Kiesza Discusses New Album ‘Sound Of A Woman’ & The Runaway Success Of “Hideaway”: Idolator Interview

Kiesza Talks About The Making Of Her 'Sound'

Kiesza’s life has become an unexpected whirlwind in 2014. Since the release of her deep house throwback “Hideaway” this past spring, the Canadian singer-songwriter has spent more time on airplanes and in different countries than she ever could have imagined.

“I’m flying to Italy on Friday, and then back to L.A. That’s going to be a fun flight,” Kiesza says over lunch in New York’s Upper West Side. It’s a sunny afternoon in mid-September, just six months after we invited her into the Idolator studio for a Popping Up feature — her first on-camera interview. In that time, “Hideaway” has gone from simply being a viral YouTube sensation to becoming a rampant chart-topping smash in countries like the UK and Italy, as well as a Top 10 hit in most other territories in the world.

Half a year later, the two of us are meeting up again to talk about the bigger picture: Kiesza’s debut album, Sound Of A Woman (out today, October 21 – pick it up here). The LP is a blend of house, classic hip hop beats and torch-song balladry that showcases both her and producer Rami Samir Afuni‘s deep appreciation for the 1990s.

Head below to find out about Kiesza’s labor of love that was several years in the making. More »

Kiesza’s ‘Sound Of A Woman’: Album Review

After the whirlwind that was last year’s Q4 pop album releases (including Katy Perry‘s Prism, Lady Gaga‘s ARTPOP, Britney SpearsBritney Jean and Beyonce‘s Beyonce), the music industry seemed to fade into a boring lull once 2014 hit. But fast forward to the current season, and it appears that pop has had a musical resurgence – thanks to artists like Canadian pop-house maven Kiesza. The flame-haired singer first made waves this past, chilly winter with her smash single, “Hideaway” and now her debut LP Sound Of A Woman arrives today ().

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Jessie Ware’s ‘Tough Love’: Album Review

British soul singer Jessie Ware can be modest. “I’m never going to be a pop star like Lady Gaga,” she once said, as if the idea was too far out of reach. Plus, while her voice is just as powerful as fellow UK star Jessie J (no, really), Ware’s 2012 debut Devotion was proof positive that she won’t require back-up dancers anytime soon. Devotion may have marked her transition from featured vocalist for electronica producers like SBTRKT to solo artist; however, Ware kept her voice low among the album’s dripping tempos, airy ambiance and simmering drama.

That was fine – after all, the “Wildest Moments” singer earned easy comparisons to Sade, a major influence and the epitome of smooth operator, while helping reestablish that R&B has long been more exciting and forward-thinking than Chris Brown ever made it seem. Still, while Devotion portrayed Ware as someone who keeps her composure, follow-up Tough Love (out today, ) demonstrates that, actually, she’s got some nerve – and that, too, is really exciting. More »

Taylor Swift Calls Out Her “Sexist” Haters: Morning Mix

Shake Off The Haters!

Did You Hear?

:: Taylor Swift has a message for all her haters out there! When asked about the critique of her always writing about ex-boyfriends, she stated “I think frankly that’s a very sexist angle to take. No one says that about Ed Sheeran. No one says that about Bruno Mars. They’re all writing songs about their exes, their current girlfriends, their love life and no one raises a red flag there.” [via MTV News]

:: Speaking of Taylor Swift and her love life…the singer recently gave some advice to friend Selena Gomez. During her appearance on The Talk, Gomez said this about Swift: “[Taylor] was actually at my house the other day and we were sitting by the fire and I was talking about relationships and business in my life and she just kind of looked at me, and she supports me and never judges me for anything, and she was like, ‘Selena, if you’re the smartest person in the room, I think you’re going to be in the wrong room.’” [MTV]

:: Legendary reggae singer John Holt has passed away at the age of 69. He is known for being a member of The Paragons, and for songs like “The Tide Is High” and “Stick By Me.” [The Guardian]

:: Chris Brown, T.I., Trey Songz, J. Cole, and Tinashe are all added to Power 106 FM’s “Cali Christmas” annual concert. It will take place on December 5 at The Forum in Inglewood, CA, and tickets go on sale this Thursday. [Rap-Up]

:: Ever wondered what it would be like if Jay Z, DMX and Ja Rule created a rap super-group? Well it almost happened! In the late ’90s, the three artists recorded separately under Irv Gotti‘s Murder INC. label and even had some collaborations together. But it didn’t work out, as Jay Z and DMX’s relationship became tense. [MTV News]

Find out below what music you can catch on TV today. More »

Lorde And Miguel Feature On “This Is Not A Game”: Listen To The Chemical Brothers’ Menacing ‘Mockingjay’ Soundtrack Cut

Lorde might be banned from the airwaves in San Francisco but knowing she’s the queen of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack must be some consolation. The Kiwi teen released her first contribution to the film, “Yellow Flicker Beat”, in late September but now ups the ante by delivering a blockbuster collaboration with Miguel and The Chemical Brothers.

