Hot New Talent Alert: Listen to Francesco 'The Way You Were'
Soul-pop crooner Francesco delivers his music with a poise and gusto that is truly remarkable for his age. At 17 years young, the Canadian singer is a bit of an old soul who has the innate ability to convey subtle emotions with a finesse that is far beyond his age. He just premiered his debut single, entitled "The Way You Were," that firmly positions him as one of the most exciting new voices to keep your eye (and ear) on.
Francesco's storytelling emphasizes the joy and heartbreak of young love which is a topic people of all ages, far and wide, can easily relate to. "I've always felt the experiences of love around me and I've seen it in my friends and I've felt it in relationships I've been in," Francesco explains on his Facebook page.
He adds, "Music is something that helped me to express myself when I couldn’t express myself. From a young age, I've felt compelled to do this. That's the thing with me, I love the music. Music is my passion."
His debut single "The Way You Were" is a good example of Francesco's poignant lyricism and knack for melody. "Give me good reason why I shouldn't love you/give me one good reason why I shouln't care/Is this the way you are?/I find it hard to believe/Is there anything I can do to bring you back to you/Tell me what have you done to the way you were," he wonders, keeping the vibe hopeful while trying to make sense of a love gone sour.
Managed by the fine team that turned Nelly Furtado into a superstar and signed to 21 Entertainment/Atlantic Records, Francesco is currently in the studio working on his forthcoming full-length debut LP. He is writing with people like James Bryan (of multi-platinum soul-pop group The Philosopher Kings), Andre Kaden (Brian Melo, Kate Todd, Frankie Whyte) and Thomas “Tawgs” Salter who previously wrote with Lights and Josh Groban. Watch this space for more updates about Francesco soon.
May 17, 2013 | Permalink
Eurovision Finalist Anouk Premieres 'Sad Singalong Songs' Video Series [WATCH]
In anticipation of her highly anticipated performance of "Birds" at the Eurovision Song Contest finals on Saturday, Dutch superstar singer Anouk unveiled a special video series on YouTube this week to celebrate her forthcoming new LP. The series of four short films includes the official video for "Birds" that is taken from her ninth studio album "Sad Singalong Songs" that will be released on May 19 via her own Goldilox label (distributed through Universal Music Netherlands).
"Birds" and the other tracks on "Sad Singalong Songs" show off a different side of Anouk. After the gritty pop-rock of 2011's "To Get Her Together,' the the singer turns left field on her new LP to unveil a more delicate and gentle sound. It's more proof that Anouk doesn't shy away from taking a bit of risk once in a while. In fact, her music is fueled by her ongoing quest to challenge herself creatively, to think out of the box and to surprise fans with new musical projects that are different than the ones she worked on before
Anouk collaborated with her trusted team of writers and producers on "Sad Singalong Songs" including Martin Gjerstad en Tore Johansson (Franz Ferdinand en The Cardigans). She also worked with Gjerstad and Johansson on her previous two critically-acclaimed LPs, "For Bitter Or Worse" and "To Get Her Together."
The four-part video series to introduce "Sad Singalong Songs" were directed by Dana Nechushtan. It's a compilation of short films that also includes videos for "Kill," "The Good Life" en "Pretending As Always." The series stars Anneke Blok, Monic Hendrickx, Martijn Lakemeier, Teun Luijkx, Hannah Hoekstra and Raymond Thiry. Anouk makes a few cameos as well. The videos can be viewed online or at EYE in Amsterdam from May 15 to May 19.
Dana Nechustan's takes a few inspirational cues from Black Swan in the video for "Birds." It tells the story of a gifted ballet dancer in a starring role who is replaced for a younger dancer by her teacher (played by Anouk) during show rehearsals. It's impossible for her to cope with the change and humiliation, and she decides to take matters in her own hands with fatal consquences.The video features beautiful sunset footage from Rome's skyline that adds to the classic storytelling.
Watch the video series below and make sure to root for Anouk to win the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday.
May 16, 2013 | Permalink
Exclusive: Warner Newman Premieres Video for Debut Single 'War'
Warner Newman wears his heart on his sleeve when he sings, "I'm ready to go to war/I want to pursue this," on his highly-anticipated debut single, aptly-titled "War." The song chronicles his journey from the bottom to coming back on top despite the many challenges life has thrown at him ever since he was a little kid. The track was produced by GRAMMY-winning producer Brian Paturalski (Outkast) and remixes come courtesy of The White N3rd, Lewis Fuller and Gainsford.
Born and raised in New Zealand and now living in London, Warner Newman's life has been far from easy. He was involved in two serious road accidents at the ages of 4 and 10, causing him to have extensive reconstructive surgery on his face and head. The accident at the age of ten was so serious he was told he may never walk again.
