Last night, we premiered our first interview at the Heineken Red Star Access Tour with Wale, and if you caught that video, you saw Melanie Fiona surprising everyone with a performance of “Beautiful Bliss” alongside her fellow headliner. Well, shortly before that performance and a stirring solo set of her own, our own Jeff Baraka sat down with Melanie for a candid one-on-one to find out (like Wale) how her heritage is expressed through her artistry and music as well as how she aligns her personal brand with brands like Heineken and brands in general. And of course, we couldn’t let her get away without sharing a synopsis of what’s to come on her upcoming album, The MF Life, and her new single“4AM”. Watch above and hear who she worked with for the upcoming album (some bignames) as well as what to expect on the upcoming music video for that powerful ballad “4AM”.
Everytime we get a chance to talk to Melanie, her vibrant energy and personality, plus insightful perspective are all on display and it always makes for both a fun and engaging discussion. Without further adieu, watch our latest interview with her above (also featuring some live footage) and for even more of what I mean, check out our last interview with Melanie from the beginning of summer.
It’s always good linking up with MMG’s Stalley when he comes to the Chi. This time around, Stalley and I chopped it up after his Double Door set featuring DJ Sean Mac, GLC,Mick Luter, D-Win, Al Dilla, and a host of other chicago emcees. Big up to my Gowhere familia Stan Perry for keeping the cameras rolling while the Double Door staff instructed us to move mid-interview. That was a gutsy call from an equally saavy professional. The groove was NOT disturbed and all went well.
Stalley spoke on his epic beard, the I Am Still Music Tour with Rick Ross and Lil Wayne, recording his next project in Chicago, WTT and duo rap collabs. This Stalley quote below is also yet another reason I love my great city. Blue collar groove!
“Chicago is the best of both worlds. You get the city feel of a New York City, but you can still get the midwestern home feel.” ~ Stalley
New music flows freely like a river; finding gold is frustratingly infrequent. Enter Blah Blah Blah, a Chicago indie-rock band that has gotten glowing reviews from The Tribune, GWHH fam, and every person I’ve witnessed watch the band perform live. I gabbed with the guys at Double Door at the party for their new EP Thank You Thank You, released August 23, 2011. They filled me in on their self-labeled “ballroom rock” style, the dissonance between their look and sound, working with Matt Walker (Morrissey, Smashing Pumpkins) and Sean O’Keefe (Fall Out Boy), and more. Press play and get to know Blah Blah Blah (Wackiness Warning). Better yet, make it out to their next show and see them where they really shine.
Here we are with another new interview today as we have another red-carpet talk: this time with Devin Hester of our hometown Chicago Bears. He talks with our own Jeff Barakaabout his basketball/football camp he conducted with Dwyane Wade (who was once again hosting the party the interview went down at) and of course, we couldn’t let him get away without telling us who his favorite pump up artist is before a game. It was an awesome experience as we briefly got to talk with, perhaps when it’s all said and done, the greatest kick/punt returner of all time (don’t believe me? click here) as Hester was a good guy with us after the interview. Watch the quick-hitting interview above (shouts 2 K-Max on the vid as well)!
Sgt. Tibs, Jen DeLeon, Devin Hester, & Jeff Baraka
Today, #TeamGowhere spent the afternoon at PHLI, and interviewed Diggy Simmons. You’ve probably seen him on MTV’s popular reality show, “Run’s House,” but the sixteen-year-old has accomplished so many things at such a young age: breaking out as a rapper and collaborating with artists such as Lupe Fiasco, Pharrell and more, performing at the BET awards, and even having his own shoe line.
In the interview, we first talk about his music and what his fans should expect from his upcoming music video for his new single, “Copy, Paste,” and we go in-depth about his leaked collaboration with Bruno Mars – “Click, Clack, Away,”. With Simmons growing up around such an inspirational father – Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons – I closed out the interview by asking what piece of advice his father has given him for his personal life, as well as with his career, that he would like to share with his fans.
All-in-all, Diggy was a sweetheart to his fans – going out of his way to hug them, and even start small conversations. He’s achieved so much, and there will be plenty more to come.
