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Akademia Live- December 4, 2014 @ 8 PM

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Welcome to Akademia Live, where award-winning artists in diverse musical genres take the stage to bring their original music straight to the people. There are no second-takes. There are no slick post-production effects. There’s only the artist, theirs songs, and the crowd. It doesn’t get any more live than Akademia Live.

Sol Night Club
Thursday, December 4, 2014 @ 8 PM
www.solvenue.com
313 E. Carson St.
Los Angeles, California 90745

See award-winning artists Nxus, Lisa Trindade, Lotis, Dalal, Millennium and others take the stage for one epic night of live performances. DJ’s will be spinning the hottest club hits before and after the live sets. Akademia drink specials all night.

Admission: Free (Password ‘Akademia’)
Ages 21 & over only. Dress code: Club chic.

Akademia Live Flyer 12-4-14

Beckman Media Company- The Leading Provider of Media Business News

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February 28, 2014

By Glen Rupert

Beckman Logo

Beckman Media Company, one of the top media industry news providers based in Los Angeles, California, introduces their new rebranded site Beckman.tv, providing a streamlined view of the most pertinent news affecting the media business today.

Beckman.tv presents the latest ground-breaking news from nearly every media industry sector, including telecommunications, Internet, film and music. With the same incisive reporting and analysis that has become the trademark of Beckman Media, the new site enables viewers to access content anywhere in the globe.

What makes Beckman different from other media business news providers is that they offer an unbiased look at media corporations, business practices and the competitive environment, giving detailed and thorough information to its viewers.

Anwar Najmi- From Artist To Altruist

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March 14, 2014

By Karin Francisca

Anwar Najmi

Anwar Jamal Najmi is an award-winning singer-songwriter, composer and producer who has recorded five albums, placed songs in the international top ten, and secured song placements in Hollywood feature films and hit television series.

As an artist, he witnessed firsthand the decline and collapse of the record business, brought on by what he describes as two decades of endemic corruption, exploitation and overall lack of regard for the creative individuals who had built the record business into a multi-billion dollar industry.

In 2008, Anwar and his wife Roujeanne reached into their own pockets spending $1 million to found The Akademia. The mission of The Akademia was simple: To identify talented musicians throughout the world who were passionate about developing their art and to give those artists the support and resources required to make their artistic visions a reality. Having cultivated numerous industry contacts through the years, Anwar persuaded six senior record executives, handpicked for their integrity, to lend their knowledge and expertise to The Akademia cause.

The result has been a quiet revolution. From its relatively small endowment, The Akademia has grown rapidly, using innovative thinking, new technology and an artist-centered approach to build a new platform for developing and commercializing the work of an exciting cadre of talented artists. At its core, The Akademia offers an impressive suite of services to its members in the areas of radio, press, video, global DJ servicing, live performance and publishing. In all respects, it looks a lot like a major record company- with the key exception that artists keep 100% of the rights to their creative product.

Having accomplished many of their own creative goals, it was natural for Anwar and Roujeanne to begin reaching out to help other artists navigate through the new music environment. ‘We made the costly mistakes so that other artists don’t have to,’ states Anwar. Judging by the increasing number of Akademia entrants, the new generation of artists appreciates the guidance and support.

Party People Make Way! Millennium Releases ‘Wide Thing’

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By Kip Littmann

I thought I had somewhat figured out the group Millennium until they invited fans to take a walk on the ‘wide’ side. Their second single ‘Wide Thing’ off their upcoming album is an interesting hip-hop/rock fusion, mildly reminiscent of the Troggs 1966 chart-topping hit ‘Wild Thing’. Like the 60’s anthem, Millennium is betting heavily (no pun intended) on this hip-hop/rock track to have the same, well, wide appeal. Beyond a doubt, this is a song that people can groove to, even as they ponder the possible meaning of ‘wide thing’, sung over and over again throughout the pulsating, bass-heavy chorus.

The official music video for ‘Wide Thing’ has had mixed reviews leaving some listeners shaking their heads in amusement and some shaking their heads disapprovingly. According to Millennium, it is those who find the video humorous who are closer to understanding the intent of the song. So what is the deeper inspiration behind ‘Wide Thing’? Surprisingly, it’s not the young woman in the yellow leotard with the huge ‘badonkadonk’. Let us flashback to the early 2000’s when urban music dominated the airwaves and popular culture. If hip-hop had come to represent anything during that era it was excess, characterized by an obsession with big things. There were hip-hop songs about big cars, big blunts, big money, big bling, and, of course, big booties. Millennium’s single appears to be something of a throw-back to that fascinating era that captivated the world, in all its glory and ridiculousness. Remember diamond grills or the XXXL pants that fell down to the knees?

With or without any deeper meaning behind the song, Millennium does reveal a willingness to take huge risks with their music and to avoid taking themselves too seriously. By the end of the music video it begins to look a lot like a playbook for living young, and wide and free. Or, in view of Stryker and Sapphire’s rampage through fast food hell, how to make a big ass of one’s self (pun intended). Read the full article at: http://www.whoismillennium.com/press_room/party_people_make_way_millennium_releases_wide_thing

Rock Is Back. Rediscovering The Art Of Making Music.

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By Daniel Parker

Reprinted with permission from NewsWire

The world is familiar with the celebrity musical icons of the day, so much in fact that they don’t even need to be named here.  Even a five-year-old Indonesian girl living in nipa hut on a remote island can tell you exactly who is dating who and trivial information such as what their last relationship fallout was all about.  The difference between the musical icons of today, and those of twenty years or so ago, is the reason for their celebrity status, which does not necessarily have to do with songwriting ability or musicianship.  Back in the day, a popular artist would write songs, record albums, perform in front of thousands of fans and, of course, host notorious backstage parties that sometimes leaked to the tabloids. But they also had private lives and were able to take vacations away from the public eye.  Although the paparazzi have existed since the birth of Hollywood, the power of the media has grown exponentially with the advent of the Internet, social media, smart phones and entertainment programs that cater to people’s vicarious instincts.  The result is that the lives of these ‘artists’ are often continuously on display for the public to see, observe and judge. Yet, aside from technological advances, there is a darker reason for this trend.

However, before we go there, there is another phenomenon worth examining: The average age of music performers has dropped considerably over the past few decades. No doubt, record companies have found it far easier to exploit young performers in the 15 – 21 age group. And why not? They have not lived long enough to cultivate a strong artistic drive, experiential base or standard of reference for what constitutes a healthy adult life. That also explains why most popular performers behave like such oddballs in their private life. They react similar to toddlers who do things that they know are wrong, blatantly in front of their parents, in order to test their boundaries.  They want to be free from the confines of people’s expectations of what they should do and, as a result, they behave recklessly.  Up until now, the public has remained plugged into to the lives of music celebrities much like one would follow their favorite soap opera or sports team.  Furthermore, it appears that the people were more interested in news regarding club altercations or DUI’s rather than the actual music, a telling acknowledgement that the person lacked any lasting artisitc merits worth discussing.

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter. There are a growing number of people who recognize that something is missing from the modern music performer.  Most people are now aware of the hidden assembly behind a commercial singer, including songwriters, artist & repertoire staff (A&R), producers, engineers, marketers and others who work together to create the commercial product.  Independent songwriters write the songs, A&R managers find those songs by posting notices in industry trades, the producers pick the best ones (often out of thousands) and together with an engineer, record the singer’s version. If the instrumentation of a song is out of date, they throw in some slick new electronic sounds and make sure the vocal tracks are pitch-corrected to perfection. Many commercial artists refuse to allow anyone except the engineer in their recording sessions. It’s little wonder why. The whole machinery depends upon the illusion that this ‘artist’ somehow lived the experiences, passionately wrote about them, sat with a piano or guitar to compose the song and then sang it. The precise opposite is now true. Some unknown songwriter out there lived the experience, wrote about it, composed the music and even sang it first. But that unknown songwriter, daunted by the risk of failure and the overt corruption of the industry, decided they were too unattractive, too poor a singer, too obese, too remote, too something to ever be liked by people. So they sold their song and their life experiences to someone they had never met in exchange for rent money.

The modern record company originated in the 1970’s as middle men between real artists and the public. In that era, before modern recording technology, the integrity and musicianship of these artists was self-evident. While the companies brought some business acumen to the table, the artist’s vision was, for the most part, respected and protected. In the decades that ensued, as profit became the main objective, corporations mistakenly began to think of themselves as the creative ‘tastemakers’ of modern music. In reality, they scrambled to chase down and capitalize on each musical trend, becoming little more than glorified banks, They muscled in on artists’ careers and demanded an ever-increasing percentage of returns.  By the turn of the century, they had completely seized control of the production process from start to finish and the product quality began to suffer noticeably. Real songwriting and musicianship has all but vanished from commercial music. Judging by the decline in music sales and the declining interest in commercial radio, the pendulum is now beginning to swing back. People are taking back their music, realizing that corporations were never, and never will be, well-suited to creating art.

