Milwaukee's Summer 2k19 Kick Off - Summerfest Recap

Oh Summerfest, the time of year that officially kicks off a beautiful Milwaukee Summer...and what a beautiful start it was. The weather was amazing for the first day of the festival. Perfect for all the concerts, food, fun and of course, The Big Bang (my favorite part might I add). I was a little worried at first because the weather said it was going to rain for the entire week of Summerfest, but luckily Mother Nature was in our favor on the first day. 

The main reason everyone is in attendance for Summerfest though, is usually for the music lineup. This year wasn’t too disappointing when it came to representation and diversity with performances from Lizzo, T-Pain, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Jacob Latimore, Vic Mensa, T.I., A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg and Schoolboy Q at the amphitheatre and more! Even when it came to the local talent, Summerfest was on it with Spaidez, Shle Berry, MT Twins, and Nile, just to name a few.

Going back to Mother Nature...she wasn’t playing on the second day of Summerfest (and a few other days as well), which was also the day Lizzo performed. When I say it rained, it POURED. I was completely soaked and so were many others. Summerfest was providing people with rain ponchos while everyone scurried to find cover from the storm. Surprisingly enough though, the thunderstorm didn’t stop Lizzo fans, as they trapped through it all just to get a glimpse of her Black Girl Magic. There were nearly 10,000 people in attendance for her show (says fox 6 News), which means to me that she is ready to fill those amphitheatre seats!

I tried to finesse my way into interviewing Lizzo, but got humbled real quick lol. I don’t know who I thought I was that day with my camera set-up and microphone, only having done one on-camera interview so far in my career, but that didn’t matter to me, I was trying to get it done! Okay! Haha. (But we did get cool pics of T.I. set)

The highlight of Summerfest for me had to be the day A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie was performing on July 2nd at the U.S. Cellular Stage. DJay Mando was opening up for the MT Twins, Jacob Latimore and A Boogie. That show had crazy energy! Everyone was lit and just excited, but it also made me realize if I wasn’t there as a reporter, I probably wouldn’t have gone. Those kids in the crowd made me feel old lol! I remember back when I was their age in high school, getting there super early to get a good view, sweating like crazy from the heat, all the pushing and shoving. Yeah, no thanks. I can’t do that anymore. Big Yikes! However, being there as a reporter was so dope! I would do that any day.

The last day of Summerfest was cool too because whenever someone saw me with the mic and camera, to them, it was showtime! I met a few brave individuals who just wanted to hop on screen with me and that’s always a good time. Those moments always remind me of the great human experiences I get to have during these events that bring people together from all different backgrounds and communities. It’s like one big BBQ or family reunion and I love it!

Overall, Summerfest 2k19 was amazing! I had so much fun for it being my first time doing on-camera interviews and I was geeked to be able to start doing what I want to do for my career. I learned so much through this experience and from everyone I talked to. I had a lot of “firsts” that are finally out of the way, like hearing more No’s than Yes’s, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Don’t forget to check out my brief interviews with Vincent Van Great, DJay Mando, the MT Twins, and Nile. They all did a great job so make sure you follow them and support them on their journey!

/Carrie for CW




"Songversation: Worthy" - India Arie recap w/ Carrie

India Arie. That’s it. That’s the tweet.

That is literally how I felt leaving her concert because this woman is a pure angel! She gave her audience an experience that I’m sure they’ll never forget, because I jot it down in my own journal to remember forever. But let me break it down for you so y’all have a better understanding of what I’m talking about.

On Thursday, May 23, 2019, India Arie blessed the Northern Lights Theatre at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino for a concert to promote her new album titled, “Worthy.” Throughout the show she had me and the entire audience of black and beautiful shea butter babies captivated by her serene spirit, as we all connected as one for the evening.

We meditated. We laughed. We sang. We even prayed. It was amazing.

When India first came out she told us about the crazy travel she went through in order to get to us that night. She said, “I never wear jeans on stage. But I was like I can’t do it, I can’t pull a dress around, I don’t feel it. So I say all this to say, tonight is about to be unique. I don’t know what’s about to happen, but as long as y’all are here for it, I’m here for it.” Mannnnn she wasn’t lying! We definitely had a unique show, but all the imperfections made it perfect.

