Semple Sessions – Tony Soul

Welcome back, fellow music lovers. Today, we have local Pittsburgh rapper Tony Soul in the studio with us.

T56-nightsony’s been rapping and making music since he was 11 living on the streets of Pittsburgh. In his gritty verses, he takes us through the daily reality of growing up in the city, rapping about things he seen and heard. His style is heavily influenced by horrorcore rap, especially his rap idol Eminem, and the harshness of his lines is in line with his subject matter. Much like Eminem and his peers, Tony’s lines have ample shock value, but never simple for the sake of shock. His lines are never without a deeper meaning behind the words.deep-soul

In this session, we discuss how his upbringing, especially his lack of a father figure, inspired him to delve deep into his creative spirit. We talk about how music has changed his outlook on everything and how he wants to inspire young people the same way the music inspired him as a youth.

Thanks for watching and reading, everyone. We’ll be back again soon. Check out the music, and give us a share if you support the movement. See you all next time.




The Drop: New Music from Patches, Tusk, Lili Traviato, Yung Mulatto and More

Pittsburgh made some seriously dope music in the past 2 weeks and here are our favorites.


We gotta start off with our man Patches and his exciting new track “sensei”. Patches never fails to blow us away with his mellow but catchy beats to go along with his unique flow. “sensei” is just 2:30 run time but it’s packed with mad bars. The only problem is that we want more and more everytime Patches drops another single. Lets get an album in the works?

First listen, first word: Powerful. Thats what I thought about when put on this album by Tusk, an indie band from Irwin, Pa. Lyrics written by Christopher Robin and Jess Bradle, Tusk has the sound of a season band to go along with their interesting indie mix.

Lili Traviato was a favorite Semple Session of mine because she has a voice that sounds like no one else on this planet in my opinion and thats cool as fuck. I love this project and its experimental vibe, it fits Lili’s personality perfectly. Look out for Lili to break through the underground scene soon.

Yung Mulatto aka Miles aka Mr. Kool just came out with this funky, deep and spacy jam. “Slow Down!” is going to be on repeat in my ears today and shows the potential of this young artist and musician. Keep doing your thing Miles, we fuck with it.

Linwood brought the fire with “Rush”. God Damn this track is hot. I dont think ive heard a Linwood track that I didnt like and I really respect musicians that lay bars down on beats like this. I posted this track because Linwood is dropping a mixtape hopefully today or tomorrow and everyone reading this need to check it out.

Music is Life,


Semple Sessions – Linwood

linwoodHello again, everyone! Well, summer’s now officially over, and that means getting back into the swing of things with school and life shit, you know how it is. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be dropping new sessions at least once a month, taking our time to make sure they’re as dope as can be.

Today, we have another talented, young performer with us, rapper-producer Linwood Randolph.

In the next coming weeks, Linwood will be dropping his freshman project, Summer Night Vice[s]. With this debut, he’s introducing himself to the world, making moves in the local rap scene alongside his crew, the Serene Team. As a rapper that produces his own tracks, his sound is explosive and experimental, explore themes of nighttime lust, vices and young love.

In the two tracks he features on today’s session, Rush and Selfish, he explores melodies in addition to spitting verses, mixing trippy samples with synthesizers and modulated hooks. The beats take many unexpected turns, keeping listeners on their toes. Inspired heavily by artists such as Drake and The Weeknd, Linwood uses his voice as an instrument as much as a method to deliver his rhymes.

Lyrically, he explores subjects such as his imperfections, his vices and, of course, the women in his life. As he said in the session, he’ll definitely be getting some text messages when the project drops.

Be sure to keep your ears glued to his Soundcloud when his project drops if you like what you hear. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook to keep tabs on his releases.

Thanks for watching and reading, everyone. We’ll see you again soon.

