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Are You Ready For Julius?

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I recently had the pleasure of chopping it up with a very talented artist from the continuously growing genre of Soca. His name is Julius and his sound is coming to a fete near you!

For those who aren’t familiar with Soca music, how would you describe it to someone who’s never heard it?
Soca is a fusion of African and East Indian instruments coming together to create this unique melody and sound. Soca music is infectious, sexy, happy, feel good music; you can be in a real messed up mood but if you put on Soca music your world is just transformed and you’re taken to a happier place. Soca is good for your peace of mind.

The song Good Oh tends to bring back good memories of specific wines in my past, is that what inspired you to write this song?
My writing partner Fojo and I went for an afro-beats vibe with an energetic old school flavor. Strong lyrical content not on your customary topic, we were capitalizing on the idea of the reaction a woman can illicit from an admirer, but not merely based on her looks but an all encompassing meaning of wellness, a woman who knows how to take care of herself, her mind, her body and her future…she’s just “Good Oh!” So when you listen “Good Oh” there’s no doubt it will bring out that specific wine that you’ve connected to a “Good Oh” memory.

With your experience on the stage and in the studio, where do you feel more at home and why?
Good question. Both equally feel at home to me. Onstage I love the energy, I love entertaining a crowd, the adrenaline rush, the sexiness in presenting my craft to an awaiting audience. Then you go to the studio where the adrenaline is about creating that masterpiece, the challenges, the meeting of minds, the agreements and disagreements all for one goal which is to create a strong and banging product. So to me I love both experiences, I’m at home anytime I’m showcasing my talents regardless of venue.

Have you ever thought of recreating one of the earliest and most influential songs (that still resonates today) that you were a part of, The Future Belongs To Me?
“The Future Belongs To Me” was a project, well a very huge project I was thrown into as a kid. So to recreate it would be awesome, I’ve actually considered it from time to time. But you know one of those creations where you can’t surpass the original? Well to me that song is one of those, but this generation definitely needs a reminder of a message like that, undoubtedly.

With Carnival season in full swing, where can we look forward to seeing you perform?
Well, I know this question is a bit past its timeframe, but with regards to all performances…presently my team is working on future engagements and everyone can keep posted to my social media pages for all announcements and expected appearances.

What has the reaction been from everyone, particularly the ladies, to Hold Me?
The reaction I got from fans after “Hold Me” were motivational and encouraging, some said it’s different, some think it’s very melodious. The ladies say it’s a message they would want to hear from a guy. Everyone has an opinion and I value all feedback, but overall it’s been a real positive reaction from everyone.

Do you really have no time for No New friends? The song is infectious enough to create new friends. How will you handle that as this song takes off? 
No New Friends” is a topic we all can relate to, it’s not about making any new friends per se, but it’s about those instances when you meet someone and you’re like “I feel I’ve known you for a long time” and then there are those people who you meet and it’s like “I don’t like their vibe for some reason, as we Trinis say meh blood doh take them” so this song is about those people who are on that same mission as you are and that is to win. Because when one of us wins we all win, team, day ones to the end.

As you can see Julius is an artist to look and listen out for. Click on the pic below to hear one of his newer tunes that will surely get you hooked! Good Morning Trinidad

HB aka The World Traveler is fully committed to exploring and sharing with you what the world has to offer in travel and music. Get on board and enjoy the ride!

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Music

GANG STARR “ONE OF THE BEST YET”

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Straight out the gate we’re taken down memory lane with an intro reminding us of what Gang Starr was and still is about! The intro brought great comfort to my ears in letting me know that their main ingredients of boom bap and rhymes weren’t going to be forgotten. True to my hypothesis, the bar continued to rise and rise throughout the album.

The unmistakable cuts, clever samples and monotone flows are in full display. Exactly how you would expect to hear a Gang Starr album! The repeat again and again factor is naturally achieved from beginning to end. Thank god for technological advancements or there would be an abundance of damaged records, tapes and CD’s out there due to overuse! It was as if the album was recorded with elements of the past with intentions of the future!

With that notion in mind, DJ Premier and Guru enlisted the services of some of their familiar collaborators and recruited some worthy new friends to join the movement. The likes of M.O.P, Q-Tip, Group Home, Royce da 5’9″, Jeru The Damaja, J.Cole, Ne-Yo, Nitty Scott, Talib Kweli, Big Shug and Freddie Foxxx make up the ensemble of talent that merged perfectly in this tremendous gift to Hip-Hop.

It was as if the album was recorded with elements of the past with intentions of the future!

The cameos of his son Keith Casim Elam on the album and in the music videos (Family & Loyalty/Bad Name) brings this project full circle. His father would have been proud of the family representation and the Gang Starr extended family showing out on every opportunity in “One Of The Best Yet”.

 

At this point we can only hope that Premier has an extra stash of Guru vocals hidden somewhere that he’ll bless us with in the near future. It’s been quite evident from the reception of the Hip-Hop community that Gang Starr has done it again and will always be welcome fruit to our musical appetites!

HB aka The World Traveler is fully committed to exploring and sharing with you what the world has to offer in travel and music. Get on board and enjoy the ride!

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Music

That Dog Bites Back

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I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest I was the only person working for a huge insurance company in 1997 with a poster of That Dog on my cubicle. They hypnotized me at Mercury Lounge and I walked home in a happy haze to my $78 a month Chinatown apartment. Different times, indeed.

That Dog broke up after releasing Retreat from the Sun, a perfect concoction of power-pop sweet & sour that holds up 20 years later. While they reunited in 2011,  the new record finds them one Haden sister short, so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this partially crowd-funded affair. Certainly Anna Waronker was still at the helm, with Rachel Haden on bass, and Tony Maxwell stepping away from a TV exec gig to record and tour this new record. I still had mixed feelings going in.

Fear not, Old LP is super on-brand and contains some excellent songs, as well as those honeyed harmonies we’ve come to expect. Tight and poppy and full of energy, Old LP is a return to form, albeit with some added maturity. What I didn’t expect was the emotional weight of the title track, an ode to the great Charlie Haden, who died in 2014.

Catch That Dog at Warsaw in Brooklyn tonight where they’ll be playing with string accompaniment.

 

Using a host of pen names, Eric Curran has been blogging in one form or another for well over 10 years. He's a partner at One Track Mine, and also runs the blog Jealous Foodies.

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Janita’s New Song “Bliss I Once Had This”

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Fresh from her residency at NYC’s Mercury Lounge, ECR Music Group recording artist Janita releases the new single “Bliss I Once Had This” on October 18, and we have the premiere.

The guitar-forward track, which you can hear below, is a notable change from Janita’s last record, Didn’t You, My Dear?, also produced and recorded by label owner and musician Blake Morgan.

Janita describes the song as “a declaration of joyful defiance in darkening times.” The track taps into the moment when empathy meets apathy, when we’re as likely to question “Who am I to feel happy now?” as we are to throw up our hands and say “Never mind.”

Janita and Blake share guitar duties on the track, rounded out by Miles East on drums and percussion and Justin Goldner on bass.

Janita’s last show this year is in her hometown of Helsinki at the legendary Tavastia-klubi on November 10.

Using a host of pen names, Eric Curran has been blogging in one form or another for well over 10 years. He's a partner at One Track Mine, and also runs the blog Jealous Foodies.

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