India told us that she wanted us to co-create a moment, she called it a “Songversation,” which is the power of words, music, visuals and vibrations to have an experience within ourselves and she came to help us have that experience, she said we’ll feel it. And we felt it. Songversation always begins and ends with a prayer, so to start off we sung together that we are one.

After we did our songversation prayer, she sang one of her favorite songs, “I am light.” Then you know she had to get us all warmed up and feeling special, so she did a few classic throwbacks like “Video” and “I am not my Hair,” which she then introduced her background singers Mayah Dyson and Gene Moore and gave them their time to shine. They were sooo good! When India performed my all time favorite song “Ready for Love,” things got a little emotional. She paid tribute to one of her great friends, Blue Miller, who recently passed away and had a montage of them together in the background as she played the flute and beautifully sang the song.

Two of the most important things to India are prayer and meditation, she gave us both during her show. There’s a song on her album called, “Hour of Love,” that talks about taking the time out of your day to give yourself self-care. Before she sang this song, she had us meditate with her...I have never seen an artist act in this manner lol. It felt great, though. She said, “Prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening.” As one, we all brought our energy and attention to our bodies and relaxed. We took our tongues off the roofs of our mouths, we relaxed our faces, released our shoulders, got into a comfortable position and was just one with ourselves. Beautiful.

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Behind her was a screen that showed powerful and positive quotes that would lead her into the next song she was going to sing. There were a few seats in the theatre that couldn’t see the screen, so she moved the people sitting there so they could get the full experience of her show. A few of the quotes read:

“Feel, Deal, Heal” tomorrow is a new day, we can choose again.”

“If you want to fly, you have to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

“Give up being perfect for being authentic. Be who you are, love who you are. Others will too.”

Sometimes there were technical difficulties with the screen, but it was okay because she was authentic about it. India wanted to premiere her new music video with us, “Steady Love,” and at first it was working. While they figured it out, she filled the time by introducing the rest of her band and sang other songs. I know that sounds like what any artist would do in a moment like that, but it was the way she carried herself during that time--calm, cool and collected. She didn’t stress over it, she just gave it time. When it finally started working again, she sat down right in front of the stage and watched in awe (probably because the co-star of the video was her celebrity crush, David Banner. Man was she in loveeeee lol). The audience went crazy for it! The chemistry they had together in the video was undeniable. We were the only show on the tour that she was going to show the video to. Remember, she told us  earlier that our show was going to be unique!

Overall, India’s performance was magical. I left her concert feeling so much lighter. In the beginning, she told us the show was going to be healing and we were going to feel it. I felt all of it. From her positive words, to her down-to-earth personality and calming spirit. Like she said, lyrics are medicine, and we all were healed by the end lol.

Also, I just want to add that it had been a long time since I’d been around so many black women in one space, it felt good vibing to the same songs we all have different throwback memories with. This concert put it into perspective for me of what India represents for black women and our culture. She’s impactful. Her positive influence and the fact that she will always be unapologetically her is such an inspiration for black women young and old. It’s rare to see nowadays, since we live in a time where our value is determined by what we look like or others opinions. I can appreciate and truly stan a woman like India who drills into us that only we can define who we are and that every one of us is worthy. So shout out to India for the much needed #BlackGirlMagic.

Make sure you get India’s new album, Worthy!

/Carrie for CW






COPYWRITE MAGAZINE ISSUE 14: FASHION & STYLE *OFFICIAL DROP*

Sometimes you just have to drop a magazine like…

DROP!!!!

Check out our long awaited Fashion & Style Issue (Issue 14).

Interviews w/ Vee Adams, Von Alexander, Basia Rose, Spaidez, Chill Sweats, our Ex Fabula Features & more.

/CW

Community Post: Local students to be awarded the Milwaukee’s Finest Scholarship at City Hall

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*Info from Milwaukee’s Finest Scholarship

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – On Friday, May 17, 2019, at 6:30 p.m., The Milwaukee’s Finest Scholarship Foundation (MFSF), in partnership with several local businesses and community organizations, will award graduating seniors with the Milwaukee’s Finest Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 each. Nearly 100 students applied to be a Milwaukee’s Finest Scholar, but only 15 students were selected, making it one of the most competitive scholarships in Milwaukee County this year.

