Events are made for people to come together, interact, and converse. People go to clubs and enjoy a couple (or more) drinks followed by dancing and the occasional hook-up. It’s nothing more than letting go, having a good time and for most, “relaxing”. The event world is a whole lot different. In the 21st century, there’s events for just about any specialty good on the market. Vegan festivals, potato festivals, yoga/meditation festivals to name a few. Events have a purpose that’s developed to cater to a certain market, in-turn bringing in a certain “crowd” of people. UMAMI accepts all crowds of people and makes it easy for people to share ideas. The philosophy I go by is as follows: Good vibes bring good everything. If we, as UMAMI, share positive ideas, values and generally maintain a good attitude towards any situation, we attract the same.
UMAMI’s presence was solidified with a statement an attendee made at the last event. He said, and I quote, “You’re making a community outta a (out of a to be classy) pile of individuals”. Miami has been known to be exclusive. Coming into the community, being part of it and contributing to it isn’t easy.
Through art, good vibes and creatives, we’re bringing together people that should’ve been together long ago. We’re using art as a medium for social inclusion, development and awareness for all types of social/global issues on a local and global scale, one thing this country definitely could benefit from.
*Written by Dries Darrow, creative director and owner of UMAMI.*
Ultra Music Festival. Should we stop there? Nah, you’re right. Ultra’s globally recognized as a powerhouse event company. We can’t say Ultra Music Festival and quit. It’s like foreplay that doesn't end in a happy ending, another word for it, blue balls.
To understand Ultra, we need to go back almost two decades ago. Holy fuck I’m two decades old! Anyways, on March, 1999, 7,000 people gathered in Miami Beach’s Collins Park (runs from 17th-25th street) to hear headliners Rabbit in the Moon and Union Jack. 50 performers, $30 tickets, it started with a rave.
The first Ultra was a success (kinda). It’s reported that co-founders Russell Faibisch, a Beach native, and Alex Omes, an Argentine who moved to the Beach during childhood, lost $10-20,000. Putting that into perspective to what Ultra’s become, it’s pennies.
Years go by and Ultra only grows. Working alongside Miami Music Conference (MMC), Ultra became the closer of the week-long conference to eventually be the main festival of MMC. From there, the sky was the limit. Ultra now hosts 20+ music festivals a year in 20 countries. If that isn’t amazing we don’t know what is.
Along the road to success Ultra had its bumps. Its natural for any event company, only thing Ultra had going against it is Miami. It’s people, the government, and the awful traffic.
Let’s start with the people. We just mentioned co-founders Russell and Alex. There’s a story about these big boys that goes way deeper than Ultra. 2010, 11 years after starting Ultra, Russell and Alex had a falling out. Alex was ousted from the organization and it was up to Russell to take over. This is when it gets super interesting. While locked in a years-long legal battle with his former business partner, Omes died in his sleep the day before his lawsuit against the festival was set to go to trial. Miami New Times later reported he had drugs in his system, though the autopsy was not conclusive. Bamn. Just blew your mind right quick.
We can talk more about the drug arrests, trampled security guards and the infamous “girl kissing a tree” vid you can find here. It’s all relevant to how Ultra came to be but we understand, “time is money”.
Today is what we need to address. Ultra has had continuous and prosperous growth in Miami dependent on the continued support of locals and Miami’s finest government services. That continued support ended many years ago, each year scaring Ultra to pick substitute venues (just in case). The time has come that Ultra might really need to have alternatives.
The day of VENTURE 2018, Miami commissioners rejected an agreement made between Ultra and the City of Miami. Carollo, the commissioner who chairs the agency that manages Bayfront Park (for this case the big shot), continually denies any proposals made by still CEO Russell Faibisch. His worries are the same of residents. Traffic, loud music, drugs, and safety, all important issues Ultra needs to figure out. The fact is: If Ultra doesn’t come back with an agreement commissioners will sign, well, they’re fucked.
Ultra’s in a pickle that everyone knows about. What’s their next move? Well at UMAMI we know what we would do. Get as many of those commissioners to say yes to Ultra. Let’s be realistic: Ultra brings an economic incentive to Miami, it keeps the culture of electronic dance music alive and it serves as a ritual to almost any local who knows Miami for what it is, the magic city.
Since we’re here anyways, if Ultra has to move, where would it be? The Everglades? Hard Rock Stadium (Rolling Loud Part 2)? Homestead-Miami Speedway? No matter what, Ultra will be here March 29-31st. For fucks sake, tickets already sold. Comment below.
We took the weekend off to recover from VENTURE. I know, I know, the grind never stops. It wasn’t because we aren’t, we needed it! Before we begin, we need to give thanks to everyone who was part of VENTURE 2018. Whether you attended, promoted, performed and/or helped, we appreciate it. Our goal is to become a leading position in Miami’s event scene and we can’t do it without you. Keep supporting, we’re not here to disappoint.
One of the people we appreciate for recreating our event is Shane Valentine. He’s an amazing photographer, reigning in from Orlando, FL. We got the chance to give him a space to take pictures of almost all our performers! Starting us off is Chester Watson, headliner for VENTURE 2018 (on our Instagram @umamimusic305).
Chester’s born in St. Louis, Missouri. He openly says his name isn’t Chester, so what could it be? We love the mystery. Music became a passion of his early on. At the age of 5, Los Angeles, California became Chester’s real home. Today he resides in North Miami, FL.
