Samba's are more popular than Simba
They are everywhere. In the grocery stores, at parties and even at weddings. Adidas Samba’s are taking over America. Don’t get me wrong, these shoes are super fly and I would totally wear them. They’ve been around for a few years now and they have slowly, but surely creeped into peoples closet.
A few years back, Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid were spotted wearing them in casual attire. In my opinion, samba’s work best in casual settings or out-and-about. I’m sure somewhere in the world, somebody is wearing samba’s at a black tie event, but I urge you not to be that guy.
Building a Successful Career in Music
When you’re just getting started in music or audio engineering, your passion may be more of a hobby than a profession. However, if you’re here, you might be wondering if it’s time to turn this into a career and business. The answer is yes, but it’ll take some effort on your part.
Today’s post explores a few steps you can take to turn your musical skills into dollars and cents.
Start by evaluating the potential to monetize your hobby.
There are many different niches within the music and audio engineering categories. Before trying to turn your fun into a financial vehicle, do some research to decide if there’s a market, how much people are willing to pay for your skills, and the type of competition you can expect.
Craft a business plan.
Once you’ve gained an understanding of your market and you have experience and a solid skill set, it’s time to write a business plan. This will outline your goals, financial projections, and marketing strategies. Your business plan will also include details on how you manage the everyday aspects of your business. Remember, a solid and well-thought-out business plan will keep you on track and in focus.
Be okay with starting small.
When you’re just beginning any new entrepreneurial endeavor, it’s crucial to start small. This gives you an opportunity to test the waters and see how your services will be received by your ideal audience. Don’t jump straight into a global marketplace. Instead, look for a local market, such as a bar needing audio engineering assistance. This will give you a chance to gain feedback and, as you might’ve guessed, additional experience that will help you grow as an entrepreneur and industry professional. Addicted2Success also smartly points out that starting small helps to avoid feelings of being overwhelmed.
Networking and collaboration are essential to building a successful career in any field, audio and music included. Bass Parlour founder Darryl Stephens recommends visiting music conferences and music stores and participating in open jam sessions. The more connections you can make, the more opportunities you may have in the future.
Never lose your drive.
Just as important as all of the above is staying motivated and persistent. It’s not always easy to start a business or break into a new career, but staying motivated, present, and aware of the industry and all of the changes will help you overcome challenges that you strive to achieve your goals. Never lose sight of the reason you started pursuing your passion in the first place, and use that love to drive you forward.
It doesn’t matter whether you want to be a musician, sound engineer, or some other professional within the music industry, the tips above can help you get started. If you’re not quite sure of your skills yet, get your feet wet by selling products that you’re familiar with. Then, you can move in other areas, build your network, and gain experience. Regardless of what you do, don’t lose your drive, and use your passion to propel your profession to the pinnacle of success.
Too Cool Concert:
A Night of R&B and Hip-Hop
On April 29, 2023 Xavley, RTS Neutral and JuJu Lee are joining together for the Too Cool Concert. The event will be held at Brooklyn Music Kitchen 177 Vanderbilt Ave. Brooklyn, NY from 10:30pm - 12:30am. There will be food, drinks and merch available for purchase. Tickets are online through eventbrite or at the door.
Xavley is a sound artist, photographer and poet from Brooklyn, NY. He's a current experimental humanities graduate student at New York University and still able to release multiple music projects available on all streaming platforms. His latest project "Xavier's Ensenada" is a work of experimental sound art and R&B storytelling which explores the many facets of home, quarantine and breakups.
JuJu Lee is a fashion designer, recording artist and actor from Paterson, NJ. He's played principle roles in "The Kitchen" featuring Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy and Common; Wu-Tang: An American Saga on Hulu and Spinning Gold featuring Ledisi, Jason Derulo and Wiz Khalifa. His latest music project "Amethyst and Hydrangeas" is available on all streaming platforms.
