From becoming a YouTube sensation after a million people viewed the ridiculously popular and oft-imitated "Ice Cream Truck" music video in a single week, to producing a steady flow of singles and videos that capture his engaging charisma, self-effacing humor and personality, Cazwell has earned credibility on and off the floor with a slew of anthemic and danceable electro-hip hop tracks. Cazwell is an unparalleled pioneer - being one of the very first openly gay rappers to embrace the hip-hop genre in full force and deliver it to the LGBTQ community unapologetically with catchy songs and first rate videos for over a decade.
This not-so-random white dude gathered an impressive and illustrious list of collaborators for his latest full length, "Hard 2 B Fresh" including Richie Beretta (Major Lazer, Jillionaire), Justin de Nobrega (Die Antwoord), Nicky da B (Diplo) - on one of his last collaborations, Peaches, Jesse Novak (M.I.A., Santigold), Big Dipper, RedTop (Beyoncé, Goldfrapp), Rupaul Drag Race All Star, Manila Luzon, DJ Fresh Direct and others to make for a fun, flirty and lively mix of bass heavy trap, electrified club beats and old school hip hop.
Cazwell’s critically acclaimed "Hard 2 B Fresh” went top 5 on iTunes and impressively showcases his hypomanic yet insightful take on pop culture. We’re proud to present to you a musical force who has been described as “what would have happened if Eminem had grown up on Madonna’s front lawn.” "Dance Like You Got Good Credit" featuring Cherie Lily was the first video released from the album, followed by “Downtown”,”¡Spicy!” and “The Biscuit” with Naaldekoker (Powered by Hornet). Cazwell also released the fan favorite."Hot Homo" - a parody freestyle of Bobby Shmurda's “Hot Nig*a”, alongside Big Dipper. All with well over a million and a half combined plays.
Notable tracks on “Hard 2 B Fresh” include “No Selfie Control” – a song Cazwell wanted to dedicate to narcissists like himself and anyone who has been guilty of taking more than 4 selfies in a day, “Dance Like You Got Good Credit” tackles the U.S. debt crisis – a situation Cazwell finds amusing because “we go broke trying to make ourselves look rich”, “Unzip Me” with Peaches – a track picked by the revered “Fuck The Pain Away” singer about getting a handjob at the club and “Guess What?” – the gnarly, horn-ridden electro collaboration with British pop star Luciana (Tiesto, Hardwell), that became a top 15 Billboard Club Play hit in the USA and UK. Beat impresario and DJ, Richie Beretta produced a number of the album’s tracks including “Helen Keller” – a term the rapper created for when a person ex-communicates someone from his or her life (“I don’t see you, I don’t hear you, I’ve Helen Keller’d your ass”) Don’t get it twisted, the Massachusetts-born Cazwell has proven himself to be worthy of the his reputation for being one of the hardest working talents in the business.
He tours the world every year playing to enthusiastic crowds and festivals, has had over 11 million combined video views on Vevo / You Tube, and has managed over 1 Million download / streams of his independently-released music (on Brooklyn-based indie, Peace Bisquit). Fans and critics from all over the world can’t get enough of Cazwell’s sexy, beat laden charm as evidenced in his oft-played classics, the disco-sampled “All Over Your Face” and Courtney Love’s personal favorite “I Seen Beyoncé At Burger King.”
Most recently, Cazwell co-wrote the hardstyle anthem collaboration “This Is Your Life” for Dutch duo Psyko Punkz, David Guetta’s divo Chris Willis and the legendary MC Lyte. He has been busy writing new songs with UK wunderkind, Jodie Harsh, preparing to launch his own label, producing and writing new songs for Amanda Lepore, as well as for his own forthcoming Summer 2017 E.P. Additionally, of note, Cazwell has been a favorite of film and TV music supervisors, having been featured in such productions having been featured in such productions as “Bad Girls Club,” “True Blood” and “Looking.” His video and club classic “Get My Money Back” (from his debut full length, Watch My Mouth) was used for an HBO’s ad campaign for “Eastbound and Down”.
Order a Cazwell by HeyRooney! T-shirt on Redbubble
THE LEGENDARY DIVA, SONGWRITER AND DJ CELEBRATING OVER TWO DECADES OF CHART-TOPPING HITS
In her two decades of making music, Ultra Naté has remained a musical chameleon, embracing a variety of sounds, from R&B/hip-hop, soul and disco to house, rock and electro-pop. Twenty years after sashaying onto international dance floors with the 1989 club anthem, “It’s Over Now,” Naté stands tall and proud, proving that artist longevity, though not common for singers of dance music, is alive and well. Ultra Naté’s 20 + year anniversary in the business comes at a time of non-stop work and recording sessions. In addition to prepping her eighth studio album, Hero Worship which features Robbie Rivera, Aussie wonder twins Nervo, chart-topping EDM troubadour Chris Willis, Italy’s hit maker Nicola Fasano, Hometown Baltimore’s DJ Class, Michelle Williams (of Destiny’s Child) and house music innovators Todd Terry and David Morales, Naté has also found time to initiate a new rock/funk project called Black Stereo Faith with the inimitable Quentin Harris.
Working hard for the money also means wearing numerous hats. Sure, Naté is the singer of the song, but she is also a songwriter, producer, DJ (currently holding a mixshow residency on influential French Radio Station FG alongside some of the world’s top jocks), label owner (BluFire and 410 Paradox Underground), club promoter (the monthly Deep Sugar) and live performer. For the B-more-residing Naté, such diversity is a natural extension—or evolution—from one creative aspect of the music scene to another. “I’ve been in this scene for a long time, so it’s easy for me to transition from one area to another rather seamlessly,” she explains. “Sure, I’m still learning some particular dynamics, but that’s the fun part of the process. When you stop learning you’re doomed.”
Naté’s schooling in all things music began in the late-’80s with her acclaimed Warner Brothers 1990 debut album, “Blue Notes in the Basement,” which spawned such club hits as “Scandal,” “Deeper Love” and “Rejoicing (I’ll Never Forget).” In 1993, Naté delivered her sophomore album, “One Woman’s Insanity” with its R&B undertow, clearly evident on singles like “Joy,” “How Long,” and “Show Me,” which was the her first #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart. 1997 found Ultra switching labels to Strictly Rhythm, where she had one of the biggest successes of her career with the worldwide platinum – selling smash single, “Free.” The anthemic track topped Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play and Maxi-Singles Sales charts before crossing over to Top-40/dance radio and Top 10 internationally. The radio and clubs couldn’t get enough so Ultra along with duet partners Amber and Jocelyn Enriquez stormed the charts with a disco-laced (from the ’54′ soundtrack) rendition of the folk/ pop staple “If You Could Read My Mind.” Ultra release her fourth studio album, “Stranger Than Fiction” in 2001 which found her spreading her musical wings and working with such producers as D-Influence, Arnthor & Bloodshy and Attica Blues as well as collaborating with such luminaries as Nona Hendryx, Lenny Kravitz and N’dea Davenport. Two songs from the album, “Desire” and “Get It Up (The Feeling),” reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart, while the 4-Hero-produced sleeper hit “Twisted (Got Me Goin’ Round),” is a dj/fan favorite that continues to have a life all its own. In 2007, Nate’s fifth studio album, “Grime, Silk & Thunder,” arrived via Tommy Boy Records, spawning two #1 club hits: “Give It All You Got” (featuring Chris Willis), a cover of the Pointer Sisters’ “Automatic,” and included Naté’s 2005 collaboration with StoneBridge (“Freak On”). Since day one, Girl has always remained steps ahead of the game, following the beat of her own drum. New interpretations of her early hits “It’s Over Now” and “Scandal”, a Kenny Dope reworking and Morgan Page’s delicious mix of the Grace Jones-esque “Love’s the Only Drug” were included on Naté’s follow up 2008 collection, “Alchemy: G.S.T. Reloaded.” The two-disc set spotlights remixes of tracks from “Grime, Silk &; Thunder”—as well as debuts Naté’s first official DJ mix. In 2010 on her own imprint BluFire, Ultra teased fans with an e.p. and represented homestyle with a grimy B-more Club collaboration alongside Unruly Records. The beat laden “Things Happen At Night” featured hometown heroes DJ Class and Scottie B and preeminent diva Jocelyn Brown.
At the end of the day, and 20 years on, Naté’s maverick style has not changed. It remains intact. She says her creative process, over the years, has not changed either. “I still work in many different ways,” she explains. “I’m very open to trying things differently.”
Ultra Naté continues to move forward having shared the stage with the likes of Nile Rodgers and CHIC, Johnny Marr (of The Smiths), Martha Wash, Mark Ronson and Dimitri of Paris all the while releasing several currently smoldering releases. These include the infectious club gem “Planet Called Love” with David Morales (one of three exclusive collaborations from his acclaimed “Changes” album), a #1 collaboration with Marlon D and The Underground Collective called “God’s Message”.
In 2013 Ultra released her eighth studio album "Hero Worship" featuring collaborations with a list of who's who in dance music.
During her summer-long residency in Ibiza at Space for Café Olé, Ultra brought her classics and new tunes to Amsterdam's Milkshake Festival, Paris, London, Germany, Amsterdam, Valencia, Budapest, St. Tropez, and New York's massive SUMMERSTAGE Festival in Central Park! She is now back on the road and just hit the stages in Moscow, Dubai, Naples, and throughout the states.
Ultra's own event and residency in Baltimore, Deep Sugar, which is 13 years and counting, has hosted the likes of Timmy Regisford, Little Louie Vega, Duane Harden, Thomas Dolby, Quentin Harris and now Dimitri from Paris, and the late, great Frankie Knuckles. Needless to say, Ultra keeps good company.
Ultra Naté is bringing the party back to you! “I want to continue to be in your face,” says Naté.
Canadian singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer FTRSL [*pronounced FutureSoul] is a multi-talented wunderkind creating vocal and song-based indie electronica sporting soulful and pop nuances, strong melodies and undeniable hooks. It’s our soul music for a better tomorrow.
With influences which span electronica, pop, alternative, hip-hop and R&B, FTRSL is equal parts for the dance floor and your headphones. There’s a strident emphasis on creating productions and songs that deliver not only a solid vocal performance but are also geekily interesting to the ear. FTRSL manage to recapturing the listener with each play from both a song arrangement and sonic perspective. The subtleties and textures are disctinct.
He provides a peak into his creative process, “ I usually always start with an instrumental idea prior to writing lyrics. I'll find or write out a chord progression, map out drums and percussion then build a sample melody around the progression. Everything else tends to come afterwards. I start improvising melodies or start with a sample. When I write lyrics, it's usually all written on the fly and then structured accordingly to the nature of the song. I'm all for groove and a catchy hook that can stand out on it's own. Without it I'll feel restless.”
