DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, Manifesto, Movers & Shakers, Music, Social Media, Toronto

Manifesto 11 -Toronto-Let’s Re-CAP!

Post-Manifesto re-cap and I’m still reeling from the festival’s High Energy vibe. A weekend mash up of Oldskool meets NuSkool under many historical roofs and under the open sky. (RBC Echo Beach) It was such an exciting weekend to look forward to and what an unexpected show it was! (The weather was fabulous!)

The peaceful party vibes continued all 4 days! Shout outs to local lady DJs Dre Ngozi and Nino Brown alongside special guest Selecta Vashtie for throwing down! What I loved was the way all eras and genres connected to Hip Hop legacy with pride and knowledge. All events were spread out all over the city!! Local acts Tika Simone,The Sorority,Sean Leon,Derin Falana,Matthew Progress and Majid Jordan all represented! Truly a pleasure to watch and sing along!

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Sitting in to chat with Brooklyn’s Sweetheart Vashtie, we get to see the other side of urban culture and what it actually took for her to build her foundation from the inside/out. Che went from the mundane to the spiritual to the video light perspective. We learned a lot about how she ‘arrived’. Her story’s amazing. In a new age of the music industry, where it doesn’t take much to be notable, we often forget about what it takes to get there. Vashtie talked about Health/Wellness, the Art of Networking, her time at the record label, her travels, her childhood and her heritage. She’s a remarkable young woman. No wonder she’s sought after! Not only did Manifesters walk away with a little bashment but they walked away with some gems for self development.

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Right now as social media reigns, Che asked about her play-by-play social postings online (prior to her arrival to the T.Dot that weekend.) She talked about her reasons for relying on it so much, “I think it comes from my filmmaking, storytelling side…..I feel like if you’re watching something, you should see it all-the conversations I have with people…..from having a blog…I want to show that I’m like everyone else.I come from a generation where we just don’t share information—and so now making a connection with people with every snap (Snapchat) I feel like I’m showing what’s happening. Back then (in 1998/1999) I felt that Social Media was so strange and I’m coming from a generation where we just don’t share information….but with technology we can talk to anyone anywhere”.

With social sharing permitted at a showcase like Manifesto-all angles of the weekend were splashed all over the web and city. Yes, there were smartphone users all over the concert but the ability to capture these moments helped show the world what’s here and it’s an incredible kind of new beginning.

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If Manifesto is one of many Urban Culture fixtures that collectively brought the rest of North America to look at Urban Culture they way they did this June-I’m down. What’s most inspiring is to see the crowds of people at the live concert and parties enjoying all the incredible acts! Toronto is diverse-all ages and all faces really show what a mosaic looks like united in music and I love that.

The verdict: Toronto people love music and support local acts with force. According to Vashtie, (Che didn’t have to twist her arm or nothing) J Canadians are killin’ it with talent. Manifesto you’ve come a long way, Toronto let’s keep going!

Biography, DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, House Music, Movers & Shakers, Music, Offering Recordings

House Music Series –International- Summer 2017-Migosy-Offering Recordings – AfroHouse/Future Deep

Last summer as I sifted through some of the new tracks over at Traxsource. I stumbled on one of Amsterdam’s upcoming Afrohouse DJs. The track released at the time truly ‘quietly invaded the scene’. 

Fantasma is a gorgeous tune. He’s signed to Offering Recordings and has the deeper sound usually coming from that label. Earlier this year we talked about his plans for the future with Offering Recordings. Let’s look at his discography.

He’s dropped solid tracks for the last five years. Skyline (ITH) 2012 (Defected Records), Life Takes Time 2013 (Tribe Records),Embrace You 2014 (Z Records), Loyal People 2015 (Offering Recordings), Follow Through 2016(Global Diplomacy),Fantasma 2016(Offering Recordings) Each track has built on the release from the previous year.

Before this interview I went checking for your biography and found an awesome discography. I found maybe….one interview. Is this by design?

Thank you, and good to hear you liked the interview. It kinda depends on the questions that are being asked. I try to give as much information about myself as possible without the feeling of reading a book or something. But always pure and honest.

Get to know Migosy….Migosy is based out of the Netherlands which lends a very unique sound to the Afro House style.Offering Recordings and Migosy were brought together because it was a combination of the right timing as well as his unique/rhythmic sound. Offering Recordings is always looking for something fresh and new.
Music was a strong influence from a very early age. He remembers fiddling with his Mother’s amplifier. He’d mess around with buttons and knobs. He’d turn the amplifier on/off in a rhythmic way.

He laughs ‘it would keep me busy for minutes…my mom would stop me of course because I was interrupting the music and that’s was pretty annoying for her’

As he got older at about 12; My brother (Fode) got me a PC so I could explore my musical needs a bit more. I had no idea I’d be making hits some day. He thanks his brother!!! ‘thanks bro’ It’s amazing when family can/does support your goals somehow.He grew up listening to 80’s music: Prince, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Ollie & Jerry, Rocksteady Crew, Earth, Wind & Fire which made a heavy impact on Migosy wanting to make music. I could easily fall in love with their music. One very important person in his life, his sister Aisata Blackman she taught him how to really sing!se taught him how to sing in a different tone and how to vocally harmonize. It’s so enjoyable. They used to sing along to 90s RnB-R Kelly,Shai,Jodeci (ain’t nuthin like 90s rnb!)Aisata is currently the lead performer/singer in Sister Act-The Musical (in Germany) I’d love to watch her perform if I (shine) get a chance!

You’re based out of Amsterdam-besides ADE what is the Underground House scene like over there? Is it anything like London or NY? I haven’t experienced the underground scene in London or NY yet but I can say Amsterdam is poppin’. There is so much raw talent here. That’s why myself and my good friend Deep Rooted Soul started our concept Cuisine @ Club NL, Sifa Siluvangi (Label Manager,Offering Recordings/DEPTH Music) recently played that other night was fire!!! It’s a concept where we book DJ’s who have their own sound and are not afraid to try something outside the box. Currently we’ve moved to a new spot in Amsterdam which we’ll reveal soon!

