Next Step September Winner: Tall Black Guy Productions

 

We are thrilled to announce our September Next Step Artist Spotlight contest winner! In previous months, we highlighted vocalists Tara Priya and Iman Williams, and this month we have an incredibly talented producer on deck. Congratulations to the Detroit based Tall Black Guy Productions!

Raised on Motown, jazz, and classic hip-hop, the Detroit bred artist eventually made his way to Chicago where he basically owned at a number of beat battles, including Red Bull’s famed Big Tune. Of late, he’s been piling on the accolades with loads of love from Gilles Peterson (including a slot on the most recent Brownswood Bubblers project) to creating the soundtrack for the prestigious Roy Ayers Project trailers.

Below, we have a couple exclusive free downloads – “Sweet Europe,” which dropped a week and a half ago and “The Special,” which we are proud to premiere for you. After that, you’ll find purchase links for two of Tall Black Guy’s most recent projects, one of which is an adaptation of a popular Fela Kuti tune! This guy is outputting greatness like fire – can’t wait for more.

Tall Black Guy Productions – “Sweet Europe” [MP3]
 

Tall Black Guy Productions – “The Special” [MP3]
 

Purchase Tall Black Guy & The Primeridian – Darling Lure on iTunes | Amazon

Purchase Tall Black Guy – Water No Enemy 7″ on Crosstalk

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Next Step August Winner: Iman Williams

 

Congratulations to Iman Williams for being this month’s Next Step winner!

The Alabama bred and Atlanta based neo-soul songstress Iman Williams is in fact known to many as a visual artist. That said, she’s managed to keep a healthy balance between her two passions and develop both.

Her vocal style/mood might be reminiscent of Seattle based Choklate to some. But Iman’s music is spacier and more experimental than Choklate’s, which then reminds us of Erykah Badu’s approach to her music – a quirky playtime in the musical sandbox. And yet still, Iman remains a brand of her own and we are so excited to get to share this gem of an artist with you.

Late last year, Iman release an album entitled Stupid Human Trick on Bandcamp. Within the last several months, she’s also released a handful of remixes for free download (check out her Soundcloud). There’s sure plenty of material to keep us busy for a while, but we won’t lie – we are super excited to see how Iman evolves next. And no fear, she tells us another project called Cotton will soon be underway and release sometime in 2012!

Below, we have two exclusive free downloads for the Giant Step community: “Float Away” and “Before.” After that, find a full stream of Iman’s most recent album, Stupid Human Trick, and be sure you don’t miss our favorite tracks – “All This Time (Down and Out)” and “Ordinary Love.”

Iman Williams – “Float Away” (Neo Soul Lumberjack Remix) [MP3]
 

Iman Williams – “Before” ft. Bobby Blunt [MP3]
 

Purchase Stupid Human Trick on Bandcamp

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Next Step Artist Spotlight Contest: Accepting August Entries!

 

Last month, we premiered our monthly Next Step contest, which is aimed to highlight up and coming musical talent. The winner will receive an “Artist Spotlight” feature post on the Giant Step website, and up to $1,000 in Giant Step Marketing services! Last month’s winner was LA-based retro songstress, Tara Priya.

This month, we will begin accepting submissions on the 1st and close submissions on the 15th. That said, we are now open for August entries!

Submit your music for consideration!

Next Step Artist Spotlight: Tara Priya

 

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We’ve selected a winner for our Next Step Artist Spotlight Contest – congratulations to Tara Priya!

LA-based Tara Priya is really on a roll. The retro-soul singer/songwriter hailing from San Francisco has already been awarded several honors, including winning Billboard’s Annual Song Contest earlier this year. Beginning piano and poetry at age four, opera training at age eleven, and jazz training in high school, it’s clear that Tara has had her eyes on the prize for a long time. In fact, she breezed through undergrad at Columbia in two-and-a-half years, just so she could focus on her music full-time as soon as possible.

Since graduating, Tara returned to California and released her self-titlted debut EP in September 2010, which you can stream in full below. Make sure to take a listen to our favorite track, “Memories.” Above, you’ll find her adorable video for the infectious “Rollin,” which released last month. If you like Nikki & Rich, Tara may well be right up your alley.

We caught up with Tara over email and looks like she’s busy working on a second EP for this fall! Also, keep your eyes peeled for tour dates in LA, SF, and NYC! Tara’s current tour dates can be found after the jump.

Thanks everyone for your submissions! Heads up that round two of Next Step will be announced in a couple weeks along with some tweaks to the rules and an additional prize!

Tara Priya: the EP by TaraPriya

Purchase Tara Priya EP on iTunes | Amazon

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Tour dates after the jump