FTRSL - né Andrew Hunt - released his debut EP 'Heartbreak’ worldwide at the end of 2016 on indie label, Bonfire Records. The acclaimed e.p. boldly announced the newcomer and showcases his distinct voice and inventive knack of creating a vast and varied soundscape. The 5-song “Heartbreak” e.p. finds Andrew teamed up with artists such as New York songbird Olivia Reid for the soaring and spirited “Wild Heart,” as well as Bears & Owls and PK for the funky grooves on “Gold” and the title track. The set also features the future bass inspired “Echoes” a self-procalimed 'thick synth' exploration of love and fan favorite, the yearning and wavy beat-ballad, “Drunk All Night.” Of recent note, the title track made Spotify’s ‘Best of 2016’ influential trainspotter year-end playlist ‘FreshFinds: Hiptronix.”
Explains, Andrew, "I wanted the ‘Heartbreak' EP to express the hardships of love and loss, loneliness and self-doubt. Throughout the past few years I've run into some difficult times and writing my thoughts down has really helped me get through it. Since releasing the EP, I've had a few people reach out to me and explain that it's helped them get through their own battles. At the end of the day my goal is just to make that unique connection with people with my music.”
The artists that serve as inspiration and a connection to FTRSL tend to rotate weekly but the current few that rise above the fray are H.E.R., Anderson .Paak, Cashmere Cat and The Weeknd. He laments, “All of these artists have found a way to make their newest work extremely valuable and unique.”
With a number of collaborations, new releases and remixes in the pipeline and his first ever tour, the world should continue to look out for FTRSL's genre-busting, engaging and anthemic brand of groove-laden futurepop that sounds good and feels good.
Exclaims Andrew, “2017 is a big year for FTRSL. I've recently pulled together a banging live set and am looking forward to performing around the globe throughout the year. A couple new music videos are on the way, forthcoming singles and a brand new EP are written too. I feel incredibly blessed to have made some amazing connections with fresh new artists and folks in the industry. I dreamt of this when I embarked on this FTRSL journey, I can only look forward to everything that’s ahead.”
Listen to the Heartbreak EP
“The Most Expensive Body On Earth”
The world’s most famous transsexual and an effervescent fixture on the New York scene, Amanda Lepore has been at the cutting edge of culture since the club kid era, breaking and re-making the rules for music, marketing, and gender.
Her album, I…Amanda Lepore, is the culmination of her long reign as the queen of Gotham’s button pushing (and button popping) carnival, cementing her status as the most prevalent risk taking creative artist and good-time gal after dark. A sort of woozy inflatable doll, Amanda comes off like a Jeff Koons statue of Marilyn Monroe, a walking work in progress whose nonstop array of surgeries have made her a unique comment on womanhood, and every inch a dame.
In Milan, she was dubbed La Silicona. In New York, she gets paid to enter a room, lips first. It’s not a party until her benevolent presence is spotted on a banquette, like a space alien sex goddess crossed with a curvy Disney goldfish, doling out insights, giggles, and occasionally free drink tickets. A dominatrix and a regular member of Michael Alig’s clubland circus at Limelight’s weekly Disco 2000 in the early ‘90s, Amanda went on to work Patricia Field’s makeup counter while finding her constantly changing face the most marketable object in town, it’s been used to promote Heatherette, M.A.C., Swatch, Smart Car, Perrier, Pop Water and Sergio K, just to name a few trendy brands, including her own limited edition fragrance by Artware Editions, and in 2006, way before he designed for that other first lady, Jason Wu did a limited edition Amanda Lepore doll, three versions, which represented her in plastic—a creative act that made perfect (dollars and) sense.
“But who is Amanda Lepore?” is an often overheard remark, second only to “But WHAT is Amanda Lepore?”
Well, back in the ‘90s, a newspaper column blithely called Amanda a drag queen, so she mailed them a Polaroid of herself giving them the finger (with no clothes on, by the way). “I’m a transsexual,” the exasperated diva explained to me at the time. “I have a vagina!” She’ll even show it to you! In person! And as with a lot of her transformations, it came pretty cheap. (As a boy in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, Amanda got hormones from a transgendered friend in exchange for outfits. She ended up dating a surgeon who gave her a free nose job, a later boyfriend paying for her sexual reassignment. Who needs nationalized health care when you can just marry well?)
Things happen pretty enchantedly for Amanda, though this obscures the fact that beneath her vavoomy exterior is an unflappable person with a will of steel who invariably gets what she wants. Her obsessive dabblings in rhinoplasty, liquid silicone injections, eyelifts, and breast implants are calculated to make her the world’s most beautiful lab experiment—an iconic presence that artists from Elton John to The Drums to Tiga to The Dandy Warhols to Cazwell, have used to enhance their videos and that anyone with a camera—and half a brain—automatically aims her way. Amanda has worked with some the most renowned photographers and creatives in the world, including Terry Richardson, Ellen Von Unwerth and Pierre et Gilles.
“Amanda has no interest in being a girl,” photographer David LaChapelle—one of her longtime mentors—once told me. “She wants to be a drawing of a girl, a cartoon like Jessica Rabbit. When I told her that silicone is dangerous, she said, ‘I don’t care, as long as I look beautiful in the coffin’. There’s something kind of profound in that, that she’s creating this moment of beauty for herself and is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.” Amanda’s music also takes pains to serve a challenging product that, in its post-Warholian way, sardonically comments on capitalism while wholeheartedly embracing it. Playing a ditz comes naturally to her (she sang “I Know What Boys Like” for Another Gay Movie Soundtrack and the downtown classic “My Hair Looks Fierce” on her first album, 2005’s I…Amanda Lepore), but it’s a pose, a winky attempt to portray a sort of modern day Ann-Margret, albeit one who once had a penis.
