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MaG: OurStage Pro Artist Of The Week

Our first Pro Artist of the Week for 2013 is MaG, who hails from hip-hop’s ground zero, Bronx NY. MaG is a leading light in a unique wave of hip-hop that seems to synthesize all the best of soulful music from the 1970s to the present. The sound of his tracks is golden and timeless, embracing melodicism and creating a rolling vibe upon which his lyrical flow rides. There’s a subtle tension between the music and the voice that pushes and pulls the listener – it’s not jarring, but it satisfies a basic need for drama in music. Not surprising then to learn that MaG himself comes from a background in theater. His mastery of that delicate balance between mellow and urgent is apparent on first listen.

Kamaleon Wins The El Headliner Grand Prize In May

Every month, Latin music fans nationwide converge on the OurStage “Tr3s Latin Music Channel” to discover a fresh face in Latin music. In May, Tr3s asked Pitbull protégé Sensato to weigh in and help choose the next El Headliner Grand Prize winner. Who took home the title? None other than Bronx native Kamaleon. His Caribbean-inspired blend of Latin pop on “Guiribuba (regresa)” is just what the judges needed. Check out more from Kamaleon on his OurStage profile or in the playlist below!

El Headliner Winners GirlzTalk Featured On Tr3s

Bronx duo GirlzTalk is staking a claim for the ladies in the male-dominated bachata scene. They won the Grand Prize last month in the “Tr3s Latin Music Channel” on OurStage with their song “Loraras”, securing the coveted June “El Headliner” crown. Along with the crown, the ladies also scored a promotional package on Tr3s and Tr3s.com including features on Lo Que Te PicaMusic My GüeyFree Latin Music and Blogamole. Check out their interview from blogamole.tr3s.com and Lo Que Te Pica video feature below and head to Tr3s.com for their Music My Güey playlist and Free Latin Music download. If you’re a Latin artist who wants a shot at winning this awesome prize, enter the Tr3s Latin Music Channel in August!

Exclusiva: GIRLZTALK Speaks Out About Winning ‘El Headliner’ Contest

It’s hard to argue with the fans who chose Tr3s’ “El Headliner” winners. After receiving a ton of digital love in the Tr3s Latin Music Channel on our OurStage, bachata queens GIRLZTALK clinched the top prize. Now the dynamic duo of Judy Santos and Marlyn Jimenez have opened up to Blogamole with an exclusive interview about their big win.

“It’s been amazing,” Judy said. “It’s like a dream come true.”

Marlyn heartily agreed with the sentiment, describing what it was like when they found out that they had nabbed first place.

“We were both at our day jobs,” she explained. “We got a conference call from our manager and that’s how we got the news that we won!”

But don’t think that GIRLZTALK just arrived out of nowhere. These hard-working Latinas have paid quite a bit of musical dues. Prior to joining forces in 2008, both Marlyn and Judy had pretty impressive solo careers. Jimenez fronted a band called Grupo NV (which did a killer Spanish cover of No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak”) and Santos sang on tracks with Aventura. But according to Marlyn, it was the GIRLZTALK formation that really got the ball rolling.

“Judy has her R & B style,” Jimenez explained. “I kind of have that pop and Broadway kind of feel. We mesh well.”

And one other thing the ladies have been able to capitalize on is the “girl power” vibe present in their songs. GIRLZTALK lyrics offer a very different perspective to the bachata sound and, as Marlyn and Judy can attest, it’s worked out quite well.

“When we perform live, lots of people sing along with our songs, especially the females,” Santos said. “‘Llorarás’ is basically a song for them because it’s telling the man he’s going to cry for hurting us.”

Jimenez expanded on GIRLZTALK’s female fan base, offering insight into their overall musical goals.

“The bachata genre is so male dominated. Us women don’t really have a voice. I think we have the opportunity to say exactly what we feel and that’s what makes GIRLZTALK so special. We are able to portray exactly how we feel and women are able to relate to that as well.”

