Black Pumas is a funk and soul duo based in Austin, Texas, United States, consisting of singer Eric Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada. Their work also has strong Latin music influences. The duo is a nominee for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards—its first-ever Grammy nomination.
The duo formed in 2017 and released their debut album, Black Pumas, on June 21, 2019. They performed at South by Southwest in 2019 and won a best new band trophy at the 2019 Austin Music Awards. On November 20, 2019, they were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
Quesada was a member of Latin funk band Grupo Fantasma when it won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album for the 2010 album El Existential, and when it was previously nominated for the same award in 2008 for Sonidos Gold.
Robert Calvin Bland (né Robert Calvin Brooks; January 27, 1930 – June 23, 2013), known professionally as Bobby "Blue" Bland, was an American blues singer.
Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B. He was described as "among the great storytellers of blues and soul music... [who] created tempestuous arias of love, betrayal and resignation, set against roiling, dramatic orchestrations, and left the listener drained but awed." He was sometimes referred to as the "Lion of the Blues" and as the "Sinatra of the Blues" His music was also influenced by Nat King Cole.
Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2012. He received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame described him as "second in stature only to B.B. King as a product of Memphis's Beale Street blues scene".
“I just thought it sounded funny,” Brad Stank says of his artist name. “I wasn't going to keep it at first. I just used it for posting stuff on Soundcloud, but then Flirting in Space started getting some attention and it just stuck. I’ve grown to like it. I guess B Stank is my alter ego now... a true love boy.” We’ve grown to like it too. Same goes for the Liverpool musician’s mellow music – in the vein of Mac DeMarco and his slacker pop disciples – which climaxed with the release of his debut EP Eternal Slowdown a couple of months back via Untitled Records.
Stand-out tracks from the EP will win you over with their lo-fi charm: Condemned To Be Freaky (on which Brad accepts his destiny), Flirting In Space (an ode to alien romance) and lead single Take Me To The Crib (a sweet invitation to come over for green and red wine). Serving up an introverted take on love and loneliness, there’s something charismatic and pretty hilarious about our Brad, who has already played shows with fellow bedroom pop head Clairo and reportedly has a headline UK tour coming soon.
Rumour has is that there are usually some Brad Stank-branded rolling papers floating about at his live shows, so if that's not worth leaving the house for, I'm not sure what is. Anyway, if you’re keen to know more about him, read through these 10 things you need to know about the man formerly known as Bradley Mullins and have a little smile to yourself...
Dixon was born in Marshall, Texas. Some sources give his birth name as Jay Riggins, Jr., although he himself stated that Floyd Dixon was his real name and that his parents were Velma and Ford Dixon. Growing up, he was influenced by blues, gospel, jazz and country music. His family moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1942. There Dixon met Charles Brown, who had an influence on his music.
The self-dubbed "Mr. Magnificent", Dixon signed a recording contract with Modern Records in 1949, specializing in jump blues and sexualized songs like "Red Cherries", "Wine Wine Wine", "Too Much Jelly Roll" and "Baby Let's Go Down to the Woods". Both "Dallas Blues" and "Mississippi Blues", credited to the Floyd Dixon Trio, reached the Billboard R&B chart in 1949, as did "Sad Journey Blues", issued by Peacock Records in 1950.
Dixon replaced Charles Brown on piano and vocals in the band Johnny Moore's Three Blazers in 1950, when Brown departed to start a solo career. The group recorded for Aladdin Records and reached the R&B chart with "Telephone Blues" (credited to Floyd Dixon with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers). Staying with the record label, Dixon had a small hit under his own name in 1952 with "Call Operator 210". He switched to Specialty Records in 1952 and to Cat Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records in 1954. "Hey Bartender" (later covered by the Blues Brothers) and "Hole in the Wall" were released during this time.
In the 1970s Dixon left the music industry for a quieter life in Texas, though he did occasional tours in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1984 he was commissioned to write "Olympic Blues" for the 1984 Summer Olympics.
In 1993, Dixon received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In the mid-1990s, he secured a contract with Alligator Records, releasing the critically acclaimed album Wake Up and Live.
On June 1 and 2, 2006, Dixon hosted a concert with Pinetop Perkins and Henry Gray, celebrating the intergenerational aspect of blues piano. The band was led by Kid Ramos and included Larry Taylor and Richard "Bigfoot" Innes. Kim Wilson, Fred Kaplan (from the Hollywood Blue Flames) and Lynwood Slim also performed. This concert was recorded and released on the DVD Time Brings About a Change by HighJohn Records on March 6, 2013.
Dixon died of kidney failure in Orange County, California, in July 2006, at the age of 77, having suffered from cancer. A public memorial service was held in Grace Chapel, at the Inglewood Park Cemetery.
