BLACK EXCELLENCE: a playlist by annjie houston

BLACK EXCELLENCE: a playlist by annjie houston

The creative rule of thumb seems to be that with great pain and suffering, comes great art.  If that’s true, then it would appear that black music and entertainment is in the beginning of a Renaissance period.

From incredible television shows like Insecure and Atlanta, to blockbuster films like Black Panther, and undeniably black albums like A Seat at the Table, Lemonade, DAMN and 4:44, representation is gradually getting better (we still have a long way to go). With that in mind, I set out to create a playlist that transcended genre, and had only two rules: be black and be dope.  A lot of the artists featured on this playlist are relatively new and up and coming—that’s intentional. ‘Black Excellence’ is a playlist created to highlight artists that deserve to be recognized for their incredible talent, and introduce music lovers to names, and songs they may not have heard before.

This playlist is long, and is being added to continually for endless listening pleasure. Having said that, here are a few highlights:

Masego – “Tadow” ft. FKJ –  This song will catch you completely off guard with a sleek combination of sensual vocals and saxophone.

Curtis Harding – “Wednesday Morning Atonement” –  It’s 1960, and you’ve walked into a small smoky bar where Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye are casually jamming together. Oh, no, sorry it’s 2018 and you’ve been introduced to the genius that is Curtis Harding.

Charlotte De Santos – “It’s Over, Bobby” – Charlotte De Santos makes breaking up sound fun against a Cubano backdrop and vocals as silky as a scarf used to wrap your newly pressed curls.

Celeste – “Milk & Honey” – A minimalist beat reminiscent of James Blake or Radiohead provides the foundation for this sultry single. Celeste has a voice like smoke and bourbon concealed by rose petals.

Brent Faiyaz – “Insecure” –  Feeling insecure in a relationship never sounded so sexy. ‘Please don’t think I’m insecure/I just feel safe by myself.’  Carried entirely by Faiyaz’s vocal performance, this track is a cut above most R&B songs permeating the airwaves right now.

Vagabon – “Cold Apartment” – The combination of vulnerability and strength in this young woman’s voice is what epic stories are made of. Subtle, quiet, determined and then all at once, powerful, commanding, and fierce.

Sterling Rhyne – “Remedy” – Music runs through Sterling Rhyne’s veins. It’s evident in the arrangement of this track; the nuances and subtle sounds that she combines to tell a story is pure genius. Not to mention her voice—not that it needs an adjective, but let’s give it one: tranquil.

Sunni Colon – “Little Things”— A classic blend of funk and R&B. Heavy bass and drums set the scene of this single. If Groove Theory, Maxwell  and Tony! Toni! Toné! raised a child together, it would be Sunni Colon.

Kadjha Bonet – “Remember the Rain” – Imagine Dionne Warwick, and Diana Ross…. Now, imagine the both of them as one single electrifying entity. Yes, that’s Kadjha Bonet and this track oozes Motown circa 1963.

Abi Ocia – “Running” – There’s something cathartic about Ocia’s voice. Any emotion you’re feeling can be found in the song. Imagine standing alone and perfectly still in a bright white room, and then closing your eyes slowly. That’s what this song feels like, infinite space that overwhelms you and suddenly reminds you of your place in the vast universe.

Justin Michael Williams – “Here With Me” – Words cannot describe the versatility of this amazing singer. This song is only a taste of what he has to offer. The track is powerful and delicate, and his falsetto is otherworldly. Only seconds into the single and you’re blown away; you think you know what to expect from “Here With Me,” but you truly have no idea.


Keep up with the stunning Annjie Houston here!

diem, “something to do with LOVE”

diem, “something to do with LOVE”

I am really fascinated by love, it’s no wonder that so many artists including me, need to write about it. Because it can hurt us so much, but also fulfill us to the most. Love comes in every form. It can be bright or dark, it can be inspiring or destructive, it can fuel us with hope or drag us down. These are some of the songs I like to listen to the I’m in the mood for love…

Instagram: @diemxdiem 
Facebook page:

ovtlier, “bang your head”

ovtlier, “bang your head”

Theses songs shaped my love for many levels of rock and metal. Continuously bringing me back to my roots and defining me as a musician. Reminding me why i love playing music and what its all about.
Kept my feet tapping and my head bobbing. These are nostalgia to me.

Deftones – Nose Bleed
Korn – Blind
Orgy – Stitches
Slipknot – People Equal Shit
Ovtlier – Vice
Powerman 5000 – When Worlds Colide
Static X – Push It
Periphery – The Parade Of Ashes
My Ticket Home – Hot Soap
Papa Roach – Infest
The Finalist – Leave The Broken Hearts Behind
Novelists – Voyager
Blindside – Pitiful
Deftones – My Own Summer
Rammstein – Buck Dich
Pantera – Cowboys From Hell
Emmure – Shinjuku Masterlord
Limp Bizkit – Nookie
Eighteen Visions – Tower Of Snakes
Atreyu – Right Side Of The Bed
Ovtlier – Buried Me Alive
Marilyn Manson – The Beautiful People
Rob Zombie – Demonoid Phenomenon
Korn – Good God
Slipknot – Wait And Bleed
The Dillinger Escape Plan – 43% Burnt
The Human Abstract – Vela, Together We Await The Storm
Between The Buried And Me – The Primer
Every Time I Die – Ebolarama
Norma Jean – Charactarantula : Talking to you and the Intake of Glass


Keep up with Ovtlier here:

krantz shares “60sdelic” soundtrack

krantz shares “60sdelic” soundtrack

Krantz is a group of heathens from all over the US who congregated to Nashville, and teamed up to make a melodious sound. Check out their newest single, “Run Away With Me” off their upcoming EP, The Pennock Tapes.
This is a playlist of what I think would be playing if you turned on pop radio back in the mid-late 60’s, as you’re sitting in Golden Gate Park smoking a doobie. Having not been alive at the time, I obviously can’t say, but it’s a bunch of rad tunes by some of my favorite artists from my favorite era in music as things were starting to get psychedelic. Tune in and turn on man….

Also, check their site for upcoming dates as they hit the road this spring. Dare ya to not sing along.
corina corina’s music to drannnk to

corina corina’s music to drannnk to

Since I am gearing up to release an album called Hangover Music, I decided it was only right to put together a playlist of songs about alcohol by some of my favorite drinkin’ artists (and a few by me!)

Like “Hangover Music,” this multi-genre collection of songs explores all the facets of the relationship between artist and booze: the fun times, the dark times, the messy times and the head-pounding hangovers. Alcohol doesn’t always make for a productive next morning but it sure makes a damn good song!

Keep up with Corina Corina here.