that US blockchain companies lead in the total value of investments, with $12.5bn in funding rounds so far. European companies hit $6.1B in total funding, half the value of their US peers, ranking as the second-leading region globally. Asian blockchain companies follow with $5.4B, respectively.

Analyzed by type of funding, initial coin offering ranked as the most popular way to raise fresh capital. Statistics show blockchain companies have raised $9.3bn through ICOs so far, more than any other funding type.

Series A funding rounds have brought in around $3.8bn so far. Series B and Series C funding rounds follow, with $2.6bn and $2.4bn, respectively.

The full story can be read HERE.

Lakou Mizik × Joseph Ray – Leave the Bones

Few albums manage to evoke a time and place with such startling effect as Leave the Bones, the unlikely collaboration between the multi-generational Haitian band Lakou Mizik and Grammy-winning electronic music artist Joseph Ray. Out today, the album has already garnered support from global tastemakers NPR, BBC Radio 3, BBC 6 Music, KCRW, KEXP, CRACK, Afropunk, Songlines, Worldwide FM, and many more.

 The album arrives after the release of three incredible singles and videos, “Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen)”, ‘Lamizè Pa Dou” and “Bade Zile”, offering a window into the beauty of the rich and vibrant culture of the Haitian people. The album precedes a range of high-profile remixes and a feature-length documentary out later this year. In what has been a tumultuous year for Haiti, Leave the Bones provides a unique insight into the creative heart of the island nation.

 “Haiti” is a word that conjures up a lot of images. It is a country judged by many, most of whom have never set foot on its shores. But its history is rich, its people proud and defiant, and nowhere is that more evident than in its music. Culture is what defines the country, its drums and Vaksins (horns) are symbols of freedom and pride, liberty and struggle, and the joy of dancing.

 Leave the Bones paints a musical portrait, a fresh glimpse of an oft misrepresented country. Through Vodou chants, chest-pounding Rara dance tunes and contemporary protest songs, the record conveys the listener to Haiti’s spiritual heart, a place that remains a compelling mystery for foreigners and a source of pride for every Haitian.

 Since its inception Lakou Mizik has sought to re-define people’s conceptions of Haiti through its music. The nine piece band, formed in 2010, is emblematic of the melting pot that is Haiti’s musical culture. Lakou’s figurehead, Sanba Zao, one of only ten original Sanba poets left, played a central role in Haiti’s Rasin (roots) movement of the 1980s which sought to re-imagine traditional Haitian Vodou music through radical experimentation with modern instruments. This spirit of Haiti’s rich musical history underpins Lakou Mizik today; a multi-generational genre-blending ensemble that plays traditional Haitian music with a punk energy and a deep sense of their heritage.

 Joseph Ray, a Grammy winner and founding member of the pioneering Platinum selling electronic music trio, NERO, had never heard of Lakou when he arrived in Haiti in 2015, having volunteered to teach a course at Haiti’s only music production and audio engineering school, the Artist’s Institute. Ray stumbled on Lakou at a tiny beach side club in Jakmel; the scene that night was frenetic and ecstatic, evocative of the spirit of Ray’s early electronic music clubbing experiences. The band’s organic power entranced Ray, who saw the possibility of merging his cinematic electronic production style with Lakou’s own traditional dance rhythms. Their subsequent six year journey led to Leave the Bones, teaching Ray more about himself and music than any other period in his life.

Ray had initially wanted to sample the band, and overlay them on traditional 4×4 electronic beats, but he realized this approach would not evoke the spirit he was so captivated by. Lakou’s organic style needed more room to stretch and breathe, and the album became far more collaborative and deeper in scope. Ray was forced to rethink his approach, learning how to produce and engineer for a nine piece band. He incorporated new time signatures to capture Lakou’s complex drum patterns, lacing in 1930s field recordings from ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax and replacing synth sounds with Mbrias and conch shell samples that he stretched. 