We found out early that Chester’s more than a rapper. In one Youtube vid, he states that he gravitated towards country more than rap (at first). We had to replay the video to make sure! He’s as talented (or more) in producing. From an early age, “Phantom” being released right around that big sweet 16, he’s been cranking out some of the sickest beats we’ve heard. Locally, his beats are unique. Universally they’re changing the game. He’s got an ear for chords, melodic structure, rhythm and fusion. It’s new, creative, and something we all need to listen to.
Before VENTURE, he released a single (40 Acres) off his upcoming E.P. “Project 0”. This is what he had to say on his sponsor clothing company’s I.G., the amazing “I Love Ugly” (since 2016):
"With 'Project 0' I’m giving people who have grown with me and my sound some familiar lo-fi vibes as well as introducing my more psychedelic and guitar-heavy style of production. I started playing guitar last year so this is also a way for me to expose and showcase that side of me. I think 'Project 0' will act as a good precursor for my Debut Album 'A Japanese Horror Film' and a good introduction for anyone looking to get into my sound.”
The last couple of years have been good to Chester. “I Love Ugly” since 2016, performance with Wu Tang member GZA in 2017, and VENTURE 2018 in 2018 :) Sorry Chester, we had to throw it in there.
*Till the next pic you see on our I.G.*
SUPPORT ART, MUSIC, LOCALS
September 24th, 2018 + 4 = September 28th, 2018 = VENTURE. Yes that’s right, VENTURE 2018 is 4 days away. Here’s the all you need to know about VENTURE (and extra’s):
Community Rules: VENTURE is taking place at Naomi’s Garden, Restaurant, and Lounge. It’s been around since the 1980’s, first being part food cart/food truck to finally settle permanently in Miami, FL. The community around is different to say the least. It’s mostly Haitian since Little Haiti is in close vicinity (technically not in Little Haiti), but carries all types of people. We’ve been multiple times to plan, and I can say that it’s the “real deal” Miami (to say the least).
Sacred Space: Chatting with the owner last week, he said that the garden has a purpose. Not shi*, right? Well the purpose isn’t to be a garden. It’s a safe space. For the community around and Miami as a whole, the owner believes we need more places for people to relax, eat some delicious food, and have conversations over tinder swipes ;)
Friends: 8 people work for Naomi’s. 4 in the restaurant, one cleaning, one fixing and two owners. Why are there always more people working? It’s called volunteering. The community loves Naomi’s so much that there’s multiple people stopping by throughout the day to help. Whether that’s cleaning a palm tree or fixing the pond, Naomi’s is there’s and it’s there to stay.
Chester, Paperwater, INVT, Coffintexts, YOMY, Dylan Hall, what’s going on?!?: It’s time for an explanation. We sandwiched Chester Watson, a North Miami rapper and producer, alongside electronic artists and rapper, Dylan Hall. Why? We’re reinterpreting the local music scene to what we see it to be. Miami is full of every type of music in almost every genre. Having each event being a certain genre, even though we do center around a certain sound (Electronic/Hip-Hop for this one), would do Miami injustice. VENTURE is to try new things and experiment so……. why not?
Vending ain’t easy: 5 amazing vendors are gearing up to rep the 305 for VENTURE. We’ll have the flyer dropping tomorrow on all social media’s. If you haven’t kept track, we’ve posted the full flyer (with addition of YOMY) and artist collective. Damn I almost forgot about our collective….
VENTURE needs only the essentials: local wardrobe, local bag, you know what, local everything.
Have a great week and we’ll see you Friday!
We’ve said repeatedly on this blog that Wynwood is still a beautiful place, for creative locals and tourists to connect, for art to be a vocal point of the community and for people, especially locals to feel at home. South Beach became tourist heaven so locals came to Wynwood. Everything, even a couple months ago was alright. We had Wynwood Yard, O Cinema, Churchills, the Electric Pickle, and a few less skyscrapers in the works. Of course it wasn’t the “old Wynwood”, but it had places keeping its integrity, its rawness and ultimately, the haven that locals and artists need.
Today we have to say its a little different. We’ve become obsessed with what’s happening to Wynwood because it’s the integrity of Miami. The integrity, and UMAMI hates to say it, is rapidly being destroyed. Here’s the list of no-no’s we’re hoping won’t destroy the local community:
The Wynwood Yard and O Cinema sit together on NW 29th st. Right on the outskirts of Wynwood, they’ve in the last 3 years became a institution to the local art, food, and music community. Due to one of the largest developers in the U.S., they’re being moved in 2019 for a mixed development space (a.k.a. apartment buildings).
The Electric Pickle is closing down after 10 years (Spring of 2019). As the Pickle states “It’s been a crazy ride and we’re not done yet. It’s time for a change. We look forward to one more trip around the sun, filled with parties and memories.”
Churchills has been through it’s ups and downs. Let’s not have it close before it turns 40!
The impact of money in Miami is prevalent. We have nice cars, a tropical climate and beautiful surroundings, why do we need to destroy it? Having a home in Wynwood is not as important as keeping it’s integrity. People, especially locals (#localsonly) go to Wynwood for the art, local businesses, and real “Miamians”. First the locals (thanks Goldman), then art galleries, now social establishments, fuck us we’re getting kicked out!
Our question is plain and simple: What’s next? Where will the locals go after Wynwood? From personal experience I can tell you I used to love South Beach, I’m still deeply in love with Wynwood, but I’m feeling North Beach next. Once Wynwood has buildings like Brickell, I’m out.
