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INsiders Guide

INsiders Guide: Quavo & Take Off, RAW YOUNGIN, Molly Ryan, CarbonWorks, Lil Baby, The Warhawks, Venna, Emie Nathan, Charlotte Plank, Eden Rain, Polartropica, Thunder Jackson…

red-hot Lake City, Florida rapper Raw Youngin presents his anxiously awaited new 386 Landlord EP via Epic Records. Listen to 386 Landlord EPHERE.

Ringing in the release with a bang, he just uncovered the music video for the new single “Out Tha Blue” [feat. G Herbo]. Watch the music video for “Out Tha Blue”HERE. On the track, anxious 808s set the pace as Raw Youngin tears right through the beat with an incisive and inventive flow. Herbo counters with a gruff and guttural response as they lock into a head-spinning lyrical crossfire. It culminates on the proclamation, “Feel like a pimp, I come out tha blue.” The accompanying visual brings this vibe to life onscreen and highlights the chemistry between these modern powerhouses.

He locked and loaded the 14-track 386 Landlord with pure fire. From the intensely introspective “Life After Fame” to the bullet-riddled lessons of “Tell Me About Trap” and the staggeringly proclamation of “Nobody, it illuminates every side of Raw Youngin. The recently released “FLA Boy” wields its sharp teeth on the hook, while “Spinnin’” [feat. Doe Boy] stands out as an early fan favorite. It has tallied over half-a-million streams in addition to receiving plugs from HipHopSince1987 and more. Check out the full tracklisting below.

With a hardcore style with no rival, he truly makes rap raw again on 386 Landlord.

At this time of year when brooms carry a certain negative connotation, critically acclaimed jazz vocalist Molly Ryan is putting brooms in a positive light with her new single Get Yourself a New Broom (and Sweep Your Blues Away),” out now on all music streaming platforms. The second single released by Ryan this month, “Get Yourself a New Broom” comes out in anticipation of Ryan’s upcoming fifth solo album, Sweepin’ the Blues Away, that comes out on November 11th, 2022 on Turtle Bay Records. 

“Get Yourself a New Broom” was written by Ted Koehler and Harold Arlen and published in 1933. The song has been recorded numerous times since then, including by the great Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra and the famous 1930s jazz and blues singer, Maxine Sullivan, who was Ryan’s inspiration for recording the song.

Ryan says that Maxine Sullivan “is one of my favorite singers and I fell in love with this song because of how she sings it, simply and melodically.” She also appreciates the universality of the song’s message, which she says is “true for any age; You have your troubles, but set them aside and allow yourself a bit of happiness.”

Avant-garde rock group CarbonWorks, led by guitarist/composer Neal Barnard, announces its latest single “Training That Works” and its accompanying music video, out Friday, October 28, 2022. To create the video, Barnard partnered with conceptual illustrator and noted graphic designer Dave Plunkert, whose works have appeared in countless museums and on covers of magazines, most notably The New Yorker, and legendary music videos by They Might Be Giants. “Training that Works” is the first release from CarbonWorks’ upcoming album Vanishing Act out January 27, 2023.

The song was written by band member and guitarist Bob Gray in the early 1980s, while Gray and Barnard were involved in Pop Maru, an industrial new wave band hailing from Washington, DC. When asked about the inspiration behind the track, Gray says “I was listening to a song by the Talking Heads called ‘The Good Thing’ at the same time I was starting yet another soul-crushing job. An advert in a trade publication blurted out the headline “Training That Works!” to promote job skills training. It seemed like the perfect corporate expression of the banal but deeply positive and uplifting content of the Talking Heads lyric.”

Some artists define a genre, but Lil Baby defines a generation. The GRAMMY Award-winning rapper has smashed records, made history, and impacted the course of modern hip-hop with his instantly identifiable and inimitable style. He has garnered dozens of multi platinum certifications and tens of billions of streams as arguably the biggest new rapper to emerge this decade. Following the success of his platinum full-length debut Harder Than Ever in 2018, he seized #1 on the Billboard Top 200 with 2020’s My Turn, becoming “the year’s #1 selling and #1 streaming album in the US.” At first, it cemented him as “2020’s first and only artist to go double-platinum,” but it has since gone quadruple-platinum and has logged 85 weeks in the top 10 of the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart – marking the longest top-tier run in the chart’s history. 