“As a Milwaukee native who graduated from Milwaukee Public Schools in 2013, I’ve witnessed first hand the lack of financial resources for deserving students who desire an education after their high school career,” explained Jerel Ballard, Founder of Milwaukee’s Finest. “It’s important that we continue to uplift foundations like Milwaukee’s Finest to encourage our youth regardless of their zip code or financial status.”

Students were selected by a Scholarship Review Panel consisting of local parents, educators, college students, and business owners. During the ceremony, honored students will receive a signature glass award with their name engraved on it, a congratulatory certificate from the Mayor of Milwaukee, the scholarship monetary award, and the title of being selected as a 2019 Milwaukee’s Finest Scholar. The Office of the Mayor will present the Milwaukee’s Finest Scholarship Foundation with a proclamation during the award ceremony. This event is free and open to the public.

About the scholarship

Founded in 2016 by Jerel Ballard at the age of 21, The Milwaukee’s Finest Scholarship Foundation has grown tremendously throughout the City of Milwaukee. Since its inception, more than $30,000 have been allocated towards scholarships for students who come from low-income backgrounds. The average donor for the foundation is only $25.

As a one-time, merit-based scholarship, these awards are given to individuals who demonstrate strong leadership traits and have a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Unlike other scholarships, the funds are issued to the student directly and there are no stipulations on which college or university the scholar attends.

To date, Milwaukee’s Finest Scholars are enrolled at prestigious, historic and local universities across the country including Harvard University, UW-Madison and Milwaukee Area Technical College. Each student had to submit an essay answering the question, ‘How has growing up in Milwaukee shaped who you are as an individual?’ and ‘How do you plan to use what you’ve learned in Milwaukee County and apply that in your higher educational goals?’ More information on the scholarship can be found at www.mfsf.org

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Jerel Ballard, President

jerel.ballard@mfsf.org

/CW

 

"Crawfish and High Life" Press interview w/ Jay Anderson returning to perform May 3rd


The last time we kicked it with Jay Anderson he was just getting back from NOLA and had a bunch of stories to tell! Well, he has returned with more things to share and we were more than happy to chat and get the scoop for our CW fam.

All photos captured by Freakish Nerd.   Jay,  Recording his new album “Crawfish and High Life”  in MKE.

All photos captured by Freakish Nerd.

Jay, Recording his new album “Crawfish and High Life” in MKE.

Jay came back in town to record the album, Crawfish and High Life, which is about his experiences between New Orleans and Milwaukee (such a fitting title, right?). Jay’s experiences in NOLA have been nothing short of amazing, so much so that he knows he definitely isn’t moving back to Milwaukee. He wants to live in NOLA for a while then eventually move to Cuba. There are parts of the culture here in Milwaukee that he isn’t completely satisfied with, but it’s not really a Milwaukee thing, it’s more of a Northern vs. Southern thing.

“Walking past people on the street and they don’t make eye contact with you, or if you’re walking alone down the street and someone else is walking alone down the street, down South you say hi to people. You greet them and make eye contact whether you know them or not,” Jay says.

Jay wants to try to embark on the path of being a master musician. He wants to be able to know everything about his voice and his saxophone that he possibly can. He says Jazz and Blues is pretty much what started this country and because of the Congo Square and the transatlantic Slave trade in New Orleans, if you want to go to your musical roots, that’s where you go.

“If you want to learn French, you move to Paris. So if I want to learn Jazz and Blues, then I’m moving to New Orleans.”

Immersing yourself completely around the culture of what you want to do or learn about is one of the best ways to master it, in our opinion. The moment Jay feels like he has the ‘critical acclaim’ in NOLA like he has in Milwaukee, then he’s going to Cuba. Why Cuba though?

“Everything goes back to Africa and the transatlantic slave trade which brought people through the Islands first and then to the mainland. So after I get done learning what I need to learn from New Orleanian culture and history [of music], the next stop for me is Cuba or Puerto Rico because slaves were there as well.”

After Cuba and PR, Jay would like to go to Côte d'Ivoire. Then next stop Japan or Europe. So basically, y’all not gonna be able to catch up with Mr. Anderson lol. But his passion for music will always keep going.

“I don’t think it’s ever going to stop. As soon as I find another musical style I want to understand, I don’t care if I have to learn another language. I just want to emerge myself in all music. I’m just on this quest to find the rarest sounds. Nothing is enough for me.”

Jay said he’ll dig through crates of old records left behind, finding the stuff that’s not on iTunes or Amazon. Things everyone else isn’t listening to. Now this wouldn’t be Jay’s first soul search. The soul searching and the music are one in the same to him. Since he has decided to dedicate his life to music, if he’s traveling and searching for more then, it’s for the music.

Jay, so far, has written 4 albums of material in NOLA. He claims he can produce so much content because it’s such an interesting place to live as a musician. There is inspiration galore. Doing music full time in Milwaukee, damn near drove him crazy. He argues that in NOLA he has more time, and there are so many things that will spark an idea in his head.

“Your ideas are gold. All you have to do is remember to keep them,” says Jay.

As soon as he booked his May 3rd show here, (Performing with Stomata the new album “Crawfish & High Life” 7pm at Wilson Center For the Arts) he utilized his time to get the album done. Setting deadlines that nobody truly knew would ever work but have now proven to be quite genius. Feeling strongly about these compositions he up some amazing “local” talent,  and asked them to come for a 1 day no holds bar session at Riverwest studio. Everyone he called did what they were supposed to do, so much so that they cut 11 tracks in 10 hours. YES 10 hours!

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Sure, it’s amazingly insane! But why does he have such a strong pull here in Milwaukee?

“I was extremely fortunate and lucky. And because I know my lineage. A lot of musicians don’t talk about that or acknowledge it and it’s one of the most important things in any type of artistic career. The person who raised me in music in Milwaukee was David Wake. And I learned from Mark Davis. It’s a blessed and charmed life. Somehow I always ended up being around the people who were the real movers and shakers.”

Social media also has factored in to Jays unorthodox pull and success. In New Orleans the people tend to do a little research on who is “playing” in the lively and competitive music scene.  They see his profile and say, “Apparently there’s a whole city of people who are like ‘this is our boy’.” Like him or hate him, he really has been a force in Milwaukee music industry the past several years.

With a new band, Jay Anderson and the Night Trippers, that has members that he admits are all better musicians than him, he is once again pushing his limits. He suggest that they all hold him accountable for his mistakes and tell him where he needs to improve. Which is why this method is more strategic then one would think.

“Whatever you’re doing down there in NOLA, if you’re around the right people, they’re going to correct you and help. I wouldn’t call Milwaukee soft, but Milwaukee doesn’t exert the same pressure that’s necessary to cultivate that kind of environment,” Jay says.

Shots fired? Maybe. But think about it, does he have a good point?

Even outside of music, Jay only wants to be around people who are conducting themselves seriously. Holding themselves and their your peers accountable. If you only hold yourself accountable, it’s just you against the world.

Like our Editor, Lexi said, “you’re only as strong as your weakest link” and Jay noted that “the best position to be in is if you’re the weakest link.”

Now you know we had to ask him about his label! Voodoo Honey still exist but has shifted it’s attention to just his solo projects. Instead of managing artists, if he sees that “thing” in you, if you have that drive and he knows something that you don’t, he’ll put you on game. But only if your ears are open.

CopyWrite was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of “Crawfish and High Life” and we think it’s dope! It gave us that down south NOLA, Louis Armstrong vibe with a balance of new era genre mixing that MKE is getting quite good at. The Crawfish part of the album is definitely there with the smooth jazz feel, and all the Milwaukee features and musicians added, brings it all home with the ‘High Life’. There is imagery, word play, experimental homages, and some vocals that we didn't expect out of Jay. It combines creative expression with experience, and pulls at the strengths of true collaboration. He really couldn’t have chosen a better title to combine the two things that captivates who he is now and where he has been. We’re excited for the album and we can’t wait for your show this week.

Thanks for chatting with us again, Jay!


/Carrie for CW




Big Beat MKE 2019 Kicks Off Thursday Night!

