[Electro/Pop/Indie] Little Dragon – Paris

littledragon
Little Dragon
Paris

If you’re bummed that the Heartbleed virus stole all of your passwords, then listen to this new track that Little Dragon dropped yesterday. Premiering as Zane Lowe’s “Hottest Record” on BBC Radio 1, “Paris” is the latest track off the Swedish electro-pop group’s upcoming LP Nabuma Rubberband. Waves of neo-soul melodies fade in and out of airy, electronic beats as frontwoman Yukimi Nagano croons in the background (even throwing some French lyrics in the mix). Nabuma Rubberband is out May 13 via Loma Vista.

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[TMN Resident Artist] Elephante on when his love of music started, remixes, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch

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The Chainsmokers
#SELFIE (Elephante Remix)

I got to sit down with our wonderful resident artist Elephante and pick his brain a bit about his musical background, all these crazy remixes he produces, and how his music dream only really became a reality a little over a year ago.

TMN: This month we have the pleasure of having Elephante as our resident artist. Tim, thank you so much for joining the ninja family this month!

E: Thank you for having me! It’s an honor :)

TMN: Let’s start at the beginning when you were just a young kid from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Tell us when you began taking music lessons and how that progressed from your early age all the way through college?

E: Well I started taking piano lessons when I was 8, but according to my mom, I was super into Fantasia when I was a baby, and would sit 3 feet in front of the TV and watch it on repeat, so I guess Mickey Mouse and that broom thing were sorta my first teachers. Took some guitar lessons in high school, but was mostly self-taught, pretty much through learning all of “Room for Squares” by John Mayer. Seriously that album is amazing. Anyway, I dabbled with hip-hop and messed around with Fruity Loops, but got mostly into writing my own stuff and singing. Loved like Jimi Hendrix and [Eric] Clapton, so it was like blues influenced pop stuff.

TMN: Was there a time you wanted to quit playing music? You know kids, they go through phases and also get busier the older they get, some activities have to give usually. Was music ever part of that or was that an activity you wouldn’t let go of?

E: There was a little bit in high school, but it was more from wanting to be one of the “cool kids” and not from falling out of love with music. Luckily I never committed fully to being a Mean Girl, and didn’t have to give it up. Plus, I figured John Mayer was getting tons of girls, so playing music was probably okay.

TMN: You said that in high school you performed blues influenced acoustic pop songs. Talk to us about where you would perform and how it was being a music kid in high school. Were you involved in your school music programs or were you more a solo music kid who did his own thing?

E: I never really did the school programs like band or orchestra, partly because I was more interested in making my own music and partly because I was terrified of other people thinking I sucked. I did play a few coffeehouse and bar shows, and got the courage to beg my friends to come see, which I am eternally grateful for, because honestly I probably wasn’t that good.

TMN: And you graduated from Harvard a few years back, did you go there for anything musically related? If not, what did you study at school?

E: I did, which I find harder and harder to believe as time goes on. Like, I really went to class and took tests and stuff? I’d get OWNED if I had to do that now. I did do as much music stuff as possible, minored in Music, ran the campus studio, was in a band, interned at a recording studio in Boston, etc.

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Sick Individuals Talk Miami, Music, and Babies [TMN Exclusive Interview]

Sick Individuals
Sick Individuals
Shock

Not too long ago, we had the opportunity to do a spontaneous Q&A with Jim from Sick Individuals while they were out in Miami for Miami Music Week. We learned a lot in this 10 minute interview about their life on tour, their new release, and Jim’s burning desire to know how many children Ray wants to have one day.

TMN: Hey Jim! Thanks for giving us a few minutes of your time to talk with us! I can tell you’re definitely somewhere fun. How’s the Miami scene treating you so far?

J: No problem! Ray and I are having a lot of fun over here. We have been meeting a lot of our close producer friends and having a blast. This place is crazy – have you ever been?

TMN: That sounds like absolute madness. Personally, no, I have never been to Miami, but it sounds like the place to be! I’ll be out there for sure next year to experience the chaos firsthand – but we’ll all have to get a beer first. 

J: (Laughs) Sounds like a great plan to us!

TMN: (Giggles) Speaking of you and Ray, how did you guys link up?

J: We met back at the School of Arts back home and realized that we worked really well together so we started producing back in 2010. Ray and I have the same goals as far as music goes, so we thought we’d try it out and we think it has been the right decision (laughs).

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[House/Garage] Sylent Efx – Thumpin’ [TMN Premiere]

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Sylent EFX
Thumpin' (Original Mix)

Finding and exposing new artists steeped in talent before anyone else is part of the bloodline pumping through TMN. Our latest discovery comes from young House prodigy Sylent Efx, all of 18 years old, with his brand new tune “Thumpin’”. To try and pin “Thumpin’” down into one classification or genre of music would be doing a great disservice to the mature and thought out structures employed within Sylent Efx’s music. Elements surface throughout the track from classic house, garage, hip-hop, future and even some basic pop framework for a resulting tune that is just as much a careful composition as it is hooky, addictive dance groove. Not to mention the vocal loop pulled from the Clipse single, “When the Last Time”  fits onto the wunderkind’s crafty instrumentation as perfectly as a sequined Mike Jackson glove. We’re not the only ones to have taken notice either as Sylent Efx has had quite the busy last couple of months playing alongside names like Cassian and Touch Sensitive, as well as a recent headlining slot in the Lounge at Rolling Stone’s most recent #1 Nightclub in America and a venue our Ninjas should be very familiar with, Beta Nightclub in Denver. We don’t anticipate this young man’s music remaining much of a secret for long, especially behind support from Jerome LOL, option4 and Vanilla Ace, so jump ahead of the curve and snag a digital copy of “Thumpin’” through Night Supply Records before it invades your club floors around the world.

