Soul/R&B

Amber Mark: Conexão EP

You may know Amber Mark from her 2017 track Love Me Right. Her "lounge-quality" sound is a perfect blend of instrumentals and lyrics— soft and sweet but with emotional depth similar to Sade 😍. I love Monsoon (feat. Mia Mark) and Lose My Cool from her 2017 album 3:33am. “I want this EP to have a bigger meaning, and I want people to feel even more emotional with this than they did with the previous one,” states Mark in an interview with Pitchfork.

Electro/Disco/Dance

Mornings with BAYNK

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Last year, New Zealand favorite BAYNK released Someone's EP, featuring tracks including Poolside, What you Need (feat. NÏKA) and Come Home. His easy sound is reminiscent of Hayden James, Bon Iver and even Autograf— perfect for summer weekend mornings.

He has a great interview with Redbull music about finding his potential as a musician, as well as his finding inspiration from artists like Travis Scott and Mura Masa, here. He's playing June 9th in San Diego for those of you looking to add a show to the calendar. 

 

Soul/R&B, Punk/Post Punk, Indie/Rock, Electro/Disco/Dance

A Playlist for Your Revolution

In January, a community based pop-up art show took over a warehouse space in the downtown Los Angeles area bringing together some of the most talented artists, musicians, and activists working for us today.  The themes of the show were based around topics of "Justice as a Human Right", "Together We Rise", "No Human Is Illegal and No Human Should Feel Unsafe", "Love, Peace and Empathy", "Manifesting Solutions", and "This Moment in History."    With powerful exhibits and moving panels, this was a positive and humbling event that lead those who participated to question their part in today's call to action.

I was lucky enough to DJ at this event and put together a playlist of some of the songs I played.  

For more information visit www.into-action.us/

Electro/Disco/Dance

ZHU x Tame Impala and GENERATIONWHY

ZHU recently teamed up with Australian psychadelics Tame Impala on a new single — My Life. Despite mixed reviews, there are parts of the EDM track that have a pretty solid bounce. 

In what's reminiscent of Prince, Steven Zhu is an interesting artist in that he prefers to remain anonymous outside of his stage name, ZHU, so that "fans can focus on the music rather than who's behind it." The pace and diversity of rolling sounds in the well-queued synth-pop + unique monologue integration in his summer 2016 album GENERATIONWHY make it a recurring album in my playlist rotation and definitely worth a listen. 

HipHopTrappTwerk, Soul/R&B

International Hip Hop: Loyle Carner, Tom Misch and Jorja Smith

Can we talk about Loyle Carner? Carner debuted internationally in January 2017 with the drop of Yesterday's Gone which is AMAZING. His unique voice paired with the hip hop yet funk-feel cadence of tracks carry something to get behind. Check him out with fellow Londoner Tom Misch on the track Water Baby, released 2018. 

We're also super excited about English singer-songwriter Jorja Smith, who'll be in CA for Coachella this year and is touring in April with Tom Misch. Find her on Spotify, her sound is soulful and reminiscent of Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys and your gal Amy Winehouse. 

HipHopTrappTwerk

HMD Guest Series: Larth Vader "All of the Feels from OVO Sound"

Not sure why, but I've never been a huge fan of Drake (did love him in all-white next to Rihanna, though). In all seriousness, I so respect what he's got going right now with OVO Sound. Solid tracks from Roy Woods and Majid Jordan. We can probably all agree that Get You Good from Roy Woods nailed it in terms of sheet beats, as did his 2016 album Nocturnal. I discovered Majid Jordan in late 2015 and fell in love with the song Her— especially the clip it runs at right after 2:10. If you haven't yet, check out Majid Jordan + dvsn on My Imagination (still obsessing). The Gave Your Love Away video totally embodies what's going on in fashion right now with a hazy 80s vibe. 

OVO Sound's collab with Warner Bros., via the launch of dvsn's Sept. 5 in 2016, is wonderful, and I think with that, not to forget having PARTYNEXTDOOR driving parts of the label, is really positioning that whole team on solid footing for the long game.