– Shuggie


What its Like to Eat on Tour


We talked with Brian Walker aka A Day Without Love about his experience with Eating on tour

Eating on Tour

                Food is often a topic that most musicians do not talk about. Sometimes it is because they can’t afford it, other times people go to the extreme of thinking that tour is not about eating it’s about hitting the road to every show. For me I believe that eating food on tour should be an experience just like meeting new people.

When you meet new people you gain new experiences, gather new perspectives, find a way of doing the same with food. I always do my best to try to ask the local people on tour about food that makes their town or city unique. I am not a fan of going out for pizza on multiple meals for the same nights of the week.

Rest stops are never healthy either, I do my best to keep healthy when on tour, and if I am going to have a cheat type meal, make sure that the food is unique. One time I played a gig out in North Adams, MA and found out about a delicious treat known as pizza muffins. Pizza muffins are a cupcake like dish filled with meat sauce topped with cheese and pepperonis a truly amazing dish and they give you 4 for only 7 bucks!

Sometimes I also find enjoyment in cooking with people who host me, by doing this I feel like I am not only getting a new experience, but I am also getting to know someone more intimately by hearing about their experiences of living in the new town that I am living in . In some ways, I think like music food brings people together. I think when you are able to bring food to your art, you are not only able to entertain your audience, but you also get to hear their experiences. Hearing experiences is just as important as sharing experiences and I think food is the bond that brings that together.

Diet is another important thing to consider when eating on tour. Many musicians have unique diets (for example: vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian). Fortunately, in today’s society it is very easy to accommodate the self with diet restrictions. Just make sure that you still budget yourself so that you don’t hurt your wallet on the road! Some restaurants can be very expensive when it comes to having niche diet styles on the road. Where as others are cheap, so regardless of whether you are on a diet restriction or not, seek restaurants that have budget friendly and healthy food to keep you energized at the shows you play on tour.

Eating on tour is a unique experience that is full of many unexpected things and journeys. You never know what restaurants you will find. Sometimes people will feed you, other times people will cook for you, but what is most important is that you enjoy the journey and the experiences that come along the way. Like the stories, it is important that you give yourself energy to keep the dream alive.

Check out Brian’s NEW music here:

Music is life,




The Drop: New Local Music – Conscience, Courtesy, Laila and more

New music’s been dropping like crazy lately. But while we’ve all been listening to Frank Ocean’s fantastic new albums, our Semple Session family has been pumping out releases on Soundcloud. The stars seem to have aligned to give us all this great new music at once, so I created The Drop to help make sure local music doesn’t fall through the cracks.

Conscience – The Transition

Coming hot off his album, The Settlement, released this past February, Conscience has been putting in work. His latest project, The Transition, is the next step in his evolution. His fiery, old-school style brings a different perspective to the hip-hop scene.

Stand-out Tracks: “All Day” and “300”

Bonus: His Semple Session was the very first!

Courtesy – UPTOWN

Talented rapper-producer Courtesy has released his latest project, Uptown, this past week. He produced or co-produced every single track on the diverse album, featuring live instrumentation in addition to sampling.

Stand-out Tracks: “Mamma” and “Benji”

Lili Traviato – Let It Spin

Lili Traviato is a talented songwriter, and she really stretches her wings on this latest track, “Let It Spin”. This song has a very different sound from much of her previous, acoustic-guitar work. Instead, she’s singing over a groovy electronic beat. Every song of hers tells a story, and this one is no exception.

Bonus: An old favorite of mine from The Mellophant’s album latest December featured Lili. She’s also another former Semple Session guest. Check her session out here.

Montell Fish – As We Walk Into Forever

Montell Fish’s latest project, As We Walk Into Forever, is a mixture of alternative hip-hop and pop that explores introspective themes. The entire project is produced by Montell Fish himself. Each song on the album sounds different, a testament to Montell’s abilities as a producer.

Laila – maybe, maybe

Singer-songwriter Laila Fahim, yet another Semple Session alum, released the final version of a song she previewed with us in her session. The studio version is very different from her live acoustic rendition.

Bonus: She posted an electronic remix of the song from producer Emerson Jay. Check it out below.

Fossil Jane –  will you/you will EP

Fossil Jane’s latest release, will you/you will, an alternative rock EP that takes influences from folk music and lo-fi bedroom pop and features multi-layered songwriting. Check out her Semple Session here.


That’s all for today, folks. Thanks for joining us. We’ll be keeping you updated on new releases from our Semple crew and beyond. Semple Sessions will return with new episodes soon. A lot’s in the works here at ABAD, be sure to stay tuned.



New Music: Montell Fish with “As We Walk Into Forever”


Pittsburgh’s Montell Fish just dropped one of my favorite local projects of the year.We were able to get a quick interview with Montell to talk about this album and what it meant to him:

First off I really love the arrangement of this album. Can you tell me about the inspiration behind the music?

Ha yeah man there was at least 20 remakes of the track list! I wanted this album to flow from start to finish. As far as the inspiration for this man, just music in general is just such a dope creation. I’m inspired to create whatever God lays on my heart, like whether it be rock, or some super chill RnB. I just have a wide music taste, and I thank God for it. 

What track do you want your fans to really pay attention to?
I want my fans to really pay attention to Wisdomless Boy because it just explains where I can be sometimes. Like I would mess up and sin, and I know I shouldn’t have done that but its about calling out  to God and saying, Lord I need help , like real bad. And then recognizing the world is not over, God still loves me. It’s a beautiful love story in faith. 
It seems that faith drives a lot of your creative process, can you talk about faith and how it goes hand in hand with your music?
Ha yeah man it wasn’t always like this, I use to rap about drugs, and sex and money. Like seriously, but it goes to show how God can change your life no matter how old you are. Since I gave my life to Jesus almost 2 years ago, and since my music is about my life. That is what I write about, and focus a majority of my songs around. On How God truly does love us, all of us. 
What do you want people to come away with after listening to this project?
I want people to understand that getting to heaven is a process man, its not like if you just believe in God you will go there. But the bible says ” And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Basically meaning, we have to know God for heaven to actually happen. Like have a relationship with our Creator.
Did you produce this project?
I don’t really like to take credit for my music so I usually say produced/written by the Holy Spirit through Montell Fish. Lol I know I seem super hyper spiritual. But to answer your question, yea man I produced this whole album! (through God ,of course)
What’s next for Montell Fish?
Next I plan on opening a dog sitting business, and learning how to knit! Nah jk, I actually wanna make an ep next focusing on bass guitar. But I am also interested in making a worship ep. But also I wanna collab, and tour. But seriously right now I gotta promote this album, drop some videos and see where God takes me!
My favorite track on this project is “Wisdomless Boy” but that’s a tough decision because every track is gold from this talented musician. Enjoy

Music is life,


Semple Sessions – Connor Duddy

We’re finally back with Semple Sessions! New episodes will now be released on Fridays, scaling back from two videos a week to one. Today, we have audio engineer/producer extraordinaire Connor Duddy with us.

Connor’s been DJ-ing shows and producing beats for eight years now. His Soundcloud displays a litany of beats he’s produced as well as collaborations with other artists.

In today’s session, he previews several beats from his project, The Tiny Tape. He also created an entire beat from scratch with us on Semple Street (which is now available to hear on his Soundcloud). Augustun stopped in to drop a quick freestyle to close out the session.


Connor DJ-ing a set at Alter Bar, opening for Chris Webby with Augustun and Akono Miles

As always, if you like what you hear, please check out his music, his website (professional inquiries especially welcome!) and please help spread the word. Every click helps, and we appreciate having you all with us. Thanks for watching, everyone! See you next Friday.


Guest Blog: Which Music Streaming Services Will Survive the Year?


Which Music Streaming Services Will Survive the Year?



Like most things, music services come and go. While you can always be sure there’ll be a replacement popping up just around the corner, it can be frustrating to have to keep creating accounts and signing up to payment plans.

Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of five of the sturdiest streaming services that have been providing users with quality music and personalized features for a substantial amount of time and are sure to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.


  1. Spotify


Long heralded as the giant of music streaming services, Spotify has been going strong over recent years, and this doesn’t look to be changing anywhere in the near future. With millions of songs from artists of every genre, big and small, users of the service can enjoy a comprehensive listening experience.

Their playlist feature makes it easy to perfect a soundtrack for your life by creating your own or listening to the listings of other users. There’s even a fantastic song radio option that allows you to find artists and tracks similar to your current favorites. While the free version provides all the essential features as long as you can handle the occasional advertisement, the premium version has the added bonuses of uninterrupted play, multiple device usage and an offline mode.


Spotify has taken the world by storm, and its streamlined design and global popularity means you can ensure it’ll be around for a long time to come.

  1. Tidal


Tidal has had a rocky journey since its conception in 2014 when some of the world’s wealthiest celebrities gather together and announce they felt they didn’t make enough money. Unsurprisingly, the concept never really took off.


However, two strokes of marketing genius this year turned the table on what seemed to be Tidal’s inevitable demise. First, after it was announced that Kanye West’s most recent album, “Life of Pablo,” would be released exclusively on the platform, reports claimed subscriptions doubled. Even though it was only six weeks before general distribution happened anyway, equally impressive results were seen when Beyoncé’s smash-hit “Lemonade” used a similar tactic and debuted on Tidal. These releases saw the streaming service become the most used on the Apple app store and ensured its survival for the rest of the year.


With rumors circling about Apple’s interest in merging with the company, things could be about to take off big time for Jay-Z’s humble project. If you want to get a taste for yourself, the free 30-day subscription trial seems to have been extended for the foreseeable future.



A veteran in music streaming, has been around since 2002. Although, in reality, they’re actually a third-party host; rather than an organic streaming platform, what you get is a central hub where you can listen, buy and download all of your favorite tracks.


The service keeps a history of everything you’ve listened to and allows you to create personalized playlists and send and receive recommendations from other users. On top of this, if you visit the live radio home page, there’s a wonderful Venn diagram feature that allows you to explore new music by genre and date. They even have charts for the most popular music of all time or top track lists depending on location or date.


Unfortunately, is not created equally all over the world. As of 2011, users from outside the U.S., U.K. and Germany have become required to pay a fee in order to gain access. Similarly, many countries don’t enjoy the added benefit of the live radio section. However, these problems can be easily overcome by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to bypass the blocks. Secure Thoughts details some of the best VPNs available, along with explanations of how they work if you would like more details.

  1. SoundCloud


Long championing the best releases from the underground, independent artists and up-and-coming musicians, SoundCloud is a streaming service that fills such a unique gap in the market that we can’t see it going anywhere before the end of the year.

For users, the site acts almost like the social network of music. You can create your own profile on which you can share, like and comment on songs. This means it’s easy to navigate and filled with untapped potential to find the greatest new acts around. It also hosts DJs and producers who regularly release fresh remixes of all-time classics.
SoundCloud is also a fantastic option for budding musicians, as it’s easy to upload and share your own music. It’s great to test the waters if you’re just starting out. Many artists have found their big break this way. Completely free for all users, this is a wonderfully underrated streaming site. However, recent revelations of the company’s search for a buyer have caused some uncertainty about its future. While it’s likely we’ll be seeing a revamp of the platform, users can feel safe in the knowledge that it covers such a unique gap in the market that there’s very little chance it will disappear completely.

5. Apple Music


Although this is not the best quality service on the market by any means, you can guarantee it’s not going anywhere soon. Apple is one of the mightiest companies on the planet, probably explaining why they can get away with charging $9.99 a month when there are so many great free options around.


It was Apple’s iTunes that led the way in MP3 music streaming, so it’s no surprise they’re not yet willing to give up that title to their competitors just yet. Apple Music provides users with full access to the whole of iTunes, a range of premade playlists and a 24-hour radio station hosted by Zane Lowe.


Other than this, there aren’t really any particular standout features or anything we can see as worth parting with ten dollars a month. However, with nearly 10 million paid subscribers, clearly there is some form of appeal there. For now, Apple Music is certainly keeping its head above water, and with such an affluent company behind it, it’s sure to survive even if sales drop.


Any others that should be on this list? Or do you disagree with the staying power of those already mentioned? Be sure to leave a comment below with your ideas.

Caroline (who killed it with the guest blog)

About the Author: Caroline is an entertainment blogger for Culture Coverage and a life-long music fan. Since her parents used to leave her listening to their vinyl records, she has been in love with listening and to this day still spends most of her day attached to headphones.

Semple Sessions – David Truman


David performing with The Mellophants at The Smiling Moose on Pittsbutgh’s Southside on Jan. 2nd of this year

Today, we have one of my favorite musicians and one of my favorite people, the fantastic David Truman (formerly) of the band The Mellophants.


He truly pours his heart and soul into his music. And he’s constantly experimenting and growing as an artist. More than anyone else I know, David speaks his mind and expresses
his views on life, no matter how controversial they may or may not be. He has a lot to say, and music gives him a platform to express it.

PSIMG_3632He’s been creating music for many years, having been in two bands previously, The Mellophants and Off the Record. I’ve been able to witness his transformation from then until now and his growth has truly been exponential.


David’s first full-length LP, Stay Awake and Dream by The Mellophants

Stay Awake and Dream, the first studio album he recorded with The Mellophants, has a special place in my heart, I really feel connected with the music. I get nostalgic just listening to it. I cannot recommend it enough.

Dave and Pat.jpg

David Truman (right) and Patrick Fabila (left) from The Mellophants

In today’s session, we discussed his upcoming solo EP and hear a preview of two songs from t
he release. David tells us his creative goals for his upcoming project and music i
n general. He also tells us how psychedelics gave him new perspective into how music affects an audience and creates an atmosphere.

This fall, he’s moving across the pond to the UK with his fiancee to study theoretical physics and perform music over there. He said he wants to create a band called Harry Truman and the Atomics. So great things are ahead.

Thanks for watching, everyone! I was late with this one, but we’ll be back with a new session Wednesday, so be on the lookout for that.Be sure to get out The Mellophants on Bandcamp and on Soundcloud.




Semple Sessions – T.Y.D.E.S.

We’re back with yet another new session! Today, we welcome rapper T.Y.D.E.S. from the local collective Problem Children, alongside the producers that craft the Children’s sound, Nerve and B-one. Check out their music on Soundcloud and Bandcamp, including their latest mixtape The Message.

This session got real. We start off discussing what it is that inspired Tydes to start rappinThe Message - Problem Children Mixtapeg (turns out it was thanks in part to listening to 50 Cent with his father on a road trip). We discuss the legacy he wants to leave behind with music and his desire to keep things simple, while still speaking to important subjects.

Later in the video, following some great freestyling from the man himself, we discuss what the city of Pittsburgh means to him from his personal experience. Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, Tydes’ perception of the city comes from a genuine place, viewing the city for the gritty city that it can be. “The city can build you up, but it can also tear you down”, Tydes said.

The Problem Children have big things coming for them. Be sure to check out their latest project before they blow up, so you can tell everyone you were there first. The Message, a nine-song mixtape produced entirely by Nerve and B-one, contains no features. All the words are spoken by Tydes. It covers a lot of subject matter, from lost loved ones to the city of Pittsburgh to turning up and feeling good off a “blunt and a beat”.

That’s it for today, everyone. We’ll leave you with Tydes words, “You can do anything. Just go get it.” I’ll be damned if those words aren’t the truest words spoken on these sessions.

Keep up with the Problem Children on your social media outlet of choice, either TwitterInstagram or Facebook.

Keep creating, everyone. See you Sunday.

– Shuggie

Next up: Rapper Jet from the Serene Team