Morgan St. Jean is a LA based singer who’s been carving her name in the R&B music scene. “Out of Love” and “Reckless” showcase her stunning vocals and lyrical prowess, and with the year slowly ending before our eyes, she sat down to tell us her favorite music.
Listen and read her explanations below!
My taste in music can be pretty eclectic so for this playlist I tried to separate it into two distinct parts. The first half consists of classic heartbreaking ballads from some of my all time favorites. The second focuses on the artists that I’m listening to right now. It’s a little more modern than the first half. Hope you enjoy xx
Fast Car – This is one of my all time favorite songs. I think it is the epitome of good story telling.
I Can’t Make You Love Me – This is my favorite song in the world to sing and has been for many years. I love the Bonnie Raitt version but Bon Iver has such unique and gorgeous take as well.
If I Ain’t Got You – If I had to pick one artist to always put at the top of my list it would be Alicia Keys. She is so honest and raw and powerful and I love her so much.
When We Were Young – I think of Adele as the perfect combination of timeless and modern. She has taken classically great singing and great story-telling and made it work for today’s Top 40.
I Will Always Love You – I think all singers are obsessed with this song. Not much to even say about it because it’s so amazing.
Let It Go – I love how simple and honest this song is. I was really moved the first time I heard it and it has become one of my all time favorite sad down songs.
Gone – I cried the first time I heard this song which pretty much says it all. Also, I saw Lianne La Havas live and it made me love her even more even though I didn’t think that was possible.
Mourning Doves – I think this song is so beautifully sung and it incorporates some really tasteful, cool production. It’s hooky and sad at the same time and I dig that.
Coffee – I saw Miguel live recently and it changed my life. Since then I have not been able to stop listening to this song. I am obsessed.
Bourbon – Clearly I have a thing with drinks but Gallant’s talent is mind-blowing to me and I freaked out the first time I heard the line “Angels say trust the detox but I’m shaking I need it like bourbon in my coffee cup.” So great.
If anyone wants to discuss the state of pop music in NY in the present day, it’s basically becoming a given that Effie Liu’s name will come up in the process. The pint-sized, pink-haired singer has been destined for pop stardom, and her EP, Magenta Agenda, was the perfect summertime pop EP to get us through the sweltering heat. We recently sat down with her to learn more about her process and why she’s such an inspiration!
Congratulations on your latest release! For people who haven’t heard the release yet, what can they expect?
The Magenta Agenda EP is a collection of reggae-inspired pop jams that I’ve been working on for the past year. It’s a project that highlights my personal experiences with overcoming hardship, plus one love song for the sweet-tooths out there.
You started out in the fashion business and then moved into a musically artistic avenue. What would you say drew you to fashion and music? Do you find similarities between the two?
I was always interested in both mediums growing up. For me, they’re innately tied together as ways I can express myself. Musical styles don’t end with their sound – get you a (wo)man that can do both!
You’ve played some incredible shows out in NYC. What have been some of your favorite shows so far? Do you have any pre-show rituals, do you feel nervous, and what are the greatest rewards in performing and meeting fans?
My favorite show that I’ve played in the city was for Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls. It’s an organization designed to empower women and girls through music education. It was an honor to be able to play for a group like that, as I know how much I would have benefitted from seeing role models like myself in music when I was a kid.
You’ve been in the music world for a while now. What would you say have been the biggest lessons you’ve learned so far?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to trust yourself and those closest to you. When it comes to your own music, no one can help you articulate your vision better than you can. If you believe in what you’re doing, you know best. Feedback is important, but always take it with a grain of salt.
What can we expect from you in the rest of 2016?!
Look out for my live shows, popping up from now til forever. Plus I’ve got some videos on deck. And maybe even some cute new merch!
Thanks Effie! More information about the artist can be found here.
Parisian record label Bromance Records has been at the forefront of the underground music scene with the help of industry veterans with innovative touches. Brodinski, the labelhead, leads much of the way, but each artist on their roster is doing bigger and better things with each step.
Today we chat with Gener8ion about his recent releases, a magazine and EP release that culminated into an multi-dimensional project that combined various components to create a cohesive whole. Check it out!
Hi Gener8ion, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! You’ve been very visual since your inception, with a very aesthetically driven tumblr, dynamic sound, and stunning music video, but how did you decide to go back to the idea of the magazine as a physical item, and what drove you to work on this medium? As we move into more digital, paperless world, what does the idea of having a magazine in hand mean to you?
There is something about owning an object that makes you relate to it in a very different way than just “seeing” it on the internet. I’ve done so much music and things that have only lived in computers, it’s very exciting to finally have a project exist in the real world, an actual object. It’s also a good excuse to collaborate with people I like and respect. And I’m probably a bit attracted to failing industries haha .
