Monthly Archives: May 2018

Sam Spiegel (N.A.S.A.) returns with “20 Below” feat. Anderson .Paak & Doja Cat

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Sam Spiegel is] the kind of guy whom you meet at a Hollywood house party and are sort of confused about what exactly he does for a living but you want to work with him on something, anything, nonetheless.”—Los Angeles Times

 

“[Spiegel’s N.A.S.A. project’s] tracks are a three-dimensional, ever-shifting combination of Brazilian, American and even African funk…chirpy pop choruses punctuate raps, and the beat stays brisk and unpredictable.”—The New York Times

 

Grammy-nominated DJ, music producer, composer and music and film director Sam Spiegel’s “20 Below,” featuring Anderson .Paak and Doja Cat, which premiered on Complex, hails “20 Below” as “a chilled-out, soulful track with crisp percussion and warm synths that naturally incorporates smooth vocal performances from both Anderson .Paak and Doja Cat.”

 

 

“20 Below” is Spiegel’s first release since his 2016 single “Mutant Brain” featuring Assassin (out now via Interscope Records), which was recently featured as the soundtrack to the Spike Jonze-directed “Kenzo World” short film (hailed as “the greatest fragrance ad of all time” by Fast Company).

 

The track reached #2 on the Spotify Global Viral 50 playlist and won the AICP “Best Music” award as well as two Gold Lions at the Cannes Lions Film Festival. Listen and watch the short film at https://youtu.be/ABz2m0olmPg.

 

Since Spiegel’s landmark 2009 collaborative project N.A.S.A. (with Brazilian DJ Zegon), whose debut album The Spirit of Apollo featured appearances by Kanye West, Childish Gambino, M.I.A., Tom Waits, RZA, David Byrne and many others, he has gone on to establish himself as a critically acclaimed music and film director. Spiegel served as music director for Kanye West’s “Glow in the Dark” tour and Karen O’s Stop the Virgens theatrical project, the latter of which Spiegel co-wrote and produced with Karen.

 

In 2005 Spiegel founded his award-winning commercial music house, Squeak E. Clean, through which he has scored commercial campaigns for Nike, Adidas, Cadillac, Honda, Sonos and many more. Other highlights among Spiegel’s film credits are the scores to Spike Jonze’s Yeah Right!, the top-selling skate movie of all-time; HBO’s Pretty Things; Drew Barrymore’s Whip It and more.

 

Spiegel’s track “Hello Tomorrow” won the Gold Lion for Best Music at the 2005 Cannes International Advertising Festival and Silver for Original Music at the 2006 Clio Awards upon being featured in an Adidas commercial directed by Jones.

 

In 2015 Spiegel turned his attention to film direction with the video for the final track to be released by N.A.S.A., “Jihad Love Squad (feat. KRS-One).” He went on to direct a pair of short films for National Geographic and CNN’s first-ever live commercial, which aired at 11:35 p.m. ET on New Year’s Eve 2017 during CNN’s “New Year’s Eve Live” and received nearly 3.3 million live viewers.

 

AN OPEN LETTER FROM SAM SPIEGEL TO HIS FANS

 

Hello Family,

I know music has been quiet from me for a very long time, but there’s lots of new music on the way. Since giving up the N.A.S.A. name, I signed a deal with Interscope Records in 2016 and released my first ever Sam Spiegel song, “Mutant Brain which was featured in this Kenzo perfume ad. Since then, Interscope has held me from releasing any new music.

 

I’m finally free of my deal with them, and I have so much music that was sitting around waiting to be released. The music was made over such a long period of time—some of it even when I was still using the N.A.S.A. moniker—that it lacks a cohesive idea that threads the songs together to make it work as an album project. I tend to enjoy making very conceptual albums, and I feel that this collection of songs doesn’t really work as one.

 

I’ve decided to release all twenty or so songs one-by-one over the next two years as singles, which will all be packaged together at the end as a collection called Random Shit From the Internet Era.

 

We’ll be creating record release experiences around most of the single releases, so look out for those coming to a city near you.

