The Summer Solstice is here! Now a little about the Solstice and today’s event: The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of a planet’s semi-axis, in either the northern or the southern hemisphere, is most inclined toward the star (sun) that it orbits. Earth’s maximum axial tilt toward the sun is 23° 26’. This happens twice each year, at which times the sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the north or the south pole.

The summer solstice occurs during a hemisphere’s summer. This is northern solstice in the northern hemisphere and the southern solstice in the southern hemisphere.

Though the summer solstice is an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used like midsummer to refer to the day on which it occurs. The summer solstice occurs on the day that has the longest period of daylight – except in the polar regions, where daylight is continuous, from a few days to six months around the summer solstice.

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied among cultures, but most recognize the event in some way with holidays, festivals, and rituals around that time with themes of religion or fertility.[5]

Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).

Had the pleasure of kicking off our podcast series taping schedule in #greenpoint for the month of May today with artist Andre Henry ! Was blessed with his knowledge of soul music and African American roots in relation to music and the power of art. Website launches next month! We are featuring the artist performing at our 4th annual Bowery Houston Mural show to launch the site, while we are working out an offer with a host for the podcast to continue the conversation after June 21st as well and hope to serve your truth! 

Mark U is a part of the next chapter of experimental-conscious-hiphop

Recently, I had the pleasure with interviewing a soulful-talented young guy from Brooklyn name Mark U. He’s got this off the beaten path sound that creates a tapestry of sonic elements into hiphop and soul. You’ll find his roots in consciousness as well as diverse musical experiences, and how they relate to his unique sound is sincerely expressed in this interview. Lastly, Mark U has a show coming up at Williamsburg Music center on the 27th of April, so onwards upwards please check out this talented artist hailing from East Flatbush, Brooklyn.

photo by: http://alexvegaphotography.com

Describe your approach to writing music:

My approach to writing music is based mostly off feel and purpose. I usually write to the beginning of an instrumental whether it be a bass line or drum pattern, and then I let the emotion I get from that dictate what direction I take the song lyrically.

Describe your roots in NY and how that has shaped your music:

Well I was born and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. It’s a predominantly Caribbean populated neighborhood; and I grew up in a Jamaican household so the first genres of music that I heard were Reggae, Ska, and rockers. Those genres played a major part in not only the sound, but in the subject matter of my songs. They all originated from pain, suffering, the enjoyment of life and having a proud Identity in life, all emotions that resonate with my everyday living. As I got older I started to appreciate the lyricism and technical approach to hip hop, mixed with my exploration of the city and its wide variety of cultures, all those things led to the fusion and eclectic sound of my music.

What is the project you most recently released, why is it awesome?

The project I most recently released is called Soul Odyssey: The Raw Demo Sessions. Its also my first project that I released a few weeks ago. I’d say its awesome because it narrates the personal challenge of a young man who strives to improve on his integrity, morality ,spirituality, and overall happiness. I feel that those are things that the majority of human beings can relate to and strive for on a daily basis.

What does it mean to be a young male today? 

For me, being a young male today means being appreciative and being an example. I try my best to saver these moments and really do things that are lasting. Growing up in America as a young black male has caused me to truly search the depth of self. Race plays such a major part in our society and it made me want to understand who I am as a black man, but to take it a step further and understand myself as a human being. Taking that step has allowed me to be a better communicator with my music, because I’m not speaking from how I’m perceived or how I perceive, but from who I truly am and what I truly see. I’m 24 years old and I realize that we’re in such a unique time throughout the world with the constant revolution of technology and also the development of new social and progressive ideals. Theirs so many opportunities and platforms for young people to express their individuality and perspective, but to also share it and build camaraderie. 

Name three artists, painters, musicians, philosophers, or films, ect that have influenced you and how:

  1. Malcolm X- He went through a series of transformations that made him better. He allowed himself to be open, which led to the possibility of obtaining more truthful information. From hating white people to drinking with them and Muslims of other ethnicities in Mecca. 
  2. Lauryn Hill - A woman who defied the status quo and dared to be herself in a genre and time that didn’t allow a woman to affirm to that. As a man I acknowledge that I came out of a womb, and that I naturally carry the duality of femininity and masculinity. She played a major part In accepting myself as an individual and holding firm to that stance.
  3. Bob Marley - For me, him as an individual represents the ideal that many have been crying for and dying for. One in love, One in spirit, acknowledging color difference, but not allowing it to be the weight of your judgement. Those messages weren’t just in his music, but in his everyday living.

What’s your top 3 on repeat right now?

My top 3 on repeat right now are Kendrick Lamar’s last two albums, James Blake’s recent release, and a Reggae band named Midnite.

Any upcoming shows we should come to?

I have show coming up on at the Williamsburg Music center on the 27th of April. We got some really good vibes the last show a few weeks ago so we’re looking forward tot he same response.

Where can we find your music?

You can find my music at my bandcamp. http://markumusic.bandcamp.com/


Here is an amazing act from Brooklyn called ‘The Dirty Gems’ Blending together sonic influences from No Doubt, Gnarls Barkley, Janelle Monáe and Amy Winehouse with the swagger of The Notorious B.I.G., the grimy blues of Jeff Beck and the theatrical grandiosity of Queen. Although shots of the buildings weren’t captured well, there were people hanging out of their windows with their smart phones recording!

Visit their facebook and “like” them! https://www.facebook.com/thedirtygems

From The Daydreamers Musings To The NYC Street Corner

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Hi, I’m Nadeem Ahmed. I’ve spent the last few years soul searching. People have a general sense of me to be a bit of a dreamer type. But really? There are people I can count on my hands (hands that do work) that can reflect these dreams. So I wanted to change that.. I wanted to find a way to bring people together. People like me, who also have dreams while drinking their teas, or silently bending into shapes to take peculiar pictures, and other mutually shared oddities.

I am convinced we will put a smile on someone’s face with this street corner show I have put together. June 21st is the longest day of the year. This is something that fascinates me because nature itself gives us a day of light(life) that lingers. A day that illumination longs to linger for us. So why not celebrate this momentous occasion?

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I am convinced lives will change when they see the rag-tag group of artists, poets, painters, and friendly human-beings engaging, performing, creating. So where will you be? June 21st at 4pm at the cross roads of Houston and Bowery? Will you be there to see how these musings are coming to life?

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Get out of the subways and into the streets… This Summer is ours to remember with light.



We’re sad to see the mural located on Bowery and Houston go. We launched a MMNY sponsored event here 4 years ago and every year we’ve seen it grow and grow! Two positives to announce, one is that this summer 2105 in the absence of our mural show, we’re helping Long Island City Concerts with their Summer Outdoor Festival at the Gantry Plaza Park Waterfront in LIC!

Other bit of good news is we’re going to be back in 2017! It gives us enough time to find more sponsors and focus on our other growths here at E9. We’re booking more local NYC/Brooklyn shows and also representing a roster of artists we’d like to focus our time on. If all goes well, there is a chance The Elevator9 MMNY Festival will be back as early as 2016 at another location, thank you for your love and support, artists and fans we’re here in credit to you all these years, thanks for the fun in the sun, see you soon!

Elevator - The elevator (or lift) is a type of vertical transport equipment that efficiently moves people or goods between floors (levels, decks) of a building, vessel or other structure. 9 - Nirvana

If you or a friend are in a great band, please send it our way, e9productions@gmail.com we will do a write up as well if we really enjoy the music, and in the least post it up here to a budding following of the tumblr commune! Local bands (Brooklyn.NYC.Queens.Long Island) get priority but it won’t stop us from posting good original music.

Peace and love


Can’t believe it’s been a year since our Houston and Bowery Mural Summer Solstice street show! Come out today from 12:30pm - 9pm and catch some of Brooklyn’s finest, New York’s greatest, and from Africa and beyond, artists of our 2013 summer solstice sponsored by Make Music New York. This year e9production founder Nadeem is an intern for MMNY, big thanks to them and all the hardwork they do, Clara and Aaron especially! It’s been a great few months of working hard to promote music, summer, and fun!

Some interviews we conducted with the bands performing this year (Archive)

Mano - Hailing from complicated Burkina Faso, Africa is Mano. Who shares insight into some great musicians like Fela Kuti, and takes our through his journey from Africa to Harlem! Stating - “Fela Kuti along with artists like Tiken Jah Fakoly are a source of great inspiration to me, as they say loudly what everyone thinks so quietly. African spokespersons cannot close their eyes to our reality; artists along with writers are the mirror of the society; so for African artists to be talk about the rain and the good weather is just irrelevant and unrealistic. The legacy of such artist lives on, inspiring coming generations.”

OmooA Swiss born, Brooklyn-bred artist who has trained with the great Gretchen Parlato

Wyland - “With the evolution of technology, we feel like there are no boundaries for our live performances. Every tone and sound we’ve created on our record is deliberate and we bring that to our live shows.”

Burkina Faso to Harlem, Mano takes us through his Journey

You are from the West African savanna of Burkina Faso (“Burkina”, from Mòoré, may be translated as “men of integrity”, while “Faso” means “fatherland” in Dioula. “Burkino Faso” is thus meant to be understood as “Land of upright people” or “Land of honest people”) from what I understand.

Has has that impacted you? Any correlation with your life philosophy?

“My country drew its name from the revolution (1984-1987) with the great Thomas Sankara who inspired and continues to inspire the whole African youth through his ideas and achievements in such a short time. He taught us self-confidence, self reliance and the possibility for Africa to develop itself from within. Of course this helped shape my life philosophy, as well as my music.”

