Posts tagged with "lyrics"

Elena Brody "Rock Steady" image via Jon Bleicher for use by 360 Magazine

Elana Brody Q×A

By: Emily Bunn

Celebrating the beauty of human experience and the universality of dance, Elana Brody enchants fans with her exhilarating dance-pop music. Her most recent single, “Rock Steady,” showcases the singer’s joyous choreography and passionate songwriting ability. The “Rock Steady” music video can be viewed HERE. The bold, emotional ballad was produced by Max Martin protégé, Dominic Fallacaro. Brody spoke with 360 Magazine about the spirituality that courses through her songs, her music production process, and upcoming releases.

Your recent material was written during the pandemic. How did you manage to find inspiration during lockdown?

As a songwriter, lockdown – with all its grief and deep, life-changing themes- was a very fertile time for me. For one, I retreated from NYC to my childhood homestead in Virginia – in one of the most remote places East of the Mississippi. While there in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, with the music world at a stand-still, I found myself with very little to do but be in nature and play music. My then-partner had come with me, and we spent much of our time playing music together. I also felt called to offer musical prayer services online for those who needed inspiration and connection to Spirit. Because of this, I began by writing new prayer music – which felt right for the time. But, after my partner decided to split with me, as you can imagine – the folk songs started pouring out. This break-up, combined with being my original creative habitat, the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter uprising, the political election-year insanity, and a life far from community, took me the deepest I’ve been in my writing for a long time – especially as a lyricist. I think some of the lyrics you will hear on my upcoming EP are possibly my best yet.

What does your songwriting process look like?

It depends on the song. Sometimes snippets of lyrics, with a bit of their melody, come first. Sometimes a really awesome piano hook comes first. Over the last many years, I have found my songwriting process to be mostly a long-winded jam session where I sing out my heart for hours, creating spontaneous free-style lyrics. Many of those lyrics disappear forever, but at least a few of them make the cut! Once I get a sense of the general narrative of the song, I think about phrases that will help move the story along, and then build new lyrics around the original “spontaneous-gems” to flesh it out. Over the pandemic, lyrics were everything – and I found myself caring more about them than the music. The music could have been 3 chords, and I’d be totally okay with that, as long as the lyrics were telling the story. But, in other phases of my life as a writer, I would basically compose a piano concerto! And then, lyrics come in afterwards. I love and live music. And honestly, I don’t have to work hard to have music flow through me. I have found the best music and lyrics that I have written, have written themselves. It’s actually that simple. “Rock Steady” was a bit like that.

Are you still looking to release your EP eventually, or have you decided to shelve it in favor of tracks like “Rock Steady”?

Yes, to the EP! If all works out with piecing it together (because it was recorded in many different settings over the pandemic) then I would really like to release it in the late fall. But! Because “Rock Steady” is such a banger and I want to make more songs like that, I decided to quickly write and record a new song called “Quicksand,” which is another pop-influenced song, to release as a follow up – before I transition into my folk music.

Why did you choose Costa Rica as the location for the “Rock Steady” music video?

It chose me! My friend lives there and she invited me to come out to visit. I said I would, but under the one condition – that we film a music video! She is a great networker and knows so many people to reach out to and work with. She also happens to be an ecstatic dance facilitator and DJ and was planning a dance on the weekend of my visit. So, naturally, we organized to film the dance party at an already scheduled and high-vibe (to use a very Costa Rican term) dance party! It couldn’t have been more perfect. We also did all our beach filming at a beach called Roca Beach – aka Rock (Steady) beach!

How does your spirituality factor into the way you create music?

Once, after I auditioned for the first season of USA’s XFactor, I left the stage (a story for another time!) and was interviewed by a faceless producer speaking to me from behind a black curtain. This producer asked me, “When you sing, it seems as if you are connecting to some higher power. Is this true for you? And what is that higher power?” At the time, I wouldn’t have considered myself a prayer-leader or religious at all, but I knew the answer to that right away. I said, “Yes. God.”

God can bring up a lot for people. And for me too. Growing up in rural Virginia, the idea of “God” sometimes felt like some kind of angry, repressive, overpowering righteousness. But – in my family – and in my own experience – God was gentler than that. The spirit between things. As a youth, I was surrounded by the most beautiful, untouched nature – and witness to the seasons in their full force. With below-zero cold and windy winters, slow-to-pop springs, abundant green summers with my folks’ organic gardens in full bloom, and then the rainbows of colorful Appalachian autumns – I knew what Spirit had to offer us humans. And music had always been my human way to offer Spirit back to Spirit, if that makes sense. It’s a giving and receiving from the big, wild wonders of creation, and then music is my way to return it back. Now that I have dived into my Jewish roots, and studied the traditions, I would say that song is the modern equivalent of sending burnt offerings up to the Creator. Instead of smoke, we let our voices rise. And I don’t see prayer music and pop music as all that different. Different themes, different stories, but ultimately, what we sing or speak is all prayer. And, especially now that I am very involved in prayer-leadership, as I create more songs, I do think about that in my writing.

What do you anticipate the reaction to “Rock Steady” will be like?

