Archive for the ‘E.B Interviews’ Category

Behind The NBA2K Soundtrack: Sound Curator, Michael Howard

Monday, November 26th, 2018

According to Forbes, NBA2k18 was the highest selling sports game of 2017. Outside of the special effects and virtual advances everyone looks forward to in the game every year, another aspect that every consumer and fan looks forward to within the game is it’s soundtrack. While the virtual outlet started off as just a video game, it has evolved into a unique part of the culture and especially within the hip hop community. Just like in real life how the NBA and music go hand in hand these days go, that same energy is transferred and used within the setting of the virtual and cultural phenomenon. These days our favorite players are bumping their favorite music at the moment through social media and through their brand commercials (like when Russell Brook danced to Lil Uzi in the Jordan Brand commercial back in 2016). When it comes to the game however, who exactly is responsible for bringing artists on the rise and what’s fresh in the current music climate to the NBA2K table ? NBA2K Soundtrack Curator, Michael Howard.

 

At first NBA2K wasn’t too sure on what music would appeal to their audience but that all came to a closure once Howard stepped up to the plate. With only a high-school diploma, Michael managed to lock a job as a tester right after graduation and gradually moved up to marketing, and eventually decided to use his passion for music to make changes within the brand. One day Howard suggested songs like “Grindin” by Clipse and Pharrell’s “How Does It Feel?” to break up the cycle of the rock and roll classics the team had already conditioned themselves to. Once the team reached out to Pharrell with Michael’s suggestions, the legend complimented the choosing of tracks that Michael wanted to utilize. From there, Howard would carve out a whole new position within the brand that would have no choice but to be reckoned with. Not only would music from all levels now have a shot at being heard, but he would now have the upper hand in contributing to an artist’s extensive reach in audience. With the steps Michael has taken within the NBA2k brand, many artist outside of mainstream can have a shot at being publishable within one of the most popular games in the culture which is a conversation that hasn’t been voiced until now.

 

During the interview, Michael and I talk about discovering artists through SoundCloud, why Michael is excited about Pierre Bourne being apart of this year’s edition and why, what NBA2K looks for in a track and in the artist in order to consider them as “publishable”, and who has his eye in music regarding underground vs mainstream

 

EB:So as the sound curator of NBA2K, who do you have more interest in? Underground artists or mainstream ?

Michael: That’s a really good question. For me personally, obviously you got to have the big name artists because that’s a big deal but for me I like highlighting new underground talent or up and coming bubbling artists. The big names are going to get placements and get put on the radio more often than a new artist. I like to be able to help a new artist and get people to see what this person is doing from their own town like a Cousin Stizz from Boston, Vintage Lee, even like a Linda Lind from LA. There’s different types of artists that I like to mess with. It can be EDM, pop, rap, but I look for a number of things.

EB: That’s really awesome.Who are some of the artists you were excited about for this year’s soundtrack and why ?

Michael: So I was really excited to hear and work with Pierre Bourne. I make beats so I really enjoy just listening to his music, his production, what he’s doing, and how far he’s come along as well. He has an amazing story so that to me is an artist that I looked forward to putting on the soundtrack and working with.

EB: Pierre has really done so much including things for Adidas so he’s truly taking over. Do you feel like the SoundCloud era has benefited NBA2K in anyway ?

Michael: That’s a really good question. What I love about the internet and music being so accessible is that you’re seeing a lot of people create music and they’re influenced by so many different things. It can be cartoons, older music from the 80s and 70s, movies, and things like that. I think these different platforms are allowing any type of artist to upload music and be discovered. You can even look at Lil Uzi Vert right and he’s on the 2K soundtrack but he started on SoundCloud. Look at where he’s at now doing big shows, Rolling Loud, and things like that. I think it’s not only influenced not just video games but sports , fashion, and different avenues as well.

EB: What are some characteristics of music as well as characteristics of an artist that would appeal to a platform such as NBA2K?

Michael: So when i look at artists as a curator, they definitely have to match NBA 2K’s lifestyle. NBA2K has become much more of a pop cultural piece. Of course it started off as a video game but now it’s used to bond with a friend then it leads to the jokes talking about “who’s better at 2k?” so I think it has to match the lifestyle of things. Also, it has to match the energy. I really like to hear music that makes me to want to play sports, get on the court, and shoot hoops. You gotta remember that there are NBA players listening to this as well so it definitely has to match the energy and get people pumped up so yeah, energy and lifestyle.

EB: Is there any advice you could possibly give to artists on the rise who would want to be featured on the highly anticipated soundtrack such as this one?

