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3 DC R&B Artists to Support

So often, you hear artists from certain areas like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles getting love nationally, but never any from D.C. Why is that? Is it lack of exposure? Is it mainstream just not trying to even look our way? Is it lack of support from our own? It could be this and more, but I, for one, feel like our city has a bevy of talent that rivals and even usurps what we’re hearing today. In this article, I will shine the spotlight on three individuals, from our Nation’s Capital, that deserve a listen and, even more important, your support.

Kevin Ross

You may have already heard this talented young fella on the radio lately with his smash groove, “Long Song Away”, but on his debut album on Motown titled “The Awakening”, Ross is out to prove that he’s not to be associated with ‘one-hit wonder’. Though his age says he’s young, you do not hear it when you listen to this album. Along with his dope vocal skills, songs like the aforementioned “Long Song Away”, the slick and charming “Don’t Go”, and the inspirational “Be Great” make it evident that this a man that has studied his craft and surely respects it. Aside from Raheem Devaughn, this album is the first one in a long time that I thoroughly enjoyed and now bump on the regular. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for this fellow Washingtonian.

 

Oddissee

I’ve been on this dude for a minute now and, while he doesn’t fit into the traditional R&B peg, this D.C.-born, P.G. County-raised rapper/producer/sometimes singer reminds me of a J. Cole as far as content and solid lyrical flow. His production is soulful, melodic, and puts you in a zone that you won’t want to get out of. Oddissee has various albums that feature vocals and just instrumentals like “The Beauty In It All” and “Rock Creek Park” out that I strongly urge you to check out, but his recent release, “The Iceberg” will tell you all that I’ve been saying and more from the first track to the last. “Things” and “Digging Deep” are my personal favorite joints. I’ll even go as far as to say this dude is Goodguy Certified, which is an honor I don’t give regularly! He’s the truth. Trust me on this!

Maimouna Youssef

Another respected artist that has been in the game for a while, but is just getting the love she’s been long deserving of nationwide. Also known as Mumu Fresh, I’ve been a fan of hers ever since first seeing her at the U Street Music Hall opening up for Bilal. With an off-the-charts vocal range and eye-raising lyrical delivery, Youssef is one of the District’s beloved rising starts, not to mention that she’s also Grammy-nominated, from her work in 2007 with The Roots, and has also toured with Common. Her recent project, Metamorphosis, only continues to prove that.

So when you’re looking for good music, you need look no further than your own backyard.

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6 Must See Shows in DC This May

May feels like just a taste of what the DMV will have to offer this summer for music. Get it in early: based on these six upcoming shows, the next few months will be something to remember!

Broccoli City Festival V at the Gateway Pavilion

BROCCOLI CITY FESTIVAL V HEADLINED BY RAE SREMMURD & SOLANGE with 21 Savage, Alunageorge, Lil Yachty, Kevin Abstract, Rapsody, Smino, Chaz French, Nick Grant, Rejjie Snow, Sir the Baptist, and NAO.

The mission is simple: to “redefine the cool” towards people being active and engaged participants in their community. Every year this festival gets bigger and better, and this fifth installment is NO exception. Aside from the incredible line up and exceptional host of vendors on Saturday May 6, the Broccoli City team has a full week of amazing activities planned including a 5k run, a two day interactive conference and an all night art escape. This week is one not to be missed. For more information and tickets, head to the Broccoli City website A.S.A.P. https://www.bcfestival.com. 

Justine Skye at A.I.

Justine Skye is relative new comer on the scene, but don’t let purple hair fool you: she has the chops and the swagger to back it up. The RocNation songstress will support her latest project, “8 Ounces“, with a headlining tour kicking off right here in our Nation’s Capitol. The show, presented by Nu Androids Music and Mitch Mathis, will be held at the unique and intimate A.i. on May 11. For tickets, head to http://justineskye.com/tour/.

T.I. Hustle Gang Tour. T.I. Presents: The Hustle Gang Tour at the Howard Theater

D.C’s not really The North, not really The South, so it is totally appropriate to enjoy them both and everything in between. GRAMMY award-winning TIP is coming to D.C. with The Hustle Gang featuring Yung Booke, London Jae, Shauntrell Pender, RaRa, Translee & Young Dro. Atlanta’s Trap Music is sure to be represented on May 4th at the Howard Theater (pronounced Thee-A-tur). “What You Know” about that? Get your tickets now right here

Capleton at the Howard Theater 

For the Caribbean Massive, Capleton is sure to bring a piece of Jamaica to our doorsteps. Live and direct, Jamaica’s son will be sure to light the place up with classics like “Who Dem” and “Jah Jah City”. If you’ve ever been to the Howard Theater and you know Reggae and Dancehall music, you also know that this night will be full of culture and vibes. Do what you gotta do beforehand, but don’t forget your flag. Tickets are available for the May 23 show here.

