Anthony “Buckwild” Best is a beatmaker that has been working in the background of New York hip hop since the early 1990s. Buckwild boasts an impressive list of projects, collaborations, and remixes, many of which have become quite successful. His breadth of experience and dedication to his craft is what Anthony will be bringing to Next Level.
Buckwild will be on Next Level Team Jerusalem.
Charles Burchell is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer from New Orleans, Louisiana. He has studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the New England Conservatory (B.M. ’12) and most recently completed the Masters of Arts in Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Ed. M ’13).
Burchell has recorded and produced albums with Wes “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Delfayo Marsalis, Ran Blake, Ciel Rouge, and his own band, The Love Experiment, and has performed and given master classes at a variety of music festivals around the world.
He is currently a teaching artist for Carnegie Hall’s Digital Music Production Workshop and Musical Connections Program, in which he works with court involved youth and students from various boroughs throughout New York City. Burchell continues to perform regularly around the U.S. and internationally as a DJ, drummer, and bandleader.
Charles was on Next Level Team El Salvador.
Jaci Caprice Clark captures the spirit of hip hop in rhythmic measure. Raised a Buckeye who currently resides amongst Wolverines, she currently lives just outside of Detroit, Michigan, where she is a member of 5e’ The Foundation, which celebrates women in hip-hop. She also hosts her own internet radio show “The Soul Studieux”, which heralds over 100,000+ listeners to the station, and is dedicated to stimulating the mind, grooving the body, and uplifting the soul through the arts, education, activism, and music.
She is also an accomplished vocalist/producer who released a full-length album entitled “Storms Come” (2007), and an EP entitled “LoveLikeWater” (2012), both which she wrote and produced independently.
She has shared the stage with such artists as Karen Clark-Sheard, Canton Jones, K-Drama, Miz Korona, and many others. Jaci also writes and produces music for a diversity of artists which include poets, vocalists, and hip-hop lyricists.
Danny “Supreme La Rock” Clavesilla is a producer and DJ with over thirty-five years of experience in hip hop culture. He has produced many classic records, been a longtime mentor to many young hip-hop producers, founded and run the independent hip hop label Conception Records, been one of the official DJs for the Seattle Seahawks, taught production and DJing at the University of Washington, and maintained a career as one of the most successful nightclub DJs working today.
He is also a renowned crate digger and vinyl enthusiast who was instrumental in placing a contemporary spotlight on Seattle’s vibrant 60s and 70s soul scene through Light In The Attic’s Wheedle’s Groove compilations.
DJ Supreme La Rock commands the respect of both fellow DJs and artists as well as his ecstatic dancefloors with his discerning ear, impeccable taste, and seamless mixing skills.
Danny was on Next Level Team Colombia.
Vincent “Gyrefunk” Czekus is a heavy contributor to the Bay Area’s modern funk scene who is well known for his all around musical chops and production. From laying down guitar licks to clever keyboard chord progressions, his combination of futuristic funk and classic soul aesthetics has landed him performances with Stevie Wonder, Black Eyed Peas, B2K, and Far East Movement, to name a few.
He is also cofounder of TRKRNR, an upcoming music group consisting of futuristic sounds from a carefully curated list of contributing artists.
Recently, GYREFUNK collaborated with Lookwright Manufacturing to build a one-of-a-kind hybrid instrument that looks like a device from Darth Vader’s closet. Dubbed the Vinstrument, you can catch GYREFUNK playing it for audiences throughout the SF Bay Area.
Vincent was on Next Level Team Indonesia.
Michael “ADUM⁷” Dottin is a New York based record producer, MC, visual artist, and entrepreneur.
As a touring musician, ADUM⁷ has had the opportunity to do sponsored performances in Panama and Japan. As an entrepreneur, he helped found the “Grassroots Artists MovEment” G.A.ME, which helps provide the local hip hop community with free healthcare, dental, and legal advice and will be one of the supporting producers of Brooklyn’s “Black Vegfest” in August of 2018.
ADUM⁷ also releases music and secures creative opportunities as “Kreative Kaiju” and “MANAFEST VISION MEDIA LLC”: companies of which he is the founder and CEO.
Michael was on Next Level Team Uzbekistan.
Elliot “Phillipdrummond” Gann is a doctor of clinical psychology, producer, DJ, arts educator, event organizer, and community activist. Born in San Francisco and raised in NYC, Dr. Gann is the Founder, Executive Director and Lead Instructor at Today’s Future Sound (TFS), an Oakland-based (with a Los Angeles chapter) non-profit organization that uses hip-hop music production to empower youth as artists and community members.
With his roots in the West Coast battle rap and beat battle scenes, Dr. Gann has built a reputation in both worlds as being an archivist with rare footage of battles, putting on hundreds of battles and organizing the longest-running monthly live beat battle.
Teaching with TFS has taken him all across North America, from the East Coast—Yale; the South Bronx and Chinatown in NYC; Jackson, Mississippi; and Louisiana—to the Midwest, as well as Toronto, ON. He has also toured and put on battles in Australia and France, released albums with local artists in these countries, and produced several other albums under the Phillipdrummond moniker.
Elliot was on Next Level Team Senegal.
LaShondra “RyNea Soul” Hemphill mentors young girls between the ages of seven and eighteen in music production through her organization, the SheShockHipHop Academy, which is sponsored by the Initiative for Creative Arts.
She facilitates beat making workshops at community centers throughout the Birmingham, Alabama, metropolitan area and has been invited to share her expertise on working with youth via music throughout the United States.
She views beat making as an ideal thought-provoking medium in which to tell stories and express our loves, obsessions, dreams, fears and desires.
LaShondra was on Next Level Team Thailand.
Baba Israel is an internationally respected beatboxer, MC, and hip hop educator, who is also widely considered to be one of the leading figures in contemporary hip hop theater. He is currently working with a variety of leading arts institutions in New York City to design hip hop education and theater programs for a wide range of communities.
As a theatre and hip hop artist, he has toured across the US, Europe, South America, Australia and Asia, performing with artists such as Outkast, Philip Glass, Rahzel, Lester Bowie, KRS ONE, and Vernon Reid. As a musician, he has released a number of albums and collaborations with artists such as DJ Logic, Ming and FS, Zion I, Invincible, DJ Kiva, P-Money and long time collaborator Yako 440 (who was a Next Level participant).
He is also a core member of hip hop/soul project Soul Inscribed, who were selected as part of the American Music Abroad program to tour Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Mauritus in 2016. He holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.
Baba was on Next Level Team Croatia.
Ami Kim (formerly known as jocElyn ellis) is an American music producer, vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Referring to herself as a “sonic alchemist”, kim is internationally known for improvisational singing adopted from hip hop/spoken word free-styling and a compositional versatility that incorporates American soul, folk, hip hop, jazz and electronic music.
Originally from Durham, NC, Kim made headlines in the region during her climb to the top of its indie music scene through her thought-evoking lyrics and soulful songs resulting in performances with 9th Wonder, Chrisette Michelle, Citizen Cope, Wyclef Jean, Raekwon, Rapsody, Macy Gray, and concerts in over 400 venues and nationally & internationally. A Queen City music award winner and SESAC publisher, Kim released her debut full-length album “Life Of A Hologram” in 2013 that lead up to a hip-hop ambassadorship in Bangladesh and a residency as a cultural ambassador for the US Cultural Affairs Department with the international music incubator Onebeat. In 2015, Charlotte Magazine named her album in it’s “Top 10 Must Own Albums” and in the AfroPunk album review, commentator Ayara Pommells describes Kim’s debut work as a “conceptual masterpiece”.
Currently, Kim is traveling to various cities in the US and abroad performing, collaborating, and writing as a topline songwriter & vocalist for DivineTracks.com while also collaborating with Berlin-based artist 6zm on their side project @DragonsInGardens.
Joseph “Diamond D” Kirkland has created an extensive body of discography, including a GRAMMY® Award in 1996 for his production contribution on the Fugees LP “The Score” (which won Best Rap Album) and was nominated a second time for a GRAMMY® Award in 2008 for co-production on Natalie Cole’s cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Day Dreaming”.
In 2010, XXL MAGAZINE named him among their top ten producers who rhyme. In 2011, Source Magazine named him among the Top Ten producers who rhyme and in 2013 he was presented with the iStandard Producers “Living Legend” award.
He is one of the few artists respected as a producer, MC, and DJ. He has also scored music and worked on several motion picture soundtracks.
Joseph was on Next Level Team Serbia.
Daniel “King Khazm” Kogita is an award-winning producer, artist, MC, educator and community leader, who for more than a decade has been executive director of 206 Zulu, one of the most significant community organizations for hip hop culture in the Pacific Northwest.
He has lectured at universities across Washington state and has mentored young people facing addiction and mental health challenges. Wheelchair-bound, he also works as an advocate for those with disabilities. As a bi-racial, disabled person from Seattle’s Southend, Khazm’s story of perseverance is a testament to hip hop’s founding principles.
Daniel was on Next Level Team Brazil.
Michael “Cobaine Ivory” McFadgen a classical composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, has had much of his music catalog licensed for national TV spots with brands like Victoria’s Secret, VH1, NBC, Playboy, Bath & Body Works, Comedy Central, MTV, Ubisoft’s video game WatchDogs, Direct TV and one worldwide campaign during the 2014 Sochi Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics for Armani.
As an artist, Cobaine Ivory has toured or shared the stage with artists, such as Action Bronson, Vic Mensa, Big KRIT, August Alsina, Marsha Ambrosius, Hiatus Kaiyote, Rick Ross, and Melanie Fiona. Additionally, Cobaine Ivory’s group, CharlieRED, has worked with brands like Pepsi, Heineken, Hot97, Esquire, Red Bull and SONY Pictures among others. He also won the Abe Olman Scholarship awarded by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Michael was on Next Level Team Cambodia.
Nicholas “Decap” Piantedosi is an accomplished hip hop producer and teacher who has worked with internationally known artists including Snoop Dogg, Talib Kweli, Ne-Yo, Smoke DZA, and Tim Kile (formerly of Arcade Fire), and had songs on two top 40 iTunes charting albums in 2015. He has taught music in Peru and Colombia.
Decap’s self-described approach as a producer is to incorporate the grittiest hip hop elements with the new sound of future beats. Decap’s compositions honor the raw but melodic, the penetrating and even the otherworldly.
Nicholas was on Next Level Team Algeria & Tunisia.
Kiriakos “YAKO 440” Prodis is a multi-instrumentalist, beatboxer, beatmaker and graffiti writer who has toured six continents as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. Department of State.
Yako has released three albums as a duo with MC/beatboxer Baba Israel and they recently helped form the live hip hop/new rare groove quartet Soul Inscribed.
In theater, Yako has created original music for Baba’s “Boombap Meditations” and “The Spinning Wheel Keeps Turning.”
He holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College and has led music and visual art workshops at home and abroad.
Kiriakos was on Next Level Team Tanzania.
Chaz “Chazmere” Queen is performing artist, songwriter, producer, and teacher from The Bronx, New York.
Chaz’s musical practice involves balancing the demands of music production with his capacity as a teacher and mentor in uptown NYC. “As an artist ambassador from The Bronx, my mission is to empower and unify our communities by encouraging independent thinking, emotional intelligence and mindfulness through music performance, production, and education.”
Chaz will be on Next Level Team Philippines.
Maya “Suzi Analogue” Shipman is an American Soul, Electronic and Experimental music recording artist, songwriter and producer based in New York City & Philadelphia. She is an active member of the Klipmode crew alongside Mndsgn, Devonwho, and Knxwlege, all of whom she collaborates with frequently.
In 2012, Suzi Analogue and Tokimonsta collaborated under the name “Analogue Monsta” to produce an EP entitled Boom that was released by Scion Audio/Visual. In 2013, she launched her own record imprint, Never Normal Records.
She has taught production master courses from Yale University to the Netherlands, and has been featured on BET and MTV, among other venues, speaking about women in the male-dominated music industry.
Maya was on Next Level Team Uganda.
Russell “DJ Plain View” Sticklor is a producer and DJ for Nomadic Wax, an independent New York record label that promotes international hip hop music.
His debut album—2010’s “DJ Plain View Presents: Globalize: Hip-Hop from Around the World”—featured collaborations with rappers across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas, while his 2013 mixtape “Internationally Known Volume 3” showcased rising hip hop talent from more than 30 countries.
As a DJ, he has shared the stage with rappers from Senegal, Sierra Leone, Mali, and Zimbabwe as part of a global hip hop event series in Washington, DC. Russell has also created original soundtracks for short films produced by the U.S. Department of State and the Presidential Commission on the Arts and the Humanities.
Russell was on Next Level Team Bosnia & Herzegovina/Montenegro.
Glen “DiViNCi” Valencia is a founding member and producer of the Orlando-based hip-hop group, Solillaquists of Sound, who first gained notoriety by performing live music on multiple Akai MPC samplers, blending the concepts of improvisation and production in ways the world had never before seen.
The virtuosity in his frenetic performances and popular YouTube clips set inspiring precedents for the now popular “Controllerism” scene. His work, both on and off the stage, caught the attention of Grammy Award-winning icon Ms. Lauryn Hill, who tapped DiViNCi to join her band and studio team.
As a public speaker and teacher, DiViNCi enjoys sharing his passion for creativity and process with those looking to develop not only their craft, but their careers as well. His constant drive for innovation has led him to work closely with various companies, including Ableton and Akai Professional, in the development of their most popular music-making products.
Glen was on Next Level Team Honduras.
Korin “KØ!” Wong-Horiuchi is an arts and technology educator, app developer, and music producer. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, he has played trumpet since he was 11 years old. He started producing in 2001 and graduated from Berkley College of Music with a degree in Electronic Production and Design in 2010.
Korin is the founder of an educational music production non-profit called Beatshop that he started in Boston and brought to the Bay Area in 2011.
He develops music apps and games for his company, Upbeet Games, with a team of designers, programmers, visual artists and sound artists.
He also produces hip hop beats under the names Kaysoh and KØ!.
Korin was on Next Level Team India.
Kerwin Young is a composer, multi-platinum producer, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame cultural ambassador. His portfolio spans multiple musical genres, including classical, opera, ballet, world, soul, R&B, hip hop, afro-beat, reggae, rock, jazz, dance, and country.
Kerwin has produced music for a wide variety of artists, including Public Enemy, Eric B. & Rakim, Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, 2 Live Crew, and Mobb Deep. He also collaborated and produced for iconic artists such as Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, and Bobby Brown.
Kerwin earned Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, where he studied with Chen Yi, Bobby Watson, and Zhou Long. He has held composer residencies with Spelman College, Midwest Chamber Ensemble, and the internationally acclaimed Chicago Modern Orchestra Project.
Kerwin was on Next Level Team Egypt.