Usually, Amanda would rather sing about more important things than just boys and hair—like champagne, her nails and her privates! Her 2007 club hit “My Pussy (Is Famous)” giddily reminded the world that, while it arrived without a pricetag on it, her fertile crescent is now worth millions.
Amanda is currently in the studio working on new music, and has been busy with her memoir “Doll Parts”, which is due for release in the Spring of 2017, to be published by Regan Arts, in collaboration with Vigliano Associates and Peace Bisquit. This autobiography and tell-all will be co-authored with Thomas Flannery, and will feature exclusive photos and imagery chronicling Amanda’s illustrious life and career.
In between touring and performing around the world, you can find Amanda hosting and performing throughout the week at the hottest parties in New York City (Battle Hymn, On Top, STRUT!, Gotham & The Box).
Singer-songwriter-producer Megan Vice was sprouted and harvested in New York, grown on a steady pop/funk diet the likes of Michael and Janet Jackson, Prince, and Zapp. A 90's child, Vice came of age in the golden era of r&b and pop. With such beacons of electronic glamour and groove to light the way, it's no wonder Vice blossomed into equal parts psychedelia and bubblegum.
Vice's debut EP “Step on the Scene” (2013) was her pop pièce de résistance and an ode to her adolescence and all things 90’s. Her recently released EP, “Spread The News” (2016), serves up Vice's product of infectious, danceable tunes but takes a grittier, guttier turn - a testament to the glittering sonic harmony born out of a perfect musical blend.
Vice has the musical and physical styling of a trippy time warp - somehow transporting the transfixed somewhere smack-dab between a distant electronic future and a dream-sequence revival of flower children and 80s glam. Her tongue-in-cheek lyrical style and musical prowess have already launched her into the pop stratosphere, performing in The Knocks’ live band and alongside indie darlings French Horn Rebellion, Sofi Tukker and the legendary Wyclef Jean among others.
Megan’s signature sound has garnered her comparisons to Chromeo, Daft Punk and early Janet Jackson, but with a style that’s distinctly her own. With vocals that raise disco from the dead, shimmering retro beats and a personal brand of body funk, Vice was posted on this planet, in this time, to invigorate dance.
Originating in 2013, Slowz acclaimed brand of future soul and mood electronica is getting notices and playlisted worldwide. The France-based producer is ushering in a wealth of collaboration and projects within a short period of time since inception a couple of years ago. Released on Folistar, Slowz first EP "Paradise" at the end of 2015 included "Take Me Away" featuring Mystery Skulls. Fast forward 1 year to find La Belle Musique release the heralded e.p. "Prime of Life" featuring the hits "Morning Lights" feat. Clarens, "Holding You" and "In This Moment Forever" again featuring a favorite collaborator Mystery Skulls.
Coming from a musical background spurred Slowz to get in the studio and try his hand at creating. His father is a great jazz pianist, having played in several bands since a young age, while his mother also played guitar. Explains Slowz, "I think my passion for music definitely came thanks to my parents. I've always been interested by the construction of a song and how it's been produced, etc. Finally, I decided to create my own music!"
Gaining recognition and notoriety right out the gate with his initial and subsequent single and e.p. releases, Slowz remains open to what may become the seed of an idea for a song or production. He never ceases to explore deftly mixing an amalgam of textures woven from r&b, funk, and electronica.
He continues, "These days my inspiration comes from listening to music generally and also my environment. For example, the most inspiring moment is situated in the morning with the first glows of dawning light. I love the vibes of label Roche Musique, the cloud rap scene with artists such as Oliver Francis, Yung Hurn and PNL, as well as R&B music with artists such as OneCue and H.E.R. In fact, the style of music doesn't matter so much, I'm just looking to get an emotional feeling."
Of his upcoming music, releases and collaborations, Slowz says it is about "...the feeling I have and can give to people. My music is always - always - talking about love. Everything is around love. It's the most inspiring thing of my life." Slowz went #1 on Hype Machine earlier this year for the Stan Sax edit of "Holding You" and has lent his sought-after remix skills to recent releases by Laura Mvula, Lizzo, Meeka Kates, Vali, Adian Coker, Trey Songz and Philippe Cohen Solal (of Gotan Project) and has not one but two new EPs on the shelf ready to drop very soon.
Listen to Slowz - "Paradise of Life" [Peace Bisquit Sampler]
Songwriting, production and DJ duo Gamble & Burke specialize in melodic, genre-blending electronic music. Inspired by soul, disco and R&B from the '70’s & '80’s, the bicoastal (Boston meets LA) musicians have an ear for the latest production wizardry along with traditional & timeless pop sensibilities.
Of the duo’s initial influences and style, Gamble says, "My dad taught me how to use his record player before I could walk. When I was 5 years old, my uncle who worked at a club would borrow records whenever the DJ didn’t show. He also had me make a playlist of what to play and in what order! This all seemed very natural. As a thank you he let me go to the club during the day and play with the DJ equipment and the lighting system. The disco ball has had me in a trance ever since.”
Burke continues, “I come from a long line of musicians. My grandparents had a successful family band, The Burke Family Singers, that toured performing spiritual songs and folk music from around the world, eventually appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1963 and other popular variety shows in the 1960s. Singing and playing instruments comes as easy as speaking. My taste in music was pretty sophisticated at an early age - listening to James Taylor, Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and stuff like that. I started playing piano at 10 and guitar at 14. Started lead singing in alternative bands in high school and decided to attend Berklee to build my piano and composition skills."
Daniel met Kaz in 2010 when he was working on an 80's electro film scoring project. The chemistry was immediate and they decided to form Gamble & Burke. After beginning work with Kaz, Burke concedes, “I really re-introduced myself to my original loves of R&B and electro pop (Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie, Bobby Brown etc.)”
Daniel had been in a hipster indie rock band (Walter the Orange Ocean) but wanted to make soulful pop music for the radio while Kaz had been in a number of bands that had been on the radio (i.e. Cooler Kids) but wanted to make something more hip & eclectic.
Gamble continues, “The creative bond was instant. It was love at first listen. Our skills complemented each other and once we started writing - a whole new universe was created.” The universe they found themselves in proved to be irresistible and more important than other considerations.
Gamble & Burke quickly did two songs for fun and both ended up garnering unexpected attention they were not quite prepared for. The duo made an impressive debut with their “Let’s Go Together” EP on Parisian taste-making label, Kitsuné Music. They received radio play on BBC Radio 1, Kiss FM London, College radio in the U.S., and were championed by DJ’s such as Tiësto, Benny Benassi and Kissy Sellout.
"It all happened very quickly and we weren’t ready to capitalize on it. I’ve been in other bands that never quite stayed together. Stylistically we didn’t fit in anywhere at the time and our vibe was a bit off trend but we just kept doing our thing.” explains Burke.
Fast Forward to today’s musical climate and it appears that people’s tastes have caught up and moved comfortably into the Gamble & Burke zone!
The hard-working duo have continued to release a steady stream of productions and collaborations such as TjH87’s Daft Punk-esque Top 40 hit "Good Life", the 1.5 million viewed “All on Me” w/ Case & Point (released on Canadian dubstep label Monstercat) and have been co-writing a number of toplines for respected, well-known DJs and performers around the world such as German house legend Boris Dlugosch, Brooklyn indie discofunk goddess Megan Vice, American drumstep and bass music pioneers Terravita.
Gamble gets to the heart of the matter and the group’s manifesto of sorts, “Ultimately we want to make wedding anthems, jock jams, & holiday hits! Music that transcends language, culture, geography and time. The timeless playlist is very small and you’re competing with the greatest music ever recorded but our approach has always been to stay true to the mission of the song - whether it’s slow & sexy or upbeat and uplifting. As long as we keep aiming for true emotion, we’ll keep connecting with listeners. Production fads come and go but people will always need a song to transport them to a better place."
Gamble & Burke’s individual musical tastes vary greatly so collaborations are exciting since it allows them to explore different genres, topics, tempos and parts of their personalities that might otherwise be restricted. Gamble & Burke’s original productions exist at the point where their personal tastes intersect most strongly. Genre-wise this usually means something like Future Soul or Electro-soul. Production wise - Lush synths, hot beats, big bass, some funk, and lots of soul with big pop hooks. Philosophically, both their originals as well as projects with others have a pinch of melancholy, a cup of humor, and an ocean of optimism. Even their thoughtful music is carefree and optimistic!
After scoring a few TV shows the past 2 years - Gamble & Burke are returning to the airwaves, mixtapes, playlists and dancefloors by releasing a host of forthcoming new music. First up, a poptastic collaboration with Australian EDM superstar DJ’s, Rave Radio and the Summer lilting, feel-good anthem “Carry You.” Out Nov. 3. on Vicious Records
Who Is Jill Jones?
That question has confounded the public literally since the day she was born as a nurse tried to foist the wrong newborn on her unsuspecting mother! It was the perfect kickoff to a life that has been distinguished by Jill’s ability to adapt in myriad situations. As a solo artist, Jill Jones has proven equally adept at stripped-down ballads, acoustic narratives, cutting-edge R&B and chart-topping dance tracks. Her raw talent and mercurial disposition have enabled her to collaborate as a writer and vocalist with an unparalleled array of fellow artists: Teena Marie, Prince, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards, Ronny Jordan and Chris Bruce and more. Jill never fails to delight—and surprise—her listeners.
“There’s an emotion that I capture, and an honesty that comes across,” says Jill apropos of her art. “Whether a song is ultimately horrible or a huge hit, it’s still believable that I’ve been in that place I’m singing about. I’m quite the chameleon!”
From the outset, Jill’s life was unconventional. Her African American/Native American mother was a model and a singer; having worked as a Playboy Bunny, which undoubtedly influenced Jill’s forward-thinking attitudes about sex and sensuality. Her Italian father was a jazz drummer. With the latter out of the picture early on, and the former often traveling for work, Jill was raised primarily by her grandparents, amidst her extended family in Lebanon, Ohio (a small town between Dayton and Cleveland). Early on, she recognized that being different had its pros and cons. “I had troubles with teachers at school keeping me separated from my cousins, because they were darker and I was lighter,” she explains.
