Willy Porter

Willy Porter

I’m a big fan of Willy Porter and was thrilled to get to watch him perform at the renowned McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. From the first note, Willy Porter, a contemporary American rock musician and singer-songwriter from Mequon, Wisconsin, had his audience mesmerized. Porter has a unique finger-picking, guitar thumping-slapping-hammer-on style, uses tunings of all manners, and sometimes even places two capos on his fret board at once. The magical tone of his guitar and his soulful lyrics mixed in with his heartwarming humor make his show something pretty damn special. At one point, on strumming his guitar, Porter pointed out that all the other stringed instruments hanging on the walls of McCabe’s were resonating. It’s called Synchronized Resonance or Sympathetic Vibrations. I love that, as I think “sympathetic vibrations” describes Porter’s music and his being quite succinctly.

As Porter performs you feel like you’re hanging with a good friend. A warm, sincere, decent fellow that you cherish as a rare find. His music wraps you in a loving blanket that invites you to relax and join in.

After talking about the importance of good stewardship of mother earth, he invited the audience to sing along to “Akasha Winds”, a song penned by L.J. Booth. The song is included on Mnemonic, Porter’s latest CD. Not that Porter usually does cover songs, he’s a prolific songwriter, with 12 CD’s released. He makes songwriting appear easy, so easy in fact, that he co-write a song on the spot with the audience. “Call out some ideas”, he encouraged. We ended up with a song that included the words: hitchhiking, Ramen noodles, cheese curds, kittens, hypocrisy and folk alliance. Tricky words to slip into a song, but Porter did it artfully while making us all laugh.

Porter was described to me as: not only a consummate musician, but one of the most genuine, truly wonderful people on the planet, who performs molecule-rearranging shows. Now, doesn’t that sound like someone you’d like to hangout with? Well, you can because Willy will be leading a tour to Ireland in August 2020 (bring your instruments) – you can find more info on that at www.willyporter.com  You can also find Porter’s most requested guitar tunings at his site. How cool is that!

I got to ask Willy some questions and below are his answers – enjoy!

1) Your guitar sounds so full and rich. What guitar are you using and how many different tunings are you dealing with?
I’m currently playing a Jason Kostal 6-String.  It is a remarkable instrument for its overall tonal balance, intonation and playability.  I tune down a whole step, D to D, then open-tune from there. So a very familiar open-tuning fro many guitarists, “DADGAD” for me is CGCFGC. From there I’ll use a lot of different variations on Bb, F, and combine open-tunings with partial capos, etc.  I use medium gauge strings (.013-.56), so the really low tunings are still fairly stable to work with. I’ll go through about 6 or 7 different tunings in the course of a night, but it all depends on where the night goes musically.

2) How old were you when you first picked up a guitar?
I started playing when I was 12.

3) What’s your craziest on stage experience?
Sound-checking in Texas while Paul Simon was on-stage watching and asking me questions about what I was doing was probably the craziest moment for me.

4) What song of yours is your favorite?
The one I just finished, whatever that might be. I do like to play “Bears Ears &The Great Law” a lot these days though.

5) Which musician would you go to see perform if you could (dead or alive)?
David Gilmour

6) Has your songwriting style changed over the years, and how many CD’s do you have available to date?
I think I’m more patient with the process of writing than I was when I started. Some music takes a long time to write, other songs happen very, very quickly. Through time and effort I’ve learned to let that process be what it is in the moment.

7) If you were interviewing you, what question would you ask?
I’d ask “When was the moment that music really spoke to you for the first time?” And it was hearing my dad play the piano.

8) What’s next for you?
I’m looking forward to working and writing with drummer Dave Schoepke and bassist Eric Madunic.  We’ve had fun as a trio and I think we have some nice musical terrain ahead of us. I’m excited to see where the music might take us.

