Tag: Billie Eilish

Live Footage: Black Pumas Performs “Fire” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

I’ve spilled quit a bit of virtual ink covering the Grammy Award-nominated Austin, TX-based soul act and JOVM mainstays, Black Pumas over the past year. Led by Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada and San Fernando Valley-born singer/songwriter and guitarist Eric Burton, the acclaimed act can trace their origins back to 2017. Burton, who grew up singing in church and in musical theater, started busking at the Santa Monica pier, where he brought in a few hundred dollars and day and honing his performance skills. He then traveled through the Western states before deciding to settle down in Austin, setting up a busking spot on 6th Street and Congress, a prime location in the city’s downtown neighborhood for maximum exposure.  

Meanwhile, Quesada was looking to collaborate with someone new. He reached out to friends in Los Angeles and London — but nothing seemed to fit. Serendipitously, a mutual friend recommended Burton to Quesada, telling the Grammy Award-winning songwriter, guitarist and producer that Burton was the best singer he had ever heard. The two musicians connected but Burton took a while to respond. “My friends were like ‘Dude, you’re a mad man, you need to hit that guy back!’” Burton recalls. When Burton did call Quesada, he sang to him over the phone. “I loved his energy, his vibe, and I knew it would be incredible on record,” Quesada says. “From the moment I heard him on the phone, I was all about it.”

Last year, the duo along with a talented cast of collaborators released their breakthrough full-length debut. Along with that, the band had gone on a relentless tour schedule that brought their uplifting live show across North America and the European Union, including three separate stops in the New York area: The Knitting Factory, last May; Mercury Lounge, last July; and Brooklyn Bowl last September. Additionally, during that same period of time the band has made begun to make the rounds across the nationally televised talk show circuit, playing  Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Ellen Show and others.

Since the self-titled debut’s release, the album has sold 155,000+ album equivalents worldwide, with smash hit “Colors” hitting #1 on Adult Album Alternative (AAA) radio and has been streamed over 60 million times. And as I mentioned earlier, the band was nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy along with fellow JOVM mainstay Yola — losing out to Billie Eilish.

Black Pumas will be releasing a deluxe version of their breakthrough self-titled album, which will feature new artwork, previously unpublished in-studio and live performance photographs, as well as a bonus 7 inch featuring three previously unreleased originals, live-in studio versions of “Colors,” “October 33,” and “Confines;” a live version of “Know You Better,” recorded at C-Boys Heart & Soul, the Austin club, where the band first made a name for themselves; the band’s attention-grabbing covers of The Beatles‘ “Eleanor Rigby,” Death’s “Politicians in My Eyes,” Bobby “Blue” Bland‘s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City,” and Tracy Chapman‘s “Fast Car,” which they premiered on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last month.

Building upon their rapidly growing profile, the act was recently on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where they performed one of my favorite songs off their self-titled album, the Muscle Shoals-like shuffle “Fire.”

Live Footage: Black Pumas Perform “Confines” with a String Quartet

I’ve spilled quit a bit of virtual ink covering the Grammy Award-nominated Austin, TX-based soul act and JOVM mainstays, Black Pumas over the past couple of years. Led by Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada and San Fernando Valley-born singer/songwriter and guitarist Eric Burton, the acclaimed act can trace their origins back to 2017. Burton, who grew up singing in church and in musical theater 

Burton, who grew up singing in church and in musical theater, started busking at the Santa Monica pier, where he brought in a few hundred dollars and day and honing his performance skills. He then traveled through the Western states before deciding to settle down in Austin, setting up a busking spot on 6th Street and Congress, a prime location in the city’s downtown neighborhood for maximum exposure.  Meanwhile, Quesada was looking to collaborate with someone knew. He reached out to friends in Los Angeles and London — but nothing seemed to fit. Serendipitously, a mutual friend recommended Burton to Quesada, telling the Grammy Award-winning songwriter, guitarist and producer that Burton was the best singer he had ever heard. 

