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ayokay – Sleepless Nights (feat. Nightly)

ayokay’s music is buzzing with life and electricity similar to the neon lights across all of artwork. His music feels like a hazy, humid summer night spent traversing the city with friends and a significant other attached to your arm the entire time. It sounds so fresh and so new, yet the vibe is timeless. The production is insanely top notch with every second is detailed while Nightly delivers silky smooth vocals that help bring the vibe I mentioned to life. I’d love to hear this while actually making my around or on a movie’s soundtrack – either way would be totally fitting!

In the past I spent a lot of sleepless nights stressing over the past, future, and present. It was so easy to get caught up in all the bullshit and spend hours laying in bed thinking about what could’ve been and what will be. These days I avoid the unnecessary stress of over complementing my life through outlets like meditation (40 minutes a day!), journaling, and talking with friends about my thoughts and feelings rather than internalizing them. Once you bring healthy coping mechanisms into your life, there’s no need to experience those nights that feel like they’re never going to end.


Viceroy – 1999 (ft. Brandyn Burnette)

Viceroy used to be the king of the tropical electronic sound, but he’s totally switched up his artistic direction and it’s seriously paid off. That couldn’t be more apparent on “1999”, a single that’s equal parts swagged out and soulful. His production has a wonderful punch to it that resonates through a reverberating low end while horns tailor made for a celebration are draped across the top of the instrumental like a colorful decoration. Brandyn Burnette’s vocals drive that vibe home – he essentially floats across Viceroy’s production with such an effortlessly cool demeanor that you can’t resist nodding along and feeling all the joy he’s putting out into the world.

I’d love to hear an EP or an album between these two. They complement each other so well and the synergy between them is so strong that it’s almost difficult to put into words. Not only do they sound amazing together, but Burnette’s lyrics totally fit the aura Viceroy creates. They celebrate a shared love for their nostalgia when it comes to the ’90s but sound totally fresh while doing so – I love the lines ranging from Steve Nash shooting free throws to Tony Hawk on his grind. It really catches the feel of that era and has me thinking about my days during that decade. Here’s to appreciating the past while keeping our eyes on the present and future.


Rebecca Perl – Keepin’ It Cool (Tep No Edit)

This is my first encounter with Rebecca Perl and I’m immediately struck by how natural of a talent she is. Her vocals have a buoyant quality to them that simply can’t be forced and she shows hints of a future pop powerhouse – not to be hyperbolic here, but I hear a little bit of Taylor Swift in her cadence during the chorus. Tep No’s edit on the production makes Perl’s performance an even more enticing centerpiece as playful, chilled out synths and touches of a strummed acoustic guitar give the song a wholly relaxing vibe that’s perfect for poolside relaxation with the heat of summer in Los Angeles (and across the country) upon us.

There’s a sense of timelessness when I’m at the pool or on the beach. Maybe it’s because I was around the two so much as a kid, but when I’m laid back in a chair or on the sand, I feel suspended in time. The warmth of the sun beating down on me, the sound of the water cascading back and forth, the sound of music and laughter drifting from one ear to the other; in that moment, the comfort I experience is almost indescribable. It makes me realize how I’m a tiny piece of the universe as I look up at our planet’s star, yet it also makes me feel significant, present, and whole. There’s a meditative quality to those moments that bring me inner peace and I need to pursue that feeling on a more regular basis with a whole coast to the west of me.


BLVK IRIS – Naked (feat. Micky Blue & Janelle Kroll)

BLVK IRIS enlists a dream duo of vocalists on his new single. Micky Blue and Janelle Kroll are both buzzing solo artists and topliners in their own right and they show exactly why on “Naked” – not only are their individual performances killer, but the chemistry between the two wonderfully stretches across verses as they provide a perfect complement to one another. Of course, that’s in part owed to the insanely smooth production courtesy of BLVK IRIS as he crafts an intricate electronic, neo-r&b fusion that hits all the most sonically pleasing pockets as it rides along with an unforgettable groove. The verses are atmospheric and understated while the chorus provides a swell of sounds that are the icing on the cake as the conclusion to an entrancing build up.

I love how there’s so many moving parts here between a producer, two vocalists, and multiple genres intersecting, yet they all make it seamlessly work. In the streaming age, I’ve noticed a lot of collaborations that overdo it and suffer from too many cooks in the kitchen so to speak, but every artist’s contribution on “Naked” feels totally meaningful and ingrained into the song’s very essence. I can’t imagine it existing without all of their talents fused together as they all effortlessly feed off of one another’s energy with such grace. I’m truly blown away by this track and I hope you are too on this welcomed summer Friday with the weekend almost upon us.


Petticoat – Ooze

There’s music that transcends genre conventions and newcomer Petticoat does just that on “Ooze”. It’s an insanely nuanced single that reminds me of the warped trap sounds that TNGHT brought to the mainstream while maintaining an undeniably modern approach. The bass hits with a pleasant thud, the verse’s synths are strung across the sonic sphere in a style that wonderfully accentuates the under-current, and of course the drop is pure ear candy. Excuse the pun, but this track oozes boundary pushing electronic flair that I can’t help but see pushing Petticoat to the forefront of a new wave of producers. It might take a while to catch on, sure, but the potential is absolutely there and is impossible to ignore once you’ve heard his work.

I also love the aesthetic direction between all of Petticoat’s singles. That’s a decision that will do well to set himself apart from the pack. Once you’ve seen that signature yellow background and all black garb, you know you’ve stumbled across yet another one of his productions and know to expect something amazing. A unified visual approach to your music is so important in 2018 as it takes more than just music to create a truly unique identity. The modern musician also needs to be a multimedia artist. It might signal an oversaturation of work that has led to this notion, but I for one am totally cool with it – it’s exciting to see artists pushed outside of their comfort zones and deliver projects that extend beyond the confines of one medium into something more expansive.


