::HEADPHONE JUNKIE:: JEFF BRADSHAW- "ALL TIME LOVE" FT ROBERT GLASPER, ERIC ROBERSON & TWEET

Saturday, January 24, 2015
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::HEADPHONE JUNKIE:: JEFF BRADSHAW- "ALL TIME LOVE" FT. ROBERT GLASPER, ERIC ROBERSON & TWEET


We have good news for all lovers of music, more specifically, live music. Jeff Bradshaw has announced the release of his third album, Jeff Bradshaw & Friends. To give fans a taste of what to expect from this live experience, Jeff Bradshaw and Shanachie Entertainment have released "All Time Love," the first single from the album. This smooth, soulful and jazzy track features Robert Glasper, Eric Roberson and Tweet and it is a perfect introduction for what's to come on Bradshaw's new album. On a personal note: It is extremely great to hear Tweet again.

Jeff Bradshaw & Friends will be in stores and digital music stores in March.

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::GET FAMILIAR 2015 ARTIST WATCH

Friday, January 23, 2015
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::GET FAMILIAR:: 2015 ARTIST WATCH
List Compiled by Gypsy Soul Team Members: Nakera Lee and Daniel Harris




#GetFamiliar is much more than a headline to us. We see it as a duty. With so much of today's music being relegated to Top 40 playlists and flavor of the month tunes, our goal is to get you familiar with artists who may not fit the Pop mold but are just as, if not more, deserving of you attention.


                                                                                                        1. Kelela
When it comes the core of music, many of us music lovers tend to dissect more than just the body of work that an artist produces. In 2013, this Washington, D.C. native Kelela scratched the surface of the industry with her EP Cut For Me. In 2014, tracks such as “Bank Head,” “Cut For Me,” and “The High” allowed Kelela to emerge in the industry with her soulful and sultry vocals impacting the entertainment industry and introducing a new melodic sound.

Singer-songwriter, Kelela, began singing Jazz standards at local cafes after transferring from Montgomery College to American University. With many years of musical experience under her belt, Kelela has traveled coast to coast to strengthen her craft and build a name for artistry. With countless tour dates, international and local, Kelela has kept the music coming; being featured on a track with Bok Bok entitled “Melba’s Call” from his new EP. With more music in the works, 2015 will definitely see more of Kelela in tour and through musical production. The industry has just caught a glimpse of Kelela and her music and with tracks such as Enemy and Go All Night, this is most certainly just the beginning.



                               2. Sampha
Oftentimes, we listen to artists that have been in the industry for quite sometime and we do not realize that the great body of work that is created comes from a team of creative minds. After following an artist for quite sometime and just recently realizing that one of his pieces of work was aided by the amazing Sampha the only reaction that I had was ‘AMAZING.’ Many music-mavens may have heard of Sampha as he was featured on the track “Too Much” with Drake and this was not the beginning of his artistry. Sampha released his singles, “Too Much,” and “Happens” in November 2013. Following the release of those tracks, Sampha released his debut EP Dual in July 2013.

Playing the behind the scenes role for quite some time, Sampha was instrumental in the musical works “What You Won’t Do for Love,” by Jessie Ward and Lil Silva’s “Salient Sarah.”  His most recent EP Sundanza released in early 2014 helped to catch the attention of many and helped to land him as one of the featured Coachella artists of 2015.

With more music scheduled for release in 2015, Sampha is most certainly one of the talented artists to watch.


3. Brittney Wright
When her first album, The Beginning, was released 5 years ago, those who listened immediately knew that Brittney Wright was beginning an incredible career. Not just a Gospel artist, Brittney's voice and skill transcends being put in such a box. Though her music is filled with soul stirring, uplifting lyrics and melodies, Brittney shows amazing depth in her style and delivery. The Beginning was not only a great way to showcase her talent, it also sent a clear message that Gospel, as we know it, has changed for the better.

