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

Funkysexydownnow

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

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Saturday Sounds: ‘Eclectic Relaxation Vol. 6’, Mixed by Dhundee

Today is the day of love, Valentine’s Day. You may be with plans or without, but for an evening that can be possibly hectic, I bring you sounds to relax you. My homie Dhundee is a super dope DJ, that I’ve posted in the past, and with his sixth installment of his Eclectic Relaxation mix series, he brings you a slew of downtempo soul beats.

Stream the goodness below.

*Photo courtesy of Dhundee

Listen To This: Sinead Harnett

Sinead-Harnett-Got-Me-Press-Shot_1500px-e1368184406531

I’m starting to think that there is something in the water over in the UK, because all the music that has truly captured me lately has its home-base across the pond. Sonically, I’m drawn to the juxtaposition of UK garage, 90s house, deep soul, and R&B. Artists like Disclosure, Jessie Ware, and SBTRKT have made their mark in this realm, but there is a new kid on the block, and her name is Sinead Harnett.

Sinead stepped out onto to the scene a little over a year ago, providing vocals for Disclosure’s single, “Boiling”, off their The Face EP. Her slightly raspy, incredibly soulful voice provided another dimension to the otherwise down-tempo track. In addition to Disclosure, she has provided duet vocals and a hook for fellow UK artist Rudimental’s track “Baby”. She’s recently landed herself a record deal with the Black Butter imprint, so we can definitely look out for more from Sinead in regards to touring and new projects.

Listen to a few tracks below via her SoundCloud. Enjoy the sounds!

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

BAAUER.

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.

2 CHAINZ.

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”

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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.