[Review] Camila Cabello teases her solo career by being featured on two new singles

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Camila Cabello is gearing up for her solo career, with her debut album slated to drop this year, by being featured on two new singles. Camila is paired with some heavy hitters, including Pitbull and Cashmere Cat. One song goes well while another could be better.

“Hey Ma” Pitbull & J Balvin featuring Camila Cabello

“Hey Ma” is from “The Fate of The Furious” and features artists Pitbull and J Balvin. The song definitely has a Latin feel to it; most of the song is in Spanish, including Camila parts. I think this song shows great promise for Camila. The Latin market is major and connecting with those fans in Spanish give her another layer of authenticity that she was missing in Fifth Harmony.

“Love Incredible” Cashmere Cat featuring Camila Cabello

I’m a huge Cashmere Cat fan. I love his songs with Ariana Grande, “Be My Baby” and “Adore.” I feel like his production is incredible.

Camila is the only vocalist on this track, and honestly her voice is disappointing on this song. It is too high pitched, and takes away from the song. Lyrically its good and I do believe Camila sings well, however for this song, her high pitched voice go-to move isn’t right. Camila doesn’t always sings like this, for instance “Hey Ma” doesn’t feature this. The song shows promise because obviously Camila is working with major producers, but vocally, this is a miss.

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Smino announces release date to debut album, shares tracklist

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St. Louis’ own Smino is releasing his debut full length album, blkswn on March 14. While most albums are released on Fridays, there is a special reason for this date. 314 is the area code for his city which correlates with the date 3/14.

I wasn’t familiar with Smino until I saw him at the Red Bull show. I had never heard his music before, but I was really impressed.  I had been listening to his music on Spotify and Soundcloud so I’m happy a full length release is coming out.

Check out the tracklist below

i-blkswn-i-tracklist

 

The Weeknd releases two new songs and tracklist

In anticipation of the release of his third album “Starboy,” The Weeknd has shared the tracklist and two new song “Party Monster” and “I Feel It Coming.”

The album includes features from Future, Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar and for the second album in a row, Lana Del Rey. I think the number of features is good. Not too heavy handed, but enough to give the album some texture.  I’m curious if The Weeknd will rap more on his song with Kendrick. Previously, when he featured on a rap song, he follows that flow, a la his feature with Future on “Low Life.” I also enjoy that type of flow, so I’m looking forward to that.

I like the two songs that he released more than “Starboy” and the other previously released track “False Alarm.”

“I Feel It Coming” is the Michael Jackson feeling that to me The Weeknd missed on his previous “Michael Jackson lite” tracks. I enjoy the ethereal Michael Jackson, not the weird rock phase. I automatically started grooving to this song, which says a lot from a girl who doesn’t dance and has no rhythm, that is saying a lot. It also reminded me of the work that Daft Punk and Pharrell has done together on “GIRL.”

“Party Monster” is my jam and got me really excited for an album that I wasn’t initially sure about. It is definitely a nod back to his party lifestyle that he is known for, but also progressive in sound, giving a nod to the rock sound he’s been leaning toward.

Overall, I’m excited for Nov. 25 and hoping that one of his pop up shops comes to a city near me.

Yogi releases “Blow You Up” single and video with AlunaGeorge and Less Is Moore

Yogi released the new single “Blow You Up” featuring AlunaGeorge and Less Is Moore. I’ve always been a fan of AlunaGeorge, and I always love when they team up with a dance producer.

This music video also reminds me of a Mya music video with a futuristic twist. It is the big tails for sure.

3 reasons why Beyonce’s surprise album should be of no suprise

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When Beyonce released her sixth studio album, “Lemonade,” after the HBO event of the same name, people were surprised that she released a new album. However, it was pretty obvious that she was going to release a new project for the past few months. Here is 3 reasons why Beyonce’s “Lemonade” move was very obvious.

  1. She finally gave an actual interview: After Beyonce’s September 2015 Vogue cover story came out and did not include any actual quotes from Beyonce, people wondered if she actually still doing interview. Her publicist told the New York Times that she hasn’t answered a question to a publication in over a year, and many attribute it to the infamous elevator fight between her husband, Jay Z, and her sister, Solange at the 2014 Met Gala Ball.
    However, Beyonce appeared on the cover of ELLE magazine’s May 2016 issue where she gave an actual interview about her athleisure line, Ivy Park. Although this was seen as publicity for her forway into fashion, the fact that she was willing to do an interview showed she was in publicity mode for major projects, not just Ivy Park.
  2. She announced a tour: Did you really think Beyonce was going to go out on tour to support the “Beyonce” album again? She has already had two tours to support that album, the 2013 Mrs. Carter Tour and the 2014 On The Run Tour with Jay Z. When she announced the Formation Tour after releasing the song and video with the same name and her Super Bowl performance, it was obvious she had a cannon of new music to perform.
  3. She’s done this before: In fact, she practically invented this move. For her last album, “Beyonce,” she set the new standard of surprise releases by dropping it on iTunes with no single back in 2013 with a video for every song. She’s even done the whole visual album thing back in 2006 by releasing a video for every song on her second album “B’Day.” Most artists give little to no notice of an album release date, and Beyonce is no different.

