Interview: Jose James Checks In Before SummerStage on August 11

 

jose

Before hitting SummerStage this Sunday, August 11, Jose James catches up with us about his relationship to Giant Step, his growth as an artist, and what’s up next.

Giant Step: How would you say Giant Step most influenced your music and/or career?

Jose James: Wow. It’s been so great, thank you guys. The first show was at the Hiro Ballroom in NYC opening for the amazing Alice Russell. Then we started the Brownswood Sessions at Nublu with DJ Moni and Taylor McFerrin. Beautiful times! Giant Step really paved the way for what I do, connecting hip-hop, soul, jazz and DJ culture. The London connection, Gilles Peterson, all that. It’s a global movement to present quality music.

GS: We’ve been with you from the start and it’s been a pleasure to see you progress; how would you say No Beginning No End Jose has evolved from The Dreamer Jose?

JJ: Well, I’m more well traveled. That influences you tremendously. When I made The Dreamer I was still in school and had only been to a couple places outside the US – now I’ve toured in 40 countries and counting. I’m actually in Mexico right now. You meet people and see how your music is loved worldwide and that’s a powerful thing. Now I have worldwide family and a great relationship with my fans. It’s beautiful. Musically I’m more comfortable expressing all the worlds I love – soul, R&B, jazz, rock, blues, gospel, hip-hop – and you can hear that on the new album, and in the collaborations – Robert Glasper, Pino Palladino, Emily King, Hindi Zahra.

GS: And where do you see yourself going next? Any challenges/goals you’re keen on tackling?

JJ: I’d like to reconnect with electronic music. I just dropped an EP on Blue Note with remixes by FaltyDL, Oddisee, fLako, and Taylor McFerrin. I lived in London for a year and went to Plastic People, Fabric, Cargo and met great DJs and producers like Benji B, Benga and Skream, Floating Points. So I miss that and want to do more in that world. I’m working on a new album now for next year called Desire.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump

Remembering The Florida Room As It Closes Its Doors

 

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This week, a very special venue in the hearts of many (including ours) closed its doors for good. The Florida Room in the basement of Delano Hotel in South Beach Florida was a Lenny Kravitz designed venue with the feel of a classic old school night club.

Within its first year of opening, Giant Step starting doing events at The Florida Room and the list became pretty impressive. Many of our events were Miami debuts featuring great artists such as Jose James, Janelle Monae, Melanie Fiona, and Jazmine Sullivan, to name a few.

Watch the video of Questlove and Gilles Peterson at WMC 2010 as Quest toasts Gilles for being one to go down in history – quite timely to share given yesterday’s news.

After the jump, also find videos from De La Soul, The Roots, and Janelle Monae, all doing their thing at a venue that will be greatly missed.

Here’s a partial list of some of our great nights:

June 2008 – Janelle Monae (Miami Debut)
Sept 2008 – Jazmine Sullivan (Miami Debut)
Oct 2008 – Nikka Costa
NYE 2008 – The Roots and Janelle Monae
Jan 2009 – The Florida Room 1st anniversary with De La Soul
WMC 2009 – Pete Rock, Benji B, Wale, Questlove, Melanie Fiona, Taylor McFerrin
NYE 2009 – Common
WMC 2010 – Gilles Peterson and Questlove

So to all our friends in Miami and of course the great staff of this special venue that had the best cocktails in the world – we salute you and all the good times.

More videos from The Florida Room after the jump

Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival Wraps in Sète

 

This past Sunday, Gilles Peterson finished off his crazy amazing 2011 Worldwide Festival in Sète, France with some very happy fans.

Giant Step fan, Riki Drori wrote us some words while at the festival: “Greetings from the best kept secret in the world of music – the Worldwide Festival in Sète at the South of France. Kudos to Gilles Peterson for making it happen again! And thanks to Giant Step for always bringing us the best, most updated music. This is our second year at the Worldwide Festival and it is really a dilemma to write about it online; On one hand you want to give credit to Gilles and his team for making one of the best music festivals, and on the other hand, you want to keep it a secret – because one of the coolest things about this festival is the people that come to it.”

Check out some photos from this year’s festivities on Flickr.

The caliber of talent was a little out of control: Raphael Saadiq, Flying Lotus, Jamie xx, Mount Kimbie, Cut Chemist, Lefto, Simbad, Benji B, Dam Funk, Quantic, Owiny Sigoma Band, and James Blake.

We are anxiously awaiting next year. Yes, already.

Facebook | Twitter | Official Site

Sète: Gilles Peterson’s 2011 Worldwide Festival – July 6-10

 

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Yesterday, our good friend Gilles Peterson kicked off his 2011 Worldwide Festival in Sète, France. The annual festival (July 6-10) boasts an impressive slew of talent only mister Peterson could manage to put together. Just some of the highlights: Raphael Saadiq, Flying Lotus, Jamie xx, Mount Kimbie, Cut Chemist, Lefto, Simbad, Benji B, Dam Funk, Quantic, Owiny Sigoma Band, and James Blake. Seriously, guys? It might be time to book your ticket to France right now.

Facebook | Twitter | Official Site

J Rocc – Some Cold Rock Stuf, “Stay Fresh” Video + “Play This Too” MP3

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J Rocc (of The Beat Junkies fame and Stones Throw family) is dropping hot mixes all over, which is nothing new, but now it’s all about his new album Some Cold Rock Stuf. Above is a great video for “Stay Fresh,” shot by Mayer Hawthorne on his iPhone and edited on the flight back to LA. (budget? what’s a budget?) Below, grab another track from the album for download, “Play This Too” and check out J Rocc’s special with Benji B on BBC’s Radio1.

And if you’re the kinda fan that loves rare merch, check here to get even more J Rocc goodies, including ‘mystery discs’ and posters of the artwork by Jeff Jank, the artist responsible for the indie hip-hop label’s distinctive look.

Buy Some Cold Rock Stuf on iTunes | Amazon | ST Store (Vinyl)

J Rocc – Play This Too by stonesthrow


Exploring Future Beats: J Rocc previews Some Cold Rock Stuf on BBC Radio 1 by stonesthrow