H.E.R. talks Grammy Nominations & her Vision Board

Gabrielle “Gabi” Wilson, who likes to the called by her artist name “H.E.R.” gave me an exclusive interview right after learning she had been nominated for five 2019 Grammy awards, “It was early in the morning when they announced everything, but I was woken up out of my sleep.  I had a show the night before.  My manager woke everybody up.  We didn’t know what was going on.  He was like, “We’re going to have to cancel the tour.”  He called everybody to my room and said, “Oh, my gosh, you’re nominated for five Grammys,” and I just remember crying and everybody just going crazy.  We were…and then I started seeing the reaction on social media and yeah, it was a crazy moment.  I immediately called my parents and all my friends and family and it was crazy.  It was a moment,” she described how she learned about the nominations for her self-titled album HER, including album of the year, best new artist and best R&B album.

 Also her song “Focus” is nominated for best R&B song and her song “Best Part” featuring Daniel Caesar is nominated for best R&B performance.

H.E.R

She explained to us how she came up with the acronym H.E.R. which stands for “Having Everything Revealed”, “Well, it kind of was a process.  I was making these songs that were very honest and very specific to this time in my life while I was transitioning from being a young girl to becoming a young woman.  You know, in high school, being 16, 17, 18 years old, and going through emotions and all the stuff that a girl goes through in high school—first heart break, and emotions that you haven’t felt and being jaded, like it’s the end of the world, you know.  I’ll never be loved again.  All these things that we feel.  The music that I was making was a collection of stories based on that time period, kind of a very dark time, you know. Teenage hormonal era.  But what I always said was like, “Oh, I’ll never be that girl,” when I was 15, 14, looking at other women like, “I’ll never be that girl that falls for the wrong guy,” and “I’m never going to make this mistake and that mistake,” and then I ended up being that girl.  I ended up being HER.  And the easiest way for me to be honest was to really be anonymous and just, you know, I wanted to release the music and see what happened and I wanted people to love the music for what it was, so I just decided to release an EP with just my silhouette in the front—no name, no face, nothing attached but music and my stories.”

I asked her what does it mean to her “having everything revealed”?

“Really that means that you really know who I am.  You really see how vulnerable I am and how personal my music is.  In my music, you hear it in my music.  It’s not about what I look like or how I dress or the people I’m associated with or if I belong to a clique.  It’s just about the raw message and the emotions in my songs, my real stories, and that’s having everything revealed to me more than anything,” She said.

 

We also talked about her writing process, “It really depends.  I’m bouncing off the walls all the time.  Sometimes I’ll come up with a melody and then I’ll write words to it or sometimes I’ll be laying in bed and just write down my thoughts and the song kind of writes itself, but it depends on who I’m working with.  I love to talk in the studio when I collaborate with people.  When I write by myself, I’m usually at an instrument, a guitar or piano or bass, and coming up with words that way, but it just depends.  For me, it starts with thoughts and where it takes me.  I don’t like to force anything.”

H.E.R.

On December 10, 2018, she launched a new series “Road to GRAMMYs” on her YouTube music channel, in the introduction she says, “I have goals, I have ambitions, and I have dreams,” so I asked her about that, “Yeah.  I mean, honestly, I was just talking to my team, my manager and people, and two years ago, I wrote…I made a vision board.  I made a vision board, like a physical white board.  I went to whatever store and I bought a white board and I wrote down a bunch of little goals and some of it was like, “I want to headline my own tour,” and now I’m doing that.  So two and an half years ago, I want to get at least 100 million streams, you know, and now we’re like at a billion streams.  And on there was a Grammy nomination.  That was one of the biggest goals that I had on the vision board.  It was just part of like my career goals that I had on that board, and for that to manifest and now become reality is so crazy.  So those were some of the goals I was talking about, and now I’m working on a new vision board, and now I’m thinking of how to take my goals to the next level. My goals are changing.  My dreams are getting even bigger.  Because I had one nomination on that board, and now it’s five.  You know, this is my second headlining tour. And I headlined in Europe and now I’m doing a second headline tour in Europe, and it’s like all these levels that I’m passing through, that I’m achieving.  And it doesn’t stop, you know.  I’m excited because this is not even my potential.  This isn’t even my prime. It’s literally just the beginning and all these great things are happening, so yeah, that’s really what I was talking about.  I have personal goals.  One goal I had on my vision board was to buy my mom a house, and I was able to do that this year.”

 Another thing that’s on the board that hasn’t happened yet, “One thing is an arena tour.  I got to do that next. I think Oracle arena because that’s right by my hometown.  I used to go to concerts there all the time. I saw Prince there, and Barclay Center.  I live in Brooklyn now,” she told us.

