NextNext Hawaii Featured Artist: Jeff James

jeffjamesWe at OurStage and Amazing Media are excited to be partnering with McDonald’s of Hawaii for the NextNext search for the Sounds That Spark Change. We are bringing together Hawaiian artists with music fans and local charities in an effort to spread great music and help worthy causes. Here, we’ll highlight some of the artists who have already signed up to participate, so that fans around the world get a chance to hear this great new music. You can learn more about the competition below.

Jeff James (sometimes aka Jeffro) is an artist whose feel-good island-influenced music belies a man with a serious purpose and a commitment to social betterment. it makes him a perfect addition to the NextNext Hawaii roster of artists, all of whom have demonstrated a willingness to help their community and are sponsoring charities now in order to do so.

Inspired by a friend’s personal story, James recently made a short film highlighting the plight of homeless children in the Philippines. The film, entitled “Compassion,” focuses on personal sacrifice in the service of others. You can watch it below.

The other side of the Jeff James coin is, of course, his music. A multi-instrumentalist, James often performs as a one-man band, using loops and effects to accompany himself. On record, he can go from an airy ukulele song to a full-bore pop production, the latter exemplified by his tracks “GoGoGoGo” and his #1 hit on local radio charts, “Hawaiian Girls.” In Japan, he found similar success with another single, “Love Me.” He’s won multiple awards, including 2013’s People’s Choice Asia Best New International Male Performer.

Listen to “GoGoGoGo” below, and check out Jeff James on NextNext. Help artists helping others.


About NextNext:
Designed to connect a community of artists and music fans around a positive message of helping important causes, NextNext Hawaii invites those artists to sign up and select a charity to sponsor. Fans, who can get votes by visiting any participating McDonald’s location in Hawaii, can listen to the artists on the free NextNext app, create playlists, and vote for favorites. With each vote, the artist’s selected charity gets a donation. At the end, the top-ranked artists will be awarded cash prizes, including a grand prize of $5,000 and the opportunity to have music released via Amazing Records.

NextNext Hawaii Featured Artist: Irie Love

irie loveWe at OurStage and Amazing Media are excited to be partnering with McDonald’s of Hawaii for the NextNext search for the Sounds That Spark Change. We are bringing together Hawaiian artists with music fans and local charities in an effort to spread great music and help worthy causes. Here, we’ll highlight some of the artists who have already signed up to participate, so that fans around the world get a chance to hear this great new music. You can learn more about the competition below.

We’ve been fans of Irie Love since hearing her early tracks in our music channels back as far as 2010. Then in November last year, we talked about her vibrant crossover single “Mahalo.” Now, that song is included as part of her brand new album We Rise. As with the single, We Rise veers seamlessly from deep, soulful reggae to thumping pop to silky R&B. The album was created in collaboration with musicians, writers, and producers across multiple continents, and it features guest spots from J Boog, Peetah Morgan, and Fiji.

Irie Love, who has backed and toured with P!nk and Morgan Heritage, has long been an established voice in Hawaii as well as the international reggae community. With this new album, she’s poised to take her unique, genre-defying sound to an even larger audience. Get in on it now and check our her profile on NextNext.com.

About NextNext:
Designed to connect a community of artists and music fans around a positive message of helping important causes, NextNext Hawaii invites those artists to sign up and select a charity to sponsor. Fans, who can get votes by visiting any participating McDonald’s location in Hawaii, can listen to the artists on the free NextNext app, create playlists, and vote for favorites. With each vote, the artist’s selected charity gets a donation. At the end, the top-ranked artists will be awarded cash prizes, including a grand prize of $5,000 and the opportunity to have music released via Amazing Records.

Ten Artists to Watch at CMJ 2011… Based Solely on Their Names

There are lots of things we love about indie artists here on OurStage. Their ambition, will-power and outright determination to do whatever it takes to make it are some of the things we admire most. But, personally, I think their sheer creativity takes the cake. Independent artists are constantly one-upping each other and themselves when it comes to the ways they create and promote their music. And, millions of bands later, one of the trickiest yet most defining decisions an artist makes is their name.

While perusing the CMJ Marathon schedule, I was impressed and even more so entertained by the band names making an appearance in New York this week. So, without further adieu, here are ten picks for artists not to be missed at CMJ based on absolutely nothing else other than the fact that their names are fantastic.

Sidebar: There are so many OurStage artists appearing at CMJ this year that we simply couldn’t list them. Listen to them all in one playlist on OurStage’s Facebook page! You can view the complete CMJ 2011 schedule here.

Dad Rocks!

Because I appreciate the enthusiasm of the exclamation point. And also, Dad does rock.

(more…)

Hey Nikki

Nikki Lynette

Dubbed the Queen of Englewood by Lupe Fiasco himself, there’s no doubt Nikki Lynette‘s got Chi-town clout. But even Lupe knows that big talent finds its way past city limits. To date, Lynette’s opened for KRS 1, Gym Class Heroes and The Game, played SXSW and CMJ Music Festival and had her songs placed in ads for McDonald’s and Marlboro. Her allure lies in her chameleonic tastes, artfully blended into cool music for fun, cool people. With musical interests as diverse as Pink Floyd and OutKast, the singer/rapper/songwriter/producer leads listeners on a colorblind, genreless dance juggernaut through hip hop, rock and Motown. Loveless is a campy preachfest that leans and bobs to tribal street rhythms. Need a Man is a vintage jitterbug, sung straight and flirty, whereas the electro-grind of Don’t Say No, with its tachycardia beats is more forward-thinking. But it’s Now That I’m Fine that will really get the pulses racing. Hand claps and electric guitar plus Tony Basil’s Hey Mickey equals an insistent, grrrl power anthem that will keep the masses moving. Fans of Missy Elliott, Santigold, even Roger Waters will find something to dig. Long live the Queen.