Izzy Bizu – Give Me Love

Yes! I’m super excited to see that Izzy is finally starting to receive the recognition that she deserves. Today, her video for “Give Me Love” was premiered by The Fader. If you happen to be across the pond in London, head over to London Fields Brewhouse on Thursday, September 24, 2015 for her debut headline appearance. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Creative Consultant, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies such as Cornerstone Agency, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe.

VEVO DSCVR Presents: Alessia Cara

Here at A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, we’re all about supporting emerging artists while providing them with a platform for their music to be discovered. VEVO DSCVR is a music incubator just for this. This time around, VEVO DSCVR brings to us EP Entertainment/Def Jam’s own 19 year-old songstress, Alessia Cara. “All you really need is a love for what you do, and the ambition to do it” says Alessia in the short description of her Facebook Fan Page. Alessia is once again another artist who embodies the philosophy of what it takes to have “A Lovers Ambition.”

Sit back, relax, and watch Alessia perform her debut single, “Here” off of her forthcoming EP, “Four Pink Walls” which is due out later this month on August 28th.

– Enjoy!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Creative Consultant, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies such as Cornerstone Agency, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe.

Alessia Cara’s “Four Pink Walls” EP (8/28)

I initially came across Alessia Cara about a month ago when I heard her debut single, “Here” on Beats 1 Radio. As soon as I heard the record, I instantly tagged it to add to my personal playlist. Other than the Isaac Hayes “Ikes Rap II” sample which was also used by Portishead and stems from the Wallace Collection’s “Daydream”, there was something about this record that reminded me of something that I heard in the past. At the moment, I just couldn’t put a finger on it. Now I know. “Here” reminds me of a record that was released about 6 years ago by an artist named Portia Monique entitled “Get To Know You.” It has a similar soulful feel and vibe to it which I love!

When I found out that Alessia Cara was signed to Def Jam, I reached out to a friend of mine who told me that they were very excited to have her as an addition to their roster. I myself am eager to hear more. On August 28, Alessia will be releasing her debut EP, “Four Pink Walls.”

Stay tuned for more!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Creative Consultant, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies such as Cornerstone Agency, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe.

Lianne La Havas – Unstoppable

I’ve been following Lianne La Havas for a few years now since the release of her debut project, “Is Your Love Big Enough” back in 2012. Although I missed her performance at Afropunk last summer, as well as her set at Central Park SummerStage in 2013,  I still have loads of love for her!

I remember when I first came across the artwork for her soon to be released sophomore album “Blood.” This was a few months ago while I was browsing through Pinterest. I liked the artwork so much that I had to post it on my Instagram account. When I found out that her lead single was “Unstoppable”, I made time to check the track out as well. After giving it a listen, I added it to my on-air rotation for a radio show that I co-host on Sunday evenings at Rutgers University.

Up until yesterday, I was yet to hear her song being played by anyone other than myself. It was Julie Adenuga over at Beats 1 who played “Unstoppable” yesterday afternoon that prompted me to revisit what Lianne had going on. Eventually, this led me to her video that was recently released. Granted…the video was released 2 months ago, but true artistry and quality music is timeless…enjoy!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Creative Consultant, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies such as Cornerstone Agency, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and consumers. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe.

New Americana x American Apparel?

Just a little while ago, I was listening to Julie Adenuga on Beats 1. I was really diggin’ her set as she played a few records that I have in my own rotation such as “Girl” by The Internet and “Unstoppable” by Lianne La Havas. A few spins later, I happened to hear a tune by the name of “New Americana.” When I first heard it, I thought to myself: “This sounds like it would be a perfect record for an American Apparel campaign.” It’s edgy, honest, and full of adolescent rage. On my first listen, I knew that it was just a bad a** record!

Without checking for any credentials, I initially thought that it was a new release from Lorde. I was soon proven wrong. After checking my phone, I found out that “New Americana” is actually from an artist by the name of Halsey who hails from my current state of residence…New Jersey. Although she’s from NJ, she actually identifies closely with New York…Brooklyn to be exact. At only 20 years of age, Halsey is already signed to Astralwerks and her debut album, “Badlands” is due out next month.

For more on the talented and burgeoning singer/songwriter, check out Fuse TV’s in depth interview HERE! American Apparel, I’m telling you now…if you’re looking to align and collaborate with any emerging artists for any future campaigns, I would definitely put my money on Halsey. She seems like a great fit for your brands sonic identity. If done right, this can definitely be a win-win!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Creative Consultant, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies such as Cornerstone Agency, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and consumers. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe.

Khary Durgans – Hold Up (Love + Anchors)

I should have made this post 8 months ago. November 11, 2014 to be exact. Why? That’s the day after I attended Khary Durgans listening party in the city for the release of his “Swim Team EP.” My favorite track is “Hold Up”…hands down! If you had the pleasure of being amongst the crowd that evening you would know exactly what I mean. As soon as this track dropped the entire room was filled with energy. This was the one. I just felt it. I even overheard some guys next to me who agreed. Now it’s your turn. Give it play…see exactly what I mean!

Background Story

I was initially introduced to Khary’s music through a friend of mine named Whitney. This was a few months after he released his debut project entitled, “Love + Anchors.” I must of listened to this project 10 times! I was an instant fan. He embodies many of the qualities that I look for when identifying talent to work with. He’s authentic, true to himself, and embraces his own journey. He selflessly shares his story in regards to growing up in Rhode Island and moving to Brooklyn, NY. Not afraid to bare it all, he spits about what a lot of other MC’s fear to discuss. Real life sh*t! Employment, friends, foes, relationships, school, women, parents, and his mission to pursue his own dreams and aspirations. Khary is the definition of #ALOVERSAmbition – The type of artist who is determined to succeed at exactly what they love to do in life!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Creative Consultant, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies such as Cornerstone Agency, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and consumers. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe.

Why Did Doug Choose Sony Over Apple?

In 2011, Doug Morris made the decision to depart as the Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group for various reasons. Under the mentorship and guidance of Doug was his successor, Lucian Grainge. Lucian was appointed as the Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group in March of 2011. When Doug spoke at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School in 2013, he mentioned that he was met with two job opportunities when making the decision to leave UMG. One offer was from Sir Howard Stringer, who at the time was the Chairman and CEO at Sony Corporation. Another offer was from a guy over at Apple by the name of Steve Jobs.

Steve wanted to bring Doug on board to open up a “Digital Record Company.” By the look of things today, it may have been Apple Music. Instead, Doug made the decision to become CEO over at Sony Music Entertainment. Steve was not very pleased. At the time, many people may have thought, why would Doug choose Sony over Apple? However, here is the part that I particular find to be very interesting. One of Doug’s very close friends is Jimmy Iovine. For those of you who may not know, Jimmy Iovine is a long-term record man and former chairman of Universal Music Group’s Interscope, Geffen, and A&M records division. He’s also the co-founder of Beats by Dre which was acquired by Apple last year. Jimmy is now an important part of the Apple team. Although his exact title is yet to be disclosed, we do know that he occupies an important space in a very influential capacity.

I would be curious to know:

  • What role did Doug play in any of the “behind closed door” conversations between Apple, Beats, and Jimmy Iovine?
  • Was Doug aware of Apple’s interest in purchasing Beats?
  • How likely is it that Doug may decide to make a move over to Apple Music?

These are all questions that I find to be quite intriguing. I guess we’ll see what the future has in store!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Creative Consultant, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies such as Cornerstone Agency, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and consumers. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and raise awareness to help uplift the condition of humanity.

Midem “Visionary Talk” With Doug Morris

In 2008, I was an intern for a wonderful woman by the name of Elise Wright. She was the SVP of Urban Music at Universal Republic. At the time, Doug Morris was the CEO at Universal Music Group. It just so happened that his office was in the same building that I interned in on 1755 Broadway in midtown Manhattan. One afternoon, Monte Lipman’s assistant asked me if I could bring lunch downstairs to Doug Morris’ office. As soon as I was gifted with the task of doing so, I knew that I had to handle this particular package with care. As ambitious as I am, I was delighted to make the delivery. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Doug in person. Had we met, it may have led to a very interesting chain of events.

Flash forward 7 years. Doug Morris is now the CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. Doug was recently invited to speak at Midem in Cannes, France. In his keynote speech entitled “Visionary Talk,” Doug shares a plethora of insight that he has gained throughout his 50+ years of experience in the music industry. Throughout the interview, he praises his fellow industry icons and pioneers. These names include, Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Wexler, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Iovine, Suge Knight, L.A. Reid, and Steve Jobs.

Doug on The Impact of Urban Music

A few interesting stories that Doug shares includes his first encounter with rap music. The first group that he signed was 2 Live Crew. Shortly after, Jimmy Iovine was responsible for introducing Doug to Suge Knight. This meeting would eventually lead to Interscope signing Death Row Records which Doug mentions as an “Incredible moment.” Doug also goes on to mention that his strategy at Universal was to fill it with urban music. “I don’t think a record company can really be successful without urban music” says Doug. “We had Death Row, Def Jam, and Cash Money. Just with those three companies, we probably had 40-45% of all the urban music in America.”

Doug on The Importance of A&R + Content

When asked about the importance of content and distribution, Doug mentions, “If you don’t have a hit you have nothing. We’re all slaves to the brilliant people who are in touch with the culture and can spot an artist. The people who can spot a record that’s going to be important, that’s where we invest our money, in these people.” Although the people and titles may vary, the process of identifying and developing talent at an early stage is what we call A&R. To this day, I consider A&R to be at the pinnacle of necessity in regards to the future expansion and growth of our entertainment and music industries.

Words of Wisdom From Doug Morris

On Leadership – Doug has a philosophy that it’s important to be nice and treat people with respect. It’s important to make the people that work for you feel great. It’s important to make them know that you appreciate what they do. When Doug was coming up, people would degrade others and make them feel bad. Doug runs his companies based on mutual respect and loyalty. This is the culture that he believes in.

On Identifying Your Talent – Find what you’re good at. Some people are good as recording engineers. Some people are good at publishing. Some people are able to identify great artists. You have to look at what you think your strength is. Don’t listen to the naysayers. It’s your life, live it. Don’t be afraid of anything. When you’re doing something that you love, it’s fun. When something is fun, you actually get good at it. Do what’s fun. Do what you love going to work for.

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Creative Consultant, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies such as Cornerstone Agency, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and consumers. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe.

The Plastic Age (Feat. Pharrell)

A few days ago I happened to stumble upon a documentary featuring Pharrell entitled, The Plastic Age. It was released on i-D magazine’s youtube channel back in April and produced by AllDAYEVERYDAY. It was a very interesting watch as it shared a lot of insight into the impact that plastic has on our planet. “In the 1950’s and 60’s, plastic was heavily marketed to consumers as a time saving device and matter of convenience” says Anna Cummins of 5 Gyres Institute. Today, it is estimated that we make 288 million tons of plastic annually. This is more than 1 BILLION TONS every 4 years! So what happens when this plastic escapes or does not make it into our waste management system? Where does all of this plastic end up?

