Nashville, TN – For a young man raised amongst the streets of Louisville, Kentucky, with only a single mother and older sister to guide him, life could have taken a dark and negative path. But Aaron Jordan, a talented and dynamic artist, found music as a refuge and never looked back – only forward. “I’ve seen a lot of stuff in my life. People were doing crazy things,” he confesses, “but I was in the band room practicing my music. It showed me there was power in music.” What started as a hobby became a lifelong passion and career for Aaron, who started his career writing songs for other people. Aaron was eager to take ownership over his music – having heard his songs not performed with the caliber and integrity he would like – and he quickly moved from songwriter to performer, much to the delight of listeners everywhere.
Jordan’s music is, in a word, “nostalgic.” It possesses an essence of older, simpler times when music still had integrity and lyrics were thoughtful, fun, and clever. “My music is like a blend of hip-hop / rap and R&B – it’s a lot of melodic structure and a lot of rhythmic pattern,” explains the artist. Influenced by eccentric artists like Party Next Door, you can expect the unexpected from Aaron Jordan.
His newest single, which is available now on all digital platforms, is entitled “Better Move” and has an interesting (and funny) backstory. It all began with a simple case of writer’s block: Aaron was in the studio and had fallen madly in love with a beat, but couldn’t find the words in him. “I wasn’t doing it any justice,” he laughs, “I thought, It’s not coming to me.” So, in search of some inspiration and fun, he found his way to the club. A few drinks in, he met some girls and found his inspiration on a good night out. Immediately, the words fell into the song, like tipsy musical serendipity. Taking advice from famous writer Ernest Hemmingway who suggested writers “Write drunk, and edit sober,” he found himself a hit at the bottom of a bottle.
Fans wanting to follow along on social media can find him on Instagram and Facebook as @iamaaronjordan and on Twitter, @aaronjordan502.
Listen to “Better Move.”
Beaver County, PA – You’ve likely never met a duo quite as dynamic as Swoozy & Rodge. The two met through a mutual friend, Alvin’s cousin Chris. It was musical love-at-first-sight for the two immensely talented artists. They hit it off and have been making musical magic with one another since then. Chris has since passed away, but Swoozy & Rodge continue to create together in honor of his memory. The pair is making waves with more than just their voices and rhymes, but with the way they are bridging the gap between races. The first thing one might notice about the two artists is that they are an interracial musical duo, and while that’s not unheard of in progressive 2017, it still has impact on the musical community. “I think it represents unity,” they explain, “and to a lot of people, it represents unity,” which is one thing the world could use more of. Another thing the world could use more of? Hit songs, courtesy of Swoozy & Rodge.
Alvin (Rodge) Rodgers and Bradley Salada (Swoozy) are not your average local rappers. They are, in a word, eclectic. The two listen to all kinds of music and find inspiration in the most unlikely of places and genres – Rodge was raised in the church amongst the harmonies of a gospel choir, while Swoozy derives inspiration from everyone from The Doors to Eminem. The artists’ collective ability to think outside the box and love of all genres from country to classic hip-hop makes their music unlike anything you ever heard. “We’re artists first, rappers second,” confesses Swoozy, “A lot of hip-hop artists sound like they only listen to hip hop, but because we were raised on all kinds of music, we aren’t locked in to a specific sound.” Adds Rodge; “You can’t put us in a box.”
The duo is bringing their talent to their brand new album, released on February 14th, entitled Nothing But Facts. The album is a twelve-track project that exhibits all of the qualities that make Swoozy & Rodge such a captivating group. The main single off of the album, an R&B-esque clever song “Sprung,” has people vibing to it so much that its created its own movement on social media, appropriately named “The Sprung Challenge.”
Fans who want to take a listen to Nothing But Facts can do so on the duo’s SoundCloud page. To stay up-to-date with all things Swoozy & Rodge, follow them on social media (@Swoozyandrodge).
ABERDEEN, MS – There’s a new hip-hop trio out of Mississippi that’s riding a wave of success, and the release of their new mixtape “Skurf Season” is set to expand that success in big ways.
The trio is called SKURF – a term that the group uses to refer to the way they surf, or “skurf” the waves of the beat. As Cameron “Ski” King describes it, SKURF’s music is “real wavy” and different from anything coming out within the hip-hop genre today.
“We’re wavy and your music is real wavy and we’re just different,” Ski said. “We’re trying to do something positive. Our music is all about putting out positive vibes. We want you to feel like you’re there in the studio with us in that moment.”
