The multi-talented artist from Chicago is back with a social-politically charged song. Since releasing KILLING (PAIN), a deep personal memoir, she has been working in the background on graphic design, art, hair styling and production. Recently being invited to Insomiac Studio to perform on the God Hour to showcase her lyrical ability. Very skilled with her lyricism, ELL V!rtuoso quickly strikes through her new track, LOOK AROUND, with power like lightning, with one message to behold: All systematic oppression and injustice must end. Starting with a vibe like Lauryn Hill on the intro coupled with vocal harmonics, balanced with raw lyrics; the most powerful line comes in the outro: “They play brutality like a game of chess, there’s no rest. Off stress cause you guessing who’s next, will it be me? Can we be free? There’s a war on peace, I need Malcom X and Dr. King…”
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.
They call him Renaissance for his ability to blend an eclectic mix of styles including R&B, pop, trap, and soul. A singer and songwriter, John Renaissance has placements on NBC, worked on Empire, the Steve Harvey Show and he is a member of the Chicago Federation of Musicians. A multi-talented phenom, his latest record MOSCATO, is a pop smash hit anticipating a long game break in the mainstream.
Eight months ago John Renaissance was featured on a song called, “BOTTLES IN THE AIR“, by an artist named DND. Upon viewing that, it was clear Renaissance could easily take that Usher, Donny Hathaway, Trey Songz, Jeremih and Chris Brown like sound, and push the craft even further. Now since dropping MOSCATO in late February, John Renaissance bodies the song and leaves listeners wanting a whole album of more!
To help break the record to a larger audience, John Renaissance started a “MOSCATO challenge” on social medias. Type in hashtag #johnrenaissance or #moscatochallenge to find it. You can either do a dance routine, a freestyle, or find your own creative way of showing your support to John Renaissance, and his soon to be hit record to the industry.
To get on the phone with John Renaissance was a pleasure, he is a joy to talk to, and very knowledgeable about the music industry. He explained how the Chicago Federation of Musicians is essentially the Chicago union for working musicians and musical performers. Over the course of JR’s career, he has rejected seven record deals; One record deal he declined for the label taking too long to come up with the legal paperwork. Another deal he declined due to the A&R being unprofessional, and sexually harassing a singer he regularly collaborates with. These are certainly commendable decisions, and his intelligence and discernment is something to be applauded.
John Renaissance is a well traveled artist, from New York to LA to Atlanta and hanging out with Lil Boosie; he is full of great stories. He spent the better part of last year working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean as the nightly musical entertainment, performing covers and originals, getting paid to do what he loves to do and live while cruising the Earth’s seas. His perspective on the pandemic, the start of the racial tension, and the BLM protests was quite insightful and beautiful. He said that everyone on the ship was from every corner of the planet, and that there was nothing short of love and unity to experience in that cruise.
John is working on a single called NOAH’S ARK, about how the world is seemingly falling apart, and he is singing on a yacht. He is also working on two other singles, THOUGHTS FROM A PRIVATE JET and CATALINA, and a full project called LIFE IS A TRIP, a Drake influenced style of diary writing. JR will release a precursor EP to that project as well titled, WALK AWAY.
John Renaissance is inspired by Smokey Robinson. He wants to write the records, find the artists, build the empire. He is actually secured two SAG roles for artists of his, NDPNDNT and Aaron Mack, both with roles on EMPIRE. John Renaissance has a quote that will be used directly, it is a fantastic way to sum up his brand in one word when needed: “You can be a jack of all trades, master of none, but me? I’m a Renaissance Man.” JR is inferring that everything he does and touches, is at a masterful level. After listening to his music and hearing his stories, one would undoubtedly have to agree.
