Monthly Archives: May 2015

Converse Rubber Tracks | Registration now open





New Global Program Offers Emerging Artists The Opportunity To Write The Next Chapter Of Music History


At Legendary Studios Including Abbey Road, Sunset Sound, Tuff Gong And Many More


BOSTON, MASS. (MAY 26, 2015) - Today, CONVERSE Inc. announces the global launch of a monumental new Converse Rubber Tracks program that opens the doors to some of the world’s greatest recording studios in music history. Over a two-week period, Converse Rubber Tracks will activate across eight different countries in four continents, offering aspiring musicians the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to record original music at 12 landmark studios, including the two Converse Rubber Tracks studios, at no cost.


Global registration begins today, Tuesday, May 26 and runs through Wednesday, June 24, featuring an online submission process that requires applicants to rank their top three studio preferences, and encourages all to enter a brief artist biography or description via a video or written application. If selected, chosen artists will be notified in early July. Following a thorough planning session with studio producers, artists chosen will be taken to one of their studios of choice in September this year, with most travel accommodations arranged and select expenses covered by Converse.


Emerging artists, bands, and musicians 18 years and older and of all genres across the globe can register for the rare opportunity to record at the following participating studios: Abbey Road Studios in London, EnglandSunset Sound in Los Angeles, CaliforniaHansa Tonstudio in Berlin, GermanyTuff Gong in Kingston, JamaicaGreenhouse Studios in Reykjavik, IcelandThe Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, CanadaAvast Recording Co. in Seattle, Washington; Stankonia in Atlanta, Georgia; Studios 301 in Sydney, Australia; Toca do Bandido in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the original brick-and-mortar Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn, New York; and the second permanent Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Boston, Massachusetts, slated to open this summer.



“Since we opened our first permanent Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn four years ago, we’ve had aspirations to elevate this program even further, hoping to extend this opportunity to artists across the globe,” said Jed Lewis, Converse Global Music Marketing Director. “With this new Converse Rubber Tracks program, we will unlock the doors to some of the greatest recording studios in music history and we’re ecstatic to offer this extraordinary experience to emerging artists worldwide. As a brand so deeply rooted in the next generation of creative spirits, we’re eager to make history while inspiring creativity and self-expression among music communities worldwide.”


This Converse Rubber Track program will serve as the brand’s most innovative music initiatives to date, signifying the exponential growth and global expansion of the Converse Rubber Tracks platform, set to offer a total of 84 recording sessions at 12 different studios within the two-week time frame. Selected artists will have the opportunity to work with world-renowned producers and sound engineers, while being given access to industry-leading technology in studios that have hosted some of the most celebrated acts in music history.


The Converse Rubber Tracks program was born out of the brand’s desire to give back to the music community and provide opportunities for artists who might not be able to afford studio time. Since the flagship studio opened in Brooklyn in July 2011, over 900 emerging artists have had the opportunity to record original music alongside the Converse Rubber Tracks team of experienced engineers at no cost.  At the end of their studio time, the artists retain all of the rights to their own music. Over the past three years, the program has expanded beyond the studio in Brooklyn with Converse Rubber Tracks pop-up studios, which has brought the Converse Rubber Tracks experience on the road to vibrant music communities around the globe, including Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Montreal, São Paulo, Beijing, Amsterdam, London, Hamburg, Paris, and Mexico City to name a few.


To find out more about Converse Rubber Tracks, or to learn more about how to register for one of the coveted sessions, please visit:


Piscean Group: Sir Robert & Osunlade | Original Soundtrack

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Piscean Group originally formed as part of an astrological union founding members and initial line up Sir Robert & Osunlade share. Since its conception, Osunlade has created an open coalition of musicians from his childhood home St Louis. As an open forum, the group has no real members and is a voice for all writers, musicians and performers alike. The non-credit of participants gives the groups identity a backseat to the sheer pleasure of the music.


Their self titled debut e.p. released on R2 Records and was an intro of sorts to the groups intention. With their first full length project the approach is that of a soundtrack. With an open landscape and no actual movie to score, the group’s imagination was allowed to go from soft to hard groove, and throw in a few cameo performances from Osunlade and rising LA pianist Daniel Crawford.

