Roman Grandinetti DJ and founder of Downtown creative agency CNNCTD+ is launching on May 1st a group show at The New Museum showcasing a cross-section of New York City culture. The agency reached out to 100 of the city’s biggest influencers and provided blank MP3 Playbuttons to creatives like Pharrell Williams, Cindy Sherman, Spike Lee, Scott Campbell, Azealia Banks, Yoko Ono, Ricky Powell, Atrak, Narciso Rodriguez, and more. The participants each designed original artwork and contributed recordings that can be plugged into at the show. CNNCTD+ selected 100 heroes and creative leaders from various disciplines to participate in the project. Each participant in CNNCTD+100 is using a Playbutton — a wearable pin that doubles as an MP3 player — as the canvas for their audio and visual designs.
Participants include world-renowned artists such as Cindy Sherman, fashion designers like Narciso Rodriguez, musicians such as Pharrell Williams, and iconic NYC personalities and companies including Katz’s Deli, The Meatball Shop, and Ricky Powell. In creating the project, CNNCTD+ enlisted the help of top creative and cultural engineers: from HBO’s Broke Mogul, to Half Gallery’s Bill Powers, to advertising guru George Lois. The complete list of participants won’t be revealed until the night of the event but includes dozens of big names and surprises. ”CNNCTD’s goal was to showcase individuals who inspire NYC. We have Cindy Sherman, Dave White, Scott Campbell, Pharrell, Yoko Ono, Mitch Alfis, George Lois, Azealia Banks, Young Guru, Spike Lee. We have 100 so I think there’s going to be a couple more (Laughs).” said Roman Grandinetti to Complex.com.
“We really just wanted to provide the participants an opportunity to collaborate and spark up a conversation they may not have had before. CNNCTD has a great vision for our generation, and it starts with unexpected connections. It’s about how far you can push it, and how creative we can be together.” Roman explained how the Playbuttons work and how is the MP3 device incorporated into the exhibition. “We gave contributors an open canvas with the Playbutton. There’s a huge listening attribute to the show which is cool. The guys from Meatball Shop are teaching you how to craft the perfect meatball, others produced inspiring mixes, and some shard great experiences about themselves and their businesses. Pharrell has something cool going on with his button. He has a new agency called I Am Other and gives a cool introduction to the company. We thought he was going to do some music or something, but it ended up being a really personal story.”
“We’re expecting around 500 people to come out opening night, but since space at the New Museum is limited, we’ll have to see what’s up at the door. The event is private, but the New Museum is selling 100 tickets to the public. The tickets are actually a blank Playbutton and we hook you up with stickers from each of the 100 participants and entrance to the show.” The launch of CNNCTD+100 will take place on May 1st, 2012, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., at The New Museum Store, New York City. All 100 Playbuttons will be on display with AiAiAi Headphones to allow guests to experience the 100 participants performing music, reciting dialogue, talking to friends, teaching listeners how to get creative in the kitchen, and more. To purchase tickets for the event, click Here.
“Courtesy of one of the most addictive social networks to date, we get a sneak peak of whats to come in the pages of Obscura Magazine Summer 2012. Thanks to the instagram handles of editor in chief of THINK SILLY Web Magazine and Obscura Magazine, Bebop (bebop_obscura) and the infamous MILK/SILLY THING founder, Mr. TK (mr_tk), we get a glimpse of shots taken of the one and only Pharrell Williams whom is said to be featured in this years Summer 2012 print. Of course from now till then anything could change, but we must admit for iphone photos, these are great images of Mr. Williams. Stay tuned for more info.”
Brad Wete from Complex had the chance to go to a Listening Session by Usher where Usher played his seventh studio album titled ‘Looking For Myself’ and Brad revealed that there will be a new Neptunes Track on it called ‘Hot Thing’, yeh I know, the newest Maxine Ashley tune is called exact the same and since she revealed that her’s ‘Hot Thing’ was never meant to release, could possibly mean that Maxine’s version was only a Demo for Usher, but what do I know though… I just hope we’ll get a new tune of it, ‘Looking For Myself’ is due June 12th, thanks to EclecticE.
“When the party was over, Usher disappeared and the ceiling was lit, revealing a big body of water filled with people drowning as a ballad played. Next came a joyous mid-tempo cut about taking advantage of every moment in life (possibly called “Jump In”), followed by a Pharrell Williams–sounding groove called “Hot Thing” and another cut with a squishy bass line called “I Care for You.”
All Usher x Neptunes Collaboration
Check out those Christian Rich ‘Till Dawn’ Promo Posters that are also availabe on their official site thechristianrich.com, and Christian Rich revealed this morning via twitter that they got a tune on Rye Rye’s debut album ‘Go! Pop! Bang!‘ Titled ‘Dance’ which is due May 15, thanks to nerd0016.
“Also Rye Rye’s album comes out May 15th and we have a song on there called “Dance” and Pharrell got a joint on there too!”
I think most of y’all already heard the new Maxine Ashley Neptunes track titled ‘Hot Thing‘, just to clarify something, this is not her first single and it wasn’t meant to leak anytime soon according to Maxine herself. ‘Cookieman is the name of first single that will be released soon’ ‘COOKIEMAN IS BETTER!!!’ ‘Hot Thing was Leaked. Never was supposed to be released.’ She said via her tumblr and twitter that her first single is still ‘Cookie Man’ that we should “Be prepared to hear this song with a Video!!”. Anyways, that tune is pretty dope if you asking me, check it out below, and make sure to check out her latest cover on Youtube, this time, she’s covering Amy Winehouse’s ‘You Know That I’m No Good’.
Maxine Ashley – Hot Thing feat. Pharrell & Lil’ Wayne (12′)
Maxine Ashley – You Know That I’m No Good (Amy Winehouse Cover)
Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears has confessed he was “pretty intimidated” when the band collaborated with hip-hop whizz Pharrell Williams. The Comfortably Numb group worked with Pharrell on their fourth album Magic Hour, and Jake admitted he was impressed by the N*E*R*D star. “I was pretty intimidated by Pharrell. He’s the most stunning man I’ve ever seen,” he told The Star. “Your jaw drops to the floor and his voice is unbelievable.” Jake – who has penned tracks for pal Kylie Minogue – also had words of praise for another collaborator, US rap star Azealia Banks. “She’s a firecracker. She’s extremely talented and really funny.” New single Only The Horses is due out on May 13. Magic Hour is released on May 28.
Allmusic.com reviewed Yuna’s debut album with all three picks from Pharrell Williams. The Malaysian singer has just released her debut album and we’re patiently waiting for the critics and reviews that will get her for the album, and Tim Sendra from Allmusic.com gave it a 3/5 stars although he has given three picks of all Pharrell tunes from the album, and while rewieving ‘See You Go’, Tim also revealed that its a former Chrisette Michele tune. That could be true because The Neptunes have been in the studio with Chrisette Michele back in 2010 for her third studio album ‘Let Freedom Reign’ where they did one tune called ‘Dancing Shoes’ but they never mentioned another tune such as ‘See My Name’ or ‘See You Go’, anyways check out the complete review below. Yuna’s debut album is on iTunes and in Stores now.
‘Seeing that Malaysian singer/songwriter Yuna’s debut album is released by the Fader label, you may get the impression that the music is as forward-thinking as the magazine and website usually are. You’d be wrong for the most part, as Yuna falls almost totally in step with the wave of singer/songwriters making quietly confessional folk-pop that surrounds the vocals with polite and gentle arrangements that wouldn’t sound out of place in a coffee shop or on the radio. Her songs are sweetly melancholy, the vocals are pleasantly sweet and sincere, and the overall feeling is innocently sweet and nice. Most of the album is the kind of background music that won’t disturb you as you work through a crossword puzzle, as she sings of slightly broken hearts and missed connections in a way that is sad but not too blue.
The only moments that truly stand out are the three songs produced by Pharrell Williams. They aren’t club tracks by any means, but he does inject a little bit of excitement into the sound. The little things he adds to the mix, like the horn drops in “Bad Idea,” the vocal harmonies and strings on “See My Name” (which also benefits from writing input from Chrisette Michele), and the smooth, cosmopolitan bounce of the album’s stand-out song, “Live Your Life,” really make a difference and help take the songs from the background to somewhere closer to the foreground. It’s an approach Yuna would be wise to use on future recordings, because as nice as the rest of the album can be, it really takes off when she steps out of the coffee shop and hits the city streets.’
Yuna – See You Go
Two years after she arrived stateside, Yuna’s self-titled debut of breezy, trip-hop pop released on April 24 on Fader Label, distributed by RED and with tracks produced by Pharrell Williams. How did a Malaysian folk singer meet up with Williams? It started with an email. Ben Willis of management firm Indie-Pop contacted Yuna in 2009 to set up a meeting after seeing her clips online. “It was so weird,” Yuna says. “I’m this kid from Malaysia, and this guy was introducing himself to me with these long emails, asking to bring me to L.A.” Yuna waited for six months before writing back. In the meantime, Willis had decided to fly to Asia and meet Yuna himself.
As a result of the meeting, Yuna was compelled to fly to Los Angeles. After shopping for a label, Yuna signed with the Fader imprint in early 2011 and quickly released her Decorate EP. While Yuna was recording her full-length album in 2011, Fader contacted Williams and asked that he spend some studio time with Yuna. Scheduled for just two days, the duo worked together for nearly a week, creating some of the album’s best tracks, including the Sade-like first single, “Live Your Life.” Make sure to cop the album now on iTunes and in stores and check out Yuna’s interview with Mando Fresko below.
Yuna Talks Album, Working with Pharrell & Performs
‘Yuna sits down with Mando Fresko to talk about her U.S. debut album, working with Pharrell Williams and does an acoustic performance of “Live Your Life” and “Islands.” And did you know the Malaysian singer-songwriter was a professional bowler? Get to know this rising star a little more!’
Yuna – Live Your Life (Official Video)
Rye Rye revealed this week her final tracklist to her debut album ‘Go! Pop! Bang!’ that will include The Neptunes upbeat production “Shake, Twist, Drop” that features also rapper Tyga. “We did a drum beat. To me, it sounds like just a bunch of drums. It’s real dope. It’s an uptempo beat, of course,” she explained last year to Rap-Up.com. “It sounds like tribal drums, to be exact. M.I.A. said it reminded her of home.” Check out the tracklist below.
Rye Rye – Go! Pop! Bang! (2012) (May 15th)
The BBC Blog posted some more information about Pharrell’s upcoming book ‘Places & Spaces I’ve Been’, check it out. ‘The hat is out of the bag since the Rizzoli Fall release catalog came out. There seems to be a little confusion out there so here is a bit more information. This is a coffee table style book which will feature conversations between Pharrell and some friends who have inspired him such as Anna Wintour, Nigo, Buzz Aldrin, Takashi Murakami, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Hans Zimmer, Ambra Medda, Chad & Shae. The rest of the book will contain photos which cover most of Pharrell’s career. The book will be released October 16th and will retail for $55. Multiple colored cover options will be available as well as a limited edition version ($250) which will include something special which we won’t unveil until closer to the release date.’
You can purchase now Pharrell’s first book on Amazon.com titled ‘Places & Spaces I’ve Been’ for $33.64, The book will be released on October 16th. Product Details; Hardcover: 248 pages; Publisher: Rizzoli (October 16, 2012).
Just a few weeks back Mansion On The Moon came through Atlanta, GA to play the city’s newest premier mid-sized venue grand opening, Terminal West. Mansions On The Moon is comprised of Beni Haze, Lane, and Ted. Beni and Lane have been creatively working together for the better part of 5 years and when Ted linked up with the boys some amazing music was created together and Mansions formed elegantly out of that. During the past few months MOTM has been on the road in promotion of their release Lightyears, on the tour under the same name. I got the chance to check out a short set at the Velveeta Room during SXSW and ended up meeting a few of the guys, Jeff, their touring bass player, and Lane, the drummer during one of the nights at The Illmore.
How’s the tour been going since SXSW?
Ben: It’s been awesome. We went from Texas to Lawrence, all the way up to Milwaukee and Chicago, down to here and everywhere in between. It’s been cool to connect with fans and see what kinds of markets are hot. It’s great to see the response to the album.
During SX this year you guys brought out Pow, who we featured on the site recently. Do you like to incorporate different elements and collaborations to your live set?
Ben: If we can, sure, absolutely. Here in Atlanta tonight we’ve got a really close friend coming out, India. Just like Pow, we love talented people so if the opportunity comes up to collaborate then we like to do it.
How did MOTM hook up with Pharrell?
Ben: That happened through our buddy Charley and a friend from Illusive media. I’m from VA and kinda worked in the Timbaland studio at his home spot. At one point I lived with Charley and when I went back to VA he hooked all that stuff up. It all came together through Illusive.
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