Pushing Buttons Collective: Calling All Producers to Submit for Live Beat-making Battle

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Pushing Buttons Collective

Pushing Buttons Collective is a band of like-minded artists building community under the umbrella of instrumental music. The group hosts a radio series, Pushing Buttons Radio, that strives to showcase the best in instrumental beats and culture. The show runs the gamut from lo-fi to wonky, from instrumental hip hop to house, from broken beat to future beats.

Keeping with the spirit of its mission, on Friday, September 9th, Pushing Buttons Collective will host “Kicks and Snares,” a monthly beat cypher for producers at the Friends and Lovers venue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. The show will take place from 7-10pm.

Calling All Producers: If you’d like to be considered to showcase your live beat-making skills at this event, please submit your tracks directly to the group’s official email account pushingbuttonscollective@gmail.com!

 

New Music Friday: Gender Amplified’s Official Playlist

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New Music Friday

Gender Amplified is ready and willing to give you what you need with this high dosage of musical medicine. This weekend rock out to these tracks handpicked by our staff of musicians, producers, engineers and music enthusiasts!

Daughter’s Day: Celebrating the father-daughter team Bill and Delaney Hafener

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Bill and Delaney Hafener

My dad has been my number one biggest musical influence. It seemed to me there was never a time when he didn’t have a guitar in his hands, and he was always listening to new music and sharing it with us. Playing and writing music is cathartic for him, and he passed that on to me. From a very young age, music was a crucial form of communication for me. My parents always encouraged me to make music. My dad was by my side as I taught myself to play guitar and bass alongside my classical french horn training throughout middle and high school. He accompanied me on guitar when I sang in elementary school talent shows, I remember singing “Good Riddance” by Green Day and the Beach Boys’ “Surfer Girl” as he played. I started learning guitar and writing my own songs when I was about 12, and with help and support from my parents, I began playing open mic’s and then gigs at 14. In those early days, my dad accompanied me as I played short, eclectic sets with covers from ranging from Johnny Cash to Taylor Swift, interspersed with embarrassing originals.

We’ve spent countless evenings sitting on the couch playing acoustic guitars together, taking turns singing lead and harmony, talking about notes and melody. In high school, I decided that I wanted to study Studio Production at SUNY Purchase. The program is by audition only, which meant that I had to present at 15 minutes of music that I recorded and produced myself.  My dad helped me through the process of putting together my audition, and he was the one who helped me buy the equipment that became the first fragments of our home studio. From there, we began adding more and more to our collection of gear. We had been keeping everything confined to what used to be our family room, which had our garage attached to it. We eventually hit a point where we chose to close off the garage and reconfigure the space. Since then, the garage has become the live room and the family room is now the control room.

The primary purpose of our studio is to produce ourselves. When we first got started recording our own music, we were traveling to a studio in Brooklyn. Once we started putting together our own equipment, the restrictions that come from being on a budget were gone. This opened endless doors for my band Pandafan. We’ve been doing all the producing ourselves since the band first started out in 2012. My dad and I are a team when we’re in our studio together, bouncing ideas off each other and crafting Pandafan’s sound with dedication and devotion. I love producing, and I especially love producing my own music, but it can be difficult to engineer and produce on your own projects. Bill always seems to know what I’m hearing in my head, and knows when to indulge my weird ideas and when to pull it back a bit. He and I also work on his band, The Black River Republic, where he is the primary songwriter and I play bass and add my vocal harmony. We’ve also moved beyond just working for ourselves, running sessions for many of our friend’s projects, from noise-rock bands to folk trios to spoken word podcasts.

My dad has always encouraged Pandafan, as well as me as an individual, to look ever forward and always be working on the next project. His involvement in the band has been vital to our success. Without this help and guidance, Pandafan and I would be nowhere near where we are now, and I have him to thank for so much of what I’ve been able to achieve since starting my career as a producer and musician.
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Female Frequency Collective Feature All-Women Production Team on Forthcoming EP!

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According to its website, “Female Frequency is a collective dedicated to empowering women & girls through the creation of music that is entirely female generated.” The organization’s website features images of many women in music production and engineering to emphasize the importance of having women present at every stage of the technical process.

