23 episodes

Trevor’s take on the most under-appreciated albums in the industry and discussions with talented artists from Northwestern!

Have You Heard‪?‬ North by Northwestern

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    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Trevor’s take on the most under-appreciated albums in the industry and discussions with talented artists from Northwestern!

    Have You Heard? Ep 4: Haley Davis

    Have You Heard? Ep 4: Haley Davis

    Episode Notes
    Trevor - Welcome back to Have you Heard, the podcast where we discuss underappreciated music from different genres, artists and eras. I'm your host, Trevor. In today's episode, we're going to be talking to Northwestern alum Haley Davis, whose album “Smiling Pains” came out in 2019. Hope you enjoy.
    Haley - Hi there. 
    T - Hi, how's it going? 
    H - It’s going pretty well, how are you? 
    T - I'm good. Thanks so much. 
    H - Thank you for inviting me. 
    T - So first, in our email, you said that you’re actually doing a global music program in Spain? Could you talk a little bit about that? And what's that like? 
    H - Yes, it's been great. So far, I guess, the beginning of September was when the program started. But yeah, it's a… I’m getting a master's degree in global music business. So, it's kind of...there are like 40 kids in my program specifically. And it's cool. I mean, I'm getting to learn about different areas of the industry. I'm taking music business finance and a law class. So it's pretty comprehensive, but it's very interesting. And it's very international, there’s just people from all over the world in the program, which is really cool. And I'm enjoying it a lot so far. 
    T - Yeah, that's great. Have you found that it's changed the way that you yourself create or even distribute your music?
    H - I haven't really written too much since being here. But I think it's definitely... I mean, I've learned so much that I didn't know before, especially about music distribution and the law and copyrights. And where you can make money from your music. There might be a lot of self releasing artists who know about PROs and everything. But I didn't really know what a PRO was. And, you know, about publishing rights. And that being a way you can make revenue, so I've learned a lot. And I just haven't quite applied it yet, just because I've kind of been so focused on my studies.
    T - How's the transition from going, I guess, undergrad to the master's program, you said, you haven't been able to write as much. How’s that affected you?
    H - I guess I just, it wasn't as much to do with me being in the master's program. I just feel like, I go through phases where I don't write very much at all. And then phases where I knock out five songs in a couple of weeks. I think it's more about what I'm going through personally at the time. For me, it's like, that's kind of a therapeutic thing. But I do still want to be able to write and work with people here, because there are so many talented people. And I should take advantage of that opportunity while I'm here. But it's also about balancing time, which is just a lot, especially after the pandemic and everything I just feel like… It's weird to get back into the swing of things and have things be fast paced again, so… But it's good.
    T - I definitely agree with that. I wanted to ask you a little bit about your process, which is something I always ask. I'm so fascinated with how they write music, or if they even go in with the intention of writing a song or an album. When do you think is the time that you write the best or the most? 
    H - Oh gosh, I mean, it depends. Usually...it'll be you know, I think if I have a crush on someone, or maybe I've had a friend breakup – that's the worst thing – but it's really to process the emotions, I think, in terms of my relationships. It’s when it comes out the easiest. I wouldn't say they're always the best or anything, but I think that's when I find myself naturally writing the most. But I also write just lines at a time. I've got like, a big list of lyrics in my notes that are just one or two lines. And I've kept...I mean, a lot of them kept in there and they never turned into anything. I do a lot of  bit by bit writing, too. So, it really depends, and I don't write songs the same way. Anytime really. Sometimes it's lyrics first. Sometimes it's the melody. Other times you know, guitar, whatever, but it totally varies and tha