He notably tied Prince and Paul McCartney for Billboard Hot 100 hits and Taylor Swift for “most weeks atop the Billboard Top 200 in 2020” with a total of 6. Out of eight nominations, he scored his first GRAMMY® Award in 2022. He has appeared on the covers of Rolling Stone and the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players Issue in addition to receiving honors from VEVO, Rap Caviar, the Apple Music Awards, and more. He teamed up with Lil Durk for The Voice of the Heroes, marking his second #1 debut on the Billboard Top 200. It’s just the beginning though. He’s bound to revolutionize the culture again with his third album in 2022. This year, he released “Right On” and “In A Minute” which both songs debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. This feat puts Lil Baby in rare territory, making him the youngest of only 12 artists to have ever landed 100 or more songs on the Hot 100. This generation belongs to Lil Baby.

New Jersey rockers The Warhawks have today released their new single “Fade Away”. The track marries the swagger of classic britpop with the kind of blue-collared grit that has kept their home state a musical hotbed for decades. Frontman Matt Orlando explains the song’s sonic imprint as the natural result of a recent Oasis and Stone Roses listening binge paired with the band’s longstanding penchant for heavier rock. Digging deeper, he describes the inner demons at play in the lyrics as, “the internal struggles that are so common among people, yet have the ability to feel so unique to each individual. Overthinking, rumination, insecurities — these all get in the way of the things that make us truly feel alive.” He continues, “They can suck the light out of the brightest moments. Make you feel like you’re not even there. True isolation that no one can relate to. But in reality it is sometimes this darkness that connects people. That human experience. We’re more alike than we realize. If we can just get out of our own way, there lies a life worth living.”

“Fade Away” is accompanied by a monochrome visual that chronicles the band’s tour of England in May of this year.

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This is VENNA.

My new EP, Sugar Venom, is an honest look into the heart of toxic power dynamics. I’m telling the story of a deeply unsatisfied and selfish person seeking acceptance and unconditional love, and wreaking havoc along the way.

V.” summarizes the 5 tracks. It’s introspective, even apologetic, though it’s clear the apology is not a promise of change, and the cycle will continue. You feel angry and frustrated when somebody apologizes to you but you know it’s a manipulation. I want listeners to recognize these behaviors as warning signs.

Tracklist:1. V.2. Echo3. Nirvana4. Only5. MelancholiaSugar Venom revolves around the idea of toxic, aggressive love. Drawing from the metaphysical motif of discovery and conquest (in this case, regarding the nature of people to seek dominance and power even in such a calm joy as love), this EP delves into the desperate desire to control the ones we love in order to remain invulnerable to abandonment and betrayal.This album was very difficult to write in that I had to put myself in the shoes of very malicious people. That said, I think we all have it in us to at least border on abusive – especially in the pursuit of something unconditional – when we become complacent in our self-work. I hope listeners can recognize the parts of themselves that can be harmful to others, not to feel guilt or defensiveness or pain, but to really understand, find the source, work it out, move on. Get better for yourself, and be better to others.Thanks for listening,VENNA

powerhouse songstress emie nathan releases her stunning new single ‘deep down.’. Fans with tickets can catch the newcomer perform this song at her sold-out Camden Assembly headline tonight, along with previewing other new songs from her forthcoming EP with the same name, out this week on Friday.

Listen to the title track of the EP: deep down single

Speaking about her ‘deep down’ single, emie said “It’s my declaration of disillusion with social media as an artist. No one really tells you at the start that being an artist means wearing a number of potential different hats that have absolutely nothing to do with songwriting or performing: activist, visionary, comedian, model, influencer… the list goes on.”

Obviously, that list will vary from one artist to another depending on who they are and what the endgame may be (especially as a woman), but I know that when I first decided to be an artist it was because I love singing and performing for people. I like being on a stage with a bunch of musicians and sharing music that feels important and fun. deep down is a little cry for recognition that it isn’t, and shouldn’t be all about the numbers and stats. You can have all the followers in the world and still not sell out a venue.

Charlotte Plank today drops her top sophomore single “Lost Boys,” and the second glimpse of her incredibly unique brand of hard-hitting jungle beats, soft R&B vocals & indie alternative lyrics.  When asked about the song’s meaning, Charlotte said “It speaks about the difficulties of young boys /people in general who are of a certain age who are finding out who they are through some of the best but most turbulent years.”  You can stream the song immediately on all streaming platforms via Black Butter Records (J HUS, BAKAR, Zara  Larsson.)

Listen to ‘Lost Boys’ now;

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Playlists – here

Expanding on the song which unpacks a lot of her own honest experiences/interactions, Charlotte added “The song highlights particular issues with trying too hard to be something you’re not/feeling lost with who you are- and trying to fill those feelings with temporary quick fixes eg chemicals/girls/rebelling/bad habits/finding ways to inflate their egos etc and how these things usually won’t solve those issues.” “It’s personal to me in the sense that I have a habit of trying to fix people and have tried in the past and been burnt by it, hence the lyric ‘lost boys lost boys, you’re never gonna help them’, translating to fact you are never gonna be able to help someone out of something if they aren’t ready to help/come to a realisation themselves.

London based, Leeds born artist Eden Rain returns today after a few months writing with the reveal of her stunning new single , Oh God. Hooking up with rising producer Josef Page, Oh God combines Eden’s existential dread, gorgeous vocals and razor sharp lyricism to create a stellar offering from an artist who has quickly gained the attention of the likes of DAZED, BBC Radio 1, Best Fit, DIY, Wonderland, Notion and more.  A true creative as comfortable drawing and creating videos as she is writing painfully honest and catchy music, Eden has released a handful of singles which created much underground buzz, and now looks set to move towards the release of debut EP, Gutter Vision.  Speaking on the release, Eden states:

At the very best of times, the thoughts in my brain are random, chaotic and spontaneous. I am, by my own definition, pretty unhinged . Therefore when I found a doodle in my notebook during my session with Josef that said ‘Oh god maybe i should take more drugs’. I thought.. maybe i should write a song about that. The song is sort of about navigating life and relationships as a chronic overthinker/ anxious girly who is easily overwhelmed. I think the lyrics kind of reflect the darting random thoughts that I have a lot.

Los Angeles-based galactic dream pop artist POLARTROPICA, crowned LA Weekly’s Best Indie Pop Band, has created a genre of ethereal synth psychedelia that you’ve never heard before – combining exquisite melodies, dreamlike classical string arrangements, and shimmering vocals. Following up their first US Tour and residency at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, Polartropica released their first full-length LP ‘Dreams Come True’ to sparkling reviews. With their latest singles featured in NYLON and NPR as well as landing acclaim from the likes of Billboard and LADYGUNN, among others, Polartropica is an artist on the rise not to be missed. Most recently she opened for Poppy at the Novo (Los Angeles) and House of Blues (San Diego). Their upcoming single “WHAT’S YOUR FANTASY” will be released on Coconut Spaceship Records on Halloween, October 31st. They are headlining the Troubadour on November 9th in celebration of the new single and limited-edition vinyl release.

THUNDER JACKSON’s new musical era continues to go from strength to strength with “God in Oklahoma,” the latest single from his new EP, Take Me Back. The song follows the title track, a hugely successful collaboration with alt-pop sensation Chet Faker, the billion-streaming nom de guerre of artist and producer Nick Murphy. In a few short weeks, that track has earned a quarter million streams globally and has elevated Jackson to over 10K followers on Spotify.

“God in Oklahoma” was born when the artist returned to his hometown of Oklahoma City after a period of living the big-city life of Los Angeles. “I learned a lot during my time in L.A.,” Jackson says. “It’s a great city, but there is nothing like experiencing the warmth and support of people who love and accept you no matter what. It has inspired me to make music that I feel more deeply connected to than I ever have before. I am so proud and lucky to be a guy from Oklahoma, and I hope this song reflects that.”

“God in Oklahoma” is featured on the EP Take Me Back, produced by Ryland Blackinton, famed for his work with Cobra Starship. Jackson remembers the day he sat at a piano, and the song simply flowed out of him. “It was such a pure and natural experience,” he says. “I just wrote what was truly in my heart. Every time I play that song, I see the people and places of my hometown.”

Thunder Jackson has been gathering momentum on global streaming platforms since the release of debut single “Guilty Party” which has earned over 7 million streams (combined), while debut album tracks “Find Yourself” and “Caroline” have amassed over 1 million streams each. In addition, the 2021 single “Colors” (The Knocks Remix) is fast approaching 900k streams. 

Thunder Jackson is currently back where he excels – on-stage. He has played to both audience and critical acclaim on recent September dates opening for Chet Faker, including a triumphant set at LA’s Fonda Theatre. Selected U.S. headline dates are planned through the end of 2022, introducing Thunder Jackson to a growing audience that continues to spread the word about this remarkable vocalist and spectacular live performer.

YOVA have prepared a very special Halloween video to accompany their gripping new single: “Hurt Like No Hurt”.


Commemorating the spookiest day of the year with a haunting official video ripe for the occasion, it sees the experimental pop duo team-up with esteemed video directors Philip Reinking & Tom Linton (who directed 2020 twisted fantasy ‘The Hat’).  Speaking about the video the directors say: 

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“A werewolf serial killer is stalking the streets of London. Inspired by Classic Hammer horrors and Jack the Ripper, “Hurt Like No Hurt” was filmed at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich and comes with an added pinch of camp that will have you howling for more.”

