Rainy Milo – You And I

Rainy-Milo

Photo via Alchetron.

It’s been over 3 years since we’ve heard from London’s own Rainy Milo. Thankfully, she’s back with her latest project, “I Knew I Had A Heart (Because I Felt It Breaking)” which was released on Friday, April 7, 2017.

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The first time we came across Rainy was in January of 2014. We were introduced to Rainy thanks to Ashley Outrageous after Rainy released the super soulful and jazz infused, “‘Bout You.” Since then, Rainy has remained on our radar.

We checked out “I Knew I Had A Heart” in it’s entirety on Soundcloud this past weekend. We were instantly intrigued by the last track entitled, “You And I.” “You And I” was written by Rainy Milo, Taurean Roye and Trackademicks. Trackademicks is also credited for production on the record. Vocal production, mixing, mastering and engineering are all thanks to Daje.

What catches our ear the most about “You And I” are the melodic chord changes and overall summer time vibe. We hope you enjoy the tune and please be sure to check out her entire project!

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A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is a brand development agency that specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. With an emphasis on culture and lifestyle, the primary focus of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is to help companies adapt to culture and build value between brands and their consumers centered around love. Our social mission is to leverage the influence of popular culture to create social change and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership. We are driven by AMBITION, fueled by PASSION, inspired by INNOVATION, and suckers for STRATEGY!

What Do We Look For In Emerging Artists?

artists-on-rise

Photo via FACT Magazine.

Back on November 24, 2015, I had the honor of being interviewed by one of my favorite new music discovery platforms, fanum.fm. When asked the question, “What characteristics or qualities do I find attractive in new and emerging artists?” I answered as follows:

When I was an A&R and music publisher, I was often asked: “What do I look for in emerging artists?” As strange as it may sound, this was never a simple question for me. In fact, I was always looking for better ways to explain what catches my attention. Even today, when it comes to discovering new and emerging talent, there are a few elements that I find myself…well…a “sucker for” — here they are!

1. Production Quality (Songs)

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Photo via GrungeCake.

My introduction into the world of recorded music came through producing and writing songs alongside a very good friend of mine. We were HUGE fans of The Neptunes and were always intrigued by the quality of their production and how they worked with a wide variety of artists. When it comes to identifying artists who catch my attention, I’m very production driven.

Here are a few attributes which I tend to look for:

  • Good selection of sounds (electronic, live, sampled, etc).
  • Catchy melodies and chord progressions.
  • Clear and audible vocals.
  • Interesting vocal and/or instrumental arrangements.
  • Thoughtful lyrics and storytelling.

In October of 2015, I was talking to one of my friends in the lobby of my apartment building. A few minutes into our conversation, I heard an ear-catching melody underneath some foreign female vocals. I immediately had to pause the conversation to find out exactly what song was being played. Thanks to Shazam, I discovered it was “Come” by Jain – a singer/songwriter from France. Due to the flavor and quality of her production, I was positively exposed to her music. As a result, I continue to follow her work as she proceeds to build her brand.

2. Brand Potential (Cohesive Aesthetic)

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Photo via The Fader.

I firmly believe that a strong brand should entail a cohesive aesthetic across all media platforms. It’s important to avoid confusing our potential consumers and make sure that they know where and how to find us. Our website, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Soundcloud, Twitter, and Youtube all serve as primary and secondary touch-points for people to find us. They need to be in sync. A GREAT example of an emerging artist with a cohesive aesthetic is Kali Uchis:

I’ve always been a sucker for the small things that tend to add up as our careers manifest down the line. Do you notice how Kali’s quality visuals match her personality, style, and theme across all channels? Even her color scheme is a consistent baby blue and pink. Brand cohesion plays a huge role when it comes to catching and keeping our consumers attention.

3. Diligence, Honesty, and Initiative

kehlani

Photo via Google.

Practicing diligence, taking initiative, and being honest with one’s self is truly what helps to set an artist up for the long-haul in regards to defining their legacy. I believe Kehlani is a prime example of this. Her current label, Atlantic Records, considers her a “mindie” act (‘Major’ artist with ‘Indie’ bonafides), having her fan base as an independent artist before garnering the attention of the majors.

It’s apparent that her hard work is just beginning to pay off, while her more subtle honesty bleeds through her music. In an interview with The Fader, she talks about going through foster care, losing her father as a child, and her wavering sexual identity. These are all topics that many artists shy away from for fear of compromising how they are viewed in public. Kehlani is different. She realizes that to inspire others is to accept herself for exactly who she is. She is such a shining light of truthful experience and authentic artistry! For this reason, Kehlani is continuing to win over fans and supporters even through her public challenges and setbacks. Keep striving Kehlani, keep striving!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Cultural Curator, and Educator. 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.

Thundercat – Bus In These Streets

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Photo by: Theo Jemison courtesy of MTV

We came across Thundercat‘s “Bus In These Streets” release via BRAINFEEDER a few weeks ago on soundcloud. The old school feel and introspective vocals backed by the production editing and programming of Flying Lotus is what initially caught our attention. Clearly, we’re far from the only ones whose attention it happened to catch. S/O to @deeperkayy for being one of the first to drop the heat on Twitter. That’s right, we scrolled through all of the tweets pertaining to “Bus In These Streets” just to find him. We know…we’re SUPER nerdy…sometimes quirky.

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Nonetheless, enjoy the tune!

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A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is a brand development agency that specializes in creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. With an emphasis on culture and lifestyle, the primary focus of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is to help companies adapt to culture and build value between brands and their consumers centered around love. Our social mission is to leverage the influence of popular culture to create social change and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership. We are driven by AMBITION, fueled by PASSION, inspired by INNOVATION, and suckers for STRATEGY!

What Is Your Brand’s Sonic Identity?

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Photo via The Oxford Man

It always amazes me how just a few clicks on the internet can lead anyone down the road towards a great discovery. This time, my discovery comes courtesy of a Da-P dabeatX mix that he did with clothing company, Frank & Oak entitled, Studio Issue Pt. II. As soon as I heard the first track, I was hooked!

After checking out the tracklist, I found out that the collaboration is between Bearcubs and Tom Misch. The title? “Colours Of Freedom.” I’m happy that I was able to track down the original version and add it to my coveted music collection.

Other than the great music, Frank & Oak are doing a splendid job in regards to marketing and brand strategy. Through utilizing various platforms, Frank & Oak are pulling potential consumers from their native online social media environments (ex. soundcloud) to the Frank & Oak brand. I checked out their website and their products speak significantly to their intended audience. In fact, I even ended up signing on as a member. The greatest part about it — it feels super natural and organic!

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Photo via Frank + Oak

As consumers, we engage with people, products, and services which we already love and respect on a daily basis. When a recommendation is made to us from a trusted source, we usually take action. It is no different online than it is in the real world. We align ourselves with things that are of importance and interest to us in various aspects of our lifestyle. Why not discover and be introduced to even more coolness through cool brands and cool people? Take note — what is your brand’s sonic identity?

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Cultural Curator, and Educator. 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 Behind The Hustle, Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about bridging the gap and building value between brands, communities, and culture. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe, leverage the influence of popular culture to create social change, and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

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Kali Uchis – Por Vida EP

I woke up this morning, meditated for 10 minutes, and took a look down my soundcloud timeline to see what new releases surfaced during my (undisclosed) time of rest. Uh ohhhhh…I see that Kali Uchis just released her debut EP, Por Vida! How did I miss this last night? I’ve been waiting on her project since I heard a few remixes of her single, “Know What I Want.” The ESTA. remix is fire!

So…what are some of my favorite joints? I’m really diggin’ “Rush”, “Ridin Round”, and “Speed”. “Rush” sounds like it can be one of the lead tracks off of her project in it’s own right. I would love to see visuals! “Ridin Round” offers a nice alternative twist to the fundamentals of trap and “Speed” gives me those breaks that Chad, Pharrell, and Tyler always seem to master so well. It only makes sense that Tyler produced it.

Where can you catch Kali? All over, she’s already blessed many of the major media outlets such as Billboard, The Fader, and Pitchfork just to name a few. I’m looking forward to following her career as she continues to take things to new heights! I would love to see her get in the studio with The Neptunes. I would also be curious to see how she sounds over some of their production. I’m sure that they have a bunch of tracks just laying around. She may be the right artist to make something out of nothing. Plus, it may make for a nice project or even mixtape. Can we make that happen?

Overall, Kali is an artist who definitely has her own aesthetic. She expresses her art, style, thoughts, and vision on her own terms…period! Not only do I have some tunes to take me into the summer, but most likely, this may also be a project to consider for a lot of year end lists come December.

Enjoy!

NIKOS Band EP

As the first full week of 2015 abruptly comes to an end, I find myself earnestly working on narrowing down the emails and LinkedIn messages that I have yet to get to in 2014. One message that I had to revisit comes from a young man by the name of Jeff Motekaitis.

Jeff is the bass player in a band by the name of NIKOS. After finally getting a chance to sit down and check out their music, I was impressed. Their self-titled debut EP on soundcloud was totally worth the listen. I had it on repeat for about 3-4 cycles while cooking and eating dinner.

I’m always happy to witness the emergence of new artists and bands. I’m even more excited about the potential to work with these new artists and bands in some capacity in the near future.

I hope that you enjoy NIKOS like I do!

Victoria Monét – Nightmares & Lullabies EP (Act 1)

I initially came across Victoria Monét a few weeks ago while I was checking out Eric Bellinger’s latest release, The Rebirth on Spotify. I heard her performance on ‘Liquid Courage‘ and I could immediately tell that she was pretty seasoned in her development. I’ve always been intrigued by female vocalists and she was definitely no exception.

After some additional research, I found out that she released her own project on soundcloud entitled, Nightmares & Lullabies (Act 1). With 5 tracks all totaling under 20 minutes (6 including the bonus ‘Trouble’), it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll be listening in to this more than once. My personal favorites include, ‘Made In China’, ‘Good Time x Trouble’, and ‘Backyard’.

I’m sure that you’ll enjoy what you hear…oh yeah, here’s a bonus performance that I came across on her youtube page also…pretty dope!

Bowtye – Funky

There’s nothing that I love more than checking out new artists with dope music! As an A&R, I make it my personal responsibility to listen to all things that come my way. Although I’m 5 days behind on this one (I’m still trying making an effort to get up to date on my inbox), I’m glad that it didn’t get lost in the shuffle.

I’m sure that if you love music like I do, you’ll like this dude too. He goes by the name Bowtye…don’t thank me, thank Whitney. She put me on!