By way of preview, Leave the Bones weaves us through the euphoric swagger of No Rival! and the the mystical underworld of Bade Zile (Under the Island), yet offers lessons for the living, reminding us we should not underestimate those who seem easy to walk upon on Zeb Atè (Grass of the Earth), and that we are all one people, Nou Tout Se Moun.

Leave the Bones is a record that sounds like it could come from nowhere else, and while its rhythms undoubtedly possess a universal danceability, their meaning and depth are also unique to Haiti. It’s powerful to imagine these tracks being played on dancefloors in Miami, London or Ibiza, transporting people from around the world, inviting them to dance, celebrate and get lost in the richness of Haiti, if only for a moment.

Kitt Wakely to Perform at Zankel Hall

Oklahoma City-based songwriter/composer/arranger/producer Kitt Wakeley is bringing his Symphony of Sinners and Saints to Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall for a special orchestral rock concert on Mon., Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. This epic performance will spotlight compositions from Wakeley’s latest chart-topping album, Symphony of Sinners and Saints, which debuted at No. 1 on the June 5 Billboard “Classical Albums” and No. 1 on the “Classical Crossover Albums” charts. 

For this special NYC performance, Wakeley has assembled a live band featuring the album’s bassist Ryan Miller, drummer Brent Berry, guitarist Jay Gleason, as well as featured electric violinist Irene Fong, featured electric cellist Marta Bagratuni, a string quartet, five-piece brass ensemble, and 10-member choir. Wakeley will lead the band on piano and keyboards. Opening the show is guest pianist, Tania Stavreva. 

Tickets for the performance are on sale now HERE

Wakeley said, “Playing Carnegie Hall is a dream come true for so many artists, including myself. I’m excited to share my latest project with live audiences, as we find our way back to normalcy. I’m confident the audience will leave feeling motivated and entertained by the incredible musicians that will accompany me on stage.”

Boasting a cinematic hybrid of orchestral music, rock, and EDM, featuring stunning compositions, heavy guitar riffs, and thundering drums, the album Symphony of Sinners and Saints was released on May 21 by Studio Seven Media. With Wakeley on synths and piano, the album features the talents of guitar legend Joe Satriani on two tracks; celebrated UK ensemble the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO); guitarists Andy Timmons (Danger Danger, Pink, Olivia Newton-John), Paige Harwell, and Daniel Uribe; Grammy-nominated pianist Paul Loomis; the London Voices choir (Paul McCartney, Luciano Pavarotti, the Hunger Games series) and Dallas’ Gospel of Light Choir; plus, the aforementioned Miller and Berry. Symphony of Sinners and Saints was recorded in October 2020 at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios. At those sessions, the RPO was conducted by Cliff Masterson (Little Mix, Kylie Minogue, Il Divo, Oasis). The album was co-produced, engineered, and mixed by three-time Grammy Award-winner Tre Nagella (Lady Gaga, Blake Shelton, Snoop Dogg) at Luminous Sound Studios in Dallas, TX.

In addition to the two chart-topping album positions, Symphony of Sinners and Saints debuted on six more Billboard charts that week, including No. 2 on “Heatseekers,” No. 12 on “Hard Rock Albums,” No. 13 on “Top Current Album Sales,” No. 14 on “Top Album Sales,” No. 47 on “Independent Albums,” and No. 50 on “Top Rock Albums.” Previously, three of the album’s singles, “Forgive Me” featuring Joe Satriani, “Sinners and Saints,” and “Conflicted,” also featuring Satriani, all hit the top position on Billboard’s “Hard Rock Digital Song Sales” chart. In addition, “Forgive Me,” also charted at No. 9 on the “Rock Digital Song Sales” chart and No. 19 on the “Hot Hard Rock Songs Chart.” His second single, “Sinners and Saints,” debuted at No. 4 on the “Rock Digital Song Sales” chart and No. 15 on the “Hot Hard Rock Songs” chart. His first single, “Conflicted” also debuted No. 6 on the “Rock Digital Song Sales” chart, and No. 18 on the “Hot Hard Rock Songs” chart.