The Weeknd at the Verizon Center 

Perhaps you feel like you’ve “Earned It” and want to splurge. The “Starboy” himself, The Weeknd, is coming to Verizon Center on May 18. On the heels of his critically claimed album, The Weeknd will descend upon the DMV for the Starboy: Legend of the Fall 2017 World Tour. The two-time GRAMMY award winner will be joined by Belly and 6lack for what promises to be an unforgettable show. Tickets are still available from Ticketmaster here.

Trey Songz at the Warner Theater

The DMV’s own Trey Songz presents the Tremaine Tour on May 14. Prepare for a good time, with old classics like “Neighbors Know My Name” and “Can’t Be Friends” along with a set filled with new songs off of his newly released album Tremaine The Album. The GRAMMY nominated R&B powerhouse is sure to have the ladies feeling like a “#1Fan” and have the guys feeling like a “Playboy”. Tickets for the show are available from Live Nation here.

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Lyquin- Benefits ft. Shy Glizzy (Official Video)

Lyquin dropped his new hot music video for Benefits ft. Shy Glizzy. Check it out!

 

 

 

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Qui Qui Tzu- W.Y.B.L (Why You Be Lyin)

They say Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and artist Qui Qui Tzu proves that to be true in her new dope visual for W.Y.B.L.

 

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Wale Releases New Video for “Running Back” Single

Wale released the visual for his new single ft. Lil Wayne titled “Running Back.”

 

 

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Concerts To Check Out in January

A new year is upon us and another holiday weekend is rapidly approaching! Many events will be taking place during that time; some that we can’t wait for and others that we wish would just hurry up and pass. We hear you and have just the thing for those looking to shake the Trump Inauguration blues, a few concerts to soothe that savage beast.

Liv Warfield
Howard Theatre – Friday, January 13, 2017 – 8:00 pm

Protégé of the late, great Prince and New Power Generation member Liv Warfield is coming to D.C. bringing her sultry voice and soulful songs like “Sophisticated Sista” and “Embrace Me”. This should be a treat for anyone who appreciates true musicianship and certified dope vocals. Tickets start at $25.

3rd Annual MLK Birthday Celebration featuring Rare Essence & Friends
Howard Theatre – Sunday, January 15, 2017 – 10:00 pm

For all the go-go heads, get ready for a CRANKIN good time as R.E., E.U., and The Junkyard Band get together to party like it was the Ibex or Eastside back in ’96. Some other special guests plan to drop by too so don’t be the last to grab your tickets because you might be short. Get there early too! Tickets start at $22.50.

Anthony David with special guest Carol Riddick
Birchmere – Monday, January 16, 2017 – 7:30 pm

Southern soul crooner Anthony David better known as ‘Acey Deucy’ will be closing out MLK Weekend at the Birchmere in Alexandria with special guest soul songstress Carol Riddick. Known for ballads like “Something About You” and “Cheatin Man”, this Georgia boi and his guitar is known to have the crowd rocking and a good time had by all. Tickets start at $29.50.

Sevyn Streeter
Howard Theatre – Sunday, January 22, 2017 – 8:00 pm

Singer-songwriter Sevyn Streeter, not too far removed from that debacle involving her jersey and the National Anthem, also comes to the Howard in late January to promote her new album “Girl Disrupted” due for release later this month. Known for her collaborations with Chris Brown and B.O.B., Streeter has received various accolades for her talent from her peers. Needless to say, this is a show you shouldn’t want to miss. Tickets start at $20.00.

Ginuwine
Howard Theatre – Friday, January 27, 2017 – 8:00 pm

And last but not least, the “Pony” man himself comes back home on the 27th to perform his hits and I’m sure bust out a couple dance moves too. I’m certain all the ladies will be in the front row for this one. *singing* “I’m just a batchelorrrrrrr!” Tickets start at $35.00.

