Sunday, April 19, 2015

Interview Exclusive: Tra Da Hustle King

Atlanta's Tra Da Hustle King is back and he has dropped the club banger of the season with Big Boy Ballin'. Tra plans on taking 2015 by storm with a new album including more hip hop bangers to ride out to this summer. Jamsterdam caught up with Tra to talk about Big Boy Ballin' and the origins of the seasoned rap game vet.

JR: How long have you been an artist and what got you started in the game?

TRA: Man, I'd rather not say, I have been a part of the music biz longer than some of these artist have been alive.

JR: That's a long time...

TRA: I started real young like 13 yrs old, got in the game at 17, my first tour was Luke, Jt Money, H Town and UNLV. I had the chance to tour with Biggie and Jr. Mafia on the Jr. Mafia promo tour with Big Beat Records. I've been signed to Sony records in 1999 with Organized Thuggs, I went on the Jay Z & 50 Cent roc the mic tour and performed at countless after parties. I've done a lot man, toured with Mc Breed, 8Ball & MJG, The Hard Boys, 3 6 mafia, Skinny Pimp, JT Money, DTP and others. I've worked behind the scenes for Suave House, Power/Triad records, Def Jam south, 40th street records, Big Kat records and my own label Street Hustle Music Group & AFG Muzic. I'm true to this.

JR: Who were your first influences and which artists do you credit for your work?

TRA: My first influences really would be like LL cool J, Uncle Luke, EPMD, Big Daddy Kane, JT Money, Geto Boys, NWA, Easy E, 2PAC, Too Short, *8 Ball & MJG and my homie MC Breed. JT Money, Too Short, & Geto Boys, Mr Scarface was one of the ones that made me want to rap. Watching yo MTV Raps, seeing the videos just made me want to be apart of rap.

JR: Who are you currently listening to and who would you want to colab with?

TRA: I don't listen to rap that heavy, not new rap, I find stuff late after a lot of people have died down, i listen to mostly old rap CDs like 8 ball & MJG, Scarface, NWA, Too Short, Ghetto Mafia, Old Yo Hotti Cocaine Muzik 1, n 2, old JT Money, Dr Dre. New music, I listen to artists that have been around, Ed Sheeran, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, 2 chainz, Adel, Kevin Gates, Drake, Wayne, Rich Homie Quan, Gucci Mane. I think if I had a chance, I would like to rock with Yo Gotti, 2 chainz.

JR: That is quite the list, listening to a wide range of artists would make one more versatile. Which ingredient would u say defines Tra Da Hustle King as unique?

TRA: I'm just me, I don't go with the hype of whats out there now, I record what I feel and how I'm feeling at the moment. I used to sell a lot of records in Japan, and other countries as Slick Tra and with Organized Thuggs. The thing I like about overseas markets is that if they like the music they like it, they don't care if you're G Unit, Young Money, Def Jam, Snoop dog or what. If they like it they like it and they will buy it. So that always made me do me. A lot of southern music have that same sound but a lot of guys got they own lane, 2 Chainz, Young Dolph, Migos, Yo Gotti, Bossie, Piles, Bankroll Fresh, Rich Homie Quan, the new homie Lil Donald, Joe Green - its a lot of us man, but everyone brings something different. I got that OG shit, that straight out Decatur ride music, real stories and concepts.

JR: "Big Boy Ballin'" recently hit number 1 on the Jamsterdam charts. What does it mean to be "Big Boy Ballin"?

TRA: To BIG BOY BALL is to go out to the club or an event and everything you do that night you do it BIG, from the time you walk in the mall to get the flyest outfit for the night, to what you eat, how many bottles you buy. It's going straight in the club through VIP, straight to the VIP, living life that night like you just signed a 100 million dollar contract with an NBA team, BIG BOY BALLIN'. Its NBA, NFL type ballin'.

JR: Like going all out, balls to the wall, makin' it rain.....

TRA: You know when Kevin Hart says he can't hangout with his ball playing friends like D Wade, because they would go in the club ball out spend $36,000 dollars in one night in VIP, and then the next day they call you and say GUESS WHAT we gone do that shit again tomorrow, and u say wait, wait wait, see the way my bank account is set up see, haha! now that's BIG BOY BALLIN!!!

JR: Awesome! Which came first? The lyrics or the beat?

TRA: The beat, my homie Ditty Beatz sent me the track and i rolled around like 3 or 4 days just listening and i just kept saying "standing in the VIP, BIG BOY BALLIN" and it stuck. I wrote the song in my head while riding around Atlanta, and then went home and wrote it down. We recorded it three days later.

JR: Now thats a quick turnaround for a banger like Big Boy Ballin'. Where are you currently distributing "Big Boy Ballin" and where can listeners go to get the track?

TRA: Right now they can get it off Soundcloud or reverbnation. We finishing up the album and you def will be able to get it off of ITunes.

JR: So you are dropping an album in 2015?