    • 10 min
    Have You Heard? Ep. 3: Jay Towns

    Have You Heard? Ep. 3: Jay Towns

    Episode Notes
    Trevor - Welcome back to Have You Heard. The podcast where we discuss underappreciated music from different genres, artists and eras. I'm your host, Trevor. In this episode, we're gonna be talking to Northwestern artist Jay Towns. Hope you enjoy.
    Jay - Cool. What's up, man? 
    T - What's going on? Thanks so much for hopping on. 
    J - Dude, thanks for having me, for real. 
    T - Yeah, I remember …  I'm a transfer, I'm new to Northwestern. So, I remember the first, like videos, when I was just applying and everything, you were the first one to pop up. 
    J - Appreciate it. 
    T - So it's cool to finally get to talk to you and stuff.  
    J - Yeah, you too.
    T - Going back to that sort of social media stuff … It seems like you have a lot going on, just all the time, so I wonder how you balance that with school and everything. 
    J - Well, the great thing about what I'm studying: theater, music tech and entrepreneurship – lots of the things that I am learning in classes I directly apply to stuff I do outside of class. Obviously, there's still school work that's kind of annoying to have to get done. But I'd say like 80% of the things that I'm learning in class, I apply to some project that I'm doing currently. To me, it doesn't feel so much as school, art, work. It kind of all blends together. Because I'd love to do my art for my job, which is what I'm studying. You know what I mean? It's not too bad, actually – the balance. Obviously, you know, with my own projects, like the YouTube channel and music and things that I'm not actively endorsed to do at school, that is what I use my extra time on.
    Actually, I feel like this is a perfect time to do this podcast episode, because I'm right now, in the midst of planning for a music video I'm shooting tomorrow – maybe we could talk about that later. But   the balance … I'm very used to it. But I think I think it's pretty, my schedule’s always kind of, like something’s moving. But that's the way I like it. And I think that Northwestern, for better or for worse, has kind of conditioned me with the “and” is in our DNA mindset, which can be toxic at times. But for me, most of the time, it's more of like an encouragement. I feel empowered to do not only whatever I want, but, whenever I want to do it. Oftentimes that coincides with other projects. And that's just kind of the lifestyle that I want to have. Starting it early, I guess.
    T - Yeah that’s so dope. I guess we could just jump into the music right now if you want. So do you direct your own music videos, and how much creative control do you have in that sort of process?
    J - So I do direct my own videos, but I've also … I have one video up on my channel right now, that was directed by a friend of mine. But even in that case, which was a great video, that was the “Green” music video that was directed by my friend Hannah because I had made that song to be featured in her film. So that was really cool. And she actually was editing the music video while she was editing the film. And so there are actually clips of the film, like intertwined with the music video pretty seamlessly.
    So that was dope. And in that case, she directed it because she definitely had the vision for the project. And it was also to serve for promo for the film. But other music videos I've directed, and I'm directing this next one that I'm doing. But even when I'm not, even when in the case of “Green,” I didn't ever feel like I didn't have creative control or creative input to say the least. I think, though, that the director usually is the person who is seeing how it's going to come together in the end product. And so, more frequently than not, the director is also going to edit a music video. And so in the case of  “Green,” I wasn't editing it because I didn't have the footage, so I felt like Hannah would have been more appropriate to bring that vision together – which she's very good at. For songs like “19,” which is

    • 15 min
    Have You Heard? Ep 2: Black On Both Sides

    Have You Heard? Ep 2: Black On Both Sides

    Episode Notes

    Welcome back to "Have you Heard?" the podcast where we discuss under appreciated music from different genres, artists, and eras. I'm your host Trevor. Thanks so much for taking the time to listen to me today. 
    Now, in this episode I'll be talking about Black on Both Sides by Mos Def. Too long didn't listen? This is a classic hip hop album that came out in a time when rap was only just starting to take hold. It has iconic beats, legendary samples, ridiculous bars that will no doubt rival anything you've heard, even 20 years later. It is a celebration of black culture and preaches positivity but invites anyone and everyone into its wide, wide world. It's very old school, but provided a foundation for many of the best rap albums out right now. It is definitely a must listen. 
    My favorite songs are “Speed Law,” “Know That” and “Mathematics.” So if you want the highlights, go listen to those. But to be honest, there are no bad songs or throwaways anywhere to be found so I'd recommend the entire thing. 
    Now, Yasiin Bey, better known as Mos Def, is a Brooklyn based rapper and activist who started his professional career alongside Talib Kweli. The 1998 duo named themselves Blackstar and marked their musical debut with their first album released through Rawkus Records in that same year. Mos would come out with his own solo debut in 1999, called Black on Both Sides, but it was much more commercially successful than than the previous project.
    In many ways, I think, Black on Both Sides is way way ahead of its time. Or maybe it's just that problems people faced in 1999 are really similar to the problems we're facing now. But either way, it's almost unsettling how Mos introduces the album, just talking about how hip hop (or music in general) will reflect the situation it's in. What's funny is he doesn't even start rapping until three minutes in. He says, "You know what's gonna happen with hip hop? Whatever's happening with us." And, true to his word, Mos spends the entire run time of Black on Both Sides just talking about whatever in the world is happening with us. 
    What's cool about this project is that all of the stories and advice told through it are down to earth and they're all relevant to today's environment. In the second track, titled “Hip Hop,” Mos discusses problems with the 1999 music industry that could easily be applied to the toxic label practices of 2021.
    [“Hip Hop,” by Mos Def]
    The fifth track, “Speed Law,” begs the listener to slow down and relax, saying that you need to obey the rules of the road in life before you crash. 
    [“Speed Law,” by Mos Def]
    Something about hearing Mos rap about these things is refreshing, honestly. Even if the delivery and features are a little bit dated. It was honestly weird to re-listen to a lot of these lyrics because, while truthful and deep, they’re also just really positive. Maybe it's just because not a lot of music is really being released right now or because of the stressful time we're in, but it feels like a lot of recent popular music has just been empty party songs or doom and gloom. I feel like we need something super conscious and uplifting like this album that can help us in these times. I don't know, I guess Mos is right, you know? Music will just reflect whatever is going on with us.
    Anyways, not only is the album sort of prophetic in its content, but also in its sound. Like many other albums and artists in the late 90s, Mos uses a wide array of samples to beef up the instrumentals. But, unlike Mos Def's contemporaries (let's say Nas and Jay Z), the range he draws from is pretty wild at times. From Aretha Franklin and Fela Kuti samples to interpolations of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mos doesn't shy away from his influences. And that's what really makes this album for me honestly. A lot of the sounds he incorporates can sound kind of wacky or out of place, but they always complement the mood and lyrics of the song. The experimen

