Jona Da King – “Roots Of Love” EP – balancing rhymes, and soulful crooning|

Jona Da King is a hip-hop artist from Toronto, Ontario, based in Edmonton, Alberta. Jona is set to release his EP “Roots Of Love” which is scheduled to drop September 30th 2020. The artist has an eclectic musical palette which is colored by Hip-hop, R&B, Pop, as well as Jazz and Rock tones. We checked out his prime tracks in anticipation of the EP, and if the goal of this release is to make a breakout statement that Jona Da King is getting seriously started, he’s succeeded, delivering some of the smoothest, most mellifluous urban sounds we’ve heard in music

Berani – “Cut And Taste” strikes an incredible balance of disparate elements

Berani is an electronic beat maker with a diverse sound spectrum and a tendency to produce bouncing rhythms or spacious and relaxing aural experiences. In a short time span, this emerging artist out of Byron Bay in Australia, has discerning music fans and casual listeners paying attention. The sound design throughout his latest single “Cut And Taste” is what we’ve come to expect from this creative top tier producer: popping percussion, basslines that melt like butter and a healthy dose of twisted horns to make everything bump in a soul-like fashion. Sprinkled around the track are sonic effects that keep

EsZ – “Liquor & Emotions” – introspective and emotional

Hip-hop has been cranking out bangers and high energy anthems for decades, but the average genre historian is well aware that dark or emotional thoughts on a chill backdrop is not a foreign concept for the game. After all, profound moodiness feels rather natural for a culture that grew out of urban plight and the trauma of purposely disenfranchised people. It makes sense that at least some mellow tunes in the genre, reflect deep-thinking speculation, in what artist EsZ, describes as thoughts on “life, growth and fake friends” in his track “Liquor & Emotions”. The song is a drunk text

Quad – “Love” embellishes each track with his personal revelations

Based in the south of Chicago, Quad started making music when he was around 14 years old and started taking it artistically seriously two years later. He produces, records, mixes and masters, using only a Blue Yeti microphone and FL Studios. So far Quad has written over 300 songs and released 1 EP, 1 Album and 8 singles. Currently training as an audio engineer at SAE University in Chicago, Quad explained that his latest album “Love” describes his personal understanding of the sentiment. The album “Love” was written and recorded over the course of 2 months after Quad was electrocuted

Acemattz & Bipha shine on “Tshanana”

Watching Acemattz & Bipha perform in any of their videos is like watching friends realize they’re onto something big time. They are accomplished rappers individually, on their own terms, and as collaborators, as a unit, their styles gel perfectly. They’re not just comfortable performing together—they are feeding off of each other, refusing to be one-upped, beaming and grinning and head-bobbing as they take turns impressing one another. By the end of each of their performances, their formation into a real show-stopping combination seems inevitable. In the new wave rap scene, there is plenty of talent to go around, Acemattz &

FuzzKill – “The Get Better” reaches all the expected heights!

FuzzKill is a four-piece rock band that started in Boston, MA. Introduced to one another through musical theatre, the band’s sound is firmly rooted in early 2000’s pop-punk influences. They released their debut studio album, “Happen”, in early 2019, and their sophomore album, “The Get Better”, just dropped on September 19th 2020. We have all heard the biggest punk bands of the 90’s and early 00’s. Their music mainly consisted of driving drums, distorted pop-punk guitar work and a set of memorable lyrics to go with the angst-filled high energy vocals. Today punk bands are a rarity, and any good

Dan Friese – ‘Jane Songs’ is something to be treasured!

Dan Friese is an Oregon-based songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist. In April of 2020, he released his debut EP, ‘Happiness’, a collection of self-reflective psychedelic indie-folk tracks. His first full-length effort, ‘Jane Songs’, was released on September 18th, and is available on all major platforms, along with the singles “Streetlight” and “I Can’t Say”. There’s a lot to appreciate on the new album, and Dan’s voice is arguably the most attractive aspect. Moreover, his vocals are often enhanced by inspiring songwriting and raw emotion, not to mention a wealth of down to earth acoustic guitar strumming. Dan Friese has an organic,

INTERVIEW: C.E.N. – the voice of the people

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and currently a resident of Dallas, Texas, C.E.N’s natural proficiency over poetry allowed him to produce meaningful and profound lyrics. Although he initially took the initiative to become a music artist for fame and fortune, he later realized that all he desires as a musician is to be respected and valued for the art he brings to the table. His music is deep lyrically and spiritually. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started? C.E.N.: I was born in Oklahoma City, OK, and was raised in a

Hitrocker – “Project One” – breathtaking sound design!

Hitrocker is a German based producer who creates mainly within the EDM subgenres of House, Electro and Deep House. His first album, entitled “Project One” was released at the end of July, while “Project Two” is also out now. When I clicked on the playlist of “Project One”, I was met with song titles that were merely numbers – such as “Project 1.1” or “Project One.Four”. This falsely led me to expect generically themed instrumentals, simply meant to rock the dancefloor. Wrong. Well not totally. They do rock the dancefloor. But they also do a whole lot more. These are

Rashod Holmes Announces New Single ‘The One’

The soul singer relives how he met his wife and started his family on a tender new song. Rashod Holmes is known for bringing romance to life with his evocative voice, but he has never told as personal a story as the one he tells with his latest single. ‘The One’ is a true life love story that acknowledges the struggles and triumphs that go into building a long-lasting relationship. “I found the one for me” Rashod sings. “She is the girl of my dreams.” While Rashod is convinced that he has found the perfect partner, there is much more

Rex Macadangdang: “The Pasadena Sessions” – a maverick in today’s corporate music scene

There’s nothing like a pop music mystery. It intrigues, it induces wonder, it confuses. Mysteries, in these days of production line pap, faux-angry American noise bands and Rap moaners, is hard to find. Everything seems so formulaic, so predictable, and so staid. Although new bands are emerging, they seem…well, simple. Rex Macadangdang is many things. Simple is not one of them. Rex’s music is a quiet storm, a swirling, powerful quiet storm intent on sweeping you up and never letting you go. It almost seems like Rex doesn’t belong here, like we should be eternally grateful for his very existence. Of course we could go back to listening to the Beatles and Kinks records to here that sound, filled with gorgeous melodies again.

The harmonies and hooks are indelibly tied to early 60s pop, with a strong tip of the hat to the set of famous Liverpudlians. Rex Macadangdang’s sound, despite the obvious linkage to a bygone era, never sounds dated, maintaining a fresh, unique identity without ever becoming derivative or ironic.

Rex Macadangdang is an enigma, a maverick in today’s corporate music scene. Though he plays 60’s influenced pop, when you listen to his latest record “The Pasadena Sessions”, it all seems so much more. The melodies are like perfect dreams from which you will never wake up.

The first time you hear them, it’s like you’ve spent every day of your life listening to them. They seem to induce some sort of chemical reaction in the brain that spreads joy throughout your body. The way the melody peaks and troughs on “Beautiful and Amazing” the layered chorus of “Melody”, the orgasmic horn-filled opening of “Walking In The Rain”. It’s perfection.

Lyrically, Macadangdang is as good as they come. His songs are blessed with a Morrissey style classical allusion, yet he is able to sum up complex emotions with simple lines. The slight Mersey-Beat sound of “Gimme Love” carries Rex’s uplifting lyrics, bringing to mind bands like the Monkees. “Melody” begins in a swirl of guitar and saxophone, not quite psychedelic, but enough to provoke the imagery.

The song’s clutter drops to reveal a rich mid-tempo retro-pop song without calling on the production clichés of the day. Clearly Rex Macadangdang strives for perfection in his arrangements, but that constant strive for perfection leads to a stellar, enduring set of tight, muscular and thrilling pop music. The four tunes on the disc are concise, sharp, pop tunes, filled with memorable hooks and punchy 60’s inspired melodies.

Rex Macadangdang harmonizes well together with Annie Hardy and Marisa Frantz on the vocal parts, while the rhythm section with Brandon Davis on the drums is solid.  Joni Fuller on Violin and Michelle Packman on Cello, together with Cameron Black on saxophone bring rich embellishments to the arrangements, and the songs themselves are breathtaking.

If ever an advert was needed for melodically structured, unpretentious pop songs being enough to forge a legendary sound, this is it. Also thanks to the production by Doug Grean, “The Pasadena Sessions” is a timeless recording, packed with pop numbers that reflect the glory days of classic British guitar music, without ever becoming a poor imitation.

Ultimately, the brilliance of “The Pasadena Sessions” lies in how its creator feels liberated, not constrained, by the songs’ classic palette. Where so many revivalist acts become restricted by their choice of music, Rex Macadangdang absolutely revels in it, free to explore the 60s fantasia inside his own head.

MORE ABOUT Rex Macadangdang: Born in Kansas City, Rex’s familial roots are in the Philippines, though he has been in L.A. most of his life. Besides music, Rex is a scholar, and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He has recently launched an online business based on his other passion, which involves making music videos for other artists. In his spare time, he keeps up with the latest movie releases, watches football and basketball, goes to Disneyland and hangs out at the beach when he has the chance. He loves spicy food, especially Mediterranean and Thai – the hotter the better! He meditates for at least thirty minutes a day, and cites a strong faith in God, which reflects effortlessly through the ethereal tones in his music and his lyrics, which are at times reverent and often reflective of a life continually filled with the wonder of it all.

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