Day 14 - Windsor, Vermont

With frequent performances in Vermont and the northeast region, Ali T is no stranger to SILO Distillery, an award-winning distillery that offers a bar and hosts live music. Its in a small Vermont valley, around a few other bars and small stores with a river right next door, which is open for the public to swim and go rafting in. SILO Distillery’s wooden interior is said to provide an amazing sound for acoustics, however for her performance that I saw, Ali T performed a 2-3 hour set right outside, covering some classics, todays hits, and also singing some of her originals. The sun was out so it was nice day to enjoy outside live music, but damn was it hot. I was not expecting the heat to be so extreme in Vermont, but luckily there were tables outside with umbrellas that offered shade and some good music to relax and sip our iced drank to. Below is a clip of her voice.



Thoughts on Vermont

So far driving in Vermont both coming from New Hampshire, and leaving to Ohio through NY has been the most scenic drive of the north east. It was a bit of a drive from Maine, so luckily I found a hostel last minute in the middle in New Hampshire. No it wasn’t like those hostels from the horror movies. It was homely like a bed and breakfast where everything was shared including the rooms. I got there around 1:00 am and usually once I get to the hotels, Airbnb or wherever, I upload the photos, videos and audio from the camera to a safe place. Since this was a shared room, I was worried I would wake up the two other people who were sleeping in the room. But I had to do what I had to do. Not sure if it was because of the noise I was making but one guy kept tossing and turning and breathing out of frustration. It was either the noise i was making or the breathing machine the other guy had. That shit was loud. At first I thought someone kept making smoothies in another room, but I looked over and saw a machine connected to his face and that’s when I realized this constant noise was coming from this persons sleeping device or whatever it was. Nonetheless the bottom bunk bed was comfortable af, and the next morning got up, got ready and continued on to Windsor Vermont. After seeing Ali T perform, the scenic drive continued towards the next Airbnb before meeting the next artist in Cleveland, Ohio. 


I stopped off at a Gulf Station out in the middle of no where, since I'm taking all the backroads to really digest the areas I'm going.  The reciept didn't print, so I had to go inside and ask the worker there to print it out.  While it was printing, I asked what his favorite place was in Vermont, he replied in a country accent "My tree stand". 


Day 11 - 13 of Diversal's State2State Artist Discovery Road trip

Portland, Maine - Artist: B. Aull 

We had the pleasure of kicking it with up and coming hip hop artist from Maine, B.Aull at his home studio in Portland. It’s basically where all the magic happens, where he not only records, vibes and creates, but also hosts what he calls #BMixes.  This is where fans comment on his posts which beat they want him to flow on.  He then chooses the best one and does his thang.  See a recent #BMix he did to Taste (Feat. Offset) by Tyga below: 



He then opened up his vault of fire and gave us a glimpse to some upcoming projects he’s been pearling, some produced by music producers here in America and few others he’s been working on with a few music producers from Istanbul, Turkey who go by the name The Flytones and are also according to Bandbasher, one of the top 10 music producers on Instagram people should follow —and ohh do they got soul!  Stay tuned for their upcoming collaborations with B. Aull.  The following video is the first track which introduced us to B. Aull.  



When he’s not in the studio rhyming, writing, vibing, or selling his merch, he's working at one of Portland's biggest and hottest radio stations Hot 104.7, which enables him to keep his ears and fingers on the pulse of the music scene in the north east and hip hop overall.  So what is the status of the hip hop music scene in Maine, let alone Portland, ME?   According to B. Aull the scene is growing, big time. He mentioned that there is an increase amount of opportunities for local talent to get their chance to shine.  For instance there's the ‘Monday of the Minds’ at Flask Lounge in Portland where frequent showcases are held.  Not to mention, more national acts are coming to Portland, which many B. Aull has opened for.  Some of his opening credits include opening up for Snoop Dogg, Sean Paul, Lloyd Banks, Ty Dollar $ign, Post Malone, and more. B. Aull also recently performed at Hot Summer 2018 where he opened up for Fabolous, Big Boi, Joyner Lucas and more. 