 

And finally, my first single comes out May 18 and it’s called “20 Below” featuring the homies Anderson .Paak and Doja Cat. I hope you enjoy it.

New Release: What Should One Do from Sidibe

Hannah Sidibe

Sidibe’s newest song “What Should One Do” highlights her signature voice and harmonies. Drawing from Michael Jackson, Nile Rodgers, Sting and Sade for inspiration, Sidibe finds herself standing at the relational fork in the road wondering, “What Should One Do”?

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Sidibe’s nuanced and layered vocals take center stage on her newest song “What Should One Do”. Here she draws inspiration from Michael Jackson, Nile Rodgers, Sting and Sade as she effortlessly blends classic and contemporary elements.

 

Along with her collaborators Nico Stadi and Warryn Campbell, she is truly cementing a signature sound that makes comparisons difficult. Part of that signature sound is undeniable musicality and an incredible line-up of musicians including Warryn Campbell, Jubu, Nate Mercereau, Rodney Jones Jr and Nico Stadi.

 

Sidibe’s musings dwell on the many aspects of love and romance. In her latest offering, she finds herself standing at the relational fork in the road wondering, “What Should One Do”.

 

Sidibe had this to say about the process “I write the lyrics to my songs, so I am thankful for the experiences in my life that provide me with inspiration. I like finding beauty in every aspect of relationship, even the heartbreaking moments”.

 

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R+R=NOW (Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, Christian Scott & more) Release Debut Single

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R+R=NOW released their first single “Change of Tone” off of their upcoming album Collagically Speaking (out June 15 via Blue Note). R+R=NOW is the new supergroup assembled by Robert Glasper, featuring Glasper on keys, Terrace Martin on synthesizer and vocoder, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah on trumpet, Derrick Hodge on bass, Taylor McFerrin on synth and beatbox, and newcomer Justin Tyson on drums. “Change of Tone” moves with ease between its various sections and styles, highlighting each of this remarkable collective’s members along with vocal contributions by Goapele.

 

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Other guest voices on the album include actors Omari Hardwick (Power) and Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Expendables); actress Amanda Seales (Insecure); MCs Stalley and yasiin bey (f.k.a. Mos Def); and singer Amber Navran (of Moonchild).

 

R+R=NOW will play U.S. album release shows in Atlanta (Variety Playhouse, June 15), Washington DC (DC Jazz Fest, June 16), and Brooklyn (Celebrate Brooklyn, June 22) before launching an extensive European summer tour.

 

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Drawn & Recorded MF DOOM Episode

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“Drawn & Recorded” – the animated series / collaboration between Gunpowder & Sky, Oscar and Grammy-winning producer T Bone Burnett, acclaimed animator Drew Christie and music television producer Bill Flanagan (“Storytellers”, “Crossroads”) on the AT&T AUDIENCE Network.

MF Doom was not always the music villain we now know him as. Once upon a time, he was Daniel Dumile, and his rise to villain-dom was a rough and painful journey.  Five stories will be rolled into one 30-minute episode every Friday at 10 p.m. PT/ET.

D&R_EP_02_DOOM_TRAILER from Drew Christie on Vimeo.

New Release: N’Dambi and All Cows Eat Grass ‘AIR CASTLE’ EP on Alpha Pup Records

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Imagine if you will, a time capsule aboard a deep spacecraft headed to eternity. The past informed by the present, and the present informed by the past. It’s an accurate description for the gravity defying EP Air Castle, a sonic journey through space and time launched by soul icon N’Dambi and All Cows Eat Grass front-man T.Brown.

 

Brown, former MD for Janelle Monáe, joined forces with the always musically adventurous N’Dambi for the cosmic soul outing which pairs the organic warmth of N’Dambi’s honeyed vocals and sophisticated songwriting with electronic synthesizer layers, 80′s sonic cues and retro-future compositions that in the end defy easy categorization.

