Friday Damatrix Studios was highlighted on NY1 news for being the original platform for both artists and radio hosts alike for over ten years.
Catch the clip:
I am not sure and like anything else the ideais up for interpretation, but one thing I do know is every artist to touch the stage August 30th for the monthly Acoustic Exchange residency at Harlem Nights Bar presented by Steff Reed, was walking in theirs.
Every last Tuesday when I walk through those doors I am transported to another place in time. Where the energy and love flows freely , and is present in abundance. No one is worried about expelling all they have because the vibes are all reciprocated and shared. This is our sanctuary and we worship one another as artists, creators, and humans.
“Walking in your Truth” could have been the title of a short EP with the collective of songs sang by Kaya Nicole. Her stage presence and talent draws you in to where you almost feel what she must be feeling as she offers a piece of herself through lyrics and passion. Kaya Nicole really took us to church with the amount of light and energy she left on that stage. I wouldn’t be surprised if a piece of her heart was left right there where she preformed.
Then we all got to reminisce on the days of R&B crooning when Ryan Lane took the stage preforming a medley of R&B covers. He evoked the energy of 90’s R&B taking his show from the stage to the crowd. He even danced!!! How many new R&B singers do you see dancing and spreading their energy around the room among the fans?
Lea Anderson closed out the show with a mix of chantuesse meets 16 bars. With her new album [Pronounced (Lee)] out she took us through a brief synopsis of what it offers performing several songs anyone can relate to. We have all had our trials and tribulations with people and more specifically, love.
I can not express in enough words just what occurs from 7pm to midnight in Harlem Nights every last tuesdy of the month. Just know if you need to refresh your soul, find inspiration, rest a weary mind, collaborate with like spirits this is the place you need to be.
Josh DWH took his day to celebrate another year of life and gave gifts out. One in the form of his new visual for the track “Lately”. An ode to the ups and downs of the grind. The visual is a summed up version of the day in the life of Josh as he Dreams, Works, & Hustles.
This past Tuesday we received a new visual from Frank Knight for the track “I Kno3”. Most people have stopped putting a real story line in their visuals (and songs) so this was a refreshing video. On the technical side it was shot and edited impeccably, but it is where the visual concept links up with the lyrical content and they mesh that intrigued me. The visual and track having a certain cohesion which adds a whole new layer and dynamic to the track itself.
Frank Knight “I Kno3”
Produced By: The Gonz
Directed & Filmed By: Landon Yost (@landonyost)
Assistant Camera: Devan Davies-Wood
Make-Up: Ladybug Beauty (@ladybugbeautynyc)
Stunt Double: God$Plan
With racial tensions at an all time high in the United states of America we have once again been pacified with “them” telling OUR story via their Hollywood production teams and studios with series such as “Underground” & the remake of “Roots”. While on the surface we are suppose to be thankful for them putting our struggles we overcame in the lime light I cant help but feel slighted in a way.
Why is the only time a black actor or black cast stars in a movie/show it ends up being some pre or post slavery narrative or a stereotypical black family movie? On one hand we are suppose to praise how far we have come from playing butler & mammies to be playing butlers & mammies. On the other hand, how far does that really put us? The producer, director, studio, etc will make ten times what any black actor made in the capitalization of our story or proposed dynamic.
This does not sit well with me. So while I can appreciate OUR story being told (no matter how diluted or sugar coated) I still feel like it is all a part of some minstrel show.
Which brings me to Black Panther to star Chadwick Boseman. May all marvel comic lovers forgive me for being naive to the specifics of this character and his story line, but what I do know is he is a black super hero. A black super hero from a major franchise headlining in his own movie. Some may wonder why this would mean more to me in the strides for equality in the entertainment industry and let me explain.
It is one thing to receive a role a black person must play based off a story line, it is another to receive a role that is a-typical of a white actor. Some will argue that he is a black super hero so a black man must play him but can we take into account the fact that they even decided to give this black character a whole movie. The reason this strikes me is purely psychological. What some may not realize is that subliminal indoctrination is very real. If all you see on your screen is black people reliving a not so distant past, or feeding into the stereotypes that apparently defines what being black in america is, you will find these things to be true and acceptable. A feeling of triumph in being allowed to see a black person play a slave makes many people think we have made it. Like the issues are all solved. We’re free.
Same as being content with the majority of the movies that display faces that you can identify with having a story line full of dynamics and behaviors stereotypically associated black people, families, & communities. While some can discern between the fact that it is just that; a stereotype, others are not even aware of the fact that they see it and accept it as reality.
Now, to see a black face in what is typically a white lead role is breaking boundaries to me.
And if you think we don’t have boundaries to break reference last year when the rumor hit that Idris Elba might be playing James Bond. A fictional character. To say some fans where in an uproar is an understatement.
Starring: Chadwick Boseman
This past weekend concluded the 12th annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. Having just signed to Roc-Nation, femcee Rapsody took the stage among the likes of BK native and the ever so aware and enlightened Talib Kweli. Fabolous also put on for his home town of BK. One of the more underrated rappers to hail from Brooklyn. Headlined by one of the pioneers of lyrical hip-hop, Nas took the stage in the sunset as the climax of a hip hop lovers dream.
ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Marian Hill popped up on my radar one day while I was revamping my “Earned It” playlist. (Yes, that would be my sex playlist.) The track “Got it” was on some random playlist and the opening line got me: “I got this thing, gonna blow your mind.” Marian Hill consists of Singer-Songwriter Samantha Gongol and producer Jeremy Lloyd. It took a while for me to venture over to their EP “Sway” which gave us 7 songs and just a taste of what the duo has to offer.
Now we have “Act One”, their first full length project. Blending soft vocals with electro house vibes the two have created a sound fit for any mood.
The “Acoustic Exchange” theme for the month of May was “Transformation”; a word that can be subjective in what it means and where it is applied.
If you are not familiar with the “Acoustic Exchange” it is the residency founded and ran by Steff Reed x New Soul Renaissance that takes place every last tuesday of the month at Harlem Nights Bar ( 138th & Adam Clayton Powell in Harlem). “Acoustic Exchange” is a organic exchange of art and energy amongst creatives of all types. The place fills up with singers, musicians, poets, revolutionaries, activists, painters, dancers, and those who simply appreciate the arts. Then they share. Share their talents, their thoughts, their vibes, their hearts. From the beginning to the end there is an exchange of love between strangers, friends, and family alike that is surreal.
May featured Jillian Faith & Eric Manuel (@jillianfaithmusic & @ericmanuel12) a sister and brother who came all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio to be apart of the “Acoustic Exchange”. Sharing a few original songs as well as covers they started the night off after the always necessary impromptu jam session.
Jam sessions accompany the opening and closing of each “Acoustic Exchange”
R.O.E. which stands for “Rising Over Envy” (@risingoverenvy) is a rapper transplanted to nyc via Chicago as a gift to the ever evolving hip-hop culture. With lyrics full of substance and thought provoking messages R.O.E. gave a refreshing wake-up to the room.
Steff Reed always manages to bring an innovative set to “Acoustic Exchange” this time blending in covers like the one of N.E.R.D’s “She wants to move” amongst his original songs. He also took his set as a chance to honor the legacy that is Prince which left a vibe in the room that showed just how influential a man Prince was and still is.
Shay Leonia ended the night. The gifted songstress as well as her background vocalists released the soul for the night. Starting with a rendition of an original song translated into spanish she showed the versatility that an artist can still have today. Giving respect to many singers of the past who sang in several languages. Think Nina Simone. Shay left the night in a good place with a few covers of classic 90’s.
The night was once again an overall success thanks to the vision and efforts of Steff Reed and those who help bring this event to life.
The last Tuesday of every month at Harlem Nights (2361 7th avenue/138th street. NYC) For More info:http://iamsteffreed.com/acousticexcha…
Showtime is from 8pm-12am
Admission is Free.
Watch “Doghouse Radio” every Thursday 8-9pm on www.damatrixstudios.com/onair
Tune into “N.Ex.T.U.P Radio” every Monday 8-10pm on www.damatrixstudios.com with the Lovely Ms Mocha Marie.