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“It Was Pretty Much Destined”: Philly powerhouse Lady Alma on her path through music

Lady Alma at Kindred Presents | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Lady Alma was and still is a voice to be reckoned with. The prominent Philadelphia vocalist might have taken a hiatus ten years ago, but is officially back and better than ever.

Last week, Alma sat down at World Cafe Live to discuss why her upcoming concert at The Ardmore Music Hall on August 18 means so much to her.

“It’s really going to be a party,” she said. “I hope that when folks do come, they aren’t coming to just be entertained, but coming to party.”

Alma will be performing along with Brooklyn instrumental group Tortured Soul, and the internationally renowned, Philly-based DJ that helped launch Alma’s professional musical career, King Britt.

“The eighteenth is going to be a magical night because I’m being reunited with my brother King Britt and my brothers Tortured Soul,” Alma said.

King Britt remembers when he first heard Alma sing when he was DJing and Alma and Tanja Dixon were singing over his set without a microphone.

“I could not believe the power of these women.” King Britt recounted. “[I] instantly wanted to record with them, it was such an honor.” Continue reading →

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IamBNJMIIN is your new favorite recording engineer

iamBNJMIIN
iamBNJMIIN | photo by Joseph V. Labolito for Temple University | photo used with permission

From TyDolla$ign to Jazmine Sullivan, Benjamin Thomas’s portfolio as a music engineer spans to some of the biggest names in the industry, and he is only twenty two years old.

Whether working on location at Studio Breed in Philadelphia, or in his own home studio, Thomas — iamBNJMIIN in his credits — is the type who gives his all to the music he mixes.

“You can work smarter and harder, but if you choose to just work smarter; I’m just going to outwork you.” Thomas says.

Thomas is a Harlem native, and moved to Philadelphia when he was in early teen years. This was around the time when he was also introduced to music. “A lot of people would say ‘Yeah,  I remember this song when I was five,’” he says. “And I don’t, but my mom liked CDs a lot.”

Instead of listening, he would take his mother’s CD collection, and use it for room decoration.

Thomas admits that Rock Band and Guitar Hero are really the two things that introduced him to music as a child. After learning to master those video games, Thomas began playing bass in the sixth grade, but didn’t learn about engineering until later when one of his junior high teachers introduced him to it as a hobby.

“I got thrown into the fire in 8th grade when I was told to run this twelve microphone setup,” Thomas recalls. From there, the music hustle never stopped even as Thomas began his college career in Finance. Continue reading →

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Coming Together Across Borders: Inside Philadelphia’s burgeoning Global Village Jam scene

Global Village Jam | photo by Andrea Hu | courtesy of the artist
Sinnia Brown performs at the Global Village Jam in Philly | photo by Andrea Hu | courtesy of the artist

The phrase, “It takes a village,” couldn’t be more appropriate when talking about the burgeoning scene at Philadelphia’s Global Village Jam Sessions. Community is the focus, and organizers refer to it as “the only concert where the audience is the headliner.”

Recently, at their event on February 22, at the William Street Commons at 3900 Chestnut Street was packed with singers and musicians who wanted to share their talents inclusively.

“The Village is a big ocean, and you just get caught up in its waves,” says event coordinator, Alyssa Ghilardi. “But they never take you under. You’re just staying afloat on top of them all of the time.” Continue reading →