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Dianna Lopez: The new Queen of Alternative music

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There’s a new sheriff in town! Oh, and by the way, her name is Dianna Lopez. And did we mention she can sing her as* off! In a world saturated with hip-hop and r&b, the New York native is in an alternative lane of her own. If Sade had a baby, Lopez would hands down fit the bill. Her sultry sound is nostalgic, yet contemporary –– not to mention hypnotizing. NDLYSS spoke with with her recently in a one-on-one interview to find out the scoop on the new face of indie rock.

Dive in below.

Much of your music video collection utilizes strong storytelling technique, where do you draw your creative inspiration from and how hands-on are you with directing?

It all depends on the video, but most of the time I’m doing my visuals with friends or people who I know, it’s a collaboration. I usually come up with a concept or vision board of what I see… I’m pretty hands on. I like to keep things super simple. Honestly, some of the visuals were actually shot in my house.

What artists were you listening to in your younger years?

I definitely listen to Sade, my parents were always playing her growing up. Honestly, when you think about it Beyonce and Rihanna were like the only black girls that were pretty big when I was growing up. They were the people who I was listening to in middle school and high school. They were the only ones being represented in the media. I also listened to a lot of Donna Summer, and a lot of old school music. I was only exposed to r&b and hip-hop when I was younger but as I get older I’ve found more interest in alternative music.

Do you have a theatrical background? I’ve noticed a recurring theme in your dance moves.

I grew up doing ballet and some interpretive dance at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. I’ve always loved to sing, act, and dance but I wasn’t sure which one I would pick growing up so I just picked all three. The one I really stuck to was singing.

Black Musicians are often boxed in by r&b and rap expectations, how difficult was it to find support on an alternative road less traveled?

It was really difficult when I first started. If you listen to my earlier music on Soundcloud you’ll hear the difference of people influencing me to do certain beats that are geared towards more of an r&b sound but it’s never really what I wanted to do. Once I started speaking out about what I was more interested in doing people would tell me it’s boring or that no one is going to want to listen to it. I just had to block out those negative people because if you love something you just have to do it regardless of people’s opinions.

Referencing your track “Tell me why – Brown Skin Song,” which you wrote as an open letter to women of color, have you ever faced colorism or shadeism in the music industry?

I’m going to steer away from the music industry because I wrote that song in the beginning stages of my career. My friend Dave Langston co-wrote the song. I decided to go with that song because I grew up in a town called Rockland County. Most of the schools that I attended were predominately white so a lot of my friends were white. I was always the one black girl… I dealt with a lot of racism although they didn’t realize they were doing it. I didn’t want to go out in the sun because I didn’t want to get too dark. I grew out of it and began to love myself. I want people to know black is beautiful.

“Predictable” is your first release of 2019 as a follow up to your 2018 EP, Foreign Space. What was the overall concept?

It just so happened that some guy I used to talk to who comes in and out of my life as he pleases hit me up out of the blue. I’m at the point in my life where I’m not mad about him coming in and out, I’m just like you’re predictable. You can come but I’m not going to pay you much mind. He comes around every few months. It’s a pattern! I just wrote a song about it.

What’s in-store for your upcoming indie rock EP?

My fans can expect me to be more into my sound than I’ve ever been. There will be five songs on there with no features, it’s just me.

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Turnstile makes strong debut on Billboard charts

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Turnstile by Jimmy Fontaine

Turnstile released their widely-anticipated new album, “Glow On” last week and has received high praise. The body of work debuted at #30 on the Billboard 200 chart and #8 in Current Album Sales on Alternative Albums chart with 5.1 million streams across streaming services worldwide.

Recorded with producer Mike Elizondo and co-produced by Turnstile vocalist Brendan Yates, Glow On finds the band once again charting new ground for hardcore, expanding stylistic boundaries, and celebrating new possibilities. The album boasts 15 tracks devoid of borders, boundaries, or entry obstacles, only abundant imagination, heart, and grooves plucked from all corners of the musical spectrum.

Bringing superhuman energy to the stage, Turnstile is currently out on a run of sold-out headline dates, which continues tomorrow August 28th in Garden Grove, CA, and concludes with a hometown performance on September 16th in Baltimore, MD. Later this fall they are set for a series of festival performances, including Dover, Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival (9/23), Louisville, Kentucky’s Louder Than Life (9/24), Indianola, Iowa’s Knotfest (9/25), and more with a nationwide tour alongside $uicideboy$, Chief Keef, Slowthai and more kicking off on October 1st in Alpharetta, GA at Ameris Bank Amphitheatre. Full Tour dates can be found here.