The two musicians connected but Burton took a while to respond. “My friends were like ‘Dude, you’re a mad man, you need to hit that guy back!’” Burton recalls. When Burton did call Quesada, he sang to him over the phone. “I loved his energy, his vibe, and I knew it would be incredible on record,” Quesada says. “From the moment I heard him on the phone, I was all about it.”

Last year, the duo along with a talented cast of collaborators released their breakthrough full-length debut. Along with that, the band had gone on a relentless tour schedule that brought their uplifting live show across North America and the European Union, including three separate stops in the New York area: The Knitting Factory, last May; Mercury Lounge, last July; and Brooklyn Bowl last September. Additionally, during that same period of time the band has made begun to make the rounds across the nationally televised talk show circuit, playing  Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Ellen Show and others.

Since the self-titled debut’s release, the album has sold 155,000+ album equivalents worldwide, with smash hit “Colors” hitting #1 on Adult Album Alternative (AAA) radio and has been streamed over 60 million times. And as I mentioned earlier, the band was nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy along with fellow JOVM mainstay Yola — losing out to Billie Eilish. 

Black Pumas will be releasing a deluxe version of their breakthrough self-titled album, which will feature new artwork, previously unpublished in-studio and live performance photographs, as well as a bonus 7 inch featuring three previously unreleased originals, live-in studio versions of “Colors,” “October 33,” and “Confines;” a live version of “Know You Better,” recorded at C-Boys Heart & Soul, the Austin club, where the band first made a name for themselves; the band’s attention-grabbing covers of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” Death’s “Politicians in My Eyes,” Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City,” and Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” which they premiered on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last month. To celebrate the forthcoming release of the deluxe edition, the band released live footage of their in-studio performance of “Confines” with a string quartet. While continuing to show viewers that Burton is a stand-out star, the in studio rendition is a stunningly gorgeous version of the album single. 

Notelle · Bugs

Notelle is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter, topliner and pop artist, who has worked with an eclectic array of DJs and producer across the globe since 2014. Her work as a songwriter and vocalist has amassed over 12 million Spotify streams — with her material appearing on a number of playlists including Spotify‘s FreshEDM, Hot New Dance, Friday Cratediggers, Heart Beats, Sad Beats, Pop Chillout, Study Break, Fresh Finds, Fresh Finds: Poptronix, Italians Do It Better, Shisha Lounge, Stepping Out, New Music Fridays and Deep Delight, as well as Apple Music‘s Pop Rising and Breaking Dance playlists. Adding to a growing profile, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter, topliner and pop artist has been covered by EDM.com and has received airplay on Sirius XM Radio.

Throughout her career, the Nashville-based artist has signed and released material on 15 different electronic music labels including Armada, Monstercat, Proximity, Lowly, Hinky, AtLast, Seeking Blue, Thrive Music, Ultra Music, Ophelia and Knight Vision (Warner Music) — while remaining fiercely independent.

After spending the past handful of years as a go-to collaborator, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter and pop artist has decided to step out into the spotlight as a solo artist: over the past year, she’s been writing material and honing her take on “dark industrial pop” while catching the attention of Nashville Scene as a Nashville Artist to Watch in 2020. Building upon the rapidly growing buzz surrounding her, her solo debut single “Power” premiered on Lightning 100‘s The 615 and her third “Out of Love” was put on the station’s regular rotation.

“Beyond The Grave” found Notelle exploring a grittier sound than her previously released material, while fearlessly eschewing standard pop song structures and defying genre conventions and this has helped the Nashville-based artist develop a reputation for crafting forward-thinking, difficult to categorize pop. Interestingly, within the first couple of weeks of the song’s release, the track landed on Spotify’s “Study Break,” “Fresh Finds” and Fresh Finds: Poptronix” lists organically.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Alive.” The Nine Inch Nails and Billie Eilish-like track continued a remarkable run of slickly produced, genre-defying, sultry pop with elements of industrial electronica, alternative pop and trip hop centered around fearlessly adventurous and ambitious songwriting based around unsettling personal experience. The Nashville-based artist’s latest single “Bugs” is a dark and seductive song centered around wobbling synths, handclap-led percussion, thumping beats, a distorted string sample, an infectious hook and Notelle’s sultry cooing — and while radio friendly, the song feels a bit like the creeping, anxious dread of a bad trip.