TRA: I got a new full street album due out mid May 2015 titled "DA HEART OF DA HUSTLE", 14 bangin songs to ride to, We will be hitting the road touring and promoting in cities all over the US, and building the overseas market back up. Just follow on twitter & IG @tradahustleking to keep up.

JR: Looking forward to the release, any Shout-outs?

TRA: Just like to shout out my team AFG Muzic, 404 Money Gang, My right hand man Tony Hill, my partna Simpal, T Lewis, Lofat, Deon (CCR), Theo, Joe Smart thanks alot lil bro, ditty beatz, track slammers, ID Beatz, Dj Tecfury, Tha Carter, Norma, and all the Djs thats showing me love on this project also thanks Jay at Jamsterdam for the love.

Tune in nightly from 9pm to midnight eastern standard time for "Rap By Night" to hear more from Tra Da Hustle King. Do you have music to be heard? Send in your music to to be heard on Jamsterdam Radio.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Bright Light Social Hour

After stumbling into the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on a random Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of witnessing a stellar performance from psychedelic rockers The Bright Light Social Hour. The vibe was cool, crowd was pumped and my expectations were minimal but I was surprisingly gravitated to this band from Austin, Texas and thought they were more than worthy for a mention on Jamsterdam Radio.
Questions bring art to life. Songs can still ponder socio-political issues, the fragility and isolation of the human condition, and what lies ahead for earth. Moreover, music possesses the potential and gravitas to incite change, while reflecting the world’s faults and follies. The Bright Light Social Hour contemplate a “Future South” on their second full-length album, Space Is Still the Place [Frenchkiss Records]. The Austin artists—Curtis Roush [guitar, vocals, synths], Jack O'Brien [bass, vocals, synths], Joseph Mirasole [drums, synths]—offer a different interpretation of the space around them throughout ten thematically connected songs. They tackle a myriad of issues head on during tracks such as “Ghost Dance” and “Ouroboros,” while “Infinite Cities” contemplates loneliness and “Escape Velocity” subtly hints at a orgiastic ending. The album will pose a few questions, but you may leave with an answer or two as well.

The Bright Light Social Hour convened while Curtis and Jack attended graduate school at the University of Texas in Austin. They released their self-titled debut in 2010 and scored six awards at SXSW 2011 Austin Music Awards. Throughout nearly three years on the road, they experienced the ins and outs of America, and that voyage ignited a perspective shift. “The new album’s themes and inspirations came from touring, particularly the southern part of the country,” explains Jack. “We couldn’t afford to stay in hotels most nights so we were staying with a lot of people. We got to see how average young Americans lived. We felt a lot of struggle.” -

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Kendal Thompson - Be Mine

Alliston, Ontario native, Kendal Thompson recently hit the number 1 spot on the Jamsterdam Top 10 with her hit track "Be Mine". At an early age, she began performing “I used to sing under the kitchen table but would stop as soon as I thought someone was listening or could hear.” Kendal Thompson says “I knew then I wanted to be a performer but had to get over my stage fright which took quite some time, probably a good 5 years.”

After moving to Toronto and establishing herself as singer-songwriter, Kendal began to shift her focus toward urban inspired pop music and first gained recognition with her debut single, Love, in 2013.

Finding inspiration in her surroundings and strong pop cultural icons such as BeyoncĂ©, Madonna, and Lauryn Hill, Kendal possesses the ability to make universal experiences feel intensely personal. “Besides being a visual person and being inspired everyday by fashion, people and art. When it comes to my music I am really inspired by other artists I look up to. What they are doing in their performance and their writing style really helps to guide and inspire me in my own music and performance.”

From the strong and sensitive ballad "It's Time" to the uptempo, tribal inspired rhythms of "Be Mine" Kendal continues to prove she is a capable writer and unique voice in the Canadian music industry.

Kendal can be heard during The #NewMusic show aired daily at 8am and 8pm Toronto time.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tokyo's The Watanabes

The Watanabes are an international indie folk pop band performing and recording in Tokyo, fronted by two British brothers on guitar and vocals, an American keyboardist and a Japanese rhythm section. The group began life in the orange-laden prefecture of Ehime, and named themselves Watanabe in tribute to the warm and friendly people of the region, whilst also alluding to The Smiths. The initial inspiration however came from Toru Watanabe, the slightly troubled and over nostalgic protagonist in Haruki Murakami's novel, Norwegian Wood.

Three years later, the band packed up and shifted to Tokyo in search of new inspiration and regular trains, where they began work on their debut album ‘Independent Social Power’. The album caught the attention of Japanese indie music magazine Cookie Scene, as well as the BBC, who described their work as “pure Indie, with floating verses and catchy choruses”.