 

“This project is an experience….a trip. Depending on where you come from determines how you hear it” declares N’Dambi. T. Brown characterizes it as an “Innocent exploration through different styles and concepts aiming to please and intrigue,” ultimately taking you back to your future.

AFROPUNK REVIEW

“N’Dambi and All Cows Eat Grass describe their Air Castle EP as “a time capsule aboard a deep spacecraft headed to eternity,” and it’s clear what they mean. N’Dambi’s 70’s soul vibe meets T. Brown and ACEG’s 80’s electro-funk, but somehow despite it’s retro trappings, it sounds new. Futuristic even.”

 

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The burbling synth bass in the intro to “Nowhere” draws the listener into a delicious retro-production informed by 80′s sonics complete with syndrum snare hits and layers of synth fills. The vocal effects which at first suggest the vast nowhere of outer space evolve into an impassioned plea “we ain’t got to go nowhere” – and as a listener we are invited to settle in.

 

Next on display is N’Dambi’s now legendary storytelling through song. “Just A Man” – an ode to an enduring love for an absent father, N’Dambi swoops around a nearly anthemic melody detailing a penchant for projecting her idealized love onto potential love interests – until in a moment of clarity declares “he’s just a man.”

 

“Air Castle” is the north Memphis born T.Brown’s electro-soul production on full display. With Bowie-esque shifts in movements, “Air Castle” deftly blends a futuristic sonic aesthetic with funk, soul, and gospel vocals, building beneath a jazz-rock electric guitar lead by Jeff Gitelman which earns the song a berth on the short list of “songs to trip to.” Literally and figuratively.

 

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“Show Me Your Smile” returns N’Dambi back to terra firma with the breezy warmth of a simple lyric extolling us to smile. Kellindo Parker, in his third appearance on the release, shines particularly for his syncopated guitar figure which invokes Convertion’s 1980 groover “Let’s Do It.” Paired with an easy melody, N’Dambi proves she can make grown men wistful for days gone by,  yet it is T. Brown’s counter melody that’s all about the science of mind.

 

Research proves that smiling changes brain chemistry by raising serotonin, the body’s feel good chemical. Once you smile, you’re bound to feel better. One smile leads to a thousand smiles and we all feel better. Now isn’t that mind-blowing?

 

With “Borrowed Time”, a song about being present in this moment, we find the Dallas native in a setting that would befit Oleta Adams in her “Tears For Fears” prime. N’Dambi, with her contralto on full glorious display, implores us to take her hand – which we are willing to do – for no matter where she takes us on her sonic journeys – we know we are enveloped by the essence of her soul.

 

So there you have it. N’Dambi and All Cows Eat Grass. The Air Castle EP, taking you through your mind’s eye on a cosmic journey through the sky. What’s in your time capsule?

 

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N’Dambi

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All Cows Eat Grass

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air castle N'DAMBI all cows eat grass cover artwork

Collision Conference moving to Toronto in 2019 | Message from Justin Trudeau

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COLLISION WILL MOVE TO TORONTO IN 2019

Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit, and Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, announce that Collision, North America’s fastest growing tech conference, will be held in Toronto in May 2019.

 

“Size of tech sector, diversity and inclusion of Canada and the Toronto Region are key factors in decision” says Paddy Cosgrave

 

Collision is the fastest growing tech conference in North America. Now in its fifth year, Collision has gone from 5,000 to an expected 25,000 attendees in New Orleans in 2018. Created by the team behind Web Summit, the world’s largest and most influential tech event, Collision attracts CEOs of the world’s largest companies, founders of the most exciting startups, leading investors and media, from more than 120 countries.

 

Collision 2017

2 May 2017; Paddy Cosgrave, Founder & CEO of Collision and Web Summit, on Centre Stage at Collision 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Stephen McCarthy / Collision / Sportsfile

 

Collision began in Las Vegas and then moved to New Orleans for three years. It has become the most significant startup, investor and technology conference in North America, praised as “the anti-CES” and rivalling SXSW Interactive.

 

Collision 2019 will be held from May 20-23, 2019, at Enercare Centre, Canada’s largest exhibition and convention facility with over 1 million square feet of exhibit space. It is the seventh largest facility in North America.