“I wrote ‘Bugs’ during a break up where it felt like that person was still in my body in some capacity,” Notelle says in press notes. “The impact of someone else’s choices left literal and metaphorical residue on me, and I felt dirty. I kept imagining it as a bad hallucination – like bugs. Was this person capable of hurting me more? Was the worst of it over? Or was another bomb going to be dropped on me when I felt like I was out of the woods? I wanted this song to embody that level of paranoia, you know? When you check behind doors or shower curtains when you’re alone in your house – or when you can’t tell if the noises in you hear in the silence are in your head or are real. That’s a bizarre place to be, and ultimately, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t out of my mind. In fact, they were.”

New Video: Lillian Frances’ Brightly Colored and Summery Visual for Infectious Pop Banger “Raincheck Summer”

Lillian Frances is a Davis, CA-based singer/songwriter, producer and self-described “sonic collager.” Inspired by the creative nature of children, Frances’ work isn’t bound to genre or style conventions: her work frequently meshes and blurs lines between a variety of genres and styles within the same song with shapeshifting aplomb — and Frances pairs that with lyrics sung in English and Spanish. 

Developing a sound that some have compared favorably to Lorde, Sylvan Esso, and Billie Eilish, Frances’ 2018 effort Timeism EP was released to praise from NPR’s Heavy Rotation, Indie Shuffle, and Cap Radio. Frances has opened for Sylvan Esso and played alongside Shakey Graves, Sage the Gemini, and Lexi Panterra. Additionally, she has made appearances at a number of regional festivals, including Sacramento PorchFest, the Davis Music Festival and the Davis Cherry Blossom Festival among others. 

Building upon a growing profile, Frances’ full-length debut Moonrise Queendom is slated for a June 5, 2020 release, and the album’s first single “Raincheck Summer” is a breezy and forward thinking pop confection featuring wobbling low end,  twinkling and clattering polyrhythm,  bursts of shimmering and emotive cellos, an infectious hook and Frances’ sultry vocals.  Centered around a coquettish and mischievous push and pull, the track is a summertime anthem — albeit, an oddly quarantine appropriate song in which you never quite hang out with anyone. And yet underlying its bold playfulness, the song as Frances explains, “explores the idea of authentic connection.” 

Directed by Lillian Frances, the recently released video employs a bright color palette as we follow Frances riding a bike, playing in a pool, in front of a childhood lemonade stand  and sunbathing bringing back memories of past summers. Of course, throughout the entire course of the video, we see the Davis-based singer/songwriter completely alone, which is strangely appropriate for what may be a quarantined summer for a lot of us. 

Notelle is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter, topliner and pop artist, who has worked with an eclectic array of DJs and producer across the globe since 2014. The Nashville-based artist has managed to amass over 12 million Spotify streams as a writer and vocalist with her work appearing on Spotify‘s FreshEDM, Hot New Dance, Friday Cratediggers, Heart Beats, Sad Beats, Pop Chillout, Study Break, Fresh Finds, Fresh Finds: Poptronix, Italians Do It Better, Shisha Lounge, Stepping Out, New Music Fridays and Deep Delight Playlists, as well as Apple Music”s Pop Rising and Breaking Dance playlists. She has also been covered by EDM.com and received airplay on Sirius XM Radio. Additionally, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter and pop artist has signed and released material on 15 different electronic music labels, including Armada, Monstercat, Proximity, Lowly, Hinky, AtLast, Seeking Blue, Thrive Music, Ultra Music, Ophelia and Knight Vision (Warner Music) — while remaining fiercely independent.