Photo Credits: Cover photo by Leeann Flynn
Insert B&W photo by Mark Waite

Country/Pop Crossover Recording Artist, Julia Rizik, Releases New Anti-Bullying Single “Love Myself”

Country/Pop Crossover Recording Artist, Julia Rizik, Releases New Anti-Bullying Single “Love Myself”

The official start of the solstice was less than a week ago and the term summer is more than just a season these days!  It’s also used as a synonym to describe a mood.  A good playlist can make those longer days and shorter nights seem like moments of bliss, and one of the songs that should be added to the soundtrack of 2019 is rising country/pop crossover songstress Julia Rizik’s newest single, Love Myself.
It immediately draws you in with a heavy downbeat and sultry vocals from the young maven that hails from the state of Arizona and now resides in Los Angeles. Rizik wrote the song to appeal across the board for all genders, races, and religions and it’s about empowerment and accepting the skin you are in. The catchy hook will have you busting out impromptu concerts whether you are riding down the coast with the top down in a car full of friends or a solo concert in the shower trying to avoid soap from getting into your eyes!
My songwriting is inspired by all sorts of things. I play both guitar and piano and mostly write songs about experiences that I am going through in my personal life. I was bullied a lot and music was the one thing that got me through.I want listeners to know that this music comes from a really personal space, and I hope that they relate to it and connect with it as much as I do,” shared Rizik.

While this is her first pop single, Julia Rizik is no stranger to the world of music.  She has appeared on the festival circuit at such events as Country Thunder and Stagecoach in the last year.  Her first independent country single “Medicine” (2017) which she co-wrote and co-produced got noticed by Spotify and made their New Music Nashville Playlist. Country music is where she got her start, but she is ready to trade in her boots for stilettos and kick the door of popular music in.

I transitioned into pop music very organically. It was not a forced transition at all. I started producing my own music about six to seven months ago, and the sounds I wanted to hear when I was creating these tracks were pop. On my new song, Love Myself, my fans can expect a lot more confidence and security in my lyrics. I have written a lot of songs about heartbreak, but on this track, I wanted to send listeners a message of hope and self-love,” shared Rizik, who plans to release a full pop EP of the same name later this Summer.
If those tracks are anything like Love Myself, than we can’t wait to fall in love with this new pop princess on the rise.
Wisdome: an immersive art park

Wisdome: an immersive art park

Left: Leon Hendrix, Jimmy Hendrix’s younger brother and Randy Hanson

Legendary writer/photographer Belissa Cohen goes psychedelic to experience L.A.’s hidden gem of an “immersive art park,” Downtown L.A.’s Wisdome

If you haven’t yet been to downtown L.A.’s Wisdome, we suggest putting it on your nightlife bucket list, and maybe stock up on your favorite psychedelics beforehand.

Called an “immersive art park,” this enormous 35,000 sqare foot space houses a collection of five huge interconnecting domes, one of which hosts nearly continuous showings of a 360 degree short film called Samskara by innovative experimental artist Android Jones. The other domes host other immersive art installations, live music events in 10.1 surround sound, and are surrounded by a commodius grassy outdoor area for hanging out on glorious summer nights with bars, ethnic food and drink purveyors, and trinket vendors selling wares of a vaguely spiritual nature —  it’s the whole enchilada in one place, with enchiladas. It’s both comfortable and hella trippy!

We experienced the Wisdome when Randy Hanson, who is considered arguably the best of the Jimi Hendrix tribute performers among those in the know about such things, did the first of his spot-on two-night performances in the largest of the Wisdomes, while psychedelic art in the form of constantly morphing mandala images were projected on the walls and ceiling of the dome, and many audience members took in the multimedia show from reclining seats. Like them, we found ourselves gazing ceiling-ward during the show, mesmerized, as the images changed organically, all the while absorbed in the expertly executed music.Randy, who is in demand all over the world for his Jimi Hendrix realness, and is, like Jimi, a Seattle native, played and sang all the hits note for note, from “Foxy Lady” to “Purple Haze” to the Bob Dylan-penned “All Along the Watchtower,” on what just so happened to be Dylan’s birthday.

As happens in L.A., we found ourselves Ubering to the Wisdome with the famous-adjacent:  Leon Hendrix, Jimi’s younger brother and an edgy blues musician in his own right, who sang with Randy and his band very appropriately  on “Castles Made of Sand,” a song Jimi had penned back in the day about his family’s dysfunction. Leon’s own show the very next weekend at The Mint in West L.A. was a sold out success.


The world-renowned Randy Hanson brings his Jimi extravaganza back to the Wisdome at the end of June. For all of us who missed Jimi’s legendary L.A. performance at the Hollywood Bowl in 1968, we now have a second chance to Be Experienced!

Gary Numan

Gary Numan

Gary Numan at BLUE DOT FESTIVAL UK: Photo LEANNE BOLGER LEANNEBOLGER.COM

Gary Numan – Iconic British new wave singer/songwriter/recording artist and record producer, has had a career spanning 5 decades, and he’s still going strong.

Numan recently released “Savage: Songs from a Broken World” – a new album contemplating a world devastated by climate change.

Catch him in concert during his  “Savage European/US Autumn Tour”.

If you reside in Los Angeles, you can see Gary Numan perform at the Fonda Theatre on October 6th.
Visit his website for more info, or buy tickets here.

 

SoCal Magazine’s Niki Smart caught up with Gary Numan for a quick interview.

  1. Dennis Morris told me that you were once detained in Russia for accidentally flying over military airspace (or something along those lines) – can you tell us a little more about that experience?

GN: It was in India actually. I was put under house arrest in India on suspicion of smuggling and spying in 1981 when flying around the world in my own little airplane. The smuggling charge was based on the fact that I was wearing two watches at the time. I did try to point out that flying my own airplane all the way to India to smuggle one cheap watch was a bit pointless, they didn’t seem to get that unfortunately. The spying charge came about because apparently we had flown over a Russian submarine base North of where we landed, which we had no idea existed until they told us. They then kept us for four days in a place on the beach (not as nice as it sounds) and the other rooms were all filled with Russian families, presumably from the base we’d supposedly been spying on. It was like being in a Keystone Cops movie but for real. They then blamed me for the rules they were following as they said they were left over from the days of the British Empire. So it was all my fault apparently

  1. Your career has impressive longevity with numerous hit songs. Do you have a favorite—and why?

GN: Favorites change depending on mood to be honest but a song on the new Savage album called My Name Is Ruin is a big favorite because my daughter Persia sings on it with me. She joins us on stage when school allows and sings with us all over the world as well. I love that.

  1. What’s the best thing about being Gary Numan?

GN: I get to do live my life the way I choose to for the most part, not the way I have to. If I wake up and it’s a beautiful day, I don’t have to work, it’s up to me. That freedom is very special to me.

  1. What’s the worst thing about being Gary Numan?

GN: My touring work takes me away from my children for months at a time. That’s a real problem for me. Apart from that though there is no ‘worst’ thing. I love my life. I love living in Los Angeles, being in a band, I’ve been happily married to Gemma for 21 years and my children are all healthy. I have no complaints.

  1. What do you have coming up that you’d like our readers to know about?

GN: I have a show at The Fonda on October 6th, which I’m very excited about, plus a special edition version of the Savage album coming out in late October

  1. And I know this is a bit of a curve ball but…do you have any thoughts on climate change?

GN: The Savage album is all about a world devastated by climate change, so yes, I have lots of thoughts about it. I believe it’s very real, very dangerous and I could hardly believe it when Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Accord. It was a level of ignorance that was hard to fathom.

 

Featured photo credit to LEANNE BOLGER www.LEANNEBOLGER.COM

Seal at the Hollywood Bowl

Seal at the Hollywood Bowl

Photo credit: Jan Welters

Amidst cheers and applause, British R&B singer, Seal strolled confidently on stage and, right off the bat, began charming the audience with his soulful rendition of “Luck be a Lady”. Welcome to a new side of Seal and his tenth studio album “Standards”. This is an album that Seal has always wanted to make because he grew up listening to music from the rat pack era, and for him, recording these classic tunes has been a lifelong dream. Seal said “It was a true honor to collaborate with the same musicians who performed with Frank Sinatra and so many of my favorite artists, in the very same studios where the magic was first made – it was one of the greatest days of my recording career.”

Who knew that Seal was a crooner? Well, he is, and a mighty fine one at that. His voice is rich, velvety and flawless, his style is sassy, his look debonair, and this man can handle a room – or should I say a bowl? Bending down to sing to the ladies in the front and shaking people’s hands, Seal utilized the entire stage, the catwalk strip, and even ventured off stage altogether to further flirt with the audience.

