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Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2003
Solo Pop Hip Hop




"Urban Feature Spring 2012: Tha Jist"

Hip-hop is ever evolving and although the basics remain the same, someone rhyming/flowing over bass-heavy beats, the fusion of hip-hop with other genres allows for a versatility within the genre that makes hip-hop unique. Tha Jist is one of those artists that is able to fuse hip-hop, pop, dance/house music and R&B so seamlessly that it easily crosses genre lines. There have been a few “hip-pop” artists that have taken the industry by storm creating major hits like Flo Rida, most recently. Tha Jist has captured that crossover sound that is sure to make him successful.

Tha Jist’s sound is as universal and international as his background. Born in Kenya but raised in Uganda, Canada and the U.S., his sound is as diverse as the places he’s grown up. A student of music, Tha Jist and his producer, Dark Blue, have developed a sound that mixes true instrumentality with fresh beats creating a unique feeling in every song. He is simply in love with music and studies Music Industry at Northeastern University. Tha Jist recalls falling in love with hip-hop while riding in his dad’s Astro Van listening to Kriss Kross, which may explain the initial influence for the mainstream appeal in his music. However, he lists the likes of Michael Jackson, Jimmy Hendrix, Beyonce, and Kanye West as major influences because they are artists that “pushed themselves to the utter edge of their ability.” Similarly, Tha Jist continues to push himself and the boundaries of hip-hop music.

While listening to his first full release, No Idea, you are taken on a musical journey mixing high energy pop songs, melodies and smart lyrics over a fusion of hip-hop and dance tracks. The propelling factor in Tha Jist’s music is simply his life; the ups and downs, love and heartbreak, the good and the bad. He makes music that tells his story, which can often be a story others can easily relate to. The universal quality of his message allows for fans to really connect to him and he loves nothing more than sharing his music with his fans. Tha Jist describes his sound as “sonically bright” stating that he and his producer, Dark Blue, attempt to create the “most vibrant iterations of our ideas as possible.”

If Dark Blue produces the canvas, Tha Jist definitely paints a colorful picture on top of it. In songs like “Goner” he turns the pains of a long-distance relationship into a bouncy dance track but manages not to lose the feeling with lines like, “Sorry for not being beside you in the bed. When I rest you run 100 miles in my head…” explaining the push and pull of pursuing a dream while trying to maintain a romantic relationship. Just as easily he switches gears getting dark and personal in songs like “OD” where at one point he describes the heart-wrenching and complicated relationship with his brother admitting “You’re one of the people that make it hard to love ya.” This kind of personal reflection and revelation is what draws people to music and allows a true connection with an artist.

Tha Jist is definitely one of the hottest rappers coming out of Boston and the buzz he’s creating is palpable. Winning Best Hip-Hop and Best Overall Performance at the Boston Music Conference in 2010, Tha Jist is getting the recognition he deserves locally and is in the process of really pushing his music on a national stage. He’s rocked clubs like Umbria and Royale and opened for Mike Posner and Big Sean reflecting the hours of work he has dedicated to his craft.

With a few wins under his belt, Tha Jist is looking to continue to push himself and the boundaries of hip-hop with his producer and creative partner Dark Blue. His future projects include a mixtape titled I.D.G.A.F., which he describes as “Jeckyll and Hyde” introducing Dark Blue and himself as the electronic-music-duo, Aurotica and continuing to chart the progress of The Jist, the solo artist. The duo is also working on the self-titled EP, Aurotica. When asked why he does this? The Jist simply replied, “honestly, because I love it.” And the “it” he loves isn’t just music, it’s the creativity he loves listing writing, art, fashion, ideas and anything that “gives me a chance to create something using my mind.”

Sonically bright is definitely the best way to describe Tha Jist. If you don’t know what “sonically bright” means… listen to Tha Jist’s music and the definition will be apparent. This up-and-coming artist’s future is definitely bright, colorful and boy does it sound great! - Target Audience Magazine

"One To Watch—Pastel’s ‘Love With Me (Tonight)’ Is A Wall Of Sound"

Before you are comatose with turkey, you might want to take a listen to EDM artist Pastel‘s new single “Love With Me (Tonight)” first. A vibrant, sometimes jarring, wall of sound, the track mixes Chris Brown rawness with electric Avicii sensibility but in a fashionably unique and compelling way.

Uganda-born and U.S.-raised, he’s been fortunate enough to (literally) see the world. He brings that sense of calm and wonder to his music, particularly on this new track. His 11-year journey (so far) has allowed him to hone is craft, and his long, impressive resume includes such notable achievements as 2010′s BMC Award for Best Hip Hop artist and Best Overall Performance and 11th place (out of 20,000) in 2012′s International Songwriting Competition. To-date he’s released three rapidly captivating mixtapes and two EPs.

Pastel is expected to drop three seven-song EPs over the course of the next year, beginning with Passion Pt. 1 this winter, with Paradigm and Passion Pt. 2 in the new year. “At the very core, I just want people to connect with my music. I want to be revered for my art. Everything else that comes along with that is simply a byproduct of that goal,” he says. Find out more about this talent via his EPK.

Keep your eyes peeled to Popdust in the coming weeks, we may or may not have a special Pastel treat.

Stay tuned for updates. Feel free to follow @Popdust and JasonTheScott on Twitter! -

"Tha Jist: A Q&A"

I caught up with Northeastern student rapper “Tha Jist” before he delivered a high-energy performance for a loyal audience full of friends and fans alike at After Hours on September 17th. Tha Jist is a multi-talented performer who manages to balance school, music, and working simultaneously. Born in Kenya, he has lived in Uganda, Canada, and ultimately the United States where he pursues his dreams of musical stardom. His style is listed as a mixture of electronica, hip-hop and pop yet he doesn’t necessarily agree with being labeled. The raw emotion he displays during performances and his ability to control an audience cannot be put in a box.

Tastemakers Magazine (TMM): Could you touch on your affiliation with The Music & Entertainment Industry Student Association? How did it come about and what is the function of working with them?

Tha Jist (TJ): Basically I came out with the CD last year and released it around campus and in the city. People liked it, so the next step was getting more people to hear it and I looked around to do performances. People kept telling me to check out MEISA and see if I could put on a show. I reached out to MEISA and Katie (the coordinator) who got back to me and ran the song I submitted to the group. They liked it and we worked together, I am now fully a part of MEISA.

TMM: How does your upbringing, moving around from place to place, country to country, come across through your music?

TJ: I have a very worldly view and having been in a lot of countries I am empathetic to a lot of peoples views. I can broaden the subjects I talk about and people can connect with me better. People can connect with me because they have experienced moving around as I have.

TMM: What do you feel the balance is between appealing to an intellectual crowd while maintaining a “party vibe”? This is certainly one of the biggest challenges of late, as hip-hop has dominated the pop music scene. How does one make intelligent music that the masses will accept? Do you ever worry about this conundrum?

TJ: My producer The Arkitech helps a lot because we are the same and think the same. We don’t even make pop music – that is just how our expression comes out. We never say “lets make a pop song, lets make this kind of music,” we just make it. We express it like one would express themselves through textures and colors [in a different art medium]. We don’t try to make pop music – we just make music. We don’t try to do anything specific, it just happens.

TMM: As a student, is it hard to balance your scholarly and creative pursuits? Do you find yourself becoming frustrated with a lack of time or is it more of a motivation? For example, “all right, if I do all my homework today I can get in the studio and record for a few hours tonight.”

TJ: It’s kind of hard because academic life is very scheduled and my creative life is all over the place. If we [myself and The Arkitech] are working on a song and I have an assignment I don’t want to leave the song because I am in a creative mode. I don’t want to lose it and come back to it – you want to hold the moment, so it gets hard in that regard. Well, I never sleep. I lack sleep and I am able to balance the two: not sleeping a lot and working really hard. Luckily, I have been able to do it at a level that I can maintain both to the fullest extent. I could work on a song from the time I wake up to bed but I have to go to class. I can fall back on the class work if the music falls through at the end of the day.

TMM: Musically, what are your most prominent influences outside of hip-hop?

TJ: I actually don’t even listen to much hip-hop. I listen to a lot of “mood music”: Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers. I love Velvet Revolver and U2. I like a lot of people making music that means something. I also like a lot of R&B: Trey Songz, R. Kelly, people like that. When you only listen to hip-hop you are stuck in your ways. If you step out of that … for example, to make the album we are working on now we watched the movie Blade Runner, and we are basing the album off the feel of the movie. If you step outside of what you’re doing you can really bring in something else.

TMM: Who influenced you growing up? Was there a specific artist you saw that made you think, “Wow, I really want to be a hip-hop artist”?

TJ: It was a natural evolution. I have a heart condition so from a young age I was good at sports but my parents wanted me to do music in case I couldn’t continue athletics. So I started playing drums and piano when I was eight, and my father was an English teacher so I always had an obsession with words and poetry. Those two evolved and it has led me towards my career in music. Everything has fallen in place since then: I discovered hip-hop, met Gabe (The Arkitech) and we started working together.

TMM: You rap a lot about women. Are you ever worried your lyrics could be interpreted as misogynistic? How would you fee - Tastemakers Magazine

"Mike Posner? Meet Her Campus Brandeis"

Mike Posner? Meet Her Campus Brandeis.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
By Abigail Katznelson

Photo Credit: Maxwell Zotz
Tha Jist, All Out, Big Sean and Mike Posner WOW the Brandeis Crowd!

This past Tuesday night, with midterms in full swing and absolutely grotesque weather (thank you Massachusetts) over 400 Brandeis Students threw away their school-related worries and came out to Levin Ballroom for one of the most interesting set of performances we've seen in a long time. The list of performers ranged from just breaking out to making it big but no matter the difference, each one rocked the crowd. Luckily, as a member of Student Events Staff, I was able to get a front row (back stage) seat (stair) to tell you all about the show!
Tha Jist:

Now this guy knows how to work a room. As the first performer of the night, it was up to Tha Jist to get us pumped! The young, talented rapper got on stage and started the night off right with his audience cheering after each original song! After the show I had the chance to briefly talk to him and ask how he likes it here at Brandeis: he was thrilled (also incredibly nice and easygoing). Check out his Facebook page here, become a fan and look him up on You Tube. Can't wait to see him at the top!!
All Out:

A different kind of music, All Out consisted of 2 guys: singing and rapping together. Along with their great performance, they brought a demo CD to sell to the crowd and ended up selling to some of the other performers who were equally as impressed with their new style. Performing for about ten minutes All Out kept their performance upbeat to the clapping and cheering of the constantly growing crowd of people. All in all an All Out success!
Big Sean:

Big Sean brings amazing energy to the stage and is unstoppable when he gets going. With the crowd going crazy Big Sean opened for and performed with Mike Posner: the two very well together on and off the stage and are both incredibly supportive of each other. After the show Big Sean retreated upstairs with the rest of the night's performers to relax and give words of wisdom to the up and coming stars. It is clear he lives and breathes his music and he even took time to bring out a laptop and show the entire crowd his new demo. So where will Big Sean be next? We'll let that be a surprise but follow him closely and get ready for the next big sound from already innovative artist and Sean's inspiration.

Mike Posner:

Before ascending onto the stage, Mike Posner, serious and composed, peeked out just enough so that he could give Big Sean a nod and then moved back so the crowd wouldn't see him coming. Then in one fluid motion he was on the stage, completely loose and screaming to his fans (some of whom were already grabbing at his jeans). Mike Posner, performing both solo and with Big Sean) wowed the crowd with his music, both upbeat and mellow at times, and got some serious love from the crowd when he tossed out not one but two of his own shirts, singing the remainder of the show without one. After his last encore of "One Foot Out The Door", Posner pulled up one of the audience members causing a stampede of Brandeis Students onto the stage!
After the show we were able to spend some time with the performers, all of whom were so excited to be at Brandeis: some of whom had taken down the numbers of Brandeis students and wanted to spend time on campus just being college kids. My Her Campus shirt drew a lot of questions: a Women's Magazine was a very intriguing concept and when they learned I would be writing this article they were eager to hear more! Many fan pictures later we said goodnight to all of our guests and returned back our the test-filled week, looking forward to the next concert Student Events will coordinate this semester. - Her Campus

"Sonicbids Spotlight: Tha Jist"

Economics and hip-hop often go hand in hand ("Mo Money Mo Problems," "C.R.E.A.M.," etc.), so why not have an actual economics student take on the rap game? Enter Boston-based MC Tha Jist. Known to his friends as Muyinza Kasirye, Tha Jist was an econ student at Northeastern University with plans to go to law school when he entered a recording studio on a lark with some high school friends. While there he rekindled a relationship with producer/engineer Gabriel Sarango, also known as Arkitech, and the two have been recording tracks together ever since. Tha Jist spits earnest, post-Kanye lyrics with nerdy references to 24 and Ripley's Believe It Or Not tucked between clever sexual come-ons and swagger-filled proclamations. Tha Jist weaves in and out of Arkitech's glossy, club-ready beats with a palpable sense of urgency, as if the songs might collapse at any second.

The son of a pastor, Kasirye was born in Nairobi, Kenya, but moved to Canada (look out Drake!) with his family when his father sought out a new church. His first exposure to hip-hop came from a Kriss Kross tape playing in his dad's car. “I actually recall making the comment ‘Dad, I didn't know you had such cool music in Canada’ to my father in the car,” Tha Jist tells CMJ via e-mail.

While Tha Jist's verses are often packed with tales of his own background and his own pop-culture leanings, he manages to pack those elements into hook-filled tunes that never sacrifice accessibility or individuality. “As much as I do enjoy a Flo-Rida club joint at a party, because of the depth of character I've acquired in seeing so many things by living in a couple different countries and having a pastor as a father, I've tended towards creating and listen to hip hop, and music in general, with more depth,” says Tha Jist. “I feel the need to say more and touch on important subjects and enjoy more music that does the same.”

“I am still studying cconomics, but have since kept that as minor and changed my major to music industry,” he says. “I just felt it was the way to go as I'm an artist and need to learn these things if I want to take this further.” Tha Jist's background in economics might have something to do with his ambitious business plan for success. After releasing a mixtape bluntly titled Bootleg This, PLEASE!!!, he teamed up with Arkitech to write a full-length, Scrap Money, which he released via his own record label, Feel Good Global.

“I'm currently working on my next mixtape No Idea due out in October and also me and my producer Arkitech are working on my first true album,” he says. A Kenyan-born, Canadian-raised, Boston-educated rapper might not be what the rap market is craving, but in today's rocky economic climate all bets are off. Tha Jist just might be the stimulus package that hip-hop needs. - College Music Journal

"He’s making music out of family’s multiple struggles"

He’s making music out of family’s multiple struggles

By Darren Sands, Globe Correspondent | February 11, 2007

There is a picture of Muyinza Kasirye in the family dining room with a poem by Mamie Gene Cole attached to it. His father, Alex Kasirye Musoke, then pastor of the Leamington United Church in Ontario, framed that picture above a poem and hung it in his office.

Walking over to take the picture off the wall recently in their Dorchester home, the pastor paused and looked proudly at his son, now a young man. I am the child
All the world waits for my coming
All the earth watches with interest to see what I shall become
Civilization hangs in the balance,
For what I am the world of tomorrow will be child.

"This was the first thing I saw in his office.

I just couldn't stop looking at it," remembers Muyinza, whose name means "God is Almighty."

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Muyinza Kasirye's life experience may be a testament to his powerful name. The Boston College High senior, 18, has a heart condition called subaortic stenosis. His family is from Kampala, Uganda, and they lived in Europe and Canada before settling in Dorchester.

Kasirye recently marked the anniversary of his mother's death; she died days after he turned 12. He wrote a song about her once, he said. Around that time he starting making music. "I never recorded it but when I read it now it seems like I am my own older brother," he said. "It was so close to the time when she died. I had the least time with her."

That song is embedded in one of those rhyme books Kasirye keeps to write in that is built to survive lyrical journeys on the T, rain, and Kool-Aid stains.

"If someone found this [book] they would say that this person is completely off the charts with their personality," Kasirye said with laughter. He laughed because in rapping, he uses both spiritual imagery and language that make his father -- the pastor of the Greenwood Memorial United Methodist Church in Dorchester -- alternately grin with pleasure and cringe in disbelief.

Rapping is little more than hobby for this senior, who hopes to attend Fordham, BC, the University of Toronto, or the University of Western Ontario. Even so, next month he will release a mixtape, a CD titled "Tha Jist of It Vol. 1," which he produced with one of his brothers.

"This is only a snapshot of me," he said of his lyrics. "I think it's almost like an outpour of all the things that go through your head."

He got into music and writing because it wasn't clear whether his heart was strong enough to allow him to do what he loved most -- sports. Subaortic stenosis is an obstruction or narrowing of the left ventricular outflow tract, which slows the flow of blood to the rest of Kasirye's body. It's a progressive disease that requires close monitoring.

Kasirye takes his music seriously "because I like doing it. But at the same time I do it for fun. That way anything I get for doing it is a bonus."

With family spread all over the world, Kasirye and his father have found a home in Boston, having moved from place to place because of his father's ministry. Originally from Uganda, Kasirye Musoke's immediate and extended family was largely spared from the merciless regime of Idi Amin. It wasn't until after the dictator was overthrown that armed forces destroyed his father's farm on suspicion that he provided food to the opposition army. He had the farm for 50 years.

Said Kasirye Musoke: "He walked away with just his clothes on his back. I think that's what killed him."

Although they consider themselves Ugandan-Canadians, and have flags from both countries in their living room, the family is in the process of becoming American citizens. Kasirye is as busy as any high school senior, spending nights at his part-time job at MicroCenter in Cambridge.

He is suffering from a self-diagnosed case of senioritis and hopes the school administration will let him perform a rebellion song on behalf of seniors at the end of the year, something he says is a BC High student tradition.

His father knows that Kasirye is not the little boy in that picture anymore. It is reflected in the way he helps Kasirye deal with his heart condition.

"I'm there for him, and I remind him of the things he has to do, but as he grows older I'm letting him take over," he said. "It used to be very tough when he was young because he would be out of breath and tired all time. But as he grew older he realized that this is something that he has to take care of. He's doing well. So now I am more concerned than I am worried."

As the framed poem continues: I am the child.

You hold in your hand my destiny.

You determine, largely, whether I shall succeed or fail, Give me, I pray you, these things that make for happiness.

Train me. I beg you, that I may be a blessing to the world. He is not a child, but the father finds a number of reasons to be proud of his son, the youngest of three siblings and, his - The Boston Globe


1. Scrap Paper- Released 2010
2. No Idea - Released 2011


1. Bootleg This, PLEASE!!! - Released 2009

2. Strobelights and Stars - Released 2012

3. Spotlights and Scars - Released 2012

Upcoming Releases

1. Passion - To Be released Summer 2015

2. Paradigm (EP) - To be released Winter 2015

3. Passion Pt.2 - To Be released Winter 2015

4. Stroboscopic Notions - To be released 2016

5. Right Amount of Wrong (Album) - To be released Winter 2016



It's under dim lights Pastel is trying his best to capture his thoughts. Sitting alone in the control room of the studio, a vibrant Dark Blue production spilling out of the monitors. He's trying to recall his state of mind during a recent unpleasant encounter. Eyes closed, replaying the few minute conversation through in his head, Pastel is focused and out of reach from the world.

Kenya born; Uganda, Canada, and United States raised, Pastel is truly a man of the world. Having seen, smelt, tasted and in every way experienced such drastically different parts of the world, he's been blessed with a unique perspective of the world. This is what enables Pastel to paint the pictures he does with his songs.

Over the past eleven years Pastel has developed from young rapper "Muy the Boy Wonder" into an artist well versed in the world and the people in it. On that eleven year ride, Pastel has released 3 mixtapes, 2 albums and 2 EPs, won 2010's BMC Award for Best Hip Hop artist and Best Overall Performance, received 11th place out of 20,000 entries for the International Songwriting Competition in 2012 and opened up for artists such as Big Sean and Mike Posner and many more.

Pastel has just recently released his 2nd EP “Passion” to positive reviews. Since it’s release, “Passion”, has reached and connected with fans all around the world, racking up over 350,000 plays and counting between his Youtube and Soundcloud pages. What his projects capture are his life and journey dealing with the gamut of experiences and emotions that come along with his eternal struggle to find happiness. Sometimes at it's brightest and sometimes at it's darkest, his life and it's constant, back-and-forth sway between both ends of the spectrum brought forth the emotion necessary to create each project in its truest and most artistic form.

"At the very core, I just want people to connect with my music. I want to be revered for my art. Everything else that comes along with that is simply a byproduct of that goal."

Band Members