New Track: Maya Azucena – “Fearless” + the MAZU Collection for BeadforLife

 

Fearless Cover Art_low550

Artist and activist Maya Azucena releases her latest soul-rousing single “Fearless” today having premiered the stream on Essence.com last week. Inspired by the woman’s warrior spirit and a tribute to the women of BeadforLife in Uganda, the song also celebrates the launch of the MAZU Collection, Azucena’s signature line of handmade jewelry in collaboration with BeadforLife. The Davido produced track is available now on iTunes.

BeadforLife’s first signature line of its kind, the MAZU Collection features pieces Azucena helped design using traditional, Ugandan recycled paper beads. Each individual bead is hand-rolled by women in Uganda and the proceeds from jewelry sales empower these women to create sustainable businesses, leaving poverty behind. The line helps to drive BeadforLife’s mission forward, to eradicate poverty and to empower women worldwide.

To purchase pieces from the MAZU Collection and learn more about BeadforLife, please visit here.

Photo credit: Rae Maxwell

ABSOLUT X Design Contest (Submit by Feb 5)

 

Calling all artists and designers for an opportunity to have your work featured in an upcoming ABSOLUT Vodka event campaign!

With the their new ABSOLUT X event series, ABSOLUT Vodka is bringing together music, art, and mixology to create exceptional experiences that’ll surely be worth writing home about.

After kicking off in Chicago last November with a collaboration between Brooklyn band Holy Ghost!, visual artist Nick Cave and mixologist Lynn House, ABSOLUT is bringing you more events in 2013.

Visual artists are now being called on to offer their vision for an ABSOLUT X poster design focused on their city of choice that will host ABSOLUT X: Miami, Austin, Las Vegas, New York or Philadelphia. Per the contest website: “Designers should take inspiration from art, music OR cocktails and should illustrate what symbolizes and/or defines creativity in their selected city.”

The five winning designs will be featured as official posters for one of the five ABSOLUT X events. Each winner will also receive $1000 along with a couple other exciting bonuses.

There will also be a People’s Choice segment where fans will get to vote on a winner.

Submit by: February 5, 2013
Vote: February 6, 2013, 10am PST – February 12, 2013, 10am PST
Winners Announced: February 27, 2013

For more details visit the ABSOLUT X contest site.

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Exclusive Interview: See Sza Blossom

 

by Andrea K. Castillo

Her voice is sweet and her lyrics are filled with emotion. Her music digs deeper than the surface, and is crafted with precision. Her name is Sza and she is here to share her music and herself to the world. Take a glimpse inside her mind in this interview with Giant Step contributor, Andrea K. Castillo.

I first became familiar with your EP through Giant Step and I immediately downloaded, and I listened, and listened, and thought, “Wow, this is really great! Let me learn more about this girl.” So I read all your press stuff and decided to do an interview, so here it is. We’re in the time of Sza. Your EP, See Sza Run, has been out for a few weeks now, tell me a little bit about the process, I know you worked with a bunch of different producers, how was that experience?

Sza: Super. A lot of these happened by chance. You’d be surprised at how any people don’t give you beats or don’t give you permission for anything, so I pretty much stole three-quarters of my project. Once they [the producers] heard it, they weren’t as angry with me. It was definitely interesting, I was like “That sounds good, MINE!”, and just ran with it.

So it’s seven tracks, and when listening it is very atmospheric and I can see what you are talking about. It’s a little dark, but I like that, and your lyrics are very refined. How long have you been writing?

Sza: That’s a really good question. I’ve been a writer, prior to singing or anything, for a very long time. That was my strong suit. Even in high school I was in AP English…writing is my thing. I’m a serious reader and heavily into poetry, so before I even opened my mouth and thought “Maybe I should try to translate this into something, it’s crowded in here”, I had to find a way to get these thoughts out of my brain.

You paint a picture with your words, and in regards to your visuals, I noticed across the board there are a lot of flowers; the album artwork, the music videos. Can you tell us more about your choice to use floral imagery in your work?

Sza: My mom was somewhat of a botanist, so gardening, plant life, that’s all her sh*t, and my dad was super into science. I went to school for science, so I love plant life and wild life. Knowing a lot about flowers and what they represent and the energy they bring…I use a lot of tiger lilies in my work because they used to grow in my backyard all the time; those are my favorite, they’re so pretty.

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Read the rest of the interview after the jump

Video: Kendra Morris – “Pow”

 

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Kendra Morris gets her Amy Winehouse on something heavy and we aren’t mad at it. “Pow,” like many of Winehouse’s songs, tells a story of a manipulative and destructive relationship that she just can’t seem to cut herself loose from. The song is off her debut album, Banshee, and the video features animations James Works who did the famed animation for “Lightworks” by Dilla.

Gonna be a problem trying to get this one out of our head!

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