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[Hip-Hop] Atmosphere – Kanye West

Atmosphere - Kanye West
Atmosphere
Kanye West

Before you have a heart attack at the prospects of a hip-hop collaboration of unfathomable proportions, we want to stop you from making any dangerous assumptions. This is a song by Atmosphere, and the title of the song is “Kanye West.” Yeezy had no involvement with this song at all unfortunately, and nor is this a tribute to him either. The motivation for this one is best explained by Slug himself, who recently told Pigeons & Planes 

I wanted to write a song about loving something so much that you submit to the moment.
The single itself carries with it a familiarly gritty Atmosphere sound. It may be 2014, but Slug’s storytelling skills are as poignant as ever, and Ant‘s work behind the boards just as immaculate. Now that we’ve heard the first two singles from Southsiders, we could not be more excited for the release of the group’s upcoming album on May 6th. Stream the track above, and head over to iTunes to pre-order the album and receive copies of “Bitter” and “Kanye West” instantly. You can catch the official video for “Bitter” as well after the jump.

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[Exclusive Interview] TMN Sits Down With option4, Keepers. and Need & Necessity at Snowball

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Elizabeth Rose
The Good Life (option4 Remix)
Keepers
Hello (Original Mix)
Lemme See (Original Mix) **FREE DOWNLOAD**

This past weekend at Snowball Music Festival, we were treated to a wonderful palate of eclectic artists, all in the heart of Denver Broncos territory at Sports Authority Field. From major acts like Busta Rhymes, Pretty Lights, Yeasayer, Twin Shadow, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Griz, Knife Party and MiMOSA to the amazingly well represented house tent with names including MK, J. Phlip, Graff, Justin Jay, Maxxi Soundsystem and The Juan Mclean; it was safe to say our tastes for all different genres of music were well satiated. We also had the chance to catch up with some of our absolute favorite up and coming house artists option4, as well as the duos of Keepers. and Need & Necessity round-table style in their home city to talk about their burgeoning record label Night Supply, their drinks of choice, spirit animals, Miley Cyrus and a whole lot more. And who better than these three entities to give us a little insight into the climate of dance music in their own state? Check out the full transcript below.

The Music Ninja (TMN): Alright, The Music Ninja here at Snowball Music Festival with option4, Keepers. and Need & Necessity. First things first, I know we can be a bit intimidating so how about a round of Fireball shots? [five minute pause from interview] Okay, let’s get the ball rolling!

TMN: Now, we’re obviously here in your guys’ back yard of Denver. A lot of people don’t realize this, but all of you have been throwing and curating proper house music events in the city for over three years as TheHundred and have built relationships with most every dance artist on the festival. With this year being so heavy on house music, what has it been like to see your collective work begin to take a bit of a hold through more mainstream outlets like a Snowball Music Festival? Let’s start with option4.

option4: Man it’s been awesome to see so many people that might not normally be into this style of music fully support and accept it. For example, last night MK was killer, J. Phlip was killer and all those people choosing to be in the house tent as opposed to some of the other stages. That was something that felt very tangible, very real. It was kind of a weird stage to begin with because nobody could really hear the music outside of the tent and it was a little bit tucked away, but that thing was still absolutely packed.  It seemed like there were a lot of people there for that style of music, so it was nice to see house music have a real footing at an American festival.

Read the rest of our interview with option4, Keepers. and Need & Necessity after the jump!

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[New Release] Zella Day – 7″

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The beautiful and talented Zella Day released her album 7″ on Monday, made up of her two stunning songs “1965″ and “Sweet Ophelia.” That same day, Zella released the video for “Sweet Ophelia.” We were lucky enough to chat with the Arizona native about her inspirations, her new release, and the enchanting new video.

TMN: Zella, we all would just like to say how much we love your music and your sound. Can you talk to us about how living in the West inspired and continues to inspire your music?

ZD: I grew up in such an ethereal place. I was raised breathing in the fresh mountain air that in some ways I incorporate into my music. There was a lot of open space and a lot of natural beauty that allowed me to express myself freely. There wasn’t much of a music scene in Pinetop so I was kind of left to my own devices; the songs I began writing were original and unaffected.

TMN: And obviously congrats on your debut 7″ release, always super exciting! Tell us what you are most excited about with this big release.

ZD: Thankzzzzzz :-) . I’m excited that so many people are hearing my music. That’s the whole point. I’ve been making music for what feels like a long time and its invigorating that people get to experience it for themselves. These first releases get me one step closer to playing in front of more and more people which is what I live for.

TMN: On top of that, you also released the video for ‘Sweet Ophelia’ today, again, congratulations! This song is already such a powerhouse, how did you decide where to take the feel and flow of the music video?

ZD: I wanted the video to be simple yet trancelike, I wanted it to look like what the song sounds like. There are a couple scenes in the video that are symbolic and speak truth as to what the song is about; the video is purposeful. I was nervous that the whole 3 minutes was based on my performance because I haven’t really performed like that in front of a camera before. My take on the whole thing was unrehearsed and authentic, so what you are seeing in the video is pure emotion. Theres a vulnerability portrayed in my disposition that I believe the song possesses as well.

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