In her latest offering, Fight 4 U,which was released on New Year's Day, Brittney combines incredible introspective lyrics with her unique style. From its onset, Fight 4 U proves to be much more than just another album. It's an album that is transparent, honest, hopeful and sincere. 

With this amazing release and shows to follow, Brittney Wright is definitely an artist to watch in 2015.



4. Tuxedo
Tuxedo is Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One. Two Grammy nominated artists who have collaborated to bring some serious funk back to music. Think Prince, Morris Day, Zapp and Shalamar. Yes, THAT serious! What started off as an exchange of mixtapes in 2006 morphed into a virtually mysterious Internet release in 2013. The Tuxedo EP is just three songs but each song is proof positive that Tuxedo brings the funk. Let's not be fooled, the "Tuxedo EP" is much more than a trip down memory lane. While they may borrow the 80s Funk and R&B vibe, Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One are still able to give listeners a true sense of who they are as artists.

This year, the duo will release their first full length album, Tuxedo. This album is shaping up to be one hell of an experience. With a March 3rd release, and a ton of tour dates to follow, Tuxedo (both the album and group) are set to take over summer. Tuxedo is available now for pre-order on iTunes.




5. The Hue
This is no pet project. This is not an attempt by "the suits" to try and create the next big thing. The Hue is an organic and genuine collaboration between two of Houston's finest group, H.I.S.D. and Radio Galaxy. Both groups possess out of this world abilities and both groups seem to create on a cosmic plane far beyond comprehension. For these groups to join forces and share their immense talents with each other and the world is truly something special.

Gearing up for their debut release, Aurora, The Hue has released two hard hitting singles. Both "Drive" and "Slick" feature the classic "boom-bap," head nodding sound that every Hip Hop head will appreciate along side The Hue's signature smooth, laid back vibe. If these tracks are any indication of what we can expect from Aurora, it is safe to say that Aurora will be on definite repeat.


6. brandon*
Imaginative and creative. Those are the two words that come to mind when thinking about the music and artistry of brandon*. A composer, musician and producer, brandon* does much more than "makes beats." There is art and precision to his approach. brandon* has a deep appreciation for music and successfully displays that appreciation in each and every production.

On May 18th, brandon* will release the third installment to his Dreamscape series. The first two installments have been nothing short of genius. Dreamscape is a perfect example of how free brandon* is. He masterfully blends elements of Hip Hop, Jazz and Bossa Nova, a combination that would come across very few minds and even fewer minds to execute.

With an extraordinary and ingenious approach to music and production, brandon* is definitely an artist to watch in 2015.

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::GET FAMILIAR:: BIANCA RAQUEL

Friday, January 16, 2015
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:: GET FAMILIAR:: BIANCA RAQUEL
By: Nakera Lee



WHAT IS SOUL? 

SOUL is the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life. The spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings or the universe. It is that gut feeling down under that elevates your creative being. The unspoken, yet felt stroke of a cord that rings from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet forcing you to succumb. Better yet, it's that unprecedented sound that warms your spirit, makes you question the conscious state of made, and ignites chance.  
BIANCA RAQUEL IS SOUL

For artists such as New York native Bianca Raquel soul is not only embodied in her sound, but embedded in her spirit. As a singer, songwriter, arranger, and producer Bianca Raquel's musicianship and skilled soul ability has transcended what many her age would have hoped to accomplish at this stage in their career. Creating a merger of R&B, Pop, Rock, and Soul may appear to be a challenge for some, especially in an industry where music is constantly revolutionizing and elevating; however, Bianca Raquel used that to drive her artistry.


As the saying, "Many try out, but only a few are chosen," Bianca was the youngest student to attend the Grammy Foundation's 1st Annual Grammy camp at the tender age of 13. Remaining tried and true to her artistry, Bianca credits her influences to the legends of music stemming from Radiohead to the amazing Stevie Wonder. 

