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thesampler42, Author at The Sampler - Page 2 of 129The Sampler


les gordon green background

From: Kitsuné

A fresh face on the Kitsuné label, Les Gordon has been working his way to the top of electronic music step by step . Performing under his real name Marc Mifune and seizing the opportunity to play before Stromae at the Trans Musicales festival in 2013, Les Gordon has found his original sound in the form of his new EP ‘Atlas’, released this December 11th on Kitsuné. Read up on the full interview KALTBLUT had with him here:

1. Mura Masa – Love for That (feat. Shura)
2. ADI – Pink Pillz
3. FZPZ – Off To Tokyo
4. Kuma – Panther
5. Tibe – Healing (feat. Doujinshi)
6. Rustie – Slasherr
7. RNDYSVGE – Short
8. KRNE x Alexander Lewis – First Course
9. 123Mrk – D.I.A.T.Y
10. Pools – Traffic Lights
11. Swim Good x Merival – Since U Asked

Les Gordon:

j cole hair and towel

Following up the release of his latest and greatest 2014 Forest Hills Drive album, J. Cole is back with a Dreamville collaborative project called The Revenge of the Dreamers II is finally here. The album includes his Dreamville labelmates Bas, Omen and Cozz, and was originally due to release on Friday this week. The tape contains nine tracks overall and has guest features from Donnie Trumpet and Ari Lennox.

You can stream on iTunes now.




4 Business Lessons from Giovanni DeCunto

What a Famous Artist Taught Me About Business


When I recently started spending time with world-renowned artist, Giovanni DeCunto, never did I expect to learn a thing or two about business.

In fact, I was spending time with him to learn about art; all kinds of art, including his paintings which have attracted celebrity collectors from around the world. He has spent more than 60 years studying art while also creating a name for himself as a global expressionist. His paintings may be found around the world in places like the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the U.S. Embassy in Hong Kong and in the private art collections of Tony Bennett, Lionel Richie and Tom Cruise, to name a few.


In his effort to teach me about art, he unknowingly painted me a picture of a better future for my companies — a better way to run my empires. Here’s how to run a better business in four simple strokes:

1. Be that good.

One of Giovanni’s favorite quotes is that of Leonardo da Vinci — “Make sure it’s so good it doesn’t die with you.”  DeCunto strives for perfection on every canvas. He does not track time when he’s painting, because he allows nothing to detract from his sole focus of putting onto canvas what lives within him. For DeCunto, it’s not just about making art, it’s about making art so good that it will live forever.

In business, good enough should never be an option. A business, like a painting, may live forever if the original creator strives daily for absolute impeccable results.

2. Be disruptive.

Giovanni says that it is impossible to impact any person unless you disrupt or disturb then. We live in a world where communication is coming at us 24-7 from phones, email, text, voice, television and other outlets. If you can’t be heard, you cannot create impact. Giovanni says that he aims to create art that disrupts people when they see it, because by doing so, he can get into their head and create an impact, even just for a moment.

So it is true in business. If you want to create traction for your business, you need to get good at stopping people in their tracks, disrupting old behavior and making them think.


3. Finish what you start.

DeCunto says that he has never been able to leave a canvas in an unfinished state. Even if the painting isn’t done yet, it looks like it’s completed, and an observer could interpret its meaning. He says that the world is full of enough incomplete projects. Most people are great at starting and poor at finishing. He says that whatever your art is, you should learn to get good at finishing it.

What would your business look like if you finished everything you started? After all, your business is a masterpiece too.

4. Be a free-thinker.

Giovanni says that he does his best to avoid watching television or reading media, because too often, it is just a one-sided communication of the facts. He says that his art requires that he be a free-thinker, so he sticks to learning facts by studying history and then creating his own interpretations.

The way this has transcended business for me is that I constantly have my head buried in books and case studies, always trying to find out how someone else would solve the issue at hand. Giovanni has taught me how to better rely on my own intuition and my own past experiences to make solid decisions for the future of my business.

You are more than an entrepreneur — you are an artist. Create a legacy, disrupt people often, finish what you start, and know that you already have the answers inside of you. Keep on making your art.


From: Stacey Alcorn

This article was originally published on  Entrepreneur Magazine

Great Business Tools for Creative Entreprenuers

Tools I Use To Learn, Work And Travel Anywhere

I often get asked what apps, services and tools I use to learn, plan, track habits, manage time, travel, write, read and more.

I’d like to emphasize one thing, it’s not about the tools, it’s about your results, personal preference, and efficiency. If you work best with a pen and paper, there is no need to try and adopt a digital tool that doesn’t feel right for you, just because your peers or someone you admire uses one or the other tool you shouldn’t force yourself to use it just to be cool.