    • 7 min
    Have You Heard? Ep 1: Sonder Son

    Have You Heard? Ep 1: Sonder Son

    Episode Notes
    Welcome to "Have You Heard?" The podcast where we discuss underappreciated music from all different kinds of genres, artists and eras. I'm your host Trevor.
    Now, with this being the first installment of this show, I wanted to first thank you so, so much for listening. Look, I want this to be a place with good vibes where you can listen to me talk about some of my favorite music that I think deserves a little bit more recognition. Now, I never want to hold you, so there will always be a "Too Long, Didn't Listen" at the start of every episode if I'm talking about an album.
    But hopefully in future episodes, I'll be able to bring on artists at Northwestern or in Evanston or in Chicago just to discuss who they are, what they're about and what they're listening to. Now, if you are a musician who likes the show and might want to guest host with me, my email will be at the bottom of the audio transcript. Even if you aren't an artist and just want to give me some music recommendations or tell me why my taste is trash and why I should talk about your favorite album... It's cool, email me, let's talk about it. 
    Alright, with all that out of the way, let's get into it. In today's episode, I’m going to be talking about Sonder Son by Brent Faiyaz. Too Long Didn't Listen? This album is an amazing interpretation of R&B that never goes over the top and never does too much. It's so genuine, and even though the instrumentals can be a little repetitive and derivative, Brent's voice carries the whole project. It's perfect for long car rides or study sessions or, to be honest, even trying to get over a breakup. 
    My favorite songs are:“Talk 2 U”,
    “Gang Over Luv”
    and “All I Want”.
    So, if all you want are the highlights, go listen to those and you'll get a good idea for what this project is about ... even though you probably should listen to the whole thing if you can. 
    So, Brent Faiyaz is a singer, songwriter and producer from Columbia, Maryland whose debut album Sonder Son came out in 2017. This album is a follow up to his first EP, AM Paradox that came out in 2016. Recently, his 2020 single "Dead Man Walking" (which is another great, great song by the way) found its way onto TikTok and has quickly become one of his most popular songs on Spotify. 
    Okay so, the best thing about Sonder Son to me, is that it feels ... homemade, if that makes sense. In a lot of ways, that can hurt an album just because of quality or the way some of the mixes might sound, but in this case I only mean it in the best possible way. Like I mentioned in the intro, a lot of the instrumentals are really simple but the way the producer blends Brent's voice in these tracks turns them from what could be generic R&B loops into something completely unique. 
    So take the second track, “Gang Over Luv”, which is one of the most streamed songs on the album. Without Brent’s voice, it's mostly just a simple drum loop over some bass honestly. Now, instead of adding new instruments to make the song interesting, Brent's ad libs are all over the track, bouncing around and making a somewhat familiar-sounding song feel unpredictable. There are harmonies and melodies and countermelodies that fly all around your head if you're listening on headphones. This style of production and songwriting is a major theme on this project and it just pulls it off so well. Songs like “First World Problemz” and “So Far Gone” are other good examples of this ethereal voice effect in action. 
    Speaking of themes, we have to talk about the school references that appear time and time again on Sonder Son. Whether it's his mother scolding him for his poor grades on the opening track or the transition school bells that open track three, Brent's childhood is all over this album. It’s one of the major aspects of the record that really give it personality to me. If you're just here for singles, you can pretty much ignore those ideas, but they still serve an important rol

    • 6 min
    Can't Let Go #19

    Can't Let Go #19

    Episode Notes
    Jakob Lazzaro, Mia Mamone and David Gleisner can’t let go of Dolly Parton and Coco, Harvey’s heckler and Chili’s, and time and Teletubbies. Stories featured in this episode hail from WNYC, The New York Times and BuzzFeed.

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 13 min
    Can't Let Go #18

    Can't Let Go #18

    Episode Notes
    Jakob Lazzaro, Sophia Lo and David Deloso can’t let go of beer summits and birthdays, Hong Kong and saying yes, and the Zucc and Kanye. Stories featured in this episode hail from This American Life, The New York Times and The Verge.

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

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I can’t let go of Can’t Let Go

This podcast does a great job of keeping listeners interested with a wide breadth of subjects. Gives a great glimpse into campus and student life while also digging into top stories of the week.

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Good mix of news and casual!


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