Nava: “Now(here);” – truly delivers both vocally and melodically

Pranava Maharaj, who goes by stage name Nava, is an independent R&B artist & producer based in Trinidad and Tobago. At eleven years old, Nava won a music competition and his career continued to skyrocket from there. After catching the attention of Soca superstar Machel Montano, Nava toured all over the world with Montano, performing at places such as Radio City Music Hall in New York and the Crop Over Festival in Barbados. He collaborated with Montano on the Soca hit “Festival” in 2015 and performed at the Trinidad Carnival. Nava has since been experimenting with his sound and has

Producer Lavi Beats – From Tehran to Miami!

Lavi Hoss is also known as Lavi Beats. He was born on February 23rd in 1985 to Persian American family. He was born in Tehran, the capital city of Iran. He is a son to Atta Hoss, his father and Angalia Aghapodis, his mother. He has more of his immediate family as he is an elder brother to Cameron and he has a sister, Paris. Lavi was a student of the Azadi High School in Tehran. Once done with his high school, he got into Tehran University for higher studies. He has a unique style with music and that is

VAVO: “No Friend Zone” captures millennial youthfulness and free spirit

New York-based EDM duo VAVO was formed in 2015 by the talents of Vancouver native Jesse Fischer and London born Alden Martin. VAVO’s early works featured a progressive, electro sound, which appealed to a wide audience, and it included their remix of Martin Garrix’s “Scared To Be Lonely,” their first solo single “Ace Of Spades,” “Astronomia 2K17,” and their remix of TheFatRat’s “Fly Away.” The duo started 2018 off with a bang, dropping ‘How Low’ with John Christian on Tiesto’s Musical Freedom Records. In March, VAVO debuted a new creative direction – an EDM/Pop crossover sound that has resonated with

Quinn Soular: “Ovah & Ovah” ft. Ziggi Recado – both impressionistic and insightful

Quinn Soular has released his 3rd official single “Ovah & Ovah” which is a summer banger featuring guest vocals from Dutch-Caribbean Reggae superstar Ziggi Recado. Born on the Island of St. Maarten, Quincy Adolphin aka Quinn Soular is a Pop and R&B singer-songwriter who has his own music production company, QP (The Quinn Productions). If you’re a fan or just a longtime R&B historian in general, you probably know that some of the game’s most renowned voices were cultivated in choir stands and churchyards. Sure, R&B’s secular content often clashes with the gospel’s divine intent but the similarities are unmistakable.

Emmanuel Dalmas & Kirby Howarth: “This Is Love That I’m Feeling” – a song with a country bent

Emmanuel Dalmas a company founder and high level executive in the scientific industry from the South West of France, also moonlights as a multi-genre music composer. Dalmas has been steadily building his music catalog since kicking things off in 2016 from his home studio. He produces instrumental and vocal tracks, engaging talented male and female voices to complete his projects, which in turn are made available for both commercial and non-commercial use. Emmanuel Dalmas recently dropped his latest single, “This Is Love That I’m Feeling”, done in collaboration with Kirby Howarth, who added the vocals and lyrics to Dalmas’ music and

Armonite: “And The Stars Above” – complex, vibrant sonic landscapes

May 2018 saw the release of the new album, “And The Stars Above”, by Italian progressive rock band, Armonite, featuring violinist Jacopo Bigi and keyboardist Paolo Fosso. The album also includes a guest appearance by Porcupine Tree’s bassist, Colin Edwin. Composer Fosso and violinist Bigi are classical musicians who through their teenage years, joined local bands, playing a variety of genres and artists, from the Beatles to Dream Theater. At the end of the ’90s, while still in college, they would play in a band called Armonite. They released an album in 1999, performed a few dates live, and then

MVJOR ARCVNA: “The Last Word in Love”- a master of layers and sequenced progression

Jaron Pearlman aka MVJOR ARCVNA, is an audio engineer, backing musician, and songwriter who grew up in Asheville NC, and is now based in Atlanta GA. Over the years he has toured and recorded with a wide range of artists, including The Indigo Girls, The Shadowboxers, Amor Kismet, Mercury Jackson and more. MVJOR ARCVNA is revered by many critics – and certainly by us – as one of the most quintessential independent producers currently around, standing almost alone in his ability to mix catchy crossover EDM-Pop sounds with complex rock-styled songwriting, and igniting the electronic underground in a truly unprecedented fashion.

DJ Mizzy: “Prost” – gorgeously phrased synth lines, and subtly floating aural overtones

Boasting a sound that goes from his favored deep house grooves to hip-hop, DJ Mizzy, born Claudel Larose, is an international DJ and producer raised just outside of New York. Inspired by artists such as Sander van Doorn, DJ Yonny, and Avicii, Mizzy has a strong passion for his work. Throughout his 18 years of DJing, Mizzy has traveled all over the world to perform, using the original Technic SL1200 turntable as his prime tool. His latest endeavor is “Prost”, a German influenced track with a melodic tone, incorporating a subtle Caribbean flair. DJ Mizzy’s melodies are emotionally evocative and

Boy Leadfoot: “Turn-Buckle” – wholeheartedly playing to their strengths and sounding great while doing it

Max Gordon with Boy Leadfoot is a three-piece blues-based, alternative soul and rock project, from Vancouver Island, Canada. Their latest release, the EP “Turn-Buckle” is a breath of fresh air compared to the pop dribble permeating the American music scene right now. This is the type of musical project that will carve out a steady cult following and attract a good deal of critical acclaim. All three members are very professional and innovative musicians, and musicians of any sort will gobble up all kinds of licks, tones and spices from this release. The EP resides in the nebulous nexus of

Juan Donovan: “Merlot & Marijuana” – a brilliant compendium of styles and luxurious production

As one half of the production duo Darkroom Productions, Juan Donovan has produced with his partner Jamal Roberts some of today’s hottest artists. That list includes R Kelly, Wale, Young Money, Maino, JellyRoll, 24Hrs (Royce Rizzy), Brick Squad, G-Unit, Bad Boy, and more. The duo also won multiple awards for its phenomenal work on HBO’s classic hit series “The Wire”, which garnered them featured in major publications such as FADER, The New York Times, VIBE, and dozens more. It’s not surprising then that Juan Donovan would want to drop a record that’s as much a personal statement as a collection

Steven Blane: “Taboo” – Rhythmically, lyrically and musically this would appeal to at least three generations

I discovered Steven Blane a little less than a month ago while reviewing his “Kill Me Nice” album. I was left pretty much in awe by this Adult Contemporary performer who writes, sings and plays the ukulele, piano as well as the guitar. I could imagine Steven Blane kicking ass during the 50s and 60s when artists like Bennett and Sinatra were the hippest men around. His immense talent, both vocally and as a songwriter, is probably wasted in an era where ears are more fine-tuned towards T-Pain’s Auto-Tune pitch correction effect than the sound of a sweet Baby Grand.

Having said that, Steven Blane is here now, and should be cherished by all those who still prefer real instruments and sweet melodies, wrapped around well-structured arrangements and enchanting chords. The 11-track “Taboo” album is a lovely getaway from the hustle and bustle of over indulgent electronics, compressed vocals and superfluous production values. Steven is accompanied by piano, bass and little else. He carries the weight of each and every song on his vocal deliveries.

Steven Blane

Steven Blane

“Taboo” is that too rare event: a perfect singer, a minimal but world class accompaniment. Throughout Blane’s voice remains as vital and powerful, and sensitive, as ever. The songs are exactly what you want to hear Steven sing: “Cold Blood”, “That’s All I Got To Say”, “Pretty Lies”, “Taboo”, “Naked” and “Crashing In” being the pick of the bunch for me. Any aspiring or experienced pianist would do well to heed Steven Blane; his keys, chord choices, their placement, fills and touch are almost always transparent and accessible, allowing relatively quick and sure transcription of what he does. Not the least of his special talents is his restraint; the outstanding musical performances creating the intimacy for Blane’s voice to revel in subtlety.

Rhythmically, lyrically and musically I think Steven Blane would appeal to at least three generations. It’s not often that I run into an album that contains more than one peak experience. On “Taboo”, Blane performs in a totally captivating set of carefully selected songwriting jewels, spinning mesmerizing performances, one after another. It is an essential recording for any fan of ballads, blues, jazz and esoteric pop songs.

“Taboo”, is a well-crafted, if undeniably slow-burning affair, which impressively shies away from cumbersome jazzy arrangements. Steve Blane, with his versatile, reassuringly far-reaching voice and burnished vocal style – can seemingly do no wrong. Much like “Kill Me Nice”, the works on this album feel honest, heartfelt, and uncompromising. If you give yourself over to the music, it is captivating and compelling, and I have the feeling that, over time, this will remain one of my favorite Steve Blane albums. Sure, I’ll still be popping in other releases by the man, but this album acts as a subtle emotional roller coaster, if such a thing is possible. It takes you on a journey of a desperation, love and hope going through its 11 tracks; definitely worth your precious time!

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