I love traveling and try to do it as much as possible. To make my travel experiences more pleasurable, I research and plan a lot. Check out some of the tools and services I use.

Google Flights — a great tool for checking the world map with available flights to numerous destinations and prices.

Momondo — a smart tool for searching cheapest flights.

JetRadar — another great tool to search various airlines and find cheapest tickets.

Nomad List — useful tool for finding where to go next as a digital nomad, find prices of accommodation, weather, community

Agoda — find cheap hotels, a quite good value in Southeast Asia.

Airbnb — find accommodation anywhere in the world, get $20 credit for your first stay.

Booking — find and book cheap hotels, what I like about Booking is that it allows you to reserve a hotel without payment, you can pay once you arrive.

Google Maps — no introduction needed for this amazing service for finding your way anywhere in the world.

Foursquare — great app for discovering coffee shops, restaurants, gyms, bars and more.


It’s incredibly important to plan things. Your personal life, professional career, holidays, weekends and more. Just having a goal without a plan is just a wish. Even though you will not have a clear plan or the plan will change along the way it’s still good to have a direction to go to.

Pen and paper — old school pen and notebook work well for quick sketching or daily planning.

Toggl — simple and easy to use time tracker.

RescueTime — analytics software that tracks everything I do on my laptop and shows a productivity score.

Trello — a great tool for planning your projects and managing tasks with a team.

Apple Calendar — part of OSX operating system, works and synchronizes very well with my MacBook and iPhone.

Apple Notes — another native OSX app that works very well on MacBook and iPhone.

Evernote — a great tool for taking notes, saving PDF’s, scanning and saving receipts.

Swipes — to-do list app with intuitive user interface.

iDoneThis — tool for daily progress logging.

Coach.me — organize and track your habits, set goals and find a coach to help you achieve your dreams.

Speedtest — best tool to quickly evaluate if a cafe or restaurant has a fast WiFi for working.

Social Media

Social media has changed the way people interact with each other, discover news and make connections. It certainly has changed my life, I meet new people, have interesting conversations, find jobs and get discovered on social media. Below are some tools I use to analyze, track, create and moderate my social media accounts.

Buffer — a handy tool for scheduling social media updates.

TweetDeck — easily manage multiple Twitter accounts.

Klout — analyze, measure and track your social media presence.


PayPal — get paid from anywhere in the world and pay for services online like hotels, flights etc.

Wave Accounting — best free accounting and invoicing software.

Scannable — scan and save business cards, documents, receipts and more directly to Evernote.


I am constantly learning new things, self-development is one of the most interesting fields for me. From design to web development to business to marketing to writing to speaking, most of my learning comes from the following sources.

TED — amazing and inspiring videos on

Duolingo — learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian for free. I’m currently learning Spanish.

Skillshare — high-quality courses for creatives and entrepreneurs.

Udemy — thousands of courses on every imaginable subject.

Codeacademy — interactive and free coding courses.

Medium — a platform that connects amazing storytellers and readers seeking for inspiring stories.


I’ve not been a huge reading fan when I was in school, but after I got the right book in my hands, I’ve made reading my priority. You can follow my reviews and reading list on Goodreads.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie — it is mostly common sense but principles in the book work like magic.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho — this book transformed my way of thinking about pursuing my dreams.

The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss — a book that will inspire you to take action, start optimizing your work and escape the 9–5 trap.

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau — Chris shares inspiring stories of people who started a business and redesigned their lifestyle with little to no money.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek — learn how to find clarity in your actions and inspire people.

Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie — a touching story of TOMS Shoes, building a social business and making a positive impact in the world.

Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister — willpower must be the most important factor in making you successful.

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman — being intelligent is not enough, you have to learn to handle your emotions and read people.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell — virality is not an accident, there is a well-prepared process behind the big movements.

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell — you might be overthinking in your daily life when making decisions. This book shows the power of thinking without thinking.


Dribbble — a great way to explore how other designers work and learn from most talented designers in the world.

Product Hunt — a powerful tool for discovering hottest products in the world voted by the community of tech experts, investors and general public.

StumbleUpon — a free web-browser extension which acts as an intelligent browsing tool for discovering and sharing websites.

Random Useful Websites — hit the button and get a random useful website, surprisingly works like magic.

Nuzzel — social, real-time platform that allows you to see the news that your friends share.

Prismatic — choose topics you are interested in and get the best content recommendations.

Muzli — an add-on for Google Chrome that provides you inspiration and useful resources for designers every day.


