Exclusive Interview with DJ and Producer Goldroom (Josh Legg)

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If you’re a fan of EDM and you’re not listening to Los Angeles based DJ and producer Goldroom (Josh Legg), you’re missing out.

Last week, Goldroom and his live band came to NYC to perform at Rough Trade and the Bowery Ballroom with Chela, an Australian alt-pop singer whose vocals are featured in his song “Fifteen.” His recent EP Embrace, released in September 2013, is a favorite amongst fans with its dreamy vocals from Ariela Jacobs. The music video for the EP’s lead single, “Embrace,” released last month, was directed by fashion photographer Carlos Nunez.

I got the chance to sit down with Goldroom at Rough Trade before Wednesday’s show to talk to him about his childhood, his experiences as a DJ and his life in LA.

Me: Tell me about your childhood and what it was like growing up in Boston.

Goldroom:
Well it was great in some ways. I spent a lot of time with my parents traveling and I sort of grew up on boats for the most part. Every summer was spent sort of exploring the Northeast with my dad on our little sh*tty boat. Those are some of my more fonder memories from childhood. It wasn’t until sort of my late teens when I “found myself” for lack of a better word I guess, but I liked Boston. I have really fond memories of Boston but it wasn’t really until I moved out to LA that I sort of really became who I am.

Me: Who are your musical inspirations?

G: 
That’s a crazy hard question because many of them, I think I take inspiration from, you know, almost everything that I listen too at all times, but you know, when I sit down at the end of the day and I think about what artist I wanna be like it’s always older artists from the 60s and 70s that are my songwriting heroes. Guys like Al Green, Tom Petty and Bob Dylanthese are the guys that, I feel like wrote songs that would of worked a hundred years ago and wrote songs that would work in a hundred years and that’s really what I care about the most.

Me: Where did the name Goldroom come from?

G:
Well, the very basic answer is that it’s my favorite bar in LA. It’s a little place in Echo Park called the Gold Room, which is this tiny little dive bar that used to have Mariachi bands and free tacos some nights and it was great. But, in reality, you know, when I started thinking about it more, Southern California and the Southwest has influenced me so much since I’ve moved out there that it’s sort of one big giant “gold room,” and that’s when I actually started thinking about what it would mean to name the project Goldroom. That’s sort of the real explanation.

Me: Tell me about your first experience as a DJ.

G:
Oh man. Well, my old band NightWaves, we started releasing music. That was actually the first time in my life that I’d ever actually released songs that I had written. It was the first time that I’d ever given anything away to the public, and then sort of out of nowhere people started to ask us to DJ and Kyle (Petersen) and I, we had no idea how to DJ or what really to do. We kind of figured it out on the fly, and I think we DJed a pool party at the Standard Rooftop in LA and I remember it being super fun. I DJ very, very, differently now, but, you know, back then it was a laptop and lots of controllers and knick-knacks and doing all this crazy stuff. It was super fun, but it’s very different than what I do now. I don’t think we train wrecked anythingI think it was okay but, wow, it’s kind of crazy to think back on that.

Me: What are some words you would use to describe your music?

G:
I don’t know, I hope ‘honest,’ more than anything else. I think that the style of music or the production behind it might change over time and I don’t know if I’m going to be into the same genre or the same style later on but at the end of the day I hope that the songwriting is honest and true. So, more than anything else I hope that’s what my music as a whole remains.

Me: Of all the artists you’ve collaborated with, which one has been your favorite so far?

G:
Hahaha, you’re trying to get me in trouble! I guess I’ll just say, because she’s here now, Chela, because I feel like we’re musical soul mates in a lot of ways, and it happens to be that she sang on “Fifteen” which is a song that, you know, I had written, and that resonated in the right way with her. We started writing songs after that and I love all of her music, and, I don’t want to speak for her, but, I think she likes my music, and we just have a really strong connection in what melodies we like and what kind of harmonies we like, and the type of lyrics that we like to write. She’s sort of a special collaborator.

