Mixtape.
Two Tiffanys celebrating what they love by giving it a stage and using their voices to spread the word.

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SOUNDCHECK: Sneaky Sound System

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Sneaky Sound System is an indie dance group that consists of Miss Connie on vocals , and guitarist/producer Black Angus. Originally a trio, the group started in the early 2000’s by chance when Black Angus (Angus McDonald) and former group member (Daimon Downey) -who launched “Sneaky Sundays” a popular club night in the Sydney club scene- happened upon Miss Connie (Connie Mitchell) singing in the park. When they’d finished their debut album “Sneaky Sound System” the group soon found out that the way to go was indie, as record labels obviously didn’t see the “bright light shining”. The independent album went on to reach multi-platinum status, and even win the group an ARIA Award. Their second album “2” also crushed the doubters by entering the Australian Billboard Charts at #1, and since the groups debut, they’ve continuously won award after award including Best Group, Album of the Year and Best Video.  Steadily making a name for themselves globally, the group has toured with dance music giants like Robbie Williams, Jamiroquai, The Scissor Sisters, Sam Sparro, and even Lady GaGa.

SOUNDCHECK: Mara Hruby

Meet Mara Hruby, a 22-year old singer from Oakland, California. I was introduced to Mara’s music by viewing the video for her track, “Is This Love” (seen at the bottom)… and then searching out her debut EP — “From Her Eyes“. The EP was released as a free download late last year. It has 7 tracks, plus 2 unmastered tracks. The album contains reworked tracks from her favorite male artists. Each song is connected to a memory or experience in Mara’s life, so every song has a special connection to her. She reworks tracks from artists such as Bob Marley, D’Angelo, Mos Def, Jamiroquai, and others, with her jazzy, delicate voice. Absolutely a wonderful find, so please get to listening…

SOUNDCHECK: ELLE

L.A. based singer-songwriter Elle (née Lauren Wilkins) has always been passionate about music. However, she just recently decided to pursue her dreams after attending a live performance at The Hotel Cafe. Having realized her calling, the young chanteuse set out to fly. In the fall of 2010, Elle released her first mixtape titled Celebrity Dreams Vol 1. The seven track album featured covers songs of artists like Robin Thicke, Paramore and Drake amongst others, which showcased ELLE’s artistic versatility.  After receiving  an enormous wave of positive feedback, the velvet voiced singer went on to record her first EP “Inhibitions” with new found confidence.  As an emerging artist, ELLE’s unique laid back voice is sure to capture many fans on the battlefield that is the music industry.

SOUNDCHECK: Nao’ymt

Super producer Nao’ymt has given the realm of Japanese R&B several new dimensions during the course of his career. In the Japanese music industry, he is well known for his unique and soul stirring beats, and having been dubbed the “Japanese Timbaland”, it’s no wonder why artists and fans alike are drawn to his creative style. Citing JODECI as his inspiration to make R&B music, Nao’ymt combines traditional Japanese instruments with trendy Hip Hop rhythms creating something that is uniquely Japanese.  Lending his talents to popular artists such as Namie Amuro, Crystal Kay, Chemistry, Hiromi, Daichi Miura, Kaori Natori, and many more, Nao’ymt has written and produced some of the most popular and best selling songs in popular urban Japanese music. He also created the trio  Jine, of which he is a member of. This R&B group serenades the ladies so smoothly with what  that even today’s American R&B is lacking: Sincerity.

SOUNDCHECK: Auburn

Auburn Williams (21) is a young and funky R&B singer, rapper, and song-writer who is set to take over your heart with her catchy sound. The Minneapolis born artist, who is currently working on her debut album, began singing gospel music in church as a kid, but as she got older, she tried her hand at other genres, and by the age of thirteen, she found herself as a member of the short-lived girl group Loyal.  While the group didn’t last long,  Auburn didn’t give up and continued pursuing music, utilizing sites like Myspace and Youtube to promote and share her music with the world.  As her fan base grew, Auburn pushed forward and, releasing her first independent album Same Giirl (2007), went on to open for Keyshia Cole on her 20-city tour. Now signed to Beluga Heights/Warner Bros. the hopes are high for Auburn as she sets to release her first major label record.

