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Alan Braxe Talks The Moniker Stardust, Daft Punk and The Presets

Stardusted and ready to party, Alan Braxe, co-producer of what might literally be the best dance record ever made, "Music Sounds Better with You" is in NYC for one night only - tonight (Friday, May 10). The fact of the matter is that if you're at Lil Charlie's this evening, the music will indeed sound better with you there. Before the party, here's your chance to learn about Braxe's new EP and how the influential Frenchman hooked up with half of Daft Punk to change the lives and ears of many young disco dames and dawgs.

VIBE: When was your last gig in New York City?
Alan Braxe: I played a few years ago in Brooklyn at Studio B and it was a very good night. I play a lot in the states, Chicago, Washington, Miami, etc.

Are you still living in Paris?
No, I’m actually living in the south of France now, I am married with kids and I need more space so we bought a house.

Are you still touring a lot?
I do about one gig per week. The most difficult thing for me is to tour and make music at the same time. My main goal at the moment is to make as much music at as possible.

You just finished an EP, what was it and who did you sign it to? You also had a recent remix that is doing some damage, which was that?
Yes, the EP is titled "Moments in Time" and I signed it to Scion A/V. The remix was for The Presets and is forthcoming on Modular Australia.

Are there some label nights you are doing for your label Vulture Music at the moment?
We have a label residency in Paris at Social Club for many years and we would love to expand the night in London, LA, and New York City, but to tour with the label party is our goal. We just want to play our music and it’s not about the hype or the artists, but just about the music.

You are about to come to NYC and play a very small but very intimate club at Lil Charlie’s, what shall we expect from you this Friday?
I never know what I'm going to play and it depends on the room and of course the people and what I'm feeling from the room, but it’s always a party. I love to play the smaller rooms even though it seems a little more difficult but I actually enjoy it more because I really have to focus on the people. It's not my style to play deep, I enjoy playing music to make people dance.

Everyone here obviously still loves Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You". Do you still play this record?
Absolutely, I play it often.

Can we expect anything more from the Stardust production name with you and Thomas Bangalter?
Stardust was a very successful name but I think we will end up creating a new name down the road just to keep the mystery, and we actually like it this way.

How did the collaboration and the relationship between Thomas Bangalter, the co-founder of Daft Punk, begin?
I met Thomas about 20 years ago at a club through a mutual friend and we began speaking about music, the studio and we naturally became friends. He came to the studio and I started to play some things in the studio and he liked a lot of the stuff and ended up signing my first single "VERTIGO" and releasing it on his own label Roule Records, he also remixed this record too.

How did "Music Sounds Better with You" come about? What is an accident?
I was just beginning to produce and Thomas always had a very big input in my music and it was just a good chemistry between myself, Thomas, and Benjamin Cohen the vocalist, and it really just came naturally but we certainly didn't feel it was going to be as big as it was or become one of the most successful dance records of all time.

How does it feel to play have recorded arguable the #1 Dance Single ever made?
It's an honor.

Have you had a chance to hear the new Daft Punk album?
No I haven't heard the entire album, just the first single and its very good. I recently met with Thomas and he explained to me the creative process of the album and how excited they were, and just to catch up, but I haven't had a chance to hear it quite yet.

Daft Punk has been making a big point with this album going on the record that this album was made in the studio and not in a hotel room or an airport, how do you feel about that?
I think it's good to create an album that has a very live feel to it and it seems we have reached the maximum level of input with electronic music with recording so to come back and do things with live instruments is very good and very interesting but this is a very complicated subject and is endless. You can do a lot with just a synthesizer and a 909 as well, so doing what feels good and natural to you is what I suggest.

Is there an artist or a track that you are in love with at the moment?
Yes, I really like this song, Ali Love’s “Emperor”, it has a lot of energy as well as some melodic pieces as well. I will be playing this on Friday for sure but I don't really pay a lot of attention to the names of people, there is so much good music out and I'm all about the music, not the names so I play anything that’s good, to be honest.

It's Friday night, so don't waste it on whatever you think you're doing. Alan Braxe is here for one night only, and it's free with an RSVP!

You're welcome, people of New York.

Interview and Additional Reporting: Steven Lee

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TLC's Chilli Praises Cardi B For How She's Dealing With Offset Break Up

TLC's Chilli is sending love and light to Cardi B amid the rapper's recent break up with Offset. In a new interview with People, Chilli praised the rapper for handling her public situation much better than she handled her break up with Usher in 2003.

"I have gone through a public breakup, and it is not easy," Chilli, whose real name is Rozanda Thomas, said referring to her split from Usher. "When strangers know your business and want to chime in while you’re still dealing with the pain yourself, it’s difficult. Breakups are hard on anyone, but can you imagine if strangers knew your business? It’s rough."

Thomas also claimed that Cardi was "braver" than she was as she "just sort of shut down" when her two-year relationship to the R&B crooner ended. "I am proud of her for being strong and standing up for herself during a time that is obviously a very hurtful one," she continued. "She has a strong sense of self. That’s why fans have connected with her this way. She talks about her highs and lows; she is fearless."

Later in the interview, Chilli suggested that she would be open to working with Cardi on new music. "I don’t usually like to collaborate with females, and the reason why is because of Lisa," she added. "That is just a little weird for me, personally. But I think with Cardi B, she is an exception to the rule. TLC and Cardi B all day long. We’ve gotten a lot of love from Cardi. It’s really an honor."

READ MORE: Offset's Father Calls Out Cardi B In Lengthy Facebook Post

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Childish Gambino Reveals Father's Death During Concert Tribute

Childish Gambino wrapped his This Is America Tour in Los Angeles on Monday (Dec. 17) with a special tribute to his father, Donald Glover Sr. The multi-talented artist revealed that his dad passed away a couple of weeks ago, and commemorated his life by previewing a new single.

"I lost my father a couple weeks ago," he announced in a video that was posted on Reddit. "I wanted to play him some of the new songs, but he didn't want to hear them, because he was like, 'I know they're going to be great.'"

He added: "I'm not saying that to talk about music — I say that to talk about trust. That's what love is. I hope you guys get to feel that kind of love."

He later previewed one of the songs he wanted to share with his dad, as seen in a video a fan posted on Twitter. The song sounds like an uptempo tune with heavy horn instrumentals.

The announcement comes shortly after Gambino returned to the stage after suffering from a foot injury. Ahead of the tour, the "Feels Like Summer" rapper also announced that his next album would be his last project under the moniker Childish Gambino. It's unclear if the new track will appear on the final album.

Check out Gambino's tribute to his father in the video below.

@donaldglover unreleased song #ChildishGambino #ThisIsAmerica #thisisamericatour pic.twitter.com/ToGHrAnApo

— Alexis Andrade (@alexisarealtor) December 15, 2018

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VICE CEO Doesn't Believe Desus And Mero's Brand Is Strong Enough For Showtime

Comedy duo Desus & Mero have kept their brand strong since joining forces in 2012 but the newly-appointed CEO of Vice believes their move to Showtime wasn't the best decision.

In an interview with Elle, Nancy Dubuc shared her plans to rebuild the outlet since reports of sexual harassment allegations, unlawful HR practices and the stepping down of Shane Smith came to light this year. Changing the bro culture has removed content and replacing it with more substantial content and finding gems that will also replace the gap left by Desus & Mero.

The guys brought high ratings to the network during their reign from August 2016 to June 2018, but Dubuc doesn't see this happening for their upcoming series at Showtime. “They’re going to a platform that their audience doesn’t pay for,” she said.  “I told them, ‘You can always come back.’”

In an interview with Bossip over the summer, the guys revealed their contracts were cut two months early after news about their deal with Showtime went public. They show consisted of the two commentating on the latest in politics and pop culture while interviewing big names like Gabrielle Union, Rachel Maddow, Diddy, Vic Mensa and Tracee Ellis Ross. They also opened up about their organic approach in comedy was nearly butchered when the network demanded them to work 24/7.

“We were carrying that network on our back, and we felt the weight,” Desus said. “They were talking about, ‘Do not take the weeks off because we don’t get ratings,’ and it’s like, 'Yo, we’re just two people.'”

“We were literally the LeBron of that network,” Mero added. “As a dad, you wanna be around for milestones for like graduations, birthdays…and it’s obnoxious to have to be like, ‘I can’t go to my kid’s graduation because we leave the studio at 3 o’clock and the graduation is at 4.’”

Mero believed the duo were undervalued and not appreciated by the network until it was too late. Their brand transcended platforms as the guys are still active on Twitter and their podcast roots, taking the brand to new heights.

“The channel wanted us to die for this f**king network,” Desus said at the time.  “We’re also the highest rated show on the network, put some respect on our name, have someone come massage my feet.”

We doubt the duo will go back to Vice as excitement for their series on Showtime continues to grow. The guys are already making strides by adding black women to their writing team and recently dropped a teaser for the show.

The brand is strong. #DESUSandMERO are bringing the culture to #Showtime beginning Thurs, Feb 21, at 11p/10c! #BodegaHive pic.twitter.com/3DwcWXgrEO

— Desus & Mero on SHOWTIME (@SHODesusAndMero) November 29, 2018

Desus and Mero will premiere on Showtime Feb. 21 at 11 pm ET.

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