Kayda recounts her hip-hop journey on latest single ‘Autopilot’!

KAYDA!

Malaysian rapper Kayda reflects on her early days as an artist on her latest single ‘Autopilot’, featuring US-based newcomer Ish.

Kayda – real name Wan Nur Khaleda Aziz – had also worked with composer The Cxdy on this self-produced track, which dropped on October 16.

“’Autopilot’ is about my journey in music, from performing at hip-hop gigs in my teens, to putting out my music on MySpace and staying consistent in making more music without thinking too much about it,” Kayda said in a press statement.

Kayda said the track which took only a few hours to complete after she met her friends at the studio, chose the beats, and recorded what was pre-written at home.

“Everything seemed to gel. And after that, a friend approached me wanting to sponsor the music video, and the whole project felt like it was on ‘Autopilot’, hence the title.”

Watch the music video, “Autopilot”: https://bit.ly/3m2z5lu

The song recorded at Kaya Butter Studio and had already been completed along with the accompanying music video in July last year, but Kayda had put the release on hold based on advice from her management.

Kayda also explained she met Ish during the second season of rap cypher series 16 Baris, and who wanted to learn to rap in Malay.

“Ish gave a lot of creative ideas in songwriting, a mad freestyler to boot and probably one of the best rappers I came across that’s able to freestyle so incredibly well,” she said.

The main message of ‘Autopilot’, Kayda said, is to encourage people to persevere in whatever they want to pursue.

In late September Kayda – who is the daughter of Malaysia’s jazz sensation Sheila Majid and composer Roslan Aziz – was featured in a collaborative single ‘Skills 4 All’ alongside Yusry (of Malaysian pop/rap group KRU), and W.A.R.I.S.

In 2013, Kayda was also nominated for Best New Artist at the Malaysian Hip Hop Awards, while her first single ‘Down With Me’ feat. Bem won Silver at the Voice International Music Awards (VIMA) the following year.

Kayda’s debut album ‘Love for No Reason’ produced by Emir Hermono, Bem and Puffietop was released in 2018.

By A. Azim Idris; October, 2020

Four Studio Engineers Give Rappers Advice on How to Use Auto-Tune the Right Way!

AUTO-TUNE RAP CELEBS’ ENGINEERS : EVAN LaRAY, CaShPassion, ONHEL, JESS JACKSON

There’s no sound more prominent in rap right now than that of Auto-Tune. Since the mid 2000s, seasoned OGs like T-Pain and Lil Wayne have finessed the vocal effect into a hit-making cheat code. Based on their pioneering techniques with Auto-Tune in hip-hop, fans increasingly grew to adore the then-foreign sound, and rappers have equally made the element a requirement in their music these days rather than leaving it as something experimental. Just look back at the sound of hip-hop over the last 15 years. The takeover is real.

Mo City-bred titan Travis Scott has built an entire aesthetic that is successfully formulated with Auto-Tune, allowing his melodies to pierce the ear far more than someone’s natural voice. His engineer Ca$hpassion helped bring that signature audio to life and still does alongside the Jackboys collective. Similarly, Young Thug’s high-pitched approach is refined by using the tool. As is Roddy Ricch’s voice. His hit record “The Box” is famous for the distorted “eh er” at the top of the record.

Aside from the obvious, more artists use Auto-Tune than you might expect in other creative ways, proving its growing impact. Take for example, the fallen Brooklyn star Pop Smoke. Jess Jackson, engineer and producer on Pop’s sophomore mixtape, Meet The Woo 2, and debut album Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, kept the rapper’s gritty lead vocals intact and instead, opted to place Auto-Tune on the ad-libs to give his music a “2020 sound” that people flock to.

The same strategy was set in place for engineer and producer Evan Larry. For songs like “Wap,” he’s paired Caardi B’s vocals with Auto-Tune as the supporting cast rather than the main as he would with artists like Future and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.

What’s transparent is that things have certainly come a long way from the chart-topping days of T-Wayne(T-Pain and Lil Wayne)’s “Can’t Believe It.” Things may be similar to the untrained ear, but the technology and strategy used to perfect Auto-Tune have both had more evolutions than the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Onhel, Lil Wayne’s Grammy Award-nominated engineer, notes this and like the rest of the engineers here, has used his elongated experience to gather some knowledge for aspiring rappers and engineers on how to create something legendary and rise to the top of the game.

So with the wise words from these four engineering experts, here’s the best advice rappers should follow when it comes to using Auto-Tune the right way.

Read More about these expert engineers inside track to hip-hop stars: https://bit.ly/3diELox  

Article By XXL/https://www.xxlmag.com/October, 2020

Melanie Martinez Curated Her Own Guest DJ Station on iHeartRadio 📻

MELANIE MARTINEZ is celebrating her new song, “Fire Drill,” with her own IHeartRadio Guest DJ station!

Melanie Martinez dropped her sophomore album, K-12, less than a year ago along with its accompanying film of the same name, and now, she’s preparing to release her After School EP. With the release of her newest song “Fire Drill,” the singer/songwriter is celebrating her new music by curating her own Guest DJ station on iHeartRadio powered by HBO Max. 

On her exclusive station, fans can hear music from her albums, including songs like “Lunchbox Friends,” “Show & Tell,” “Copy Cat” featuring Tierra Whack and “Nurse’s Office” which is “one of [her] favorites that [she’s] ever written,” among others. They can also hear some of Melanie’s favorite tracks from artists like Brandy, Missy Elliott, Kehlani, Frank Ocean, Solange, FKA Twigs. Ari Lennox and many others.

Fans can also hear Martinez talk about her music and some of her favorite songs. Check out the highlights below.

On her song “Copy Cat” and working with Tierra Whack:

“Tierra is one of the most incredible lyricists, and when we first started talking about working with each other, I sent her a bunch of options for songs, and I remember hoping that she would choose ‘Copy Cat’ and she did.”

On “Teenage Fantasy” by Jorja Smith:

“The reason why I chose this song is because the lyrics are incredibly relatable and make me feel many emotions.”

On “U Don’t Know Me (Like U Used To)” by Brandy:

“It’s one of my favorite songs from growing up and I love dancing to it.”

On Pink Matter by Frank Ocean featuring Andre 3000:

“I love this song because it makes me cry my eyes out. So if you’re feeling emotional, here we go.”

On “Truth” by Sabrina Claudio:

“This song is so beautiful and her voice is like angels singing.”

Listen to more of Melanie Martinez’s music and favorite songs on Melanie Martinez’s Guest DJ station on iHeartRadio powered by HBO Max. 

By Taylor Fields, Aug, 2020, AT40 article

Alicia Keys to executive produce documentary on female African-American entertainers 👏🏽

ALICIA KEYS: “I am proud to be a part of such a meaningful, important project,”

Alicia Keys is set to executive produce a feature-length documentary about Nina Simone, Cicely Tyson, and other iconic African-American women entertainers for PBS.

The No One hitmaker is developing the production American Masters: How It Feels To Be Free, which will also focus on the careers of Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Diahann Carroll and Pam Grier.

The film will examine how the six stars overcame racist stereotypes and to become prominent figures in the entertainment industry.

Based on the book How It Feels To Be Free: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement by Ruth Feldstein, it will feature interviews and archival performances from the women profiled and conversations with Keys, Halle Berry, Lena Waithe, Meagan Good, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and Samuel L. Jackson.

“I am proud to be a part of such a meaningful, important project,” Alicia shares in a statement. “Art is the most powerful medium on the planet, and I continue to be inspired by and learn from these powerful, brave and stereotype-shattering women who leveraged their success as artists to fearlessly stand up against racism, sexism, exclusion and harassment. I honor their courage by celebrating their stories and continuing the work they started.”

How It Feels To Be Free will air in early 2021.

Article by Music-News.com/Newsdesk; July, 2020, here: https://bit.ly/33axNyU

Beyoncé wins legal battle to trademark Blue Ivy’s name! 💃🏽

Beyonce and Blue Ivy, daughter

Her claim had previously been contested by events planner Veronica Morales.

Beyonce is closer to trademarking the name of her daughter Blue Ivy, after U.S. authorities dismissed a challenge to the application.

The singer has been in a legal battle with Veronica Morales, the owner of events planning firm Blue Ivy Company, since 2017. At the time, Beyoncé filed legal papers that sought to protect the commercial rights to ‘Blue Ivy Carter’ – her daughter with husband Jay-Z.

Contesting the claim, Morales said the trademark would be too similar to her own company and called on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officials to deny the bid. At one point, she even accused Beyonce of fraud and said the singer had no intention of using the name for business purposes.

However, her claims have now been denied by authorities, who have ruled that there is no evidence to suggest that members of the public would confuse the two brands.

