Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
This Friday, some of Philly's rising R&B stars will hit the stage at Sigma Sound for The Winners Circle. Each of the artists performing were hand-picked by the Starr Island, a music management company housing some of today's top talent in the industry. Get to know the artists who will be hitting the stage. Next up in the winner's circle, Leah Smith.
Leah Smith is another Philadelphia native that will knock your socks off. Originally from North Philadelphia, Smith is a product of The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, also known as CAPA.
From a young age, Smith began cultivating her talent as a musician, vocalist and writer. Her music is meaningful, soulful and full of life.
Smith was formerly a member of Israel Houghton’s New Breed and has traveled the world. In 2009, she stepped out on her own with EP, Beautifully Made which garnered a lot of attention from fans and the music industry.
Her work has also led her to perform on the BET Music Matter’s stage and appearances on 106th and Park. During the 2012 BET Honors, Smith shared the stage with legends like Stevie Wonder, Spike Lee and Mariah Carey.
She’s earnest and extremely talented. After a whirlwind couple of years, it will be exciting to see Smith back in Philadelphia to perform.
Be sure to make it out to The Winners Circle to check her out, along with Motown recording artists MPrynt, Dreamchasers recording artist Guordan Banks and Jeremy Isaac this Friday at Sigma Sound Studios. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Get your tickets here.
From The Blockley to World Café Live and more, I’m sure you have probably come across Jeremy. He got his start singing in the Bethesda Temple of Faith Children’s choir and has been pursuing his music since.
Isaac’s tight harmonies and impressive vocal range make it evident that he has spent a lot of time cultivating his craft over the years.
Isaac was featured on Philadelphia based rapper Khemist’s debut project Puzzle Pieces on the song “Love You Girl,” which was one of the first times I heard how impressive his voice is.
He studied drama along with music which has led him to tons of different opportunities. He has performed in the Philadelphia Boys Choir, as well as for artists like Charlie Wilson, Stephanie Mills and more.
His project Love b4 the Hangover was released in the fall of 2011, and he has been performing in support of it. Jeremy is definitely one of the hidden gems in the city.
Make sure you head to The Winners Circle to check him out along with MPrynt, Leah Smith, and Guordan Banks, this Friday, October 11 at Sigma Sound. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Get your tickets here.
October in Philly is one of the best times to come to the city, especially when you're taking a stroll through Rittenhouse Square or The Piazza in Northern Liberties. Philly comes alive in the fall.
Philly also is packed with events during October. One of my picks that you shouldn't miss is the Pinktober Fashion Show at Hard Rock Café. This event is set to paint the city with style and a purpose.
Philly 360° Ambassador and Project Runway designer Kristin Haskin Simms and Trisha Williams from the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator will headline the event. There will also be a silent auction from independent designers and one of a kind pieces from students at the Art Institute.
And for our friends who like to ride in style, the luxury car service Uber is offering new users a credit for up to $20 for their first ride to this event. Download the app and type in promo code: PINKTOBER. Also, for every new user who rides, Uber is donating $5 to Susan G. Komen.
Sunday, October 6
6 - 10 p.m.
Hard Rock Café
1131 Market Street
The Made in Philly concert made it evident that there has definitely been a resurgence of artistry here in Philadelphia. It seems that there has been a calm waiting to see who will be the next big name in music from this area, and this show made it clear that it won’t be long.
I made my way to The Blockley to check out the sizeable lineup put together by DJ Aktive and Earl Chandler LLC.
Alliance was the backing band for the evening, and DJ Aktive played host and also dipped behind the turntables every now and again. DJ R to DA IZZA held it down in between.
There was a wide array of music from hip-hop to R&B to pop, everyone came out and gave everything almost to say, we deserve next! Bamboo caught my attention with his soulful vibe and reminded me of the last booming era in Philly music that birthed Jill Scott, Kindred the Family Soul, and many more. His song “Good Vibrations” had me singing along!
Frenchie gave a high energy performance as she sang and danced her way into the hearts of the audience members who were rocking alongside her. She even did a body popping, hair whipping dance number to Ciara’s “I’m Out” featuring Nicki Minaj.