On the day before the release party of their second album, a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. Filled with a desire to support their adopted homeland, the band have organised and performed in many charity events in aid of Tohoku, and recently visited Fukushima to help build a playground alongside NPO Playground of Hope. The trip was documented in the shape of a collaborative music video, which will be used to promote the charity, and The Watanabes’ new single Make Things Better. The band’s fundraising efforts have been praised both by Japanese national newspaper Mainichi Shimbun, and Time Out Tokyo, who described them as a band with “more heart than ego”.

Their recently released track "There's Something Wrong" has been creeping up the Jamsterdam Top 10 countdown. Tune in at 10am and midnight Toronto time to hear the 10 best tracks you've never heard.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Ronin - Zenith

A born native of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, Ronin along with his family members/colleagues Chezza, and producer Mister Miller form the Big Nickel Music Group core collective. Taking in influences from the hip hop culture, along with both video games and comic books, Ronin brings well thought out melodies, along with intelligent , sharp lyrical barbs to any verse, song, or project he associates with.

Tune in nightly for "Rap By Night" from 9pm-12 Toronto time to hear more from Ronin and his crew at Big Nickel Music.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kaiyzer Gives a Toast to the Legends

New York native Kaiyzer is back with his recently released track titled Gala featuring DJ Mr Phantastik and Mr Klutch. According to Kaiyzer, 2015 is going to be a big year with plenty more releases and collaborations to be expected. Previously releasing the frequently rotated album "The Global Takeover." Kaiyzer is a hip hop maven known for connecting talented MC's and creating revolutionary mix-tapes with global talent.

Tune in during Rap By Night airing nightly from 9pm-midnight Toronto time to hear more from Kaiyzer.

GALA Lyrics

[DJ Mr Phantastik]
Yo raise ur glasses high & give a toast to the legends, Laying it down for many years in this profession But now its time for the new jacks to rock And carry the torch in the name of hip hop 2x.
[DJ Mr Phantastik]
I got Soul like De La and I can't Lie. Cause I'm steadily Rising but I ain't Three Feet High One thing I've realized that opened my mind When u have inner vision you can never be blind Ask Stevie, cause many wonder How's he able to tickle the ivories without a single blunder Just understand he had to grind hard You gotta stay on the move, cause God can't steer a parked car I was made in greatness, for greatness, by greatness. So hating on me is just confused admiration So when that happens I don't need to go wild I just kill em with success and bury em with a smile Open up ur ears I need y'all to overstand me Blood makes u related, loyalty makes u family. Yup, Ford tough, I'm built for the hustle I'm not just rapping I'm using my heart to touch U
Yo raise ur glasses high & give a toast to the legends, Laying it down for many years in this profession But now its time for the new jacks to rock And carry the torch in the name of hip hop 2x
[Mr Klutch]
Glory, granted I want the glory Granted I'm taking every step that he set in my story Granted I got a team of leaders that I set before me Before you step to approach me, know man that I got a naughty list I'm santa, present you with a presence of prescence man I'm presidential With it. except I mob out to battle fields with the team You'll neva catch me watchin battles from a split screen 4th Quarter, we was born for this Kaiyzernomics equipped us with the form & hits They come natural, we aint gotta force the Swish I just scored on em Another 8 ball & we break walls on em & now the labels make calls for him Dream calls that I pass up, I know my worth We about to flood the whole game, this aint an average perk For you, don't be offended, realize then you witness where my mind at, This is mortal kombat for live cats & lab rats Take a step back & palm that I cop that its 4th Quarter, Phantastik, Kaiyzer
Yo raise ur glasses high & give a toast to the legends, Laying it down for many years in this profession But now its time for the new jacks to rock And carry the torch in the name of hip hop 2x
Been in this game for a while now its time to say goodbye. To the mic cause I'm moving on to the business side No more working the boards or 1-2 Mic checkas I'm now on the board of directors cutting checks up Yup I got the golden touch When its comes to 4th quarters I'm so Phantastik in the Klutch Never was off beat but now I'm hopping off beats Im about to be the Rap Games Wolf of Wall Street Cause my name rings bells from Australia to Canada Russia to the U.S.A, boy I'm no amateur Look at my calendar, Hommie I am always booked Man you know stats I could never be overlooked Some got love for me, some got hate for me Either way ima still bow out gracefully So recognize its a boss walking thru ur doorway Signing off its ya man Kaiyzer and I did it my way
Yo raise ur glasses high & give a toast to the legends, Laying it down for many years in this profession But now its time for the new jacks to rock And carry the torch in the name of hip hop 2x

Monday, March 30, 2015

Daven Atma's Promised Land

Originally from the Maritimes, Daven Atma now makes his home in British Columbia. Daven developed as an artist on the indie music circuit in the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver area. Heavily influenced by the sound of early Bob Dylan music, the inspiration can be heard in Daven's lyrical style and his unique vocal inflection. His original music includes catchy up-tempo tunes with crafty, sometimes whitty lyrics at their core.

Catch Daven in the Jamsterdam Radio Top 10 airing daily at 10am and midnight Toronto time. Check out Daven's web site for more videos, music and tour dates.