Sofia Evangelina: “This Is Your Song” – a powerful force, full of life and personality

More so than many of her peers, 16 year old Sofia Evangelina can really let it rip. With a crystal timbre, she seems destined to howl away on hits for years to come. It’s tempting to root for Sofia – she possesses one of the better pure voices of the current teen-pop crop. But as any well-navigated industry professional will tell you, talent is only half the story; you need many more ingredients to make an impact. Sofia is at her most powerful when she is at her most raw; in fact, she feels most in control when she’s truly

Kaytlyn Cate: “You’re Making My Heart Feel Like” – captivates with perceptive sensitivity and devastating simplicity

Kaytlyn Cate, the singer-songwriter who hails from the Cascade Mountain range of the Pacific Northwest, was called “the alt-rock genre’s best kept secret”, by Pitchfork, on hearing her first single. Since then she has been reinventing herself, and is currently hard at work on her forthcoming EP, “The Blue Hour”, with producer David Samuel. At the same time Kaytlyn is also busy in the West Coast club scene and booking shows for the 2019 season, as her brand new single gains traction. A confident, empowering woman in music always makes for a great listen, and the captivating first impression of

J.Vargas The Investment: “Im So NY (I’m So New York)” ft. L-BLESS is hard to resist

Born and Raised in Brooklyn, NY, J.Vargas The Investment is a cross-genre music producer, songwriter, recording artist and entrepreneur. The Investment has been building up his catalog with single and album releases for some time now, and has gained traction with the song, “Im So NY (I’m So New York)” ft. L-BLESS – a recording artist based out of NYC.  If you’re an artist living in the city that never sleeps, chances are you’ve written about its endless dynamics in some manner. Musicians have attempted to elucidate what makes the city’s allure so transcendental – its expansiveness, its majesty, its

Blake G’s Double Crossover. “Caminar Sin Ti” and “Number One”, Invading The Airwaves

On November 9th, Blake G’s first English single was released. The catchy “Number One”, produced by Big D, channels the good ol’ 50s Rock n’ Roll style, infused with electronic sounds that makes it even more so unique.  The signature 50’s beat, completely modernized, with a great sounding, contagious bass, and today’s sound, compliments Blake G’s vocals on a memorable, superb pop tune that gets easily stuck in your earlobes for good. Blake G, the young up and coming sensation, found his calling in music. He caught the attention of the legendary producer Emilio Estefan Jr, who has been pivotal

A Pastor Releases New Song “Peddlers of Fear”

A Pastor Releases New Song “Peddlers of Fear” – Song written by a pastor and grandfather of three, who he calls “grandpa’s girls”  As he was recently watching them for an afternoon. When he got home he turned on the news. He was struck by the contrast between their joy, live in the moment, innocence and the fear-mongering in our current culture reflected in the news. In time, of course, the pastor knew his grand-daughters would grow and change. But he’s worried how their development might be effected if such a cultural climate of fear persisted. Other questions began to

ROBERT MILLER’S PROJECT GRAND SLAM RELEASES THE SONG “TREE OF LIFE (DEDICATED TO THE VICTIMS)”

New York, NY – A Plea For Peace, Sanity And Gun Control. In Response To The Recent Pittsburgh Synagogue And California Mass Shootings. America is plagued by hatred and wanton, senseless gun violence. Yesterday it was 12 college age people who were gunned down in California. Just two weeks ago it was a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh which took 11 lives. And many more such tragedies have occurred over the years.  Something has to be done. Robert Miller, leader of the band Project Grand Slam, decided to do something. He has written and released today

Ross is a Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, Dance, and EDM music producer inspired by old-school beats of previous eras

Born in Detroit and raised in Miami, Ross is known for his hard work, humble attitude, and passionate dedication and commitment to his music. His career to date has spanned over twenty years and includes producing local television shows, co-owning the Prestigious Tempo Entertainment Studios, scoring for films, and collaborating with and producing artists from various genres. As a producer, writer, and sometimes singer on his own tracks, which also include featured artists, Ross’ songs are labeled as ROSS Presents. An artist who creates and performs behind the scenes, Ross’ physical identity remains a mystery. Ross’ recently-released track “Look at

Mike Dekleva: “Psychedelia” immediately grabs your attention

Instrumental rock guitarist Mike Dekleva has released his second four song EP, “Psychedelia”,on Friday, November 9, 2018. This is the follow-up to his critically acclaimed and award-winning 2015 debut instrumental EP, “Synergy.” Recorded at Paragon Recording Studios in Franklin, Tennessee, and in Dekleva’s home recording studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Psychedelia” was co-produced by Dekleva and Nashville session guitarist Robbie Calvo, and features performances by Dekleva (lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars), Robbie Calvo (rhythm guitars), Jason Webb (piano and keyboards), Amanda McCoy (bass guitar) and Grady Saxman (drums and percussion). “Psychedelia” was mixed by Casey Barker at Paragon Recording Studios,

Kaytlyn Cate – The New Single – “Making My Heart Feel Like”

Singer/songwriter Kaytlyn Cate hails from the picturesque Cascade Mountain range of the Pacific Northwest. Upon the release of her first single, Pitchfork called Kaytlyn “the alt-rock genre’s best kept secret”. Writing about the deepest emotional issues that belie youth and innocence, Kaytlyn’s lyrical work addresses the themes of love, hope, fear, hurt, heartache, and haunting insecurity. In addition to writing songs for other artists, Kaytlyn has been hard at work on her forthcoming EP, ‘The Blue Hour’, with producer David Samuel. Kaytlyn has been reinventing herself as an artist since her first debut. She felt Darkside was not representing who she

Ronnie Walka is a perfectionist when it comes to his craft

Like a cool breeze on a humid day Ronnie Walka comes in like a breath of fresh air with his new offering. Coming off of the visuals for “TIFTL”, his soulful tribute to womanhood, “You and I” is a passionate plea from a man nearing the end of a relationship that he’s battling to save. In the process of the breakup he begins to reminisce about better times yearning to turn the clock back. A real make up to break song that will have you feeling every single word. Ronnie is a perfectionist when it comes to his craft, with

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 of stunning songs. His long anticipated debut album entitled “Merlot & Marijuana” conveys a sense of summation, as Donovan deploys a lavish roster of all-star talent in a broad overview of R&B, and urban music flavors in general.

There is no stylistic redlining on Juan Donovan’s block, where contemporary R&B, RnBass, Soul, Trap, and Ambient all get credit – sometimes in imaginative combinations that occupy the same song. The album’s main strengths are a thorough smattering of variety that guarantees almost infinite replay value, and a plethora of stylish vocal thrust to go with Donovan’s brilliant compendium of styles and luxurious production touch.

Wonderful musicality says an awful lot –as Donovan doesn’t make beats as much as he produces songs – and the high points on “Merlot & Marijuana” are brimming with it. The opening song “Work” (feat. Devon Hill), which drops in after the intro, is a slow, bracing, potentially influential amalgam, in which Donovan weaves yearning choral motifs, around and over busy hi-hats and pianos, then turns up the melodic juice with some soulful crooning by Devon Hill. Donovan’s role on this album can be likened to that of a high class tailor who chooses the cloth then cuts it to perfection.

He shines with his ability to not just make human voices sound enticing, but ensures that together with the music they become irresistibly captivating. With his eyes, heart and musical mind always fully focused on the project, the occurrence of a perfect match between vocals and instrumentals, is repeated on every track on “Merlot & Marijuana”.

Both “Presence” (feat. Tatmancoop x Shayla) and “All Over Me” (feat. MKHL x Aliché) are such brilliantly constructed pieces of music. The melodies are infectious as the vocals transport you to a world of slow groove with some awesome arrangements.

Every element of “Fireworks” (feat. Aliché) has been carefully thought out. Every frame of its construction from the synth interludes, the vocals, and the ability to let the song simmer in its instrumental with Aliché putting in a stellar vocal performance.

Juan Donovan is able to arrange and compose songs to fit any sort of mood. His musical knowledge is all on display with this project, and can be savored on the piano-driven instrumental “Arturo Fuente”. Chrxstal’s mesmerizing vocals are in full force on “Running On E” (feat. Chrxstal). This mellow groove is pretty intoxicating with its finger-snapping beat.

For me personally, “Roses” (feat. Adria Jenée x KenTheMan) is one of the album’s absolute highlights. The instrumentation, especially the bass lines and thumping kick drum are intensely manipulating on the senses. The track also has an edgy urban flavor as the rapped lines perfectly contrast the soft melodic vocals and lush production.

To be fair, “Lost In A Minute” (feat. Danni Jackson x M.A.V.), is pretty much locked into the same hierarchy. It’s hard to imagine anyone listening to this downtempo groove on replay and not attempt to sing along with the chorus at least once.

Juan Donovan clearly wanted to bring together some of the finest voices in the game as well as compose and arrange some fantastic pieces of music. Many songs here play testimony to that fact. Sometimes he allows those voices to reach out on their own, as on the smooth and soulful “Win Your Love” (feat. Danni Jackson).

Even as I listen to the closing instrumental track, “Indulge”, I can appreciate the amount of work that has gone into these 11 tracks, in what is one of the most listenable R&B and urban music albums I have heard in a very long while.

Overall these tracks present a treasure trove of skills sets from Juan Donovan and his collaborators. It may take a few listens to fully grasp the source of each groove, the choice of voices, the song structures and the arrangements, but you will connect to it on the very first listening. And that’s a sign of great music – something which captures you instantly, and then allows you to unpack and unfold it for deeper, sumptuous and endless listening pleasure!

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