Rounding out the trio with Ski are Cameron “Ecuas” Johnson and Trent “Astro” Davis. The three are cousins who grew up with each other in Aberdeen, Mississippi and fell in love with music all around the same time. Ski’s influence started with a father who was a producer and who would always have artists around the house or be playing new music. Astro had an uncle who used to rap and who influenced his love for the genre and Ecuas always loved music and enjoyed rapping with his cousins even from a young age.
“When I was young I never thought about growing up and being a rapper, it was just something fun to do because we loved music,” Ecuas said. “Now I love that we get to rap about everyday situations. When people hear our music I want them to feel the same things I feel. If I’m turnt, I want them to be turnt. Plus our sound is unique. We don’t try to use the same sound that’s already out. We’re originals. Most rappers today use a sound that’s already out, but we make our own sound.”
Astro said making music together has always been something that’s been relatively effortless for the trio of cousins. Over the years he said they’ve been able to develop a sound that features “a little bit of trap mixed with pop culture.”
“Making the music is easy,” he said. “We have a style that’s familiar to each other, so the process is easy. We have a good chemistry.”
“Skurf Season” is a 13-song mixtape that the group released on Spinrilla.com in mid-February. In the short time since its release it has already garnered a lot of chatter throughout their city, with buzz spreading throughout the state. Ski said it has helped to create interest in the group, enough that they’re already starting to book shows in places like Tupelo and Hattesburg; and some venues from as far away as Tennessee and Georgia are also calling asking the group to headline shows.
Fans who want to sample the album can check it out on Spinrilla, or visit the groups YouTube page for music videos of their singles. Fans can also follow SKURF on social media on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more information about upcoming music releases or live performances.
ORLANDO, FL – You never know where inspiration is going to strike. For Orlando-based hip-hop artist King Varciti, inspiration for his most recent single “Pack” struck while in the car on a long drive.
“I was putting notes on my phone and the hook just came into my head,” he said. “I wrote the whole song before I even found the beat. And then one day I was in my emails and a producer sent me a whole list of beats – like 20 beats – and I started listening and found the perfect beat to go with what I’d written. It’s a real trap song that basically tells the story of how I moved from Orlando – running from the police and having to face the news – on my way to Atlanta. The music video for it has a fun storyline to it.”
The song is a good display of his talent as a musician and of his unique sound as a trap artist. His music label – AMG Hoodstars, of which he is the CEO – not only creates trap music and works with a handful of other artists, but also produces and edits music videos for others. AMG has a studio in Orlando and one in West Virginia. King Varciti said there are even four or five producers on the team, though the producer he used for “Pack” is a producer not affiliated with AMG named Jay Armotto.
All of the music he and the label creates is upbeat and positive. He said the intention behind the music is to get people energized and having fun – forgetting their worries for a little bit and just letting loose and enjoying life.
“I want them to feel the feeling of being turnt up when they listen to my music,” he said. “I want the youngins to listen to somebody who’s been through it. A lot of rappers talk shit but haven’t been through nothing. I think it’s better to listen to somebody who’s been through it. And in my own way I’m telling people to just go out there and get it, however you can get it. But be safe and know that there are consequences to everything you do.”
Some of that mantra he said he learned from a young age. He grew up with a family that had close ties to the hip-hop industry. His uncle worked under the stage name Shambu and worked with a number of bigger names in the industry. And a close family friend whose stage name was The 45 King worked with Eminem and Jay-Z. King Varciti said he learned much watching those artists – as well as EPMD and LL Cool J – and hopes to be able to emulate their success in his own life and entrepreneurial endeavors.
“I’m very versatile,” he said. “The old-heads will like my music as well as the youngins. I have that boom/bap style along with the trap. I do a little harmonizing, also – so I’m touching everything. I don’t sound like anybody else. I just sound like me. I’m different and I’m not trying to sound like anybody else. In fact, before anyone was rapping on dubstep beats I was doing it. I was the first one rapping on dubstep. That just shows you how creative I am and should show you that I have a sound that’s going to touch everybody. Put that together with real lyrics and no gimmicks and you can see why I’m the king.”
King Varciti also performs with a hip-hop group called the Hoodstars, which also includes Pope and Giulio4. To find out more about King Varciti or Hoodstars, fans can visit his website at hoodstarhiphop.net/kingvarciti, or check out his music on Soundcloud or iTunes. He also has music videos on his AMG’s YouTube channel. And for more information about new music releases or live performances, fans can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
LONG ISLAND, NY – The popular cartoon “Jimmy Neutron” is probably not the first show people would choose as a favorite for a young man raised by Jamaican parents. But for Bijon Roberts – AKA Red Dott – that’s exactly the show that he points to not only as a favorite of his youth, but as the inspiration for a new single that’s been making waves across the hip-hop world over the past four months.
