Posts tagged "Popping Up"

Popping Up: Becky Hill

Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

Twenty-year-old soulstress Becky Hill has developed the work ethic of a warrior. In 2012, she went on singing competition The Voice UK, where she was under the guidance of UK heavy-hitter Jessie J and made it all the way to the semi-finals.

Now, having graduated from the show, the Brit has become a tour-de-force in her homeland’s thriving dance music scene, providing smoky vocal assists on the likes of Wilkinson’s “Afterglow,” Rudimental’s “Powerless,” and Dutch beatsmith Oliver Heldens‘ smash hit “Gecko (Overdrive)”.

As she gears up for the release of her debut album, Becky jumped on the phone with Idolator to talk about her time on the show, working with her longtime pal and fellow 20-year-old music prodigy MNEK, and her inspirations behind the upcoming record. Find out all there is to know about the rising diva after the jump. More »

Popping Up: Hollie Cook

Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

Over the past year, various musicians from the UK quickly made a name for themselves here in the states — including Sam Smith, Clean Bandit and Gorgon City. The latest to do so is Hollie Cook. She’s the daughter of Sex Pistols‘ Paul Cook and Jeni (formerly a backup singer for Culture Club), but she doesn’t let her parents’ big names get in the way of her budding career. Instead of drawing on punk influences or new wave as people may expect, she has gone the route of romantic lover’s rock and reggae.

The singer was a part of post-punk band The Slits for four years, until she decided to break out on her own with the self-titled debut album in 2011. Cook made some waves in her home country, but it was sophomore LP Twice (released in May 2014) that caught the eyes of fans in America — including us!

Read on after the jump to find out why this London import should be on your radar! More »

Popping Up: Billon

Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

Jennifer Hudson knows it; Kiesza knows it; and Mary J. Blige definitely knows it: as far as popular music goes in 2014, London is where it’s at, and deep house is the name of the game. Recently we’ve shined our Popping Up spotlight on beat-heavy British acts ranging from Gorgon City to Clean Bandit to Route 94, and there’s always room for one more, provided the music is solid.

That brings us to UK dance duo Billon, who’ve steadily been earning a solid reputation by remixing artists like Katy B (“Still”), Yasmin (“Thinking About You”) and Ella Eyre (“If I Go”). The pair have also offered up a couple EPs in the past, and today (October 21) sees the stateside release of their brand new single “Special.”

Head below to find out how the guys partnered up with songwriter MNEK and singer Maxine Ashley for “Special,” and how the whole Billon project got started in the first place. More »

Popping Up: Shift K3Y

Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

House-leaning dance-pop acts like Rudimental, Gorgon City and Jess Glynne are proving that North London is a currently one of the hottest hotbeds of new music right now, and throwing his hat into the arena is 21-year old Lewis Jankel. Recording as Shift K3Y, he landed a Top 5 hit in his home country of the UK earlier this year with his soulful garage-pop single “Touch.” (It’s now been released in the States — grab the song here.) And, yes, that’s Lewis, not a separate, featured vocalist, doing the singing on the track — something that makes him unique among many of his contemporaries.

We had lunch in the Big Apple with this young new pop force earlier this month, and he proved to be just as candid and sharp as he is savvy about music-making. Head below to find out more about Shift K3Y. More »

Popping Up: Laura Welsh

Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

Last month we talked with beat-heavy UK duo Gorgon City for our Popping Up series, so it seemed like a given that we should also seek out Laura Welsh, the rising-star vocalist featured on the pair’s summer dance hit “Here For You.” The song was a bit of a departure, sonically, from the more pop-focused material the British-born Welsh has been crafting with producers like Dev Hynes and Robin Hannibal for her upcoming debut LP. (You can get an early taste of what’s in store for her by picking up her self-titled EP on iTunes.) Still, “Here For You” is a great testament to Laura’s versatility as an artist.

Welsh is also promoting her commanding fireball of a single “Break The Fall,” the chorus of which would likely give even Florence Welch goosebumps. With all this activity going on around the singer-songwriter, we thought it was a good time to ring Laura up and have a chat.

Get to know all about this exciting new talent on the music scene below! More »

Popping Up: Kalin And Myles

Oh, Boys
Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

When undiscovered R&B crooner Kalin White, 19, met rapper/beatmaker Myles Parrish, 21, at a house party in their native Northern California, they had no idea that they would become the pop sensations they are today. Only joining forces in 2011, they’ve already managed to round up a massive fan base, become Vine celebs, sign a deal with Republic Records and position themselves as one of the major frontrunners in the ever-growing world of “hip pop.” Drawing upon Bay-Area greats like E-40 and Sage the Gemini, the duo recently released their Chase Dreams EP, containing infectious jams like “Love Robbery” and twerk-inspired banger “Do My Step,” which has already sparked a Teach-Me-How-To-Dougie-style dance revolution of its own.