A fun one! Hopefully one that makes people dance and dance some more! Because I haven’t released much of my other music yet on the bigger platforms, most people won’t know the difference. Like, how did that happen? All of a sudden, I’m a pop star! The truth is, I’ve always been a pop star. Christina Aguilera and Celine Dion were my first vocal idols, and all of the first music I ever wrote sounded like it could have been in a Disney Channel original movie. Anyhow, I had this thought that I should go about my career in the opposite way of other folk artists, a la Jewel circa “Intuition,” and drop in with the fun and danceable stuff first. I don’t see myself ever being too genre-confined, anyway. Life is too short not to write whatever you feel and whatever is coming through you! I did think, “oh, maybe I should sell this song to Rhianna or another artist who could do it amazingly.” But honestly, this route of self-producing is very fun, and maybe even better. Now I get to be heard singing like a pop star too!

What other artists, musicians, or bands serve as inspirations for your music?

It’s a long list…

Joni Mitchell is my in-utero and post-utero,songwriting teacher. I used to call her my piano teacher, because I learned to play by playing so many of her songs. Several other musicians of my parents’ 60s/70s era also come in close as primary inspirations – including Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Carole King, and the Beatles. They have shaped what a well-written song could be for me.

It’s hard to decipher what is an influence now because it’s just one big, long-cooked stew or spicy mole at this point.

I have always liked lyric-forward music, with bands like Of Montreal (his candidness in writing was life-changing for me!) and Death Cab for Cutie (the simple metaphors and speaking-style of his writing) and the Decemberists (storytelling, bard-like songs.) And the orchestral and lyrical artistry of the Fleet Foxes is stellar.

I have also always liked some good classic, chunky, Rock’n’roll and music that gets ya’ dancing, like Led Zeppelin and CCR. And the blues, especially blues piano music, has played a role in my music education since early childhood.

Then, there’s the eternal list of female influences. My most listened to, other than Joni, from the beginning are Ani DiFranco and Sarah McLachlan. Then: Jesca Hoop, My Brightest Diamond, Regina Spektor and Kate Bush. And now: artists like Gillian Welch, Brandi Carlile, Sylvan Esso, and Sarah Jarosz have taken up a lot of my listening time. Sarah Jarosz’s album World on the Ground was really powerful to listen to last year during the pandemic. I hope that I can achieve that level of presence and intelligence in the instrumentation when I go to make my full-length album next year!

I also derive a LOT of influence from pop music. I can’t help it. I definitely fell in love with Ariana Grande’s album positions this year, and right now I am going down a Dua Lipa rabbit hole. I would say Rhianna is my number one, though. And I finally fell in love with Lady Gaga after seeing A Star is Born and listening to Joanne. Her belt has inspired me a lot. And I love vocalists in general. I have spent a lot of time really listening to vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Judy Collins, Barbra Streisand. These days, Elvis is my number one!

I will also never not want to listen to albums of bands like Nickel Creek, the [Dixie] Chicks, Bela Fleck, Mandolin Orange/Watchhouse, or the band Solas, to bring me the feeling of my early mountain roots and make me feel good.

I am truly a world music fan. I love to listen to the magic of music across the world. I am really inspired to hear virtuosity, no matter what genre. I love vocal virtuosos and am listening right now to the artist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I am curious as to when I’ll be able to imitate him. (I’m really good at imitating!) Bobby McFerrin has also been a teacher in real life. He inspires me to become more accurate in my improvisations.

I also listen to prayer music, but mostly of the Sikh or Kundalini yoga genre. Sometimes you’ll find me jamming out to Jewish artists (many of them friends of mine) or Gospel music. Anita Wilson, a modern gospel singer, has been a vocal inspiration for me because she really sings with the lows of her range.

Musical theater music is also a major influence. That Roger and Hammerstein stuff pours out of me like it were an extension of my soul! Lastly, at this point, after spending time at Berklee College of Music, I have been greatly inspired by jazz and R&B.

Besides “Rock Steady” and the EP, can fans look forward to any other releases to come in 2021-2022?

Yes! I mentioned that I am wanting to get cracking on my full-length album that will be mostly in the Americana, New Orleans blues, Rock-and-Roll, and folk pop styles. I am really, really excited about it. But I’m not sure yet who I will work with on it. An exciting unknown. I imagine it will end up feeling like a magnum opus when it is finished because I’ve been with these songs for so long. Nothing will be more amazing than when they are out in the world surrounded by strings, the right instrumentation and arrangements. I also would like to produce my song “City of Man” in a big vaudevillian, brassy style. [I want to] make a little music-video theater piece out of it. I have also been sitting on this one for a long time. It sort of harkens to the fall of capitalism…that is going on in our world and the post-Trump era– it’s due time that I get that one out. Look out for it all!

AViVA “Melancholy” image shot by Matais C from Lisa DiAngelo at Capitol Music Group for use by 360 Magazine

AViVA – MELANCHOLY

AViVA PREMIERES NEW SINGLE “MELANCHOLY” LISTEN HERE 

WATCH THE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR “MELANCHOLY” HERE

AUSTRALIAN ARTIST’S DEBUT NOVEL SELF/LESS DUE OUT 9/28

Today, Australia-born artist AViVA makes her Capitol Records debut with ”Melancholy” : a new single and video spotlighting her immersive and electrifying brand of alt-pop. An unfiltered look at the downward pull of depression, “Melancholy” also showcases the uncompromising originality that’s earned AViVA a passionate global following in recent years. Go HERE to download/stream “Melancholy,” and check out the video HERE.

With its moody backdrop of minimalist beats, “Melancholy” sets its emotionally vivid lyrics to an infectious sing-song melody (“One, two, three, four/Vicious, knocking at my door/Seven, eight, nine, ten/Burn the candle at both ends”). Throughout the track, AViVA delivers a captivating vocal performance, flaunting her effortless flow and fierce yet vulnerable presence. 360 Magazine loves AViVA’s vibrant energy and passionate lyricism.

On the single, AViVA says, “Seemingly cheerful and upbeat from the outside, it doesn’t matter what makes you feel that way, sometimes feeling down is the only way you can feel, but the power of the last line ‘it will never be the same’ is where the core message of the song lies. Even though after negative experiences things often aren’t the same, we are always free to learn and grow from our experiences. Feeling melancholy, like so many feelings, is just a temporary state. Things will, as they always do, get better.”

The video for “Melancholy,” co-directed by AViVA and long-time collaborator Jeffeton James, amplifies the song’s raw and powerful intimacy. To that end, the wildly colorful visual places AViVA in a series of isolated situations: lying in a hospital bed, trapped behind a school desk, singing to her own reflection inside the room of an abandoned and decaying home. As the song unfolds, the 27-year-old artist reveals her unapologetically punk spirit, inhabiting each frame with a feverish intensity.

A multidisciplinary artist, AViVA will release her debut novel SELF/LESS via Macmillan on September 28. Set in a dystopian society in which all forms of self-expression and creativity are outlawed, the book follows its 17-year-old protagonist Teddy as she rebels against her upbringing and discovers a secret world beneath the walled-in city where she was raised. According to AViVA, SELF/LESS fulfills a longtime mission of creating her own distinct multiverse that seamlessly merges music and literature.

*Photo Credit: Matais C

AViVA “Melancholy” image shot by Matais C from Lisa DiAngelo at Capitol Music Group for use by 360 Magazine

BTR illustration by Alex Bodgan for use by 360 Magazine

Big Time Rush’s Big Time Reunion

By: Ally Brewster

Big Time Rush is an American boyband that got its start on Nickelodeon from 2009-2013. The band is comprised of Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Logan Henderson, and Carlos PenaVega. The Big Time Rush show followed “4 hockey players from Minnesota that get the opportunity of a lifetime.” The show was an instant hit among children, garnering a cult-like following from the young audience. The success lead to the four seasons of the show, three albums and the band going on worldwide tours, breaking out of that “Disney/Nickelodeon children’s television band” trope that many children-show artists get stuck in.

Since 2013, the band-members parted ways, each going onto their respective solo careers. Kendall has a band named Heffron Drive with bandmate Dustin Belt that he released the album Happy Mistakes with in 2014, as well as singles after that. James has been modeling and has released singes such as “Love U Sober” and “Falling.” Logan has had a solo career in music, releasing two studio album Echoes of Departure and the Endless Street of Dreams – Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, as well as a number of singles. Carlos has had a successful acting career, being a voice actor on Nickelodeon’s The Loud House and in Hallmark’s Picture Perfect Mysteries series.

As the bandmates went their separate ways into their successful careers, they still were friends; as shown by their countless Instagram posts of them hanging out and singing together over the years, warming the hearts of fans worldwide and creating a glimmer of hope that one day they could all find their way back together.

In 2021, twelve years later after their premiere, the band still has die-hard fans, now all grown up and keeping the band relevant years after their Nickelodeon departure. Their song “Big Time Rush” became a trending sound on TikTok at the beginning of 2020. Stephen Kramer Glickman, who played Gustavo Rocque their songwriter on the show, sold handwritten Big Time Rush song lyrics in June 2021, posting on his TikTok how much he loves interacting with the Big Time Rush fans. People have been asking and hoping for new music, a tour, a movie, for them to reunite one last time, and it looks like fans have had their wish come true.

At the beginning of 2020 the Big Time Rush Instagram became active for the first time in years. Fans went crazy over it. Does this mean they’re reuniting? Are they getting a reboot show like other beloved 2000s children shows such as iCarly and That’s So Raven? The question never was truly answered as the pandemic came in full force, halting any plans if there were any.

With the revival of the Instagram, the band-members reunited for a quick reunion video, to talk about what’s going on, something that many celebrities did as a way to give to the fans during the uncertain and scary times. Fans couldn’t contain their excitement as everyone thought that the video meant they were reuniting, especially once Carlos said the phrase, “and who knows, a lot to look forward to at the end of this.” Fans took this as a hint that something big was going to happen with them. Perhaps a new album or tour? The answer remained a mystery as the band posted throwbacks and shared what each member was doing throughout the pandemic, never even acknowledging the questions that filled their comment section.

Finally, in July 2021, fans got their answers. The Big Time Rush Instagram was wiped, no posts public. The profile picture was turned to red, as were the members of the band and Stephen Kramer Glickman. Fans went wild. They knew what this meant. The color profile picture and wiped social media, a classic marketing tactic of musicians in the digital age: rebrand yourself for what’s next; get people talking about what it means.

And their fan’s intuition proved correct, as on July 19, 2021, the band made a Big Time Announcement: they’re reuniting for two live performances, one in New York City, the other in Chicago. The announcement was filled with a bunch of inside jokes from the television show, from the voiceover, Kendall by his name on the tv show, to calling James “bandana man,” asking Carlos where his helmet was, referencing Logan’s PhD seeking character from the show, and declaring that they are going to once again “live it Big Time.”

Tour Dates

Dec. 15, 2021 – Chicago, IL – The Chicago Theatre

Dec. 18, 2021 – New York, NY – Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom

Tickets

Sign-up for pre-sale ticket access here.

Pre-sale tickets go on sale Wednesday, July 21st at 10:00 AM local time.

Tickets go on sale Friday, July 23rd at 10:00AM local time.

