Category Archives: Music

A Demi Grace Exclusive: Face of Sephora Releases New Track “Afraid”

Written by. Chalise Macklin  

It is not every day that an up-and-coming artist becomes the face of a cosmetic product and sings the jingle in a well-known hair product commercial. Demi Grace’s entertainment career is off to a good start with credible accolades behind her name.

Grace’s infectious voice can be heard in the current Dark and Lovely commercials and she is one of the faces of Sephora’s new “Makeup Forever” lipstick line.

“I’m so excited. It is a funny story how I got the job. My agent sent me on an audition, but I did not get it. Later, I got a call back for a voice over audition. I told them I could sing and recorded a track during the audition. They loved it and offered me the job. It was really accidental,” said Grace.

Grace has been singing all her life, but she didn’t start releasing music professionally until 2012.

“I always wanted to be a professional singer. I had a talk with God and asked him what I needed to do to get my start and walk through the right door. I started building my social media following and releasing music independently,” Demi Grace said.

Gone are the days that an artist has to be signed to a major label. The music industry is embracing independent artist like Demi Grace. She contributes her current success to her willingness to interact with fans on social media. The effort has caused fans to become more familiar with her sound which she calls Afro-Dance or Afro-EDM infused with a little bit of Pop.

“My sound is influenced by Hip Hop, Nigerian and Afro beat music, and Reggae,” said Demi Grace. “I am extremely diverse. I tapped into many genres and I am a singer-songwriter.”

Her musical style is also a reflection of her heritage. She is of Nigerian descent,was born in London, raised in California, lived in Atlanta and currently a New Yorker. Her time in New York has influenced her new single “Afraid.”

“I moved to New York and met a guy who was nothing like anyone I met before. The relationship was party-driven, but when we were by ourselves it was hard to get him to open up. It was just a mess, hurtful and I expressed that in the song,” Grace said.

She describes the single as an emotional record that you must be ready for.

“When you go out and hear a song like ‘Afraid’ and listen to the lyrics you have to be ready to feel and emotionally connect,” said Demi Grace.

Demi Grace distinct sound is not the only thing gaining attention, her beauty is as well. Her ebony complexion and tall, slender physique serves as an example to young girls that beauty is diverse and unique.

DemiGrace2 (1)I want girls to be okay with what God gave them and work it. I look up to Missy Elliott and Rhianna and how they wear their body makes it (their body) sexy,” said Grace.

The future is bright for Demi Grace. The Sephora campaign she is a part of debuts in August, her upcoming EP is tentatively set for release in September, and she just finished working on a mix with an Atlanta producer which include heavy hitters such as: T-Pain, Trina, Flo Rida and TI.

For those of you in the New York area, check her out at Webster Hall on August 16th.

Kontrol Girl Exclusive With Party Powerhouse Dj RootsQueen

Written by: Mark Pollard

Don’t let the pretty face fool you. DJ RootsQueen is a skilled turntablist, producer, strip club DJ and radio show host based out of Atlanta, Ga. Originally from Tampa, Fl., she began spinning Drum and Bass at 17 years old which catapulted her into mastering Hip Hop, Dancehall, Dub Reggae, House, and Classic sets.

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“Well I started DJing when I was a teenager in the 90’s, so it was when rave and techno were really popular, so that was where I started on vinyl back then.”

 As Drum and Bass started to fade, she became obsessed with Dub Music and subsequently toured the East Coast with Reggae bands such as One Drop, Rocksteady @8, and Third World. A band member dubbed her “RootsQueen” at a show, and the name stuck ever since.

“I’m a professionally trained turntablist. My style of DJing is very multi-formatted so I can pick up and play any type of music, it really just depends on where I’m at. I can play whatever the crowd wants to hear, that’s what it’s really about, I’m not here to shove music down there ears, I’m here to make the party rock and make things fun.”

Her evolution in the art of being a DJ has, thus far, been a world wind of adventure in just the last year alone. Working alongside some of hip-hops most notable musicians from Future to Gucci Mane to Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan to name a few. DJ RootsQueen goes on to explain those experiences and also the difference in her career now than it was a year ago.

“I used to get star stuck, I remember when I first met Future I was trying so hard not to act star struck, so I pretended like I didn’t know who he was; I was like, “Hi what’s your name?”  But I’m not that way anymore because now I realize that they get star struck over me. As far as the difference in my career now, I would say is definitely branding and online presence, I feel like I do a lot more work that a mass amount of people can actually see now versus my usual small circle via social media.”

As one of the hottest female DJ’s in the game today, with awards honoring female DJ’s in the music industry to best female DJ, DJ RootsQueen is definitely a force to be reckoned with. However with such popularity in a male dominated career you have to ask the question is it harder being a female DJ in the music industry?