In addition to promoting women who are doing great things in the world of music production, this group is actively creating and curating original music written, produced, engineered and mastered exclusively by women. Gender Amplified totally supports the efforts of this group, and thus, is proud to announce support for its upcoming EP Female Frequency: Volume 1!

Female Frequency

Female Frequency: Volume 1 was created entirely by women, start to finish. All writing, instrumentation, arrangement, performance, production, engineering, mixing, mastering, marketing and visual media was performed by women musicians and engineers from Boston, New York and LA. The project can be pre-ordered here. Support and share!

 

 

Filmmaker, Illustrator Luna Adler Profiles Gender Amplified Movement in Animate Video

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Filmmaker, illustrator and recent Barnard College graduate Luna Adler explores three spaces run by professional women: These spaces are special because they exist to solve problems created by gender inequity. In this multi-media video collage, Gender Amplified founder Ebonie Smith speaks about the ways Gender Amplified is re-imagining studios as women-defined spaces. She shares her work to make the music production industry safer and more welcoming for young women.

Luna Adler

About Luna!

“Luna Adler is a filmmaker, illustrator, and writer, whose work centers around the topics of social justice and feminism. In 2014, she traveled extensively throughout Nepal, India, and Bhutan, researching ancient Tibetan childbirth practices and the ways they have been transformed by life in exile. Luna graduated from Barnard College with a degree in anthropology in 2015, and was a recipient of the Howard M. Teichmann Writing Prize. She now lives in Brooklyn where she can generally be found drawing woodland creatures, listening to political podcasts, and rollerblading.” – LunaAdler.com

 

Rapsody Headlines 12th Annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival

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Rapsody - BK Hip Hop Fest

Some people are calling her the rapper du jour, and the wave of praises doesn’t seem to be letting up. Rapsody is making the rounds with a number of high-profile album and single appearances and co-signs from the likes of Dr. Dre, 9th Wonder and Kendrick Lamar. The North Carolina rapper is quickly gaining respect and moving into territories that have been traditionally occupied by men.

She will be headlining the 12th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival as part of a much anticipated lineup including Nas, Fabolous, Talib Kweli and many more! Established in 2005, The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is New York City’s largest Hip-Hop cultural event that showcases Hip-Hop culture by highlighting its legacy of inspiring artistic excellence, community building and social change.


Much like the festival itself, Rapsody has used her platform to advocate for women in music production. As the protégé of legendary, Grammy Award-winning producer 9th Wonder and a member of the super crew Kooley High, she has learned many aspects of production under his tutelage over the years. As is evidenced by her Instagram post below, changing the landscape of women in music production starts with women emcees supporting them — no matter their stage of development. Our hat goes off to Rapsody for her support of our community throughout her work and consistent example.

The future is bright….. @darinmichelle @agilliam1018 #JamlaKids #PadawanInTraining

A photo posted by R A P S O D Y (@rapsody) on

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out some of her music here.

 

Producer Spotlight: Delia Derbyshire, The Sculptress of Sound

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With her undeniable sense of fashion, work for the UN, and unassuming disposition, Delia Derbyshire may not seem like a pioneer in electronic music at first glance. Nevertheless, her work speaks for itself. In the 1960s and 1970s, she made her mark as a composer of experimental music compositions. If you’ve never heard of Derbyshire, be sure to view Sculptress of Sound: The Lost Works of Delia Derbyshire, the 2010 BBC Radio 4 documentary about her life and career entitled.

Delia Derbyshire

Delia Ann Derbyshire (May 5, 1937 – July 3, 2001) was an English musician and composer of musique concrète and electronic music. She is known for her electronic interpretation of theme music for the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and for her work for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Gender Amplified Receives 2016 Awesome Grant Award

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Gender Amplified Receives Awesome Grant

In January of 2016, Gender Amplified received a grant from the Awesome Foundation’s New York chapter to support work we’re doing in our community. Read the full announcement to learn more about the award and the foundation.

According to its website, The Awesome Foundation is a “global community advancing the interest of awesome in the universe, $1000 at a time. Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1000 or the local equivalent, come out of pockets of the chapter’s “trustees” and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.”