LOCALS PREVAIL, DEVELOPERS DON’T. WE’RE THE ONES THAT LIVE HERE AFTER ALL.
*Fill the comments up with neighborhoods, communities, even a place. We want to know where to find the locals next!*
HAPPY SUNDAY UMAMI FAM!!!
The past couple of weeks have been crazy. We decided that today, with the passing of a true lyrical legend, is the time to sit back, open a beer, and write. If you're interested in what we've been up to, check out the "tickets" tab! VENTURE, our next event on Friday, September 28th, will make us writing less up to you. I'll even include this for you readers: We're taking on the Bandshell in December!
Friday, September 7th is the end of Malcolm McCormick's life, also known as Mac Miller. We're not writing to talk about how he died (suspected overdose), this blog is to tell the story of his life and the people he touched through music. Again, we're not talking about how he died and we're definitely not making a publicity stunt out of his death. Death is a time to remember someone for good, not bad, and not take his life for less than it was worth.
Born in Pittsburgh, Mac Miller started his rap career early. He put out his first album in 2012, Blue Slide Park, which became the first independent album to hit Billboard chart in more than 16 years. Guess how old he was? Only 19 fucking years of age. That's as old as a lot of teens, but those teens aren't writing albums, they're playing Fortnite.
He continued his career to write 4 more albums, his latest being "Swimming". Throughout his career, Miller had a number of problems to deal with. His girlfriend for two years, Ariana Grande, his addiction to lean and the tabloid headlines reading something new about him every day. As Mac put it, "It just seems exhausting to always be battling something... to always be battling for what your image is supposed to be". In the end, Mac showed who he was through music. Let's talk about our favorite album.
Divine Feminine, released in 2016, is hands down Mac Miller's best album. Featuring Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak, ex-girlfriend Grande and Ty Dolla Sign, Mac decided to do something different. He wrote a jazz album. Yup, we said it, it's a jazz album. Mac was never one to be like others. His rhymes were relatable, his beats were style changing, diverse and new to the rap game. In Divine Feminine, he gives rap a whole new light.
Speaking about giving rap a whole new light, we want to talk about another rapper who died way before he should've, XXXtentacion. For simplicity we're calling him X. X is near and dear to our hearts. Being from Soflo and being shot in the same area we drive, his death put a toll on Miami's rap community. What we find important, rather than how he died and when (June 18), is the amazing attitude he gave towards music. X made albums for himself, not the people, and people chose to understand him through it. His latest album before death, "?", was a masterpiece of rock, rap and Spanish music squished into one. Just months before being shot, X said "I try to live as long as I can for these kids and die a good death, because if I don’t live long, they not gonna want to live long". We hope everyone wants to live long, his death came way too short.
In the last couple of months, we've seen so many deaths yet seem to only talk about the greats (Mac and X). We should talk about their death and remember them for their great contribution to the rap community, yet we should realize more. People are overdosing on drugs and getting shot everyday. These problems that lie within the rap community lie outside of it. The fact is that death should never come so soon. Why is drugs taking over creatives? Why is death brought on people with notability?
This question lies in our heads for months now. We can't give an answer that'll change anything, rappers will still have an absurd amount of money they can choose what to do with. If they want drugs, they get them, if they want money, a motorcycle, they'll get it. How can we keep these celebrities level-minded? Money get's to their brain before smarts do, can we help them? We think not. They'll still keep doing what they want to, even if their manager (or mom) tells them not to.
What we need is a social movement towards death. It sounds crazy but it's true. Too many people are dying as too many people are being born in the world. Death should not be seen as such an easy part of life. In the 21st century, it can't be normal for rappers to die so young. Fuck saying rappers, anyone! Let's start thinking different. Let's be positive towards having the longest and best life possible. Let's take care of ourselves, make smart decisions and surround ourselves with people who see a future, not just today. Its what Mac, X, and all the other historic rappers would've wanted.
- Live Forever Larry Fisherman.
In today’s culture, online presence seems to transcend the music itself. I'm sure we’ve all been there: scrolling through our Instagram feed when suddenly you scroll past an obviously paid promotion for a poorly written and recorded rap song, that sounds exactly like some other rapper you already know. Just 3 seconds into listening you can hear the keyboards typing “free playboi carti type beat” on the YouTube search bar.
Not to be mean but why is it that so many new rappers are coming out nowadays? Sure the “SoundCloud” wave has revolutionized how the industry works, making it easier for new artists to be noticed, but it seems to be the ones, with the better online presence that survive and prosper. Music Videos, Instagram, Face Tattoos, Fake Chains and WordStar hashtags. Rappers nowadays value their online image more than the lyrical content itself.
Ok, look, I'm guilty. I enjoy rappers like Lil Pump, Playboi Carti, and 6ix9nine. You’re gonna tell me you don’t absolutely lose your shit when a song like GUMMO, D-rose or Magnolia comes on? These songs are perfect examples of what I call concert anthems. Songs that have a very reparative flow/hook making them ideal songs to mosh at a concert. There’s one other thing that ties these songs specifically together, music videos.
Lil Pump’s network clocks in at around 6.5 million dollars. Yes, you read that right. At the age of 17, he’s worth more than my whole family, combined. Now we could talk all day about how Lil pump is a lyrical genius (sarcasm guys…it’s the best) but we must agree that one of the main things that launched him into stardom was his persona. At 16 years old Pump was making waves in the underground rap scene for being a kid with tattoos and pointing a rifle in his mouth (in the music video for Ski Mask). Lil Pump was practically the poster child for the phrase “WTF”. Today, my mom knows who Lil Pump is and she’s never heard a word of his music. Yet she recognizes his name and face. Pink dreads, tattoos, white but trying to be black, people know him for his look, his style, all thanks to the modern age.
