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BEAUTIFUL BUZZZ

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TWO FRIENDS LA SHOW RECAP+Q&A

Live Concert, FEATURE, Dance PartyMike DooseComment

Two Friends (Eli Sones and Matt Halper) in the green room at the El Rey in Los Angeles. (Photo courtesy of Ian Johnson, IG: @youngianphoto)

Here at Beautiful Buzzz we generally only provide coverage for single tracks. We like to keep it simple. But once in a while we like to offer an inside look into the lives of artists with whom we really love and consider homies. This past weekend we caught up with Two Friends after their show in Los Angeles at the El Rey Theatre. 

James Delaney sings "Emily" with Two Friends. (Photo courtesy of Ian Johnson)

This hard-working yet light-hearted DJ duo has been picking up momentum since they first started putting a slew of remixes and original tracks on SoundCloud 5 years ago. Known for their riotous social media antics, viral remixes of hits like “Mr. Brightside” and “Trap Queen”, SoundCloud chart-topping “Big Bootie Mixes”, and recent original pop-leaning singles like “Out of Love (feat. Cosmos & Creature)”, “Emily (feat. James Delaney)”, and “Just A Kid (feat. Kevin Writer)” the friend pair of Matt Halper and Eli Sones have earned a well-deserved following and respect as one of the foremost rising acts in the scene.

Saturday night, playing to a sold-out crowd at the legendary El Rey Theatre in the heart of LA, I finally got to witness firsthand why these fellas are quickly climbing the ladder of success—they really know how to get the crowd moving. Some young DJ acts today it seems just hit the play button, jump up and down, and run around the stage hyping the crowd, but it’s clear that Two Friends can do that and simultaneously actually DJ—mixing between tracks quickly and seamlessly flowing from throwback classic to Top 40 remix to their original releases, bringing guests like James Delaney and Kevin Writer on stage to perform their features. Two words can be used to sum up the night and all the fun that was had: Dance. Party.

Doing their thing. (Photo courtesy of Ian Johnson)

After the show we decided to ask Eli and Matt some rapid fire questions to find out a little more about them. Enjoy their responses:

BB: Sushi or Ramen?
Eli: Ramen
Matt: sushi

BB: Pizza or Pasta?
Eli: Pasta
Matt: pizza

BB: Tacos or Burritos?
Eli: Tacos
Matt: burritos (why are we even friends eli?)

BB: Favorite spot to get any of the above in LA?
Eli: Tacos at Frida's at the Brentwood Country Mart
Matt: Burritos at Kay N Dave’s

BB: Favorite artist (musical or not) who is pushing creative boundaries?
Eli: Chance The Rapper
Matt: AJR

BB: Favorite guilty pleasure Spotify playlist?
Eli: Disney movie soundtracks, especially Lion King and Hercules
Matt: ^lol. Ummm probably like one of the Coffee House ones

BB: Biggest inspiration(s)?
Eli: Friends and family
Matt: unique songwriters who tell stories well

BB:  Coolest cities you’ve played in so far?
Eli: All the international ones are always surreal- Barcelona might be at the top.
Matt: I might agree for once. 

BB: Dream collaborator?
Eli: Blink-182, I'm stealing your answer Matt.
Matt: Bli... oh uhh let’s go with Ben Gibbard. 

BB: Most embarrassing moment of tour so far?
Eli: Matt addressing the New York City crowd as Chicago accidentally, sorry Matt.
Matt: that was last year bro. I’d say falling off a DJ booth or two

There you have it folks. Catch Two Friends live in a city near you. All show dates can be found here!

Two Friends. (Photo courtesy of Ian Johnson, IG: @youngianphoto)

FEATURE: LAYNE

FEATURELindsey OhComment

Recently I got to talk with the rising artist LAYNE before her set in Denver, who is a producer/singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist...aka a bad ass. Not only is she extremely talented but also a sweetheart who was easy to talk to and fun to be around. In her performance she engaged the audience with her dynamic stage presence and her ability to shred on the guitar and the mic, to ensure it was a night no one would forget. With her sound that to me is somewhere between Hayley Williams and Echosmith, what's not to like? After hearing her new EP, and especially the track "I Want More", I was instantly hooked, and now listening to LAYNE's music has become a daily routine.

Check out our interview below where we talk about how she got into music, her creative process, being a woman in the industry and more. 

First off share with us how you got into music. How did growing up in the black hills of South Dakota influence your music? 

I played instruments my whole life, partially because my dad and brother were also into music. There were always instruments around the house so I would just pick one up and start learning it. I started writing songs in the 3rd grade then in the 5th grade I wanted to do more. So I got into band and orchestra, and was in a punk band from 6-8th grade. Singing kind of came last. There was never a moment when I was all of a sudden like I want to be a musician, I just always was into music and so i pursued it. 

As far as South Dakota, It influenced my music a lot. It is so much a part of the things I like and what I write and is very much a part of my aesthetic. My drummer and I actually bonded over our like for forests, because he’s from Portland. I grew up outside a lot, snow boarding with my friends, and spending time out in the middle of no where with my music on and I miss that a lot. 

Whats the story behind the braid?

I started doing it a while ago and over time more and more people started recognizing me for it. So it’s just become a thing. Some days I hate my hair and I want to change it, but its a good thing to have something recognizable for the brand. I didn’t mean for it to happen and I don’t like change a lot so I would just keep braiding my hair and now I can't change it haha. 

What made you want to move out to LA and how has that been so far?

I actually graduated high school early in South Dakota so I could go straight to LA, because it was something I always wanted to do. I knew I wanted to be in music and so I graduated and bounced. I like LA for the scene but I don’t necessarily like living in LA. I mean I have great friends, a sick team, and lots of people there, but I want to live in a forest. If I was going to move anywhere though it would probably be Seattle or maybe Toronto or New York because I like big cities, but I do love nature and the outdoors. 

So you recently toured with K. Flay. How was that and what did you come away with from that tour? Was that your first major road tour? 

I was a fan of hers forever, I fucking love her. When I got the tour I was like “Alright Layne you gotta be on your A game”. But once we got to hang out I realized that she’s one of the coolest people ever. She kind of treats me like an older sister. It was overall a really fun experience, went really smooth and the crew was super awesome. It wasn’t my first road tour, I had done 1 or 2 before but they were smaller, and DIY style.  

Your new EP “Wednesday” came out at the end of last month and has been doing really well,  How was creating and recording this EP?

The EP all together was easier than normal. We made like 15-20 demos and ideas, then widdled it down to the best songs, which originally was 6, but then we decided on 4. The guy I make all my records with, Devin, is also my best friend, so we sat in the room and just made the whole record together.  It was easy and fun. I feel like we finally set what we should sound like and where we should be going and that has taken a really long time to figure that out. So it was different that I was really excited to put this out, because in the past I have been more anxious about it. 

The Fog seems to be the most popular track on the EP, sitting right over 1 million plays on Spotify. What is the meaning behind the track? 

‘Omg’ was actually supposed to be the lead single we we’re pushing, but I kind of always knew the fog would stick out. Its about being in LA. Especially growing up in North Dakota and then moving to LA, you see the people that are purely just latter climbers. The people who will do whatever they need to do to be famous, and none of it is wholesome. There is no realness to them at all. They just climb the latter, they know how to do social media, they know the people to hang out with, you know what I mean? Its bullshit. Its also about the times where A&R’s or different people in the industry have told me shitty things like I need to wear tighter clothes or be sexier…what’s that supposed to do with anything? So overall its just about the shallowness that is going on in music. There is so much realness in music too...but there will always be that sliver of people. 

When you sit down to write a song, what does your creative process look like? Where do you like to keep your writing? 

I start with production, since I grew up playing a lot of instruments. I will throw on a drum loop in Pro Tools and then usually work on chords, unless i’m writing a sad song. Then I will just sit down with my guitar and play. Everything on my tracks minus the drums sometimes, I play. I will produce out an entire idea and then I will take it to Devin and then we will go through what I’ve done and clean it up. I am very into production, everything that happens goes through me. I would never walk away from a song and say do whatever you want. I am very hands-on with all of my music. 

As far as lyrics go sometimes I write them in 30 minutes where i’m crying and writing. Those are usually the best ones too, the ones where I need to write. I don’t even realize what i’m saying but i'll listen to it and be like wow thats dope, I didn’t even realize I said that. But there are times when I produce the beat first and then I need the top line and thats usually harder to write. And I actually don’t write anything down. I will remember it or I will use voice notes.  

