P-pop global sensation SB19 proved they’re a force to reckon with in the music scene, as Josh, Pablo, Stell, Ken, and Justin were featured in the fourth episode of the docuseries “K-pop Generation”.
The docuseries, which was produced by South Korean mass media conglomerate CJENM and streaming platform TVING, revolves around the impact of K-pop in the music scene, as well as global acts who are taking on its roots and making it their own. It also features several music critics who share their thoughts about the influence of the booming genre.
The five-member group was featured in the docuseries’ fourth episode called “What the K?”, where the members opened up about their goals in the music industry and how they rose into superstardom.
“SB stands for ‘Sound Break’, meaning breaking into the music scene in the Philippines. And of course, also to promote Filipino music and Filipino culture to the world stage,” said Stell, the group’s main vocalist and choreographer.
SB19 was formed by ShowBT Philippines, the local subsidiary of ShowBT Group in South Korea, where they trained for four years. The group’s leader Pablo also opened up about the Korean training system in the docuseries, and shared their rising popularity after a dance practice video of their single “Go Up” went viral in 2019.
“I think one of the factors that made us choose this company is because it’s a Korean company and we know that Korean entertainment is very flourished. It’s very successful, and they have their own system to train their talents and artists,” Pablo began. “So, after our first single after a year, we released our second single called ‘Go Up’ and it also didn’t make it to the crowd as well. But after we posted our dance practice video on YouTube, someone posted it on Twitter and it got viral.”
“That’s the time when people started recognizing us, that’s also the time we named our fandom A’TIN so we’re really, really thankful,” he added.
Lead rapper and vocalist Josh also noted that while they were inspired by the Korean training system, they wanted to make a name as Filipino artists in the music industry.
“Since we auditioned at the same company and most of us [have] the same vision, we wanted to make a change in this industry. That’s why we came up with the name ‘Sound Break’,” he said. “It means breaking into the music industry [in] the Philippines, and I think hopefully in the world as well, and that’s what we’re doing right now. We’re very lucky and fortunate that we were able to do it, slowly but surely.”
SB19 wrapped up their “Where You At (WYAT)” world tour in December 2022, which included stops at Cebu, Pampanga, and Davao in the Philippines, and international stops in Dubai, New York and Los Angeles in the U.S., and Singapore.
The group is set to release their upcoming album “Pagtatag” which revolves around “strengthening their foundation” as a group”, although they have yet to reveal its concept and date of release.
“The album is basically about strengthening the foundation [as a group] which came from the ideas of all the members. Definitely, different flavors and new experiences na pinagsama sa iisang album kaya mage-enjoy sila (which fans will enjoy),” Pablo said during their “WYAT Homecoming” press conference. EDV
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Swimming in an ocean-like experience to wash away the tears, Stamina Master tingles our spines with a rather bone-healing track to start any week with as he leads us through Ground Control and into the light.
Stamina Master is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based experimental instrumental hip-hop music producer who is emerging from the shadows and into our lives with much substance.
”My musical style takes influence from notable electronic producers such as Flying Lotus and Aphex Twin, with a spaced out, psychedelic atmospheres, and wonky/off-kilter drum beats.” ~ Stamina Master
Finding his sound and yearning for a new wave of fans to unite us all, Stamina Master indicates to us what kind music sounds like in 2023. This is a tranquil experience to get enthusiastic about for all the right reasons.
Ground Control from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based experimental producer Stamina Master is a mellow reminder that all is well in the world after all. Sending shivers through many spines, we find a rather calming effort to ease all worries away into the sky like they were never there.
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Tony Stamp reviews albums from American indie pop musician Grace Ives, Palestinian producer Julmud, and hip-hop artist Oddisee.
Janky Star by Grace Ives
If you’re like me, a certain type of music discovery holds a particular joy – finding something you have no reference point for, and realising that the people celebrating it were absolutely right.
Janky Star, the second album by Grace Ives, came out in June of 2022, and Pitchfork reviewed it and interviewed her at the time. About a month ago they posted a social video of her, and tweeted that the album was one of the best pop records of last year, and noticing this special treatment, I pressed play.
Sometimes when I listen to pop it leaves me cold on first listen, then draws me back for a second, and then I’m hooked. That’s what happened here. Ives has a knack for minimal arrangement, and clever writing – the way she draws out the title of ‘Burn Bridges’ as she sings it, easily summarises a tricky social situation and changes up the kick drum to match the lyrics – these are things you start to notice on repeat listens.
Like all good pop, the songs feel like they’re leading you by the hand to a cathartic chorus, and that’s true here, although often, as on ‘Angel of Business’, they’ll simply serve up a new melody and tweak a few chords, rather than anything too explosive.
