Niykee Heaton is the ultimate reminder that you should never judge a book by its cover (even if the cover is really, really hot). After making waves with an acoustic cover of Chief Keef‘s “Love Sosa”, the 19-year-old established a reputation as the baddest bitch on Instagram with an onslaught of sexy pics that would make Rihanna jealous. But there’s so much more to the budding diva that social media seduction.
For starters, she has a gorgeous, gravelly voice and serious songwriting chops. Still not convinced? Take a listen to her excellent debut Ep Bad Intentions, which dropped today (September 23) via Steve Rifkind and Russell Simmons‘ new All Def Digital label. She effortlessly jumps from the gut-wrenchingly confessional “Sober” — a track about her dad’s struggle with alcoholism — to bass-heavy party jams like the swag-drenched “Villa”. More »
The New Classic is about to get even classic-er.
Earlier this month, Iggy Azalea announced that she’s working on a repackage of her debut album, which will feature six new songs — including a collaboration with Ellie Goulding. And now, Iggy’s Azaleans have a little taste of the track to look forward to.
The upcoming collaboration is featured in a new trailer for Kingsman: The Secret Service, which just premiered online last night. More »
Gorgon City‘s debut LP Sirens is out in two weeks (on October 7), and ahead of that, the UK duo have released new track “Imagination.” The song features relative newcomer Katy Meditta, a London-based singer, on vocals. And like previous singles “Ready For Your Love,” “Here For You” and “Unmissable,” “Imagination” keeps in line with Gorgon City’s super catchy, trademark house sound.
Consider this another great appetizer before the pair serve up main course Sirens. More »
If there was any question as to who NBC views as the main selling point of The Voice Season 7, it was answered within about 2.5 seconds of the season premiere. No medleys, covers or country hybrids were so much as hinted to, as Gwen Stefani led backup performers/fellow coaches Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton in a performance of No Doubt‘s hit “Hella Good.” The split-screen performance was hella meh, and the highlight was the look on Pharrell’s face that screamed, “I would have never let this country singer near this song when I was producing.”
And so begins this season of the ratings juggernaut, complete with self-congratulatory Emmy mentions, new alliances and a whole lot of Starbucks product placement. Joining perennials Adam Levine and Blake Shelton are new coaches Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams. As their coaching styles emerge, it begs the question of which voids they might fill. Will it be laid back Usher? Poetic Shakira? Brutal (but fierce) Christina Aguilera? Exotic-pet-toting-and-kind-of-cool-before-all-this-controversy Cee Lo?
Or something new altogether?
The coach personalities and alliances begin to take shape as the Blind Auditions begin. More »
Tove Lo‘s debut album Queen Of The Clouds (set for a September 30 release) is shaping up to be an electro-pop stunner, and the LP’s latest single does not disappoint! After our premiere of “Timebomb” last week, the Swedish singer-songwriter follows up with the incredible “Thousand Miles.” (And no, it’s not a Vanessa Carlton reference.)
Queen Of The Clouds is split into three sections – “The Sex,” “The Love,” and “The Pain.” “Thousand Miles” falls into “The Pain” category, and for evident reasons. The mid-tempo tune tells a story of a girl struggling to forget a rocky relationship with an ex, which is revved up by the singer’s emotionally distraught vocals and the thundering drum rhythms.
Listen to the new track below. More »
K. Michelle has a habit of proving people wrong. The no-fucks-giving diva showed you could leverage reality TV fame into a successful music career — reaching number two on the Billboard 200 with debut LP Rebellious Soul and headlining a national tour. Hell, she even turned the album into a musical (with a little help from Idris Elba) and got herself another show. Well played!
And scarily, the sexy songstress is just getting started. She’s aiming even higher with sophomore set AWBAH (an as-yet-unexplained acronym), taking her first step towards crossover pop success with lead single “Love ‘Em All”. Produced by Shea Taylor, the tables-turning anthem lays down the hitmaker’s approach to dating over heavy synths and bouncy beats. It’s raw, catchy and very radio-friendly. Watch the mannequin-themed lyric video up top and do your best to get on K.’s level. More »
Kelly Clarkson and Republic Records EVP Charlie Walk will be honored at the 15th anniversary celebration of Musician’s On Call, a nonprofit organization dedicated to organizing live performances and providing recordings to hospital patients across the country.
“Being involved with Musicians On Call has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I consider it a great gift to be able to share music and bring smiles to these brave children and their loved ones. It is healing for us all and I can’t wait to do it again!” Kelly said in an official statement.
The event will take place at Escape in New York City on November 18. In addition to the award ceremony, major pop stars including Jessie J, Nick Jonas and Shawn Mendes will also be performing in celebration of the organization, as well as “additional surprise performances” to be announced in coming weeks. Hmm!
You can now buy tickets for the event. Now this is the kind of news that should be happening more often in pop. Kudos to all the artists supporting this great program!
If you’ve set foot in a club in the past year, chances are you’ve been assaulted (in a good way!) by Imanos‘ beats. The rising producer, who recently signed to Casablanca Records, has featured in sets by Skrillex, Avicii, Steve Aoki and Dillon Francis. He also co-produced Diplo‘s monstrous “Revolution” and co-wrote the title track of Jessie J‘s new LP Sweet Talker.
Speaking of the British comeback queen, the Vancouver-born DJ’s latest mixtape Imanos x Casablanca Presents: The New Republic features the first official remix of “Bang Bang”. He transforms the Ariana Grande/Nicki Minaj earworm into a meaty house anthem with lashings of trap to keep things interesting. The 19-song set, which we are very excited to premiere, also features killer overhauls of hits by John Newman, The Weeknd and Somo. Start the party by pressing play after the jump. More »
Pentatonix fans have come out in full force today, as evidenced by the current iTunes chart placing of the vocal group’s latest release, PTX Vol. III — it’s at #3, out-selling such releases as Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga‘s Cheek To Cheek (#5), Lenny Kravitz‘s Strut (#7), LIGHTS‘ Little Machines (#15) and Jennifer Hudson‘s JHUD (#16).
One such curiosity from the PTX Vol. III tracklist we’ve had our eye on — and are now finally able to hear — is the quintet’s cover of Clean Bandit‘s current chart smash “Rather Be.” The truth is, you can be as cynical as you want, but we dare you to not crack a smile while listening.
Head below to hear Pentatonix’s giddy take on the British group’s infectious hit. More »
Jennifer Hudson has become known for her powerhouse voice that is usually showcased with over-the-top ballads. Yet her third album JHUD (released today, September 23rd) shows a different side of the singer. Instead of moody tearjerkers, Hudson opts for a more danceable, disco-inspired vibe on the new LP.
JHUD features songs like “Dangerous” and the Iggy Azalea-assisted “He Ain’t Going Nowhere” - making it clear that Hudson wanted to stray away from her typical sound, and dive into a lighter fare that is more suited for the dance floor.
But what did music critics think of Hudson’s latest effort? Read on after the jump to find out! More »