Posts Tagged ‘Covers’
By: Rob Brayl
We’ve never been shy when it comes to proclaiming our love for pop/r&b songstress JoJo. Now free from her former deal with Blackground Records, the 23-year-old is giving us a box of chocolates in the form of a free EP called #LoveJo.
In lieu of Valentine’s Day, the 4-track compilation tackles the theme of love in true JoJo fashion – melding sleek hip hop soul with sultry modern pop.
Aside from the intro + an unexpected gospel tune entitled Glory, JoJo covers two classic songs – Take Me Home by Phil Collins and Caught Up in the Rapture by Anita Baker.
All in all, as usual, JoJo delivers the vocal chills with ease.
Listen to JoJo’s modern take on Phil Collins below.
[Related Post: JoJo Goes “Genreless”]
By: Rob Brayl
Kiana Brown’s a blossoming pop star who has officially won me over with her cover of Katy Perry’s Roar. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Kiana sings, plays the piano, and recently took up guitar to begin writing her own material. In 2011, she landed a recording contract with RCA and has since be working on her debut.
Not bad for someone who’s only sixteen freakin’ years old!
Listen to her Roar cover below + the official music video following!
By: Rob Brayl
Sick cover alert!
Up-and-coming London-based girl group Neon Trees have taken on Miley’s skankfest of a single, We Can’t Stop, and totally rocked it.
It’s smooth, less bitter, and more sweet.
Check out the rendition below + the infamous original clip following.
Twerk! Twerk! Twerk!
By: Rob Brayl
After rising to fame in 2003 with her massively successful + multi-platinum debut album, The Soul Sessions, Joss Stone is back and better than ever. With the release of The Soul Sessions, Volume 2, Stone has just released the worldwide premiere of new single The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind), a piercing and powerful cover of The Dells’ hit from 1971.
All that really needs to be said is that her voice is crystal clear and potent. She owns this song completely and reclaims her throne as the heroine of soul pop.
Welcome back, Miss Stone!
By: Rob Brayl
“After people have written my life for me for the last four and a half years — and it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not, it’s what sells the most magazines that week — this was the first time I could dig into my emotions and write from this perspective, and not have to apologize for being human. A lot of people don’t see me as that, and haven’t for a long time.”
On new album Spitfire
This is the most honest record I’ve heard in years. LeAnn Rimes has taken the pain of tabloid fodder and created an album that solidifies her place as one of the greatest female performers in country music. Her voice is crystal clear and her nails are sharp. Not many women could have handled the sexist double standard in this situation the way that she has. She is no longer a child prodigy but a female pioneer, tearing down the celebrity walls and revealing a vulnerable human being underneath.
Two of my favorite tracks from Spitfire below: Who We Are (tear-felt live performance) + the incredible Where I Stood following.
[Related Post: Rimes Releases Stunning Ballad To Ex-Husband]
By: Maria Ciezak
MARIA CIEZAK: For those who are unfamiliar with Kid Felix, how would you describe your sound?
KID FELIX: It’s a mix of grunge and modern alternative, with some indie grooves.
MC: You guys are about to hit your two year anniversary as a band. You have done more in that short time than many do in their whole career. How has the ride been?
KF: It has definitely been challenging, but it’s also been really fun. We’ve gotten to meet people and do things that we never expected to do in such a short time. We’ve even got to play with some artist that we’ve always been fans of.
MC: You just recently got to play with some pretty incredible bands including Alice In Chains and Soundgarden. How did this all come about?
KF: Jaxon from 93.3 WMMR happened to see us at a show in Philly and made us one of his Artists of the Month. As we kept on working, more and more of the DJ’s at WMMR started getting behind us. Through them we got a few shows, all growing in size, until one day we got the call asking us to open up their MMRBQ with Device, Buckcherry, Cheap Trick, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden. We, of course, said yes!
MC: Kid Felix is really dominating the New Jersey music scene. Do you feel like you’re starting to branch out into different areas more and more?
KF: Slowly. We haven’t really toured yet, but through the bigger shows that we have played, we’ve gained fans from different areas.
MC: I know you are getting consistent radio play for your single Class Action Satisfaction. If you had to pick another single for on-air, what would it be?
KF: We’ve always seen Alone Now and 100 Years On from our newest EP as singles. We’ve also been writing a lot recently though, and are really excited about some of the new stuff that we haven’t had a chance to record yet.
MC: You’ve done Warped Tour, you’ve done Bamboozle… What’s the next big festival you are aiming for?
KF: Made in America. It would be awesome to play a major festival in the city that we got our start in.
MC: Any plans for a tour in the near future?
KF: We are working on it. We’re pretty much doing everything independently, so booking tours in new markets is tough, but we’re sticking with it.
MC: Kid Felix picks some sick covers. I’ve seen everything from Florence and the Machine to Muse. Do you guys fool around with other artists material at practice a lot? Or is this a once in a while type of thing?
KF: Usually it’s only a once in a while type of thing. We really try to focus on constantly writing new music, but there have been some instances where we had to learn a cover. When we have to though, we like to try to mix it up with our picks.
MC: You guys have seen it firsthand how important it is for bands to network. Is social media the best way to get in touch with you all?
KF: Definitely. We run all of our social media, and always try to answer everyone that contacts us. You can find us at: www.facebook.com/kidfelix / Twitter: @THEkidfelix / Instagram: @THEkidfelix.
MC: Rumor has it you are going to try to release a full length in the near future. How is the writing process going?
KF: It’s going good. We all write our songs together, so the writing process can be a little bit more tedious. We have a lot of half songs that we have to go back on and finish up.
MC: What usually comes first? The music or the lyrics?
KF: It’s a little of both. Like I said, everyone writes their own parts, so sometimes Jake will come to the band with some lyrics ready to go, and other times a band member will have something musically first.
MC: If you could give yourselves some advice when you were first starting out, what would it be?
KF: Work hard and be patient. You don’t always see the return on what you’ve been working for right away.
MC: Any advice to bands just starting out who don’t think they have a chance to make it?
KF: You’re not gonna make it with that attitude!
MC: Tell BiggerthanBeyonce readers why they should check out Kid Felix.
KF: We have a really energetic live show, unique music, and we’re all incredibly handsome.
By: Rob Brayl
Summer jam alert!
Today’s spotlight finds Icona Pop and their new track Girlfriend, which will reportedly serve as the Swedish duo’s next international single.
Covering words made famous by Tupac (and later by Jay-Z), the song repeats lyrics from the rapper’s Me and My Girlfriend, with the phrase “All I need in this life of sin/Is me and my girlfriend.” (Jay-Z employed the same lines for his collaboration with Queen B on the smash 03′ Bonnie & Clyde.)
Icona Pop seems set on pop domination, after quickly rising to fame last year with their hit single I Love It. The song’s popularity skyrocketed from its use in various commercials and its placement in HBO’s Girls and Fox’s Glee, landing the girls a No. 7 hit on the Billboard chart with certified gold record status.
Icona Pop is expected to release a new album later this year.
Listen to the addictive Girlfriend below!
By: Maria Ciezak
MARIA CIEZAK: Many may know you as the winners of NBC’s The Sing-Off Season 3, but I want to know some REAL history. How did it all start? I read in an article that you guys never officially met until 24 hours before your audition? Is this true?
MITCH GRASSI of PENTATONIX: Yes, that’s true! Scott, Kirstie, and I started out singing together in high school as an acapella trio. When Scott got to college, one of his college friends suggested that we audition for The Sing-Off, but recommended we fill out our sound a bit more. We met Avi through a mutual friend, and discovered Kevin on YouTube.
MC: What made you decide to try out for The Sing-Off? They had to have some inclination that they had some talent on their hands with a band named after a five-note music scale!
MG: [Laughs] We hope so! Scott convinced us to fly out to LA to audition if, for nothing else, to say that we took advantage of the opportunity. I’d say it turned out pretty well!
MC: Noticing that you combine everything from Pop, R&B, Soul, and even Electronic music, it seems pretty evident that you are all influenced by many genres. How would you all describe your sound if you had to?
MG: We all have vastly different music tastes and influences. Scott is very R&B and soulful. Kirstie was in musical theatre, so she has this beautifully bright tone. I would say my voice is fairly feminine and trebly — I listened to mostly female musicians growing up! Avi is our ground-shaking bass man, and Kevin is influenced by classical music and old-school hip-hop.
MC: Acapella swag at its finest, I must say. You guys are anything but a “typical” group. What is the toughest part? Harmonizing? Putting together arrangements? It has to be tougher than it looks!
MG: The toughest part is arranging, but we’ve gotten so much better at it than we used to be! It’s a fun challenge, though, because we get to brainstorm and come up with different musical ideas.
MC: You guys have some amazing covers on your YouTube channel including Gotye, FUN, and even PSY! How do you decide what you cover? Does it just come naturally? Does the whole group decide? Take a vote perhaps?
MG: What we’re known for is taking top 40 hits and giving it our own spin. Sometimes, however, we’ll take a poll on Facebook and ask the fans what they want to hear! And sometimes we will just bring a song to the group if we are really digging it.
MC: Evolution of Music surpassed five million views on YouTube in its first week! Honestly, how do you react to that success in such a short amount of time?
MG: We were very excited! That particular arrangement was our most difficult to date, so we were thrilled/relieved it got such good feedback.
MC: Your live show is getting quite a buzz, and you are embarking on a nice U.S. tour this summer! You guys are actually headed to my turf to play The Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey on July 25th. Any surprises up your sleeves?
MG: I won’t say much, but I WILL say that we have a killer light show.
MC: If you could give your younger selves some advice on how fame would be, would you do anything differently?
MG: My younger self was a bit more introverted than my present self, so I would tell him to not be so afraid of expressing himself, and to be happy with who he is!
MC: When you’re not singing your brains out, what do you guys like to do? Are you always together?
MG: We spend most of our time together. [Laughs] We do all have various hobbies, though. I picked up DJing and music production, so on the off-chance we have break time, I like to practice that. I’m also a total music nerd, so I love record shopping and keeping up with the latest music.
MC: You are all very active on your social media. Does fan engagement ever become overwhelming?
MG: It can be, yes. Sometimes fans will tweet us literally 30+ times until we follow them. Otherwise, we love interacting with our fans on Twitter. They’re usually very sweet!
MC: What’s an artist on your iPod right now that fans might be surprised to see?
MG: Candi Staton! She’s an old disco vocalist. I love her voice.
MC: What’s next for Pentatonix? More music? More tours? Perhaps starting your own singing competition (wishful thinking)?
MG: We are currently working on PTX Vol. 2, while planning our brand new tour and performing at venues around the country.
MC: Give us five words to encourage new fans to give you a listen.
MG: Like nothing you’ve heard before!
By: Rob Brayl
Adam Lambert has joined forces with AT&T + the Trevor Project for Live Proud, a campaign created to empower the LGBTQ community.
Glambert is currently offering a small group of contest winners the chance to enjoy a killer VIP experience, seeing him perform in an intimate setting in Los Angeles. To enter, fans must submit an image or story that represents an AT&T Live Proud moment.
In addition, AT&T will contribute $25,000 to $50,000 to the Trevor Project, an organization that focuses on both crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.
The contest runs through June 30th.
Participants are encouraged to like the AT&T Live Proud Facebook, which will lead to AT&T donating a dollar to the Project. They can also RT @ATT, @TrevorProject or @adamlambert in tweet that mentions #attliveproud and AT&T will donate 50 cents to The Trevor Project.
Have at it, folks! And may the fierce be with you!
+ Enjoy Adam’s recent, gorgeous cover of Rihanna’s Stay below.
By: Rob Brayl
And I’m officially disturbed!
So I don’t keep up with all the stupid teeny-bopper nonsense in the world, so I’m a little late to this perhaps, but I just found out that Justin Bieber’s fans call his, um, wing wang, Jerry. Yup! As in your friend’s dad. Or the guy sitting next to you at Starbucks. Or that dude from Parks & Recreation.
Funny, because it’s absolutely ridiculous. Depressing, because I have no faith left in the human race. JK, you guys!
See Jerry in action below! The little fella’s got some moves, huh?
Wait a second. What the hell am I talking about?!
Is it Friday yet?
To redeem myself/make up for the stupidity of this post, check out the incredible Biebs cover by VanLadyLove below. Love!
By: Rob Brayl
Hear me out on this one:
I’m back in New York with this sitting on my mantle and I feel compelled to share the story behind it.
I bought this handmade piece yesterday at the Abingdon Flea Market in Abingdon, Virginia (near my hometown of Richlands, VA). The minute I saw it, I was drawn to it. It stirred something in me. As a writer, I found it poetic and layered. As a person, one who often goes against the grain of society, I related to it.
“I’m a piece of forbidden fruit,” I thought to myself and laughed. Rough around the edges, abnormal, wild and full of life. I may not fit in or ever feel like I truly belong back home, but in my forbiddenness and rebellion, I think I’ve allowed myself the freedom to create something sweet (jam!) out of my ever-so-imperfect life.