I’m also interested in the name of the magazine as well. The idea of ‘Unite or Perish’ kind of matches well with the state of the world right now in many ways, and I’ve sometimes felt a sense of organized chaos in your work. What was your reasoning for naming the magazine this?
The name is actually inspired by one of my favorite pictures of all time : the back cover of Ice Cube’s Death Certificate. He’s holding a newspaper with the headline “Unite Or Perish”.
It sounds like a call to action, a bit utopian but menacing at the same time. The picture on the cover of the magazine, small flowers surviving together in a very hostile environment, is about this too.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/253995943″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /] You’re also releasing an EP as well, how do the two pair with each other in your mind? Were they always planned as something that went hand in hand?
Let say that a few years ago the EP would have been a CD given with the magazine, but since I don’t even have a CD player anymore it didn’t make sense to bundle it like this. But it’s not the “soundtrack” of the magazine, more like an extra feature, if you know what I mean. Starting from “H808,” which feels very much like I’m soaring and going through an adventure, to a much darker, dance rhythm centered piece “Dustwun” featuring Brodinski, with “Elven” and “System” providing a feel that balances those two and worlds and produces a nice transition throughout, the EP feels like its got a story to tell. Can you tell us what were your thought processes as you were making the album?
Everything was produced in a very short period of time, in maybe 3 or 4 weeks. I wanted to do something very instinctive and raw. I usually tend to overthink everything but some of my best tracks were made in a couple of hours. I wanted that kind of energy. Simple tracks, almost riddims. We spent an afternoon with Brodinski going through my demos and making a quick selection and I finished everything in a couple of weeks.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/249445141″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /] Finally, You’ve been in the music production world for a while now. If you had any advice out there for people just starting out, what would be your words of wisdom to those who look up to your work?
Do what you feel is right, not what you think people will like.
Bromance Records is currently touring the US. Check out the flier for dates near you!
When the people in charge at Discobelle (hi Martin!) asked me if I was interested in interviewing LOUISAHHH!!!, there was absolutely not a moment of doubt that I was going to make this happen. After all, who wouldn’t want to talk to an OG member of the Bromance family and learn from the best? She chatted to us about life, advice for safety in the night-centered world, and of course, her music. LOUISAHHH!!! truly is one of the wisest in the game. Check out what she had to say below, and make sure to check out her newest EP Shadow Work as well.
Discobelle: Hi LOUISAHHH!!! Thanks for chatting with me again. Let’s talk about Shadow Work, your latest EP. It sounds like an advancement on your previous releases on Bromance, but I can’t quite point a finger to what has changed exactly. What would you say has been the major changes and growth musically in your recent EP release? I know you’ve mentioned your growth internally, and I’d love to hear you elaborate a little bit on that.
LouisaHHH: That’s a powerful question to start off with! I guess between releasing Transcend and Shadow Work, there was a lot of shifting in my life – I moved continents, got into and out of and into relationships, learned how to tour and write and play at a different level than I had previously. I also struggled a lot with depression and anxiety, and started seeing a therapist and working on shifting a relationship with self, with the world, with creativity and work. All of this stuff needed somewhere to go and this music is what poured out. I believe strongly that if creative energy isn’t used, that it will quickly turn on me, and so I’m grateful that I was able to channel it instead of letting it become destructive.
DB: I wanted to ask also about your new label, RAAR. You’ve described it as “techno for punk rockers,” so I wanted to ask you what punk rock means to you, and how you reconcile the two (at least in today’s world) differently reputed scenes under one label.
L: I’m so happy you asked about RAAR. Our mission statement is ‘a techno label for punk rockers, or a punk label for techno heads’. The story of the creation with the label is that Maelstrom and I appealed to Savoir Faire (our management company) for financial backing, and they were honest with us- they didn’t have money to put into a project like this. This was actually great, because it allowed us to have no masters in moving forward, no one to answer to but each other. We raised the money ourselves and decided the goals we have aren’t related whatsoever to outside validation – financial or otherwise – but simply investing in a place to release work that we believe in, and encourage our peers and heroes to do the same. The music itself is tied more to this idea of techno as ‘music for warriors’, not so much in purist aesthetics, so we aren’t releasing strictly techno, as long as it has a techno attitude: ‘we don’t need you to like us; we like us’. The dream is to create and exist within a benevolent anarchy, which is about as punk rock as you can get as far as I’m concerned.
