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Calling all music lovers! If you are looking for an eccentric sound among the wave of alternative pop and R&B in the Muncie area, look no further than May’s Artist of the Month: Imani. On April 26, I had the chance to interview this Ball State University student. His potential was palpable through the screen of our Zoom call. He wore a pink hoodie and much like the color; he exuded a vibrant and chill demeanor. As a first-generation American, born to Jamaican immigrants, he reflects on music's important role in his life. He grew up listening to reggae, dancehall, R&B, and gospel. He traded in his old stomping ground of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, full of palm trees and balmy weather, for the four-season state of Indiana to study musical theater.
In honor of Women’s History Month, several of Byte’s feature writers have compiled a group of groundbreaking female artists that have impacted the music scene in profound and exciting ways. These artists push the envelope and dare to create within a traditionally male dominated-industry.
One voice. One mic. One woman. The daughter of a revered background vocalist for Elvis Presley, Cissy Houston, and the cousin of Dionne Warwick was inevitably destined for a career in the music business. But I don’t think the future Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee could have imagined selling over 200 million records worldwide and becoming the blueprint for singers to emulate everywhere. She is a success story that numerous trivial biopics and documentaries fail to display. This month marks the 10th anniversary of the death of the megastar, and in her honor, I have chosen to remember the life of the woman simply known as “The Voice”: Whitney Houston.
Music is a universal language. Of its many genres, one sticks out among the rest: jazz. The sound is crisp, coolness personified. Jazz was created by Black Americans in New Orleans, Louisiana’s red-light district in the 1920s. It quickly became the ambient art form of its time. Jazz is a mix of ragtime and blues that pulls from African, Latin, and European influences. The 369th Regiment Army Band led by composer James Reese Europe in the Harlem HellIfighters are credited for spreading the new cultural expression internationally.
What is Christmastime without music? Holiday music allows families and friends a chance to relax and enjoy "the most wonderful time of the year.” Below I have compiled a list of 10 underrated Christmas songs, both original and covered, that may exceed your expectations just in time for the holidays. If you are looking for the Queen of Christmas herself, Mrs. Mariah Carey, you will not find her on this list. Instead, I have opted to share the spotlight with tunes that have missed their kiss under the mistletoe.
The 1970s are back, decked out in large Bourbon-colored sunglasses, revere collars, Embassy cigarettes, and crushed velvet suits. I absolutely love it! In a world where rap has become the number one musical export, many are left asking where’s the “real R&B” music in 2021? Where did music with instruments, captivating vocal performances, and heart-wrenching climaxes go? Contrary to popular belief it never left. The existence of Childish Gambino, The Internet, Janelle Monae, H.E.R., Kali Uchis, and Miguel are a testament to the modern R&B scene. In March 2021 there was a fortuitous attempt to make R&B mainstream again, thus giving birth to November’s Artist of the Month: Silk Sonic.
The "It boy" of the 90s was a Hollywood bombshell with an upturned button nose, long blond bowl cut, and sparkling blue eyes. His name was River Phoenix. This teen heartthrob was known for his down-to-earth personality paired with a striking appearance.
TikTok has become a platform not only for privileged kids to make mediocre dance videos, but also a launching pad for lesser-known artists—or in this case virtually unknown artists—to get their music to the public. For PinkPantheress it has created a huge boost in her very early career this year. What was first a 10-second clip from fashion TikToks, became PinkPantheress’ breakout single “Break It Off.” She eventually released the full version in March 2021 which has amassed over 6 million streams on SoundCloud. Subsequently, she released a series of singles including “Just for me,” “Pain,” and “Just a waste,” and worked with Grammy-nominated artist GoldLink on the song, “Evian” from his fourth project, HARAM!. After a feature and a couple of great dance tracks, myself and her 10 million monthly Spotify listeners were left yearning for more music. Our prayers were finally answered when PinkPantheress released her debut mixtape to hell with it.