Cousin Stizz – ‘Cold Times’ [EP]

Cousin Stizz – ‘Cold Times’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

Representing Boston with an endless supply of hits, Cousin Stizz has been applying some serious full-court pressure in all of 2018. Just a few weeks back, he blessed us with a three-track EP entitled All Adds Up, and today, he’s here to drop off yet another trio of heaters with Cold Times, housing the songs “Made”, “Butterfly”, and “Brain Freeze”. At the core of the project, Stizz reflects on his rise from the mud to the mountaintops, grateful and energetic as ever. He translates his determination to keep working hard into a collection of anthems that any listener can find inspiration from, and in doing so, reminds us all why he’s starting to realize his full potential as a bona fide star in the world of rap.

That said, sonically, Cold Times represents an important moment for Stizz. As it seems, looking at the last 6 tracks that he has dropped, the Fields Corner native has truly found the sonic direction in which his talents are best applicable. Doused in ethereal, ice-cold melodies and crisp drum patterns, he navigates his way through booming 808s, doing so on his own terms with a diamond-flashing grin to light the way. Stizz really made it, and Cold Times tells listeners that they can do it, too. Especially in rap today, it can feel as though artists are flexing at you rather than doing anything to inspire you, but with our favorite cousin, he always takes listeners right by his side and shows them the way that things can be if we just believe and put in the work.

This is a stellar release to keep the stocks on an insuppressible rise, so show some love to Boston’s own and listen to Cold Times at the link below!

Garrett Merk – “GTR” [Music Video]

Garrett Merk – “GTR” [Music Video]

By: Seamus Fay

It seems as though every new week I find a new artist from the Massachusetts area that I end up loving. Naturally, with so much music going in and out of my headphones, I don’t end up revisiting every single one, but one act that has always stuck with me is Garrett Merk. For Merk, longevity comes naturally. His music effortlessly communicates universal themes in ways that are equally as infectious as they are understandable, not to mention the fact that he holds an unreal amount of talent and sky-high potential. Today, we see these aspects of his artistry in the context of a brand new release, “GTR”.

Led by one of the most illustrative instrumentals that I’ve ever heard Merk take on, “GTR” is the kind of song that you can listen to throughout an entire range of emotions. It’s easy to find comfort in the addictive sound, and with a video that perfectly represents the rising talent’s energetic presence whenever he steps near a mic, this feels like a remarkably true-to-self release. Garrett Merk is the kind of artist that’s going to be around for quite a while, and he’s only just getting started. That said, this wonderfully cinematic set of visuals will surely impress anyone that they come across, so be sure not to sleep.

Click play on “GTR” at the link provided below!

Produced by Frace
Shot/Edited by Frace Media
Mixed and Mastered by Spare Monkey Studios

Cam Meekins – ‘Yellow’ [EP]

Cam Meekins – ‘Yellow’ [EP]

By: Seamus Fay

Turning some heads and providing an undeniable anthem with the release of his new song, “Big Joints”, Cam Meekins has been in heavy rotation as of late. Quite apparently, he’s making some of the best music of his life and having ample amounts of fun doing it, so much so that this infectious joy translates right into the Boston-bred artist’s new EP, Yellow. If there’s any project that symbolizes a moment of pure, heart-led artistry, it has to be this one, as Meekins so passionately shows a love for what he does with his latest project. “Big Joints” was a heater in and of itself, but listening to the full EP, it clearly shows that he has even more heat to keep the hot streak coming.

With this, over the span of just 4 tracks, Yellow is able to paint a clear picture of the life that Meekins has been living as of late. What the EP lacks in length it makes up for in soul, offering up hearty deliveries and bellowing vocals that show vivid accounts of what life consists of for the rising talent — and quite frankly, it seems like a great time. Communicating these themes by way of addictive runs and unforgettable lyrics, each and every track on this one is destined to get stuck in your head with ease, even with all of the major rap releases that came out this Friday (at the moment, “Crazy” is stuck on the brain).

Needless to say, Cam Meekins is ready to do some serious numbers with this project, so be sure to show some love and click play on Yellow at the link below!

An Interview With Isaac Dunbar

An Interview With Isaac Dunbar

By: Seamus Fay

In the era of the internet, due to the vast availability of resources that we can all gain access to with a few clicks of the mouse, it never fails to blow my mind just how able we all are, regardless of seniority. Artists in 2018 are blowing up at remarkably younger ages as compared to artists, say, in the early 2000s, and in all truth, it only makes the level of talent more impressive — but that’s not to say that the bar is lower. In fact, it’s probably the opposite, as many younger artists need to fight even harder to be taken seriously at times.