After just finishing up their sold-out “Chase Dreams” tour, the guys sat down with Idolator to chat about how this crazy journey all came about. More »

Popping Up: Gorgon City

Deep House Duo
Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

For our latest installment of Popping Up, we turn our eyes and ears to London, where rising dance duo Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson-Scott, better known as Gorgon City, have been not-so-quietly carving out their impressive platform on the house music scene over the past year. The pair’s irresistible club cuts like “Ready For Your Love” and “Here For You” have elevated the status of singer-songwriters like MNEK and Laura Welsh, and they even recorded a song last year with their contemporaries Clean Bandit and produced “Rather Be” songbird Jess Glynne‘s latest single.

Ahead of the duo’s North American festival dates in August and the fall release of their debut album, we gave Matt a call to discuss the pop force that is Gorgon City. More »

Popping Up: Mr. Probz

Wave After Wave
Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

When Dutch artist Mr. Probz released his breakout hit “Waves” in The Netherlands last year, it made the Top 10 in his home territory. Several remixers eventually took a crack at the guitar ballad, but one in particular, Robin Schulz, turned out the breezy, hypnotic dance mix that would send the song through the roof worldwide. Not bad for a song that Probz, who started out in hip hop, had to originally teach himself the guitar to play on.

“When I have sessions, if I have, for example, a guitarist that doesn’t show up, or I have to wait for someone, I always learn,” he explains to Idolator. “I just jump in, and same thing with producing. If something takes too long or whatever, I have the tendency to make it my mission to learn how to do it myself. With the guitar, I think some of the producers that I worked with maybe got tired of me complaining about guitars not being recorded in time, and when it was my birthday, they gave me a guitar. That was basically where it started, and ‘Waves’ is the first thing I learned playing myself.”

Given the guitar aspect and Mr. Probz’s rap beginnings, it’s somewhat ironic, then, that “Waves,” in its remix form, has joined the ranks of the current crop of house tracks coming out of Europe that are changing the sound or radio in 2014. Still, it’s a great testament to the song’s melodic strength, that it translates in multiple genres.

Head below to catch our full interview with this new force on the pop scene. More »

Popping Up: Stromae

Popping Up: Stromae
Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

Recently dubbed “The Most Famous Pop Star You’ve Never Heard Of,” Paul Van Haver – otherwise known as Stromae – is one of Europe’s biggest pop acts, and he’s finally making his much-needed touchdown in the United States.

Hailing from Belgium, Stromae released his sophomore effort Racine Carrée (Square Root) last year, an album that has topped the charts across Europe and is already making waves here, along with his single “Papaoutai.” Combining his love for hip-hop with electronic music, Stromae not only creates incredibly catchy dance floor fillers, but also addresses issues such as loneliness, absent fathers, race and gender roles in his music, making him a pop act that can’t be easily categorized. It would be pretty hard to confine this guy in a box, anyway, since he towers at 6’5″ tall.

After playing a full house at New York’s Best Buy Theatre on June 20th (he’s gearing up for a nearly sold-out North American tour in September), we sat down with Stromae to talk about his latest album, and what’s up next for Europe’s latest pop sensation. More »

Popping Up: Clean Bandit

Something Extraordinary
Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

Without a doubt, Clean Bandit have stepped into the forefront of the current house music revival that’s coming out of Europe and infiltrating the American airwaves. But this British quartet has done so by adding a unique twist to the genre: they blend classical music with their beats. Those beautiful strings you hear on the band’s hits like “Rather Be” and “Extraordinary” — yeah, those are real.

Clean Bandit’s debut LP New Eyes was released this week by Big Beat/Atlantic Records (buy it here) and comes packed with enough dancefloor fodder and featured vocalists — many of them brand new talents — to give the group’s contemporaries like Rudimental and Disclosure some stiff competition. What gives the record an edge is the classical training of band members Grace Chatto (above photo, middle) and Neil Amin-Smith (far right) and their colleague Jack Patterson‘s (second from left) ability to mold their sound into something entirely club-ready.

To get a better understanding of the new musical force that is Clean Bandit, we rang up violinist Amin-Smith to get the story behind UK band and their album New Eyes. More »