SOUNDCHECK: Blitz The Ambassador

Blitz The Ambassador (Samuel Bazawule, born in 1982) was born and raised in Accra, Ghana. He grew up listening to afro-beat, jazz, and motown. His life changed once his brother introduced him to Public Enemy‘s “It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back“. Hip hop became a huge part of his life, and he made a goal to change hip hop forever. In 2001, he moved to the U.S. to go to college at Kent State University in Ohio. While there, he released several mixtapes and developed his skills as a live artist. He self-released his first album called “Soul Rebel” in 2004. After graduating, he made a move to NYC to continue his dream. He recorded another album, “Double Consciousness“, in 2005. Soon after, Blitz formed a live band, The Embassy Ensemble, and then he recently recorded and released his third album, “Stereotype” — “a live-instrument heavy musical exploration, that tests the limits of hip hop“. He took the album to a few major labels, but due to no grabs, he decided to do it by himself. It’s their loss. I’m telling you, labels passed up on someone great. But by creating his own independent label, Embassy MVMT, Blitz can remain doing what he wants, how he wants, and not put a limit on his own creativity.

SOUNDCHECK: Emi Maria

Singer/songwriter Emi Maria has been bringing old school R&B sounds to the realm of Japanese urban music since the age of 18. Her music and voice is refreshing amongst the noise of over produced acts. Yes, she dabbles in the ever present Auto-Tune, however, her talents shine through, especially with her deep and husky vocals on her more sensuous songs. Not only does she rock the boat with her rich and low tone, but this seven octave singer can hit the high notes with the best of them. Having worked closely alongside producers and artists such as BachLogic, SEEDA, JAY’ed, DJ NAO the LAIZA, this young woman gained a large following in the underground club scenes, organically creating music and growing as an artist in what some would call a lost art. In a world where label-created artists pop on the scene every other day, Emi Maria’s slow, but steady climb to the top of the R&B charts has been a long time coming. Now at the age of 23, this former underground artist has stepped into the spotlight, ready to have you “get on her bus”, and with her newest mini album “Cross Over” just recently released, she’s letting us all know that “it’s alright”.

SOUNDCHECK: The Suzan


Look at these girls. Aren’t they cute? They’re an all-girl japanese pop-rock band called The Suzan. The band is made up of Saori (vocals & guitar), Rie (Keyboard & vocals), Nico (Drums), and Ikue (Bass).

The Suzan were performing here and there in Tokyo and a few other places. Awhile ago, the girls grabbed the attention of Bjorn from the band Peter, Bjorn and John, and he recently produced the band’s upcoming record, “Gold Week for the Poco Poco Beat” which will be released on October 26th with Fool’s Gold. So if you like what you hear below, go get their album!

SOUNDCHECK: Cilla K


Today’s soundcheck features a vocalist / beatmaker / songwriter by the name of Cilla K. The French West Indian singer is from New York, and her sound consists of the magnetic combination of hip hop, jazz, and soul. She just released her first full-length album titled, “Fine Line“, where she produced 7 of the 15 songs.

Cilla K started out as a model, and thankfully, made her way to music. Along her journey, she ran into people like David Pattillo (NY music producer) and Junius Bervine (who’s worked with D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Floetry, etc, and is part of N.E.R.D.). Collaborations made with the two brought upon other artists who wanted to work with her.

SOUNDCHECK: Beach House


New to the sound of Beach House, the first song I heard was “Real love”, from their 3rd album, “Teen Dream” (on Sub Pop). Paired with a piano, the sweet and earthy voice is that of French-born Victoria Legrand’s. The song has a gentle, almost fragile, feel where you can hear the pain in her voice. With starting lyrics like, “I met you somewhere in a hell beneath the stairs…”, it immediately pulls you into its imagery.

SOUNDCHECK: Skye Townsend

If her last name seems familiar, that’s because you probably grew up watching her dad, actor and comedian Robert Townsend. However, don’t turn your nose up, because she’s not just another Hollywood Kid looking to ride off of her father’s name. Skye Townsend is truly talented in her own right. At the age of 13, she began uploading herself singing on youtube, videos that soon began getting thousands and thousands of views. Now, at the age of 17, the aspiring singer/designer is currently working on her own clothing line, as well as completing her demo. Not only is her voice amazingly soulful, but her comedic timing and Behttp://www.crayonbeats.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpyonce impersonations are spot on. Read on: