Infinite x MTV K First Showcase



Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 281 days ago

Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote for the next Artist of the Week! Choose between the following:

Hawk Eyes

The best and brightest sounds are usually being made by those who are not afraid to splice and bend genres. Like wild-eyed scientists tinkering with the very fabric of existence, Hawk Eyes are one such band. They hail from Leeds, the same part of the UK that gave us Gang Of Four and Hookworms. They’ve been chopping and musically evolving for a few years now, starting out as grimy riff-manglers Chickenhawk before becoming the soaring, fully-fledged rock proposition they are today.


In the fierce market of K-pop, new artists are in a constant struggle to achieve stardom. The story of WINNER begins with the music competition program WIN: Who Is Next?, a 2013 show where trainees at the agency battled for the opportunity to get their big break. WINNER emerged as the victors that year, becoming the first boy band launched by YG Entertainment since Big Bang broke out in 2006.


Tink was just a junior in high school when she dropped her heavenly 2012 mixtape, Winter’s Diary. In collaboration with DJ Hustlenomics, Tink assumes the role of both MC and one-woman choir in Winter’s Diary, delivering snappy, playful bars and soulful, confessional slow jams with the same finesse. Two years later, her rhymes would catch the attention of renowned hitmaker Timbaland, who described his chance encounter with her music as an act of divine intervention.


A seven-piece offshoot of Fernando Santullo’s previous musical projects, such as rap-rock outfit El Peyote Asesino, or electro-tango collective Bajofondo, Santullo is fully immersed in Río de la Plata’s culture and vernacular slang. In a sense, it perfectly represents the sound and idiosyncrasy of this part of South America where rap is now such an important aspect of the youth’s folk culture as rock and tango were for previous generations.

Black Linen

Repping Atlanta’s robust garage scene, Black Linen’s Tarantino-esque, cinematic vision began as a recording project for former Booze members Randy Michael and Pietro DiGennaro. They eventually built a formidable live lineup, adding Jonah Swilley (brother of Black Lips’ Jared Swilley) and Adam Anzio. Whether they reach new heights together, or at the very least cement themselves as an underground fixture, Black Linen’s continued blurring of the lines between classic Hollywood class and throwback teenage trash deserves to overshadow most current music marketed as garage.


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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 288 days ago

Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote for the next Artist of the Week! Choose between the following:


You don’t have to be an avid reggae listener to be enraptured by the hypnotic vocals of Jah9. Possessing a chilling yet bewitching vibrato evoking a young Ella Fitzgerald and a rootsy coolness à la Erykah Badu, the Kingston-based soulstress adds refreshing nu jazz vibes to the roots reggae tradition. Like many of her Jamaican reggae-making comrades, Jah9 follows the Rastafarian way; yet she’s attuned to various genres, primarily drawing upon American jazz and blues.


Sevilla’s pioneers SFDK are the best example of the dad-rap phenomenon in the current Spanish hip-hop arena. Back in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, they reigned supreme over rap en español, in both sides of the Atlantic, influencing hundreds of kids to pick up the mic and rhyme in Spanish. (Among many others, La Mala Rodríguez was once their alumna, back when she was still La Mala María). In 2014, Zatu and Acción Sánchez are back with an epic new album, Sin Miedo A Vivir (Not Afraid to Live).

Nero Di Marte

In the late ’80s, bands like Voivod, Celtic Frost, and Prong waged a subtle revolution in heavy metal and advanced the genre by emphasizing atmosphere and mood over sheer aggression. Almost three decades later,Nero Di Marte stands out as one of the rare few acts to prove how flexible a palette of death metal can be when applied with ingenuity. In their latest album, Derivae, the Bolognese quartet stays perfectly haunting without veering into the cartoon malevolence favored by most metal acts.

Los Pepiniyoz

Los Pepiniyoz not just emblematic of Puerto Rico’s punk past — 15 years since their inception, they remain Puerto Rico’s punk present. Frontman Rene D. Cervoni formed the group after the dismantling of Toy Gun, a group his brother, Pepiniyoz bassist Giancarlo, calls one of the island’s “first non-political punk bands.” Both were based in San Juan’s municipality of Bayamón, and from there Cervoni helped pioneer a bright and bubbly, yet saccharine and heartfelt, extension of the genre archetype.

Royal Pirates

Punk rockers turned melodious crooners, Royal Pirates are one of the few bands in South Korea that appeal to a variety of audiences. That is, whether they love K-pop or not. The band may not have the colorful outfits and dance moves that appear to be the prerequisites of K-pop. However, Royal Pirates are so much more than just a boy band. A self-made outfit with artistic determination and growing potential, Royal Pirates are Korea’s answer to Western garage band heartthrobs.

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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 295 days ago

Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote for the next Artist of the Week! Choose between the following:


You are who you hang out with — or are you? Communions heavily haunt Mayhem, the same Copenhagen practice and performance space as two of the city’s most celebrated yet controversial acts: Lower and Iceage. In any niche rock ‘n’ roll scene, however, there can still be variety — even if its musicians are pals and overlap on multiple projects. And this young group is proof of that.


If a trend exists in the United Kingdom’s numerous sonically-rich electronic music scenes, it would seem to be that its artists are getting younger and younger. So it is with XO, AKA Sunil Heera, a 19-year old electronic music producer who is making music that belies his tender age. The velocity of his ascent is matched only by the astonishing fact that he has no formal musical background. Equipped with a laptop, XO launched himself as bedroom producer with tracks like 2011′s “Golden” and 2013′s “No Scrubs.”

Barf Troop

Is Barf Troop just another long-running, obscure internet joke? It might be only that, if it weren’t also possible that this DIY collective of teen girl MCs may be one of the next best things to happen in hip-hop. Like many young bands cropping up these days, Barf Troop’s origin story begins with Tumblr. Spread far across the United States, a small group of internet friends decided it was time for a feminist version of Odd Future — and it would be them.

Duppy Gun

Duppy Gun is a project that unites two very different worlds, and the result — Duppy Gun Productions Volume 1 — in turn sounds like nothing ever produced in either. The 16-track LP, out now on Stones Throw, is the brain child of LA-based Cameron Stallones — also known for his hazy, hallucinatory Sun Araw project — and synthesizer psychonaut M. Geddes Gengras. It offers a wide-reaching taste of “outer-orbit dancehall selections,” as the duo describes it, driven by the unusual pairing of experimental American producers with singers and emcees from Jamaica.

Tei Shi

Tei Shi slowly slunk into the blogosphere last year with her sonically nuanced debut EP, Saudade, which dripped with lusciously layered harmonies offset by minimal production. Growing up in various countries (born in Argentina and raised in Colombia before emigrating to Canada), Tei Shi’s nomadic upbringing influenced her to create music that is deeply introspective — a way to find herself among the diverse cultures she has experienced.

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Song of the Year: It Had to Be 2NE1′s “Gotta Be You”

by MTV Iggy | 296 days ago

The results of our 2014 Song of the Year poll are in and, naturally, it had to be 2NE1′s “Gotta Be You.” It’s fitting since the trap/house song and its bold pop art meets fashion video combined all the things we loved in 2014 (like those Jeremy Scott sweaters) and reconfirmed that 2NE1 really is the best. The fans have spoken. Congrats to 2NE1 and all the loyal Blackjacks who voted.

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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 302 days ago

Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote for the next Artist of the Week! Choose between the following:

Arooj Aftab

The first time Arooj Aftab sang in public as a high-schooler in Lahore, Pakistan, something clicked and she started to feel like she was flying out of her body. She hasn’t repeated that experience much since then, but she’s managed to make the same sensation possible for listeners on her new release, Bird Under Water. Comprised of Aftab’s original music set mostly to her own loose take on ancient Sufi poetry, Bird Under Water completely re-contextualizes Pakistani/North Indian classical forms like thumri, khayal, and kafi.


Nesbeth echoes similar sentiments to his predecessors like Bob Marley and Burning Spear, with chants about the edification and empowerment of his community with enthusiasm. His plaintive and soulful tone evokes Gregory Isaacs’s suave voice. However, his occasionally pungent vocal delivery is sparked with big emotion and a touch of dancehall. He does this by sharing his past experiences of hardships and struggle he experienced in his poverty-stricken hometown, Arnett Gardens, which eventually inspired is astute songwriting.

