Nov
2014

PaperMag.com: Kanye to Theophilus London: “Stop Being So Cool All The Time”

Photo by Tracy Bailey

Photo by Tracy Bailey

Three years after Theophilus London released his debut album, Timez Are Weird These Days, the Trinidadian-born, NYC-based artist is back with a new record that reminds us the musician is more than a good-looking, party-hopping guy with dope style. Blending hip-hop, New Wave, pop, and soul,Vibes!, out tomorrow, was executive produced by Kanye West and features collaborations with Dev Hynes, Jesse Boykins III, Soko, The Force MDs and soul legend Leon Ware. We had the chance to chat with London about working with ‘Ye, shooting with Karl Lagerfeld (the designer photographed and art-directed the cover), and making sure fashion no longer overshadows his music.

What are you most proud of about Vibes!?

I’m proud it’s done. I’m also happy to have gotten to work with all these living geniuses like Kanye, Leon Ware and Karl Lagerfeld. And I guess what I’m most happy about is that these people are happy with how it turned out as well. Kanye was like, “I can’t wait for us to work together again” and he’s already talking about the next thing we’re going to work on.

Tell us about working with Kanye and Karl.

I picked up on so many things from them. Kanye is so informed about all things. He knows what’s going on in media, he knows what’s going on in the art world, design world, music world. Many people just say, “He’s rich, he could just sit at home and take care of his daughter” and stuff like that. But every second his head is in his laptop, he’s traveling and designing. That inspired me. And it’s the same thing with [Karl] Lagerfeld. He’s always designing and traveling around the world. He’ll be like, “I’m going to China in the morning” or “I’m going to Japan or we’ll be in Mexico for two weeks.” His whole life is planned out. My life is not planned out like that yet. But I’m working on it.

Photo by Karl Lagerfeld

Photo by Karl Lagerfeld

Did they give you any advice?

At one point Kanye said to me, “Man, you gotta stop being so cool all the time.” He said, “I played it cool to a certain point in my career but after a while I was like, ‘I just gotta really go for my dreams.'”

What role does fashion and style play in your music career in 2014?

I hope you remember my style. I’m flattered by the whole fashion kid stuff but fashion really overshadowed my music when I first came out. I wasn’t happy about music. But now I’m happy [about my music] and can really shine as a person.

Oct
2014

Deep House DJ Miguel Migs releases new album, DIM DIVISION

Producer, DJ and label owner Miguel Migs' latest, Dim Division.

Producer, DJ and label owner Miguel Migs’ latest, Dim Division.

Forward-thinking musician Miguel Migs has been sharing soulful house music for well over a decade now. Dim Division is the San Francisco-based visionary’s latest project on Soul Heaven/Defected Records label.

Spotlighting his signature downtempo vibe, take a listen to a sampling of the album that features artists such as frequent collaborator Lisa Shaw, bassist and singer Meshell Ndegeocello, UK singer Omar, musician Martin Luther, and vocalist Andy Allo — who is known for touring with Prince.

Oct
2014

New Music: Jessie Ware feat. Miguel – “Kind of…Sometimes…Maybe”

Jessie Ware's Tough Love is out in the U.S. October 21st..

Jessie Ware’s Tough Love is out in the U.S. October 21st.

UK singer-songwriter Jessie Ware is bringing it with the seductive “Kind of…Sometimes…Maybe” featuring alt-R&B artist Miguel. It brings to mind a moment in time of longing but actually knowing better. With its heavy bassline and intense lyrics, the song is powerful.

On Ware’s forthcoming album, Tough Love, Miguel co-writes and co-produces alongside BenZel (Benny Blanco and Two Inch Punch), among others, which features newest power ballad, “Pieces“. Tough Love is out in the UK October 13th / in the U.S. October 21st. Listen to “Kind of…” below.