In the Pacific Ocean exists a “Great Pacific Patch” which is approximately 1500 nautical miles from shore. It was discovered by Captain Charles Moore in 1997. This is where anything that we throw into the ocean that floats eventually ends up. Captain Paul Watson, Founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society mentions, “We live in the most highly educated society that has ever evolved on this planet, everybody knows…the real problem is getting everyone to care.” His estimate of the number of plastic in our oceans is around 700 million tons. It’s important for us to think about what we use and how we discard it. Think about this, when we utilize plastic that is not properly discarded, it makes it’s way into our oceans. Shortly after, it is consumed by fish. Eventually it makes it’s way back up our food chain to be consumed by us humans. “The chemicals that are in plastic make their way up the food chain and now they are in us because we’re eating those fish” says Kahi Pacarro of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

So, what is the solution? Well, no one person can solve it. However, Parley for the Oceans unites partners in all categories of industries to develop new ways of doing business to protect our oceans. In an effort to address the issue of plastic in the ocean, Bionic Yarn helps to turn low-grade plastic into high-profile material. Tim Coombs, Co-Founder of Bionic Yarn shares the process of how it works. “Bionic Yarn is a yarn spinning process that takes recycled plastic bottles and turns them into a high-quality yarn and fabric. A plastic bottle is shredded into flakes, melted, extruded into fibers, spinned into yarn, and helixed into another fiber like cotton to create another surface over the recycled plastic.” “Everything has a purpose, even trash” says Tyson Toussant, Co-Founder of Bionic Yarn, “We should be accountable for everything. The basic idea is to synchronize the economy and the environment by pulling out the plastic from the ocean, keeping it on land, and making it into products for us to use.”

RAW for the Oceans by G-Star is a collection of products to make the world’s first denim from recycled ocean plastic. RAW for the Oceans by G-Star is where science, activism, and fashion intersect. “Innovation comes from a lot of different people working together” says Shubhankar Ray Global Brand Director at G-Star RAW. The idea of RAW for the Oceans by G-Star is to establish a new mindset within the fashion industry and inspire other segments of business and economy to follow these models. Captain Paul Watson sums it up best, “The strength of an eco-system is in diversity. The strength of any movement must also lie in diversity. All social revolutions in history have been carried out by passionate individuals who discover, build, and ideate. There are ways of solving these problems if we can harness our imagination to find solutions through everybody’s particular love.”

What do you love? #ALOVERSAmbition

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers centered around love. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

Trust Yourself…Do What Matters!

Björk-Vulnicura-Inez-and-Vinoodh(Björk, one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2015.”)

 

Björk was recently honored by Time magazine as one of The 100 Most Influential People of 2015. In her interview she mentions, “If you are really true to yourself and really follow your intuition in the most rigorous way, there is a moment that becomes universal, that reaches everybody.” I find this to be such a profound statement. It also happens to be a re-occurring theme in my life at the moment. Just a few weeks ago, both myself and a good friend of mine discussed the importance of staying true to ourselves. I shared with him one of my favorite quotes, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” Does this sound familiar? It is argued as to whether it originally stems from Bernard Baruch, Mark Young, or Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel. Let’s leave that for the experts to debate.

I told my friend that when we are true to ourselves and do the things that matter, we attract the people that we matter the most to. On the contrary, when we do things to merely gain the attention of others, we tend to gain the attention of those who see us for someone who we truly are not. When we begin to gain attention from things and people who may not be in alignment with our best interests, we fall victim to the attention that we receive as opposed to what we receive it for. When we do things that matter, not only are we at our best, we are also able to give our best to the world around us. Laurieann Gibson who is best known for her work with Diddy, Nicki Minaj, and Lady Gaga may have said it best, “Be humble and let your gift slice through everything else in the atmosphere.”

I believe that it’s time for us to start giving our best. Within following our intuition and doing what matters exists a certain level of courage and fortitude. It takes a lot to step up and speak out. Whether it’s mentally, physically, or both. It’s time that we become as breathtakingly true to ourselves as we can possibly be. We owe this much to both ourselves and the greater world at large. Be great, be proud, do what’s different, do what matters!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Creative Consultant, Educator, and Music Publisher. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies such as Cornerstone Agency, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and consumers. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe.

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