AJ: Tell us about yourself! Who is Lef and how would you describe yourself as an artist?
Lef: I’m an emerging artist from the DMV, making headway in the collegiate areas of NC. I’m also senior at North Carolina A&T State University, majoring in Entrepreneurship. As an artist, I look at music from different angles. For example, thinking about the composition of a beat and what type of flow will enhance the song or a live performance vs. the studio record sound.
AJ: What is the Lost Music Collective about and its main goal?
Lef: The Lost is a collective of musical and visual artists, and our goal is to find ourselves through our art. We work towards building a platform for artists that actually care about their craft, to grow and gain exposer.
AJ: Your latest “EP” titled Juice was a seven track EP that seemed to be a “coming of age” EP showcasing you owning who you are and what you bring to the table. What was the overall goal and vision behind this EP and what inspired it?
Lef: The Juice EP was actually a side project I started when I got writers block working on my now next tape, Who’s Lef. The goal of the Juice EP was to be an outlet for verses and songs that didn’t fit with the sound I was working on. It soon became a way to tell a new story that was more relevant to what was going on in my life. The vision was to show growth from the Throw Aways ep, by showcasing my musicality.
AJ: How has where you’re from and your childhood had influence on who you are today and who you are as an artist?
Lef: Well, coming from the DMV gogo has influenced how I hear music. When listening to gogo I look for the sounds of specific instruments. This was only enhanced when my parents put me on to Parliament Funkadelics, Earth Wind and Fire, and Bob Marley. As I grew, I cared a lot more about lyrics vs. sound, and started listening heavily too hip-hop, and rap. Now I listen to and create music that combines the two.
AJ: What do you feel like you bring to hip hop and is there anything that you feel that hip hop today is lacking or needs more of?
Lef: I don’t feel like hip-hop is lacking anything. Initially I wanted to say there’s a lack of variety, but there isn’t, there’s just too much emphasis on the same type of sound. I think I bring content that stands out from the repetitive sound that’s flooding the market.
AJ: What artists did you listen to growing up and have they had an impact on you developing your sound and/or style as an artist?
Lef: The main artists that I listened to growing up was Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, and OutKast. Along with the GOAT’s that we all know like Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, and Busta Rhymes, to name a few. An artist that I didn’t grow up on but has had an immense effect on how I approach music is Childish Gambino. He’s grown as an artist, while maintaining his integrity…plus he made Redbone.
AJ: As an underground artist what are you looking to accomplish in the industry and what advice can you give to others looking for the confidence to go after what they want?
Lef: One thing I’m most looking forward to is performing at big-name festivals like, Afro Punk, SXWS and Camp Flog Gnaw, to name a few. That’s one of the main reasons I pursued music, to perform in front of large crowds and connect with their energy. As far as advice, if you truly want something, then you have to work towards it every day. The more you practice the more comfortable you become, which leads to a more confident you when approaching the opportunity to go after what you want.
AJ: What is a weird fun fact about yourself?
Lef: My socks, look better than people’s outfit.
AJ: What can we expect from you next? Any future projects?
Lef: I’m planning on dropping my next project Who’s Lef? in October, probably on a Wednesday. I’m also looking for more performance opportunities in festivals that promote new artists.
Follow more of Lef
We got to sit down with the exceptional, savvy and sharp designer Ron David. Not only was the energy and vibe absolutely amazing, but Ron David's humility and affectionate personality was simply a breathe of fresh air. He is a powerhouse, knows his shit and most certainly is creating an incomparable lane of his own. There are not too many times when you sit down with someone and just click, and Junkies, this was the time! Enjoy this unique, appreciated and one of a kind interview with the amazingly chic Ron David!
We had the chance to catch up with the beautiful designer Lala Gabor of MCID and had so much fun! From witty to inspiring we've packed this mini interview with everything that will make you get to know the face behind MCID just a little bit better!
It was a pleasure sitting down with the multi-talented Mo Kheir from No Wyld, a New Zealand Indie rock band. His infectious spirit and expertise across industries will not only inspire you, but will give you incredible insight on your career and what is essential for your progression. ArtsyJunkie truly appreciates creatives that are not only exceptional at what they do, but that are well versed in multiple subjects. Mo's "Junkie-ness" was definitely on "fleek" and we appreciate his open honesty and comical personality that kept us in high spirits.