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*Info provided by Breaking And Entering

Milwaukee (April 29th, 2019) - Milwaukee music website Breaking And Entering is thrilled to announce that our annual beat battle tournament, Big Beat MKE, will begin battles at the Jackalope Lounj, adjacent to The Wicked Hop (345 N. Broadway), for its second season this Thursday night. This year’s tournament will feature 16 Milwaukee-area beat makers spanning hip hop, EDM, and more, competing head-to-head in a four-round tournament over the course of eight weeks to be crowned the 2019 Big Beat MKE champion. Each night of the tournament will feature two beat battles, as well as two performances from local hip hop acts. All of the events are free to the public, 21 and over.

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A beat battle consists of three one-minute rounds, where a producer plays or creates an original beat, and the winner is determined by a panel of judges, including Milwaukee musicians, media personalities, and music influencers. Big Beat MKE will feature guest judges weekly, as well as representatives from Breaking And Entering and Milwaukee-based electronic music label Nice FM.

To be selected for the tournament, producers had to submit two original beats via BreakingAndEntering.net. From there, a selection committee of 15 different Milwaukee area music-related personalities were given the difficult task of choosing the final 16 competitors. Over 30 different producers submitted entries into the contest this year. The 2019 Bracket was unveiled on Monday, April 15th. Opening round battles will take place from May 2nd-23rd, with the Quarterfinals on May 30th and June 6th, Semifinals on June 13th, and Finals on June 20th. The full bracket and nightly recaps will be available at BreakingAndEntering.net/BigBeatMKE throughout the tournament.



Big Beat MKE 2019 First Round Battles:
(All events at Jackalope Lounj, 9:00 PM Doors)

May 2nd - Mr. Killerlain vs. Bennie D
           Penny Beatz vs. Fearjoy

May 9th -  Four Giants vs. Trademark   

        James Ashen vs. GLDN Child

May 16th - Godxilla vs. Cuban Lynx

         Da Monsta (40 Mil) vs. Tuan G

May 23rd - Spice God vs. Mystik Musik

         Spacecrime vs. Beat Council

Big Beat MKE Performers

May 2nd - Spaidez and Yogie B & Keez
May 9th - Nile and Phat Nerdz
May 16th - King Myles and Sha
May 23rd - Joshua Jenkins and G-Gifted
May 30th - King Dozzi and Rich P.
June 6th - Camb and AWillThaGreat
June 13th - J-Lamo and CMoneywave
June 20th - Shle Berry, Twan Mack and A.C. The Ruler

For all media inquiries please contact: Allen Halas allen@breakingandentering.net


/CW



Trelldagreat - Pans (video submission)

Today’s submission of course comes from another Milwaukee Native! Trelldagreat is a upcoming hip-hop artist who recently released a new music video for his song “Pans.”

“Pans is a song about working a 9-5, scrubbing pans literally, stacking, while others may not necessarily like that and still goin through the hardships of day to day life. It’s the 1st single to be dropped off upcoming ep Low Life.”

Visually, this video is dope. I’ve got to give a honorable mention to the East Side with all the colorful graphics on the walls that every Eastsider can recognize. Plus, the added animations of the Superman symbol on the chest and the Goku reference was a nice creative touch.

Trelldagreat has been featured on Breaking and Entering, and has performed on the same card as Milwaukee’s very own, Lil Chicken. In the future, he plans on working with more artists around the city to create safe event atmosphere for more artists to express themselves. Ultimately bringing the gap of segregation Milwaukee is so know for.

We commend you for wanting to help our city. More power to you! #SupportTheLocal

/CW



Lando Chill (coming to MKE) - "Black Ego" album

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Tired of hearing the same ol’ artists and looking for someone new to vibe to? Well, look no further! Musical creative Lando Chill, is an experimental rapper and social activist who is heading straight for Milwaukee. Lando’s tour will be making a stop at The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee on Wednesday, May 1.
“Lando's sound is a thoughtful, emotional exploration of the black experience, that is equal parts west coast funk and desert trip-hop. His third studio album, Black Ego, received widespread critical praise and was called a "'hello' to the present-day of our country" by NestHQ”.

Lando Chill’s vision is bold and fresh. His artistry explores “the nuances of the black experience, and touching on themes of cultural appropriation, privilege, and intersectionality, his recent release draws from a vast expanse of influences”.

He will be making stops in the biggest cities all over the U.S. and our city is the first stop on his map. Come and check him out! You know we’ll be there!

/CW