Sep
2014

Get In Media: “Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton” filmmaker Jeff Broadway tells the 20-year history of Stones Throw Records [INTERVIEW]

Jeff Broadway_Head Shot

Created in 1996 by Chris Manak (aka DJ Peanut Butter Wolf), Stones Throw Records has cemented its reputation as an eclectic and influential indie record label, with a roster of acts such as hip-hop artists Madlib, Homeboy Sandman, and the late J Dilla, to soul crooners Mayer Hawthorne and modern-day funk musician Dam-Funk. Nearly 20 years later, Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton (This Is Stones Throw Records) tells its story.

Produced and directed by Jeff Broadway, Los Angeles-based filmmaker and co-founder of Gatling Pictures, the music documentary showcases the culture, energy, and history behind a label that started out releasing mainly hip-hop records but has morphed into a hotbed of electro, soul, and world music deals.

With exclusive interviews by Peanut Butter Wolf, as well as fellow DJ A-Trak, and noted stars such as Talib Kweli, Common, Kanye West, Mike D and Questlove, Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton highlights the independent spirit and creative aesthetic of the respected indie label.

Get In Media: With so many independent record labels out there, why a documentary about Stones Throw? What drew you to tell their story?

Jeff Broadway: I live in LA and I’ve been here for about five years. With documentary production the margins are relatively small. And I thought it would be a wise move to do something on a subject that’s local. It’s also something that I’ve been a part of, at least peripherally as a fan, for some years. It’s a subject and a culture that I understand. I also felt like there was a demand from the fan base to learn more about it.

[Stones Throw] has been a relatively closeted and closed off label for some years prior to the documentary. Guys like Madlib and Doom, even Dilla, there hadn’t been a lot done of that collective of artists. And it’s been a collective that I’ve admired and appreciated as a fan for some years. So for those kind of myriad of factors, it just felt like a natural project for me to take on.

GIM: Where do you begin to piece together nearly 20 years of music history? How do you even start?

JB: It’s obviously a pretty large undertaking. I think that we started out mapping out stories based on the central figures and who have been the driving forces in comprising this collective of artists at Stones Throw. And really identifying those major figures and then kind of understanding which people, and which interviews, and which archival material would best serve telling those sub-narratives. And so really kind of attacking the story by its breakdown and just understanding what has made this clock tick for all these years. And then going after material, original production footage and interviews, and all that stuff that helps flesh out those storylines and those tangents that make up the larger, more holistic story.

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Sep
2014

New Music: TOKiMONSTA feat. Anderson Paak – “Realla”

Tokimonsta

TOKiMONSTA (born Jennifer Lee)

L.A.-bred producer and musician TOKiMONSTA shares “Realla” featuring singer Anderson Paak, a dope futuristic R&B track from her latest EP, Desiderium. Formerly on the Brainfeeder roster (founded by Flying Lotus), Jennifer Lee has now formed her own imprint called Young Art — the home of Desiderium. TOKiMONSTA starts touring in promotion of the album on September 24 in Vancouver, Canada; check out more dates here.

Sep
2014

New Video: Lenny Kravitz – “The Chamber”

Songwriter, producer, musician and rock star Lenny Kravitz recently released the visual for “The Chamber”, lead single from his 10th studio album, Strut.

The video opens with Lenny walking the streets of Paris at night, “followed by the Nietzsche quote, ‘The true man wants two things, danger and play. For that reason, he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.’ Dutch model Rianne Ten Haken plays the part of femme fatale.

According to U.K.’s The Telegraph, Strut “explores desire in all its forms, from the most physical to the most idealised, through its 12 songs, including “New York City”, “I Never Want to Let You Down” and “She’s a Beast”.

“This record brought me back to a place of what I love so much about music,” Kravitz says. “Back to the feelings I had when I was in high school. It’s a real rock and roll record – it’s raw, it’s got soul and it came together really quickly.”

“The Chamber” was directed by Anthony Mandler, who has created clips for Rihanna, Beyonce and Jay-Z. Strut will hit stores on September 23rd.