Posts Tagged ‘Pop’

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.

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.

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

BEYONCE UNDERSTANDS THAT MUSIC IS ABOUT REACHING PEOPLE #PRETTYHURTS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Without warning, Beyonce shocked us all and crashed the internet when she surprise-dropped her 5th studio album on Friday the 13th.

The reaction thus far has been immensely positive, with many calling the completely-out-of-nowhere move game-changing, and others referring to the self-titled release as her best, most mature body of work. While I agree that visually and artistically, this is her best album to date, I have hesitations considering this game-changing simply because most artists do not have the massive fanbase, marketing budget or resources to pull off this feat. I applaud her courage and innovation in taking a risk to release music in a way that is unheard of, yet I recognize this monumental undertaking will be nearly impossible for a majority of artists who stand on the lower prongs of the music industry ladder.

With that aside, I specifically wanted to address the track Pretty Hurts. In a sea of shallow bullsh*t, Beyonce has once again dived into the deep end – this time covering the topic of mainstream beauty and the pressure for girls to be beautiful physically above all else. The video depicts Beyonce playing a beauty pageant queen who is criticized harshly for her outer shell, stumbling through tiaras on a journey to discover that harsh universal truth: That happiness can’t be found in bodily perfection.

Mama said, you’re a pretty girl / What’s in your head it doesn’t matter / Brush your hair, fix your teeth / What you wear is all that matters … Pretty hurts / Shine the light on whatever’s worse / Perfection is the disease of a nation / Pretty hurts / Shine the light on whatever’s worse / Try’na fix something / But you can’t fix what you can’t see / It’s the soul that needs the surgery.

The video treatment is imperfectly flawless.

In a time in pop culture when twerking is on everyone’s lips, this track and the substance behind it are completely and utterly refreshing. And dare I say, game-changing? Music is more than sales and remaining ahead of the game — it’s about reaching people — and Beyonce has always understood that, connecting with fans and critics alike in a way that’s authentic and heartfelt.

Watch Pretty Hurts (directed by Melina Matsoukas) below.

YUNA

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

If you’re looking for a jubilant jolt of girl power spirit, a double dosage of Yuna will do the trick. The Malaysian singer/songwriter recently premiered the music video for Rescue, and it’s nothing short of enchanting. The empowering track is taken from Nocturnal, her newly released Verve Records debut.

The Elliott Sellers-directed video was shot primarily at Big Sur, with select shots in downtown Los Angeles.

Official video + live performance of the track (via Conan) below.

Loving her authenticness!

BEYONCE – ‘GOD MADE YOU BEAUTIFUL’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Beyonce shows her halo on new track God Made You Beautiful, an ode to her little one, Blue Ivy Carter. A sneak peek of the inspirational song first appeared in the trailer for her HBO documentary, Life Is But a Dream, but the full-length version has now emerged with the release of the film’s DVD, which dropped over Thanksgiving.

Listen to the understated gem below.

#BEYourself #GodMadeYouBeautiful

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ARIANA AND THE ROSE

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: For those unfamiliar, can you give us a brief background? How did you meet the band?

ARIANA AND THE ROSE: Sure. I actually started as an actress, doing musical theater, commercials and film from the time I was a kid all the way through college. I wrote and played music on the side as a release. Throughout high school and the beginning of college, I wrote with people in New York, LA and Nashville, but it wasn’t until a year before I graduated from NYU that I decided I wanted to pursue music full-time. I put a band together as soon as I graduated, meeting guys through my managers and friends’ suggestions. I decided to call the band Ariana & the Rose since we perform all the music with live instruments and we’ve been together ever since.

MC: I love the new acoustic video for Heartbeat — the song is beautiful. The video is very raw and personal. What made you choose the dark color theme?

A: Thank you! Well, the song has this theme of a beautiful thing falling apart. I created that video with my friend and fashion designer, Daniel Silverstein. We wanted to make something that spoke to both of our styles. (I’m wearing a dress from his Fall 2013 collection in the video.) There’s something so classic about black and white and we felt that having the color of the video to be completely de-saturated would be a modern way of capturing that classic feel.

MC: What would you say you enjoy more: Recording? Writing? Or performing?

A: I really go back and forth with this. I always say that I enjoy whatever I happen to be doing at the moment the most. I’m currently in the studio writing, so right now I enjoy that more. But I’ll be on tour in a couple weeks and that will be my favorite part. I look at it as a good thing to be indecisive about.

MC: Do you write all of your own material?

A: Yep. I play piano and usually start most of my songs on an acoustic instrument. I do a lot of co-writing, typically me and another writer/producer. I find that writing alone can get a bit lonely sometimes. I’m a really social person and I like having another person to bounce ideas off of.

MC: If you had to place your music into a certain style or genre, could you?

A: I would choose synth pop, as a broad genre. More specifically: singer-songwriter with heavy electro and synth influences.

MC: I see you have been compared to many artists but I think your sound is very original. Do you find it flattering when placed with artists?

A: Thank you. I really try to create music I feel sounds just like me. Of course, it’s always flattering to be compared to other artists, especially ones that have been so successful. I’d like to think that when people compare you to other artists they love it’s because they love you too.

MC: What’s next for Ariana & The Rose?

A: My single Heartbeat came out on Nov 19th and my EP Head vs Heart will be released in early 2014. I’m also headed on a US tour with Heffron Drove (Nov 23-Dec 22). So lots of new material and live shows. It’s the perfect way to end the year.

ON HEAVY ROTATION: EMINEM FEAT. SIA – ‘BEAUTIFUL PAIN’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This song is f**king perfect! And before anyone asks why I support Eminem when he uses anti-gay slurs, please read THE FAGGOTRY OF HIP HOP piece I wrote HERE.

FYI: Sia (who is gay) has decided to donate all sales from this track to LGBT homeless youth in Los Angeles. Yay!

Also, I’m not sure why this is a bonus track and not a proper single since it’s the best song on the album. We’ll see if the record label realizes this in the future.

Listen to the incredible Beautiful Pain (featuring Sia) below.

#FINDTHELIGHT

A GREAT BIG WORLD BREAKS THROUGH W/ THE HELP OF CHRISTINA AGUILERA

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I’m speechless. When I first started BiggerThanBeyonce in 2009, my personal life was sh*t. (Pardon my French.) The plus side was that I had just moved to New York and had the chance to see and meet amazing underground artists.

Ian Axel was the first artist I ever interviewed for this little independent blog. At the time, no one knew who he was, but his music changed my life and I just knew he would go on to become a star.

That’s him on stage last week Christina Aguilera, performing a song that I’ve been listening to since I first discovered him five years ago.

It’s now in the Top 5 on Billboard.

To say that I’m blown away would be an understatement.

Axel recently spoke to Billboard on the collaboration: “‘Say Something’ was danced to on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ almost two months ago, and so many people responded to it. In that whole process, someone on our team played it for someone on Christina’s team, and we got a call that Christina wanted to record it, and then, literally a week later, we were in L.A. recording it with her.”

So happy to see powerful, genuine music getting the attention it deserves!

A Great Big World’s debut album, Is There Anybody Out There?, is set to drop on January 14th, 2014.

Watch the incredible live performance of Say Something below.

KATY CRACK

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


WARNING: This song is highly addictive.

FUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!

#POPCANDY #JAPANESEY #MARIAHKARAOKE

[Related Post: Katy Perry – ‘By The Grace of God’]

THE WALKING STICKS

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

The Walking Sticks are a watering hole of smooth sound. They’ve got this druggy downtempo vibe that would fit any underground club like a glove. Their EP Send The Night is coming out in December, and I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak. Rest assured, it’ll be a sound addition to your Christmas list.

It’s hard to think when keyboards clog your adrenaline. Kissing You is a video game symphony; listening to Real Thing, I can envision a thousand doe-eyed kids dancing in slow motion. All together, the affect is disorienting and dreamlike- lavender in CGI.

What stands out most for me is Chelsea’s voice. That resounding soul dug deep in my ears, succulent and hypnotic. Were she not in the lead, this group would lose its most remarkable element.

Of course, the boys enhance the magic. Spencer’s reigned-in guitar and Max’s bass beats round out the electro keys both dance upon. Though I’d rather they stick to the instruments while Chelsea kept to the microphone.

I’m not sure dream pop is going to move mountains, but if all they wanna do is make great music, they’re succeeding.

TIMBERLAKE GETS ROUGH TREATMENT IN NEW ‘TKO’ CLIP

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


JT gets the rough treatment in new TKO clip.

Directed by Ryan Reichenfeld, who has previously shot for Wild Nothing and Pusha T, the seven-minute clip depicts Timberlake in a scary sitch — tied to the back of Riley Keough’s pickup while she goes for a late night spin down a dirt road.

And although it may look like Keough (The Runaways, Magic Mike) and Timberlake make up during a steamy + seductive straddling sesh, the moment doesn’t quite last.

The song comes from Timberlake’s latest album, The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2, and was co-produced by Timberlake, Timbaland and J-Roc.

Watch the sleek video treatment for TKO below.

#RandomFact: Riley Keough is Elvis Presley’s granddaughter.

FEFE DOBSON SLAYS IN ‘LEGACY’ VIDEO

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Canadian popster Fefe Dobson recently premiered her new music video for Legacy and I’m loving it!

Directed by Aaron A. and filmed on set in a Toronto hospital, the clip depicts Fefe as a defiant patient while transforming into four of pop culture’s most iconic artists; all having left a significant legacy in music history.

Legacy is the first single off Dobson’s forthcoming 3rd studio album, Firebird, due out in Spring 2014 on 21 Music.

Check it!

[Related Post: On Repeat: Fefe Dobson – ‘Legacy’]