“I’m working on my debut album so there will probably be some really dope surprises on there. Chris Brown is so talented.  I’d love to work with him.  There’s people like J. Cole and Drake who I really want to work with.  There are so many artists out.  I don’t know,” she said.

Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys are her fans. In fact, Janet Jackson attended one of her shows in London, “That was crazy.  It was unbelievable.  Like Janet Jackson is one of my favorites, all time, and the fact that she’s a fan of me and knew all the words to my songs is like confirmation. It’s like, wow, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.  I’m doing something right if Janet Jackson is coming to my show,” she told us about it.

On Friday December 14, the multi-talented artist played the piano, the guitar and sang all her hits “Focus”, “Best Part”, at The Novo Theater by Microsoft, as part of MWP Entertainment Group Presents “WANTED,” a Live Experiential Musical Event Series, attended by her celebrity fans Queen Latifah, Janet Jackson, Ella Mai, Tichina Arnold, Tisha Campbell-Martin, and Phil Ivey.

She told me before the show, “Friday is going to be a really special show on the tour because there’s going to be this crazy technology and you can just experience my music in a different way, like it’s going to be holograms and it’s going to be…it’s going to be something super different from all the other dates.”

At the end of the show she said to the audience on the microphone, “So many amazing things are happening in my life and I really have to thank you for supporting me and loving me and keeping it about the music, thank you so much, and I have been dealing with a lot, it’s just as much as there is good, there is bad, the devil always gonna try you and to take you away from your blessings, you have the opportunity to abuse the blessing and that’s what I am trying not to do, I am on the stage, I am so grateful I am so happy, and that’s all I can be,  I am only 21 year old, so thank you so much for making my dreams come true, thank you.”

H.E.R. performing at MWP Entertainment Group Presents “WANTED,” a Live Experiential Musical Event Series

H.E.R. performing at MWP Entertainment Group Presents “WANTED,” a Live Experiential Musical Event Series

She also told me how she feels in front of an audience, “I definitely get that energy from the audience, like I always feed off the audience’s energy, but I’ve always been a performer.  I’ve always loved performing since I was a little girl, and I’ve prepared my whole life to be on tours.  It’s just what I love to do.  We have a great time on stage, me and my band, every single night, so it’s just fun for me. I never really get nerves unless it’s like a really big stage sometimes I get a little bit nervous, but I just tap into why I love it so much and how much fun I have.  People love coming to my shows.  They experience my music in a different way.  I try to create like a dynamic show.”

Jussie Smollett Interview and Concert for Espolon Tequila

On November 01, 2018 Espolòn Tequila kicked off Day of the Dead with a special celebration at Academy in Hollywood. In the spirit of remembering and honoring those we have lost, Empire’s (FOX) Jussie Smollett paid homage to musical legends who have inspired him throughout his career with an electrifying performance.

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To honor those that have left us, Jussie covered iconic hits from Michael Jackson, BB King, Prince, Whitney Houston (with the help of Ashly Williams and Shyann Roberts), and ended the set with Tupac’s ‘California Love,’ ripping off his jacket to rap the lyrics.  

In an interview backstage, right before the show, the very talented star - he sings, dance, and act - said: “I have celebrated Day of the Dead.  It’s interesting, because I definitely know about the Day of the Dead and I definitely have been celebrating it.  And it is always not every year, but I definitely acknowledge it every single year.  I think it is actually something really beautiful to acknowledge the people who have passed, the people who have come before us.  That’s why this when Espolon came and asked me to be a part of this to be able to honor.  Is this super cool?  Like to be able to honor the people that I loved growing up, the people that we may have lost way too soon.  It’s kind of dull so tonight should be a super chills.”

Always poignant, Jussie encouraged the crowd to exercise their vote during the Midterm Elections on November 6th and performed ‘Need Freedom’ from Season 3 of Empire, a tribute to those we have been lost due to police shootings and inspired the Black Lives Matter movement.

“You will see tonight like there’s a moment in the show where I was just.., we were trying so hard to come up with different things and we would have had like a five hour show because there were so many people.  I was like, WE GOTTA DO ELVIS, WE GOTTA DO JOHN LENNON, WE GOTTA DO THIS, WE GOTTA DO THAT, and it was just like bro, like it’s a 55-minute show, just chill on that.  So, it was really difficult, but you will see tonight, we do little bits of a lot of different songs, so that we could get a lot of different songs done.  We even do California Love by Tupak,” Jussie said about the set that he was about to perform.

