Text 5 Apr Trentmoller-4/5

@ The Fonda Theatre

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Anders Trentemøller’s unrivaled gumbo of thematically dark, minimal techno, house and haunting, pop-tinged indie rock has made him a fixture on the global music landscape. The Copenhagen native, who got his start as one-half of live house act Trigbag with DJ T.O.M., has created a signature sound, which has been featured regularly at festivals such as Glastonbury and Roskilde, as well as in the playlists of some of the world’s most celebrated DJs. His acoustic experimentation yielded the development of his five-piece band, which is scheduled to be in tow for this engagement. Trentemøller’s latest effort, 2013’s Lost, was released on his In My Room imprint and features appearances by The Drums’ Jonny Pierce and The Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner. Tonight’s all-ages show also features DJ T.O.M.-Jacqueline Michael Whatley

(Source: laweekly.com)

Text 18 Mar John Legend-3/26

@ Disney Concert Hall

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John Legend’s pungent brand of R&B/soul stood out in the bling rap– dominated musical climate of the early 2000s. His 2004 G.O.O.D. Music debut, Get Lifted, yielded the internationally charting ballad “Ordinary People” and catapulted the Ohio native to global stardom. In 2007, the nine-time Grammy winner and staunch supporter of U.S. educational reform founded the Show Me Campaign, an initiative dedicated to “breaking the cycle of poverty by supporting programs that provide every child with a quality education.” Legend describes his latest Grammy-nominated release, Love in the Future, as “a meditation on and celebration of love.” Lauded for his stellar ivory-tickling abilities and emotive live performances, he’ll play this intimate engagement backed only by supporting vocalists, a guitarist and a string quartet.—Jacqueline Michael Whatley

(Source: voiceplaces.com)

Text 21 Feb 2 Chainz- 2/21

@ The Palladium

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Grammy-nominated rapper 2 Chainz helped to cement trap music’s reign with Billboard Hot 100 hits including “No Lie and “I’m Different”. The College Park, Ga., native, formerly known as Tity Boi, was a member of DTP duo Playaz Circle before going solo and independently releasing a wealth of singles and mixtapes. In 2012, Def Jam released his debut studio effort, Based on a T.R.U. Story, which has since been certified Gold by the RIAA. His quick ascent to stardom has yielded features alongside some of hip-hop’s biggest acts, including Kanye West and Drake, plus countless award nominations and a shoe deal with Adidas. His highly anticipated follow-up to B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, last year’s sophomore LP, is scheduled to drop later this year. —Jacqueline Michael Whatley

(Source: laweekly.com)

Text 1 Feb Karma Stewart Pauses For Us To Catch Up

By: Jacqueline Michael Whatley

www.anthrojac.com

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 If you’re familiar with Karma Stewart, you probably agree that her voice is out of the ordinary. Her robust lower register is gritty and penetrating. It does not imitate, but undeniably contains residue of the styles of music greats like Phyllis Hyman, Mavis Staples and Chaka Khan. Once heard, it is difficult to forget.

For Karma, discovering this gift was one of the most petrifying moments of her life. She explains, “The choir director was like, ‘who wants to sing a solo,’ and we were all there looking petrified and he was like ‘Hey you, what’s your name?’ We had to learn the song in less than an hour and I sang it and I just remember in the midst of the whole ceremony, as soon as I started singing, my mom jumped up and was like, ‘My baby can sing’ “!

At 17, the Texas native (who had been raised for years in Frankfurt, Germany) moved to Los Angeles. She was scouted by an Arista producer/family friend and joined an all girl singing group. When that didn’t work out, she moved back to Texas and did a balsy thing: planned a move to New York City. “I lied to my mom … I was like, ‘mom so, Jay-Z’s having a competition for singers and do you have any money to spare so I can fly to NY?’ I ended up getting X amount of dollars from family and friends and went out there”.

Karma (frontal-profile)  The balsiness continued when she arrived. “I talked my way into a private party that Regis Philbin was hosting. I talked to the band and asked them if I could sing, but they told me no. The band ended up taking a break and I sat down with the piano player. I asked him if he knew “All Of Me” in the key of A. I ended up singing and Regis was in the crowd and talked about me on his show. Well shit, after that, I felt like I could do anything”.

Karma then decided to give Los Angeles another shot. It wasn’t the easiest decision, considering that she was accepted at Bethune Cookman College, but moving to Los Angeles and attending Hollywood’s Musicians Institute did prove to propel her career. Within six months of arriving, she booked her first professional gig.

A year later, she was touring Europe with lauded Detroit–based outfit PPP and acquiring much buzz from respected newspapers, music blogs and aficionados like Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and London-based music authority Giles Peterson. After 2008’s The Karma EP and an amazing run with PPP, we didn’t hear much else from her until the 2013 single “How We B” (from film “The Brass Teapot”) surfaced on the internet. Over Skype video chat, the comedic chanteuse (now back in Texas) opens up about her forthcoming solo project, her pending permanent move to Los Angeles and what the heck she’s been up to since bowing out of the scene.

On How She Connected With PPP: “Funny story. I was dating, at the time, this huge music lover and he knew Coultrain. He let Coultrain hear some of my music. At the time, I was just singing jazz and r&b covers. He gave Coultrain my CD and then years later, Jeff’s telling me that Coultrain wants me to send him a video because he had just gotten recruited by Wajeed to work with PPP and I think Tiombe had just gotten signed with Elektra, and had to leave. They were looking for somebody fresh and kind of spicy. They liked my audition tape, it was a show I did at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. They flew me to NY to meet and greet and audition me, and that was all she wrote”.

On Preparing Her Upcoming Solo Project: “I’m doing a majority of the songwriting. I am working with Saadiq from PPP. Saadiq is my main guy right now. I also have three other friends in LA who are musicians and they actually play with major artists right now. Manny, he used to play drums for Travie McCoy but now he’s signed to Atlantic records with a group by the name of Ghostown. Benny used to play drums for Kerri Hilson, I’m working with him. Also working with my friend Ron who plays keys for Snoop Lion,etc. My friend Joel, he plays guitar for Aloe Blacc. I’m really excited. It’s gonna be one of those things like , you know, I’m just gonna write. So we’ll see what comes out and in which direction they’d like to take it”.

On Artists She’d Like To Work With: “I would love to collaborate with Questlove. I met him at one of his underground events in New York and I think he’s very talented. I would love to work with him. I would love to work with Rafael Saadiq, I think that would be just golden. Gosh, there are so many people that I would love to work with. I’d love to do a song with Cee-Lo. That would be so much fun”.

Other Things You Didn’t Know About Karma: “When I was in LA before I got with PPP, I was doing theatre. I played Dionne Warwick and one of The Shirelles in the play Baby It’s You. I played Mimi in RENT when I got back to Texas at Zachary Scott Theatre. Cirque Du Soleil reached out to me to record for a couple of shows. It was something that I came across when I moved back to Texas from LA. This was a couple of years ago. I did an audition that lasted for like, an hour. Umm, they had me learn one song, but I like to be five steps ahead of the game. especially being a woman. I did my research. I was up for hours on-line going over all of their shows, learning all of their songs. Then they sent me like an audition tape with 5 of their songs and told me to learn one, but I learned all five. When I went in for the audition they loved what I did. They asked me to come back in an hour after learning another song, but I knew all of the songs already so I auditioned again on the spot. So ever since then, the casting director has contacted me, at least twice a year, about their shows. They keep me in their back pocket.” Karma also appears as “Bex” in the IAWTV award-winning web-series, “Destroy The Alpha Gammas”.

On What She Listens To: “Right now, Beyonce`. Beyonce` is one of those women who you love to hate but she’s just undeniable. She is talented and she works hard. She is the black Madonna. “Partition” and “Drunk in Love” are my favorite songs. I listen to Sly & The Family Stone everyday. I love Raheem DeVaughn. Last night I was jamming to Frankie Beverly & Maze. I’m really old school, don’t judge me. I listen to Miguel. I was jamming to Bobby Womack’s “If You Think You’re Lonely Now”. I was singing my ass off in my kitchen”.

On Her Awesome Hair: “I have a stylist in Cali. Her name is Cynthia. When I moved to LA , my hair used to be in a mohawk and was a dark color. I found Cynthia just by chance. It was kind of a match made in heaven. When I got the PPP opportunity, I was like ok, so I need something really rad cause I’m about to go on tour and I need something that’s gonna set me apart. So she was like ‘We’re gonna dye it red and we’re gonna leave the Mohawk in the back, just wait’. And out came this result. I’ve been rocking it ever since. No, I did not steal this from Rihanna. my hair was like this when she was still singing “Pon De Replay”, I love Rihanna, but no, I had this style first”.

Karma (frontal)  “I was in San Diego visiting and these dudes rushed me and were like, ‘That’s Keyshia Cole!’ I had to tell them that I was not Keyshia Cole! My stylist here in Texas is Rodney. He keeps up my style. I’m thinking of transitioning so I’m not sure where I’ll go with this. That’s the next thing I’ve been thinking about is how I’ve been rocking this style for a while, I think it’s time for me to try something new, so, we’ll see what’s in store”.

On A PPP Reunion: “Any show I’ve ever done, a lot of people associate me with PPP. I love PPP, they were so good to me, I just need to start doing my own thing now. It has everything to do with me just trying to establish my own sound, yet still, in all actuality PPP is my sound. This is just one of those cases where the little girl has to find her way. I would definitely do another PPP project. I’d totally be down to do a reunion if it ever came down to it”.

On Her Fans: “They’ve been so loyal. I’ve been out of the scene, doing a lot of writing projects and collaborations and behind the scenes type of stuff, and little bitty features here and there and they just haven’t forgotten me. You have no idea how much that means to me. They have never forgotten about me and that is what makes me feel like, ‘ok, time to go back to LA and get back out there and start performing more and doing more of my own content.” They are the ones who have kept me going honestly. I am so grateful for each and every one of them. I cannot wait to get back to LA. I owe them”.

On Life: “Live life to the fullest and don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself a little bit. That’s what life is all about. I have worked hard in my life, nothing has ever just been handed to me. I’m a firm believer in karma. I’m a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. The people that you meet in life, God brings them into your life for a reason. Whether it’s to teach you something or open up a door. Everyone serves a purpose”.

                             All photos provided by Katy Shayne

Text 31 Jan 1 note Action Bronson- 2/6

@ Echoplex

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Action Bronson’s delivery bears an eerie sonic resemblance to Ghostface Killah’s. He also cooks a mean lamb burger. After graduating from the Art Institute of New York’s culinary program, the outspoken Queens native worked regularly throughout his 20s as a gourmet chef. Since releasing the well-received 2011 mixtape Bon Appetit B****, he has self-released four mixtapes chock-full of witty wordplay and food references. In 2013, he was named a member of XXL Magazine’s Freshmen Class, and the father of two also hosts a food series on Vice.com. His Vice/Atlantic records debut,Saab Stories, was released in June. Tonight’s attendees are warned not to bum-rush the stage, as the big-boned wrestling fanatic is known to body-slam stage crashers.

— By Jacqueline Michael Whatley

(Source: voiceplaces.com)

Text 13 Jan Miles Mosley-1/13

@ Viper Room

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Referred to by music aficionados as the Jimi Hendrix of the upright bass, Miles Mosley is a force in the local music world and beyond. The virtuoso honed his technical skills at the world-renowned Colburn School and, after studying music at UCLA, went on to become an in-demand session musician. Mosley has shared stages with heavyweights including Herbie Hancock, Lauryn Hill and Mos Def. He probably is best remembered by local audiences, however, for his stellar performances alongside L.A. jazz fixture Kamasi Washington, Ryan Porter, Cameron Graves and Tony Austin in the collaborative project The West Coast Get Down. His unmatched synthesis of jazz, rock, pop and R&B may be witnessed weekly at Hollywood music haunt the Piano Bar.-Jacqueline Michael Whatley

(Source: laweekly.com)

Text 28 Dec Fresh Fest 2013-12/28

@Nokia Theatre


KDAY’s Fresh Fest 2013 features performances by storied rap acts including Lil Kim, Scarface, Too $hort and E-40, along with a few surprise guests. The show also includes sets by Mystikal and Ja Rule, both Grammy-nominated rappers who attained major-label success in the mid and late ’90s during the apex of rap’s bling era. Mystikal subsequently served a six-year sentence after pleading guilty to sexual battery. Ja Rule served a two-year sentence at a Brooklyn detention center after being found guilty of tax evasion and in possession of drugs and guns; he was released in May. According to a September interview with Hot 97’s Angie Martinez, Ja plans to write a book about his highly publicized beef with rapper/mogul 50 Cent. In any case, with all of these artists under the same roof, tonight’s show certainly will be interesting. —Jacqueline Michael Whatley

(Source: blogs.laweekly.com)

Text 21 Dec Nanna B’s Future Nordic Soul Makes a Splash in L.A.

Press photo provided ny Nanna B.

By: Jacqueline Michael Whatley

Copenhagen based vocalist Nanna B. is the co-founder of Chicken Grease Soul Club, one of few live performance hubs on Denmark’s quietly kept soul scene. Like similarly storied Danish peers Quadron, Nanna’s music found a second home on the Los Angeles underground.

Nanna was formally introduced to music while attending an alternative school for children in Aarhus. “My parents [who do not sing or play instruments] put me in a school that taught West African music and rhythms. I had hippie parents. I started making up my own chants to the music and that’s where it all started”.

She grew up in a suburban two-parent household that regularly featured Black music. While Nanna absorbed the sounds of Sly & The Family Stone, George Clinton and Prince, her signature sound would take form after discovering D’Angelo and late 90s movement, the Soulquarians.

She heard “Brown Sugar” blaring from a boom box while riding the school bus. The music would permanently impact Nanna. “When I was like around thirteen or fourteen, I started listening to hip-hop and r&b. I discovered Erykah Badu, D’Angelo and all of this neo-soul coming out of the states and it blew my mind. It was a big discovery for me”.

In subsequent years, Nanna continued to sing and write songs. In 2007, she formed the Chicken Grease Soul Club with like-minded creatives and acquired local buzz as a graffiti artist. Upon suggestion of then boyfriend, she applied and was accepted to Copenhagen’s Funan Art Academy.

Upon completing the five- year visual art program last summer, she visited Peru for four months of much needed reflection. “At that time, I realized that this music is really something to my life. That time in the jungle was good for me. It made me release a lot of fear. I got more courageous. Ayahuasca helped me to see these things”.

Nanna returned to Copenhagen, found immediate work as a waitress and connected with Danish producer Damp. Their musical marriage resulted in an experimental brew that Nanna describes as “Future Nordic Soul”. “We vibed like crazy…we were on the same planet”.

Photo provided by Nanna B.

Photos by Carsten Bundgaard.

After compiling and independently releasing her well -received debut Vita Phone last October, Nanna planned her first Los Angeles excursion. Nothing could have prepared her for the serendipitous events that followed. She explains, “I worked hard, saved up for 3 months and I went to LA and things just kind of fell into place for me. It was crazy”.

Prior to her first LA visit, Nanna connected with Grammy Award winning producer, Shafiq Husayn. “Shafiq hit me up the day I wrote to him on Soundcloud. He said yeah ‘I love your stuff send me some more. Hit me up when you get here and let’s dream’”.

Shortly after her February arrival, Nanna met Shafiq in person . They recorded and she was immediately offered a spot in his band, the Dove Society. Working with Shafiq proved to be a full circle moment for the singer, as Shafiq has worked with many of Nanna’s musical influences (i.e.-Erykah Badu).

During her stay, she developed a propensity toward Koreatown taco trucks, life in Highland Park, and the bounty of stellar live music events that the city offers. She gushed, “I got to see Yaasin Bey (formerly Mos Def) at The Mayan. It was so amazing”.

After engagements at such cherished indie haunts as NOLA’S, Del Monte Speakeasy and Silver Lake Lounge, Nanna’s music was embraced by artists and producers from salient Los Angeles indie labels like BrainFeeder, Plug Research, Stonesthrow and Delcious Vinyl. The offers to collaborate started to roll in, but with impending visa expiration and hardly any cash left, Nanna had to return to Denmark.

She flew home in April to work, record and save up for her necessary Los Angeles return. She explains, “Soul is not a big sound here…it doesn’t sell. My stuff has never been played on radio stations in Denmark, but in LA my stuff has been played on KCRW and accepted”.

In July, Nanna flew back to Los Angeles. Apart from the indie radio and live show rounds, she recorded more material with Shafiq Husayn and Dove Society. She is set to appear on his long-awaited 2014 follow up project, Loop.

Nanna is currently collaborating with Brain Feeder’s Jeremiah Jae and a host of other Los Angeles artists on an upcoming 2014 project. Over Skype video chat, the chanteuse (now back home in Copenhagen) explains her untiring attitude toward shuffling back and fourth between the two cities to pursue her dreams.

“Right now I have about 25 new songs. My plan is to put out a full length in 2014. A long time ago, I kind of got used to the idea that if I wanted to live a life that was rich in art and music, I would have to work my ass off”.

 

Text 5 Dec Thundercat- 12/5

@ Echoplex

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Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner was born into a family of musically inclined folk, yet the bass virtuoso credits his finely honed chops to the works of the globally acclaimed multi-genre bassists he grew up listening to. In an interview with NPR, the spirited eccentric explained, “I would listen to all kinds of stuff. … I learned by listening to Jaco Pastorius, Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke”. The highly sought-after sideman played with such music heavyweights as Suicidal Tendencies, Snoop Dogg and Erykah Badu before embarking on a solo career with respected L.A. indie label BrainFeeder. In June, Thundercat released his second solo effort, Apocalypse. The album explores such topics as coping with loss, memorable drug trips and love.— By Jacqueline Michael Whatley

(Source: voiceplaces.com)

Text 26 Nov 4 notes Justin Timberlake-11/26

@ Staples Center


Justin Timberlake’s career reads like something of a fairy-tale. The Tennessee native and globally renowned triple threat amassed international acclaim during his stint as lead singer of late-’90s boy band ‘N Sync. He then transcended those career heights after a seamless transition into solo stardom with the monumental 2003 release, Justified. In 2013, Justin became one of the few artists to have two No. 1 albums in less than a year with his two-part release, The 20/20 Experience. Arguably one of Timberlake’s most adult releases to date, 20/20 features production by longtime collaborator Timbaland. The multiple Grammy winner is set to perform at this year’s American Music Awards, which happens next door to Staples at the Nokia Theater two days before this concert. —Jacqueline Michael Whatley

(Source: blogs.laweekly.com)


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