Homeshake (stylized as HOMESHAKE) is the solo musical project of Montreal-based singer-songwriter and musician Peter Sagar.
Featuring contributions from Mark Goetz, Greg Napier, and Brad Loughead, the project started in 2012. In 2014, he left Mac DeMarco's live band to focus on the Homeshake project; Fixture Records released his debut cassette, The Homeshake Tape, in January 2013 with a second, titled Dynamic Meditation released in October 2013 . This was followed by his debut full-length album, In the Shower (2014) and his second album, Midnight Snack (2015). His third album under the project, Fresh Air, was released in 2017.
James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century music and dance, he is often referred to as the "Godfather of Soul". In a career that lasted 50 years, he influenced the development of several music genres.
Brown began his career as a gospel singer in Toccoa, Georgia. He joined an R&B vocal group, the Gospel Starlighters (which later evolved into the Flames) founded by Bobby Byrd, in which he was the lead singer. First coming to national public attention in the late 1950s as a member of the singing group The Famous Flames with the hit ballads "Please, Please, Please" and "Try Me", Brown built a reputation as a tireless live performer with the Famous Flames and his backing band, sometimes known as the James Brown Band or the James Brown Orchestra. His success peaked in the 1960s with the live album Live at the Apollo and hit singles such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "It's a Man's Man's Man's World". During the late 1960s he moved from a continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a profoundly "Africanized" approach to music-making that influenced the development of funk music. By the early 1970s, Brown had fully established the funk sound after the formation of the J.B.s with records such as "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine" and "The Payback". He also became noted for songs of social commentary, including the 1968 hit "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud". Brown continued to perform and record until his death from pneumonia in 2006.
Brown recorded 17 singles that reached number one on the Billboard R&B charts. He also holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which did not reach number one. Brown has received honors from many institutions, including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Joel Whitburn's analysis of the Billboard R&B charts from 1942 to 2010, James Brown is ranked as number one in The Top 500 Artists. He is ranked seventh on the music magazine Rolling Stone's list of its 100 greatest artists of all time. Rolling Stone has also cited Brown as the most sampled artist of all time.
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His mainstream career lasted only four years, but he is widely regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in history and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".
Born in Seattle, Washington, Hendrix began playing guitar at age 15. In 1961, he enlisted in the US Army and trained as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division, but he was discharged the following year. He moved to Clarksville, Tennessee soon after and began playing gigs on the Chitlin' Circuit, earning a place in the Isley Brothers' backing band and later with Little Richard, with whom he continued to work through mid-1965. He played with Curtis Knight and the Squires before moving to England in late 1966 after being discovered by Linda Keith, who interested bassist Chas Chandler of the Animals in becoming his first manager. Within months, Hendrix earned three UK top ten hits with the Jimi Hendrix Experience: "Hey Joe", "Purple Haze", and "The Wind Cries Mary". He achieved fame in the US after his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and his third and final studio album Electric Ladyland reached number one in the US in 1968; it was Hendrix's most commercially successful release and his only number-one album. He was the world's highest-paid performer, and he headlined the Woodstock festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. He died from barbiturate-related asphyxia on September 18, 1970, at age 27.
Hendrix was inspired by American rock and roll and electric blues. He favored overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain, and was instrumental in popularizing the previously undesirable sounds caused by guitar amplifier feedback. He was also one of the first guitarists to make extensive use of tone-altering effects units in mainstream rock, such as fuzz distortion, Octavia, wah-wah, and Uni-Vibe. He was the first musician to use stereophonic phasing effects in recordings. Holly George-Warren of Rolling Stone writes: "Hendrix pioneered the use of the instrument as an electronic sound source. Players before him had experimented with feedback and distortion, but Hendrix turned those effects and others into a controlled, fluid vocabulary every bit as personal as the blues with which he began."
In 1967, readers of Melody Maker voted Hendrix the Pop Musician of the Year, and Rolling Stone declared him the Performer of the Year in 1968. Disc and Music Echo magazine honored him with the World Top Musician of 1969, and Guitar Player named him the Rock Guitarist of the Year in 1970. The Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Rolling Stone ranked the band's three studio albums among the 100 greatest albums of all time, and ranked Hendrix the greatest guitarist and the sixth greatest artist of all time.
Nicole Monique Wray (born May 2, 1979), also known as simply Nicole, is an American R&B and hip hop singer. Her 1998 debut single "Make It Hot" was certified gold.
Wray was born in Salinas, California and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia. After being introduced to Missy Elliott, Wray was featured on Missy's platinum certified debut Supa Dupa Fly. When Elliott started her own label, The Goldmind, the then 17-year-old Wray was the first artist signed. She impressed Elliot with her singing skills.
In 1998, her debut album Make It Hot was released. Heavily criticized for Elliott's heavy-handed involvement (she produced, wrote, and performed on much of the album) the first single, "Make It Hot", peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified gold. Her second single, "I Can't See", reached number 36 on the Rhythmic Top 40 chart. Her debut album Make It Hot peaked at number nineteen on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart (number 42 on The Billboard 200) and dropped off by the end of the year. The third single, "Eyes Better Not Wander", peaked at number 71 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Later that year, Wray would sing the hook to "All n My Grill" on Missy Elliott's platinum certified second album, Da Real World.
In July 2001, Wray released "I'm Lookin'", the first single from her planned second album Elektric Blue. "I'm Lookin'" peaked at number 66 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but the album would eventually be shelved.
After amicably parting with The Goldmind, Wray was sought after to feature vocals on various albums and soundtracks. She would go on to sign a new album deal and under the guidance of Damon Dash was featured on Cam'ron's gold certified 2004 release, Purple Haze.
Later that year she released the single, "If I Was Your Girlfriend" from her scheduled Roc-A-Fella Records debut and sophomore studio set LoveChild. Though garnering some buzz, there ultimately was not enough push to release the album. After the temporary halt of Roc-A-Fella, LoveChild would suffer the same fate as its predecessor.
Wray moved through the Dame Dash Music Group, and also Channel 7 Records, garnering several guest vocal appearances.
Still maintaining her work relationship with Damon Dash, Wray joined The Black Keys rock/hip-hop collective Blakroc, and was a major vocal contributor to the group's self-titled November 2009 debut. Wray was then enlisted to add her background vocals on The Black Keys' seventh studio LP, Brothers, which was released in May 2010.
In 2010, she appeared on Kid Cudi's second album Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager on the song "The End", alongside Chip tha Ripper and GLC.
In 2012, Wray teamed up with fellow soulstress Terri Walker to form retro-soul duo Lady. They were signed to Truth and Soul Records and their self-titled debut album was released on March 5, 2013.
In 2016, she announced a new single "Do It Again" and a new album "Queen Alone" set for a September 23, 2016 release date, under her new stage name Lady Wray.
Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an in-house session player and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, earning him the nicknames "Prince of Motown" and "Prince of Soul".
Gaye's Motown hits include "Ain't That Peculiar", "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)", and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", and duet recordings with Mary Wells, Kim Weston, Diana Ross, and Tammi Terrell. During the 1970s, he recorded the albums What's Going On and Let's Get It On and became one of the first artists in Motown, along with Stevie Wonder, to break away from the reins of a production company. His later recordings influenced several contemporary R&B subgenres, such as quiet storm and neo soul. Following a period in Europe as a tax exile in the early 1980s, he released the 1982 hit "Sexual Healing", which won him his first Grammy Awards, and its parent album Midnight Love. Gaye's last television appearances were at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game, where he sung "The Star-Spangled Banner", Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever and on Soul Train which was his third and final appearance.
On April 1, 1984, Gaye's father, Marvin Gay Sr., fatally shot him at their house in the West Adams district of Los Angeles. Since his death, many institutions have posthumously bestowed Gaye with awards and other honors including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and inductions into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Moses Frimpong Sumney (born May 19, 1990) is an American singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. His self-recorded EP, Mid-City Island, was released in 2014. He released another 5-song EP in 2016, titled Lamentations. His first full-length album, Aromanticism, was released in September 2017. Sumney has performed as an opening act for Dirty Projectors, Junip, and Sufjan Stevens.
Sumney was born on May 19, 1990 in San Bernardino, California to Ghanaian parents. He moved with his family back to Ghana at the age of 10. Sumney described his childhood as "Americanized" by this age and had difficulty adjusting to the culture of Ghana. He did not learn to play any instruments until he was older, writing a cappella music for years instead. Sumney did not perform his musical compositions publicly until he was 20. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles.
Sumney's debut, Mid-City Island is a 5-song EP that was self-recorded onto a 4-track recorder given to him by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek. The EP was described by Pitchfork as "primarily composed of first-takes and improvisation; the music is stirring but purposefully incomplete". Sumney joined Terrible Records after the release. Sumney considers his songs to be performance based, and that many of his recorded compositions derive from fleshing the songs out through live performance. He has gone on to perform at venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and alongside artists such as Dirty Projectors, Junip, and St. Vincent, and Local Natives. Sumney sang on the opening track for Beck's album Song Reader. On September 30, 2016, Sumney released Lamentations, an EP which featured a guest appearance from Thundercat.
Sumney's first full-length album, Aromanticism, was released on September 22, 2017 by Jagjaguwar. It received acclaim from Rolling Stone, The Guardian, and The New York Times, which also named it one of the best albums of 2017.