As an adolescent, Jill’s life would be irrevocably influenced by another artist who could appreciate the vagaries of pigmentation: Teena Marie. In the ’70s, Jill’s mother managed the R&B icon, and after Jill relocated to Los Angeles, Teena became both her artistic mentor and the older sister she’d never had. Says, Jill, “Teena started having me sing when I was fourteen. She taught me how to do harmonies, and I began doing backing vocals.” Teena took Jill to concerts and introduced her to Venice Beach, but also made sure she got to and from school safely every day. “She gave me the childhood I didn’t have.” Most importantly, Teena encouraged Jill to develop her own gifts as a songwriter and recorded a few of their early original collaborations on her seminal Gordy / Motown albums, 'Lady T' (“Young Girl in Love”) and 'It Must Be Magic' (“The Ballad of Cradle Rob and Me”) with Jill also providing backing vocals for those respective full lengths as well as ‘Irons In The Fire.'
It was in her capacity as a member of Teena Marie’s touring band that Jill first crossed paths with Prince, on the Dirty Mind tour in 1980. The two hit it off, kept in contact, and eventually Jill landed in Minneapolis. As a key player in the Paisley Park family during its heyday, she contributed her talents to albums including Prince’s ‘1999,' 'Purple Rain,' and 'Sign ‘O’ The Times,' the self-titled debut from Apollonia 6, and 'The Glamorous Life’ by Sheila E. Jill also appears in the films 'Purple Rain' and 'Graffiti Bridge.' Prince also pushed Jill to keep developing her writing skills, although his approach to pedagogy was decidedly different. Jill recalls that while working on a song that would become one of her early solo singles, the revered “Mia Bocca,” the two telephoned Italian restaurants late at night, trying to cajole whomever answered the phone to teach them risqué phrases in Italian! In 1987, Jill Jones released her eponymous debut LP on Paisley Park, an enduring favorite among Prince devotees to this day which spawned the fan favorites, “Baby, You’re A Trip,” “Violet Blue,” “For Love” [feat. Prince & the Revolution] and “G-Spot.”
In the years that followed, Jill continued to expand her creative universe. She featured on the song and video for Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “You Do Me,” from his acclaimed 1989 album ‘Beauty’ and recorded “The Ground You Walk On” with producer Nile Rodgers for the soundtrack of 'Earth Girls Are Easy.’ Jones and Rodgers would work together again a few years later alongside Bernard Edwards, when she toured Japan as a member of CHIC, during Edwards’ untimely passing in 1996. Jill co-wrote and produced “The Great Pretender” for Lisa Lisa’s 1994 solo album 'LL 77', lent her voice to 'Still Life,' the 1994 debut from Paul Humphreys’ post-OMD ensemble The Listening Pool, and Italian jazz composer Paolo Rustichelli’s 1996 full-length 'Mystic Man.’
Even projects that didn’t see the light of day—an unreleased album for London Records fronting the group Baby Mother, demos with Tim Simenon of Bomb The Bass—added to Jill’s experience... and her mystique.
Jill’s capacity for reinvention continued to serve her well as the 21st century unfolded. ‘Two,’ her 2001 indie album with in demand, multi-instrumentalist Chris Bruce (Seal, John Legend, Sheryl Crow), showcased Jill Jones eschewing studio chicanery in favor of stripped-down arrangements that emphasized her interpretive abilities. The set includes a stirring cover of Alex Chilton’s “Kangaroo.” In 2004, she continued exploring that vein on ‘Wasted', an album of rustic acoustic songs with The Grand Royals. An inspired acid jazz cover of Carly Simon’s “Why” became a featured selection on renown British guitarist, Ronny Jordan’s album ‘A Brighter Day.’ Ever the chameleon, Jill has continued to rock dance floors worldwide, too, with club-friendly singles including a provocative reworking of the Blondie/Giorgio Moroder classic “Call Me” with superstar producer Todd Terry (2000), “Someone to Jump Up” with Funky Junction (2007), and her euphoric 2009 Billlboard-charting circuit smash, “Living for the Weekend.”
Jill’s newest, breezy club stomp of an album, “I Am,” has been in the works for some time. On the eve of it’s release, Jill happily concedes, “‘I Am' is a happy, upbeat and anthemic dance album, full of optimism in life, love and cheekiness!”
Jill continues to look forward to and brainstorm projects: Another full length with Chris Bruce; a possible collaborative EP with N’Dea Davenport; an interactive art installation and perhaps a memoir or book of writings. “I feel eternally youthful in my capacity for renewal,” Jill admits.
Her playlist these days teems with new and vintage grooves ranging from Amr Diab, Fairouz, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, James Blake, Miles Davis and Toro Y Moi to Beirut, Maria Callas, Radiohead, David Bowie, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Cesaria Evora and Annenmaykantereit. Jill continues to draw inspiration from Federico Fellini, choreographer Pina Bausch, Frida Kahlo and Shirin Neshat - artists who explore the intricacies of interpersonal connections.
Other major influences integral in Jill’s life have been the incomparable Oprah Winfrey, Wim Wenders, Marcel Proust, Pablo Neruda and Paulo Coelho along with German philosopher Richard David Precht. Jill offers, "Meditation is a daily constant in my life as well…along with Kundalini yoga and my current studies in Arabic and German languages."
In addition to her newly adoptive home country of Germany, earlier this decade Jill returned to the sunny California of her formidable teen years - and Los Angeles, the city where her musical career first took off. “Everything has come full circle, and I’ve got a great sense of my own bearings,” she concludes. "Essentially 'I Am' a nomad, a bedouin at heart when it comes to living. Everywhere I have gone and everywhere I plan to go, I have always taken a few things with me: my heart, my laughter, my passion and my curiosity.....with those I can explore everything in and outside my comfort zones and always remain true...to me.”
BÅUT aka CJay Swayne is a fast emerging U.K. based remixer, producer & dj who has been turning heads with his forward thinking and intelligent production work.
His talent hasn't gone unnoticed with his skills being called upon to remix pop royalty. Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, Azealia Banks & Nervo are amongst the artists eager for CJay to impart his deep, bass fuelled sound in the all important gear change from pop to club smash. With plenty of support coming from Kiss FM, Capital and Radio 1.
With a slice of indie influence layered with bouncy synth pop and topped with catchy choruses-and you’ve got the crafty recipe of the energetic music made by New York City’s own Knifekick. A solo project headed by Matt Gorny, Knifekick has got the infectious pop hooks of Matt & Kim yet captures the remix sensibilities of LCD Soundsystem, creating a delightful combination of upbeat melodies and contagious beats that will make your head bob and feet kick. Knifekick is ready to break out from the local scene with its debut release, This Could Be Forever, on Positively Human / Peace Bisquit where Matt reveals his knack for creating electrifying music that’s seamlessly easy to both dance and sing along to. This Could Be Forever is an ambitious solo endeavor by Matt, who has released work on several EPs with a previous group. On his own, Matt is an award-winning songwriter and has garnered musical accolades in The John Lennon Songwriting Contest and The Billboard Song Contest, placing in both the electronic and pop categories. Matt’s music has also showed commercial success in several TV shows and indie films. His work has been featured as a theme to the reality TV show, The Arrangement and most recently his music has appeared in an episode of Mike and Molly with a song that Matt co-wrote. Matt has also written songs for the critically acclaimed documentary, Florent: Queen of the Meat Market, which showed in the New York Food Film Festival. It’s hard to believe that with all this buzz and industry praise, Matt cannot exactly recall when he decided to pursue a career in music. Originally born in Poznan, Poland and growing up in New York, all Matt can remember is that he just wanted to play his own music: “I’m not sure when I decided that I wanted to be a musician. It just gave me such an unbelievable kick to come up with a melody on my own and then play it. I just wanted to keep getting that hit, like the drug that music is.” Matt has manifested this “kick” into his solo project, Knifekick, and teamed up with Count De Money (Multitalented UK-based siblings Julien and Raphael Aletti) and Bill Coleman of Brooklyn-based Peace Bisquit to produce the record from its early stages. With the help of a stellar production team that helped mix and nurture these songs in its demo days, the release of Knifekick’s This Could Be Forever demonstrates a lively musical style and lyrical fervor all its own.
One of the first to popularize the tough, sexy tribal house sound, Robbie Rivera is a living legend who remains at the top of his game. His Juicy Music empire has signed a partnership with Armada in Amsterdam and the prolific producer has been releasing music this year on the world’s best labels like Spinnin Records, Armada, Axtone, Juicy Music, Doorn and Ultra Records. His recent collaboration with Bob Sinclar reached #1 on the Beatport House chart and has over 600k Spotify streams and youtube streams. This summer the number one track played on the world’s best festivals was the new version of his classic track “Funkatron” together with the UK’s Tom Starr on Axwell’s Axtone Records. The single was top 10 on Beatport overall chart and number 1 on the big room chart with over 400k streams on Spotify. The massive track was also number one on 1001Tracklists.com. In his expansive career, Robbie Rivera collaborated or remixed several major acts spanning over many genres of music including: Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Basement Jaxx, Deadmau5, Tiesto, Kaskade, Ferry Corsten, Axwell and David Guetta. Mr. Rivera’s The Juicy Show is aired worldwide on the world’s best radio and online stations reaching 7 million people a week. After many top 10 singles on Beatport, iTunes and an extremely successful 2016, Robbie is on pace for an even more successful 2017 with more releases and a world tour.
Jodie Harsh is the London icon in hot-pink lipstick and the reigning queen supreme over international nightlife. The DJ, producer and club brand creator is famous for her trademark blonde beehive and thumping DJ sets at clubs, festivals and A-list parties across the planet. Beyonce, Fergie, Cher and Justin Timberlake have had the Harsh treatment on remixes (including three US Billboard Dance Chart No. 1's) and Jodie's writing and production credits are building up into quite an aural portfolio with songs for artists such as Charli XCX and Example.
As a DJ, Harsh spins on all all four corners off the globe, regularly touring across Asia, Australia, North America and Europe, has played alongside the likes of Diplo, Skrillex and Swedish House Mafia, warmed-up the stage for Robyn and Beth Ditto, spun at Glastonbury, Bestival, the MTV VMA's and The BRITS, and guested on Pete Tong's BBC Radio 1 show. Harsh DJ'd at Madonna's private party in London to celebrate the launch of the Rebel Heart album and Jodie is the go-to DJ for fashion brands such as Diesel, Moschino, GQ magazine and MAC Cosmetics.
Harsh's roots are firmly planted in nightlife - the perfect party-starter, she's been enlisted to tailor events for fashion brands and is the founder of Room Service, a club brand which currently holds residencies in eight countries worldwide. Recently Jodie launched Dollar Baby, a new Friday club at east London super-venue Metropolis - Lady Gaga performed her single Perfect Illusion on the opening night in a top secret show.
Jodie is now hitting screens too - she featured in Absolutely Fabulous : The Movie, playing herself in the film alongside Kate Moss. Online, Jodie works with World Of Wonder Productions, the creators of Drag Race, on various YouTube mini-series.