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“Its harder being a female in the game because I’ll notice that there’s a lot of attitude and shade that being a male in the industry you can show, but if you’re a girl and you were to have the same type of attitude or lets just say if you were to post something online, you’ll get a phone call to fix your attitude. Whereas a guy would pretty much get away with saying whatever he want or do whatever he want and it’ll be ok.” She continues to say, “As for me I do understand that this is a male dominated industry and I don’t fight back with them. What I do is just shine even harder, make sure my promos are better, make sure my videos are better, and make sure my contacts and contracts are better. That’s really the only way you can fight back is to not worry about that and to just shine on them.”

Executively produced by DJ RootsQueen, “Rude Girl Radio” caught the eye of celebrity super producer, Drumma Boy, who put her on the roster for “Drum Squad DJs” and made her his personal DJ for his fashion line, Fresh Phamily.

“I’m still sponsored by Fresh Phamily, but just recently by Diamond Supply and Zaytoven’s fashion brand, Wil Ginger.”

In 2015, DJ RootsQueen was signed to celebrity producer Zaytoven Beatz (Future, Young Jeezy, Juicy J) management and subsequently moved her radio show, “Rude Girl Radio”, to his radio station, Digital Dope Radio. Where she is now a resident DJ at the world famous Onyx, in Atlanta, Ga. DJ RootsQueen goes on to explain her first meeting with the hot Atlanta producer.

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 “I linked up with Zaytoven about two years ago through his manager Roland Williams, who’s my manager now. He’s like the best manager in the world, by the way. They needed a DJ here in Atlanta that could do the same thing that his other tour DJ that doesn’t live here does, so he could have that same push in the city and they chose me. They like to have females in the organization because he has a lot of female artists that he works with, so he’s always surrounding himself with pretty girls. It’s just a better look you know when we travel.”

Speaking of Zaytoven and Drumma Boy, she also just did a Red Bull event with the two producers in New York; she goes on to explain that experience.

“The Red Bull event in New York was amazing! We stayed at the Dream Hotel and Red Bull was super accommodating. Some people who were in attendance were Sunny Digital and Metro Boomin. Zay and myself went on after Metro and the crowd was hype and ready, so we just put on a really great show and showed New York what we do in Atlanta.”

With a sound so dynamic and eclectic as her personality, DJ RootsQueen is a party powerhouse, with an energy guaranteed to give life to any event. Also a female with a long resume and powerhouse behind her brand, she has just a couple of words for all the young female DJ’s out there that want to be the next top female DJ in the game.

“Practice practice practice, make sure that you master your craft because if not and your sloppy on the turntables people aren’t going to take you seriously on an executive level when you try to work and do other things. Also if this is really a career path you want to go into longevity wise, make sure you push forward to an executive level because at some point when you start to get older they’re not going to want to book you at these parties where there are twenty year olds, so your going to have to learn how to position yourself in this game.”

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DJ RootsQueen’s next big vent will be at the v103 Car and Bike show Saturday July 16, in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center. Be on the lookout for that and also for more info, music, and events from this hot DJ you can check her out on social media @DJRootsQueen and her official website DJRootsQueen.Com.

Apple’s New Patent May Upset You

Written by. Chalise Maklin

Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour, Rihanna’s Anti World tour, or Beyoncé’s Lemonade tour may have been your last time enjoying a concert and capturing all your favorite moments on your phone. Your concert experience could change in the near future.

Apple was awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that would stop people from using their smartphone or tablet cameras to snap images, record video and audio under certain conditions. Many performers do not like to have their shows recorded. And Apple may honor their wishes.

concertMany movie producers, artists, comedians, and musicians argue that people record their shows, movies, etc. and sell it for profit. Others argue that the videos and pictures will be uploaded to social media sites and could hurt ticket sales.

The new patent will likely make event organizers happy, but not consumers. Apple plans to create a form of technology that will send infrared signals at cameras while people try to take a picture or video in areas that forbids video recording and picture taken. The signal will be designed to disable any photography and recording capabilities for as long as the signal is on.

apple_patentAlthough many may feel this is a violation of their rights or freedom of expression, there may be some safety advantages. This technology could help national security and banks because people will have fewer ways to record video that could be a security risk, blueprints, and information that could land in the wrong hands. Apple’s technology would ostensibly prevent some of that.

Whether or not Apple will actually make the technology available is unclear. Apple did not comment on the patent approval. Despite the fact that in the future your phone may be restricted at concerts and movies, you can still enjoy events because now you will be more in the moment and can enjoy the show and the people you attended it with better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Get Down Coming to Netflix This Summer

Written by. Chalise Macklin

You now have a chance to find out why your parents felt growing up in the 70’s was so cool. Netflix has announced a new show, The Get Down, which chronicles the lives of some teenage friends during the mid-1970s in the Bronx.

The Get Down is described as a coming-of-age story set during a time when New York City was near bankruptcy. A trailer for the show does not include much dialogue, but you get a sense of adventure, drama, disco and hip hop, and friendship.

gd gd1The project is under the direction of Baz Luhtmann (Moulin Rouge!, Romeo+Juliet) and Nas has signed on as an executive producer and created music for the series. The Queensbridge rapper is not the only hip hop artist working on the show, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambaataa also collaborated. The show is highly anticipated and has a solid cast including: Jimmy Smiths, Shamiek Moore (Dope), Jaden Smith, and Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad).

The show creators hope to add to Netflix’s winning streak of hit shows such as: Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards. Netflix is trying something new with this series by airing the first half starting August 12th and the second half of the season scheduled to be released sometime in 2017.

New Artist Symon Gaining The Spotlight

Written by. Chalise Macklin

Establishing a name as a singer can be challenging, but up-and-coming artist Symon is making it look easy. She has been honing her craft since she was a teen. Once in a band and now a solo artist she is working hard to show you why she is the one to watch.

symon“I did plays and everything I could to break into the business. I have so much in my arsenal that people don’t know about, and I’m ready to bring it,” said Symon.

Her hustle mentality paid off. She and her former band, The New Officials, opened up for Demi Lovato on her Neon Lights tour.

“It was an incredible experience to see how she works,” said Symon.

tnoThe journey helped prepare her for the future. The band disbanded, but she landed a solo deal with Artbeatz Entertainment/Sony. Now, her first single, “Say”, is climbing the charts and is predicted to be a summer anthem.

“It is a great introduction song. A great pop, summer record,” Symon said.

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Her debut single was strategically titled to take advantage on the phrase Simon Says. It is a playful record that combines sass with elements of her personality.

“I wanted (people) to feel my vibe, plus it doesn’t hurt that my name is included in the record,” said Symon.

The record’s infectious lyrics and her relatability have led to some major opportunities for Symon, including participating in a radio tour. She is also working on an EP scheduled for release this fall.

“The EP will include more mid-tempo and upbeat songs.  A personal song called “Lonely Girl” will offer a more intimate side of me and it is a true connection to a more vulnerable me,” Symon said.

Symon is currently working with Barletta, who is responsible for Daya’s hit song “Hide Away”

“I’m working with some amazing producers. I’m creating my sound being me, being Symon. I’m true to myself other people will hopefully connect,” she said.”

The singer has shown much promise and describes her signature style as heavily urban and tropical influenced. Bob Marley Lisa, Left Eye Lopes (TLC), and Gwen Stefani are some of her biggest inspirations. She said her music should make you want to go to the beach, drive with the top down, sip tropical drinks, and have a good time. The Southern California native has vocal range, and is more than just a pop artist. Symon is a singer –songwriter who is a trained musician and vocalists.

“I was trained in opera. I had different teachings of music and voice. I co-write everything I do, because I want listeners to connect with me and feel the authenticity,” said Symon.

Those planning to get to know her sound better should expect a lot of fun and to enjoy themselves. Her stage show channels the same energy as her records.

“Prepare to enjoy themselves (concert goers) and to feel immersed in the sound. I put on a show,” Symon said.

symon1If the momentum she has gained continues, she is well on her way to a promising career and may cement her imprint into the music world.

Missy Elliott named VH1’s “All Hail The Queens” Hip Hop Honoree

Written By: AbsolutViolette

VH1 is bringing back their show Hip Hop Honors after a six-year hiatus. This year’s theme is “All Hail The Queens” which is paying tribute to female pioneers, trailblazers, and trendsetters who made their mark in a male-dominated genre and let their voices be heard.

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Queen Latifah, an obvious, choice was already announced as one of the honorees and yesterday, VH1 announced Missy Elliott as another honoree. Virgina-native Melissa “Missy” Elliott is a singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer who launched her solo career back in 1997 with the hit singles “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” and “Sock It 2 Me”.

Elliott was actually an honoree of the 2007 VH1 Hip Hop Honors, (watch above) after which she seemingly disappeared from the limelight taking on some behind-the-scenes production work. She “resurfaced” however at the 2015 Super Bowl halftime performance, appearing with Katy Perry, which you watch below.

This honor is certainly well deserved to a queen who’s sold more than 30 million records, with six albums and five Grammy Awards. Curious to know who else will be honored? Make sure to catch the LIVE show on July 11 at 9pm EST.

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You can also join the conversation on Twitter with @VH1 and @VH1Music using #HipHopHonors For additional updates, ’LIKE’ VH1 and VH1 Music on Facebook, or go to HipHopHonors.VH1.com