During his rendition of Ray Charles’ ‘I Got a Woman,’ the DJ broke into Kanye West’s sample ‘Gold Digger’ to which Jussie exclaimed, “I’m still pissed off at Kanye so f*&k that. But shout out to Ray Charles for giving him the song cuz that sh*t was poppin!”

The crowd broke into the electric slide as Jussie performed Luther Vandross’ ‘Never Too Much.’

Jussie also performed a mixture of songs from his new Album Sum of My Music including ‘Hurt People,’ ‘Ha Ha (I Love You)’ which he wrote for his new beau, and ‘Freedom’.

He also told me about the tour he just wrapped up: “We went on tour, a 40-city tour and we went to four different continents, seven different countries and 40 different cities.  Every single city was sold out.  Every single city.  And I was able to donate every single cent from the proceeds of the tour to charity.  So, we were able to able to donate over $100,000 to eight different charities.  The Black Institute, ACLU, For Your Rights Care, Trayvon Martin Foundation, Flint Kids, the Anthony Burrell Dance Theater.”

Swae Lee explains SR3MM cover, Jxmmi tells me his son's name - Exclusive

Monday, May 7th, Spotify and Rae Sremmurd threw a post-apocalyptic party and invited 300 of the duo’s biggest streaming fans to Spotify party in Downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the release of the duo’s new album, SR3MM.

Rae     Sremmurd

Rae Sremmurd

Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmis had a vision and Spotify brought worlds to life with vintage video games, pinball machines, toxic waste barrels with pineapples, nuclear drinks, construction lighting, green popcorn and a custom poster wall to create the post-apocalyptic vibes.

Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi both performed tracks from their individual solo chapters featured on SR3MM, Swae's SwaeCation and Jxmmi's Jxmtroduction. Swae entered the industrial compound on a throne carried by tropically dressed dancers and performed a few of his tracks including “Guatemala” on top of a shipping container. Following Swae’s performance, Jxmmi made his entrance on the back of a truck documented by drones with a stack of dollar bills in his hand. Motorcyclists circled Jxmmi’s performance of “Chanel” as he “made it rain” in the crowd.

Swae Lee

Swae Lee

I sat down with both artists’ backstage for an exclusive interview, I asked Swae why decorated his side of the stage with pineapples:

Swae Lee said: “The pineapples are rich in Vitamin C and the pineapples grow in tropical places, so it’s like a vacation—you like get away somewhere you want to go, somewhere fun, somewhere where you can relax and just take in life, so pineapples grow in like tropical places with beautiful scenery that I really like, so I just decided to grab a pineapple.”

After their solo acts, Rae Sremmurd came together to perform on the main stage where they popped bottles of champagne and showered the crowd with Thousands of dollar bills to celebrate the launch of their new album.

Together, they performed their hit “Powerglide” and several new songs off of their album including “CLOSE,” “Touchscreen Navigation,” “42” and ended the night on “Bedtime Stories (feat. The Weeknd).”

SR  3  MM Cover

SR3MM Cover

Then I asked Swae what is the meaning behind the three teddy bears and a rose in his mount on the cover of their new Album SR3MM:

Swae said: “I had a teddy bear for each time my heart was broken in my life. Yeah, so I just started learning from it when I was younger.  The rose is to let y’all know I’m still out here.”

Swae explained to us how the song “Bedtime Stories” came about with The Weeknd:

“The Weekend is our brother, cool dude, like a rock star.  Easily one of the most talented artists in the game, period.  You understand?  So, we were on tour, and our tour was coming to an end, and we was like, “We don’t got no heat in here, know what I’m saying. It’s mandatory that we get some heat in.”  You got Slim Jimmy, Mike and the Weeknd, so we went to Atlanta and he had played a whole bunch of beats.  One of the drummers paid a hella beats and we cookin’ up organically. Actually, that beat was cooked up organically.  Mars cooked that up organically from scratch, know what I’m saying, and loaded it up.  We went in the booth and started singing, everything he was saying and like all the melodies were just hitting the ear in the best way possible.  Hitting the ear canal and rolling around in there, leaving money all on the ear canal.  I went in there and kicked it and we had Bedtime Stories.”

During the interview, Swae and Jxmmi were holding “Garfield dolls” cuddling like a baby, so I asked, about Jxmmi having a baby:

Swae said jokingly: “I got a couple of sons in the game. It’s my youngest son.”

Then Jxmmi told me: “Fatherhood is great. Especially when you’re like wild like me because then it makes you think about stuff, different dimensions like “Man, if I jump off this house, I might die.” But you know what I’m saying, I really like fatherhood because I can’t even really describe what it make me feel like. I can’t describe what it make me like, what it is, you know what I’m saying?  It just is what it is.”

Then he tells me the name of his son is: “Jedi. Like light saber.  May the Force be with you.”

Jxmmi also talked about the Album: “SremmLife 3, go get that man, SremmLife 3, do the album. Not one, not two, but three. The only rule is you got to smoke weed when you listen to it.  You got to take at least 3 shots. And you got to hit the Patron, I mean, like you got to hit some champagne too, because you got to be double faded.  You got to goddamn do that shit.  You going to need a group of friends because it’s long as fuck.  There’s 27 songs. 

He continues: “We made that for all the beautiful ladies in the world. You need somebody to come to your house and read you a bedtime story, a lullaby to help you sleep better, enter now for a chance to win 666-342-9021. We want to take a female who’s going to college, we want to take her to the Chanel store, we want to spend at least $20,000 in Chanel. Know what I’m saying?  We want her to have the bags and the shoes and whatever else, know what I’m saying, extra, because she going to college, we want to invest in her future.”

Rae Sremmurd

Rae Sremmurd

Mike Will Made ItYG and Gashi were in attendance to support the artists in honor of the new album celebrating summer and their tropical lifestyle.

Brent Bolthouse's Neon Carnival Party was the place to be during Coachella

Brent Bolthouse's Neon Carnival Party was the place to be on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at a new location HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, CA.  

LeonardoDiCaprioDiddyJhene AikoHailey BaldwinPost MaloneFrench MontanaChainsmokersChristina Milian arrived after midnight to the sounds of DJ Polik, after Beyonces electrifying performance at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

DJ Jesse Marco, DJ Ruckus

DJ Jesse Marco, DJ Ruckus

Paris Hilton danced on top of the sofa at her table with her fiancée Chris Zylka in front of the stage.

Paris Hilton  looked beautiful dancing with her fiancee  Chris Zylka  to  DJ Politik's  music behind her on stage.

Paris Hilton looked beautiful dancing with her fiancee Chris Zylka to DJ Politik's music behind her on stage.

Leonardo DiCaprio was backstage packing the PDA with rumored girlfriend Camila Morrone and later at his VIP table in front of the Ferris wheel.

Then DJ Ruckus took over the turn tables and had everyone dancing.

Amber Rose wore a brightly colored bodysuit and sneakers, large black sunglasses and a new gold grill while hanging at Diddy’s table.

Chance The Rapper was celebrating his 25th birthday the entire weekend, his actual birthday is April 16.

Dj Jesse Marco finished up the night playing till after 4 am.

Selma Fonseca

Selma Fonseca

Also there Kourtney Kardashian with boyfriend Younes Bendjima, Tyga, Alexander Wang, Taylor Hill, Candice Swanepoel, TeyanaTaylor, Martin Garrix, Kaluuya, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Jamie Chung, Bryan Greenberg, Nina Dobrev, Romee Strijd, Sasha Grey, ShayMitchell, Shanin Shaik, Christine Evangelista, Matt Pokoro, Nyjah Huston, Kellan Lutz, Jamie Foxx, Blake Griffin, Iggy Azalea, LoganPaul, Jasmine Tookes, Belly, Scott Eastwood, Dorothy Wang, Corrine Olympios, Brody Jenner, Sean Farris, Casper Beau Smart, CharlotteMcKinney, Caroline D’Amore, Chandler Parsons, Joakim Noah, Mario, EJ Johnson, Kris Humphries and Nicole Scherzinger.

Neon Carnival

Iconic denim inventor, the Levi’s® Brand, was back to headline the event. Tequila Don Julio returned for their fourth consecutive year, providing guests with specialty Palomas served from the Airstream Speakeasy and providing Don Julio 1942 bottle service for VIP tables. Batiste TM Dry Shampoo hosted hairstyling stations that offered attendees bold, festival-inspired styles and provided product samples for the ultimate hair refresh.  Los Angeles beer staple, Golden Road Brewery, provided a unique bar experience with their customized freight container serving up their most popular brands.  

Selma Fonseca, Casper Smart

Selma Fonseca, Casper Smart

Faulkner band Album Release “Pariahs” - Exclusive Interview

Faulkner, an alternative band based in Venice, California released their new Album “Pariahs” on Friday, February 9, 2018. They celebrated by performing at the Peppermint Club in West Hollywood, CA on Thursday, February 8.