Do you feel like being a female in a heavily male dominated music industry makes anything easier/harder for you? 

It sometimes makes things easier surprisingly, but it can make things harder too because people don’t always respect you. Since I grew up playing instruments and in music i’ve been through a lot. For example when I am going to play a show and the sound guys see I play guitar they will think I am just a rhythm guitarist and so I will have to tell them, I will be playing the leads so they need to turn me up. Because they don’t usually expect the girl to be the lead. Also, when I talk in certain production lingo, you’ll have guys be like ohh she thinks she knows what she’s talking about and i'll just be like yeah I do. I have to battle that, but its fun sometimes. I get to be like just because you're a dude doesn’t make you smart.

Through your musical journey what has been the most exciting part? And what are your biggest career goals? 

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The team of people I have around me is the best part. Its so rad because a lot of the people at the level I’m at don’t have that kind of support. I have people that have spent all of their own money and given me all their time to do this. I have a fucking team, that is basically family and a lot of people envy that. As far as goals I want to be able to leave something that’s different. That bands some day will say I want to sound like Layne. Thats how you know you did something different. I just want to keep doing what i’m doing and grow more and increase my production and just keep going bigger. For my ideal live performance, it would still be a 4 piece band but I would change how the room is set up. I want you to walk into an environment, where there are lights all over the room, in the very back and sides, not just on stage. 

Lastly since we’re a music blog we have to ask, what are your top 5 favorite records/artists right now?

Charli XCX , Now, Now, Saint Vincent, Daughter, Hazel English

[FEATURE] 1DAFUL x MIKE ROBIA - GASUP (HAPPY B:DAVE EP)

FEATURE, Music, Original MixErin MaherComment

We have come to the end of our week long feature with 1DAFUL, and today we give you the last track from the Happy B:Dave EP. The Canadian duo link up with young house producer MIke Robia on "GASUP" and deliver a track that has a different sound than what we are used to from 1DAFUL. With all the broad funky grooves and pulsating beats, the deep house flavor switches up their swag, but keeps that fire! You have 24 hours to grab this download HERE!  

Tuesday was David A's b-day, and like any family we're going to celebrate in a special way to show how much we love and appreciate this legend! From May 17 to May 20 we will be releasing a new 1DAFUL song a day for 24 hours, and after that 24 hours they will disappear, and a new one will take it's place! These new songs may or may not resurface sometime in the future, but at least for now .... over the next four days you'll be able to collect each track of the Happy B:Dave EP as a free download! From all of us at Beautiful Buzzz, APEX Management, and your better 1/2 TB1 .... Happy B-day Dave!  

[FEATURE] 1DAFUL - WALKTHRU (HAPPY B:DAVE EP)

FEATURE, Music, Original MixErin MaherComment

The 3rd installment of our week long feature with Canadian duo 1DAFUL has arrived, and "WALKTHRU" has brought life into my chilly NorCal early morning vibes. This hard hitting dance floor gem is one of their favorite songs to play live, and I can definitely see why ... pure fire! Grab that free download HERE

Tuesday was David A's b-day, and like any family we're going to celebrate in a special way to show how much we love and appreciate this legend! From May 17 to May 20 we will be releasing a new 1DAFUL song a day for 24 hours, and after that 24 hours they will disappear, and a new one will take it's place! These new songs may or may not resurface sometime in the future, but at least for now .... over the next four days you'll be able to collect each track of the Happy B:Dave EP as a free download! From all of us at Beautiful Buzzz, APEX Management, and your better 1/2 TB1 .... Happy B-day Dave!

[FEATURE] 1DAFUL - FUNKHAUSER (HAPPY B:DAVE EP)

Music, Original Mix, FEATUREErin MaherComment

If you know anything about Canadian duo 1DAFUL, you know that they are all about breaking the mold from conventional thinking. These guys are so creative and hilarious that they have become one of my favorite artists of the past year - making seriously huge tracks that are always bananas good, while mastering the art of not taking themselves too seriously. Today is Dave's b-day, and like any family we're going to celebrate in a special way to show how much we love and appreciate this legend!

