An artist by the name of Malcolm Anthony is making his Lyrical Lemonade debut today with the premiere his brand new record titled “My Town”. He jumped over some silky smooth production that was handled by Pham and absolutely shined for three minutes straight. I didn’t know what to expect at first when I ran across this song in our submissions, but I must admit that I really liked what I heard & that I will be keeping up with his future releases moving forward. Check out this brand new track below & be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section!
“My Town is a song for everyone to feel good about themselves. It’s for women to feel sexy and confident, for people to take pride in their city, and for the fearless who can own a town no matter where they go.” – Malcolm Anthony
Based in London, singer songwriter Charlotte Turnbull has been developing a unique sound she could call her own for some time. After experiences in the cyclical world of artist development and listening to others, she has finally found creative freedom in her own sonic landscapes and is releasing her new single “Go Along With It” here on EARMILK.
Inspired by R&B classics with a hint of modern edge, “Go Along With It” features an airy beat with splashes of piano and serves as a lightly textured canvas for Charlotte to spread her talents across. “I take inspiration from a lot of different artists but especially female artists from the 90’s like Aaliyah, SWV and I love Left Eye,” she says. “I try and write about personal experiences and what I’m currently going through.” Using her voice and the production surrounding it, she dynamically bounces from bar to bar telling a story about attraction and the potential pitfalls of it, all while serving as her own backup singer.
This is just the beginning of what could be a big year for Charlotte. “I’m putting out a few songs leading up to my EP later this year. I work full time so trying to plan things is definitely a challenge but collaborating with more artists/producers to develop my sound is a must!… Fingers crossed I’ll be able to make music my full time job by the end of the year, or at least that’s my aim!” If “Go Along With It” is any indicator, she’s got her sights aimed in the right direction.
Rich Brian, formerly known as Rich Chigga, goes Sneaker Shopping with Joe La Puma at Flight Club in Los Angeles and talks about his dream signature sneaker, the Ball family, and learning English through unboxing videos.
As an international pop star, Kris Wu has eaten renditions of dishes from his native China the world over. Eager to learn more about regional Chinese cuisine, Sean Evans takes Kris to Mr. Bing, a new home for Beijing-style street food in NYC. From the pancake-like jianbings, to bowls of beef packed with Sichuan peppercorns, Kris gives Sean a crash-course in four distinct styles of Chinese cooking. Will Kris and Sean learn how to successfully make a bing, or botch the restaurant’s Seamless orders? Find out on an all new episode of SITW.
Throughout his rise, there’s been a lot of debate about his name. “I do regret it,” Brian told The New Yorker earlier this year. Even before that, he confessed on Twitter, “Rich Chigga is a fuckin corny ass name.”
rich chigga is a fuckin corny ass name y did i think it was ok. why did i let this happen
In a 2016 interview with Fader, Brian said that he was already thinking about changing his name in the future. “I didn’t really know what I was doing and I definitely did not know people were gonna pop off like this,” he said. “Now I’m kind of stuck with this. I might change it in the future, I don’t know. I hope I can do it. But as for now, I’m definitely not going to let it be the only thing that defines me.”
To start 2018, the young artist is officially committing to the name change. From now on, he’ll go by Brian. “Yes I now go by Brian,” he tweeted. “I have been planning to do this forever and I’m so happy to finally do it. I was naive & I made a mistake. new year, new beginning, happy new years.” To mark the occasion, he’s also released a new song called “See Me.” Hear “See Me” below, and follow Brian at his new Twitter handle: @iambrianimanuel.
Watch Rich Chigga’s episode of Trending Topics below.
2017 has been a massive year for Sydneysiders Manu Crooks and Anfa Rose. Crooks has risen to the upper echelons of the local hip-hop scene with the release of his highly praised debut EP Mood Forever, while the mysterious Rose continues to release intriguing tunes with a new full length project on the horizon. To celebrate their successful years the two have teamed up for two songs, “Presence” and “All I Need,” to round out the year.
Of the two “Presence” is my favourite, just. Produced by Crooks and frequent collaborator Dopamine, the track continues Crooks knack for choosing energetic trap infused beats with a hint of darkness. Both Crook’s and Rose bring the heat as they put fake woman on blast and look to focus on the positives going forward.
Crooks and Rose are two of the most impressive MCs in Australia and have yet to put a foot wrong, with 2018 shaping up as the year the two breakout as not only local stars, but as international acts.
Sydney-based artist, Anfa Rose joins forces with Manu Crooks on the DOPAM!NE produced single, “All I Need.” Anfa has been making waves internationally while emerging as one of Australia’s most exciting new voices. If you like what you hear, make sure to note that his EP will arrive within the next few weeks.
The Asian popstar factory puts its superstars through the ringer. It’s perfected the Disney system of courting young talent with a lot of potential—often in their teens—and then guiding them to the peak of their careers in their early 20s. Fame and success that early can burn out even the most promising artists—remember Justin Bieber just a few years ago? It’s almost ridiculous that at just 23, the global star has already taken a “redemption tour” to atone for the perceived mistakes of his youth, even though he’s far from a full-fledged adult.
That’s the same paradigm Kris Wu has worked in for most of his life—not just because he’s also Canadian. At 27-years-old, he’s already an international star who’s earned countless awards and undying fandom across Asia. Now, he finds himself in the position of having to reinvent himself as an artist. Between 4 years of training and two years with extremely popular South Korean band EXO, Wu has kept a hectic schedule, flooding mainstream Asian entertainment.
Jumpsuit: 3.1 Phillip Lim, T-Shirt: Uniqlo, Sneakers: Pierre Hardy, Jewelry: Mr. Greg Yuna, Audemars and Artist Own
With a flurry of hit singles, variety shows, and other featured appearances similar to any other pop-mega-star in the western world, life in the group was surely both physically and mentally tolling. Soon enough, Wu felt the need to step outside of his comfort zone, leaving EXO in 2014 to forge his own path, essentially pulling a Kyrie Irving before it was cool.
Jokes aside, basketball might have more of an impact on Kris Wu’s career than most might realize. As a young baller himself, Kris Wu was captured by the undeniable swagger of Allen Iverson. The basketball icon’s unapologetic attitude appealed to young Kris, and so he turned to the culture that inspired his idol: hip-hop.
Jacket: Gucci, T-Shirt: John Elliot, Sunglasses: Gucci, Jewelry: Diamond Mr. Greg Yuna and Artist Own
As a Chinese kid growing up in Vancouver, Kris Wu was physically removed from any major hip-hop markets. But just like any other child in the Millennial generation, that didn’t keep him from digging deeper into the culture. Thanks to the permanent connectivity of the Internet, and its endless archive of streamable history, hip-hop has blossomed into a global community so that artists like Snoop Dogg and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony can still find a way to inspire a new generation with their blend of lyricism and melody.
Perhaps it’s fitting that Wu’s career has led him to work with equally young, promising talent like Travis Scott, whom he collaborated with for the single and music video, “Deserve.” Together, they’re creating a new energy through channeling the O.G.’s.
Coat, Shirt and Pants: Sies Marjan, Shoes: Vans, Jewelry: Mr. Greg Yuna and Artist Own
We first meet Kris Wu in the midst of NYC’s first snowfall, hardly realizing he had come in until unbundling himself from the blizzard outside. He is polite and easygoing as he sips an Americano, and at first it feels just like any other shoot you might walk into on a snowy Saturday morning. One could hardly imagine that this quiet young man has starred in a string of multi-million dollar movies in China with a legion of dedicated fangirls throughout the East.
This youthful Internet-era energy shines through the nuances of Wu’s personality throughout our meeting. As we get into the shoot, he loosens up as “XO Tour Lif3” is queued up on the playlist, mouthing the words and subtly dancing along with the same sort of “Rolex-on-my-wrist” moves you might see your friends doing in their Instagram story at a club on Friday night. When we capture a couple of looks outside, we cross a man walking his husky, big as a Game of Thrones direwolf, and he gets just as excited as anyone else as any 20-something would, taking a short break to meet the dog and his owner, ultimately inviting them to the shoot.
Coat: Raf Simons, Sweater: Calvin Klein 205W39NYC
Later on, we sit down and talk about his career progression. He talks about how a fledgling Internet culture has ushered in a quiet new wave of hip-hop in China, a situation where he sees himself as a leader. He speaks with a tone of responsibility, looking to act as a bridge for street culture in China and show that artists from the East do not need to limit themselves to the region. In a way, what he’s trying to do for eastern artists is exactly what the Internet did for the world: create a culture that is smaller and more connected.
Through a chance meeting with departing Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey at The Met Gala, Wu recently collaborated with the storied London label on a 19-piece capsule collection inspired by his personal style. So we couldn’t help but ask him if he has any plans to continue working in fashion. While he’s currently preoccupied with releasing projects both in Asia and the U.S. he doesn’t totally discount the idea. The timing and project just have to be right.
Coat, Sweater and Pants: Thom Browne, Socks: Tabio Japan, Shoes: Opening Ceremony x Vans, Jewelry: Mr. Greg Yuna and Artist Own
Trying to show love on one side of the globe while to building a reputation in another is definitely a feat in itself, but the young artist’s sense of timing seems to be a strong suit. With Asian artists of different stripes making waves in the West in the past year, now is a better time than ever to try to cement the musical bridge between East and West, and Wu is already ahead of the game with some big name collaborations in the last few months alone—and he has all the time in the world to do it his way.
Jacket, Shirt and Pants: Acne
For more Kris Wu, check out this video where he explains more about his origins and relationship with hip-hop and basketball:
Now, check out these two exclusive tracks we’re premiering today, both remixes of “Deserve” featuring Travis Scott.
Fresh from releasing his “Crisis” video alongside 21 Savage, Rich Chigga has taken to social media to announce his debut album. Dubbed Amen, we can look forward to the project arriving February 2 of next year.
Ahead of his debut, Chigga will be on tour in North America and Europe extending to March 2018. Get a look at his remaining shows below.
Feb 7 – San Francisco, California @ The Warfield
Feb 10 – Los Angeles, California @ Shrine Auditorium
Feb 20 – New York, New York @ Terminal 5
Mar 1 – Paris, France @ La Bellevilloise
Mar 3 – London, United Kingdom @ O2 Islington Academy
Mar 4 – London, United Kingdom @ O2 Islington Academy
Mar 5 – Cologne, Germany @ CBE
Mar 7 – Berlin, Germany @ Festaal Kreuzberg
Mar 8 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Tolhuis (Paradiso Noord)
Rich Chigga largely rose to prominence last year upon releasing his much-talked-about “Dat $tick.” Since, he has gone on to work with the likes of 21 Savage, Keith Ape and Ghostface Killah, among others.
Duckwrth cannot be pinned down. The 28-year-old rapper, born Jared Lee in South Central, landed like a splash of mixed paints with his debut full-length I’m Uugly in fall 2016. Its 10 elastic tracks stretch across hip hop, chill wave, funk, and punk, all shrouded in a soft-focused haze. He aptly calls this impressionistic concoction “psych rap.”
Early last November, Duckwrth released An Xtra Uugly Mixtape. Whereas I’m Uugly exalted the beauty that lives within the harshness and griminess of everyday life – from the physical to the political to the socioeconomic – An Xtra Uugly Mixtape encourages being unapologetically you. It is, as Duckwrth writes on his Soundcloud page, “the anthem for your rebellion.” Fittingly, the tape is higher in energy; the guitar sounds are cranked. An Xtra Uugly Mixtape is his attempt to put hip hop and rock on equal footing within the same piece of music. An Xtra Ugly Mixtape is also a gradual step towards fulfilling his stadium rock ambitions.
Duckwrth had one of his most formative musical experiences at a stadium show. “I used to do the whole protest [thing] and be more politically driven,” he says. “But then there was a time when I was in a Metallica mosh pit, and I was in with a whole bunch of different ethnicities, and I was even in there with skinheads. And during that moment,” he further recalls, “we were throwing hands and going crazy, and racism just dissipated. Everybody was just going crazy and just having fun.” Ever since then, Duckwrth has devoted himself to keeping that vibe alive, to “put people in a certain place where you dance, and you groove, and you have fun, and you sing, and all that disappears.” But he aims to do more than foster escapism. “Maybe conversations could be had [at shows]. Maybe people could find ways to unite.”
The belief that change starts with conversation ties into Duckwrth’s enthusiasm about the potential of technology. However, he says, “Right now, we’re just spreading messages, having conversations, before anything really awesome happens or crazy happens, good or bad…. Let’s actually take our technology and do something about what the fuck is happening.” Regardless of what that something is, Duckwrth plainly declares his intention: “I would like to be able to build up enough and just [have] a hand in culture that I can be able to move and shake shit in the future.”
With a DIY mindset born of his love of punk music, Duckwrth has his hands in every aspect of his creative output ranging from music to album art to apparel. But he understands that everyone in a collaborative process is an artist. “[Y]ou have to respect them ‘cause they have their own skillsets, they have their own ideas, and they’re geniuses. And the reason you work with them is because obviously you appreciate their work.” As for hiring a crew to capture what he wants and then personally editing that material to further conform to his vision, “That’s really doable,” he admits, “but it also disconnects the director from everything else…. [I]t’s something different when it has a certain fluidity where the director can work with the DP [director of photography], and the director can work with the editor because the director will see something I don’t.”
Reflecting on one music video, Duckwrth says, “I had to learn that with [director] Young Man because we had a big-ass disagreement with ‘I’m Dead’. But we finally came to the middle at the end where we were just like, ‘Okay, we can both work with this.’ It was a big lesson for the both of us, just to open yourself and just trust that person; I gotta trust the director, and the director gotta trust me.”
Everywhere Duckwrth has lived has left an indelible impression on him. He frequently proclaims South Central raised him, San Francisco expanded his mind, and New York taught him how to hustle. However well-rounded he seems though, he knows life’s lessons do not end at the US’ borders. “I want to live in Paris, and I want to learn French,” he says. “I just want go to different countries, different continents, different cities, and learn. Really, it could be anything, just be outside of America and my comforts of being American.” He would also like to live in “Africa in general because that’s my ethnicity, at the roots of my ethnicity.” As a deep admirer of Japanese art and culture, Tokyo is another obvious choice for him. “Their colours are amazing, super vibrant.” He even loves katakana. “It’s all beautiful.”
Following up the release of her debut EP Damaged Vol. 1 and it’s lead single “Not A Love Song” last month, Germany-born Canadian singer bülow is back with a new visualizer for the EP’s track “Lines”.
Much like the visual for “Not A Love Song”, we see a stationary bülow while the camera does all the movement and the song plays out. Just one of the three songs from Damaged Vol. 1, “Lines” does a spectacular job of displaying bülow’s voice and knack for clever lyricism over catchy beats and instrumentation. Damaged Vol. 1 is a worthwhile listen in and of itself: despite being only three tracks, the EP stands strong on its own and says more than necessary about the young artist over the course of its 9 minute journey.
LA-based Malcolm Anthony connects with Staten Island’s Squidnice for their new release, “Gang Bang.” Stream the Nate Merchant-produced track below, and stay tuned for their upcoming collaborative mixtape, The First 48, which is set to drop at the top of 2018.
Superstar 吳亦凡 (Kris Wu) stopped by the NYC studio before he headed back to China to talk what it feels like to be Burberry’s first non-British global ambassador, how Travis Scott ended up on “Deserve” and even confirmed he’s finishing his album for summer 2018. Plus he shared what it’s been like working with Pharrell Williams on a track for the album!
There’s nothing typical about Jared Lee— in the best way possible. Known by the stage name of Duckwrth and hailing from South Central, California, the young artist has been making ripples for a while with his “funk-wave style” and extensive 90’s pop culture references repertoire. Whether rocking a skirt or channelling Michael Jackson’s groovy moves, everything Duckwrth touches becomes art. Inspired by Andy Warhol’s words, he has —successfullly— flipped the meaning of ugliness, created a defined visual identity and defied gender stereotypes through his unapologetic genderbending aesthetic, approach and attitude.
With his characteristic safety pin and black nails, Duckwrth’s sound is a refreshing as his persona. We caught up with him to talk about all things funk, sex and nostalgia, political correctness, his Christmas artist wishlist and what his retail dream store would look like. Genuine, lucid and exquisitely transgressive, sit tight and watch him conquer the music sphere. And, before you ask, no — his name has nothing to do with Kendrick. Keep reading to see the premiere of the video for ‘SUMMER’S EXIT’, from his latest project, an XTRA UUGLY mixtape.
First and foremost, your stage name “DUCKWRTH” derived from your mother’s maiden name. Why did you decide to adapt and adopt it for your stage persona?
I actually didn’t choose it. As the story goes, my friends found out in college through random events so I kept the name Duckwrth throughout college.
You handle all the visual aspects that accompany your music: type, colours, illustrations, branding, logo… How important is it for you to have creative control of the visual identity of your “brand” and remaining independent?
I think it has something to do with me being a Taurus. I’m stubborn, but I know what I like. I know how I want to present myself. The fact that I can design furthers this artistic control. I see bad design all day long and I cringe when I do. I want people to see my colour choices, font work, characters and merch design, and be stimulated in every way.
You moved to San Franciso — your self-confessed second home — precisely to study Graphic Design but dropped out in the end. What prompted this decision and how did it eventually affect you as an artist?
I dropped out early because, in my soul of souls, I knew I learned enough to start applying it to real life. School is time and dedication and I wanted to switch that attention to making music and designing — a lucrative business. Those first years after school, I was broke as hell! But I eventually made it work.
You were raised in the home of a Pentecostal pastor’s daughter and were forbidden from listening to hip-hop as a kid. How did you first venture into music yourself? And how did that affect your approach to music?
Music has always been around me, a family full of musicians would allow that. I adopted a musical preference in middle school. The homie was making bootleg CD’s but I started liking Hip Hop mad late. I copped bootlegs of Ludacris’ ‘Word of Mouf‘, Busta Rhymes‘ ‘Genesis‘ and Nas‘ ‘Stillmatic.’ I played those CDs until they were beyond scratched and unplayable. A month later, I bought ‘The Neptunes Presents Clones‘ and the sounds that Chad and Pharrell produced on that compilation album warped my mind on the endless possibilities of Hip Hop. I knew from there that if I ever were to make music, I would push to be the most creative, colourful, boundary-pushing artist to do it in America.
Your new project, an XTRA UUGLY mixtape, continues with the theme of your debut studio album I’M UUGLY. Why did you decide to further explore this aspect and, thus, make it extra?
First off, I’m a tremendous troll, full of dry, sarcastic banter and disgustingly witty remarks. So, making an album called UUGLY, with some of my prettiest music, was right up my alley. With Xtra though, I wanted to actually go harder than part 1, using the same themes of funk, sex and nostalgia; but go bigger with instrumentation, and vulnerable concepts. One concept being the emotional man or the aggressive woman. For so long, both feelings have been gender specific. So, with the song BOY, I wanted to find a radical but colourful way to blur the lines, so I called myself a girl. After making a couple of my family members turn their heads, I explained that I have both male and female energy, and so does every other human on this planet. It’s about being comfortable in that space. The man that picks flowers, the woman that skanks in mosh pits.
As we can see with the flipped the meaning of preconceptions of the term ugly, you play a lot with juxtaposition and flipping the tables of socially established taboos. Why is this juxtaposition aspect so important for you?
Juxtapositions are one of the best reflections of the human experience. We all come from different backgrounds, different upbringings and gain our own perspectives on life. Then, we grow up to be contradicting ass adults; but that’s the beauty. If we all subscribed to the same structure of living, if our truths were never challenged, our comforts never shaken, how the hell would we grow? Thus, Republicans smoke weed and Democrats shop at Walmart. Criminals help old ladies across the street and Preachers slap Gucci Mane; etc, etc. Juxtapositions create room for an ever-growing human experience.
You reflect this on your musical style as well. It’s even more obvious in this mixtape — going from classic gritty guitar riffs to hip-hop, groovy funk and punk. How did you set out to reflect the ethos of the have-it-all generation in your music? What was the creative process behind the mixtape?
For me, UUGLY is all about transparency, so I’d be a liar to only present myself as a rapper in a generic sound of Hip Hop. As I said before, I love juxtapositions. I’m a Black punk that makes Hip Hop, funk-infused music. My subject matters span from boastfulness and sexual confidence to emotional vulnerability. I was raised with classical music, so violin solos will find their way scattered about my project(s). Oh, and when I perform, I’ll switch from a Prince inspired pelvic thrust, to a belligerent death metal head banging. In making XTRA, I thought “If I love so many forms of music, why not just let them all out on one project”. Thus, XTRA UUGLY.
You question status quo and give social critique with political brashness, but in doing so, you encourage relaxation and going back to easy breezy childhood days. How do you manage to keep the balance between the two?
I don’t know how I balance my adult self with my child self. But I do see both going hand in hand. I relate to children because they have a humongous amount of I-don’t-give-a-f*ck. They are also super open to the wonders of this world. Michael (Jackson) would say the day you stop believing in magic, is the day you lose your inner child. I thoroughly believe in magic. An adult understanding would call it manifestation, law of attraction, karma, or even a miracle, but they all go hand in hand. So even when I speak on politics with a certain bit of brashness, I still “caramelize the apple” with colourful chord progressions, beautiful guitar riffs, and humorous phrasing too lighten the payload of “we’re f*cked” (lol).
Last year, you toured with Anderson .Paak and right now you’re hitting the streets with Rich Chigga. How’s it been this time around? Do you have any plans to cross the Atlantic some time soon?
Touring with Rich Chigga helped me gain a good view of where Hip Hop is currently. It’s crazy as hell, but I love how aware the kids of this generation are. I love that me and the band are carrying the torch of Funk-Punk-Psyche-Rap, thus being a catalyst for the kids to peep the artist that my generation grew up on. Larry June would end that sentence with a “Good Job Duckwrth”. Oh, and I’ll be crossing the Atlantic all next year. So, get yo booty cheeks right, ’cause you will acquire much booty sweat at my show .
What are some artists that you would love to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with Tame Impala, Connan Mockasin, Ty Segall, Steve Lacey, Sza, Justice, Gwen Stefani, Gorillaz & PHARRELL (or N.E.R.D). It would be sick to have Tyler the Creator direct a rad video with me… I REALLY WANT the Duffer Brothers (Stranger Things) to direct a video my song “WAKE UP” because it’s a perfect 80’s rock anthem ballad and they would go so ham, visually. That’s my Christmas artist wish list. Stankyou, music Santa.
Fashion has been a distinctive trait in your career, some dubbing your style and androgynous. You’ve said that you’ve had struggled with sexuality before, but have come to embraced both masculinity and femininity. How important is fashion for you right now and how do you see the non-conforming gender aesthetic going on in the future?
Retail dream store of the future: One rack / no specific gender / just garments. It would be to the buyer’s discretion as to which gender it belongs to. But I would hope that some people would want to buy it because they love the garments and not be hesitant because they feel sequence is only for women and ugly plaid shirts are only for men.
You have your own fashion/merch line— you’ve been repping some exclusive XTRA UUGLY designs on tour already. When can we expect a drop there?
By the time this interview drops, there will be an array of UUGLY clothing options to choose from at DUCKWRTH.COM. So, slap ‘an XTRA UUGLY Mixtape’, tell yah grandma about me, and cop some UUGLY and BOY pieces for the ones you love.