Steven Victor sees the music industry as more than just a numbers game. In the world of Spotify streams and YouTube views, he needs to see the artist as more than just their statistics. As Def Jam’s executive vice president and head of A&R (Artists and Repertoire), Victor is always on the lookout for new talent. He oversees a staff of 20 people responsible for A&R. Together, they’re in charge of the task of finding each new breakout artist the label signs.
Comfortable in her own skin. Her flaws are purposely revealed on camera for the world to see, and her presentation includes no obvious filters.
I instantly noticed natural black hair with no real formation; pretty dark skin with an occasional trace of acne here and there, no body briefer or any direct restraint to make this black woman appear to be smaller and “in tact.” Instead you get a raw, authentic Nigerian-American woman who looks like someone you may know personally. The self-image that she displays is awe-inspiring, and conveys a message that she has all creative control.
The name Heron Preston lends itself to creativity. The name doesn’t exactly scream stockbroker, construction worker, or accountant; instead, it recalls inspired vocations, like fashion, art, or music. Initially, he was known as Heron Johnson, but then the fashion designer started his first clothing line in high school and switched his last name to Preston, as he believed it sounded more “regal.”
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Have you ever wondered what preppiness, Yves Klein, Aaliyah’s ‘Rock the Boat,’ and a Slim Aaron’s photo of Katharine Hepburn in a Rolls-Royce at Montego Bay have in common? If you are like most people, including myself, these thoughts have probably never crossed your mind all at once. This laundry list of random nouns however, is nothing less than the self-described 2014 collection of one of fashion’s most popular new designers, Charles Harbison.
Techno music originated in Detroit in the early 1980s by young African-Americans, according to NPR Music. Over time it has become a worldwide phenomenon, creating a culture of beats made for dancing. Thirty-two year old French DJ, Mike Levy aka Gesaffelstein has taken a more expressive approach to making music, aiming to create work that tells a story, and he has established himself as a staple in the music world.
Hailing from Lyon, France, Gesaffelstein takes songs with dark, low tones and amplifies them with dance-able ecstasy. His hyper-electric tracks incorporate many elements of hip-hop, though the DJ knew almost nothing about hip-hop when he began his career.
Yonkers, New York is the birthplace of many musical legends in the famed world of rap and hip hop. However, fairly new to the scene rapper, Outasight, doesn’t quite fall under the same category as other artists that come from his hometown, like Mary J. Blige or Jadakiss. But suit and shades sporting Richard Andrew, who goes by the moniker, Outasight, writes his own melodies and light hearted lyrics to what can be classified as hip hop, rap and pop.
His pop culture references are often unexpected. Jeremy Scott’s inspiration can come from anything from McDonald’s to Shrek. His designs are just as edgy as they are unique. If you wear an outfit from one of his collections, I can guarantee you that you will not have to fear wearing the same thing as everyone else. His work combines urban and punk. His use of flashy and bright colors along with ironic references to pop culture blends the world of urban chic and bold punk.
Scott looks the part of a designer that would create unique clothing. He often has half of his head shaved and can be seen wearing cool shades of some sort. He fits the part of a designer that caters to a younger population that has the guts to pull off outrageous designs and go against the norm. Although his creations are absolutely captivating, it does take a certain amount of bravery to wear his outfits. His clothing is not for the faint of heart or for someone who is afraid to stand out in a crowd. They are designed for the fresh fashion innovators of the world and the people that want to start trends rather than simply follow them. According to Complex.com, a website that focuses on the latest art and fashion trends, celebrities such as Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne have been spotted wearing Scott’s designs. Furthermore, Scott finds the styles of Niki Manaj, Rihanna and Katy Perry to be some of the best examples of fashion today in Hollywood. When talking about Katy Perry Scott told Complex.com, “She really has created a new category of this sexy and humorous style which are two of the defining points of my own work.” Scott has even had the opportunity to see Rihanna and Katy Perry wear his quirky yet daring designs.
In the hip-hop community, there is no denying that it pays to have connections. We’ve seen how producing performers like Drake attach their names to music acts, and almost instantly, a breakthrough artist is born. The Canadian rap master started his record label, October’s Very Own Sound, in 2012 as an offshoot of Warner Bros. Records. Since then, he has been monopolizing the Canadian rap scene, signing upcoming artists left and right. His first signee, Partynextdoor, has received much praise from rap critics and listeners in the span of just one year.
Serendipity is defined as an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident or good fortune and luck. It is can be a chance meeting of love, wealth or opportunity. 21-year old model Slick Woods had a serendipitous meeting of her own at a Los Angeles bus stop in 2016 when she was discovered by British male model Ash Stymest. The meeting was completely random but it changed her life. “It was literally the luck of the Universe. My energy, my positive energy pulling things towards me. I’m on Law of Attraction. I just feel like I definitely did that for myself. When I was hungry, nobody fed me. I definitely just lucked up. I just do this to show people that luck is a real thing. It really is,” Woods said in an Urban Outfitters blog interview.