Watch This: Camille Safiya NXNE-Toronto MiniDoc

I introduced you all to Camille Safiya a few months back; a Washington Heights-based singer/songwriter and protege of my homie Frankie P. Together they released Safiya’s debut EP Island Blues, produced entirely by Frankie P. The tape has gained momentum on the inter webs, being blogged by the top music sites, and in-turn, Safiya has been doing more shows in various cities.

Just last month the team participated in NXNE (North by Northeast) in Toronto, and performed at various showcases. The mini-doc below gives us a glimpse on the road to NXNE, and shows the growth of a talent I’ve been happy to meet with from the very beginning. Press play to get into it.

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EVENT: Alifeinthedayofandrea.com Presents: Grooves & Tunes Birthday Edition, @ Juke Bar Wed. July 23rd

As Leo season approaches, that means it is time for yours truly to celebrate another year of the gift of life! On Thursday, July 24th, I enter my 28th year, and in celebration, I am bringing the birthday vibes to my Wednesday party, Grooves & Tunes! I will be celebrating alongside my fellow Leo-love, Desire, a fellow writer and blogger, who recently did a feature on me for Global Grind, holla!

DJ JFuse will be providing the tunes as usual. Juke Bar is the location. They now serve bomb-ass food (Andrea approved, so you know it’s real). Crazy drink specials all night, and not to forget, FROZEN RUM PUNCH while it lasts. Act like you know, and come through (*Drake voice*).

*Flyer by Marjua Estevez

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#MANday Exclusive: .Bk Founder Teghvir Sethi Talks The Evolution of Menswear, Production, and Being Brooklyn-Based

.Bk founder Teghvir Sethi [left] and guest at the #InventorsGarage launch event

As a lady who loves menswear, I’m constantly on the lookout for brands and designers that are fresh and cutting edge, not only for my male readers, but for the ladies that love to rock menswear themselves. About a month or so ago I was introduced to .Bk  [said "Dot BK"] by the lovely women at Janine Just Inc. The Brooklyn-based brand designs and produces limited-edition mens shirting in a cool palette and size range, fitting for both sexes.

I loved the concept, and wanted to learn more about the brand and the man behind it, Teghivir Sethi. Read on for the full story on .Bk, and what we can expect from the brand in the future!

 

Tell us the story behind .Bk.
In September 2012, I was commuting from Bed-Stuy to Midtown & running the menswear division of my father’s small independent brand. Back in the 70s, a production run fit in the back of my father’s Dodge Colt — he’d drive around the Midwest selling to boutiques & regional chains. Where there were once thousands of local boutiques, there are now a handful of mass-retailers dominating the globe.

Generally, online retailers are out to solve a simple problem for customers. Generally, the benefit breaks down to a value proposition (low overhead –> low prices) or convenience (let us choose for you). These retailers claim to “reinvent” fashion (echo:”Silicon Valley”) when they’re simply repackaging mass fashion through the tools of online retail. It’s business as usual for everyone except the customer.

I started .Bk to solve a complex problem for designers & customers alike: scale. We produce clothing at a run of a 100. At a better price than mass-produced “designer” clothing. Why is this different from a typical online retail value proposition?

Aside from saving our customers money, “cutting out the middleman” allows us to operate at a revolutionary scale: limited edition design, artisan-scale production & in-disposable clothing. We’re out to turn back the clock on mass production, mass retail & mass appeal.

A selection of .Bk shirts from the #InventorsGarage launch event

 

We love that you feature women in your shirts on the website? Will you be doing women’s pieces soon?
It’s one of the many things we do differently when it comes to our branding. We’re not out to sell machismo, or any traditional sense of a men’s brand. We design for individuals. The women & men featured on our site have all founded something unique & different.

With that said, we design to our strengths. So, no womenswear soon. Women’s fits & sizing on menswear? It may be in the works.
What lifestyle does the Dot BK consumer uphold?
Our customer doesn’t want to be told what to wear, or who to buy a basic tee from. They want to know more about the clothes that they’re wearing: who made it, and what inspired its design. And, they’re constantly evolving their own personal style.

Why did you decide to have your business headquartered in Brooklyn?
Our designs are inspired by 21st century subcultures. And, Brooklyn’s got the highest population of “live your own, unique way” kind of people. If it was anywhere else, we’d run out of material after two collections.
What can we expect in the future on the business-end for Dot BK?
This isn’t your typical scale-able startup. Regardless of demand, we won’t be increasing our quantities (60-100 per shirt) any time soon. Right now, we’re focused on expanding the lifestyle collections: look forward to items beyond button-down shirts. And, the Dossier (our spy journal on subcultures, written by the best writers & photographers in Brooklyn & Austin) will be launching in the next week!