The Big Time Rush tv show and the Big Time Movie can be watched on Netflix.

Image courtesy of The Oriel Company for use by 360 Magazine

Jimmy Jam × Terry Lewis × Mariah Carey – Somewhat Loved

THE ROOT PREMIERES LYRIC VIDEO FOR JIMMY JAM & TERRY LEWIS’ NEWEST SINGLE Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin’ My Heart) with MARIAH CAREY, DEBUT ALBUM JAM & LEWIS VOLUME ONE PRE-ORDER NOW AVAILABLE SET FOR RELEASE JULY 9th

The Grammy-Award winning production duo recently turned artists, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis have debuted their latest single Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin’ My Heart) with Mariah Carey TODAY. Check out The Root’s lyric video premiere of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis x Mariah Carey’s Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin’ My Heart) HERE. Experience Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis like Never Before on their Debut Album Jam & Lewis Volume One set for release July 9th. Pre-order the album HERE.

Click HERE to listen to Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin’ My Heart)

Click HERE to watch the Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin’ My Heart) lyric video

For Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin My Heart) Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis team up with the multi-platinum, multiple Grammy award winning, New York Times #1 Best Selling author and global superstar Mariah Carey. The track continues a long history of collaboration between the producers and Carey, which includes the Billboard Hot 100 #1 smash Thank God I Found You. Together, they deliver another anthem punctuated by Carey’s legendary soaring vocals and the pair’s inimitable musicality.

Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis have had an unprecedented career as producers, with five GRAMMY Awards, over 100 Platinum certifications, and 16 Billboard Hot 100 Number Ones. They’ve worked with legendary artists including Elton John, Lionel Richie, and Patti LaBelle, composed music for TBS and TNT networks’ NBA basketball broadcasts, as well as the theme to the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. The duo has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, received an NAACP Image Award, star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and were recently nominated for a Primetime EMMY Award in Outstanding Music Direction.

Follow Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis via their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.

SLEEPY HALLOW DEBUT ALBUM - STILL SLEEP? illustration by Nick Baran from RCA Records for use by 360 Magazine

SLEEPY HALLOW DEBUT ALBUM – STILL SLEEP?

Today, Winners Circle’s Sleepy Hallow drops his debut album Still Sleep? via Winners Circle Entertainment/RCA Records. Producer Great John lays down the foundation on the 14 tracks, while Sleepy’s hard-hitting lyrics takes center stage. Click here to listen.

Still Sleep? Track list:

  1. Basketball Dreams (Intro)
  2. 2 Sauce
  3. 4or Daze
  4. 2055
  5. Make You (Snake Proof)
  6. Equal
  7. Scrub
  8. Sleepy Freestyle
  9. Chicken
  10. Mi No Sabe
  11. 1999
  12. Murda She Wrote (Outro)
  13. Lowkey
  14. Tip Toe

Hailing from East Flatbush, Brooklyn and one of the breakout stars of the Brooklyn Drill hip-hop scene, Sleepy Hallow came to prominence in 2020 with the RIAA Gold-certified hit “Deep End Freestyle” which featured vocals by Fousheé. Recently selected as one of HipHopDX Rising Stars 2021 and BET Amplified Artist of the Month (January), Hallow’s impressive repertoire of EPs – Sleepy Hallow Presents: Sleepy For President, The Black House, Don’t Sleep – has earned him coveted “best of” lists recognition from XXL, Complex, UpRoxx and more.

ABOUT WINNERS CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT

Incorporated in 2019, Winners Circle Entertainment includes label co-owners Sheff G and Sleepy Hallow, Eli Fross and producer Great John, who handles a majority of the label’s music production. Co-owned and operated by a solid management conglomerate which is made up of Jeremy “Jerm” Soto and Karel “White” Jorge.

STILL SLEEP? ALBUM LINK

Cover Artwork Created by Nick Baran

Kailee Sparks image via Jodi Jackson at JJ Entertainment for use by 360 Magazine

Kailee Spark QxA

Indie artist Kailee Spark recently released her song, “Passageways” and is set to release her debut album Savor This come June 2021. The rising starlet’s poignant lyricism and angelic voice are highlighted on her most recent release, earning her nearly 200k followers online and comparisons to Taylor Swift and Jewel. However, Spark’s music is emotive, sensitive, visceral, and completely her own. Here at 360 Magazine, we spoke with Kailee Spark to discuss her background as a musician, inspiration behind “Passageways”, her future musical bucket list, and more.

Who is someone that doesn’t listen to your music that you think should?

So, I’d say my music could be liked by anyone who enjoys poppy radio stations. I think my music is very uplifting for the most part and that younger people would enjoy it.

 What’s your ideal press headline 12 months from now?

Something that talks about my unique style and that it’s playing all over the radio.

 What’s your background?

I grew up in the Bay Area, raised Mormon, left the church at age 22 and moved to Big Island Hawaii shortly after, where I’ve lived since. Finished my bachelor’s degree in anthropology at UH-Hilo, then decided to get my MA just for the hell of it [and] applied cultural anthropology at Humboldt State University in Northern California.

I’ve been primarily self-employed since living in Hawaii. I used to sell crystals at the farmer’s market and then got into the car rental business with an ex-boyfriend.

I love traveling and have spent a lot of time in India and can speak a little bit of Hindi.

What motivates you to get up everyday to do what you do?

Having fun and constantly learning new things. I like thinking that through my music or entertainment I inspire others.  

How has your family inspired you and your music?

My parents are big into classic rock and stuff like Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, etc. So, I grew up listening to a lot of music. I started piano lessons around age 8 and wrote my first real song at age 12 which I performed at school functions. At age 15, a random man from my church brought over a guitar on Christmas morning for me. I had wanted a guitar for a long time and I was stoked, I began teaching myself right away and writing songs.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in San Jose, CA. My sister and I spent a lot of time in the backyard climbing trees, or riding our rollerblades around the neighborhood.

What made you move to Hawaii?

I wanted to learn about permaculture and raw food diets and on a forum somewhere I read about a community on the Big Island. So, I first came here to do an internship at this bizarre community for three months – it was clothing optional kind of hippie commune. I decided on my third day in Hawaii I would be moving here – it just felt right.

How does Hawaii inspire your music?

Yes, it definitely inspires a lot of nature themes. Many of my songs include some element of nature in them. I live in a really peaceful setting, and my house is on an acre of mostly jungle. I wake up in the mornings to the sound of birds singing and I fall asleep to a chorus of frogs and crickets. Sometimes the stars are so magnificent and bright, and the lava, the ocean, and the aloha 

Who inspired you to make music?

I can’t think of a specific person, but I just always loved music. At one point I was obsessed with this CD my parents had called “Wacky favorites” which had songs like “The auctioneer boy” and “Tie me kangaroo down sport”. I’d listen to it over and over. I remember sitting on the floor listening to this CD when I decided that I wanted to do music someday, I must have been around 6 or 7.

What or who inspired your song “Passageways”?

When I first started writing the song it wasn’t about anyone specific, just a feeling I had like I knew that someone was out there that I’d feel that way about. A bit later I met someone and I said oh that’s who this song was for, let me finish it.

Talk about your producer on this song?

Bub Pratt is a talented musician and our styles vibe together. I was confident he could produce my song and record with the sound I wanted. The engineer Keli’i is also very talented.

Talk about the lyrics to this song?

This song is about that intense curiosity you get when falling in love with someone. You want to know everything about them, everything that made them who they are today. Who are they? What are the pains they experienced? Wanting to feel them fully and surrender yourself to loving them. The beginning of the song refers to me having traveled around a lot. I’ve traveled and done so many things, but now I want to explore this person and who they are.  

Where do you get your ideas for song writing?

I don’t usually ever think okay today I’m going to write a song about…. Sometimes I’m able to get into a flow and words just come to me. I usually start by messing around with the guitar and humming out melodies, until I come up with something I like. Then I feel the vibe of the song and wait for some words to float into my consciousness while I play it over and over. Sometimes I’ll just record guitar on its own and listen to it while I drive or whatever and come up with words and themes that way.

What’s your ultimate message to your fans?

That you are powerful and can create the life you want for yourself. Don’t take life so seriously.

What charities are you aligned with?

I used to actually work at a nonprofit here on the island that assisted the homeless in finding housing. Wow I had some crazy experiences there!

I was pretty interested in an organization that helps build squat compost toilets in rural parts of India (open defecation is a big issue which ends up resulting in babies with malnutrition and being stunted), but I don’t know if that’s a glamorous thing to talk about.

What projects will you be involved with in the future? 

Would love to write some more songs and start working on another album at the end of the year or next year.

 Who are your biggest influences?

Jewel, Laura Veirs, Bright Eyes, Emily Wells. I love Bright Eyes/Conor Oberst, his songwriting is splendid. He’s a good example of someone who doesn’t really have a great voice, but people love his music because of the emotion and depth to his songs. I love his lyrics “I could’ve been a famous singer if I had someone else’s voice. But failures always sounded better, let’s live it up boys, make some noise!”

How have you developed your career?

As a musician…well, I just only recently started making money off it. I wasn’t really trying to be a musician for a while, and went through some wild depression and didn’t pick up the guitar for long stretches of time.  But recently in the past year I started playing a little bit and was surprised to find that people loved it. People kept asking me to play, and then I kept getting asked where they could download my music. This led to me searching for a place to record and that’s when I found Kukuau Studio (May 2020).

What kind of singer would you classify yourself as?

Not quite sure how to classify it. I have a soprano voice, but I sing kind of like Bob Dylan/Conor Oberst but female. I have my first voice lessons tomorrow, so let’s see what my instructor says. I wouldn’t really call myself a singer, more of a musician singer/songwriter. I don’t have a super great voice.  But I kind of think my unique voice is an asset to me rather than a hindrance, because I don’t sound like everyone else. I try to really convey emotions through my voice, and I think that’s why people like my voice. Oh, but I do love yodeling. Maybe call me a yodeler.

What skills have you learned that will help you in your singing career?

To relax, it’s okay to not be perfect.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

I’d say that the fun really is in the journey, not the destination…That’s where my idea for the album name came, “Savor This”, it’s like savor the moment. Right now is where all the fun is. The destination is fun too, for a little while. But then I’ll want the next thing…happiness is an inside job.

What advice would you give to a singer starting out?

Keep practicing and writing but don’t be too hard on yourself, it should be fun.

How did you get started with your manager?

It just kind of worked out…he offered to help me by being project manager for my album release. I know I need help with other things too, so I’m like why not just [have a] manager? We get along really well, and he is very good with people.

Which famous musicians do you admire?

Jewel, Katy Perry, Bright Eyes, KT Tunstall, Michelle Branch, Avril Lavigne, Taylor Swift, Laura Veirs, Dolly Parton, and Eminem. 

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

Writing, I like to write about my travels and what not.

Do you like that you’re being compared to Taylor Swift?

Sure, she is a talented songwriter.

What’s next for you in 2021?

My album release, making some cool music videos, and I’d like to do some traveling if possible, too.

How do you take care of your voice?

I try not to overdo it; I went through a phase where I was singing and playing online like 4-6 hours a day most days, and I think it strained my voice. I try to give it time to rest and don’t push it if my voice is just not feeling good that day. I also stopped eating dairy for the most part.

What’s your health regime?

I eat pretty healthy and go on regular walks and do stretching and weightlifting a couple times a week. I got my yoga teacher training certificate at a training center in India, but I’ve never taught yoga.

If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

Conor Oberst, Laura Veirs, and Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

 What’s the one take away you want your fans to feel after they listen to your music?

Feel self-empowered and playful.  

What is on your playlist right now?

Bub Pratt’s latest album, I love it, also been listening to Emily Wells.

When did you know you wanted to be an entertainer?

When I was a kid.

What’s on your musical bucket list?

Would love to be on billboard charts, nominated for Grammy someday, would be sweet. Have a song on the radio. It should be pretty cool to get my “Universe at your fingertips” song into an iPad commercial or something.

Any plans for future touring?

Not immediate plans, but it would be great if I had the opportunity to do so. I love traveling. Traveling and music combined sounds awesome.

What is your first musical memory as a child?

A church song “Popcorn popping on the apricot tree”

Do you play any instruments?

Guitar, piano, and kind of drums (haven’t played regularly for a few years). I want to add some more to the list soon.

What’s your typical day like?

Wake up around 8am, have some tea and coffee, listen to inspirational YouTube videos or music, go for a walk with a dog, write in a journal and a to-do list.

What’s your fashion style?

Kind of neutral colors and reds, I love leather boots and my converse sneakers. I don’t know how to describe my style. Sometimes skirts but mostly jeans or leggings.

What do you do to relax?

Take a bubble bath, meditate, listen to self-hypnosis, go on walks, and massage.

What are your hobbies?

Playing instruments, reading about all kinds of things, especially travel memoirs and funny stuff like David Sedaris, hiking, spending time in nature, and traveling.

What’s your favorite type of food? Do you cook?

Thai, Mexican, Japanese, and Korean. I do cook; I like to make a lot of soups and simple but tasty and healthy things.

How has the pandemic impacted your life?

Started making more money. Had to cancel some big travel plans to go to India with a good friend to go shopping for her wedding saree.

 What’s the one thing you think everyone could do to make the world a more positive place?

To not hold anyone else responsible for their happiness, also to follow your passions.

If there was one recording artist you wanted to meet, who would that be?

Dolly Parton seems cool…or Jewel.

What is the best part about being famous?

I’m not famous yet, but I do enjoy having an audience of fans who resonate with my music, and hearing from them how I have positively impacted their lives feels really good.

Yung Raja illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Rising Singaporean Artist Yung Raja

RISING SINGAPOREAN ARTIST YUNG RAJA RELEASES NEW FREESTYLE MIXING ENGLISH AND TAMIL — LISTEN NOW

NEW SONG “MAMI” IS YASSER’S TRACK OF THE WEEK ON BBC ASIAN NETWORK — LISTEN HERE

INCLUDED ON ‘NME 100’ LIST — FIRST SINGAPOREAN ARTIST TO APPEAR ON THE LIST

LYRICS + TRANSLATIONS HERE

Praise for Yung Raja:

“Singaporean hip-hop star sparks joy with dizzying Tamil and English raps” — NME

“Yung Raja has flown onto the hip-hop scene over the past year, commanding a riotous audience across South East Asia” — HYPEBEAST

“Within a year, [Yung Raja] has grown to become one of South East Asia’s popular hip-hop artists” — Rolling Stone

Yung Raja has been dubbed as Southeast Asia’s next avant-garde bilingual hip hop artist known for his tasteful unification of English and Tamil lyricism. Over the weekend Yung Raja released another installment of a freestyle that showcases just this. Raja is a master wordsmith and elegantly switches between the languages backed against a trap beat that begs hitting the replay button. The dizzying freestyle comes off the back of his recently released single “Mami” which is also the Track of The Week by Yasser for BBC Asian Network. The video for the song has already surpassed over 100,000 views on YouTube and rising. Check out the song and technicolor video, here.

Alongside the freestyle, Yung Raja also uploaded an informational video “Shtambi Shterminology” where breaks down his everyday slang and Tamil phrases— one of the world’s oldest surviving languages

About Yung Raja:

Named one of NME’s 100 artist of 2021, breakthrough rapper Yung Raja has been dubbed as Southeast Asia’s next avant-garde bilingual hip hop artist. Known for his tasteful unification of English and Tamil culture in his lyrics. He found viral success in Asia after releasing a string of singles including “Poori Gang,” “Mustafa” and “Mad Blessings”  — the latter of which received cosigns by the likes of Lupe Fiasco and M.I.A.. Raja went on to amass over 11 million plays, a record deal with Def Jam SEA and a whirlwind run that saw him play shows across the continent and a stint in India recording for the famous Kollywood industry. His blend of references combined with natural lyrical ability garnered him critical praise with the likes of NME, Hypebeast, ELLE (Singapore), VICE/Noisey, Rolling Stone (India). While his fashion sensibilities and unwavering experimentation with style has landed him the covers of Esquire and ELLE Singapore as well as brand partnerships with BVLGARI, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Adidas. Born and raised in Singapore, Yung Raja aims to reinvent societal views in and out of his homeland, inspire the next generation of cultural conservators, and elevate Southeast Asian hip hop to world class stages through his music. Last year, Yung Raja signed to Alamo Records in hopes to continue confronting the industry with his addictive bilingual delivery and amalgamation of cultural references.

Discover more Yung Raja via:

INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | YOUTUBE

Outsider Project illustration by Heather Skovlund (original artwork: Henry Darger)for 360 Magazine

Outsider Project × Henry Darger

OUTSIDER PROJECT CELEBRATES WORLD-RENOWNED CHICAGO ARTIST HENRY DARGER’S BIRTHDAY

French musician Philippe Cohen Solal found material ripe for musical expression in Chicago-born author and artist Henry Darger’s drawings, paintings, writings, life story and lyrics. The award-winning Cohen Solal drew from Darger’s oeuvre to compose OUTSIDER, an album and transmedia project honoring the renowned outsider artist. In celebration of Darger’s birthday on Monday, April 12, Intuit partners with Cohen Solal and Musee Art Moderne de Paris (MAM) on the launch of OUTSIDER, in which Cohen Solal will present an excerpt from the project live from MAM on the website at noon central time.

In the baroque pop album OUTSIDER, musicians Philippe Cohen Solal, Mike Lindsay, Adam Glover and Hannah Peel turn Darger’s paintings and writings into melodies. The album is available now on streaming platforms and the website an immersive bilingual website featuring music videos and a short film. Releasing in English on Wednesday, April 14, the accompanying bilingual podcast retraces Darger’s story through the testimonies of the people who knew him and studied and exhibited his work. Hear stories from the artist’s former landlord, Kiyoko Lerner, and learn more about the Henry Darger Room Collection, which Cohen Solal used as inspiration, from Intuit President and CEO Debra Kerr.

“It’s exciting to see Darger’s influence in new mediums. Philippe has long been inspired by both seeing the artworks in person and his visit to the Henry Darger Room at Intuit. As Darger is Intuit’s most closely associated artist and many people’s entry to the genre of outsider art, I’m always interested to see new creativity catalyzed by his story and body of work,” says Kerr. “In this case, Philippe and his colleagues have treated Henry’s legacy with the utmost respect, honor and care. Darger’s story is shrouded in mystery, and I am happy when new interpretations stay true to what we know and can uncover with rigorous scholarship. I send my warm congratulations.”

Although Darger and his mysterious artwork have been of interest to the art world for several decades now, the outsider artist lived life in obscurity as a hospital janitor. Lerner’s husband, Nathan, discovered Darger’s work shortly before the artist’s death in 1972, and the couple shared it with outsider art enthusiasts and scholars who became fascinated by him over time.

As the pandemic keeps people removed from one another, an exploration of the notably isolated Darger is especially relevant. Cohen Solal’s interest in and repurposing of Darger’s work into new artforms speak to the universality and timeless emotional rawness of the late creator’s life and work. Celebrate Darger’s legacy at this commemorative program that is sure to delight and inspire fans around the world.

For more news from Intuit, visit our press room.

ABOUT INTUIT

Founded in 1991, Intuit is a premier museum of outsider and self-taught art, defined as work created by artists who faced marginalization, overcame personal odds to make their artwork, and who did not, or sometimes could not, follow a traditional path of art making, often using materials at hand to realize their artistic vision. By presenting a diversity of artistic voices, Intuit builds a bridge from art to audiences. The museum’s mission to celebrate the power of outsider artis grounded in the ethos that powerful art can be found in unexpected places and made by unexpected creators.

Intuit is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and reserves admission by appointment for guests who are in an increased risk group. More information on the website.

Intuit is generously supported by the following organizations: Alphawood Foundation Chicago; anonymous foundations; Art Dealers Association of America Foundation; Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events; Crown Family Philanthropies; Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; Field Foundation; Illinois Arts Council Agency; Illinois Humanities; MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince; National Endowment for the Arts; Polk Bros Foundation; Prince Charitable Trust; and Terra Foundation for American Art.

Album cover with original artwork: Henry Darger, Spangled Blengins. Edible. Boy King Islands. One is a young Tuskerhorian the other a human headed Dortherean
Album cover with original artwork: Henry Darger, Spangled Blengins. Edible. Boy King Islands. One is a young Tuskerhorian the other a human headed Dortherean
Rob Kenner book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Rob Kenner × Nipsey Hussle

Rob Kenner is one of the most prolific and influential voices in hip hop publishing and a founding editor of Vibe magazine. 

After meeting Nipsey Hussle in the offices of Vibe, Kenner spent the next ten years tracking the life and career of the hip hop mogul, artist, and activist. THE MARATHON DON’T STOP: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle by Rob Kenner (Atria Books; Hardcover; March 23, 2021; $27.00; ISBN: 9781982140298) ​is the first in-depth biography of Nipsey Hussle, whose transformative legacy inspired a generation with his motivational lyrics and visionary business savvy—before he was tragically shot down two years ago, on March 31, 2019 in the very neighborhood he was dedicated to building up.

Combining on-the-ground reporting and candid interviews with Hussle’s friends, family, and peers, THE MARATHON DON’T STOP traces the life and work of an extraordinary artist, placing him in historical context and unpacking his complex legacy.

Some details of Hussle’s life that Kenner can discuss in an interview include:

  • Ermias Asghedom, before he was Nipsey Hussle, was a brilliant, soft-spoken, and underestimated young man who loved hip hop with a passion and was determined to build his own successful music label and clothing business—as well as other businesses that would employ many members of his community.
  • His life in the Crenshaw District starting in 1985, placing Hussle in historical context within the evolution of Hip Hop, Los Angeles, and America.
  • Hussle’s genius as a teenager who built his own computers and went on to push the envelope of technology in growing his businesses as well as innovating new revenue models for independent musicians that have since been adopted by the mainstream music industry
  • Hussle’s life-changing trip to Africa to visit his father’s family in Eritrea, as well as his little-known first meeting with Afeni Shakur, long before he called himself the ‘Tupac of My Generation’ or even took the rap name Nipsey Hussle.
  • Hussle’s impact as an activist, and his efforts to re-align L.A. gang culture with the mission of organizations like the Black Panthers…AND MORE.

Rob Kenner is one of the most prolific and influential voices in hip-hop publishing. A founding editor of Vibe, Kenner joined the start-up team of Quincy Jones’ groundbreaking hip hop monthly in 1992. During a nineteen-year run at Vibe he edited and wrote cover and feature stories on iconic cultural figures ranging from Tupac Shakur to Barack Obama as well as writing the acclaimed column Boomshots. Kenner’s writing has appeared in ComplexGeniusMass AppealPigeons & PlanesEgo TripPoetry magazine, The New York Times, and Billboard. He’s also produced and directed documentary shorts on the likes of De La Soul, Nas, and Post Malone. As an editor at Vibe Books, Kenner worked on the New York Times bestseller Tupac Shakur and contributed to The Vibe History of Hip Hop. He went on to co-author VX: 10 Years of Vibe Photography and produced the book Unbelievable, a biography of The Notorious B.I.G. by Cheo Hodari Coker Jr., which was optioned for the motion picture Notorious.

Gigi Vega illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Rising Star Gigi Vega

360 Magazine had the opportunity to ask rising star, Gigi Vega, questions that her fans would want to know. Gigi Vega debuted her hit song “Mistletoe Kiss” taking the holiday music charts by storm. She went viral on TikTok with 10 million views and 15k videos. In addition to writing and producing, GiGi is a dancer and choreographer. Read on to learn more about Gigi!

GIGI VEGA INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: 

1. How has your family inspired you and your music?

GV: I would always do little shows and auditions. My father is a jazz musician. He would play the piano, so I was always surrounded by music, and theater as well. 

2. What or who inspired your song “Watchu Tryna Do?”

GV: It just happened. Actually, had it for a while, but was finally able to come back to it. Originally, the lyrics were supposed to be “in the club”, instead of “in the crib”. But I had to make adjustments due to COVID 19

3. Talk about your producer on this song? 

GV: Jack London. He has worked with the Chainsmokers.

4. Where do you get your ideas for songwriting? 

GV: Melodies just come to me. Melodies come first for me. Lyrics come from everyday life experiences. I’ve always been into dancing and singing. It’s something that just clicked for me, but I got more into it once I started composing my own songs.

5. What charities are you aligned with and why? 

GV: Anti-bullying programs.

6. What acting projects will you be involved with in the future?

GV: I will be in The Drone That Saved Christmas. Production begins in March. After that, I hope the COVID situation improves, so I can be touring.

7. Who are your biggest influences?

GV: Janet Jackson. Definitely into anyone who is super full out, and she is one of them.

8. What advice would you give to a singer starting out?

GV: Don’t let anyone steer you in the direction of what they want you to be – it is not worth it, ever.

9. Talk about your training as a triple threat, what do you do to stay on top? 

GV: Just take a look at my Music video, it is all there. Acting, dancing, singing. I have trained in all three disciplines since I was very young. My dance training was focused on modern dance, but I am schooled in all disciplines. I have always been on stage or behind the camera, so it is second nature.

10. How do you take care of your voice? 

GV: Regular training, like an athlete. Lots of lemon and pineapple juice, as well.

11. If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

GV: Chris Brown or Jason Derulo. Dancer/singer like I am. Janet – anyone who is full out, as mentioned before.

12. What is on your playlist right now?

GV: Omarion, Michael Jackson, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Pop Smoke, Jason Derulo.

13. Who are you currently watching on TikTok?

GV: Everything that comes across my feed.:)

14. When did you know you wanted to be an entertainer? 

GV: Never thought about anything else. I was on stage from an early age. I made the move from stage to commercial work in my teens. Once I learned how to write solid music, I knew I wanted to record music. It was a process. I spent hundreds of hours in the studio as a kid.

15. What artist did you admire as a child?

 GV: I loved watching Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson is my absolute favorite.

16. Do you play any instruments? 

GV: I pluck out notes on the piano and guitar to help my melodies. Had many lessons and music theory, but I won’t be accompanying myself just yet.

17. What’s your fashion style?

GV: I like more tropical vibes, or casual, put-together vibes, but I always like to switch it up. I can be glam or a Tomboy. Get a girl who can do both.

18. What do you do to relax?

GV: I love fashion, always putting fashion pieces together. I learned to sew as a child, went to classes and camps for years. I was one of those kids who got a new shirt, and then I would go to my room and change the shape and design. I love listening to music and writing. Honestly, writing is my happy space.

19. What other businesses do you plan on starting to promote your brand?

GV: I am very into sneakers and shoes. I have so many different designs in my head that need to come out.

20. What’s the one thing you think everyone could do to make the world a more positive place?

GV: Less judgment of others, especially strangers.

Image courtesy of Jodi Jackson