With the release of his major-label debut Lift YourSpirit, Aloe Blacc moved and inspired audiences across the globe through hispowerful fusion of soul, folk, R&B, and pop. Arriving in 2014, the Grammy Award-nominated album spanned from feel-good anthems like the platinum-selling single “The Man” to intensely charged tracks like Blacc’s acoustic version of “Wake Me Up”—the massive hit he sang and co-wrote for Swedish DJ Avicii, which topped the charts in more than 100 countries. Now at work on the follow-up to Lift Your Spirit, the L.A.-born rapper/singer/songwriter has expanded his emotional terrain to capture an even more personal element of the human experience. “My goal for this next album is to continue with the aspirational songs I’ve been writing for a while now, but add a dimension that’s more focused on love and relationships,” says Blacc. “My own relationship with my family and my wife is so important to me, and I want these songs to give people the opportunity to celebrate the love in their life.”
Raised on salsa, merengue, and cumbia, Blacc fell in love with hip-hop as a kid and started writing rap songs when he was nine. With his lyrics drawing influence from socially conscious artists like KRS-One, he put out his first hip-hop mixtape at age 17. Later developing a fierce admiration for such soul musicians as Donny Hathaway and Marvin Gaye, he also discovered an affinity for folk-rocksinger/songwriters during his college years. “One of the most important factors in my transition from hip-hop to being a singer was listening to people like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson, and Cat Stevens,” Blacc says.“Their songs are full of emotion that’s expressed in strong lyrics, and that had a big impact on me.”
After inking a deal with indie label Stones Throw, Blacc released his solo debut Shine Through in 2006 and sophomore album Good Things in 2010. Boosted by the breakout success of “I Need a Dollar” (which was selected as the theme song to HBO’s How To Make it In America), Good Things reached gold status in countries around the world and paved the way for his signing to XIX Recordings/Interscope Records in 2012. Made in collaboration with groundbreaking producers like Pharrell Williams, Lift Your Spirit dropped on New Year’s Day in 2014, debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Album.
Looking back on his musical path so far, Blacc notes that landing a deal with XIX Recordings/Interscope prompted a major moment of reckoning, and led him to re-examine his artistic intentions. “When I signed a major-label contract, I recognized the power of having a larger audience, and Ipromised myself that I’d use my voice for social change,” he says. And increating his upcoming album, Blacc has kept focused on making music meant toinspire a positive shift in mindset. “When things happening in the world seemso terrible and dark, it’s so easy to get stuck in all the negative,” he says.“But I try to do whatever I can to help people out of that. I want my music tobe the light.”
Born in La Paz, Mexico to a Mexican Father and Turkish Mother, Maya grew up in Sydney, Australia. It was in Sydney’s Western Suburbs where she first fell in love with Hip Hop. Maya’s love of writing rhymes helped her express her fear, pain, joy and hope as a teenager and later on she realized the power music held in using it as a tool to make apositive difference in her community.
It is with this ideal that she co-founded Artivist Entertainment, an entertainment company committed to creating and supporting art and music that inspires positive social change alongside Quetzal Flores, Veronica Gonzales, Alberto Lopez and Aloe Blacc. Maya’s Artivism began in her early twenties when she facilitated Hip Hop workshops with underserved youth in Sydney’s south and west, teaching young people how to write record and perform songs. In 2012 shewas an official Ambassador for ‘The Line campaign,’ an Australian governmentanti-violence initiative.
In Los Angeles she volunteered as a mentor with Peace over Violence’s Youth Over Violence Summer Institute, facilitating a song writing and recording internship around songs that discussed healthy relationships. Since 2014, she has been a spokesperson for their Denim Day Campaign bringing awareness to Sexual Violence and was recognised with the Voice Over Violence Humanitarian Award. Maya is on the advisory board and volunteers with Tiyya as a writing instructor for the Storytellers writing course dedicated to refugees and first and second generation immigrants of Los Angeles and she has co-facilitated a Youth Radio Internship at Radio Sombra, teaching high school students from Boyle Height show to present and produce their own radio shows. Currently Maya is writing new music produced by Quetzal Flores for an album to be released August 26th 2018.
Irka Mateo is a Dominican singer who has managed to bring the sound of her country throughout the world, being one of the precursors of alternative music and the fusion of Afro Caribbean Dominican music. His work is an essential reference and inspiration forthe new generations of musicians. The artist writes contemporary music mixing popular and folkloric Dominican rhythms of Afro / Indigenous / European origin, such as mangulina, carabiné, sarandunga and congos with other Latin Americans and Africans such as cumbia, compa, tango and afrobeat.
Irka conducted aninvestigation of Dominican folk music for ten years, (1997-2007) in the rural areas of the Dominican Republic, documenting more than thirteen genres of folkloric musical traditions, unknown in the wider Dominican culture and beyond. The Grammy Foundation supported this initiative that culminated in the folk music archive of the Dominican southwest. During this time Irka, with her band, introduced the accordion in the Dominican alternative scene, brought to light the ‘Comarca’, a genre of accordion completely unknown outside the field, and was the first woman to play traditional percussion in urban environments. The artist has performed at venues such as the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, NYC, where she released her most recent album “Vamo a Gozá” at the end of 2017, a production that quickly positioned itself in the ranking of music stations, blogs and music magazines of alternative Latin music and world music. At the beginning of 2018 the artist did a launching tour of “Vamo a Gozá” in her country supported by the Ministry of Culture. Irka Mateo has three (3) albums published “Vamo a Gozá” 2017,”Anacaona” 2009 and “Tres Américas”, Irka and Tadeu Silence Records, 1996, as well as a Dominican folk music archive of 33 hours (2013). She is a guest singer on Magín Díaz’s album “El Orisha de la Rosa”, nominated for the best folk album 2017 in the Latin Grammys.
Georgia Anne Muldrow has earned the respect and admiration of listeners and peers alike via her incredible talent not only as a vocalist and songwriter spanning jazz, soul and hip-hop, but her long standing role as a producer and musician during her 12 year career. “Music is my discipline. It’s my way of meditating, it’s my way of thanking God, it’s my way of communicating… It’s my way of life,” Georgia explains. Typically working alone, her new album flips that dynamic and takes Georgia out of her comfort zone forthe first time since “Seeds” (2003) which was entirely produced by Madlib.“Overload” bears the fruits of numerous collaborations, most notably with duo Mike & Keys (50 Cent, Nipsey Hussle, Snoop Dogg, G-Eazy) who contribute production to four tracks including the sleek, anthemic title track – Pitchfork ‘Best New Track’ on 25 June 2018 – alongside Khalil (Dr Dre).
Georgia was 17 when she began making beats in earnest, but first lit up the scene with her debut album“Olesi: Fragments Of An Earth” in 2006. It was at this time that Georgia met, befriended and collaborated with the likes of Madlib, Oh No, MED (fka Medaphoar), Wildchild, DJ Romes and her future partner Dudley Perkins akaDeclaime. She co-founded the SomeOthaShip Connect record label with Dudley in2008, the platform and springboard for many of her musical travels that have expanded and extended down myriad pathways. Georgia has collected many namesover the years: Ms. One, Pattie Blingh & The Akebulan 5, an electro fusioncollaboration with DJ Romes called Blackhouse and astral jazz outings as Jyoti- a Hindu name given to Georgia by her Aunt Radha’s friend Alice Coltrane (they attended the same ashram) and serendipitously Great Aunt to one Steven Ellisonaka Flying Lotus. “She showed me so much love as a child. She knew I was goingto work with synthesisers before I did,” laughs Georgia.
DJ Day (Damien Beebe) is a DJ, producer and musician hailing from Palm Springs, California. With an illustrious career spanning two decades, he was recently named “Palm Spring’s Finest” and for good reason: His contributions to the various avant-garde music scenes in Southern California run deep. From the historic Root Down parties of Los Angeles to the infamous Do-Over, Day has garnered respect from peers and fans alike for his eclectic, well-executed DJ sets and diverse taste in music. His debut album, The Day Before rose to the top of numerous notable playlistsincluding those of Gilles Peterson (BBC), Jeremy Sole (KCRW) and Philly’s CosmoBaker.
Not content being defined by one craft, he gracefully transitions between being a DJ/turntablist, musician and beat maker; a talent best exemplified by his ambitious release Land Of 1000 Chances. He has toured the world many times over as a solo artist and with fellow musicians Aloe Blacc, Exile and People Under the Stairs. Amongst numerous accolades, he was nominated for Song of the Year awards both by the BBC and The Village Voice and his music has been licensed for commercials by DC Shoes, Red Bull Music Academy, Rane/Serato, and numerous full length feature films. Day recently returned from The Playlist Retreat, an annual, invitation only event at the home of DJ Jazzy Jeff to start work on his next album. Currently, Day is working with Thes One on the management and expansion of the artist collective Piecelock 70 and holds a residency at the renowned Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.
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Spiñorita is a Los Angeles-based Xicanx DJ and a radio host on NTS Radio. She is a music lover at heart. Influenced by her family, music has been a part of her life since birth. In 2009, Spiñorita finally followed her passion for spreading good music & picked up some turn tables and a mixer. She holds DJ residencies around Los Angeles, has performed in New York, San Francisco, and Amsterdam and most recently interviewed Chef Roy Choi on her radio show, Casual Play. Spiñorita has roots in the entertainment industry working as a freelance music supervisor by helping choose and license music for short films and documentaries. She is determined to spread good music to anyone who is willing to listen. As long as it has soul, Spiñorita will play it.
Erica aka Ericlandia is a globetrotting dj, producer and music journalist nerd. She’s opened for Beyonce and BrunoMars, played Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle, London, Tokyo, Paris. She has a crush on intersectional remixes and setting vibes. She has set a personal goal of playing all the museums. Her favorite settings are beautiful and/or weird, preferably both and things like silent discos. An open format dj with her finger of the pulse of bubbling genres, you can catch her playing kawaii Future Bass in Japan, Future Soul at the Guggenheim or Afrobeats at Everyday People coast to coast. Erica gets called in to play for Tiffany and Co, Rihanna’s Fenty line, Converse, Nike, Adidas, Tastemade and Soul Pancake and has been featured in New York Magazine, Martha Stewart and Forbes Magazine as a tastemaker. She’s lived in SF, NYC and now calls LA home.
Angel Mercado aka Kronika is a core member and a familiar presence in the Los Angeles music scene. Through her soundcloud mixes (or as she playfully calls them “Mixtures”) and her DJ and A&R positions for Los Angeles based record label/Movement “Soulection”, Kronika has become a trusted source for global audience interested in learning about new artists and overall discovering quality music. Having commanded a wide range of dance floors from major cities in the U.S., to the legendary Low End Theory, SXSW and Jazz Reggae Fest, as well as joining the Swedish band Little Dragon on their 2017 Spring Tour. Kronika is known for her vast musical knowledge, truthfully nurtured from her early years growing up in the Philippines. Exquisite and Eccentric intaste, Kronika understands and lives artistry. She commands and engages her listeners in a musical journey that “flows like water.” Her transitions are so swift and smooth you forget they are even “transitions.” Kronika’s mixes and live sets are unpredictable. Her energy is contagious, which makes the experience of seeing her live all the more powerful and memorable.
Valia Basalious is 36 years old, of Egyptian and Greekdecent, bi-lingual, Culver City raised, music and business major turned psychology major, fashionista, who is in love with public speaking / hosting /singing and the arts in its entirety.
Valia has been singing her entire life and started to sing with church choirs at an early age. After gaining much-needed confidence, she perused a singing career at a young age that was not as picture perfect asassumed… And shortly after, a modeling career that ended after many years. After many corporate jobs, she decided to follow my true passion in hosting, which landed her the hosting of the 2nd and 3rdannual festival, “Head Wraps in the Park” held at Grand Park!