Let’s Get Lyrical: RAP QUEEN EP

 

 

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RAP QUEEN EP is streaming everywhere! | Up Style Records

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Radio Stevie shares the stories behind each track on the RAP QUEEN EP.

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On Yas Queen, I started writing with a lot of anger, and I knew the beat would have to have some roughness to it. As I kept writing, it became a stream of consciousness of so many things that I was feeling at the time and still feel. But, I didn’t want to make a sad song or an angry protest song. I still wanted it to fit the theme of celebration and the Up Style vibe, so I took all that anger and made it a reminder that despite everything going on, I’m still here and I have a lot to offer creatively and I have a lot to be proud of too. Self-love is important and sometimes with so much negativity in the world, it can be hard to feel good about yourself. Especially when you’re black and queer. But, I’m here, I’m queer, and I’m ill. OK? YAAAAAS QUEEEEEN!

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I wrote Lucy about 5 years ago at a time where I probably wrote an entire album’s worth of synth-heavy tunes that were much darker in tone, but still lyrically light and playful. Depeche Mode is my favorite band ever and I love that era in music, which is why synths are very present across this EP. Also, as a writer, I love telling stories and creating characters. Lucy, is a mystery party girl who takes us to the next part of the EP, which is all party focused tracks. I hope to do a full record, full of characters and dark synths in the future.

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Recording in Brazil, I started to get worried that I wasn’t making music that would connect to the audience here. Folks would come in the studio and get down to all the tracks we were working on, but I could tell I needed something that really spoke to the people here. So, we started working on a song that focused on production, presented elements of Brazilian music, featured a familiar voice and is lyrically easy for people to understand. When I heard Aira Ocrespo’s music with Flavya, I was like, let’s get him on this record! He and Flavya gave it that extra special Brazilian touch the EP needed and we got to really play with the production. The end of the song is really hypnotizing and that was super fun to create.

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BOYS/GIRLS is the track that started it all. I wrote the lyrics after a night during pre-Carnaval with some drag performers. We were at a “bloco,” which are street parties leading up to the big Carnaval celebration, and they were planning some promo for their upcoming bloco in the Centro area of Sao Paulo. They slayed the shoot, and the party was super fun! Centro is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Sao Paulo. Brazilian Carnaval is an experience everyone should have. Seriously. Not just for the parties, but for the culture. With samba being at the core of the celebration — It doesn’t get any better!

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2016 UP STYLE RECORDS

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PODCAST URBANA (Video)

 

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DJ Miria Alves, BADSISTA, DJ Flavya of Podcast Urbana. Photo by Stephen J. Grant.

DJ Flavya is not just cooking up beats for my first ever EP as Radio Stevie, she is also 1/3 of an all-female podcast called Podcast Urbana. Updated weekly, the hour-long show features 20 minute DJ sets by BADSISTA, DJ Miria Alves and DJ Flavya. I stopped by Haze Studio in São Paulo to watch the magic happen. We laughed and we danced to various styles of music such as bass, rap, trap soul, soul funk, and Brazil’s baile funk. Here are some clips from the session.

Follow and listen to the Podcast Urbana on Mixcloud


 

AFRO BRASIL Documentary

The media has created a slanted view of Brazil. Both the international and local media channels are to blame for this. In the United States, we only learn about crimes or poverty levels, and sunny beaches full of hot bodies dancing samba are our first images. Rarely, do we dig deeper into Brazilian culture, and there is much more to learn.

Brazil is one of the most culturally diverse countries, where more than half of the population identifies as non-white. But, that doesn’t mean it has been easy for our brothers and sisters in Latin America. To help paint a new image of Brazil, I spoke with black artists, educators, students and entrepreneurs about their Afro-Brazilian experience. We talked everything from racism and higher education, to celebrating African and indigenous culture.

This is what I’ve learned. These are their stories. This is Afro-Brasil.

Learn more here.

ROCKSTAR STATUS: Photographing Musicians Lia Paris X Daniel Hunt

Recently, I had the pleasure of photographing Brazilian singer/songwriter Lia Paris and Ladytron’s Daniel Hunt. The two are collaborating on a live show in São Paulo on March 4th at Z Carniceria in Pinheiros. Here is a quick look at the shots. Can’t wait for the event! 😉

If you’re in the São Paulo area you can learn more about the show/buy tickets below.

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Purchases tickets and learn more about the show here. Check out Lia Paris’ music video for “Azul e Flores” right here:


 

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