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

 

 

 

 

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!

 

DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, House Music, Movers & Shakers, Music, promoters, Reflections, Toronto

House Music Series – Toronto LOCAL – Shonuff – Dj Corey Dawkins – Installment 5 – He’s Versatile and Open Minded!

Corey Dawkins

“Even myself as a DJ, I believe I’m good at it, I listen to new music constantly and try to keep an open mind”-DJ Corey Dawkins

As I sat down to type this blog post I decided to throw on some tunes to inspire my writing. I’m listening to his March 2015 Deep House Session.It’s exactly the type of music he described during this interview. Dawkins had a lot to say about the music here in Toronto. We talked about his musical tastes, his versatility and his musical strengths. I’ve never heard anyone describe themselves as a ‘musicman’ instead of a DJ. What’s a musicman?

Musicman Definition:Urban Dictionary
A person who can arrange private concerts in their homes.<<<<Sounds like a curator of great podcasts!

(Shonuff) front man Corey Dawkins has been around for many years and duly recognized by the nightclub and House circuit. His versatility has awarded him a place alongside other heavy hitters. He’s a standalone and team play kinda DJ. He can also successfully mash up a multiple genre set.If  you’re not about House you’ll be moved in a GOOD way!

He explains that Nathan, stage and sound engineer at Toronto club 3030 “visited djcoreydawkins.com and checked the song listings from one of my mixes-he took a night to listen to all my stuff”.This is what spurred Open Mind (3030 Dundas St.W). He doesn’t play the House as “dEeP” as he’d like to there BUT the whole theme for that is a musically mixed vibe. A crowd that isn’t used to one particular sound needs a DJ that’s responsible to make them move. On that night, he plays everything from Soca,Dancehall,Afro House-Remixes & More! Dancers,music lovers and music people all understand that rockin’ the dance-floor is some serious business!

Let me just say that this is my favourite part of most interviews because I get to see DJs back track to the moment they knew what it was they loved about music and start exploring!

From Calgary to T.O….Dawkins arrived to Toronto via Calgary from (Western Canada to South Central Canada!)…I asked what it was like there-growing up and venturing into music out there he says- “I’ve always been into music-I was in the church choir,I started making mix tapes in High school….I stopped Church at 18…people enjoyed the music I put together…I decided that I had what I needed to do this thing…the music scene never materialized in Calgary as much as I wanted it, so I came to Toronto”.

Before Podcasts he’d been recording mixes and in 1998 he started spinning at IV Lounge (oh shit,I used to go there lol!) and continued there for about 4 years as well as many other club residencies.

What’s Your Favourite Musical Style Corey?

The drummy stuff=South African House“Afro House with a powerful “Rootsy” production, RnB, Island,Tech,Dark Stuff. Black Coffee, Culoe De Song, Boddhi Satva, Black Motion, Djeff Afrozila, Jose Marquez, DJ Malvado, Ralf Gum and Pascal Moraes so many more listed….

Changing With The Times “I’ve gone from being a DJ/Promoter to doing it all now….I’ve got to get the word out, secure the venue…it’s not that I don’t like it, I just don’t have the same kind of time or energy that I used to have…Facebook has changed the game”.

Toronto – The House Scene“Toronto’s House music people are some serious late-comers…and a tough crowd to reach”

To Produce Or Not To Produce “I’ve dabbled into a bit of production and frankly, I can’t be locked into a studio….it takes a certain breed of person”. (Insert props to all DJ/Producer friends here.)

Advice & Humble Pie “Learn more be a sponge,stay humble…it’s a very important thing to have…listen more, talk less”.

What’s Up For Shonuff? “My dream is to travel and just do this…..I’d like to disappear for a few weeks and go to Amsterdam or South Africa..travel is the biggest thing for me..I’d like to be enriched and inspired….travelling changes you-you become a better person” <<<You know what? I think he’ll take Shonuff on the road too!

Where can we catch Dj Corey Dawkins making magic?Open Mind @3030 Dundas St.WRUUTED w/Vinny Gruvhunter,Libertine Saturday nights @1307 Dundas St. W, POWDA events w/Joonya T & Tyrone Solomon

Shonuff Doggie

DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, House Music, Movers & Shakers, Music, promoters, Reflections, Social Media, Toronto

House Music Series – Toronto LOCAL – Summer 2014 – Installment 3 – Joonya T: The Youngest in the Biz!

Upon returning to Toronto from Japan in 06-07, I didn’t know where to go. I’d been going to events and show all over Kansai (Japan) and got used to the likes of Danny Krivit, Tim Regisford, DJ Spinna and Louie Vega-respectively. I arrived here (Toronto) thinking that elsewhere could be the only way I’d be hearing great music of this genre.

For months I panicked and felt a little depressed until I discovered the mix CDs and podcast downloads. The best part is discovering the local artists that made up the Toronto scene and immediately occupied myself with the weekly/monthly fixes. One of them was Joonya T.

Currently, you can catch him every first Friday of the month at Toronto’s Andy Poolhall along the College St. Little Italy hub in Toronto! He’s got a unique event scheduled this Caribana Weekend (tonight) in collaboration with Moonraiser Ent (the African house pull) at Mojo Lounge (1305 Dundas St.W.)…and for all of you locals-Mojo’s new home is the former Pacha. This show will be demonstrating something a little different from what we normally get during Caribana here in Toronto. This event features a whole roster of DJs from Africa including female Djs! Toronto and tourists; don’t miss it this weekend!

 

Shejay ZandyYou’ll always find Joonya T spinning in the house music corridor at College or Dundas-he’s never off the grid! You can visit him at http://www.joonyat.com/ to see what’s up, current and happening! Check out this Toronto House Music Mix he just put out to showcase the Toronto flavour! Joonya says about the inspiration for the mix that, “Toronto is very specific about what they take in terms of house music…you rarely  see Toronto people pushing Toronto things…..this is why I started doing the Toronto mixes”.
Check out the mix here! http://www.joonyat.com/2014/07/joonya-t-presents-the-toronto-mix-volume-7/

 

Shine: Where does the name Joonya T come from? In 2007…all the same cover and just a different colour……his name is from his reggae DJ name!

Joonya T: From the Reggae DJ name I had in highschool. It stayed with me up until now!

Shine: I’m not sure if this is how you wanted to project the “JoonyaT” brand but I’ve noticed that you’ve transferred a hip-hop DJ esthetic to your DJ set style……it’s quite good and has a crossover appeal…what I mean by this is non-house music listeners are pulled in and become fans. What is it about the Joonya T style that’s a little more unique than the next guy? (It’s okay to brag here!!)

Joonya T: Prior to getting into the house scene I was definitely influenced by hip-hop. I enjoyed DJ Clue’s stuff and DJ Kid Capri’s stuff. And as most have noticed;  through my podcasts with Karizma’s material!

Shine: Explain Back Corner Radio’s concept…Where can viewers locate all this info?

JoonyaT: Back Corner Radio comes from the group of friends “The Back Corner Crew”. Myself and friends all into the house music scene would go to parties and enjoy the back corner of the party hollering people in the back corner. Everyone has moved on…everyone has gone through some life changes. The name is truly a way to pay homage to the crew.

Shine: You’ve got your monthly mixes and then you’ve got Back Corner Radio sets…..why the two different ‘projects’?

Joonya T: I started with a podcast and then followed a whole slew of other podcasts…The first one was Dennis Ferrer…..he came in 2007 and I created a mix to help promote the party at the time. I wasn’t affiliated with the event but I put the word out. It got a lot of play……. And I made more mega mixes to focus on specific productions.

Shine: You attended the ADE Festival last year what was that like for you? Anything you took away from that? So so curious. 🙂 Are you attending again this year?

Joonya T: ADE is something I’ll always remember. It was crazy to be in a city with all these people who are truly into the music! Places like Amsterdam and Japan take in the various music scenes in a whole different way. Places in Europe, Asia and specifically Africa promote house and Electronic Music the same way we promote Pop Music. Billboards at the bus stop with celebrities and promotional flyers are places all over places like the airport……this was a very different experience for me!

Shine: I like the examples you mentioned it shows a little more than what we think we’d notice and understand about a country’s relationship to house/dance music in other cities in the world.

Shine: Making international rounds must be amazing! (Travelling being the best part)- What’s it like explaining to the people you meet (fans and industry heads) that you’re from Toronto? How do you explain the Toronto (house/tech/dance scene)?

Joonya T: First of all this was made possible by my good friend and confidante in the industry (Pascal Morais). He had been talking about it and encouraged me to head over there. I’m not very much in people’s faces….I’m sociable but I don’t go around to chat with people….I sort of observe and feel my environment. It was little nerve-wracking but once I met everyone I had an amazing time!

When I speak of Toronto, I always catch myself talking about a vibe…..certain tracks set things off….in Toronto. There isn’t a young scene coming up to replace the older heads. The vibe or feel is what we still have and it’s celebrated in a specific way here in (Toronto).

Shine: What’s changed for you in Toronto? i.e. promotion, DJ’ing, creativity

Joonya T: In the beginning, (2007) when I started all this, there wasn’t really a Facebook.  Everything is social. You get the people who go out based on whose promoting. I used to burn CDs . Word-of-mouth reigned and flyers were part of the promotion. Right now…people are not only on Facebook but on other outlets. Technology has afforded me the extra memory to extend a mix past the usual 80 mins! House music runs differently than other musical genres….producers are trying to make the same kind of money they used to make….. Everything was still underground pre-2007 and even still I always hear good music and wanna know what tracks are being played. I used to wonder….Does anyone else know about this?… The underground was truly underground. Often, you do hear House heads talk about ‘back in the day’…..those heads are now getting older. Trends are slowly starting to change! It’s rare to have a 200+ sold out party but small events that collaborate seem to work now in Toronto. A lot of the bigger events are happening on the Tech side…DJs come to Toronto two times a year instead of once. Ask anyone in the soulful scenes We laugh about it. They don’t drink….usually I think it’s because they are older. When I started I was always doing parties on my own, now I collaborate with other DJs… My philosophy now: You gotta make your way or knit your own piece of sweater…..its okay to always push brands at the same time!

Shine: I’ve noticed you’ve concentrated on your online media presence and I’d have to say its VERY good! Who’s your audience?

Joonya T: I’ve got a background in Marketing and want to grow the brand so I’ve remained consistent with my name, image and podcasts. I’m trying to pull in a younger crowd.  Frankly speaking, South African supporters and listeners have always been my audience. Next up are supporters in Europe and following that are fans in the U.S.! They consume more dance music than the average music lover!

Shine: What are some parting words you’d like to leave us with today?

Joonya T: Just like at the end of every show, I’d say to them…Love what you do what you love… that’s a mantra I live by and hopefully my listeners can grab a little something to add to their day when they tune in to Back Corner Radio!

We had so much to discuss it was pretty awesome to talk about his expansive projects!

 

For all you socially savvy people you can follow Joonya T’s digital footprints here:

Social links

www.youtube.com/joonyat

www.Soundcloud.com/joonyat

www.twitter.com/joonyat

www.bit.ly/joonyat (iTunes short link)

www.instagram.com/joonyat

Stay tuned for more LOCAL House showcases at shine!

Biography, DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, House Music, Japan, Knowledge, Movers & Shakers, Music, Osaka, promoters, Reflections, Toronto, Travel

END OF YEAR House Music Series – House of Pela – Afrobeta Bodega Boston

I got a flyer from the SecSeeTemp<3 ladies of house (Brigette,Denise) a few weeks back that read ‘House of Pela’.  It looked like the sticker label for a bottle of hot sauce. Hot sauce ain’t bad….. What’s a House of Pela? What’s an ‘Afrobeta Bodega’?  I asked proud Dominican DJ via Boston all that. So you buy House of Pela products at the Afrobeta Bodega….now I understand. You get a variety of beats, sounds and ideas at the Afrobeta Bodega on the corner all the way from Boston. Sooo…Afro sound, culture, vibe,essence+Beta (first test version)=Afrobeta.

What’s in Boston? I’d visited a few months back to visit a friend working there. I desperately checked all house outlets for shows, parties, events…..maybe it was Winter. Yes, that’s it. No house events happen in Boston because it’s too cold. I checked all my fave ‘selecta’ websites to see tour dates….NOTHING. I took to Twitter -my hub of information and asked a former BET VJ who happens to be a Boston native and she told me:

Free response on Twitter

Soooo to meet a Max Pela from Boston….I had some questions. Where’s the community? Where’s the underground? Who’s the audience? How did Afrobeta start? Why are you in Toronto? Boston seems VERY straight-laced is what I thought….I got schooled. NAGA  has a laid back vibe as a lounge, restaurant and club.  The home of House of Pela is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The home of MIT….the prestigious school. This is always where the underground thrives. Near the schools…the house community must be pretty awesome. Pela sites all kinds of musical influences that he enjoyed in phases- Afro Dominican roots music like Palo, Salve and Gaja from Haiti.

He grew up with rural Dominican cultural influences and he really emphasizes Haitian musical influences which is great to hear considering many of the sociopolitical cultural divides that’s rocked the Dominican Republic for many years. He transitioned from Rock to Old School Hip-Hop to 90s house (this is where it all begins), Tribal, Progressive overall he gravitated to anything with deeper content….

So what does Afrobeta do? Max describes on the site that he is constantly searching ‘ for a specific sound….and has a fondness for non-conventional producers’….what’s non-conventional? He answers ‘anyone can  make music, there many unknowns out there’d like to give them a platform to show what they have….show what makes them unique ; it could even be the old school music production’ I told him that I checked the roster of artists on the site:

All of them have a great body of work. But Marquez- Is the person who told him about US in Toronto! He gave Max the thumbs up and props to come to Toronto! (Shout out to all supporters and enthusiasts of the Toronto house scene!) At afrobetabodega you’ll find live sets, studio recordings, podcasts, news and general musings of  underground house. It’s a work in progress and he mentions that an international expansion is in order.

In 2014 Max wants to make House of Pela a household name and continue to throw successful events. He wants to continue putting Boston on the map. See: TRAXSOURCE. I always ask this because I do feel its important for anyone embarking down creative paths; What advice does House of Pela founder give? – Take risks. ‘If you’ve gotta leave the 9-5 makes sure it’s planned and calculated…..do what makes you happy. If it’s the energy of what you do that drives you, let it be the driving force…there will be times you want to quit…rest assured there will be that one person who will wake you up to keep you going’

House of Pela It’s been fun putting these blog posts out! Follow me in 2014 as I take @theshineprjct  in other directions…. -shine

Biography, DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, House Music, Movers & Shakers, Music, New York, promoters, Reflections, Social Media, theshineprjct, Toronto, Travel

House Music Series – Jellybean Returns to Revival – International

Behind the Decks

Trust your instincts. These are the parting words of a talented artist whose career has spanned many decades.

Trusting his instincts has taken him to  places unimaginable. Literally. As a child from South Bronx, NY he says, ‘there were only two options amongst my friends…’ to be a drug dealer or a bouncer at a club…..I wasn’t gonna get into drugs and I was too short to be a bouncer’……that broke the ice! lol

Jellybean enthusiasts kept passing by; uttering comments, props and questions about when he was gonna  hit the stage. I’m not gonna lie-I knew about Jellybean as a kid because of Madonna.  I mentioned that to him-but what is fascinating is the kind of work he’s amassed in this many years, as well as the industries that he’s crossed. It is truly remarkable BUT also makes sense as he’s always ‘trusted his instincts’.

Another thing I noticed about what always came up while he responded to my questions was his need for CREATIVITY and his focus of wanting to simply MAKE MUSIC. Watching the crowd’s response on the dance floor Benitez said ‘is like GM testing cars…..as a creator of  sounds, tunes, records…..the dance floor allows you to see what works, what’s fresh and what’ll sell’

In his earlier years after Dj’ing for friends parties, his phone started ringing and requests to collaborate with big artists (Madonna, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson) to name a few- brought him into the studio. By working in the studio with recording artists,  it validated his production skills and allowed him to reach more people.  He left DJ‘ing for 10 years and produced music and soundtracks for films. This instinctual departure added more to his musical talents and skills.

Studio54 and Funhouse residencies allowed him to flaunt his production skills in the clubs and he would go on to produce (3-4 records a week???? Damn!) The music industry has definitely changed! The New York house scene is a very  different one than it was back in the day- in that it strictly thrived as an underground scene. This underground no longer exists. Perhaps this underground scene now thrives online?

I asked him about his XM Satellite Sirius Radio station that started in 2011. He was asked to program the station because of  his expertise, tenure and experience. This allowed him free reign over the design of the station’s music catalogue.  He plays FULL tracks when mixing on air  and that he mentions, has also lost its way with the new style of music mixing. He’s able to give back and educate new  listeners by introducing Disco and Classic House styles within the programming.  So every time, you tune in, and listen to Studio54 satellite radio, YOU learn something new! And just like that, our interview had to end……

Jellybean hit the decks at Revival  and  the  song he plays that draws me in is Louie Vega’s ‘Brand New Day’ feat Blaze. I almost forgot what I was gonna  write tonight.  LOL

I danced the night away 🙂

-shine

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