The ability to separate your artistry from others entities in the industry is GREAT, but the ability to resonate a message is AMAZING. After realizing the importance of elevating ones craft and skill, Bianca had the privilege of attending the prestigious Berklee College School of Music. It was at Berklee College that Bianca was able to do some self analyzation in regards to her music and where she stood in the industry. 


Stating, "One thing I pride myself on is having the ability to never be boxed in or labeled as simply one thing or another. As an artist, I don't have to choose a genre, but simply juice every drop of creativity I possess and give the world something new."-Bianca Raquel

Carrying the throne of her father, the great world-renowned musical director and arranger Ray Chew, definitely let some huge shoes to fill, but Bianca has not fallen short.

GROWTH & MUSICAL PROGRESSION

In the summer of 2014, Bianca made her 1st major debut as a coproducer and writer of the track 'Turn It Up," which was featured on the box-office chart topping movie "Step Up: All In." In the Fall/Winter of 2014, Bianca headlined her own international tour taking the stage in cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, London, and Copenhagen. Currently preparing for her latest project #CvrART, Bianca Raquel is sparking a flame and igniting a movement. With tracks such as "Moments" and "Dear Summer…Our Season Is Over" riding the airwaves, it is apparent that Bianca's diversity in music and her creativity in sound cannot and will not be boxed it.



Long over due and much appreciated, the industry is taking heed and finally igniting artists that embody the essence of SOUL and it is time that we all #GetFamiliar.

Want to hear some great music by Bianca Raquel, check out her latest single "Dear Summer… Our Season Is Over". Don't forget to #Soulcialize with Bianca Raquel as well by following her on Instagram and Twitter.  







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::GET FAMILIAR:: ERIC LAU

Friday, January 9, 2015
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::GET FAMILIAR:: ERIC LAU
by Daniel Harris


Respect. Everyone works for it. Everyone feels they deserve it, especially in music. However, respect isn't an entitlement nor is it always a guarantee. For London-based producer and DJ Eric Lau, respect is somewhat demanded.

This isn't arbitrary fan talk. When you've worked with the likes of Erykah Badu, Questlove, Chris Dave and Lupe Fiasco, (to name just a few) you've earned a certain level of respect. When a producer like 9th Wonder calls you "dopeness" or when a musician like Dam Funk says, "...he's in my top 5 artist I'm feeling right now," respect becomes demanded.

Eric Lau's style is an artful amalgamation of equal parts Hip Hop, Soul and R&B. His sound blends an array of programmed tones masterfully with live instrumentation. His breakout album "New Territories" was nominated for Gile Peterson's Top Album of 2008, helping to establish Eric Lau as a leader of a progressive, new production talent.

Rightfully so, "New Territories" features the classic "boom bap" of Hip Hop woven perfectly with soul and R&B. Featuring artists like Sarina Leah, Tawiah and Tosin Tao seemed to be hand picked for their ability to bring Eric Lau's production to further life.

2011 saw the release of "Quadrivium." An instrumental offering, Lau's simplistic production is perfect for just vibing out. In the true sense of the word, "Quadrivium" is an ode to both the artistic and mathematical natures of music. Four and eight count measures are layered with melodic rhodes, soulful guitars and deep bass. It makes you wonder why other producers don't follow suit.

Eric's 2013 release, "One of Many," perfectly blends elements from his two previous albums (artistic and mathematical beats, hand picked talents and all around good vibe) to produce another near classic album. Receiving help from noted artists like Georgia Anne Muldrow and Oddisee helped to widen the perspective all while remaining within Lau's lane.

What is most impressive about Eric Lau is his ability to maintain his unique sound, whether for his own work or works with artists like Hawk House, in a time where music production seems to be focused on what's hot and profitable. His approach is one that shows deep appreciation not just for the genres or sound but for the cultures that are often deeply rooted within those genres. Respect!