Social media is, and I would say continues to be the ammo that fuels the gun of Sound cloud and online rapping. Example; Just Juice...that can mean one of two things. Either it’s just juice, or it’s a musical artist. Just juice became famous for his Instagram videos of freestyling and looking like Action Bronson’s step kid. There are so many artists now that use Instagram as their main source of promotion and media outlet.
So, we know having a social media is the first step. But what sets you above the rest? What takes a 17-year-old kid with pink dreads to the cover of the XXL freshmen magazine the next year? Music Videos. For a videographer like myself, the name Cole Bennett carries A LOT of weight. Cole Bennett, in my opinion, is responsible for the launching of so many rap careers this year. Examples include Lil skies, Famous Dex, Lil Xan, Juice Wrld, Ski mask the Slump God. The list goes on and on.
Because of music videos and this great thing, we call Youtube, a rapper can establish, or further establish an online presence. Music videos give you a different look into an artist’s song. It gives you something to visually picture every time you hear the song. It puts you, and the rapper, out there. A music video has the potential to push your music career forward…a good music video that is. A good videographer is a rapper’s best friend. A camera, is a videographer’s best friend…so in other words …lets be friends.
Music tells a story. It tells the listener where the artist is from, why the artist made the music, when the music was made, the culture behind the music and the style the artist associates it with. Through a song, we can identify who the artist is, or at least make a good guess to his/her upbringing.
What I find most interesting about music is it's cultural aspect. Culture is defined as "the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society." Through music, we can identify someone's culture, meaning where and what they grew up around.
UMAMI's playlist, which we release every other Monday, is the definition of associating music with culture. Our goal is to identify the best artists in a certain community/city and put their music in a playlist. This playlist is found on iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud, in which the links are posted under the "Playlist" tab.
Why is this important? We want to share Miami through music. By listening to music from each city in Miami Dade-County, we not only realize the amazing artists that either grew up or live/lived there, we understand that cities culture. With over 30 cities in Dade-County (36 if you wanna be exact), there's a hell of a lot of culture to understand (and make playlists for).
To give you an example, we started our playlist idea with a place that has "talent that rivals any other neighborhood in the world", Carol City. Carol City is a neighborhood in Miami Gardens, known for importing crime and drugs to all of Dade-County. What we found, besides the obvious Carol City High School that brought together notable rappers such as Denzel Curry, Twelve'len and just about everyone, is the huge amount of rap "all stars" that came from this infamous drug community. I'm talking real all stars, not no TMZ bullshit. I'll put these guys up there with Eminem, Dr.Dre, Tupac and Biggie type deal. Rick Ross, Gunplay and SmokeGhostPurrp. If you haven't heard of these guys you need to crawl out of that rock you're living under and check out Carol City X UMAMI!
Digging just a little deeper, we wanted to know why this violent community made such great rappers. Listening to the rappers, their lyrics revolve around the crime they're associated with. Why did they start rapping? They were making money, doing what most to everyone does in poverty, sell drugs and just about anything else for money. Why would you go to making music, which has no guarantee for making money or success?
Bingo! I know why. Remember Carol City High School? Good. It's where all these amazing artists went to. Living in Carol City, the environment or the "hood" as Denzel Curry says it, makes amazing musicians. Since I haven't lived in Carol City, let me let the expert, Denzel Curry, take a swing at the question:
What is it about the neighborhood that's led to so many musical artists?
I just think it's the environment. All of us went to Carol City High. Even Flo Rida went there. I think just by the programs that were there and the activities, and the outside activities, the hoods and everything—it just really made the people what they are today. - Vice.
Through music, we can understand so much about a city that we don't even have to visit it (even though we highly encourage it!). Go check out our playlist Carol City x UMAMI and let us know what you think, what we could/should change and if you feel you now understand one of the biggest melting pots in our county.
*If you're interested in learning more about Carol City and it's rappers, Twelve'len recently released a great video with Red Bull entitled "Definition of a Florida Boy". Enjoy!*
Hope we've all had a great summer. Ours has been mostly work. Ok, fine. You got me. We've had a party here and there, but its mostly work.
Before we get into it, I want to hear about your experiences this summer. Has summer 2018 been as great as you wanted it to be? We've been scrolling through those Instagram (IG) stories and some of you, I'm not gonna put you on the spot, look like you're having a blast. Comment and tell us what has been the best part of your summer! We want to know.
Me and the crew have been as busy as ever. We're proud to say that UMAMI music is expanding to include a customized playlist, Youtube channel and the infamous Twitter. God I hope we get to tweet with President (or lack thereof) Trump.
Throughout our journey, we've learned many, many things. One of the first lessons, which I'm sharing today with everyone, is that "teamwork makes the dreamwork". Yes, its corny as fuck, but its also the truth. Having a team to help you create your dream, in whatever field that might be, is as smart as apple pie.
I'm not here to bore you with a greater good lesson about how teamwork makes everything more feasible. That's for school. I'm here to share my personal experience on running UMAMI in the Magic City, the city that never sleeps, the 305, the orange capital of the US, Miami.
Miami has two underlying factors that go into everything. Money and connections. Luckily for us, we have private investors that make the first one easy. The latter is a little more complicated.
Being 3 months old, we aren't a household name (yet). Locals have no idea of what we stand for, what we hope to do and what we, ultimately, will do. As we expand, that'll change. This is where we're having fun. Expanding and working together with people who share the same common goal. For us, that's UMAMI. Me, on my own can't reach the same people my crew can. I don't know how to design like my crew can, I can't make videos like my crew, sound, lighting, stage design, bla bla bla. Without them, I can't do much. Without me, they can't do much. With each other, we can do anything.
For my fellow creatives out there, I want you to turn off your "do it yourself" blinders and think about it. Whether you're an artist, musician, writer, dancer, actor, businessman/woman or anything in between, stop trying to do it all. I learned this the hard way. The fact is: you can't.
Surround yourself with people who see your goal, look further then today and your idea that "what I think is best". Yes, it might be the best to you, but is it the best for your work, for your company, for your future? Find people who are experts in their field who can help you create. Miami is full of selfish bastards who don't stop cutting me off no matter what time it is, but there's also those great, amazingly talented motherfuckers who see the beauty in what you're doing!
Fuck I'm getting deep. My point stands, finding people to help you might not be the easiest, but it gives the best outcome. I love my crew and I thank them each day for their contribution to UMAMI.
*If you wish to help out and be part of the crew, go to our "team" tab. If there's nothing there that tingles your senses, contact us through the contact form. There's all types of ways you can join the UMAMI Wave!*
Random as fuck (and a little stoned) we're talking dogs. Specifically, dog walking. Having a dog is like having a kid. Don't call me an expert but I know a thing or two about each majestic beast. Most (to all) love to be outside, they eat, sleep, drink, be annoying, and repeat. You can't just leave the beast alone for a day when you're feeling frowny. They take time, energy, and care.
For the last three days, I've been lucky enough to take care of a Boston terrier. These little guys are hyper. My man "Toro" over here, "Bull" for my gringo/as out there, will not leave me alone (in the morning) till he gets outside. So, to my great pleasure, the last three days have been bomb full of walking! Yay....
I walk sometimes. I walk on Lincoln Rd., NW 2nd st., FIU, my house. That's all I got for now. Once you have a dog (or care for it) you actually get to see where you live. I go walking to the same ol' places each time I get outside. Who doesn't walk in their house, Lincoln and Wynwood? Once there's a dog around, you start having to walk everywhere. For the first time, I get to see the real community I live in.
Walking round the hood is SOMETHING. We went to capitals cause I'm feeling it. You get to see your neighbors, the plants, and reality. Whether that's a good or bad thing is up for grabs. I found out that I have actual genuine, friendly neighbors! Its a miracle. Trust me.
Whatever community you inhibit (as long as its Dade), we want you to take a walk. Look around for once, instead of hurrying to your next place of interest. Think about the things you see. Have you actually noticed it before? This question sparks my insides. It makes me want to say that you haven't, so, how in the fuck do you think you know anything about the world? If you can't see Dade for what it is, you can't see any other place. Its your homeland. Birth place, place of living, vacation home 11 months outta the year, I don't give a fuck.
Let's look around before we talk big things. We're tied to Miami one way or another, let's take advantage of it. UMAMI's here to talk small things first. How can we make Miami the cultural and artistic hub of Florida? The US? The world?
First things first, rep that UMAMI merch.
What's up fam! It's been a hectic week. CONNECT, take-down, and getting ourselves out of sleep deprivation to planning our next event. Let's just say we're staying busy.
Through the chaos, we keep being asked "UMAMI, what keeps you going?". Let's talk about what keeps the train from derailing.
We love people. No, not you, you fucking tourists, we love people who are local. 305, 786, 954, that's us. Bringing together locals, helping locals, and seeing the work pay off makes what we do worth it. We don't care about money. Money isn't important right now. We're young, we're motivated for change and, to us, change is everything. Changing perceptions, opening up locals eyes to more than the Miami traffic and hot weather, it's a movement for embetterment.
CONNECT saw many new faces, most of whom we had no idea would show. INVT, Chaoscanine, Pagoda Media, Rollingbliss fest and Miami New Times to name a few. We're blessed to have such influential and great figures already supporting our goal. Their similarity? Locals. Every single one of our 300+ attendees were Miami driven, either raised or living in. Bringing together these creative, innovative and multi-talented people who before our event, had no idea who the other was. THAT is what we do it for.
"Why though, UMAMI? Like, why, like, do we have to bring together locals?" - Attendee at CONNECT. Thanks attendee from CONNECT! Your single question just put us on a hunt for reasoning. Don't get me wrong, we know why, it's just great to hear the question that brings it all together.
Bringing together locals is like making a soup. Yes, you can make a chicken soup with broth, chicken and some vegetables. But, a real chicken soup is more. Noodles, spices, herbs, salt and pepper. The best soup has it all.
Miami is already a bitching good soup. I mean, we already got those little Jewish dumplings in there. What we're lacking is a great community to display this beautiful soup in. The amount of talented artists and musicians in Miami is gargantuant. We would go as far as to say that the pure talent outweighs Los Angeles. The biggest difference between the two? Los Angeles has the outlets for young creatives, Miami doesn't.
UMAMI is an outlet for creatives, a place for locals to interact and, a beautifully directed and seasoned chicken soup. We're doing it for local talent, for Miami to be known for what we already have yet lack to show, and for Miamians to have a great night, realizing the artistry that surrounds them. The underground will rise out of UMAMI like the Phoenix rising out of the ashes.
Till next time.
Note from the Author: I brought up money for multiple reasons. Miami lives on money. Think about it, talk to locals and find out for yourself. If you're living in Miami, the first, or one of the first topics of conversation is, and will hopefully not be in the near future, your paycheck. It's sad to say that money determines what people think of you, their life choice and for UMAMI, their plans to slide to our next show. If you're reading this, I know I'll see you soon!
Good morning, afternoon, and evening. I'm not sure which one it is. Time gets confusing.
We've been working hard (or hardly working) for our first event July 6th. Our flyer has been released, we're twenty minutes from releasing the time table and things are looking a okay. Time to write a blog.
CONNECT was named connect for a reason. We don't do things just to do them. Actually, we do but that's mostly when we're either bored, fucked up, or something in between. Sorry mom and dad, its the way it is.
Connect is the basic idea of bringing together two things. You connect with people, with communities and, on the other hand, you disconnect from your phone when having sex. Well at least if you have a good sex life you do!
We thought of connect after multiple hours of brain storming. Connecting to my wifi, we realized the perfect name was right in front of us. Connect. It's our mission statement, our goal, and what we're doing all of this for. To connect people, locals and communities. Yes, we're doing it for the 305 but that's just the beginning. Cities across FL, the US, and the world need UMAMI to connect.
CONNECT is July 6th. We're bringing together the best of local creatives. I like to say creatives because it encompasses everyone. Anyone who starts a business, either as an artist, musician or entrepreneur has creativity. It's not all about having the best business strategy, knowing people, or the money to do so, its about having a creative idea and going through with it. Going through with it is a feat in its own that should be celebrated by all.
Our flyer is under the "Events" tab. We hope to see everyone in the 305 there. To party, first of all, and, secondly, almost as important as the first, to connect.
Shit we've been busy. Already a week has gone by and we haven't gotten a chance to tell you the real truth, the whole truth, and the I don't give a fuck truth about Miami. Might as well get into it.
We're in a time crunch. An event July 6th, promo event to the end of July and, with the time we have left, an elegant rager in August. It's been hectic to say the least. Answering emails, texts, calls, facetimes, checking stats, finding solutions to problems, this really doesn't stop. I'll tell you personally, if I didn't really want this, believe in it, and love it, I wouldn't dare to do it. It's a plethora of lists that never stop. Sometimes we have to take a break, look at some idiotic posts on Instagram, read the news (fake news for my Trump lovers out there), and write a blog.
Tonight's for reflecting. We're running back and forth trying to do the best for the community, for artists, creatives, musicians, entrepreneurs and, ultimately, people. It's a deed that most don't do. Not because they don't want to, but because the steps to doing so are ridiculous. 24 hours work days (and weekends), being the happy, go lucky self you really are while maintaining a social life and family? It isn't ideal.
What I've learned most from trying to do this (I'll never say I did it, trying always has room for improvement, doing it doesn't) is balance. Life balance? Absolutely. It's that bullshit your mom and dad try to teach you but you never listened. You're stubborn, just like me, but you'll learn the hard way. I know I did.
Balance is exactly what it says it is. Figuring out how to balance your work, with social, with family, with personal life is what makes Richard Branson, well, Richard Branson. Bill Gates, Bill Gates. Diplo, Diplo. Tupac, Tupac. Action Bronson, Action. Kendrick, Kendrick. I'll stop with Kendrick because, ya know, its KENDRICK.
After I did my "deeds", I know that I can work all day everyday. Of course I can. You can too. We're, after all, the most closely related to chimpanzees. If they can be trained to eat apples all day we can work all day. What I want to say, hopefully without ranting this time, is that working non-stop isn't the solution. It doesn't even get that much done!
The smart thing to do is...... and this is where my Miamians come in...... TAKE A CHILL PILL AND RELAX. For fucks sake, I'm minding my own business driving home on 95 and this pinga cuts me off to only get back in his lane, all while, texting his lesser important of 3 girlfriends. There I go again, ranting on like there's no tomorrow.
Working is great. It gets things done, it makes you money (hopefully) and it gives us a sense of fulfillment. We're opening your eyes up to more. At UMAMI we believe that once work becomes real work, like a 9-5 job you rather kill yourself then stay in, it's time to shut down. Don't actually shut down, close your computer, read those texts tomorrow and do what you feel. I know you always feel our events so we're talking about other stuff. "Walk" with that girl you've been wanting to hit up, watch your favorite series or who knows, do both at the same time!
Talk soon and see ya July 6th. Link listed below:
Good fucking Monday. I have this love, hate relationship with Mondays. Even though it doesn't get easier to wake my ass up, Monday has this "do nothing" aura that's great. We all know it yet don't admit it. Just one more of our social mysteries.
We finished a week back with Wynwood, it's history, and how it's come to "Wynwood" today. Let's talk about Wynwood today, starting with what the hell it is.
Poppin'. All I got for Wynwood (today) is poppin'. Tourists have flooded the streets, artists have only added more to the already full murals and the shopping never (I mean never) stops. Our view on Wynwood is simple. Its become a tourist hotspot and we should feel honored.
Before we get caught up in our favorite, trendy spots, I'd like us to see Wynwood from two perspectives. 1.) as a newcomer and 2.) as a local.