It was a pleasure speaking with Teghvir Sethi of .Bk. Stay on the look out for more #MANday features!

*Photos courtesy of Janine Just Inc.

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Video: Curly Girl Collective’s CURLFEST, The Ultimate Summer Picnic Re-Cap

The lovely coiled ladies of the Curly Girl Collective hosted their first annual Curlfest in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park a few weeks back. The event hosted ladies of all hair textures and the men that love them in a carefree environment, complete with a DJ, snacks, and major haircare swag.

They have unveiled the re-cap of the event in video form, which you can view below. Looking forward to next year’s event!

CURLFEST™: The Ultimate Summer Picnic from CurlyGirlCollective on Vimeo.

 

*Photo by Shawn A. Lawrence

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Nailed It: Bubblegum Sweet Nails in “Kirtridge” by ZOYA

Another week, another opportunity to share a new nail color review with you all. This time we have Kirtridge by ZOYA, part of the Summer 2014 “Tickled” collection. I received the color as part of ZOYA’s sampling program for bloggers. I would describe Kirtridge as a bubblegum pink with a fluorescent undertone. As I have gotten a bit of sun, the color really pops on my hands in a subtle way. I photographed my hands in natural light, but the color can appear lighter in incandescent lighting situations.

I applied three coats of the polish to achieve the coverage seen in the photos, even though two is fine. I like to put an extra coat as my hands can be a little shaky when I paint, so the extra coat covers any spots I have missed. I really dig Kirtridge because it gives me throwback ’80s vibes, color wise. I also like that it is extremely feminine without being juvenile. For those that are really into nail art, I believe this color would pair well with aquas, lavender, and lime green.

Kirtridge retails for $9, and can be purchased directly from the ZOYA website. Here’s to happy nails!

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

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Keeping It Real: Please Do Not Put Me On A Pedestal. I Did Not Ask To Be There.

THE CARIBBEAN SEA IN BELIZE

There comes a time when you just need to stop, reflect, and be real with yourself. That time for me is right now. I like to use this platform to fill your internet reading space with cool music, fashion, beauty, art, and food treats, but now, I feel the need to share a bit more about me, as a person.

Back in 2008 or so when I really began the road to creating my internet presence, I knew exactly what I wanted. I first knew that I wanted to brand my full name, and make it seamless across all platforms. At that point, for some reason, I projected my name being important for some reason. This was pre-blog, pre-Instagram, pre-celebs following me on Twitter, pre-being fake famous on the internet. In having the same name across all social media platforms, I use the same avatar, a professional photo that I believe to be polished. From an outsider looking in solely at my web presence, I appear to really have it together, I wouldn’t say “flawless”, but close to it.

This is the complete opposite of the truth. I’m a real ass person, with real problems, and real feelings, and real struggles. I am terribly far from perfect, but I am completely aware of this, and I accept it. I know that as a person in conversations, I have this sense of familiarity, which allows me to connect with all types of people from all walks of life. This is the main reason why I love interviewing people; I just love to hear and learn about the stories of others. I also believe this is a gift. I am often asked how I do certain things, and how I connect with certain people, and I often give the answer, “I just do”. I believe I can, therefore I can. I would say I am hardworking, and have a strong will, so I make it my duty to put my thoughts into fruition. Because of this, I am often placed on a pedestal for some reason, and this, I don’t really like.

When you are placed on a pedestal, you are not allowed to fall. Falling may be failing at a certain biz venture, execution of an event, a badly reviewed piece of writing, anything that is less than perfect than what is required to be on said pedestal. I’m extremely hard on myself as it is, and for others to have this inflated view is not what I want. I just want you to see me as someone who is working towards doing something that they truly love; that is allowed to make mistakes until she reaches her highest goals, and in turn, achieves her dreams. LET. ME. DO. THAT. That is all I ask. I’m in a rut financially, following my dreams and such, and if I can give any piece of advice, it would be this.

Don’t assume until you ask. Ask your friends, mentors, family, and those you admire about their path, and what they are doing, and have done to get there. You never know what hurdles people have to overcome until you ask.

 

Photo by Andrea K. Castillo

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Book Review: “Blow Me A Kiss” by Alice Harris

 photo bmak180_zps172aee0c.jpgI love lips, and I love to see how lips have been portrayed over the years, in everyday life, advertising, and more. Personally, I am a fan of a bold lip as it brings attention to my face, and it forces the observer to focus in on the words that are coming out of my mouth. This is why I love to wear a nice bold lip for on-camera interviews and shoots.