They declared, as The Blast reports: “Because we find Opposer failed to establish that Applicant lacked a bona fide intent to use its mark in connection with the goods and services identified in the application, her fraud claim based thereon… fails as well.”

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is now expected to officially grant Beyoncé’s trademark.

Last week, Beyonce launched a new fund to give Black-owned businesses grants through her BeyGOOD Foundation.

The fund has been started in collaboration with the National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People (NAACP).

Read complete article by Nick Reilly/NME; July, 2020 here: https://bit.ly/2CFWvvP

The CROWN Act: Working to eradicate race-based discrimination! 📽

Black Hair A Crowning Glory: Be Unique, Be Yourself

We want all of our beauty to be welcome in all places and institutions. Narrow beauty standards make it difficult for women to freely celebrate their own beauty. While all women experience pressure to conform to certain standards of appearance, Black women are disproportionately impacted by the Eurocentric standards that so often define what is beautiful. Society’s bias has enabled discrimination against Black women’s hair, including being judged differently based on hair texture and hairstyle.

Did you know …

  • A Black woman is 80% more likely to change her natural hair to meet social norms or expectations at work
  • Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home or know of a Black woman sent home from the workplace because of her hair

In the US, the law in many states does not currently afford protection for race-based hair discrimination, even if the hairstyle is inherent to racial identity. That means Black women can be denied opportunities for employment or professional advancement without consequence. It means Black children can be denied entry to school or educational opportunities because of their natural hair. This is NOT OK. That’s why in 2019 we co-founded the CROWN Coalition in partnership with the National Urban League, Color Of Change and Western Center on Law and Poverty to advance anti-hair discrimination legislation. Our mission was, and is today, to advance efforts to end hair discrimination and to create a more equitable and inclusive beauty experience for Black women and girls. 

How the CROWN Act is enacting change

While there is still a lot of work to do, there has been progress. The CROWN Coalition sponsored The CROWN Act (SB 188) in California, introduced by Senator Holly J. Mitchell. California was the first state to pass The CROWN Act which was signed into law on July 3, 2019. With support from the CROWN Coalition, the bill has now been passed in 6 other states (CO, MD, NY, NJ, VA, WA), filed federally, and is in progress in 25 additional states. Once passed, these bills ensure that traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles, are protected from discrimination in the workplace and in K-12 public and charter schools. The CROWN Coalition continues to galvanize support for legislation to end hair discrimination federally and in all 50 states. Our CROWN petition has over 70,000 signatures so far, too, and you can sign it here:  https://bit.ly/2ZQ8SgJ

Hair bias hurts us all

Black women are unfairly impacted by societal norms and corporate grooming policies, creating distractions that impact our whole society. We know diversity has a positive impact on a workplace, and that companies that fire, refuse to hire or promote Black women because of their Protective Hairstyle destabilizes individuals, households and the broader economy. The workforce may boast more working women than ever[1], but Black women still remain pressured to conform to Eurocentric standards of appearance. Black women report receiving formal grooming policies at a rate significantly higher than White women. Natural hairstyles inherent to Black identity such as locs, braids, bantu knots, etc. are ranked the lowest for professional appearance. 

We want to see a world where we are all valued for who we are, a world where we express our individuality without any concern or consequence. No woman should ever be “judged” or held back by her hair.

Get involved!

Join us in creating real change that will impact the freedom that Black women and girls feel in expressing and celebrating their beauty. Follow @Dove and visit #TheCrownAct.com to see the progress we’re making together. Write to your legislators to encourage them to introduce and pass anti-hair discrimination legislation in your state. Below is an easy to use letter template for you to download.

Let your vote and your voice count in bringing anti-hair discrimination legislation to your state. Help us drive change today by signing the petition to pass The CROWN Act.

Download the Letter (PDF) (100 KB)

Opens in new window

The CROWN Coalition in 2020

This year, we are accelerating our work to eradicate race-based hair discrimination, and expanding our work with the CROWN Coalition. We are putting additional initiatives into action to end racial discrimination through legislative advocacy and societal change efforts. And there’s more to come.

In partnership with our Coalition members, we are evolving the CROWN Coalition and updating the name. The CROWN letters will now stand for:

Creating a 

Respectful & 

Open

World with

NO RACISM

We are creating the new CROWN Fund and pledging $5M of ongoing support that invests in efforts to eliminate barriers to progress for the next generation of Black lives. Alongside the fund, we will drive change by co-creating new programs and expanding existing ones such as the Dove Self-Esteem Project to help empower young people in the Black community. 

