AN EXCLUSIVE WEEKLY COLUMN BY ITEM MAGAZINE, OFFERING AN ARRAY OF NEWLY SELECTED UNDERGROUND & MAINSTREAM MUSIC TO BRING MUSE TO YOUR MONDAYS!
BY CONTRIBUTOR TRE FLOREZ
1. “Make Me Feel” & 2. “Django Jane” - Janelle Monáe
Pop/R&B singer and actress Janelle Monáe released her album art, as well as two tracks from her upcoming new album titled Dirty Computer, this past week. Both singles, Make Me Feel and Django Jane, are both done in a stereotypical Monáe fashion, however both carry a Prince feel to them at the same exact time. Which would make total sense, because the late-great icon had reportedly worked on the rhythms to pass on to protégée Monáe. We're Just happy to find out it made itself into the hands of such a brilliant talent as herself!
Make Me Feel has a funky guitar strum and beat along Monáe’s falsetto voice; this one in particular carries a very-very Prince vibe. She sings about her lover and how it's “so good, so good, so fucking real”, all that exudes the sexual power of the song.
“You know I love it, so please don't stop it
The visuals for the track are beautifully bright and diverse, in both style and ethnicity. They also show Monáe exploring sexual fluidity featuring both a female and male interest. Her great fashion choices are also expressed in the video, as we always love seeing just what she is going to wear at every next big event.
Django Jane is more of a hip-hip/rap song than what we have come to expect from Monáe. To sum it up in a nutshell, the song emphasizes a black feminist – she raps about her successes and her beliefs – all while referencing the film: Django Unchained. Monáe also talks about her past and how she has come a long way from working retail, to now making her next moves and making a name for herself in the entertainment industry.
“Yeah, Gemini they still jammin'
The visuals are still fashionable – and again, very Monáe – however it features more women and shows symbols of femininity alongside black pride. Janelle and her backup dancers wear different beautiful pantsuits and dashiki hats through the entire video. Rocking a disconnected ponytail held together by a gold ring was one of our favorite looks found among the ladies.
Certainly both of these singles are something Prince would be proud to hear in his own music archive.
3. "Growing Pains" - COIN
The latest single from the Indie-Pop band COIN is titled, Growing Pains. It is a song about growing up and looking for love in all the wrong places; something most of us can relate to. The single is the first from their upcoming third studio album (the title and release date have not been announced). The track has a sound that is similar to what COIN has released in the past; an upbeat and catchy tune that is very easy to sing along with. In Growing Pains, they sing of making mistakes and learning from them:
“Why don't you calm down?
And the chorus is about them not being able to make up their mind on decisions, but they keep going out to party anyway:
“I can't ever seem to make up my mind
All in all, the twenty-something angst is real and we are here for it. Most of us are still trying it figure it out: love, life, and a balance of work and fun. At least we have COIN to help us get through the hard times! With no music video released just yet, we have no visuals to report but we think the song alone is still so worthy of a listen.
Tyler J. Drinnen, is the Founder and Editor in Chief of iTEM MAGAZINE,
a poet and freelance fashion writer, photographer and abstract visual content producer.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Sonoma State University, where he wrote a weekly Opinion Column For
The Star, dabbled with his own radio podcast format, titled Saturday Nite Scandal, and helped to create one of the first of 25 Professional Student Lead PR Firms in the USA.
From there on, he continued his work by interning with Sonoma Discoveries Magazine and then shortly after wrote and interned for Fashion School Daily, where he solidified his love for feature writing and working with emerging talents from around the world.
In December of 2016, he received an Honorary Master of Arts in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University. And what an achievement that was, to be the first in his program to have graduated a full semester early. Bringing him to four degrees in a short five and a half years, nothing will stop him from bringing art to the eyes of many.
He has worked in the fashion industry for nearly a decade, from commercial retail management to corporate level ghost writing. Now - he the poet - T.J.D. takes his life public with the independent launch of the urban California lifestyle based fashion-art movement, iTEM MAGAZINE: A Platform For Rising Artists.