Between songs, his laid back banter made him even cooler. Listening to him, one gets the feeling that this is a man who is sincere and has a gentle, generous spirit. He jokingly told the audience, “Hello Los Angeles, well I know most of the people here, yeah, you guys all hit me up for tickets.”

Things got a little more serious when Seal talked about a recent bout of depression and recanted a day when he listened to “That’s Life” at full volume. “It helped” he quipped, and proceeded to perform the song with the magic of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra behind him, conducted by Thomas Wilkins. Seal likened playing with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra to driving a Rolls Royce. He clearly loved the material he was performing and who he was performing it with.

Halfway through the show, Seal announced that a very special guest was in the house; someone who had, in part, been responsible for him being a musician. It turned out to be none other than Joni Mitchell, and as the cameras swung around to find the icon seated in the audience, Seal got everyone to sing the line: “paved paradise, put up a parking lot.”

Towards the end of his show, Seal broke out his hit songs “Kiss from a Rose”, and “Crazy”, and last but not least, invited his 8-year-old daughter up on stage to play piano for a short performance of “Superstition”.  For an encore, it was “Rebel Rebel” to honor the late David Bowie.  No matter what style: classics, pop, rock, ballads, covers – Seal handles them all with vibrant, powerful vocals and ebullient showmanship. Seal is the real deal.

SoCal Native, KANIN, from Compton Wants People to Know “All Hail” on His Latest Freestyle Video Release

SoCal Native, KANIN, from Compton Wants People to Know “All Hail” on His Latest Freestyle Video Release

Antonio “KANIN” White has released his newest single, “All Hail (Freestyle)”, a track specifically created to deliver Kanin’s message of solidarity with true hip-hop. Kanin says, “This is a proclamation of me arriving into the rap game, ready for war and battle with any artist or rapper who uses today’s lame gimmicks and so called rap styles. I come from an era and background where we take pride in our words and lyrics and so ‘All Hail’ is a representation of this. It’s to saying, ‘I’m not your new age mumble rapper, I am a writer and a poet with a message and that message is Real is Back’.
This will be Kanin’s first release since his previous hit record, “All Eyes On Me”. Kanin originally came to notoriety after collaborating with Grammy Award winning superstar, Kendrick Lamar, for his track  “Winner Circle” from Kanin’s Old School New Sense EP.
As for the “All Hail (Freestyle)” video concept, it’s a nod to an old YouTube parody by a digital personality named “Supa Hot Fire”. The setting of Supa Hot Fire’s videos revolved around “pretend rap battles” with a staged crowd that supported any verse he would say, even if it was absolutely horrible. The idea is to compare this parody to today’s “modern” rappers that are trending from gimmicks. Video Producer, Saul Luzeus of Good Vibe Crew, felt like it would be the perfect visual concept to match the message in the song, “All Hail, Kanin is here.”
“All Hail (Freestyle)” is available on all musical platforms including, Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, and Google Play. The video is available on Kanin’s official YouTube channel.
Instagram:​ instagram.com/itskanin
Facebook:​ facebook.com/itskanin

SHARE Inc. Celebrates 65 Years of Philanthropy with Annual Boomtown Gala Honoring Loreen Arbus and Featuring a Performance by The Righteous Brothers

SHARE Inc. has announced that their annual Boomtown Gala will be headlined by The Righteous Brothers with additional performances by Martha and the Vandellas, Louis Van Amstel of “Dancing with the Stars” and the SHARE ladies. This year’s honoree is Loreen Arbus, President of The Loreen Arbus Foundation and disability rights activist, philanthropist, producer, writer and author. The event’s MC, a SHARE legacy, will be Natalie Lander (ABC’s The Middle the daughter of famed actors David Lander and Kathy Fields and granddaughter of Hollywood agent Freddie Fields and actress Polly Bergen. The event will be held on May 20th 2018 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

 

Boomtown is celebrating 65 years of phenomenal work on behalf of our community and we could not be more proud. This year’s event will invoke old Hollywood glamour as we remember our founding members and the hardworking women who have helped make SHARE the organization it is today,” said Corinna Fields, President of SHARE, Inc.

