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Friday Features: Tropical House

Summer 2015, a new genre emerges bringing the sultry beats of Jamaican dancehall and the hypnotizing downbeat of chill deep house together in a perfectly mellowed treat for mainstream listeners who’d grown tired of the caffeinated pulse of EDM. The sound championed by Justin Bieber’s Kygo produced “What Do You Mean” and OMI’s global smash “Cheerleader” ruled the summer and much like pop music does everyone tried their hand at it such as Charlie Puth’s “We Don’t Talk Anymore” and to a certain degree, Rihanna with “Work,” although “Work” is more true to its Jamaican Dancehall roots than the previous songs. With 2 years under its belt the sound is showing no signs of letting up.

With summer 2017 getting underway, it seems the rest of the world is getting on the bandwagon. Like in South Korea where various KPOP artists like Jay Park, Taeyeon were among the first mainstream artists to bring the sound of tropical house to the ROK in 2016 with Me Like Yuh and Why. Fall gave us many tropical house kpop chunes such as the surprising hit “Don’t Believe” by underrated girl group, Berry Good and the debut of DSPs co-ed group KARD which has taken the world by storm with 3 back to back tropical house jams. More recently, Winner has comeback with their hit “Really Really” which took off with a killer dance video directed by the legend Dave Meyers. And of course, one of my personal favorite groups Melody Day who knocked the chill off of February with the steamy “Kiss On The Lips.” So to get you into the summer uplift I’ve made a playlist of my favorite Western/KPOP Tropical House Picks. Enjoy and chill out!

Wink and a Smile,
Joe

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Friday Features (Memorial Day Special): Summer Music 

It’s Memorial Day, the ceremonial first day of summer, grills are grilling, pools are splashing (not really its been 60f and below), and the air is going to get hot…well warm…ish. In a few weeks the days’ll be clocking 80 plus degrees. and as the heat rises so will the tensions in the cities. However, all that can melt away with a summer party. Be it a cookout,  a block party, or a kick back on the roof top music helps us forget the troubles of the world. Here are some of my favorite summer cuts.

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Friday Features (on Saturday) : LeToya Luckett

Flashback to Wally World, late summer 1999, I was a kid tagging along with my mom on the dreaded back to school. We walk by the electronics section and Bills Bills Bills is playing on all the demo boom  boxes, kids and teens all in the aisle dancing on the low, the beat even getting to some of the grown ups.  I like almost everyone else that summer was a fan of Destiny’s Child, Bills Bills Bills turned out the be the song of the summer that year and DC  scored their first hot 100 #1 on Billboard and was skyrocketed to crossover fame.  The Writings on The Wall ended up going platinum many times over. As I became a fan of the group, I was OBSESSED WITH THEM. I knew all their names, Beyonce, Kelly, Latavia and LeToya. However, if you know the story, the group started and ended the promotional era with four members BUT they weren’t the same four as Latavia and Letoya were let go (rather sloppily by Matthew).

We hadn’t really heard much from the two aside from them going to court. Seven years later, I am riding the bus home from my freshman year of high school and I hear the DJ drop the debut single Torn by LeToya,whose voice I never recognized I at the time didn’t even recognize (because let’s be real all of DC’s Singles until DCE were mainly Beyonce and Kelly’s vocals). It was as if fate had come full circle, LeToya on her own. Such a sweet, smooth soprano. Torn became the ringtone for every teenage black girl I knew. Her debut album was pretty R&B that repped H-Town to the fullest with heavy hitters like Slim Thug, Paul Wall and Mike Jones. She followed the success of her debut with Lady Love in 2009 before a foray into acting kept her away from seven years.

Now back with the album Back 2 Life,  a matured Luckett explores a sexier yet still sweet sound the third time around. The album even has a thrilling “miniseries” accompanying it. The first two promotional singles Back 2 Life and Used To combine Luckett’s music with the gems that she’s learned in her years as an actress. The final video is yet to be announced, however I’ve made a brief playlist with my favorite Luckett tunes with songs from the latest album and her earlier works as well. Enjoy!

Wink and a Smile,

Joe

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Friday Features: Music That Saved My Life

Back after a 2 year absence, it’s Friday Features! This week, I wanna do something different I’m featuring artists whose music I found going through personal crisis. Through talking with my best friend and going through some old journals I came to the realization earlier this month that I have anxiety. As I went back through my various posts, journal entries, most significantly my spotify. I noticed songs that I had on repeat at the time. Looking at the dates that I added them to my playlist and going to my journals I realized that many of the songs and entries coincided with an anxiety episode. So, here are three of the many songs that got me through some of the dark moments of my life.
Continue reading “Friday Features: Music That Saved My Life”

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Friday Features: Esperanza Spalding

Today, I’m highlighting one of my favorite jazz artists of today, Esperanza Spalding. I discovered her on a road trip with my family 2 years ago. I listened to her second album Esperanza all the way home and wore the album out for two weeks.  I was infatuated with her that summer, the lightness of her voice, the thickness of her afro, her versatile from the proper cello, to the swinging upright bass, to the funky bass guitar. Luckily, it was shortly before the release of her most recent album Radio Music Society later that April.  Continue reading “Friday Features: Esperanza Spalding”

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Friday Features: The Pierces

The Pierces are a folk-pop/rock duo comprised of  siblings Allison and Catherine Pierce. They are most notable for their creepy cafe song “Secrets” which serves as the theme song for the hit television show Pretty Little Liars, the song was suggested to the show’s producers by Ashley Benson who plays Hannah. I call them the musical daughters of Stevie Nicks. The sister’s enchanting,  haunting, and bewitching lyrics in their music makes me feel like the Supreme of the South Suburbs. Continue reading “Friday Features: The Pierces”

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New Segment: Sounds For The Soul

Hey everyone!

I’m starting a new segment that I’ve been putting off for the longest. I’ve wanted to start a music segment called Sounds For The Soul. I’m somewhat transitioning over from my prior page.  Sounds for the Soul will be where I put up music I’m listening to, album reviews,  and songs of the week I like. So with that, on to my premiere Friday Feature post coming this afternoon. These posts will be a brief write up on the about an artist I like (new or old) and a playlist of my favorite tracks by that artist possibly once or twice a month.

Hope you enjoy,

JournalisticJoe