Come-Back: Travie Austin and Brad Kemp

Chicago recording artist Travie Austin links with Brad Kemp to drop an eight track record, in collaboration with a number of other artists and musicians. COME-BACK by Travie Austin and Brad Kemp, out September 18th, is an upbeat neo-gospel-soul pop record. Every track features complex melodies and harmonies laid down by Travie himself. Each song is produced and engineered by Brad Kemp, with five of the tracks featuring TomCat Trumpet, Davyd Reddyk, Anthony M. Rodriguez and Tim Burke.

The themes of empowerment, self confidence, moving on and getting through heartbreak are prevalent throughout the album. Travie Austin seems to channel Sisqo as well as soulful singers of decades further, archaic in its sound and tonality, but contemporary in his flows and melodies; his style is unique and refreshing! Track 3, MAKE A MOVE featuring Anthony M. Rodriguez, is a feel good, jazzy club record you can easily dance to, about making that first sensually strong move, falling in love, living in the moment and letting go. “If you don’t want me to leave you better make your move,” Travie sings, reminding his love interest not to waste any time. In LET GO Travie belts, “I know that it’s right for me, I’m not gonna call you back, cause you got a plane to catch,” further illustrating the theme of moving past a relationship and hoping for a better dynamic in a future partner. The feelings portrayed in each song are quite universal in their appeal.

I don’t want to be that man anymore!” Travie croons in track eight, SAY GOODBYE, and the song sounds like he has a chorus backing him when the hook comes in. “Say goodbye to the ones who ain’t on your side, trying to tear your heart in two. And say goodbye to the ones trying to dim your light, they don’t shine as bright as you, cause you are so worthy, you are so special. Don’t let them see you fall, just keep your head up high, and say good bye!” This hook was quite powerful and exemplifies that theme of self confidence and moving on! A really inspiring song that will make you want to sing along as if you were in a huge choir.

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Queen Mars Radiates Confidence In Her Music Video B!tch

As an artist, there can be many forms of self expression; from instruments, to painting, photography, video, modeling, dancing and even nudity! Masters of self expression, or artists, can combine some of these ideas, and with lock downs in place everywhere, the free time puts creatives at an advantage. Queen Mars is one of many taking control of this free time, working on new music, an accompanying video and the promotion for it all. Running into an obstacle at first, the B!TCH music video is celebrated by a welcoming audience.

Using just her phone and a flashlight in the comfort of her home, Queen Mars got creative with some visual effects. With slow motion, shutter and reverse effects, Queen Mars dances confidently in her skin to her own music! Causing some form of censorship from advertising, she took to the media to speak her mind about hypocrisy and double standards in media between men and women. Even more pressing as the song, aside from the visual, highlights strong divine femininity.

The emerging woman will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled and strong bodied. Strength and beauty must go together. One of many quotes Queen Mars places in her music video as subliminal reminders of inner power and confidence. Over a simple guitar riff, piano chords and vocal harmonics, she sings, “I’m that B!TCH, say my name, where’s my crown, call me queen. I’m the one in control!” The video noting a B!TCH as an equivalent to a Boss, and ironically, a word used by emasculated men towards women they find themselves intimidated by. Sitting on her own thrown, B!TCH accumulated close to 2k views in just a week.

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Lili K Callin’ Out Bluffs: Woman Crush Wednesday

An artist to add wonderful diversity to your Chicago playlist, the style and vocals of Lili K will leave you stunned! Originally from Milkwaukee, this Midwest artist bases herself in Chicago. Blending in easily with the vibrant music culture, she gained exposure working with artists like Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. Learning to perform at an early age in church and school choirs, and being trained in classical, jazz and opera, you can hear the experience in the control of her voice! Along with her talent and love for music, she also expresses a bit of altruism, donating to important social causes.

Within recent events Lili K has been advocating to match her donations for Love and Land Foundation efforts for Black women and girls to reach therapy. In another case she donated to help free BLM protesters in downtown Chicago arrests; with a great voice comes a great heart it seems, in this case! Her vocal talent and style fits the burlesque culture and jazz lounges, and with frequent performances at spaces like Untitled Supper Club and Soho House, her name is becoming quite known in Chicago among lovers of jazz and soul. Recently releasing the song BLUFF, calling out the weak intentions of a significant other and leaning towards independence, Lili sings beautifully over bass and string instruments, sax and vocal harmonies, with the help of Jeremy Jones.

