Had a crazy and hilarious interview on last night’s edition of DD Radio with Erik Flowchild and the incomparable Tika Simone.  Been dying to get both of them on the show for a minute and discuss all things music, but the main reason for their visit was to talk about Intimate & Interactive – a new Open Mic night starting THIS Friday (July 2nd) – but this one is with a twist.  Not only will artists have the opportunity to perform in front of a crowd with host/hype woman extraordinaire, Mz. Simone, but audience members will have a chance to ask the artists questions – talk show style!! A quasi bootcamp PR training session, the artist will no doubt get some invaluable lessons from the experience, and the audience is guaranteed a rare opportunity to be entertained and educated about some of the city’s hottest artists. Upcoming performers include Andreena Mill, Solitair and many, many more!!

Shouts out to Tika Simone for this brainchild, presenting a much needed forum to showcase the amazing talent the city has to offer.  Running every Friday throughout July and August at Lambadina Lounge (875 Bloor Street West, 2nd Floor), you have no excuse not to attend at least one!!  Erik Flowchild is the first artist up to bat so don’t miss out on what folks will surely be talking about for a hot minute!! For more info, hit up the team directly at intimateandinteractive@gmail.com

UPDATE: thanks to Fran and the Sound Battle Royale team for this video interview with Keyz, recorded June 17th – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAchNrOPxLQ

**************************************

I caught wind of this one in a flurry of Twitter activity just a few hours ago, so I didn’t think it was true, but unfortunately, it’s since been confirmed.  We were literally standing inches a part at the Sound Battle Royale event 2 weeks ago – and hadn’t met – but I’m definitely familiar with the work he’d done with production partner Burd, and feel the loss of what could’ve been.  A part of what I’d labelled as the next generation of Toronto producers who were making serious waves in the city and beyond, he will be missed.  Life is SO fleeting and I send my condolences and respect to all his friends and family, who are no doubt still in shock from the loss of a life gone far too soon.

R.I.P. Anthony “Keyz” James

The post below is from the awesome people at www.cityonmyback.com :

It is with great sadness that I make this blog post. Last night, Anthony “Durty Keyz” James, from the production duo Burd & Keyz, passed away at the age of 23. Cause of death is still not %100 confirmed but I do know that he was feeling sick as of late last week but when he got to the hospital yesterday it was apparently too late. Some type of infection or something. His passing is completely unexpected and is yet another reminder to us all, as cliche as it may sound, that anything can happen in life and that we should cherish each moment we have alive on this Earth. I really don’t know what else to say here other than I would like to believe that he is in a better place. I feel honored to have had a close professional (and budding personal) relationship with Keyz. He was truly a genuine and nice guy with great talent and even greater potential. For those not familiar with his work, here are a couple of tracks he produced as part of Burd & Keyz. And check the beat demo below to get an idea of the musical direction the duo was headed in. Condolences, respect, thoughts and prayers to his family during this hard time. RIP KEYZ.

Peace

I had the ultimate pleasure of meeting this trio almost 2 months ago.  They have an awesome vibe with one another, jokes for days – along with the charisma you only hope a band has when you get to sit down and chat with them.  Although they absolutely do not fall into the realm of hip-hop, their sound is more trance/electro-pop and is definitely for the open-minded music lovers.  I’ve been told more than once that Monnakoe is at their best when performing live, so I can’t wait to see them in their element!! Check the bio blurb below along with the chune!

MONNAKOE:

Seven years in the making, Toronto’s Monnakoe is quickly becoming one of the music industry’s best kept secrets.  It just takes one listen to become a convert – just ask the thousands of MySpace fans who can attest to that.  In a single month on MySpace, Monnakoe gained over a thousand fans in addition to getting over 10,000 plays on their page!  Their single “Trust” remained on the Top 10 Canadian chart for several months in the electronica, indie and pop genres.
 
The trio is comprised of a Keyboardist (Patrick), Guitarist/Songwriter (Mark), and Drummer (Kyle).  With a sound that seamlessly fuses elements of various genres, this trio manages to effortlessly blend raw emotion of rock, and house, with a definitive electro-pop influence.  As the group prepares for their debut album, they are driven to create and follow their own path. The group maintains their love for the element of live performances – citing it as the ideal way to interact with listeners. Their current single, Temperature is hitting radio right now — Become a convert by checking out Monnakoe’s MySpace at www.myspace.com/monnakoe 
  

 

Listen/Download “Temperture” here file:  http://www.monnakoe.com/temperature.mp3 

peace!

