Kyle Dion Radiates With Confidence In “Spend It”

Singer-songwriter Kyle Dion is on a true hot streak. The Florida-born, Los Angeles-based artist has racked up wins all year long with tunes like “Brown” and “Cool Side Of The Pillow,” as well as a few shows in Europe with PARTYNEXTDOOR. His unmistakeable soul and suave gleams through his effortless falsetto, leaving fans in awe of his sheer talent.

As the latest preview of his forthcoming debut album, Kyle returns to our site today with a new single titled “Spend It.” Kyle’s new single radiates with a blend of seduction and confidence featuring production from ROMderful and Mars Today. Kyle captures the beauty of a sunset with a steady groove, fit for any late night occasion.

Stream “Spend It” below.

Advertisements

Guest Mix 003: Namesake.

With his eclectic and charming style, Namesake. is one of the most exciting names in the current wave of electronic music. The Kansas City producer draws inspiration from the likes of Timbaland and Monte Booker, weaving together a wide array of sounds to craft his “happy bop” music. A truly infectious and refreshing energy permeates throughout tracks like “Vroom Vroom” with pinkcaravan! and Sam Stan, as well as “show goes on” with patches.

While he adds the finishing touches to his new EP, I had the chance to chat with Namesake. about his musical roots, touring with Xavier Omär, and his plans for the future. Press play on the guest mix and read our conversation below.

For those that may or may not be familiar, who is Namesake.?

I’m a producer from Kansas City, Missouri who wants to share his perspective on music with as many people as possible.

What’s the story behind your name?

I came up with Namesake. as homage to my father, who I’m named after, and his influence on convincing me to give production a try when I was a teenager. He would refer to me as “his namesake” from time to time growing up, but I never adopted that moniker until just over a year ago.

How did you get into music? Is it something that runs in your family?

I was really into beats opposed to the lyrics as a kid. I think my dad noticed that. My family isn’t really that musically inclined, but my father DJ’d for a couple years in college. I became interested in these old records he kept from that time in his life. My siblings and I all were in school band at one point, too.

Was there a moment when you realized music was something you wanted to pursue as a career?

Music production was a career I always wanted to pursue. I didn’t think was very practical, so I just kept it as a sometimes money making hobby for a really long time. Going on tour with pinkcaravan! and opening for Xavier Omär gave me the opportunity to give it a real shot.

In three words, how would you describe your sound?

The sound that has been breaking through for me is this happy bop sound right now. Really that came about by experimenting with synths and trying to do something unique with hip-hop production.

From her a very sad birthday EP a while back to your debut single “Vroom Vroom” (one of my favorite tracks by the way!!) you’ve done a lot of work with pinkcaravan!—when did you two link up?

pinkcaravan! and I linked up in early 2017. She was looking for a producer to work on a very sad happy birthday. She already had the title and concept down. I sent her a rough draft of something I thought would fit the same night. We finished the project in a month and developed a strong working relationship from there.

You both had the opportunity to tour Xavier Omär. Can you talk about how that came together? What was the experience like and do you have a favorite memory from the tour?

The internet is cool cause you can have friends you’ve never met but will look out for you. Xavier and I connected like 6 years ago after I remixed one of his songs for fun. We loosely stayed in touch over that time and he became a fan of my work with pinkcaravan!. That led to the opportunity for us to open for him on tour. It was great to perform with pinkcaravan! consistently for the first time and learn to interact with the crowd as a DJ during my own sets. My favorite tour memory is actually our day off in San Diego. It’s simply a beautiful place and I just fell in love with the scenery.

What do you want fans to take away from your music?

I want fans to enjoy the music above all, but also appreciate what makes the music I produce unique from something else they might also enjoy.

Any dream collaborations?

I want to work with every artist I think is dope and could be a star one day. My EP I’m working on is the start of that process. I really enjoying cultivating a sound with an artist, so I’m looking for more opportunities to do that soon.

What advice do you have for the aspiring artists out there?

Your dreams are worth a shot. Even if it’s not practical at one point. Your path might not be laid out for you as if you were pursuing something else, but if you’re intentional about your goals you’ll see progress.

What’s next for you?

I’ve been working hard on pinkcaravan!’s project and my own project, both coming soon. Outside of that I’ve produced for a couple other artists’ albums coming this summer. I want to DJ more as well. I’m falling in love with that side of the craft more and more.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I would show a friend of mine a lot of dope remixes on SoundCloud of popular songs I enjoyed and he would say “Why don’t you make the original sound as cool as the remix?” I try to approach my production with that unique perspective in mind now. This mix highlights a ton of cool edits and remixes that inspire my original productions.