[1] Mark DeWolf, 12 Stats About Working Women, U.S. Department of Labor Blog (March 1, 2017) (According to the Department of Labor, women make up 47% of the US workforce, own close to 10 million businesses, and account for $1.4 trillion in receipts) 

See “Unique Hair” video here: https://youtu.be/UPcJog4DCPA

Dove, The Crown Act; complete article here: https://bit.ly/3e8Pe4A 

Hartecast Music… Where Music Is Living! ❤🎧

Hartecast Music is here to fulfill your music desires! Whether you are a music artist, producer, ad agency, music supervisor or a music lover, Hartecast Music is right here for you!

A 30-sec video that could be used for a Hartecast Music video promo

See Video Ad here: https://bit.ly/302CUxC

Hear Juice WRLD and Halsey’s ‘Life’s a Mess’ From Upcoming Posthumous Album!

Juice WRLD and Halsey!

Legends Never Die” will be released in July!

A new Juice WRLD song featuring Halsey, “Life’s a Mess,” has arrived alongside the announcement that the rapper’s first posthumous album, Legends Never Die, will be released July 10th.

The song balances a hard-hitting low end with somber synths and aching, but ultimately uplifting, vocals from Juice WRLD, with Halsey providing harmonies on the hook and guiding the song’s outro. “Ah, sometimes life’s a mess,” the pair sing during the chorus, “I get high when I’m upset/I remember when me and love ain’t click/Looking for something real, then I found it.”

“Life’s a Mess” follows previously released Juice WRLD tracks, “Tell Me U Luv Me,” featuring Trippie Redd, and “Righteous” which marked the rapper’s first posthumous single. Both songs will appear on Legends Never Die, although a full tracklist has yet to be revealed.

The Legends Never Die album announcement was accompanied by the launch of a new merchandise collaboration with the gaming organization, FaZe Clan. The collection was inspired by the friendship between Juice WRLD and various members of FaZe Clan, and their shared love of video games.

Juice WRLD died last December from an accidental overdose of oxycodone and codeine. In April, the late rapper’s mother, Carmela Wallace, launched the Live Free 999 Fund, which will help young people — especially those in underserved communities — grappling with addiction, anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns.

By Jon Blistein, Rollingstone; July, 2020
See article and video here: https://bit.ly/3gBfZjE

Prince’s sound engineer details how she created his infamous vault! 

Prince’s ‘Sign ‘O’ the Times’ 

Prince sound engineer Susan Rogers has revealed how she created the artist’s infamous vault and saved his masters from the 2008 Universal Music Fires.

Rogers worked with Prince as an audio technician from 1983 to 1988. In an interview for Double J’s Take 5 podcast, Rogers revealed that she began to collate Prince’s vault as a “practical matter” when the artist would demand old reference tapes.

“When I first started working for him, he would sometimes say to me at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning ‘bring me this tape or that tape’. I realised I have to know where all these things are, ’cause how would I know this obscure stuff that had never been released,” she explained.

“I started working with the women who worked in his office, and I asked for their help. Let’s collect all these tapes and start a database…With [a] personal computer we were able to start forming a database of all the tapes – the two inch, the quarter inch, the half inch – and then I got really ambitious. I started calling faraway places that might have some of his tapes.”

Rogers goes on to explain that her tape-amassing project expanded beyond the Minneapolis studio where she worked with Prince, contacting Sunset Studios, and Warner Brothers to retrieve his masters.

“Now, I did not know that you’re not supposed to do that,” Rogers laughed.

“Technically, if you’re under contract the label owns those masters. I would talk to the person in the tape closet and say – ‘Hey, Prince has asked me for this, he wants this for some thing or another, and I’ll send it right back’. We never sent it back.”

Rogers explained that it was this decision to keep copies of the tapes that prevented Prince’s masters from being lost in the 2008 Universal Music Group Fires, which wiped out tens of thousands of tapes from artists including Elton John, Queen Latifah, R.E.M., Beck, Tupac, and many more. 

“It would have been a lot safer if people had their own vaults.”

The interview comes ahead of the archival release of Prince’s ’Sign ‘O’ the Times’ Movie 4-Disc Deluxe Edition,set to feature 63 unreleased tracks when it arrives on September 25. Listen to the full chat with Rogers: https://ab.co/2C3WnGa

By Josh Martin/NME; July, 2020; NME article here: https://bit.ly/2BvnIkI