Vajra is a name I am very familiar with in the New York area. Also making their rounds on Sirius XM, playing SXSW, countless NYC venues and more, the band is taking off in a whole new light. Formed by Annamaria Pinna while she was in India, a bit of self discovery brought to life Vajra. Pinna is an accomplished composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist. The group have just released their latest single “Blind (Blood Mix)” at the end of this Summer, and the track is just as strong, a couple of months down the line. The haunting and dark undertones are hypnotically laced, as it recalls Eastern Indian themes. Pinna’s voice is captivating and strong; an unstoppable force crawling out of the musical bed. While heavy hitting and dark the band proves to be very accessible, especially with the addition of Pinna’s smoky and seductive vocals.
Vajra is Annamaria Pinna (Vocals, Composer, Keyboards), Kevin Jones (Bass), James Rosenberg (Guitar); and John Keener (Drums, Percussion).
Listen “Blood Blind” https://soundcloud.com/vajratemple/blind-blood-edit-mp3
I have been a long time fan of the Blues, first becoming interested in the genre during my college years of studying music history. Recently I have had the chance to check out Tomas Doncker’s latest release, Big Apple Blues (True Groove Records), which features legendary poet, Yusef Komunyakaa.
This is the second record the two have collaborated on, and they have recently officially introduced the album during the Dodge Poetry Festival. Doncker has been making his name in the music world for quite a while, as he started out in the ‘no wave,’ scene in NYC in the 1980s. Fast forward into 2014, when his music has taken a more intricate and enticing turn, with standout songs such as “The New Day,” which is featured on the record. The accessible tune is a musical journey all of its own. The mixture of Doncker’s stunning musicianship and Komunyakaa’s use of words is unstoppable and breathtaking, stirring philosophical lyrics.
Track after track on Big Apple Blues, definitely do deliver the goods. Opener “Big Apple Blues,” brings the album to life immediately, which ebbs and flows throughout the record without missing a beat. This unique record is uplifting, heartfelt, and flawless. One I have had on repeat since I first discovered it. A great discovery indeed.
Listen to “Big Apple Blues”: https://soundcloud.com/tomasdoncker/01-big-apple-blues
Critically acclaimed Chuckie Campbell is making major waves in the music scene. His unique brand of hip hop has captured the ears of outlets such as Huffington Post, Young Hollywood and Buzzfeed. Recently releasing his latest single, “All I Meant (feat. Cole Jonique), from his album More Die of Heartbreak, the in-your-face track makes Campbell a prominent name to watch out for. The new record features Wu Tang members Cappadonna and Solomon Childs, as well as Cole Jonique, Block McCloud and Erin Breeding. Impressive? I think so!
Hailing from Buffalo, NY, Campbell is an all around jack of trades. Not only does he write music, but he writes stories and poetry as well, and is also the founder and editor of the online and print Arts journal, Sunsets and Silencers. His unique and smooth lyrical flow makes him standout from the rest, as does his knack for writing intriguing lyrics.If you dig artists such as The Roots, Macklemore, Nas and Dead Prez, than Chuckie Campbell is DEFINITELY for you.
Watch “All I Meant”, directed by Steve Pyne, on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WRUoyGyJmQ
Jay Soul’s current project Stay With Me is ten tracks of emotive tolerance. On each track of the LP Jay Soul grapples with situations he cannot change and emotions he cannot shake. The album highlights universal sensitivities that we all can feel or easily recall. Love, loss, pleasure pain, these are all feelings that Jay Soul is expressing on Stay With Me. Throughout the record we listen to a man empathize with his tumultuous past while singing and composing music in the style of soulful early-nineties (the years he came of age in).
His sound is vivid, soulful early-Nineties, with highly personal lyrics delivered passionately, following in the footsteps of such trailblazing British independents as Omar and Lynden David Hall. Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight, Jodeci and Dru Hill are all cited as influences, as well as poppier, more contemporary artists in the mould of Beyoncé. Production values are important but not at the expense of the quality of the raw material, a refreshing antidote to the recent trend for glossy, over-produced beats and auto-tuned vocals, and size-zero subject matter.
Jay Soul “Any Day”
Julian Rhine is a Brooklyn based hip hop artist to watch out for. Critically acclaimed by such outlets like The Source, Rhine will be performing Friday evening during CMJ (Fri, Oct 24, 11:59pm, at The Bitter End). Recently he has released his new album, An Excuse to Riot, which came out the tail end of the Summer, and has quite an impressive repertoire. This is Rhine’s third year playing CMJ, and he has also played SXSW, as well as opening for Macklemore, Diddy and Mobb Deep.
Obviously his live show is killer, just like his latest release and video for “Excuse to Riot.” Channeling the likes of Beastie Boys and Linkin Park, Julian brings his own impressive brand of hip hop to the table. Swirling guitars surround his lyrical flow, which is smoothly done. His music also packs a heavy message touching upon the government and other important issues. His in-your-face brand of hip hop is truly impressive and will leave a lasting impression in your ears. Watch his new video for “An Excuse to Riot,” below.
Watch “Excuse to Riot,” Video HERE
Get tickets HERE for the Bitter End CMJ Show
JES has just launched her epic single,“Sky Stand Still,” from the much talked about film, The Principle, which debuts on October 24.
The Principle brings to light astonishing results from recent large-scale surveys of our universe-surveys that disclose unexpected evidence of a preferred direction in the cosmos, aligned with our supposedly insignificant Earth! The Principle leads us face-to-face with this most important question: What does this mean for the future of mankind?
The Principle features narration by Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek Voyager, Orange is the New Black, Ryan’s Hope), stunning animations by BUF Compagnie Paris (Life of Pi, Thor, The Matrix: Revolutions, Van Helsing, Harry Potter), and commentary and insights from like likes of Michio Kaku, John Hartnett, Bernard Carr, Robert Sungenis, Max Tegmark, Robert Bennett and more.
“My main goal for a song is always finding that emotional connection with the audience. I wanted the words to mean something universally and make the melody beautiful so it touches the listener and leaves them feeling something. When writing for a musical theme you have that chance to sum it all up. Music is such an important component to film and I am excited because I think it is a powerful uplifting song that will connect with people and be able to reach a global audience,” says JES.
Rick Delano- Producer/Writer of The Principle says of JES and “Sky Stand Still”: Hero (my Son and Co-Writer of“Sky Stand Still”) and I were on one of our occasional songwriting road trips up Pacific Coast Highway in 2010 when he played me the demo for “Sky Stand Still.” It was simply instantaneous- the chorus didn’t even come around twice before I knew this was the Theme Song For The Principle. But it wasn’t until three years later, when the simply amazing JES brought us the soul- shaking line “you will always be remembered…” that I knew it had finally been brought completely through the storm and safely delivered as the final moment of The Principle.