This movement proves to be the start of a long musical journey. Whether a Pisces or not, this will set your mood and elevate your spirit.

Formats: 180g Vinyl / CD / Digital

Release Date: 25/5/15

Chocolate Puma & Junior Sanchez Release “Lost Your Groove” on Dim Mak Records


When Dutch duo Chocolate Puma ventured to Junior Sanchez’s New Jersey studio to put the final touches on their collaboration “Lost Your Groove,” they never imagined that one of their biggest musical inspirations Todd Terry would ring the doorbell and offer to jump on the record.

A pioneering force in the late 80s house era, Terry layered the track’s funky elements with gorgeous synth keys throughout, while Chocolate Puma and Junior Sanchez cross-pollinated classic house melodies and guitar strums with songstress Arama’s silky vocals. “Lost Your Groove” is available as a two-week Beatport Exclusive.

“Without Todd we wouldn’t make the beats we’ve been making for over 20 years, “Chocolate Puma explains. “He was the first to bring grit and dirt to house … so it was kind of mind-blowing that Todd randomly started playing some keyboard parts on our track!”

“Lost Your Groove” is already taking the dance world by storm after peaking at #1 on DMC’s Buzz Chart two weeks ago.



Dessy Di Lauro Releases Hot New Feel Good Song ‘Let Me Hear You Say Hep Hep


Dessy Di Lauro Releases Hot New Feel Good Song ‘Let Me Hear You Say Hep Hep”

Singer-songwriter, neo-ragtime vocalist Dessy Di Lauro announces the release of “Let Me Hear You Say Hep Hep.” The track is the latest single from her forthcoming EP that’s slated for release in August 2015. Creating a sound inspired by jazz pioneers, Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway, Di Lauro uses the musical language of the Harlem Renaissance era fused with today’s urban beats, contemporary sounds and catchy R&B hooks.

‘Let Me Hear You Say Hep Hep’ follows their neo-ragtime signature with Pageot’s syncopated stride-piano over funky tight production while Di Lauro swings her soulful melodies and catchy RnB hooks. This new anthem is about people expressing their ”joie de vivre” and letting go of all inhibitions. It’s about feeling good and being happy in the moment and sharing positive energy and having a good time, celebrating life with friend’s and strangers alike.

Upon returning to her native town, Montreal, from a long-standing residency with Cirque du Soleil in the United States, Di Lauro met her now producer/husband Ric’key Pageot (touring keyboardist to Madonna and co-writer for Jill Scott and Earth Wind & Fire). As writing partners, they created original songs for her soulful, latin-tinged debut EP, A Study Of A Woman’s Soul released in 2004. The Di Lauro/Pageot couple later moved to  Los Angeles, where they curated their “neo-ragtime” sound in the L.A. club scene with notable residencies in the Santa Monica and Hollywood circuits. As a result, the release of Dessy’s first full length album, This Is Neo-Ragtime (2013) was inspired.

Di Lauro’s forthcoming five-track EP is a continuation of her 2013 record recreating the dynamics and energy of her live shows. With critical acclaim from several tastemakers in the blogosphere,  Okayplayer raves of Di Lauro’s “…New take on [ragtime] music that has been around since the early 1900s.”AFROPUNK praises the vocalist’s “…Blend [of] hip-hop, soul, RnB, and ragtime into a sound and style that looks back on the last 100 years of black culture while simultaneously looking forward.”Music Connection Magazine remarks Di Lauro as one of 2014’s “Hot 100 Live Unsigned Artists.” LA Weekly states, “Di Lauro’s honeyed vocals wind sinuously through a merry jumble of speakeasy-era stride piano and sophisticatedly modern R&B arrangements. Her original songs are smart, sassy and sensual, layered with funky horn retorts and jazzy harmonies.”December 2014 Di Lauro and Pageot premiered their self-produced stage-production show, ”The Jamboree starring Dessy Di Lauro” at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas inside the Rose. Rabbit. Lie. ballroom with a series of shows leading up to New Year’s Eve.

Di Lauro’s next show will be in New York City for the annual Blue Note Jazz Festival on Friday June 5th at The Blue Note Jazz Club.  Tickets are available HEREDi Lauro is also planning a North American tour this fall. Follow her on social media for more announcements in 2015!

To celebrate the release of her new single, Di Lauro is giving everyone a free download of ‘Let Me Hear You Say Hep Hep’ only available HERE until Tuesday evening 11:50 pm PST.

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OUT NOW: Kate Faust: “Eros EP: on Itunes


Faust began the evening with a romantic and sensual set made up of new material from her upcoming EP, Eros, named for the Greek god of love. She describes Eros‘ thematic elements as deeply rooted in eroticism, elaborating, “The gateway to empowerment is embracing the erotic in your life and the aspect of yourself which cannot be summed up in logic and reason.”


“Don’t think about the future, don’t dream about the past,” Faust sang in “21st Century Man” as infectious electro beats swelled around her at once featherlight and formidable vocals. Her dance moves alternated between engaging and private, establishing a lustful push-and-pull with the audience. Some songs inspired her to crouch down and prowl around the stage, springing back up with a wild toss of her hair. Other times she would almost collapse into herself, crossing her arms in self-embrace. In these moments, Faust was so emotionally raw it was almost voyeuristic to watch. Conjuring Like A Virgin-era Madonna with the intellectual mystique of Kate Bush, Faust delivered the most brave and polished opening set I’ve ever seen.




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Morgan State Professor Partners with Talib Kweli’s Javotti Media to Release the Official Soundtrack to His Best Selling Memoir

Buck Soundtrack Album Cover

MK Asante Announces new partnership with Talib Kweli and Javotti Media for the release of Buck: The Official Soundtrack

Morgan State University Professor Inspires the Hip-Hop Generation With His Debut Music Project Featuring 

Talib Kweli, King Mez, Uzi, & Maya Angelou

“MK is the voice of a new generation.”- Essence Magazine

(New York, NY) Award winning author and filmmaker MK Asante has announced a new partnership with Talib Kweli’s Javotti Media for the release of his official soundtrack to his best selling book, Buck. The original soundtrack provides a sonic hip-hop journey through the trials and tribulations MK faced growing up. Based on his memoir, Buck features collaborations with Talib Kweli, Ras Kass, King Mez, and Uzi along with an exclusive recording from the late Dr. Maya Angelou.

Buck, the memoir is important not just for it’s scope and passion, but for the author’s refusal to apologize for existing,” says Javotti Media CEO, Talib Kweli. “The accompanying soundtrack allows you to engulf yourself in this world. When you do, you realize that this work of art is not just important, but necessary.”

Born in Zimbabwe, raised in urban Philadelphia in the 90’s, MK dealt with many of the same issues plaguing today’s hip-hop generation. In both the book and album he candidly shares his story of navigating the streets of Philadelphia, having those close to him go to jail and dealing with mental illness in his family. MK himself was expelled from several schools before going on to get his MFA from UCLA and become the youngest tenured professor at Morgan State University at age 26.

In just over a year, Buck has made a substantial mark on the literary world making the Washington Post Best Seller List twice and becoming a finalist for the NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Literary Work. Its growing popularity is steadily rising with over 100 high schools and colleges currently using it in their core classes and curriculums.

The soundtrack serves as a continuation of the coming of age story MK tells in his memoir and creates another mechanism for him to reach the hip-hop audience. “The soundtrack is essential to me because it promotes literacy,” says MK Asante. “I wanted to do something new to push the boundaries of literature and the soundtrack does this. It translates the book into the universal language of music.”

In addition to The Buck original soundtrack, MK has also been awarded a Sundance Institute Feature Film fellowship for the upcoming movie adaption of Buck.

The Buck soundtrack will be released on Wednesday, May 13th, on the one year anniversary of the paper back release of Buck. It will be available as a free digital download on and

Buck Soundtrack Back Cover


Track Listing

  1. Intro
  2. Young Bucks (Feat. King Mez)
  3. The Bulletin (Feat. Uzi)
  4. Hungry & Foolish
  5. Blank Page
  6. Buck Shots (Feat. Uzi)
  7. Godz N The Hood (Feat. Bishop Lamont, Ras Kass & Talib Kweli)
  8. Oh Bitch You Weary (Feat. Amiri Baraka)
  9. Blood in My Eye
  10. My Victory (Feat. Maya Angelou)
  11. Wanderlust
  12. Outro [Wonderful]

MUSICAL T’s™: Fashion Designer Astrella Enters Bloomingdale’s

Tommy Flanagan (Copyright Astrella 2014) Photo Credit - Dean Karr

Fashion Designer Astrella Enters Bloomingdale’s in Los Angeles and New York City


Her famed Musical T’s™ are now offered in one of the nation’s premier department stores


Music royalty and fashion designer Astrella will offer her famed MUSICAL T’s™ collection in the men’s department at one of the nation’s leading premier department stores, Bloomingdale’s, in Los Angeles (315 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica Place) and New York City (919 Third Avenue between 59th Street and Lexington Avenue).


MUSICAL T’s™ is a hybrid of fashion, music, art, design, technology, and philanthropy to create an entirely unique, multi-faceted clothing experience. It is the marriage of the physical and digital. Astrella, daughter to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Donovan, created this collection of lavish t-shirts based on iconic album artwork from the spotlighted artists.


Working with 100% organic fabrics and lovingly handmade in Hollywood, C.A., the collection re-imagines iconic album artwork, while simultaneously allowing consumers to download the full album associated with the t-shirt design by scanning the digital gate (NFC or QR Code) and opting in with a unique PIN provided at purchase.


After purchasing a t-shirt, the consumer is free to stream associated album tracks with no additional fee via their mobile device, while simultaneously opening up an entire musical experience online.  Purchasing a shirt not only gives the wearer the ability to engage with the album the shirt represents, but also to explore exclusive material from the record online including videos, photos, memorabilia, interviews, and more.  This content is available exclusively to those who purchase the shirts and download the album.


In addition to bringing together fashion, technology and music, Astrella also prides herself on maintaining a conscious approach to business. The company donates a percentage of the proceeds from each design sold to a charity hand selected by the featured artist or their estate.  For example, the benefactor of the Elton John MUSICAL T’s ™ is the Elton John AIDs Foundation; Drake Bell’s design supports The Thirst Project; Queen’s supports the Mercury Phoenix Trust; Cyndi Lauper’s design supports True Colors; and The Vandals chosen charity is the David Lynch Foundation.


MUSICAL T’s™ officially launched in December 2013 and has been seen worn by Grammy-winner MC Lyte; ‘NSync’s Lance Bass; Buckcherry’s Stevie D.; Sons of Anarchy star Tommy Flanagan; Foo Fighter’s Rami Jaffee; Blind Melon & Live’sChristopher ThomJoe Ayoub (Leonard Cohen’s band); Brendan Buckley (Shakira’s band); two time Grammy-nominated, music producer & DJ Carmen Rizzo; guitar great Steve VaiMatt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses); reality TV star and L.A. music icon Bob Forrest; Korn’s Rob Patterson; actor Niko Nicotera known for his roles in The Purge: Anarchy and TV show Sons of Anarchy; and Jimmy Vivino (Band leader of Basic Cable Band).


Actor/Musician Drake Bell recently worked with Astrella at her last fashion show. He said, “Fashion Week El Paseo was just the beginning of an amazing musical journey with Astrella Inc. Excited for my new fashion line – can’t wait to share it with the world!”


The MUSICAL T’s™ artists roster features Billie Holiday, Brian Setzer, Cyndi Lauper, Drake Bell, Elton John, John Coltrane, John Lee Hooker, Miles Davis, Queen, Ravi Shankar, Thelonious Monk, The Vandals, The WHO and more.


The collection will also be sold at Sy Devore (Studio City), Scream Famous Clothing (West Hollywood), Crimson (at the Riviera Palm Springs), and The GRAMMY Museum (Los Angeles).


In celebration of the launch at Bloomingdale’s, Astrella will host two special events that will benefit two recognized causes to be announced in the coming weeks.


For more information, visit For images and more press materials, follow us on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram (@astrella_inc).


IMAGE: Tommy Flanagan (Copyright Astrella 2014) Photo Credit – Dean Karr 

* Miles Davis t-shirt shown only sold in the UK during the time this article was published.