From the East Side of Chicago, and currently residing in Los Angeles, Hannah Got Raps releases music with raw hip hop flow! Since moving to LA, her music has been welcomed to stages shared by Bone Thugs, Vince Staples, Common, Odd Future, Action Bronson and more. Spreading positive messages to her new found audiences, Hannah raps about life and transcendence as she uplifts the soul with her music! Evident in her last EP BLOSSOM and recent music video BLACK, inspired by current turbulent times.
Set 48 hours before Juneteenth, Hannah Got Raps celebrates black lives with an inspiring and powerful visual. Filled Black Power symbolism, like traditional black cultural family values, black entrepreneurship and black leather clad get ups, representing the legendary Black Panthers! The video ends with a poem about fear, from the perspective of the oppressed. The song leaves you more aware of the power and magic of black love, and a reminder, “All black love is the mission, everybody talk about peace, while the blood shed, hear the cries of the streets.” Will You Rise?
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!
There is no shortage of love when it is true, and with an R&B beat and delicate vocals, Schenay explains her expression in her latest single! The Ohio artist holds recognition throughout the Midwest in general, associating with artists like Adam Ness in Chicago, Smino, SZA in St. Louis and more, and for good reason; her voice is beautiful! This track follows up on her song released late last year titled NO WAY, featuring YoursTruly. Preparing for another project release to follow up on LOTUS, MILLIONS teases her upcoming EP, SILK CA$HMERE, as its first single!
Cover Photo: @mreidphotog
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.
Still hot off his LISTEN IN HEADPHONES solo project, and his collaborative single, HAT/NO HAT, with Handsome Naked that premiered on NBC‘s Talent Show Livestream. The efforts lands him and proves his worth as an Artist of the Week in April. As a producer, Brad Kemp meets with a variety of artists, and on this occasion, Brad found vocal artist Eshé to work on a collaboration. They two worked together before on tracks produced for Chore Boy, now they got their own single flowin’, as apart of an album called LETTERS, filled with diverse artists.
Releasing a music video with each track individually and consecutively, until the album drops, the two the artists came up with a clever video for their latest track, WISH YOU WERE HERE. Eshé, who is currently residing in New York where she finished up a Masters Degree from NYU, worked on the writing and vocalizing while Brad, obviously, produced the music. The video illustrates the lyrics as they go with the song, highlighting each different line of a verse, with different colors. A very relaxing and upbeat track, using acoustic sounds over a hip hop beat. Very motivating from start to finish with lyrics like, “Hard work pays off, never thought I’d get days off, I remember being exhausted, workin 12 hour days days, stayin up makin demos on Halsted” and that is just to start!
LETTERS release date is scheduled for June 5th, with each track involving a different performing artist. Stay tuned for the live album premiere through their social medias linked below!
Emily Blue seems to be one of the more composed artists of Chicago. She got everything locked down, from the sound of her music, to her visual aesthetic and her live performances, presenting the unique character within herself. While that may be perfect enough for any audience, Emily doubles down with side band projects as Tara Terra and Moon Mouth. Music and creativity seems to just flow through her blood, as she creates sounds of Glitch and Synth Pop
Recently she uploaded her latest single APERTURE, which premiered on TheseDaysMag, along with an exclusive interview. She notes the song is a collaboration with friend and artist Uushky, and it was originally made for piano. Its lyrical origins would revolve around Emily passing through emotions she felt for someone significant, who was already spoken for. The song in itself is quite epic, as Emily sings and harmonizes dreamily over synth chords that hit heavenly climactic highs, alongside her vocalization. You can actually feel the wave of emotion as the song progresses in layers; a very atmospheric song that will get the hairs on the back of your neck standing!
Released on the last day of Black History Month, Left Jones created an ode to melanin. This very talented and large group of musicians got together in celebration of their Black identities, unapologetically. With the Help of Beau and Oliv Blu, they create GLOWIN’ BLACK, chanting “Safe to say I’m going black,” noting a return to their roots. Following up to their song MAKE YOUR WAY, a soulful jazz tune LeftJones continues with a message of powerful self awareness and love in their music.