Amalie Bruun came by the office here at MTV in Times Square. She brought her Glockenspiel.
She sat on my window sill, we opened some wine (I may or may not have stolen) from Tony DiSanto's office, and she played us some songs.
Usually, Amalie's band backs her up. But today it's just Amalie, her glocks and us...
I love this song, it's called "I Feel Sick" (can you say, "Label bidding war?")
Another incredible original, "Housecat" (Lars Von Trier you have a movie in your head, set to this song)
Then she grabbed a guitar -- the one we used when we shot "MTV Engine Room" last year -- and covered "Spider To A Fly" by the Stones...
I met Mutaurwa Mapondera (a.k.a. "Foretold") 2 years ago, when my colleague Zach Papale, who knows more about college bands than anyone ever, played me his music. "Foretold," as he's known in hip-hop circles, was a student at UNC--Chapel Hill, and was already blowin' up inside mtvU's incubator for emerging artists, "Best Music On Campus."
Mutaurwa's from Zimbabwe, speaks like 5 languages, and is one of the most brilliant college kids you'll ever meet. His music is characterized by a vulnerable honesty conveyed through deep observations and fluid storytelling. As a producer, he specializes in soulful, idiosyncratic pieces incorporating diverse samples and live instrumentation.
Mutaurwa stopped by today and dropped some knowledge right here in my office in Times Square, right in the middle of the day. I whipped out my Flip and shot him in action, trying to keep my hand steady as he blew me away with his freestyle. I don't know how this kid does it, but it makes me feel like I must have slept through my poetry school MFA.
Here's a love poem from Mutaurwa...
You can check out his music by clicking here.
More about Mutaurwa, from his Best Music On Campus page...
The youngest son of a member of Zimbabwe’s diplomatic corps, Mutaurwa “Foretold” Mapondera would see all four corners of the globe before his 18th birthday. His mother’s occupation would see the family shift around the globe and the young Mutaurwa would end up calling Belgium, Zimbabwe, Botswana, India and Germany home before he graduated from high school and enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004. While frequent movements were trying on Foretold socially, they would allow him to see and experience people, places and cultures that most only encounter on the Discovery Channel. While some may have taken these experiences for granted, and let them wash over them, F.O.R.E noted the differences between the various nations he called home and was especially affected by the depths of poverty that he witnessed in Africa and Asia. Even as a child, Foretold was markedly analytical and the situations he encountered nurtured these tendencies as the quiet youth developed into an introspective poet. “Seeing so much at such a young age really shapes you and I feel like I was confronted with a lot of truths that most people my age have yet to encounter, if they ever do.” The other vital component to Foretold’s character is his family. Even though she raised her two boys by herself, Foretold’s mother was the guiding light in the soft-spoken MC’s development and he constantly sites her as “his hero, inspiration, best friend, everything.” The birth of his nephew in 2002 was a life-changing event as the adolescent lyricist was pushed into the role of father figure, a role he explores on a track that attempts to explain the death of his Nephew’s 5-year-old cousin from AIDS.
Again we sent our intrepid office mate out to find out what exactly we are supposed to be doing. Here's Ashley Simon:
Thought I'd try one more time to see if the general public could help me figure out wtf branded entertainment is. This time I ventured to my hometown in Grosse Pointe, Michigan in the hopes that my fellow midwesterners could do better than Times Square tourists. In the absence of a huge metropolis I ambushed Grosse Pointers in their natural habitat: the country club.
To view Ashley's first installment of "What Is Branded Entertainment," click here.
Because it's fun to do until we get busted, welcome to the first installment by Something Burning's special guest contributor, Ashley Simon, in which Ashley attempts to define what our department should be doing.
Today, Ashley befriends the thoughtful pedestrians of Times Square, and they're kind enough to try and help us understand what Branded Entertainment is. See for yourself, then follow Ashley on Twitter at @KickAsh13.
We should probably figure out what to do with the incredible Times Square Studio we've got here. For 10 years, it was home to TRL. Soon, we're going to move another show in there. But in the meantime, what should we do with it? Here are some ideas, but we need better ones...
1) Teenage slumber parties (is it wrong if we charge?)
2) UFC Live Event to destroy studio windows that face Times Square so we can do open-air concerts
3) Give it to iCarly
4) Satellite office for Division of Motor Vehicles
5) Temporary office upgrade for MTV Employee of the Month
6) Day care for kids of staff
7) Give it to Nick Cannon, Chariman of Teen Nick, and his wife, Mariah
8) Storage for old Celebrity Death Match clay models
9) NYPD sniper perch
10) Tila Tequila petting zoo