The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes — Lewis interviews bestselling authors, top athletes, successful entrepreneurs and other inspiring individuals.

The Tim Ferriss Show — Tim talks with scientists, authors, entrepreneurs and people who change the world. Topics range from neuroscience to psychology to business and more.

The Jacquesvh Podcast — Jacques interviews inspiring entrepreneurs and creatives, also talks about marketing, entrepreneurship and motivation. Check out an interview with me.

The $100 MBA Show — real life business lessons in short form episodes with Omar Zenhom and Nicole Baldinu.

The Fizzle Show — fun, actionable and inspiring show for creative entrepreneurs.

The Cubicle Crashing Podcast by Lydia Lee — Lydia interviews creative entrepreneurs and individuals about unconventional lifestyle and escaping 9–5. Check out my conversation with Lydia.

Entrepreneur on Fire — John Lee Dumas interviews most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs.


Slack — messaging app for teams. Get focused on work and reduce email communication.

Calendly — a tool for scheduling meetings, calls.

Skype — free software for instant messaging and video/audio calls.

Gmail — I use Gmail for personal email and Google for Business forDespreneur. Even though, Google for Business costs $5/person/month it’s definitely worth it.


WordPress — a blogging platform that powers 25% of the internet. This blog is built on WordPress too.

Bluehost — affordable and reliable hosting for your blog or small project.

MediaTemple — more powerful hosting for bigger blogs and projects.

ThemeForest — Photoshop and HTML templates, themes for different content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress, Shopify, Drupal and more.

MaxCDN — a content delivery network which makes your website load significantly faster.

Grammarly— a fantastic tool that will make you a better writer. It checks your spelling, grammar and suggests fixes instantly.

MailerLite — email marketing software with super easy to use interface and affordable pricing.

MailChimp — another email marketing software. Good for smaller projects, an account with up to 2,000 subscribers is free.

SumoMe — online software for growing your website’s traffic and subscribers.

Creative Market — market for design resources like fonts, templates, themes and more.

Unsplash — high-quality free photos to use for personal and commercial projects.

StockSnap — this tool allows you to search for free stock photos that don’t suck.


Google Analyticator — an easy way to install Google Analytics on your website.

Search Meter — this plugin tracks what your readers are searching for on your blog.

WP External Links — open external links in a new window or tab, add “no follow”, set link icon, styling, SEO friendly options and more.

Akismet — blocks incoming spam to your blog.

WP Smush — reduce image file sizes, improve performance and boost your SEO.

Yoast SEO — the ultimate all-in-one SEO plugin.

W3 Total Cache — easy web performance optimization using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.

Photo & Video

iPhone 6 — this powerful device fulfills all my photo/video needs.

ScreenFlow (for Mac users) — the screen capture software I’m currently using for screencasts.

VSCO Cam — I don’t use any other software for editing my photos, this app for iPhone is all I need.

Instagram — a great source of inspiration as well as a medium to share my travels and daily life.

Flickr — great for storing photos online. Flickr gives you 1,000 GB for free.

YouTube — great for watching videos, listening to music but also for storing all videos from my iPhone, upload, set to private and save.


Samson C01U Microphone — affordable USB microphone, quality is quite good if used it properly.

Logic Pro X — professional audio editing software for Mac users.

SoundCloud — great service for storing audio files, discovering new music and listening to podcasts.

iTunes — listen to internet radio, music on your computer and discover new podcasts or submit yours.


Dropbox — easy to use cloud storage for your files. I store my projects on Dropbox.

Google Docs — free online alternative to Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. The best part that it allows live collaboration.

Google Analytics — free online software for tracking, measuring and analyzing website content.

Gumroad — great online software for selling anything online.


Headspace — I recommend this app for everyone who wants to try meditation.

ZenFriend — after my Vipassana experience I no longer use guided meditation, ZenFriend provides a simple timer I need.

StayFocusd — block distracting websites and have a limited time a day to access them. I’ve blocked Twitter, Facebook, and some news websites.

AdBlock — an add-on for Chrome that blocks ads on the websites, including video ads on YouTube.

Spotify — millions of songs for free. I have different playlists for different moods so I can get into the zone easier.

I just came across another great band coming out of Portland Oregon, Rare Monk, who recently released a track called “Warning Pulse”. Apparently it made it’s way to an Urban Outfitters playlist but now has an official release. The song comes from their upcoming self-titled EP that doesn’t seem to have a release date yet. It’s a nice way to end your day with a chill vibe.

Source: Pigeons and Planes


Atmospheric indie band, The Neighbourhood, is back with their new single “Beach”. The track comes from their upcoming album WIPED OUT! You can stream it below.


Hollywood boulevard sign, with palm trees in the background; Shutterstock ID 90175036; PO: Film002; Job: Film Connection; Client: RRF, Inc.

When you live in Los Angeles, three things are certain- palm trees, year-round 90 degree weather, and the infamous question “So what do you do?” serving as a replacement greeting for “Hello”.


I am a big fan of Medium and I find all kinds of inspirational gems there.  I came across an article entitled “Never Tell People What You Do” and it immediately caught my attention. The article was written by a renowned ghostwriter and entrepreneur, Bruce Kasanoff, who is a household name on Forbes Magazine.  His point of view promotes the idea that you should tell people what you aspire to do and not what you get paid to do. In other words “Fake it ’til you make it” is a better approach to take than you probably think. In the past, I hated talking about what I wanted to do as if I was already doing it in fear of looking like a typical pretentious douche bag. Then I realized not telling people what I wanted, was getting me nowhere. If you’ve struggled with shameless self promotion, this article is for you.

Never Tell People What You Do by Bruce Kasanoff

It’s a simple question, and you’ve probably answered it hundreds of times. “What do you do?” If you’re like most people, you probably get the answer dead wrong.

Your standard reply is probably a factual description of your current job.

The right answer is: what you WANT to do.

The best way to pick up this habit is to take a trip to Los Angeles. Ask your cab driver what he does. “I’m a screenwriter,” he could say, “Working on a thriller about two school children who stumble onto a plot to blow up the Hoover Dam.”

When you go out to dinner, ask the same question of your waitress. The odds are 50/50 she’ll say, “I’m an actress.”

24-year-old interns are “directors”. 44-year-old ad agency execs are “producers”. Everyone talks about their aspirations, not what paid the rent this month.

Now some may argue that Los Angeles is La La Land, and there is nothing to be learned from people who are dreaming big and perhaps spinning their wheels. But I disagree.

You are probably much closer to your goals than an aspiring Hollywood actor. The main thing standing in your way is your willingness to say what you want.

An earlier version of this article appeared on LinkedIn, where over 300 million people have posted profiles that summarize their professional career. You probably have one, too. (If not, think about the last time you sent someone a cover letter or inquired about a job.)

Which of these best describe what you say in your profile or pitch?

a. What you’ve done

b. What you want to do

One of the main purposes of LinkedIn is to help you discover career opportunities, so you might guess that is the one place where people say what they want to do.

You would be wrong.

Most people say what they have done.

I’m not telling you to lie. I’m telling you to be bold enough to share what you want. Your resume says what you’ve done. That’s in the past.

When I was in the training business, an executive asked one of my colleagues whether we had a two-day training program customized for his industry. “Yes, we do,” said my colleague, who then spent the weekend creating such a program. He combined initiative, imagination and effort… and won a new client.

Not to get too personal, but we have a running battle at this moment in my household. My 22-year-old son is moving to Los Angeles to become a TV writer (ironic, isn’t it?). My wife, who is the practical one in our relationship, wants Jeff to tell everyone, “I’ll take any job in TV.”

I want him to say again and again and again, “I want to write for TV.”

Why would you give up your dream at 22?

(Not to worry… Jeff won’t.)

The happiest and most successful people nearly always have a sense of what they want to do next, or of how they wish to grow. They are able to say where they are headed, instead of where they have been the past few years. If you met Elon Musk, I bet he wouldn’t talk much about Paypal; he would probably tell you about how he plans to make space flight routine.

When you say what you want, you give others the opportunity to help you make your dreams come true.

When you are too embarrassed or cautious to say what you want, you make it impossible for others to help you.

Be bold. Be brave. Be honest.

Whenever humanly possible, say what you want, not what you do.

Source: Medium

Whitney Houston Will Have a Hologram in 2016

Apparently Whitney Houston will have a hologram in 2016. Pitchfork reported the following:

Her estate announced a partnership with Hologram USA, the company responsible for turning Chief Keef into a hologram. The performances will be streamed by FilmOn, whose owner, Alki David, also owns Hologram USA. The hologram will debut in 2016 “at a major U.S. venue,” according to a press release, and will be followed by a tour.

“It’s a great opportunity for her fans to see a reinvention of one the most celebrated female artists in history and to continue a legacy of performances that will not be forgotten in years to come,” Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law and president of her estate, said in a statement. “I look forward to the partnership.”

I still think Holograms are a little creepy, but I guess it could be a good way for fans to remember her. The only way I’d like to remember is singing the National Anthem for the Super Bowl XXV in 1991. If you haven’t heard it, please go check it out now. It’s life changing.

