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Meet Jacqueline Constance: The dope songbird from Philly

Jacqueline Constance | photo by Deuce Pearsall | courtesy of artist

The city of Philadelphia is filled with so many musical talents that can simply be described as dope. It’s amazing to watch these artists of different genres find creative was to capture the struggle of their beloved, edgy, blue-collar city with music. Take for instance soul singer Jacqueline Constance,  a Mt. Airy songbird who has been making a name for herself in the City of Brotherly with her voice for the past seven years.

Trained in classical music during her time time at CAPA, Jacqueline Constance used those vocal skills to create soul music and with her debut album The Jacqueline Constance Show. In the time since, with the assistance of her looper, and other bits of electronic music technology, the soulful songstress found a way to expand her sound and keep her name known in the local music scene of her city. Recently we were able to sit down with Jacqueline and talk about her beginnings as a singer, how she got into looping and the moves she has planned for the future. Continue reading →

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Unplugged with Balmour

Balmour | Photo courtesy of artist

The 24 year old Yeadon crooner Balmour has been singing all his life, from first singing publicly in the church to honing his musical abilities during his time at Shippensburg University.

Since then, the young R&B singer has been quietly making a name for himself in the local scene, performing covers of different genres of music such as songs by Daughters, The Beatles and John Legend. However with his band Emötae‘s recent single “Missing Piece,” and the release of his debut EP Unplugged — which features vocal assistance and production from his brother Dan Goode — Balmour’s name seems to be growing within the past couple of years.

I recently sat down with him to discuss his band, his new EP, and how he feels about the local scene in Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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Philly Supports Beano: The local R&B underdog comes into his own

Beano French | photo courtesy of artist

Philly supports Philly, but not just because the person or thing is coming out of Philly, but because what is being presented is genuinely dope. Philly will support what they like, and when they find out that what they like is homegrown, the City of Brotherly Love will show an extreme amount of love to their brother/sister…and right now no one should know this better than R&B singer Beano French.

Whether killing stages or collaborating with other local artists, the West Philly crooner has always had the support of his friends and neighbors, so once Beano finally dropped his debut project Just Beano EPit was no surprise how excited fans were to hear and see how Beano could stand on his two feet as an artist. I was able to sit down with Beano and talk about his early beginnings, his debut EP and what he has in store for this year — including a headlining appearance at Coda a little later on this month. Continue reading →

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Experiencing the lows and highs of Philly’s Noél Scales in her Beautiful Bad project

Noel Scales | photo by Phil Meyer | courtesy of the artist
Noel Scales | photo by Phil Meyer | courtesy of the artist

Being an artist sometimes means being open and vulnerable about yourself, which may explain why a plethora of them, like Erykah Badu, are sensitive about their shit. But having the courage to open up to the public allows the world to see their perspectives and truths, whether you share them or not — and Philadelphia’s own Noél Scales is no different.

Since the age of 10, the young singer has been exposed to music from the late icon Prince, well respected art programs in the city such as Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement and Girard Academic Music Program, all of it preparing her to open the doors to the public so they can enter her world. I recently had the chance to sit down with Noel to talk about her humble beginnings, her debut EP Beautiful Bad and what she has in store for 2018. Continue reading →

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Listen as “Orange Moon” shines on singer Jacqueline Constance

Jacqueline Constance | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

It’s been three years since Philadelphia has heard any original #dopeazzmusic from singer/songwriter Jacqueline Constance. In 2014, the local scene found itself binge-listening to the Mt. Airy songbird’s EP The Jacqueline Show — not too long after, we began binge-watching her YouTube channel, filled with dazzling a cappella sound-loop videos recorded at her home. But we’ve been waiting for a new season to the Jacqueline Show since then. That ends today, as Jacqueline Constance unveiled her latest single “Orange Moon.” Continue reading →

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Twenty Years of Baduizm: A reflection on Erykah Badu’s landmark debut

Erykah Badu, flanked by Common, RZA and Method Man, during the mixing sessions for Baduizm in Battery Studio NY | via facebook.com/erykahbadu

Twenty years ago, iconic soul singer Erykah Badu released her critically acclaimed debut Baduizm. With the album, the soulful B-girl from Dallas, Texas created a jazzy type of high that manifested truth in light that is still able to grab the attention of her listeners — and will do so again this Saturday, February 11th, at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, twenty years to the day from the album’s original release date.

But besides gaining a worldwide audience for Ms. Badu, the production, lyricism, and creativity of Baduizm influenced not only hip-hop, but music at large, giving artists the ok to step outside of the box. Continue reading →

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Drexel University students rejuvenate classic Philly R&B music

 

Photo via "Uncovering the Philly Groove" event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/914276075280044)
Photo via “Uncovering the Philly Groove” event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/914276075280044)

Drexel University is heading an exciting initiative to reinvigorate the famous “Philly Groove Records,” an R&B and soul music collection from the renowned Sigma Sounds and Philly Groove Labels that is filled with many unfinished musical works.

Students from the school are taking these unfinished pieces and bringing them back to life by completing and releasing the songs into the public. Continue reading →

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Listen to The Weeknd’s new track “Live For” and his remix of Lorde (playing Susquehanna Bank Center 10/4)

weeknd-enemy

It’s a busy week for The Weeknd, aka producer / musician Abel Tesfaye. He remixed the track “Royals” by  Australian artist Lorde, an homage to young middle class kids with big dreams facing boredom.  Keeping it simple, Tesfaye takes the original and adds his own subtle touches: a heavier drum beat, a sinister background synth and his own vocals.

Along with the remix of “Royals” he released a song from his upcoming album, Kiss Land.  “Live For” features the same reverb atmosphere full of synths and high-pitched croons from Tesfaye but with one key addition.  The new track features Drake, long-time Weeknd fan and collaborator.  It appears that although Tesfaye decided not to work on Drake’s label, the two remain friends. Check out the new songs below and look for Kiss Land September 10th.  The Weeknd will perform at Susquehanna Bank Center in October.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Phil Anselmo at Union Transfer, James Hunter at Sellersville Theater, St. James and the Apostles at Johnny Brenda’s, Thee Idea Men at Milkboy

Phil-Anselmo-2

Phil Anselmo is probably one of the most prolific figures in the world of metal today.  Originally gaining fame as the singer for Pantera, Anselmo has since performed with his own groups Down, Superjoint Ritual, Phil Anselmo & The Illegals and a few others.  Tonight, the famed metal singer will make his way to Union Transfer where he’ll play with his backing band The Illegals.  Anselmo released his second solo album, Walk Through Exists Only, a month ago.  Below, check out a song from his latest release and click here for ticket information for what’s sure to be an ear-melting show.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Gallerist at North Star Bar, Bettye Lavette at Wiggins Park

the gallerists

The Gallerist creates catchy folk music with lush narratives and beautiful song structures; think a Philly version of The Avett Brothers. Although they only have one short album to their name, A Falling Waltz, it’s a shockingly good first release.  The group is playing a number of shows in the Philadelphia region and tonight you can catch them at The North Star Bar.  Click here for ticket information and listen to their tunes below.

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