- A culture magazine reaching terminal verbosity -


Atlanta's Malachiae Warren Talks Background, Beginnings, and 'Heard U Was In My City'

Music InterviewDelaney CliffordComment

Starting at the age of just 12, R&B crooner Malachiae Warren began his singing career through YouTube and school talent shows before moving on to recording at 14. Coming from a family with an extensive musical background provides its advantages, and the now 20 year-old talent is currently taking huge strides in leaving his mark on his home city of Atlanta, bringing fresh life into a scene that so craves the new talent. Warren - better known as Chiae - continues to develop his skills in writing, producing, and singing with his creative partner, Jasper Cameron, and released his major label debut EP, Heard U Was In My City, via Universal's Motown Records on March 25.

We met up with Chiae to discuss his background, beginnings, and the new EP.

TRANSVERSO: Tell us about Heard U Was In My City.

WARREN: [The single] “Minute Made” is a new sound from me, coming all the way from my first single “Thank Yo Momma (feat. Migos)” that came out a few years earlier. For this record, you know, a bad seed came through town and didn’t know what she wanted, so this new music is just a way to express that feeling from me personally.

What's the story?

The way it went was this girl - an ex girl of mine - would come and kick it with me in Atlanta, but she wanted more out of the relationship than I wanted to give at the time. She ended up coming back to the city, but she didn’t call me when she did. So my mind was racing, thinking, “Who’s she with, who’s she talking to?” That sort of thing. I just felt that regret kicking in. So the EP takes little pictures, moments, and feelings from that time in my life, and I just made what I was feeling.

How has coming from Atlanta and being a product of that culture and vibrancy affected your music?  

First and foremost, I love Atlanta. I was born and raised here, so of course I have to always represent. It’s just a great place to be, especially in the entertainment field. You meet a ton of like minds down here; it’s just really easy to connect to people. The only downside is that there’s just a ton of competition to face, but when you find your sound and you stand out, that’s what people pay attention to. That’s what people will gravitate to. You just have to find yourself and run with it.

From whom do you pull inspiration?

Gotta shout out to Atlanta, so Monica, Ludacris, Usher, and people of that nature. But I listen to a lot of other stuff too. I’m a big hip hop fan, so I got a lot of love for Future and Drake - even the greats like Jay Z and Tupac. I get a little bit of influence from every genre.

Have you considered working with other artists similar in style like The Weeknd or Travis Scott?

Yeah, absolutely. Right now though, I’m focusing on finding myself and my sound - the thing that will make me unique and stand out. But I would love to branch out and work with other artists that have the same vision as I do for their music.

You mix a lot of different styles in unorthodox ways, like inserting an almost '80s hair metal / anthemic sounding guitar into hip hop. How and why do you experiment with these different generations and cultures?

That’s crazy that you noticed that. I’m just into music, man. I really just do what I feel and put in what sounds right, no matter what I’m doing. I’m not here to follow trends or fit into standards, that’s just not me. I put passion into anything I do. We bring live bass players into the studio to bring that extra feel into the sound, bringing the old school back to the new stuff, that kind of thing.

Since I’m so young, I look at my generation, and I see how easily influenced we are. So I try to strike a balance that can find all of those different listeners. And that’s not to say that I won’t do the turn up songs, I just feel like you have to have that balance. I might do those types of songs, but I’m going to keep doing songs about love, songs that make people feel good in general. You’ve gotta have fun, but you’ve gotta have the downtime too. It’s a balance. If you turn up for too long, you’re gonna crash after a little while.

You’re only 20 years old. How does it feel being such a young artist at this level in the music industry?

It feels great, man. I just count my blessings and just do my best to remember why I’m here and who got me here. It’s just another way to prove to people my age that dreams do come true, so never listen to that negativity in your life. Keep on moving forward.

What brought you to music in the first place?

[It’s] crazy, man, because I was doing a whole lot before music. I was acting a little bit, actually. But this whole thing started with me doing some comedy sketches on YouTube. I’d add some singing at the end there, just a little snippet of a song, not anything serious, just to maybe show some viewers that I could sing. When I woke up the next day, the comments were just going crazy. Girls were going crazy over it, so I thought why not, and started singing more. I actually played my school’s talent show and the same thing happened, girls went crazy over it. That’s what made me want to pursue music a little more from then.

You've also gone on to start a brand called LoveLife.

It’s just something that we do to present a message— loving life, loving your music, loving yourself. We need more positivity in this generation, in this genre, everyone’s gotta love their life, you know, go forth and don’t be afraid to follow your passion. It’s nobody else’s life, and nothing’s holding you back, so go chase it.

So what's next?

We’re really just focusing on this EP that I just put out and the focus of that release, “Minute Made.” I’ve just been running around Atlanta, getting my name out and talking to the clubs and the DJ’s, all of those guys, just grinding it out. I really wanna see my fans up close and personal, so I will definitely be hitting the road in the next few months. Right now I’m just working on getting my name out down home, but when I hit the road, I’m gonna be hitting those cities hard.

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Strange Heights Set out For "Home" in Second Single

Exclusive Premiere, New MusicWeston PaganoComment

Following debut single "Believe Me," Chicago-based newcomers Strange Heights are revealing the second track from their forthcoming self-titled EP, "Home" through Transverso Media.

Soft strings and xylophone plinks beckon you in, swirling around gentle vocal harmonies grappling lyrically with setting out against adversity and, ultimately, finding home. Flirting with the boundaries between folk and rock, Strange Heights fit the puzzle of their six-piece together to uplifting results.

Keyboardist and backing vocalist Nic Ten Grotenhuis tells Transverso, "'Home' is about perseverance in the face of resistance and about how passionate we are about music."

Formed last September, Strange Heights finished recording a four song EP just two months later, with Strange Heights due out May 15.

Lewis Del Mar's New "Loud(y)" Music Video Has Them Rocking Rockaway

New MusicWeston PaganoComment

Instantly hard-hitting duo Lewis Del Mar have released a music video for their Hype Machine-propelled opening single "Loud(y)," in which they're aptly causing trouble across Rockaway Beach, NY's streets and house show circuit.

The dynamic, lo-fi track off their debut EP released via Columbia in January thrusts with a frenetic drum beat under commanding Cage the Elephant-esque vibes - from "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" acoustic stabs to a "Teeth" style spoken-word rant - and spills them out into Mac DeMarco's neighborhood to delightfully disastrous results.

"Can you please turn yourself down?" vocalist Danny Miller asks. It doesn't seem like Lewis Del Mar will be heeding their own advice anytime soon.

Spend Some Time on Dear Blanca's 'I Don't Mean to Dwell'

Music ReviewOwen HuntComment

Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, Dear Blanca is of a much different yolk than Post-Echo labelmates Gláss and Art Contest; on their new EP I Don’t Mean To Dwell, the trio swings through barreling passages that are at once steady and coherent bursts of energy very reminiscent of Springsteen yet still in its own way.  

Dylan Dickerson's raspy and emotive vocals are both sardonic and somber in character, which makes for a good dichotomy considering the range of dynamics on the album.  Songs like “Joint Effort” have lines as funny as “Look at me I’m demanding your attention,” but at the same time there is a sense of deep sadness and existential crisis. On “Temporary Solution,” the vocals take on a slightly less jagged quality, but still resound with a deep sense of longing.

Dear Blanca's sound is deeply tied to classic rock, but does so much on its own terms. I Don't Mean to Dwell brings a fervent energy to this somewhat overwrought style as they manage to make it their own with what seems to be surprising ease and finesse, putting forward yet another solid release of their own blissfully potent brand of rock.  

Catch Some "New Psych" From Ladada

New Music, Music NewsWeston PaganoComment

Virginia Beach-based Josiah Schlater's project Ladada (pronounced "luh-DAH-duh") released a self-titled debut back in 2014 that was quietly one of the best records floating around the indie lane of the information superhighway that year.

Ladada's most recent release, "New Psych," is just that, expanding upon Schlater's rich surf rock riffs and lazy vocals with a louder, punchier effort demanding to be heard. Purveying a self-described "soda pop" genre, the sound energetically ricochets between psych rock and shoegaze.

The track is the lead single from Ladada's forthcoming EP, Hi Five, which will hit hands everywhere 4/1 via Gold RobotHi Five will take physical form as a curious limited edition "transparent coke bottle green" 12" with Ladada on the flipside, which you can pre-order here.