An increasing number of people are shunning the roster of corporate artists in favor of high-quality, independent artists who write, produce and perform their own music. Though the number of these musician/songwriters has shrunk, thanks to nearly two decades of artistic decline, they do still exist. And they are uniquely positioned after years of songwriting and musical training to give people what they now seek- great songs played with live instruments.  Fans of these songs are not interested in perfection – they are merely asking for something real.

We caught up with Stryker, one such songwriter/musician from the group Millennium to get his thoughts:

Tell us a little about yourself and Millennium.

We’re a four-person band (bass, keyboards, guitar and drums). Our music is pop rock with both acoustic and electronic influences.

Let’s get right to it.  Do you have a bone of contention with some of today’s pop artists?

Well, I wouldn’t say that. I’m just not personally interested in listening to music that doesn’t come directly from the artist. I think that connection is everything in music. The Japanese have a word for everything else. Karaoke.

What do you do differently from the other artists?

Nowadays, it seems like everything we do is different. For starters, we write, sing, record and produce all of our own songs. I can’t name a single major label artist that does that. Also, we’ve never sold our songs to major label artists, even though we’ve had some offers.

But you do admit to using electronic software to enhance the sound of your music?

Absolutely. There have been some great advances in sound and recording technology. We love rock, but none of us are interested in recreating the rock era exactly as we remember it. We’ve changed and the world has changed too. Rock is coming back, but it’s not going to look and sound the same as we all remember it.

Is that what made you and Sapphire shift from the wireless mic’s and dancing to picking up instruments?

Oh, you’re gonna call us out like that! (laughing) Well, we’re both classically trained musicians. Sapphire played piano and I grew up playing piano, cello and bass. As Millennium, we explored the electronic pop element out of genuine artistic curiosity. But because we produce our own music, we had the freedom to shift gears when that approach was no longer hitting the mark in terms of our desired sound. Lately, with me returning to bass and Sapphire returning to piano, it just feels better musically.

Who are the other members of Millennium?

We’re fortunate to work with two other very talented and hard working musicians, drummer Brad Dawson and guitarist Gaku Murata. Brad is the sort of drummer every group wants- impeccable timing and an impressive command of different musical styles. Gaku is a quiet guy who let’s his guitar do the talking and he can solo forever.  Both of these musicians have the type of raw talent and technical ability that sets a high bar for all of us. Damn them (laughing).

How can we get a taste of how you might sound live and completely acoustic?

That’s easy. We just released a video of us performing our new single ‘When We Walk In The Place’ live. Considering we recorded one live take (and a second pass for vocal harmonies only), I’m surprised it sounded half-decent. This is the simplest song on the album, as it is built around a single concept or feeling. Interestingly, when we translated it live with fewer instruments, it achieved more sonic complexity than the dance version. There’s something to that.

What do you think is the future of modern music?

I can’t say for sure. I just know that music is something we do purely for the love of it. I’m sure modern music will continue to change and evolve and, hopefully, we’ll continue to evolve with it. If we’re lucky, what we’re working on will resonate with people at the time. If not, I’m okay with that too. I’m not interested in fame for its own sake. I just want to be able to look in the mirror at night before I go to bed and know that I’m being true to myself.

 

‘The Hottest Neighborhood in the U.S.A.’

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By Christopher Odalis

For those of you who may have a distaste for Los Angeles, a chaotic, sprawling metropolis with no clear center, you are evidently not familiar with Eagle Rock, a beautiful, quiet L.A. neighborhood nestled between the cities of Glendale and Pasadena.  This is a community you will likely become acquainted with as it was recently ranked #2 among the top areas to live in the U.S. according to Redfin’s list of ‘Hottest Neighborhoods of 2014’ and as presented in ABC 7 Eyewitness News.  But considering that the neighborhood ranked as #1 was an obscure place in frigid San Francisco, the title truly goes to this Los Angeles neighborhood of Eagle Rock.  As longtime local residents will tell you, Eagle Rock, founded in 1911, is a hidden gem that has surprisingly kept much of its small town charm and appeal.  But unlike other small towns where you would need to drive forty-five minutes to get to the city, Eagle Rock is within one of the largest, most famous cities in the world.  Downtown LA and Hollywood are only a few minutes drive away.  Eagle Rock is a humble community, home to the renowned Occidental College, famous for being the alma mater of our current president.  For the past fifteen years, Eagle Rock (and more recently its neighbor Highland Park), have gradually become artistic communities attracting well-educated hipsters from all over the country.

Besides drawing in homebuyers and small business owners, both Eagle Rock and Highland Park’s unique and alluring small town vibe has caught the eye of the entertainment industry as well.  Scores of trucks containing crew, camera and lighting equipment are frequently seen outside local shops and restaurants on Colorado Boulevard, York Boulevard and Figueroa Street shooting scenes for television, film and video.  The latest project was a music video for Millennium’s new single ‘When We Walk in the Place.’

Interestingly, Sapphire of Millennium grew up in the area.  Although she moved away for college a few years ago and has lived in other areas, she eventually found her way back to Highland Park where she is currently living with her husband Stryker (also of Millennium) and their two year old daughter. ‘Highland Park and Eagle Rock have changed so much since I was a child and definitely for the better.  Some of the oldest places are still around like Troy’s, Ruby’s Bakery and All Star Lanes and now there are some awesome new places added to the mix.  My parents still live in the same house that I grew up in and they are only a few blocks away from us.  I always get a good feeling of nostalgia every time I drive around the neighborhood, whether it’s going over to see my folks, passing my old junior high, or seeing my old piano teacher’s house around the corner.  So in essence, some things have changed and some things haven’t.  Either way, this truly is home for me.’

According to Stryker, ‘I grew up in Peoria, Illinois, a small town with a population of 120,000.  When I moved to Los Angeles after college, I lived in Hollywood, Venice Beach and Beverly Hills which are all pretty densely populated areas. When our daughter was born and we decided to move closer to the grandparents, you can imagine my surprise to find that they lived in a community with a small-town feel, yet perched right in the middle of the city. That’s Eagle Rock. Everyone is so friendly everywhere we go, just like back in the Midwest.  It’s a great place to raise kids, but still situated close to key elements of the entertainment industry.’

If you are new to Los Angeles, visiting from out of town or entertaining guests, you will not regret spending time in Eagle Rock and checking out some of the amazing local restaurants, bars and cafes listed below.  See for yourself why this fast-growing hipster community was listed among the Hottest Neighborhoods of 2014 and why Eagle Rocks!

Maximiliano’s

An elegant lively atmosphere offering fine Italian cuisine as well as a fine selection of wines. For a true Italian delight, try the scrumptious Maximiliano spaghetti and meatballs. The pan roasted pork chop with sweet potato is also a good choice.  Finish off the meal with their dark chocolate cake and you have reached food heaven.  5930 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90042 |T: 323.739.6125 | www.maximilianohp.com

The York

“Your neighborly gastropub. It’s a real bar without being either a scene or a dive, a cafe with a frisson of night-life sensibility, a meeting place with pleasingly edgy design and appealing food — and a homey spot for regulars.” –Los Angeles Times.  5018 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90042 | T: 323.255.9675 | www.theyorkonyork.com

Highland Café

A great coffee shop serving Handsome Coffee that also boasts a tantalizing lunch menu.  Try the Chipotle fish tacos!  Outdoor seating is available to enjoy the beautiful LA weather all-year round.  Great place to post up and chat with a friend or catch up on some reading.  5010 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90042 | T: 323.259.1000 | www.thehighlandcafela.com

Camilo’s

A California bistro with a diverse menu using only the freshest ingredients.  The Camilo’s eggs benedict with fresh fruit is a must try.  Brunch served until 3 p.m.  2128 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90041 | T: 323.478.2644 | www.camilosbistro.com

Greyhound Bar & Grill

Recently opened, this neighborhood pub offers a fresh and hip atmosphere for locals with a great selection of craft beer, Old World wine and spirits. For a great deal, visit during happy hour, 4-7 PM and try their delicious gourmet burger with some refreshing Schlitz!    5570 Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA. 90042 | T: 323.900.0300 | www.the-greyhound.com

Donut Friend

Forget everything you know about a donut.  This bakery makes delicious, fresh and creative donuts- made to your specifications or select from one of their delightful creations such as Chocolate From the Crypt. 5107 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90042 | T: 323.995.6191 | www.donutfriend.com