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Record Store Recs: Eelke Kleijn Takes Us Crate Digging Around The Globe

Eelke Kleijn at Gramaphone Records

Photo: Courtesy of Eelke Kleijn

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Record Store Recs: Eelke Kleijn Takes Us Crate Digging Around The Globe

At one of Kleijn's favorites, Chicago's Gramaphone Records, you can find classic dance records that were part of the city becoming the birthplace of house music

GRAMMYs/May 4, 2020 - 09:50 pm

With the unprecedented global disruption of 2020, it's important to support the music community however we can. With our new series Record Store Recs, the Recording Academy checks in with vinyl-loving artists to learn more about their favorite record stores and the gems they've found there.

Dutch DJ/producer/score composer Eelke Kleijn is beloved for his hypnotic beats that take listeners on a journey, whether that's on the dancefloor or while watching one of the films (including "Rush" and "Parker") or TV shows he's scored music for. As the founder of Days like Nights, a beloved dance music label and radio show, he shines a light on other DJ/producers who create emotive tunes. His latest release, released just last month, the soaring house track "The Magician," he offers a taste of his own upcoming masterpiece, his fourth album, to be released in September.

While Rotterdam, Netherlands is his home, his years as an in-demand DJ have seen him exploring the world's record shops for sounds that inspire and delight him. For the second edition of Record Store Recs, Kleijn shares his three favorite spots he's found great vinyl in over the years, all of which you can shop online.

Read The First One: Record Store Recs: Patrick Holland A.K.A. Project Pablo Shares Montreal's Vinyl Treasure Troves

Pick a few of your favorite record shops currently offering online/delivery services.

Gramophone Records in Chicago

Demonfuzz Records in Rotterdam

Something Else Records in Sydney

Demonfuzz Records | Photo: Eelke Kleijn

Can you tell us more about your favorite store(s) from the bunch?

Gramaphone:

I like to visit various record stores when I travel, especially in places that have a lot of history in dance music, such as Detroit and Chicago. The last time I was in Chicago I visited Gramaphone Records, a store with an incredible history, they first opened in '69. The nice thing for me about going record shopping these days is that I don't necessarily look for records that I play in my sets. I used to shop like that, when I played mostly vinyl in the early 2000s. Nowadays a lot of my music is digital and so I go out shopping for classics and records I just like to have in my collection, whether it's dance music or not.

In Chicago I thought there was only one way to go, and that was for some proper Chicago house. I ended up buying a couple of records, Ron Hardy, Frankie Knuckles and a few others. I also bought the original double-vinyl of The Chemical Brothers' [1995 debut LP] Exit Planet Dust which I've always wanted to add to my collection!

Demonfuzz:

Awhile back, some friends and I were looking up records that were No. 1 hits on the day we were born. For me that turned out to be Irene Cara's [1983 GRAMMY-winning song] "Flashdance…What a Feeling," which is fitting because I've always liked that song a lot.

We all ended up buying our record, and I did so in my hometown of Rotterdam at Demonfuzz Records. They have been around for as long as I can remember, at least 20 years. Pretty much all the record stores in Rotterdam are located close to each other on the Nieuwe Binnenweg. Even when I was growing up I would check out of school early and pay them all a visit on my quest for vinyl. Unfortunately, many of them have disappeared by now. Demonfuzz is still going strong, mostly because they have a very strong selection of music, ranging from rock and pop to disco, soul and jazz, for sale at their store or online. If you are looking for anything cool that is not last week's house music, they are probably your best bet.

After coming home with the record, I discovered the whole album was produced by Giorgio Moroder, the "father of disco," apart from one track which was produced by James Newton Howard, my favorite film composer. Now that's something you can't make up!

Related: 4 Independent Record Stores Across The U.S. Weigh In On Their Struggle To Survive During COVID-19

Irene Cara's What A Feelin' | Photo: Eelke Kleijn

What's a recent record you've bought from there and have been enjoying?

Irene Cara's [LP] What A Feelin'

What's an upcoming record you've got your eye on?

As part of my upcoming album, there is one track "Woodstock" based on a cool, laid-back beach club in the Netherlands where I hold a residency called Woodstock. The release will be supported by a bunch of remixes from Hernán Cattáneo, Gerd Janson and one more, due for release this summer on DAYS like NIGHTS.

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Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More

Rotimi

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Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More

The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'

GRAMMYs/Jul 8, 2019 - 10:04 pm

In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.

"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.

Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.

"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."

Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American. 

"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2019 - 06:28 pm

The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.

Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville                                                                        

 
This star-studded compilation album from 11-time GRAMMY nominee J. Cole and his Dreamville Records imprint features appearances from some of the leading and fastest-rising artists in hip-hop today, including label artists EARTHGANG, J.I.D, and Ari Lennox, plus rappers T.I, DaBaby, and Young Nudy, among many others. Recorded in Atlanta across a 10-day recording session, Revenge of the Dreamers III is an ambitious project that saw more than 300 artists and producers contribute to the album, resulting in 142 recorded tracks. Of those recordings, 18 songs made the final album, which ultimately featured contributions from 34 artists and 27 producers.

Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.

Championships – Meek Mill

In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.

i am > i was – 21 Savage

Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.

IGOR – Tyler, The Creator

The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.

The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae

Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.

Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz & More Join Small Business Live Benefit Livestream

Brittany Howard

Photo: C Brandon/Redferns/Getty Images

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Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz & More Join Small Business Live Benefit Livestream

Proceeds from the event will be go toward loans to small businesses founded by people of color, with additional support to women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses, via Accion Opportunity Fund

GRAMMYs/Jun 16, 2020 - 04:13 am

This Saturday, June 20, artists including Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, 2 Chainz and more will come together for Small Business Live, a livestream fundraiser event for small businesses facing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Proceeds from the livestream will go to Accion Opportunity Fund to support small businesses founded by people of color, with additional support to women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses.

“Entrepreneurs of color are denied credit more often and charged higher rates for money they borrow to fund their businesses. We need to accelerate support to underserved businesses in order to reach our full potential,” Accion Opportunity Fund CEO Luz Urrutia said. “We have to decide what we want our Main Streets to look like when this is over, and we must act decisively to keep small businesses alive and ready to rebuild. This is a fun way to do something really important. Everyone’s support will make a huge difference to small business owners, their families and employees who have been devastated by this pandemic, the recession, and centuries of racism, xenophobia and oppression.”

Tune in for Small Business Live Saturday, June 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EDT on smallbiz.live. The site also provides a full schedule of programs and links to watch the livestream on all major digital platforms. To learn more about Accion Opportunity Fund, visit the organization's website.

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DJ Khaled, Nipsey Hussle And John Legend Win Best Rap/Sung Performance For "Higher" | 2020 GRAMMYs

DJ Khaled, Samantha Smith and John Legend

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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DJ Khaled, Nipsey Hussle And John Legend Win Best Rap/Sung Performance For "Higher" | 2020 GRAMMYs

DJ Khaled, Nipsey Hussle and John Legend take home Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Jan 27, 2020 - 09:05 am

DJ Khaled, featuring Nipsey Hussle and John Legend, has won Best Rap/Sung Performance for "Higher" at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards. The single was featured on DJ Khaled's 2019 album Father of Asahd and featured Hussle's vocals and Legend on the piano. DJ Khaled predicted the track would win a GRAMMY.

"I even told him, 'We're going to win a GRAMMY.' Because that's how I feel about my album," DJ Khaled told Billboard. "I really feel like not only is this my biggest, this is very special."

After the release of the song and music video -- which was filmed before Hussle's death in March -- DJ Khaled announced all proceeds from "Higher" will go to Hussle's children.

DJ Khaled and co. beat out fellow category nominees Lil Baby & Gunna ("Drip Too Hard"), Lil Nas X ("Panini"), Mustard featuring Roddy Ricch ("Ballin") and Young Thug featuring J. Cole & Travis Scott ("The London"). Hussle earned a second posthumous award at the 62nd GRAMMYs for Best Rap Performance for "Racks In The Middle." 

Along with Legend and DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, Kirk Franklin, Roddy Ricch and YG paid tribute to Hussle during the telecast, which concluded with "Higher."

Check out the complete 62nd GRAMMY Awards nominees and winners list here.