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Introducing Avehre – More Than Meets the Eye

Johnny Goodguy
IG: @jbthegoodguy
Twitter: @TheSensibleJBG
FB: Johnny Brooks II

Nothing unusual or amazing seems to be going on in the Nation’s Capital today, except there is….

Downtown, inside the Warner Theatre, rehearsal is taking place for a dynamite show featuring Gladys Knight. However, the reason why I find myself in these historic, hallowed halls is not for Gladys, but for her background singer and newly discovered talent.

Enter Avehre – a native Chicagoan who possesses an appreciation for music and old soul well beyond his young age of 27. In talking with him, I see vibrancy not usually possessed by someone just breaking out on the solo scene. A great deal of this spirit comes from the rich musical tapestry of his hometown that the singer-songwriter describes as a training ground for musicians.  Beginning his journey in church singing with his family and local choirs, Avehre knew music was the career for him. As he describes it, music was “a great outlet for him” and “the universal language” to express feelings and emotions.

“You can get so much from other genres and apply it to your music to give it a different flavor.” This statement also bodes true when it comes to his love of songwriting, gaining the interest from being a poet and touring with a spoken word troupe called “Verbal Remedies”. It was here that the father of one learned how to speak his truth and put it in its most raw and authentic form. That truth would be spoken for artists such as Lil Mo, Dawn Richard of Danity Kane and Dirty Money, and even his mentor Gladys Knight through the song “Just a Little” which debuted on VH1 and BET Black Girls Rock earlier in the year.

Authenticity, quality, and truth are recurring themes that ring in my mind when hearing him; it’s the seasoned poise and passion for his craft that has him generating a buzz since being discovered by the legendary Ms. Knight. The encounter, as Avehre would tell it, almost didn’t happen. Avehre stated he  received an inquiry for a male backup singer for Gladys Knight. He never saw himself as a possible candidate for the job so so he reached out to his colleagues to see if they were interested. When the response wasn’t immediate from his peers it was then that the artist threw caution to the wind and decided to submit his own material. The submission would lead to an audition, which would lead to more auditions, which would lead to singing backup and apprenticing with one of the most world renowned singers; a tutelage that Avehre is truly grateful for and uses as his creative muse.

Realness and vulnerability is what Avehre aims to convey in his upcoming EP, “Reconciliation”, a body of work that the singer himself describes as one of self-discovery, honesty, forgiving yourself, finding your way back to happiness, and standing for truth. This is heard in his latest single “Diamonds” a catchy track that details the pitfalls of putting materialism over love. “What’s from the heart, reaches the heart” as he tells me. If his offerings so far are an indicator of what’s to come then we should all look forward to getting more acquainted with Avehre.

Check out more of him at www.iamavehre.com and on IG and Twitter at @avehre

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DC = District of Collaboration

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Recently, I got a sneak peak into a new wave in the city called DC: District of Collaboration. Not only is the name clever, but so is the concept. Powered by producer and newly-minted artist El Lambert, the concept is simple: collaboration. It’s a way to capitalize off of the spirit of co-existing while simultaneously showcasing some of The DMV’s up-and-coming musical talent. When speaking with El Lambert, who declared that he wasn’t even an artist a year ago, he expressed his hopes that this concept will be the beginning of a more supportive and collaborative culture within the DC music scene.

Every last Sunday of the month for the next 12 months, El Lambert will drop a new single featuring a different DMV artist. Each song will be different, and, based on this methodology, we can expect a unique and eclectic blend of music from singers, rappers, producers, and poets all from the district. We can also anticipate a single release event each month to showcase the song, as well as the artists involved in the project. When it’s all said and done, the songs will be released as a District-Only compilation album

The first single, What A Feeling is a blend of reggae/afro beat and R&B. Coined “Reg&B”, El Lambert taps artist and producer Fúnsho for this feel-good club single. Playing off of the “island sound” trend, i.e. Controlla by Drake and Work by Rihanna, Nigerian-American Fúnsho blends his own background and artistry to deliver a fun and dance-worthy tune.

We were also treated to El Lambert’s smooth and mellow single How Does It Feel and Fúnsho’s politically and hip-hop charged single Prezzy.

DC: District of Collaboration is a well thought out plan with a lot of potential. With similar concepts gaining considerable traction in other large cities like LA, New York, and Atlanta, let’s hope that this project will put DC on the map as a place where artists can come together, support one another, and help each other shine. Be sure to keep a look out for more from the District of Collaboration and listen to the first single, What A Feeling!

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