All of you know I always showcase and support up and coming young people who are on their “grind” and doing their thing and Austin Millz and Ki Styles from Harlem New York are definitely two dudes who fit the bill. They are two producers who have been working hard behind the scenes to learn the craft and also make the connections they need to get their music heard and utilized by the right people. Both have worked with some major artists and are always hard at work on anything dealing with music.
The clip below shows them making a beat on the spot. I guess its kind of like freestyling, but for a producer. Check it out and let them know if you think they are good by dropping a comment HERE. They call themselves collectively The Illustrators and you can view their brand new myspace by clicking HERE. This clip wasn’t done in a studio but right in their living room…music isn’t always glitz and glamor, you got to work with what you have!
Check them out here:
I stopped by the Knitting Factory last week to see my friend P. DizZzY perform. The line up also included Kris Kasanova (with his producer Clyde), Fresh Daily, Denim, and Outtasight. I didn’t stay for the whole show but the part I did see I enjoyed. I finally got to see Dizzzy perform because as much as I am familiar with his music I have never seen him do his thing on stage. And I got introduced to some new acts including Kris Kasanova and Denim. Kasanova definitely commanded my attention with his charismatic approach and the whole set up of his performance. He even did a little acting and sat down to get real with us about his struggles. And I definitely loved Denim’s singing style. I was familiar with one of her songs from Vlad’s mixtape- New Elevator Music but outside of that I was not familiar with her. I definitely became a fan after that show. Click “full post” to view more photos and video footage from the night.
Footage of Denim:
Remo was featured on Life, Society and Style as a “Rising Star” and he is now going to start updating his fans via YouTube with weekly videos. This is his first video and he even gives you a little taste of his singing ability. Some of you may recognize him from his role in the movie Paid in Full, he also models.
NESHA: What makes you a rising star?
Mykhal: Because we are what we repeatedly do.. therefore excellence is not an act,but a habit..
NESHA: How old are you?
NESHA: Okay, so you are 20 …and you’re a designer and founder of the CRANIUM clothing line… what does CRANIUM stand for and what kind of clothes do you make?
Mykhal: Don’t make it sound like its just me
NESHA: So who is involved and what is everyone’s roles? Also explain your role and what the line is all about?
Mykhal: Since C.R.A.N.I.U.M.’s inception in 2006, it has definitely built on its momentum thus catching the attention of streetwear fanatics across the globe. Their audacious designs have been executed flawlessly with an added hint of authenticity and originality. Evolving into a stronger and more developed line, C.R.A.N.I.U.M. is guaranteed to continuously turn heads.
The label aims to represent an unforeseen outlook on street/leisure-wear. This is evident in their choice of graphics and materials/patterns that build designs capable of emitting an aura that will illuminate storefronts to come. Hence, C.R.A.N.I.U.M.’s main objective: branding a lifestyle in which its fashion has been incorporated.
Mykhal: Taking care of the designing and brand direction is KEEM, RAPH and MYSELF. We’re all very close friends and business partners. We have a team to handle other things such as marketing.
NESHA: What would you say motivates you?
Mykhal: The people in the game that get slack during their years AND when you visualize an idea and then it comes to life.
NESHA: How did you get into designing clothes? What attracted you to it?
Mykhal: We been just drawing on clothes in our jhs years just for fun…we fell off of it and then graduated to screen printed clothes in the later section of our teen year, we’re all under 21.
NESHA: Who has helped you on your journey?
Mykhal: Just us three built everything from the ground up.
NESHA: How long have you guys been developing C.R.A.N.I.U.M and where did the concept stem from?
Mykhal: It started two years ago with us just wanting to wear a line that represented our lifestyle. There was nothing on the market like that so we used our creative ways and came up with this.
NESHA: How did you guys figure out what the next steps were to even creating a clothing line? Did you have any prior experience?
Mykhal: No, we didn’t have any experience, we just grinded it out to get accounts with all these premium stores. We made all the necessary mistakes in reality rather than on paper had we constructed a business plan back then. We learned from the mistakes though.
NESHA: Thats good. I hear a lot of people say that they do it like that. What kinds of mistakes did you guys make in the beginning?
Mykhal: Choosing to print on certain types of shirts, direction of marketing, things like that. We have a more developed line now with custom bodied garments and a much more extensive collection with everything from jeans to accessories.
NESHA: What types of major accomplishments has C.R.A.N.I.U.M. had since its conception?
Mykhal: Any progress for us Is a major accomplishment, the biggest one I’d say so far is just being successful.
NESHA: What things have occurred this year so far?
Mykhal: Working with a few other brands on collabs that will drop in the later months of 2008. We got a lot more up our sleeve, we are just getting our feet wet.