After spending the past handful of years as a go-to collaborator, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter and pop artist has decided to step out into the spotlight as a solo artist: over the past year, she’s been writing material and honing her take on “dark industrial pop” while catching the attention of Nashville Scene as a Nashville Artist to Watch in 2020. Building upon the rapidly growing buzz surrounding her, her solo debut single “Power” premiered on Lightning 100‘s The 615 and her third “Out of Love” was put on the station’s regular rotation.

“Beyond The Grave” found Notelle exploring a grittier sound than her previously released material, while fearlessly eschewing standard pop song structures and defying genre conventions and this has helped the Nashville-based artist develop a reputation for crafting forward-thinking, difficult to categorize pop. Interestingly, within the first couple of weeks of the song’s release, the track landed on Spotify’s “Study Break,” “Fresh Finds” and Fresh Finds: Poptronix” lists organically.

Notelle’s latest and recently released single ” Alive” continues a run of slickly produced, genre-defying and remarkably sultry pop, featuring elements of industrial electronica, alternative pop and trip hop. And while being centered around the Nashville-based pop artist’s whispered cooing, wobbling low-end, shimmering and twinkling synth arpeggios and industrial clang and clatter, the track finds Notelle further honing a darkly seductive and eerie sound that seemingly draws from Nine Inch Nails and Billie Eilish. But what sets the Nashville-based artist and her latest single apart from her contemporaries is the fact that “Alive” reveals fearlessly adventurous and ambitious songwriting rooted in deeply unsettling personal experience.

“There’s a point in hysteria where you begin to feel electrified. When you love someone who is pushing you to the brink of insanity, it has a way of making you feel more than you’ve ever felt prior. You experience every emotion, all at once, in such an alarming way,” says Notelle, “and I wanted to explore that in this track. I’ve been in a situation before where someone was questioning my own perception of reality, telling me that my understanding of what was going on wasn’t accurate — lying to me, gaslighting me. It pushed me to an emotional breaking point that was totally new. It felt like I had shot up adrenaline and it was startling and liberating at the same time. Straddling the line between total madness and invigorating emotional depth, I realized that this was unbelievably toxic, yet I had never felt more alive.”

Live Footage: Los Angeles’ Lily Performs “Wash” on Vevo DSCVR

Vevo DSCVR is Vevo’s curated, emerging artist platform meant to promote the best up-and-coming artists that the video sharing site believes will have a significant impact on the future. Over the past few years, Vevo DSCVR has featured an eclectic array of chart-topping and critically applauded artists including Jack Garratt, James Bay, Years & Years, Wolf Alice, Sam Smith, Jorja Smith, Maggie Rogers, Alessia Cara, Ella Eyre, Billie Eilish, Bülow, Donna Missal, Charlotte Lawrence and JOVM mainstay Sam Fender among others. 

For the sixth consecutive year, Vevo DSCVR has begun announcing their Artists to Watch — a list of 20 artists, who they believes will break through in the coming year with Vevo premiering two performances from each artist on the list per day between November 4,2019 and November 29, 2019. The latest act on Vevo DSCVR’s Artists to Watch list is the Los Angeles-based alt rock act Lily. Releasing their debut EP I Can Fool Anybody In This Town, the Southern California band — Dylan Nash (vocals), Sam De La Torre (guitar), Charlie Anastasis (bass) and Maxx Morando (drums) — quickly received attention locally for a jagged and angular sound that’s difficult to pin down, as it invokes Jane’s Addiction, Foals, Rage Against the Machine and power pop punk. 

Centered by Morando’s breakneck four-on-the-floor drumming, “Wash,” which the band performed for Vevo DSCVR is a feral track featuring angular and noisy bursts of guitar, Nash’s neurotic and anxiously punchy delivery. Structurally and sonically, the mosh pit friendly anthem is seamless synthesis of noise rock, post-punk and hardcore punk that sounds both forcefully familiar and novel. 

Arron Davey is British multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer, electronic music artist and DJ, best known for his acclaimed and attention-grabbing solo recording project Astronomyy. Interestingly, Davey first made a name for himself with one of his earliest singles “Don’t Need U,” which quickly established his sound — guitars fused to R&B styled beats. With the track going viral, the British multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer, electronic music artist and DJ landed a major label deal. And although, it wasn’t the right fit for him, signing to a major label allowed him to build a home studio, where he recorded his first two EPs, There For U and When I’m With You. His own original material has received praise from Noisey, The Line of Best Fit, IndieShuffle, Earmilk and countless others while amassing over 40 million streams. Simultaneously, Davey developed a reputation as a highly sought-after collaborator. He co-wrote the triple-platinum, international smash hit “Never Forget You” for Zara Larsson and MNEK. He also released a remix of Billie Eilish‘s “Ocean Eyes,” which eventually amassed over 100 million streams.

After the release of 2017’s “Rest in Paradise” 12 inch, Davey decided to take a sabbatical. “I was overwhelmed by the industry,” he admits. “I never got into this for money; I just love creating. I decided to put my head down and lock myself away in the studio for as long as it took to re-ignite the fire. I had to ignore other people and really feel it for myself. My life was imbalanced, and I needed to focus my headspace.  I started physically working out. I feel like a much more balanced person now. I’m finally I’m ready.”

“I’m focusing on moods now,” Davey continues. ““Before, I was trying to paint a perfect picture. I wasn’t allowing the chaos to exist in my songs, but I’ve welcomed the contrast. There’s a yin and yang. The new music has duality. There are a lot of raw and natural performances. There’s variety in tone. It’s wavy and it has more depth. It just comes with trusting my instinct and my ears. If you strip something of its flaws and fix every blemish, you take away the character, so I backed off from the polished sound.”

“Flamingo” is the first bit of new material from Davey in over two years. Centered around layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a sinuous bass line, stuttering beats, Davey’s plaintive falsetto, stuttering beats, and an infectious hook, the new single is one part 80s synth R&B and one part Teddy Riley New Jack Swing-like jam. And while the brooding track manages to possess a breezy and nostalgic quality that’s befitting for a late summer, club banger the song is underpinned by several layers of irony. “I had the side somebody can be like a flamingo,” Davey explains. “A flamingo is very pretty, but if you try to cage it, you realize it’s a live animal and shouldn’t be contained. It’s also tough-in-cheek and pokes fun at people in Britain, because ‘bird’ is a slang word for ‘girlfriend.’ It’s the first song I wanted to share with the world in a couple of years, because it’s got so many elements that represent me. It’s moody, it’s broody, it’s weird, it’s funky, it’s textured and it’s also quite pretty.”

As for an August 30 release Davey says, “I’ve always been obsessed with space and as I’ve spent the last two years rebalancing myself and my sound, it seemed only right to release the first single under a new moon. Which also happens to be a super black new moon.”

New Video: Up-and-Coming British Singer-Songwriter Stealth Releases Behind-the-Scenes Video featuring The Dap Kings

Stealth is an up-and-coming Birmingham, UK-based singer/songwriter. Citing influences such as Howlin’ Wolf and Etta James, the up-and-coming British singer/songwriter specializes in an old school bluesy and soulful take on pop and soul.  His single “Judgement Day,” was a viral hit that has amassed over 10 million streams on Spotify and YouTube combined, landed on the charts in 12 different countries and appeared on an episode of USA Network’s Suits — and as a result, his EP The Intro, which featured the song landed at #2 on the iTunes UK singer/songwriter charts and #3 on the iTunes US charts. His sophomore EP, Verse, featured “Real Life,” a track that was featured on ABC’s The Catch and E’s The Royals — and the track was also featured in a Kia Stinger ad campaign throughout Europe. Adding to a growing profile, the Birmingham-based singer/songwriter has opened for the likes of Seinabo Say, Jamie Woon, Zella Day, Tiggs Da Author, Vaults, Kaleo and others. He also received frequent airplay across BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6 and BBC Introducing — and was nominated for 3 Unsigned Music Awards before he signed to Ultra Music.

