Music: Featured Spotify Playlist, “Funkysexydownnow.” By @andreakcastillo


Hello friends!

Yes, it has been a minute and a half since I have updated the blog. In my pursuit for racking dough and musical playlist perfection, I have not updated in a few weeks. Now that I am back, I have a little treat for you. I am delving more deeply into playlist making as for me, it is one of life’s great joys after eating a delicious meal, and jumping into the sea on a scorching day.

I originally created the Funkysexydownnow. playlist a few months back, inspired by the heavy Disco and Funk stylings of LA-based Gavin Turek’s track, “The Distance.” It was literally a one-song “playlist” for weeks. After playing on repeat, I figured out where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to include. My whole vibe is sexy music, so I knew that had to be there. Funk pushes me forward, so I had to include that. Cooler autumn weather translates to downtempo beats (for me), and I wanted all of the tracks to sound fresh and current.

After  many weeks of adding, deleting, and rearranging tracks, I present to you, Funkysexydownnow. Eighteen sexy, funky tunes that you will have in constant rotation all season.

Press play above to wind it down with a funky groove! Be sure to follow as I more than likely will add a few more tracks to extend the chill vibes.


*Photo & Graphic by Andrea K. Castillo

Music: Featured Spotify Playlist, “Vibes” by @RayIsSoul

Summa summa time is officially upon us, and you know what that means? Time to kick back and kick it to some new tunes! If you have been reading for a minute, you know how much I love music, especially highlighting new artists and hot tracks. I admit I have slacked a bit on the playlists (be patient with me!), but my ears are always open to the playlists of my homies. My girl Rachel (@RayIsSoul on Twitter) shared her Spotify playlist entitled “Vibes” with me the other day, and it’s literally all I want to hear to start off the summer season! There are tracks to slow whine to, to unwind with your boo (or potential boo, bc summer), and not to be trite, but over three hours of tracks to vibe out to.

Press play to get into the list’s 57 tracks, and stay tuned for more featured playlists!

Rachel L. on Twitter -> @RayIsSoul

Rachel L. on Instagram – > @ray_la

Saturday Sounds: Mattie Safer “Whenever You’re Ready” (Music Video + Audio)

As we quickly approach the middle of November (ALREADY) after an anxiety-filled presidential election, I wanted to musically smooth it all out for you guys with a nice soulful tune & visually appealing music video. Let me introduce you to Mattie Safer, the DC-bred, bi-coastal crooner whose EP All We Are is sure to make a fan out of you!

His latest single, “Whenever You’re Ready”, evokes a feeling of 70’s soul, reminiscent of Marvin Gaye, but fresh enough to be played in 2016. The song lyrics are a confession to a lover. Mattie explains that he will be available to love the object of his desire whenever she is ready, and not rush her into something that she it not yet prepared for.

The track’s music video, directed by HXLT (formerly Hollywood Holt, for the real ones), is a simple visual told through a multitude of hanging bulbs, with Mattie as the center spotlight. Peep it below.

Digging it? If so, and you live in NYC, he will be performing live on Monday, November 14th at Berlin Bar in the Lower East Side. Check out his website for more info, including his glorious bio written by yours truly. Happy Saturday!


Photo by Christelle De Castro

Saturday Sounds: The Internet “Special Affair”

My favorite musical peeps, The Internet set the internet ablaze when they dropped their new track “Special Affair”. The bass-laden, moody, late night caller track is super sensual, telling the story of taking the object of your desire at the bar/club home for the night. There are so many layers to the song, sonically, making it really sound like the darkness of the middle of the night.

“Special Affair” is the first single off of The Internet’s forthcoming sophomore album, Ego Death, which is to be released digitally on June 29th and physically on June 30th. Press play to get into the sensual vibes.

Feeling it? You can pre-order the album now on iTunes and Amazon here.

Event: Live At Lyons Wier, “The B-613 Mix” w/ DJ Olivia Dope, June 19th at Lyons Wier Gallery

For this week’s installment of Live At Lyons Wier, we’ve got a special treat! My homegirl DJ Olivia Dope will be spinning 90’s jams for “The B-613 Mix” (Scandal reference anyone?). Along with jammy jams from Miss Dope, there will be a live soul/r&b performance by Mattie Safer.

The evening also hosts the opening of the “Voyeur” group exhibition, curated by Dina Brodsky. The event takes place Thursday, June 19th from 6-9 PM. Not to be missed!

Check out the video re-cap below of last week’s “Live At Lyons Wier” event, featuring “The Slique Mix” by DJ Lighthouse.

Saturday Sounds: Etta Bond “Come Over”


I recently became acquainted with the music of UK songbird Etta Bond, and I’m so happy that I did. Her seductive vocals paired with raw songwriting and stellar production is a sure hit. I listened to all suggested songs on SoundCloud and stopped in my musical tracks when I heard “Come Over”.

The tune is bittersweet, painting the picture of the other woman, who happens to be staying with her lover and his girl. The song is a bit twisted, but draws you in. The melancholy production by Raf Riley pulls you into the tale, accented with cowbells to keep the spirits up. Check the tune out below.