Describe your cultural musical influences, I see you speak a few languages? “I grew up listening to great musicians in particular Georges Ouedraogo from Burkina Faso, Fela Kuti,  Bob Marley, and 2Pac. These there are the ones that influenced me deeply. I speak a couple of languages: Moore, French, English and a little bit of Bambara.”
I personally love the song Harlem the anthem, can you talk about this song? The inspiration behind it?

“I wrote the song Harlem in 2007 when I was living on 142nd St and Lenox Avenue. After my Bachelor’s degree in American Literature and Civilization with a concentration in ” the African-American Experience in the US"- before I even come to the US, Harlem meant a lot to me as it was like the epicenter of the Civil Right Movements. Walking down the streets of Harlem reminded me that the struggle for equality was still going on and that we need to keep our fire lit as I witnessed a people in quest of a better future, trapped in a system. The song was recorded and used  in a documentary about the Black people’s life in Harlem named The Streets of Harlem.“ Here is a perma-link to the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDXDyVhJAWs

You used to be in a group called ‘2 Kas,’ can you talk briefly about the experience, from what I understand it’s a West African group that has had some popularity in the region?

"2KAS was a hip hop group from Burkina Faso which was successful around 2002-2005, just before I came to New York in 2005. It was composed of me ( Mano), Kafyss, Sane and Abi Cool. We were solicited much for performances, and the group was popular for its unique hardcore style which was better expressed in the song ” Ya 2KAS" which became a challenging war cry for the youth of Burkina Faso.“

How have you grown as an artist since 2003s album "Anges le jour/Diables la nuit” which means “angels in the day/devils in the night” which is a political exposition of African abuse of power

“Since day one, my music has always been one that is meant to uplift and with time, this has been consolidated. My music is a call to humanity, a call for peace, justice and freedom for all peoples. It’s more centered on African politics where there is a patent dissatisfaction between the people and the leaders,and It’s our call to get Africa back on the right track.”

How do you feel about other great musicians out of Africa like Fela Kuti, that have struggled against the corruption of the African government? Does their legacy still live on? How so?

Fela Kuti along with artists like Tiken Jah Fakoly are a source of great inspiration to me, as they say loudly what everyone thinks so quietly. African spokespersons cannot close their eyes to our reality; artists along with writers are the mirror of the society; so for African artists to be talk about the rain and the good weather is just irrelevant and unrealistic. The legacy of such artist lives on, inspiring coming generations.

Do you have an album out, or one coming out you want to let people know of?

“I released singles during my stay in the US while working on my album which is almost ready, and should come out very soon.” - Mano

This years June 21st festival has such a diversity, really from all over the world! Spain, Switzerland, Africa, Queens, NYC and Brooklyn, NY of course! Thanks for much for adding to the great diversity to this event, and I am simply humbled by your drive and empowering messages. - Nadeem

More from Queens soul group YGB during the Summer Solstice street side show! Houston and Bowery never sounded any better!


@liebeskindsol singing her heart out #mmny2014 #boweryhoustonshow #e9productions

Bowery Mural Block Party | Facebook

Not sure it’s possible to have enough hrs in the day as a largely one man operation to have placed the last two native streams interviews before tomorrows show, but rest assured, they will be posted subsequently after tmrw’s mural show. WITH THAT SAID! I hope ya’ll are ready to take the streets by storm with my 4TH Annual #boweryhoustonmuralshow as a MMNY alum, it’s taking place at the intersection of bowery and houston on the LES in Manhattan. Show starts at 1pm sharp and ends at 8pm. Summer is here, festivals are upon us, ours just happens to be free and in front of an iconic mural right on the street in the greatest damn concrete jungle in the world. I’d like to thank all the people who have helped me so much you know who you are, all the wonderful artists who have practically lived with me this June and have helped shaped my ideas and enhanced my life in any measure, it’s untold how great even the smallest of your gestures have been to me like your time and energy and art and wisdom and talent, thank you, thank you, thank you!! #workhard #buildingdreams#lovefirst 

-Nadeem Gibran Salaam


Out of his East Flatbush apartment, a much younger Mark Ugbomah (that goes by @markumusic) as he recalls it, heard the earliest forms of inspiration that formed his musical palate from the people closest to him. His Grandmother, mother, father, of Jamaican ethnicity were playing reggae, ska, roots-reggae while his cousins were getting inspiration from American culture in the vein of hip hop.

While there are many avenues of interest to list about this podcast, including Marku’s first dream before music while 16-17 years of age attending Abraham Lincoln High School. His brief venture into vegan cooking down south, but notably his father is a regarded reggae musician, playing for the Toasters and the Pilfers, we speak of their unique bond and the role of a positive male role model in his life, his earliest performances were with his father during those summer days. (whom is an occasional guest at his own shows now) He is now following up with a more official album from his DIY debut demo, Soul Odyssey, get to know our headliner, he offers his vision for the arts in NYC, and we’re happy to see he’s back and i’m sure MMNY would be proud to know his credits the outdoor performance at Bowery and Houston last year as his best concert experience.