Me: What is the craziest thing that ever happened to you during a live set?

G: 
I mean, I don’t think it really getsI mean, I’m sure it could get crazier but there have been three or four times where I’ve had people, like, very aggressively sort of attack me in a positive way, but like sort of getting “love tackled” for lack of a better word. And that’s always a really weird experience because I’m really happy that it’s happening and I’m also sort of scared that it’s happening at the same time and I don’t really know what to do so it’s a good thing and a bad thing.

Me: Do you have any rituals that you perform before going out on stage?

G:
No, I sort of wish that I had more. I definitely take some time, especially before the live shows, to have some quiet time to myself where I think about the show and sort of visualize what’s going to happen and it puts me in a better place than to come running around and trying to talk with friends to do this and that and the other thing.

Me: What is your favorite track off of your ‘Verano Mix 2014′?

G: You know, I really love that remix that’s near the end of London Grammar. It’s just really beautiful, and the idea of using like a clean electric guitar line that has the basis for like a sort of mellow house song is really exciting to me and really inspiring.

Me: Where is one place you’d like to play a live set that you haven’t already?

G: London for sure. We’ve played a lot of places in North and South America but I’d love to do a full live band thing in London. In the right situation I just know a lot of people would like us to be there and I think it would be really exciting.

Me: What is one thing you love most about being a DJ?

G: The fact that it’s like just pure. Since I have less to worry about when I’m DJing as compared to doing it live, it allows me to in some ways be in the moment sort of in some ways even a little more. And I love how fun it is. I love DJing because it’s just you and the crowd interacting in such a different way, and you can take in so many different directions. Whereas with a live set it’s like, you’re getting me for the next hour, and with a DJ set its more like we’re going on a journey together and we’ll see what happens.

Me: How does playing at a music festival differ from playing at a venue such as Rough Trade?

G:
You sort of have to fight to find that audience connection. You’re just so much further away from everybody, and when you look out I think you’re probably playing 50 rows back at a festival, but at a club there are people right up in your face so it’s a lot easier to connect with people and catch their energy. So, at a festival you just have to have a different mentality and understanding of how each one is a little bit different.

Me: What do you like most about NYC?

G: The energy. I really like the electricity. There’s no other city in the world that has this sort of “anything-can-happen-to-me-in-the-next-five-hours” sort of feeling. In New York there’s just this electricity that doesn’t stop.

Me: So I notice you’re wearing a wedding band. How long have you been married?

G: Just over a year and a half, closing in on two years. My wife Lessa and I, we live a nice little life in LA and it’s great.

Goldroom and his wife, Lessa

Follow Goldroom on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Soundcloud, and add him on Snapchat (goldroom) for some amazing palm tree stories set to dreamy synth beats.

Upcoming shows:

July 31: New York @ Verboten (DJ Set)
Aug 1: Philadelphia @ Morgan’s Pier (DJ Set)
Aug 2: Los Angeles @ HARD Summer (DJ Set)
Aug 14-25: SE Asia Tour

Zendaya Drops Out of Aaliyah Biopic

“We just felt a little rushed, and I think because she is someone I admire and love so much it can’t be done halfway,” said 17-year-old Disney star Zendaya Coleman.

Fans were extremely excited when Lifetime announced a couple of weeks ago that Zendaya Coleman would take on the role of the late Aaliyah in a biopic.

However, production of the film has been put on hold due to her decision to pull out.

“I just felt the project wasn’t 100 percent there,” she said.

According to E! News, Lifetime was also having a trouble getting the rights to Aaliyah’s music for the film.

Not to worry, though. Zendaya would love still love to play Aaliyah in a biopic.

“By all means, when the right project comes along and it’s done the right way I’ll be the first person ready to play Aaliyah,” Zendaya said in an interview with MTV, “but this wasn’t the right one for me. I’ve been into Aaliyah since I was little, so there wasn’t too much getting into character. I always pretend I’m her anyway.”

Hopefully Zendaya comes by another opportunity to portray Aaliyah. I’d hate to see her talents go to waste all because she wasn’t connected to the right project!

 

Exclusive Interview with Chela @ Rough Trade NYC

Photo Credit: Instagram (@bonchelaa)

Photo Credit: Instagram (@bonchelaa)

On Wednesday night, the Australian alt-pop goddess that is Chela performed live with Goldroom at Rough Trade in NYC. Fans of EDM might know Chela for hits such as “Fifteen” and “Romanticise.” Her latest single, “Zero,” released in March, features 80s melodies and soft vocals that are very reminiscent of old school funk.

After her sound check, I sat down with her to discuss her music style, songwriting, and her experiences in NYC.

Me: How would you describe your sound?

Chela: A lot of people have been calling it alt-pop. I think I just call it cool-pop, because it’s not “Top 40s” and not kind of cheesy and I write my own stuff.

Me: Your songs tend to get remixed quite well. Which remixes of “Fifteen”and “Romanticise” are your favorites?

Chela: I’ve got to be honest, I’m not really too familiar with all of the “Fifteen” remixes. I know there’s an Oxford remix that’s gone very well, but for me it’s kind of strange to hear my voice changed like that into the sound of a chipmunk. But yeah, that one’s had a lot of love which is great. Out of the “Romanticise” remixes, I mean, I love them all but one that I constantly DJ is the Le Bruce remix because it’s the one that makes me feel the most like dancing and having a good time. The Collarbones remix is really good for just like I guess when you’re feeling more of a chilled energy. It’s good for winding down, that one.

Me: What is the songwriting process like for you?

Chela: It’s always different. There’s no formula. Sometimes I just come up with a lyric. Like today, for instance, I was weeing (peeing) because I had lots to drink, and I was like, “God the wee just keeps going!” And then I wrote like in my head these lyrics saying, “It just keeps going and it won’t stop, don’t let your guard drop.” And then I was like, I’m gonna have to write it about something else but like, I can use it. I took it back and wrote it down, and then I thought about what else I could write about, obviously, because you don’t want to write about that.

Me: What was the inspiration behind the song “Zero”?

Chela: That’s a bit of a secret, but it’s basically just about when you’re friends with someone, and you want to turn it into a romance, and you kind of work your way towards it and then it doesn’t work out, and they just want to be friends, but you feel like you’ve worked towards it. That’s kind of what it’s about.

Me: Which artist collaboration was your favorite and why?

Chela: I mean, I don’t like to play favorites. I haven’t collaborated a huge amount in terms of what’s been actually released, but I really enjoyed collaborating with Clubfeet on a song called “Heartbreak” because those guys became really good friends of mine, and we’ve had great adventures together on tour and just hanging out in general playing basketball and whatever. So, I really enjoyed doing that

Me: What albums have you been listening to lately?

Chela: I’ve been listening a bit to Ramona Lisa which is Caroline Polachek’s new solo project. I’ve been listening a bit to Mac Demarco, Blood Orange, of course, Cupid Deluxe. I really love the Haim record that came out.

Me: Do you plan on releasing a full length album any time soon?

Chela: Yes I do. I’ve been writing it for a long time and I’ve just been waiting for the right time to make it happen and bring it to fruition, so I’m hoping that’s not too far away.

Me: Tell me about your YouTube video on “How to Dance to the Zero Minimix.” Did you pre-choreograph it, or was it all impromptu?

Chela: It was totally impromptu. I think I played the first weekend of Coachella and I came home for a week just to hang out, and I didn’t really have that much to do so I was sitting at home writing, and I love that minimix so I really enjoy listening to it, which is like, you know, you want to make music that you enjoy listening to. So, I don’t know, I guess I was just quite proud of it. I thought it was quite interesting so just last minute I thought I would add another element to it by giving people a bit of a video. And that took me 15 minutes just to make the whole thing, and it’s crazy how well it was received after being so easy to make.

Me: What do you like to do for fun when you’re in NYC?