Author Alice Harris explores lips as a symbol of beauty in pop-culture in her latest offering Blow Me A Kiss published by powerHouse Books. The coffee table book’s 103 pages are laden with gorgeous images with lips as the focus from yesteryear up until present day. We see the works of famous artists and photographers, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Mario Sorrenti, as well as famous faces including Elizabeth Taylor, Cindy Crawford, and Tina Turner. Along with this, there are also contributions from street-style photographers Tommy Ton and Scott Schuman, which I felt rounded out the image mix perfectly.

I believe Blow Me A Kiss is a must have for those that love gorgeous imagery, with a keen eye for fashion, photography, and style. Harris curated an unforgettable grouping of images in this book, which is certain to keep you turning the pages. For that alone, I highly recommend it.

Blow Me A Kiss is available now for $35.00 from powerHouse Books. Proceeds from the book are to benefit Library For All, a “a non-profit organization that exists to unlock knowledge to those without access to books in developing countries”. A great addition to your style book collection!

 

*Photo courtesy of powerHouse Books

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Nailed It: “Caribbean Sea In Belize” Nails With FLOSS GLOSS “Wet” Starring Mama Cas <3

My mother was born in Belize, Central America, and is also a Pisces. She loves all colors that remind her of home, and lets this be known in the clothing that she wears, the way in which she decorates our home, and on rare occasions, the way she paints her nails. Prior to our recent trip to the local nail salon, she asked me for a greenish blue, and I presented her with “Wet” by FLOSS GLOSS. Here is Mom’s review in her own words.

I like this color because it reminds me of the sea in Belize. The color shows up like this with two coats.

I personally like this color a lot because it’s the ideal Caribbean blue, matching the calm waters, and mentally putting me on island time. It has the perfect blend of blue and green with the right amount of brightness to evoke feelings of happiness, and the urge to go on a vacation. I suppose I will use this color for my trip to Belize next month. What say you?

You can purchase this color directly from FLOSS GLOSS. I think you’ll dig it!

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Saturday Sounds: Usher “Good Kisser” (Disclosure Remix)

We hope you are having a lovely, safe and fun-filled Fourth of July weekend (for those in the States). Time with friends and family always warrants food, drinks, and good music! We have a treat for your Saturday in the latest remix from our favorite brothers from the UK, Disclosure. The boys have re-worked Usher’s hit “Good Kisser” to their groovy likening.

The mix is HUGE! Press play below, and wait for your life to change at the 1:07 mark. Happy jamming!

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Event: Target First Saturdays @ the Brooklyn Museum 7/5, with Music by Nina Sky

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Target First Saturdays returns to Brooklyn Museum for July, with a full line-up of interactive hands-on art, talks, film, and music performances! Check out the full line-up below, including a screening of Do The Right Thing, and a musical performance by Nina Sky.

Visit Ai Weiwei: According to What? at the discounted admission price of $10 (regularly $15) during Target First Saturday.

Interactives

4:30 p.m.

Add your mark to sidewalk chalk drawings led by The City Kids, and hula hoop away with members of Hula Nation.

Music

5 p.m.

Matuto fuses Afro-Brazilian beats with folk and bluegrass.

Talk

6 p.m.

Curious tales from Brooklyn’s history are told by a local historian. Free tickets (25) at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

Film

6 p.m.

Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989, 120 min.). On the hottest day of the year, on a street in Bed-Stuy, racial and social tensions meet head-on, with tragic consequences. Free tickets (310) at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

Hands-On Art

6:30–8:30 p.m.

Sketch from a live model to learn the art of figure drawing. Free tickets (330) at the Visitor Center at 5:30 p.m.

Interactive Talk

7 p.m.

Filmmakers Paul Trillo and Landon Van Soest discuss their Brooklyn in 3,000 Stills project. Bring your smartphone and contribute to a crowd-sourced portrait of Brooklyn. Free tickets (25) at the Visitor Center at 6 p.m.

Talk and Music

7 p.m.

Michael July on his book Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair. Co-hosted by Malik Yoba, and Michaela angela Davis. Anu Prestonia of Khamit Kinks leads a natural-hair show. Book signing follows.

Music

7 p.m.

In his only NYC-area summer show, Blitz the Ambassador blends African popular sounds, vintage soul, and hard-hitting beats and lyrics. Opening set by DJ Ushka and DJ Beto (iBomba) at 6:30 p.m.

Comedy

8 p.m.

Erica Watson hosts a showcase of hilarious female comedians. Free tickets (310) at the Visitor Center at 7 p.m.

Music

9 p.m.

Remember “Move Ya Body”? R&B duo Nina Sky performs their biggest hits.
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Concerts in NYC: Summerstage, July Picks Feat. Bodega Bamz, Bonobo, Mobb Deep, Junior Reid & More!

July is here, and that means it is time for another listing of music and arts in the parks of New York City! I have rounded up a list of events to look out for this month, my favorite month as my birthday is on the 24th. The list includes musical stylings ranging from electronica, to Hip Hop, to reggae, and everything in between. Also included are some film and theatre events. Read on.

JULY

FREEDOM PARTY NYC: HERBERT HOLLER / DJ COSI / MARC SMOOTH

Thu. 07/03 | 6:00PM – Thu. 07/03 | 10:00PM @Central Park | FREE


 

LIVE NATION PRESENTS:NEON TREES, SMALLPOOLS, NIGHTMARE & THE CAT

Mon. 07/07 | 6:30PM – Mon. 07/07 | 10:00PM @ Central Park | Buy Tickets


LATIN ALTERNATIVE MUSIC CONFERENCE: BEATNUTS / ANA TIJOUX / BODEGA BAMZ / DJ TONY TOUCH

Wed. 07/09 | 6:00PM – Wed. 07/09 | 9:00PM @Central Park | FREE


BONOBO / CIBO MATTO / ODESZA IN ASSOCIATION WITH OKAYFUTURE — CELEBRATING 15 YEARS OF OKAYPLAYER

Sun. 07/13 | 6:00PM – Sun. 07/13 | 10:00PM @Central Park | FREE


J HOLIDAY / JON B PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH WBLS

Wed. 07/16 | 7:00PM – Wed. 07/16 | 9:00PM @Queensbridge Park (map) | FREE


MOBB DEEP IN ASSOCIATION WITH LYRICIST LOUNGE

Thu. 07/17 | 7:00PM – Thu. 07/17 | 9:00PM @Queensbridge Park (map) | FREE


QUEENS FAMILY DAY: THE JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA WITH WYNTON MARSALIS / RASHIDA BUMBRAY / MICHAEL MOSSMAN & COPLAND JAZZ

Sun. 07/20 | 4:00PM – Sun. 07/20 | 7:00PM @Queensbridge Park (map) | FREE


CHRONIXX & THE ZINCFENCE REDEMPTION / JUNIOR REID / THE RICE AND PEAS CREW IN ASSOCIATION WITH LARGE UP AND FEDERATION SOUND

Sat. 07/26 | 3:00PM – Sat. 07/26 | 7:00PM @Central Park | FREE


ROCK STEADY CREW 37TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT

Sun. 07/27 | 3:00PM – Sun. 07/27 | 7:00PM @Central Park | FREE


JOHN LEGUIZAMO’S GHETTO KLOWN DIRECTED BY FISHER STEVENS IN ASSOCIATION WITH WESTBETH ENTERTAINMENT

Mon. 07/28 | 8:00PM – Mon. 07/28 | 10:00PMCentral Park | FREE


URBAN THEATRE MOVEMENT’S HANDBALL BY SETH ZVI ROSENFELD DIRECTED BY BRENDA BANDA

Tue. 07/29 | 8:00PM – Tue. 07/29 | 10:00PM @Marcus Garvey Park (map) | FREE


LISETTE MELENDEZ / CORO / GEORGE LAMOND HOSTED BY MICK BENZO IN ASSOCIATION WITH UNIVERSAL ZULU NATION

Wed. 07/30 | 7:00PM – Wed. 07/30 | 9:00PM @Clove Lakes Park (map) | FREE


 

We hope your July is filled with many musical moments! Be on the lookout for our August picks!

 

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Nailed It: Patriotic Flair w/ FLOSS GLOSS “Gangsta Boo”

As the United States of America gears up to celebrate its 238th birthday tomorrow, I felt it was time for a new, rather patriotic manicure. I love all shades of red, being a July baby and having the ruby as my birthstone, but for some odd reason, I’ve never really painted my nails red. Red is an incredibly sensual color, evoking warm energy that can be exciting and carnal.

For my manicure I chose “Gangsta Boo” by FLOSS GLOSS, a true, classic red that would be appropriate on sirens of yesteryear and present. The color is a special edition between FLOSS GLOSS and the southern rapstress of the same name, Gangsta Boo, most known for her unapologetic attitude, and lyrics that even make the manliest of men blush. The polish stands out on my hands, similarly to how the perfect red lipstick stands out on my lips. For this reason, I decided to let the color flourish on its own, not pairing it with another “color pop”, this demands its own attention. I used three coats to achieve the look you see in the photos above, but two works just as well.

If manicures can be sexy and patriotic at the same time, I believe I have achieved both with this color. Enjoy your 4th, and jam on to some gangsta tunes below.

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Watch This: Roses Gabor “Rush”

Let me put you on game about Roses Gabor. Featured on huge tracks including “DARE” by the Gorillaz and “Pharaohs” by SBTRKT, Ms. Gabor has been gaining buzz for her solo tunes including “Stars”, and now “Rush”. The lyric video for “Rush” premiered a little over a month ago on VICE’s “Noisey” Youtube channel, and introduced us to the seductive grooves of Roses.

This a sexy summer chine, best played at a high volume, whilst dancing with a boo thang. Press play up top to get into it. “Rush” is now available on iTunes.

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EVENT: Alifeinthedayofandrea.com Presents: Grooves & Tunes @ Juke Bar Wed. Jul 9th, Sounds by DJ JFuse

So it’s summer, and if you are like most adults in NYC, you are on the constant search for fun spots in which to imbibe. But not just a fun spot, a spot with great music, great staff, and great drinks to boot, right? Well look no further. Your Wednesday evenings twice a month will now be filled with such pleasures with the help of yours truly, and the sounds of DJ JFuse.

Our party, entitled Grooves & Tunesis here to add a kick to your Hump Day, with major tunes, paired with an ALL NIGHT HAPPY HOUR, at Juke Bar in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood. You get to boogie whilst drinking beverages under 10 bucks, AND you get to hang out with me!

Come through on July 9th to let loose, and get into the groove! In the meantime, be sure to check out the musical vibes of J Fuse on SoundCloud.

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O COME, ALL YE, FAITHFUL: SOCCER MAKES ITS SOCIAL MARK IN THE US OF A.

With over 16 million #WorldCup tweets, I would say that the USA is a “social”-istnation.

 

If you were not aware of how often the World Cup happens, it comes and goes as frequently as the Olympics; uniting the world in front of televisions across the globe every four years. Since the inception of social media, we as a general human population thrive on instant gratification, almost demanding the latest tweet to be up to date and the latest status to be posted on Facebook– despite our connectivity to the World Wide Web. Yet, and still, the World Cup has had tourists and nationals alike flocking to their favorite restaurant or bar to watch each qualifying game live rather than relying on social media to inform them of their favorite teams’ journey to the Finals.
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Maybe that dedication to real-time viewing gave the U.S. National Team the “mojo” they needed. This year, after being ousted before the semi-finals for the last three consecutive World Cups, the U.S. National Team survived—making it past the Group qualifying tournaments to make their first semi-final World Cup appearance in over a decade. Granted, fútbol (or better known in the U.S. as “soccer”) is a worldwide sport heavily influenced by its European roots, dating all the way back to Ancient Greece and the Han Dynasty in 206 AD. When it eventually made its’ way to U.S. soil, it steadily trickled into the suburbs, nicknamed the “socialist sport”. That nickname may seem fitting, seeing that the regulations mimic socialist rules… but it has evolved to more of a social sport.

 

Soccer amongst youths was loosely defined as so: a few times a week you met up with teammates to practice with [more often than not] volunteer coaches. A few times a month, you may play other teams around your qualifying district to get a chance at the State Championship– that infamous gold trophy or medal –like you and your team were in a World Cup of your age group! But from a social viewpoint– those teammates became longtime friends, and those coaches became unofficial mentors.

 

Maybe that the competitive aspect of soccer was more downplayed stateside with younger age groups, promoting the leadership and team-building lessons soccer instills in our youth rather than the trophies that defined a ranked status. If you were lucky enough to be a part of a travelling soccer team, some of your first experiences of growth were witnessed with your teammates: people whom saw you the least, but seemingly knew you the most. The lessons learned within soccer live on throughout life; decision-making, team-building, and overall patience amongst authority.

 

In conclusion, the World Cup may have ended for the U.S. National Team this year, but their courageous performance has opened up a conversation amongst nationals who may have discussed LeBron’s next trade or whom will be the No. #1 NFL First Round Draft Pick. The U.S. National Teams’ appearance in this globally infrequent tournament has brought the U.S. together as a nation, has reminded us of our social worth and reach, and the power 140 characters truly has between the grasp of two thumbs.

 

Cheers to you, U.S. National Team.

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Photos by Kortnee Leigh

 

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