During ADE we work with many international names & labels in the scene such as my big bro N’Dinga Gaba & Global Diplomacy, Federico Luyo & Double Cheese Recordings/House of Franky, Pascal Morais & Arrecha Records, Paris Cesvette, (Ministry of House) Todd G and many more.

5) How has the Netherlands embraced your signature musical set? (What do you like to play?) I have to be honest, it took a while for people to understand what I was playing, but it didn’t take long for my sound to really stick. We as Dutch people have so many choices so you really have to come up with something good to impress us. (kinda critical yes?) lol

6) Describe your spiritual connection to music in general? What about Dance Music?Everything in life is a vibration, with music it’s the same thing. That explains why music can trigger sadness, anger, happiness or euphoria. It triggers our emotions. Now that I’m getting older I seem to understand this more and more. Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato

8) With the warm reception of ‘Fantasma’ are you working on anything new for 2017? 2018? I’m actually always working on something new so I can play exclusive music in my sets. You’ll notice on his Jan 2017 top 10 Traxsource choices. If I can surprise myself I will definitely surprise the crowd I’m playing for. I like to test my music first before I put it out. But there will definitely be some new releases coming out this year.

9) When are you visiting North America? Do you intend to visit North America? There aren’t any plans just yet but I would love to pay a visit one day!

10) Any advice for other cats in the game? For young cats starting out? We all have our own story to tell.It’s okay to be influenced by anything, but make sure you stay authentic and create your own sound.  That way you’ll stand out from everything.

Migosy on Twitter>>>https://twitter.com/migosy

Migosy on FB>>>https://www.facebook.com/Migosy/

Migosy on IG>>>www.instagram.com/migosymusic

Migosy on SoundCloud>>>www.soundcloud.com/migosy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, Knowledge, Manifesto, Movers & Shakers, Music, New York, promoters, Reflections, theshineprjct, Toronto

Manifesto 11 – Toronto (June 2017)

It’s with the utmost pride that I can say Toronto’s got an organization devoted to Urban Arts & Culture. Something I’ve always supported and it’s where my musical roots came from. Artists like Maestro,Kardi,Julli Black,Ghetto Concept and Dream Warriors is what I knew. I’ll always love Hip-Hop no doubt but I turned away when outlets remained bare.

I was so frustrated that I even started a talent showcase with fellow York U Undergrad (Dj Nana) we hoped to provide a platform for unsigned hype from Singers to Battle Rappers to Poets and it ran for a minute. We even tried to start an Urban Media Arts Association-but the work and support back then was bleak.

As I took stock of the many years learning about the music scene in Toronto, I started with my first internship at what was Flow 93.5 and from there I became a NXNE and Honey Jam volunteer to promoting parties and events over at CHRY college radio station. Manifesto is the evolved and growing version of what I’ve always hoped for.

An organization like @Manifesto_TO is something to be incredibly proud of. To see artists,acts and personalities rally around an incredible festival that’s put Toronto on the map (permanently) is quite amazing. With Canadian exports like the Biebs,Drake,Tory,Party Next Door,Weekend,Tika,Slakah,Majid Jordan and the list gets longer….. we’ve got so many more to put on display!

If you haven’t purchased tickets to anything; look for something and become a part of Toronto’s rich ‘Urban Culture’ landscape. Find an art installation, find a concert.Hit up the Opening/Closing Party and Artists Panel. If Urban isn’t your thing check it out, you’ll be blown away. Here’s the website: http://mnfsto.com/

This weekend the #theSHINEprjct is pretty excited to be stationed over at Echo Beach not just as a volunteer,intern or avid concert goer but a part of the festival reppin’ Toronto at Manifesto 11. Here’s to another groundbreaking decade!

Stay social:

Socials
Twitter: @Manifesto_TO
Instagram: @Manifesto_TO
Hashtag: #Manifesto11

 

Biography, DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, House Music, Knowledge, Movers & Shakers, Music, promoters, Reflections, Social Media, theshineprjct, Toronto, women & entrepreneurship

House Music Series-Local-Installment 8-Ticky Ty & Miz Megs Make an Awesome Team! (Toronto)

No matter where we are there’s always a starting point…..these ladies here revisited memory lane to talk about how they started doing what they’re doing today!

Before the official interview I spoke to Ticky Ty and for some odd reason- I discovered some interesting facts. For those of you who actually know me I’d lived in Japan for a bit and after talking for a bit I learnt that she also lived there! She worked at a local franchise club/bar Sam and Dave’s. They had many locations all across the city and country and I too worked at that same location many years ago. She had lived in Fukuoka/Osaka and I lived in Osaka. Two really happening places in the Kyushu and Kansai areas- this was an awesome surprise!

Cool facts about Miz Megs:

o She met Ticky Ty at Andy Poolhall;she booked her for an all girl DJ line-up

o She just found out about the term ‘New Jack Swing’ this year! She’s loved it long time.

Some cool facts about Ticky Ty:

o Used to listen to Happy Hardcore and Chill out. Did you?

o She started with a 2 channel Stanton Mixer and Battle Mixer Turntables

What struck my interest was the energy they had behind the decks. I wondered what it would be like to talk with them. I’d been to their shows a few times-Li’lys, CODA and Geary Lane. You see, sometimes it’s not so much what they play or how they play…it’s the passion they put into what they do. It shows. They keep the crowd going. I’d seen them spin separately and finally side by side at Love Buzz this past July! They absolutely make a great team. They took a bit of time to chat about how they got started. I’m truly inspired. I asked them what keeps the passion for music going and eventually we talked about how it all started …..

Me: What’s you earliest connection to music?

Megs: I remember being 6 years old, listening to Dance music, pushing the couch aside and watching my reflection in the TV while my parents played cards with their friends. I just loved Pop-you know, Debbie Gibson and Paula Abdul. I would turn on the Pirate Radio Sessions (Energy 108) and listen to Chris Sheppard! (I think everyone started with that.) I also danced Ballet from ages 3-16, that was very similar to Ticky Ty!

Ticky Ty: I started dance at Toronto Dance Theatre at 3 years old. All my early music connections were dance-related. ‘I went back to visit almost 24 years later and the same pianist and drummer was still there. Rhythm came naturally to me.

One thing I loved about talking with them is that they followed each others’ cues. You can see how connected they are. It’s then that I understood that these two had one of the foundational pieces that demonstrated a deep interest in music at such an early age.

Me:Which music era speaks to you the most? For me, I really Iike the 70s……

Miz Megs: 90s Euro and New Jack Swing. ‘I never knew there was a term for it until this summer’ I offered Blackstreet as the more well known groups that was known for this style in the 90s. She spent some time on Youtube listening to songs to see more groups. She never knew there was a term for it until this summer.

Ticky Ty: She says ‘Guys don’t laugh at me, but I really love the 20s. She mentioned the movie Chicago. And the truth is the 20s sound has been sampled quite a bit in Dance music. She is hilarious because she adds ‘ I probably wouldn’t do to well in that era or even be alive then. ‘I still really like Jazz and Swing.’

Me:When did you realize you were into House?

Miz Megs: Dancing at home and thinking I was in a club….’I wanted to be a GO-Go dancer’ and Ticky cheers her on and says ‘It’s not too late girl it’s not too late’ This was the interview highlight.lol

Ticky Ty: ‘For me it would be with an old friend of mine, we used to steal her older sister’s Happy Hardcore CDS and pick raspberries in the backyard and zone out.

Me:How did you both meet? Andy Pool Hall! They were both booked for an all girl Dj line up and Flipside/Andy suggested she ask Ticky for that night. Meg booked Ticky. ‘Thanks Flipside!!’

Me: Who do you wanna work with? Any production yet? ‘We’d love to work with Duro. ‘I had a song out with Jerome….We’ve worked with Flipside. Internationally they’d love to work with Chus and Ceballos and Channo.

Me: What kinda music are you both listening to right now?

Ticky Ty:‘Stuff comin out of Brazil… Groove to Light and all that dirty and hard stuff.(Okay!!!???lol) Megs-‘ Luciano is my all-time favourite but lately I have been especially inspired by Loco Dice. I love that hip hop flavor he adds to his sets.

Me:The one thing that comes to mind ladies; in the industry doing your thing spinning- Meeting people at the party, meeting people in and around the scene. What’s it like? You know, doing business?

They break it down to two trains of thought:

You get the ‘Wow, chicks that’s hot… let’s watch it OR ‘Oh mi gawd chicks;they’re probably gonna suck’…’You get a little bit of both. It’s either you don’t get the same sort of initial responses as with a guy. You’re either a chick or you’re a commodity. Or you suck. ‘You have to prove yourself past those barriers. Every. Fucking.Time. Which is fine-because every time we do it-we show what we can do…..’

Me: You ladies take what some would consider very sexy photos…..what’s up with that? They (the pics)look good by the way…

I got in shit for that a few weeks ago…..Meg said ‘someone called them out for showing side boob and abs’ they were told that on TRC….. that no one would be attending their gig because they actively/purposely used their bodies to sexually try to get a gig’. Their comment got destroyed by people defending us because they are just press PHOTOS and anyone who has actually seen us in person knows we usually wear baggy clothes and are so not like that. The guy eventually apologized. <<<interesting, yes.

Me: Wasn’t the gig already got?

Miz Megs/Ticky Ty: Yes! We didn’t make the flyer. A group discussion ensued and one of our fans supporters told the person where to go….fans are awesome that way!

Me: Where can we find you ladies?

Miz Megs/Ticky Ty:Nest, CZ (Comfort Zone) and various parties across Toronto or in cities out-of-town.

What do you both like about Dj’ing? Meg-‘The music and getting to be a part of something that has to do with the music you love….‘Just being there to dance. And creating a new sound with what you love.’

Ticky Ty:‘I love the connection I have with everybody. It’s really intense. You can almost feel the energy of this group of that people or that group of people. As long as you let go you get into a meditative thing. You can just feel it. Everyone moves as one. Not over thinking it. It’s really nice to be the catalyst of something like that. Spurring a movement, its healing for me and so many others.You can go to an underground party and a CEO of Microsoft can be dancing beside someone homeless. And it doesn’t matter. No one cares what you do in the daytime. No one asks.’ What do you do in the daytime?’ Meg says ‘I hate when people ask that’ they both agree. ‘Shut your face we’re dancing right now.’

It’s a challenge for the music/entertainment scene to really delve into current issues and/or politics but very necessary so I asked anyway:

In light of everything that has happened in the last week. (Orlando shooting) How do you feel about it as a musician/artist/House enthusiast?

Ticky Ty:I wanted to take it back to pride month because the House scene did come from the Black Gay Scene. She played the night and remarked at how special it was to spin for so many.’There are no cultural and sexual boundaries. We don’t give a shit about that stuff. We’re blessed to be part of an Underground Community that embraces everything. No cops standing around at the outdoor party. No one is being searched at the door. People are enjoying the music…..it’s such a gift….……The vibe is really connected. You can’t fake it. It’s visceral. You either don’t like it  or you totally enjoy it.And beats is their gift to us.Entertainment people don’t really like to make comments about political shit but they did! So much has happened since then…..

We’re half way through the year what’s in store for 2017? At the same time they answer: Production! That’s the next step, albums will happen once we tour and produce more!!!

Alright ladies, DO YOUR THANGS! You can find them on most social platforms! @DjTickyTy @MizMegs

Thanks so much ladies!! You both rock!

 

 

 

 

 

events, Food, House Music, Music, New York, promoters, Reflections, restaurants, Travel

Travel Inspiration – Return to New York City

It’s been a minute (like 3-4 years) and glad I went this summer! So much to do out there-tons of new food places/establishments to see! My return to NYC was amazing! I’m nostalgic because this is kinda the reason why the blog started. Travel provides a sense of wonder and inspiration. This is probably where my motivation comes from.

As always its essential to figure out where to stay. I’ve stayed at different hostels, homes and hotels but this time I chose to stay somewhere accessible, comfortable and a little swanky…..It’s a smaller hotel located on the Lower East of Manhattan the best things about it is mainly it’s location. The Smyth is located at a point where three stops east you’re in Brooklyn four-seven stops west you’re in Chinatown. This makes travelling around on foot, Uber or NYCT cheaper and safer. The Smyth (Thompson) is a small but stylish hotel on Broadway Ave next to subway, Whole Foods and a Barnes & Noble.

The service is amazing there! The staff is on point and the Bellman knows where to send guests for the best inexpensive/expensive food, nightlife and the nearest Duane Reade! The exchange rate wasn’t too great- for Canadians visiting make change at home. There are 2 other Thompson locations in Manhattan and this area is the best to get to BK, Bronx or Coney Island! The hotel lounge has a homey feel-looks very much like a cozy living room.

I didn’t wanna stay on the premises for long BUT decided to have breakfast at the restaurant connected to the hotel one morning.  It’s a quaint French-style Bistro looking small from outside; when you walk inside it’s filled with people ALL day. The menu is amazing and all breakfast items have a little variation to it. This restaurant is inspired by famous chef James Beard, this you’ll notice from the decor to the meal presentation. It’s good food. There’s a full service bar and patio on the premises. The whole restaurant is quite an experience.

 

Walking around the city and also with how HOT it was there; There were many stops for water, snacks and more food. Favourites include any Afro-Muslim food places. They are clean and have a crazy variety to choose from. Speaking of African food, I purchased tickets to the Afropolitan NYC Food Festival! It was held at The Brooklyn Navy Yard quite a ways deep into BK but for a fairly new culinary event to the city, it was very interesting. Foods from all over Africa made from local NY rising chefs and well-known establishments in the area were in attendance. The restaurant booth with the most line ups were the Eritrean and Ethiopian foods. There were South African wine samples, Afrobeat DJs and refreshments. It was a hot-ass day. Any refreshments they sold were a welcome relief. The food actually looked like the picture and tasted amazing.

 

*Pics taken from https://www.facebook.com/theafricanfoodfestival/ page! My camera was overloaded with photoshots! Couldn’t find my pics.I’m sure they’ll turn up somewhere 🙂

One more noteworthy food place Brooklyn Greenery-a hidden gen on Flatbush Ave. You can take the B,Q and S trains to Prospect Park Station. It’s a healthy, healthy place but what got me is the Hip-Hop Smoothie and Green Juice names. You have your choice of a small or large Supreme Clientele (Pineapple, Carrot, Green Apple), Mos Def, Queen Bee or Redman drinks. And to make your taste buds multitask you also hear your fave Dead Prez or Method Man playing for support. The place is immaculate and earthy. They run live shows in the shop and it is treated like a community meeting place. This shop has an each one teach one concept-they have a shelf filled with books where you can drop some off and pick some up. Besides it’s Hip-Hop enviro, the main reason it’s a gem is that it’s located amongst dozens of Popeyes’, Pizza joints and Golden Crusts-all of which have one too many calories to eat on a hot day! They really stand out on that block. Here’s a quote written by a Yelper about BKG: ‘The names of the smoothies and drinks are relevant and fitting for the times. The price is worth it.’ TOTALLY.Brooklyn Greenery

Now, on the holistic tip. I visited Namaste Bookshop. Wasn’t too fond of the name but the amount of people there……you’d want to walk in just to see what the hype was about. Lots of books, Crystals, incense EVERYWHERE. There were mini workshops and Tarot card readings going on. From the looks of it-it was as if everyone is looking to expand their minds at the same time. There people asking associates all kinds of questions about body ailments and meditation tips. This shop smelled amazing. It’s sensory overload when you walk in there! Lots of trinkets to see……

namasteinside

I ate so much but burned it off with walking and dancing of course! This was my favourite part of the whole trip. There’s always something to do anywhere/somewhere in Williamsburg,NY. My favourite record store (Dancetracks) is gone so I headed over to the newer ‘gentry-fied’ Halcyon in BK. The music is still the focus. One thing I love about many establishments in New York are that they double or triple as a few things. This is wonderful for business as it brings many people to one spot at any given time. Over at Halycon you can drink coffee, listen to live DJ sets, sample records you’d like to purchase, party on the rooftop or party inside! (Output) I arrived when sound check was going on before the big event-their soundsystem was ridic……..I brought back some goodies-can’t wait to spin with them!

On of the main things I do down there is shop at the black beauty supply stores for cheaper or larger sized products and summer clothes. I visited a very neat flea market. A very stylish one with handmade but fashion forward. Who needs a mall? I found plenty of that EVERYWHERE!

The highlight of the whole trip was BBE’s 10th Anniversary celebration for JDilla’s ‘The Shining’. Parties for this anniversary celebration were held all across the U.S.and I’m sure the others were just as amazing!  It was an incredibly epic night. All kinds of freestylin’, all types of horn players. Guest birthday boy/ bad-ass drummer Daru Jones (Jack White of former White Stripes) killed it!  Subrosa NYC hosts an event ‘Soul in The Horn’ on Fridays where Soul, Jazz,Hip-Hop and any other genre meet. Hosted by Dj Natasha Diggs and friends, I was blown away. The Shining was celebrating FULLY that night. Guest DJs Rich Medina & DJ Scratch attended. Have a listen to a snippet from that night at>>>>>> Soul In The Horn

There’s so much more I can share here but if you’ve been to NY, you’d know that your adventures/travel preferences would completely differ from mine! If you head to the Big Apple, I’ve mentioned some places definitely worth checking out. Come by and visit shine2u.wordpress.com every now and then to see what I’ll be listening to and where I’ll be!

-shine

 

Biography, DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, House Music, Movers & Shakers, Music, promoters, Reflections, Social Media, theshineprjct, Toronto, women & entrepreneurship

House Music Series -Typical Cat…everything bass. turntables only-LOCAL-Installment 6 (Toronto)

 

Typical Cat

It’s amazing to have a blast from the past……a lady I met about 7-8 years ago we talked about turntables and vinyl. We stayed in touch. Look at what she’s up to now…..

Who are you? DJ Typical Cat

What’s Her Story?

