Author Archives: Ash El Gamal

[TMN Premiere] Hyphy Zen – Kelly Kapowski (feat. J New and Hayley Goldstien)

Hyphy Zen
Kelly Kapowski FT. J New and Hayley Goldstien (Prod. by Seriph and Hyphy Zen)

A little over a year ago I stumbled across Enthusiastic P via “On Like Rick,” a clever Rick and Morty-themed party anthem that felt like more than just a novelty–showcasing his distinct voice, flows and songwriting approach. In digging a bit deeper into his catalogue, I found an interesting contrast. While his baritone delivery blends well with often sparse, heavy-hitting trap beats, his lyrics, even when delving into partying, tell a somewhat more existential story. That juxtaposition adds some spiritual depth to what on the surface may feel like run-of-the-mill odes to inebriation.

The Bay Area-based emcee is back in 2017 with a new, fitting moniker, Hyphy Zen, and we’re excited to bring you the first single from his upcoming debut album. “Kelly Kapowski” features an extended, Rihanna-esque intro from Hayley Goldstien that sets the tone. When the Seriph-produced beat drops in, it hits hard, but moves slow, making for an intoxicating backdrop only further emphasized by an interlaced Weeknd sample. Hyphy Zen matches the production with a steady, spaced-out flow boasting individuality. Fellow Bay native JNew steps in for the second verse showcasing a more nimble approach that ties the song together perfectly.

Give this Saved By The Bell-inspired jam a listen above. Hyphy Zen’s debut album, YEA HIT ME UP WE SHOULD TOTALLY HANG SOMETIME, is due out in the fall.

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RHAIN – Tall Ships (Henry Green Remix) [TMN Premiere]

RHAIN
Tall Ships (Henry Green Remix)

UK-based songstress RHAIN caught the music world’s attention in 2016 with her enchanting, eerie voice and inventive lyricism. “Tall Ships,” the closer on her debut EP, Oscar November Echo, is a gorgeous, somber reflection on the passage of time and moving on. Today, we’re excited to premiere an equally powerful remix from Henry Green, one of our favorite up ‘n coming producers/vocalists.

Green’s take on “Tall Ships” holds a similar feel as the original but takes a completely different angle. Green lures the listener in with a 4-note piano loop accompanied by inching percussion and a faint guitar. Just before dropping into pure bliss, RHAIN’s vocals take center stage–the only time when you can make out the lyrics. The remainder of the song interlaces and layers her voice with subtle percussion taking full advantage of its emotional depth. That beautiful repurposing makes for a listen that’s sure to melt away the stresses of the week. Get lost in this one above.

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[Music Ninja Radio] Episode 79: Form Arcosanti, Slowdive & R&Beats

Music Ninja Radio is a weekly podcast broadcast live on San Francisco’s BFF.fm from 4-6PM PST every Friday.

Music Ninja Radio
Episode #79: Form Arcosanti, Slowdive + R&Beats

 Soundcloud || Spotify || Tracklist

After a week away at Form Arcosanti, there were a bunch of new albums to catch up on from Slowdive, Nick Hakim, Nite Jewel, Hoops & more. The resulting mix made for a more laid back episode until the end where we got into some vocal-driven indie electronic tunes from Nick Murphy and newcomers Worth Way along with some hard-hitting bass music from the likes of Vincent, Flume and Sinjin Hawke.

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[Hip-Hop] Tyler Hawkins – Folks (prod. Yung H33M)

Tyler Hawkins
Folks prod.Yung H33m

Following his 2016 solo EP, From That Land, Bay Area emcee Tyler Hawkins has returned recently with a string of singles showcasing his artistic evolution. While his debut felt like an origin story, Hawkins seems to be creating music that reflects the present. In doing so, he’s exploring new sonic palettes with his long-time collaborator Yung H33Mwho continues expanding his production repertoire.

Hawkins’ latest release, “Folks,” puts a twist on the classic crew appreciation cut with wavy, eerie production and a downtempo flow. The combination of hard-hitting 808s, a reverb-ed chop and interspersed chimes make for a hypnotizing contrast perfect for an array of flows. “Folks,” with its melodic chorus, grows on you with every listen while showing another side to the duo of Hawkins and H33M. Check out this cut above along with his other recent releases below. “SV” and “Lyin” each give a different glimpse into Hawkins’ growth and we’re definitely excited to see what comes next–stay tuned!

Tyler Hawkins
S.V.
Tyler Hawkins
LYIN prod. Yung H33m
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[Music Ninja Radio] Episode 78: Pop Explorations + Mini-Mix

Music Ninja Radio is a weekly podcast broadcast live on San Francisco’s BFF.fm from 4-6PM PST every Friday.

Music Ninja Radio
Episode #78: Pop Explorations + Mini-Mix

 Soundcloud || Spotify || Tracklist

Built around new music from Gorillaz, HAIM & Sylvan Esso, this pre-recorded sesh became a meditation on pop music in the broadest sense. Highlighting some left field, up ‘n comers alongside those more established artists made for far-ranging sounds. To close the show, Ninja Ash took his XDJs out for a mini-mix of some vibey house tunes.

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[Music Ninja Radio] Episode 77: Farewells, Premiers & Nü Nü

Music Ninja Radio
Episode #77: Farewells, Premieres & Nü Nü

Music Ninja Radio is a weekly podcast broadcast live on San Francisco’s BFF.fm from 4-6PM PST every Friday.

 Soundcloud || Spotify || Tracklist

After a month out of the studio, we had a ton going on during this week’s episode of TMN Radio. Co-host Dom is embarking on a new life journey and will be moving to London next week so we bid him farewell for now–opening and closing the show with London-inspired tracks. We also had special guest Still Woozy to premiere his incredible first solo single and share some of his wide-ranging inspiration.

Of course, there was plenty of new music to share as well featuring Tyler Hawkins, Bobby Nourmand, Odesza, Yaeji, Mac DeMarco, Kendrick Lamar & more!

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Still Woozy – Vacation [TMN PREMIERE]

Still Woozy
Vacation

Although we normally associate Mondays with dread, the optimist inside tells us it’s an opportunity for a fresh start. Today, we’ve got a premiere that both literally and sonically embodies a sense of new beginnings. Still Woozy is a new project from Oakland’s Sven Gamsky, who’s voice you may recognize from his work as part of Ninja favorites Feed Me Jack

“Vacation” may just be the perfect single for introductions–easing the listener in with an inviting guitar loop, minimal percussion and breezy vocals. As the song develops, however, electronic layers begin to seep through starting with a fluttering vocal chop at the first chorus. Wobbling synths follow shortly after and by the time the song comes to a close, the listener is fully enveloped by a blissful sonic eruption. The masterful progression of “Vacation” make it a truly transformative experience without any abrupt or jarring bridges–by the time you reach the finale you might wonder how you got there in the first place. The more you listen, the more the journey begins to reveal itself giving it endless replay value.

Take a trip with this one above (or below if on mobile) and keep your eye out for more music from Still Woozy.

PS This track was premiered live on Music Ninja Radio. Listen to the entire episode including an interview with Still Woozy here.  Continue reading

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