Newcomer: As a newbie to the 33127, it can be a little much. There's so much art that most don't know where to look! We take this as a bad thing (all these fucking tourists with their cameras!!), but ya'll know I think it's great. What community has such a vast array of murals, stencils, graffiti and portraits? I'm not asking about Miami, I'm talking about the world. Wynwood is one of the most active arts entertainment districts, period. With the addition of shops and food, it's a beautiful maze you don't want to get out of.
Locals: Miamians tend to complain a little. Hey, it's not against you. I'm born and raised here too! In general, all locals have a complaint about tourists busting into their home away from home. Wynwood has seen it's fair share of locals. We started what has grown to be an international hub for art, culture and creativity. Now we see Wynwood as South Beach. Let's remind you that South Beach 30 years ago was a shit hole. Past 16th street (Lincoln Rd) and you'd have a hefty risk of getting shot.
So, what can we do but get this all straightened out! We made a beautiful community that other people want to see. Through the years, we added more art, more shops and developed something that's never been done before. Why aren't we proud of that? Why let tourists keep us away from home? I have no clue. Yes, Wynwood is becoming too expensive, overpopulated and saturated in business. That isn't an excuse. That, young madam or man, is Miami. We made it.
PS: Stay on the lookout for our view of Wynwood in the next 10 years. If we've developed what we have now, who knows where we'll be in 20. God I love mysteries.
We're back, better then ever. First pop-up July 6th. I'll give you some details, just cause I like you (keep it on the DL). Headlining, with their first ever collaboration, FIN!FANG!FOOM! x Realliveanimals AKA. Pu$$eidxn. Do I have to say more? 12 people on the band stand, horns, 2 drummers, bass, guitar, synth, the list goes on and on. Fuck me I'm excited.
Anything else? Oh yes oh yes... We're bringing in 4 other bands, 3 deep house DJ's and an array of vendors and live artists. Their names? HA! You aren't allowed to know yet. Nothing like ruining a perfectly good surprise.
Let's talk about our future. Pop-ups are the beginning of something bigger. August is looking at a 1,000 person show of local rappers, artists and businesses. In between, a free event. Yes I said free. Nothing like something free right?!? Details up shortly.
As I said, we're on to something bigger. UMAMI isn't just an event company, we're a movement. Local artists and musicians are under appreciated throughout Miami, the United States and most of the world. Starting in Miami, we're growing to festivals lasting all day (and night). Once we have our mark in Miami, we're moving on. What does that mean? Way more than you think.
We'll be a radio station, a means for local creatives to connect (UMAMI wave), a youtube channel and ultimately, a platform for those who deserve it. Miami needs us to bring artists to the forefront of society. Artists NEED to be in the spotlight. What they do, create, innovate and change communities through artwork/music is the future of our world. Fuck the politicians with their set of rules, "helping the world" and oldies with money running our every move. Creativity is the future and if we do anything, that's what we need people to know.
Our future is looking bright. Give us a couple years and we'll be touring Florida. Once that's done, we're going for Georgia, the Carolinas and the US. After that, the world. Wherever we go we're keeping our mission plan. Every city we go to we're talking to locals, interacting with the scene, and helping that city gain passion for creativity. Wish us luck (even though we don't need it).
Much love from the UMAMI Crew. See you July 6th.
I hate death. I don't think about it and I definitely don't look forward to it. Sadly, it's part of this thing we call "life". For some it comes early and for others, it comes way too late. I believe that life should be enjoyed until you can't anymore. Once I hit pain, please kill me. I'm not trying to have machines keeping me alive. My heart keeps me alive and if it gives up, I give up too.
You know we always talk about Miami. That's what this blog is for: Have an open dialogue about Miami, it's people, how we communicate, why we communicate and how we can make it better (together!). I've steered off into different directions when I think it's necessary. Today, it's a new level of necessary. If we don't talk about this man, his achievements and how he changed the culinary world, we would be kidding ourselves.
Anthony Bourdain, also known as Tony. If you haven't heard, he committed suicide last night in a hotel room in Strasbourg, France. Strasbourg is part of the North East province, right on the border of Germany. Once I saw the news, I got goosebumps. As I'm writing this I'm getting goosebumps. Tony changed my life. His book, Kitchen Confidential, as well as his show "Parts Unknown" were instrumental in who I am today. He showed me the world as it is, in his eyes. I couldn't be more grateful.
Tony did great things. I'm not going to bore you with his background too much. He grew up in shitty circumstances. Struggling to get by, Tony turned to drugs. Heroin, cocaine, and a bunch of alcohol used to be his driving force. It's obviously not the best mix. Did it lead to his death? It might've, but one can argue that it made him the man he was. His life experiences, which there are countless of, made him see things in a new light. Especially food.
In his 61 years of living, Bourdain wrote and was part of 45 books, had multiple tv shows as well as working in over 20 restaurants. If that doesn't impress you, what will?
More than being a celebrity chef, Tony brought together the world. His attitude towards food and people were like non-other. His willingness to try new things, experiment and do whatever the fuck he had to for the people were like non-other. Tony shouldn't be remembered as a chef, he's an ambassador of food, culture, and people. He realized the influence of food in culture and was the first, in my opinion, to use it to unite the world. Something so powerful that we owe the culinary scene in Miami, and abroad, to him. Rest in peace you beautiful fucking maniac.
Editor's Note: Tony's suicide is tragic. He's one of hundreds of thousands committing suicide each year (even though each case is different). The US has seen suicide rates increase by 25% over nearly two decades. Twenty-five states have experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%. Not only is this worrying, it tells us something about our society. Are the suicide rates as high in Europe? Asia? South America? We need to think about this. Guns are killing people and have become a huge national debate. Why isn't mental health? Mental health is killing people. We can't blame mental health on individuals. It's a disease we all deal with, even though we don't admit it.