The 22-year-old who hails from Long Island has been grinding for the past few years, trying to create a niche in the music industry and display his own unique style and sound. He’s seen a modicum of success, but his newest single is one that he hopes will take his name and his music to the next level.
“It’s a single about being smart,” he said of the single that he named after the cartoon of the same name. “It’s a little bit of a different flow and it definitely has a different vibe to it. The song came about one day as I was in the garage smoking and thinking about my favorite TV show. It’s a good show – it’s funny and it has a lot of adventures. And that’s what my single is like. It’s a club banger with a lot of energy and hype, which describes me to a T. I’m hype but I’m calm at the same time, if I want to be. But when it comes to my music I can give you that explosion that makes you want to dance.”
Red Dott said that though he grew up with Jamaican parents and had a lot of that culture infused within his family, it wasn’t the music of the Islands that served as his earliest inspirations. Instead it was pop icons like Michael Jackson and Prince. In fact, when he was younger he would often bust out dance moves that he learned from Michael Jackson – something that he said was the first steps toward becoming an entertainer.
Eventually he grew to enjoy rap and hip-hop, following artists such as Designer, Spaz, Fabulous, Robbie Smurder and Young MA. He had a friend who would always come over to his house and rap, and eventually Red Dott began to rap with him.
“One time I was in the garage by myself and I wrote a song by myself, and he got on it with me later,” Red Dott said. “People started telling me I sounded alright. Around the same time Rowdy Rebel did a song called ‘Bean Jawn,’ but when he says it, it sounds like he’s saying my name – Bijon. People thought that was funny, and in that same song he starts saying, ‘Red Dott, Red Dott.’ That’s when people started calling me that.”
Today Red Dott said he hopes to make music that people can be energized by and which will make people want to “dance and move their feet.”
“I want people to enjoy their day when they listen to my songs,” he said. “I want to give them good vibes – to nod their heads and pump their fists. I want them to be alive.”
Fans who want to sample some of Red Dott’s music can visit his Soundcloud page. And fans who want to know more about upcoming music releases or live performances can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
MIAMI, FL – When you have a dream that you can’t wait to share with the world, and you finally receive the opportunity to let loose with the talent and skill you’ve been storing up for years, sometimes the moment can be overwhelming – both for you and others around you.
Success is destined for Bigg Erupt, a rising hip-hop artist out of Miami, Florida. The musician who has been making music for many years and who is getting ready to release his eighth studio album entitled “Family Over Everything,” wasn’t always in the vast place in which he finds himself today. Growing up on the streets, he made some bad decisions that eventually landed him in prison. It was a huge wake-up call for him, and he spent most of his time in the penitentiary trying to figure out what he would do when he was released that would be legitimate and could make him enough money to support himself and his family.
“I knew I wanted to tell my story, and while I was locked up I got into a couple of cyphers and rap battles, and people encouraged me to pursue a career in the music industry when I got out,” he said. ‘I had lyrics, bars, a story to tell, and every day that went by I felt the need to let people hear that. I got out in 1999 and contacted one of my friends who had a mutual acquaintance who was getting ready to start a record label. That’s how it all begin. When I finally got in the studio, He spit for the first time for a producer named Redd Dot. I just went off erupted on the track and just exploded and put all my passion on that track. Afterward, he told me, ‘You just erupted!’ And that’s how I got my name, and it’s been my reputation ever since. When I rap, I put everything into it – all my passion, every emotion, and every raw, real feeling into every verse.”
That passion served him well in the early stages of his career. He put together countless shows all along the East Coast and throughout the Southwest region of the country. He also has performed and collaborated alongside major independent artists such as C-Ride, Pit Bull, Rick Ross, The Florida Boyz and Blood Raw, just to name a few.
Today, nearly 20 years after he first started his music career, he goes by the name Bigg E. His new album, “Family Over Everything,” is a project that he’s particularly proud of because it’s one that he got to collaborate on with his brother.
“It’s coming from a personal place,” he said. “It talks about my life and some of the struggles I’ve been through these last couple of years. It’s real music. When I began this project, I was transitioning out of the streets and to focus on my career as an artist. I wanted to be successful and live to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Family Over Everything is based on real current events and now I am ready to share it with the world.”