Take a listen to the full album here

Glow On album artwork
1. MYSTERY
2. BLACKOUT
3. DON’T PLAY
4. UNDERWATER BOI
5. HOLIDAY
6. HUMANOID / SHAKE IT UP
7. ENDLESS
8. FLY AGAIN
9. ALIEN LOVE CALL (FEAT. BLOOD ORANGE)
10. WILD WRLD
11. DANCE-OFF
12. NEW HEART DESIGN
13. T.L.C. (TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION)
14. NO SURPRISE
15. LONELY DEZIRES (FEAT. BLOOD ORANGE)

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Artist Mndsgn Announces new Mini-Series Ringoo In Colour

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episode still

On the heels of Mndsgn’s latest album Rare Pleasure, he returns to announce a new mini-series and release its first episode. Ringgo in Colour aims to show a different side of the artist and unpack his various influences, as the first episode dives into his love of illustration, the artist himself creating all the artwork for the album cover and singles. Shot and directed by Ross Harris.

Speaking on his aim with the series, Mndsgn says, “the world isn’t so black & white, rather a vast spectrum of hues. This is just Ringgo in colour.”

Director Ross Harris adds, “I feel like Ringgo approaches his art whether it be music or drawing or paint from a place of playful curiosity but always ends up someplace deep and truly resonant. I aspire to the same process.”

Ringgo in Colour also includes appearances from Devin Morrison, who is in Ringgo’s live band and sings on the record, and arrives after the aforementioned Rare Pleasure was released earlier this month via Stones Throw Records. Mndsgn’s third album on the label, the record, which SPIN called “a monument to life’s basic delights,” truly shows the artist’s evolution from his roots as a heralded beatmaker to vocalist, songwriter, and arranger.

Though he began writing for the album in 2018, the final recordings took just a week in studio with the help of trusted collaborators: Swarvy on bass, guitar and as Musical Director for the sessions, Stones Throw label mate Kiefer Shackelford on keys, drum work by Will Logan, the blessed percussion of Carlos Niño, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson on strings, and accompanying vocals from Fousheé and Anna Wise.

The follow-up to 2016’s Body Wash, Rare Pleasure includes the previously-released singles “Medium Rare,” “Slowdance” and “Hope You’re Doin’ Better” and follows his virtual release show and his two sold-out shows at The Lodge Room in LA earlier this month. Inspired by soundtrack music, samba, exotica and ’70s/’80s library records, the album is intensely intimate, sourcing lyrics from Mndsgn’s family and interpersonal experiences, and reflective of the world at large. Despite the tenderness of the recordings, the music is joyfully vibrant and draws on Mndsgn’s formative experiences as a b-boy, showcasing a range of rhythms that will make you want to groove. Take a listen to Rare Pleasure here.

Mndsgn Rare PleasureStones Throw RecordsJune 4, 2021


1. Rare Pleasure I

2. Truth Interlude

3. 3Hands : Divine Hand I

4. Hope You’re Doin’ Better

5. Rare Pleasure II

6. Slowdance

7. Abundance

8. Masque

9. Rare Pleasure III

10. Medium Rare

11. Rare Pleasure IV

12. Colours Of The Sunset

13. Divine Hand II

Watch the first episode of Ringgo in Colour here.

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Rema drops Afrobeat track dedicated to women around the globe

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Rema by Niyi Okeowo

For the third week in a row, Rema is set to release “anotha banga.” Dropping on Mavin Records/Jonzing World, “Woman” is a song that expresses his appreciation and admiration for all females. 

Recently crowned Apple Music’s Up Next artist – previously awarded to Billie Eilish, Khalid & H.E.R – Afropop’s prince Rema has now released a trio of singles throughout June and July. He kicked things off with “Ginger Me,” a song created in a late-night studio session in London with UK producer The Elements. Quickly followed by trap-influenced track “Alien” which took us on a trippy journey through the mind of a young heartbreaker. 

Crediting his parents for introducing him to Fela Kuti & 2Face, Rema draws influences far beyond West Africa with Bollywood, Trap, Afrobeats, and Pop all becoming part of his trademark sound. With co-signs from the likes of Drake, Barack Obama and now Rihanna, Rema is on his way for a global takeover.

Stream “Woman” via Spotify below.

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