Celebrine & Alien Delon

Russian duo Celebrine & Alien Delon sound like they’ve taken more than a few hedonistic headlong dives through Moscow nightclubs. Like Karin Dreijer Andersson doing dance music, the band’s dark tunes don’t skimp on the surprises while still managing to double down on the emotion. Packed within each of their mini pop opuses is a sea of swells and 808 grooves that come bundled with haunting tonal experiments and otherworldly production choices (Oh, the glorious reverb!) that often echo the best of the 1980s.

Mick Jenkins

Full of jazz, soul, and street smart wisdom, Mick Jenkins is a deep-voiced 23-year-old thought-provoking rapper who pours a heap load of empathy into each track he makes. Like Kendrick Lamar, he has the ability to rap with the best of today and still infuse “conscious” and “responsible” messages into his music and his sound features both hardcore rap influences and marked propensity toward foot-tapping hooks.

Fernando Lagreca

Fernando Lagreca’s music isn’t going to jump out at you — there are no thunder claps or over-the-top drops. Instead of brute, dance-pop force, or club-ready bangers, the Uruguay-born, Barcelona-based artist takes a more subtle approach on his new album Control, gently coupling Italo disco worthy synths with oceans of chillwave-style reverb, and layering hypnotic house passages with wistful, dream pop vocals.

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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 309 days ago

Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote for the next Artist of the Week! Choose between the following:

Omnipotent Youth Society

With ballads that alternate between clean acoustic strumming and soulful strings with gut-wrenching guitar solos and poignant trumpet lines, Shijiazhuang’s Ominpotent Youth Society unravel stories of life in dead-end cities, merging dark poetry with kitchen sink realism and images of the wasted urban landscape. The lyrics — among OYS’s stronger points — are largely written by their bassist Ji Geng and delivered by guitarist/vocalist Dong Yaqian, whose clear tenor lends the songs a mournful, understated tone that, in their better moments of poetry, can be devastating.

Charlie Belle

In an age when the kids are mostly into hashtags or uploading selfies, there is a band of teenagers that is performing at Austin City Limits, getting shout outs on national publications for their bedroom rock covers and about to release an EP — before any of them turns 17. Charlie Belle is fronted by 16-year-old guitarist and songwriter Jendayi Bonds, who plays alongside her younger brother, Gyasi Bonds, on drums and Zoe Czarnecki, on the bass.

Un Planeta

Argentina is well known for birthing rock icons like Soda Stereo, Babasónicos, and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, and Buenos Aires-based Un Planeta just might be the next Cerati. Although we recently learned about the band’s existence, it’s obvious they have the potential to become great, as they have already crafted a sophisticated electro rock sound that shows wisdom beyond their recent four years as band.

Gui Amabis

For his sophomore release, Gui Amabis shed his producer persona to walk in the shoes of a singer-songwriter. A departure from his last project, which featured assorted voices and perspectives, Trabalhos Carnivoros is Amabis’ most introspective work to date. Still, he remains true to Tropicália’s feral eclecticism and its penchant for devouring all things foreign and familiar for the sake of re-birthing something wildly innovative.

Santa Cruz

Whatever your feelings on Whitesnake, Finland’s Santa Cruz may just grab you by the balls. This new generation of wild beasts comes at you with dirty, hard rock à la Guns N’ Roses, unruly yet impossibly glossy hair, loose morals, and a touch of glam. Formed by Archie, Johnny, Midday, and Taz, these “relentless renegades” claim influence from Skid Row, Aerosmith, GNR, and Mötley. It’s not just an image; these Finns love to live life on the edge.

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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 316 days ago

Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote for the next Artist of the Week! Choose between the following:

Agent Lexie

Born on the island of Jamaica and based in Germany, this singer-songwriter is a world-traveled entertainer. Having played in over 25 countries, it is no wonder she’s able to pull from many different cultures to create a progressive sound of her own. A genre-defying artist, Agent Lexie started her journey as a musician in Los Angeles with LMFAO producer GoonRock in 2006. A few years on and she is flying solo and taking dancehall to another plateau.


