Category Archives: Music


Exclusive Interview: A Conversation With Joywave

Guest contributor Ryan Quint [ @ryan_quint ] of Universal Music Group sat down with Joywave — an indie rock band from Rochester, NY – best known for “Dangerous,” a collaboration with Big Data, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. Their current single, “Tongues” featuring KOPPS currently has over 300,000 views on Youtube and is featured on the FIFA15 Soundtrack. Joywave is currently on tour opening for Betty Who on the High Society Tour.

Youtube | Soundcloud | @joywavemusic

Conversation with Joywave — Oct 11, 2014 — Philly

Ryan Quint: Joywave formed in 2010 and has been releasing music since 2011, but your first huge success came in 2013 with Big Data’s “Dangerous,” did you have any idea when you were recording it that it would be a hit or even eventually reach #1 on the Billboard Alternative chart?

Dan: These are all very good facts that you’ve presented us with right now. Big Data was a band that me and Alan (from Big Data) started for a couple years and we just recorded 4 songs together in Brooklyn on 8 random dates over that period of time. And no, it was a total surprise. Alan had a full-time job, and I was doing Joywave full-time and then Sirius XM started playing the song and KROQ in LA started playing the song and everything really started happening. It was organic, people just liked the song. Definitely caught us off-guard.

RQ: Speaking of radio and success, I was driving the other day and “Tongues” came on the radio. What was your reaction the first time you heard your own single Dangerous on the radio?

Sean: We have about 20 videos of us listening to “Tongues” on the radio and each time someone will focus the camera on the radio station and then pan up to the person driving the car and they just have to act like they do not care.

Dan: I don’t remember the first time we heard it but I think it was on Sirius XM. I have a video of my mom listening to it, which is pretty awesome. She started screaming and doing an awesome mom dance. I think its on Instagram somewhere.

Paul: Hearing it on KROQ in LA was the best one because we were on the road in LA driving when we heard it.

RQ: Let’s talk about the video for “Tongues.” It has over 300,000 views on Youtube. It’s very unique. For anyone that hasn’t seen it, there is a lot of nudity, guns shooting clothes at people and an underlying love story.  Who’s idea was it, how did it all come about?

Paul: The director, The Daniels, they came up with the treatment and the idea, all of it and we instantly fell in love. How could you not?

[There is a warning due to some minor nudity - Agree to terms to watch]

RQ: There was also an underlying love story within the video.

Dan: Yea, like a Pocohantas thing.

Sean: So many layers.

Paul: You kinda have to watch twice because theres a lot going on.

RQ: Dan you described Joywave’s sound as “2080’s” (a mix that include 80’s new wave & orchestral music). Based on that, who would you say are Joywave’s musical influences, if any?

Dan: We don’t like genres. We’ve done everything we can to avoid them but still weave together something artistically and culturally with the band. I think the future of music is genre less. I still love records where its 1 sound all the way through but I’m more impressed when its awesome all the way without being the same song 11 times.

RQ: How did the High Society tour with Betty Who come about? Did she contact you guys specifically or was it more of a label decision

Dan: We met Betty at CMJ last year and she asked Sean to do a remix of “Somebody Loves You” and then from there she asked us to join the tour.

RQ: You’ve had a few shows already, how has it been going so far? You were sold out in NYC…

Dan: Yea it’s been awesome.

RQ: How Do You Feel? the EP is actually exactly 7 months old today so I want to do a little game where I ask you how you feel about something.

Dan: Happy Birthday EP!!

RQ: How did you find out about being on the FIFA15 Soundtrack along with Avicii, and Foster the People to name a few.

Sean: We just got copies of FIFA a couple days ago and we were playing it in the van just starting games and then starting over waiting to hear “Tongues” but never heard. So I’m taking your word for it that its in there.

RQ: That’s just what I’ve heard. I haven’t played it yet but maybe they’re lying to us.

Dan: We played a show in Columbus recently and the radio station there gave us a goodie bag and they gave us Columbus Crew scarves so I think thats our team now.

RQ: Would you call yourselves soccer fans?

Dan: No! But we’re Columbus Crew fans now. Whatever they’re doing, we’re fans of it.

RQ: How did you feel out about being named best “All Ages Dance Party” by Rolling Stone at Lollapalooza?

Dan: It was awesome. It was a really, really good surprise. None of us expected that.

RQ: They also named you an Emerging Artist as well.

Dan: Yea that was really good. I didn’t realize there were that many people from Rolling Stone watching our set.

RQ: Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Sean: [Laughs]. You’re looking at it. This is it.

Dan & Paul: Consume liquids.

Dan: Consume wifi. Paul stretches.

Paul: Yea, gotta do the Paul stretch.

RQ: Have you had a cheesesteak in Philly?

Dan: We’ve been to Tony Lukes!

RQ: Your last project, How Do You Feel, is now exactly 7 months old, your new album is due out in 2015, what is the current status of your upcoming LP?

Dan: The album is done. It’s getting mastered right now. I think we’ll have tracks trickle out throughout the Fall and Spring from it and then the full-length should be out in the first quarter of next year. I would guess by SXSW but there’s no official date.

RQ: Do you have a single that you’re ready to release from it?

Dan: Yea, I think “Somebody New” is going to be the next single. We’re gonna shoot a video for that.

RQ: Awesome, thanks guys!


Upcoming Show: Freddie Gibbs at Underground Arts 10/28

Presented by Bonfire: Next Tuesday October 28th Freddie Gibbs will be live on stage at Underground Arts. Fresh off stops north of the border in Canada and continuing all across the USA into November, Gibbs brings his talents to Philly with opening acts Remy Banks, GrandeMarshall and Voss.

Don’t miss out!! And get your TICKETS HERE ….

Connect with Freddie Gibbs | @FreddieGibbs | Facebook

Check out Gibbs’ mixtape here:


About Freddie Gibbs:

Freddie Gibbs is a direct product of Gary, Indiana’s East Side. Born into a vacuum of poverty, Gibbs is an uncut distillation of his surroundings.

Freddie’s keen survivalist mentality and work ethic won him a scholarship to Ball State University for football, but he was dismissed over questionable allegations. Gibbs was cast back into the sink-or-swim realities of his upbringing, and he resorted to pimping and manufacturing freebase to keep the lights on. A humble critic, Freddie never meant to be a part of the problem, and explored means of supporting himself without partaking in the cyclical plague of drugs and prostitution. A gifted writer who stood out amongst his peers with his reserved wit and command of language, Freddie began to rap about the things he saw.

As word of his skills spread to the coasts, he aligned himself with notable producers like The Alchemist, Red Spyda, Just Blaze, and Buckwild to create a discography that illustrates his experiences as a struggling denizen of a blighted community. In 2010, XXL Magazine caught wind of Freddie’s unique approach and nominated Gibbs to their Freshman Top 10. Subsequently, Freddie Gibbs’ previous mixtapes, which capture the forsaken instrumental aesthetic of 90’s boom-bap and juxtapose it with his distinctly Midwestern double-time flow, began to garner widespread critical acclaim and industry attention.

The rapper also endeavored to expand his musical horizons by teaming up with UK dubsteb producer Joker on a remix of the track “The Vision” and with New York indie-noise-pop duo Cults on a reworking of their track “Bad Things.” His willingness to both function in the world of gangster rap and to step outside the strict confines of hip hop to form unexpected collaborations with artists from a broad musical spectrum highlights a truly versatile musician.


Exclusive Interview: Grizfolk

Guest contributor Ryan Quint of Universal Music Group talked with Grizfolk after their recent tour stop with Bastille at the Liacouras Center [concert review] — promoting their new EP “From the Spark.”

Ryan: For people who are unfamiliar with Grizfolk, can you explain how the band came together?

Grizfolk: We met in LA. Adam, Bill, and Brendan had been in a band prior to Grizfolk. At the same time, Adam was writing songs with Fredrik and eventually met Sebastian. We stumbled upon a sound that inspired us to start a group, so we put all of our focus on that, which turned in to Grizfolk.

Ryan: Let’s talk about the Bad Blood / Last Stand tour. Did Bastille approach you specifically or was it more of a record label decision because you are both signed to Virgin?

Grizfolk: We originally did 3 shows with Bastille, and after the 3rd show Dan asked us to join him for the European tour. They also asked us to join them for the current tour “Bad Blood / Last Stand”. They are some of the hardest working guys we’ve ever met, and we’re honored to have them as friends as well as blessed to be able to join them on the road. 

Ryan: Your first big hit — “The Struggle” — gained success from the help of a friend’s blog post. Elaborate on this and explain how it eventually landed you a record deal with Virgin. Also, was there any competition in deciding on a record label?

Grizfolk: When we originally wrote The Struggle, we knew right away that we had stumbled upon something special. That song has opened a lot of doors for us, and I believe it was written in less than an hour. We put it on Soundcloud to share with our friend under the username Griz Adams, and Brandon from the Burning Ear posted it on his blog. It was very well received, and soon we went on tour. By the time we arrived in Portland, Virgin Records was flying in to have dinner with us and check out the show. From the start we had a great feeling about the music they put out and the staff. There were other labels interested but for us it seemed like a great match, as well as perfect timing. 

Ryan: I was recently introduced to Grizfolk and learned that all of the members come from different musical backgrounds, ranging from Hip-Hop to Rock to Funk and Electronic. Does this ever cause issues when making music or is this musical diversity an advantage?

Grizfolk: When we write songs, the influences come out naturally. It’s an honest stylistic collaboration where anything is possible. 

Ryan: The Beastie Boys are one of many major influences on Grizfolk. Who are some of your other musical influences?

Grizfolk: We love all of Justin Vernon’s projects: Bon Iver, volcano choir, and the shouting matches. More recently, most of us have been listening to Ryan Adams new record quite a bit. Chet Faker and Blood Orange, also.

Ryan: California is an inspiration for your music; you specifically mentioned Joshua Tree in one interview. I visited this past summer and it was incredible. Talk about how California, Joshua Tree in particular, inspires you.

Grizfolk: When we write music, we imagine where the song takes place. Sometimes it’s the desert, sometimes is downtown LA or maybe the mountains or on a boat out at sea. We are inspired by people, places and ideas and there’s quite lot of great people, places and ideas in California. 

Ryan: I personally love the message portrayed in your new single, “Hymnals”, about pursuing dreams because life is short. Would you say that this is a major theme in your music?

Grizfolk: We all definitely have the mentality of never giving up and pursuing dreams, no matter what the outcome may be. We tend to have themes of people traveling the lonesome roads, trying to find what really matters to them. 

Ryan: Are there any plans for making new music while on tour or are you strictly focused on the shows?

Grizfolk: We’re always working on new songs when we’re on tour. It’s a very convenient age of technology, in that whenever we get inspired on the road we can open our laptops and start working. No matter if we’re in the van, in a hotel or even on stage sound checking, we have some sort of tools available for us to create something new. 

Grizfolk’s new single “Hymnals” – from the band’s 2014 EP From The Spark (Virgin Records) – impacts Alternative radio this month.

From The Spark on iTunes:


10/24 – Rochester, NY @ Main Street Armory w/Bastille

10/29 – San Diego, CA @ University of California, San Diego

10/29 – San Diego, CA @ The Loft

10/30 – Stockton, CA @ University of Pacific

11/11 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent

11/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Expo Hall w/Bastille

11/21 – Pomona, CA @ Fox Theater w/Bastille

Follow Grizfolk:


Album Premier: Choosey – Left Field

Very little has been known about Dirty Science‘s latest disciple Choosey since he floated on to the scene. We got a swig of the LA lyricist’s hazy repertoire a few week’s back when he landed on our First Look radar and graced us with the swinging specimen that was his Exile-produced “Fly Me To The Moon.” Today, however, it appears it’s time to get the full treatment with a listen and download of his debut tape Left Field [LISTEN HERE], which is poised to redefine that flooded end of the musical spectrum with notable sonic smiths like KnxwledgeAbjo, L!STED and the aforementioned patriarch of the crew.

The album is available to stream in its entirety, just be sure to cop it for the low, low price of free ninety-nine if the vibe hits you. Please trust, there’s a whole lot in the works from the Blessed Coast bomber, so be sure to check back in the weeks and months to come for some more sounds and sights to put you mind at ease. In the meantime, get acquainted with Choosey and the crew’s debut tape in the player down below.


New Music from Ebony Joi and BJ The Chicago Kid

Ebony Joi and BJ the Chicago Kid collaborate on the sultry R&B track “Down Down Baby.” The latest single from the Philly songstress and Chicago-bred chanteur, is full of harmony, classically smooth vocals and effortless chemistry.

Listen Here on Soundcloud:

Ebony and BJ also give a nod to Rose Royce’s ‘70s hit “I’m Going Down” (made popular by Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Going Down” with their soulful ditty about an innocent love. Produced by Steve McKie, Adam Blackstone and Corey Bernhard, the track offers a sweeter side to love we could hear a lot more of. Featuring light percussion, keys and skilled guitar riffs, the song anchors the singers’ vocals to produce a timeless offering anyone can groove to.

Ebony Joi’s debut EP Ace of Spades was released in the fall of 2013 under Mckie Beats Production and she’s since performed all over the country with the likes of Bilal, Kindred the Family and more.


EDM star Kiesza @ TLA: Recap

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Last Tuesday night [Sept 30th] Philly got a glimpse of a potential star seemingly on the rise in the form of Kiesza. The Canadian born songstress and dance-centric artist, along with co-writer and producer Rami Samir Afuni [who is also responsible for Lady Gaga's ummm provocative G.U.Y. - watch video HERE], have scored a massive worldwide hit with their debut Hideaway. The song topped the UK pop charts and was approaching 70million plays on Spotify at time of post and over 125million on Youtube and has electrified dance floors and even retail shops alike — if anyone stopped into Uniqlo’s opening this past weekend you’d know what I’m talking about.

The initial success of Kiesza’s chorus driven — and 90’s dance music inspired smash hit is not up for debate. But the question remaining to be answered will be the focus of the next chapter of her story… Is Kiesza here to stay? Her fans and critics will gain insight this month as her new album Sound of a Woman is set to drop October 21st.

As for her live show, she kept it short and sweet and fun, showing off her strong combined talents of high-energy choreographed dance with a supporting duo and sharp and powerful vocals ringing out above a live drummer and DJ pumping out the beats.

As expected, her show built up to and concluded with Hideaway, which whipped the crowd into a frenzy and everyone poured out onto South St. with a real good feeling about what they just saw.

During a brief technical cable malfunction, Kiesza sprung into a handstand and walked across the stage upside down and then exclaiming, “See? I’m here to entertain you!” She did just that and even alluded to her abbreviated music library she is certainly excited to see grow. So, next time we see Kiesza live in Philly there may be a whole lot more time to dance with her.

Photo credits // Daniel Wooden


Vitaminwater Uncapped | Recap

vitaminwater uncapped: Last Tuesday night [Sept 23rd] was the #Uncapped concert series hosted by Vitaminwater® at 2424 Studios in Fishtown.

Fans lined up early a block long into the street and when concert-goers arrived inside, the wood-floored room was dark and filled with pink and purple lights. The ambience of the room made guests feel at ease and took them away from reality for a bit.

Many people heard about this RSVP only event by word of mouth. “My friend is a local rapper, so he informed me about this event. If he never told me, I wouldn’t know about it,” said North Philly native Deeda. “I knew I couldn’t miss it mainly because Jhene Aiko was going to perform.”

While people waited anxiously for the show to begin, a Vitaminwater® bar was set-up. They served free cold bottles of their drink in a variety of flavors along with their newest product, canned energy drinks.

Next to the Vitaminwater® bar was a t-shirt making station, where guests could pick out a black or blue design for a white tee which was free. Also, there was a gif photobooth that allowed people to take a few second gif.

DJ Diamond Kuts was spinning out catchy beats and getting the crowd hyped for the three performers, Raury, Ty Dolla $ign, and Jhene Aiko. Most people sang along when the talented DJ played popular hits.

Raury was the first performer to hit the stage, wearing his famous hat. The young artist had no problem revving up the crowd. He sang with a full band some hits from his new mixtape, Indigo Child. He even covered some Rock classics from Nirvana and Queen. The entire crowd went wild singing along when he passionately sang the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Ty Dolla $ign was next to perform. He came came on stage wearing a ski mask, some could say Kanye-esque. He took it off after the third song. Ty sang a mixture of his hit singles from his newly released mixtape, $ign Language.

The moment finally came that the crowd waited for all night — probably all week. The super-talented, Jhene Aiko, owned the stage to say the least. She performed strong ballads including her new single “The Worst” and “The Pressure.” Her new album “Souled Out” [Read Album Review] was released on September 9th this year.

Photos Daniel Wooden // Words Christina Dogas // Editor Aran Hart


Buy Merch from your Favorite Philly Artists on MerchBar!

There is now a new, easy, convenient way to buy merch from your favorite Philadelphia artists with Merchbar.  One way to describe the app (directly from the developer Ed Aten himself) is   ‘the best way to discover and buy merch from the bands you love.’

Merchbar is a fan’s best destination for authentic merchandise from their favorite artists and a great partner for merchandise companies and artists to increase sales and get their products in front of fans.

Merchbar currently partners with merchandise companies of all sizes – from massive conglomerates like Universal/Vivendi to individual independent artists.

Go ahead and download the app today from the iOS App Store.