binki has always been a performer at his core. Born to Kenyan immigrants in Pennsylvania, he grew up on a steady diet of his older siblings’ music preferences. But it wasn’t until studying to be an actor at UNC Greensboro that binki found himself gravitating toward music as a career.
binki announces his debut EP - MOTOR FUNCTION - along with new single and video “Clay Pigeon,” binki explains, “Clay Pigeon is a song about vulnerability. A clay pigeon is someone I want to open up to me or invest time in, but I’m not willing to do the same. I wanna play along but I got no skin in the game. I was in a situation where I was more focused on my dreams than building a relationship. I think it happens to a lot people and I’m just trying to navigate those feelings in this song.”
The song opens with an encapsulating bass line and features extremely catchy vocals. binki's music video for "Clay Pigeon" was directed by his brother, Justin Ongeri. The overall vision gets us excited for hanging out with our friends in the Summer (safely vaccinated!) after a long break of COVID-19 and has a wonderful vintage film mood.
Portrait by Aidan Cullen
The Toronto native multi-instrumentalist and producer, Luna Li (Hannah Kim) has shared her new single "Alone But Not Lonely." The lush orchestral composition places Luna Li’s technical proficiency in the spotlight as she kicks the song off with a sweeping melody played on the violin before dropping into a smoldering funk groove with ethereal synth pads and vocal harmonies to boot. The song hits incredibly strong and resonates deeply with many genres. After her graceful and confident chants of instantly memorable self-assurance, the song crescendos into a massive guitar hook that rises and falls with beautiful simplicity and acts as the antidote to her loneliness. The stunningly creative music video, directed by Maya Balkaran & Kostadin Kolev, accompanies the song extremely well.
"I wrote 'Alone But Not Lonely' in my very first apartment which was cockroach infested. I was feeling really uncomfortable and lonely in the new space, and decided to write this song to cheer myself up and entertain my newfound insect friends." Says Luna Li. “The phrase ‘Alone But Not Lonely’ is a mantra I use to remind myself that time I spend with myself is valuable and special, something that should be celebrated.”
Twitter, Tiktok & IG: @lunaliband
Image by Felice Trinidad
Luna Li tour supporting Japanese Breakfast:
9/14 – Columbus, OH @ The Athenaeum Theatre
9/15 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall - SOLD OUT
9/16 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall - SOLD OUT
9/17 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall
9/18 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
9/19 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave
9/23 - Boise @ Treefort Music Fest
9/25 – Seattle, WA @ Neptune - SOLD OUT
9/26 – Seattle, WA @ Neptune
9/27 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre
9/28 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
10/1 – San Francisco, CA @ Regency
10/2 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent - SOLD OUT
10/3 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent - SOLD OUT
10/4 – San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park
10/5 - Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
10/7 - Sante Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
10/8 – Denver, CO @ Ogden
10/9 – Lawrence, KC @ Granada
10/10 – St Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
10/11 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
10/16 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
BXB LOVE, the nom de plume of Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and artist Natasha Pheko released her second single titled, "IGNORANCE SONG."
Through genre-bending musical production, reflective lyricism, and multidisciplinary creative works, BXB LOVE captures the charm, discomfort, and introspection of being 20-something in the year 20-something. She steps outside the proverbial box, allowing her artistic expression to honestly reflect the world around her. By choosing a purposefully ambiguous and androgynous pseudonym, LOVE is able to explore the fluidity that is the human experience and liberate herself from the unspoken expectations placed on women of color in the music industry. Ready to breakdown personal, projected and perceived barriers, LOVE invites listeners to do the same.
“IGNORANCE SONG” reflects LOVE’s ability to contain sonic and emotional multitudes within one song. Opening with the irrepressible chorus destined to be sung by future crowds, “IGNORANCE SONG” bursts into a bold, gritty Alt-Rock number that swells with infectious guitar, anthemic percussion, and hazy layered vocals. Lyrically and sonically, it’s an anthem that celebrates self-discovery and self-empowerment in a world that encourages us to define ourselves before fully understanding who we are and who we want to be.
“It’s about letting go of your perceived and projected identities, and realizing that we just ARE,” LOVE explains. “Life is a performance, and we can choose the labels and identities that we use to express our being, without being attached to them. We get to grow, evolve, change, shed. And there's really nothing to prove to anyone once you free yourself of the belief that you need to prove your worth, or validate/justify how you choose to express your being. It’s my anthem to a generation that is rewriting what identity means and the ways in which we choose to express that."
Alma Grace has been inspired by artist Frida Kahlo since childhood. As a second generation Mexican-American woman, Grace has always felt drawn to the way in which Kahlo redefined beauty standards — “she made me feel beautiful for my bushy eyebrows and dark hair” — and broke down the boundaries placed on gender, race and sexuality. The "Frida" EP is a project inspired by a feminist icon but it’s also an exploration of the ways in which Frida’s legacy has helped shape Grace into the woman and artist she is today.
Throughout the EP Grace pays homage to her bi-cultural upbringing by weaving together English and Spanish lyricism and traditional latin sounds with modern Pop melodies. Her narrative-driven lyricism is enchanting, with each song delivering dual stories that tie back to both Kahlo and Grace’s lives. “Aventura” is an ode to adventure and affairs, something that Grace has always admired in Kahlo’s rich life. “Girl Fight” is a queer, feminist anthem that was inspired by Grace’s favorite Kahlo story: after her husband Diego Rivera cheated on her, she had an affair with the same woman. “Aztlan” is about the mythical homeland of the Aztec people and pays homage to both Grace and Kahlo’s ancestors. Lastly, “Relámpago” is all about coping with pain — the physical pain Kahlo suffered due to her near fatal bus accident and the emotional trauma Grace dealt with after being sexually assaulted.
IG & Twitter: @almagracemusic
Pinstriped Zine is passionate about keeping local music scenes alive. Under the Spotlight coverage provides you with highlights of local and both touring bands. At the start of the 2020 Pandemic, Under the Spotlight has transformed and has incorporated fresh music releases. from shows and fresh music releases ranging around the world.
Keep wearing your masks and following your local guidance so we can reunite at shows.
Please check out the organization
saveourstages.com to support local venues and keep the scene alive for future generations.
Coverage dates back to August 2018.