Gender Amplified is proud to be recognized by this community of givers. The award meant a great deal to our board of directors and our investors, but it will mean that much more to all the girls and women who benefit from our mentorship programs, community events and ongoing support.

Producer Spotlight: TokiMonsta = Dopeness

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Los Angeles native, TOKiMONSTA (Jennifer Lee) is known for her unique take on indie electronic/r&b/dance music. Her classical upbringing and eclectic music taste has allowed her to create vast textural soundscapes—a reverberation that fuses vintage sensibilities with progressive inclinations.

TokiMonsta

Her music has been recognized and praised by the very best in tastemaker and mainstream media. TOKiMONSTA has been featured on various large-scale radio programs such as: BBC Radio1 (UK), NPR (USA), BBC World Service (UK), J Wave (JP), Studio Brussels (BE), Radio Nova (FR), KCRW (LA) to name a few. Subsequently, DJ Mag, Pitchfork, The Guardian, XLR8R, Paper, LA Times, Dazed and Confused, SPIN, Wax Poetics, MTV, VIBE, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Sound and Recording and more have covered her. LA Weekly ranked her as 2010’s #1 female DJ in Los Angeles. Additionally, Resident Adviser did a full feature on her for their “Breaking Through,” an RA series, which focuses on the next big artist.

Tokimonsta

Not only has she caught ears of many as a different dimension of Los Angeles-based music, TOKiMONSTA is notably the first female to join Flying Lotus’ crew/label BRAINFEEDER, which is on the forefront of LA music scene.

TOKiMONSTA tours the world regularly as a live performer. Her performance is engaging as well as intricate—using new technology with pieces of musical and multimedia gear. She participated in the prestigious Red Bull Music Academy in London in 2010. In the summer of 2012, she was apart of the Full Flex Express tour, the first electronic music themed train tour that traveled across Canada with Skrillex, Diplo, Pretty Lights, and Grimes. She performed on the very first SS Coachella, which is Golden Voices’ first ocean cruise festival. Some notable past performances were at Coachella, Sonar Barcelona, DEMF, WMC, Electric Zoo, SxSW, Camp Bisco, Decibel Festival, with more scheduled in the future.

You can check out more of her music at soundcloud.com/tokimonsta!

Event Recap: Gender Amplified In-School Seminar at Frederick Douglass Academy

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On March 31, Gender Amplified partnered with The Apollo Theater Education Program’s (ATEP) In-School Career Seminars (ISCS) to offer a music production workshop to students at the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem, New York City.

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The workshop, entitled “STEM Learning: Dissecting The Music Track,” covered the ways in which science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects are use to create music in the recording studio.

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In-School Career Seminars offer students the opportunity to interact with business and creative professionals from the performing arts and entertainment industries. Seminars take place on-site at selected high schools and focus on such topics as marketing and public relations, entertainment law, artist management and technical production.

Alicia Keys Creates Tracks Live On Stage at BET Awards

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Feature Image_alicia-keys-bet-awards-2016

 

Alicia Keys took the stage to perform one of her new hit “In Common” at the 2016 BET Awards held at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 26th in Los Angeles. For years, the 35­-year­-old entertainer and performer has dazzled fans with her electrifying stage show, but this time things were a little different.

Surrounded by numerous synthesizers and electronic beat machines, Keys simultaneously synthesized her track and sang right in front of the audience. The performance perfectly blended live beatmaking with acoustic guitar playing. Check out the full recap below on BET.com.

BET Awards: Alicia Keys Just Slayed Her Performance of ‘In Common’

Alicia Keys has always been a supporter of women in production and engineering. Ann Mincieli, Keys’ longtime sound engineer, is the owner of Jungle City Studios in New York City.

Producer Spotlight: Grimes Just Wants to Do Her Job!

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Canadian producer Grimes is on a mission to use music technology to express an artistic narrative that has grown out of her control. In this candid interview for The FADER, Grimes discusses the importance of being in control of her sonic narrative. In reference to self-­producing her own music, she expresses, “I don’t want to just be the face of this thing that I built; I want to be the person who built it.”

 

Grimes

 

In commenting on her latest album Art Angels, she explains, “Grimes, as one person, cannot represent more than a couple ideas. That’s why I started developing some of the other characters… like really abstract from who I am…”