According to Courtney M. Anderson, music is his life force. It’s also a source of creative expression, one which has afforded him the opportunity to build a well-rounded career that spans multiple disciplines ranging from A&R and marketing to talent management, promotion and production.
In 2009, he launched Courtney M. Anderson Music Curation, a consulting firm which specializes in the production of original and remixed music. To date, he has curated 22 number #1 dance singles for Beyonce’ including Single Ladies, Pretty Hurts, Love on Top, Blow and Halo, among them. His discography also includes remixes for Michelle Williams’ gospel singles Say Yes and We Break the Dawn as well as Ultra Nate’s international dance hit, Waiting on You (featuring Michelle Williams), on which he served as executive producer.
Prior to pursuing his passion for dance music, Anderson began his career as Associate Director, Video Promotion at Columbia Records where he spearheaded music video and content placement for Mariah Carey, Nas, Ricky Martin, Aerosmith and then-budding multi Grammy-winning trio, Destiny’s Child. After joining MTV Networks as a Talent Booker for the Video Music Awards and TRL, he switched gears and shifted to artist management with Violator Management & Monami Entertainment. He later served as Manager and Sr. Director of Marketing & Artist Management at Music World Entertainment where he oversaw album, single, stage, screen and tour commitments for a roster including Beyonce’, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams and Solange. During his three-year tenure, he lent his talents to the Dreamgirls soundtrack and developed a dance music imprint which earned 18 #1 hits and secured the #1 Dance Label Imprint position in Billboard magazine’s year-end industry wrap-up for 2009. In addition, he’s been quoted in Black Enterprise & Out magazines.
Looking toward the future, his vision is crystal clear. “My goal is to continuously evolve as creator of aural vibes that can be felt and heard around the world. I just want to make people dance.”
A native New Yorker, Anderson is based in Harlem USA.
Angelo Pepe Skordos (aka DJ Angelo Pepe) has been a Club & Radio DJ since 1992 and has provided tunes for clubs and private events primarily in his native Greece, and since 2000, in New York as well.
Shortly after the turn of the millennia, he dove deep into the business end of the music industry, involved in artist management, A&R, sound design and coordinating production and touring for such artists as Ultra Naté, Chris Willis, Cazwell, Amanda Lepore, French Horn Rebellion, and many more.
A longtime close associate to dancefloor veteran Bill Coleman @ Peace Bisquit, Angelo has been involved with such diverse and interesting clients as Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, AMC, Broadway Cares, Nike, Bravo Network, Bette Midler, Radiohead, AOL, Lenny Kravitz, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Azealia Banks, Nervo, Televisor, Oxygen Network, Conde Nast Publications, Donna Summer, Warner Bros. Records, PBS, Academy Award winner Brian Grazer, Sinead O'Connor and more!
Multi-faceted artist manager, DJ, producer, remixer, music supervisor, performer, recording artist, writer and influential tastemaker Bill Coleman is renowned for his eclectic taste, acute ear and diverse musical expertise.
The tireless “renaissance man” has enjoyed success as a revered music journalist (Dance and Singles Reviews Editor for Billboard Magazine '87 -'90), has written a music column for NYC style rag PAPER, sat on the initial editorial board for OUT Magazine and freelanced for numerous international media outlets such as the BBC and BET.
As the owner of Peace Bisquit, Coleman recently celebrated 25 years heading up the popular Brooklyn-based entertainment company representing an array of genre-defying artists and producers including: Ultra Naté, Amanda Lepore, Cazwell, Jill Jones and Megan Vice and many others. Peace Bisquit are also often recognized for their part in discovering and developing the influential, platinum-selling trio Deee-lite ("Groove Is In The Heart").
Throughout the years, the much in-demand maestro has music supervised / sound designed for various films ("Party Girl," "Beyond The Steps: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater", "Inside Deep Throat", "Party Monster"), fashion shows (Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Marc Bouwer, DIFFA), Broadway premieres (Evita, The Color Purple, After Midnight), art installations (Deitch), nightclubs (Cielo, CBGB's, Limelight, APT, Santos Party House, Ministry of Sound, SOB's, Sound Factory, The Tunnel, Save The Robots, Pyramid, The Shelter) and special events (Lady Gaga's Inaugural Fame Ball, amFAR's Inspiration Gala, Bowie Ball, Silent Disco at Lincoln Center, Balmain’s H&M Launch & Met Gala After Party, Friends of Hudson River Park and New York Empire Tennis). Bill has lent his and his company's talents, A&R and consultancy services to such esteemed clients as Bette Midler, Tom Tom Club, Beyoncé, Madonna, Radiohead, Sinead O'Connor, Neneh Cherry, Swing Out Sister, Lenny Kravitz, A&E Network, The Kennedy Center, PETA, World of Wonder and Afropunk Festival.
He continues to assert himself as clubland’s most dedicated music provocateur. Bill Coleman isn’t satisfied with just producing the soundtrack of the next generation, he’s made it his mandate to get it out to ‘the people’ themselves. Coleman can be found DJ’ing various events and venues throughout New York City – including The Ritz, Lola’s Dreamland Roller Disco, Quiet Events Silent Disco – and is often invited to headline across the country and internationally.
On top of that...Bill found morsels of time to spearhead late night performances by electropunk dance renegades, Daisy Spurs; has been a member of NY club art denizens, The Dazzle Dancers; was inducted into Next Magazine's Nightlife Hall Of Fame (Class of 2013) and is an occasional member of Grammy Award winner Jody Watley’s touring band!