Since signing to Ultra Music as their first blues/soul/pop act, Stealth has continued to build upon a rapidly growing profile. His third EP, Chorus features “Gotta Stop Loving You,” a track with an accompanying Ryan Saradjola-directed video that has amassed over 1.5 million views on YouTube since its release; “Truth Is,” which was included on the official FIFA ’19 soundtrack alongside tracks from Barns Courtney, Billie Eilish, Broods, Childish Gambino, Death Cab For Cutie, Gorillaz, Logic and more.

Stealth’s latest single, the Stevie Wonder meets Fela Kuti and The Africa 70-like “Black Heart” finds the up-and-coming British singer/songwriter collaborating with the world famous funk and soul band The Dap Kings. Centered around a strutting bass line, a sultry horn line that only a few backing bands can provide, a twinkling organ line and Stealth’s soulful vocals, the track is full of bitter recriminations and accusations towards a deceitful lover — and by the end the song is a proud tell off to the same lover.

“‘Black Heart’ is all about noticing the little things a person does before they break up with you. They are saying one thing but their black heart says another,” Stealth says in press notes. “Had the pleasure recording this with the Dap Kings over in NYC and it was a dream come true. Obviously heard them on Back to Black and I’ve been a huge fan of Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones who they also recorded and played with. To have the opportunity to meet and record with these living legends was unbelievable.”

The recently released video features behind-the-scenes footage of the Birmingham-based singer/songwriter beginning with Stealth heading to Daptone Records’ House of Soul Studios in Bushwick, Brooklyn — and jamming and recording with the world famous Dap Kings. Now, as some of you know, I’ve actually been to House of Soul Studios and you can practically feel the spirts of Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones in and around the property. 

Stealth is an up-and-coming Birmingham, UK-based singer/songwriter. Citing influences such as Howlin’ Wolf and Etta James, the up-and-coming British singer/songwriter specializes in an old school bluesy take on pop and soul.  His single “Judgement Day,” was a viral hit that has amassed over 10 million streams on Spotify and YouTube combined, landed on the charts in 12 different countries and appeared on an episode of USA Network’s Suits — and as a result, his EP The Intro, which featured the song landed at #2 on the iTunes UK singer/songwriter charts and #3 on the iTunes US charts. His sophomore EP, Verse, featured “Real Life,” a track that was featured on ABC’s The Catch and E’s The Royals — and the track was also featured in a Kia Stinger ad campaign throughout Europe. Adding to a growing profile, the Birmingham-based singer/songwriter has opened for the likes of Seinabo Say, Jamie Woon, Zella Day, Tiggs Da Author, Vaults, Kaleo and others. He also received frequent airplay across BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6 and BBC Introducing — and was nominated for 3 Unsigned Music Awards before he signed to Ultra Music.

Since signing to Ultra Music as their first blues/soul/pop act, Stealth has continued to build upon a rapidly growing profile. His third EP, Chorus features “Gotta Stop Loving You,” a track with an accompanying Ryan Saradjola-directed video that has amassed over 1.5 million views on YouTube since its release; “Truth Is,” which was included on the official FIFA ’19 soundtrack alongside tracks from Barns Courtney, Billie Eilish, Broods, Childish Gambino, Death Cab For Cutie, Gorillaz, Logic and more.

Stealth’s latest single, the Stevie Wonder meets Fela Kuti and The Africa 70-like “Black Heart” finds the up-and-coming British singer/songwriter collaborating with the world famous funk and soul band The Dap Kings. Centered around a strutting bass line, a sultry horn line that only a few backing bands can provide, a twinkling organ line and Stealth’s soulful vocals, the track is full of bitter recriminations and accusations towards a deceitful lover — and by the end the song is a proud tell off to the same lover.

“‘Black Heart’ is all about noticing the little things a person does before they break up with you. They are saying one thing but their black heart says another,” Stealth says in press notes. “Had the pleasure recording this with the Dap Kings over in NYC and it was a dream come true. Obviously heard them on Back to Black and I’ve been a huge fan of Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones who they also recorded and played with. To have the opportunity to meet and record with these living legends was unbelievable.”