Listening to Starwalker is like eavesdropping on the world’s coolest cocktail party. Which, given electro-daydream sonic pallet of its two members’ main projects (Air and Bang Gang) isn’t wholly unexpected. But with their new collaboration, Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Bardi Johannsson have taken casual cool to the next level, with plenty sinuous synths and Dunckel’s flatfooted vocal deliveries drifting skyward like Gauloises smoke.

French for Rabbits

Just try to be stressed out while listening to French for Rabbits — it’s pretty much impossible. Writer and wispy crooner Brooke Singer could abate even the angriest storm if given the chance. Whether it’s paced like a lullaby or there’s a slight skip to it, every number on her debut LP Spirits is an lesson in tranquility. Haunting works as a descriptor for all of Spirits — but only if you greet old ghosts with sentimentality, not fear.

Dai Burger

Once a backup dancer for Lil Mama in the mid ’00s, Dai Burger always knew she wanted to be the main attraction. A few years later, the leader of the Fuzzy Gang released her first musical offering titled “Mymixxxytape.” Hosted by fellow musician Junglepussy, the 12-track mixtape features lo-fi hip-hop and R&B jams heavily inspired by the ’90s. Since, Dai Burger has evolved into a kaleidoscope of rhythm. Multiple musical elements and styles have made way to her latest mixtape titled In Ya Mouf’.

Ghost Brigade

Since the band’s early days, the importance of being independent has been of utmost concern to them. “When we formed this band, we soon decided that this would be for once a band without any musical limitations,” said Naukkarien in an interview with Scratch the Surface. “In the end, all kinds of tags, genres and other people’s opinions don’t really matter.” IV: One with the Storm is also the first release for the band on their own label.

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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 323 days ago

Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote for the next Artist of the Week! Choose between the following:


Singer-songwriter Mitski’s latest album, Bury Me At Makeout Creek, captures both the severe self-loathing and unwavering, childlike aspiration of underdogs everywhere. Adopting the syrupy croon of a young Patsy Cline, supplemented by the lo-fi volatility of Canadian noise pop outfit Eric’s Trip, Mitski rummages through feelings of alienation in college party scenes and barely-reciprocal romances with a devil-may-care, folk-rock abandon.


While many of their Chilean comrades like their dance pop with ultra-gloss and vintage synths, Tunacola prefers to create stunning kitsch pop songs with silliness and classic video-game console sounds that still have plenty of dance floor functionality. Focused around playful hip-hop verses, the Santiago-based quintet calls their über-quirky music hip-pop. Their dedication to nonstop fun was underscored last month when they channeled the Teletubbies, and frolicked around wearing onesies in their latest music video,“Danky.”

Orange Caramel

While most K-pop groups look west for their sound and fashion, Orange Caramel keeps its concept local. The trio has its retro roots in Korean trot music, which, paired with their sparkly and cartoonish look, creates a quirkier and weirder alternative to the standard K-pop girl group. You can’t really make sense of what’s going on with Orange Caramel, sound or fashion wise, using logic and everything about them screams “too much.” It’s like eating a gallon of cotton candy ice cream.

Gabriel Teodros

Teodros is a prototype of Ethiopian-American hip-hop, but his diasporic roots run deep. Claiming influences from Ethiopian music to Aretha Franklin to old school hip-hop, he is no stranger to the magic created when cultures mix. The first time Teodros crossed paths with Belay, the two shared a stage with fellow Copperwire rapper Burntface and singer Meklit Hadero at Addis Acoustic Jazz Night in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. When visiting Fendika later in 2011, Teodros found everything he loves about American hip-hop present in his ancestral home: “the poetry, humor, politics, dance, outcasts — and above all, the sense of community.”

Christopher Ellis

Christopher Ellis is a big deal. He may be a relative newcomer when it comes to his participation in old school reggae, but he’s been immersed in it his whole life. As the son of Alton Ellis, AKA the Godfather of Jamaican Rocksteady, this London-born reggae singer echoes the legacy of his late father with his rich bellowing vocal style and gripping one-drop reggae rhythms. He resurrects the rocksteady sounds of his Jamaican heritage with a lover’s rock kind of lyricism, and adds a contemporary soul-R&B twist.

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