Monday, February 9, 2015
Hezekiah is a name that most headphone junkies are familiar with. Whether it's through previous albums like Hurry Up and Wait or I Predict A Riot or through his work with artists like Bilal, Eric Roberson and Zap Mama, Hezekiah has made a name for himself as a premier producer, emcee, musician and singer.
Preparing to release his fourth album, Dreams Don't Chase Themselves, Hezekiah proves that his title choice is much more than an idiom that just sounded good. This album is the fruit of hard work and dedication rarely seen in today's music scene.

During an album preview last year, Hezekiah said, "People think things come easy. They don't come easy, they come from hard work and dedication." This album definitely puts that into practice. Hezekiah is responsible for the albums production and writing and there are no other emcees on this album. Both are a first for Hezekiah. In addition, this album is his first album without a record label and all of the perks that tend to come with having a label backing. Not a problem for Hezekiah though.

Dreams Don't Chase Themselves is true, honest and transparent. Hezekiah isn't preoccupied with throwing songs together for the sake of making a deadline or trying to sound like what's hot to ensure Top 40 spins (although, that wouldn't be a terrible idea). Dreams Don't Chase Themselves has its own voice, its own style, something this is missing from present day Hip Hop.

 This album shows that Hezekiah was determined to create a true work of art and not just another rap album. Songs like "Don't Get In Your Way," "Lets Network," and "Hologram Dreams" all have a vibe, lyrically and musically, that is reminiscent of sitting and learning from an older sibling or trusted friend. Dreams Don't Chase Themselves is nearly 60 minutes of "real talk." And in this current era of "I don't give a f***," it is really good to see that someone does, both about his music and his audience.

Dreams Don't Chase Themselves will be available Tuesday, February 10th and it should be something that every headphone junkie adds to their collection.

Track List
1. Sweet Dreams (Intro)
2. Fake It 
3. Coming Back Is Harder 
4. Lets Network
5. Don't Get In Your Way
6. Once You Pick It Up 
7. Can I Live
8. Bad Bitches  
9. Hologram Dreams ft Range Da Messenga
10. Spirit Moves Through All Things
11. Love Is Gone  
12. Sweet Dreams (outro)

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Friday, February 6, 2015
by Daniel Harris

Widely regarded as the creator and originator of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti's fusion of funk, Nigerian and Ghanian music, jazz, highlife and vocals, has led the genre to become one of the most creative and original forms of music. More than just good music to get the people moving, Fela's Afrobeat was charged with spiritual and political messages that challenged European imperialism, colonialism and a corrupt Nigerian government.

Today, being a group that recreates the Afrobeat sound is a tall order. Unlike most genres, Afrobeat is a powerful weapon that challenges the status quo. It is not enough to just stop short of reproducing Afrobeat's sound, artists must also carry its message. Antibalas' recreation of Afrobeat carries both its unique, unforgettable sound and its powerful message.

New York isn't probably the first place that comes to mind when it comes to Afrobeat. However, in 1998, Martín Perna put together a group of likeminded musicians who all shared a love and passion for Afrobeat. With his group now solidified to 11 members, Perna and Antibalas began playing at clubs, street festivals, block parties and public parks.

Over the years, this group has proven that they are much more than a cover band. Rightfully so, with its heavy hitting rhythms, masterful horn arrangements and thought provoking lyrics, Afrobeat should not be covered or used merely to entertain. Antibalas has worked to be seen more as disciples of the genre.

Using the structure of the genre as a foundation, Antibalas adds elements of dub, Afro-Cuban and improvisation to create something that is truly there own. What they haven't changed about the genre is its power to affect change and cause listeners to think deeper about the world around them. Songs like "Dirty Money" and "Si, Se Puede" showcase Antibalas' socially conscious side.

Most recently, Antibalas is the band behind Broadway's "Fela," a musical that dives deep into the life of Fela Kuti. Antibalas has established itself as a band that respects the tradition of Afrobeat while bringing their own flavor to the genre. This is a band that people should definitely be familiar with.

Get even more familiar with Antibalas and see them live on tour with Zap Mama!

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Friday, January 30, 2015
By: Nakera Lee


Powerful, Rhythmic, Diverse, and Simply Breathtaking is a modest array of characteristics to describe groundbreaking artists such as Midian. It is not often you find an artist which the ability and skill to transcend the masses with such a relatable appeal. 

Over the years, the music industry has lost its spark and the quality of artistic expression has become heavily contrived. The industry has created a false reality of what music really is and has forced many artists to follow the trend. What the music industry lacks today is a LEADER and here it stands with Midian. As the saying goes: 

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way."- John Maxwell

Music began for Midian earlier than she recognized and soon became the niche of her life. Oftentimes as a little girl imagining herself as one of the greats; Etta James one day and the incomparable Aretha Franklin the next, Midian most certainly set forth down a path destined for musical longevity. Battling back and forth with herself, Midian convinced herself that she was not a singer. I think many others would beg to differ. 

Much to her surprise, when she vocally trumped a professionally-trained friend dropping vocals that left many breathless, it was that waking moment as Midian recalls that she realized she was in fact a singer. 

Just a few short years later, the industry is introduced to a new music leader, Midian, through her new singles "Bitter" and "Too Bad" from her new EP Midian. With a Joss Stone feel meshed with the rustic vibrato of her robust tone captivating the ear, you are instantly hauled in craving more. Midian's single instantly took success landing placement in VH1's Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. 

"I think music has evolved over the years; anything goes now. People just appreciate good music."- Midian 

Grateful and very appreciative for the success of her lasted EP, Midian continues to record and has promised to take her time and nurture her music. Passionate about the artistic work that she produces Midian states, "I want to take my time with my work. That's something that's really important to me and something that we're lacking; the artist that really focuses on the integrity of the music and make a cohesive project that makes sense."  

To categorize or place Midian into one bracket or genre would simply be unwarranted. Its obvious through her intense vocal ability and trained craft that her artistry will most certainly be the talk of the industry for a while now. No better time than the present to #GetFamiliar. 

Be sure to Soucialize with Midian on Twitter and be sure to Get Familiar with her new EP Midian

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Saturday, January 24, 2015


We have good news for all lovers of music, more specifically, live music. Jeff Bradshaw has announced the release of his forthcoming Home LP. To give fans a taste of what to expect from his new album, 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.

The Home LP will be in stores and digital music stores in March 31st.

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Friday, January 23, 2015
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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Friday, January 16, 2015
By: Nakera Lee


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.  

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.


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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Friday, January 9, 2015
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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Friday, January 2, 2015
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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Friday, December 26, 2014
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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