Music strengthened his soul and ultimately helped him to recover completely. While lying in his hospital bed, Warner listened to music to pass away the time, taking solace and strength in listening to Queen, Guns n Roses, and Bob Marley, and his first introduction to hip hop in the form of Tupac, before an obsession with Eminem began later in his life. Growing into his teens was difficult for Warner who looked different to his school peers.
After the untimely death of his brother, Warner left home, and moved to Auckland aged 16, and at 17 began auditioning for bands. The encouragement and confidence he gained from making music began Warner's life focus, he says; "I felt like I was home."
"War" unveils Warner's anthemic brand of pop that combines his empowering storytelling with arena-sized hooks. His lyrics about hardship and hope are expertly layered over a gritty hip-hop groove that help amplify his transparently raw lyrics. File next to Tinie Tempah "Written In The Stars" and Professor Green "Read All About it." (Warner Newman "War" will be released June 16 on Lukey Boy Records. Pre-order on iTunes.)
May 16, 2013 | Permalink
Frankmusik Unveils Stirring New Video at 'Chasing Shadows' London Release Party
By Steve Siegel (London)
Vincent Frank, aka Frankmusik, has had an eventful 12 months. After spending three years in Los Angeles working on various production projects and his second album, Do It In The AM, he relocated to his hometown of Croydon, just outside central London. Locking himself away in his gran’s apartment, Vince unleashed a flurry of creativity that resulted in not only his recent EP "Far From Over," but a totally fresh album, "In Between."
Late last week, at London’s exclusive member’s only club Soho House, ArjanWrites.com was invited to an intimate gathering where Vince debuted his new video for the album’s first single "Chasing Shadows." The video opens with a bright, yet almost melancholic synth drone, instantly calling to mind his "Complete Me" era sound. Then, before we know it, Vince begins singing, "The sun appears/ and so do they/echoes of the objects that they hold on to/in the cold light of day."
The mixture of organic piano, Vince's always potent pipes, and yearning synths nicely juxtaposes the classic Frankmusik sound with his obviously updated prowess as a contemporary songwriter. No Frankmusik song would be complete without a dramatic, powerful chorus and we do indeed get it here. Leading in with a smattering of toms and high pitch percussion, Vince engulfs us in an ocean of synthesizers as he gets brutally honest and sings, "I keep chasing shadows/I have been for years."
While the lyrics may be somber and authentically raw, the melodies are bright, injecting a contrast of emotions. It's Frank's pop signature that any listener can empathize with. However, last night was not only about debuting Vince’s new music, but also the accompanying video for "Chasing Shadows." Coinciding with the track’s dramatic feel, the "Chasing Shadows" video clip is done in black-and-white.
In the video, we find Frankmusik in abandoned gothic church, somewhere in the English countryside. Like the nature of the song, Vince appears contemplative as belts out the lyrics to "Chasing Shadows," moving variously between sitting in the gloomy light of the abandoned building and quite literally, chasing the shadows around him. Check out the video below and make sure to stay tuned for more info on one Arjanwrites.com’s favorite pop stars. (Thanks Steven Siegel for contributing this post. Based in London, Steven is a massive dance music fan and a budding DJ/producer. You reach Steve on Twitter and listen to his own productions on SoundCloud.)
May 14, 2013 | Permalink
Exclusive: Drop City Yacht Club feat. Jeremih 'Crickets' (Behind The Scenes)
Frequent readers of this blog may remember that I first introduced you to rising California pop trio Drop City Yacht Club when I wrote about their debut single, "Crickets." It's a hot and happening slice of hip pop that blends a radio-ready pop hook with a retro-styled groove and a sunny California attitude that has hit, hit, hit written all over it.
Drop City Yacht Club (formerly The Freshmen) is the teaming of A. Wolf, Kristo and THX who make music for the Playlist Generation that is not confined to one singular genre or sonic aeshtetic. "We're all madmen in our own way," the group explains in a press release. "We don't approach our tracks like typical rap records. We're trying to write songs and break rules."
They add, "We want to shake some things up. There aren't any boundaries. We're all from Cali so it was easy to click. It always felt like it was meant to be because we were all on the same page about doing something fresh from day one."
"Crickets" is Drop City Yacht Club's official debut single that perfectly outlines their genre-mashing musical vision (and sense of humor as demonstrated by lyrics like, "I told her we should kick it, but all I heard was crickets).The group explains, "There's a self-deprecating undertone, and it represents who we are as characters. We take our music seriously, but we have no problem making fun of ourselves either."
The group unveiled the debut video of the song late last month that has already racked almost one millions views. Check out some exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the video shoot below. Also, make sure to tune in to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this week to see the group perform. (Download Drop City Yacht Club "Crickets" on iTunes now.)
May 14, 2013 | Permalink