Coming upon the delicate sounds of Heidi Lilli a few summers ago in Chicago. Appearing at Ever Evolved & EAT WellEvolve And Thrive Fest among a handful of Chicago hip hop, rock, edm and indie genres. To the ears delight she confidently performed solo and with her ukulele. Delighting the audience with witty jokes and up beat tunes, a head turning difference in the diversity of Chicagos talent.
Fast forward today, she is now living on the West Coast with a new brand and additional talent! Cooperating with her partner to form Lilli & Charles, the two have been releasing music consistently since summer 2020. Recently upon the new year, the duo released a lyric video for a new tune called IN MY HOMETOWN, keeping on with the up beat, pop sound that you can compare to Buddy Holly. Aside from an independent release of her EP NOMAD, Heidi has also multiplied her talents to include make up artistry for photo, film, beauty, etc. to add to her songwriting, piano and ukulele instrumentation.
Coming across fresh faces in Nobatoby! Releasing a music video recently and bringing summer energy back into our lives. Using a song off their debut EP BRAIN STORM, the Chicago artists create a visual water park experience, creating a nostalgic vibe with the combination of music. Taking advantage of the empty amusement rides in NYC due to COVID circumstances. Adding to the diversity of Chicago music, alternative indie rock music fans would enjoy this, with a similar sound to Smashing Pumpkins and the likes, GO DOWN it is already on replay here!
Another up and coming artist in Chicago is breaking grounds with a significant achievement in her music career. Yajaira is making some noise with her debut EP, REALISY. The singer, dancer and model is inclined towards soulful genres like R&B, Pop, Neo-Soul and even Gospel, having experience singing in Church and summer camp talent competitions. Her debut EP even dips into more cultural genres like reggae, and reggaeton creating a diverse portfolio from the start.
Starting REALISY off strong with a MAKE IT, a collaboration featuring K Breeze, and J. Trav. Walking the line of confidence and ambition with a hook like, “My future I can see it. When my eyes close, I can dream it. Can’t let no one come between, all my life I swear I mean it.” Following up would be WHAT YOU DO TO ME, a reggae influenced track adding diversity to the EP, singing about the dance of a temporary and fleeting seduction. Pondering about attraction in TO BE IN LOVE, she sings beautifully as she unravels her thoughts. Yajaira innocently lets her fans know the project is about her own perspectives, embracing her point of view and being able to visually create the world she sees. Her vocals paint a colorful picture of her mind and her range is a refreshing addition to the music community in Chicago, particularly R&B.
Coming up upon another talented artist that displays the amazing diversity in Chicagos music scene. A model with a beautiful voice, Kellen Fescina comes into attention with a sensual pop single called ADDICTED. Not new to the mic in the slightest however, Kellen has a few releases this year following a hiatus. Currently armed with a 12 track album and some singles, she has bounced between synth pop styles, dance music tracks and experimental rock. ADDICTED takes on more of an R&B aura, and shows a maturity and more confidence in her presentation compared to her earlier work!
Singing “Boy you got me drunk off your love, it’s addicting! I need it, I fiending! You got me losing my mind,” over a slow beat and piano chords. The chorus uplifts you with a vibrant emotional serenade, as you fall into a dream state! A powerful yet gentle tune to add to your playlist, to really get the vibe right in an intimate setting. This track follows LEAVE ME and SHINING, a hip hop and house beat respectively, released earlier this year. Quite a different energy from her earlier releases in her album LOVE IS A GAME, where that album treads into retro and old school styles and influences, while her recent releases have more a contemporary, confident and original quality. It is always interesting to hear an artists experiments and progression!
Back in the middle of summer, Queen Mars had gone through some creative angst brought upon early lockdown orders, that was only cured through song and visual expression. She freed herself with the release of B!TCH, and its accompanying music video that she created with just a phone and strobe light. An artistically racy video that drew attention from censures and challenges, but was ultimately won over with support and admiration of a large audience at 11k views! That first B!TCH was a riot, but this second B!TCH is a boss!
With a new music video to top and remake the summer hit, Queen Mars turns on that boss B!TCH energy in this hyper artistic visual. With abstract visual symbolism at ever turn, Queen Mars goes from a confident, empowered woman to Picasso in just two videos. Starting at admiring herself in the mirror, to stoically sitting at a table like a center piece, laying next to a goldfish tied to floating balloons, to a favorite: fashionably posing like a Queen glowing in the sun, on a small platform fit just for her. All pointing to the fact that she is the one in control, she is that B!TCH. Whether she is creating her own music video, making abstract symbolic visual art, or just singing with that flawless and powerful voice. Join the 16k viewers in this experiencing this masterpiece!
An astounding performative character, on and off the stage! Radiating confidence, independence and joy where ever she is seen. Emma Grace is an artist on another level, with quite an inspiring attitude, whether she knows it or not. First learning of Emma at an Ever Evolved open mic event, she is making noise right now with a release, and it is exciting to hear some new music from this artist!
Upon first look Emma looks like a sweet, cherishing gal, but that is changed instantly upon her behavior and talent on stage! Enveloping a room with her deep range of vocals and energy, and it is contagious. She is a rockstar! Her style of music and lyricism captures you and you cannot help but move! More than that, she can be an inspiring character for confidence on and off stage.
Emma is an artist to push boundaries no doubt, of what it is to be, look and act like as an artist. As a curvy woman, she proudly displays her beauty in a multitude of ways. From tastefully provocative photography as a model, to performing on stage, in front of a crowd with nothing on, but pasties and underwear. Whether she intended to or not, she may as well accept the banner of a role model for confidence, self love and joyfulness!
Aside from her inspiring and very welcoming attitude, her voice and work as an artist is the cherry on top of it all! With her latest release LOVING WAYS, she projects her energy through lyrics. The opening lines say it all, “Oh all the loving ways to know, yea we got a ways to go, all the loving ways to grow.” LOVING WAYS places you right in the moment, with a message to remain positive despite adversity. She articulates it much more fluidly, so press play and get to those LOVING WAYS.
To introduce Monday Majesty, this recent music video release seems to be a perfect first. GIVE ME A MIRACLE, a dance tune by Fafa, is a powerful follow up to RUNNIN, and multilayered in its significance. Her vocal performance is astounding, the visuals are wild and creative, and its meaning and point in time it was conceived creates a mutual connection between us all. The combination of it all makes for a very entertaining and captivating work of art!
Fafa, a Chi-town raised artist from Abu Dhabi currently residing in the UAE, teams up with The BarCoe Studio for a cinematic visual performance. From the choregraphy, to the wardrobe, the visual effects, with the glitching transitions and different mirror reflections, and creativity like filming underwater, to running in the desert; the music video really grabs your attention. The dance beat guides the energy and her vocals perfect it; her lyrics were born of the confusion and uncertainty in the midst of pandemic lockdowns. As if we were waiting on something, as if we cannot take control, GIVE ME A MIRACLE is that reminder we have it within ourselves to move forward and to feel lucky we have the people who will show the light, expressed in a catchy dance beat!
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.
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.
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.