I’m constantly in awe of the music coming from Toronto and I’m geekin’ out that I’m starting to see more and more females taking no prisoners and grabbing the mic (Thank You Lord – FINALLY!!).  I’ve been hearing this track, “Hollywood Fresh” here and there but nobody seemed to know who was behind it. Many thanks to Cuz’n Jodes for the link on this one.  16 year-old (!) Keysha from Toronto has already worked with P.Reign and MIMS, and no doubt plans to do it up real big, if this first single is any indication.  Hoping to get her on DD Radio soon to find out the full scoop, fam!! Check out the single in the meantime….

Hollywood Fresh:
  1. Instrumental
  2. Main
  3. Remix featuring Mims & Gunna
  4. A Cappella
 
192:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/n2zhzi
 
320:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/q1hlxt
 
Wav:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/he3tls

So, it’s been a few YEARS since I heard from E3, and I can’t lie — his track ‘Mus Be You’ is still on my iPod because I love it when he plays the keys. Plus he has the voice to match and music runs in the family –> his father is a well-known keyboardist/musician too. So it was a very welcome surprise when I saw this FT Remix in my Inbox.  Rory Lavelle on the keyboard and Kenny “Bounce” Neal on the bass.  Shouts out to the whole Fat Thursday team (DJ Fase, Scam and Phat Tony) –> quit the teasers and come out with a full length album, already!! I’m just sayin’ 🙂  — Here’s hoping that we can hear some more amazing music from E3 too!!!

Check out this Fat Thursday remix of E3’s Last Resort (which I must agree, was very much slept on!!):

All versions are CLEAN/RADIO Friendly.

Remix… Listen & Download Link http://usershare.net/8xrfiqelkxnl
Remix
Instrumental… Listen & Download Link http://usershare.net/4ry43hhyr8a3

DJ PACK MP3 320 http://www.mediafire.com/?jmzmzihyjf2 

DJ PACK AIF http://www.mediafire.com/?etgynzwymjy 

Listen to and/or download more music and remixes by FAT Thursday @ http://soundcloud.com/f-a-t-thursday

Contact info fatthursdaymusic@gmail.com

Wow – Four posts in 1 day?! A whole new record for me – thank goodness for slow days at work!!  Even though we just had an earthquake in Toronto that measured 3.5 5.0 on the richter scale (and caused our building to be evacuated for a short time),  I must be a real music addict because I think this is bigger news! LOL! 

I’m not really sure what this means for the community, or for the emerging artists coming out of the city, but I can say that it’s definitely BIG news.  Especially since CARN 98.7FM is on the horizon, promising to play “real” grown-folk music for the city’s older demographic.  Thankfully, there’s always college radio to break new artists and give that support BUT it unfortunately doesn’t have the reach and wattage that FLOW does. One thing is for sure, it will be a VERY interesting summer as we watch this new drama unfold….

From CanadianBusiness. com:

TORONTO, June 23 /CNW/ – CHUM Radio, a division of CTV Limited, announced today that it has reached an agreement with Milestone Radio Inc. to purchase Toronto radio station The New Flow 93.5 FM (CFJX-FM). The sale is subject to CRTC approval.

“Flow has done a great job carving out a niche in the Canadian radio landscape providing unique opportunities to artists, listeners and advertisers,” said Chris Gordon, President CHUM Radio. “We value the contributions FLOW has made to promote and develop new Canadian artists, and we look forward to working with their team to grow the station and continue to service the community in Toronto.”

“We are extremely proud of the legacy we have built over the past 10 years and the unique connection we have formed through a shared passion for urban music with local artists, listeners and our partners,” said Nicole Jolly, Vice President of Operations at Milestone Radio Inc. “Today’s announcement reinforces FLOW’s achievements to date and helps provide an opportunity for continued success in Canada’s most competitive radio market.”

FLOW 93.5 made Canadian broadcast history when it first launched in February 2001 as the country’s first urban music station delivering listeners a blend of hip-hop, R&B, reggae and soca. Since then, FLOW has established itself in Toronto as a leader in delivering unique urban programming with a focus on discovering and promoting local artists.

PEACE!!

Shouts out to ALL my female MCs, DJs, Producers, Radio Hosts, and what the heck – since I’m in a good mood, shouts out to the video chicks too.  But mainly I gotta hail up the ladies who are doing all they can, when and where they can, to be a positive component in this thing we call hip-hop.  Chicks like my girl Motion, who wears the title of MC, Spoken Word Artist, Radio Host, Mother AND most recently, authoress, who goes in HARD!! 