Keep up with Namesake. on SoundCloud, Twitter, and Instagram.

DUCKWRTH Is Back With A Bang In “Fall Back”

DUCKWRTH is a true ball of energy that’s not afraid to embrace his individuality with open arms. Raised by the streets of South Central Los Angeles, DUCKWRTH bounces between funk-filled grooves, clever raps, and head-thrashing punk while also exploring his love for fashion and design. The W&V alumni took another leap forward in his sound with an XTRA UUGLY mixtape late last year, especially with highlights “THROWYOASSOUT” and “TAMAGOTCHI,” while also joining What So Not on his national tour.

DUCKWRTH is back on our pages today with “Fall Back,” his latest single and the first taste of his new Falling Man album slated for later this year. His rockstar confidence is paired with high-octane production from Two Fresh that’s sure to have you moshing in your living room. DUCK also teamed up with Vevo DSCVR to bring the track to life with Kingjet of Two Fresh and Anthony Dragons, delivering a truly incredible performance with a special switch-up at the end.

Check out the video and the dates from his upcoming headlining tour below.

duckwrth-falling-man-tour.jpg

Soulection Debuts Black Label Series With Soulful Trio Hablot Brown

While their origins can be found in the streets of Los Angeles, the Soulection empire has spent nearly a decade curating the sound of tomorrow across the globe. Their radio show has evolved into a unique live experience with and full-fledged tours for their ever-growing roster of talent. Soulection has also built their reputation greatly due to a stream of original releases known as the White Label Series, highlighting artists from j.robb and Jared Jackson to Tom Misch and Monte Booker.

Last week, Soulection unveiled the complementary Black Label Series, which will focus on vocalists and rappers instead of the traditional producers route found in the White Label. The first installment spotlights Hablot Brown, a Los Angeles-based trio with an impeccable soul and charm. Their five-track cruise serves as a sweet ride for fans both old and new, topped off with features from Maths Time JoyESTA., and Gabrielle Current. Their truly infectious sound has us hooked and excited for more to come.

Check out the first Black Label with Hablot Brown below, as well as the dates for the upcoming Soulection TSOT Tour. Tickets available via Soulection’s website.

soulection-na-tour.jpg

Maesu Goes On A Woozy Joyride In “Late Nite News” Video

I first came across Maesu‘s music last year when he dropped “Left You,” a sleek tune produced by Koyö that highlights his crisp skills with the pen. The Los Angeles artist would soon follow up on the single with his deSerVe EP, a seven-track journey featuring standouts “OG” and “Aquimini.”

Maesu makes his debut on our pages today with the official video for “Late Nite News.” The KINGBNJMN-produced song is brought to life by director Trent Barboza, pinning Maesu in a strange loop after falling into the wrong hands leaving the diner. Maesu embarks on an eerie joyride that continues to spiral throughout. With another leap forward in his sound, we’re excited to see what Maesu has in store for the rest of the year.

Check out the video below.

Sam Stan’s Happy Raps Come To Life In “Outta My League” Video

With catchy tracks like “Same Ol Stan” and “Das Boo” under his belt, Sam Stan is an exciting voice from Broward, Florida known for his “happy raps” movement. His versatile flow is often laced with twinkling production from the likes of Namesake. and Kaleb Mitchell, sure to have you hooked on his uplifting energy.

On the heels of his Happy Hour EP, Sam is keeping his hotstreak alive and well with his new video for “Outta My League.” Sam links up with fellow Floridian Lukeem over bouncy production from Malveaux, detailing what it’s like to land the girl of his daydreams. Director Adam Rioux follows Sam around 29 82 In The Swamp, a local smoothie and breakfast spot, as he drifts between slanging drinks and spilling verses. With more happy raps on the way, Sam’s latest video is the perfect way to start your week.

Innanet James Returns From Hiatus With “Bag” Video

It’s been nearly two years since Innanet James broken into the scene with “Summer,” an upbeat and funky anthem that highlights his punchy flow and refreshing energy. The Silver Spring, Maryland emcee kept the momentum going with his debut project titled Quebec Placefurther pushing the limits of his clever pen.

Fresh off hiatus, Innanet James is back with a brand new single titled “Bag.” His first release as part of the Rostrum Records family showcases will also be featured as part of the official NFL MADDEN ’19 soundtrack. Smooth production with a bossa-nova flair from Lawrence Mace serves as the perfect foundation for his explosive flexing throughout the track.  With his refined confidence, we’re excited to see what else Innanet James has planned for the near future.

Check out the Riley Robbins-directed video for “Bag” below.