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New Fafa & A Reminder To Love

AKA Fátima Valle, currently residing in United Arab Emirates (UAE), and close friend to Chicago artists, released another tune carrying a personal message. TELL THE ONES YOU LOVE YOU LOVE THEM, nothing to be misconstrued there, Fafa dedicated the song to a friend in passing. In her artistic fashion, she reminds us all express more positive affirmations towards your companions in life!

Never one to shy away to express her mind, it is important to do so! This release follows a music video, THE SKY CRIES WITH ME, a track about battling through mental bouts. Fearlessly, lovingly and creativly taking lifes challenges, helping listeners on their own journeys as well. To really get connected to Fafa’s journey, her social medias are full of activity where she covers numerous songs & unreleased previews, continuously expanding her vocal abilities on the daily!

This song has such a strong place in my heart and I wanted to share it with you ♥️

Posted by ‎FAFA فافا‎ on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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Acoustic Trap Queen, Niykee Heaton: Woman Crush Wednesday

Niykee Heaton comes out of Chicago a successful player of grassroots music stardom. Similarly to Tasha Sultana, she gained fans and followers by performing covers on Youtube with acoustic guitar. However she leans more towards acoustic trap queen more so than the raggae-ska, indie hippie with covers of songs by artists like Fetty Wap, Ty Dolla Sign, and Chief Keef. She followed up with modeling, and solidified her position in music entertainment with her flawless, racy aesthetic leading up to and after her first project, BAD INTENTIONS.

Since then she has grown in ambitions as an artist. She now produces and performs original songs, and in front of live audiences, graduating from simple acoustic & vocal covers. Niykee also owns her own unisex sportswear collection called, NATURYL A Vibe By NBK, and uploads fitness & health videos on her YouTube channel, as well as a personal Vlog. More than ambitious, she is charitable as well, donating money from her campaigns to Good Shephard Shelter (the first domestic violence shelter in LA) and Feeding America‘s Covid-19 Relief.

Far different from her acoustic trap covers that gained her glory, her original production leans towards more R&B and pop soul. Continuing on with more sophisticated guitar chords and melodies, vocal harmonic layering, bass and percussion. Just released is her previously unreleased demo, COME FORE ME, flawlessly swerving on unwanted advances in her lyrics. “You don’t need to come for me, I don’t need the company… I would rather come for me,” taking self love and confidence to another level. Strong sentiments to share for a feminine following and just about everyone!

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I Love The 80’s With The Hood Internet: Artist of the Week

Notable Chicago duo, The Hood Internet, just finished their music time machine! The two have embarked on a journey throughout the 80’s, sampling the decades most favored songs and artists in a handful of songs representing each year of the 80’s. Why has this not been done before? – We just needed genius’s like the Hood Internet in Chicago to manifest this concept obviously. Together they mixed together artists like Kool and the Gang, Rick James, Men Without Hats, Daryll Hall & John Oats, Survivors, Michael Jackson, The Clash, Bonnie Tyler, Eurythmics, David Bowie, Corey Hart, Van Halen, Cyndi Lauper, Eazy E, Dr. Dre, RUN DMC and way more, in a seamless progression. A homage to a decade of that forever shaped the culture of music in countless ways, from disco to hip hop, rock n’ roll, synth pop and countless cultural references from hollywood movies to music icons, perfectly represented thanks to The Hood Internet!

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Leah Jean Displays Authenticity In Her Music

Originally from Dayton, Ohio, this Midwest artist made her way through Chicago, and now resides in Nashville. Leah Jean has caught our attention during an Artist Collective networking event, where she was performing solo on stage with her guitar. A signature look as you get familiar with her music! Her style offers a fresh sound in a city saturated with artists, her lyrics and sound can invoke a confident vulnerability in your soul, and her voice can bring chills to your spine!

