#IndieSpotlight, Editorial, interview, Interviews, Main, rileysbest

Two-Cents: BK Singer/Producer Donavon Cuts Through The Clutter

As a writer — for some big platforms — Incan assure you that inbox is nothing less than nauseating. I…

As a writer — for some big platforms — Incan assure you that inbox is nothing less than nauseating. I am constantly inundated with requests to check out and give some pen game to new records of varied quality. As corny as it sounds, standing out does make all the difference as I arbitrarily decide how to dedicate my daily attention span.

Singer/producer Donavon gets it. The young Brooklyn-based artist offered to send anyone who gave two-cents on his latest track “Arora” two-cents (via PayPal)— and homie paid out! “I have a bunch of friends who are journalists, and they’ll get a 1000 email a day,” he said on a phone call with me earlier this month, “you should appreciate that someone’s taking to listen to your shit.”

“Like, if you saw that as a subject line on an email, what would you have to lose?” he asked me, rhetorically. “You know, like why wouldn’t I click on that shit?”

Pretty slick ice breaker; and once I pressed play, I realized that the music fire — this kid is talented as hell. What began as a post on Reddit spilled over to emails, which is how it eventually floated on my radar. As an artist, Donavon is a lot like (early) Weeknd in a way; he has a shadowy persona that’s devoid of identifiable characteristics, yet he does have a past, which is easily searchable (with a few hints of course).

“Everybody knows what everybody is like [personality wise] and what they look like before they put out a song — so it’s cool to pull back from that a little bit.”

Originally performing under the name Don Scott, he was signed to a major label and shared management with Fetty Wap and Shaggy.

Unfortunately, like many similar situations it didn’t quite work out; there are no hard feelings, though. “I still do production stuff for them … I wrote [for] a bunch of artists there, and got a bunch of production points.” The situation, though, has prompted Donavan to approach this new chapter in his career by himself.

Fast-forward to “Arora.”

“I originally wrote and produced the song [Arora] to send to Jeremeh, but it ended up not going anywhere,” he explained to me. “That’s common when you’re trying to get production or writing placements.”

One of the unique parts of his creative process is that he’s putting a lot of thought process into creating content in tandem with visual concepts; “the director of that video we work closely.” Donavon continues to explain that the game plan is to “put out visual after visual … I’m focused on putting out videos because it’s just only thing I want to do now.” His thought process is that having a video be the first thing people see has an infinitely higher chance of resonating off the bat.

“Like you said you get a million songs a day in your email,” he tells me coyly, “and, they can all be monotonous sometimes … but a visual could help cut through [the clutter]. That’s where I’m at.
A former SoundCloud employee — and A&R — to be exact, who was effected by the last round of layoffs, he saw the writing on the all for using streaming audio platforms as your main hub, as opposed to video, which accounts for the highest percentage of general internet engagement.

At the end of the day, Donavon’s visual for “Arora” is compelling and worked to peak my interest in his career and the mysteriousness of his artistic persona.

Check out the video below, and follow his Twitter. His next visual is dropping end of summer.

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns
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Future Honors His Grandmother At FreeWishes Golden Wishes Gala

Over the weekend, multi-platinum recording artist and Atlanta-native Future paid respect to a very important piece of life, Family. At…

Over the weekend, multi-platinum recording artist and Atlanta-native Future paid respect to a very important piece of life, Family. At his FreeWishes Foundation hosted 8th annual Golden Wishes Gala honoring Metro Atlanta Seniors. More than 750 seniors dressed in their finest attire attended the annual Gala.

Seniors danced the night away to live jazz music provided by the Douglas Whatley Jr. Band and hits spun by DJ Bluue. The seniors enjoyed a luscious Thanksgiving styled dinner in the spectacular setting of the Ocean’s Ballroom. Seniors learned about Future’s FreeWishes foundation, their ongoing community events, and ways to be involved.

Guest speaker, Fulton County Commissioner Natalie Hall, spoke about the “future” she envisioned for Atlanta seniors. Future and his mother, FreeWishes Foundation co-founder, Stephanie Jester, presented a surprise community service award to Emma Jean Boyd, Future’s grandmother.

A final performance by the legendary Jazz and R&B vocalist, Jean Carne, wrapped up the warm and positive evening. Along with Freebandz, the event was sponsored by Jet One Charter, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Luxury Connections, Zaxby’s, Chick-Fil-A, JenCare and InTouch Properties.

Watch the recap now on YouTube.

