Jul 29, 2013

J Watts - Lookin (feat Chrishan)

This post is so long overdue that I feel I owe an apology to the artist.   As I mentioned in a previous post I met J Watts at a holiday party this past December.   He rolled up with a group of people but still stood out from the crowd even before he started performing- you'll see if you ever meet him, he just has this calm look and great energy that sort of draws you in so you start talking to him- and once he smiles- it's over!   

As life events changed, my intention of writing about him remained but different things got in the way so you can imagine how pleased I was to bump into him at a birthday party recently.   (Random but fun fact- the birthday boy and J Watts became friends through that very same holiday party so shout out to my boy Austin and glad I could help introduce you two!) 

It's about time I gave him some recognition - and the timing is great because J Watts has a new single coming out on August 6th!   It's called "Lookin" and it features Chrishan.   It's going to be on fire- and available on iTunes, Rhapsody and in select retails stores worldwide.   I found a link on Amazon so you can  listen to the sample - http://www.amazon.com/Lookin-feat-Chrishan-Explicit/dp/B00DS19LQM 

J Watts fascinated me from the first time I met him because he is such a quiet, respectful guy - and then suddenly he starts rapping and this entirely charismatic and engaging persona jumps out at you!   It makes sense then that he's involved in so many different avenues of entertainment- from Rapping and Producing to throwing some of the hottest events in LA, it definitely keeps him busy...

I always like to share stuff I discover on my own in addition to whatever the person I am writing about is currently working on... usually it's because I discovered them through some random clip or live performance and then I have to do research and learn all about them.   The video I really want to share is the one from the holiday party where I met J Watts, but I am unable to do that at this time, so instead I am going to drop his Versace freestyle on you...
And this other one which I keep replaying as I write this post called "M & B" 
Now go find him on social media and let him know you saw him here!

Jul 22, 2013

Brave Native - The Sayers Club

Remember when I said HERE and HERE that you needed to start paying attention to this band called Brave Native?   Well, if you haven't listened to me so far, maybe it's time you started because these guys finally got some very very deserved recognition and graced the Sayers Club stage with their awesomeness.   I feel like a proud mama, watching her babies grow.   Not really, the maternal thing escapes me, but still, I am supremely pleased that Brave Native performed to a PACKED house and finally got some recognition on a stage where I believe many musical legends are introduced to the masses. I could cite examples (like LP, Capital Cities, the NBHD) and you could look them up and see that I am right.   I fully expect these boys to blow up and become very well known very shortly.   So watch this special behind the scenes video of the performance, enjoy the music, and get acquainted with them, because they are definitely here to stay.   Congrats guys!


Side note- The Sayers Club just opened the front room and it is absolutely gorgeous.   When you get a chance stop by and say hello to the staff, tell them I sent you- and taste their food!   So happy for you guys, love the way things are growing :)

Jul 18, 2013

Hopsin - Ill Mind of Hopsin 6

Hopsin.  If you know who he is, you already get points from me.   I can't even take credit for discovering him on my own- a year ago an online friend of mine (who later turned out to be a catfish but that is another story for another time) shared Ill Mind of Hospin 5 (click to watch the video) with me and I fell hard and fast for this underground rapper who doesn't seem to care who he trashes as long as he stays true to what he is talking about.  I almost went to the Beverly Center shortly after finding out about Hopsin to meet him at a store opening, but I had work and missed the event, which totally bummed me out for a while by the way.   So as it turns out, I owe that catfish a lot- Hopsin has become a rapper I love and while I can't relate to everything he talks about, I can hear the meaning in his words, and I wouldn't have discovered him as easily on my own.

Fast forward to five months ago (ish) when I heard his song Funk Volume 2013 (click here to watch the video) ... and lost my mind.   I think I played it in my car every day on repeat for weeks, learning all the lyrics and hearing new meaning every time I listened.   I adore the beat, I admire the message, and I am awed by how obsessed I got with it. Hopsin collaborates with Dizzy Wright, SwizZz, Jarren Benton and DJ Hoppa and I love the video too by the way! (Links to all those guys are in the video window that will open if you click the link in this paragraph).

