Busking, also called street performance, is the act of playing in public for donations. The tradition goes back to ancient history and has launched the careers of artists Robin Williams, Ed Sheeran, and Sheryl Crow. Nahre Sol visits the amazing musicians of the New York City subway to learn about why they busk. Later she gets tips from the pro buskers and attempts busking herself with her friend.
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Dubstep came from UK garage music in the 90's, influenced by the syncopation of 2-step and the bass and reverb of Jamaican dub. What started off in London as an underground scene, became the soundtrack for popculture in the 2010's. So how did dubstep become mainstream, and where did it go? LA Buckner researches the roots of dubstep. Everything from Skrillex to Skream, Benga, and Burial.
K-Pop has become a global phenomenon. While K-Pop may seem like traditional pop music, it's actually more complex. It borrows from a variety of genres like R&B, EDM, and Hip-Hop while maintaining it's own distinct sound. Nahre Sol investigates why K-Pop is different from other styles of Pop music, speaks to K-Pop producer and songwriter David Amber and attempts to create her own K-Pop track.
The electro-funk style known as the Minneapolis Sound took over pop music in the 1980s and 90s. LA is in Minneapolis to meet with Jellybean Johnson of the Minneapolis Sound pioneering band, The Time, to find out how Prince and artists like Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis developed the sound. Jellybean also helps LA create his own Minneapolis-style original composition.
Bachata music comes from the Dominican Republic in the 1960's but thanks to newer acts like Romeo Santos and Aventura, has blown up internationally. We visited the Mexican-American band La Santa Cecilia to learn how they mix latin genres with pop and rock. Join Nahre in learning about this distinctly latin rhythm as she attempts to create her own bachata fusion song.
Bach, Mozart, Clara Schumann and Chopin all improvised as part of their performances. Today, classical musicians rarely improvise. So what changed? Nahre Sol and LA Buckner improvise together while talking about the reasons why classical musicians no longer improvise. It's one big jam, that ends with tips on how to improvise better in your own playing.
LA and Nahre travel to Chicago, the birthplace of gospel music. There they meet gospel artist, Donald Lawrence and LA introduces Nahre to drum shed culture at a shed session on the south side. Later LA travels to Orlando to meet singer Tye Tribbett at his church. They talk about the shared exchange between secular and non secular music.
We explore where the blues came from and how it went on to influence many modern genres of music. From Delta Blues pioneers like Robert Johnson and Son House to Chicago Blues icons like Muddy Waters and B.B. King. We breakdown how this genre can be heard in everything from heavy metal to country music. Later Nahre and LA take the elements of the blues to create their own unique track.
Canadian DJ collective A Tribe Called Red combine Native American drum circle sounds with electronic music to create Electric Pow wow. Nahre Sol travels to Toronto to meet A Tribe Called Red to learn how they blend native sounds and electronic music. LA Buckner meets with Iron Boy drum circle in Minnesota to watch a live performance and learn about their sound.
For our episode on music criticism we spoke to Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop about the purpose of music criticism in today's digital world. We also broke down how to get a 10/10 from The Needle Drop by breaking down 7 qualities he gives praise to in each of his 10/10 reviews. Lastly, LA, Nahre, and Fantano flip the script and create their own song for you to review in the comments.
We broke down every song in the Billboard top five from the last two years and found some interesting trends. LA and Nahre try to write the next Billboard chart-topper with the help of Singer/Songwriter Tinzo and a whole lotta stats.
The banjo was, at one time, the most popular instrument in America, with tens of thousands manufactured and sold between 1910 and 1930. Nahre talks to Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn to discover the origins of the banjo as an African and Middle Eastern instrument.
Today goth is a subculture popularized by movies like the Addams Family or the fashion of Billie Eillish, but where did this scene originate? Many agree that the sound of goth rock came from post punk in the late 1970's with bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus and Joy Division. Nahre and LA put on their dark clothes, discover the true roots to goth music and fashion.
Three 6 Mafia are a Memphis based group that created the building blocks for the trap sound. Though trap music came from Atlanta, the sound originates from other earlier down south hip-hop genres like crunk, miami bass, bounce, and chopped & screwed. Nahre and LA explore how Three 6 Mafia's sound influences modern rap music and later make their own crunk inspired beat.
You’re probably familiar with New York’s underground ballroom scene through Madonna’s Vogue or films like Paris is Burning. This subculture has been recognized for creating the inventive dance style voguing, but they’ve also created a music genre that’s all their own.
Adam Neely joined LA and Nahre in the studio for an improvised jam session. Adam comes from a jazz and rock background, while Nahre comes from a classical background, and LA comes from a gospel and r&b background. Together they talk about the differences in how they approach music.
The songs of Disney musicals do more work than you might think. Under all that fairy dust and sparkle, there are techniques songwriters use to make sure Disney musicals keep the story moving.
LA Buckner and Nahre Sol unlock the magic of Disney musicals and with the help of Alexandra Smither, try to write the next Disney hit song.
"Weird Al" Yankovic might be the first person to come to mind when you think of parody music, but did you know that composers like Bach, Mozart, and Satie have been parodying each other's work for centuries?
Kacey Musgraves won the Album of the Year award at the 2019 Grammys, becoming only the 4th country album to ever win that award. Two of the producers of the album, Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian, talk to us about how they and Kacey were able to make such a crossover success.