P-Lo Continues Takeover With New Album ‘Prime’

Around this time last year, P-Lo dove into the summer with his debut album More Than Anything, a snapshot of his life boasting features from many Bay Area contemporaries including G-EazyE-40, and Rexx Life Raj. In addition to recent collabs with the likes of blackbear and YMTK, the seasoned Pinole, California emcee has maintained his streak with a slew of wavy singles including “same squad” and “woke.”

P-Lo returns to our pages today with his sophomore album aptly titled Prime. Flaunting catchy verses over bouncy production from himself, Cal-A, and Senojnayr, P-Lo truly excels throughout. One of the standout tracks from the project “crystal” finds P-Lo trading verses with Slimmy B and DaBoii of rising rap quartet SOB X RBE, sure to find its way to any poolside party or late night function.

Stream Prime below and catch him in your city on the Endless Summer Tour.

endless_summer-ig-approved-fix

Brent Faiyaz Debuts Visuals For “Gang Over Luv”

From his powerful solo work to his equally mesmerizing efforts as the frontman of Sonder (alongside producers Dpat and Atu), Brent Faiyaz is one of the most exciting voices in the current music scene. His prime songwriting and tender soul is channeled by a delicate falsetto, culminating in a timeless sound. Late last year, Brent unveiled his debut album Sonder Son, bridging both his projects together with a vivid snapshot of his life.

Today, Brent unveiled the first set of visuals from the album for the fan favorite “Gang Over Luv.” As director and close collaborator Noah Lee follows Brent roaming the streets, the track reminds us of the strength of having the right crew that’ll stay by your side on the rollercoaster of life. A soon-to-be crashed plane stands as an ode to the phoenix life cycle of our hopes and dreams—the ending might not be glamorous, but we always find a way to get back on our feet.

Check out the video for “Gang Over Luv” below and his new limited edition merch at his website.

Brent also teamed up with Tidal for “Voice of the Underground,” a documentary by Jack Dalton giving us a glimpse of the Sonder Son Tour.

Guest Mix 002: Dexter Offer

Dexter Offer is all about the community. The recent college graduate founded PLNT Magazine last year as his “field guide to culture through nature,” spotlighting creatives in the local scene and around the world. His newly-launched PLNT Journal also provides fans with more nature-centric content to enjoy between issues of the magazine, including event recaps and more recommendations for new and avid plant fans alike.

In celebration of the 2018 World Cup, Dexter has also collaborated with Park Owls FC to create a special PLNT jersey and zine. The Nature of Football installation runs through July 15 at Coffee & Tea Collective in North Park, with limited quantities of both available for purchase.

I chopped it up with Dexter on the origins of PLNT Mag, growing up in the digital age, and his plans for the future. Check out the Dexter’s guest mix and interview below!

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Dexter Offer. I’m a London-born, San Diego-based creative. I run PLNT Magazine. It’s a publication about people framed around nature. It’s about giving my friends a platform to share their beautiful projects and crazy ideas.

How did we meet?

We met at Clean Slate. You were chilling with Esther [Wang] and she came by and then I went over there to check out her booth. You guys were super cool and we were printing shit on your jacket [laughs]. We were having a good time. That was a fun Sunday. I met a lot of good friends that day.

I get hella compliments about that jacket [laughs]. You talked a little bit about PLNT Magazine. Can you talk about how you got so attracted to plants and what drew you to them?

I find plants really interesting for inspiration. There’s a branch of engineering that focuses on using biology to engineer human solutions. I started looking into how nature and people are interconnected. That was kind of how using ideas and nature to explore humans came about, but I don’t know, I just feel like plants were kind of on-trend when I started it and it just felt appropriate and I fuck with plants. It was one of those things where people were really into plants and I felt like I had a lot that I could share through that world.

Do you have any favorite spots for people who want to visit more plants or any sort of greenery?

There’s this one spot I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. I’m gonna do a blog post on it because I think more people need to know about it. It’s the Self-Realization Fellowship Gardens in Encinitas. In the back, they have these mediations gardens, koi ponds, and all these tropical plants. Recently, if you keep walking down, they added a desert garden area. It’s literally a bunch of giant cacti right on the cliff face and the ocean is right there, it’s a crazy photo. That spot’s cool because it’s free. I’d recommend heading over there, especially if you’re in San Diego.

That sounds sick. I’ve been trying to find more spots honestly. It’s kinda hard.

There’s another good one called Old Cactus Garden in Balboa Park. It’s behind a building in Balboa Park—it’s been there for like 50 years—there’s like a giant cactus garden that they built and they just kind of leave them there to grow, there’s tons of them. There’s a little trail that you walk around and that one’s free as well.