I was excited to see MPrynt hit the stage and from their intro with the hook from “Holy Grail” they had everyone paying attention. Great harmonies and stage presence, these guys were definitely a crowd favorite. Phoenix gave a sultry performance ending with a super-charged rendition of "1+1" by Beyoncé, and Jade Alston made her first return to the stage after being diagnosed with a heart condition, which prevented her from performing most of the summer.
There were also rapid fire lyrics and hard-hitting production in performances by Ape Gang, R.I.C.H. Club and Asia Sparks, who closed the show and tore the stage down.
Many artists came out just in support including Marsha Ambrosius, Beano, Man-Man, and more. I think it’s safe to say that the performers were saying to this city and everyone else that they deserve a spot on the world’s stage.
Watch the video below.
The Starr Island Group is one of the revitalizing entities in the Philadelphia music scene. The management company is currently the homebase for some of the top producers in the industry, like Philly's own Pop Wansel, Flippa, Oak Felder and a slew of artists that are at the forefront of the industry.
This evening will feature performances by Motown recording artists MPrynt, Dreamchasers artist Guordan Banks, Leah Smith and Jeremy Isaac. Sonny the Host will be hosting, and Courvoisier is sponsoring the event. Stay tuned as we give you an inside look into each performer on The Winners Circle leading up to the show!
Friday, October 11
8:30 p.m. doors open
9 p.m. show starts
11 p.m. after party
212 N. 12th Street
Directly on the heels of Philly Fashion Week, come and get to know some of Philly’s freshest fashion niche-carvers as they roll out their new fall fashion.
On Saturday, October 6, the warehouse-style shopping event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at the Crane Arts Building. Featured designers and boutiques include Lobo Mau, Jeantrix, Nicole Miller, Vagabond and Bus Stop. Check out what’s to come.
LoBo Mau is a Philly-based clothing line designed by Nicole Haddad. Her creations are inspired by her Brazilian background and women that want to be comfortable yet stylish. Her prints are vibrant and fresh and as Haddad says, “Lobo Mau gives women clothing that translates to many different areas of life - work, yoga or out to dinner. You choose!”
Blink gives customers their pick of the fiercest designer brands and champagne treats. With a selection ranging from dope Eagles hoodies to flashy dresses for a night on the town, at Blink you can’t miss.
Vagabond is a rare boutique in Old City that mixes vintage finds with trendy styles. Vagabond will bring out any woman’s inner knit freak with the creative cotton wear from scarves to skirts to sweaters, all hand made by the store owners.
Bus Stop is one of the hottest shoetiques in
Philly the world. Anyone who has a passion for fancy footwear is bound to find a new treasure here. Many of their designs are all over the streets of London and Paris. All of the shoe designers are unique, meaning you will most likely be the only one around your way with whichever pair you pick.
Sunday October 6
Noon - 4 p.m.
Crane Arts Building
1400 N American Street
Hang out with some of Philly’s finests before they leave to represent the city at the A3C (All Three Coasts) hip-hop festival in Atlanta, Georgia.
On Saturday, October 5, Chill Moody, Lee Mazin, Sean Falyon, Mont Brown and more will perform an all-Philly showcase at the country’s largest hip-hop festival.
But before they leave, swing by Sigma Sound to meet and greet the artists, and enjoy free food and drinks. Full event details below.
First here’s a little background on each performer:
Hailing from West Philly, Mr. “NiceThings” is one of the city’s talented, hardworking lyricists. He spent this past year headlining Hot 97’s “Who’s Next” showcase in New York, closing out sold out shows at Hard Rock Cafe and performing hits from his debut independent album RFM. Check out his latest freestyle project Sharpening My Teeth featuring tracks “Easy, Easy,” “Stay Dope,” “Numbers on the Board” and “Come On Baby.”
One of the best female lyricists in the city, this South Philly girl is also the first lady of Meek Mills’ Dreamchasers label. In 2011, she was named “Female Artists of the Year” at the Philly Hip-Hop awards. Her stage credits include opening for DMX, Young Jeezy and Meek Mill. Check out her latest mixtape In My Own Lane featuring Marsha Ambrosius, Ace Hood, Freeway and Lil Snupe.