*How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.*
As promised, our unknown artist. This man is amazing. I got the chance to ask for his instagram (IG) before he went back to work. He's unstoppable when he's in the zone. Unstoppable in the sense that in 95 degree weather, he's working his ass off.
He's got a mohawk, bleached hair and wears whatever the fuck he wants. His name is @weerdo1994. I'm guessing he was born in 1994 and to all but me, he might be a weerdo.
Part of the "Fukt Krew" with locals including mutavision, jerryspringer305, registered_artist, and kat_matrina, weerdo1994 does it all. He creates murals, sells artwork and, if that's not enough, he'll give you a tat or two.
To us he's special. He's got something different. There's great, I mean amazingly great graffiti artists in Miami/Wynwood that we'll get to, but he's first for a reason. Besides being one of the first artists I've approached to continue working and not care about my presence (I think it's great), his art has meaning. It's him.
Check it out. I've seen art from Miami to New York to Amsterdam to Thailand. It's all different and yes, there's a reason it's made. I'm not saying that all art besides his doesn't have meaning. I'm saying that I've seen a lot of art that has a specific meaning without the artist immersing themselves in it. Let's give you an example before I get a bunch of emails saying "UMAMI, you piece of shit. My art and I have meaning!".
Picasso. I love Picasso. I've written about him before and I've studied multiple of his works. His work has meaning. He experimented and transitioned from piece to piece in movements. As he aged, his art aged with him. I, and hopefully you can see that certain life periods address a certain issue, a certain societal value and he, being Picasso, shows how he feels. His art has meaning and he famously shows himself through painting.
I'm putting Weerdo right up there with Picasso. The more I dig, the more I find. Weerdo brings together his life into artwork. I mean, look at his most recent mural on our IG @umamimusic. He makes the "typical" Miami with pink lettering, palm trees and the Miami sky line not so typical. I mean, Grim reaper is spray painting the whole thing! What's that supposed to mean Weerdo? I'll make an educated (or uneducated) guess. Weerdo isn't typical. He doesn't see Miami through typical glasses and he sure doesn't want to. Looking at things typically is too easy. Weerdo is out there. He's creating ruckus.
Side Note: The amazing Weerdo's IG is @weerdo1994. UMAMI contacted him before putting out this blog. He supports UMAMI and kindly asks you to show him love. We don't kindly ask, we're telling you. Check him the fuck the fuck the fuck the fuck the fuck out. Did I say the fuck?
People are complicated, locals are complicated, Miami is complicated. With over 463,000 people in the beautiful city , it's hard to make it easy. Well, it can be done (Amsterdam has a population of over a million and we're smoking pot, drinking beers, having a great time). So if it's not population, what makes it hard for people in Miami to be nice to each other, enjoy the simple things in life and chill on the beach with a mojito every weekend..
If I could answer that I would already be a millionaire. Mind you I'm under the legal age to drink in these great "United States of America".
I'll say this. In Miami, people are different. We don't like the same thing, we don't share the same religion, culture, or background and we weren't raised with the same values. I'm no expert on Amsterdam or Miami but I observe. I see that people in Amsterdam share something. "Well UMAMI, what does that mean?". Thank you self talking me. It means that in Amsterdam kids are raised to be social, adults care to talk to their neighbors (I know right, crazy stuff) and we all help each other. I just blew your mind. I blew my own. This is what Kendrick does to me. Fucking Kendrick, fucking Lamar. Master of all things music.
Miami, as I've said and most people know (unless you're sleeping under a rock), has almost every ethnicity you can think of. We're raised differently. Different religions, different backgrounds, different economic situations, and ultimately, different cultures. I believe that's what makes us complicated. Simply with many complexities, we're different.
We want to bring Miami together. UMAMI is for bringing us together. We've heard from many communities but we need to represent everyone. Every community in Miami-Dade County (for now) should be represented, shown and participate. We're here for you!
It's been another rough night. Hung out with the "homies" a little too long, watched some Netflix after and you know, did what I did. Before doing anything really, I look at my phone to see all types of texts, Instagram likes and whatever. Fuck that. I just woke up. I go to iTunes (if I'm feeling risky Spotify or Soundcloud) and play my favorite song. It changes weekly, but this week it's between Motorcycle Patches and Glass Flows. I'll let you guys look up the artists so I don't ruin the surprise.
After listening I'm already under the shower. Music makes me get out of bed. But why? Is my brain behind it? Do these songs have lyrics that make me hyped? Are the beats making my hips move and shake? Does the sound give me energy? As I always say, good question!
I don't care about the science behind it, I'm telling you what I think. Science isn't interesting, it doesn't include fuck and bass and locals. My hypothesis (you're welcome you scientists out there): Music wakes me up, specifically my brain and to me, turns it on. It gives me ideas and tells my brain, this is what we need to do and we have this time to do it. Lets get it done.
For everyone its different. My point is that music drives my creativity and passion. It wakes me up and keeps me up. If it wasn't for music, I definitely wouldn't get out of my queen size Ikea (too bad its not a king).
P.S. What gets you up every morning? C'mon, there's got to be something. We don't just get out of our Ikea, extra soft beds without a valid reason. We let you in on ours. Lets hear yours. Comment section below..