(Article originally published 10.05.2016. Updated 16.08.2016)
Kojey Radical’s words have meaning. Residing in East London and paving the way for his unique career in the already thriving UK Rap Scene, his sincere work speaks volumes about how he got to where he is now.
Arriving at the Speaking Sound studio with band and manager at his side, it’s clear that quality is high on the list of priorities for Kojey and his band. After an hour of soundcheck he’s ready to perform for TEAfilms Live Sessions with as much raw talent and commitment that you hear in his published tracks.
Kojey’s music speaks for itself. Find the videos of his session below:
Many people see music documentaries as a 21st-century phenomenon, but they could not be more wrong! Fantastic, informative releases have been coming out for almost as long as the format has existed. These following projects have gone down in history as some of the most comprehensive and authentic reflections on their respective genres. From Hip Hop, Punk, Rave and Soul, here are five of the greatest music documentaries of all time.
Most of these documentaries are available to watch in full on YouTube, and we’ve included links to do so. But if you’re reading this in a country where that platform is blocked and aren’t already using a VPN, then you better install one before we get started. Check out this review by Secure Thoughts to choose the best for you.
Rhyme & Reason (1997)
This 1997 release is hailed by most hip-hop heads as the leading documentary on the genre. Produced as the golden era of rap was coming to its close, the film features appearances from many of the biggest names of the decade, including Chuck D, Dr Dre, the Pharcyde, Fugees, KRS-One, Ice T, Salt & Pepper, Redman & Method Man and even clips of the then recently deceased Biggie Smalls and Tupac, alongside many, many more.
The documentary uses archive footage to chronicle a fantastic candid camera history of the genre and how this quiet little revolution from the projects of New York has blown up to take over the mainstream entertainment industry and the world as a whole. The story of this triumph is narrated via interview clips from all the biggest players on the scene and provides a real and authentic re-telling of the hip-hop story from the people who witnessed it happen.
WATCH IT HERE:
1991: The Year That Punk Broke (1991)
When Sonic Youth invited a film crew to take part in their 1991 tour, no one could have imagined the gravity of the movie that they would subsequently make. With footage of the alternative rock scene, long before it was brought to notoriety, the film truly witnesses the birth of a genre. The tour sees scenes from the then unknown support band, Nirvana, alongside the Ramones and Babes In Toyland.
The movie shows a young, innocent and hopeful Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love frolicking backstage alongside their eager contemporaries as they watch the music they’d loved and created explode onto the world’s stage. In retrospect, this movie is a harrowing tale; the story of gaining everything only to, as we now know, lose it all again equally as quickly. For punk lovers, it’s a piece of history, and for everyone else, it’s a must-see documentary.
WATCH IT HERE:
Summer of Rave (2006)
EDM has exploded onto the world’s stage over recent years, but how many Coachella-goers and Skrillex fans would believe that their much-loved culture actually stemmed from the acid house parties of 1980s England. One particular year, the summer of 1989, saw what people called the “second summer of love,” as repercussions of Thatcher’s Britain created a sub-culture based on banging baselines, fist-pumping and chemical-fueled raves.
The smiley-face, glow stick and fluorescent colors all came from this era. The documentary explores the many social intricacies of that short period of revelry, and how it created a culture that is still thriving to this very day. With some carefully selected BBC archive footage, and interviews from the some of the biggest names of the day, this is an essential watch for all lovers of electronic music.
WATCH IT HERE:
One of the greatest smash hit documentary of recent years, which has taken the world by storm, is this highly emotive, posthumous look at the life of controversial singer and songwriter—Amy Winehouse. Known for her turbulent relationships, media scandals and heavy drug-use, Asif Kapadia has done a brilliant job of directing a film that shows a side of this fantastic musician that the world has never been able to see before.
With rare footage from the early days of her career, Kapadia portrays Amy as her young, ambitious self—a slave to music and passionate singer who versed herself in almost every genre. It shows how her voice enchanted the entire industry and her to-the-point outlook meant she was loved by many. So, as the documentary draws to a close and we are presented with her demise, we see the end of Amy’s sad life in a whole new light.
WATCH IT HERE:
Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads (1991)
This essential narration of the importance and growth of Delta and North Mississippi hill country blues is a true testimony to a genre that changed the face of music forever. It’s an authentic look at the early musicians, playing in run down bars, street corners and barbershops, and speaks of a time before big record labels and media outlets got their hands on its unique and impacting sound.
