Tag Archives: Pharrell Williams

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A Night of Cool R&B with Amir Obè at The Bowery Ballroom

August 14th, 2017

Rapper, singer, songwriter and producer Amir Obeid—DBA Amir Obè—grew up in Detroit, heavily influenced by the likes of Pharrell Williams, Kanye West and Michael Jackson. He began making his own hip-hop and R&B in his teens before temporarily moving back to Brooklyn (his place of birth) after high school. Representing Detroit and Brooklyn, or Detrooklyn, he’s worked with others, like Drake, producing the If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late track “Star67,” and on his own, Obè (above, his video for “I Am Def Jam”) has released a slew of mixtapes, singles and EPs, including None of the Clocks Work (stream it below), which dropped this past spring. “Consisting of seven tracks, the set finds the enigmatic artist delving into a world where emotions trump material possessions,” according to Billboard. And Fader says “that it’s still possible to make icy, atmospheric R&B sound fresh.” Winding down an August tour, Obè plays The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night. Seattle singer-songwriter EMI opens the show.

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Maggie Rogers Returns to The Bowery Ballroom as a Performer

April 12th, 2017

Maggie Rogers – The Bowery Ballroom – April 11, 2017

Maggie Rogers – The Bowery Ballroom – April 11, 2017
When Pharrell takes an eye to an artist (and I’m not talking about his stint on The Voice), ears perk up. The celeb producer was enchanted by American songwriter Maggie Rogers’ track “Alaska” while teaching a master class at NYU last summer. Her anticipated EP, That the Light Is Fading, released back in February layers Rogers’ folk sensibilities with newly examined dance tempos she acquired living abroad. Rogers has the swagger of an Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso) and the hymnal quality of Florence Welch (Florence and the Machine). Last night at The Bowery Ballroom, the first of two sold-out New York City shows, the singer-songwriter took center stage donning a custom white denim suit designed by Christian Joy. The room was filled with the chirping of crickets as Rogers opened with “Color Song” and her frenetic dance moves were unleashed.

After the dance-pop track “Dog Years,” the recent graduate offered a slow jam written for a crush entitled “Say It.” Wise beyond her years, Rogers pensively acknowledged not only how much has changed for her in the past year, but also the world itself. “Global grief hangs heavy as summer heat,” the first lines of “Hashtag,” rang especially true for the sunny front earlier in the day and the current political climate. She revealed that “Little Joys” was the first song she wrote in NYC and admitted the opening was inspired by Sharon Van Etten. Light on the material, a cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” was reimagined with dance beats ebbing and flowing into the folk-rock classic.

Before the final song, Rogers became teary and choked up recounting the times she had previously been to The Bowery Ballroom as an audience member. She pulled herself together, saying, “I really love making music,” and culminated the evening with the track that had left Pharrell virtually speechless. No longer a fledgling songwriter, the world awaits the next chapter of Ms. Maggie Rogers. —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com