Olly Alexander On ‘Lemonade,’ Touring And Years & Years’ Next LP: Interview

We catch up with the charismatic Brit. More »

The Idolator Interview: Kelis

kelis1It’s been a colorful ten years since Kelis released her debut album Kaleidoscope. In that time, the singer scored big stateside with sassy anthems like “Milkshake” and “Bossy”, landed even more hits overseas (“Trick Me,” “Lil Star”), married rapper Nas and became one of pop and R&B’s most edgy, offbeat artists.

But with Kelis’ edginess came a dislocation from standard genre definitions, which made it tough for the music biz to market her through its usual channels. She was eventually released from her label in 2007. Then, earlier this year, the singer filed from divorce from Nas while seven months pregnant with their son, Knight.

“I took some time off,” Kelis says. “I really just shut down, even to the point where I was like, I don’t want to sing anymore. I went to culinary school and just regrouped and got my heart back for it.”

After being signed to Music Group/Interscope, Kelis premiered a new David Guetta-produced song, “Acapella,” on her official site last month. She also became a certified saucier after taking culinary classes at the famed Le Cordon Bleu.

“I love the lifestyle of a great meal,” she tells Idolator. “I think food and fashion and music all go together when it’s done right.”

Read on to see how Kelis got her groove back, and what we can expect from her musically in 2010. More »

The Idolator Interview: Ryan Tedder

onerep_v02It’s been one hell of a year for Ryan Tedder. In addition to his band OneRepublic releasing sophomore album Waking Up last month, the singer-songwriter is also reveling in the fact that “Halo,” which he co-wrote with Beyonce (as well as co-produced), has been nominated for a Record Of The Year Grammy. Additionally, Beyonce’s full LP containing “Halo,” I Am… Sasha Fierce, is also up for Album Of The Year.

But with “Halo” came controversy after Kelly Clarkson basically accused him of using the same melody for her own Ryan Tedder song, “Already Gone.” And then in the fall, while tackling a break-neck pace of work that saw him crafting music with everyone from Adam Lambert and Natasha Bedingfield to Adele and Leona Lewis, Tedder says he came down with H1N1: “It nearly killed me. I was sick for three weeks.”

But, hey, why not add more work to the schedule—Tedder also says he’s been asked to contribute material to a forthcoming episode of Glee that’s set to contain original music for a change.

Hop below the jump to read our interview with possibly the busiest man in music at the moment, OneRepublic frontman and 2010 Grammy nominee Ryan Tedder. More »

Janet Jackson Remembers To Discuss Janet Jackson On ABC

janetjacksonAfter last night’s ABC interview between Robin Roberts and Janet Jackson, much of the media focus, naturally, has been on comments the 43-year-old singer made about her brother Michael. (He was “in denial” about his dependence on drugs. She tried to intervene because “that’s what you do when you love someone.”)

But—oh, right—Janet is actually an artist herself, lest we forget in MJ-obsessed 2009. Below is one of the more interesting clips from the interview, where songwriter-producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis—who Janet refers to as “my two dads”—discuss the pop star’s “inner turmoil.” More »

The Idolator Interview: Annie


In 2004, Annie—Bergen, Norway’s sunniest export—scored both club hits and indie cred with her debut album Anniemal. Her sophomore LP Don’t Stop was initially announced in early 2008, but got tangled up, as she explains it, in a nasty case of record label drama. “I kept on delivering things but it was never enough,” says the singer.

Fast forward a year-and-a-half later, and Don’t Stop has finally arrived on these shores, thanks to Oslo-based label Smalltown Supersound. Idolator met up with 31-year-old Annie (real name: Anne Lilia Berge Strand) in Los Angeles on the eve of her album’s release to discuss her upcoming American DJ gigs and how she eventually got the spectacularly upbeat Don’t Stop into her fans’ hands. More »

The Idolator Q & A: Ne-Yo

Friday night I saw Ne-Yo headline Radio City Music Hall, and like his spellbinding set at last December’s Jingle Ball, the 75 minutes he spent on stage were a whirlwind of slick songs, mic-stand twirls, and wise words on love. Monday afternoon, I caught up with the singer at Electric Lady Studios in New York, where he was working with fellow Grammy winner Chrisette Michele on her new album. After the jump, we chat about the nitty-gritty of relationships, his average song output per day, his upcoming acting projects, and the injuries one can sustain when trying to perfect the twirling of microphone stands.

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Idolator Chats With Matthew Gerrard And Robbie Nevil About Getting In The “High School Musical” Game

Writing teen-oriented pop is a fairly specialized talent. Writing for a musical is an even more rarified art. Combining the two—and introducing the musical-theater art form to an entire generation that previously had little use for the stuff—is some kind of pop triple-lutz, a strange sort of accomplishment.

Two songwriters behind Disney’s High School Musical series, Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Nevil, acknowledge the strangeness, or at least uncanniness, of their feat. I recorded a conversation with them a few weeks ago, about a month after the third chapter in the series—its cinematic debut, after two high-rated made-for-TV movies—debuted atop the box office list with the highest-ever debut gross for a musical. The two writer-performers sounded both gratified and mildly dumbfounded by their good fortune, even as it represents to them the culmination of a couple of decades of happy toil in the pop-music trenches.

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The Idolator Interview: Butch Walker And Patrick Stump

It’s no secret that the denizens of Idolator HQ are big fans of both Fall Out Boy and really smart pop, so having FOB frontman Patrick Stump and pop troubadour Butch Walker interview each other is kind of the perfect way to introduce our new series of conversations between artists. After the jump, the two have a friendly chat about first concerts, free stuff, and how each developed his signature singing style.

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