Saturday, September 23, 2017

Join us on Oct 14th for New Jersey Drive: an art, music, & voter registration event - Bloomfield

new jersey drive:
an art, music & voter registration event

saturday october 14 nine to one am
afro brazilian cultural center of nj
554 bloomfield ave, bloomfield, nj
this event costs 10 dollars to get in

brought to you by
music by adam cruz & duce martinez
playing new jersey house music only
sound provided by bnb productions

this event is by nj artists for nj artists!
network with other new jersey creatives!

a step & repeat backdrop will be provided
a printed booklet will be handed out

add yourself to the booklet & backdrop
the cost to add yourself is 40 dollars

deadline for inclusion is october 2

come join us & get registered to vote
voter registration deadline is october 17

Friday, September 15, 2017

Join us tonight at the Newark Library 6-11pm and register to VOTE!

Happy Friday everybody! The weather today is absolutely beautiful - let's celebrate! Come join us at The Library Music Sessions Fridays 6-11pm FREE at the Newark Public Library - 5 Washington Street, Newark! With Duce Martinez, Butchie Nieves, yours truly DJ Adam Cruz, and special guest Martin Gee!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Music Industry Unifies to Finally Get Paid Online

Written by Elizabeth Stinson — Last fall, a group of music industry heavyweights gathered in New York City to do something they’d mostly failed to do up to that point: work together. Representatives from major labels like Universal, Sony, and Warner sat next to technologists from companies like Spotify, YouTube, and Ideo and discussed the collective issues threatening their industry.

And there were many. For decades, major labels have watched record sales nose dive. Meanwhile, streaming services are growing in popularity but drowning in lawsuits. In 1998, the industry reported revenue of $13.8 billion; in 2016 it had dipped to $7.65 billion—and that was considered a good year. “It’s a really fragmented industry,” says Dan Harple, founder of Context Labs and one of the organizers of the meeting. The participants of that confab would later form a group called the Open Music Initiative.

The OMI got started in the winter of 2015, when Harple began working with Berklee's vice president of innovation and strategy, Panos A. Panay, Michael Hendrix of the design consultancy Ideo, and a handful of others at the school's Institute For Creative Entrepreneurship to establish a working group with sole purpose of figuring out how to ensure the music industry has a more sustainable future. Over the years, Harple's witnessed the power of technology change industries for the better; he’s also seen it wreak havoc on those that aren’t prepared.

The music industry, he says, falls squarely into the latter category. After decades of building distribution channels around record contracts and sales, the micro-transactional nature of the internet has, in some ways, diluted the industry. “I like to make a joke that it’s akin to a FedEx guy who shows up and gets 80 percent of your product price," Harple says. "To me, that’s in some ways what the App Store does and iTunes does and streaming services do.”

Those might sound like fighting words, but Harple isn't against digital music. A trustee of the Berklee College of Music, he helped create internet standards like the Real Time Streaming Protocol, which powers the technology that lets you pause, play, fast forward, and rewind on applications like YouTube and QuickTime. And when it comes down to it, he says, everyone—from startups to legacy labels to publishing houses—faces the same underlying issue. “Pretty early on it was obvious that there's an information gap in the industry,” says Erik Beijnoff, a product developer at Spotify and a member of the OMI.

That "information gap" refers to the data around who helped create a song. Publishers might keep track of who wrote the underlying composition of a song, or the session drummer on a recording, but that information doesn't always show up in a digital file's metadata. This disconnect between the person who composed a song, the person who recorded it, and the subsequent plays, has led to problems like writers and artists not getting paid for their work, and publishers suing streaming companies as they struggle to identify who is owed royalties. “It’s a simple question of attribution,” says Panay. “And payments follow attribution.”

Over the last year, members of the OMI—almost 200 organizations in total—have worked to develop just that. As a first step, they’ve created an API that companies can voluntarily build into their systems to help identify key data points like the names of musicians and composers, plus how many times and where tracks are played. This information is then stored on a decentralized database using blockchain technology—which means no one owns the information, but everyone can access it.

Think of it as a standardized set of liner notes. Keeping track of this metadata means artists and platforms can leverage it various ways without fear of violating rights. “What this API is allowing is real time access to information,” says Hendrix, a partner at IDEO who helped organize and develop the methodology behind the OMI. “That doesn’t exist today; it’s just too siloed.”

Though the API is still in beta, members say it's a solid starting point for an industry that rarely shares information openly. The ripple effects go beyond money, too. Panay points to all the apps built on Twitter's API and says the flow of data within the music industry could encourage entrepreneurs to start new companies, developers to build new experiences, and musicians to get more creative with how they sample and produce music.

“You can envision a world where any sound that's ever been created—any guitar lick, any drum loop, any synth line, any vocal—is accounted for,” Panay says. “If you have attribution to underlying contributors, you can imagine an explosion of creativity.”

