Last month, previously unknown pop singer Allie X dropped her debut single “Catch,” and it was one of those immediate, fully formed pop songs that you actually want to get stuck in your head. I swiftly declared it the best song of 2014 so far, and a little over a month later, I think the out-of-nowhere pop gem still holds the title (Katy Perry might agree). But little is known about the unsigned Allie X. We know she’s in her 20s, and that she’s from Canada, having spent some time bouncing around the Toronto music scene before moving to L.A. last summer for a songwriting gig. That’s where she linked up with producers Cirkut and Billboard (we premiered the latter’s “Catch” remix), and that’s about all she has divulged.
The opacity is part of her short-term plan, seemingly allowing her to avoid being pigeonholed while keeping the focus on the music — an initial approach that acts like The Weeknd and Kate Boy used to great effect. I recently tracked down the tight-lipped artist to get more insight into her project and see what else she has in store for us — or what else she would hint at, at least. Head below for our email Q&A. There will be GIFs. More »
Did You Hear?
:: A rep for U2 has confirmed that the legendary rockers will, in fact, release a new album this year. This comes after reports that it would be delayed until 2015 due to new studio sessions with Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder. [Rolling Stone]
:: Five years in prison would be enough to throw most rappers off their game but Louisiana’s Lil’ Boosie went straight back into the booth and is already cooking up new tunes. Welcome back! [Vibe]
:: Sean ‘Diddy’ Coombs is looking to expand his business empire even further. The mogul has put in a $200 million bid to buy music-based cable channel Fuse TV. Apparently, he wants to make it part of Revolt TV, which he also owns. [Billboard]
:: Vibe has put together an amusing SXSW-themed spoof helmed by rapper Royce Da 5’9. Watch episode one of their ongoing Slaughterhouse series. [Vibe]
After the jump, find out what music you can catch on TV today. More »
Alicia Keys let the cat out of the bag on Twitter this afternoon (March 11). She’s collaborated with Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar and legendary composer Hans Zimmer on a song for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. She even gave away the title — it’s called, accurately enough, “It’s On Again”.
There’s no word on a release date yet, which is upsetting because this line-up is positively tantalizing. According to early reports, Pharrell and Hans co-wrote the track, while Alicia performed it with a verse or two from Kendrick. Regardless of how they split duties, a track created by these music giants can’t be anything less than amazing. Right? See the “Girl On Fire” diva’s tweet after the jump. More »
Jhene Aiko‘s star continues to rise with the alt-R&B diva covering next month’s Complex magazine — in a sexy black swimsuit, no less! She looks absolutely gorgeous (of course) and the aquatic theme fits in with the title of her critically acclaimed Sail Out EP, which we declared as one of 2013′s best.
2014 promises to be an even bigger year from the Def Jam artist. She’s currently enjoying her first solo entry on the Billboard Hot 100 with confessional slow jam “The Worst” and putting the finishing touches on much-anticipated debut LP Souled Out. When I spoke with Jhene last year, she suggested EP highlight “Comfort Inn Ending” was a good indication of what’s to come on the album. It can’t come quick enough! More »
Lily Allen is nothing if not honest. When a frustrated fan jumped on Twitter this morning (March 11) to vent about her new music, calling it “docile pop rubbish” and “so disappointing” — the Brit replied and expressed her agreement. “What you’ve heard so far yes,” she replied to the shock of some supporters.
But there was a caveat, of sorts. “All i can do is do my best, the labels and the radio stations won’t play the better stuff,” the 28-year-old explained before urging the bamboozled fan to “keep the faith”. Lily’s admission is pretty extraordinary. I can’t remember another artist copping to releasing bad music just to get played on the radio.
At least Lily’s tweet explains the dubious direction of “Hard Out Here” and “Air Balloon”. And, reading between the lines, her tweets hint at Sheezus containing better material. I love her candor but surely she’s a big enough artist to ignore radio and release whatever she likes? It’s not like the hitmaker is new to the game and struggling to find an audience. See the eyebrow-raising exchange after the jump. More »
Chromeo‘s brilliant retro-dance excursion “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)” — easily one of the best singles of 2014 thus far — has been overhauled by The Chainsmokers. You know, the dope New York City duo behind iTunes-conquering smash “#Selfie” (or, as I like to call it, Instagram: The Musical).
The Chainsmokers certainly know their way around a remix (listen to the dance outfit’s epic transformation of Bastille‘s “Flaws”) and they completely reconstruct Chromeo‘s gem. The early ’80s-flavored jam now has an acoustic, piano-based intro before the BPM shoots through the roof and “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)” transforms into a very modern sounding floorfiller. Listen after the jump. More »