This is blues before the Chicago influence, before the birth of rock and roll and the appropriation of a culture by White America. These videos are the real deal, and an essential watch for all blues fans or fans of the many successors of the genre. Before blues became a music of nostalgia, it was a trailblazer in the world of sound, and this documentary harks back to a time when this excitement was fresh and new.
WATCH IT HERE:
Any more documentaries that deserve a spot on this list? Leave a comment below with your ideas! About the Author: Isa is an entertainment blogger and life-long music lover. She enjoys delving into the colorful histories of all her favorite genres and hopes she can share all she’s found out with fellow music enthusiasts.
I don’t think anyone appreciates music as much as teenagers. Whether it be because we’re young and easily influenced, or because our angst allows us to quickly associate with down trodden rockstars’ depressing thoughts, there are three albums which I think every teenager should have in their collection to help them get through those famously difficult years.
I don’t understand how anyone could go through their teenage years without having a copy of Green Day’s “Dookie” somewhere. Sure, some Blink-182 albums would suffice, but no one really captured teenage angst and disaffection as well as Billie Joe could in “Burnout”, “Longview” and “Basket Case”. Every time I listen to this album my favourite song changes – “Basket Case” and “When I Come Around” may have been what captured the punk rockers into mainstream success, but hidden charms on the record such as “Having a Blast”, “She”, “Sassafras Roots” and “Coming Clean” root so deep into the teenage psyche that the insanely catchy three-chord musings are hands down some of the best Green Day has ever done.
Probably the best debut album released in the past twenty years, The Strokes’ “Is This It” is so disaffected, disjointed and powerful that it transcends being an album for teenagers and has become the basis for virtually every single indie rock band to come onto the scene since its release. However, I don’t think anyone can quite appreciate Julian Casablancas’ Lou Reed impressions as much as someone who has never heard Lou Reed. “Is This It”, “Barely Legal”, “Someday” and “Hard to Explain” not only provide the musical basis for your favourite 2000s indie band, but also lyrically encapsulate everything being a young has to offer, and what it can’t offer…why won’t you wear your new trenchcoat??
Now for the real Lou Reed. The Velvet Undergound’s Andy Warhol -produced and banana-clad infamous record may not be specifically for teenagers, or at least most teenagers who don’t like listening to two-note musings about hard drugs, but it’s basically a staple for every music lover. Reed’s famous drawlings coupled with Nico’s soft charms, overtly simplistic music and melancholy tones all join to form the phenomenal “I’m Waiting for the Man”, “Venus in Furs” and “Heroin”, some of the best pieces to come out of the late 60s. Listening to this record makes you romanticise a bunch of things you really shouldn’t (like New York brownstones), but it’s one of the most important albums ever created and Music 101 for any teenager – plus, Lou Reed was probably the first emo.
Originally hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Caroline Glaser made the big move to Nashville, Tennessee a few years ago — a fact that is highlighted on her self-titled album that will be released on June 24th. Caroline Glaser’s album is uniquely “her.” When you listen to her voice fill the room, you’ll come to find that you want her to tell you her stories. And Caroline definitely has some stories to tell — from spending some time on the hit TV Show “The Voice” to opening up for Straight No Chaser. And although not all of us can be as fortunate to get to know Caroline over coffee in Nashville, we can get to know her through her music. Her raw honestly is as good as it gets.
MusicDash: You’re originally from St. Louis. What initially drew you to the Nashville area?
Caroline Glaser: I found a booking agent in Nashville around 2013 and he set me up with some meetings and writing sessions right away– I just kind of fell in love with the city and people. It’s such an inspiring place.
MusicDash: Was there any specific moment during your life that made you think “I want to do this forever”
Caroline Glaser: My first little headlining tour in 2013 was super pivotal for me. That’s when I really fell in love with performing my original music for people. There were a LOT of ups and downs (probably mainly downs), but I remember on my drive home just thinking about how I could never picture myself doing anything else.
MusicDash: Let’s talk about Caroline and the Chocolate Factory! Where did you get the idea for the EP from? What happens if you get a golden ticket?
Caroline Glaser: Well I LOVE the film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I had it on one day and during the “cheer up, Charlie” scene I thought about how cool it would be to cover that song– it’s so beautiful. It gradually turned into a cover EP exclusively for people who pledged on my pledge campaign (for my new record). I ended up really being proud of the EP though and wanted to do more with it– so I started selling physical CDs on my website and on tour. I hid Golden tickets in 15 of them and they’ll get an exclusive Tee shirt with the first batch of signed CDs once they come out on June 24th.
