Monthly Archives: January 2018

Best of 2018 Grammy Gifting Suite


Top Products and Favorites: Best of 2018 Grammy Gifting Suite

We loved Safi Kilima Tanzanite. First shared with the world in 1967 from a single source near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, Safi Kilima means “pure mountain”.


Smart Ring by John McLear
Ring can unlock your smart phone or tablet, door to your house or car and can also be used to make payments, start apps, share wi-fi information, share links to websites, and share contact information to smartphones and tablets.

Ring costs $139 and must be replaced every 2 years.
For house and car locks, McLear will connect you to one of their compatible lock companies.

Interactive Baby Monkey, rated the hottest toy of the year by many publications and retailers and sold out globally – up for the Toy of the Year award.  For the exclusive bling ones Fingerlings partnered with @PoplineBling artist Michelle Fishman to hand crystallize Fingerlings. They’re valued at over $200 and can they also make a custom Swarovski one which would be valued at $1000+

Grosse Jewelry – 111th year anniversary
Vertical Miss was our favorite, a necklace that can be worn 6 different ways

Grosse – beautiful high end costume jewelry brand founded in Germany in 1907 but based in Japan with three different lines:
Elegant and luxurious line: Grosse
Young and Casual Line: Grosse Glace
Luxurious Street Line: EINS by Grosse

We also checked out Happiesttee (t-shirts), Smile (invisible aligners sent to straight to your home and are more cost effective) and as years past, the Truth Campaign that inspire tobacco-free lives.


words & images: Sapna Lal

Jon Batiste: Delivers a Soulful Tribute at The 60th Annual Grammys + 2018 Tour Dates


At this past Grammy Awards ceremony, acclaimed musician Jon Batiste, alongside Gary Clark Jr., paid homage to Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Chuck Berry and Fats Domino with a rendition of “Ain’t That A Shame” and “Maybelline.” After commemorating two of the fathers of rock & roll, Batiste and Clark presented the Best Pop Solo Performance, which was awarded to Ed Sheeran


Catch Jon Batiste on the Solo In The Round Tour in anticipation of his album release later this spring. Tickets are currently on sale HERE:

Feb 27 – New York, NY ■ Bowery Ballroom SOLD OUT
Feb 28 – New York, NY ■ Bowery Ballroom SOLD OUT
Mar 2 – Houston, TX ■ The Heights Theater
Mar 3 – Dallas, TX ■ Kessler Theater
Mar 9 – Kansas City, MO ■ Madrid Theatre
Mar 10 – Pontiac, MI ■ The Crofoot
Mar 14 – Cambridge, MA ■ The Sinclair Early Show SOLD OUT
Mar 14 – Cambridge, MA ■ The Sinclair Late Show
Mar 15 – Philadelphia, PA ■ Theatre of Living Arts
Mar 17 – Washington, DC ■ 9:30 Club
Apr 3 – Seattle, WA ■ Neumos
Apr 4 – Portland, OR ■ Wonder Ballroom
Apr 5 – San Francisco, CA ■ Great American Music Hall
Apr 6 – Los Angeles, CA ■ Teragram Ballroom
Apr 27 – Atlanta, GA ■ Center Stage
May 4 – Chicago, IL ■ Thalia Hall
May 5 – Minneapolis, MN ■ Varsity Theater
May 25 – Charleston, SC ■ Spoleto Festival USA


Jon Batiste is an internationally acclaimed musician, bandleader and composer. As an educator and television personality, he spreads his unbridled optimism coupled with a profound understanding of the arts. Born into a long lineage of New Orleans musicians, Batiste is a graduate of The Juilliard School with a master’s degree. After graduating, he toured globally with his band Stay Human and currently appears nightly on national television as the bandleader and musical director for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Jon is a Forbes 30 under 30 honoree, Musical Director for The Atlantic and Creative Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. He balances a demanding performance schedule with speaking engagements, curating events, occasional acting and producing opportunities, all while relentlessly composing new music. His latest album Social Music, spent over a month atop the Billboard and iTunes jazz charts as the No. 1 jazz album in the world. Jon is also a coveted brand ambassador–featured in campaigns for Chase, Apple, Lincoln Motor Company, and numerous fashion brands including Bonobos, Ralph Lauren, Barney’s and Nordstrom. He has worked with famed photographer Annie Leibowitz, among many others, and his personal style has been profiled in various fashion publications including GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Jon’s mission is to share his faith, hope and love with the world around him.