Before getting on stage and singing their hits “Molly”, "These Kids Nowadays”, "Black", "Revolutionary” and “Hot Streak”, I sat with the band for an exclusive fun interview. Lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Lucas Asher explained the meaning of their debut album: “It’s called “Pariahs”. It means outsiders—all the rebels, all the misfits, all the unfits.  Everyone who’s searching for that meaning.  That’s who I identify with. We came from the streets, and so it’s largely inspired by our journey from the streets to where we are now. I came from the New York streets. I was homeless in Dumbo for months when we just started." Then joking a little he said: “Yeah, and now look at us. We’re wearing red jackets, pimping, and…”

Lucas Asher, Dimitri Farougias,   Eric Scullin,  and  Christian Hogan. Photo by Selma Fonseca

Lucas Asher, Dimitri Farougias, Eric Scullin, and Christian Hogan. Photo by Selma Fonseca

He continued: “Well, I don’t have any parents, I’m an orphan, so I just ran away to New York like a lot of…I mean, Madonna did that when she was young.  There’s a lot of stories… And that was a little after the towers (Twin Towers) fell. I’ve always been playing music, ever since I was really young, so I was doing Singer/Songwriter stuff back then, and just making your way, you know, and that’s when you, I guess you find your voice.  I think artists need to go through that refining phase, and then I came out to L.A., met up with these guys.  These guys are all like my brothers, and…”

Lucas also told me how members of the band meet (Dimitri Farougias, Eric Scullin, and Christian Hogan): “We were all in line at the DMV trying to pay tickets—you know how it is.”

Lucas Asher
Faulkner

Talking about the album, Lucas said: "We collaborated with the Strokes producer, JP Bowersock, who did one of my favorite albums, “This is It". We brought in Mark Needham, whose mixed like half of the alternative radio right now.  He did “The Killers”, and then we’ve always been big fans of Witches Glen, partially of because of my New York upbringing, and so RZA got involved, and he brought us to Rick Ruben’s studio in Shangri-la where Bob Dylan’s tour bus is in the back and Eminem has a lemon tree and we could go on and on about that.  It took like two years to put it all together.  And it’s got urban influences, alternative influences.  We saw a lot of great legends pass away while we were making the album so that was inspiring because you have to carry the torch.  Like what are we all going to do? Just stop?"

And he said the legend that passed away that inspired them was: “Bowie, because sonically, in our sound, we were so inspired by him.  And this guy, too, Eric (Scullin) helped co-produce it, the album, too, so he’s like our Bryan Jones and the tannest person in the band.”

Lucas told me how he writes his songs: “That’s actually a good question, because I start on acoustic guitar and then I usually collaborate with this guy (Eric), and he’s just a great, great… I think he’s going to be a superstar producer someday. He’s just really gifted and he helps with the arrangement, and we really collaborate on it, and then we bring it to these guys, and by the time everyone gets involved, I don’t recognize my own song anymore, because it moves. It’s a real band, so everyone adds their piece to it, and it takes on a life of its own and starts to live and breathe, and a lot of the music is a little bit aggressive because I wrote some of it when I was living on the streets and when I was coming up.”

He continues: “Now I’m writing music that’s completely different because I’m in a different place. I’m drinking expensive wine and I always wear red, yeah.”

Lucas also told me what he likes to listen to: “For me, I listen to mostly hip hop which people find odd because I’m in an alternative band. We love Dr. Dre.  We love Kanye.  That’s kind of what we’re listening to, and the first two Fifty Cent albums, Nas. That’s kind of what I listen to mostly because it’s aspirational and they came from nothing, too, and we kind of came from nothing.  So, it’s aspirational; it’s inspiring.”
We talked about their future project: “In March, we’re shooting a music video. We shot in Italy, Morocco, and the Imperial Dunes, and that’s going to be dropping in late March for the “Hot Streak” song. After the music video drops, we’re going to be on the road.”

Resuming this is the plan for 2018: “We have a music video coming. The album is called “Pariahs”, it’s 10 songs.  Tour is going to be announced later in March.  It’s 2018, so you never stop recording. We’ll be putting out new music even after the album comes out.  We just worked on a song a couple of weeks ago with a choir who sang with Drake and we had a big gospel choir, so we’re always exploring new sonic territories.”

Their performance was energetic, fun, a must see.

Eric Scullin, Lucas Asher, Selma Fonseca, Dimitri Farougias,   Christian Hogan. Photo by Selma Fonseca

Eric Scullin, Lucas Asher, Selma Fonseca, Dimitri Farougias, Christian Hogan. Photo by Selma Fonseca

Check out their latest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drFSi7S-Pqg

Hip Hop Honors Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Martin Lawrence

VH1 presented “HIP HOP HONORS: THE 90’S GAME CHANGERS” at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA, on Sunday, September 17, 2017, and I was right in the middle of everything.