Michael: That’s actually a question I get more often than most. I think for the most part I would say that if you are making a song and you want it to get placed not just for 2K but for other brands,  make sure the song is marketable. Make sure there’s not alot of references to guns and alcohol and things like that. If there are curse words, it can be edited out. Make sure there’s a clean version of the song that 9 and 11 year old kids can listen to and it’s not going to be an issue. Think about that when making songs for big brands.

EB: Who are some of your favorite underground artists  right now ?

Michael: So this list is interesting because for me I listen to things that are so cutting edge and fresh at times but there’s this kid Sammy K. I just listened to his stuff at A3C, it was amazing. I also listened to this kid Isaiah Raps, he’s amazing, pretty lyrical, got energy as well, and then Lil Mosey. I feel like he’s really melodic, he definitely has the choruses, he’s amazing, and I like him as well.

EB: What are your thoughts on utilizing urban dances in video games ?

Michael: There’s so many games who are utilizing dances in pop culture. I think it’s one of those lash out elements that NBA2K brings to a game. We have signature dance moves and we also have walk animations and running animations. So you can do these crazy dance moves that everyone is doing on tv and music videos and still run around like an anime character. I think it’s something we’ll try to do more of in the following years but yeah we want to make sure we’re right there with the internet.

EB:Do you see any cons as far as how games such as fortnite or even pop cultural games such as 2K utilize the dances that people create ?

Michael: Honestly I’m not really quite sure how all of that works to tell you the truth. I do know that if you do something and you’re really good at doing it, make sure people know you created that. I would look at it like music or anything you’re doing in business. Make sure before you put something out there, you’re the owner of it. That’s just my personal opinion.

EB:Great answer. Last but not least, could we possibly ever see a showcase or concert for future releases of NBA2K soundtracks ?

Michael: I think we’re interested in doing something like that. We’ve definitely talked about doing a showcase and being apart of festivals.I think we’re possibly going to be apart of festivals in the coming future but yeah we’re really interested in it. Just seeing a lot of the artists backstage play 2K before they go on stage and after they go on stage, it just makes sense to do a tournament or throw some event with these guys. Even if we’re just playing hoops in the back.

EB:Right, it’s culture

Michael:Yeah so we’re definitely interested in it, it just has to make sense for everybody and we never really want to do something to just do it so it would really have to be something cool.

EB: Well thank you Michael. This has been awesome, thank you for your time.

Michael: No problem, thanks for having me!

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Everything Boisterous introduces: Alexander Mack

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

EB: Alexander Mack! Welcome , how are you ?

Alexander: Im doing well, I’m doing well!

EB: So if someone hadn’t listened to your music before, what would be one word you could describe your music with?

Alexander: I would definitely say that you could always expect it to be nostalgic, definitely a nostalgic feel.

EB: That’s dope! So I heard that you’re a VA native, what part of VA are you from ?

Alexander: I’m really from a small town called Blackstone, a town with like 5 to 7 people which is right by Richmond!

EB: Thats whats up ! I’m originally from Newport News so I’m familiar !

Alexander: Ahhh the 757 ! Nice!

EB: Right! Bad News ! So you’re an artist on the rise who originally started out producing. Now I was listening to your Biggie Small’s edit right before I called from like 3 years back and then I heard you rapping on a song with Masego on a Crystal Waters sample. What made you transition from one to the other?

Alexander: Um I would say I started producing when I was about 14 years old and I really started playing the piano at 6 years old. So I went from playing the piano to singing in the choir to producing and then to rapping. I would say I started rapping to get better at songwriting because I originally just sang and then I started rapping to get better at flowing and rhyme schemes and then went from there. I actually rapped for a year before I ever put anything up. I just kept rapping and kinda kept it to myself. 

EB: So I’m curious, how did you and Masego link to make “Like That” ?

Alexander: It was probably about 3 years ago. We actually had a mutual friend in college and that’s how we ended up meeting so it was just super by chance!

EB: Now I heard that Stevie Wonder was your biggest influence which I feel like rarely gets referenced in this music era that we’re in. Maybe two or 3 people in music that I might see that Stevie influence come through is Blood orange and Theophilus  London’s older material and maybe even Masego as well. In what way has Stevie personally influenced you as an artist ?

Alexander: I would say he has inspired me from his instrument chord progression to just how Stevie can sound completely different depending on what song he’s on. There has been times when he has changed his voice to play a woman on a song he’s on with himself. He’s produced a lot of his own stuff and I can definitely identify with that and then his songwriting is just next level. To me, he’s one of the greatest song writers ever. Theres just so many elements of how he does what he does that has always inspired me in my own music. 

EB: So as an artist on the rise that is coming out the south especially, how difficult has your journey been as you climb up the come up ?

Alexander: Coming from like a smaller place in the south and being a different artist like me, it’s pretty difficult because you know….my sound and really just away from music, my personality and my mindset is so different. People didn’t really know how to receive the music at first and when I started out a few years ago, people didn’t know how to receive it because it wasn’t the norm. Now that you have artists like Childish Gambino and Chance The Rapper and people get it now, that opens the door for me a little bit but yeah it was super hard in the beginning. Even still down here, people are still heavy into Boosie and southern rap and being from the south, I definitely respect that art form because it captures a certain lifestyle that’s very true to the south. Growing up, I couldn’t relate to everything that was being said. I was listening to Gambino in like 2009 and Logic in 2010 and that stuff is accepted now but yeah that was a main struggle while starting because I didn’t know what I really identified with. 

EB: When did you realize what was going to be your sound  ? Like when did you have that ” I don’t want to rap on trap drums but maybe rap with a harmonica in the background instead” kind of moment ?

Alexander: I originally was inspired to do this jazz rap back in 2014 . Jazz was played in my house all the time and I heard it even before rap. When I was in college, I would listen to tons of Duke Ellington and then I got heavy into Tribe Called Quest and that’s when I kind of had the epiphany that I could mix these different styles. I think my style will continue to change but yeah tha’s when it really started. 

EB: Now considering those experiences from being an artist on the rise out of a small town within the south to finding your sound, are these the things that made you write your latest song “Small Time” ?

Alexander: For sure. Small Time is basically about me growing up in a place where it was never seen as a plausible career choice to be an artist. Like the last person to come out of this area of VA was Lady of Rage from the 90s who grew up 20 minutes away from where I’m from. You deal with people that tell you to do something “different” and even professors told me to let this go . I think everyone who has a dream or aspiration that isn’t “normal” go through being told to think realistically about what you want to do at some point. I was going through that and I was really reluctant to put this song out. On this upcoming project I get really personal especially about the post grad struggle and depression that comes with it. 

EB: Yeah, I definitely feel and that 100%!

Alexander: Yeah you see! I feel like it’s something that’s really not talked about almost at all!

EB: Definitely not !

Alexander: Then with social media, you’re supposed to put your best foot forward and everyone looks like they’re doing great when we’re all really going through the same problems no matter what area you’re in. Rather its going back to school, the financial struggle, or multiple struggles, they’re all similar . I was reluctant to put the song out but now that I have, it’s gotten great reactions, and Im honestly happy because I held on to it for about a year. 

EB: Exactly ! Well I’m definitely glad you made the song considering that the content is so relevant to what a lot of people are going through right now. I know you mentioned that this song along with other personal content would be featured on your upcoming EP. Judging off the music I’ve already heard, I’m ready. When can we expect a project to drop?

Alexander: With a full length project….I would definitely say the end of the year or the top of 2019. I’m excited to put it out because I’ll hold things for a year and a half and later tweak things again but I think I have a good batch of songs that tell a story top to bottom. So yeah expect something between the end of the year and the top of 2019. 

EB: Now with my last question for you, I usually ask “what are your plans are 5 and 10 years from now?” but we won’t do that here. What I REALLY want to know is: As an artist on the rise, what’s currently more mandatory for you to achieve? Impact or is it clout ?

Alexander: In a world where clout tokens are at an all time importance, I try to keep it about what I’m saying. You can do anything at this point in time and get clout especially on Instagram because you see some crazy things. It’s been times where I was going through something and Logic or J.Cole drops a song that related to exactly what I was going through and I made that a point to really pave that forward. I’ve been through some internal things so I try to keep it about what I’m saying. My music is very bright and positive but I know that everything in life isn’t good all the time and I like having a message to get across so that for me is my main focus. I want to also bring musicality back. I want to make it cool to play an instrument again or just like..sing in the choir if you want to sing in the choir or go do theater if you want to be in theater because I know we used to get made fun of back in the day (laughs). I just want to contribute and I think it was Kanye that came in and made black kids be like “oh you don’t have to look or sound a particular way to be a rapper”, then with Cudi then it was Gambino after that. Now you can look at all these different people and know that you don’t have to look a certain way right now to do whatever you want to do. That’s the most important thing that I want to keep going.

Don’t Give Up: TeeDRay of Cinematic Shotz x Everything Boisterous Interview

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

 

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Recently caught up with Cinematic Shotz by TeeDRay to discuss how he went from living within a small town of North Carolina to directing videos for today’s artists like Young Thug, Gunna, Sonny Digital, Metro Boomin, Johnny Cinco, and more. We also talked about him overcoming his lows and using his graduation money to invest in a camera,  advice that he’d give to people, what it’s like to collaborate with Young Thug and Gunna,  what’s in store for the future, and more. Check out Everything Boisterous’s latest interview above and stay tune for what’s next. After you watch, be sure to follow TeeDRay on Instagram @teedray and subscribe to his youtube at Cinematic Shotz By TeeDRay and us at Everything Boisterous via Twitter @stayboisterous, on IG @forever_salene, subscribe to our site, and our Youtube (Everything Boisterous).

How Cam Kirk + Cam Kirk Studios Are Shifting The Culture

Friday, July 6th, 2018

From doing shoots with Migos to Atlanta’s rising artists like Gunna and Lil Baby, to being apart of Adidas and Puma campaigns, it was only a matter of time until Everything Boisterous caught up with Cam Kirk and Cam Kirk Studios! During the interview, we breakdown how Cam first encountered photography, how the studio is serving the ATL scene, the studio’s funnest/littest clients thus far, what’s next for the platform, what music is a go this summer, and more!

 

Female DJs Scartchin’ The Surface: DJ Fannie Mae & DJ Roxci

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018


I recently caught up with DJ Fannie Mae and DJ Roxci, two amazing female DJs that are scratchin’ the surface within the North Carolina area. During this two part interview, we uncover the true challenges that female DJs experience, if there’s a saturated trend within the current DJ world of females, what keeps them going, how these two different DJs find ultimate satisfaction in what they do, how they feel they are moving the culture forward, and Durag Festival .

Ciscero talks DMV, Devil’s Pie EP, his tweets, “Function”, meeting Goldlink + more

Friday, March 30th, 2018


Recently I had the pleasure of catching up with DMV rapper Ciscero to break down  his tweets, moving from NY to the DMV, pros and cons of being signed, being influenced by Outkast, how him and Goldlink became a dynamic duo, his single “Function” (full visual for the single is  dropping in early April) and most importantly who we will be seeing on his forthcoming Devil’s Pie EP including Xavier Omar, producer Supah Mario,  and features from DMV artists. In addition to that we cover what exactly devil’s pie stands for in the eyes of the rapper, and of course further details about the anticipated project. Peep our latest interview below and let us know what you think !

 

EB Interview: The Story of Juwop and how he painted his way to Nike

Saturday, January 27th, 2018

Recently I caught up with 26 year-old Chicagoan Julian “Juwop” Gaines, an artist who’s caught the eyes of many from Teyana Taylor to  Curren$y to Virgil Abloh to Nike.  Juwop’s custom swoosh designs are nothing ordinary, from using paint to literal grass to designing jackets, jeans, canvases, and much more. Juwop was recently responsible for collating with Jumping 23 in which he placed his signature aesthetic on one of the most anticipated releases of the month, Travis Scott‘s Levi Jordan 4’s. Although he has now made his presence known at the headquarters of Nike, his journey required much sacrifice, risks, and a lot of determination. Peep our podcast interview to learn how he’s taking over the art world one project  at a time.

Sonny Digital and I talk his top 5 producers, the artists we should pay attention to going into 2018, why he’s enjoying rapping over producing these days, +more

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

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Recently I got to catch up with rapper and producer Sonny Digital to talk about what he admires about Charlotte, how he started producing, who his top 5 producers are (including Mike Dean ), why he’s enjoying rapping over producing these days, the current state of hip-hop, the rising artists out of Atlanta we should pay attention to going into 2018 (from Reese La Flare and Black Boe to Young Nudy, Pierre Bourne) and more. Peep our full interview below to check out the insightful conversation that went down backstage.

NY rapper Dontaé talks K.Swisha production, Coliseum Records, being influenced by Dom Kennedy & Drake, Motivation,+ more w/ Everything Boisterous

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Recently NY rapper Dontaé dropped a  track entitled “Motivation” that clearly shows that he’s capable of being your new favorite rapper. Luckily for me, I got the chance to catch up with the artist to chop it up about his influences such as Dom Kennedy and Drake, his favorite Dom album, a time where he wasn’t so motivated,  K.Swisha production on “Get It”, his dad’s past work for Tribe Called Quest , making his Fair Warning project in his room, what we can expect from him for the rest of the year, and more in our latest podcast interview.  Check out our interview below to see what went down:

Saturn, Alexander and I talk being a female rapper, making girls feel inclusive w/ her music, confidence, +more in our latest Everything Boisterous interview

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Recently caught up with New Jersey MC Saturn, Alexander to talk about how her name derived from the jerking/ Facebook era, the pros and cons of being a female rapper, confidence, wanting to make girls feel inclusive with her music, why being  a Gemini isn’t all that bad, having the opportunity to possibly perform at the BET HIP HOP AWARDS (which you can happily vote her in for by clicking here), what she has planned for the rest of this year, and more. Check out what the female MC and I chopped it up about below: