Neon Jungle Unleashes Video for Massive New Single 'Braveheart' [Review]
The ladies of Neon Jungle put girl power firmly back on the map with their new single "Braveheart" that they performed tonight at the CBS telecast of the Victoria Secret Fashion Show in New Yotk. In conjunction with this major look and debut performance on American TV, the freshly-formed British girl group unleashed the stylish video for "Braveheart" that puts them in pole position for chart success on both sides of the Atlantic.
After sending shockwaves through the pop scene with their debut single "Trouble," Neon Jungle takes their potent brand of girl pop to a whole new level of excellence with this new effort. "Braveheart" sounds like a massive hit waiting to happen that combines an intensely soaring pre-chorus with a gigantic pop chorus that is ruled by a hard-driving, electro-edged production that is courtesy of production outfit More Mega (who previously co-produced Havana Brown's "We Run The Night"). It's pop-rave stomper of the most flaming kind. It's bold, loud and legitimately massive.
The premise of the song is simple and to the point. "['Braveheart'] is about letting go and having a good time. I experience a lot of different emotions performing and listening to the song. Having it loud pumping through speakers it's just like a rave every time it plays."
The video for "Braveheart" perfectly captures the energy of the song. Drenched in bright hues of red and green (that looks like a Beats by Dr. Dre commercial), Jess, Asami, Amira and Shereen step out in the lime light to show their individual personalities while performing the song together as a solid union. The four turn it up to spark a massive dance party that will have you waving your palms to the sky the moment the chorus it hits.
December 10, 2013 | Permalink
Hot New Talent Alert: Listen to Broods 'Bridges' [Review]
While Lorde is topping the charts around the world, there's another exciting new act from New Zealand that is rapidly emerging and making waves on this side of the Pacific. Meet Broods, the brother-sister duo of Georgia and Caleb Nott who hail from Nelson, New Zealand and are now based in Auckland. It's been whirlwind year for the two who independently released their debut single "Bridges" earlier this year that set of a heated bidding war to sign the group. They ended up signing this week with Capitol Records in the U.S. and Polydor Records in the U.K.
Georgia and Caleb started playing together around the age of ten when they entered a talent contest in middle school to perform "Big Yellow Taxi" together. More recently, they decided to continue playing together after first being part of (the now defunct) Peasants. The group started spending time with Joel Little in the studio late last year while he was also working on Lorde's GRAMMY nominated Pure Heroine.
One of the first songs Broods and Little finished up is the stirring "Bridges" that is ruled by a precious pop melody, atmospheric production stylings and Georgia's soaring vocals. The song tells a powerful tale about letting go of love with poignant lyrics like, "If any word that I said/Could have made you forget/I'd have given you them all/And we're burning all the bridges down/Because it was sink or swim all the way down, down, down." Look for Broods' debut EP in January. Fans of Lorde, CHVRCHES, Ellie Goulding and Kate Boy will be in for a treat. (Download a free MP3 of Broods 'Bridges' here.)
December 9, 2013 | Permalink
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 'Same Love' Featured in U.N. LGBT Rights Campaign
Today, Free & Equal, the United Nations campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, released "A History of LGBT RIghts at the UN," a short infographic video telling the story of LGBT rights at the UN in advance of International Human Rights Day, 10 December. This year’s Human Rights Day marks the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly in 1948.
The video includes the instrumental version of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' GRAMMY-nominated hit song "Same Love," which was generously donated by the artists who also serve as Free & Equal equality champions. The Seattle hip hop received a total of seven GRAMMY nominations on Friday including nods for Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist and Best Rap Song.
The U.N. video will be screened at United Nations Headquarters in New York tomorrow at a Human Rights Day event with speakers including tennis legend Martina Navratilova, NBA star Jason Collins, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay and human rights activists from Russia, South Africa and the USA.
"The history of human rights at the United Nations is as old as the institution itself,” said Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UN. "Today we remember where we came from and redouble our efforts to create a world in which no one is discriminated against because of who they are or whom they love."
On 10 December, 1948, The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."
The Free & Equal campaign aims to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination, and encourage greater respect for the rights of LGBT people everywhere. The campaign was launched by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in Cape Town, South Africa on 27 July 2013 at an event featuring Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and South Africa Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron.
December 9, 2013 | Permalink
Fan Favorites and Chart Toppers Mark Pop Nominations for The 56th GRAMMYs
The annual GRAMMY season kicked off in style last night with the airing of the "GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live "on CBS that served as a platform to announce the nominations for The 56th GRAMMY Awards. Jay-Z leads the pack of nominees with nine bids followed by Justin Timberlake with seven nominations in the Pop and R&B categories. Other frontrunners include Macklemore & Ryan Lewis who also received 7 nominations and New Zealand pop sensation Lorde who received four. The 56th GRAMMY Awards air January 26 at 8 p.m. on CBS.
I reported on all the backstage scoop on Twitter last night (at a ferocious pace if I may add) as GRAMMY's official pop correspondent and I chatted with a few artists about their nominations as well. Lorde received four nominations (including in the coveted Record of the Year and Song of the Year categories) and she was overjoyed. She told me backstage, "I'm very excited. This doesn't usually happen to people from New Zealand."
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were equally excited when they talked with members of the media backstage. "Last year, we were an underground hip hop act and now we're here. It's surreal. It's a beautiful moment," Macklemore said. The humble Seattle rapper also talked about the passing of Nelson Mandela and called the South African icon "a true hero."
This year's pop field in particular is loaded with talent and covers the entire pop spectrum from sweet to crunchy. Let's have a look at each of the five pop categories:
★ Best Pop Solo Performance (for new vocals or instrumental pop recordings that are singles or tracks only) - This category features a solid mix of nominees including Justin Timberlake "Mirrors" that was one of the biggest tracks of 2013 and rivals Katy Perry's empowerment anthem "Roar." The Academy also selected Bruno Mars' superb ballad "When I Was Your Man" that was favored over "Locked Out Of Heaven" that is nominated in the Song of the Year category. Interesting to note is that Mars performed "Locked Out Of Heaven" with Sting at The 55th GRAMMYs. The track was released on October 1, 2012 that is the start date of the eligbility period for The 56th GRAMMYs. Also nominated are Lorde with "Royals" and Sara Bareilles' "Brave."
★ Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (for new vocal or instrumental duo/group or collaborating pop recordings that are singles or tracks only) - The Recording Academy hit the mark perfectly in this category selecting all major collaborations of the year, including Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko "Stay, Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell "Blurred Lines," Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z "Suit & Tie" and Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams "Get Lucky. The category concludes with nominations for GRAMMY faves Pink featuring Nate Ruess "Just Give Me A Reason." (Sidenote: Nate Ruess told me at last year's GRAMMY Nominations Concert in Nashville how excited he was about this track with Pink.)
★ Best Pop Vocal Album (for albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal pop recordings) - This major pop category features an eclectic mix of works by exciting newcomers and existing chart-toppers who continue to produce high quality work. The nomination for Pure Heroine rounds up all four nominations for Lorde. Bruno Mars gets a well-deserved nod for his excellent Unorthodox Jukebox and Robin Thicke received a pop nomination for Blurred Lines. Justin Timberlake's two recent albums were submitted by RCA Records as a single (double) LP and The 20/20 Experience - The Complete Experience received a nomination as well. Last but not least, Lana Del Rey received her very first GRAMMY nominations for Paradise.
★ Best Pop Instrumental Album (for albums containing at least 51% playing time of new instrumental pop recordings) - Nominations in this often-overlooked category are Herb Albert "Steppin' Out," Boney James "The Beat," Earl Klugh "Hanpicked," Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair and Richard Elliot "Summer Horns" and Jeff Lorber Fusion "Hacienda."
★ Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (for albums containing at least 51% playing time of new traditional pop recordings) - Some expected nominees in this category including Michael Buble (To Be Loved), Cee Lo Green (Cee Lo's Magic Moment), Dionne Warwick (Now), Tony Bennett (Viva Duets) and Gloria Estefan (The Standards). Estefan's co-producer/arranger Shelly Berg was also nominated for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for the song "What A Wonderful World" that is included on The Standards. Over the course of her career, Estefan has won seven GRAMMYs.
December 7, 2013 | Permalink
Exclusive Premiere: Kat Dahlia 'Happy and I Know It' (Behind The Scenes)
Kat Dhalia is known for keeping things real and letting us know exactly what's on her mind. Her debut single "Gansta" created a storm of interest earlier this year and this week the Miami, FL rapper returns with her new mixtape "Seeds." With this release, Dhalia further details her developing brand of pop and hip hop that is fierce, personal, always colorful and authentically raw.
Raised by Cuban-born parents in Miami Beach, Kat began singing when she was 8 and started writing songs at 15, ripping instrumentals from YouTube in lieu of a band. "I write my own music," she says. "If you want to break it down, I’m just being myself."
Saving money from a waitressing gig, Kat moved to New York in 2010. She was almost derailed by what she describes as a "toxic relationship," but she got herself out of it, and emerged fired up as a writer, with new insight and a deepened commitment to uncompromising emotional honesty. Coming up with the funds to finance studio time, Kat released a music video and an EP, and signed with Vested In Culture (VIC) shortly thereafter.
Check out some exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of her "Happy And I Know It" that she shot in Miami and has her unique signature all over it. The song is taken from "Seeds" that is available now.
December 6, 2013 | Permalink