As far back as she could remember her Dad was a drummer. He collected records. Her aunt was a country music singer. ‘When I was younger I was listening to House Music and stuff…I’d turn on the radio and I would just feel it in my heart…stuff like Electric Circus or Much Dance…you know that kinda shit?’ When she first heard something she liked she says, ‘I felt it in my chest, I felt it in my heart…. in high school about grade 8 or 9, Freaky Flow was the first guy I heard of when it came to Jungle or Drum N Bass. In high school I heard his ‘World Domination’ album  and it got me hooked. I heard Nelly Furtado on a track with the drums and bass and I wanted to understand this type of music more. So I got into guys like Andy C, Dj Craze, Dj Hype. I’d always loved this music without knowing what it was. I wanted to know about it and I started to go to raves by myself and I just knew that I wanted to DJ and I was just there for that.

About her first gig…. Her very first event and it was bigger than she expected. This was one of  her very first BIG events at Velvet Underground. ‘I was nervous as hell but I had fun with it and opening up for Plastician was a huge deal for me because he was a DJ, I looked up to in so many ways.’ She noticed that people loved what she was doing. She mentioned that this is something that women go through. She remarked that women should be confident especially when wanting to pursue a thing like Dj’ing. Some people will like that. Focus on the positives.

About raves….I wasn’t going to party and do drugs. I would just watch what the DJ was doing- I just knew that I wanted to DJ.

What did you do the first time around? In grade 9 my mom asked me if I wanted to sign up for-those program books for summer classes. And right away I was like I’ll take that! Then in grade 11 when I had enough money, I bought tables!

How were those classes? What did you learn? ‘I took that class and actually Oscar ‘DJ Grouch’ was the first person to teach me how to use a turntable. He taught me VERY basic stuff-he taught me motions like scratching and stuff, not cuts but feeling it out with drums and using levels. He was an awesome connect because he’s pretty big in the city. Knowing him made me feel like I was on the right path. He wasn’t just some guy turned DJ. He was part of the scene, he was a great teacher. He would even give me records. I started with Hip hop and I went from that to Jungle.

 What kind of music do you like? ‘My heart’s with Drum N Bass. I love listening to the radio. I love top 40. I love funk. I love listening to things I’ve never heard. My sound right now is Bass.’ She plays unreleased dubs straight from producers-I love things that are brand new!

How’d you find your style?  It was a journey. It’s taken her a few years to know her musical taste. She plays a more Housier Bass style now but for awhile she went through a Jackin’ House style even. But really, mostly ‘I need that Heavy Bass…I think I found my sound at Plastician-it has the same BPM as House’ (Yes, it does.)

Working with Alan Lam-what’s that like? Her partnership with Alan Lam (Stranjah) didn’t just happen, It came after some time. ‘He’s got a wikked business sense and very passionate about his work. I’ve thrown parties with him and I know there’s a huge following. Regardless of that-I love this music! She is grateful for her crew because they know what they are talking about. They are pioneers of Jungle. It makes her feel confident.  When they’ve produced tracks he asks her opinion. She never questions his decisions when putting together events or tracks. She recalls her first ever event headlined party with Demuir which was a huge success.

About Vinyl and Serato ‘I really need to learn not to carry records everywhere that I spent so much money on. I went switched to Serato. It’s the next best thing. It’s like faking records. So now I just stick with Serato. It’s funny cuz I feel like I’m stuck in the past with all of this. People are all up on their shit with CDJs and all that. There are USBs wherever you go. Something about the CDJs are just not my thing….I’m a record and turntable person…it’s not the same feel. I need to feel it. People now know that if they’re booking me I won’t show up without turntables….I made it that way.’ She doesn’t care that it’s a hassle. ‘People have told me I wasn’t gonna make it anywhere because I insist on turntables. So many people say it’s not industry standard.’ She thanks and shouts out club owners who come through with turntables.

About Old Skool tunes…. Some old heads have said that they’ve heard some parts of her mixes/sets. They listen to her mixes and they say that the samples or funk records are from back in their B-Boy days…..’If I hear it and I like it and it’s usually from an older genre’.

Vocals? No vocals? ‘I like some singing but not too much of it. It must be subtle….not too overdone. It’s hard when you have a set with too many vocals. Actually, it’s just not my style. Sometimes I like vocals every 2 or 3 tunes. I usually like vocals at the beginning of my mixes because it draws attention to the crowd.’

How do you prep for a gig? ‘You overcome your nerves. Even if the bar is empty I used to get nervous but like always I’m still riding off of it. The rush you get from it is amazing. You break walls after the first gig. You reach out to people you don’t even know. People tell me they’ve downloaded my shit and bump it in their car. And I’m thinking…. I did that just for me….I’m still riding off the gig I did 2 nights ago’ lol

Your Mom and Cousin were at your last gig…..

She told her Mom to wear black to fit in. She thought it was everything that her Mom felt it would be. I talked to her about what my mother said also. It was something out of a movie. ‘I didn’t think my cousin was gonna stick around but she stayed ’til the end of the show!’ She remembers how her mom used to yell at her because all she would hear is Bass shaking the entire house and she’d tell her to stop. Shockingly she kinda yells out ‘Now she’s coming to my parties?!!!! It was very weird. I haven’t even heard her opinion yet. I’m so scared. I don’t even think she has an opinion it was just something for her to experience in the moment. It was amazing. My mom would ask me back in the day about the Bass shaking the walls. I think my mom was very proud of me.’

Cat, who do you wanna work with? She wants to work with anyone specifically with the people who throw Promise parties. She wants to bring her sound to Costa Rica. She sees herself in Europe. (Anywhere in the UK) and many of the people she works with are always touring there. We talked about the Underground and how our scene is quite different from across the pond. For example how progressive and genre flexible the musical tastes are.

Any advice to those in the creative field who want to venture into production, promotion, Dj’ing anything related to the industry/scene? (As a woman to the ladies out there what would you say?) Throughout our talk she kept referring to the old her…’. I was so concerned what others thought about the music I played-now I don’t give a shit’….You don’t always have to play for everybody else just play for yourself. The people who like it will enjoy it….!