Catch me peeping behind every building [laughs]. I’ll definitely check it out. How did the whole magazine come together? Who’s working on it with you and all that kind of stuff.

Me and my girlfriend have been together for a while and we both got into cacti together at the same time. Cacti are crazy because even when they die, they’re still living, they’re still thriving—a dead cactus is a thriving cactus and every time it dies, something new grows on top of it. They’re just a crazy plant and we always used to take photos of them. I had this joke with her like, “I could probably make you Instagram famous through all these cactus photos I have of you.” She didn’t believe me, so one day I made this account on the sly called The Cacti Girl and I started posting shit on it. Literally a week in it already had 1000 followers and 100 likes on every photo—at that point on I knew I was onto something. It’s super funny to hear her talk about it because I guess I fucked up and accidentally linked my Facebook to The Cacti Girl and all her friends are getting notifications like, “Dexter Offer is on Instagram as @thecactigirl” and she said she’s getting screenshots of it like, “Is Dex okay? Is he good?” [laughs].

That blew up and now it’s almost at 20,000 followers. Through that account, I’ve always wanted to launch some kind of a product and I just thought that it would be cool to create something that was telling other people’s stories, not just my story. I didn’t want to be selling t-shirts. I wanted to be doing something that was more than just selling clothing, so that’s how the magazine came about. In terms of who’s working on it, I do all the design, interviews, and writing unless it says so—unless it’s like a photo essay or a piece by someone else—and my girlfriend does all the copy editing. She basically makes sure she catches any of my mistakes because I fuck up a lot. It’s just the two of us. I get it printed here in San Diego and keep it all small runs, everything’s pretty limited.

You’ve had two volumes so far, is that right? Can you talk about what your process is behind creating each volume and what kind of growth you’ve seen between volumes?

Volume One was 40 pages, 6 by 9, it was small, almost like a pamphlet style. Volume Two was 80 pages, 11 by 8 1/2, it was like a real magazine size. In that sense, it was a real step up in terms of what we were delivering. When I released the first volume, no really knew about it. We probably had like 10 people show up to the release party. Of those 10 people, they were 10 cool ass motherfuckers—I’ll give them that—but it was super lowkey. I don’t know, I guess it’s just Instagram is a crazy tool. If you can keep consistently sharing good content on Instagram, you’re gonna have people’s ears. By the time Volume Two rolled around, we got a pretty healthy following. Our release party, we probably had like 50 to 60 people come through, we sold a lot of the gear—we had some shirts and stuff for sale.

I guess my process is kind of—there’s like a pattern that I established indirectly: I get all the content together, I start designing the layout of the magazine, and if I let myself, I’ll go through 40 different designs and just never release anything, so what I started doing is I’ll put the magazine up for pre-sale and set a hard deadline. People start buying it before I finish it, so that’s my commitment to getting it done. It puts that fire under me to actually finish the project. My customers hold me accountable, I guess.

With Volume 1 I had sold like 20 before I had even finished it. Volume 2 was meant to come out six months after Volume 1 but I kept redesigning it and I wasn’t happy with the content that I had—I felt like it was very shallow. I eventually put it up for sale and I sold maybe like 50 and that was kind of the inspiration for me to finish the project. I know it’s unconventional, but that’s kind of how I work [haha].

I feel it. You need that little push, some pressure, y’know? [laughs].

Yeah I feel like school makes me need that pressure to get anything done. It’s fucked me up, dude [laughs].

That’s hella cool man. How’d you get into graphic design and all that kind of stuff?

I’ll just say YouTube’s a crazy thing [laughs].

I think we’re in a spot were you can pretty much learn how to do anything.

Yup. You’re probably in the same spot as me where you were a child who learned how to learn from the Internet. Once you develop that tool, then you can learn anything else in the future. I feel like when we were talking about coding before this, I feel like my friends who had struggled with coding are the people who never learned to learn from the Internet. They never were out there on YouTube or out there on the Internet trying to figure out a new computer program when they were younger. That was almost like a tool that some of us developed in our generation as kids, so that makes it easier for us to learn new things now as we get older. YouTube’s awesome.

Shoutout to YouTube.

YouTube taught me Ableton, InDesign, Illustrator, how to use a camera, Lightroom, some Photoshop shit—I feel like I’m missing stuff—I used to fuck around with Serato a little bit. YouTube’s got it all. It’s just got everything.

That shit’s crazy and it’s free.

Yeah and you can make money off of it. That’s the future right there.

You mentioned Ableton and photography. You make music, too? Or not so much anymore?

