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

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

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s a writer — for some big platforms — Incan assure you that inbox is nothing less than nauseating. I…

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s 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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Filip Filipi (@FilipFilipi) – ‘Nine Roses’ (Hosted By Gucci Mane)

Today Canadian rapper Filip Filipi drops his mixtape hosted by Gucci Mane titled, Nine Roses. The project coincides with the…

Today Canadian rapper Filip Filipi drops his mixtape hosted by Gucci Mane titled, Nine Roses. The project coincides with the unveiling of his elaborate plans to build a high tech basketball court in Akron, Ohio, the home of LeBron James. The futuristic backtop is dedicated to Filipi’s former manager Kiza, their shared heritage, love for music and basketball.

“I grew up on basketball culture, I’m obsessed with basketball. If you ask me, ‘Who was the 12th man on the Celtics in 2004?’ I can tell you – I love basketball trivia. So the court was inspired by my former manager who passed away two years ago at the age of 33. It was very important for me to do something with a humanitarian aspect of my music and we decided on the proceeds of the music, the merch and with some donations, we were going to make the most high tech basketball court. It has Wifi, it has eco-friendly paint, it has solar-powered benches that have wi-fi and everything you would want. But it has an important political message that speaks on the media manipulation using motifs of Serbian art that show the area where we are from. I can’t wait to get started on it. I don’t care if I get 10 billion streams or 10 million or 10 hundred. The fact that people would come play here and contribute to the court in any way – I’m proud. It’s something for the community.”

While Filip Filipi is still building his buzz, he has been working on the craft of Hip-Hop for over a decade and has had his music placed on major nationwide television shows after his Sizzerb mixtape garnered widespread attention.

“In middle school around 10th grade, me and my friend were freestyling in class and we started recording on his computer mic at his parents’ house when we were like 15,” Filip Filipi said. “Back then, my thing was basketball, by the time I got to college I played a little bit of ball, and then I began to focus on rap. People were saying I could spit, so a few months after I started, DJ Vlad hosted my tape, and it sold like 11k physical copies. For me it was a really big deal because I’m from a small town in Canada and people were buying it in New York.”

Following up with a few more mixtapes, Filip Filipi found commercial success with his single “Boom” on the show So You Think You Can Dance. Stepping away from his more conceptual 90’s style, Filip Filipi was estranged from the rap he knew and he felt his story was becoming distorted.

“When I was coming up the sound was Dipset and that soul sample style on the beat, and every beat had the set of samples. We used to sample old Balkan and Serbian samples and really kind of made that the trademark of our production. There was a time when I started to not like the direction that Hip-Hop was taking toward Techno and EDM. To this day I listen to Tupac, Biggie, Nas, Lauren Hill, Bob Marley, The Fugees and that’s my gold standard of Hip-Hop and music. Like all the tracks remixed with the Backstreet Boys and other boy bands, that’s not Hip-Hop to me.”

Choosing to step away to focus on humanitarian work, Filip Filipi, recalls going on a hiatus from music after he felt local artists were attacking Drake on a chat group.

“I just had to step away and focus on humanitarian work. I’m from Canada, and I turned away from rap music in Canada at the worst time. Toronto was a black hole for music for a time and then Drake hit. He had been coming up with his Degrassi following but he just blew up and at that point it wasn’t really cool to blend Degrassi and rap. At one point, I remember on MSN messenger when everyone was dissing Drake and they started picking on him like a cybergang for like 30 minutes. At that time, my home country was going through a really rough time, so I was already thinking about trying to use my music to do something there. I guess that convo was the straw, because it made me focus completely on the humanitarian stuff, the organization, UN, all that. So I just exited that MSN convo and then The Weeknd, Drake and a whole bunch of other rappers broke big a month later.”

Now back for more Filip Filipi is merging the worlds of basketball and Hip-Hop in memory of his former manager. He hopes music, art and basketball will come together on the court in Akron to provide refuge for other young kids, like they had for him.

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Cameron Airborne – “No Cuffing ” ft. Jackboy

Today South Florida artist Cameron Airborne, drops the music video for his song “No Cuffin” featuring buzzing rapper Jackboy. In the Andrew Colton directed music video,…

Today South Florida artist Cameron Airborne, drops the music video for his song “No Cuffin” featuring buzzing rapper Jackboy. In the Andrew Colton directed music video, listeners get a hazy and psychedelic visual to go along with Cameron Airborne‘s catchy Summer bop. 

“The beat was a collaborative track with K.E. on the Track. He laced up the beat and I got Jackboy on there for the hook too. It’s just real catchy, we shot the video for the track and it just a had kind of club or pop vibe to it. It’s definitely a Summer song and its very upbeat and kind of fast paced, it def keeps the head nodding.”

