Student Musician Spotlight: DAP The Contract

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This week, Blog is spotlighting five Brown and RISD student musicians, all of whom will be performing this Saturday night at the Bodega Beats live session at The Spot Underground. We’re publishing all interviews of one musician talking to another.

Earlier this week, we had the event’s two DJs, Michael Moyal (aka Mulga) and Raye Sosseh (aka Chartreux) interview each other. Jahi Abdur-Razzaq Brown ’17 also interviewed fellow rapper Sebastián Otero Oliveras Brown ’18. A few days ago, Dolapo Akinkugbe Brown ’16 (aka DAP the Contract) interviewed Jahi. Now, it’s DAP’s turn to be in the spotlight. You can check out DAP’s work on his SoundCloud.

Keep reading to find out about his working with Mark Ronson (yes, for real), the influence of his Nigerian roots on his music, and why his post grad plans might include law school.

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Sebastián: So, DAP, you recently got back from Abbey Road Studios. Let’s just start with that.

Dolapo: Yeah, that’s a good place to start. That was this competition Converse does where they have artists apply. They have 84 artists go to 12 different studios around the world, and you’re given a mentor. Mark Ronson was my mentor, which was amazing. And he was mad cool, super laid-back, and made me feel comfortable. We made three songs together on a Friday, and then I worked on stuff with the horn section on a Saturday. So it was just like a perfect music weekend, really, in the best studio ever.

S: How did you feel when you entered Abbey Road?

D: I remember the first day, it was like a video when me and my sister walked in, and I was just silent. The best thing about the room was that when it’s silent–nothing sounds like that ever in life. It sounds perfectly silent but noisy at the same time.

You can hear anything in the room—it’s a big room—and you can hear every single detail in the room. It’s like the perfect noisy-silence, because you can hear a little hum, like you can hear the room breathe, but it’s perfectly quiet. That was the first thing I noticed. I didn’t even play any keyboards. We didn’t touch anything for the first ten minutes. We just sat there in silence, and it was just crazy.

S: Do you think that this is one of DAP’s greatest accomplishments?

D: For sure. That and performing at the Saatchi Gallery in London were the two biggest landmarks so far. Nothing comes close to that, really.

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Student Musician Spotlight: Sebastián ( )tero

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This week, Blog is spotlighting five Brown and RISD student musicians, all of whom will be performing this Saturday night at the Bodega Beats live session at The Spot Undeground. We’re publishing all interviews of one musician talking to another.

Check out the event’s two DJs, Michael Moyal (aka Mulga) and Raye Sosseh (aka Chartreux) interview with each from Tuesday. Yesterday, Dolapo Akinkugbe (aka DAP the Contract) interviewed Jahi Abdur-Razzaq (Brown ’17), rapper to rapper. Today, Jahi interviews fellow rapper, and musical Renaissance man, Sebastián Otero Oliveras (Brown ’18). You check out Sebastián’s work as Sebastián ()tero on Soundcloud.

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Jahi: Alright let’s talk about you. I think, the main thing is: why music? Why express yourself through this music as opposed to something else?

Sebastián: Right, I started playing the violin when I was 4. So music has been very present in my life, throughout my life. I don’t know, I just think I have this connection to music, and this energy to produce, and use this medium to express myself.

For example, I can think of a good thing to draw, or something, but my hands don’t do it that well. But I have my voice and I think I have the talent and the energy. So that comes together and that is Sebastián ()tero.

J: So how did you make the transition from violin to rap?

S: I played classical until I was 13 or 14. I got bored. I love listening to classical music but I can’t play it. I don’t like it. And then I moved to jazz. I played a little bit with jazz, and I’m from Puerto Rico and salsa is a big thing. Latin jazz too. So I also played over those types of genres.

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Student Musician Spotlight: DJs Chartreux and Mulga

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This week, Blog will be spotlighting five Brown and RISD student musicians, all of whom will be performing this Saturday night at the Bodega Beats live session at The Spot Undeground. We’ll publishing an interview every day this week, one musician talking to another.

Today’s interview is with Raye Sosseh (Brown ’17) and Michael Moyal (RISD ’16), also known as DJs Chartreux and Mulga, respectively. You can check out their Soundcloud profiles by clicking above, and catch them DJing together Saturday night.

Michael is the co-founder of Bodega Beats, the music blog and community; he grew up playing instruments, but later found his calling in curating music and taste-making. Raye DJs and produces, using “dense hip-hop inspired beats with recognizable motifs and lyrics to emote an evolving emotion with every song.” Read on to find out how exactly a DJ picks a name, why they hate Top 40 songs, and how they came to be real life Zac Efrons (we’re kidding).

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Raye: What kind of tunes were you thinking for this event? It’s going to be an eclectic mix of sounds.

Michael: I think we should start easy, because we’re doing the first hour and half, and then the last hour and half just go break everything.

R: How do you hunt [for music]? Because I always have a very hard time — I feel like I fall into niches a lot with where I’m looking for music.