The cutest moment of the night was when T.I. walked to the audience bleachers and picked up DJ Khaled’s son in his arms.

The cutest moment of the night was when T.I. walked to the audience bleachers and picked up DJ Khaled’s son in his arms.

The 90’s style block party on the lot on Brooklyn St. celebrated the golden era of hip-hop and the moment when hip-hop became mainstream across pop culture. Designed by one of the night’s honorees,  Hype Williams, the walls of the building were covered with colorful graffiti reminiscing NYC back in the 90’s.

Hosted by Regina Hall, honoring Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Martin Lawrence and Master P and Hype Williams will air on Monday, September 18th at 9PM ET/PT on VH1.

Mariah Carey performing

Mariah Carey performing

Missy Elliot was the first to perform and she started the show in style emerging from a water tank in a black trench coat performing 90’s hit “She’s a Bitch,” surrounded by dancers and parkour performers.

DJ Khaled’s son, Asahd Khaled, stole the show when he took the stage with his father to honor Mariah Carey; together they introduced Mariah’s show-stopping performance of “Honey” which made everyone very excited; the performance featured a tricked out jet ski, a golden ‘honey’ helicopter and special appearances by Da Brat, Jermaine Dupree, Mase and The Lox. For some reason, Mariah had to do a second take on her performance that included a sexy dance with her on-off boyfriend Bryan Tanaka.

Pharrell Williams presented Hype Williams with his award, he took a moment to deliver a heartfelt message about the current political climate, encouraging everyone to “Open your eyes and if you look like I look you know how you got here, and we are here and not leaving, so what are we gonna do?, and for everybody else in this country the human condition is important, don’t think just because they coming after the African-American, they coming at the Jewish community, they coming at the Hispanics, they can’t beat you too just because you look like them, they are using you, you should understand that.”

“They keep talking about a wall, but the enemy is this divisive this mentality, it's on this side of the wall guys and girls it's already here.” he continued,  “This is America it's with liberty and justice for all thank you.”

Trick, Trina, Romeo, Silk The Shocker and XSCAPE performed a special medley celebrating the rise of hip-hop in the South before honoring Jermaine Dupri and Master P with their awards.

Trick, Trina, Romeo, Silk The Shocker  and  XSCAPE  arriving

Trick, Trina, Romeo, Silk The Shocker and XSCAPE arriving

Fat Joe and Rema Ma performed “Not a Player,” Warren G performed “Regulate” with Ty Dolla $ignXSCAPE performing TLC’s “No Scrubs,” and Ty Dolla $ign did a special rendition of Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It.”

 Kelly Rowland introduced Lil KimHavoc and Fabolous to the stage who performed “Quiet Storm” in tribute to the late Prodigy (of Mobb Deep.) When Lil Kim arrived to walk the red carpet she was very nervous and she had an entourage of three huge bodyguards, a make-up and hair stylist, they touched her up every minute. After her performance, she sat in the audience relaxed with Fat Joe.

Selma Fonseca and DJ Khaled

Selma Fonseca and DJ Khaled

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Lamorne MorrisAffion Crocket and Regina Hall were super funny when each took a turn interrupting Tischina Arnold as she presented Martin Lawrence with his award, dressed as characters from his famous television show “Martin.”

Faith Evans, who told me exclusively “I am happy to be here and happy to be part of 90’s music, it’s s great moment and to be part of it’s a blessing.” She continued, “ I am always happy to come out and honor those who were part of."

Selma Fonseca and Faith Evans

Selma Fonseca and Faith Evans

Selma Fonseca and Jermaine Dupri

Selma Fonseca and Jermaine Dupri

Also there Timbaland Blac ChynaKarrueche TranNene LeakesRosci Diaz“Love & Hip Hop Hollywood” cast members Keyshia ColeMichelle PoochMiss Nikki BabyTeairra MarieBooby, and Amara La Negra,  “Scared Famous” cast members Eva MarcilleDon BenjaminErica Mena.

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Selma Fonseca and Blac Chyna

Selma Fonseca and Fat Joe

Selma Fonseca and Fat Joe

Selma Fonseca Lil Kim

Selma Fonseca Lil Kim

Naughty by Nature Surprise Performance The Surf Lodge

Naughty by Nature's Treach, Vin Rock, and DJ Kay Gee, surprised guests at The Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY on July 3, 2017, with an hour performance rapping their 90's hits.

Naughty by Nature's  Treach, Vin Rock,  and  DJ Kay Gee, 

Naughty by Nature's Treach, Vin Rock, and DJ Kay Gee, 

They opened their set with "O.P.P.", then went on the rap "Uptown", "Craziest", "Respect", "Jamboree",  "Cali love". The beautiful crowd went crazy dancing and singing along.

Treach wore a khaki outfit with 5 white gold chains and a huge diamond-encrusted watch, by the third song he had taken his shirt off, leaving the chains and showing his incredibly cut and heavily tattooed body.

Vin Rock screamed on the mic: "How many Tupac riders do we have in the house?" 

Then Treach said on the mic how people are saying on social media "How can you play Biggy after you played MOP, because Biggy and Tupak had a fallout, first of all, because I can, Tupak was my brother then he introduced me to Biggy then Biggy became my brother."

"We are the love gang", making the heart shape with his hands.

"When I drink you drink, when I smoke you smoke, when I come to Long Island you come to Long Island", then Vin said: "And we called Montauk", then Treach continued "It's all part of the Long Island four five hundred dollars a night"

Naughty by Nature's  Treach  and  Selma Fonseca

Naughty by Nature's Treach and Selma Fonseca

The last song "Hip Hop Hooray" they pulled everyone on stage.

The previous night Hailey Baldwin and Jack Brinkley Cook, Rosario Dawson, were all having fun (separately) at the hot spot where Nashville's band "Bully" was playing.

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Rosario Dawson and Selma Fonseca

Jon George of RÜFÜS DU SOL Interview at The Surf Lodge

RÜFÜS DU SOL, the alternative dance group comprised of Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George, and James Hunt performed at The Surf Lodge Concert Series presented by Lincoln on Sunday, June 11, 2017, to a packed house. After the show Jon George talked to me exclusively about moving from Australia to Los Angeles, California, working on their new upcoming album, and playing at the iconic Montauk Hotel The Surf Lodge.

The band played all their hits "Like An Animal", "You were right", "Brighter", while the sun was setting and the sky turned orange and red on the background. The show was a lot of fun and crowd was singing along and dancing.

Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George,  and  James Hunt

Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George, and James Hunt

Here is the interview, enjoy:

If somebody doesn’t know you at all, how would you describe yourself and the band?

House music is generally what we revolve around.  However, we’ve both got different backgrounds of Indie music and different like even rock and stuff, so it’s like this big live analog and acoustic element to what we do.  So basically, dance music done live, I think, is probably the best way to describe what we’re doing. 

And how do you write your songs? Do all of you write the songs together?

Yeah, so like on stage, we all have different roles.  There’s Trevor and Tyrone who sings and plays guitars and plays keys, and I play keys, as well, but in the studio, anyone can write any drum part.  Anyone can sing any sort of part, write any vocal melody.   We’re all pretty multifaceted and able to produce in the studio.  It’s a lot more fun and we’re open to everything.

How about the lyrics.  Do you write yourself?

Yeah, so like particularly for lyrics, lyrics is the last thing we write.  We usually write melodies and everything before that, and lyrics are the very last thing that comes to what we’ve done so far.

 A lot of people do the opposite. 

 Yeah, so I think that like first and foremost is the feeling of the melody and things like that that sort of strike us, and then we try and let the lyrics represent what we were feeling.

Okay, and what are those feelings usually?  What’s your inspiration for the music?

It just goes through different iterations.  In the first album, I had just been through a few breakups and so I was feeling a lot of that.

Breakups do make great songs, right?

Yeah, and I think what we do, like it’s been pretty inevitable that it’s hard to hold down a relationship while traveling, so there’s always been like a push a pull between whether you’re like…you’ve been in love and also you love what you do as a career, and it’s really hard to just leave someone at home and then say, “Hey, I want to fucking make music and travel around the world and do this.”  It’s hard for everyone to accept that. 

Are you in a relationship right now?

I am in a relationship. 

Is she from Australia?

Yeah.  She’s been touring with us a little bit, too, which is…I’ve got a nice situation for me at the moment.  She sung on the last record.

Oh, so she’s also a singer?

Yeah.

What’s her name?

Her name’s Dena Amy, and she DJs, as well.

So, she’s very musical.  That’s great. 

Yeah, so it’s been good for me because my girlfriend’s around a lot. But before her, it was really tough to be able to sustain a relationship.  Either way, like with lyrics for a song, I think it can be from just looking at a sunset and a feeling of what that feels like and trying to be like trying to project that imagery to people is basically what we’re trying to do when we’re writing lyrics.

Sure.  And you were mentioning outside that you were going to work on a new album.  Can you tell me about that? What are you working on the rest of the year.  What are your goals?

