Band on the Rise: The Band Called Fuse

thebandcalledfuseThe Band Called Fuse is about as diverse as you can get when it comes to soul rock. The seven-man band reps five different backgrounds to combine for an electrifying soul rock sound. Fresh off of their newest EP, Impossible Dream, The Band Called FUSE has released their music video for their track “Soul Rock Anthem.”

The video acknowledges every aspect of the band’s well-rounded talents. From thick drum beats and stimulating guitar melodies to hip hop sounding vocals, The Band Called FUSE creates a rock meets hip hop energizing tune. Each member of the band has something to show off, and they do so in their “Soul Rock Anthem” video. With the dim lights and concert-like setting, the video gives off a very underground vibe that made it very enjoyable to watch. It was unique seeing so many variations in a band collaborate to make such a chill video with such a rocker sound.

VentsMagazine describes The Band Called FUSE as, “Rage Against the Machine meets The Roots.” 2DopeBoyz says the band is, “Backed with distorted guitars and thick drums, SK spits gems on some Rage Against the Machine-ish, if Rage were hardcore hip-hop heads.”

Be sure to check out the band’s full EP, Impossible Dream and check out their official website:

GUEST POST: Most Anticipated 2014 Summer Albums

We’re just a few short months away from summer and the only thing that could make it perfect besides some warm sunshine are new albums from some fantastic artists. From indie to R&B, there’s something new for everyone to rock out to this summer. So while laying in a hammock, grab those headphones, put on some new tunes and just let that summer sun warm your soul. Here are five artists with new albums to look forward to this summer.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – “Only Run”

After a short break, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will be returning to the music scene with new album “Only Run” out June 3. Since the announcement of their new album, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah started circulating their first single “Coming Down” on the Internet. Featuring the all too familiar voice of The National’s Matt Berninger, “Coming Down” not only marks the return of the band but their return to an optimist outlook.

The Antlers – “Familiars”

Out June 13, The Antlers’ new album “Familiars” will be their fourth studio LP since 2011. Even though they released a few EPs since then, it’s about time they give us a complete album. On top of this announcement, The Antlers also debuted their video for their first single off “Familiars,” “Palace.” Recorded, produced and engineered in The Antlers’ Brooklyn studio, and mixed by Chris Coady, “Familiars” is set to be their best album yet.

Sam Smith – “In the Lonely Hour”

This U.K. import will release his debut album in the U.S. on June 17. Sam Smith has been dubbed the U.K.’s hot R&B artist of the moment, wooing people over with his voice since first appearing on Disclosure’s tune “Latch” in 2013. This album is sure to be a smash hit with Smith’s crooning finally front and center.

Azealia Banks – “Broke With Expensive Taste”

Since 2012, Azealia Banks’ debut album “Broke With Expensive Taste” began hitting one roadblock after another. Recently, Banks’ album got pushed back – again – to this summer. Rumor has it Banks has decided to begin leaking the album herself starting April 15. Keep your ears tuned because with a hit jam like “212” her album is sure to be incredible.

Wu-Tang Clan – “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin”

The most anticipated album to be released this summer is by far Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.” Granted, Wu-Tang Clan is also set to release another album before this one titled “A Better Tomorrow,” but the hype around “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” has been enormous due to one major difference between the two. One – and only one – copy of “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” will be sold. So what does this mean for the millions of fans across the world? You better start saving your pennies if you want to outbid others for this secretly made album.



About This Author:

Samantha Baker is not your average pop culture fanatic. She eats, sleeps, and breathes all things pop culture. As a senior at Drake University, double majoring in Magazine Journalism and English, she works diligently in her studies as well as finding time to catch up on the latest shows, movies, and music and some celebrity gossip. When she isn’t studying, hanging out with pals, scrolling througgh Tumblr pages, she writes on her blog, The Cultured Collegiate: . Feel free to check out her blog and send her feedback.


Quirk and Kitsch Aplenty at St. Vincent’s Show

All teasing remnants of spring had seemingly passed and it was once more dreary and windy outside in Omaha, Nebraska. Show attendees were dressed in conservative layers as they made their way to the Sokol Auditorium, eagerly hustling towards the doors in fervent anticipation of the night’s events. I had chosen to ignore the bad weather and had opted for a bright white cutoff shirt with hazy splashes of color; the evening’s performers would be proud, I thought.