Mont Brown, one half of the hip-hop group The Astronauts, favorably creates fun-loving music encouraging fans to stand out and be confident. The 25-year-old learned how to write rhymes when he was 11-years-old. He’s had the opportunity to work with noted Philly artists Freeway, Meek Mill and Gillie da Kid.
This North Philly artist has been rhyming for the past 10 years. Three years ago he used the birth of his daughter to change his approach to music. In 2010, he was nominated for “Rookie of the Year” at the Philly Hip-Hop Awards. Describing his style as “lyrical with a southern bounce,” Huddle has opened for rapper Cam’ron, and recently released part two to his Cleaning My Gun series.
This 27-year-old artist considers himself an introverted, Philadelphia MC. This South Philly native has been rhyming since he was 11-years-old. With more than rapping on his plate, Vance is also the co-owner of the Phlight School collective, and acts as a musical mentor to the teens in the Philadelphia. In 2012 he released his first Philly-based, full-length album Phlight Music. His newest EP Doom City: Last of the Best is scheduled to drop this fall.
This threesome bridges spoken word and lyricism in their music. The two MCs Alexander Azar and Malakai (Malcolm McDowell) met in 2008 at Temple University’s freshman orientation. Later, they added producer Bij Lincs to the mix. They have traveled countrywide to open for acts like Rick Ross, Action Bronson, Chiddy Bang, The Wu-Tang Clan and more. The group’s mission is to make a positive contribution to hip-hop’s culture and music.
The West Philly native started rapping when he was 10-years-old. His music is based on real life experiences that fans can relate to. Topics he likes to rhyme about include chivalry, family values and education. With a goal to open up his own video production company, he also attended Saint Joseph's University majoring in Business Management. Check out his latest project Storm At Sunup.
Originally from Atlanta, this Philly musician shows dedication to his craft by being a hands-on rapper writing his own music, booking his own shows and designing his own album artwork. He’s had the opportunity to share the stage with huge artists like Janelle Monae, B.o.B and Big Krit. Falyon had collaborated southern veteran Bone Crusher. Check out his latest project SFBE III: Do Me No Favors.
This 24-year-old MC hails from North Philadelphia aspiring to represent the voiceless through his music. Last year he rocked the stage with other local musicians for Yusuf Muhammad’s Veteran Freshman showcase. Brasco is far from lyrically one-dimensional with his music ranging from ballads to storytelling to club music.
Michael sometimes lays rhymes over a sultry, soulful beat. He recently released A Mile High Mixtape featuring the single “Bricks.” Some topics this easy listening lyricists likes to talk about includes street life, struggle, dating and thinking “like a boss.”
Philly To A3C Sendoff Party
Monday, September 30
1212 North 12th Street
You can get more information online here.
Sunday, September 29
212 N. 12th Street
Riding high off the release of his sophomoric album Born Sinner, Roc Nation rising star J. Cole is bringing his What Dreams May Come Tour to Philly with Wale as special guest. We've got three - count 'em, three - pairs of tickets to give away! Want to be at the show? Enter for your chance to win here. Click here for the official rules.
The contest period has ended.
Wednesday, September 25
5201 Parkside Avenue
The summer concert season is slowly coming to an end here in Philadelphia. But have no fear; we wouldn’t let you go out without a bang! Thursday, September 19 the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation will host the closing Third Thursday Live and Local installment featuring Osiris Rex, The Joe Jordan Experiment and headliner Chill Moody.
This will be an eclectic mix of artists with The Joe Jordan Experiment’s rock infused style, Osiris Rex’s electronic and dance influenced music and Chill Moody’s heavy hitting hip-hop. All great performers in their own right, I am excited to see how it all comes together.
This was the first summer for Third Thursdays Live and Local at the Race Street Pier. A great way to get many visitors and residents alike out to the newly renovated pier, the series has featured acts like Dice Raw, LUSHLIFE and many more.
The upcoming show will be the finale for the season. Philadelphia Brewing Company will provide the libations and there will also be concert ticket giveaway for the Kid Cudi/Tyler the Creator show taking place at Festival Pier on September 26.
Don’t miss out on these last days of summer! Come out to enjoy the view and some really great music.
Thursday, September 19
Race Street Pier
Columbus Boulevard and Race Street