Click here to read more from this article's source.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Mark Your Calendar for the debut of #PlenaPunk by Adam Cruz Oct 4-15

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration 2017
Council of Hispanic Affairs proudly presents:

Caribbean Legacy II
an exhibition by
Joe Velez
Ray Arcadio
Adam Cruz

Curator: Jo-El Lopez

Artist's Reception:
Wednesday October 4th, 2017 4-6pm
Michael B. Gilligan Student Union Gallery (Room 102)

Gallery Hours:
11am-4pm Mon-Fri and by appointment.
Exhibition will be on view through October 15th

New Jersey City University
2039 Kennedy Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07305

For more information, contact Nancy Gomez at:

Sponsored by the Council on Hispanic Affairs, co-sponsored by the Office of Graduate Admissions and the Latino Cultural Center

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

RIAA wins YouTube to MP3 battle, but is it still losing the war?

Written by Rachel Kaser — One of the most popular free sites for converting YouTube videos into MP3s might soon be shutting down, thanks to the music industry.

The operator of — who was sued by the Recording Industry Association of America last year — has apparently agreed to hand his site over to the RIAA, TorrentFreak reports. The RIAA gets to keep the domain, apparently to keep other enterprising converters from moving in on it... the digital version of salting the earth.

In return for no further prosecution, the site will shut down. It’s still up at the moment, but when I tried to convert an Imagine Dragons medley (don’t judge), I was told “this service is not available from your jurisdiction."

It isn’t just the site the RIAA is putting on ice, either. According to the settlement documentation, the site's operator is restrained from "knowingly designing, developing, offering, or operating any technology or service that allows or facilitates the practice commonly known as 'streamripping.'”

The judgment has yet to be signed by the court.

Click here to read more from this article's source.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Jacquelyn Graham goes 'Inside Her Head' with the incredible JaQueen EP

Click on the link below to listen + buy the "JaQueen EP" today!

Mixtape Sessions is extremely proud to present the debut EP from Mixtape Sessions recording artist Jacquelyn Graham. Ms. Graham is no stranger to recording and musical theater. Whether it's starring in "Blood Sisters: The Musical" or performing with Harvey Morris and the House of Praise, Ms. Graham brings talent, sincerity and that sensational star quality! For her debut JaQueen EP, she dives into personal topics of love, spirituality and rebirth. Produced by Mixtape Sessions' label head Adam Cruz, "Inside My Head" is an upbeat dance smash with an endearing message of spiritual love. "You Showed Me Your Love," on the other hand, slows things down a bit. This is a song about love's loss and redemption while set to a 3/4 beat. Jacquelyn Graham brings a vulnerability and style that is as pure as it is classy. About the EP, Graham says, "This is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more - after this labor of love, the music and possibilities are endless!"

Jacquelyn Graham – Inside My Head 
Lyrics written by Jacquelyn Graham and Adam Cruz.
Music written and produced by Adam Cruz.
Lead vocals performed by Jacquelyn Graham.
Background vocals performed by Jacquelyn Graham and Adam Cruz.
Published by Jacquelyn Louise Graham (BMI), Adam Cruz (SESAC) and Mixtape Sessions Music (ASCAP).

Jacquelyn Graham – You Showed Me Your Love 
Music and lyrics written and produced by Adam Cruz.
Lead vocals performed by Jacquelyn Graham.
Background vocals performed by Jacquelyn Graham and Adam Cruz.
Published by Adam Cruz (SESAC) and Mixtape Sessions Music (ASCAP).

Mixed and mastered by Adam Cruz at EbbnFlow Studios in Bloomfield, NJ.
Photography by Harvey Morris.
Wardrobe and makeup by Jacquelyn Graham.
Cover art designed by Adam Cruz.
Executive Produced by Adam Cruz.

Jacquelyn Graham thanks: Eddie Nicholas for his continued support, Adam Cruz for the encouragement to release a part of my story through song, and to my son Jacob for being my vision partner always.

©2017 Mixtape Sessions Music, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Distributed by The Cruz Music Group, a Division of Mixtape Sessions Music, LLC.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Join us tonight for the Library Music Sessions - Newark Library Fridays 5-10pm FREE

Happy Friday everybody! The weather today is absolutely beautiful - let's celebrate! Come join us at The Library Music Sessions Fridays 5-10pm FREE at the Newark Public Library - 5 Washington Street, Newark! With Duce Martinez, Butchie Nieves, yours truly DJ Adam Cruz, DJ Wiso, DJ Tazman and YOU!