Investing Advice From Ashton Kutcher

It’s safe to say Ashton Kutcher is a household name.  His extremely successful film and television career spans from Punk’d to Dude Where’s My Car, That 70’s Show and now most recently Two and a Half Men.  If you were really paying attention in the past few years you may even remember his shockingly inspiring speech that came from the most unlikely source, The Teen Choice Awards.

But what you probably didn’t know is that Ashton Kutcher is, and has been for the past 4 years, a career venture capitalist.  Take a look at his rap sheet of investments, the largest of which totals $200,000,000 to AirBnB.

I bring this up because we recently came across a great article written by Medium profile, Product Hunt, based on a LIVE CHAT interview Ashton Kutcher did with the profile’s subscribers.  After reading this article, we came away with just as much insight into the world of investing as we did respect for the actor-turned-investor.  You can’t read the interview and not be impressed, especially when he starts off by stating that he only takes companies that are NOT wowed by his celebrity-factor. No shortcuts for this guy.  This article is full of valuable information and we’ve compiled it all below:


How To Know Where To Invest:

-Ask questions from the founder

  • Look for what they’re not saying
  • Ashton also goes on to say that if they “explain it as if they’re explaining it to a kid in high school”, it really tells you the essentials and lets you know if the founders can sell the product or not right away

-Ask for help from experts

  • Ashton has never made an investment without contacting an expert in the field

-Do competitive landscape analysis

  • Always important to find out who’s doing something similar to pivot your product into new territory


Why He Does It:

To meet and spend time with bright, creative, innovative, driven people that care about other people

  • He believes, rightfully so, that making money and changing the world are both byproducts of care and compassion for other people.


How To Increase Your Chance Of Success:

-Focus on making a good product that solves a real problem in an innovative way

  • The money will come…


What Traits He Looks For In a Founder:

“I’m looking for founders with grit — people who don’t give up, people with the execution ability in whatever space they are disrupting, people I’d be willing to work for, people who are flexible. [I’m looking for] leaders, good communicators, people who know their company inside out.”


The Difference He Wants To Make:

-Ashton remembers back to a time when he was watching Bono and thought, “That’s what I want to do. I want to use my platform to impact peoples lives in any way I can. I’m not at that level yet, but at least now he’s mentoring me and we are starting to make some progress.”

How Kelis Successfully Transitioned from Singer to Chef

Wait. Kelis is a chef? Like a real one?

You heard right. Kelis is a chef and one you should take seriously. Most entertainers that have reached a certain level of stardom very rarely make a huge career change. The ones that do don’t always transition well, and there are a lot of rough patches that you go through to adjust.  Kelis has went through this journey and came out on top. The singer has been a professional musician since the age of 17, and found success with her most notable hits being “I’m Bossy” and “Milkshake”.  Despite her success, she made the decision to explore her passion for cooking and enrolled in Le Cordon Blue Culinary School in 2008. According to an interview she did with LA Weekly, Kelis helped her mother with a catering business as a child, and amassed a list of recipes when she was touring, so this transition was not completely out of the blue. Here are a few of her quotes from the interview:


“It opened up my life, made me feel like I can do something else..in the music industry, everyone lives like we’re saving the world. Music is healing, but the reality is it’s very self-centered,” she says. “To be good at it, you have to be egotistical, and it doesn’t equip you for much else.

“This was the first time no one cared that I sold this many records or that I am sort of famous, and it was a relief,” she adds. “When I graduated, the chef said, ‘We thought you were going to be a total bitch, but you worked really hard and we’re proud to say you went here.’ It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”


And her culinary accomplishments since then, prove that she made the right choice.  In 2013 she launched a line of sauces called Feast (which has now been renamed Bounty & Full). She’s also had a number of specials on the Cooking Channel. Now she has released her very first cook book entitled My Life On a Plate. Not to mention, she released an album FOOD, that turned out to be a great branding initiative that helped her fans make the transition with her.


Today was the last day ! I’m so tired , but it’s that good hard work pays off kinda tired 😉

A photo posted by Kelis (@sausageandboots) on


“The book was super-stressful,” Kelis says. “I was in boot camp and in sheer panic doing 10 recipes a day. I didn’t let anyone in the kitchen or let them eat the food or touch ingredients in the fridge. It was really, really intense. It’s way harder than making an album.”

Hats off to Kelis breaking out of her own limitations. It’s difficult for most, but for someone who changes her hairstyles like she changes underwear, taking a risk is not out of character for her. Head over to LA Weekly, for the full article.