Boehm – Cool Kidz

Boehm comes through with a super sleek new single called “Cool Kidz” that taps into a lighthearted, joyous aesthetic. The production in particular is super buoyant and floats along at ease with some absolutely killer vocals from an unnamed talent. Out via Ultra, it shows that the label hasn’t lost a step when it comes to identifying talent that can bridge the lanes of electronic and pop sounds to create songs that are perfect additions to the playlists of teen boppers and festival goers alike. You have to have versatility in a day and age where every niche sound has already been made ten times over and Boehm pulls off that versatility without a doubt.

Cool kids while I was growing up were those who conformed to preppy standards, but I feel like society has shifted toward rewarding the innovators. Lil Uzi Vert is releasing an album with artwork influenced by the Heaven’s Gate cult, kids are skating around with fanny packs around their shoulders, and moshing at shows has become the status quo. Music, fashion, and physical rebellion that was quietly ushered into the corners of our culture is now at the forefront as the youth innovates at a speed never before seen in humanity. We’re truly fortunate to live in a time where the freedom to express one’s self is gaining steam.


Emily Zeck – Avocado Toast

Talk about a pure slice of guitar laced, horn draped, trop-pop bliss. Emily Zeck’s brand new single “Avocado Toast” is like a sonic collage of all the best things about the West Coast – images of the picture perfect beaches, delicious food, and a penchant for utterly carefree vibes. There’s an energy out here that can be harnessed through various forms of art and Zeck totally encapsulates it with a smile on her face. Her vocals are brimming with a joyous, carefree approach, the instrumental is uniquely West Coast structured while delivering wide-appealing pop touches, and the songwriting as a whole is sleek and smart while sounding totally natural.

Living on the West Coast, specifically in LA, is a true privilege. Nowhere else in the country can you be in a sprawling metropolis one hour, kicked back on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches the next. There’s a constant buzzing of positive energy out here that’s hard to describe but easy to feel once you’re in it. In the past week I’ve driven up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu, eaten in a stunning open-air restaurant tucked away within the skyscrapers of downtown, and worked daily from my Hollywood office with a stunning view. Each instance was inspiring in its own way and I’ll continue to take advantage of that endless inspiration.


Sweater Beats – Enemy (feat. Sorana)

I’m absolutely smitten by “Enemy”, the newest release from Sweater Beats. It’s a sweet, sparkling production complemented by the perfect amount of sonic sass from Sorana which gives me some serious early M.I.A. vibes. The two artists have a chemistry that’s so seamless it has a sense of childlike wonderment, from the choppy, playful hook, to the wonderfully flippant verses. As soon as the track ended on first listen, I immediately hit repeat because it provides a cartoonish world where I can hide from all the bullshit in my personal life and on the grand scale of the world as a whole (kind of like the character hiding in his hoodie on the single artwork).

I know it’s a surface level thought, but the song’s title made me think about I have zero enemies in my life. I have people that bug me (much like any other average human on this Earth), but there’s not a single person in my life who I consider an adversary. Throughout high school and college, a handful of people come to mind from my days of being a hot head, but in my adult life, I believe I’ve become a genuinely centered person who practices kindness in all of my affairs. I’m fortunate to work with people I love, have a select group of friends who give me such a genuine sense of fulfillment, and daily practices that give me a base level of gratitude. In a chaotic world, I’m moving along just fine.


Pretty Sister – New Fire (feat. MarcLo)

Pretty Sister is two for two on summer smashes this year! I’m convinced this dude could write a sexy, sweaty jam with both hands tied behind his back and still deliver like no one else in the music scene. His newest is called “New Fire” and it’s a pure party starter that I can clearly picture playing in a club right on the beach with drinks in the air and any reservations or worries thrown out the window. We’re in the thick of the summer in LA and the city is always in need of a song to let loose to after days of grinding through the desert heat. Fortunately for us, Pretty Sister has that new fire and there’s plenty to go around!

We’re so fortunate to have music like this in our lives that offers such a pure feeling of release. There’s so many ways in our society to mask our stress and frustrations, whether it’s the quick hit of serotonin from a greasy cheeseburger or a night of lowered inhibitions from drinks out on the town, but nothing offers a sense of true comfort quite like music in my life experience. If I want to dance and let loose after an exciting day, I can throw on some funk; if I’m feeling down and out, I can experience catharsis through something heavier. No matter the mood and the need to contend with it, music is always there. I truly can’t overstate how beneficial and how amazing these arrays of pleasing sounds are in our lives.


10Digits – Feeling (feat. Shaqisdope, Joshua Ledet, and Jordan Alexander)

10Digits is onto something with this absolute banger of a new track called “Feeling”. It straddles so many genres while sounding totally fresh which is a major feat. His production is ace as it switches up between pop, rap, and electronic sounds that are all equally catchy and serve as the perfect backdrop for a serious collection of vocal talent. Shaqisdope is an insanely promising rapper that I’ve been following for a minute and he absolutely slays his verses with a style that is so dope it sounds effortless. Joshua Ledet and Jordan Alexander come through with beautiful, melodic sung vocals that make for a quintessential hook as their unique styles intertwine.

I’ve been feeling a lot lately – anxiety, calm, happiness, sadness, essentially the full range of emotions. It’s a blessing to be a human positioned within the vast experience having a dynamic, wholly unique experience. There’s so many outlets to avoid feelings that humans pursue, but I’ve opted to leave those behind as I’m not going to waste my time on Earth running away from the truth. The good, the bad, and the ugly should all be cherished as we only get to sustain happenings once in this lifetime.