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

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Raquel Rodriguez – “Don’t Be Afraid” live video

(@rqlrod)
Los Angeles singer Raquel Rodriguez dropped a brand new live video the other day that I wanted to share. Recorded at the Blue Dream Studios, she performed previously unreleased (I think) song, called “Don’t Be Afraid”. It’s an intimate song that finds her telling someone to let go of their fears of falling in love (with her). Complimenting both her live band and her sweet pop-soul voice, it’s a beautiful song. I’ve missed hearing Raquel Rodriguez’s music, so I’m glad that this popped up in my inbox. Video filmed and edited by Giovanni Solis. Check it out, and don’t be afraid to want her… music in your life!

Special Education with Anderson .Paak

(@specialsays @andersonpaak)
For the latest episode of Special‘s Special Education game show, she has singer/rapper/producer Anderson .Paak (previously known as Breezy LoveJoy) as a guest. After first learning that he has to choose songs he’s already released (in regards to the first question, haha), we learn that his favorite word is “N8PS” (pronounced “napes”, which is slang for “hell no”), that he’d choose to perform “Celebrate” at an old folks home (in contrast, Special chose “Home Going“, because she thought it was a lighthearted song, but it’s really about death), he says “Drugs” was the most fun song to perform live, and he says who he loves working with. There’s also a point in this game where he flips it up and asks Special a NSFW question, where they each share the age that they first experienced the act of “69”. Hahaha. Watch below!

Bishop – “River”

(@thatgirlbishop)
Have you heard Bishop‘s newest song “River” yet? No? Well, let me put you on. Following the successful “Wild Horses” single that’s been spreading like wildfire, this song comes in like a Trojan Horse. It begins with gentle looping strings, big claps, and Bishop’s captivating vocals, while she sings a heart-on-her-sleeve verse (“How do we fall in love // Harder than a bullet could hit ya // How do we fall apart // Faster than a hair-pin trigger“)… but as soon as the chorus kicks in, so does the versatility in her voice. Sinister horns blow, there’s an “hey!” sample, her lyrics get dark (seemingly stemming from past pain), and she effortlessly transitions between soft whispers and passionate singing (in the verses), to pulling out all aggression from within her gut to belt out rock-infused, soulful shouts in the intensified chorus. Such unexpected power! “Shut your mouth, baby, stand and deliver // Holy hands, oh they make me a sinner // Like a river, like a river // Shut your mouth and run me like a river // Choke this love ’til the veins start to shiver // One last breath ’til the tears start to wither // Like a river, like a river // Shut your mouth and run me like a river“. Whew, girl, yes! Listen below!

Quantic presents The Western Transient – “Creation (East L.A.)” (ft Jimetta Rose)

“Creation (East L.A.)” was the lead single on Quantic‘s acclaimed The Western Transient project’s album, titled A New Constellation. Giving new life to the good-times-in-the-city song, Los Angeles singer Jimetta Rose blessed the soul-jazz instrumental with a lively and uplifting performance for this special vocal version. Listen to the song, as well as the instrumental and a capella, and then download for $1.45.

Lianne La Havas – “Green and Gold” video

(@liannelahavas)
Have you seen the music video for Lianne La Havas “Green and Gold” song? No? Well, you’re in luck. Looking through a broken mirror, trying to fit the pieces back together, she tells a story that reflects on her past as a young girl that grows up appreciating her Jamaican and Greek roots, while also dreaming about her bright future. It’s a beautiful video, directed by Ravi Dhar, and she looks as stunning as her warm soul voice sounds. Such beauty. Watch it below and check out the song on her full-length sophomore album Blood, which released mid-last year.

DJ Jazzy Jeff & Daniel Crawford – “Xmas Is Coming”

(@djjazzyjeff215)
I’m back with another tune for the holidays! Last week, Philly hip hop extraordinaire DJ Jazzy Jeff and Los Angeles-based producer Daniel Crawford whipped up a head-nodding, soulful instrumental, called “Xmas Is Coming”. Boom bap drums knock in the back, while warm keys and jingling bells groove along. This song is suitable for a smooth (sleigh)ride around the neighborhood or, at least, it’s something you bump from your headphones while you sip hot cocoa. Give it a listen below, and throw it on your playlists.

Ann One: #WhatULike [VIDEO]

#NEWmusic | @AnnOneMusic | #GrownAndSexy

This is for the repeat session…and the grown and sexy. I feel like Ann One is here to remind us that sensual R&B music isn’t dead, no matter what the youngsters try to tell you. WhatULike is very sexy, no doubt as the video illustrates, but as Ann is a master of classy slow jams, you can listen to this in public without feeling dirty, even as your mind wanders off to impure thoughts. The song will be featured on her upcoming EP Butterfly Knife. Listen below and be prepared to be seduced:

Sarah-Jane: Letter To The Moon

@SarahJaneMusiq | #SuperMoon | #LunarEclipse

I feel it’s only right that I post Sarah-Jane‘s soulful ode to the moon as tonight we anticipate the Lunar Eclipse, Super Moon & Blood Moon. Released in late summer, Letter To The Moon has been in heavy rotation on what seems to be every platform in The Netherlands and its easy to see why. Her voice is like so perfect, soulful and satisfying, like audio home-cookin’ to sooth your soul. I’ve been low key obsessed with her music since posting her song Psychedelic Love last summer. I only say “low key” because my inner hipster is fighting to keep her amazingness all to myself. In Letter To The Moon, SJ sings to the sky her love and if you’ve been missing some neo soul funk in your life, you’re definitely going to want to hit play. Sarah-Jane is one of those artists the take you there. Check her out:

The Lions – “Magnificent Dance” (ft Black Shakespeare) video

(@thelionsreggae)
I was put onto the Los Angeles reggae-inspired soul band The Lions today, and now I find myself going through their music. I love getting put onto music that gets me excited enough to seek out more. But, let me make this post based on where I started, when I saw the music video for their song “Magnificent Dance”, which is a fun, dance-ready, dub cover of The Clash’s “Magnificent Seven”. Intriguing already, right?!

Raquel Rodriguez – “Better Days” video

Raquel Rodriguez (@rqlrod) dropped a brand new soulful song and music video today, called “Better Days”. Over a head-nodding beat driven by deep bass strings and snare drums, which carries an upbeat melody of light horns, finger snaps, and playful keys, Raquel reflects on an old relationship, while saying goodbye to heartbreak and hello to freedom and better days. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard anything new from this talented singer (her Miss Me album came out in 2013), so I’m happy to see some new material. Watch the music video below, directed by Giovanni Solis. If you’re feeling the song, go ahead and download it for $1 at Bandcamp.

Loyle Carner – “Florence”

Loyle Carner (@loylecarner) is an emcee from South London, and yesterday was the first time that I’ve ever heard of him. I stumbled across his song “Florence” last night, and thoroughly enjoyed his poetic storytelling over a mellow, piano-driven beat that’s punctuated with snare hits and tender kicks. With a tight flow, and love in his heart, he lets his mind wander, wondering what it would be like to have a little sister and to be a big brother. It’s a very sweet, heartfelt song that’s fueled by love, happiness, and silly moments. The song also features a soulful hook from a man named Kwes, whose beautiful voice helps make this such an A+ song.