Easily one of the most talented individuals in MA, Graduation Music favorite Isaac Dunbar is the perfect example of this. The Barnstable native is just starting high school, but with a level of artistry far beyond his years, it goes without saying that Dunbar is ready to take on the spotlight, one song at a time. His addictive, heart-led cadences mix with incredibly mature songwriting abilities in ways that few artists are capable of doing, subsequently allowing for the creation of a catalog that holds its own against any artist out there right now, regardless of age.

We had to make sure we spoke to Isaac Dunbar about his background, inspirations, age, and much, much more, because the truth is, talents like this only come around once in a long while. Read our full conversation below.


Hey Isaac! To start, when and how did you first get into music?

Hello Seamus! I got into creating music when I was nine years old! When I was younger, I was a Lady Gaga superfan. She just announced her album ARTPOP and some of the producers she was working with. One of the producers she announced was this French artist named Madeon, and I decided to listen to his stuff. I remember hearing his song “Technicolor”, and I fell in love with dance music. I remember going to my local Barnes & Nobles and illegally torrenting Fl Studio 10 — at the time that was what Madeon used. I taught myself how to produce through various YouTube tutorials and trying to recreate my favorite songs. I eventually branched off of electro music when I was 11 and started to write lyrics and develop my own sound.

What are three albums or artists that you would cite as the inspirations for you deciding to make your own music?

  1. Worlds – Porter Robinson
  2. ARTPOP – Lady Gaga
  3. Clarity – Zedd

If you directed your own movie, what would it be about and why? What actors/actresses might be in it?

If I were to direct my own movie, I’d want it to be about something kinda scary, but not too scary to the point where it becomes concerning. I know I’d want it to be like a claymation movie, like Coraline. Coraline has been my favorite movie since I was like, 6 or 7. But I’ve always wanted to make a Coraline sequel, so maybe the movie I would direct would be about her life after the events in the previous movie. I’d love to have someone really random to be a voice actor, like Nicki Minaj or something. I think it would be kinda funny.

You tend to hold back on dropping a lot of music. Even now, you only have a few songs out and yet you’ve already come so far in terms of finding an audience and a fanbase. What does “quality over quantity” mean to you and how do you operate as an artist when it comes to deciding when to drop music?

Something that can be a good or bad quality about me is that I am an extreme perfectionist. Ever since I was a young kid, for example in art class, I had to make sure my project was exactly how I envisioned it in my head, and that takes time! If I were to drop a song that I was not 110% proud of, it would be very hard for me to expect the possible millions of people listening to it to also be proud of my work, and that is very important to me and how I want to present myself.

How does it feel to think that even at such a young age, you’ve been able to grow into an artist with tens of thousands of people paying attention to you? Does that ever affect the music you release or the way you move on social media?

It feels terrifying, but in the best way. I definitely have to be more careful about what I say and how I want to people to perceive me. It’s not like I can just have my socials be like public spam accounts where I rant and post memes and indirects like most other 15-year-olds can do. I have to choose what I say wisely so nothing can haunt me in the future. The person you see me as on social media is 100% myself though. There are many artists who sometimes have to hold themselves back on social media to preserve their image, and I agree with doing that to a certain extent, but it’s also very important to show the world a little bit of who you are.

Based on your Instagram, you definitely seem very interested in fashion. Who are some of your favorite designers and in your mind, how does music go hand in hand with fashion?

Some of my favorite designers are Joyrich, Chanel, Opening Ceremony, and Balenciaga. Fashion can play an extreme roll in music. For example, Billie Eilish wears the most baggiest clothing in the world and looks like a 90’s rapper (in the coolest way possible), yet she has the most mature, feminine, and refined voice. Having that contrast is honestly the coolest thing in the world to me. It kinda psychs people out, seeing the 90’s rapper clothing with such a beautiful voice. When that contrast is there, it makes the listener more drawn into the artist.

Especially in the age of the internet, it seems like the artists that are popping off are only getting younger and younger. Do you think about your age at all in the way that people perceive your music or even you as an artist? Or does it not really affect what you make or how it’s received?

Something that I’ve noticed about people, especially workers in the music industry like A&R’s and stuff, they are more impressed with someone young (15-16 years old) making something really cool, than like a 20-year-old making something really cool. I think that’s so weird. Being my age, this generation has been exposed to a lot more than the generation back in the 80’s, for example.

Look, I literally illegally downloaded a music production program when I was nine years old, and now I’m kind of an artist at fifteen! Now if that doesn’t say something about the world changing, not only in music, then I don’t know what will. This whole age dilemma kind of affects what I make, because I want to be taken seriously. I don’t want to end up like some teenage heartbreaker with an audience that only consists of 12-year-old fangirls, you know?

What inspires you when making music? How do concepts for new songs pop into your head? Is there one main source, or multiple sources that spark creativity for you?