Eerie and atmospheric with pulsing electronics that pave the way for more urgent rock flourishes, the emotive new track is a runaway rollercoaster ride that embarks on a tumultuous journey through both genre and feeling. Described by the duo as “departing from a place where Giorgio Morodor meets John Barry, to a destination where The Stooges meet The Supremes”, the track was arranged by Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi). 

A clamouring track where visceral and cathartic lyrics lead to a triumphant and transcendental climax, vocalist Jova Radevska explains of the track:

“”Hurt Like No Hurt” is a song about relationship ghosting, the merry-go-round of breaking up and making up, and the inevitable finality of it all. An ultimate realisation that there comes a point where no matter what, there’s just no going back; when the only choice is the inevitable grief and acceptance of loss in order to emerge as a stronger person. Sometimes no further words need to be spoken, the sound of silence is enough.” 

Big Freedia, the iconic Queen of Bounce, will return to Fuse in 2023 with a brand-new series—and this time she is all business. 

In “Big Freedia Means Business,” the New Orleans-born innovator of bounce music explores all of the music and entrepreneurial opportunities that have opened up to her since she was last seen in the hit docuseries “Big Freedia Bounces Back,” which remains the highest rated show in Fuse history. This year, a whole new world of fans discovered Big Freedia when she was featured on Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul” off of her latest album “Renaissance,” which peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. 

Co-produced with the Emmy award-winning team at World of Wonder Productions, the new series will premiere in Summer 2023 on Fuse and Fuse+ in the U.S. World of Wonder and Fuse will share international streaming rights. The series will stream on World of Wonder’s WOW Presents Plus in the US in late 2023. 

“The number one question we get at Fuse is, when are we bringing back Big Freedia. A beloved icon who embodies Fuse’s message of empowerment as a creative self-expressor, entrepreneur and change leader, Freedia’s most recent series is still the most watched show on Fuse and Fuse+,” said Marc Leonard, Senior VP, Head of Content and Marketing. “We are beyond excited to announce that Big Freedia is coming home to where she belongs at a moment when she is ready to scale new heights of success. We can’t wait to share those new triumphs with her legions of devoted fans.” 

“Big Freedia has been part of the World of Wonder family for over a decade, and watching her career evolve from world-class entertainer to industry powerhouse has filled us with endless pride.  We are eager to enter this new creative chapter with Big Freedia Means Business, and we look forward to the exciting and unique partnership with our friends at Fuse!”, said WOW co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato.

KT Laine is a study in subtlety. Her songs radiate a positively warm glow, sweetly burnished and unhurried. And while her performances make them seem effortless, they are also finely constructed pieces that recall certain like-minded contemporary singer-songwriters (Angel Olsen, Cate Le Bon, Big Thief) as much as ’60s and ’70s legends like Linda Perhacs, Sybille Baier, and Judee Sill. 

Live, the songs are brought to life with a cool, collected stage presence, easygoing yet laser-focused, and cut through with Laine’s languid vocals and equally mellow between-song asides. All of this is evidenced on her debut full-length, Knock Knee,  recorded on a vintage Tascam 388 tape machine with drummer Eli Browning (Aidan Knight, Ghost Woman), one of Laine’s key collaborators. 

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The production is perfectly balanced, everything in its right place, tasteful, and 100% in the service of supporting these songs that somehow appear as sparse, but also lush, all at the same time. Laine’s vintage guitar sound perfectly matches her playing, which is intricate without being overly fussy, and it’s buffered by lean bass lines, sprinklings of effected guitar and synths, and haunting background vocals. Browning’s playing at the kit is right in the pocket, and drums are clean, crisp, and deep with just a dash of lo-fi charm. Sitting atop this elegant concoction is Laine’s vocals, which hit a sweet spot between laid back and longing, and exhibit a depth that is rare for someone releasing their debut album. 

Along with bringing trap to the masses as one-third of Migos, rapper/producer Quavo brings his triplet flows and personalized style to his solo releases and a multitude of other artists’ tracks as a featured guest. His 2018 solo album Quavo Huncho rose to the number two spot on the Billboard charts, and he appeared as a guest on several songs that did time in the Top Ten, including hits from Drake, Justin Bieber, and Post Malone. Quavo frequently releases new material in the form of non-album singles, including songs like 2020’s “Too Blessed,” 2021’s “Strub Tha Ground,” and 2022’s “Hotel Lobby.” 

Quavo was born Quavious Marshall in 1991 and grew up in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Alongside Offset (his cousin) and Takeoff (his nephew), he helped form Migos in 2009 and they released their first mixtapes, Juug Season in 2011 and No Label in 2012. (No Label went on to receive a sequel in 2014.) However, it wasn’t until the release of the track “Versace” from their 2013 mixtape, Young Rich N*ggas, that they came to full prominence. The song was a breakout hit, receiving further exposure when Drake produced a remix. In 2014, Quavo was named “most influential rapper” by the online hip-hop community Complex Music. In subsequent years, he appeared on further releases with Migos, most notably their full-length albums Yung Rich Nation (2015) and C U L T U R E (2017). He also appeared on tracks like “Champions” for Kanye West’s GOOD Music label and performed alongside Young Thug on 2016’s “Fuck Cancer,” and on 2017’s “Go Off” with Travis Scott and Lil Uzi Vert for the Fate of the Furious movie soundtrack. Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho, a collaborative project with Travis Scott, was also released in 2017. The following year, Quavo released a series of solo singles, including “Workin Me” and “Bubble Gum.” Those tracks found their way onto his official solo debut, Quavo Huncho, which arrived in October 2018. The album featured guests such as Drake, Travis Scott, Kid Cudi, 21 Savage, Offset, Takeoff, and even Madonna. Quavo continued adding flare to other artists’ singles with featured verses over the next few years, appearing on tracks by E-40, Don Toliver, Iggy Azalea, Major Lazer, 2 Chainz, and many others. In 2018, Quavo was featured on DJ Khaled’s “No Brainer,” which peaked at number five on the charts, and in 2020 he was featured on another track that hit that mark with his contributions to Justin Bieber’s single “Intentions.” He also issued several singles of his own, including the 2021 song “Strub Tha Ground,” featuring Yung Miami. The following year saw Quavo team up with Takeoff on the singles “Hotel Lobby”, “Us vs Them” ft. Gucci Mane, and “Big Stunna” ft. Birdman. Quavo and Takeoff continue their worldwide takeover with the release of their collaborative album Only Built for Infinity Links [Quality Control Music/Motown Records].

Charmaine states; “I genuinely felt that “Dreamin’” was very coming of age, melodically and lyrically mainly because listening to it just made me feel ready to take on the world. I loved the concept of it as well – I could visually see it come to life so I actualised it into a music video with a Y2K retro futuristic aesthetic.”

“Dreamin’” is off Charmaine’s EP Sunflower at Sundown, and fits the overall theme of “change.” The seven tracks on this EP touch on many different aspects of change in one’s life. Be it a change of heart when it comes to love or a transition into a different stage in your life or even not wanting to let go of certain things, it fits under the same umbrella. Charmaine elaborates; “It also expresses how we, ourselves are the only ones that can control how we react to those changes. And that in turn will define who we are. Whether we choose to embrace things or resist them, that’s up for us to decide and whether we choose to wait for light amid the darkness, that too, is out there for the taking.”

Hailing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Charmaine Koh strives to feature themes of youth and self-empowerment, while being an artist that boosts the voices and confidence of everyone around her. Performing was Charmaine’s first plunge into pursuing music around the age of 7. Her love for Camp Rock and High School Musical, paired with the hot pink toy piano that her parents gifted her, led Charmaine straight into singing lessons. One thing led to another; singing lessons led to recitals, recitals led to gigs, and gigs led to competitions. At just 12 years old, Charmaine represented her country in the 20th World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA). Winning ‘Champion of the World’ in two categories as well as bagging 3 gold medals, 1 silver, and 1 bronze piqued interest in record labels to which traversed to the launch of her debut single, “Ordinary Girl.” Now in 2022, many singles later sitting at over 1.5M streams across just Spotify and YouTube; Charmaine is ready to embrace this new era of coming into her own as she puts her special twist on the classic genres.

GRAMMY Award-winning, multi-platinum selling music icon Lil Wayne returned to New Orleans for the 6th annual Lil WeezyAna Fest. This past weekend, Lil Wayne made a triumphant return to Champions Square to headline his star-studded, sold-out one-day festival featuring special guests such as Rick Ross, Quavo,
Takeoff, BabyFace Ray, Cam’ron, Mellow Rackz, Neno Calvin and more. The biggest surprise was an incredible appearance by Young Money legend, Drake!Lil Wayne also gave back to his community by donating 50 cents of each ticket to NOLA students’ educational opportunities within the culture. 

Sea Glass is the project of New York-based producer Jake Muskat.  Inspired to release music after the birth of his first child, Sea Glass’s music taps into universal emotions around growing up and dreaming. His sound invokes yearning, hope and nostalgia filtered through a positive lens.

Coming back into the scene with his new single “(i have jokes) If You Wanna Hear One” in collaboration with euphoric artist Benét, an exceptional trans talent from Richmond, Virginia, the duo unite ethereal melodies and flowing narratives into a sound of their own. Finding its origins on a simple, classical guitar, this new single was written the week Sea Glass’s son was born as a lullabye. He shares, “I liked the idea so much I decided to record it, but wanted to make it fit my production style. As I worked on it, I was more excited by its progress than anything else at the time. It took me 6 months of searching for a good top line when Benét offered to write on it. Their playful melody and lyrics just smashed the demo death loop I was in into smithereens. It came together very quickly from there. I had my close friend Jared Saltiel add live drums and the whole thing gelled together perfectly.”

Developing into a soundscape that perfectly encases the warmth and emotive catharsis that Sea Glass continues to showcase exponentially across his repertoire, “(i have jokes) If You Wanna Hear One” comes to life. Enveloping listeners with radiating harmonies, funky rhythms and rich soundscapes, this new single weaves elements of hope, optimism and escapism. Written during Sea Glass’s last few months in Brooklyn as he prepared to depart the city, he confides, “My son was just born and I was both thrilled to have this new love in our family but also overwhelmed with the added pressure that the responsibility brought. The music was a sort of escape from the moment, an idealized version of how I hoped things would go. It was written in the summer and there are definitely island vibes to the sounds, but the escapism I’m exploring in the music also makes this song relevant for any time of year.”

Sea Glass has been praised by the likes of Indie Shuffle, Wonderland Magazine, WFUV, Record of the Day, Variance Magazine, The Wild Honey Pie among others. Garnering over 250k streams on his last EP alone, he was interviewed on WFUV as a recipient of the Silver Sun Foundation Artists Residency in Woodstock, NY. He spent his time there working on his debut LP due out spring 2023. Needless to say, with a growing presence and more collaborations on the horizon, Sea Glass is set to have an impressive year! 

Birmingham based label The Maffia release one of the biggest collaborations to come out of the UK music scene this year, ‘Badman’ ft SafOne, Sneakbo and Ambush.

Ready to take Black British music by storm The Maffia is headed up by one of UK music’s most innovative Musical Creative Directors with a successful career spanning over 10 years where he has aided some of the UK’s best artists to shape their brand such as Lotto Boyzz, Mist and Sneakbo.

‘Badman’ is one of those records that comes around every once in a while and is instantly memorable. One of the UK scene’s most influential artists Sneakbo opens up the track, followed by Birmingham’s very own heavy-hitter SafOne with his raw lyricism, it complements Sneakbo’s wavy flow followed by Ambush who comes in with his synonymous high octane greazy flow. The accompanying visual from the opening scene has a more film narrative than just a music video, with a storytelling aspect to it. 

Speaking on the release Maf says “Bad Man is a representation of unity amongst different cities and a play on words where in our world everything said has a backwards meaning I.e “Bad Man” = “ A man who will do any / everything to win”

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The Maffa pride themselves on the music being in favour of the artist rather than the standard 80-20 split record deal. Their first release was ‘Brum Town Anthem’ featuring some of the city’s biggest artists, it was the first time artists such as Trilla, Og Niki, Sox and C4 had all come together for the first time, representing unity and marking a cultural move for the music scene in Birmingham.

The Maffia also launched The Hard Knock Foundation; a charity that enables students under the age of 21 in Birmingham to access recording studio time and high-quality facilities at a discounted rate, that’s being reinvested into the charity. The Hard Knock Foundation gives over 500 homeless and vulnerable people hot meals every week whilst also helping young and budding musicians further their dreams.

With Maf’s life motto being “Unity Matters, together we stand, divided we fall.” and the aim to expand the label, The Maffia are continuously upping the levels with each release, paving the way to release their debut compilation tape ‘Sounds From The Slums Vol 1” which is set to launch The Maffia to the world


Eight Emerging LGBTQ+ Artists Selected From Across the Country to Form the Creative & Professional Development Program’s National Cohort

Queer|Art, NYC’s home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists, is pleased to announce the new Fellows for the 2023 Queer|Art|Mentorship (QAM) program cycle. The Mentorship program is the cornerstone of Queer|Art’s work, providing a platform of support for LGBTQ+ artists focused on creative issues and long-term sustainability of artistic practice. Now in its 12th year, the organization’s celebrated year-long creative and professional development program supports both remote and in-person participation between early-career and established LGBTQ+ artists from across the country. In doing so, Queer|Art|Mentorship bridges professional and social thresholds that often isolate artists by generation, discipline, and region. The 2023 cohort is made up of Mentors and Fellows participating across five states: California, New York, Illinois, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.

The eight Fellows accepted for the 2023 Queer|Art|Mentorship program cycle, and the Mentors with whom they will be working are:

Demetri Burke with Mentor, Camilo Godoy (Visual Art)
Kearra Amaya Gopee with Mentor, Constantina Zavitsanos (Visual Art)
Miranda Haymon with Mentor, Zackary Drucker (Film)
Zefyr Lisowski with Mentor, T. Fleischmann (Literature⁣⁣)
Miller Robinson with Mentor, Jeffrey Gibson (Visual Art⁣⁣)
Nora Sharp with Mentor, Will Davis (Performance)
Catching On Thieves with Mentor, Lilly Wachowski (Film)
Lu Yim with Mentor, Julie Tolentino (Performance)

For the last decade, Queer|Art|Mentorship has nurtured the creative and professional development of over 179 artists and propelled the careers of a new generation of creators. Alumni of the program include: Raja Feather Kelly, Ryan J. Haddad, Saeed Jones, Jeanne Vaccaro, Geo Wyeth, April Freely, Tourmaline, Sasha Wortzel, Jess Barbagallo, Morgan Bassichis, Camillo Godoy, Monstah Black, Yve Laris Cohen, Troy Michie, Angelo Madsen Minax, Tommy Pico, Justin Sayre, Eva Reign, Jacolby Satterwhite, Guadalupe Rosales, and Hugh Ryan, among many others.

“Sure to lift your spirits and make you howl with laughter…”
– The New York Times

You better watch out, you better not cry, because global drag icons and RuPaul’s Drag Race stars, BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon are coming back to town with the wildly successful, internationally acclaimed The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show (Produced by BenDeLaCreme Presents). The tour will run from November 11 – December 30 across the U.K, U.S. and Canada with a new show written by Jinkx & DeLa that proves why they’re still the reigning “queens of Christmas” (Entertainment Weekly).

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Following the massive success of three previous holiday tours, fans can expect another year of fabulous spectacle, whip-smart comedy, brand new songs, and annual favorites. Join the sugary DeLa and spicy Jinkx for an evening The New York Times says is “sure to lift your spirits and make you howl with laughter.”

BenDeLaCreme says, “The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show is joyous, hilarious, surrealist, communal, and heartwarming. Nothing makes me feel more connected to the good in the world than the seas of people we get to celebrate the season with night after night–laughing, cheering, and being in our feelings together. I’m so lucky to get to experience that each year, and I hope you all will experience it with us.” 

Jinkx Monsoon (who just won All Stars 7) adds, “The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show will take everything you expect from a drag queen variety show, and spin it on its side. It will test the limits of stupidity, while being unexpectedly deep and reflective. We strive for entertainment while always proving that the holidays are for you to celebrate however you want to.” 

BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon are the sole writers of their holiday shows, a major achievement for two drag artists who tour at such a large scale each year. Jinkx says, “I think it is important that the show is created BY us, so it’s decidedly FOR us, and those like us. So often, queer and drag stories are written by outsiders, and lack an authenticity that queer audiences crave. Creating the show ourselves, from the ground up, ensures that that authenticity is infused in every aspect of the production.” 

DeLa adds, “Jinkx and I LOVE writing. We are passionate and have something to say. It comes from the heart. Writing AND performing as a combo is the best way for us to express what drives us as artists and as humans and fortunately, on top of that, people just happen to think we’re very funny.”  

For the past four years, Jinkx and DeLa have owned the season with their sold-out holiday tours including To Jesus, Thanks for Everything in 2018, All I Want for Christmas Is Attention in 2019 and The Return of the Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, LIVE! In 2021. In 2020, BenDeLaCreme produced her first-ever film under BenDeLaCreme Presents with The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special (Hulu / PVOD), a 60-minute variety special made for the screen. The special debuted to critical acclaim and solidified itself as a global queer holiday must-watch for years to come. 

The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show is co-written and co-created by BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon, directed by BenDeLaCreme, and produced by BenDeLaCreme Presents, a company comprised of producers BenDeLaCreme, Kevin Heard, and Gus Lanza. For more information, and to sign up for updates, visit

As “Queens of Christmas” Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme prepare to kick off their 4th annual critically-acclaimed holiday tour – “The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show” – they’ve released a hopeful and classic holiday ballad, “Looking at the Lights” available on all streaming platforms November 1st via BenDeLaCreme Presents Records. Written by BenDeLaCreme, composed by Major Scales and performed by Jinkx Monsoon, the song debuted in the 2021 holiday tour which beautifully (and hilariously) explores the effects the pandemic had on our mental health, and how the “joy” of the holidays felt different than before. 

DeLa says, “‘Looking at the Lights’ is the first song I’ve ever written that’s just earnest and didn’t break itself with a joke. It’s a true holiday song about friendship and community, and how even in the darkest of times, we still have each other. I wrote it as a way to process all my feelings of trauma, grief and anxiety in the pandemic. When we were working on the show last year, it had all the campiness, jokes and parodies our audiences love but it was still missing something that truly acknowledged what we had all gone through. This song became the climax of the show, and hearing Jinkx sing it for the first time absolutely floored me. As someone who’s always struggled with the holidays, this is more than just a song about pandemic loneliness. It’s timeless and always relatable.” 

