X Ambassadors’ debut album VHS reflects on the events that shaped lead vocalist and lyricist Sam Harris and his older brother, keyboardist Casey Harris’ life growing up in Ithaca, NY. “It was us looking back on everything that made us who we are,” says Sam. The gold-certified album, which Rolling Stone called “bombastic rock that’s as stomping as it is diaristic, leavened by big-tent pop hooks and a hint of hip-hop swagger,” debuted at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart and spawned the double platinum-selling “Renegades,” which spent 12 consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Alternative chart, and the double-platinum “Unsteady,” which went Top 10 at Alternative, Hot AC, and Top 40 radio. The success of VHS sent X Ambassadors on a nearly two-year touring odyssey that found them winning over fans around the world and performing at the Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Life is Beautiful, and Shaky Knees festivals, among others, and establishing themselves as a world-class rock band.
Young The Giant
Young The Giant
Matt and Kim
Matt and Kim, the duo known for infectious, beat-driven anthems and explosive live shows, are back with their sixth studio album, due out this spring on FADER Label. Work on the new music began soon after Kim suffered a torn ACL while performing on stage at Mexico’s Vaiven Festival in 2017. The year-long break from touring allowed Matt and Kim the time to focus on songwriting and complete this album, which is one of the band’s most personal releases to date.
Matt and Kim’s previous release was 2016’s WE WERE THE WEIRDOS -- a surprise 4-track EP produced in its entirety during the week between the band’s two performances at Coachella and debuted on stage. Noisey called the EP, “the kind of record that wants you to run around Brooklyn and shower your friends in dollar bills, or better still, dance on a roof in the middle of the day.”
While students at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, Matt and Kim met on campus and began collaborating musically when they were quickly recognized for their thunder-punching, melodic mix of indie and dance music. Pitchfork described their sound as “melody so happily jerky and rhythms so dangerously spastic that you can practically hear paroxysmal crowds pogo-ing madly...Johnson sings and thousands of other kids in his zip code (and others like it around the country) feel like he’s describing their Saturday nights.”
In addition to multiple successful album releases, Matt and Kim have become the go-to live band for raw exuberance and dance-ready anthems. Billboard says, “their honestly creates a bond with an audience that wants to know as much as it can about their favorite musicians. And you don’t want to miss a moment.” The band has performed sold-out headlining tours across North America and wowed fans around the globe. They’ve performed to thousands upon thousands at many major music festivals including Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Firefly, Summerfest, Big Day Out, Fuji, V, Pukkelpop and Ultra.
The Brooklyn duo are also viral video stars, with over 50 million YouTube views and counting, from innovative music videos to a regular vlog “Matt and Kim Show Ya Stuff” which allows fans a personal glimpse into their lives off the stage. Known for their inventive concepts, Matt and Kim’s video for “Lessons Learned,” in which they strip naked in Times Square on a very cold February day, won an MTV Video Music Award for “Breakthrough Video.”
This spring, Matt and Kim will be embarking on a U.S. headlining tour including stops in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Brooklyn, and Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival.
The Brooklyn-based MC earned his stripes as one of the most lyrically-gifted, socially aware and politically insightful rappers to emerge in the last 20 years.
“I’m a touring artist. I’m an artist that’s internationally known. I’m not just a local artist at this point in my career. I’m cognizant of the fact that what I do is beyond where it started. I’m trying to reach the apex of where I am now, but without turning my back on or dismissing what I’ve done before.”
After nearly 20 years of releasing mesmerizing music, Talib Kweli stands as one of the world’s most talented and most accomplished Hip Hop artists. Whether working with Mos Def as one-half of Black Star, partnering with producer Hi-Tek for Reflection Eternal, releasing landmark solo material or collaborating with Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Just Blaze, J Dilla, or Madlib, Kweli commands attention by delivering top-tier lyricism, crafting captivating stories and showing the ability to rhyme over virtually any type of instrumental.
In 2011, Kweli founded Javotti Media, which is self-defined as “a platform for independent thinkers and doers.” Kweli has set out to make Javotti Media (which released his 2011 album, Gutter Rainbows, and is named after his paternal grandmother) into a media powerhouse that releases music, films and books.
Ava Knew is a artist from NYC currently studying in Ithaca, NY. The primary focus of the gem's music is liberation and peace of mind. Over the last year, Ava Knew has been featured in a series of online blogs and magazines as well as in print. Some of these include, Distinct Mag, Passion Project Inc, Buzzfeed, Blavity, Afropunk, Montreality, Kylee Roberts, Sauce Radio, Qwear Fashion, and Hercampus.com. Much of her Ithaca fanbase can also be attributed to local performances, especially opening for artists like DRAM & Aboogie within such a early moments of her career. With graduation approaching, Knew began working on her 1st full length project about her experience as a black femme in America and also curating visuals for the sonic. As she continues to create & feed the world quality content, listeners and fans can anticipate new perspectives of hip hop through black-feminist framework.
Lady D & The Shadow Spirits
Lady D & The Shadow Spirits
Lady D & The Shadow Spirits have their roots deep in ethereal folk music with a post punk-rock edge, their latest album, Star Kiss, is even pushing into the realm of pop. Alyssa Duerksen’s potent vocal command with Justin Roeland on drums, Mike Amedeo on bass and Chris Ploss on keys, richly textures and grounds the music; together they create a passionate current between the intimate and expansive that brings the audience into a dreamlike magic.
Alyssa describes Lady D as a voice from her ‘higher self’ who when asked, said her name was 'Diana', "The Shadow Spirits" are her Guides. Her haunting stories are told so authentically, the audience is often coaxed to pause and truly hear the words. Lady D creates a forceful wave when she performs, her vocals are rich, robust and undeniably powerful, this poetry carries a deep message of ‘Divine Feminine’ and her band executes her primal melodies with power and creative precision.