Toronto reggae-pop-rockers MAGIC!
pulled off the ultimate pop trick this week by unseating Iggy Azalea from the top of the Billboard Hot 100
. The Nasri Atweh
-fronted band’s debut single “Rude”
had been steadily gaining momentum since the early spring, and last week Idolator had the good fortune to have the guys around for an intimate Idolator Sessions performance. (Watch them do “No Evil” live during their session here
“Songwriting is important for us,” Nasri explains before performing the song. “The craft has always been a bit of an obsession for me, and I know the guys love the process too.”
He continued by explaining the origins of the quartet’s hit single. “It actually started off [as] a really dark song,” Atweh says. “It’s funny, because I would have never expected it would end up where it ended up now, which is this story where I’m basically singing to a dad.” More »
On July 15 at Rough Trade in Williamsburg, New York, R&B soulstress SZA
teamed up with Will Smith
’s daughter, Willow Smith
, for a surprise performance of their unreleased collabo track “Domino.” Yep, you read that right, the
Willow Smith. Already the ripe age of 13,Willow is done “whipping her hair back and forth”
and seemingly on to bigger, better and more sultry things. Indubitably a signature SZA track, “Domino” is a smooth and soothing number, and Willow’s poignant vocals echoing throughout make it all the better.
Filmed by Scene Media, the performance concluded in SZA hinting at the fact that Willow is definitely working on some brand new tracks for the near future. “Can I tell you she’s cooking some of the craziest shit I have ever heard,” SZA earnestly told the audience. In the mean time, however, watch the video up top for a possible snippet of what’s to come.
Harmonizers, does Idolator ever have a treat for you today! Sassy vocal quintet Fifth Harmony
swung by our studio last week to promote their just-released single “Bo$$”
, and in case you’ve yet to hear it, the song finds the ladies calling out such powerful women as First Lady Michelle Obama
and media mogul Oprah Winfrey
over an infectious pop-R&B hook. And can we just get an amen
on America finally offering up a girl group with chops as impressive as this?
Now, what you likely haven’t heard is 5H belting out the bombastic “Bo$$” during a stripped-down, acoustic performance. And that’s just what we have for you above. While hanging out with us and shooting the above Idolator Sessions clip, the girls proved that their “Bo$$” is a song that works with more than just one style of performance. More »
Teenage pop act The Vamps
have revealed an acoustic version of their song “Somebody To You.” Even with drummer Tristan Evans
on tambourine and without the “Yeah, you
!”s that punch up the original version, this performance of its rising hit — the song made its Billboard debut last week
– proved to be as charming as its surf rock-inspired video
, co-starring Demi Lovato
To be fair, The Vamps don’t sound completely unplugged here. There are moments in this performance where lead singer Bradley Simpson‘s voice is dubbed and subtle studio effects (an airplane-like whoosh! halfway through) help build the momentum. Still, these boosts don’t quite take away from how The Vamps appear here: earnest and charming, if not completely approachable. More »
Did you have a great 4th of July celebration, Idolator readers? Hot dogs, fireworks — the whole nine yards? In case you missed it over the weekend, the grand celebration of American independence was made even more historic — thanks to our favorite pint-sized, powerhouse vocalist-slash-pop princess, Ariana Grande.
It’s been a very, very Grande 2014 so far — from Ari’s Total Ariana Live MTV takeover, to the premiere of her new Zedd smash-to-be “Break Free,” to the newly unveiled tracklist for her collabo-heavy album, My Everything. So naturally, it would only make sense to see the young starlet gracing the stage at the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular.
Dressed in an oh-so-adorable stars and stripes-filled dress and surrounded by dozens of flag baton-wielding fans, the singer powerfully belted out her tunes, including current summer smash “Problem” and “The Way.” She got into it so much during “Problem” that she even ended up rapping Iggy Azalea‘s verse by the end! (She nailed it, for the record.) With the gorgeous backdrop of the city behind her, Ariana never looked or sounded better — or more American, of course. Bb, you’re a firework! Watch her belt out “Problem” above, then check out “The Way” after the jump. More »
When fans heard Iggy Azalea
‘s Rita Ora
collaboration “Black Widow,”
they started pegging the two pop stars as best friends. By then, Azalea had opened for Ora during her 2013 tour. After The New Classic
break-up anthem surfaced, though, they would be quizzed
on their favorite Spice Girls
and shoe-purchasing habits. Azalea posed for Instagram
with Ora in her underwear, only to actually set the record straight on their relationship on air.