A small crowd had formed close to the stage as the sound check wrapped up and opener Noveller began her set. At once, I could see why she was paired with St. Vincent: her music, ambient guitar playing layered over manual loops that the artist created in real time, was ethereal and a touch bizarre, yet it required such precision to execute that I was dumbfounded to discover fellow audience members chatting through her performance. Unfortunately, it seemed that several of the people in attendance didn’t have the patience for Noveller’s unique one-woman show, though the majority of us were swept up by her soaring melodies and cascading loops which would sometimes crescendo with such intensity that the venue seemed to rumble and quake. A brief opening, however, saw Noveller exiting the stage after 5 songs, though they were all expertly styled and lighted.

Some time passed. A handful of us grabbed new beers and refilled our rum mixers. The crowd in front of the stage seemingly tripled, with new attendees wandering in right and left, all drawn in closer by the headlining act. And then finally, it began: a familiar 8 bit loop accompanied by some clever lighting flourishes as the backup band took the stage. The loop carried on, buzzing and thrumming as the star attraction strutted out and took center stage, all the while cooing the lyrics to “Rattlesnake”, the opener off of her latest, eponymous release. Immediately, a good portion of the crowd began swaying in time with the feverish, erratic performance, the thumping guitars and synth notes all creating a gorgeous foundation for St. Vincent’s impeccable vocals.


It’d be a crime not to mention the artist’s appearance as it was, in a word, flawless. With zany violet hair and stark, pale features, St. Vincent looked somewhat like a specter or ghost of sorts, her haunting image corresponding perfectly with the melancholic undertones of her songs. Her dress, a lovely white number with a brilliant splash of red down the front, hugged her figure and moved effortlessly with her as she paced the stage. All of this was further highlighted by the frequent use of deep purple lighting throughout her set. Her embodiment of a ghostly apparition had much of the crowd whispering and uttering elated gasps, though none could speak for too long as we were all too entranced by her performance.

The majority of the set was comprised of songs from her album St. Vincent though there were a few inclusions from past releases, most notably her hit song “Cruel” from Strange Mercy. St. Vincent tiptoed her way through songs, layering sounds and creating a musical build, all the while flailing her arms in a strange, endearingly robotic fashion between intricate guitar solos. As the show wound down, the audience had clearly not been fully sated, and we begged her to return to the stage. Return she did, for a generous three more songs, all very guitar-heavy which gave the performer a chance to flex her musical muscles. Afterwards, she introduced her bandmates (as “these human beings” no less!) and skipped – yes, skipped – off the stage. For several moments, everyone was stunned and nobody moved.

It was apparent that we had just witnessed true artistry. I can only imagine what her next album and tour will bring, and can easily guarantee that I’ll be in attendance.


The Evolution of Blue Magic: Nenna Yvonne is Pop’s It Girl

nena-yvonne-1-e1395900243782Nenna Yvonne, an independent and phenomenal pop artist, is on the right track to becoming a national and international superstar. Not only is she multi-talented, with singing and modeling abilities, but she also has a huge online fan base with more than 3 million YouTube views, 240,000 twitter followers, 110,000 Facebook fans, 320,000 ReverbNation fans and more than 70,000 music downloads. She has already toured in the United States and Asia and is planning many more international tours.

Her latest album, The Evolution of Blue Magic was well-received around the globe as her fans and new listeners became interested in her new pop sound and dance tracks. With the mega success of The Evolution of Blue Magic, Nenna credits her trips to Tokyo and Japan as being her inspiration for the concept of the album. When working on her debut, Nenna tried to take another approach to it that was different from her previous music. “That whole tour [in Tokyo and Japan] had a different sponsor that was a fan of my music. The sponsor [suggest] that I took my music in a different direction. It’s about reinventing my style to one of a hipster, everyday girl, so that people can relate with me.”

With such a change in image and sound, Nenna demonstrates her abilities to be resilient and brave–something that she has always represented. Since her fans are worldwide and typical more of the young girls and women, some may categorize her as a role model. However, I think that Nenna is sort of a badass. “I definitely consider myself a trendsetter. I go against the grain and I am a little bit of a rebel. I create music that is fun and touches a few different genres.”  She likes creating music that is somewhat different compared to her personality, so when people meet her in person, they don’t know what to expect.

That’s what makes Nenna so special, especially in music. In one minute, she has her poker face on and in the next she’s wearing her heart on her sleeve. Depending on the song or the lyrics, you are likely to get a different aspect to Nenna every time.

Overall, Nenna describes her process on working on Evolution of Blue Magic, as “rewarding,” with some moments where she felt a little “overworked.” Nonetheless, her hard work has definitely paid off.  There’s no resting and relaxing in store for Nenna, because she’s  doing more shows in the U.S and some overseas. She’s getting new sponsors, releasing new videos, doing live performances and dropping new music soon. All I can say is that the summer is looking very bright for this pop princess and she deserves it!


To find out more about Nenna Yvonne visit:

Honeybucket EP Cover

REVIEW: Get a Taste of Honeybucket’s Latest Project

Honeybucket EP CoverThe band Honeybucket formed three years ago, and after listening to these guys I’m wondering why I haven’t heard them all over the radio. This band instantly caught my attention within the first few seconds of their album and maintained it the whole way through. Honeybucket knows exactly what they’re doing in their bluegrass meets soul album. You’ll be in the beer drinking, carefree dancing mood in no time.

“Ohio” kicks off their EP with catchy and unique tunes that will instantly pull you in.  Their collaboration of unique instruments form a somewhat Irish-sounding beat that is impossible to not tap your foot to. You can really hear all of the instruments come out in the song that creates a feel-good vibe.

“Mayor’s Daughter” continues the upbeat melody. The song is so face paced that it’s impossible to get bored with. The song has comical lyrics that emphasize their carefree and fun craze.  The trio meshes so well together when it comes to vocals. They know how to collaborate perfectly together.

“Honey for my Baby” is more of a bluegrass feel. You can really get a sense of the band’s passion of music and distinctive instrument playing. The song is so fun and that’s the number one priority; wanting to have a good time. Band member Abie says, “The feel I wanted for this song is tongue-in-cheek and playful, and it has become a fan favorite in live performances.”

“First Winter” is much more laid back than the other songs off of their EP. I connected this song with American Authors when I first listened to it, which is a heck of a compliment. The song and lyrics make you believe it was written for a loved one, reminiscing on old times together.

“Summer Shandy” is definitely my favorite off of the EP. Although it is strictly instrumental, the beat is so good that I put it on repeat.  This song will have you dazing off to carefree moments. It’s such a feel good vibe and really forces you to appreciate this band’s musical talent.

“Old High Road” this song is also taking me back to an Irish setting. I almost feel like I am in the streets of Ireland with good friends listening to the band in person. You can really hear each instrument show off its uniqueness, much like in every song.

Honeybucket collaborates their instruments and vocals so perfectly together, that they’re an awesome combination for any music lover. Creating a carefree and playful experience is one thing that they do so well.  Their songs are all so similar, yet so different at the same time.

Stay connected with the band on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, iTunes and SoundCloud. Be sure to check out their official website,


Elle MusiQue Talks Soul and Her Creative Process

photo-2In today’s generation, there are hardly any mainstream artists that are known to sing soul music. Lauren Ashli Harris, a 25 year-old from Maryland, is trying to break the mainstream norms with her serene vocals and soulful beats. Commonly known as Elle MusiQue, she started out as a songwriter before bringing herself to sing her own lyrics. Now, MusiQue had her first “official” show on March 7 at Black Fox Lounge in Washington, D.C, which was also her birthday celebration show.

Before her show, we had the opportunity to interview MusiQue on her brand as an artist and her journey to be the musician she is today.

Happy early birthday! So tell us more about your birthday celebration show.

Elle: It’s very interesting how I came about. For myself, I’ve been an independent artist since I’ve started singing. So with this, I kind of thought of the idea, you know, I’m turning 25 and I wanted to do something different and special. I’ve been working very hard musically so this will probably be the best chance to really put something out there. So long story short, we brought in the house band and they’re going to be doing some of my original songs. It should definitely be great. It’s a small venue so it’s not anything that’s going to be overcrowded. I wanted to keep it kind of intimate. I want to be relatable so a lot of people that will be there are family and friends.

How did you get started in the music industry?

Elle: I’ve been singing since I was very young. I grew up [going to] church and that’s where it all started. No one else in my family sings. No one in my family is into music at all so it’s really odd that I took a liking to it. Since I was young, I played several instruments and then over time, it grew from something that was a childhood pastime to something that I was actually pretty good at. So, I went to college. I went to Howard University for two years. Then I took time off from school so probably about in 2010′s when I said to myself, “Let me see if I can actually do this.” What actually got everything started was my [friend].

He was trying to be a manager at that time and he brought the idea to me of working with me to rewrite some music so that way we can sell it. So at that point, my aspect was really going to be the writer. I’ll be the vocal presence, but I wasn’t necessarily going to be an artist. I was just going to be selling the music, but I wrote my first song and I said, “You know what? I can sing this better than I could tell someone else to do it. So let me just try this and see if it becomes something great.” So far, it’s been a pretty good journey.

 What do you like about soul music?

Elle: The emotions. With me being a songwriter first before a singer, I’m really one of those reserved type of people. So even though my show tomorrow is going to be pretty amazing, I’m not that that type of person in a regular sense that likes to be in front of a huge crowd. I take pride in the soul variety so that’s what I’m really planning to display tomorrow. I think it’s really just the emotions. I do have many stories to tell. I would say emotions and experiences are what I like about soul] because with that, it comes from within your soul. It’s coming from somewhere true, somewhere real and I connect with that. 

How is it working with your fiancé, producer MarkOnTheBeatz?

Elle: It definitely works. I’m telling you, what’s really made this entire journey a very golden experience is this: I met him about two years ago and it was something very comfortable. We’re interested in the same things and before it became romantic, it started as a business relationship. We started working with each other and, of course, the dynamics eventually do change because I fell in love and he’s the father of my son and we’re planning to have a future, but we keep it very professional. Like the songs that I’m doing even tomorrow is all his music. So it’s been really cool. I learn from him and he has a very good ear. I’m really able to brainstorm with him. I think both of us have grown into our own with everything so far and we’ve just been seeing it go further. Nothing like working with your best friend, you know?

Other than your birthday celebration show, what other projects are you working on?

Elle: This is kind of a [burning] start. As a matter of fact, my event tomorrow is titled “Genesis” and, with that, I’ve started to work with my aunt, who is my manager now.  We are planning on projects, but I don’t have anything in stone just yet. Right now, it was just getting to writing the music for the event tomorrow and putting that music in a way that we can expand it later into a project. This has been kind of a continuous journey so I’m still recording. I’m still trying to rebuild my brand and who I am. People can look forward to hearing new music from me very soon. I don’t know if I’m going to do a small project or just a few songs. I really want to do kind of like an LP really because I have videos and I’ve done events. I sing my music, but I really want to be able to package it and give it to people.

Being an independent artist, how are you able to brand yourself?

Elle: No artist ever wants to say, “Well, I’m like this person or I’m like that person,” but it’s way bigger than that. What [my aunt] wanted to do is connect me with someone that paves the way pretty much. All music is retracing some concepts. So at this point, the biggest influence that I have and I can actually relate to is India Arie. She has her message with her songs. Her image is very easygoing and she’s pretty much your sister.  You believe what she says. That’s the type of relationship I want people to feel. I do get a lot of inspiration from a lot of people, but she’s pretty much that mirror for myself.

How do you gain loyal followers or fans without doing what society usually wants like “sex sells” or explicit lyrics?

Elle: In my personal life, the way I raise my family is in respect to myself. It’s in respect to my heritage and it’s in respect to who I am supposed to be as a mom and soon to be a wife. So I bring that knowledge and that pride to my music. I don’t carry myself that way. I wouldn’t change it up just because I’m singing or to really fit in. I’ve always been an oddball. I’ve always done things against the grain. Now don’t get me wrong: women are made to have that sensuality. We’re made to be unbound and that’s great and beautiful. So I do show a level of sophistication and sexiness. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. But I try to really reach past that and then to my audience, I want them to receive it past just the image. That’s why I call [the first show] my “Genesis” because I really want to be refreshing. I don’t really dress that provocatively. I do things in a classy way and I’m just trying to be as true from that point with my music so I let my words speak. I try to show other people respect with my music as well.

Would our society be better if we stop thinking that anything sexual, vocally and/or physically, sells?

Elle: I think this generation can do without that because there are so many things that are over-sexualized. My son is 9 months and I’m trying to even find children’s shows for him to watch and it’s adult jokes, or the characters are drawn in such a way. Kids aren’t supposed to know about boobs or all that stuff [at that age]. I’m trying to find that outlet. I feel if more people search content more, something to see their soul more, something to see their mind more, they will naturally go against everything that is sexual because it doesn’t fascinate you at some point. After that, what else is there? I want to be that what else is there. There’s so many more topics and I want people to have an alternative. I want them to hear my music and feel like it is something different than what everyone else is doing. I think they will be refreshed by that. 

What are your influences?

Elle: When I was in Howard, I studied jazz and that was really interesting because I grew up only knowing a lot about gospel. It kind of made music sheltered in a sense. So I really had to challenge myself and listen to [different types of music] and that didn’t come easy because there was some certain music I didn’t even know that I was fond to. I didn’t even know what was out there. So I’m in school and it’s like I didn’t even know what was going on in the world. There’s this one song that I’m doing tomorrow and it’s called “Black Is.” It’s not simply on by what it is, but it’s bringing awareness to heritage and showing people more than what’s in the news. I try to get that to influence me. I bring a lot of pop artists and even my fiancé to influence me. Even with his music, I listen to his beats and I let that speak to me. Me being a mom influences me. For me, it’s not just a musical thing.

Any words for your fans?

Elle: Just come along with the journey. Embrace the newness that me, myself and I are trying to bring to music. Stick in it along with me, then they will be spiritually fed; they will be mentally awakened; and before they know it, they will find inner peace because that’s what I had to do to get where I’m at right now. Not everything is perfect. Not everything will be perfect in life, but if you can always have one good source, and music is always known to be an influence, then I want to be able to be the person that helps you get through your day and helps you not be mad at your boss or neighbor all the time because they don’t know what to say half the time. So just go along the journey with me, and you will be a stronger and better individual.

To learn more about Elle MusiQue, visit her Facebook and website!

Gemini Wired’s “What Now” Offers Support to Bullying Victims

1362700584_cropped_GWThis single, along with its powerful video, has certainly been a long time coming.

It’s nothing short of remarkable to witness a strong, talented young woman speak out about the harsh reality of such an important issue affecting today’s youth, without wearing the rose-coloured glasses favoured by so many other musicians who have similarly attempted to tackle this uncomfortable subject.

The artist is hip-hop and R&B-influenced songstress Gemini Wired. The issue is bullying.

Her message is honest and worth paying attention to, particularly if you are a young person struggling with similar issues yourself.

The sad truth is this: many anti-bullying campaigns present their cause with a lot of sugarcoated, well-meaning sentiment, encouraging students to love and support one another while dismissing genuine complaints of abuse from affected students. Anyone who has ever experienced bullying – whether physical, emotional, psychological, or societal – will attest to this.

Gemini Wired’s groundbreaking new single “What Now,” produced by Lyve City, breaks down these safe, quiet walls, and provides a close-up look at what happens in today’s schools. The music video is preceded with a montage of graphic footage showing various middle and high school students being physically beaten and taunted in different settings. The images are unsettling, even for someone who is already aware of the reality of bullying. Hopefully, for those who choose to turn a blind eye, this footage will be illuminating.

As Gemini sings, a group of young actresses do a fantastic job of conveying the uncomfortable experience of being a preteen girl in our current time period. These scenes will strike a chord in anyone who looks back at their own middle school years and cringes at the onslaught of mortifying memories. The climactic scene where several popular girls assault another in the bathroom while filming the event on their cell phones is a subtle reference to the high prevalence of cyberbullying. We all know bullies nowadays have access to technology, but the casual way they use it to enhance the torment is still a foreign concept to many parents who grew up in the pre-Internet age.

When an edgy and outspoken singer/rapper from New England chooses to break into the industry with such a powerful, attention-grabbing single, the future inevitably looks bright. According to her personal biography, Gemini aspires to “push her artistry to a place where other musicians fear to tread.” It seems unlikely that she could possibly fail at this point. Already, people are listening. Gemini is reaching out to the vulnerable, the wounded, the broken – and with such a unique voice supporting the oppressed, how can young kids not be inspired?

Learn more about Gemini on Twitter, @GeminiWired, or on her official website, to stay current with the various projects she has in the works right now. To find out how you can get involved in the anti-bullying movement visit


Lionize: New Record “Jetpack Soundtrack” Takes Flight

lionize_bioIt has been quite a journey for the ambitious, reggae-metal infused quartet from Maryland best known as Lionize. Making their subtle debut in 2005 with “Danger My Dear”, Lionize transcended genre on a level that stirred demand and allowed them to continue on to produce 4 more full-length studio albums, cultivating a zealously loyal following in its wake. After a recent signing with Weathermaker Music, Lionize looks poised to have a strong year ahead of them. The group’s notorious history of teaming up with music giants such as Bad Brains, Streetlight Manifesto, and long-time friends, Clutch, has fortified their sound and cast them as equals among the slew of frontrunners they so-fluidly perform with. Lionize has gone through some lineup changes over the years, but founding members Nathan Bergman (Guitar/Vocals), Henry Upton (Bass), and Chris Brooks (Keys) are still the band’s life blood as they gear up for a tour of their latest merging of metal and funk for their newest record: “Jetpack Soundtrack”.

Playing a show on home turf surely has its advantages. For Lionize, Washington DC isn’t just “home turf” anymore; it’s become much more than that. After years of routinely dominating circuit venues like 9:30 Club and Rock N Roll Hotel, people “just know” when the gang has an appearance ready. As the origin city of its fan base, Lionize’s District fans could arguably be blamed for a portion of the band’s success, so it’s no surprise its “Jetpack Soundtrack” release show at the popular basement venue: U Street Music Hall. This is a band that built itself up from nothing by touring. Lionize has shamelessly traversed the country many times for its fans, and they deliver; for good reason. Nate Bergman and his Lionizers never fail to entertain an immersive, soulfully heavy live performance that bolsters the talent of every band member.

February 20th was a curiously warm winter day in the Nation’s Capital. Perhaps spring could no longer lie in wait for new releases planned for 2014. It’s not just the weather that’s excited, however, for Lionize’s long-awaited “Jetpack Soundtrack” claimed the Thursday evening for swarms of fans and show-goers. When the event’s opener Delegation took to the early stage in the U Street basement, anticipation began to grow in the District venue as fan-favorite headliner Lionize prepared for its next move. The venue; a dark and cavernous underground club with a charming sense of intimacy, was a beacon for loyal and longtime DC fans after doors opened at 6:30.

It seemed like hours melted away in the windowless, subterranean out-crowd sanctuary before the quartet of the night emerged, and rightfully claimed the stage amidst the growing anticipation. Without a moment’s notice, heavy power chords and raspy vocals-in-dub flooded the venue. The kings of DC reggae sure know how to make an entrance; relocating their throne to U Street for the night.

With free samples of the album’s first hit Reality Check being handed out like Halloween candy, fans stirred all night knowing they were in for something special. With Bergman commanding the crowd with his immersive, signature vocals, Lionize put together a surprisingly intimate performance. The night was certainly important to them. Digging deep into their pockets and pulling out hits from previous records “Space Pope and the Glass Machine”, “Destruction Manual”, and “Superczar and the Vulture” the band inflated the night with a refreshing blend of music from their timeline to support their newest creation. For about an hour, the personal basement show had fans lusting for more and more after every song. There was a DJ set to play later on at night in the venue after Lionize, but when the set had sadly come to an end, U Street Music Hall became nearly barren for its next act. The lesson to be learned here is: Lionize throws down and missing them in Washington is a huge mistake. The band will be traveling to other select cities in the U.S on its tour of the brand new: “Jetpack Soundtrack”.

For more information on Lionize:



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