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Track Seven Band Makes A Strong Reintroduction With “Memory Loss” Single

Today’s game is truly a never-ending cycle of here today and gone tomorrow. For Track Seven Band, haven’t released a…

Today’s game is truly a never-ending cycle of here today and gone tomorrow. For Track Seven Band, haven’t released a project since 2016’s The Try And The Fail, the uphill battle it seems is reigniting the flame within casual fans who may have moved on to the next one. It’s this overarching idea that guides Cost’s pen for their brand new single “Memory Loss.”

RELATED: #IndieSpotlight: Track Seven Band – The Try And The Fail

There is a lot to unpack with this single. Top-level, there is this flagrant (metaphorical) slap across the head — as though he’s screaming, “I’m still here, stupid.” Below the surface, Cost takes the opportunity to reiterate his position, introduces rumor inducing storylines, and takes a look back at his past.

In the first verse, he drops mention of having traveled around the world on the dime of a figure whom he chooses to keep anonymous; as he explains, this person gave him the motivation he needed to jumpstart his career, but has since “turned faces.” It’s in this act — he further notes that haters induce the same phenomenon — that he seems to have found the strength to thrive.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3r4GnVpe79/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

The second verse begins by reiterating where he’s come from — noting that section 8 and financial aid were his life preservers in his darkest moments. He also notes that he’s still in debt (half of which he paid off with the money he made selling weed). All this isn’t done to glorify anything, but rather serve as motivation. It also hammers home the fact that he has been there and done that, too.

Perhaps in a way, he’s exuding the same motivation that he felt traveling the world.

Playing chess as opposed to checkers is a line that poignantly pops out. “Memory Loss” is a strong (re)introduction or merely business as usual — depending on your knowledge of the band. Either way, it’s drenched in that endearing sense of honesty and realness that made them a group I’ve returned to numerous times since first being introduced to their music.

It’s all about the long game, and — in the end — good music. Cost notes that he’s motivated by things that money can’t buy. That, quite often, is code for having something to lose on a deeper level. It’s in seeing an artist stick to their figurative guns without bending their ethics that true inspiration can be felt.

If you haven’t explored the past releases, do so … immediately.

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interview

Texas’ Lil X Is Ready To Takeover As The ‘New Kid on the Block’

The rapper Lil X, born in El Paso, Texas, is crafting an undeniable path to the top right now. Young,…

The rapper Lil X, born in El Paso, Texas, is crafting an undeniable path to the top right now. Young, rowdy, and popular, he is achieving viral attention with his new project, New Kid on the Block, and the project’s breakout hits, “Galaxy” and “Bands All Done”. On the verge of becoming a social firestorm, we sit down with the star on the rise to get familiar with who he is, where he’s from, what he’s about and what he has in store.

[AAHH]: What was it like growing up where you are from?

[Lil X]: It was fine, I got to do what I wanted. El Paso is right on the border of Mexico so there is lots of tradition and mixed culture.

Has your family been supportive of your career?

Yes my family has been supportive and I know they are trying to understand what I’m doing and one day fully learns what I’m creating and what I’m making.

If you had to choose one record for someone to listen to from you, what would it be?

Greatness, its uplifting and gives off a different feel. I personally say most people would enjoy this song.

Was “New Kid on the Block” your debut project or can new fans find more of your catalog elsewhere?

It was mostly my debut project but im going to be releasing more music soon.

Can you describe the creative process behind “New Kid on the Block”?

Well I sat down in my room and I played the beat and found were the words would fit and then created the correct melody and bam I took out each song one by one.

What are the singles from your latest project?

Galaxy, Pouri’n, and Bands All Done.

Any notable producers you are working with or want to work with?

I think Reazy Renegade is a great producer I work with. I would like to work with Molly Raw and Muder Beats in the future.

Any big-name features in the vault that we could expect anytime soon?

I have a couple of people that I’m talking with but I don’t want to give them up yet.

You’re only 16 so we wanted to ask you a random question. Can you name 5 Lil Wayne records? If so what are your favorite 5?

Yes I’m going to go with How to love, A Milli, Mona Lisa, 6 Foot 7 Foot, and Lollipop.

If you could choose 3 people to be on your next project who would it be?

I would probably go with Tavis Scott, Lil Skies, and Lil Uzi Vert.

Any label attention or calls right now?

I have a lot of different things happening and I’m looking for my best options before I sign to anything.

For more on Lil X, follow the rising star on Instagram.

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Main

Akhil Sesh – “Amazing”

Akhil Sesh is back to debut a brand-new visual in the form of “Amazing.” It’s a slick record on which…

Akhil Sesh is back to debut a brand-new visual in the form of “Amazing.” It’s a slick record on which Akhil glides across the uptempo, percussion-driven production, displaying his knack for melodies and songwriting, as his lyrics come to life across the rooftops of the city, all adding up to one “Amazing” song and video.

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