Click here to read more.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

#TBT Godfather of Disco Mel Cheren talks music, rights and the rise of West End Records

Written by Adam Cruz — I've been spending a decent portion of the summer writing my first book. During this process, I've been reminded of Mel, my old boss at West End Records. Working at West End was a life changing experience for me, starting as a flyer designer to A&R/Production Director and later, as Vice President. Mel Cheren passed away in December of 2007 and I miss him dearly. Thankfully, I can watch and listen to him anytime by visiting YouTube. See at West End, We worked on a documentary based on Mel's autobiography, entitled "Keep On Dancin': My Life and the Paradise Garage." What memories! Check it out below - directed by Gene Graham and co-produced by yours truly, Francis Legge, Bryan Raughtan, Kevin Hedge, Andy Luna, Alex Jost and Lyn Woods.

Click here to watch this documentary on YouTube.

Sony Becomes the First Label to Make Money from Illegal Remixes

Written by Harrison Williams — Sony Music Entertainment has partnered with Dubset, a rights clearance startup, to become the first label allowing rights holders to earn money from unofficial remixes.

What this means is that Sony’s catalogue will be indexed by Dubset so that an artist can earn money from unofficial remixes, edits and even samples of their music through plays on streaming platforms.

Dubset has the ability to identify material by fingerprinting audio for its Mixbank. This allows it to recognize all unofficial uploads, remixes, edits and samples found on platforms like Youtube. The company then distributes royalties accordingly. Earlier this year Dubset also acquired $4 million Series A funding, which allows it to receive a cut of Sony’s royalties.

Dubset CEO Stephen White told TechCrunch how important the company is to the music industry: "700 million people are listening to mixed content every month… If rights holders don’t embrace a platform like us, the content is going to flow anyway and it’s going to flow around them."

According to TechCrunch, Dubset is also close to signing similar deals with the two other major record labels, Universal and Warner. This could allow all unofficial remixes and edits to be hosted on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, without the content being removed due to copyright infringement. The deal may have have a negative impact Soundcloud, which is viewed as a unique place for producers to upload unofficial material. Spotify, Apple Music and other major streaming platforms would become the ideal place to host all content, even unofficial remixes, due to their large user base.

Judging by this information, all signs point to Dubset revolutionizing the media streaming industry. And if this means tracks won’t get removed from streaming platforms due to copyright infringement, it’s promising for all content creators.

Click here to read more from this article's source.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Streaming Music Fights Neo-Nazi Music - good or bad idea?

Written by Bruce Houghton — First Spotify said it was pulling down music from neo-Nazi, explicitly racist or white supremacist bands in the wake of last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, VA. Next Deezer and CD Baby pledged to do the same. and Google Play and YouTube reaffirmed policies that "prohibit content like hate speech and incitement to commit violent acts.”

Who is to blame for racist, white supremacist and Neo-Nazi music being available online?

Music by independent artists becomes available on Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music and other streaming and download sites through an aggregator. Many musicians use low fee, self-service digital music distribution platforms like TuneCore, CD Baby and DistroKid. Others are distributed by more full-service distributors like The Orchard, inGrooves and Believe.

“We carry over 8 million songs that hundreds of thousands of artists self-distribute on the CD Baby platform, and it is impossible to screen every song for objectionable content,” CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux told Variety. “Our practice has been to encourage our community to let us know if there is content available on our site that violates these guidelines. Reports of hate-promoting music are taken very seriously and we are making every effort to flag and vet tracks of concern. In the event we find content in violation of these guidelines, we will take it down.”

Off the record inquiries to several self-service and full service distributors confirmed that, unless there is a complaint, none of the music that is then uploaded to services around the globe is screened. "We only check someone's content if we've gotten complaints," a distribution company staffer told Hypebot, "and then we usually just kick them off the system."

So, the first line of defense against this offensive music - the digital music distributor - is really no defense at all.

Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube, where music videos are uploaded directly by the artists, could review each track before its posted. But with music services adding thousands or even tens of thousands of new tracks weekly and an hour of new video being uploaded to YouTube very second, that solution seems impractical.

All streaming music services have sophisticated analytics tools, however, like Spotify's Echo Nest and Pandora's Music Genome. They can deliver eerily accurate personalized music recommendations and playlists, and Google's search functions can ferret out almost anything. So, why aren't these tools being used to eliminate this offending music before, or at least very shortly after, it is upload? And couldn't the distributors develop similar tools to identify offending music?

Why Not Fix The Problem?

The reason that policing uploaded music has not been a priority would seem to lie in the same safe harbor, free-internet ethos that allowed Spotify and others make thousands of tracks available online without the proper licenses.

That policy just cost Spotify $43.4 million in a class action settlement on the heels of a much smaller $5 million settlement with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA).

Allowing Neo-Nazi and white supremacists music to find a home online will likely cost these music services nothing.

Click here to read more from this article's source.