Wisdom, experience, life. All are often associated with age. In the music realm age is just a mere number, usually not indicative of an artist’s artistic depth or lack thereof. Introducing Birdy. At just 15 years of age, Birdy is quite the accomplished artist. Having won the Open Mic UK music Competition back in 2008 at 12 years old, Birdy was clearly was set to achieve great things.
By covering Bon Ivers “Skinny Love” (and other songs, The xx’s “Shelter”, and Cherry Ghost “People Help The People”) Birdy has already proven she has the artistic reach to interpret a song and redefine it. When it comes to her original material, Birdy is reminiscent of a young Adele (less depressing , less vocal God). She plays, she writes, and she defines what an artist should be. Yes, all this at just 15 years young.
The Weeknd’s House Of Balloon’s is on the favorite list of many for obvious reasons. Abel Tesfaye’s wizardry with music and production places him in a league all his own when it comes to a genre of music often rigid and predictable – R&B. Having not released a visual from House of Ballon’s or its follow-up Thursday, The Weeknd’s musical identity continues to remain somewhat of great wonder. With releasing a visual for “The Knowing”, The Weeknd is sure to garner more praise and become the subject of even more wonder, this time for creating a piece of work subject to free interpretation. The offering not only shows the distance Abel will go artistically, but the brilliance of its director, Mikael Colombu.
As my obsession deep appreciation for singer/rapper Shakka grows with every listen of the impressive The Shakka Crown Affair (review coming soon), he is now in danger of creating a stan out of me. Shakka lends his soulful vocals and clever rhymes to an acapella rendition of Beyoncé‘s beloved “End of Time.”
After watching the video 10 times in a row, all I can say is that Shakka has true talent–enough to knock some of your faves right out of the equation. The fact that Shakka captures the infectious magic of the original through the simple combination of beat-boxing, singing and rapping is simply jaw-dropping. More importantly, the cover also introduces the world to who Shakka is; and from what I hear, I’m loving it.
With much delight, I stumbled across this track from Dive. Who might that be, you ask? A new Brooklyn-based band formed by Beach Fossil’s guitarist Cole Smith. “Sometime” serves as the first offering from Dives debut LP “Sometimes” 7″. With its heavy synths, echoed vocals, and that undeniable guitar work, this is simply gratifying. If your into the more simplistic, airy, soft/sonic melodic sound, this is for you. Indie-pop at its finest.
On a side note ,I have already indulged in more from their debut, stunning indeed.
From the moment that he stepped into the spotlight, it was obvious that Kid Cudi would be a breath of fresh air. With just two albums under his belt, he has managed to build up quite the fanbase–devoted supporters who identify with the nonconformity of his music and stripped down rawness of his personality.
With the release of “Brake,” the debut single from WZRD, a group formed by Cudi and producer Dot Da Genius, a new phase in Kid Cudi’s artistic reinvention is emerging. And judging by the captivating sounds of the track, it is indisputable that he is taking steps in an exciting direction.
There’s no feeling like witnessing one of your favorite artists receive the attention, recognition and respect that they deserve. Much to my excitement, our friend MeLo-X was recently featured on BET’s “Follow Friday” series. I must say, it’s about time for the limelight to be returned to those who deserve it. As always, in less than five minutes, MeLo demonstrates just why he’s one to watch–his impressive mastery of the drum machine, his engaging perspectives on multiple aspects of his life and career, and of course, his impeccable skills as a MC. All I can do is smile, as it seems MeLo is making his way to all that he has worked for.
I don’t think any artist, dead or alive, could ever match the type of impact that Amy Winehouse had on our lives. Not only was she immensely talented, but there was some part of her that we all could relate to. She was so much more than a troubled media magnet; she was a human, with struggles and pain that resonated with millions across the world. Without a doubt, Amy Winehouse touched lives and saved so many from themselves.
Just by watching this video and hearing the sweet sounds of Amy’s voice, its still difficult to accept that she is no longer with us. It’s a reminder of how much of a gift she truly was to all of us. I don’t want to get too mushy, but words can’t truly express what she means to me, and I know I share those sentiments with the rest of those affected by her music.
I’ll just leave it with a simple rest in peace, Amy. It’ll never be the same without you.
When I think of the list of my favorite songs of all time, there are just thousands of possibilities. One work of art that stands out in my mind is Kelis’ “Brave.” Taken from her disgustingly-underrated 2010 album, Flesh Tone, the song is a ferocious celebration of humanity and freedom.
There is a moment that comes when you have to trace the roots of where you came from to understand where your going. The journey of life is never-ending yet a series of continuous experiences that are designed to grow us and challenge us to go the distance. When it comes to artist, Mary J. Blige has been a consistent example of what it means to live life and challenge ones self to evolve.
With her latest release My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act I), Mary proves that life has the ability to transform itself, for the better of course. Mary took to the stage for to perform her classic My Life album in its entirety along with newer material. This is not just another concert. My Life was and remains one of the most important R&B albums of all time. It was not only a seminal moment for Mary, but also a pivotal time for people suffering with the trials life brings. The My Life album liberated and emancipated. That is what makes this concert such a significant event. It is a reminder that the journey continues and never stops.
Moments like this remind of us how much standards of pop music have changed today. The young lady in this video gave one of the one of the most carelessly sloppy performances that I have ever seen in my life. Let’s not even start with the vocals and obvious backtrack.The young lady in this video is also one of the biggest superstars in music. Performance is an art. Fame is a privilege.
If you were not aware, Lykke Li released one of the best albums of 2011, Wounded Rhymes. Put simply, It is a brilliant collection of music. When the music is experienced live, Lykke Li invites you into her haunting world of human emotion. It is a testament to what music is and shall remain – art. She took to the stage to perform my favorite track from Wounded Rhymes – “Silent My Song”. A cosmic moment to say the least.
When the snippet of the much-anticipated collaboration between R&B icons Mary J. Blige and Beyoncé surfaced online, I had my doubts. It didn’t quite meet the high expectations I had for what the song would be; I instantly had flashbacks of the atrocity that is “Put It In A Love Song.”
But then the full song revealed itself today, and my reception to the song has completely changed. Where do we begin with this luscious R&B gem?
The artistic growth that flourished between Corinne Bailey Rae‘s debut and sophomore LP was extraordinary. On her second effort, The Sea, Corinne traded in the sensual tranquility of her signature breezy mid-tempos for a dark soulfulness that found the songstress experiment with a much harder and intense sound.
What is most remarkable about the two albums is that Corinne completely transforms herself into an artist that almost sounds nothing like what we experienced on her unforgettable debut. Nonetheless, the Corinne Bailey Rae that we meet on The Sea is still a pleasure–the lyrics are drenched in her soul and her voice tells a different story on every track. While some artists have a difficult time channeling their inner chameleon, Ms. Rae does it effortlessly.
Certain things are undeniable or should be for that matter. Beyoncé is often subject to just as much criticism as she is success. However, when her light strikes the stage, she silences even the harshest of critics.
Sometimes, our dreams, hopes and life aspirations feel like the farthest thing from reality. Because our true life passions often feel impossible to accomplish, far too many of us tuck them away as silly thoughts and ignore them for the rest of life.
Though I like to fill my world with as much positivity as possible, I have my moments of self-doubt. But as B.o.B‘s testimony demonstrates, a little hard work and determination can take you wherever you want to be. Speaking on everything from the humble beginnings of his career to the triumph gained from performing at the White House, this is the interview is a must-watch for anyone who dreams of living a life that only exists as a fantasy. For now.
If you have listened to any James Brown song or experienced any of his electrifying performances, then you already know that he is not the easiest artist in the world to cover. For this reason, Christina Aguilera’s rendition of “It’sA Man’s World” practically stopped the earth from spinning when she paid tribute to him back in 2007. I don’t think any of us can forget that moment.
So when I saw that up and coming Chicago-bred songstress Natalie Oliveri took a stab at the legendary ode to female companionship, I was a bit nervous. However, when I pressed play, I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. Accompanied by a heavenly band of gifted musicians and background vocalists, Natalie is unconcerned with giving us something that we’ve heard before; she reaches from her soul. It is damn-near impossible to avoid giving into what Ms. Oliveri is cooking up here–she surrenders all that she has from start to finish. And this, my friends, is what every artist needs: a perspective.