Chela: Oh man I love it here so much! I was just walking down Bedford just before, and I stopped by an ice cream place…it was an ice cream truck, like a cream color (Van Leeuwen?), but the last time I was at that ice cream truck was six years ago when I first came to New York and I feel in love, like, in complete love with the city and it brought back so many memories for me of walking down Bedford with my cousin Jess, and we got ice cream there and went shopping at the op shop—you call them thrift shops here. The thing I love the most about New York is that there’s such a huge street culture. I love walking everywhere, because I just moved to LA and something I’m really missing out on is being able to walk or catch the subway or the train anywhere I want. So, that’s kind of why I want to live here at some point but I’m standing in LA.

Me: What do you expect your fans to experience tonight at your concert with Goldroom?

Chela: Firstly, I hope they dance. Secondly, I hope they sing along. But mostly what I love with music is if it provokes deep emotion and I think especially with songs like “Fifteen” which is very nostalgic for a lot of people thinking back to their teenage years. The response we’ve had so far has been super emotional, so I hope that’s the case tonight.

 

Listen to Chela’s music on Spotify, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud.

 

Lupita Nyong’o Glows in New Lancôme Campaign Ad

Photo Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

Oscar winning actress Lupita Nyong’o is the face of the new campaign ad for Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Lasting Foundation.

“The secret I never intended to keep: @lancomeUSA#TeintIdoleUltra24H,” reads the caption on the photo posted to her Instagram account on Tuesday.

The secret I never intended to keep: @lancomeUSA #TeintIdoleUltra24H

A post shared by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo) on

The 31-year-old Kenyan beauty joins brand supporters Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz and Lily Collins.

The French brand hand picked Nyong’o for the campaign earlier this year saying,

Her instinctive and sophisticated talent and one of a kind beauty, both delicate and strength-exuding, has taken the world by storm. She is an outstanding example of a natural beauty; confident and simply true to herself, she embraces life with freshness, citing happiness as the most attractive form of radiance.

Radiant she is, with her chocolaty-smooth skin and gorgeous brown eyes.

“I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history and that I have always loved,” the 12 Years a Slave star said.

“Lupita is by essence the Lancôme woman,” said Françoise Lehmann, General Manager of Lancôme International.  “A strikingly beautiful and intelligent woman, serenely but strongly living her life her own way, Lupita has this special kind of aura both enlightening and deep.”

Nyong’o’s flawless campaign photos radiate extreme beauty and femininity. Lancôme could not have chosen a better ambassador.

 

#AmexEverydayLIVE: Maroon 5 Performs “Maps” for the First Time at the Bowery Ballroom

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On Friday night, the Maroon 5 concert streamed live on amexeverydaylive.com from the Bowery Ballroom in NYC.

The band opened with “One More Night.” a single from their album Overexposed. The intro was a  brilliant, stripped down version of the song’s hook.

Adam Levine looked very summer in his red palm tree print button down shirt. He commented on the intimate setting of the Bowery as opposed to a large concert arena.

He also expressed his thoughts on the live streaming element of the show. “You can either not do anything or make some big ass mistakes,” Adam said to the crowd. “Just rest assured, it will be filmed.”

The band followed Adam’s commentary with a smooth rendition of “Sunday Morning,” and afterward, a stellar performance of the song “Makes Me Wonder.”

At one point during the concert, Adam spoke to the fans watching from home.

“For those of you watching on the internet, I hope you’re having fun out there,” he began. “But, of  course, you’re not having as much fun as we are,” he continued as the people in the audience cheered.

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The band then proceeded to perform their new single “Maps” from their upcoming album V.

“Be gentle, because it’s our first time,” Adam warned.

Adam Levine and the lead guitarist decided be silly on stage and started playing “Love Somebody” with the wrong guitar chords.

“So now it’s out of our system,” Adam laughed.

Of course, the band performed the song properly right after, which was absolutely wonderful.

The band also performed “Stereo Hearts” and “Moves Like Jagger.”