HEADSHOT IMAGE DOWNLOAD – Photo Credit: Josh Cheuse

NEW RELEASE: Chris Dave and The Drumhedz | Exclusive Video Interview


Chris Dave and The Drumhedz - Debut Self-Titled Album out via Blue Note

Led by drummer, composer, and bandleader Chris Dave, Chris Dave and The Drumhedz features Anderson .Paak, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Bilal, Phonte, Elzhi, Anna Wise and dozens more. The first single “Destiny N Stereo (ft. Elzhi, Phonte Coleman & Eric Roberson)” was praised by NPR Music, The New York Times, Okayplayer, and Uproxx, who said “over a jazzy, spaced-out track built on the backbone of Dave’s neck-cracking live drums, the two veteran MCs trade dextrous, hyper-lyrical verses that perfectly display both their respective wordplay wizardry and the collective chemistry that makes them such a joy to hear on the same beat.”

Chris Dave has drummed for everyone from Adele to Bieber and Dolly to D’Angelo; Questlove once described Chris as his “worst nightmare” and Rolling Stone named him one of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time. The Drumhedz’ debut LP showcases a family of musicians whose credits coil like ivy around nearly every pillar of modern sound. It’s a place without genre, where elements of funk, soul, gospel, hip-hop and jazz mix until they’re an indistinguishable surging mass of solid groove.

It’s the album The Drumhedz founder has been building toward his entire life. Chris first reached for the sticks at 3, hoping to hit skins for his brothers’ funk group. He was denied, but found his second chance at church, initially on percussion. By the time Chris hit middle school, he was drumming for Houston choirs, backing singers like Kim Burrell and Yolanda Adams. He attended the revered High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, then received a full ride to Howard University, but dropped out to join Mint Condition. After that the work started pouring in, playing sessions with Lionel Richie, Mary J., and Kenny Garrett. In studios, on tour and in private, he was perfecting his style.

Chris’ need to absorb all he heard paid off – from 2009 to 2012, he worked on three Grammy-winning albums across three genres: Maxwell’s BLACKsummer’snight, Adele’s 21, and the Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio. In the personnel credits for those LPs, you’ll find the foundation of The Drumhedz.

There are nearly 50 Drumhedz on this record, spanning core crew like Pino Palladino (bass), Isaiah Sharkey (guitar), Cleo “Pookie” Sample (keys), Sir Darryl Farris (vocals) and Keyon Harrold (horn), to old familiars like James Poyser (the Roots), Stokley Williams (Mint Condition) and Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), to fresh guests like Anderson .Paak, Bilal, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Phonte Coleman.

With all their otherworldly ability, The Drumhedz are who they are because of connection. At the end of the day, they’re the cats who came together. And because they did, you might be a Drumhed too.

Order Chris Dave and The Drumhedz here.


1. Rocks Crying
2. Universal Language [ft. KRNDN, Sy Smith, D.Rose]
3. Dat Feelin [ft. Sir, Tiffany Gouche, Keyon Harrold]
4. Black Hole [ft. Anderson .Paak]
5. 2n1
6. Spread Her Wings [ft. Bilal, Tweet]
7. Whatever
8. Sensitive Granite [ft. Kendra Foster]
9. Cosmic Intercourse [ft. Stokley Williams, Casey Benjamin]
10. Atlanta, Texas [ft. Goapele and Shafiq Husayn]
11. Destiny n Stereo [ft. Elzhi, Phonte Coleman, Eric Roberson]
12. Clear View [ft. Anderson .Paak, Sir]
13. Job Well Done [ft. Anna Wise, Sir]
14. Lady Jane
15. Trippy Tipsy

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram

WATCH: Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave and The Drumhedz interview with Fusicology

YouTube Preview Image

2018 Weekender Lineup with King Britt, Hyenah, David Harness, Nickodemus, Doc Martin (Sublevel), Eli Escobar, Julius Papp, Oscar P, Cris Herrera + a Drum & Bass Stage & more!

West Coast Weekender 2018

2018 Weekender Lineup with King Britt, David Harness, Adam Gibbons, Nickodemus, Doc Martin (Sublevel), Eli Escobar, Julius Papp, Chris Annibell, Oscar P, Cris Herrera + a Drum & Bass Stage & more!

Tickets + Hotel Packages are moving fast, secure yours today!

Get ready for another high-octane weekend in San Diego, May 3-6! A celebration of music, dance, and culture in Southern California, the music conference and festival is blossoming right alongside San Diego’s incredible cultural renaissance. With nearly half of attendees coming from out of town, the West Coast Weekender audience rings in a truly one-of-a-kind vibe. The influx of activity—plus the San Diego underground community’s enthusiasm—creates an infectious, old school energy that’s of another era.

Festivities kick off Thursday afternoon at the iconic Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, right at the junction of San Diego’s hip University Heights and North Park districts and just minutes from the festival grounds. Start your day with brunch and poolside entertainment sponsored by Stoli Vodka. Panel discussions, workshops, and yoga sessions will be offered throughout the weekend. In between, immerse yourself in art, house, and drum and bass at Balboa Park’s multi-cultural and eclectic Worldbeat Cultural Center.