The album is set to release March 31 on Cdbaby.com/biggerupt. Fans who want to sample some of his music can visit his Soundcloud page, or check out some of his music videos on his YouTube channel. Fans can also follow him in social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to find out more about upcoming music releases or live performances.
BROOKLYN, NY – When Mel Gates was growing up as a child in Brooklyn, New York, there were two things he could always count on when he woke up on a weekend: good breakfast and wake up music.
“Those two things were always going on with my mom,” he said. “When we woke up on a Saturday or Sunday we always smelled good food cooking and we heard good music playing, like Anita Baker or Keith Sweat. Every weekend that’s what we would do, and it gave me a love for music just as a listener. Over the years I began to develop my own taste in music, and some of that was influenced by my uncle who would always play this old-school hip-hop. That’s how I became a hip-hop junkie. By the time I was 18 I was starting to think about wanting to rap. A good friend of mine wrote my first rhyme and I learned it and spit that one rhyme for like a whole year. People were always asking for that rhyme and it really encouraged me to start doing music on my own.”
Before a new music career could really launch for Gates, however, he found himself in trouble with the law and sentenced to two years in jail. Though he would never choose to repeat the experience, his time in jail did allow him to discover a passion for writing that he said he never would have otherwise realized.
“For some reason being in there and doing time, I started learning how to write for myself,” he said. “It was mostly violent lyrics, and in there people called me Murder Mel because everything I rapped about was hard-core. I became a battle rapper while I was in there, and every time a new guy would come to jail who could rap, they would come find me. Everyone started to call me Murder Mel. But as soon as I got out I realized I wouldn’t make money with that kind of name and those violent lyrics. So I transitioned to Mel Gates and became a little more commercial.”
Today Mel Gates is an accomplished hip-hop artist whose work has been featured on radio stations and blogs all along the northeast. His most recent single, “Show Me,” is set to drop at the end of February and showcases an evolution as an artist into the kind of musician that fans just can’t get enough of.
“It’s a club hit,” he said. “It’s a fun record – a ‘having a good time’ record. It has a really good sound that most people are probably going to compare to a Lean Back record or a Fat Joe record. It has that kind of energy to it; that feel of being a club banger. It’s basically about a group of guys coming into the club and looking to have a good night. We’re all looking to meet that one girl for the night, and when this record comes on they see this girl who is beautiful and amazing and doing movies on the dance floor that fits everything she’s representing. The name of the single is a nod to the idea of ‘show me some more.’”
Gates said he’s currently shooting a music video to accompany the release of the single. “Show Me” is also the first single off an album that he hopes to release in late April or early May. Fans who want to sample his music can check out his Soundcloud page or purchase his music on iTunes. Fans can also follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates about upcoming music releases or live performances.
BETHLEHEM, PA – Most people who think about a hip-hop artist don’t think of an Italian-American. That demographic of U.S. Citizen doesn’t typically associate with that style of music.
Joey Capo breaks the mold. As a second-generation Italian-American whose ancestors immigrated from Abruzzo, Italy to America, Joey is all about representing his heritage while also embracing new avenues of expression through music. In fact, his approach to music creation is to use the greatness of those who have come before and find new ways of presenting that style of music in ways that are original and entertaining.
“I think of it like if you were going to be an artist following someone like Michelangelo,” he said. “You might use the same paint brush that he used, but you’re going to use it in a different way. That’s how I view my style of music. I use vocals and styles of hip-hop that people would recognize because it’s been used before, but it’s different and unique and original. One of the main ways you would notice that difference is that I like to keep more of a pop-type radio-thing to my vocals. I also like to bring more of an atmosphere of jazz and almost an open-mic type of vibe. I’m more poetic. I like to talk to people through my music. And, of course, having an Italian background helps me stand out all on its own.”
Joey’s grandfather – Joseph Cappelli, for whom Joey is named after – was a professional accordion player in an Italian band. Unlike some Italian boys at the time who pursued sports, Cappelli’s father encouraged him to learn music – and so he started learning every instrument he could and eventually created his own band. Eventually his father immigrated to the U.S., and though he passed away a year before Joey was born, his influence on the family was well established and would leave its mark on young Joey.
“Not only was I named after him, but I also inherited his love of music,” Joey said. “I was always interested in music, and I think that’s because a piece of him was a part of me. Growing up, my mom’s favorite type of music was hip-hop, which was not normal for an Italian family. She loved Biggie, and I grew up listening to him all the time. I love the artistry of that genre and the soul of R&B, and of course music as a general art-form. Eventually what was a hobby turned into a career.”