M: I know, I hate my Soundcloud right now. I hate it. Actually it’s weird–it goes in waves. A couple of weeks ago, my Soundcloud was unbelievable. This past week, it’s just been garbage.

I have a folder of all the websites I like to look at, and I’ll check them out from time to time. It’s hard, because people curate music on Soundcloud. My favorite thing is when I find a collective. Recently, I found these dudes, they’re called Blanc Label. They’re so good. Their sound is mostly electronic stuff, but they’ve got some really dark stuff and then some really lighthearted new disco shit.

R: I definitely feel like that’s a better way of going about it, seeing whole movements as they occur on the Internet, as opposed to honing in on eight or three people who repost things on Soundcloud.

M: I’ve been deleting people on Soundcloud. I unfollowed Diplo.

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Student Group Spotlight: Brown University Beard Appreciation Society

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Those of you who frequent Morning Mail may have caught the announcements for the Brown University Beard Appreciation Society (BUBAS). Needless to say, we were intrigued by their announcements and wanted to learn more. Past messages have included promises of discussing President Lincoln’s beard to appreciating beards in film. We reached out to Elliot Grossman ’17, the Morning Mail contact, to find out some more details about this club. Here is a Q&A with Elliot telling you everything you need to know about the Brown University Beard Appreciation Society:

BlogDH: So, how did this idea to create a beard appreciation society come about? Who was involved in starting it?

Elliot: One night, the idea to form this club came to mind, so I looked around for bearded people and polled whether or not they would be interested in participating in a beard-related club at Brown. The response was unanimously in favor of creating such a club, so I set to work. I completed the paperwork and requirements of creating the Beard Appreciation Society with help from my co-founder, Mike Petro ’17. He was instrumental in planning what the club would actually do.

BlogDH: And now that you’re a club, what does a typical meeting look like?

Elliot: Meetings take place every other Sunday at 5:00 pm for about 45 minutes to an hour, so we call them “5 o’clock shadow meetings.” We begin by critiquing a famous beard, whether it be historical or contemporary; then we move on to the topic of the day [e.g. beard styles, shaving techniques, beard theory (possible future styles), beard stigma, etc.]; followed by current events that relate to the club; and finally plans for the future of the club, either possible events or in general.

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Student Group Spotlight: Morning Mail Studies

Morning Mail Studies has started reading these things. You should get on their level.

Morning Mail Studies has started reading these things. Get on their level.

Did you really read Morning Mail? It’s a question we ask you from time to time, even though we know the answer is often a resounding “no.” And we get it, we usually skim or skip the thing too, even after its makeover. There is a reason, however, why we keep asking you that question: there are plenty of events worth checking out in the depths of Morning Mail, and now it seems like another student group has figured that out as well. Morning Mail Studies, a Facebook group started by Kayla Rosen ’14, hopes to increase attendance at the disparate events the nightly email advertises by creating a space in which people can post the events they want to go to and encourage people to tag along. There are only 46 members right now, but the group certainly has the potential to grow much larger in the near future.

Morning Mail Studies started out of a desire to get the most out of a senior’s last semester as an undergrad. As Kayla explained, “I’m a second semester senior. I’ve been getting Morning Mail for the past 3 and a half years, but I’ve gone to maybe 3 events every semester.” This semester, however, she has set a goal of going to 3 events per week. Though she admits that she has gone to a couple of events alone, Kayla has received plenty of positive feedback on her efforts. Highlights of her adventures have included a lecture by Taylor Branch, a historian of the civil rights era, and TWTP Remix, a series of workshops on issues like race, class, gender, and religion.

The one piece of advice Kayla has for younger students is this: “Your education isn’t just in the classroom.” Indeed, there are tons of cool events going on around campus on any given day (and often free food to boot). In reality, you can get as much out of them as any anthropology, biology, or MCM lecture. So read Morning Mail, and don’t make us (or Kayla) do it for you. Check out the group’s description after the jump:

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Student group spotlight: Fashion at Brown (F@B)

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Ever wonder why it seems like all the fashionistas hang out together? No, they’re not all just lost RISD students. It’s because students interested in fashion are coming together through their involvement in Fashion at Brown (aka F@B). According to its mission statement, F@B “is dedicated to bringing a fashion outlet to Brown students interested in all different aspects of the fashion world.” Aside from being the primary fashion outlet on campus—and, more generally, from making the campus a better-looking place—F@B  promotes local businesses and student artists. In case there’s a little Andrea Sachs post-new-Chanel-boots hidden inside of you, F@B is the best place to relish in style.

Opposite its Fashion Week in the spring, the group typically has a photo shoot in the fall to celebrate art and clothes. This year it took its shoots to a whole new level by shooting in the The Steel Yard. The local space usually serves as a place for metal working classes and workshops, music festivals, and at-risk youth programs, but in the hands of F@B, it became a unique ground for snapping chic looks. (See a video of the shoot after the jump.)