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We follow through with our Blogroll Focus series, which debuted this summer on mysoul (Hype Ain't Sh*t being the 1st blog featured), and I cannot hide my excitement on this one. When I started off, back in spring 2008, this thrilling adventure that running a music blog happens to be, I quicky stumbled upon what would soon become a personal favorite, and one of the coolest music places on the interweb. Pinboardblog, that is. Live and direct from London town, Speeakz aka the man behind PinBoard, not only provides us with the finest selection of music on a daily basis, but the quality of the blog's video content also proves to be matchless.
Via Twitter, I was also able to actually get in touch with Speeakz, who first honoured us by including mysoul on his blogroll, but also took time, despite a super-tight schedule, to answer a bunch of tricky questions. In the following interview, you'll get to know the story behind PinBoard, the evolution of the blog since its launch, and a lil more about the team of talented and passionate peeps who runs it. So, with no further ado, let's just let Speeakz speak !
mysoul : Let's start from scratch. How long have you been running PinBoardblog, and what motivated you to start blogging, at first ?
Speeakz : PinBoardBlog.com was launched in early 2008. I started the site for a couple reasons - firstly because at the time I was interning at Universal Music and needed something creative to channel my energy (anyone who has interned will know how, at times, soul destroying it can be lol). Didn't know what that 'something' was, and actually, at that time I didn't really know what 'running a blog' entailed. And secondly, because in my circle of friends I was always the one being asked 'what's new/hot right now' - so I thought I could create a place where my mates could come and check out what's playing in my headphones.
mysoul : By the way, how did you come up with the name PinBoard ? Does it refer to something in particular ?
Speeakz : The name PinBoard came from not having any other ideas. Ha! As I said, I started the blog really not having one particular goal in mind, just to have a place where my friends could come and get good music. I've always had an actual pinboard on my wall and have done for years - it's just an easy way to capture my adventures within a year (each year I take it down, and store the things posted) and so when I was trying to come up with a name, I just looked at it and was like 'yea, PinBoard - a place where I can throw great music onto'. The name worked great because I'm not confined to genre or a style - so I can post Soul, Hip Hop, Dub-Step, Funk without really having any confusion or limitations.
mysoul : Actually, I was wondering... Do you have a daytime job ? How do you manage to post so much content on a daily basis ?
Speeakz : I have many jobs! I freelance in the music industry over here in London. I provide online marketing services for various companies, as well as various PR services. I also act as an online consultant too, offering advice/insight to artists, managers, labels, PR companies etc. I do a few other things too - so I'm kinda always on the go.
In terms of content on the site - it's really not easy! But you make time and you learn to blog REALLY quick! Not to mention, now I have a fantastic team who post things when I'm unable to. For a long time it was just me, but thankfully THE CREW now have my back, fully! They're dope.
mysoul : Since you started blogging, what would you consider your biggest achievement ? The thing you're the most proud of so far ?
Speeakz : Hmmm, that's a hard one. A while back, maybe like two years ago, I got an email invitation to attend Prince's '21 Nights' book launch in London. Anyone who knows me or reads the site will know that Prince, for me, is the highest of highs. So, as a fledging blog at the time - I was so amazingly shocked and surprised - it pretty much blew my mind. Then I found out (through some colleagues) that the lady who emailed me initially (inviting me to the event) was someone very, very, very close to The Artist. Yeah. And I got a free book. Haha.
...But there's been a few since then like sitting down with Erykah Badu and most recently being invited onto BBC Radio 1.
mysoul : One of the core sections of your blog is your video features. The work you've done is quite impressive ! Tell us more about the concept of "Pinboard Presents Remedy Rehearsal Rooms" ?
Speeakz : I LOVE 'Remedy Rehearsal Rooms' - that idea came about organically. The Remedies are a great London-based band who we came to know and work with through an event called Writers Block. And they just approached us one night and said 'why don't we do this' - we (PinBoard team) loved the idea and we got started. The series is still very young but we're full throttle recording new episodes - the artists we have lined up will blow your socks off - just wait!!!
Watch below : PinBoardblog presents : "Remedy Rehearsal Rooms with Szjerdene" :
mysoul : How did you come up with the idea of that video feature called "The People", and this great tribute to Michael Jackson ?
Speeakz : We wanted to do something special for Michael Jackson's 1 year anniversary. Obviously we're huge fans and were greatly affected by his sudden passing, and so it only felt right we do something to commemorate his anniversary. But it was important for us to have something that was heart warming and not depressing. We didn't want it to be a sad piece, instead something that would be a celebration of his life. So, we came up with 'The People' - a documentary style viral which would feature everyday people in central London. We spoke to EVERYONE - all ages, races, religions etc - it was really beautiful to hear so many people talk about MJ so positively. We were really proud of the piece in the end and the response has been fantastic.
It is an on-going series, so keep it locked for more!
Watch below : Pinboard presents : The People on Michael Jackson :
mysoul : How many people collaborate to the blog on a regular basis, can you introduce us your whole team ?
Speeakz : Ah, with pleasure! Shan Phearon is my co-pilot, my business partner and one of my best homies. He's the guy behind ALL our videos, he's an incredible film maker/director and produces some of the most incredible visuals. He's one of the few guys who can challenge my musical knowledge, he knows his stuff. (Twitter : @ShanPhearon et son portfolio : www.pinboardfilm.com.)
Then we have Mr Danny Wood. My blogging kin. This guy is a beast, he drops incredible content at a crazy pace - quite possibly one of the best bloggers I know. He knows so much about so many different kinds of music, he teaches me a lot. By day he's a science teacher, by night he's a musical conesour, gifted photographer and budding film maker. He's also a DJ, sportsman, artist and avid gig-goer. The dude does it all. (Twitter : @Def_Danny)
Then we have the first lady of PinBoard, she who goes by the name...S_H_E. I love her contributions because she's got her ears low to the ground and can hear and recognise strong emerging talent. She's a super busy lady, so she doesn't often have the time to post like the rest of us, but when she does - it's always something interesting and exciting. We loves her. She's also the baddest baker you'll ever know. Her cakes are ridiculous - a very big reason we love having her around. (Twitter : @S_H_E_)
Ash 'Music is Remedy' Roye, is the guy behind The Remedies (the band I was speaking about earlier). This guy is the man to go to when it comes to UK talent. His knowledge of the live scene out here is bar none - he contributes by putting us on anything and everything that is hot in this great city. A true music lover and a very, very talented musician. (Twitter : @musicisremedy)
The newest edition to the team is Tosin, she's also the baby of the group. Tosin is our live events contributor, posting our monthly live listings and reviewing all the gigs and events that happen in London Town. I love her energy and passion, it's really infectious. She's only been on board for a few months now, but is already flexing her creative muscle, exploring new and exciting ideas of what we can do next. (Twitter : @Miss_Tosin)
mysoul : As you've mentioned earlier, you've also been lucky enough to interview Erykah Badu last year, after one of her shows in Paris. How did it happen ? Do you often cross the Channel to go and see some concerts ?
Speeakz : First up - any chance I get to be in Paris, I take it. It's a great city and musically it's always been on point. Unfortunately I don't often come over for just gigs (although I wish I did!). The Erykah Badu interview we did was purely by chance. I was out there with two of my best friends for a few days, we checked the local listings and noticed Badu was in town while we were. We hit up our contacts, one of which was based in Dallas (!!), and got the hook up. When we rolled up to the arena we were handed backstage passes to her Q&A. Anyone who checks PinBoard knows how much I / we love Miss Badu - I have no problem citing her as my favourite contemporary artist - so for me, that was a monumental moment. But it's obvious from the video we put out that we were unprepared - I had to record the whole thing on my hand held personal camera with NO mic - wasn't the greatest equipment, but we made do! I was just happy I got a chance to meet and talk with her and in such an intimate and chilled environment.
Watch below : PinBoard Exclusive: Erykah Badu Q&A :
mysoul : We know you don't really need to travel a lot to enjoy some great live music. LDN is full of nice spots to do so. What are your favorite ones, the place you would recommand us ?
Speeakz : The Roundhouse never disappoints. Based in the heart of Camden, it really is a great venue for many reasons - aesthetically it's beautiful, but in terms of their listings - they're pretty great. KoKo is also another one of my favourites!
mysoul : Last but not least, of course, I had to end this interview on a musical note. I would be keen to know what a music connoisseur like you would consider the best album of 2010 so far ?
Speeakz : Album of the Year goes to Janelle Monae's debut, 'The ArchAndroid'. Conceptually one of the best albums I've heard and the fact that it's her first album is something quite remarkable. Followed (very, very, very) closely by Bilal's 'Airtight's Revenge' - which is just sensational. I could speak for hours about that album.
mysoul : Thank you so much Speeakz, for taking the time to answer all of these questions. It's been such an honour to have you on mysoul ! Congratulations to your talented team for their incredible work and dedication. We'll see you guys around at www.pinboardblog.com
Speeakz : Thank you so much for this Emilie, it means a lot that you're featuring us. I love what you do over at MySoul. Thank you again !
Follow www.pinboardblog.com on Twitter : @PinBoardBlog.
Listen and download for free the exclusive EP PinBoardBlog.com Presents: ‘Feed Your Ears, Vol 1: Soul Edition’ :
Get more info here.