Next Step July Winner: Sean Haefeli


Hella excited about this July Next Step winner of ours! Berlin based pianist, vocalist, lyricist, and composer Sean Haefeli mesmerized us with his vocal jazz that’s sprinkled with welcome notes of Jose James and Gil Scott-Heron.

Others have referenced Last Poets, Roberta Flack, Michael Franti, Bobby McFerrin, and Gregory Porter when speaking about his music. Looks like dude has a pretty fail proof thing going on as far as many are concerned.

Sean’s sound blends jazz, soul, hip hop, and spoken word to birth warm, honest, and intimate music perfect for cozying up to as winter approaches. RISE marks his third album, which similar to his previous two, is self-produced and released. Below, you can stream the entire album and also download the title track for free!

Touring will begin in late October through November of this year. On, November 16 catch a special performance on Mijke’s Middag Live on Dutch radio station Radio 6.

Facebook | Twitter | Official Site

Video: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80′s “Rise” + US Tour Dates

Leading up to the June 21st release of his new album From Africa With Fury: Rise, Seun Anikulapo Kuti, the prodigious son of legend Fela Kuti, brings to us his video for the single “Rise”. As if the title of the video wasn’t already clear enough, Seun immediately lets us know that his message is a powerful one by staring directly at the camera proclaiming, “Our stomachs are still empty.” Directors Juliet Rios & Gabe Imlay do a great job of capturing Seun and his dancers as they flex their Afrobeat performance chops.

Seun also announced his US Tour dates for this summer, backed by his band Egypt 80, the combo first fronted by his renowned father.

More Info + Streams on From Africa With Fury: Rise

Official Seun Kuti Site | Facebook | Myspace

Click to see US Tour Dates

Producer Of Massive Attack’s Blue Lines And Unsung Innovator Of Trip Hop Dies

On May 29, Jonny Sharp, better known as Jonny Dollar – the producer behind Massive Attack’s Blue Lines and Gabrielle‘s triple-platinum album Rise – died of cancer at the Royal Marsden hospital.

Polydor president Ferdy Unger-Hamilton recounted to Music Week, “I knew Jonny from his work with Neneh Cherry; he co-produced a lot of her work with Cameron McVey and Massive Attack. He also produced Blue Lines. ‘Buffalo Stance’ and ‘Man Child’…had a profound effect on me when I was about 14. And when I first heard ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ – like everybody else who heard it, I don’t think I could really believe what I was hearing.” Ferdy continued that Jonny was, “as committed and driven a producer as I’ve ever met, I literally had to take the tracks by force back off him, he was so determined to make them perfect. He was as tough artistically as he was gentle a person.”

Dollar is survived by wife, Harriet, and his four children.  A private family funeral in Cornwall will be held, followed by a memorial service in London. He was 45.