“Birthday Sex” crooner (and GWHH veteran) Jeremih celebrated his own birthday July 17th at a private upscale rooftop in Pilsen. Ladies were dressed to impress, ready to comply with Jeremih’s lyrics. Fellas were looking fly vying for whatever attention the dapper Jeremih wasn’t commanding. We caught up with the birthday boy where we learned which birthday was his most memorable, the creative process with 50 Cent on his double-platinum hit“Down On Me”, what to expect from his forthcoming album, and more. Plus check for what Jeremih said that had me blushing
Bonus appearances in the video from: Willie Taylor (of Day26), Rotimi, Maino, L.E.P Bogus Boys, and more! Also in attendance: NBA Champion Shawn Marion, New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas, Ace Hood, Kosine (of Da Internz) Video by: Stan Perry
One afternoon, on a hot, cloudy day in the Chi, Maks G, Sgt. Tibs and I went on a journey to a magical place of longboarding and music and there we met AudioDax. Then the sun came up right before the interview (not even kidding). Oh yeah, and I became a professional longboarder…
ANYWAYS, Gowhere Fans, AudioDax fans, hip hop fans, electro/experimental fans, fans of music in general, Check out this not only awesome but fun, chill and entertaining interview with the dynamic DUO of AudioDax: Krypton FLO and Temble. The triple quadruple threats (song writers, rappers and singers + longboarders) released their second mixtape ‘Pop Rocks’ just yesterday, which was most definitely worth the year wait. The talented men of AudioDax talk about their biggest hits (including one that Mike Posner co-signs), their music in general, shows, their expressive/creative mixtape ‘Pop Rocks’ (that we got an early preview of), and spending their summer in Chicago California. COOL RIGHT? Makin’ big moves.
Call us if you need sponsors as longboarders AND download their new mixtape! Show them some love as well, they love that kind of stuff. Did we mention that you can download everything off of their website for FREE? Wow! That’s what I call a deal. AudioDax.com
“Grindin,’ when you know what I keep in a lining…” You say Clipse and my next move is sing-songing that classic lyric. So I was definitely thrown for a loop when I heard Malice, one half of the Virginia rap duo, would be in Chicago to promote his new book ‘Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind, and Naked’. I caught up with Malice at PHLI in Hyde Park and boy does he keep it real in this interview and book. (The dude is super genuine and down-to-earth). Press play and find out about his life-changing experience in hip hop, the impetus for his book and why he’s putting the whole (ugly) truth out there, how Pusha T felt about putting the group on hold, and what to look forward to from Malice and The Clipse.
JUST RELEASED, oo yeah Gowhere fans always gettin’ things first. For all of you who enjoy mashups, this new album is a great listen. Glimpses includes your favorite artists such asAdele, Lloyd, Soulja Boy, Mike Posner, Fabolous and many many more. This mashup album not only will make you dance but also has a special message which we’ll get to in about 10 seconds.
A little more about the DJ that put this whole thing together, DJ Whatt. Known for his mashups, he was featured in the New York Post SIX times. How great is that? I couldn’t get a face-to-face interview since he’s all the way in New York (shout out to the New York Gowhere crew out there) so we had a little interview via email which really does come in handy. Check out the very informational interview after the jump on one of your new favorite DJ’s! And also about that special message I told you to keep a look out for (10 seconds ago), read about how the titles of the album play out..it’s quite interesting/crazy.
Gowhere Hip Hop Interview with DJ Whatt:
Samantha: I’m just curious as to where you got your DJ name from, I think that’s a big part of how fans portray an artist. DJ Whatt, where does that come from?
DJ Whatt: DJ Whatt came from when I first started off and the music was playing a bit loud and my sister was over visiting and she asks me, “Well if you are going to start DJing whatt is going to be your name?” and I responded “Yeah that’s it” she says “Huh” I say “DJ What but with 2 T’s” and for my DOSVEC name, which I use only for mashups, DOS = the number 2 in spanish and VEC is short for Veces which means times so a mashup is 2 songs flipped so I liked DOSVEC
Samantha: It’s not easy to start DJing, I tried DJing one time for a school project and I gave up after the first five minutes. Tell us about your DJ career and how and when you started DJing.
