Music

SID1503093383_013

Where have you seen Araya Nicks before?

Perhaps you know the SoCal stunner as the face of Nordstrom’s summer shorts campaign. Or maybe you remember her wearing electrodes on her head and negotiating a vine-covered labyrinth in Chris Brown’s “Don’t Wake Me Up” music video?

Here’s a new context in which to view her: solo recording artist.

Nicks is currently working on her own album as a vocalist, and we’ve been turning up on the bus ride to work lately to her cut “One Good Reason.” Check that out below–and get the low-down on her favorite jams, movies and travel bucket list.

READ MORE >

{ 0 comments }

Video portrait by Elizabeth Rudge | makeup by Jenny Verador | hair by Eric Wennberg

Legendary drummer, bandleader and fiercely proud Bay Area native Sheila E. was the hardest of hardcore divas in the 1980s. It broke her down. Now she uses music to build people up.

Back when she ran with Prince and his crew, the timbale expert enforced 12-hour rehearsals for her band and gave commands, not suggestions. She had hits (“The Glamorous Life,” “A Love Bizarre”) and built a lasting work ethic into countless musicians, like Raphael Saadiq who joined her cohort when he was 14. She also became a cold, unfeeling person. She details the transformation in her book The Beat of My Own Drum.

Now that’s all behind her and she’s found the love of music again. You can hear it in her album Icon from 2014 and see it in her music-therapy foundation Elevate Hope. We caught up with her while she was coaching a bunch of young players in Seattle for More Music at the Moore Theatre, teaching them to find their own voices.

We did not talk to her about Prince. We did talk about her dad, Latin jazz heavyweight Pete Escovedo; her godfather, Tito Puente; Krush Groove, the classic hip-hop movie she co-starred in with Run-DMC; and the fact that it took her leaving her family cocoon of supportive musicians to learn about the sexist notion that women shouldn’t play the drums.

Shop: T by Alexander Wang jacket | rag & bone dress

READ MORE >

{ 0 comments }

ty

Ty Dolla $ign with 1970 Buick Gran Sport

Images courtesy Shomi Patwary and Atlantic Records

Music video director Shomi Patwary has been on our radar since his video for A$AP Rocky’s “Multiply,” with its awesome dance cameo from Yung Gleesh. Now Patwary’s caught our attention again with Ty Dolla $ign’s “Drop That Kitty,” a crossover hip-hop/pop jam with rising stars Tinashe and Charli XCX.

We caught up with Patwary on the phone while he was in New York filming another A$AP video and planning a project with Diddy’s son Christian Combs. He told us about rolling with the punches on “Drop That Kitty” and casting a surprise guest star who reminded him of his dad.

READ MORE >

{ 0 comments }

eddie-huang

To help you get through this week, or maybe just this hour, we offer words of wisdom, clarity and humor from culture icon Eddie Huang.

For the unfamiliar, Huang’s memoir Fresh Off the Boat (which we love) has made him the inspiration for the current TV show of the same name–which he initially endorsed but has become publicly uncomfortable with. Now he’s on the same kind of existential tour as Dave Chappelle was in 2007, using public speaking and comedy as a way to control his narrative, making a universal case for how maddening it can be to maintain one’s identity. 

When we saw Huang speak at University of Washington, he was draped in pastel XXBC gear and rocking Nike Trainer 1s.  He delved into issues of domestic abuse and racism, and basically led group therapy with a laugh track. 

Quotes from the evening are below.

Shop: Nike Trainer 1 | All Nike

READ MORE >

{ 0 comments }

Images by Manuela Insixiengmay

We’re big Robert Glasper fans here at Nordstrom, Glasper being the Grammy-winning musician doing the most–the most, we tell you–to keep the sound of jazz piano fresh, relevant and connected to the youth.

He’s all over the rap album of the year, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. And further indicating his breadth, Glasper’s upcoming album on Blue Note Records, Covered, includes live versions of songs by Miles Davis, Jhené Aiko and Radiohead.

Glasper is not Kanye-famous, though Yeezy has joined Glasper on stage to kick some freestyle raps. Nor is he trying to be. We caught up with him while the 37-year-old artist was taking the biggest year in his career in stride, touring, being excellent.

Keep scrolling to read Glasper’s thoughts on where an uninitiated person should start with Miles’ albums, the courageousness of Kendrick Lamar, his top five emcees–and listen to him extemporaneously rap Tupac’s verse from Digital Underground’s “All Around the World.”

Shop: leather jackets

READ MORE >

{ 0 comments }

Image by Studio N

‘Tis the season when we begin to spend multiple hours outside in the sun, sometimes forgetting to take care of our fragile human shells. You know, music festival season.

And not to be a huge bummer, but we should talk about sunstroke and sunburning.

These things happen. They are serious. And like dehydration, they are dangerously easy to allow. Please be careful out there, OK? Don’t wriggity wreck yourself.

Check yourself: Drink water. Wear sunscreen. And bring a hat.

If we may guide you, our whole collection of Brixton hats is worth your perusal. That’s the Tiller, above.

Shop: Brixton

{ 5 comments }

nikki-lane-2

Music festival season is upon us and to stand out in the crowd of normies, we recommend hitting the Magic Hour Pop-In@Nordstrom–it’s full of slightly bugged-out festi-gear curated by our director of creative projects Olivia Kim.

But we’re also wondering: Who’s likely to look freshest on stage?

We’ve got seven ideas, including country star Nikki Lane at Stagecoach, April 24-26, in Indio, CA–where Nordstrom will be on the grounds, representing on our How We Roll tour.

Lane’s known to rock sheer, ruffly dresses and can stand on two bulls at the same dang time. Her 1970s cowgirl punk style gets a thumbs up over here.

Six more picks, in chronological order:

READ MORE >

{ 0 comments }

Here we have a little behind-the-scenes action from the photo shoot for Magic Hour, our new Pop-In@Nordstrom. For the uninitiated, Pop-Ins are recurring boutiques curated by our director of creative projects Olivia Kim, which exist in selected physical Nordstrom locations and of course online.

Magic Hour refers to the time at a music festival when the sun sets and tame gives way to turnt. Snapshots and a detailed statement from Olivia are below.

Shop: Magic Hour Pop-In@Nordstrom

READ MORE >

{ 0 comments }

hanni el khatib

Images by Elizabeth Rudge

Bay Area native Hanni El Khatib is an all-around aesthetician, full-time rock bandleader, rap fan, record label owner (Innovative Leisure), streetwear design legend for the brand HUF–speaking of which, have you seen Nordstrom’s new streetwear collection?–and a real pleasure to speak with over a glass of ice water and a Murder magazine.

Right now it’s rock time for El Khatib. He’s playing shows almost every night.

He talked to us about touring, being back in the saddle as a skate/street designer and why most rap-rock songs are atrocious.

READ MORE >

{ 0 comments }

throwback thursday

Thumpers L-R: Marcus Pepperell, John Hamson, Jr.; image courtesy Sub Pop

We’ve had “Galore” by London-based duo Thumpers on repeat during this seasonal shift from frost to flowers, an album so energetic and full of life it can make spring cleaning fly by. Peep a snippet of the track “Roller” in our garden-kaleidoscope Spring Field Guide video, and listen to the full song below.

John Hamson, Jr. (drummer, multi-instrumentalist) talked to us from a coffee shop in the English countryside about growing up on Missy Elliott and feeling like most indie rock music is hecka boring.

READ MORE >

{ 0 comments }