Ultra Naté. She reps hard for Baltimore, Maryland and is a world renown singer, songwriter, DJ, producer, label owner and promoter.
She has released nine studio LPs [1990-2017] and travels the globe performing and spinning live for a variety of audiences. From horse races and the fashion elite to house parties and dance festivals.
Concedes Ultra, “I've been writing my own songs since the beginning of my career. This was pivotal in establishing me as an artist with a distinct style all my own. I was one of the first artists in house/dance music signed to a major record deal with Warner Brothers in the UK in 1989 and I have more than 25 years of experience making groundbreaking music - having collaborated with a wide array of artists such as: The Basement Boys, Nellee Hooper, D-Influence, Mood II Swing, Nona Hendryx, Lenny Kravitz, Frankie Kuckles, N'Dea Davenport, DJ Class, NERVO, Tony Moran, StoneBridge, Todd Terry, David Morales, Michele Williams (of Destiny's Child), Boy George, 4 Hero, Deee-lite, Masters at Work, Roger Sanchez, Morgan Page, Chris Willis, Quentin Harris and others!”
Ultra Naté has delivered her classics, new tunes and energetic dj sets all over the globe performing everywhere from Amsterdam, Paris, London, Japan, Moscow, Sweden, Dubai, Italy, Brazil, Norway and Spain to residencies in Ibiza and such varied events as Glitterbox, children of the ’80’s, Greenpeace Festival, Battle Hymn, U.S. National Cherry Blossom Festival to name a few!
Her spirited presence has graced the stages of New York's massive Summer Stage in Central Park, Nile Rodgers acclaimed FOLD Festival sharing the stage with the likes of CHIC, Duran Duran, Pharrell and Beck to Lincoln Center’s annual Midnight Summer Swing and numerous Pride events around the World.
In Ultra’s nearly three decades of making music, she has remained a musical chameleon, embracing a variety of sounds. Her sound embraces a variety of genres including house, soul, disco, electro pop, R&B/hiphop and rock. Ultra is honored to be considered an icon of the Dance and LGBTQ communities worldwide. She was recently named one of Billboard Magazine’s "Greatest of All Time" *Top Dance Artists (#12) along with having three entries in the industry bible’s respective “Greatest Of All Time” *Top 10 Dance Club Songs including the perennial, platinum-selling #1 anthem, “Free.”
Ultra’s most recent album collaboration, 'Ultra Naté & Quentin Harris as Black Stereo Faith' reached Top 5 on I-Tunes and has spawned the Billboard Top 10 single and video, “I’m Too Sexy (Touch This Skin)” - a spirited alt-funked out cover of Right Said Fred’s classic.
Ultra Naté, your original 'party girl’ keeps bringing the party right back to you.
“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.
In April of 2017, Amanda released her memoir “Doll Parts”, published by Regan Arts, in collaboration with Vigliano Associates and Peace Bisquit. This autobiography is a tell-all, co-authored with Thomas Flannery, and features exclusive photos and imagery chronicling Amanda’s illustrious life and career. She also continued to work in the studio on her forthcoming EP, LEPORE., to be released early 2018. The first single, "Buckle Up", can be heard HERE!
In between touring and performing around the world, you can find Amanda hosting and performing at the hottest parties in New York City (On Top, Battle Hymn, STRUT!, Holy Mountain, BOOM, The Box & More!).
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 Body Talk (Majid Jordan Cover)
Listen to Passionfruit (Drake Cover)
Listen to Never Go Back
Listen to the Heartbreak EP
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]
We Are Carthy.
We're three brothers. We're a band. We make music.
Voted most likely to succeed.
A Londoner by birth, Alice Temple has done and been a variety of things in her life. She is notable for having been the first female UK and European BMX champion, was an ’80’s club kid staple alongside Boy George and London’s Blitz Kids, a top fashion model shot by the world’s finest such as Mario Testino and Bruce Weber and of course, an acclaimed musician.
Alice Temple began her music career with collaborator Eg White (Adele, Florence & The Machine, Kylie Minogue) at the age of twenty. Their project, Eg and Alice released only one critically-lauded album of elegant, romantic pop called '24 Years of Hunger' in 1991 (Q Magazine has named the album one of the Best of the 20th Century).