Starting today we will be releasing a new 1DAFUL song a day for 24 hours, and after that 24 hours they will disappear, and a new one will take it's place! These new songs may or may not resurface sometime in the future, but at least for now .... over the next four days you'll be able to collect each track of the Happy B:Dave EP as a free download! I've been given the honor of picking the first track, and this deliciously funky gem "FUNKHAUSER" is pure gold! From all of us at Beautiful Buzzz, APEX Management, and your better 1/2 TB1 .... Happy B-day Dave!    

(LOSS OF A LEGEND) PRINCE - STARE

Music, Original Mix, FEATUREEricComment

While posting on twitter for our latest premiere, I saw the internet bursting over this sad news. It was literally two weeks ago at brunch after our Goldroom show at Mezzanine, Erin and I were talking about the phenomenon that is Prince, and the impact he's had on the industry. Admittedly I didn't fully appreciate the entire depth his incredible catalogue, so I've been reaching deeper into his music since then. To have this terrible news happen now is both extra sad and fitting. While I could post any number of his hits, "Kiss," "Purple Rain," "Little Red Corvette," "Let's Go Crazy," "When Doves Cry," "I Wanna Be Your Lover" I could go on and on. However I thought it fitting that because we're a new music blog I should post something from his most recent, final and 39th studio album "HITnRUN Phase Two," which was released just this last December. 

"Stare" is a perfect harmony of his unfathomable presence in pop, yet also indicative of his mastery of so many other genres namely Funk, Dance, R&B and Rock. "Stare" is a fun, eclectic and of course sexy record featuring an incredible slap bass line, funky guitar and horns. While "Stare" will undoubtedly be overshadowed by many of the other classic tunes from his legacy, I wanted to support a record that I love and one you most likely will not be hearing too much about in the wake of his death. R.I.P.

GET BUZZZED 2016 ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: STOOKI SOUND

FEATURE, Get Buzzzed Artist Spotli, Music, SXSW 2016EricComment

It's almost here!!! Our Get Buzzzed Austin 2016 Showcase starts tomorrow!! Hurry up and get on that RSVP train. Do you want to skip the line?? You can also VIP RSVP details here

In anticipation for this epic event we want you to get to know a few of our fantastic artists. Without further ado we present another chapter of...

THE GET BUZZZED ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Stooki Sound

Q1. How old were you when you first started making music? When did it become serious?

I was 14 when i started making music and Luke was 14 also. I started off producing UK Grime and Dubstep and Luke started off with Hip Hop, which is why our sound evolved into what it is today. Things got serious around the time Ball So Hard dropped, which was in 2012. From there we realised that we really enjoyed producing together and took it further.

Q2. Whether it’s a remix or an original, what is the first step you take when writing a track?

I don't really have a process when it comes to music. I just let it flow and let my creativity and inspiration do its thing. I don't believe in forcing music because it becomes very calculated and formulaic and loses its fluidity/realness. That said, once i know what i want to make i tend to start off with percussion or drums, because i have the most fun with those elements. 

Q3. What is one of the best moments you've had so far in your career?

Touring with Keys N Krates this year was definitely a highlight of our career so far. We've been long time admirers of their music, their talent and the way they conduct themselves so when they asked us to support them on their Midnite Mass bus tour it was an instant yes. It was an amazing tour and we got to play to alot of markets that we haven't been able to go to yet, and generate alot of new supporters. The KnK guys looked after us very well and we became a family on and off the bus. 

Q4. What is another BUZZZworthy artist that inspires you and why?

I'd have to say Mura Masa. I've been talking to Mura now for a while and watched his progression to become one of the most forward thinking and unique artists there is right now, and we have nothing but respect for him. One of my personal favs of his is Lotus Eater. Such an amazing track, check him out

Q5. Of all of your releases, which one is your favorite and why?

I am in love with one of our new tracks from our upcoming EP, but i'll remain tight lipped on that one for now ;) Uppers with Mr.Carmack would have to be our favourite release so far that is out at the moment. The reason i chose Uppers is because it hits so hard, and it goes off anywhere its played. Its really exciting and is a real 'screwface' track. Check it out

GET BUZZZED 2016 ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: VENESSAMICHAELS

FEATURE, Get Buzzzed Artist Spotli, SXSW 2016EricComment

It's quickly approaching! We're now only 6 days away from our Get Buzzzed Austin 2016 Showcase!! If you haven't RSVP'd yet what are you waiting for??

In anticipation for our epic little event we want you to get to know a few of our fantastic artists. Without further ado we present yet another chapter of...

THE GET BUZZZED ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: VenessaMichaels

Listen while your reading! Check out her brand new remix Alex Newell - This Aint Over (VenessaMichaels Remix)

Q1. How old were you when you first started making music? When did it become serious?

 Music was always a huge part of my life. My Mom  put me in piano lessons at 3 y/o, so I was introduced to playing music at a really young age.  Then when I was around 12 I picked up the guitar and started taking classical guitar lessons.  Soon after, I got my old macbook which had GarageBand on it.  I started chopping things up and making "remixes" and then a friend gifted me Logic.  Then things got more real for me.  I never put music down, it was always a hobby for me.  My Mom encouraged me to try DJing and I fell in love.  In between learning on records and spinning on turntables, I was also messing around with Ableton making beats and discovering my sound. I never stopped, and I never wanted to so it was always serious for me. 

Q2. Whether it’s a remix or an original, what is the first step you take when writing a track? 

 Honestly depends on the day!  Remixes are different than originals, because you have the stems and the a capella written for you.  So you just create around the pieces that are already put down for you.  For originals, it's a different story.  Sometimes I'll start with the chords, sometimes I'll start with a beat, or sometimes I'll literally just start with a hook.  Most of the time, I start with a progression and then write to it with an artist who is going to be featured on the track.  Collaborating is a big part of making music IMO.  I really believe music is a vibe thing, so being able to share that with someone else is really important in creating and bringing a song to life.   

Q3. What is one of the best moments you've had so far in your career?

 There's been a lot of incredible moments recently, but so far releasing the music has been really special to me. Being able to share it with the world and having different countries spread the music is wild.  The moments when people are actually listening to what you've created is a beautiful thing.  When I get snapchats and videos of fans and friends listening, dancing and smiling...that hits me the most.

Q4. What is another BUZZZworthy artist that inspires you and why?

The people that inspire me the most are my friends and creatives that I'm surrounded by.  One of my favorites is my good friend, Jonah Christian, he is an eye opening producer who makes beats in a crazy way more like J-Dilla styles.  Him and I have actually made a sample pack together where we just hit random things with all kinds of weird objects so the sounds are unique and special.  Here's one of his tunes:

Q5. Of all of your releases, which one is your favorite and why?

I have to go back in time a year and pick through the 2090 EP.  All of these are so close to my heart, because it really brought everything to life.  Working with Kiana and Tay and making these originals was some of the best times.  Out of these...I'm gonna have to say....this is really hard, but it's in between Touch Me ft. Kiana Lede and I Need That ft. Tay Jasper.  It depends on the mood, but if I wanna feel good and free and jam the f*ck out I'm gonna go with Touch Me. 

GET BUZZZED 2016 ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: STÉLOUSE

Get Buzzzed Artist Spotli, Music, FEATUREEricComment

Coming at ya! We're now only 7 days away from our Get Buzzzed Austin 2016 Showcase!! If you haven't RSVP'd yet what are you waiting for??

In anticipation for this epic event we want you to get to know a few of our fantastic artists. Without further ado we present another chapter of...

THE GET BUZZZED ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: STELOUSE

Q1. How old were you when you first started making music? When did it become serious?

I started playing guitar in elementary school. I think I was about 8 or 9 years old at the time. I playing in bands in high school but didn't get serious until after graduation. I tried going to college but was like 'nope this sucks' so I dropped out and started a band. I got involved in electronic production about 5 years ago. 

Q2. Whether it’s a remix or an original, what is the first step you take when writing a track?

The first step to writing a track is to get inspired and have an idea. Nothing is more counterproductive then sitting there with Ableton open and no inspiration. 

Q3. What is one of the best moments you've had so far in your career?

The recent tour with my friend Prince Fox. Being able to go city to city and see and meet all my fans IRL. To see them react in person to the music. Another big moment would have to be when I first saw video of Bassnectar playing my Doja Cat remix at Summer Camp.

Q4. What is another BUZZZworthy artist that inspires you and why?

MYRNE. He's one of my favorite dudes in the game right now and his production skills are next level. 

Q5. Of all your releases, which one is your favorite and why?

Right now it's my most recent release with my friend MYRNE, "Call Me". It's just a really fun track that we made very quickly, but it really encompasses everything we've both been doing over the last year. Plus I love working with MYRNE, he's such a homie. 

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