Checking the credits on Janky Star, it’s notable that Grace Ives wrote each song herself – I’ve become used to seeing a long list of composers when dealing with pop music, although she does live in Brooklyn, not LA, and has a distinctly indie bent. Regardless, these songs are pleasurable in the way their hooks feel inevitable, and never too sweet.
On her wiki, Ives’s gear is simply listed as a Roland MC505, a kind of all-in-one drum machine and synth, but for Janky Star added guitar, piano, and a producer who’s worked with the likes of Charli XCX. Songs like ‘Loose’ benefit from a slightly grander canvas, moving from synth silliness into a breakbeat-assisted chorus.
It can be tricky talking about pop music, even the slightly spiky kind like this where the drums are louder and more distorted than usual. I keep coming back to the idea that these songs just sound exactly as they should, even though they could have turned out hundreds of different ways. They make me feel good and want to sing along, and that’s about the biggest compliment I can think of.
Tuqoos by Julmud
Founded in London, the Boiler Room is an online broadcaster that films and streams dance parties onto the internet. They focus on the underground end of the spectrum and have proved massively successful. In 2021 when they began transmitting events from New Zealand it caused a flurry of excitement.
A few years prior they hosted an event in Palestine, featuring a guy called Julmud on the decks, flanked by his MC Dakn. When Julmud grabbed the mic himself, he showed his ability to excite a crowd and proved his vocal ability was on par with his DJing.
In 2022 he released his debut album Tuqoos, and while dancing and rapping are part of the equation, it’s exciting in the way it heads in every direction at once – alternating between incendiary and soothing.
‘Saree’ el thawaban’ features disembodied voices, marimba, and elements either performed or sampled. Although indebted to dub music and hip hop, and with an audible Middle Eastern lineage, it’s thrillingly new. Later on the record, ‘Kalma’’ steps further into what might have been labelled trip hop in the nineties, with sluggish guitar stabs and pitched-down vocals.
Julmud is based in the West Bank city Ramallah, part of a collective called Saleb Wahad, made up of MCs and producers, including his mentor Muqata’a, who’s been making instrumental hip hop for over ten years. The scene is focused on connecting with Palestinian musicians based in Israel, and celebrating their Arab identity through music. Simply by virtue of their location, events like the Boiler Room doubled as a kind of peaceful protest.
Muqata’a was interviewed by The Guardian in 2018 and was specific about Palestinian hip-hop being inherently aggressive, a response to the sounds of checkpoints and military helicopters. Julmud’s music is more placid in some ways, but frequently indulges in distortion, and on tracks like ‘Harti’, ups the sense of confrontation when he switches from singing to rapping.
As well as performing keys and percussion, Julmud often samples traditional Arabic music. Muqata’a refers to this as a way of preserving a culture that’s being muted, and the slinky string lines that weave through ‘Haras El Jabal’ seem to be a good example.
What’s exciting about a track like that is its lack of a traditional rhythm part, instead stacking disparate organic and electric elements over one another. Tuqoos is frequently spacious, sending various bleeps into the void in a way not dissimilar to dub producers in the 1970s and beyond. Elsewhere it draws on modern trap production, industrial noise, jazz, jungle and more, but it always feels like these genres have been taken apart and reassembled.
This debut is just part of a burgeoning scene, but it’s emblematic of it: music made in the face of oppression, celebrating its Arabic roots while staying relentlessly creative.
To What End by Oddisee
At the start of the 2000s, conscious rap was having a moment. Releases from groups like Jurassic Five, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and more aimed to educate and philosophize, tackling weighty topics while remaining generally amiable.
A producer and rapper called Oddisee started his career a few years later and is frequently tagged as ‘conscious’. His tenth album came out recently, and one of its first lines is “I don’t have enemies, just misunderstandings”, proceeding to run through sixteen tracks that are warm, and often nostalgic.
Moving from Maryland to Washington to New York, Oddisee has been vocal about influences like De la Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, saying he could relate to them more because they didn’t rap about drugs or murder. Recently he stated he doesn’t consider himself a conscious rapper, but to the casual observer, he definitely fits the bill. Topics on recent albums include his status as an independent artist, starting a family and being an introvert.
The framework of this album is in its title: To What End, as he grapples with the definition of success, and what it takes to achieve. In its hook one song asks “How far will you go?”, and on ‘Already Knew’, he reminisces about earlier days when he was “happy with a whole lot less”, then finds at least ten ways to rhyme with that.
There’s a newfound bluntness in moments like ‘People Watching’, where he raps about depression and introversion, and the way those things make him treat his fans, then in the chorus, he changes flow and apologises.
The tracks are all self-produced, drawing on Washington’s Go Go music as an influence, and bolstered on some by his band Good Company. On ‘Ghetto to the Meadow’ he raps about success bringing its own series of complications, over a beat featuring live bass and guitar.
In a backstage interview from 2017, Oddisee spoke for the first time about why he stopped swearing on record: like many rappers, he said seeing an all-white crowd say the n-word along with him at shows was so unnerving he had to stop. He also had kids and realised parents might want to listen to rap with their children, and explained that not having to do radio edits meant less work. He also saw his sync deals start to soar: his music is frequently used in TV shows, films and games.
It’s a typically multifaceted response from someone who’s open about introversion and using music as an outlet. The thesis behind To What End is similarly complex, but the repeat listens it’ll take to untangle definitely won’t be a chore.
Fresh from releasing the remix to her popular single “Conceited,” Flo Milli has released her latest focus track “Nasty Dancer.”
Like many of her previous drops, which came with tongue-in-cheek parodies of various 2000s-era reality shows (Flavor of Love, America’s Next Top Model, I Love New York), the uptempo single comes with her rendition of Braxton Family Values. The senior citizen in me can readily admit that I’ve never seen an episode of that show, and I had to use my Googles to get the reference…
Flo Milli Drops “Nasty Dancer” Single was last modified: February 17th, 2023 by Meka
Kate gala is a singer-songwriter and producer from Nashville, Tennessee, USA. She writes and produces EDM numbers and does acoustic covers. Kate also runs an app called Oasis Sober Connections. She has more than 1,500 monthly listeners on the online music streaming platform – Spotify.
“The true beauty of music is that it connects people.” – Kate Gala
According to the Wiki, “A singer-songwriter is a musician who writes, composes, and performs their musical material, including lyrics and melodies. In the United States, the category is built on the folk-acoustic tradition, although this role has transmuted through different eras of popular music.”
Kate’s music is an excellent example of how the concept of singer-songwriter has changed throughout the generations. Kate believes she resonates with artists like The Chainsmokers but also creates simpler-sounding songs. Her music covers multiple genres, from Pop and EDM to Indie music.
Kate has had multiple songs released on online music streaming platforms like Spotify and iTunes. She also has a YouTube channel where she posts her music videos. Kate’s single – Summer in October – was released with the PR Records Label Group. The PR Records Label Group has produced and supported many new artists on their journey to being recognized.
Kate strives to make music that resonates with her follower and wishes to spread positivity through her music. Though most of her songs are from the EDM genre, Kate’s versatility enables her to make songs that are not bound to just one genre. She has made songs that can be categorized into the pop, and indie genres, to name a couple.
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SHERIDAN — Academics for All honored Kyle Rockwell, son of Lisa Rockwell, as a Summit Award finalist this week.
Rockwell is a National Merit semifinalist and a member of the National Honor Society, the 2022 state champion We The People team and both the Sheridan High School and Sheridan College bands. He has maintained an impressive 4.0 GPA while managing a rigorous course load featuring numerous Advanced Placement classes including calculus, psychology, U.S. history and government, two computer science classes and physics. Rockwell also has completed college level courses in calculus, statistics and computer science.
“Being at SHS has helped me learn the value of good friends and surrounding yourself with good people. It makes life much more enjoyable,” Rockwell said.
Rockwell named Chad Rose, SHS band director, as an outstanding educator.
“Mr. Rose has been an amazing teacher and guide over these three years as my band director, teaching us to be responsible adults,” Rockwell said. “He’s done exciting things in our band program, like starting up a brand new marching band this year — a huge investment of time and money.”
Rose also spoke highly of Rockwell.
“Kyle has established himself as the premiere scholastic clarinet player in Wyoming over the last two years,” Rose said. “His playing is incredibly creative, sensitive, and precise. It has paid off for him, as he has been selected to the All-State Band twice and the All-Northwest band as well.”
Rockwell has enjoyed an outstanding musical career.
“Playing clarinet and alto sax in various high school and college groups is my favorite activity,” Rockwell said. “Music is a great emotional outlet; you can really express feelings and thoughts through music.”
He has excelled in symphonic band on clarinet, sitting second and then first chair in the All-State Band and even making All Nationals in 2022. He was also the head drum major for the first marching band SHS has had in decades. The brand new marching band competed at the state competition in Casper this fall, earning a superior rating — the highest rating — under Rockwell’s leadership.
“The most impressive thing about Kyle is his ability to lead and connect with people,” Rose said of Rockwell. “He is always a joy to be around. He is a leader in the most positive way. Kyle’s impact on this band program will be felt for years to come.”
In his limited spare time, Rockwell enjoys reading books like the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and short stories from the likes of Stephen King and Franz Kafka.
“I really like world building in literature. Each book of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series is a window into a vast and expansive world that Tolkien built through his writing. ‘The Jaunt’ by Stephen King is similar; it has a very fascinating concept of teleportation, and builds upon it realistically, using it to drive the plot of the story,” Rockwell said.
