Archive for January, 2014

GEMINI WIRED

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

A serious cause coupled with a smooth beat. This is what all music should be!

Gemini Wired is a fresh addition to the R&B scene, and before flooding the market with her debut EP, she’s already using her talent for selfless means.

What Now is a track boasting full, thriving sound. The lyrics and music video centre on an issue finally receiving the media attention it deserves: bullying.

Gemini suffered bullying herself in younger years, and is channelling past hurts into an outreach for others: “These bullies cannot beat us. …I want my What Now song and video to inspire as many people as possible.”

This song stands up against more than bullying; it also takes a simple yet poignant stab at greed.

Gemini sings, eyes closed, lips suffused with melody, “My music ain’t about the money; I take it all and give it away.”

Listen, learn.

LAKEFIELD IS ONE GORGEOUS VIBRATION

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

The best beauty is wrenching. It falls so far beneath the skin, into the crevasses and gaping scars of the soul.

Lakefield is one big gorgeous vibration. It was conceived by five friends from Vancouver: Kate on keys and belting the stunning songs, Steven on guitar while backing up Kate’s vocals, Kyle holding steady on bass, Bryan adding another rich layer of guitar, and Paul beating the heart of the drums.

The result? Sonic poetry.

They sound like Death Cab For Cutie, but deeper, and far more eloquent. Whether they drag you through a psychological storm or allow you to splash in puddles the following morn, you’re going to leave with wet eyes.

They ached and bled against their instruments for five years and one full-length album before impaling themselves on six final sonnets.

I’m sad the title of their 2014 EP, Swan Songs, is literal (for the band’s lifeline). I’m sad true talent fails to promise a paycheque, and creative industries choose Chart-Busters over real art. Even if your act whispers of commercial appeal, there’s no guarantee you’ll find yourself on top. It’s a gamble, and as a result, too many amazing bands leave the casino with empty pockets.

I hope they know people appreciate all that they’re leaving behind.

It’s sad, but beautiful.

CRACKING OPEN: LIAM O’DONNELL & HIS TRACK ‘NOTHING THAT I’M SCARED OF’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Nothing like stumbling upon a hidden gem – that incredible song or artist that the world has yet to crack open. Of course, these private little rendezvous’ usually expire due to sh*t going viral. Which is exactly what seems to be inevitable for Liam O’Donnell and his stellar track Nothing That I’m Scared Of.

This song, without being pushed in any way, has already garnered over 15k spins on SoundCloud, and with one listen, it’s easy to understand why. The track is subtle, fresh and sublime. It’s emotionally jagged yet goes down smooth. It’s catchy, beautiful and honest.

I don’t much about Liam, but I do know that I want more. And like all the other underground artists we plug on this site, he deserves to be heard.

This track is undeniably good.

Listen to Liam O’Donnell’s Nothing That I’m Scared Of below.

BOBBIE MORRONE

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[Photo Credit: Tyler Ewigleben]

Music helps us meditate. Whether we purge our stresses with a hum or a roar, artists will always be there to fill the cracks in our pining psyches.

Bobbie Morrone is brewing a solid serum as quick to cripple as massage. The Best I Can Be, his 2014 EP, is indie verse with a blues-y sip.

Short, tight, mellow, sharp, Bobbie’s sound cascades like a summer too far away. These three songs are a luxurious sample, a humble sign of future potential.

Though he may not make you scream as certain songs claim, let him kiss your earbuds. You’ll walk away enlightened, or at the very least relaxed.

CLINTON SPARKS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Burgeoning newcomer Clinton Sparks has just released a brand new track and music video for Stay With You Tonight featuring Riff Raff. The music video for the track also features rapper Lil Debbie and actor Jay Giannone from the highly anticipated film, American Hustle. The video, which is shot in a more serious/short film vein, recently premiered on Billboard Magazine.

Sparks, who is a Grammy-nominated producer & songwriter (Lady Gaga, Rick Ross), is known mostly for his work behind the scenes, but is now prepping the release of his solo album.

Stay With You Tonight is available now on iTunes via Photo Finish Records.

Check out the video treatment below.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ADAM BIRD OF THOSE MOCKINGBIRDS

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: How did you all meet?

ADAM BIRD: Tory and I met on a street corner in NYC, near the World Trade Center. She was holding her violin, getting ready to go into a show that she was attending with a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a while. We talked for a few minutes and it turned out Tory would be moving from Rhode Island to NJ soon thereafter, so they exchanged info and stayed in touch. Everyone else somewhat knew each other in some shape or form, and once Tory and I had started the band up, a call was placed to Rob, who brought Kevin in with him, and then Jon came in last as the final piece.

MC: What’s the story behind the band name?

AB: The band name is a twist on a song title by an Australian band called Silverchair. Most people in the US who remember them at all, think of them as 16-year-old grunge kids, but they went on to become an extremely creative group. On their final album, they had a song called Those Thieving Birds, and I had been kicking around the idea of using the word “Mockingbird” in the new band’s name. Slam the two together, and you get Those Mockingbirds.

MC: Which do you prefer? Studio or touring?

AB: While studio is absolutely a great experience, it’s also a lot more stressful, because it’s almost like waiting for a child to be born. You’re doing everything you can to make sure it’s perfect and there are no hiccups, and that it comes out exactly as you had hoped, that most of the pleasure comes in at the end, once you’ve heard back what you’ve done. Touring, however, has that incredible thing where you connect with people every day and travel to cities that you don’t live in and feel a sense of wanting to conquer. It’s really exhilarating the entire time. I would have to say I prefer touring.

MC: If you weren’t in a band, what would you be doing?

AB: I’d be a pop star.

MC: New music, tell us about it…

AB: Our new record is called Penny The Dreadful. We moved to Portsmouth NH to record it and we are extremely proud of it. Lyrically, the overall theme is thwarting and/or managing evils in one’s life. Penny, is a character in a few of the songs, and so is the Devil. I use both characters to illustrate different evils of life, and perceptions on what is evil, because sometimes, the thing that looks evil from one person’s point of view, may not actually be, from someone else’s. It’s pretty much an exercise in Buddhist philosophy now that I think about it. Or maybe just me exorcising demons of mine. [Laughs]

MC: And of course, the video for How To Rob A Bank — where’d the concept come from?

AB: The new music video for How To Rob A Bank came to be after we had a few meetings with the director, John Komar, about having a good story in the video. We had two different leading ideas, one involving the bank heist, and the other involving kids playing the lead roles. We pretty much combined the two to make it what it became. Tory gets credit for most of the initial concept, but we all fleshed it out once we were confident with the idea. And funny story… We actually had to shoot the video twice. When we wrapped, John, the director, was transferring the files to a secure hard drive, and I kid you not, lightning struck his house and the files all got mushed together. We tried for a week to go into the code and pick them apart, but it was futile and we had to do it again from scratch. That was a very upsetting week. [Laughs]

MC: Where can people find you?

AB: The new video is airing on mtvU right now, but can also be found HERE. The rest of our web presence can be found on our website.

KEYSHIA COLE LETS LOOSE ON NEW FREESTYLE REMIX ‘LOYAL’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Keyshia Cole has unleashed a new track, a comeback single/freestyle remix to Chris Brown’s Loyal, and the R&B singer isn’t holding back on getting personal. On the Lil Wayne + Sean Kingston-assisted record, Cole lets loose, venting frustrations amid divorce rumors.

After sitting it out through 2013, Cole delivers a quality freebie for fans, the latest track to hit since 2012’s Woman To Woman LP.

Listen to the spitfire release below.

Love it!

ARTIST TO WATCH: BRANDYN BURNETTE

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Originally signed to Warner Brothers Records by songwriter/former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, comes Brandyn Burnette, a soulful pop talent whose potential is blatant.

Burnette recently shared an acoustic version of Beautiful Beginning to stir some buzz before releasing what is rumored to be an upcoming EP, according to Arjan Writes.

This kid definitely has the formula for next level success. We’ll see what happens once more music is unveiled.

Listen to the stripped down number below. #ArtistToWatch

ON HEAVY ROTATION: GROUP 1 CREW – ‘DANGEROUS’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


If you took a bite of hip hop/urban pop and placed it in a blender with the Bible, you’d get Group 1 Crew. I recently discovered the single Dangerous and fell head over heels. Yes, the production is a bit safe for the current mainstream market, but in the Christian world, this is downright edgy. It’s a fun track that pierces deep with rich vocals and meaningful rhymes.

I’ve actually become a little obsessed with this song! My only beef is that there’s no video treatment to the track. So dear Group 1 Crew, if you’re reading this: MAKE A VIDEO! This song specifically could reach people that normally wouldn’t give Christian music a chance, and with a powerful visual to back it up, this song could really change perceptions and minds.

Listen to the highly-infectious Dangerous below + video introduction to the Group 1 Crew movement following. #JesusSwag

CHUCKIE CAMPBELL

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

It’s nice seeing someone rap with a social consciousness. In a genre where many artists choose self-promotion over ethical or artistic intent, Chuckie Campbell would rather speak for the human race.

His rhymes are succinct, sedated, and digestible, forging a confused bridge between rap and spoken word. More Die of Heartbreak, an experimental album taking its name from a Saul Bellow novel, is a soft-hitting release with a slough of guest appearances and meaning behind the beats.

Chuckie says of the project:

“The album draws on the seven years after a violent physical assault that left my jaw broken in two places… [It] is dedicated to Ralph B. Prater, my close friend, music mentor, and unlawful attacker, who committed suicide in March of 2011. It is a reminder that for every one person who makes it out alive, more will die of heartbreak.”

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