How about people who have an original skill/sound….We talked about upcoming female producer Wondagurl she comments ‘I can guarantee you she’s doing shit she loves. I’m not big time nothing but I’m just doing it cuz I love it. I wasn’t ready for it before. I’m ready now. And all the things I’ve always wanted are coming to me. I love this music!’

Cat emphasizes….‘I can’t stress enough…you need to stop caring what other people think of you. Just do it. Reach out to whatever connection you have-because not everyone has them-and if you know even one person that’s into the same thing as you or if you know one person that you’ve looked up to, reach out to them’. She’s reached out to people from across the world on Facebook alone…. ‘It’s that easy, some are flattered and will do everything they can to help you. Take the plunge and just ask. She realizes that she’s the only person holding her back and if it’s meant to be it’ll come’.

Typical Cat spins next at Round Venue in Kensington Market, August 25th 2016

 

Thanks, Cat!

Check out her set Typical Cat – Live @ Rumpshakers Present AMIT + COMPA – July 2nd, 2016 on SoundCloud!

Vinyl Rainbow

 

 

 

 

Establishments, Fashion & Beauty, Music, restaurants, Travel, Vancouver

VAN City!

 

I’d never been to the West Coast to stay-so I stayed for a bit. Definitely a sleepier vibe than Toronto but VERY beautiful! I’m a city girl at heart but visiting a place like this, right here in Canada is AMAZING!

What’s going on over there? Plenty and not much at the same time. One of the things Vancouver is known for the beauty and landscape. It was a lot cooler than expected for June but still mild. I ventured over to the main spot over there (Stanley Park.) It borders downtown Vancouver…..so wherever you are in the core you still get a glimpse of the water and some smaller mountains. Tourists from everywhere usually venture here first….just like I did!

 

 

The bridge above is also known as the Lions Gate Bridge because of the (pair of mountains to the North.) It’s a suspension bridge that connects North Vancouver, the North Shore and West Vancouver. Instead of going over explaining what all these photos are-have a look!

 

All this fresh air, space and trees had me itching to head back over to the city…..so many awesome places in the city! One of the things about Vancouver City is that most things close early. (Early like Toronto early!) Each spot delivers a unique experience where places have to close early. Each has a style or vibe that is very unique to that neighbourhood.

I visited the Shameful Tiki Bar in the Soma or South Main Area of Vancouver-a trendy and upcoming strip/area looking very similar to the location on Queen St. West!  I walked into this spot and there was nothing shameful about it all! It’s tucked away and the windows are completely covered. I opened the door only to find a mini South Pacific Island indoor bar that looks like it’s outside! The drumming, the grass thatched roofs and the mini replicas of Giant Moai Statues really add character and finishing touches.

 

One signature thing about The Shameful Tiki-is the mystery drink offer on the menu. Each time a group of people order this massive bucket with long straws,  a Polynesian drum goes off to announce which table purchased it! This drum went off all night LOL. For $40 CDN-you receive an unknown drink for 6-8 people. You just try to see what it tastes like!

A few blocks down, we headed over to El Camino’s. From Hawaii to Latin America all on one strip. Definitely even more lively than the first. They boast an incredible Taco menu-all kinds of tacos almost too many to decide what to order. The food was great, the aperitifs were tasty (white wine & tequila), the appetizer (lime & pepper flavoured popcorn) got things going before the tacos!

I was on the transit and saw the infamous Hastings street and couldn’t pass up the vinyl shop visit! I spotted Vinyl Records and walked right in! What a great selection of records! I saw some very rare items-but I did notice that we’re definitely lucky to find some serious deals over here in Toronto! If you’re looking to splurge, looking for something you can’t find online or looking for collectors pieces, Vinyl Records is your spot! I only stopped off at this one BUT there are so many in Vancouver.

VinylLogo

Every time I travel…I love checking out the same stuff. I really like ’em. I headed over to Robson and Burrard St. and walked right past Bang On! -a custom t-shirt print shop. I walked into the largest vintage store in Canada! (Special shout out to Riem the shop manager for allowing me to film and photograph inside the shop!) The merchandising in there is phenomenal!

If you can-check it out over there it’s worth the trip! 🙂

 

 

 

805 Studio, CDR Toronto, DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, House Music, Knowledge, Movers & Shakers, Music, promoters, Reflections, Social Media, theshineprjct, Toronto

CDR Toronto- Local Music Series – June 16 2016-Part 2 (cdr-projects.com)

CDR (Create, Define, Release) – The night of ideas and tracks in the making at 805 Studio

CDR Cover Banner June 2016

I decided to re-cap the first CDR event of 2016. CDR thrives on genre differences and a lot of that was played a few weeks ago.  Musical differences are what CDR is all about.

The idea is for all participants to hear other sounds and maybe connect each other to the musicality of sound. CDR speaks to collaboration. The last session has seen a steady progression in participants reaching out mostly on the night of the event. Gavin mentioned that it was great to see extra layers of music people coming out of the word works.

‘We’re starting to see a bit of an organic development. There were a larger number of listeners. People are bringing in gangs of friends who are also interested in making music….It’s a discovery for everyone’

Some of the submissions are spontaneous and most were last minute. Gavin and Ramon specifically sent a shout out to Peter Delorum from Kingston, Ontario. He submitted a wikked track ‘Iliad’. He drove from Kingston, Ontario! CDR Toronto had an amazing Akai software giveaway. (Just one of the few reasons why it’s a great place to be!) The reason is to empower good production people and increase the potential to make great music!

The Dego event in April really helped CDR expand their reach! One of two mandates is to promote CDR artists at other clubs/events followed by the other to create a visual understanding of other artists’ creative process.

CDR continues to focus on supporting local Toronto/Canadian-based artists. Gavin believes that Canadians are poor at self promotion. Events like these are a great way to get your musical projects out there. Ramon shouts out DJ Gareth (Snafu 76) who is always ready and attended all 3 CDRs and as always the team is excited to see more new faces.  Special thanks to Elizabeth Da Costa for allowing CDR to run events at her community arts building! (805 Studio) It’s an amazing space which personifies CDR-be sure to check out the next event on June 16th! Have your submissions ready!

 

805 Studio, CDR Toronto, DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, Movers & Shakers, Music, promoters, Toronto

CDR Toronto- Local Music Series – April 21st 2016-Part 1 (cdr-projects.com)

Apr 2016

Calling all production people, bedroom and garage studio peeps, shower singers- CDR is reaching out to all of ya’ll! First London, then Berlin-followed by Sydney and now Toronto! Why Toronto? You know what I’ll say: Canada’s got talent with inner Toronto and surrounding areas being an explosive hub.

I originally wanted a cipher-like roundtable discussion with all 4 members/creators/collaborators on this project but with busy schedules I was able to pin down Gavin Alexander and Ramon Charles. We talked about CDR Toronto-(A head space to deliver unfinished works) and we pondered on its momentum and how they have created a hub for local talent to showcase their music ideas, production and creativity.

This is why CDR is so special>>>>>>>‘audiences at CDR have been treated to pre-pre-release plays of songs’ and underground heads love this stuff! If you missed last year’s sessions you won’t wanna miss the first CDR of 2016.

Let me introduce to CDR Toronto team of talented collaborators:

Gavin Alexander (CDR HQ) Experienced Producer of both Music and Multi-media events as well as TV & Film production and co-collaborator of CDR HQ London

Janine Wright (The Flower and the Bird) A Toronto-based jazz, blues singer and composer also part of The Flower and the Bird a soul jazz quartet new on the Toronto scene!

Koray Özel (istolethesoul) Label Manager at @istolethesoul. A self-described “music enthusiast who loves to share new discoveries with like-minded people”, Koray Özel aspires to curate beautiful and meaningful releases with talented artists from around the world!

Ramon Charles (BLK BETA) A Producer/Writer/Editor at Bell Media’s Creative Agency and juggling Freelance Editing and Motion Graphics work in his free time

Describe how you see Toronto culturally, musically and artistically? Gavin and Ramon both believe that Toronto is rich (multi-perspective), seasonal (Spring’s here!) and Diverse (multicultural).

Gavin: Cultural projects have so much promise and opportunities in Toronto, in London there are always people in the way

Ramon: Population is lower here, the influx of people to the city’s core adds a bit of spontaneity

What about THIS city? A city’s culture can thrive if artists can afford to live in the city. (Gavin)

With more people, there are more ideas, more collaborative project and of course more creativity. (Ramon)

Musically, Toronto is at its APEX (Gavin)

Why bring a showcase like CDR? Why choose Toronto?

Gavin: ‘WelI…. live here now, Ramon inspired me to get this started in Toronto…It’s an amazing place for music, I love grassroots events, I like to find new music early, It’s a big city but a small world, A lot of people know of each other but they don’t connect, All genres stay separate, I want to use CDR to create a different vibe!

Ramon: I’ve seen the transitions here in Toronto…. We’ve got new options but also people/scenes are going introspective….the bottle service thing is one way but we’re looking to add a little more substance. Toronto is an artful place, CDR is great for creating works and it’s actually quite fresh/new!

Gavin: Toronto is kind of getting a sense of self-awareness and confidence. There’s always been an existential message/identity of firmly planting it in anything done here that we’re Canadian!

Ramon: There’s a surprise by artists/Torontonians that their music is good. Artists are not used to the attention. Toronto is a place where different styles can live. The music reflects the multiculturalism of the city.

Participants have increased, the growth is organic. People love CDR’s concept, people are also curious. Established artists have shown up, but there’s more room to grow. If you can’t make it now they’ll get you at the next one. Gavin believes that if something is genuine and you bring in a genuine vibe, the ripple effect goes on from there….Ramon adds ‘We want CDR to last, it’s a community thing. We don’t expect it to happen overnight”

‘It’s like shining a light on ourselves creatively instead of around us-to make CDR sustainable. It’s a key component to what we can do continue this for the next generation’

The first installment of CDR Toronto (Create, Define, Release) takes place this Thursday April 21st, 2016 at 805 Studio, 805 Dovercourt Rd at 9pm! All genres welcome, music enthusiasts are also VERY welcome!

CDR HQ Twitter: CDR Headquarters 

CDR Toronto Event/Facebook: CDR Events page

CDR Toronto Instagram: @CDRTORONTO

Event Venue:http://www.the805studio.com/

 

 

Biography, DJ Culture & Music, House Music, Movers & Shakers, Music, promoters, Toronto

House Music Series – Lars Behrenroth – Deeper Shades of House – International- Don’t Let Your Friends Listen to Bad Music

 

DontLet_BlueFull

Don’t Let Your Friends Listen to Bad Music (Quite explanatory, but still explained)

‘I pick music that I want others to hear. I consider the people that tune in like friends. I want to supply them with what I call good music . The connotation can offend people but if its good it doesn’t matter the time, place or format its in. I have a hard time keeping myself to one sound so I like to share it with friends.’

I was pretty stoked to interview THEE Lars Behrenroth (the don’t-let-your-friends-listen-to-bad-music DJ,the hardest working DJ in show business) You know the Lars I’m talking about!! We open Skype screens both seated with shelves full of vinyl but his collection continues and continues on. My almost empty shelf of vinyl starts and ends with the span of the camera shot. This shows how long he’s been in the music game.

On the day of our interview he mentioned he was editing sets from a huge festival he played  in South Africa a few days prior….As we speak he is editing material from his recent set in Africa…Check it out here! http://www.deepershades.net/dsoh-shows/deeper-shades-of-house-502-guest-mix-by-paskal-urban-absolutes.html

Some really cool facts about Lars from back in the day…

  • As a young man he first found out about slip mats on TV prior to that he was using plastic mats
  • He’d been around music for some time-In 1984 he started breaking, he remarks about a scene he saw in Flashdance…watching a Breaking sequence. He tried it out and had no idea what he was doing …but loved it.
  • The acronym TALK is a collaboration by Lars Behrenroth, Kolai & Taha from T-Kolai featuring the lyrical stylings of Mustafa Akbar and collectively they produced the single ‘Touching You’ and released it on vinyl
  • 70-75% of the buzz and publicity for this single came from South Africa.

Production/The Art of Dj’ing: Where it all began….

He’d been around music for some time. I think it’s incredible that a musical revolution/wave influenced a whole generation that set another trend for a whole other generation how cool is that? He came from a very small town of 60,000 people in Germany. This musical phenomenon changed the game for him. He was enrolled for organ lessons by his grandparents, he was signed up for a musical program at 3 or 4 years old. As a teen he had no idea how to mix. He says, ‘I would play out songs by Kraftwerk and Frankie Goes To Hollywood at the time.The kids (ages 8-13) were always too shy to dance so I’d dim the lights at the school dances to create a night club feel.’

Much later he purchased a Commodore 64 computer and created his 1st SD6 computer sounds. The finished product was nothing musical. He says, ‘It was very ambient-ish, broken kind of beats and sounds. Almost experimental. He later bought a keyboard and recorded a 4 hour VHS set. He had an AMIGA and used his first sequencer software. It was only much later that he studied audio engineering to learn exactly what to do in the studio.

Speaking of experimental….I talked to him about CDR Toronto and he felt it was a great idea. He was aware of CDR Berlin and admitted he was ‘too self-critical to put music out so quickly’ (this is kinda how it is in Toronto.) He did mention that something like CDR would be a great platform to put out remixes.(Big ups Gavin  and Koray!)

You’ve been dj’ing officially since 1986. And you moved to LA in 2004. How’s LA been for you?I enjoy living in LA, I try to spin in the area as often as possible. I started a radio segment ‘Global House Connection’ with my then roommate when I first lived in LA (first a 4 hour and years later a 2 hour show.) When I first arrived to LA I was purely motivated by the music and was playing music for the ‘Nu Jazz and Broken Beat scenes’. I noticed that the scenes were VERY separate. (Sound familiar in your city?) I used to collaborate with LA DJ Veteran Wayne Lyons, we did a night BOTANICA in 2007 and played out 4-5 times a year. The great part about being a travelling DJ is that you get to experience different scenes and vibes in various cities.

You bring a slight Euro-Tech sound to productions that are clearly very Afro…how does the fusion occur? Do you intend for tracks to come out this way?  I like to pay respect the original as much as possible. Often times remixes are completely different than the original. I like the challenge. I’ve taken the shuffle sound from Techno and used it on many tracks.I never know what I’m gonna end up with. I’m somebody that makes, music one way or another. I’ve been a fan of bringing sounds that don’t necessarily go together.

I (shine)personally enjoy guest features…I noticed you started using guest features on DSOH. (How did that come about?) Lars was one of the first and few  to broadcast music online. He always like to share the space when possible. Some of the DJs don’t get the exposure they deserve except for their 10 friends. He was trying to attract a different crowds. ‘I figured I couldn’t record 3 hrs every week-so why not share the space with others. It’s more interesting too!’

Speaking of internet radio:  ‘There are only a few internet radio stations that have a full listenership. Even with a small audience radio stations still fuel music discovery. Especially in South Africa! House music fans are getting younger and younger…Just like Rap-House Music gets kids out of shit. You see this with success stories like Black Coffee’

What is it about SA that keeps you going back? Honestly, they (South Afrikans) party like it’s the last party on Earth. It’s the only country I get the recognition, they embrace the music the way in which it is intended to be reached. The musical education is so much higher than the rest of the world. North America used to be like that. EDM is popping up here and there and you know as production people, DJs, House Heads, Musicians you know what we do in a place like SA. We gravitate there. 70-75% of the buzz and publicity for this single (Touching You) came from SA. This is why Lars contributes to the scene there. The single was re-played/re-introduced in 2010 and VERY WELL received. The original for ‘Touching You’ came out on label ‘Perfect Toy’ NU Jazz (which was big in the early 2000s) 2003 was the first release and again re-released in 2010. I thought it was new “originally released on vinyl in 2003 and licensed by DJ Mbuso for Soul Candi Sessions Two, this remix marked the beginning of Lars Behrenroth’s growing exposure in South Africa.

What is the European/German sound in 2015? What do you enjoy about it then and now? The Euro sound is very much connected to real House Music. It’s true to the feeling we connect to. (Early House music era). It’s the music that people gravitate to and are nostalgic about….Old Skool Larry Heard, emotional deepness. You know stoned. Str8 to the heart. Deep Sound. It’s not over produced. It’s raw. The feeling is modest and pure. ‘I envy the people who after a studio session say, the track is done, that’s it’

With the amount of recordings you’ve worked on or re-worked and released over a 20 year span, what is it about production you enjoy?  What’s your creative process? Every song has it’s own approach. I’ve re-visited a song after 8 years and I’ve just finished it now. Collaborations with old material sounds like new. I’m working with labels…I never know what I will receive either vocals or beats….. With remixes you have no deadline and its easier to create hits and re-visit the tracks even to see if you can enhance them.

Casamena used to always say on his radio hour that you are ‘one of the hardest working in the biz’. You’ve built a SOLID brand. What was the vision you had, years ago? Did you foresee this taking shape the way it did today? I started a label to expose people to music. It should be about the exposure of the music and artist. Tools to move music forward to a broader audience. Starting yesterday and every week will be Download Tuesdays. Fans are bound to download a fresh new track instead of going for full albums. (He loves online number and analytics, I would argue that this is why he has also seen tremendous success in other areas of his business.) He questions how someone can buy 1000s of tracks when trends are rapidly changing.

Vinyl or Digital?Everything I do, I like to get multiple use of it. A new fan base is always emerging it’s always re-introducing new ways of music consumption. If you don’t point out that a track was old, many wouldn’t know that it was. Digital is always timeless and vinyl has a shelf life.You don’t need to play hits unless you DJ for weddings <True, true Mr. Lars.

Where are you headed next?Any more trips to SA in 2016? One more time to SA. I play where I’m needed. I’m really pushing the label approach. I’m into the digital side of things. I predict for Indie labels that DJ sale downloads will disappear in 2016 i.e. Fileshare, Youtube etc. I’m looking at maybe going on tour more often and if time permits-the promotion of my DSOH parties when I visit cities worldwide.

https://www.facebook.com/larsbehrenroth

https://twitter.com/LarsLB

https://twitter.com/DeeperShades

lars