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Jinkx adds, “First of all, it’s such an honor when two of your brilliantly talented friends [BenDeLaCreme and Major Scales] make a song for you and ask you to sing it. When DeLa and I first heard the composition by Major, we had mutual goosebumps. It’s become one of my absolute favorite songs to perform, and even more special knowing how audiences connect with it. I’m excited for fans who got to see the show last year to add this studio recording to their holiday playlists.” 

“Looking at the Lights” follows the release of the duo’s first joint studio album, The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special Soundtrack from their beloved holiday film classic The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special streaming on Hulu (Produced & Directed by BenDeLaCreme).

“I really wanted this album to feel like a warm and welcoming personal invitation,” says the Canadian singer-songwriter, Mary Clements, about her first studio album entitled, Come with Me.

With songs rooted in piano and voice, she uses both English and French lyrics to sincerely extend this invitation to listeners. “Connection is the most special feeling and powerful tool that I hope to create more instances of through my music,” says Clements.

In the line from the title track, “Mes secrets et mes rêves, partager avec vous c’est mon privilège,” she expresses the privilege of sharing her music with an audience which she explains that she does not take lightly. “When someone takes time to listen to my music, I do not take this for granted. They’ve now shared an intimate moment with me which creates a connection. To me, there’s nothing more special and powerful in life than feeling connected to each other so they have given me a great gift. Together, I hope we can create and multiply more of these moments in the world,” Clements discusses sincerely.

I’m Kalila Badali, an alt-folk/art-pop singer-songwriter and psychotherapist based in Toronto. My music strikes an ethereal balance between witchy folk and danceable (yet moody) pop.

I wrote “Dotty Mae” after spending a whole summer working seven days a week as a new psychotherapist and an inclusion specialist at a summer camp in Toronto. To conclude this busy summer, I celebrated with my beloved co-workers at a cottage near Presqu’ile beach in Prince Edward County. It was there that I met Dotty Mae and had my tarot read for the first time, sitting cross-legged at the edge of a forest.

The reading brought up questions and thoughts I’d been having about psychologist Pete Walker’s fight, flight, freeze, and fawn defenses, in relation to processing my recent and past relational disappointments and traumas. Lyrics like How do I know, to run? How do I see the way out? are centered around hypervigilance and genuinely not being sure how to tell if situations are actually safe or dangerous, whether to stay or leave a romantic partner or even a friend.

Listen to “Dotty Maye,” out on streaming platforms everywhere now.

Watch the surreal music video on YouTube, as well.

To capture the right feel, I wanted to feature dance at the center of the video. Together with Bryony McCaughey, I practiced dancing to “Dotty Mae” for many months before the shoot and articulated a frame for the type of dance (“structured improv” and moving tableaus).

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The music video narrative plays with similar themes to the song “Dotty Mae” – more specifically about inflated traumatic responses to relationships. The video has two locations: the forest and the beach. The forest scene plays on the fight responses to trauma, further symbolized by a Stag-Horned Beetle’s pincers in the form of a headpiece. Meanwhile, shots on the beach are meant to represent a more fawning, attach-cry stance that sits in contrast to the hardness of the forest persona.

This video and this song have a pleading, neurotic and chaotic energy – it’s about protection, chronic doubt, hiding in plain sight, and reaching for solace in anything and everything that could offer an answer, education, therapists, drugs, and even in tarot readers like Dotty Mae.

Thanks for listening,

Kalila Badali

Dating has always been referred to as a “game,” and while games can be fun, they can also be exhausting.

Waste My Time” was heavily influenced by my sister’s first breakup, as well as the many misgivings our friends have about dating in the digital age.

The song’s lyrics speak to the feelings of fear and reservation in the beginning stages of a relationship… Wanting to protect yourself before getting too invested, and asking for open and honest communication before putting your heart on the line.

You can hear “Waste My Time” on your go-to streaming service

Check out the official visualizer for “Waste My Time” on YouTube

I’ve always found myself drawn by these large sounding songs in shoegaze and dream pop. I love feeling lost inside of the music, where you can pick out individual elements while simultaneously being unable to comprehend it all at once.

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Sonically, we strive to blend these elements with very pop-driven melodies and lyrics, which can be rather fussy at times. On “Waste My Time,” I like to think we struck a delicate balance between the two.

Thank you for taking the time to listen,

Chrys Teo of Linebeck


Socials: @neillfrazer

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