The last time I saw Motion perform was last month at the all-female edition of Mic’d Up (shouts out to King Jus!!) and my girl TORE it up!! With L’Oqenz on the turntables and Zoe on the live bass, her performance was one of the highlights of the entire evening.  This weekend at Knowledge Fest, Toronto’s all-day, indoor/outdoor event promoting Canada’s Black Authors, she’ll be doing a spoken word performance, so this one is not to be missed!! Her eagerly awaited 2nd book of poetry, 40 Dayz, was released in February 2009, and was descibed as “An entrancing journey through challenge, discovery, and transformation, this new collection is topical, sensual, sometimes provocative, often beautiful, and always engagingly rhythmic.”  Check her out at 2PM at 177 Queen St. West in Brampton.  Also performing spoken word pieces include heronJones, Kevin Brooks, Marcia Williams and more.  The festival will broadcast live on CHRY 105.5FM (York University Campus — www.chry.fm )

Lastly, big ups to my girl Stacey Marie Robinson, authoress supreme and overall cool chick, who will be doing a book signing at the festival!!    Author of the Urban Toronto Tales, and books Video Light, Friends with Benefits and more, you can check her out at http://www.staceymarierobinson.com/ or even better, in person at Knowledge Fest this weekend!

Peace!!

Motion

No need to say how proud I am of this chick, but all I have to say is pick up her album with MoSS, At Last when it drops on June 29th (Fat Beats).  Even better, if you’re in Toronto check out Eternia‘s album release party going down tonight at Toby’s (411 College Street, East of Bathurst), and show some love –>DJ Law on the decks.  If you’re not in Toronto, you’ll see the pics in one of my upcoming posts!  One of the best quotes I’ve read about her project comes from Source Magazine: “Whoever declared hip-hop a man’s treasure trove struck fool’s gold…Eternia is ready at the helm, ladies’ night is in full effect.” –> co-sign!!

And just another tidbit to keep you company: 

One Week ’til Release Day – AT LAST – Eternia & Moss introduce The Half-Sibling Anthem… for those moments in life when you find yourself saying,

“Your Daddy is my Daddy!”

Stream & Download Link:
http://eternia.bandcamp.com/track/the-half

OUT!!

So, is it me or is the tone in this reporter’s CNN blog a bit.. snarky? Yes, Canada’s population is a small percentage of that in the US, but the fact that a hip hop artist from Canada hitting platinum (100,000 units), hasn’t happened in about 20 years is reason enough to celebrate.  Despite the understandable freshman jitters and the naysayers (like DJ Whoo Kid – see the article below), the unofficial word is that Drake has reached near gold in the US, at just over  460,000 copies — in 1 week.  Not quite meeting the hopes of mentor Lil’ Wayne, who predicted that Drake would outsell Carter III (which went platinum in its first week), but simply amazing for a kid from Toronto — I’m just sayin’!!  Especially considering that his album got leaked a week before the official release date.  Some folks are already predicting that it won’t do as well as Eminem‘s new album, Recovery, which goes on sale today, but I guess we’ll just have to let the numbers speak for themselves….

From CNN.com:

Drake goes platinum…in Canada

Call it home-field advantage: Early reports out of Canada reveal that Drake’s debut album, “Thank Me Later,” has already gone platinum.

The Young Money/Cash Money signee – and arguably the most-hyped hip-hop artist in years – is dealing with lofty expectations for his first solo album since his astronomically successful mixtape, “So Far Gone,” more or less set his career in motion.

Drake was expected to move somewhere between 425,000 and 475,000 units in the first week and those estimates were on target: the artist almost went gold, selling 462,989 copies of “Thank Me Later” in the U.S.

Hip-hop DJ and radio personality DJ Whoo Kid, who wasn’t quite convinced that Drizzy would be the year’s largest release, also wasn’t far off with at least part of his prediction that a legend will rain on the parade of Toronto’s Golden Child. “Will Drake sell 500k the first week?” DJ Whoo Kid asked via Twitter before he laid out his guess that Drake would sell somewhere between 350,000-420,000 in his first week.

While it looks like Drake did better than Whoo Kid expected, it remains to be seen whether or not his prediction that Eminem will outsell Drake will come true. The DJ is banking on Em selling between 650,000 and 700,000 units of “Recovery,” which dropped June 22.

Either way, it seems that Drake’s musical hype has been matched with sales; guess he can “thank” the fans now.

While many of you may be anxiously awaiting for the arrival of Ciroc in Canada, ATL’s Ludacris took over Toronto today to promote his new liquor, Conjure.  In town since Sunday night, Luda’s been doing the rounds at clubs and at the LCBO’s head office to sing the praises of the adult beverage. The fact that you can legally drink at the age of 19 in Ontario makes it that much more appealing.  And let’s face it, when you look as cute as Luda, who really cares what it tastes like?!  Some lucky fans even got to catch up with Luda in the flesh (see the pic above!!)….  Conjure is available in 700 LCBO stores across Ontario.  Man, if I could include sipping cognac as part of my 9-5, I’d be pretty damned happy too!! LOL!  Oh yeah – and don’t forget to peep the mixtape if you can find the bootleg purchase a copy… Enjoy!

 CHEERS!!