DJ Whatt: As DJ Whatt it’s been over a decade and as DOSVEC 2 years. I have gotten to travel a lot for it and truly appreciate all the people throughout the years that have shown me support
Samantha: Your mixes are amazing, i’ve heard them of course, especially the first one you sent me via twitter! Where do you get motivation and inspiration in to picking which songs you want to mix?
DJ Whatt: Ah Thanks – I first pick the A Capella I want to work on and go from there looking for the ideal instrumental for it but sometimes I am really trying to think outside of the box and combine 2 genres that people would never think to combine.
Samantha: Have you ever mixed a song after spending FOREVER on it and ended up hating it?
DJ Whatt: Funny you ask I have a big collection of songs that I have never released because if I don’t like it – I don’t think others would like it – so just like my motto “If You Aren’t Dancing. I Am Not Doing My Job”
Samantha: GLIMPSES! Your upcoming album! (Which i’m very excited for) Tell us about that album and everything it portrays.
DJ Whatt: Glimpses is an album that reflects a time span in my life in which I thought I was dating someone but in reality I just had another fan from a distance. We all deserve to be treated the way we treat others and it’s never a good thing when we give 100% but the other party doesn’t. The songs in the album have individual meanings during the time I was with this person and the track listing is in chronological order during the time I was with her.
When I first meet you, you had me as a 1. “Twisted Boy” with the hopes of me saying 2. “Ooh Ahh ,I am, Home”. As time passed by I really thought we were approaching 3. “Better Than Dog Days” since I felt we made it to the 4. “Otherside”. You mentioned how I spoil you by me 5. “Shining Down on Whatever You Like” and I did that thinking 6. You Got The Love” that could 7. “Make Me Better”. I hoped the day would come when you would 8. “Touch My Bridge & Go” but as I waited for 9. “Delta 1406, to, Wake Up” from its delay. I wondered 10. “Where Had The Love Gone”? 11. “The Things You Can’t Get Enough” were obvious as I was the only one giving all I could & 12. “Just The Way You Are Not Alone” my 13. “Addiction” were the “GLIMPSES” you would give me to your true self. I don’t believe in 14. “ET” but I do know when 15. “Rolling In Life” nothing and I mean NOTHING will succeed if YOU don’t give 100%. We almost had it all if you would have let me 16. “Get It In Deep” to your mind, body and soul.
Samantha: Is this album different than any of your other albums?
DJ Whatt: Glimpses is me giving an insight to my personal life and covers a different range of genres, in which I have never worked on.
Samantha: What inspires you in general?
DJ Whatt: The end result of the listener dancing their ass of to one of my creations and they will always associate that great time they had with my song.
Samantha: Recently touring in Costa Rica (yes, i’m still jealous), tell us about that experience. Where else have you toured?
DJ Whatt: Performing in Costa Rica personally meant a lot to me since I am first generation American but am 100% Costa Rican so it as kinda like coming home. The experience was amazing and can’t wait to return in July. Other great spots have been Southern Spain and Italy
Sidenote from DJ Whatt: I will leave with the point that don’t do anything half-ass since it will never really workouts for you – thx 4 the support & hope to be in your area soon.
Enjoy this mashup album Gowhere fans, it truly is wonderful.
We got a chance to catch up with the Chicago Bulls point guard CJ Watson during hisQuiet Storm Foundation event at the Fifty/50. There were a lot of people having a good time talking with CJ, getting autographs, and purchasing the Bench Mob tee-shirts to support the Bulls and the foundation. All of the proceeds were donated – so make sure you get your tee over at BenchMob.com or CJWatson32.com!
Jen DeLeon chatted with him in the video above about the Quiet Storm Foundation, the Bench Mob and their rituals, the team’s funniest player (the answer may surprise you), his current pump up song before a game, and finally some thoughts on the ongoing Eastern Conference Finals versus the Miami Heat. Make sure you hit the jump to see what he listens to get him pumped before the games. Lastly shoutout to CJ for the time and the interview; he’s a very humble dude and we hope to see more of him and the Bench Mob dominating as the Bulls head down to Miami!