After a short stint in Los Angeles, Alice returned to London. While writing and collaborating with Eg, Alice caught the attention of James Lavelle, one half of trip hop pioneers, UNKLE, an experimental electronic project with DJ Shadow. She was brought in to contribute to UNKLE’s 1998 'Psyence Fiction’ album on Mo Wax which featured contributions from Thom Yorke, Badly Drawn Boy, Richard Ashcroft and Mike D. Alice’s piece for the Top 10 album, "Bloodstain," won her critical acclaim.
She returned to working with Eg, and together they put together her 1999 solo debut 'Hang Over', released on V2.
In 2005, Alice joined forces with actress, writer, musician Lucie Barât to form The Fay Wrays.
2018 sees the long-awaited release of 'The End' via Brooklyn indie, Peace Bisquit. Alice delivers a searing new set of self-produced, soul baring and lyrical indie pop with a venerable, take-no-prisoners bite. For the trainspotters and fans, the album also includes a couple favorite selections from Alice’s previous self-released full length,'Be With You In A Minute' which is long out of print and no longer available.
Of the new album, Alice concedes,”The concept for making 'The End' was simple. Just me in my bedroom writing songs about how I was feeling at the moment. That goes for the style of each song as well. It’s all about moods and feelings.”
Accomplished singer and Harlem native Vivian Sessoms, makes an almighty return in the company of some of the world’s finest musicians and stakes a claim to a sound all her own on her new album LIFE. Having earned her stripes as a performer with Ryuichi Sakamoto, P. Diddy, Cher, Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Donna Summer, P!nk and many others, Sessoms and co-producer/creative partner Chris Parks bring her vast array of experiences to bear on an inspired, jazz-influenced set that proves Sessoms a fiery, forward-thinking artist in her own right.
“Although LIFE started out as a jazz record,” Sessoms recalls, “there was a lot happening here in the U.S. and in the world, and that really started to influence my choice of songs, which I think pulled the record in a direction that was more socially aware.” Whether she’s recasting material by Billy Strayhorn, The Stylistics, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Cole Porter or Isham Jones, Sessoms is consistently powerful and very much at home within these finely crafted and surprising arrangements. The acoustic and electric blend, the expansive harmonic concept of keyboardist Shedrick Mitchell, the grooves anchored by drummer Donald Edwards and the numerous interludes: it all coheres to make LIFE something confident and unique, a definitive statement. Sessoms expressive, sophisticated sound draws on jazz, R&B and pop in fresh and moving ways,
Political consciousness is never far from the surface on LIFE, Sessoms first full length in over ten years. Certainly in Sessoms’ searing rendition of “Strange Fruit,” the anti-lynching poem-turned-song made famous by Billie Holiday. Vivian explains,”'Strange Fruit' is a song I never performed until very recently because it was very painful. One of my favorite movies is "Lady Sings The Blues" with Diane Ross. I remember seeing that film as a kid and asking my mother what did “blood on the leaves mean” and her explaining to me that the song was about lynching and what that meant. I was stunned into silence that things like that could happen to people, so hearing that song has often made me want to cry. In the wake of tragic incidents like Michael Brown, Akai Gurley and several others, I was moved to start singing the song in reverence. I’ve since talked about the civil rights movement and how Billie received death threats when she recorded the song. It was still relevant 30 years later when Nina Simone re-recorded it and we could never have foreseen that it would still be as relevant today. It literally haunted me and rang in my head everyday until I decided to record it..
The theme is also present Sessoms cover of The Stylistics’ inspired and brooding R&B masterpiece “People Make the World Go Around,” written by the legendary Thom Bell and Linda Creed and arranged by Ray Angry. “People" has always been one of my favorite songs,” says Sesssoms. “A lot of what this album is about, was having a chance to record some of my favorite music or the work of my favorite composer while embracing the challenge of meshing different styles and genres together. I looked at reinterpreting some of the standards in more modern ways and skewing some of the more contemporary tunes, giving them a little more brevity. Many songs I grew up singing have now taken on much different and deeper meanings. I listen now and realize the lyrics of these songs were layered and timeless."
On the album’s inaugural single, the ultra-funky “See Line Woman,” we hear tenor sax great Donny McCaslin (of David Bowie’s Blackstar band and the Maria Schneider Orchestra) rising up with tremendous power and characteristic grace. Concedes Vivian, “I can’t take all the credit for 'See Line.' I’ve worked for several years with a composer and arranger from Denmark, whose work I admire - Mads Baerentzen. A while back I hired him to do some arrangements, one of which was "See Line Woman.” He came back with a rough idea which the 3 of us - Mads, my partner Chris and I then fleshed out in the studio until we were happy. That recording was the genesis of this album, LIFE.”
LIFE also features celebrated harpist Brandee Younger, trumpeters Keyon Harrold and Kenyatta Beasley, trombonist Vincent Gardner, saxophonist Casey Benjamin (on vocoder for “No Greater Love”) and more.
Niece of the legendary Nancy Wilson, the classically trained Sessoms also ventures the plaintive and lyrical original “Dreaming of a Boy,” co-written with Parks — “a piece I wrote about realizing my son was growing up.” she explains.
“In our work together, Chris [Parks] and I have done a lot of moving around from rock to soul to jazz,” Sessoms observes. “But I think the underlying thread is it’s all kind of funky or it leans toward soul. Our first project was a rock record with a band called Vivid, a nod to my favorite band Living Colour, but even that had a kind of funk-rock vibe. We have radically different ideas about production sometimes — it’s like a poker game, ‘If you do this, I’ll do that.’ But somehow it works for us!.”
Shedrick Mitchell’s arranging role on LIFE also proved decisive. “I’ve known Shedrick a long time, before I knew Chris even,” Sessoms says, “and he’s on my previous album "Sunny One Day" (2007). I had all these ideas in my head and Chris suggested bringing him in as a good fit. All I can say is - he brought the magic!” Indeed, listen to his and Sessoms’ treatments of Billy Strayhorn’s iconic “Lush Life,” which enters a completely new harmonic zone and rhythmic feel while never losing connection to the meaning and intent of the original. The appended vamp outro, titled “Love Sick,” features some of Sessoms’ most inspired singing on the album.
Across the board, arranging is one of LIFE’s key strengths: Dave Archer and Sessoms work similar magic with the Porter classic “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and Mitchell endows Stevie Wonder’s “Superwoman/Where Were You When I Needed You” with a beautiful, flowing waltz feel and unexpected deviations in the form. "You could say that this fits nicely in the genre of jazz, but in the words of Nicholas Payton - it’s Black Music,” notes Vivian when discussing the mastery involved in producing LIFE. She continues, “If you’re familiar with my previous releases, I think you can see a natural progression.”
Vivian Sessoms, with her unerring pitch and dynamism, conjures captivating moods and melodic departures on every song, in ways that couldn’t suit the music better. These elements sum up so much of what is special about LIFE in its risk-taking and endlessly resourceful spirit.
As a young girl from from a rich musical pedigree, Sessoms expressed the sense of her presence in history, and as she began to seek career opportunities and landed a gig with the great Ryuichi Sakamoto; it was an experience that would match a vast musical curiosity with her talent. As an ethno-musiciologist, Sakamoto introduced Sessoms (singing in Japanese) to a unique perspective: rather than expanding out from the root, begin from a classical background and add multicultural styles elements. It is exactly this approach that brings LIFE – into perspective. The roots are there in powerful form, and yet a worldly, diverse, and universal aspect is presented in every arrangement and composition
Of LIFE, Vivian offers, “Ultimately, I think the album tells a story of Black life in America. It takes the temperature of civil rights and race; tackles themes of pain and loss and also the restorative power and beauty of falling in love.”
Vivian Sessoms’ work has landed her on renown stages at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall,The Beacon Theatre, The Apollo Theatre, Irving Plaza, The Knitting Factory, Bowery Ballroom, Highline Ballroom, Joe’s Pub and many more. She has performed, written and or produced dozens of jingles, has toured internationally and made TV appearances on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The View, The Wendy Williams Show, Soul Train, The MTV Awards, MTV Unplugged and many more.
Vivian and her band are currently on a world tour in support of LIFE.
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.”
BAUT is the alias of Producer, DJ & remixer CJay Swayne.
In only a few years he has racked up an impressive resumé of official remixes for pop royalty. Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, Sia & Nervo are just a few of the artists which he has been able to impart his deep, bass fuelled sound in the all important gear change from pop to club smash.
With his forward thinking and intelligent production work, 2018 see’s the next step in his journey with more focus on his own original releases. Expect a fusion of house & bass with a catchy hook to make your feet move & your body groove.
Beyoncé “Ring Off”
JHud “Remember Me”
Nervo “People Grinnin”
SIA “Cheap Thrills”
Laura Mvula “Overcome”
Azealia Banks ”Ice Princess”
Azealia Banks “Chasing Time”
Bria Skonberg “Sway”
Mike Taylor “Body High”
Vali “Ain’t No Friend Of Mine”
Kat Graham “1991”
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.
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!