And for all of you existing GIRLZTALK fanatics, we did get some interesting tidbits about their upcoming album.

“The record has a little bit of everything,” Marlyn explained. “There’s heartbreaks, there’s happiness, it’s like everything we’ve experienced in our careers.”

You can expect the full GIRLZTALK LP to arrive before the end of the year.

By Michael Lopez

Lo Que Te Pica

Hip Hop Habit: Yonas

Let’s start by clearing up some confusion. Some of you OurStage faithful may have noticed resemblance between ubiquitous rapper Cause and lesser known Yonas. This is because they are the same person. According to Yonas, “I’ll always be ‘CAUSE’ to the world but I felt it was time to make a personal transition as I’ve grown a lot in the past 2 years and feel as tho [sic] it’s time for me to be, well, me.” Don’t worry fans, the Bronx Banga himself hasn’t disappeared, he’s just changed his name! So, without further ado, I introduce to you Yonas. Continue reading ‘Hip Hop Habit: Yonas’

CAUSE AND EFFECT

cause

The game of hip hop is one that’s fraught with disses and beefs, rodomontade and schadenfreude. These aren’t friendly waters for a newcomer, and many don’t survive first impact. When a young MC steps up to the mic, the hip hop community pauses—poised to either erupt into hisses and jeers, or break into thunderous applause. Those few seconds are where careers are made and broken … and only the strongest survive.

When it comes to New York rapper CAUSE, prepare to start clapping. The 22-year-old phenom explodes out of the gates, showcasing a bright young mind and an old soul. CAUSE is “straight from the boogie down Bronx,” a crucible for legendary hip hop acts during the early 80’s. On his searing single “In Too Deep,” he promises a renaissance for his community. “Hip-hop started in my borough now I’m bringing it back to get it on.” With a serpentine, lightning-quick flow and ceaseless wit he establishes his reign over his home turf: “I’m a king, I could never be a pawn.” It’s not an empty assertion—CAUSE already has a Billboard songwriting award under his belt and was cherry-picked by Bow Wow as the Hip Hop Channel winner on OurStage. In other words, this kid’s no joke. Don’t believe us? Check out the single “Banga,” where CAUSE name checks Tribe Called Quest over an irresistible vintage funk soul beat with a refrain that sums up his mission statement: “We’re bringing back what was missing so long.”

Welcome CAUSE. Now get to work.

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BREAKIN’: AN OURSTAGE BREAKDANCING PLAYLIST

Summer Heights High's Jonah Takalua busting a move

Summer Heights High's Jonah Takalua busting a move

Amongst music scholars, breakdancing is considered to be one of the four foundational elements of the hip hop culture in addition to DJing, MCing and graffiti art. With its humble beginnings in the Bronx  during the late 70′s at a time when gang violence ran rampantbreakdancing became an alternative medium for rival gangs to compete with one another. Hip hop pioneers such as DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash selected records featuring catchy drum break sections and mixed them together in a continuous “loop” while their MC’s egged on the “B-Boys” and “B-girls” to bust their best moves. No doubt hip hop’s early DJs inspired several generations of electronic musicians and record producers, such as Fatboy Slim and Rick Rubin. Today, the torch is carried by some great artists on OurStage like Metermaids a hip hop duo who put their own spin on Sufjan Steven’s “Chicago.”

 

Feel like you’re ready to krush groove? We suggest you put on your best kicks and start the circle because it’s time for an OurStage breakdancing set!

OURSTAGE ANNOUNCES THE WINNER OF THE RADIO ONE “ROC THE MIC” COMPETITION

Back in April OurStage, Radio One and Sony Music joined forces to bring you the “Roc The Mic So You Can Get it All” competition with Bow Wow. Artists from the Hip Hop Channel submitted their original songs to compete for a chance to see Bow Wow in concert in New York City and to meet with him and Columbia Marketing Executives from Sony Music after the show. One lucky fan voter was also selected at random to receive concert tickets and have a meet and greet with Bow Wow. Unfortunately, Bow Wow parted ways with Sony Music in the middle of the competition and was unable to select and meet with the winners.