Always putting her talents humbly on display, Leah owns a Youtube channel where she creates acoustic and electric covers of her favorite songs and artists like Raveena Aurora, Snoh Alegra, Tom Misch, Bill Withers and more. Trained in classical and jazz guitar styles, she adds her own touch along the way, and video editing shows the extent of her creativity. Her inspirations are often jazz, folk, R&B and soul inspired, as evident by her series of covers! She keeps the ethereal energy in her original songs as well, with a new release she calls RIGHT THERE, singing about a fantasy like relationship. Her music, and creativity she puts in her videos, can give fans a real sense of connectivity to themselves and her music for its authentic quality!

Leah Jean | Spotify | Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram

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Louis The Child With New Music & BLM Tribute Mix

Black culture is a dominating foundation to many aspects of social culture and style. If you are an avid lover of house music, especially in Chicago, it is important to know that it evolved from disco, in gay, black clubs and communities, inspiring techno in Detroit. In a day and age where tensions are high, between a growing authoritarian police state in America and the public, particularly taking advantage of minority communities, Louis The Child, in the best way they know they can, releases a mix exclusive to black artists, to the tens of thousands of fans that follow them. Continuing their motto of music that makes you happy.

This mix contains a variety of genres of original mixes and remixes from house to hip hop and R&B. Hearing music from artists like Chicago’s own Green Velvet, Mick Jenkins, Joey Purp, Kanye West and Vic Mensa, they also add in iconic names like the late Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, A Tribe Called Quest, B.I.G., Wu-Tang and more. Being electronic music artist from Chicago, it only makes sense to pay homage to Chicago locals especially to its history. Without this evolution of disco in black communities, EDM as we know it could be drastically different, if in existence at all, for all we know.

This mix follows up on their usual flow of ridiculously catchy anthemic tracks and party tunes; Louis the Child does not seem to have an off switch. In their most recent remix, they chose upon Rich the Kid with a Kendrick Lamar feature by the name of NEW FREEZER from 2017. Completely flipping the beat up into wild, bass bumping, house track, that switches up dramatically with that classic Louis the Child, chopped up synth and hip hop beat pattern. They did not have to get that crazy but they made it their business! This follows up an original beat, NOBODY LIKE YOU, another vocal, pop, dance tune perfected by the voice of Vera Blue. If there is an off switch to Louis the Child hiding anywhere, let it be hidden; after hearing collaborations with Foster the People, this Chicago duo is unstoppable!

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Luna Monet

It is hard to be open about your thoughts and emotions, even many adults have difficulty processing them. Artists on the other hand learn to express themselves with ease, and one young artist lets that transparency guide her recent releases. Luna Monet, recently turning 18 years young, seems to have a natural emotional maturity, as she sings and harmonizes about her battles and growth. Discovered at TIP YAS Fest last summer at Chicago’s Millennium park while scoping out K.E.N‘s performance, she left quite the imprint with her live performance.

Her performance was packed with energy, choreographed backup dancers, live instruments and a DJ, receiving much applause to a stunned audience. Luna Monet leaves people in awe, being such a young artist with such quality production to her set and music, understandably too! She only builds upon that with new releases in recent weeks, where she turns to deep intro/retro- spection as she grows as a young artist. She calls the series of releases THE L SERIES, each song holding concept to a word beginning with the letter L. With bold expression to the testament of a growing artist in Chicago, she sings about confidence, motivation, depression and mixed emotions over beautiful melodies, piano chords, percussion, R&B and A cappella tracks.

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Stay Home And Bump Lucky Iris

Lucky Iris welcomes you to sounds of electro-indie pop, debuting their music with their first EP, TURNS OUT WE SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME, with the help of Oliver Sekunda on production. A concept project based around a night on the town, and figuring it best to stay home sometimes! Coming from the Leeds music scene in England, they present a fresh perspective through their music. With influence from artists like Alt-J and Laura Mvula, Maeve & Jasper of Lucky Iris come with a unique sound.

At just four tracks, the project is short but full energy, starting out with GET READY WITH ME, an upbeat song about the curious energy of a young girl. Followed up with a more melancholic track over piano chords, TAKE 5 (WHY CAN’T YOU SEE ME) explores the feeling of being surrounded by people, yet being invisible to someone significant. GLITTER VISION is a favorite for its production, the track starts off like an electronic house beat, followed up with pop vocalization, and changes up tempo and ups the bass, flipping the energy around. Their debut gives us enough to see, Lucky Iris is dynamic and full of potential, and we cannot wait to see what they have for us in the future!

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