Steve Aoki is a DJ, but he’s also so much more than that. He’s one of the most eccentric performers that we’ve ever seen. It’s not just music, it’s jumping, dancing, throwing cake at fans, jumping into ball pits, running around stage, smoke and confetti, and so much more. We were thrilled to catch his latest tour The Color of Noise when it rolled into Avant Gardner in Brooklyn this month.
I have to say, the show really delivered. It started with Australian DJ Godlands, then Global Dan and Riot Ten, and culminated with a lively performance by Timmy Trumpet and finally ended with Steve Aoki. The sold out show was packed with people having the time of their lives. Check out some of our favorite shots from the exciting show below.
If you’re a fan of lyrics that put you in your feels, then you’ve probably heard of Lauv. In celebration of his debut album dropping at midnight, Lauv hosted a #LauvLive with Spotify in New York City at National Sawdust, where he played acoustic or stripped down versions of the new songs on the album and talked about the meanings behind them. We headed to Brooklyn to catch all the action.
Everyone in line (and by everyone we mean the 200 people that were lucky enough to make it in the door) got a glowey Lauv wristband which lit up in matching colors depending on what song he was singing. The theme of the new album ~how i’m feeling~ is that no one is made up of one specific thing. There are many pieces to being a human, and many different sides and moods and personalities of each of us.
He explained that his identity is comprised of six characters that relate to a color: red is Spicy Lauv, orange is F*ckboy Lauv, yellow is Positive Lauv, green is Goofy Lauv, blue is Hopeless Romantic Lauv, and purple is Existential Lauv.
Before Lauv came onstage a few minutes past 9pm, fans could grab a drink, munch on some complimentary popcorn, and take a photo in the rainbow-themed photo booth.
The show started in orange as he walked onstage with a guitar and sang a gorgeous rendition of Canada, which led into a neon-blue singalong to Fuck I’m Lonely.
Spicy Lauv came out and the room glowed red when he sang the third song of his set, a new song called El Tejano, swaying the crowd with lyrics about getting margaritas and dancing with a lover. The space shifted to green during Billy, as Lauv told the crowd about a song he wrote about his beloved dog.
He made sure to thank not only everyone in the room multiple times, but all the people that were watching the livestream from their respective countries. Lauv said he had been waiting for this moment (of his debut album release) for so long that he had a lot of emotions processing at once, but that he was so excited for everyone to hear the album.
The crowd came together in a chorus as he ended with acoustic versions of his hits I Like Me Better and Modern Loneliness, following up lines like “To be young and in love in New York City” with “Love my friends to death, but I never call and I never text.”
Lauv, also known by his real name Ari, has been very vocal about his own mental health issues and the importance of de-stigmatizing and normalizing it. He started the Blue Boy Foundation, and has a telephone-booth-like blue box at all of his shows, called My Blue Thoughts, where you can type or record a message about how you’re feeling and share it with other Lauv fans around the world.
The room became a shimmery rainbow as he gave a final bow and left the stage, representing all the pieces of him coming together for his debut album.
I was already a Lauv fan before this show, but this deepened my love for his music and respect for him as an artist. You can watch the livestream in full right here. The new album is out now, so make sure you stream Lauv’s new album ~how i’m feeling~ and let us know your favorites!
Trading lectures and lessons for studio recording sessions, singer/songwriter Dhruv elaborates on the life of a college student– who happens to have a single with 500k streams, and all without any industry help. If you know anything about music, you know that it is extremely hard to promote an artist without even a little help, but Dhruv’s talent proves otherwise. His first single, ‘‘double take’’ was released in May 2019 and has since amassed over 500,000 streams alone. As a student, he plans on making his way into the music industry, one way or the other.
Now, we are not here to talk about how well he seems to be doing in school. We want to know if his music is any good! I was lucky enough to get the chance to hear his unreleased track ‘‘Moonlight’’ which is set to be released today, February 21st. The song depicts the naivety and simplicity of a relationship, and it is so well-written musically and lyrically that you’ll be falling in love with it too.
Growing up queer in Singapore, dhruv spoke about the difficulties navigating his identity in a place that was not nearly as progressive. ‘‘Lyrically, it is about pining for something that seems as if it only existed in movies. I wanted to write something intoxicating and beautiful like the love we see on the big screen, something I never got to experience in real-life, I only learnt about love as I saw it in pop-culture/movies/books,etc.’’ There are lines in the song that give examples, ‘‘poetry and hand-picked flowers, say you’ll meet me at the altar’’ and ‘‘true love, kinda hoped it would feel like a rom-com’’ that directly represents the movie kind of love that I searched for.
Dhruv sends his love to his fans, and apologizes for the long wait. He made sure to only release what he felt was ready to be heard. Be on the lookout for more of Dhruv and stream Moonlight on all platforms today!
This past weekend was Valentine’s Day, and the perfect time for an acoustic show by three top country artists: Ryan Hurd, Walker Hayes, and Rodney Atkins. I had the pleasure of spending the pre-show with Walker, taking some portraits and goofing off backstage.
The sold-out event was held at Viejas Casino in San Diego. Check out the gallery below for my favorite shots from the show.
Overcoats came to Webster Hall in NYC on February 4th, 2020 and brought all the amazing harmonies (and some awesome dance moves). If you haven’t heard of them yet, add them to the top of your listen to next list. You can check out all the shots from the show below.
We’re big fans of funky throwback pop records and up-and-coming NYC-based musicians, and Keep in Touch is a trio that fits the bill. With their uber-catchy beats and contemporary flare, they’re hoping to be next big thing in music. We caught up with the boys in Ray’s Harlem apartment for some behind-the-scenes shots of their jam session, and asked them a few questions.
How did you guys first meet?
“We met at through the rock climbing community that we’re a part of, we both new of each others musical endeavors and wanted to collab, kinda right away.” -Ray
“After we jammed a couple of times we really realized our overall vibe and tastes in music were very aligned.” -Nate
How’d you come up with your name?
“I had a song called “Keep in Touch,” with the last band I was in All Types of Kinds, and someone from BMG heard the song and thought it was a better band name than the current one the band had, so I’m taking their advice.” -Ray
What would you say is the genre/vibe of the band?
“When we first started making music together, we learned we both share a love for 70’s disco/funk music, as well as what’s happening with modern synth-based pop and R&B. So our goal throughout this whole project has been pretty simple, to make music that people can either dance to or make love to. As long as people are dancing, we know we’re doing something right.” -Nate
Talk about the recording process, what’s it been like?
“We’ve never recorded music at this caliber, we commute up to Connecticut currently from the city to work with this producer Mike Rogers, who’s really developing us into true studio musicians. We now spend hours working on the smallest details on any given track, which has helped us fully realize the concepts of these songs. His studio is in this little restored barn a 30 second walk from the Appalachian trail, which is a stark contrast from NYC and with both of us loving the outdoors its pretty rad. ” -Ray
Challenges getting the band up and running?
“Overall, making this music has been an incredibly seamless process. When it comes to lyrics/arrangement Ray and I have tons of ideas to work with. One major challenge though has been figuring out how to play these songs in a live setting. Because we’ve been working so much in the studio, most of our songs have more parts to play than we can accomplish with a few of us! Luckily we’ve met some fantastic musicians who want to support our sound in a live setting.” -Nate
Favorite song you’ve written/recorded?
“The one we’re currently working on in the studio now, actually! It’s one that has felt special since the first day we started working on it. It’s a bop.” -Nate
When can we expect to hear your first single?
“Sometime in spring 2020.” -Ray
We can confirm their first song is a bop, and we can’t wait to share it with you when it drops. Definitely put these guys on your radar if you haven’t yet! Go check them out on Instagram at @keptintouch. And for more pictures of the boys and tons of other musicians, check out the Crowdsurfer Instagram @crowdsurfermag.