RTS Neutral is a poet and hip-hop artist that has been performing all over NYC. He has just released his latest music project "Paradigm" that explores old school and modern hip-hop flow, touches lightly on his life growing up. He has multiple project on all streaming platforms available for you to listen.
Reviving the Short Sleeve Polo
SHEIN X JuJu Lee
SS23 Capsule Collection
A polo shirt is a look strongly associated with polo players, golfing and business; but it’s been making its way into street fashion for that same reason. Designers have been improvising on the polo look by making them knitted, see-through and adding colorful prints. Some brands that are reviving the polo look is Abercrombie & Fitch, Express and J.Crew.
I think some of the coolest characteristics of a polo shirt is the close fit that is very appealing to any body type and the feel of wealth. They’re best worn in a formal look, however you can definitely pull it off in a casual setting if done right. One things for sure, I definitely think we’ll see a lot more men exploring this look in spring/summer 2023.
I’ve been working on this project for a few months now and I'm happy to announce the SHEIN X JuJu Lee SS23 capsule collection is finally here. I just released ten original pieces that represent the JuJu Lee fashion brand and where I plan on evolving it. A couple of my favorite pieces from the collection is the Plaid Spliced Blazer and Striped Pattern sweater dress.
One of the coolest thing about this collection is that all the items are under $50. The collection is only available for a limited time, so I urge you to purchase as soon as you can. You can view the entire collection by clicking the link below.
Pearls are a man's best friend
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. We have come to find out that pearls are a man’s best friend. Silver and gold can be worn in many occasions, but pearls can look a bit tacky if not done right. For the past few years, people have been getting riskier with styling pearls crossing them over to casual styles. Also, more men have been seen wearing pearls in formal and casual attire.
A few men that have been spotted wearing pearls are Jaden Smith, Bad Bunny and Shawn Mendes. Pearls are best worn alone, but many are layering them with either silver and gold chains; some might even add crystals or pendants. Layering does improve the character to the overall attire and makes it look fun and exciting. Jewelry is a very subtle part of fashion, but it can definitely elevate your style in the most luxurious way.
The Crave for New Balance
There has been a rapid increase of people wearing New Balance sneakers, but they've become the new crave for at least a couple years now. For awhile, they were pushed to the back. Usually, they were worn by dads and people that wear the same shirt everyday like, Steve Jobs. Their designs have become a bit more stylish and has been catching the eye of fashion influencers. Maybe they’ve added some younger people to the design time or they saw how big of an impact the Jaden Smith collaboration made to their brand identity, but one thing’s for sure there has been a big switch.
Although, their designs are a bit more stylish they’ve seem to still remain affordable and have a lot of the same qualities of their older designs. From what I can tell, they’ve changed the structure of the shoes to not fit so bulky in some of the newer designs. I also noticed they’ve started doing a bit more exploring with color combinations, which has proved to be very beneficial. I’m excited to see how they’ll continue to expand and what ideas they’ll think of next.
Prada Sandals for the Summer
Prada has been reigning for years now and their designs over time just keeps getting better, while setting new trends. From luxury clothing, designer sneakers and boots, you’ll definitely come across their products being worn by celebrities and fashion connoisseurs. Most recently, I noticed they released a few pairs of Sandals. The ‘Rubber Sandals’ and ‘Fisherman Sandler’ are my favorite so far.
You’d think that in this time period of fashion it would be difficult to be innovative, but fashion designers show consumers everyday that fashion is limitless. Both of these designs are a modern improvisation of styles from about a decade ago. It has a feel of casualty because they’re sandals, but the brushed leather gives it a polished formal vibe. You can find both styles on Prada’s official website.
New Music: "Love Language" and "Stay Around" by
Bringing you two new singles at the top of the year, "Love Language" and "Stay Around". I've been working on these tracks for about seven months and it's very exciting to share them with my community of supporters/listeners. Both tracks are inspired by a relationship I had at the time. Mainly, about giving in to love and enjoying the experience. Both singles will be available on streaming platforms 02/14/2022.
Quality watches for a Gentleman
One of the hardest problems of this time of the year is trying to figure out what to get someone. More particular, what to get men. Some of the most obvious options like neck ties and cologne are great ideas, but if you have a little extra money in your pocket this year I would recommend getting that special man a watch. Wearing watches has become a lost fashion statement, but I believe watches can complete the cheapest of outfits and make it look luxurious.
A couple options that I would go with are the Movado BOLD thin for $595 and TimeX T80 34mm Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch for $65. The Movado BOLD thin is of course, a high-end luxury watch that should be worn with formal wear. But I believe that you should always have at least one silver or gold watch to complete a suit. The TimeX options is way more affordable and they also have them in different colors for casual attire.
The best fashion collaboration goes to Crocs X Balenciaga
I don’t think I’m the only one that did not see a collaboration between Crocs and Balenciaga happening, but they actually created a beautiful artwork. The two brands are unparalleled in aesthetic and target customers, but they mix well together like peanut butter and apple slices. A few weeks ago they unveiled the projects; high heels, platforms and boots that are available in select colors.
There has been a trend of brands forging together, like Fendi X Versace and Gucci X Balenciaga. This collaboration makes the most sense because as we all know, opposites attract. There have been a few celebrities that have cosigned the look like, Elliot Page and Kanye West. Ye’ has been seen wearing the Crocs boots on numerous occasion, it is safe to say that they resonate with his style immensely.
Comfortable Crocs for the Summer
Everyone could use a good slippers when they’re running errands and sneakers are just too much of a hassle to put on. For years, there’s been a trend of athletic slippers such as Adidas and Nike. Now, Crocs have been getting popular because of the multiple color selections. They’ve even created jibbitz to personalize your Crocs.
Most recently, Rapper Nicki Minaj posted a picture that created a tremendous increase in the sales of Crocs. Recording Artist like, Post Malone and Justin Bieber have been seen wearing them in a very comfortable way. It’s very difficult to dress-up crocs, so it’s best to not make a statement and crossing over into formal wear.
Telfar is Going Far
Black luxury fashion brand has been the crave for awhile now and I think this is just the beginning. Most recently, I’ve been seeing the tremendous support and admiration for the Telfar designer bags. Getting a Telfar is not impossible, but if you want to get your hands on one of these bags you must be determine. They come in three different sizes and are surprisingly affordable for the high-end polished look.
Female rapper Saweetie and recording artist Tanishe were both spotted wearing their Telfar bag in a very glamorous way. The biggest bag can literally be used as a carry-on bag for a quick vacation, if you like flying in style. Or you can wear the smallest one on a dinner date. Although, they’re difficult to get, my best advice would be to subscribe to their mailing list to find out when their next drop will be.
Alexander McQueen running the Scene
Fashion has been thriving during the quarantine and it seems to be one of the only things we can control in these trying times. Retail therapy heals and with the stress that this year has brought us, many Americans are relieving themselves. One sneaker that has been catching people’s attention is Alexander McQueen oversized sneaker. Most recently, Neyo was seen wearing the sneaker at the iHeart radio music award show in a very sporty-casual way.
One of the great quality about this particular sneaker is that it’s suitable to be worn in a casual or formal way. Most of the time, I see people wearing them running errands because of the oversized sole. But I can easily see them being worn with a suit or dress pants. Hailey Beiber was also seen wearing the sneaker out and about. Although the sneakers are high-end, they are still attainable for men and women at a price of $540.
Yoga for Stress
With all the task of the day to day life, it's best to do something that relaxes and eases your stress. Wether it may be meditating, exercising or having a glass of wine; take some time to unwind and get grounded. Yoga is an activity that increases your strength, flexibility and mental strength. It's a great way to relax and reconnect with your inner self.
There's a few black yoga instructors that teach online classes from basic to advance. Arianna Elizabeth and Channing Hixon are a couple of the best that are out right now. Here's a couple of videos to get you started.
Megan Thee Stallion is
Savage X Fenty
latest Brand Ambassador
From Normani to Tinashe, Savage X Fenty has been bringing on the hottest women that America has to offer. Recently, Megan Thee Stallion has been the latest to become apart of Savage X Fenty's Ambassadors. With her latest single "Savage", this endorsement fits perfectly with her brand. Just in time for "Hot Girl Summer", everyone is eager to see what Hot Girl Meg is cooking up because it's evident she doesn't miss a beat.
While on the subject of her rapid rise to fame, she will be featured in HBO new "Legendary" as one the reoccurring judge. The show revolves around the underground ballroom community. With vougin', duck walk and flamboyant costumes the show will give viewers a peak into what's it like to be in a legendary ballroom.
Move hands free with a 'Chest Rig Bag'
When you're on the go, most likely you'd like to be moving hands-free. Even if you do carry a lot of items with you, meetings or catching a flight; Chest Rig Bags can surely come in handy. These bags are not only convenient, but can be very stylish from formal to casual.
Russell Westbrook, as well as Chris Brown have been seen wearing there chest rig bags. You'll be able to keep your personal belonging, that may be too big to fit in your pocket, close to you. Russell Westbrook was wearing the Alyx chest rig bag for ¢490.
Posted: Nov. 13, 2019
Maison Margiela Tabi Boots
Maison Margiela 'Tabi' boots has made its way into another winter season and continues to create a trendy lane of it's own. The split-toe in the boot gives it a signature look. It has definitely been seen by other designers and culture, but Maison Margiela brand does it in a way of high-fashion and exclusivity.
Many celebrities have been seen wearing the 'Tabi' boots, wether it may be on the red carpet or running errands. Sarah Jessica Parker, as well as ASAP Rocky, have been seen wearing the boots in a semi-casual attire. The bulky heel gives it the comfortability to be worn out-and-about. Maison Margiela Tabi boots are available for men and women at the price of $1,485.
Posted: Nov. 11, 2019
The New Masculinity Era includes Men's handbags
Just a few years ago, the thought of straight men wearing purses was taboo because it meant that their claimed sexuality was questionable. Shoulder bags for men has been expanding for sometime now, from messenger bags in the early 2000's then the return of the fanny packs around 2015. Now, men have crossed over into luxury purses.
Dwayne Wade was seen wearing a Thom Browne outfit, while carrying a leather Thom Browne hector bag. This was definitely a formal look, but Snoop Dogg was seen carrying a Louis Vuitton classic brown leather bag in a more casual way. I think its important to understand that this is not about sexuality, but more about freedom of expression.
Posted: Oct. 20, 2019
Common Projects X Flashy Suits
Of course, if you're going to a formal event then sneakers wouldn't be a good idea. But if the occasion is a bit semi-formal, then putting on sneakers to relax the outfit and for comfort is perfect. I like to go with something very simple, but effective. The first sneaker that comes to mind is Common Project achilles.
Kevin Hart, as well as NBA basketball player Chris Paul have been seen wearing CP achilles sneaker in a stylish way. Both wore the sneaker in order to dial down the flashy suits they were wearing. Common Project achilles sneakers can be found at any Nordstrom or Barney's in your area for $415.
Posted: Oct. 17, 2019
Got my Vans on, but they look so fancy
They were originally skateboard sneakers, but since 2009 when ‘The Pack’ released their hit song “Vans” people have been wearing their vans in a causal to formal style. The Slip-on Vans were the main trend, but recently people are wearing the Sk8-Hi Vans.
Famous celebrities like Wiz Khalifa, Jaden Smith and even North West have been wearing the Sk8-Hi Vans. These shoes are a perfect blend of edgy and simple at the same time and they can be in your wardrobe for a modest price of $65.
Posted: Oct. 15, 2019