Combing elements of guitar and singing, Cameron Airborne has found a lane doing his own thing combining it all with rap after performing in a band early on in his career.

“I play guitar because I had played in a band before and I ended up rapping. It gave me stage experience and the drive to want to do my own thing.” Cameron Airborne explained.  “I branched out and started doing my own music and I always wrote my own poetry so transitioning to rapping was natural. I can make trap music, I can make pop catchy sounding music and I can make real lyrical stuff too.  When I put out a projects I try to put out a little something for everyone to take something away from the project.”

Although most of the world has been shut down over the past few months with COVID-19, Cameron Airborne remains busy producing instrumentals and gearing up for his own studio where he will be able to record artists there. 

“Im just on the independent grind, I’m opening up my own studio and that way I can make money, just recording and doing sessions,” Cameron Airborne explained.   “I’ve been producing my own instrumentals and so I have a lot of music lined up and some big features tucked away for the right time to present them.”

 

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Yella Beezy Talks “Keep It In The Streets,” Dallas, Nipsey Hussle & Errol Spence Jr In New Interview

The Dallas-native has singlehandedly chronicled a resume that will be studied and attempted to be emulated for generations to come….

The Dallas-native has singlehandedly chronicled a resume that will be studied and attempted to be emulated for generations to come. Platinum singles, a-list collaborations, critically-acclaimed mixtapes, stamps from legends like Chris Brown, L.A. Reid and the late-Nipsey Hussle and all of this before even releasing a debut album. Today, the “That’s On Me” hitmaker talks about his journey to the top with correspondent Boom in a new interview for 50 Cent outlet, Thisis50.

During the interview, Yella Beezy talks Dallas’s current musical landscape, provides details on the new album, bad contracts, business outside of music, Drake, Nipsey Hussle, Errol Spence Jr, L.A. Reid and more. Baccen Beezy is currently promoting his new single, “Keep It In The Streets” as he readies a new single with Young Thug, titled, “Headloc,” scheduled for release this month.

Watch the complete interview here and stream Yella Beezy’s “Keep It In The Streets” now, available via Hitco.

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Dallas Rapper Fat Yunginn Signs with Cash Money Records

Recently Dallas, Texas rapper Fat Yunginn and Cash Money Records are happy to announce the Pleasant Grove rapper’s signing to their iconic rap label. Pictured above with Birdman and Ronald “Slim” Williams, this young upstart…

Recently Dallas, Texas rapper Fat Yunginn and Cash Money Records are happy to announce the Pleasant Grove rapper’s signing to their iconic rap label. Pictured above with Birdman and Ronald Slim” Williams, this young upstart has officially inked a deal with one of the most iconic Hip-Hop/Rap labels in the history of music. 

First getting notoriety for his song “Sack Up” in 2016, Fat Yunginn says he always wanted to sign with Cash Money Records and that it’s a “perfect match.”

“I grew up off Cash Money, I grew up listening to them. I ain’t gonna lie I always wanted to be on Cash Money and I always wanted to sign with them. I don’t really go off what other people say or what they do and say about Cash Money. Birdman came up talking about he was the #1 Stunna and if you listen to my flow you can hear my ooh flow fits with this brand. Sack Season / Cash Money Records. It’s a perfect match.”

Raised in Dallas’ Pleasant Grove, Fat Yunginn drew inspiration from his father’s passing and from there began to take off on the strip club scene in Dallas. 

“I’m from Dallas Texas, from a hood out there called Pleasant Grove. I started doing music once my Pops passed away and I just took to music and it was just going up from there. Once I dropped Sack Up it went crazy in the strip clubs and so after that I started taking it more seriously. One night I went in the strip club and tipped a couple of females and this big DJ in Dallas named DJ Hit That began spinning it.  It took off from there and I did my first paid show off that song,” Fat Yunginn said.   “As far as Dallas and the surrounding areas I was able to perform Sack Up out there and I was able to build up my brand. We’re called Sack Season Ent, but we call ourselves Sack Babies. Anything that has to do with a sack of money we about that. Thats basically how they know me around here.”

Going forward Fat Younginn is preparing for the release of his next single called, “Show My Ass” featuring fellow Dallas rapper Yella Beezy.

“I got another song called Show My Ass thats another club banger with Yella Beezy and we gonna release that one through Cash Money. I got the visual for my next track, it’s just to get my sound out there a little more and my ooh flow. Its my ad lib you can hear in a lot of my songs. Then I have another with Rylo Rodriguez and another one with Euro Gotti. I got a lot of unreleased music I can’t wait for the fans to hear it,” he added.  “I can get in there and start from scratch, the ooo flow, I have fun in the studio. When I came up with the ooh flow I was just playing around people have just been gravitating towards it.”

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