THE JAM (Podcast)

Welcome back to The Jam!

On Episode #2 we have the dynamic duo Jaq and Alex, better known as Nola Darling. They are a singing/rapping combo who have been doing their thing for some years now. They met at NYU and created a serious buzz with their Pretty Gritty Mini Mixtape. They’ve consistently been recording, traveling, and even topped the charts in Australia on a track with the EDM duo Yolanda Be Cool.
In this episode we talk with Nola D about how they got into music, how they met, and how they go about making their own jams. Then, we chatted about a jam that Chris picked to discuss. Jaq and Alex painstakingly went through a lot of songs to pick their jam, so we had to be sure to have a good discussion on their choice. We definitely took it back to some childhood memories with both song selections.
Other topics include: sex with Oprah, Hatian relatives, ordering music videos off The Box, The Source Magazine, Babyface, Al B Sure, and cool older cousins.

Movers & Shakers: Bilal

I can easily recall the first time I saw Bilal perform. It was at the start of the new millenium and he was the opening act for Erykah Badu at the Universal Amphitheatre. I sat there in amazement at this man with locks, big glasses and an even bigger voice that captured the attention of the room. Vocally captivating, Bilal was hitting notes that only Mariah Carey could rival; lyrically, he brought the house to our feet when he sang “Sometimes”, a song so honest and steeped in truth that it would be one of many standout tracks from his debut album, 1st Born Second. That performance solidified my place as a Bilal fan, and every performance since then has kept me in tune with what he’s up to.

His second major album Airtight’s Revenge was also packed full of soulful, honest tracks – and was heavily anticipated since it was well-publicized that a previously recorded album, Love For Sale, had been shelved indefinitely by his label, Interscope Records, after being leaked online. Now Bilal is back with his third major release, A Love Surreal, a more acoustic, still brutally honest album where Bilal shares his joy and pain with us through song.

Listen in as I chat with Bilal about the creation of this new album, his gifted storytelling through song, and the impact the Internet and social media have had on his career. Enjoy!

A Chat With Nia Andrews (AUDIO)

Nia Andrews is quite the enchantress.

I had the good fortune of befriending Nia in college, the period where she was still honing her magic and though in its infancy, it was still pretty potent. Nia was the type of woman that traveled with a cloak of “feel good” wrapped around her, a feeling that left a lasting impression, and I recall a sense of bliss whenever we were in a common space. We connected on our shared affinity of the written word, music, art and life.

Fast forward a decade. Reconnecting with Nia put me in front of a woman who had come into her own. The magic remained, but had now evolved into something unsurprisingly extraordinary. Nia, always a writer, planted her feet in songwriting, took root there and her talent as both a writer and a singer has the attention of the music industry. On the horizon will be her greatest songwriting achievement to date: four tracks on international music artist, Mark de Clive-Lowe‘s latest album, Renegades. A sample of Nia’s work on this beautifully crafted project whets any good music lover’s appetite and makes one wonder what’s to come on Nia’s own album that is currently in the works.

Further, Nia and Mark co-host the Los Angeles event, CHURCH, a must-attend for any real music head. With Nia before the mic and Mark behind it , CHURCH is an enchanting live music experience that is incomparable to any other in the city. Deep into the night, CHURCH turns into a cold jam session/body rock – and you never know which of your favorite artists might end up in the house and on stage.

Born and raised in Inglewood, CA, Nia manages to handle this full plate while also maintaining the role of mother –  and speaks to us about how her life journey has led her to this place, the projects that she’s currently involved in and what’s next for her. Listen up!