MusicDash: Your first ever full record is coming out on Friday the 24th! Congrats! What can you tell us about the record?
Caroline Glaser: Thank you so so much! I’m really excited about this one. I co-produced it with a friend of mine, Michael Kight. He had been playing out on the road with me for a little over a year when we decided to do the project together, so he definitely had a good feel for the direction I wanted to go in.
MusicDash: What was the writing process like for this record? Did you do any cowrites?
Caroline Glaser: I wrote/cowrote 8 out of the 9 songs on the record. The second to last track is a cover of “Your Love” by the Outfield and about half of them were written with some awesome writers here in Nashville. I wrote most of the material in 2015m although there are a couple older ones in there.
MusicDash: I know that this is a hard one, but what is one of your favorite songs to perform live?
Caroline Glaser: I guess it kind of depends– my favorite venues to play are intimate theaters/listening rooms. In that setting I really love playing “Waterfall” — it’s probably one of my favorites on the new record. In a more lively/fun atmosphere like a club or something, I like playing “Wolves.” It’s one of the most upbeat songs I’ve written.
MusicDash: What has been your most memorable performance?
Caroline Glaser: Probably when I opened up for Straight No Chaser at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. I grew up seeing huge acts there, so that was pretty surreal.
MusicDash: What is it about making music that captivates you?
Caroline Glaser: Oh gosh, everything form the lyrics to the melodies. I’ve always been a huge music lover.
MusicDash: Recently you released a live video of your song “Wishing Well” that you recorded at YouTube Nashville. How did you get involved with them?
Caroline Glaser: That was such a fun video shoot– it was just an opportunity that resented itself through my management team. I was really really excited to do it. Such a cool popup event.
MusicDash: You’ve been on tour with artists like Us the Duo, Kris Allen, and Nashville-based Liz Longley. Have any other artists that you’ve connected with so far offered you any words of advice about the industry?
Caroline Glaser: Just really to not get discouraged. There are a LOT of ups and downs in music and I think patience and motivation are truly the most important qualities for success.
MusicDash: If you had to describe your sound for somebody who’s never heard you before, what would you say?
Caroline Glaser: Hmm that’s tough– I would probably put it under the “indie-folk” category, but there are some soft rock/pop elements to the new record. It’s all pretty mellow though.
MusicDash: Besides your upcoming release, what’s coming up for you for the rest of the year?
Caroline Glaser: Writing, writing, writing! I’m already working on some upcoming projects that I am suuuuper excited about. Between records, though, I’m hoping to tour quite a bit. Still working on getting that nailed down.
Scooter Braun, manager to some of the biggest artists in the music industry, has just joined the conversation on gun control in the US. He gave his thoughts via an Instagram post featuring an image with the text ‘WE CAN DO MORE’ – this is following the Orlando night club shooting this week, the deadliest shooting in US history which left 50 people dead and 53 injured.
“Last night I was thinking about our nation…my son…this world…what I am contributing to it.. And I posted this…and today I post it again. I’m not asking Americans to lose rights..I’m not asking everyone to turn in their guns. I’m asking my fellow Americans to acknowledge we need a system to protect our future and the freedoms we claim to hold so dear.”
“We need gun control laws to add to our freedoms not take away. We need to make the right decisions for the next generation. I have so much more to say but for now all I will say is how many more speeches and tragedies will it take? We only get a certain amount of time on this earth and our responsibility is to our kids.”
“How can we look our sons and daughters in the eye with all we have now seen and not try? Not try to better this world for THEM!? We are better than this. God bless America.. But God isn’t going to change this… He gave us free choice. Let’s choose to make a difference.”
Originally hailing from Indiana, Harpooner is a three-piece band that has a love for the Beatles, and infuses that influence into their music. Although the band formed in 2012, “Rose Park” will be their first full length release, which is due out in digital stores on June 24th. Surrounding the release, Harpooner has been playing shows all over the US — from Nashville to North Carolina to New York.
Last week I had a chat with Scott Schmadeke of the band, and here’s what he had to say.
MusicDash: What originally drew you to Nashville?
Harpooner: I’ve been touring with Tennessee acts for years and grew tired of taking the Megabus down every other week.
MusicDash: How did you all meet and decide to form a band?
Harpooner: Basement shows in Bloomington (where we are from) are the bloodline of creativity in that town. We played a few of those under different names (Lennie’s House Band, The HawtDawgs, MilkyMilky) but Harpooner stuck finally and off we went.
MusicDash: So you’re currently out on the road with Houndmouth. What have been some of you’re favorite cities that you’ve been to so far?
Harpooner: The Houndmouth guys are great. One of my best buds from Bloomington, Tim Smiley, does FOH for them and gave me the spot once the position became open. Austin was great, until I scraped up my legs falling into Barton Springs naked with many a strangers around.
MusicDash: I saw you were at Shaky Knees this year. I was there too! Which performances did you absolutely love?
Harpooner: Shaky and the accommodations were fantastic. Free Barber and Tattoo Artist for musicians was dynamite. After all the years living in the same tiny town as Murder By Death, I finally got to see them 20 hours away from home. We chummed up real quick.
MusicDash: Tell us about your single “Carolines.” Where did you draw the inspiration from?
Harpooner: Well I was dating three different Carolines at the same time for a long period of time, so naturally, you could say, twice as much inspiration to draw from.
MusicDash: You also just released the video! Who directed it, where did you shoot it, and again, where did that inspiration come from?
Harpooner: Andy Beargie in Bloomington, IN (Blockhouse Studios) pretty much has been our creative champion for this entire project since day one. He has engineered, mixed, produced, finished the album photo and design, and shot the music video. He is the only true inspiration to the band because of how talented and kind he is. Long LIVE ANDY!
MusicDash: Your LP “Rose Park” is due out June 24. What can your listeners expect?
Harpooner: An interstellar, socially injust, and heartbroken year of 2014.
MusicDash: What album has been your favorite release of the year so far? What albums are you most excited for in the coming months?
Harpooner: Life of Pablo – Kanye West. Nothing else is relevant.
MusicDash: Besides your new release, what’s coming up next for you this year?
Harpooner: I’d love to start a family, maybe even open a flower shop with a piano in it… Nah, I’ll probably just be other people’s bitch for another decade or so. A boy can dream though, right?
I’m not even going to try to deny my love for Max Jury’s debut album. When you review, you sometimes just have to give in and just admit you blatantly love something “just because.” And while I’m aware that answer wouldn’t get you far in school, music simply makes us feel stuff, right?
So what’s the deal with this boy from Des Moines, Iowa? So many questions answered with even more questions. Because that’s what’s happening. As you dig into this debut album in the pocket of Max’s corner of the universe, it’s like when you were a kid and your dad built you pillow fort. That excitement when you first drew the blankets to the side and your imagination took you wherever you wanted to go.
‘Numb’ starts of the album, a slow smooth tune, eloquently showing off the vocal chords of this guy. There is a sweetness and lightness to his voice, something a little undefinable but inviting. It seems effortless with the choir on ‘Princess’ and the faster paced ‘Beg & Run’ where Jury sings “Say that you’re alone but you know better / don’t know where you’re going even though you have time / It’s not romantic to take this for granted” (the guitar riff has been stuck in my head for a good two days now.)
Songwriting-wise we’re going to have to touch the subject of the likes of Elton John and Gram Parsons. Drop this kid into the mix and perhaps a new generation will take notice to the art of songwriting before a riff or a beat. “Everybody’s always saying to look over your shoulder / the grass is always greener and I should do what I’m told” he sings on ‘Love That Grows Old’ which is the epitome of that those classics mentioned above. And with that voice, it would seem the soulful Americana was destined for him.
Max Jury fills a space that we didn’t even know was missing from the music scene. Besides the obvious phenomenal songwriting and melody, the final product; what he has put together as a whole — music, feel, atmosphere, authenticity, songwriting and so forth, that’s so rare to hear on a debut album.
You feel like you’re in good hands throughout the extent of the eleven songs. He raises a curiosity. Like peeking into someone’s diary where some of the letters and names have been crossed out. So you listen to the song again, because human nature tells us to continue looking for answers. So many questions answered with even more questions. The fine line of delivering to satisfy and connect with the listener while engaging and still leaving them with questions and want for more. He knows how to walk it.
Blossoms, the five piece band from Stockport have performed their single ‘Charlemagne’ on the BBC Introducing stage at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend. Not seen it yet? It sounded beautiful. Watch below:
Here’s what we had to say about them in our 2016 Predictions:
‘Hailing from Stockport, Blossoms sounds a bit like Arctic Monkeys or The Stone Roses subjected to old school pop psychedelia. Perhaps more rock than pop. The band formed in 2013, pulling on several genres. With ‘Charlemagne’ they definitely proved they have earned their own sound. Blossoms are heading out on a UK headline tour in early 2016, with their EP At Most A Kiss released on February 19th.’
The Niles Rooker Trio might be young, but the band already has a specific goal in mind — to bring Nashville the vibes of their favorite 50s and 60s hit tracks. With an EP already under their belt and performances at some of Nashville’s hottest venues, the trio is already impressing us over at MusicDash (we can see them taking over your nearest festival stage real soon).
We spoke to Niles Rooker, the lead singer of the band, ahead of the release of their new single “I Won’t Sleep,” due out June 3rd. In the meantime, add their track “Beach Talk” to your Summer Playlist — linked below!
MusicDash: What originally drew you to Nashville?
Niles Rooker: I had always wanted an excuse to move to Nashville. The music scene here is impeccable. That’s basically the gist haha.
MusicDash: When and how did you get your start in music?
Niles Rooker: I started songwriting at the age of 12. 10 years later and I’m a lot better at it haha. I’ve always found people to play with since then but when I got to Nashville, playing with Jeff [Meloen] and Ryan [Lemp] changed everything.
MusicDash: How did you all meet and decide to form a band?
Niles Rooker: Jeff and I met at school and started off as a duo. We were wearing the same shoes on the first day of classes and struck up a convo. From there, we talked music for several minutes. We went from trying to jam in a storage unit to Jeff’s landlord barging in unannounced telling us to be quiet. We wanted to get a third member with a bass so that we could add a new dynamic to my songs. Queue Ryan Lemp.
MusicDash: You have a new single called “I Won’t Sleep” coming out on June 3rd! Tell us a little bit about that. What can we expect?
Niles Rooker: It’s an upbeat Elvis/Cash influenced song that’s full of energy and fun instrumentation. It defines some of our sound as live performers. You can expect quick and catchy hooks that even get stuck in our heads.
MusicDash: I know that you guys changed your name recently. What inspired that change?
Niles Rooker: It’s kind of funny, we were just using my name since I’m doing the writing. However, there was always one drunk dude at each show shouting, “No! Not your name, what’s the name of the band!” We all still joke about that. Even further, I like being called the trio because it emphasizes everyone’s parts and contributions. When you think that only three people are up on stage or in the recording, you can appreciate what is being played more.
MusicDash: You’ve released an EP before. What difference in sound can we expect between your new single and your previous EP, if any at all?
Niles Rooker: The single goes in a more country rock direction. It was highly influenced by Chuck Berry, Elvis, and Johnny Cash. And that’s not to say that’s what the next song will be. We like diversity and right now we’re attracted to a plethora of different directions. We also spent more time filling up the sound of the new single with overdubs and some new instrumentation for us as a band.
MusicDash: What has been one of your favorite or most memorable performances in Nashville?
Niles Rooker: As an artist, a recent show we played takes the cake. We hit the Exit/In for the album release of some close friends of ours, Floralorix. The energy was on fire and our parts were crushed for 35 minutes of euphoria.
MusicDash: Are there any venues around Nashville that you’re dying to play?
Niles Rooker: The Ryman and Ascend! I love all the venues of Nashville and we have played at a vast majority of them at one time or another. I hope to snag an opening slot at Ascend in the near future somehow. 9. What inspires you to write songs? Other musicians. I’ll be listening to music on my phone or at show and I’ll get that feeling, “I need to write.” Everyone should be inspirational. That’s how you can push each other to be better.
MusicDash: What’s coming up next for you this year?
Niles Rooker: We have a tour planned this July/August that travels through the southern states. It’s our first time on the road so we are truly stoked to get out there and rock!
Pop electronica duo Honne have announced a new UK tour. After the success of their latest release, the EP ‘Gone Are The Days’, they’ve spent their time creating a debut album called ‘Warm On A Cold Night’ – due for release on July 22nd 2016 on iTunes, CD and Vinyl. These guys are brilliant. Here’s what we had to say about them in our 2016 Predictions:
‘The pop electronica duo Andy and James, origins from Somerset Wiltshire. After two EPs in 2014, they released both Coastal and Over Lover EPs all on their own through Tatemae Recordings. The soulful vibes and soft tunes cradle the sharp lyrical universe. Radio 1’s Annie Mac is a big fan, and a quick listen to a couple of their songs proves just how creative freedom does not have to negate radio friendly tunes. Their new EP Gone Are The Days comes out at the end of January.’