Tag Archives: Arts

Check It Out: Kellee Maize

I’d like to introduce you to an up & coming female rapper from right here in Pittsburgh! Her name’s Kellee Maize, and without being signed, she’s managed to captivate a following with over 400,000 album downloads and a #1 spot on Amazon.com.

Check out this video and learn a bit about Kellee by reading her own words below:

My mom always said, I “was dancing and singing before she could walk and talk.” I began to rap and perform at a young age to entertain myself and escape reality. My childhood best friend helped me form my first rap group called Thunder and Lightning at age 9.  We mostly just argued about who was Thunder and who was Lightning, but we did record a few cassettes and give them to our parents with our pictures on them.   

Despite incredibly loving parents who I would die for, I always had a bit of an “alien” mentality as I was only one of two people I knew until age 18 that was adopted. To this day, I know very little about my biological family.  This has always had a very deep effect on who I am and how I deal with life.  However, I feel like it was part of the plan and feel blessed to be a Maize.

I moved to Pittsburgh in my teens with the dream of making an impact on the world. I just felt drawn to the city, like there was something waiting for me here. I learned more about the negative sides of our society through study at the University of Pittsburgh. At that time, Hip Hop was solidified as my passion and outlet for activism. I also experienced watching my mom go through a vicious near death bout with cancer and used writing as a means to cope. I began singing and rapping on stage in 2000 and have not stopped since.

However, a sense of not being able to make any real change, a lack of confidence, and a lack of financial stability pushed me into the workforce full-time and on a spiritual journey. This period of my life proved to be a unique opportunity to grow, become inspired and learn the industry. I worked at the Pittsburgh City Paper right after college where I helped a lot of local artists, planned events and learned all about being a promoter.  I eventually became the Events and Promotions Director, but then the sudden death of my father during this time changed everything. After my dad passed and my birth mom was not responding to my attempts to connect with her, I again turned to music as a way to cope. I also turned to work and my interest in bringing women together as a way to deal with my father’s death.

I founded a female owned and operated, socially conscious company, Nakturnal. I founded Nakturnal in hopes of helping woman work together in pursuit of their dreams and because I learned through spiritual study that when women gather, the world will heal.  It is a prophetic message almost every indigenous culture stands behind as well as many major religions.  I also felt like it was time to secure a better income to be able to help my mom in the future.  She is employed at a factory in my home town and it is my dream to be able to get her involved in some aspect of my business so she doesn’t have to work so hard.  

For over two years now, Nakturnal has been considered a leading marketing and events organization in the the area. We work daily to inspire women, help independent artists and raise awareness for worthy causes. We have been expanding nationally. In the meantime, I found more time to record and perform, and released my first album, Age of Feminine with the help of DJ Huggy. I released my second album, Aligned Archetype, nationally on January 29th, 2010. This album highlights my mystical side and brings together my other musical passions including dubstep, house, reggae, Bmore club, R&B and of course Hip Hop. It is a concept album that is was inspired by a tarot card reading. I consider myself a spiritual person and now see activism on an energetic level that starts within so I work on my SELF daily. I study the power of intention, meditation, yoga, quantum physics,astrology, tarot and other forms of mysticism. I feel my outer purpose in life is to make music that sends out good energy that speaks to the soul of the listener. I believe massive global change is coming and that it starts with the individual. I feels Pittsburgh, my home, is a focal point in this planetary change and that women and female energy in men and women will help us enter a new stage.

I feel that our inner world is a mirror of our outer reality. We have the power to help positively affect the world by “being the change we wish to see,” as Ghandi puts it. While this can be incredibly challenging given our human tendencies and emotions, I believe we are entering a new stage of evolution in human consciousness and hope that in the same way I am affected daily by artists and musicians that my music inspires change and awareness in the listener. I feel all people have special gift that will be a piece in the puzzle and that we are all made of the same energy and therefore are really all one. I know deep down that music and art will usher in the peaceful revolution we need from our current fear stricken society. I feel we can enjoy this time/space reality while opening hearts and minds and creating lasting change.

 Click here to listen/download: Kellee Maize’s “Hasta Abajo”

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2011: Top 100 Artists on the Verge

These are the artists in America most ready to break for 2011. These artists have built a strong base for themselves in the areas of ticket sales, music sales, video views, music listens, and social media attention. In addition, the New Music Seminar music committee has recognized criteria including quality and uniqueness of songs, recordings and live show as well as the artists’ image/statement. Which ones do you already know and love?

Abe Vigoda
Allie Moss
Amber Rubarth
Avey Tare
Black Metal Box
Bop Skizzum
Cold Cave
Dark Dark Dark
Das Racist
Devil To Pay
Emilio Rojas
Emily Wells
Faded Paper Figures
Fitz and The Tantrums
Francis and The Lights
Gaby Moreno
Gentlemen Hall
Get Busy Committee
Go Periscope
Hey Marseilles
Holly Conlan
Jarrod Gorbel
Jes Hudak
Jesse Boykins III
Jesse Idol
John Regan
Jon Connor
Kari Kimmel
Kat Edmonson
Kate Tucker
Katie Cole
Keep Me Conscious
Kendrick Lamar
Kevin Ross
Kurt Rosenwinkel
Lady Lamb Beekeeper
Leftover Cuties
Light Asylum
LoveSick Radio
Marcus Strickland
Marina V
Marnie Stern
Mary Magdalan
Matthew Ebel
Mieka Pauley
Mike Del Rio
My Dear Disco
Nick Javas
Nylon Pink
Oneohtrix Point Never
Pepper Rabbit
Perfume Genius
Phil Adé
Red Molly
Reef The Lost Cauze
Shane Alexander
Shayna Zaid And The Catch
Shinobi Ninja
Skylar Grey
Smoke DZA
Stars Go Dim
Teengirl Fantasy
The Astronomical Kid
The Black and White Years
The Daylights
The Ferocious Few
The Gaslamp Killer
The Kicks
The Kid Daytona
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Thee Oh Sees
Time and Distance
Toro Y Moi
Trash Talk
Tu Fawning
Twin Sister
Tyler, The Creator
Wild Nothing
Young Widows
Zoe Keating 

The NMS Artist on the Verge Top 100 is compiled based on analytics both online and traditional. Factors considered include: music sales (physical and digital) ticket sales, frequency of gigs, touring history, merchandise sales, media (both online and print), social media activity, online buzz and other factors as determined by the NMS Music Committee.

Artists are further evaluated by using an arsenal of analytics from NMS Partners: BigChampagne, Next Big Sound, ReverbNation and OurStage; music industry experts and tastemakers. From this collected data, the NMS Music Committee selects The Artists on the Verge Top 100, which are listed alphabetically, regardless of genre.

The Artist on the Verge Project is a closed process and solicitations are never accepted or considered. The NMS Artist on the Verge Project is NOT an open contest for artists to submit their music to NMS like other contests, which are subjective in nature. NMS does not charge artists to enter or to be selected.

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February’s New Music Seminar Held In LA

The New Music Seminar has generated huge buzz as one of the new key future of music industry events to attend. The next scheduled multi-day conference is hitting LA on February 14th through 16th, 2011 (the day after the Grammys). NMS NYC sold out this summer with a hot red carpet events and tons of talent/artists involved.  This upcoming LA event promises to be nothing less than stellar. The kickoff red carpet event, The After Grammy Jammy (the NMS Opening Night Party), will be held at The Music Box in Hollywood on Monday night, February 14th with the “Artist on the Verge Finals”, which selects one artist who will walk away with over $50K in promotion and marketing, Tuesday, February 15th at The Roxy. 

NMS founder Tom Silverman explains;

“The New Music Seminar is the epicenter of a new movement. The NMS is the creative crucible where new ideas are hatched and new collaborations formed.  The New Music Seminar is a meeting of the architects of the next music business; the creators, the investors, the technological visionaries, those for whom music is a passion that they cannot do without.”

Media partners and sponsors include: The Recording Academy, Grammy Museum, LA Weekly, Music Connection, Digital Music News, Reverbnation, KCRW, Indie 103.1, MySpace Music, Hypebot, IndiePower, Gibson, Filter Magazine, Soundexchange and a host of other new technology and traditional music and entertainment companies.

For NMS tickets please go to http://www.NewMusicSeminar.com. Register by November 26th and receive early discount price of $175.  All registered delegates prior to November 26th will have a chance to win two tickets to the Grammys on Sunday, February 13th.  NMS also is offering registered delegates a room rate of $169 plus tax at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, where all the networking will take place all day and night and will be the place to meet your next business partners.  All registrations and reservations are available by going to http://www.NewMusicSeminar.com

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