It was August 3rd, 1995. The second annual Source Awards was taking place, at the Madison Square Garden’s Paramount Theater in New York. The events that night would change the course of hip-hop forever. At the time, Tupac had been shot and was sequestered in jail, with a bitter rivalry between the East Coast and the West Coast reaching a boiling point. This boiled over at the Awards ceremony, with Suge Knight, of Death Row Records (West Coast), taunting his rival Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs, of Bad Boy Records (East Coast), onstage. The nature of the attack didn’t go down well, and the night descended into a tit-for-tat between the rival areas, with Snoop Dogg confronting the crowd after getting abuse, and Diddy throwing shots back at Suge by saying, “I live in the East, and I’m gonna die in the East.” The rivalry ballooned into violence and ultimately culminated in the deaths of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G, a year later.
The annual Brit Awards takes over The O2, London next Wednesday 20th February, and here’s my lowdown on who’s been nominated and for what, who’s due to be performing on the night, and a look into some of the artists to watch out for, with my pick for each award.
As the rain began to fall, Monarchy took to the South Beach stage, and in-front of a sizeable crowd put on an incredible performance. They weaved in and out of new and old tracks, whilst covering the likes of Nirvana and Outkast, even producing a mosh pit in the crowd at one point. Despite slightly clashing with similar sounding band Pet Shop Boys and the rain persistently falling, the crowd grew and grew, getting more into the set as it went on. Here’s a few shots and a short video of the show:
Now in its third year Mad Cool Festival has already delivered some stunning line-ups, with the likes of The Who, The Prodigy, Foo Fighters and Green Day all featuring in past editions of the Madrid-based festival. This year was perhaps one of the most stacked line-ups to date, not only in the small history of the festival, but also compared to other festivals around Europe. Spanning across seven different stages this years edition featured some amazing acts, from Tame Impala and Arctic Monkeys, to Depeche Mode and Pearl Jam. But where most of the attention was drawn to the headline acts, and I guess understandably so, this year also featured a bunch of fantastic up-and-coming bands too. Both local and international artists took to the two smaller stages, called the ‘Mondo Sonoro Stage’ and the ‘Thunder Bitch Stage’, and it was here where I had the pleasure of discovering these five new (to me) bands.
Since 2008, National Public Radio have hosted an online live music series called ‘Tiny Desk Concerts’. Featuring artists from all genres, the show has starred musicians such as Chance The Rapper, Sampha and Cigarettes After Sex, to name a few. The format continues to routinely deliver, allowing artists to perform a few of their favourite tracks in an intimate office enviroment. After watching Jorja Smith‘s mesmerising performance in her latest Tiny Desk Concert, I decided to pick out five of my favourite sets from recent months.
I saw these guys whilst at All Points East festival in London last weekend and fell in love with them straight away. Their infectous grooves are undeniably influenced by the great Bee Gees and electronic duo Daft Punk, who they have recently worked with on their single ‘Overnight’. Originaly from Byron Bay in Australia, they’re now based in Berlin.
Escapism is an important part of life. Whether that comes from sport, film, art or something else, the escape from the daily rigmarole of work and routine can often be the release that we need. Nothing embodies that notion of escaping the reality more than psychedelic rock, the captivating imagery, and the wandering larger than life sounds, the grandiose vocals and lyrics, it’s a genre bursting with imagination and other-worldliness.
At different times in life music will come along and make an impact on you that words will never do justice. A particular band or a musician may encapture all those feelings, or it might just be a genre or a scene. During my teenage years it was mainly hip hop and grime, mixed with a flavour of pop punk and nu metal, that fueled my inner angst and confusion with the world. Artists such as Kid Cudi and Blink 182 would be interchangeably blasted from my room. It was a weird mixture of styles, summing up my varying music tastes but also the confusing, conflicting and changing times that growing up through your teenage years can be like.
Since I lived in Valencia for a year, I’ve become increasingly interested in Spanish music, not only as a means to learn the language, but learning about the different scenes and innovation that is taking place, stumbling upon some fantastic artists and bands along the way. This led me onto discovering the absolute hidden gem that is Quentin Gas & Los Zingaros, after reading an article on Spanish Psych Rock that a friend sent me, which you can read here. As the name of the article suggests, Quentin Gas & Los Zingaros are a Psychedelic Rock band, but with a twist.
Sometimes it’s hard to describe feelings, or a moment(s) that happen in our life. Feelings of wanting more, or a moment of deep depression that you can’t figure out. Like many, I turn to music to help me through times like these. Sometimes all it does is extenuate the problem and increase the feelings that were being felt, but often this can be the release of emotion that you were after. After dragging yourself to get some much-needed sleep, the next day is always there, and often that can be a reassuring state.