Yeah, so we’ve just moved over to L.A. about two months ago, and we started that process in writing new tracks.  It was just an initial period, six weeks before we knew we had touring coming up, so we were just like let’s start the process again.  We’ve been touring for two years since the last album.  Let’s try to work out how to write again together and get into each other’s heads, and we just sort of having fun with it.  So, it’s been a lot of fun.  It’s been really easy.  We bought a bunch of new synthesizers and toys and stuff to play around with, and we’ve just been—all three of us…

What kind of toys?

Mainly just new keyboards.  We’re very passionate about electronic synthesizers and things like that, so it was like a whole new playground for us.  We just went a spent a bunch of money on like different toys.  So that was the starting process.  It felt real fun, and we started touring again.  Now we’ll keep touring up until August through Europe and stuff.

Do you have a studio that you work at or did you build a studio?

We built a studio in Venice in L.A.  We acquired a house.  We loved it—it had like a music studio separate from the house.

No way?

Yea, it’s a big 4-bedroom house, a pool, a hot tub.

So, was the studio was already there?

Yeah, so it was just an empty studio, so we brought in all this gear.  We went to town on it—new desks; new monitors; new screens; new synthesizers; drums—everything.

What dream? 

It was amazing.  It was hard to go to sleep because it was so much fun just to be in it. 

I’m sure. You probably just wanted to make music.

Yeah, you could just be up till like 7 a.m., and it’s not the type of staying up till 7 a.m. when you feel guilty about it.  It’s like when you’re being that productive, it’s like, oh my God—I could stay up forever.

My friend Lionel Richie always tells me, “After 9-10:00 pm or even midnight, everything is so quiet. The streets are quiet.  The phone’s not ringing.”  This is when he can make music. Do you feel like that?

Yeah, that’s a really good way of putting it, too.  I think that our friends and the reason that we moved to L.A. because we wanted to be able to be writing and have everything at our disposal which is hard in Sydney because it’s not so…there’s a lot more to be able to be used here in terms of production, equipment, choirs—everything is at your disposal in America. So that was one part.  But another part was just to get away from friends and family so you weren’t distracted.  So like a big thing here is like, yeah, girlfriends will be here.  We still to have friends in L.A., but it is like everyone sort of pitters off around 10 p.m. or something and you just start to go, fuck, I could go to bed now or I could get in the studio and stay up all night. 

That’s when it’s quiet.  My mind works much better at night.  As soon as the sun goes down, my mind wakes up…

I think we’re on the same page.

I think a lot of musicians are like that.  A lot of artistic people.  So, what about your next Album do you have a vision for it yet?  Like a name maybe?

We do have some things in mind, but nothing that we would want to say. I think the main thing that we’re very excited and focused on is just the amount of toys and stuff that we bought.  I don’t know if you know, when you buy synthesizers and stuff, the amount of change they can make to the sound of an album. It’s so huge.  So, we’ve just started focusing on really authentic analog, organic production which we really want to focus on so it’s going to sound a little warmer and that’s sort of where we’re at at the moment—just as a sonic palette, but we’re happy for everything else to be discovered in the next six months or whatever.

What are you aiming for for the next album?

I think realistically, the record will be out next year, mid year.  But I think at the same time we don’t really even care about putting a time limit on ourselves.  Let’s just have fun; let’s make the best album we can make, and there’s no reason to rush it.  

Of course.  I mean, you just released one not too long ago, right?  And it’s doing really well, right?

Yeah, so like all these parties that we’re playing in America.  Everything just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year for us. 

I know.  There are so many people singing along with you guys.  That must feel so good.  And all those girls in the front. Did You see how they were going bananas?

Yeah, it’s crazy. 

How does that feel?

It was very cool.  I mean, in Australia, we’d been used to seeing crowds build and America was a big solo for us at the start.  Even Europe it still slow for us, but in America it just really picked up over the last year and it’s crazy just watching like going from playing like 1,000 people in L.A. to now playing like we played three shows that ended up being like 10,000 people.

Nice.  Yeah, you did Coachella and the Governor’s Ball, right?
Yeah, it’s been really fun.  Amazing. And easy.  It seems like people are really getting into the sound we’re making.

How did it feel playing here at the Surf Lodge with this beautiful view?

This is like I was saying to you earlier before—you get very skeptical when you don’t really have a full production, the full sound system, so I walk in very skeptical going, oh, shit, this could be hard work to try and keep everyone in the groove in the pocket where we want them to be.  But yea, it’s crazy when we walked out today and everyone was just singing along the whole time.  It was very easy.

I was looking behind me and I was like “Wow—this is incredible,” and the girls on top of people’s shoulders, right?  That’s so much fun. George’s last words:

Yeah, we’re very lucky.