The first time I saw it, I passed it up. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so as we were heading for the car (after looking through the entire warehouse), I went back to grab it. And when I did, this lovely country woman (who made it; Anne Wampler of Fire Light Candles to be exact) strikes up a conversation: “I noticed you when you first walked in. How tall are you, sweetie?” I answered. She then asked where I’m from, and I replied: “I’m originally from these parts. I’m visiting family for the holidays, but I now live in New York. Believe it or not.”
She instantly lit up. She then opened up to me about her 13-year-old son, who just came out of the closet and how she worries about him constantly because he gets bullied quite a bit at school. She said he had dreams of visiting New York one day because he loves musical theatre.
I immediately knew that I was meant to meet this woman.
She asked if she could give him my info because she knew I had been in the same situation years ago. I obliged. I told her if he ever needs to talk to someone he can always reach out to me. She was thrilled.
Going back home may be like crawling into an old wound for me, but it’s a place that is forever a part of me. And I’m grateful for the people there who embrace me with open arms.
Whenever I look at this, I will think of this kid and pray that people are kind to him.
My mom always tells me: “Rob, you can’t save the world.” And man, have I learned how true that is. But if I can save just one person, if I can make their life have meaning and hope, I think that’s all that really matters.
So blessed for the people God has brought into my life over the past few months, and so excited for another year of unexpected encounters.
By: Rob Brayl
Katy Perry recently closed the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR) Inspiration Gala by covering Bonnie Raitt’s iconic heart-stomper I Can’t Make You Love Me.
Earlier that evening, before hitting the stage, Perry auctioned off a signed guitar for $32,000, after offering up an extra incentive to the highest bidder: â€œIâ€™ll have sex with you too!â€ Later clarifying that instead of sex, the winning bidder would receive a date to West Hollywood gay bar the Abbey… Ummm, that’s not the same thing there, Katy! Oh well. Anything to support a good cause!
Listen to Katy’s take on the Bonnie Raitt tearjerker below.
I think she did a beautiful job!
By: Rob Brayl
To state the obvious: Iâ€™ve been on a pop kick lately. I know, I know, when am I not on a pop kick? As much as I love fresh talent + indie rock (hello, it’s what we do!), pop is always present in my daily musical diet. And todayâ€™s intake is no different.
Carrie Underwood delivered chills last night when she covered Coldplayâ€™s Fix You for VH1’s Unplugged. The slice-of-heaven performance is exactly what you might expect: tearworthy, splendid, and pitch perfect (aca-awesome, anyone?).
Underwood may not be the most interesting or intriguing amongst radioâ€™s blonde bombshells, but if one thingâ€™s for certain, it’s that the woman knows how to deliver an emotionally-driven tune unlike any of her peroxide peers.
Sidenote: I am so jealous of her legs! Carrie, you suck.
Carrieâ€™s version of Fix You below.
By: Maria Ciezak
Words cannot describe how much I am infatuated with my New Jersey boys, The Gaslight Anthem. And let’s be honest, who doesnâ€™t love a little Eddie Vedder? When the two join forces, all hell breaks loose.
At least that’s what happened recently, when Eddie joined Gaslight onstage to sing State of Love and Trust with Brian Fallon (frontman) at The Deluna Festival. Having interviewed Brian myself, he emphasized how much he adores Pearl Jam, and you can see the excitement in his face upon this taking place. I can only image what a dream come true this must have been for the boys. Iâ€™m thinking a duet album for 2013? Just sayin’!
Indulge and enjoy.
[Related Post: Gaslight Anthem Feat. Springsteen]
By: Caitlin Hoffman
Iâ€™m sorry, what was that? You say violinists canâ€™t rock? Lindsey Stirling is about to knock your stereotypical boots off.
This gal is a concert-worthy violinist, a self-taught dancer, a geek-loving cosplayer, and Adorable with a capital A. Seriously. She is a pound of unique, a handful of gorgeous and a spoonful of freshly churned pixie dust.
Lindsey has been beating against the strings since she was six years old, and her talent/passion has only gained strength with the years. Not only is her skill gawk-worthy, but her showmanship is fantastic. Just watch her videos! The vibrancy she emits is freaking addictive!
The credit canâ€™t just go to her alone. She has garnered a highly impressive production team. Devin Graham shows to be a mighty impressive cinematographer, and everyone else lends their magic to create a veritable visual wonderland.
Fyi, this talented little lady is going on tour, and is counting down the mere days until her album is released! This news warms my heart to tropical levels. When real artists get real recognition, everyone wins.