Late last year, I got the opportunity to shoot for one of the biggest and brightest festivals ever! The One Africa Music Fest was held at the Toyota Center in downtown Houston and was a complete and total experience! All of the top international artists were present in the same building at the same time! An Afrobeats concert in Houston is not one of those "put your phone in the air" type shows, everybody was too busy doing the Shoki! We even had the mayor come out and personally ask for the festival to come back again and again! I'm looking forward to catching this amazing festival on its second coming, so stay tuned for new tour dates coming soon! In the mean time, check out my view of the amazing One Africa Music Fest above!
Ever since her crazy rendition of Drake's "Hotline Bling", Ms. Badu has been teasing us about a new mixtape and its FINALLY here. Exclusively located on Apple Music and datpiff.com for a week before being released to other streaming sites, the whole tape is eloquently formed around telephone sounds and references and I personally LOVE her for anything she does. The guest features haven't been released, but we have already heard news of her baby daddy, Andre 3000 contributing some gems to the new tape. Erykah can truly do no wrong. She's AMAZEBALLS. Check out her latest project here and revel in all her splendid creativity! Let me know what you think!
Last month, I attended the second annual Revolt Music Conference held exclusively at the Fontainebleau Hotel down in Miami Beach, FL. ( Click on the photos above for a quick look) Now, based on your stance in the introvert vs. extrovert debate, this could be your chance to shine bright, or it could simply become a note regurgitating moment of education in your career. Either way it could be considered an extremely overwhelming situation by the time you land and make your way to the actual conference. As with all things, the pressure tends to ease up quicker that expected once you've been fully immersed into the vibes and the genuine quest for knowledge and connections take hold to set the tone for the three day super conference. Overall, a totally amazing experience to be able to openly network with top tier industry professionals and tons of like-minded individuals from around the world.
RMC 2015 started with a live broadcast from none other than the Breakfast Club's Dj Envy and Angela Yee at the Fontainebleau 's resort style pool, decked all the way out for RMC with complimentary breakfast. Yeah, no Charlemagne. His absence was definitely palpable. With it being 6am and all, some of the RMC attendees were dragging their feet and chugging the free Starbucks, but the just the excitement alone for most of us was enough to kickstart the connection building while waiting for the first keynote to commence. It wasn't long before everyone was awake and dancing and jumping in the pool for free passes. Full and alert, we head out to the first official keynote presented by Mr. Frank Cooper of Buzzfeed.com. Mr. Cooper has had an amazing career leading up to his participation with the mega content producing site that is BuzzFeed, including time spent with PepsiCo, Motown Records, Def Jam Records, and America Online. He offered us some different insight on the power and significance of creativity, strategy, and speed in reference to content creation and its relevance in the music industry using Kimye as an interesting example. Check out the brief snippet of Mr. Cooper's Keynote above.
The wave of information kept strong with the Lost Art of A&R panel featuring some of the top executives within the artists and repertoire division of several major labels including Def Jam, RCA, and Epic Records. Moderated by Ethiopian artist, Kenna, We dove into both the old and new tactics of recognizing and cultivating talent in the modern industry. While we are soaking up the proverbial juice, the man himself Diddy creeps in and joins the audience, inciting the start of a makeshift open mic situation with Kapitol K from South Africa leading the charge in impromptu performances for the distinguished panel. Check out his amazing display of courage above!
Content creation is a generally new lane of entertainment that is quickly filling up with noteworthy contributors including Issa Rae of "Awkward Black Girl", Prince Chenoa of Galore Magazine, Karen Civil of LivingCivil.com, and Natasha Eubanks of theYBF.com. All of these amazing people and more came to present their case on the "New Hustle" that is content creation and distribution. As a new blogger myself, this panel served as a reassurance from industry leaders on the paths chosen and how to conquer them. Ms. Eubanks with theYBF.com was a law student who decided to start a celebrity gossip blog. The buzz for her site grew beyond her initial imagination and is now her number one source of income. Get a brief on her insight in the video above!
Now you know this conference couldn't be complete without a couple epic performances from Diddy and his slew of celebrity friends and family! This post isn't gonna do any justice for those of you who have never experienced a live show of this caliber. Jidenna, Dej Loaf, Post Malone, Rae Sremmurd, Kehlani, Lil Kim, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, French Montana, Busta Rhymes, Lil Kim, and that's just day two. Check out some clips from the concert above!
Finally, we are face to face with the man behind the plan himself. After an amazing Q&A with Scooter Braun that lead to an intense part two of Revolt's open mic night, (which I'm pretty sure incited some up and coming careers) we are now preparing for the Ask Diddy segment to begin. The man. The myth. The legend. Diddy is no stranger to large crowds, but in this instance he seemed warm and genuine. Even taking off his elusive shaded to look us in the eyes while discussing his truths within this industry, but quickly replacing them to maintain the ensemble Mr. Derek Roche so eloquently styled him in. Such an amazingly surreal moment to be able to ask one of the biggest music moguls of our lifetime the inquisitive questions we as aspiring professionals spend tons of hours researching. The millennials have the upper hand in this emerging internet highway that is the modern day music industry. To be honest, we always have. Several people across the world had questions about the Revolt movement and how thy could be apart. Check out some clips from the Ask Diddy segment above.
All the fun and games aside, RMC 2015 was such an inspirational experience. Mr. Combs and the Revolt Family closed out the conference with a beautiful Gala dinner honoring Mr. LA Reid for his contributions to the industry. (Check out clips from the award ceremony above.) It was the one time we got to see every noteworthy VP down to the biggest celebrity names in the game all at one huge dining table talking, laughing, and enjoying the company of each other as well as the attendees. Throughout the three day informational, there was never a moment where you couldn't speak up for who you are or what your goals are to whomever you saw fit to help in anyway. The main points I believe should be shared are to never ever give up. We are so ready for things to happen that sometimes we fail to realize that these are the trials and tribulations. Without them, there is no come up. There is no story to tell the ones behind us. Building a team and choosing your partners wisely is essential for any business to thrive and become successful. No one can do it alone. To see Diddy and Andre Harrell still standing side by side in this day and age, regardless of their past differences and with several new ventures still ahead in their future is an amazing inspiration. Millennials, the time is now to break down the walls and work together. I've seen what the future could be for this industry and it will only manifest through passion from the passionate ones. Who's with me?
G.O.O.D. Music producer, Travis Scott, let us know a just a couple of hours ago via Instagram that our 2020 presidential candidate, Kanye West, has finally created a Soundcloud page with two exclusive tracks by the man himself. I wonder what kind of content we can hope to see coming from Yeezy on this platform. Keep up with Kanye's Soundcloud and check out the exclusive tracks below.