DECLAN MCKENNA

By Billboard

British indie singer/songwriter Declan McKenna first emerged in 2014 with the shimmering, politically charged single “Brazil.” The teenaged Hertfordshire native only had a handful of self-released tracks to his name, having uploaded them to his Bandcamp page. With an attitude recalling the Libertines and Jamie T., McKenna blended bright indie pop with textural lo-fi. As “Brazil” gained traction throughout 2015, McKenna’s star began to rise, and that summer he took home the Glastonbury Festival’s coveted Emerging Talent prize. His follow-up single, “Paracetamol,” arrived in November 2015. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi

This biography originally appeared on Billboard.

 

Source: http://www.billboard.com/artist/6869449/declan-mckenna/biography

Photo: http://diymag.com/2016/10/10/declan-mckenna-nambucca-london-live-review

Video: www.youtube.com

MALUMA

By Thom Jurek, AllMusic

Maluma is the pseudonym for Juan Luis Londono Arias, a Colombian reggaeton singer known for a sweet tenor voice and streetwise yet romantic delivery. He gained his initial fame as a teenager. He originally pursued football as a vocation, and was gifted enough to attract the notice of the media in his native Medellin. He sang merely for pleasure. Given the rise of the internet, YouTube, and television singing competitions, however, he was swayed toward music. In 2011, at the age of 17, Maluma cut his first single, “Farandulera,” independently. Due to its internet popularity and emergent radio airplay, the song gained the attention of Sony Music. The following year, Maluma released Magia, his debut album. Several of its singles — “Obsesión,” “Loco,” and “Miss Independent” — received consistent airplay and hit the charts in Colombia and Latin America. His next single, “La Temperatura,” entered the North American charts and earned him a Latin Grammy nomination in 2013. Maluma became a star in urban Latin music. In 2014, he was the featured vocalist on Elvis Crespo’s hit “Ole Brazil,” recorded for the World Cup tournament. Maluma returned in early 2015. His first release was PB DB. The Mixtape, a compilation of hits with two new singles, “Me Gustas Tanto” and “Climax.” These tracks charted and set the stage for a brand new album, Pretty Boy Dirty Boy, which appeared in the fall. The recording was produced by Walter Kolm. In 2016, Maluma released a collaborative track with fellow Colombian star Shakira, “Chantage,” and the video became massively popular, racking up over one billion views online within the space of five months. In 2017, Maluma was named “Artist of the Year” at the Premios Lo Nuestro, a Latin music awards show presented by Spanish-language television network Univision. That same year, Maluma announced he was working on his next album, which would feature material in English as well as Spanish.

This article originally appeared on AllMusic.

 

Source: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/maluma-mn0002966736/biography

Photo: http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Colombian-Music-Sensation-Maluma-Set-to-Perform-at-Miami-FCs-Historic-Home-Opener-375110211.html

Video: www.youtube.com

 

CYN, KATY PERRY’S LATEST LABEL SIGNEE, WANTS TO MAKE SINCERE POP MUSIC FOR YOU

By Sadie Bell, Billboard

CYN, born Cynthia Nabozny, is on the brink of cultivating the dreamy music career that nearly every singer daydreams about, but few can seriously fathom. Just a few years ago, CYN was a teenager growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, jotting lyrics in notebooks and escaping the melancholy of middle America through music. But now, because of her delightful voice and unabashed determination, CYN finds herself playing music for Katy Perry in her home and signed to the mega pop star’s label, Unsub Records.

I found myself in Katy Perry’s living room playing my original music on a very colorful piano,” CYN tells Billboard. “It was absolutely surreal, but I got to wake up the next morning and tell myself it wasn’t a dream.”

After attending Perry’s California Dreams Tour in 2011, CYN says she reached out to Perry’s opening act, DJ Skeet Skeet, and after hearing her transformative voice, he knew the up-and-coming artist had something to offer. Over time, she says the two fostered a friendship, Skeet brought her out to L.A. to collaborate, and eventually she was connected to Perry, who fell in love with CYN in just the same way.

Though it may seem like her whirlwind career fell together by way of chance encounters, that narrative negates the singer’s raw artistry. Like many of us, CYN found solace in music and personal reflection in writing — realizing that she had a voice that needed to be heard. “I found in music an emotional understanding,” she says. “As I went through the typical thralls of adolescence, music proved to be my catharsis. It became something so special when it provided me with a means of understanding and relief. Our world is spinning, always — and to me, it makes so much more sense through a rhythm and a melody.”

What came from CYN’s love for singing and composition is a crisp, spirited pop sound carried by her timeless, all-embracing voice and literary lyrics that feel sincere and ripped from the pages of a poetry book.

CYN says she has always found “a voice of understanding” in writing and aims to use the creative vessel to “declare her individuality” as an artist. “The idea of blending in is so painful to me! I love when my word order gets a little weird or when I accidentally turn a noun into a verb.”

Her latest release “Together,” out today (July 14) on Unsub, is a flirtatious, saccharine track, its strings pulled together by the sprightly sound of CYN’s voice and lyrics that feel like a treat. With verses like, “Like the moon in the night / Can’t have one without the other / Like a bird and it’s flight / They just make more sense together,” and references to such classic crooners and comedians as Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, the single embodies the singer’s pop poeticism.

A couple days ago, I was thinking about ‘Together,’ and I came to the conclusion that it is the happiest song I’ve wrote so far,” she says. “I think this reveals an artistic intention that seeks optimism and solutions as opposed to pessimism or dead ends.”

The song is the first release off CYN’s forthcoming EP, which she made in collaboration with Perry’s team at Unsub. “Working with Katy and her team is everything I could have wished for. Katy asks me questions like, ‘Are you finding yourself through your art? Do you feel comfortable?’ These are questions you pray for your label to ask. Katy’s like my older song sister, a mentor who understands that I’m my best when I’m allowed to be myself.”

Though the singer was able to catch the attention of the industry, she intends to create music for other young people searching for understanding, just as she had growing up. “I hope my music can provide understanding for someone else,” says CYN. “I hope someone can make sense of their own feelings through my songs, almost like a melodic representation of feelings otherwise invisible.”

Listen to CYN’s “Together” below.

This article originally appeared on Billboard.

 

Source: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/7865983/cyn-katy-perry-label-together-sincere-pop

Photo: http://portafolio.io/cyn/

Video: www.youtube.com

STANAJ DEBUTS NEW SINGLE “THE WAY I LOVE HER”

By Kristin Corpuz, Billboard

Up-and-coming R&B singer Stanaj has just delivered a knockout follow-up to his EP From a Distance with his new single, “The Way I Love Her,” released Friday (June 30). Coming off a U.S. tour with fellow vocal powerhouse JoJo, Stanaj brings his sultry riffs and smooth tone to the catchy beat, produced and co-written by Simon Wilcox and RedOne.

“Collaborating with RedOne was such a refreshing feeling,” says Stanaj of the venture. “The chemistry came so quickly and naturally; we haven’t stopped working for two months now.”

The Republic Records singer has been publicly endorsed by musical superstars — including Justin Timberlake, Drake, and Chris Brown — as well as NBA athlete Brandon Jennings and social media mogul Kim Kardashian West. Check out the new song below.

This article originally appeared on Billboard.

 

Source: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/7850108/stanaj-new-song-the-way-i-love-her

Photo: http://headlineplanet.com/home/2016/10/26/1st-look-stanaj-performs-wednesdays-tonight-show-starring-jimmy-fallon/

Video: www.youtube.com

KACY HILL

By Andy Kellman, AllMusic

A left-field pop singer with a soft, slightly tremulous voice, Kacy Hill entered the music industry in an indirect fashion. She started modeling during high school in her native Phoenix and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career after she graduated. Director and photographer Stephen Garrett introduced her to JaylienWesley, a songwriter/producer who had achieved mainstream success with Akon’s Top 20 U.S. pop hit “Beautiful.” Hill and Wesley collaborated on material, including “Experience,” a low-key song that caught the attention of Kanye West. At the time, Hill happened to be working as a dancer on West’s Yeezus tour. West subsequently signed Hill to his G.O.O.D. label. In May 2015, “Experience” was released as the lead song on the Kitsune America 4 compilation. Two years later, a pair of singles (“Hard to Love” and “Like a Woman”) preceded the release of Hill’s debut album, Like a Woman.

This biography originally appeared on AllMusic.

 

Source: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/kacy-hill-mn0003279176/biography

Photo: http://www.whowhatwear.com/kacy-hill-music-interview-2016

Video: www.youtube.com KacyHillVEVO

 

HEY VIOLET

By Heather Phares, AllMusic

Playing punk-pop with the emphasis on the pop, Los Angeles’ Hey Violet feature guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Miranda Miller, drummer/vocalist Nia Lovelis, bassist/lead vocalist Rena Lovelis, and guitarist Casey Moreta. The group formed out of the ashes of the hard rock band Cherri Bomb, changing its musical direction after parting ways with vocalist/guitarist Julia Pierce in early 2013. Soon after, Moreta joined as a temporary member but became a full-fledged part of the band that March. In February 2015, the band announced its new name was Hey Violet, and released the single “This Is Why” the following month. Hey Violet signed to 5 Seconds of Summer’s label Hi or Hey Records and toured with the band that May, June, and July in support of their debut EP, I Can Feel It. The band added touring bassist Iain Shipp as a full-fledged member in September 2016, shortly after the release of the poppier Brand New Moves EP, which spawned the hit “Guys My Age.”

This article originally appeared on AllMusic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/hey-violet-mn0003417430/biography

Photo: https://www.buzzfeed.com/caitlinjinks/hey-violet-are-your-new-fave-music-obsession

Video: www.youtube.com

SPENCER LUDWIG GETS NEW ‘FEELS’ ON REMIX EP

By Bryan Kress, Billboard

If Spencer Ludwig’s refreshing blend of jazz, funk, and pop on the 2016 viral hit “Diggy” caught you by surprise, prepare for six more sides to the song on his new EP Diggy Feels, Pt. 1, out now via Warner Bros. Records. Including remixes by Grammy-winning electronic artist RAC, St. Lucia’s Nick Paul, and Jeffrey Brodsky, the new release gives fans a chance to see the developing dimensions of the prodigious trumpeter and singer.