 

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The four-day international conference is the umbrella under which 12 other conferences take place over six stages, with sectors including AI, automated and connected vehicles, data, security, design, investment, software development, marketing, music and sustainability.

 

Collision is expected to bring more than 90,000 attendees to Toronto over the next three editions with an economic impact of $147 million.

 

The organisers behind Collision looked at various locations around North America to support future growth and provide attendees with the best possible experience. They chose Toronto because the city is a global hub, boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure and conference facilities and is home to one of the most vibrant tech and startup sectors in North America, with a world-class AI hub headed by the godfather of AI Geoffrey Hinton.

 

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Web Summit 2017

9 November 2017; Al Gore, Chairman, Generation Investment Management, on Centre Stage during day three of Web Summit 2017 at Altice Arena in Lisbon. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Web Summit via Sportsfile

 

The Toronto region ranks as the largest tech sector in Canada and the third largest in North America. The sector employs 401,000 people in 18,000 tech companies, accounting for 15% of all jobs in the Toronto region. The growth of the regional tech sector outpaced that of New York City and San Francisco combined in 2016. Based on that growth rate, Toronto will have more technology jobs than Silicon Valley within two years.

 

Collision 2017

2 May 2017; Terrell Owens, NFL Footballer & Entrepreneur, Terrell Owens, on the Centre Stage at Collision 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Stephen McCarthy / Collision / Sportsfile

 

Paddy Cosgrave said:

“We are delighted to announce that Collision is moving to Toronto. Right now feels like a special moment for Canada, and for Toronto. There is such energy in the city, such an open, cosmopolitan and global atmosphere. Great companies are being started and incredible talent is coming out of University of Waterloo and University of Toronto and other institutions.

 

“New Orleans, Collision’s home for three years, is a very special town, but as Collision grows we needed to find a bigger base with more global connectivity. I believe that Canada and Toronto have lived to some extent in the technology shadow of America. But that’s changing and changing fast.”

 

Collision 2017

3 May 2017; Beta booths at Collision 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Stephen McCarthy / Collision / Sportsfile



“A new wave of Canadian founders are building companies not just out of Canada but all over the world. At the very moment when some countries around the world seem to be shutting their borders, when intolerance is on the rise, Toronto stands for diversity and inclusion.

 

“It’s true that some international tech entrepreneurs have been denied visas to attend Collision in New Orleans in recent years. At the same time, Canada now fast-tracks international work visas.

 

“We are incredibly excited to work with the City of Toronto, Mayor John Tory and the entire tech ecosystem to make sure Collision delivers an amazing experience for attendees in 2019. Our thanks go to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his welcome support.”

 

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, said:

“Welcome to Canada, Collision. I’m happy you chose Toronto to host North America’s fastest growing tech conference for the next three years but I have to say I’m not completely surprised. Toronto is a key global tech hub and an example of the diversity that is our strength. Here in Canada, we know innovation and inclusion go together and the rest of the world has taken notice.

“Tech talent is coming to our country in record numbers and with our skills and innovation plan our government is making it easier for innovators to succeed and for investors to support them. Whether it’s thanks to the global skills strategy, the innovation superclusters or the women entrepreneurship strategy, we know Collision will bring even more energy and vision to Toronto’s tech scene.”

Collision 2017

3 May 2017; B.B. King Blues Club during Wednesday’s Night Summit at Collision 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Stephen McCarthy / Collision / Sportsfile

 

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Collision 2017

3 May 2017; Wyclef Jean, Musician & Philanthropist, Wyclef Jean, on the Centre Stage at Collision 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Stephen McCarthy / Collision / Sportsfile

 

 

John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, said:

“Collision’s decision to move confirms Toronto’s status as an important innovation hub in North America and affirms what we already know – that Toronto is building an inclusive type of innovation that brings people together to solve the world’s biggest challenges. We are looking forward to welcoming Collision and invite the rest of the world to join them.”

 

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