Issues & I Prevail

Issues & I Prevail at Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, NY on July 22nd, 2019

Photos by Brooke Champine

ELHAE Brings Trouble In Paradise to Los Angeles

ELHAE at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on May 15th, 2019

Atlanta native and Los Angeles transplant ELHAE is taking the music scene by storm. His unique sound caught the attention of Atlantic Records and under their helm released the eclectic Trouble In Paradise project this year. With features from established artists like Wale, Sevyn Streeter, and Big K.R.I.T., it’s safe to say he already has many star-studded admirers. Trouble In Paradise is his most raw and experimental project thus far. Tracks like “Hennessy” give a tropical vibe reminiscent of Afro-Caribbean beats while “Sanctuary” is a reminder of his gospel influences with the inclusion of a choir backing. Normally skits in between songs are often overlooked, but for this album it’s an essential piece that completes the story-telling of a strenuous relationship over the course of the 13 tracks. The producer/song-writer has a bright future on the horizon that will be filled with many more hits to come and selling out the legendary Troubadour is only the beginning.

Photos by Stephanie Saias

Artist Spotlight: KREAM

KREAM at the El Rey in Los Angeles, CA on January 18th 2019

Norwegian brothers Daniel & Marckus Slettebakken splashed onto the scene in 2016 with their single “Taped Up Heart” featuring songstress Clara Mae. Since then, they’ve released a handful of singles including features from Maia Wright, Cazztek, and Litens. Even though they haven’t released a full length or even an EP yet, their singles hold their own. Each and every single (there’s 8 total) are catchy, with incredible vocals, and is guaranteed to be on your “Recently Played” for at least a month. A good, if not great, introduction to KREAM (and how I first discovered them) is Beautiful Buzzz’s Buzzzmix Volume 38. It displays their impeccable talent for meshing some of the best electronic/house songs together with effortless transitions. After finally witnessing their live set firsthand, I was blown away by the difference between the recorded sets and the live set. They effortlessly blended remixes of top 40 artists like Cardi B, Post Malone, and Bazzi in with their original songs. KREAM is on the rise and I can’t wait to see them bring their talents to the states again. For now, listen to their Buzzzmix set and watch their video for “Taped Up Heart” below.

Words & Photos by Summer Dos Santos

Whethan Illuminates the Observatory On His Life Of A Wallflower Tour

Whethan with Louis Futon at the Santa Ana Observatory on October 19th, 2018

Santa Ana is no stranger to hosting some of the craziest electronic/dance artists but Whethan threw them an unexpected curveball. With his seemingly simplistic stage design, the crowd was shocked the second projections of his moniker and various images began to appear. However, once the lasers turned on, everyone lost any bit of their mind that was left. As one of the handfuls of sober patrons in the crowd, I was impressed with the dancing lights combined with the projections and Whethan’s genius drops. His unique blend of pop and future bass showcases the immense amount of talent and potential the 19 year producer has. Having already collaborated on songs with Charlie XCX, HONNE, Oh Wonder, Dua Lipa, and even Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, one could only guess as to what genre-bending single he’s working on now.

I have actually already seen Whethan perform two other times this year at Outsidelands and Coachella. Both times he was given a mid afternoon set, which is usually a less than ideal time slot especially for EDM artists. He may have been unable to showcase his lighting design but he sent a shockwave through the Coachella crowd when he brought out the “yodeling Walmart kid” aka Mason Ramsey. Even though Mason’s music and fanbase is the polar opposite of Whethan’s, he received immediate adoration from the crowd.

Throughout this tour, Whethan was able to show his fans exactly how he envisioned his music to be enjoyed. By bringing along Louis Futon as one of the many openers for his tour, it help keep the crowd’s energy high. Futon’s music plucks influences from R&B, hip hop, and even a little rock. He played a majority of the instruments himself and was even accompanied by a trumpet player, which the crowd was overly enthusiastic about.

Whethan is able to highlight the best attributes in any artist he works with and it shows the second you hear his singles live. At an astonishingly young age, Whethan has already performed at some of the largest festivals and toured the country. Only 2 years into his budding career, he’s already created ripples of interest throughout the EDM community. Surely he’s about to hit everyone with a tsunami of new music that will solidify his place among the industry’s hottest producers today.

Check out his latest single with HONNE below!

Words & Photos by Summer Dos Santos

Sylar Is Hopeless Records' Latest Standout Act

Sylar at the House of Blues in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on October 14th, 2018

Sylar, a rock band from New York City, just recently released their full length album Seasons via Hopeless Records. The band has an attention grabbing sound; their lead singer Jayden Panesso has an edgy and unique voice that sets them apart from other up and coming bands in the scene. Watching the band live is truly a unique experience. They have so much energy and carry out a mind blowing performance. Currently on tour with Beartooth, it is without a doubt that they’ll soon be headlining their own tour and selling out shows just like their tour mates.

Photos & Words by Brooke Champine

Mura Masa Lights Up The Orange County

Mura Masa at the Santa Ana Observatory on August 23rd, 2018

Alex Crossan  (or better known as Mura Masa) is no longer a burgeoning young musician but now a 22 year old label owner with artists of his own. He combines hip hop lyrics with his infectious electronic beats and has quickly become one of the most innovative producers in the industry. His newest singles "Complicated" & "Move Me" further continues his collaborations with vocalist Nao and introduces new-comer Octavian. 

Every single Crossan releases is reflective of his unique mixture of pop, R&B, and electronic music. Mura Masa is that artist whose singles you don't need to preview before downloading because every time they're undeniably so damn good. The Guernsey born artist arrived to the Orange County to perform for two sold nights of shows. I personally had not seen a Crossan perform for over 2 years and was pretty interested to see how his new material sounded live. I wasn't disappointed in the least. The new singles were greeted by cheers and Crossan was accompanied on stage by the ultra talented Fliss, who constantly danced around the stage, sang, rapped, and added that extra bit of energy the room needed.

After watching Crossan tinker away at all his instruments for nearly an hour and a half, the show came to an end. Every aspect of a Mura Masa performance seems to be thought through intricately and perfected come show time. Mura Masa's music is a beautiful thing to witness being performed live and undoubtedly he will begin to sell out larger venues like the Shrine in Los Angeles in the years to come, taking his music to greater heights.

Check out the latest video for his single "Complicated" featuring Nao down below!

Words & Photos by Summer Dos Santos

Peking Duk Makes Their Los Angeles Debut With The Wasted Tour

Peking Duk at the Roxy in Hollywood, CA on June 20, 2018

The Australian duo Peking Duk is named after a Chinese delicacy and it couldnt be more of a perfect name. The name itself evokes many questions and highlights their never ending quirky attitude. I originally first saw Peking Duk perform in 2015 on Coachella's Sahara stage. I was able to walk up to the barrier and watched the entire set solo, head banging the entire time. This initial introduction left me curious as to who Peking Duk is. Fast forward three years later, I jumped at the chance to see their Los Angeles debut at the famous Roxy in Hollywood.

Peking Duk is most known for the numerous comical videos that accompany their music. Frequently they're featured in disguise of some sorts or dancing enthusiastically to their tracks. They were able to bring that humor to life at the Roxy. The duo shimmied the entire set and got the very sweaty crowd involved whether it be clapping or simply jumping into the crowd themselves. They also featured a rotation of guest singers including the talented Aluna Francis of Alunageorge. After the night ended and we escaped the humid venue to breathe fresh air, I realized that Peking Duk will eventually be filling out the larger venues in LA in due time. Their brand of electro house is extremely commercial and will be liked by the masses. How they've been able to fly under the radar is a complete head-scratcher. Do yourself a favor and binge watch all their music videos and its a guarantee that you'll fall in love with them just like I did.

Photos & Words by Summer Dos Santos

Amber Mark Brings Sounds Of Brazil To Santa Ana

Amber Mark at the Santa Ana Constellation Room on May 30th, 2018

The multi-talented beauty that is Amber Mark graced the Constellation Room with her presence last week. The singer/producer sang tunes off her recently released EP, "Conexão" about love and loss. After losing her mother in 2013, Mark taught herself how to produce her own music instead of having endless frustrations and dealing with producers who weren't able to create the feeling she wanted. One of the highlights of the EP is a Sade cover of "Love Is Stronger Than Pride". After writing a letter to the R&B goddess, Sade gave her personal blessing to release her cover. Throughout most of her tracks, the influence of the Bossa Nova genre can easily be heard fused into her soulful melodies. 

Uniquely her own sound, "Conexão" is a testament to Mark's innovative talent and her soon-to-be recognizable songs.

Photos by Summer Dos Santos