 

Kanye West shares “Ultralight Prayer” for Easter

Kanye West shared “Ultralight Prayer” on his Twitter for Easter

 

Like “Ultralight Beam,” this song features a gospel choir, Kelly Price and a sermon from Kirk Franklin.

Listen to “Ultralight Prayer” below.

[New Music] Big Sean-Get My Shit Together

For his 28th Birthday, Big Sean blessed his fans with new music, releasing “Get My Shit Together” on SoundCloud.

Featuring vocals from Jhene Aiko, Sean raps about being at the age where he needs to get it together and get stuff done.

I guess it’s do or die now huh
I guess I’m at the age that I can’t try now huh

Sean is saying there is no more trying anymore. As Yoda says, “do or do not, there is no try.”

Sean has had an eventful 20s. After releasing several mixtapes, his released his debut album in the summer of 2011. Since then, he has released two other albums, the “Detroit” mixtape, and has been featured on several songs. He also had high profile breakups, including breaking up off his engagement with “Glee” actress Naya Rivera and breaking up with Ariana Grande.

What often happens when celebrating a birthday, you realize all the other things you want to accomplish and realize you want to focus all your attention on that. It will be interesting to see what Sean does in the coming year.

 

Giovanni James talks about his sound and finding new ways to say what he wants to say

whutcha-want-ep-extralarge_1457801444769Giovanni James, the multi-talented performer, released his debut EP, “Whutcha Want,” today. I talked to Giovanni about his history, his influences and his upbeat music.

On his backstory:

I kind of been on the street since I was 13, I had a few difficulties coming up, but I found music and art early, and those things sustained me. I think I started out more as a dancer than a musician. And then through dancing I found music and wanted to take it the next level. I did that as long as I could and then I really wanted to grow so I started to do music. I couldn’t find anyone to work with as a musician that I really  liked sound wise, so I just started and figured out how to start producing and making music and experimenting with music.  I essentially started writing music and rapping at first. I had a singing voice but I didn’t have any training or anything like that, so I wasn’t really confident in that in the beginning, so I started rapping and through the rapping I got my confidence and then started singing.

On his upbeat music:

I think for me I never wanted to make excuses for myself. I didn’t want to rely on being a sad sack or use certain things that were happening in my life for me to lean on for anything. You don’t want to celebrate the darkness. You want to imagine what you want. What I’m learning is what you really want you write through your actions. You will it. I feel like with music you hear things, you have ideas and then you manifest it. I wasn’t going to be the one sitting around talking about the bad stuff. It’s upbeat, yes, because who wants to sit down and be depressed? But there is music that I’m doing that is honest and vulnerable, because I feel like that’s more real. Some days you wake up optimistic and some days you are tired. As an artist I think it’s my job to report the truth. Some days you wake up and you’re optimistic and some days you are not.

On his influences:

Lyrically I have always been attracted to cleverness, to wordplay, to different ways of saying something. I like metaphors. I like to paint a picture. It’s like a fantasy mind where you can escape through the words you paint. And then sometimes you find ways to simplify certain ideas because sometimes complicated stuff has a really hard time reaching people. So for me I’m always trying to balance that. It’s like walking a tightrope: trying to say things that are meaningful but somehow simple. It’s probably one of the hardest things to do. Initially I’m kind of infatuated by a different way of saying something that has been said a million times, because it all has been said before.

You can buy “Whutcha Want” on iTunes here and stream it below.

 

Chance The Rapper Annotates “Ultralight Beam” on Genius

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Chano hopped on Genius to give more information about his verse on “Ultralight Beam” the opening track from Kanye West’s new album “The Life of Pablo.” He wrote some of his own annotations. For example, for the line

Know what God said when he made the first rainbow
Just throw this on the end if I’m too late for the intro.

Chance explained the “Ultralight Beam” was originally going to be the outro.

Chance also cosigned many of the current annotations on the song.

Click here to see the entire genius annotation.