Throughout the evening, fans were encouraged to tweet the hashtag #AmexEverydayLIVE to get Maroon 5 to do an encore.

They, did, and it was spectacular.

maroon 5 amex live

Before that moment, I’d never heard “She Will Be Loved” performed live. Adams vocals were simply beautiful.

They closed the show with “Daylight,” another single from Overexposed.

I honestly wish I’d been able to see the concert live. The concert looked like a blast from my computer screen, and I’m sure audience members had an awesome night with Maroon 5 at the Bowery.

Maroon 5 amex live 3

 

 

 

2014 Summer Dance Party Playlist

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Summer is here, and you know what that means?

It’s party time! And what’s a party without a hip twirling, booty shakin’ dance party playlist?

Here are 20 danceable songs for your summer 2014 dance party:

1. Rock That Body, Black Eyed Peas: You can’t just stand in the corner and pretend no one will notice you at a summer dance party. So get out on the dance floor and “rock that body”!

2. I Love You, Belinda ft. Pitbull: Go ahead, dance with a stranger. You might even fall in love…

3. While We’re in Love, Viceroy (Oliver Nelson Remix): By all means, have fun, but don’t do anything stupid with a mysterious stranger while you’re in love with someone else.

4. I Look to You, Miami Horror ft. Kimbra: This jazz infused track will take you to the future and back.

5. Paris (Party Mix), David Guetta: Ain’t no party like a party in Paris.

6. We Found Love, Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna: It’s true. You can find love on the dance floor.

7. September, St. Lucia: This heavy synth beat will have you and your group of friends jumping all over the dance floor.

8. Love Slayer, Joe Jonas: The dance floor is the place where you can cause “nothin’ but trouble, babe.”

9. Jack, Breach: “I want your body, everybody wants your body, so let’s jack.”

10. Give Me Your Hand (Best Song Ever), The Ready Set: Don’t be afraid to grab a cutie’s hand when your favorite song comes on!

11. Save the Day, Selena Gomez: Dance until the “night starts slipping away.”

12. #thatPOWER, Will.i.am ft. Justin Bieber: You’ve got the power. Now dance.

13. Blackout, Breathe Carolina: “Can you handle the pace”? Don’t blackout. Just. Keep. Dancing.

14. Beam Me Up (Kill Mode Radio Edit), CAZZETTE: Let this track beam you right back to life.

15. Colors, Nadia Oh: Make rainbow love on the dance floor.

16. Crazy, Alexandra Stan: Just go crazy. No one cares how weird you dance…

17. All Night Long ft. Missy Elliot and Timbaland: “Don’t make plans.” We’re gonna dance “all night long.”

18. Disco Romancing (Video Edit), Elena: “Dance until the sun comes up.”

19. Party Rock Anthem, LMFAO: Never apologize for party rockin’.

20. Tonight is the Night, Outasight: Tonight is the night to let your body feel the beat, and lose yourself in the music. Don’t hold back.

Have a happy and safe summer 2014!

dance party

Meet Taylor Swift’s New Kitty: Olivia Benson

taylor swift cat

Taylor Swift got a new kitty, and guess what she named her?

Olivia Benson, as in Mariska Hargitay’s character on Law and Order.

The tiny white cat sits on Swift’s lap in an Instagram photo with the caption, “Meet Olivia Benson.”

Apparently Taylor Swift has been a fan of the popular crime television series for years. “I sit in my apartment and watch hours of that show,” she said in an interview with Teen Vogue a few years ago.

Mariska Hargitay has yet to comment on the name choice.

Olivia is Taylor Swift’s second cat. Her first feline friend is named after Ellen Pompeo’s Grey’s Anatomy character Meredith Grey. She’s a Scottish Fold cat who’s “friendly and fun and she’s perfect for the road because she doesn’t ever get freaked out,” Swift said in an interview with Us Weekly. “She’s awesome. She’s like one of those cats that give cats a good name. She doesn’t hide under furniture and get weird around people.”

I think Olivia is adorbs!