All this brings me full circle to the reason for this post- Hopsin had his birthday yesterday, July 17th and to celebrate he dropped a new song - Ill Mind of Hopsin 6.   He has no idea of course, but exactly 6 months ago to the day (January 17th) I lost a someone very important to me to a drug overdose.   In this new song Hopsin discusses how difficult it is for him to cope with a friend who is a drug addict, who he feels he has lost.  

Rap isn't something everyone relates to, more so if you don't take the time to listen to the lyrics because then you will never begin to understand it even as you nod your head along to the beat.   I listened to the words, I interpreted this song as it related to me and the pain I went through dealing with a similar situation.   The coincidences between the dates and the lyrics just hit very very close to home and I felt it necessary to write a midweek random blog post even though I generally stick to one per week.   Oddly enough I feel comforted listening to this song, in a small way it is therapeutic to know other people have struggled with the same issues and know the pain of dealing with losing a friend, literally or because the friendship fell apart or changed.   I miss my friend and I miss the people I have lost touch with who are still alive but have chosen not to be in my life for whatever reason.

Happy Birthday Hopsin. Still waiting on that hat or t-shirt, I can't remember what we decided on, and I'm not even sure my guy ever fixed your hard drive...I hope so, I think you promised tickets for life if he did! ;) Keep doing what you do.


Funk Volume

On Point Films

Jul 15, 2013

Remembering Danny - 6 Months Later

I honestly didn't think I would ever be ok again.   What happened six months ago was so all encompassing across every facet of my world, it didn't seem possible that I could ever go back to laughing, smiling and being happy.   The strange part of it was that this wasn't the most traumatic or most difficult thing I've had to cope with in life, but it was the one that knocked me off my feet completely.   Of course, a logical part of me knew inevitably I would bounce back, but it really took a lot of time and many many sad nights mourning the loss of my friend, boss and big brother.

You've read my earlier posts on the subject (if you haven't, just search "Danny" on the home page) so you know that music has been an integral part of my mourning and healing process.   What scares me the most at this point is that I was only at that job for six months- and it has now been that exact same amount of time that he has been gone.   I am very different from the person I was the day I started at that salon.   But I am also better off today than I was back then- almost as if that job literally groomed me for the one I now have.

I was driving to work on my first day a few weeks ago, and the Swedish House Mafia song came blaring on the radio as I turned my car on "Don't you worry child, heaven has a plan for you" ... aside from becoming the anthem for all of us to remember him by, it also has become somewhat of a mantra for me.   And that day, driving to a new job in the same zip code a few blocks from the previous one...I felt protected, like he really was telling me it was ok to move on and that everything would be fine.

Last week another of my own personal anthems came on the radio and I had to stop and sing it.   I'll Be Missing you came out when I was in 10th grade I think- and I only know this because a classmate of mine died tragically that year and we all sang that song to remember her.   I'm borrowing it again now- I miss you Danny.   All the time, in random ways, but I can finally smile and think of the good, the positive, the happier stuff.   I thank you for the months I did have with you, and I miss you for all the things you won't get to see me do with the skills and encouragement you gave me. Miss you much.

Jul 11, 2013

Chani Car Karaoke

The past few months I have started playing a game with my friends where we make bets and if we lose we get punished.   Or dared to do something.   I feel like I get off easy because although I seem to lose often (it's usually sports bets) my punishment is that I have to post a video of myself singing on my youtube channel.   Well, cat's out of the bag now- because I LOVE singing in my car at the top of my lungs.   I wave at other cars, sing lyrics at pedestrians, try to dance with my shoulders and one hand as I drive and sing...it's exhilarating all around really.

I didn't really put it out there anywhere except on twitter, but a few of my readers have asked for links to my videos (I AM SO FLATTERED!) so I decided to finally write an actual post about it.

You can subscribe to my Youtube channel and see all the videos I don't tweet or post anywhere else.   As a treat I have decided to post the most recent one (and a favorite song at that).   Have I mentioned that sometimes they are utterly ridiculous?  Don't get used to it, going forward you will have to go to twitter or youtube to see these, but for today, here's a freebie link:

An added bonus because I am in that kind of mood: I recently went on a youtube karaoke journey where I found all the Disney songs I love and sang a bunch of them to send to my nieces and nephews.   Be A Man from Mulan has long been a favorite song, along with the Genie song from Aladdin... but really, I just get a kick out of singing these songs.   They aren't perfect and I don't mind, it's all in good fun and enjoyment.