I used to, yeah. For this mix, I’ll probably slip like one or two beats with something over it or something, who knows. For at least one story in the magazine, I like to put in my own photos. For both editions, I used my own photos for the covers, but that’s just because it was easiest to design with my own photos. I was mainly doing photography and freelancing, and then I stopped freelancing and I was mainly focused on school. When the PLNT Mag opportunity arose, I reworked my personal website to be the PLNT Mag website. I was already spending that money on a personal website, so it was a pretty easy tact to turn it into a business, essentially.

How long has PLNT been around for?

Since February 2017. A year and some change.

You just graduated from USD, yeah? Do you have any advice for people trying to balance projects on the side while also going to school and maybe having a job? How do you balance everything?

I definitely sympathize with you guys on the quarter system—I think it’s a lot harder on the quarter system to balance everything. For us semester folk, we have these lulls where there’s nothing really going on and I feel like I can do my personal stuff. In general, I would just say the biggest thing is we all have ideas and when you produce a final product and you give someone something they can look up or something they can physically hold, it changes the whole dynamic of what you’re doing. Just focus on production—just focus on putting something out there—and the rest will kind of follow. Don’t over commit yourself, don’t spend a bunch of money thinking your first idea is gonna be the hit. If you’re making t-shirts, only make 25. Keep it all small and experiment in a controlled space so you’re not losing all your money and you don’t get super stressed out about it. That’s kind of how I work.

Sounds good man. This business shit is hard.

Yeah. I’d say just spend as little money as possible at first.

What do you want people to take away from PLNT Mag? What is your goal?

I just want people to become hungry to learn about local artists—not even just local artists, but smaller name artists who are doing big things. We all have those household names that we all know and fuck with, but there’s people in your community who are crazy talented individuals. In the global world it becomes really easy to forget about those people, so I’d like to give them a platform and hope that our readers can support those individuals that we feature in the magazine.

Speaking of local artists, I was checking out your Instagram and I noticed you guys do collab with a lot of local people. One thing I saw was Aloha Beach Club—can you talk about them a little bit?

Those are the homies. Billy [Wickens] and Kahana [Kalama], who run Aloha, they were at Volume 1 Release, they were chilling there. It’s a big thing to me because I really look up to those guys—they don’t really know that—we’re very cordial, but we don’t really know each other amazingly, y’know? I really admire what they’re doing. They’re big support for a lot of local people around here. They’re awesome. That’s goals, y’know? They have a studio in the back of their shop and they let a lot of artists come in there. I know some artists that have a studio back there so I’m always working late nights in Aloha. They’re all about it and supporting these individuals.

You got to do the Coachella pop-up with them?

Yeah so essentially I threw them a bunch of magazines to take out to Coachella last year. I guess it’s one of those things where I could be really good homies with them, but because of school it became really hard for me to go do the bonding events that would happen. Last year’s Coachella, they invited me to work it, but I had finals right at that same time. This year, they had this vacation thing they do, but I had finals at the same time. It’s like, “Eventually I’ll get out there, but I can’t right now.” I think Kahana literally just posted, “San Diego artists, do any of you guys want us to take your products to Coachella?” I just hit him on his personal Instagram and just dropped off some PLNT mags at his shop.

There’s also another side of it to push to anyone trying to start their own thing: once you get it out there, you want the content of it. I had my friend who’s a photographer that works really closely with Aloha Beach Club—he shoots film, so I paid him for all the film that he shot and he shot a whole bunch of Coachella and wrote a little story and I put it up there on the blog. That also means we have content for Instagram and stuff, too. You gotta feed another artist to get your shit somewhere else.

How’d you link up with the guys at Coffee & Tea?

I’m really good friends with the people at Field Guide, which is a creative firm in North Park, San Diego. They curate the vibe of the North Park Coffee & Tea, they handle who’s coming in and all that stuff. It had been empty in there for a while and Stephen [Freese], the owner, had been talking about getting a bunch of plants. Through Field Guide, they gave me the connection to Stephen and we just started talking about what a potential release would look like. He was stoked about getting art up on the walls and some plants in there. It all just kinda came together. Stephen at C&T is super cool. Me and him became really good friends because we had some late nights setting up and going crazy in there. I think the night before the release, me and him were in C&T until 4 in the morning setting shit up. When you’re doing any kind of installation or anything, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Always start a day ahead of time and know that you’re not gonna have everything together.

What’s next in store for PLNT Mag?

Volume 3 will be coming towards the end of the summer and then just consistently gonna be putting out stories on the blog, just tryna keep content that’s in-between each issue, keep giving people more stories and sharing more plant locations.

Is there anything else you want to add?

Follow your dreams. Keep working hard and put stuff out there. Creation is key, production is key.