Gender Amplified Attends Hip Hop Hackathon At Spotify

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Hip Hop Hackathon 1

On June 10th, Gender Amplified was invited to participate in Hip Hop Hacks, an event dedicated to celebrating and exploring the intersection of hip-hop and technology. Organized by R. Sommer McCoy/Monthly Music Hackathon NYC and held at Spotify‘s New York City office, the day included group discussions with industry leaders, workshops varying in topics from music production to computer science, and performances from guest lecturers and attendees!

Producer, engineer, singer-songwriter, and Gender Amplified founder Ebonie Smith served as one of the panelist for a listening/critique session alongside fellow artists/producers Hank Shocklee (Bomb Squad, Public Enemy), Breakbeat Lou (producer/DJ), Ms Madli (producer/engineer/iStandard Champion), VHVL (electronic musician), and POZIBELLE (producer/educator). The listening session gave beatmakers and producers of all skill levels a chance to showcase their work and gain useful feedback from distinguished industry professionals.

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After panelist introductions were announced, legendary producer Hank Shocklee gave up-and-coming producers in the room some inspiring words of wisdom to live by before the start of the listening/critique session.

“This is for all of the young producers. You guys, right now, have the key to the future in your hands. You can build upon the wisdom of the past and even relate to what’s happening in the future. But the thing you guys have to understand now is… networking with each other is what’s going to continue making this industry strong. Sitting around just talking about music is an important aspect. What you want to do is build a relationship. Music is spiritual, and if you connect your vibrations and your spirits together, you’ll create better art.”

Check out more recap images from the event!

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New Music Friday: Sam Bruno Releases EP “I AM SAM PT.1”

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I AM SAM PT.1

If you happened to listen to Kanye West’s song “The One” back in 2012 off of his G.O.O.D. Music: Cruel Summer compilation album, you might have heard the vocal stylings of a young Phoenix-based singer/songwriter named Sam Bruno. Bruno and her creative partner Lifted first caught Kanye West’s attention in 2011 while on a trip to Los Angeles to promote their newly minted musical collaborations.

Fast forward five years to today and Sam Bruno has released her highly-anticipated first EP titled I AM SAM PT.1 with Atlantic Records. Like so many female artists nowadays, Bruno took many aspects of the technical process into her own hands, especially when it came to her vocals. When asked about the depth of her involvement in the editing and mixing process, Bruno explained:

“I engineered and recorded most of my vocals on I AM SAM PT.1. I vocal edited and rough mixed all five songs, to the point when the mixers would get the songs to mix, they’d be like, ‘I’m not changing anything on your vocal mix, it’s already so great!’ Which is a huge compliment coming from Manny Marroquin [Kanye West, Rihanna, John Mayer] and Andrew Wuepper [Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, The Hamilton Mixtape].”

Bruno is known for her ability to push the boundaries of musical genres with her electronic dance and hip-hop influenced pop. This talent is best featured on “Hello Hater”, the second track on I AM SAM PT. 1, and her breakout hit “Search Party”, featured in the 2015 film Paper Towns starring Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff.

Listen to the album here:

From Ballet Dancer To Rock N’ Roll: Get To Know Metallica’s Assistant Engineer Sara Lyn Killion

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When Sara Lyn Killion first moved from Denver to Los Angeles, her plan was to join a ballet company and pursue a career as a professional ballerina. But her love for music and live performances took her life in a different direction. In a recent interview for Metallica’s online blog So What!, Killion recounts her journey from the stage to behind the recording console.

“I moved to join a ballet company out in LA, and when I decided that wasn’t going very well for me, I was like, ‘What else can I do?’ I had a bunch of friends in bands, so I wanted to do live sound. I wanted to be front of house. I wanted to go on tour… I went to a vocational school [in Arizona] to learn more about the whole audio thing because I knew I loved music, I knew I loved bands, I knew I loved the whole scene, but I didn’t really know much. I didn’t know how it all worked.”

After completing her studies, Killion began interning at recording studios in the Los Angeles area and eventually worked her way up to assisting sessions. Her first major studio album credit came from being the mix assistant on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ critically acclaimed album Stadium Arcadium, through which she began working with producers Greg Fidelman and Rick Rubin.

“I first started working for Greg during Death Magnetic [Metallica]. I think we did one project before, and it was The (International) Noise Conspiracy, we were doing vocals up at Rick’s house on Sunset [Boulevard]. So that was the first thing. And then he called me, which was weird. I was working at a studio called The Pass and I had been working on a Chili Peppers record. That’s how I got into the Rick camp. I got into mixing, the mix side as an assistant on the Stadium Arcadium record.”

When asked about being part of a ballet troupe versus recording rock bands, Killion describes the studio experience as less competitive and more friendly. “You would imagine that rock and roll is tough, but it really isn’t. Everybody looks out for each other, it’s more of a family.” And when asked about her partnership with Fidelman, she explains, “I feel like we’ve got a good teamwork thing. We know, ‘I’m gonna handle this, he handles that,” and if there’s anything I can foresee down the line I’ll try to do it or he’ll try to remind me to get ready for something. So I think it’s great, and it works.”

You can check out the full list of Sara Lyn Killion’s album credits here, and listen to Metallica’s latest album Hardwired…To Self-Destruct on Spotify.

Gender Amplified Announces New Web Series: 60 Seconds of Truth

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In a new web series called 60 Seconds of Truth, Gender Amplified aims to broadcast the stories of a wide array of women in music production and sound engineering.

In 60 seconds, these women will share their narratives from their own mouths. You’ll learn about how they became interested in music technology, what types of gear they use, where they learned their crafts and much much more! The series looks to give voice to budding producers as well as more established women as well. Stay tuned for more to come on this series!

The Future is Female – Madame Gandhi at SXSW 2017!

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One of our favorite music producers, Kiran Gandhi (her independent musical projects are under the stage name Madame Gandhi), has had quite the busy month… and it’s only getting started!

This week alone she has performed several showcases at Austin’s annual SXSW Conference and Festival, including two DJ sets for SoulCycle and live performances at TechCrunch Day Party, Empire Control Room & Garage, MOOGfest, Empress, and SheShreds. Gandhi brings surprises and new additions to her show such as the Madame Drum Set (a beautiful gold and yellow acrylic drum set created by DW Drums), various tattoo, sticker, and vinyl merchandise, and songs about the current political state in America.

For the full list of DJ sets, live performances, and panel discussions Gandhi will be participating in for the remainder of SXSW 2017, refer to the flier below:

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And if you missed our Producer Spotlight on Kiran (Madame) Gandhi, you can find it here.

 

 

 

Celebrate This Holiday Season In Style With ART GIRL ARMY!

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This year has been one for the books for our friends at the ART GIRL ARMY, and they want to celebrate this holiday season with you in style.

They’ve partnered with the fantastic New Women Space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to bring you delicious food, live performances, festive drinks, an AGA pop-up shop, and more!

This event is open to the public, meaning AGA supporters of all genders are welcome, so come with the ones you love and party with your favorite friendly neighborhood girl gang.

Tickets include entry and access to the by-donation bar!

And the winner of the “Dear Daughter Remix Contest” is…

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Last month Gender Amplified teamed up with Halestorm for our “Dear Daughter Remix Contest” where the winner would receive $1000 and a chance to meet frontwoman Lzzy Hale!

And the winner is… TMPO! Check out the mix below, it’s pretty spectacular!

Congratulations and a huge thank you to all who entered!

Make sure to follow TMPO here:
instagram.com/tmpomusik
soundcloud.com/tmpomusic
twitter.com/tmpomusic

Producer Spotlight: Kiran Gandhi Combines Music and Activism to Inspire Social Change

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The ability to influence change through art is an aspiration for many professional creatives, but for producer, performer, and activist Kiran Gandhi, it’s a way of life.

Kiran Ghandi

Gandhi made international headlines last year after free-bleeding her way through the London Marathon, a decision she consciously made to impress upon the stigmas associated with female periods. In a piece written for TIME Motto, Gandhi addresses the negative effects of stigmas and how advocating for women’s rights benefits the greater good of humanity. “Stigma is one of the most effective forms of oppression because it denies us the vocabulary to talk comfortably and confidently about our own bodies… the menstrual cycle is the bedrock of the human race. Without it we wouldn’t exist. If we want to make the world a better place, we have to start combatting taboo now – and, in the process, make it easier for women and girls to access their fullest potential.”

After earning an MBA from Harvard Business School and touring internationally as the drummer for both M.I.A. and Thievery Corporation, Gandhi formed her own electronic music project under the stage name Madame Gandhi. With songs like “The Future Is Female” and “I Own My Own Body,” Gandhi is using her intellectual and musical talents to serve the end of social change. “I’m not a great singer or anything like that, but I have a message and I have stories that I want to express, and the best way to express them musically is to sing them.”