Rockwell said Jennifer Reed, English teacher at SHS, has also made a positive influence on his career and been a valuable mentor.
“Kyle Rockwell is a multi-talented creative phenom,” Reed said. “On top of his keen understanding of literature, he always has something fun to add making the class even more enjoyable. He often added musical accompaniments when we read and performed plays. Kyle is a joy to have in class and I am excited to see his contributions in the future.”
While music has been a large part of Rockwell’s life, he also has developed a passion for technology and computer science.
“Programming is about the fun of problem solving. It’s cool to have something you need done, spend some time writing code to do it, and then it just works,” Rockwell said. “It’s really rewarding, the process is fun and the end result is very satisfying.”
Rockwell has aspirations to attend either Michigan State University or the University of Michigan to obtain a degree in computer science, focusing on programming and software development. He also plans to participate in as many music ensembles and the marching band as he is able.
Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and New Music Friday has something for everyone, regardless of relationship status. This week’s new music playlist features some standout songs for those still riding the high of the season of love and some grittier options for listeners just looking for good, solid tunes.
Prolific indie pop singer Lana del Rey released “A&W,” one of her best songs in years. The seven-minute track produced by Jack Antonoff is the second single from her eighth album “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” which comes out March 24.
Sticking to her typical musical sound and style, the first half of the song is a somber ballad full of melancholy lyrics and self-reflection. With whispery vocals and elegant harmonies, the song feels ethereal, nostalgic and gritty as she sings about missing her childhood and her experiences being an “American whore.”
However, halfway through, the song shifts from its cinematic, glamorous old-Hollywood feel and transforms into a rap track. With a catchy trap beat, distorted instrumentals, and even some strings in the background, “A&W” takes on a whole new life, and it is a delight to experience.
Unpredictable, experimental, and strong in every genre that she leans into, “A&W” already stands out from del Rey’s discography.
R&B singer Omar Apollo shared his first release of 2023, a sultry, vibey song called “3 Boys.” Apollo’s vocals are irresistible in this song as he croons about feeling tethered to one person, to the point at which no one else compares romantically. Apollo’s harmonies are gorgeous and full of emotion as he delivers heart-wrenching lyrics over a soundscape of groovy, gentle guitar.
Indie singer-songwriter beabadoobee released “Glue Song,” a sweet love song perfect for the season of love. With a simple melody of guitar, piano, strings and even a sprinkling of saxophone, the song is romantic, idyllic and delightfully candid about love. Beabadoobee, whose full name is Beatrice Kristi Ilejay Laus, opens the song singing, “I’ve never known someone like you / Tangled in love stuck by you / From the glue” before going on to sing about feeling romantically stuck to someone.
Laus’ unique vocals make this song so special, and it is a sweet, simple addition to this week’s New Music Friday playlist.
For rock fans looking for new tunes, Irish rock band Inhaler released its newest album today, “Cuts & Bruises.” The opener “Just to Keep You Satisfied” is quite simply indie rock perfection. With a catchy melody, anthemic guitar that drives the chorus, and lead singer Elijah Hewson’s vocals strong and gravelly, this track is definitely worth checking out.
Although the lyrics are not particularly revolutionary, “Just to Keep You Satisfied” is a fun and captivating listen for jamming in the car this weekend.
Actress and musician Janelle Monae released “Float,” a collaboration with Nigerian musician Seun Kuti & the Egypt 80. The song opens with harmonies between Monae and Kuti before exploding into brassy instrumentals that make the song upbeat and triumphant.
Monae’s vocals shine on the chorus, but her rapping in the verses showcases the range of her talent. The track features lyrics about personal growth, letting things go, and having a good time. Monae delivers one of the of the best lines in the song with perfect confidence and ease, rapping, “I’m countin’ my blessings, we ain’t stressin’, just look at this glow /I got that magic, I’m really prepared for whatever, whenever so who want the smoke?”
Fans of all genres will find something new to enjoy from this week’s New Music Friday playlist.
Slip into the visceral disquietude of the latest single, Nightmare, from the Suffolk-based alt-punk five-piece FLEAS.
Starting with a raw spoken-word verse over sludgy post-rock guitars, the candid rancour slowly builds until you’re palpitating at the same pace of the frenetic arrangement that conceptually ties together to replicate the sensation of being torn from a dark trip curated by your subconscious mind.
FLEAS banded together while studying at West Suffolk College, which saw them put their own spin on an iconic track by Slaves and finding the inspiration to orchestrate their signature aggressively versatile sound. Since forming, FLEAS have been lauded by BBC Introducing, won the NMG award for the best rock act and supported major acts, including Fightmilk and Dingus Khan.
The reissue of Nightmare will officially release on February 17th. Hear it on SoundCloud.