“I put together this collection of remixes for two main reasons. The first is to be able to connect with all types of music lovers from all over the world,” Ludwig tells Billboard, in typical two-part fashion. “The other main reason… is to showcase the amazing talent within my inner circle. I am so proud to call all of these incredibly talented producers friends, and I am honored to be a platform for their discovery.”

While some selections came naturally from the studio, like the remix by “Diggy” writing partner Daniel Nigro, others were more personal — as is the case with the feature from middle-school collaborator Cary Singer and another from AHEE, who shares an alma mater with Ludwig.

“I’d like to think that ‘Diggy’ is a song for everyone,” Ludwig says. “Whether you’re into pop, EDM, deep house, tropical house, dubstep, nu disco, indie alternative… there will be a remix for you, and this will also hopefully turn into the beginning of our journey together.”

Part 1 will be followed by the second installment on June 16, that Ludwig says will be “full of whole new group productions and feels.” Check out the new EP on Spotify below, and be sure to catch Ludwig perform at Billboard’s Hot 100 Festival this August at Jones Beach Theater in Long Island, NY.

This article originally appeared on Billboard.

Source: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/7825658/spencer-ludwig-feels-remix-ep-listen

Photo: https://theknockturnal.com/scene-spencer-ludwig-album-showcase-sohohouse/

Video: www.youtube.com Spencer Ludwig

MESSIAH EL ARTISTA GOES FROM LATIN TRAP TO POP ON NEW SINGLE ‘TE DEJASTE AMAR’

By Suzette Fernandez, Billboard

Trap singer Messiah El Artista performed his new single “Te Dejaste Amar” live during a recent Q&A with Billboard. The Dominican artist — raised in New York — explained that he’s not only an artist who sings trap, but he also a romantic side.

This article originally appeared on Billboard.

Source: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/latin/7824596/messiah-el-artista-te-dejaste-amar-video

Photo: http://www.siemprefresh.net/messiah-consagrado

Video: www.youtube.com

MARK JOHNS

By Andy Kellman, AllMusic

Left-field pop artist Naomie Abergel, who goes by the alias Mark Johns, was the first solo vocalist signed to Skrillex’s OWSLA label. Born to Moroccan parents in Canada and raised in Singapore, she started performing covers while attending college in Miami and uploaded them to SoundCloud. Abergel’s earliest uploads, including versions of Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” and Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River,” were recorded with her phone. She made additional cover versions with fledgling producers such as Manila Killa and Sable; a sleek and booming version of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Ni**as in Paris,” wisely re-titled “In Paris,” caught the attention of Skrillex, who helped set her up in her new home base of Los Angeles and eventually offered an OWSLA deal. Abergel’s first big commercial step, however, was with the Glitch Mob through “Better Hide, Better Run,” released in mid-2015. In early 2016, she was featured on Lemaitre’s “Stepping Stone” and made her OWSLA debut with “BTFU (Mommy Issues).” The breezy and melodious qualities of Abergel’s voice were common elements of all the material, but the comparatively organic and low-key sound of “BTFU (Mommy Issues)” was somewhat surprising. An EP was anticipated later in 2016.

This article originally appeared on AllMusic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/mark-johns-mn0000547840/biography

Photo: http://next2shine.com/mark-johns-breaks-the-silence-with-two-new-singles

Video: www.youtube.com

KELLY LEE OWENS

By Andy Kellman, AllMusic

Kelly Lee Owens is a London-based producer, songwriter, and singer known for shadowy but resonant techno-pop. Following a move from her native North Wales, Owens interned at XL Recordings, played bass in the History of Apple Pie, and worked in a string of record shops, including Pure Groove, Rough Trade, and Sister Ray, where she soaked up influences and learned more about the inner workings of music making. While at Pure Groove, she worked with Daniel Avery, who sought her vocals for the Water Jump EP (2012) and Drone Logic (2013). For the latter, Owens appeared on three tracks, one of which she co-wrote. In February 2015, she self-released her debut 12″ single, featuring “Lucid” and the Arthur Russell-inspired “Arthur,” in a small run of 200. The songs were also made available for download. Within a few months, Seb Wildblood & Apes’ “Noshi” was issued with Owens as lead vocalist, and Jenny Hval released Owens’ swift, rumbling club remix of her “Kingsize.” That August, Owens’ “Uncertain” 12″ reached area shops in a similarly small private pressing and was out digitally as well. Her third single, “1 of 3,” was out as a download the following March. Seven months later, Owens made her Smalltown Supersound debut with the Oleic EP, a prelude to her first full-length. Led by “Anxi.,” a collaboration with Hval, Owens’ self-titled album arrived on Smalltown Supersound in March 2017.

This article was originally posted on AllMusic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/kelly-lee-owens-mn0003184750/biography

Photo: http://www.factmag.com/2016/06/20/kelly-lee-owens-documentary/

Video: www.youtube.com