“I think people would like her to be my bestie, but she’s my friend,” she said to Ryan Seacrest. “You know, we have a working relationship.”
When Ora joined Azalea at London’s Wireless Festival to perform “Black Widow” for the first time, though, she behaved as a bestie would. Specifically, they met at the middle for Ora to dip and “bite” at Azalea’s hips like a puppy with a chew toy. “You jealous? You should be!” Ora said on Instagram, with the hashtags #sorryicouldnthelpmyself and #sorryNick!!, as in NBA boyfriend Nick Young. So much for Azalea’s statement.
Watch Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora perform “Black Widow” for the first time after the jump. More »
Before unleashing a wave of synth squelches and relentless beats during their joint performance at the Hollywood Bowl last night, Norwegian duo Royksopp
and Swedish darling Robyn
each offered up separate sets. And as she did recently at a few other Do It Again Tour
stops (notably the Sonar Festival), Robyn hauled out to yet-to-be-released tracks — ones that we’ll just call “Set Me Free” and “Love Is Free” (totally guessing on those titles, by the way).
“Love Is Free” boasted a pounding beat and an almost reggaeton groove, not to mention Robyn’s rapping. “Set Me Free,” however, came off as an anthem-like, raise-your-hands-to-the-rafters dance-rock jam. That’s Robyn for you, always keeping us guessing (as far as the direction of her upcoming LP). Get a load of both new cuts below. More »
Glastonbury, usually a muddy affair was blessed with sunshine and a heavy dose of Dolly Parton
this year, as the country icon hit the Pyramid Stage — and subsequently drew the largest crowd of the 2014 festival — on Sunday. From “Jolene” to “9 To 5,” Parton left no big hit unturned.
Before her set, Dolly told reporters, “I thought, well, I can’t do a bunch of sad, slow songs because everybody is drunk and high and we don’t want to bring them down that bad, so there are two or three songs that they have to hear like maybe ‘Coat of Many Colors’ and a few things that are a part of my whole life and my background.”
Others who dazzled Glastonbury 2014 included Sam Smith, Lana Del Rey, Ed Sheeran, Clean Bandit, Imagine Dragons, Metallica, Kasabian, Ellie Goulding, HAIM, Disclosure, Kelis and Goldfrapp. Watch Sam belt out “Money On My Mind” above, then catch Dolly, Lana and others below. More »
If there’s one rising UK girl group we’re banking on to break into the US market next, it’s Neon Jungle.
The fab foursome first caught our attention last summer with their rowdy, unstoppably catchy debut single “Trouble,” followed by their explosive club cut “Braveheart” and their very own call to arms, “Welcome To The Jungle.” The girls went on to notch three Top 15 hits in the UK — and now, they’ve set their sights on stateside domination.
Last week, we went down to Sony headquarters in NYC to watch the ladies perform a very special acoustic set just for Idolator, and damn — these girls can seriously sang! With their harmonies on lock, the girls flawlessly flew through “Trouble,” as well as supplying an incredibly melodic, soulful rendition of Irish artist Hozier‘s 2013 hit, “Take Me To Church.”
Sure, we were already impressed enough with the studio versions of their songs — but after having seen what they’re capable of doing live, we’re even more excited about the future for Neon Jungle.
Watch above to see the girls perform a stirring rendition of Hozier‘s “Take Me To Church,” followed by their debut smash “Trouble” below the jump. More »
It was a rainy night in Miami on Wednesday (June 25), but that didn’t stop a massive crowd from pouring into the Sun Life Stadium to hear hit after hit after hit on opening night of Beyonce
and Jay Z
‘s On The Run Tour. Throughout the evening, Bey tore through chart smashes and album track favorites like “Crazy In Love,” “Ring The Alarm,” “Haunted” and “Drunk In Love,”
while Jay brought the fire with “Clique,” “On To The Next One,” “N***as In Paris” and “Tom Ford.”
The married pair shared the stage several times, but perhaps one of the most memorable moments during the Carters’ joint spectacle was when Beyonce filled in for Justin Timberlake on chorus duties for Hova’s summer 2013 smash “Holy Grail.”
Watch that one above, then catch a few more performances from Bey and Jay’s On The Run gig in Miami below. More »