Liv Warfield Is Here To Cure Your Winter Blues

When things seem to be endlessly dreary, sometimes the thinnest of silver linings can glimmer and capture your attention. Recently, I experienced such a lining in the form of an electric live performance by VH1 Soul’s “You Oughta Know” featured artist, Liv Warfield who made her national TV debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at the end of last month.

You might not realize it, but Liv Warfield is on her way to becoming one of your new faves. Keep reading for her insights on discovering her voice, having Prince as a mentor, handling all of the production on her album and more.


40 Reasons Why I Love J Dilla

Celebrating a hip hop legend on what would have been his 40th birthday…

Like so many musical talents who shed their mortal coil at a young age, his legacy has experienced a whole new life of its own in the eight years since his passing. The expansive body of work that he left behind, along with the seemingly endless repertoire that has lent itself to numerous posthumous releases, garners the utmost respect and continues to inspire awe in a new generation of musicians and music lovers alike.

I’d argue that books could be written and courses could be developed around J Dilla’s technique and influence alone – for now, I’ll just humbly submit 40 reasons why I love this musical giant, in honor of his 40th anniversary of birth.


YouTube’s Rising Star: Todrick Hall

From “American Idol” to the next big thing…

After a brief stint on American Idol, he’s now known for his original musicals such as Cinderonce and the Wizard of Ahhhs, and intricate flashmob videos that have gained him more than 670,000 subscribers and over 79 million views on YouTube. Hollywood has taken notice, and he has since landed gigs writing the song that is performed in Virgin Airlines’ in-flight safety video and choreographing a video for Beyonce from her latest self-titled release. He has also been named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 to watch in entertainment.

Recently, I had a chance to talk to YouTube’s latest rising star. Here’s what Todrick had to say about his unique career…


Get To Know A Grammy Nominee: Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes

Lead singer of the Alabama Shakes proves Black women rock…

Brittany Howard is the lead singer and guitarist for the Athens, Alabama rock group Alabama Shakes, who are nominated for Best Rock Performance alongside other rock massives such as David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Queens of The Stone Age and Jack White. She invokes comparisons to Janis Joplin when she sings, and she channels Rosetta Tharpe when she plays. In other words, she is fierce, and you will deal. She told, “Somebody could’ve said to me, ‘You can’t play rock music, you’re Black.’ Watch me!” Her tenacity has paid off, as this is the second year in a row that the Alabama Shakes have been nominated for a Grammy. The group is still riding the wave of success and adulation that came with their Best New Artist and Best Rock Performance nominations last year.


Get To Know A Grammy Nominee: Gregory Porter

Your life needs a strong jazz vocal presence…

From starring in the original cast of the Tony Award nominated Broadway production It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues to racking up 4 GRAMMY nominations in the last three years, it cannot be overstated that talent is in no short supply when it comes to Gregory Porter. His voice is the musical equivalent of snuggling under a blanket on a rainy day. Or a mimosa brunch at your favorite restaurant. Or whatever it is that makes you happy to be alive at any given moment. He could sing company listings from the Yellow Pages and it would be enthralling.


Get To Know A GRAMMY Nominee: Hiatus Kaiyote

First Australian band to be nominated in the R&B category…

Last week we kicked off a series called “Get To Know A GRAMMY Nominee” and introduced you to Gary Clark Jr., the first artist to garner nominations for Best Rock Song and Best Traditional R&B Performance in the same year. This week, we’ve got another milestone first: meet Hiatus Kaiyote (say it with me: hi-AY-tus ky-O-tee), the first Australian band to be nominated for a GRAMMY in an R&B category!


Get To Know A GRAMMY Nominee – Gary Clark Jr.

The next Jimi Hendrix? Maybe…

So, when you’ve been playing playing guitar since you were just 12 years-old and mentored by veterans of the Austin, TX rock scene, recorded with Alicia Keys and Sheryl Crow, performed alongside the likes of B.B. King and Buddy Guy at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, starred in a movie with Danny Glover, and sang the blues for President Obama at the White House all by the age of 29, the natural progression is to become the first artist in history to be nominated for Best Rock Song and Best Traditional R&B Performance GRAMMYs in the same year. Total no-brainer. Yet, despite having an impressive array of accomplishments at a young age, Gary Clark Jr. still hasn’t reached his peak. When the New York Times calls you “the next Hendrix” those are some massive shoes to fill.


All I Want For Christmas Is More Unlocking The Truth

This pre-teen metal band will surprise and delight you…

You don’t have to be a massive metalhead to appreciate what these kids are doing. Why wouldn’t you want to clap your hands like Sherman Klump’s mother and cheer when you see Black youth embracing who they are and excelling at what they’re passionate about? Can we pause for a moment to talk about how the name Malcolm Brickhouse is perfect for a metal guitarist? He doesn’t even need an alias! Never mind that they aren’t even old enough buy tickets for a PG-13 movie when they’ve performed for thousands at this year’s AfroPunk Festival in Brooklyn and at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas.


“Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.”
— Mark Twain   (via morningfaerie)

(via whiskeyandcupcakes)

Daley Appreciation

Promote what you love, instead of bashing what you hate…

I was going to write about something serious and throw some (decidedly much deserved) shade at a certain artist whose name rhymes with “Cacklemore,” but I’ve decided to follow the “promote what you love, instead of bashing what you hate” route instead.

You can thank British R&B singer Daley for the sudden change in editorial direction. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing him in concert for the first time Wednesday night and as a result, this Grinch’s heart has since grown three sizes.