DB: You’re also making an effort to press your releases to vinyl and releasing beat-a-pellas, acapellas, sound banks, etc., all things that are going to help out a lot of budding producers out there. What made you interested in providing these and giving these out to the public?
L: I think in encouraging an ‘open source’ sharing of tools and information tied to our releases, we are building a community where the availability of resources will hopefully lead to greater innovation and experimentation from fans and supporters. We’ve stopped believing in a functioning digital distribution scheme so we are releasing everything on vinyl, and the digital tracks and tools will all be ‘pay what you want’. We trust the community to invest in the work they believe in, just like we are. We understand the music will not be for everybody, by definition it’s kind of tough and arty and perhaps inaccessible, but it is our hope that the people drawn to this sort of thing will take what we are doing and run with it, creatively, and contribute financially if they can.
DB: I’ve also heard that releases and such were going to be released with a visual component, whether it be poem, photograph, art-piece. What made you decide on bringing other artistic mediums into the core foundation of the label?
L: Why would we limit ourselves? Mael and I are both curious supporters and creators of artistic practices outside of music, and it is a dream come true to have a place to showcase, celebrate, develop the vision of fellow artists who don’t necessarily work with sound. One of the goals we have is eventually developing this idea into a fully immersive audio-visual experience, a RAAR party being not just a club night but a gesamkunstwerk that you walk out of feeling different from when you arrived. Our creative boundaries don’t have to do so much with medium or genre of what’s created, but the attitude and feeling of ‘RAAR’.
DB: A year ago, we talked juke, Chicago footwork, and getting that into your sets. I know you highlighted RP Boo as a particular favorite, so I wanted to delve into that a bit more. A year in, have you made any new artistic discoveries for your sets? If you have stuck with integrating juke in your performances, what or who (besides RP Boo) are your favorites?
L:Still obsessed with RP Boo. I’ve also gotten really into Jlin, who’s one of his progeny, and kind of the only woman making footwork, really changing the game. Her attitude is so ferocious and the music is mind blowing, unlike anything I’ve ever heard. I really love her spirit; her album ‘Dark Energy’ came out on Planet Mu this year and is incredible.
As for my sets and what I’ve been playing out, I’ve been touring by myself a lot more (as opposed to doing crew shows with Bromance). This is exciting because my confidence is building and I feel really deft and sharp right now. I find myself more willing to challenge the crowd with harder music, and then open up more emotionally, especially playing tracks from Shadow Work. I feel like it’s working, that it’s resonating with audiences in a different, more authentic way.
DB: I know that bringing the word woman in front of DJ is a really tricky grey area, but it’s been a tumultuous time for women and the media, so if you had any last words of advice for people looking up to you, what would you want to tell people?
L: I know there is some eye rolling and rancor when the question ‘what’s it like being a woman dj’ is brought up because it’s so dumb and broad, and no male dj has ever been asked the equivalent. However, I think it is important to talk about specifics of the female experience in the world of nightlife, especially as female DJs, or role models. We still have a long way to go in terms of equality of male:female booking ratio within the electronic music scene, as this absurd idea that ‘there’s only room for so many girls at the top’ must be snuffed out. I think it’s happening, but it’s an ongoing conversation. In the meantime, keeping night life safe for young women – this post-riot grrl ‘GIRLS TO THE FRONT’ movement – and especially acting as women of dignity and grace. Be kind to each other, be warrior women, act esteemably. This builds self esteem (for girls and boys) and then we make less harmful decisions, less cattiness or sloppiness or slutiness. It took me a lot of soul crushing, demeaning behavior to learn this – I’m just trying to save you the trouble. I love you either way. No matter what, You are enough.
Thanks to LOUISAHHH!!! for an amazing interview, even while she’s busy on tour, and another thanks to her for her positive words! Shadow Work is available via Beatport.
Remember to stay safe, and no matter what, LOUISAHHH loves you either way.
I met Goldroom (aka Josh Legg) back in the beginning of 2013. I was fresh out of college and interning for his then management company, Josh was getting ready to release his single “Only You Can Show Me” and about to go on a small DJ tour. Fast forward two and a half years, we’re sitting on two fold out chairs in FYF’s media tent. Josh is just a couple hours away from performing one of the biggest shows of his career so far in the city that he calls home. “I really love the lineup, it’s funny that people are complaining about it, saying it’s not punk enough. To me it’s perfect.” The acts performing this year have faced scrutiny, many saying that FYF has been distancing itself from its local rock roots. “I love all these different genres, it’s great that they book my favorite folk artist and my favorite rapper and like 80’s chillwave artist.” Legg’s roots are planted deep in Los Angeles, he even named himself Goldroom after a bar in Echo Park, which is famous for its drink special. “I get a Tacate and a shot of tequila. It’s five dollars now, but I’m old enough to remember when it used to be three dollars.”