From A Fan’s Perspective: Coachella 2013 WKND 1 Highlights

Coachella sunset PANORAMA!
Coachella sunset PANORAMA!

Back on the East Coast in my beloved Brooklyn, I am happy to say that I survived Coachella 2013, weekend one! I survived extreme temperatures and a lovely sandstorm on Sunday night, along with my feet surviving the hours of standing. This year was a treat for me as it hosted some of my favorite acts right now, a large number of them hailing from across the pond.

I have arrived.
I have arrived. Long arms, closed eyes and all.

In total, I counted via my snazzy Coachella 2013 iPhone app that I viewed over twenty acts in the three-day festival, so on average, I watched approximately seven shows a day. Not for the faint of heart, patience, or those that insist on wearing heels; it ain’t gon’ work boo. All tents are named after deserts, Mojave (hosting the majority of UK acts) and Sahara (EDM acts) being the largest, Gobi hosting an eclectic mix of acts, and Yuma, the newest addition to the festival, hosting smaller international DJs. The two headlining stages are the Outdoor (which hosted Wu-Tang on the final night), and Main (which hosted the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the final night).

Pink's Chili Dogs and a Taco stand in one of the food concession areas.
Pink’s Chili Dogs and a Taco stand in one of the food concession areas.

Food at Coachella is as exciting as the musical acts. There is a mix of famous food trucks including Coolhaus, Border Grill, Green Truck, LA staples like Pink’s Chili Dogs, a good array of vegetarian options, full bars, and more taco variations than I have ever seen in my adult life. The grounds are huge, but food facilities are nestled in each corner so you never go hungry. New this year is the Red Bull Speakeasy; a 1920s themed air-conditioned lounge that serves cocktails and hosts live dueling piano players, and a photo booth.

Dueling piano player at the Red Bull Speakeasy
Dueling piano player at the Red Bull Speakeasy

The famed ferris wheel is a must! For 8 bucks, you get one of the best views one can imagine of the festival grounds. Definitely worth it.

View from the ferris wheel of the Coachella grounds.
View from the ferris wheel of the Coachella grounds.

With that said, I bring to you some of my musical and scenic highlights of the weekend, from the perspective of Andrea the music & nature lover/ people watcher. Get ready for weekend two!

Baauer during his set in the Sahara tent
Baauer during his set in the Sahara tent


The man behind the hugest dance craze in recent history to sweep the world, “Harlem Shake”, rocked the crowd with a a set of  booty-shaking down south tracks. My friends and I were right up front for this, and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. I unfortunately missed “Harlem Shake” as I had to run to another stage, but it’s all good, another act re-enacted this. Read on.

2 Chainz performing at the Mojave tent.


Despite being twenty minutes late for his set and having a semi-exhausted crowd boo in spurts, Titty Boi AKA 2 Chainz performed a memorable set for his first Coachella experience. I was caught somewhere in the mid-front of the crowd of this set. I thought I was going to be trampled numerous times, water was thrown on me, and I was pushed, BUT I sang every lyric at the top of my lungs like I was on stage. His performance of “Crack” was definitely the climax of his set. #TurnUp.

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Exclusive Interview: Sza- “See Sza Blossom”


In my newest contribution for Giant Step, I interviewed alternative soul songstress Sza. I love her sound, so I definitely jumped at the opportunity to chat with her. Here’s a snippet:

So it’s seven tracks, and when listening it is very atmospheric and I can see what you are talking about. It’s a little dark, but I like that, and your lyrics are very refined. How long have you been writing?

Sza: That’s a really good question. I’ve been a writer, prior to singing or anything, for a very long time. That was my strong suit. Even in high school I was in AP English…writing is my thing. I’m a serious reader and heavily into poetry, so before I even opened my mouth and thought “Maybe I should try to translate this into something, it’s crowded in here”, I had to find a way to get these thoughts out of my brain.

Read the full interview on Giant StepDownload her EP, See.SZA.Run on SoundCloud.

DJ FlyyMommy Presents: Manhattan Mixxy

Mixxy (adj.): a term used in New York City to describe “that life” which includes, but is not limited to:

  • Partying on weekdays, day parties/brunch parties on weekends
  • a group of acquaintances that include photographers, DJs, artists, writers, producers, fashion designers, and musicians
  • an affinity for ethnic foods and drinks prepared by mixologists
  • the ability to vibe in Hip Hop clubs and hipster bars alike

DJ FlyyMommy embodies this lifestyle in her newest mix entitled “Manhattan Mixxy”. I won’t lie, I definitely laughed when I read the title, but was excited at what was in store to hear. The mix blends House tunes new and old, gritty R&B, smooth Hip Hop, and Top 40. In short, it is the ideal soundtrack to my (semi) mixxy existence. Why you ask? Because it has all of my favorite Neptunes-produced tracks along with fun 80s and 90s tracks. Perfect for shimmying! Check out the mix below and get to dancing! You’ll thank me later. 😉