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!

 

On the RISE: Producer Stoni Profiled by ROLI

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In a piece entitled “On the RISE: Music is life – Stoni,” ROLI recently profiled Gender Amplified Alumna Stoni demonstrating the new Seaboard RISE musical instrument. ROLI is a design­-led technology start ­up expanding the bandwidth of interaction between people and technology. Read an excerpt from the article below:

“There’s no stage in your life that doesn’t have a song you can reference,” says Stoni, the New York­ based producer and DJ known for her hard ­driving hip­-hop beats. “Like when you graduate from high school, you’re listening to something, and every time you hear that song later you think ‘Ahhh!’ And you get to recapture that feeling, and it makes you feel great.” READ MORE

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Stoni is always on the move helping to bridge the gap between the technology of today and pop culture. She has consulted some of the hottest music producers over her career, which spans several decades.

Our previous Producer Profile with Stoni in 2014 also highlights other areas of her work. She is a trailblazer, and her reign as an accomplished master of music technology is just beginning!


Producer Profile Interview: Stoni

 

 

Producer Profile Interview: Stoni

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Stoni

This profile is dedicated to introducing our readers to Stoni. When you think of hard hitting hip-hop beats and with sophisticated melodies, there’s only one name that comes to mind. Stoni is a Brooklyn native who grew up listening to everything from Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder to Prince and The Rolling Stones. Stoni currently works with Native Instruments as a product specialist and musical hardware trainer for the industry’s A-list music makers. Using Native Instruments Maschine drum machine as her weapon of choice, Stoni is taking music making to a whole new level. Stoni agreed to answer a few questions about her production work for the Gender Amplified blog. Check it out!

What first sparked your interest in music production?

I’ve always loved music. My parents had very eclectic taste in music so I was listening to music before I could even walk.

Tell us a little about the first track you ever produced. 

I was an assistant engineer in a studio, and the producer whose session I was in had equipment that he wasn’t using. He told me that if I came back with some tracks I could keep the gear and use it to make music. I went home that night. I had my record player, sampled some vinyl and chopped it up. I stayed up all night working on it. I went to the studio the next day and played the beat for the producer. He told me that the beat was crazy and that I could keep the gear.

Where is the craziest place you ever made a track?

It was in my car while I was waiting for my clothes to dry at the laundry mat.

What types of gear and software do you use to produce?

Currently I’m using Maschine, Komplete Ultimate, Ableton and VSTs with for production. Pro Tools for mixing.

Stoni Native Instruments

Where are some of your favorite places to find and buy gear?

Fortunately for me, I’ve built some pretty great relationships with technology companies over the years, and I’ve been a beta tester for many of them. So, I haven’t bought gear in a while.

Tell us a little bit about the work you do for Native Instruments? 

Currently I’m a Product Specialist/Artist Relations Representative for Native Instruments (NI). I train A-list producers on how to incorporate NI gear in their production set ups (i.e. Maschine Studio, Komplete and Traktor). I’ve probably trained your producer’s favorite producer. I also perform at festivals and seminars using Maschine Studio, Komplete, and Traktor during beats showcases. I introduce A-list producers and up-and-coming producers to Native Instruments and bring them together for future business opportunities and endorsements.

Name some of the awesome producers you have had a chance to work alongside in this role. What makes them awesome?

I’ve had the opportunity to work with 40 (Noah Shebib), Young Chop, Cool and Dre, The Runners, S1, Focus, Illmind, 9th Wonder, Tha Bizness, A$AP Ty, Cardiak, Sak Pase, THX, and Ivan and Carvin. The body of work and the time that they’ve put into their careers makes them all awesome.

What are your ultimate goals for your career as a music producer?

First and foremost my goal is to create incredible music and be an inspiration to producers and artists. I want to give opportunities to creative peoplewhether they are artists, web designers, producers, engineers, graphic artists, and DJ’s.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in music production? What is one piece of advice he/she should know?

The first thing I would say is to master your craft. Make sure you’re prepared when opportunity knocks on your door. Create your own sound. Always have something of value to offer. Learn the business that you’re getting into and don’t be afraid to start your own movement. Keep your sword sharpened. And last but not least, believe in yourself and always surround yourself with people who are masters of their trade. There’s no one else like you on the planet, so never compare yourself to anyone else.

Tell us where to find your music online.

Website – http://www.stonisworld.com/

Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/beatsbystoni

Twitter – https://twitter.com/StonisMusic

Instagram – http://instagram.com/stonismusic