Grand Appreciation vol 6: Chrissy DePauw

Chrissy DePauw is a singer/songwriter native to Southern California.  You may have seen her perform on the streets of Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA.  She has sold over 30,000 CDs independently and millions of YouTube views.  Currently Chrissy is promoting her first full-production album “Somewhere Sweeter” and working on her next album.  With an angelic voice that flutters effortlessly you will easily fall in love with her music.  Give a listen for yourself…

Myy personal favorite…

If you are on the West Coast of the US keep an eye out for tour dates!  She will be coming to a town near you Fall 2014!

Grand Appreciation vol 5: Sounds of Dea

Dea is an eclectic indie singer/songwriter and bassist from Vienna, Austria.  With a natural groove, her music is best described as intimate, soft, tense but hopeful as reflected in her songs “Run” and “Anyway”.   The sound of her voice can swoon you like a lullaby but her lyrics pleasantly surprise you with their wit and edge.  You may even be caught in a jab or two.

Dea’s musical journey included many crossroads and turnarounds until the bass finally found her and became the foundation her entire world.

Dea thrives on influences from energetic rock and funk such as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers,  reflective inspiration from her favourite singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco, and the melancholy muse of Samuel Barbers Adagio for Strings.

Keep an eye on for Dea’s EP to be released in the summer of 2014!


Grand Appreciation vol 4: Amel Larrieux

Amel Larrieux 101: Groove Theory

Do you remember a song from a duo called Groove Theory back in ’95?  Sounds familiar but can’t quite remember?  That’s all right… just watch the video really quickly.

Remember now?  Good!  Groove Theory consisted of singer-songwriter Amel Larrieux and songwriter/producer, Bryce Wilson. The song “Tell Me” reached the top five of Billboard ‘s Hot 100 and the US Billboard R&B chart.


Amel Larrieux 201: Blisslife Records and Infinite Possibilities

In 2000 Amel released her first solo album “Infinite Possibilities” on Epic Records. “Get Up” was her first single.  After creative disagreements Amel and Epic parted ways.  Amel and husband/co-writer/co-producer/manager, Laru Larrieux, created the indie label Blisslife Records.

Amel went on to release four more albums; Bravebird in 2004, Morning in 2006, Lovely Standards in 2007, and Ice Cream Everyday in 2013.

Currently Amel is promoting her most recent album, Ice Cream Everyday.  You can check out her latest single “Afraid” on soundcloud.

As an avid supporter, I highly recommend that you delve deeper into her music.  Your soul with thank you.



Grand Appreciation vol 3: Cookin’ Soul

When I returned from Winter break I had the urge to seek out LIVE soul music in the Valencia area.  Something that would take me to church.  Since The A69s don’t play every week, I turned to Google and searched the words “soul” and “Valencia”.  Randomly did I come across Cookin’ Soul.



CS Promo 4

In the small town that is Valencia, Spain lies a hidden gem.  Maybe not so hidden to the rest of the world but I did not expect two grammy award winning producers to be based out of Valencia.

Cookin’ Soul is the grammy award winning production team and DJs Big Size & Zock.  They have produced tracks for big names such as Nicki Minaj, The Game, and Redman just to name a few.

If you’ve never heard of Cookin’ Soul, give them a listen on SoundCloud.  If you like what you hear, you can buy their entire mix tape collection for the LOW low price of 9.95€!!!

So I listened to their SoundCloud and I bought their entire album and I paid especially close attention to an artist that they recently produced for, MC Melodee.  She very much reminds me of MCs like Queen Latifah, Bahamadia, Mystic, Foxy, Lil’ Kim.  Call me an ignorant American but I was surprised to find that MC Melodee is from The Netherlands.  Say what?  Well then… Hip Hop has hope in the world yet!!



If you haven’t heard of MC Melodee I highly recommend you give her a listen.

We need more Hip Hop in the world with Cookin’ Soul tracks and Melodee MCs.

Grand Appreciation vol 2: Announcing Disrupción Records

As of Wednesday, March 26 Berklee Valencia has officially launched its own student run record label, Disrupción Records!

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After a very difficult audition process Disrupción Records has chosen four artists to represent the label; Tess Tyler, Avila Santos, Stephen McHale, and Miranda Inunza.

Tess Tyler is a singer/songwriter from the UK.  Her style is a combination of soothing singer/songwriter music with an electronica twist.  With her serene vocals and you are taken to a beautiful place you never imagined.  At least that’s how I felt when I listened to ‘Feathered Friend’.

Avila Santo is a composer/producer from Venice, California.  His music will soothe you and take you into a trance as he paints over the audible canvas that is your ear.  Kick off your shoes, put your feet up, grab a glass of wine, and just relax to the sounds of Avila…

Keep an eye out for these talented artists!  New music to come this Summer!

Grand Appreciation vol 1: Mountain Brothers

The Mountain Brothers are a Hip Hop trio from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The group consisted of Styles, Peril-L, and Chops.  I first discovered their music in ’99 when I was searching the internet for Asians in Hip Hop.  Low and behold I came across the video for “Galaxies: The Next Level”.

I found comfort in knowing that there was quality Hip Hop in the world that came from my people.  The music was produced by one of their own members, Chops.  Best of all, there were no samples.  It was all originally produced music.  On top of that, it was QUALITY music. Combine that with creative lyricists each possessing their own unique styles and you had a powerhouse that the industry wasn’t sure what to do with when signed to a major label.  How would you market these talented young men in a market that were predominantly African American?  It couldn’t.  The accomplishments were captured in two albums and for those that were searching for it such as myself, we found it all on our own.

The Mountain Brothers released two albums, Self Volume 1 in 1999 and Triple Crown in 2003.  Both were albums that I purchased from my local record store, Stacks  the Vinyl Authority, which was owned by DJ Icy Ice of the World Famous Beat Junkies.  The Mountain Brothers were pioneers for the Asian Hip Hop community and served as inspiration to a long list of current up and coming Asian American rappers.

Fast forward to current day.  The MBs reunited to release a few songs on a project led by producer, Chops.  One song in particular featuring Korea’s own vocal songstress Ann One.

Chops recently had a successful fundraiser campaign called Strength In Numbers.  The purpose of this project was to create a community collaboration of 30+ talented Asian American and Asian artists to let it be known to the world that we’re here.  Asian folk can sing and rap and we could do it DAMN good too!

Listen here for the clean version of the Strength in Numbers project.