This year West Coast Weekender 2018 will also be supported by Traxsource, a unique electronic music store created and curated by DJs with decades of experience in the music industry.

To inquire about reserving at the Lafayette Hotel, please fill out the form here:

Festival passes can be purchased here

Weekend Warriors mount up!

Volunteer applications are now open for West Coast Weekender! Earn a festival pass, meet rad people, and contribute to our growing community.



Common, Robert Glasper & Karriem Riggins Announce New Group ‘August Greene’


Common, Robert Glasper & Karriem Riggins announce new group August Greene - Self-Titled Amazon original album to be released on March 9

Listen to the First Single “Optimistic” Featuring Brandy



Golden Globe, GRAMMY, Academy Award winning activist, actor and artist Common, four-time GRAMMY Award winning pianist/producer Robert Glasper, and drummer/producer extraordinaire Karriem Riggins announce the formation of their new group August Greene. The band’s debut self-titled, Amazon Original album will be released on March 9th.


Te first single “Optimistic” featuring Brandy premiered at NPR Music, who said “[Brandy's] voice has aged like the finest of wines, layering harmonies all over Glasper’s signature keys and Riggin’s rapid drums… Common’s bars serve as the proverbial cherry on top while a choir lends a hand to close the jam out.”


In 2017, the three collectively won the Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics on the strength of their song “Letter to the Free,” which was recorded for Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th. The longtime friends and musical collaborators felt the time was right to release music from August Greene, which has themes of optimism and black excellence. They have found a sound that does not solely fit into one genre, but is truly an invigorating hybrid of R&B, hip-hop, and jazz.


“August Greene actually formed before we chose a name, before we even knew it was a band,” says Common. “Karriem, Rob and I go back many years. It was something natural. When I started working with them it was like, ‘man, this feels like home,’ and it felt new and fresh. We love working together. The music takes us all to new places and it just feels like, everything I want to be as a musician is within the group of August Greene.


Starting March 9, the album will be available for digital purchase on Amazon Music and to stream on both Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music.


The Band Makes Their Live Debut at NYC’s Highline Ballroom on January 26 - TICKETS



FEATURED AUDIO @ CES 2018 – Debussy & Funky Sound Studio introduce luxury smart headphones with a touchscreen


Debussy Introduces Next Generation of Luxury Smart Headphones After Closing $1M Seed Round

Funky Sound Studio releases line of audio products under Debussy brand with the first high-end headphones to include smart capabilities, 4G connectivity and a touch screen 

While headphone options are abundant, none are adapted to the way we consume music or embodied the technology behind it. Funky Sound Studio is changing this perception within the music scene through Debussy; the startup’s luxury audio line that pairs luxury with high-tech features. After closing a $1 million seed round, and securing strong partners such as Dolby Laboratories, Funky Sound Studio debuts Debussy at CES 2018 with two headphones:


Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 5.03.56 PM


Driven by a limitless Internet and a multitude of streaming services, listening opportunities are more diverse than ever. As music libraries continue to grow, technical issues such as loading time, connection quality, and outdated audio products have impaired music enthusiasts and audiophiles from a perfect listening experience.  Funky Sound Studio closes this quality gap through Debussy–its dedicated audio brand with products that offer flawless sound, modern technology and luxury aesthetic.


Debussy is the first line of luxury autonomous headsets to have multiples kinds of connections to the Internet and allow constant connectivity. A Wi-Fi connection lets users access music from various sources on the Internet. When not available, the SIM card gives users 4G service so the headphones are connected at all times. Bluetooth connectivity is a given feature, but Debussy’s headphones will be the first to integrate Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity. Furthermore, Debussy headphones’ internal storage combats spotty connection in places where Wi-Fi and 4G can’t be found such as a subway train. It saves up to 4 GB of music from any device or pre-recordings. In turn, the headphones take out “middle-man” devices like smartphones to allow a more streamlined process to access music.


Similar to the way smartwatches seamlessly integrate communication plug-ins within, Debussy’s intelligent software goes beyond just an audio outlet. With voice command, users experience even more freedom and power to control features of the headphones. This includes the addition of an assistant like Siri to help extend the capability of voice command, so users can check for new emails or ask for directions all through the headphones. Because of the processor included in all Debussy headsets, the possibilities are endless to continue adding features and improving each headphone to become an all-in-one device to help users through their daily lives.