When asked who he wanted to collaborate with, among artists like Kaytranada, Anderson.Paak, and others there was one artist in particular that stood out, not only because B. Aull was a fan, but this particular artist is responsible for inspiring B. Aull to get into music in the first place.  This artist is J.Cole.  Too young to attend J.Cole’s 2010 concert at Port City Music Hall, before he was B.Aull, underage Brandon had to sneak in the venue with his mother (Shh).  According to B.Aull that concert was the moment that would change his life, because after the concert he knew what he wanted to become. He wanted to be up on stage doing what J.Cole did and having that positive impact on a crowd of people like J.Cole has. He knew then he wanted to be a hip hop artist and the rest has been falling into place.  Since then B.Aull has performed a few times on that same exact stage where he saw J.Cole perform at for the first time.  “Well isn’t ironic…don’t ya think?”


After the interview we chatted more on his projects and upcoming collaborations, and did some more vibing to beats.  B. Aull has got a lot of positive energy which is undeniably contagious, and according to him it’s that attitude he has, his charism what sets him apart from others.  I can attest to this, as he did not break his grin the entire time I was with him.  B. Aull’s got a lot of experience and continues to progress and evolve year after year, month after month.  Spotify even recently added his single ‘Come Down’ to their “Fresh Finds: Fire Emoji” playlist in late July. 



“I want to be the face of hip hop in the state of Maine…I want to be the person that puts Maine on the map for hiphop” 


With a consistent and growing number of streams on Spotify each month, anywhere from 5/6k to 13k consistently month over month, it’s apparent that his fan base is existent and growing. Moreover, when leaving his home studio walking down the stairs one can’t miss the huge painting/mural, fan art done of B. Aull by artist Nick Genesio.  See below, this guy is extremely talented, check out his page. 




The next day we got a taste of his stage performance and energy at the Hip Hops 9 event, another artist showcase that frequently hosts events in the Portland, ME area.  This event was hosted at the Oxbow Blending & Bottling bar/music venue.  If you’re ever heading to Maine make sure to check if they are hosting another event. Dope spot, dope artist, dope vibe.




Day 9 - 11 : Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Artist: Sam Robbins 

Although attending in his third year at Berklee College of music in Boston Massachusetts as well as having a studio in Boston, singer and songwriter Sam Robbins is based out of New Hampshire as we met for our interview at his families house in the third oldest city in America, Portsmouth, NH. Although only 21 and super down2earth, Sam’s maturity in music and willingness to continue growing and learning as an artist was a confirmation that this man is going places with his voice. Below are a few clips of him singing after the interview.

Sam Robbins singing Leaving on a Jet Plane by John Denver


Sam Robbins got a voice! @samrobbinsmusic

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Sam doing the #KekeChallenge #kikichallenge


More on his maturity as an artist, when he performs he controls the stage not only with his indie soul voice, but the way he performs. In the performances we saw, he didn’t go by a set song list, rather along with his originals, he created an engaging atmosphere by taking song requests from people in the crowd and performing them well. He seemed to know everysong! Did I mention he’s only 21? Below is a snippet of blending song requests Free Falling, and Fast Car by Tracy Chapman.

One can say there are two types of anything. With artists, there are those who continuously practice their craft no matter how successful they become, then there are those who don’t. Sam Robbins is the former. After hearing his voice from the video above, You wouldn’t think someone with his talent still needs voice coaching. Wrong, at least that’s what Sam would tell you. When asked what his plans were for the rest of the evening that day, he shocked us by saying he was attending his usual meet up with his voice coach, who ironically was Charlie Puth’s former teacher. Sam stressed the importance of having a voice coach...


“Sometimes you forget certain things”


Sam invited me to a show he had that night at a bar/live music venue called Gas Light Co. in downtown Portsmouth, even though we were already planned to go to his show the following day at Latchkey, another cool bar/music venue in Portsmouth. With a hundred shows already under his belt, needless to say, the man is always working, practicing, writing and performing.

#DiversalState2State #ArtistDiscovery #Roadtrip

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