After the briefest of introductions by Lorde (all she says is “there it is!”), Miguel takes over the reigns — rapping about survival over menacing trap beats. The English producers then revert to their preferred electro for the furious chorus. Happily, the “Royals” diva returns intermittently throughout the song to sing/speak the hook but it’s not really about her this time. Listen to the radio premiere after the jump. More »

Nicki Minaj Brings Out The Big Guns For Her ‘GQ’ Shoot, Sheds Some Light On That Outrageous “Anaconda” Video

Nicki Minaj poses next to pastel-colored poodles in her glamorous GQ shoot but that’s not the most outrageous thing you’ll in the photos. Instead, the eye is immediately drawn to the femcee’s barely-there top, which appears to be a marvel of modern engineering. The 31-year-old spoke to the magazine about her upcoming LP The Pink Print and meme-spawning “Anaconda” video.

After making the seemingly disingenuous claim that there’s no sexual innuendo in the song or video (“it’s just cheeky, like a funny story… all it says is, ‘my anaconda don’t’”), Nicki sheds some light on the feminist statement she was trying to make with “Anaconda”. “That was important for us to show in the kitchen scene, because it’s always about the female taking back the power,” she says in reference to the clip’s banana-chopping moment. See another pic from her stunning GQ shoot after the jump. More »

Fergie Taps YG For “L.A. Love” Remix, Takes Us Beind The Scenes Of Her Celeb-Filled Video Shoot: 7 Pics

It looks like Fergie‘s weed-referencing, DJ Mustard-produced comeback single “L.A. Love” is getting an official remix featuring YG. The “My Hitta” rapper even appears in the video — along with a bunch of other famous residents of the City of Angels. Sevyn Streeter, Cypress Hill’s Sen Dog and Kelly Osbourne all make cameos in the seemingly raucous visual.

How do I know? The 39-year-old Black Eyed Peas frontwoman posted a bunch of happy snaps from the shoot on her Instagram account, which reveal more than the line-up of guest stars. For starters, the concept appears to be a joyride across Los Angeles in an extremely pimped-out bus and Fergie’s wardrobe includes an eye-popping thong/skirt combination. See all the pics up top. More »

Taylor Swift Gets Super Perky For “Welcome To New York”: Listen

In case it wasn’t clear by now, Taylor Swift really loves her new digs in NYC — so much so, she’s just become the official spokeswoman of the city!

Tay Tay is utterly overflowing with optimism on her glittery 1989 intro track, “Welcome To New York,” which she previewed earlier this morning. Seeped in cheesy throwback ’80′s synths, the Ryan Tedder co-penned cut sees Taylor packing up and shipping off to the Big Apple to make all her greatest dreams come true, reveling in all of the fabulousness that the city has to offer. (Granted, being an incredibly rich and popular superstar before making the move probably helps.)

“Like any true love, it drives you crazy/But you know you wouldn’t change anything, anything!” she gleefully coos. Oh, to be Taylor Swift! Listen to the deliriously chipper tune after the jump. More »

Meghan Trainor Unveils Her Cute And Colorful ‘Title’ Cover Art: Fall In Love With It & Peruse The Tracklist

Meghan Trainor unveiled the artwork for much-anticipated debut LP Title today (October 20) and it’s as cute and colorful as you would expect from the pastel-wearing retro-pop queen. The album’s tracklist also surfaced online and there are no big surprises — apart from the fact that all the songs from her similarly-titled EP are included.

So, in addition to Billboard Hot 100-conquering smash “All About That Bass”, your ears will be treated to fan favorites “Dear Future Husband”, “Title” and “Close Your Eyes”. New single “Lips Are Movin’” is obviously included (it impacts radio tomorrow) as well as enticingly named jams like “Walkashame” and “Like I’m Gonna Lose You”. See the full tracklist after the jump. More »

Matthew Koma Takes Us Behind The Scenes In ‘Ink & Keys’: Idolator Premiere

Matthew Koma
Ink & Keys

Things are about to get very exciting for Matthew Koma.

You already know and love the talented singer-songwriter for co-penning and supplying his vocals to smashes like Zedd‘s “Clarity (feat. Foxes),” “Spectrum” and “Find You,” as well as Tiesto‘s “Wasted” on and, most recently, RAC‘s “Cheap Sunglasses.” He’s written for dozens of other superstars as well, including Carly Rae Jepsen, Afrojack, Alesso. Plus, he’s heading out to perform during select show on RAC’s upcoming tour — seriously, he’s on fire right now.

And next year, he’s about to aim even higher: Matthew will be releasing his next solo single in 2015, along with his long-awaited debut LP. In the meantime, he wants to give you a glimpse into his creative process, live performances and what’s to come from his new music. More »