CAUSE

CAUSE

Not one to disappoint, Sony Music decided to honor the fans’ top choice in the competition by selecting up-and-coming Bronx MC, CAUSE, as the artist winner. CAUSE will meet with Columbia Marketing executives to get valuable industry feedback. And since he didn’t want to let a fellow artist down, Bow Wow will help CAUSE on the promotional front.

OurStage’s Jay Schneider was able to sit down and have a chat with CAUSE about his work after informing him of his win:

JAY: How do you think meeting with the executives from Columbia is going to help you?

CAUSE: First of all, I appreciate the opportunity from OurStage. I think this could potentially really help; anytime you get a chance to meet executives and people who are really influential in the industryeven if they’re not there to sign youyou can always take away a valuable piece of advice.

JAY: You recently won a Billboard Songwriting award for your track “Banga” on which you gave production credit to a young, British producer named Murray Biggs. How did you go about first collaborating with Murray?

CAUSE: That’s a crazy story. With the album I recently put out called The New Golden Era at least 80% of it was recorded through online collaborationmostly with producers who I haven’t met. With that song in particular, I reached out to Murray through MySpacetold him I really admired his production. I told him I really liked a beat he had on his page and that I’d like to use it. He sent it to me and we emailed back and forth my vocals and his beat until it was done and the rest is pretty much history. So I’ve never actually spoken to him on the phone and I’ve never actually met him before, but we were able to create that magic through the power of the Internet.

JAY: After winning prizes from OurStage and Billboard, how do you feel about your career so far?

CAUSE: I feel like, until recently, I’ve managed to stay below the radar. Lately, especially with this prize, I feel like I’ve been breaking through. It’s only been about two years for me, so I’m still new in the game. There’s so many artist before me that took about five or six years to develop, but still have great careers. I feel like I’m progressing at a fast pace and that I’m starting to become more well-rounded. Earlier I had a lot of people respecting my music and songwriting, but I had to work on my live show. Since then I’ve been doing more shows and feel that the live performance aspect has gotten better. I feel right now that everything has come together really well.

JAY: Would you say that the evolution of your live show is the biggest change you’ve had since starting out?

CAUSE: I would say it’s a combination of that and building a team. Although I think building a team is more important since no one man can do this on their own. I have a bunch of producers nowI just got back from North Carolina after working with Sean Divine, who I consider my main producer right now. I’ve got my manager and a sneaker [apparel] expert. We all share the same unified vision.

JAY: If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?

CAUSE: 45 King’s producerhe’s an amazing talent. In terms of hip hop artists I’d like to collaborate with, Nas. 45 King’s producer doing the backing with me and Nas doing the rhymes.
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If you’re interested in hearing CAUSE’s music be sure to check out his OurStage fan page! As for the fan winner of the competition, Sony Music rewarded Jerimiah C. of New Jersey with tickets to Beyoncé’s upcoming performance in Uncasville, CT in addition to giving him a Sony Xplod car audio system.

Daily Download: Cause

Crafting rhymes that mix old and new school Hip-Hop elements, Cause crafts refreshing wordplay that eschews sexist braggadocio typified by many up and coming rappers. ‘The witty, slick-tongued — methodical rapper is focused on becoming Hip-Hop’s catalyst for change in a genre that has lost its way.’[BIO] In his own words, “It’s time we started becoming influential in a more positive way to the youth of this world. We as rappers and entertainers — whether we like it or not — have the great responsibility of guiding the up-and-coming generations into a more sturdy and less problematic future.” Winning the Hip-Hop channel prize in January and finishing Top Ten in July, Cause is our Daily Download with Banga. Check It.

FREE DOWNLOAD: CAUSE | Banga Feat. Tasha
Need help downloading? Click HERE for step-by-step instructions.

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