Sometimes I can be watching a show and a word might be said that can inspire me. I remember watching American Horror Story a few years ago, and writing a song based on the episode I watched. Some of the best songs that I’ve written are written after I pray for inspiration, believe it or not! Sometimes it’s the chords that I might be playing that will conjure up a mood. Oh! I remember around January 2018, I was wearing this sick outfit, and I remember that outfit literally inspiring me to write a song. Inspiration can source from anything, if you open up your mind enough.

Lastly, what can fans expect from you in the near future?

I just filmed my first music video for my first *official* single that will be coming out very soon. It’s gonna be on every music platform, so be ready for that!


Connect with Isaac Dunbar on:

SoundCloud

Twitter

Instagram

Lord Felix – “Nothing.” [Prod. Donato]

Lord Felix – “Nothing.” [Prod. Donato]

By: Seamus Fay

Ever since my very beginning days writing for Graduation Music, Lord Felix has been one of my favorite artists out of Massachusetts. His remarkable level of talent and clear creative vision prove to be amidst the most refined that I’ve seen during the two years that I’ve been running the site, and with each and every single release, Felix never ceases to impress. He’s only getting better as the clock ticks, so much so that stardom feels like nothing more than a matter of time for the Brockton native. Today, we welcome Lord Felix back to our pages with a brand new single entitled “Nothing.”

Produced by Donato, this track finds its identity by way of a dance-worthy, groovy instrumental and a generous helping of addictive melodies. “Nothing.” comes across as a song possessing immense replay from the very opening notes, and once paired with Felix’s love-led lyricism, it only gets better from there. The young artist pursues a deep level of affection with dreamy visions of running away alongside the one you love, voluntarily leaving it all behind regardless of the cost or consequences that may arise. The lyrics get hopelessly and impulsively lost in the heavenly instrumental, and by the end of the track, the only appropriate response is to smile, click repeat, and start dancing again.

Lord Felix snapped with his latest, so be sure to click play on “Nothing.” at the link below!

Additional vocals from Notebook P
Written by Lord Felix
Recorded and mixed by Latrell James
Mastered by Leo The Kind

BOUVÉ – “Television” [Prod. Krooks N’ Kops]

BOUVÉ – “Television” [Prod. Krooks N’ Kops]

By: Seamus Fay

If we’re keeping it real right now, BOUVÉ is one of the most promising young hitmakers out of Massachusetts at the moment. He’s had an unbelievable year in 2018 so far, dropping off numerous stellar singles and even garnering a production placement on YG’s new album, Stay Dangerous. In every way thinkable, BOUVÉ’s stocks are on an insuppressible rise, and today, he’s here to keep them on the up with a brand new track entitled “Television”. And quite frankly, it’s one of his finest offerings to date.

Produced by Krooks N’ Kops, the latest from the North Shore representative acts as a declaration of independence and ambition. BOUVÉ is more than ready to fill his rightful spot at the top, and while this means leaving some people in the past, he understands the sacrifices that come with stardom. If someone chooses not to support you, all you can do is let them watch how far you’ll take yourself, especially if it means that the next time they see you will be on TV. That said, “Television” is an undeniable anthem and this will certainly stay on heavy rotation for the weeks to come.

But don’t just take my word for it. Click play at the link provided below:

Daily Discovery: Kaz Moon

Daily Discovery: Kaz Moon

By: Seamus Fay

At the very heart of Graduation Music is music discovery, and today, we have an incredibly special new find to unveil to our readers in the form of Kaz Moon and his latest project, Summerbug. Stumbling upon this one a few weeks back via SoundCloud, Moon’s mature level of artistry is what truly brought me in as a listener right off of the bat. The casual wisdom of his lyrics ranges far beyond the rising talent’s years, providing a unique perspective on life that any listener can relate to. Summerbug is simple in this way, even while willfully delving below the surface and making for one of the most refreshing projects I’ve heard in all of 2018.

That said, the importance of an EP such as this one best arrives in the emotional response that it yields. In just 6 songs, Moon is able show listeners valleys and mountains of feeling, navigating through the both of them with wide eyes and a special knack for translating emotion into lyrics. Whether he drifts through love, confronts life and death, contemplates legacy, or takes any number of other paths, Moon does so on his own terms. He willfully blurs the lines between dreams and reality, mixing heavenly instrumentals with candid, captivating accounts of life and all of its ups and downs. With this, the Summerbug artist proves to be a remarkably developed talent both sonically and stylistically.

The world is in Kaz Moon’s hands, and deserving of some serious noise with this project, I fully believe that he’s capable of doing big things in the near future. Enjoy Summerbug in all of its dreamy glory at the link provided below: