Category Archives: Music


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.


Khari Mateen’s new song “Wanting More” leaves you… wanting more.

Back from 9-months of touring for both RJD2 and Cody Simpson, Grammy Nominated and Emmy Winning Composer, Producer, Singer, Songwriter, and Multi-Instrumentalist Khari Mateen releases his new self-produced single accompanied by a self-directed video.

“Share it, tell a friend, this is just the beginning.
(K) And what a beginning it is.

Watch the official video for ‘Wanting More’ now below:

BIG GIGANTIC is coming to Philadelphia on Friday, October 24

The night is still young for BIG GIGANTIC, one of the most celebrated acts in live music right now, who will be hitting the road this fall on their “Touch the Sky Tour.” The headlining outing will be stopping locally in PHILADELPHIA onFRIDAY, OCTOBER 24 at the TOWER THEATRE with support from Paper Diamond and Manic Focus.

Oct 24 Philadelphia, PA Tower Theatre w/ Paper Diamond & Manic Focus TICKETS


The month-long tour in support of their fifth studio album THE NIGHT IS YOUNG(available as a free download via kicks off right after BIG GIGANTIC performs with Bassnectar at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City. Named after The Night Is Young album cut “Touch the Sky”—an electro-leaning dance track drizzled with jazzy sax tones courtesy of BIG GIGANTIC’s Dominic Lalli and live drums per Jeremy Salken—the tour will capture BIG GIGANTIC’s explosive live show at every stop. Sandwiched between their headlining dates will also be four shows featuring BIG GIGANTIC supporting their good friend and recent Bonnaroo Superjam collaborator Skrillex.


Prior to the “Touch The Sky Tour,” BIG GIGANTIC will host “ROWDYTOWN III,” their third annual hometown show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.  Set for Friday, September 26 and Saturday, September 27, “ROWDYTOWN III” will feature different support lineups for each night, offering fans an even bigger party this year with its expansion to two days. Supporting BIG GIGANTIC on Friday, September 26 will be Brooklyn-based electro-house trio Savoy, Canadian electronic music duo DVBBS, Kansas-based brother duo The Floozies and two tweener sets from producer/DJ Trippy Turtle;Saturday’s lineup will feature the newly reunited Toronto trio The New Deal, hip-hop duo Caked Up, Atlanta-based electronic producer HeRobust and another two tweener sets from Trippy Turtle.  Members of THE MOTET, the band that Dominic Lalli started in and is considered Colorado “family,” will join BIG GIGANTIC both nights to create a full live band and special experience.  


Recently, BIG GIGANTIC, known for their interpretation of traditional DJ-based music with saxophones and drums, created a unique version of electronic music producer and unique voice Zhu’s song “Faded.” The BIG GIGANTIC remix of“Faded”—which fits right in line with the massive melodic house movement on the verge of explosion right now—can be heard below:



Trombone Shorty, Charles Bradley Break it on down on South St | Recap

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The TLA welcomed superior musical talent to its stage Saturday August 30th in the form of soul music legend Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires Bio / Facebook), followed up by the high-fi New Orleans born and bred TroyTrombone Shorty” Andrews and Orleans Avenue ( Bio / Facebook ). The sold out crowd on South St. was engaged from the moment the lights dimmed, and rightfully so as they were rewarded with two and a half hours of live music at its best. Don’t take for granted that you go to a concert these days and see an exhibition of such combined heart, soul, and windpipes in this fashion.

Charles Bradley TLA

Charles Bradley and His ExtraordinairesThe Extraordinaires, six youngsters in their skinny suits and each playing their respective instrument, warmly introduced the screaming eagle of soul — Charles Bradley, who came out in style to a resounding ovation to which he crooned back on several occasions expressing his love and appreciation. As is so symbolic of the era from which his style emerged, songs are rife with social and cultural exploration and questioning — touching on topics including making a living (see videos below), civil rights, and how lovers, friends, and enemies alike must learn to live with and treat one another.

Beyond his obvious song-writing and commentary skill, what separates Bradley is his delivery of genuine messages through remarkable singing ability and admirable stage presence. After all, his younger days were spent impersonating James Brown in Brooklyn before he was discovered by Daptone Records‘ Gabe Roth. The man literally sweat through three dapper outfits, each drenched by the end of their tenure, and the crowd wildly roared in welcoming Charles back on stage each time — as he danced, jived, smiled, and sang out his next ballad. Old school since before you were in school… this summates soul.


Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue: Still a-buzz after the stage changeover, the crowd got a second full dose of showmanship from the man we all know as Trombone Shorty — and Orleans Avenue. Each band member proudly representing a New Orleans neighborhood/ward, they showed off the renowned region’s signature style while blending in shades of today’s rock, pop, r&b and hip-hop music, producing what one could call a unique modern day uptempo funk.

Whatever you call it, don’t forget “the bone.” Two mics front and center alternated time in the limelight as Shorty belted out a verse/chorus with his voice and quickly switched to blow his trombone to the tune of a ripping melody/solo. The skill, let alone the endurance, can’t be denied nor overlooked. Perhaps to let the lead man catch his wind, like a well-oiled and practiced machine, different musicians played supporting and leading roles with a high-energy, “get on up and move” message certainly the main focus.

From start to encore, each signaled by Shorty raising his two pieces of brass strongly above his head in each hand, those in attendance got what they came and paid for, and honestly quite a lot more.

Photos by Daniel Wooden // Words by Aran Hart