Get even more familiar with Eric Lau by liking his Facebook page and following him on Twitter. Check out Eric Lau's new track "Harmonics" and be on the look out for new music in 2015.


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::GET FAMILIAR:: JUSTINE SKYE

Friday, January 2, 2015
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:: GET FAMILIAR:: JUSTINE SKYE
By: Nakera Lee


Fresh into the 2015 New Year and we have been introduced to The Purple Unicorn herself, Justine Skye. There is no greater time than the present to emerge in the industry when music has become so typical. 

No stranger to the industry, Justine Skye is the new "it-girl" whose melodic tone and rhythmic vocal abilities translate across the masses. With her R&B and Pop sound, Justine Skye’s musical and artistic expression carries such merit as that of an inured musician twice her age. Only 18 years old and hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Justine Skye was able to grasp the attention of Atlantic Records who signed her after the release of her debut EP, Everyday Living.

Justine Skye’s career first began to create a buzz with a cover that she did of Drake’s Headlines”, which appeared on YouTube, and today has 180,359 views since posted on August 23, 2011. With her modern retro chic appeal and smooth R&B infused sound, Justine Skye has many people wondering where this majestic talent has been hiding. With many artists in the industry having experienced expired success and lackluster longevity, Justine Skye is most certainly one of the artists who we all should be on the look out for. Most recently, Justine released her new single, “Collide featuring mega rapper Tyga. This coming of age track with head bobbing beats is the groundbreaking track the music industry so badly needed.  


Singer-Songwriter Justine Skye’s free-flowing harmonies and relaxed beats are reflective of her calm, laid-back demeanor. When writing and recording, Justine said there's no structure in the studio, she just does what came naturally to her. This is the true essence of great music and in our opinion the tool to a career full of longevity and artistic success. When an artist allows their artistic abilities to flow naturally greater products are produced.




With a major label supporting her artistic expression and her soulful talents, Justine Skye will definitely make a major mark in the industry. #GetFamiliar and remember to #Soulcialize with Justine Skye as she embarks on this musical journey throughout the New Year. 
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::GET FAMILIAR:: JANINE AND THE MIXTAPE

Friday, December 26, 2014
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::GET FAMILIAR:: JANINE AND THE MIXTAPE
By: Nakera Lee



Now we hope you all did not think we would end 2014 without featuring one of the most talented new comers in the industry, Janine and the Mixtape. It is not often that we encounter such a pure and untouched artist whose talents can capture the masses and leave many music lovers craving more. Hailing from New Zealand and finding herself implanted in Brooklyn, New York, Janine and the Mixtape has been creating a positive buzz since the release of her debut EP Dark Mind. Once breaking into this constantly evolving industry, it did not take long for Janine Foster to soar to the top of the charts grasping the attention of major publications such as Billboard, Complex, and VIBE.

 

From her edgy style to her melodic vocals, there are certainly many rich adjectives that could be used to describe this soulful modern day artist. As a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and producer, Janine is definitely a woman whose musical abilities carry its own merit. Accrediting her talents to her experiences over the years, her favorite genres of music, which include: R&B, Hip-Hop and Ethereal Indie layers help create an experience for her fans filled with unparalleled vocal abilities and soothing vocals.

With tracks from her EP, Janine and the Mixtape, such as Hold Me featuring Pusha T, Little Bit, Let It Run, and DarkMind, Janine uses her acoustic and rhythmic abilities to paint an image of love, pain, passion, and soul that many of her fans can relate to. Making her footprints the industry was just the first step and there will most certainly be more milestones and projects to be seen and heard from Janine and the Mixtape



#GetFamiliar with Janine and the Mixtape and don’t forget to #Soulcialize and Hold On to her and her artistry as well.
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::GET FAMILIAR:: LION BABE

Friday, December 19, 2014
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::GET FAMILIAR:: LION BABE
by Daniel Harris



In an industry where uniformity and conformity are the standard, it is good to see artists who make honest efforts to give music lovers their individual styles and voices. Following the standard formula for music success doesn't seem to be on Lion Babe's agenda. This duo is setting a new trend moving into 2015.

Based out of New York, Lion Babe is Lucas Goodman and Jillian Hervey. Together, they create a sound that blends elements of soul, r&b, pop and electronica. While these may all be familiar genres and sounds, Lion Babe's unique approach to blending these sounds is what sets them apart from the rest.

Jillian Hervey (the daughter of Vanessa Williams and Ramon Hervey) originally sought a career in dance. At the urging of Lucas, she discovered something that she didn't know she had. In an interview with Billboard, Jillian said, "The voice I sing with now, I didn't know I had that." Jillian's voice and style possesses a interesting duality of both power and sultriness. On the duo's recent EP release, Lion Babe EP, Jillian commands the listener's attention with a voice and tone that can only be described as very polished.

Lucas Goodman's style is an eclectic amalgam of old school appreciation and new school techniques. Citing influences like J Dilla, Timbaland and Flying Lotus, Lucas presents a very rare approach to production. While he doesn't use the "Pop formula" in its entirety, he has managed to use familiar elements and puts his spin on it. Combine this with Jillian's soulful voice, it is easy to see why Lion Babe is poised to make huge waves in 2015.

Get even more familiar with Lion Babe by following them on Twitter and liking them on Facebook. Lion Babe EP is available now
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::HEADPHONE JUNKIE:: THE "BLACK MESSIAH" HAS COME!

Monday, December 15, 2014
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::HEADPHONE JUNKIE:: THE "BLACK MESSIAH" HAS COME! 
by Daniel Harris


What a crazy weekend! The Internet was buzzing all weekend with grumblings of new music from D'Angelo. From surprise announcements of a very limited download of a single from his new album to a private, invite only listening party to rumors of a full album release on a Monday!

Well ladies and gentlemen, it is here. After 14 years, after much anticipation and with only a weekend's worth of warning,  D'Angelo once again seeks to rewrite and renew what we thought we knew about funk, soul, blues and music in general. Black Messiah, D'Angelo's third studio album, is a stark contrast to the precedent set by Voodoo 14 years ago.

Where Voodoo presented a clear cut manual for what soul is supposed to sound like, Black Messiah tosses that manual in the trash and changes all of the rules. Black Messiah is the future. It is a glimpse at what music should be, what music could be, what it will be.  
 
Black Messiah has an extremely rough and raw mixing style that would usually be considered very taboo. Instruments often outshine each other. Vocals are often lost to heavy guitars and drums. However, reworking and rediscovering what is possible in music isn't just an experience for singers and musicians. It should incorporate every aspect of the creative process (post production included) to test the limits and question how far can one actually go?
 
This album borrows heavily from James Brown's tradition foundation of what funk is, Parliament-Funkadelic's mind bending alterations to that foundation (not to mention enlisting the help of Kendra Foster for much of the album's lyrics) and a ton of appreciation for Prince's flare for the dramatic both lyrically and musically. Make no mistake about it, D'Angelo most definitely leaves his mark on this album. Songs like "Sugah Daddy," "Really Love" and "Another Life" are full of his signatures: real and true to life lyrics, next level arrangements and dope vibes.  

"Classic" is thrown around a lot when fans are very excited about a particular release. Rightfully so, D'Angelo fans (music fans, in general, for that matter) have been waiting 14 years to hear new music from this Soulquarian. Black Messiah is a culmination of  years of "Prayer" requests. New music from D'Angelo BEFORE the end of the world? Check. New music from ANY artist that brings us all back to REAL music? Check. Another "classic" album from a truly amazing artist? Only time will tell. (Editor's note: we are leaning heavily towards checking this one off the list.) For right now, if you are a true #HeadphoneJunkie, you should add this album to your collection and listen to it in heavy doses!

Black Messiah is available now for download on iTunes and Amazon.
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