Unlike other headsets, Debussy’s headsets adds a high-end aesthetic through the color touch screen located on one of the ear phones. When the headphone is not being worn, the touch screen allows users to navigate and control the music from choosing a playlist, creating a Signature Sound or organizing settings on the device. When the headphones are worn, a gesture-based interface is used instead such as ‘swiping up’ to increase the volume of the music. The screen can also be used as a creative element where users can display the cover of their favorite album, a personal message or other custom visual. Overall, the headsets acts as a personal window into the music world of the owner.


Audio quality is never compromised as each headphone in the Debussy line was designed with artists in mind. Funky Sound Studio’s Signature Sound produces a Hi-Fi sound that replicates the same quality the artists intended their audience to hear. The headphones uses high sound quality digital-analog converters, amps and advanced sound processing to guarantee the best sound reproduction, in order to adapt to different styles of music, artists and environments.


In addition, Debussy headphones uses binaural stereo recording, which is a sound specialization technique that tricks the brain into hearing a sound in 3D. Users are able to record the sounds of their current environment and re-experience specific moments as the track is played back. Combined with head tracking, the binaural recording creates an entirely immersive sound environment as if replaying memories through sound.




About Funky Sound Studio:


Based in France and California, Funky Sound Studio was founded in 2017 by Arnaud Perret; a young visionary entrepreneur addicted to stunning sound and innovative technologies. Perret’s mission was to “serve the music” by creating beautiful, and even smarter, listening objects designed for the modern world. With Funky Sound Studio’s brand Debussy, they will offer the best aesthetic sound, sensorial experience and endless mobility to their consumers. Funky Sound Studio is supported by a strong board of investors from the French Industry; two successful serials entrepreneurs; high-level partners including A-Volute, Dolby Laboratories, S’Next final, Sogilis and Whizz System; and sound experts including 3-time Grammy award winner for artists like Daft Punk, Antoine Chabert.

To learn more about Funky Sound Studio, visit the website

Kendrick Lamar, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith And Top Dawg Entertainment To Produce Black Panther: The Album


Kendrick Lamar and Billboard Magazine’s Executive of the Year, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, are set to curate and produce “Black Panther: The Album.”  The album will feature music from and inspired by Marvel Studios’ Black Panther film including the lead single, “All The Stars,” featuring Kendrick Lamar and label mate SZA, produced by Sounwave.  “Black Panther” is directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Ryan Coogler and stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Oscar® winner Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira, among others.

Lamar and Tiffith will collaborate with Coogler directly in the creation of music specific to the needs of the film.  This will mark the first time that Lamar, whom Rolling Stone dubbed “the greatest rapper alive,” will write, produce, perform and curate for a major motion picture.

This collaboration represents the first time in Marvel Cinematic Universe history that Marvel Studios will integrate multiple original recordings created specifically for the film.

Lamar was hand-picked by Coogler for this first film music collaboration.  “I am honored to be working with such an incredible artist whose work has been so inspirational, and whose artistic themes align with those we explore in the film. I can’t wait for the world to hear what Kendrick and TDE have in store,” said Coogler.

Lamar added, “Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is amazing, from its cast to its director. The magnitude of this film showcases a great marriage of art and culture. I’m truly honored to contribute my knowledge of producing sound and writing music alongside Ryan and Marvel’s vision.”

Top Dawg added: “Working on such a powerful movie is a great opportunity.  We’re always working on new goals at TDE, so teaming up with Disney, Marvel Studios and the Black Panther film makes perfect sense.”

Kendrick Lamar is one of the most streamed artists in the world with his latest album in excess of two billion combined streams.  Fresh off his six wins at the 2017 VMAs, including Video of the Year, Best Hip Hop video, Best Cinematography, Direction, Art Direction and Visual Effects, he is regarded as one of the most important, critically acclaimed and creatively inventive artists globally.

About Kendrick Lamar:
Platinum-selling, Grammy-award winning artist Kendrick Lamar is one of the rare artists who has achieved critical and commercial success while earning the respect and support of those who inspired him. A native of Compton, California, Lamar released his debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city in October 2012 which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and earned him seven Grammy Award nominations. His second album, To Pimp a Butterfly, released in March 2015 immediately earned rave reviews and topped the Billboard 200 with sales of 325,000 copies within its first week, despite it coming a week early due to a technical accident. The album garnered Lamar five Grammy nominations with a win for Best Rap Album.

On April 14 2017, Lamar released his fourth studio album, DAMN. which sold 603,300 copies in its first week, the largest first week of his career and any other release that year. The album shot directly to number one on the Billboard 200 where it remained for four consecutive weeks. Complex Magazine claimed it is his “most ambitious album to date”, NPR called it “introspective and unforgiving” and Rolling Stone named him “the most gifted rapper of a generation.”

About The Film:

Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

“Black Panther” stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett, with Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis.

The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay.  Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” hits U.S. theaters on February 16, 2018.  

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PHOTO c/o Marvel