Recently Joey Capo dropped his single – a 4:25-long song called “Gimme A Minute.” It’s a song that he said was born out of his experiences of rising fame and success. With each new fan and each additional successful venture, he said it seemed like another person was pulling him in a different direction or critiquing him in a different way or suggesting something new.
“This song talks about letting me do me and take in this moment for a second without people trying to pull me in different directions or kill my vibe,” he said. “I really wanted to put a lot of creativity into it. There are a lot of flows and melodic feels, although it switches up toward the end. Ultimately, I’m talking about this idea of live and let live. Our world is filled with a lot of judgment and people tell you what to do and being critical. Let’s just allow people to live and not worry about drama. If we do that then we can all be on that sort of high that you get when things are positive. I want to reach out to people with this song and send out that message.”
Fans who want to purchase the single can download it on any of the digital streaming sites, such as Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon and more. Fans can also check out more of Joey Capo’s music on his Soundcloud page or on his website at joeycapomusic.com. For more information about upcoming music releases or live performances, fans can follow him on social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Asiahn has had a career that most musicians would kill for, and she’s still in her 20s. She’s collaborated with Dr. Dre on the Grammy-nominated single “Just Another Day” from the film “Straight Outta Compton” – with a vocal feature that made the final cut of the film. She’s written and provided vocals for the Billboard Hot 100 single “Booty” for Jennifer Lopez. She’s written one of Miley Cyrus’ hottest hits, “Hands In The Air.” And hundreds of other songs she’s written have been featured through multiple other artists and on various other television shows and films.
But despite all those accolades, she has never released her own solo project. That all changes with her eight-song EP “Love Train,” which dropped on Jan. 7 and is currently available on all digital download sites – such as iTunes, Spotify and more.
“A lot of people forget that I was an artist before I became a songwriter,” Asiahn (pronounced Ahh-Zee-Yahn) said. “I wrote my first song at age 9, but by then I had already started singing the national anthem at Hornets games and performing in singing competitions. I was signed by DCM Entertainment and Sony at age 15 and I recorded my first demo at Ludacris’ house. I didn’t start writing for others until 2011, and that really took off around 2013 and I’ve been writing for others ever since. People stuck me in writer-ville and forgot that I was an artist. But I really can sing. I’m not just a rapper who fiddles with songs – I can actually sing. People tell me all the time that I sound so amazing and that I should put out my own thing. I finally listened to them and created this EP.”
Asiahn said “Love Train” is an album that tells a story from beginning-to-end of the ups and downs of a romantic relationship. She said there are songs about break ups, pain, brutal truth, betrayal and new hope. She said the content of her lyrics are such that almost anyone will be able to relate to it, and her soulful vocals and smooth vibe create an experience that anyone listening will want to put on repeat and return to again and again.
“This project is completely real,” she said. “There are no made up stories. It’s all organic and you can feel it. I’m not always going off my own feelings and why I feel different, but what everyone says about what they feel in their relationships. I listen to what other people say they feel and the emotions they deal with, and I put that into my music. This album is completely me. It’s a project that shows you I’m facing my truth and my music and showing the world how that makes me different.”
The EP is executive produced by Grammy winning producer Cardiak, with co-production from Rahki, Bongo and Swift D. There are no features on the six songs or two interludes, however – it’s all Asiahn, raw and real and beautiful.
The first single off the album, “Faded,” sets the tone for the rest of the EP. She describes it as a mid-tempo song that could be played at a club or just on in the house or the car while people are chilling. It’s a song that talks about disregarding all the drama that the other person in a relationship might be creating and just embracing the things that make you happy and that you want to do.
“I’d rather be faded than think about all the messed up things you’ve done or promises you couldn’t keep,” Asiahn said. “I’d rather go out and have a good time and not even be around you.”
Fans who want to sample the single can find it, as well as links to the full EP, on her website asiabryant.com. Fans can also find out more about upcoming music releases or live performances by following her on social media at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Hip Hop smiles upon the release of Stable's sequel to Made In Harlem. MIH2 delivers a perfect blend of yesterday's storytelling and lyricism with today's hype and turnt up vibes. With records such as "Pray I Go To Heaven"; "Dear Laura"; "Know What I Been Through"; "Our Lives Matter"; "We Spending" and others... MIH2 is promised to land Stable on the radar of many Hip Hop Heads!
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