Watching the hundreds of 20-somthings sing along to him and his new six-piece backing band, it’s hard to imagine that just a short while ago music like this was hard to come by in LA. “You know, for years when I was running Binary, we were trying to push this synthy/songwriting sort of band sound and we were trying to play out. But I wasn’t friends with anyone at Dim Mak, I couldn’t get our band playing at Cinespia, so we were trying to throw our own shows at the Echoplex. The sound guys would look at us and be like “What the fuck are those synthesizers. Your can’t have keyboards on stage that’s not cool. You have a laptop?” They just did not get it.”
This was pre-Goldroom. Before parties like Private Label or festivals like CRSSD made it easier for indie-dance acts to get booked. “Everything changed when people like Ian McPherson and other promoters started to think that the kind of music we were making was cool, and they stared to book us. I developed friendships with all these really rad people and we were all making the same type of music. Bag raiders, Miami Horror, Plastic Plates and Le Youth are now in LA all of a sudden there’s this community. To be honest those are the people that influence and inspire me the most.”
Legg is hoping that a full length Goldroom album come to fruition in 2016. As I watch the crowd sway back and forth to both songs old and new, I have a feeling that whatever Legg decides to put out it’s going to be good.
Favorite Taco in LA: Depends on the taco, if i’m getting a plain carne asada it’s Arizas right next to Lassens in Echo Park. Taco Zone is my favorite truck on the east side, but i’m like super generic and I really think Guisados has the best tacos in LA. The downtown one if the best one.
Quintessential LA song: “Nuthin’ But a “G” Thang”
Taches isn’t an easy person to catch for some free time, but what time we were able to squeeze from him was totally worth it. After catching him last month at Splash House, we were so excited to have the opportunity to talk to him about his set and about what he’s got going for the rest of the year.
Check out our chat below.
Discobelle:We recently caught your set at Splash House. What were some of your favorite songs from your set? (We’ll let the playlist come in here) What about these tracks made them stick out from the set?
It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay – Little Nancy & Daddy’s Groove
Absolutely everything about this track was stellar. This was the highlight of Splash House for me.
DB: Speaking of Splash House, was this your first time out to Palm Springs? What did you think of the concept of an all hotel pool party festival? What are some of your favorite events from the course of this past year?
T: I had never set foot in Palm Springs until Splash House, and I certainly misjudged the importance of weather dependent packing. Luckily, someone gave me a small Hawaiian shirt while I was there, so that was super handy. As far as the concept of an all hotel pool party festival, there’s only one thing you need to remember – the pool water. Oh my, the pool water.
Desert Hearts back in March definitely stands out as being the best event I’ve ever been to. It’s such a welcoming and mind freeing experience that totally restored my faith in the concept of going to a ‘festival’ (though I feel wrong labeling it as a festival).
DB: Did you catch any of the sets happening here? Who were you excited to see/who had the best sets this weekend?
T: To be honest, I’m not really sure who I saw other than Christian Martin and Justin Jay – who were both excellent. It was way too hot to consider remembering to breathe and the names of the DJs playing at the same time.
DB: It’s hot as hell, and the sun is beating down on us. What drinks are necessary for a day like this?
T: I’m mainly a (non-bitter) beer drinker, but I’m equally as comfortable buried deeply in an umbrella-garnished Mai Tai when the rays starting kicking up a fuss.
DB: We’ve been massive fans of yours since “Don’t You Know,” but who are you a massive fan of musically?
Everyone should sit down and listen to Djivan Gasparian. He’s an Armenian musician that plays the duduk – an oboe-like thing that’s probably my favorite instrument. It’s both heartbreaking and entrancing, and words can’t really describe the raw emotion that it packs. Check it out.
DB: Let’s talk a minute about your studio setup. What are your absolute essentials when you’re making music?
T: I have two essentials when making music – my Macbook Pro, and there needs to be food delivery services for when I get hungry. I have a Prophet ’08 keyboard that’s pretty fun to mess around with too.
DB: What can we expect from you in the second half of 2015?
T: I’ll have some remixes and originals coming out soon as free downloads, and I’ll have a full EP out towards the end of the year. Until then, I’ll be around and about, swaying and picking songs in designated places. I’m also considering buying a miniature animal, but I’m not sure what kind of animal to get yet.
Releasing a slew of both original and remixes plus international touring, Canadian based producer Pat Lok has had a strong start to 2015. He sat down with us after his set at Splash House to talk all things music and food related, check it out after the jump. Continue reading →