We're just going to jump right into what you’ve all been waiting for. We are so happy to finally introduce to you our interview and sit down session with New York bred artist Kenneth Callier. His humbling and easy going character is matched by the “fire-y” talent that he effortlessly brings to the table. With a multiplicity of talents Kenneth Callier does not stop behind the mic. His classical training in piano and talents in illustration has made him the true gem that he is; leaving him in a league of his own. Kenneth Callier without a doubt has a promising future ahead of him and ArtsyJunkie is certainly excited to see him flourish.
"The Journey to self-discovery
We’re all looking for “The One”. The one who reminds us of our greatest qualities. The one to call our biggest fan. The one who in some mysterious way, causes us to feel as if everything will always be OK, regardless of how painfully obvious it is to others that perhaps it wont…Yeah, we’re all searching whether low-key or through a PSA, we desire that company.
The problem though, is that maybe we rush to find “The One” without stopping long enough to tend to our own internal struggles first.
Who you are is what you’ll bring to the forefront and if you’re not satisfied with yourself than you can’t expect your partner to be either; making it possible for relationships that have the potential of lasting for a lifetime only to live on for a couple of months. Don’t look for love because you’re scared of lonely. You are your greatest masterpiece; A non-refundable investment. Be secured and content in singleness because at your best self, you can only attract the best (Hint: The one).
Prioritize. Self. First.
Your solitude is precious. Don’t rush to rid it…
So go find yourself, by yourself, and for yourself…you owe it to yourself.
“The concept of being alone is a beautiful one. It’s where you face flaws and accept insecurities. It’s a time where you’re forced to deal with the one person you like to avoid most–yourself. If you refuse to deal with you, be damn sure [The One] will too. Get comfortable” -@Bereolasque
Wait no longer for the much anticipated JUICE that was promised earlier this week. We were so excited and couldn’t wait to sit down with the incredibly talented yet beautifully humble Cemetric Derell. His energy and unique vision continues to capture the interest of others, with unequivocal designs that exceed expectation. He is most certainly destined for greatness. An upcoming fashion designer with a line that can be described as a cold and refreshingly satisfying lemonade on a hot summer day. It is definitely the much thought of dessert that is served after a full course meal.
Both edgy and pushing the boundaries, his bags are for the fearless, the statement makers and the confident individual who is unafraid to stylishly be their self.
NA: When did your love for fashion began and at what point did you know you were destined to be a designer?
CD: I knew that I wanted to pursue a career as a fashion designer at the age of 17.
NA: Was there anyone essential in your life that inspired you growing up? Who was your biggest influence?
CD: One of the most essential persons in my life that continues to inspire me is my great-grandmother—who was also a designer.
NA: Where do you see yourself in a couple of years from now? What are your biggest goals that you want to accomplish in the fashion industry?
CD: In the next couple of years from now I see myself as a young successful designer who graduated from college and building my own fashion empire.
NA: Who do you gravitate towards in the industry? Is there anyone that you are dying to collaborate with?
CD: There are a lot of amazing designer’s and artist’s I’m dying to collaborate with in the future. Coco and Breezy, Jerome LaMaar, Azede Jean-Pierre and Solange Knowles. Just to name a few.
NA: What drives you to create? From experience, I know that some artists say that everything around them is a sense of inspiration; from nature to art to music. Can you say this for yourself?
CD: I can say the same thing. Music and art play a huge role in how I find inspiration.
NA: How would you describe your fashion line?
CD: I describe my fashion line as unpredictable and innovative. Most of the pieces I create are simple, but they are bold and unique.
NA: What is the story behind you designing bags and how did that become your main focus?
CD: I started designing handbags in 2014. One day I was sketching and I decided to create a handbag that would catch the eye of others. I wanted to birth something fresh and new.
NA: Who do you see wearing your brand? How do you describe that woman and/or man? Are they fearless? Do they push the envelope? Trendsetters? Edgy?
CD: I see a very confident, fashion forward person wearing my brand.
NA: I’ve noticed and have been drawn to the material that you use for your bags and the diagonal zipping. Is this your signature?
CD: At the moment I think this will be one of my signature handbags, but as I grow as a designer I know that it will not be that forever.
NA: Everyone has some “weirdness” to them. What is something weird about you that others don’t know?
CD: I think others would be very alarmed if they witnessed my process to drafting and designing pieces. I love to create a certain aura that brings me to a good place and makes me more elaborative with my ideas.
NA: What should we expect from you next?
CD: Right now I’m working on a few cosmetic products that I will release in a couple weeks.
The first time meeting Ava Hovanka was something just as special and unique as her music. Her calming and humble spirit is certainly unparalleled to her music as she is a dominating force. Her style being bold with no regret, Ava Hovanka geniusly infuses Alternative Rock and Experimental with settle touches of R&B. However, her heavy tunes and strong vibes will intrigue your ears and have you want nothing more than to express yourself alongside her beautiful voice.
She inspires you to be free and listening to her will make you walk away doing just that. A new and updated outlook on how to stylishly and confidently be yourself.
NA: When were you introduced to singing?
AH: When I was younger my mom used to always sing and I would sing around the house but I never thought anything of it.
NA: What age did you know this is what you wanted to do?
AH: After high school when my sister first heard me sing she cried and took me to a studio like a week later.
NA: What and who inspires you? Any artist in the industry?
Fashion, film, and overall emotion. Those are the things that drive me to be inspired everyday. The more I fall in love with music the more I’m inspired by my mother.
In the industry, I’m highly inspired by Kanye West, Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor and Beyonce. As you can tell I’m more inspired by men. I always lacked that Diva, but I feel like I have 30% Bey and 70% Yeezy in me. LOL
NA: What artist would you want to collaborate with, if any?
AH: Oh gosh, I’m waiting to get my chance to create with Kanye West, Trent Reznor, Miguel, Halley Williams and Chris Brown. I literally almost cried when Chris Brown took the stage for the first time again after his mishap. I felt whatever it was he was feeling on the stage. I guess, joy.
NA: How would you describe your music (Genre)?
AH: My music is highly Experimental and Alternative. It’s highly bipolar like my emotions.
NA: What style/genre’s did you listen to growing up and what would you say had a heavy impact on your style?
AH: Growing up my mom and I blasted Brandy and Monica everyday. Her favorites were DMX, Busta Rhymes and Jay-Z and that rang through our small apartment very often; but I spent a lot of time with my aunt who only allowed us to listen to Alternative and Pop Rock. So the Alternative thing kind of grew on me and stuck.
However, Rock music has had the biggest impact on me because watching their expressive Emo ass behavior helped me be a little more expressive in my own way. The way the strings of a guitar can express a heartache makes me hell of emotional. That’s something most Pop or Hip Hop songs cannot do for me. Every one is different though. Everyone has their own way of relating and getting by.
NA: Do you pull from a lot of life experiences in your music or is it more of a creative process?
AH: It can go both ways. Most is from my experience, something I’ve seen or something I don’t ever want to happen. Then I have a vivid imagination as well so that part gets a little interesting LOL.
NA: Any upcoming performances?
AH: I’ve been singing at Open Mic night randomly in the DMV. So I update the events page on my website www.avahovanka.com to share when and where I’ll be performing.
NA: Are there any recent projects and what are you working on now?
Also, I just completed my EP “ VANDALIZED” which is to be released February 14, 2015.
NA: Everyone has some “weirdness” to them. What is something weird people don’t know about you?
AH: I eat raw noodles for a snack.
NA: What advice would you give aspiring artist?
AH: Be yourself and don’t let anyone change your dream!
This beautiful painting created by Rachel Jordan tends to have such a bright and positive effect on the viewer when looking at it. Even on a rainy day you can look to this piece for a little bit of sunshine.
When asked what inspired the piece, here’s the beautifully wrapped words she unraveled:
“What inspired the piece was a search for something that was universal and could uplift anyone without tying a race or specific appearance to a feeling. The most important aspect of this painting are the smiles and expressions. The goal was to remind the viewer that no matter how you may be feeling, always remember to smile and laugh. Laughter is healing.” - Rachel Jordan
Laughter is Healing painting for sale.
Contact Rachel at email@example.com
Follow Rachel Jordan on Instagram, @HoooRAYYY
Tying cultural influences into his sweet melodic voice and a rapping style that is unique and addictive, you will be surprised at how you can't get enough of underground artist KAMAU.
You won’t be shoveling to get to this artist for long as his individualism has set him apart from others and has positively effected the expansion of his fan base. His newly released album THEKAMAU- CASSETTE is described as “the merging place of acapella like vocal collages and hip hop.”
Known for his famed line “YEBO” which is Swahili for “yes,” this conscious artist will have your body swaying just as much as your lips will be repeating words that resonate in your soul.
Listen to TheKAMAU-CASSETTE
Killa Intro and Killa Jane are some of my fave's. What's yours?