Jul 9, 2013

Justin Credible - #DwightCowardMix

Tonight was absolutely surreal in a plethora of ways- mostly because I found inspiration for so many upcoming posts in the randomest places. I almost never post more than once a week any more- but this left me so worked up I had to write it down and get it out there...

On Power 106 in Los Angeles, one of my favorite personalities is Justin Credible.   I don't know if it's the beard or that he looks like all the guys I grew up around (beard, glasses- ridiculous I know, but he just seems like a normal happy person who happens to have amazing music skills), but I crush hard on him every time he talks- until I saw a picture of him I had no idea what he looked like and would NOT have guessed he'd be such a normal looking guy- his voice is awesome!   Added bonus- every time I have seen him spin I have had an absolute blast, so there's that.   The last few months I have semi-stalked him on twitter, mostly because I enjoy his responses (yes, he responds to his fans) but also because it turns out I've been a fan of his for a long time without realizing it. (I have old mixes with LA Leakers on it, not knowing that's his stuff!)

ANYWAY, the point of all of this... tonight when he got on the radio for the Liftoff, he debuted the Dwight Coward Mix... and literally exploded twitter.   It started trending and it blew up!   For me, and I have said this so many times I'm bored of hearing myself say it, I don't actually hate Dwight Howard.   However, I do think he missed out on a phenomenal opportunity and a great city and it's beneath the Lakers franchise to kiss a players ass to stay, so good bye, get out, move on... NEXT.   I'm not bashing his skill, he does have talent, but he could have been part of the next generation of Laker stardom, because even if it was a rough year, it's the damn Lakers man, they will come back hard and strong and to be petty and all that is just short sighted.   But best of luck in Houston, it's hot as balls and it's definitely not the legacy LA would have given him.
So- check out the mix, because amazingly it is available on soundcloud (and I am listening to it AGAIN as I write) and tweet your thoughts using hashtag #DwightCowardMix

If you are interested in following my Liftoff boys on twitter:

Jul 8, 2013

Vinita - Whatchuwant

Welp.   It's been that kind of day- first my building handyman saw me naked on my balcony and then I made a smartass tweet about Metta World Peace having a backup plan (rumor has it he's been amnestied by the Lakers although he himself has yet to confirm it and stop tweeting about Whole Foods lack of oranges).
What happened was Metta retweeted a link about an artist named Vinita who he has signed and is promoting on his twitter.  I cracked that at least he has a backup plan- and thought the response I received from Vinita herself was intended in a negative manner.  Then she complimented my blog in a subsequent tweet- so I look like the jerk.   Serves me right I guess, because not only did Vinita handle my piss poor attitude rather eloquently, she also managed to get both myself and a few of my followers to listen to her stuff.   Kudos.

Let me say this- her music is fun.   It's something you could expect to get remixed and played in a club- and I adore her backup dancers (let's face it, I could never move that quickly without somehow knocking myself out, respect!)  Curious to see if she can become mainstream, she sounds good live so there's that- all in all definitely another random music discovery all thanks to the magical world of twitter.

The single she is promoting now is called Whatchu Want

So check out her links below, and let her know that you heard about her here...

p.s. Metta - I said it on twitter and I'll say it again here- you should find out if the Lakers would sign Artest now that Metta's been amnestied

Jul 1, 2013

Homemade Soul - I Can Love You

One day someone somewhere will read this and realize I was right- that Homemade Soul is supremely talented and deserves to be heard.   He is one of those artists that I have written about multiple times before and every once in a while we touch base and he directs me to something new he is working on.   His latest piece of work is called I Can Love You and it is really pretty and heartfelt.   To me, the blend of piano and his vocals just creates the perfect smooth mix.  

He also sent me his song called Slow Down - and I really recommend listening to the entire album- it's called Random Thoughts - but at least check out these two songs http://homemadesoul.bandcamp.com/track/slow-down

Check out my previous posts about him too!
Chani Says...: Homemadesoul - The Day I Fell In Love