 

Loreen Arbus will be receiving the Shining Spirit Award for her tireless work to help those marginalized in our community, specifically through The Loreen Arbus Foundation, which  provides scientific and medical research for those with disabilities, supports racial and gender minorities, and is active in environmental causes. Arbus is an industry trailblazer who earned the distinction of being the first woman to head programming for a U.S. network  a feat she accomplished twice  both at Showtime and Lifetime networks.

 

I am honored to be recognized by the amazing women of SHARE Inc.,” said honoree Loreen Arbus. “Their mission is in very close alignment with my own in terms of helping children who are marginalized as is their long support of children with developmental disabilities and other special challenges.

 

This year’s star-studded event will include a red carpet, dressy Western attire, dinner, a live and silent auction, performances and more. The production team behind Boomtown includes Anita Mann of Anita Mann Productions, a five-time Emmy Award Winning Choreographer; Christine Wallace, Producer/First Vice President of SHARE’s Boomtown show and former professional dancer/choreographer of stage and screen; and Executive Producer, Gary Smith, former producer of The Tony Awards and “The Judy Garland Show.”

Tickets are available here: http://www.share4children.org/

Images of previous Boomtown Gala, courtesy of Press Pass L.A.

Good Vibe Crew’s Rugby Wild Releases New Single “Avenue”

Rugby Wild of the independent record label, Good Vibe Crew, is releasing his newest single, “Avenue”, as a nod to hip-hop in the Spring. This mellow, head-nodding track serves as the perfect tune for vibing out no matter what coast you’re on. Rugby Wild says, “Avenue is my idea of a perfect day where it seems like nothing matters.” Coming off the success of his earlier releases like “Scuffs”, “Chevy”, and “Topanga”, Rugby Wild wanted to release a track that would seamlessly carry through the Spring season and have his followers ready for a Summer anthem.

Along with the single’s release is a music video that helps capture the essence of “Avenue” and showcase Rugby Wild’s personal energy through a city backdrop with his friends. Filmed in Newark, NJ, the visual offers a glimpse into Rugby’s life and how he and his friends would typically hang out in the streets of the East Coast.

“Avenue”  releases on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 and can be streamed on all musical platforms including, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and Google Play. The video will be available on Rugby Wild’s official VEVO channel on May 1st.

Stream “Avenue” – Rugby Wild today.

She Rocks Awards – 2018

She Rocks Awards – 2018

        2018 SHE ROCKS AWARDS
        Friday, January 26, 2018
        The House of Blues Anaheim, Anaheim CA
        6:30pm – 10:00pm

2018 honorees (top row): Melissa Etheridge, The B-52’s Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson, Exene Cervenka, Karla Redding-Andrews
(middle row): Vanessa Mering, Fanny: Patti Quatro Ericson, Jean Millington Adamian, Brie Howard Darling, June Millington and Alice de Buhr; Dawn Birr
(bottom row): Fabi Reyna, Amberly Crouse-Knox, Kristy Porter, Candace Stewart, and co-hosts Kat Corbett and Laura B. Whitmore

 

The Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN), proudly announces the 2018 She Rocks Awards honorees. Paying tribute to women in the music industry, the sixth annual She Rocks Awards at the NAMM Show will debut at its new home, the House of Blues Anaheim, on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 at 6:30p.m. 

The 2018 She Rocks Awards recipients include:

  • Melissa Etheridge, Grammy® Award- and Academy® Award-winning artist
  • The B-52s Katie Pierson & Cindy Wilson, original members of one of the most beloved party rock bands of all time
  • Karla Redding-Andrews, Executive Director for The Otis Redding Foundation
  • Exene Cervenka, vocalist for the iconic punk band, X
  • Amberly Crouse-Knox, Senior Director of Creative and Business Development, BMG Production Music
  • Jean Millington AdamianJune MillingtonBrie Howard DarlingPatti Quatro Ericson and Alice de Buhr of the pioneering all-female American rock band, Fanny
  • Candace Stewart, Studio Manager, EastWest Studios in Hollywood
  • Dawn Birr, Channel Manager for the Americas, Sennheiser Business Solutions
  • Fabi Reyna, Founder and Editor of She Shreds Media
  • Vanessa Mering, Marketing Manager, HARMAN Professional
  • Kristy Porter, Guitar Center’s Director of Merchandising, General Accessories & Media

The event will be co-hosted by Kat Corbett, DJ on KROQ in Los Angeles, where she hosts the midday show and local music show, Locals Only, and host for Sirius XM. She’ll be joined by WiMN founder Laura B. Whitmore.

Gearing up for its sixth consecutive year, the She Rocks Awards pays tribute to women who display leadership and stand out within the music industry, and has become a standard at the NAMM Show. Previous award recipients include female industry leaders such as Colbie Caillat, Ronnie Spector, Sheila E, The Bangles, Shirley Manson, Esperanza Spalding, Chaka Khan, Jennifer Batten, Karmin, Orianthi, Dinah Gretsch, Craigie Zildjian, and more.

The She Rocks Awards brings together industry professionals, music icons, artists, fans and media to celebrate women in music. This high-energy evening includes live music, awards and speeches, celebrity appearances, a fabulous silent auction, food and beverages, giveaways, amazing gift bags and more!

Meaku Premieres New Video For Banana at Blue Moon Hookah Lounge

Nigerian-American International Pop, RnB & Afro Beats artist Meaku recently released a music video for his smash hit “Banana” in downtown LA at the hip Blue Moon Hookah Lounge. The single “Banana” written and performed by Meaku and produced by JB Minor, has reached impressive streaming numbers on the underground online music circuit. The video’s visuals capture the tune’s essence by including an ode to the iconic Josephine Baker, along with imagery of African culture, dance and a taste of humor.
An open bar provided by Star Tender and complimentary Nigerian Jollof and plantain added to the festive spirit of the party as did a photo booth area provided by Opulen Photobooth. As the video premiered the crowd cheered Meaku and his production team on a job well done.  There was even an emotional surprise birthday video and cake presented to the man of the hour that brought the rising start to tears and showed of a side of him not often shared with mainstream media.

The yellow fruit themed event was produced by LaMay Day Productions and Events with Edna.
Watch, follow and share the “Banana” video here: https://youtu.be/ymL5BWDwGqU
Artist Highlight: Davie Celebrates New EP, “Black Gospel Vol. 1”, with Concert in DTLA

Artist Highlight: Davie Celebrates New EP, “Black Gospel Vol. 1”, with Concert in DTLA

I remember going to a concert for the recently formed girl group, June’s Diary, in the Fall of 2016. Myself and the other patrons were all very excited to see the girls perform as this was one of their first shows since forming on a reality show created by Kelly Rowland and Frank Gatson. What’s funny though, is that excitement quickly turned into anxiety when we all realized there were going to be five opening acts before our girls were even going to be on stage. Mind you, I personally didn’t know any of the names on the bill, so you could imagine the frustration that began to mount in the room.  In any case, all of the acts proved to be very talented artists in respects to R&B, but one in particular really stood out to me as a powerhouse vocalist and performer. He goes by the name, DAVIE, and that day, I immediately turned into a fan. The track that specifically caught my ear was called “Testify”, a track with lots of energy and soul, to which Davie exuded as he engaged his music with the audience. Almost a year later, Davie is ready to embark on the 2nd leg of a US tour, releasing a brand new EP, and celebrating that release with his own show in Downtown L.A at The Resident. Davie sat with me and SoCal Magazine to talk about his new EP, Black Gospel Vol. 1, his upcoming show, and the message that he wants his listeners to get from his music.

Let’s take it back to the June’s Diary show. The girls were just coming off their successful show on BET, Chasing Destiny, so they had a solid following.  How did you get the opportunity to open for them? There’s this really awesome company in the community called Industry LA that partners with various events around L.A., particularly live concerts and showcases in the R&B space. A friend of mine who works with the girls on vocals connected me with the opportunity as they were specifically looking for openers to the show. I submitted one of my songs, and was selected as one of the openers.

You joined the Safe Haven Tour this past May and completed the East Coast leg this Summer.  Tell us about that experience as you prep to start the West Coast dates next week. I love being connected with artists that do the hard work when it comes to their music. The artist I’m opening for on the tour, Ruth B., is an excellent songwriter and performer, so when the opportunity presented itself for me to be a part of the tour, I jumped on it.  Our first show was in Nashville, TN, which was so exciting for me, because I’ve always felt connected to that city as a songwriter.  It was just the perfect way to start a tour like this.

You’re releasing a brand new EP on August 25th, aptly titled Black Gospel Vol. 1.  What does “Black Gospel” mean to you and what message do you want that to convey to your audience? My musical history stems deeply in the black church, where culturally, everyone sings and there’s an organ.  That was my musical foundation, Gospel music within the black church.  My experience as a black male felt very celebrated where I grew up, but as I’ve grown and traveled, I had to take in what it was like to be ostracized just for being different.  When I use the word black, I don’t immediately use it to define race, either.  Black has often been used to describe something negative and villainous, and then gospel is seen as something positive and uplifting.  I connected those words with the purpose of delivering a message of good news to anyone who’s ever felt ostracized or like they don’t have a place in this world.  I feel like my mission is to create music for everyone; to create a moment where we can all just jam.  I want to bring people to together with good music, and that’s what I aim to do when I’m on tour.  I’m taking the feeling I got listening to gospel in the black church and infusing that with Pop culture to bring people together of all cultures and backgrounds.

How have your fans been reacting to the snippets you’ve shared on social media so far? It’s crazy because I think they’ve reacted well to it seeing as how my audience has grown with me.  Most of them were introduced to me about two years ago because I was an opening act for Selena Gomez, where they were exposed to me as a wholesome, Disney type of artist. Honestly, I was a little scared to lose them as I got older because the world changes so much, and my music reflects that. This is my first project where I’m talking about very real things, and I think my audience respects that. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle the full EP with my thoughts on challenging systematic thoughts we have about church, God, and being black.

To promote and celebrate the EP release, you’re having a show at The Resident in downtown Los Angeles.  What can people expect from the performance?  Expect to have a good time and to be connected to the music along with the message.  I want everyone to feel like we are all One and that we are all hoping to further the message of Love. For 45 minutes to an hour, I want people to not thinking about their worries, bills, whatever, and to hopefully make some friends with people that they may have never met elsewhere. I want to bond people through the music.

      

Black Gospel Vol. 1 releases August 25th, 2017 on all digital platforms: Spotify, iTunes, and Apple Music.  Physical EP’s will be available exclusively on tour. To purchase tickets for Davie’s Los Angeles show, Click Here.  Make sure to follow Davie on Instagram: @musicbydavie

Billboard + Ford Present: Tinashe and BJ The Chicago Kid at #FordFrontRow

Billboard + Ford Present: Tinashe and BJ The Chicago Kid at #FordFrontRow

 

Billboard and Ford Motors have teamed up this Summer to create a multi-city concert series called, Ford Front Row, with each city showcasing one chart-topping artist and one rising star.  The series kicked off its first show in downtown L.A. at the Belasco Theater and featured the critically acclaimed Tinashe and three-time Grammy nominated, BJ the Chicago Kid.

BJ the Chicago Kid kicked off his set with various cuts from his latest album, In My Mind, while making sure to give an extremely soulful performance through each song.  The room was completely tuned into his melodic groove and beautifully arranged vocals on his tracks like “Church”, “Love Inside”, and fan favorite, “Turnin’ Me Up”.  Immediately after BJ’s set, Tinashe took center stage to perform a riveting set from her album, Aquarius, and from her upcoming project, Joyride.  There was no shortage of stage presence when Tinashe performed, as she delivered impeccable choreography and vocals without missing one beat.  Fans sang along to every one of her songs and amplified their excitement at every dance break, because one thing was certain, Tinashe came to deliver high-energy performance at all costs.  Her set ended with her chart-topping hit, “2 On” and finished it off completely engaged with her audience in a back and forth sing-along.

Billboard and Ford succeeded in making a truly memorable experience for the fans with the concert itself being completely free along with gifting all guests with promotional giveaway items by simply downloading the FordPass App.  Follow the rest of the concert series on social media through the hashtag, #FordFrontRow.  Next up on the tour is Miami, followed by Atlanta, and then culminating in New York.  For more information on how to Enter to Win a trip for you and a guest to one of the next shows along with a chance to win a Ford vehicle of your choice, make sure to visit Billboard’s Ford Front Row portal by Clicking Here.

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