NESHA: Interesting….what is getting your feet wet? What’s coming up??
Mykhal: lol I kinda can’t say, but expect only big things from here on out. .CRANIUM WILL be a familiar name to people all over.
NESHA: About how many people would you say is more familiar with your product now? In which region is it most popular right now?
Mykhal: In the states I’d say a large section of the east and west coasts, we’re working on the states in the middle…we get love out the US also from Japan ,France and Canada
NESHA: So your stuff is in stores in all of those places?
NESHA: Can you name some of the stores that carry C.R.A.N.I.U.M. in these different areas just in case a reader is looking for some of the clothing?
Mykhal: Sure..in the NY area you can find it at stores like Vinnies,Union,Wealthy Hostage and stackhouse…westcoast u can find it in ZaaZoo,Reggae Wear& Koyer and Apollo in Japan.
NESHA: So what does cranium mean?
Mykhal: It’s where all ideas are born- in the head.
NESHA: And how does that connect to your clothing?
Mykhal: Our ideas are different and new (youll see what im talking about when u see the fall 2008 collection).
NESHA: Okay, and I saw on your page that you are featuring a photo where Trey Songz is wearing one of the CRANIUM tees– what magazine is that from and how did that come about?
Mykhal: That’s from the March 2008 issue of SOURCE mag. That was done by our marketing dept. some artist we have wearing the line is Fat Joe, Gorilla Zoe, Fabolous and Rocko just to name a few and we’ve been featured in Complex, 212, and the Source.
NESHA: Dope. I didn’t even know about that. What projects/events do you/CRANIUM have coming up?
Mykhal: You can catch us at Magic 2008 this August in Vegas showcasing the Fall and Spring 2009 Season–you’ll be impressed.
NESHA: How are you so sure ill be impressed?
Mykhal: YOU LIKE QUALITY RIGHT?
Mykhal: The finest,lol –serious though. We’re straying away from the “streetwear” scene and it shows in our pieces.
NESHA: So what are you leaning towards more now?
Mykhal: In the direction of casual sportswear boss type of clothes.
NESHA: Do you want to give any shout outs?
Mykhal: Matter of fact I want to give you a shout out for being the FIRSTTTTT CRANIUM model ever.
I have not forgotten about my “Rising Star” section of the blog. I have just been trying to find someone who does something really different to feature as the next one (i.e. something outside of music/entertainment). So be on the look out for it.
NESHA: How old are you?
NESHA: What is your ultimate goal in life?
REMO: To be the best entertainer that I can be.
NESHA: What things have you done to accomplish that so far?
REMO: I played in a movie called Paid in Full. I have worked with music producers, Ryan Leslie, Rodney Jerkin’s, Chris Brown, Omarion, Bow Wow, Trey Songz and many more. I’m doing another movie real soon called “Just To Get By.”
NESHA: What makes you a rising star?
NESHA: What motivates you to strive toward your goals?
REMO: God. Also, my parents motivate me and my mentor Timbaland the producer.
NESHA: Okay what about yourself and your life specifically motivates you besides the people in it?
REMO: I have to say myself guess. I mean. It’s the people really.
NESHA: So you wouldn’t say you had a drive within yourself to be successful?
REMO: Yeah. But in the industry sometimes you have people cause a lot of things in the industry could bring you down so that’s why its good for you to have the back up people who are willing enough to help you out. You know?
NESHA: Def…so now what makes you a rising star? What qualities do you have or what things do you have going for you that makes you different than the average boy from Harlem?
REMO: Well, I’m different because of my style and the way I talk to females and the way I am in general over all. I’m just different. First, I keep God in my life, I go to church twice a week. And my parents taught me those values and morals that are helping me to stay humble.
I’m a triple threat. I can sing, write, act, produce, and do vocal arrangement. And I am also a model. Look at Ne-Yo and Chris Brown they sing and dance and act, but can they get hired to do a full session by people like Pharrell, Glen Mosley, Ryan Leslie, Troy Taylor, NO. But I was hired on occasions to run sessions by these notable people in the industry to do sessions wit their artist at Quad and Sony studios. That’s what makes me different
NESHA: What projects do u have coming up?
REMO: My project. Omarion and Bow Wow’s Sqaure Off Project.
NESHA: What are you doing with them?
REMO: Working songs and writing for them.
NESHA: Dope…so do you have any last words or shout outs you want to give?
REMO: Yeah shout out to my team Square Off/Square Off Gang. Shout to my Lean and The Domestic team and shout to my mentor Howard Britt and big shout to my family. And you…
For more info on Remo check him out: