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Monday Memos: Interview with voice actor/musician Eric Stuart

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ I am very excited to bring you an interview I recently did with Eric Stuart. Iferic stuart you don’t already know, Eric is a voice actor, voice director, and musician who has entertained us for years. He has had prominent roles in cartoons and anime such as: ‘Pokémon’, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’, ‘One Piece’, ‘Slayers’, ‘Viva Pinata’, and so many more. Eric is also an extremely talented singer/songwriter who has released 9 albums with The Eric Stuart Band. In this interview Eric and I discuss the voice acting industry, which characters are the most memorable to him, what he wished he had known before getting into the entertainment industry, and so much more! So if you are a fan of great show/music then please read on. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!

 

Celinda: So how did you first get into the entertainment industry?

Eric: I’d always been a musician and I loved performing, but I never did much theater or acting. When I got out of school I really wanted to pursue music. I was offered a job at a recording studio, which I thought worked on music stuff, but it turned out that they produced radio and TV commercials, voice-overs specifically. So I was introduced to that whole other world, and I ended up working at that studio for 10 years, and then I ran that studio for a little bit. During that time I learned all about voice-overs, I ended up being a casting director and producer, and I started doing some of the voices myself during casting sessions when I had a two character spot and one of the guys didn’t show up. So I would read with one of the women that were waiting to read with a partner and the clients would end up picking me after hearing the tape. So it started to make sense to me that maybe using my voice as a voice actor would allow me the anonymity to continue pursing my music career and be taken seriously as a musician, while still using the same instrument I use a singer to make a living as an actor. So I kind of stumbled into the entertainment world especially with the voice acting side.

Celinda: Wow that’s a really interesting story, so you basically began on the other side of the acting industry.

Eric: Right, I think we learn a lot by watching. I also used to play tennis and I was a good tennis player, but I could watch somebody’s form and explain to them what they were doing wrong, and make them a better tennis player than I was. I think you learn a lot from listening and watching, which made it easier for me when I stood behind the mic, because I knew what it took to produce and assemble the commercials.

 

Celinda: So, what’s one thing you wish you had known about the entertainment industry, whether it be acting, music, or both, before entering it?

Eric: The biggest lesson I learned later, which could have been helpful earlier, is that the decision making really isn’t personal. You may do an audition and really feel like you nailed it, and then you don’t get the job. As an actor or a musician when you submit yourself and put yourself on the line, you need to really be able to let it go and move on to the next thing. After a few years of working in the business I would almost forget what I had auditioned for, because if you start adding up all of that income that you could have made from that day of auditions and then you don’t get it, you could be devastated by it. So being able to not take it so seriously and put that pressure on yourself everytime you get up to bat for a job is something that I wish I had known going in because it would have saved me a little bit of that disappointment and frustration. Because then it’s like a pleasant surprise when you do get the job.

 

Celinda: That’s a really interesting answer I’ve never gotten that one before, but I think that’s really true. You’ve done a lot of voice over roles in both anime and western cartoons, which role was the most memorable to you and why?

Eric: Well Brock and James from Pokémon are very much apart of my personality. I was playing a show at a venue and the person running the event told me about an hour after meeting me “You probably hear this a lot, but I’m a huge fan of yours I actually grew up watching you”, and I said “No, I’m very flattered”, because it’s kind of an honor to be apart of a pop culture phenomenon that kids who are 6 years old, and grandparents who are 60 years old know the word Pokémon. To be part of a show like that is a big deal and I’m honored to be apart of that. So Brock and James stand out because I like comedy, specifically comedic bad guys. James to me is so much fun to play because Team Rocket is not truly evil just a little misguided, and we still root for them even though we know their the “bad guys”. I also have to say that Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh is one of my favorites because there’s a big challenge in playing a character that many people dislike but he is also not really a villain, he’s a rival. I approached that idea with you can’t be the champ if there’s no one around to push you to be the best you can be. So without Kaiba, Yugi would just sit around and probably watch movies on Netflix.

Celinda: Very true, those characters are some of my favorites as well and definitely hold a special place in the hearts of fan everywhere.

Eric: I think that one of the reasons why Pokémon caught on so well is that there are characters, stories, friendships, and morals that people can relate to. More often than not people tell me “When I was in school I didn’t have any friends, and I’d come home or watch on Saturday morning and I felt like those were my friends”. It’s because these were people that everyone could connect to whether you liked Ash, Brock, or James, there was someone redeeming on the show. With Team Rocket you also see the relationship and friendship that they have with each other, and how they protect each other so that’s very redeeming as well.

 

Celinda: Elaborating on the legacy of both ‘Pokemon’ and ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ among their respective fans, what is it like knowing that the characters that you helped create on these shows are still so popular so many years later, and how do you feel about Kaiba’s prominent role in the new ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions’ movie?

Eric: Well I gotta say that I was very excited when I saw the Japanese promo, and of course the minute that came out, a lot of my fans wrote to me and asked if I would be in it. I would love to be in it, we don’t know nay of the details yet, that’s something that we have to wait for everyone on the production side to decide what their doing. I would love to come back and play Kaiba. I’ve made appearances at the Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments around the country as Kaiba, so I know Konami considers me Seto Kaiba but there are no guarantees. Hopefully I get the opportunity to play that role and if they go another way I’ll be disappointed, but that’s part of the letting go thing. It’s exciting to know that that story arc is the most popular among the Yu-Gi-Oh fans, so its’ nice to see that the creators and the people who are behind all of this recognize that as well. It will be interesting too, because it seems like the characters are a little bit older, so it would be great to do that.

Celinda: Yes, and Kaiba was definitely another non-villainous villain that was interesting because his backstory was so complex.

Eric: There’s definitely two schools of thought with Kaiba. I have fans who love to hate him, and I have fans who want to be just like him. I think when you dig deeper into his story you see where he’s coming from. Also I think when you see the Egyptian story arc and you realize that Kaiba was really Yugi’s sparring partner, that also shows that he’s there to push Yugi to be the best. I use the Rocky and Apollo Creed reference from the Rocky movies, because he needed someone like Apollo to push him, but also to be his friend. I think Yugi and Kaiba have a mutual respect for each other, I wouldn’t call then best friends, but I think that if they had a common enemy they would work together, as they’ve done. I think Yugi is a lot more of a pure hearted character than Kaiba is, but I think that Kaiba would still throw himself in front of the train tracks to save Yugi, unless he had to save Mokuba instead.

 

Celinda: So moving on I know that on shows such as a Pokemon and Yugioh you not only did voice over work, but you also directed, what was that process like for you?

Eric: It’s funny because it’s great to get the notoriety and the fun of acting as he characters, but what’s really very satisfying is when you’re the director you’re basically the cook, you’re baking the cake, you’re putting each piece together and creating the show. It was also a way for me to become friendly with the other actors on the show. Most of the time we recorded by ourselves so one person would walk in the room while the other was leaving, but I got to direct them so I got to spend hours and hours with them, and develop those friendships. It’s interesting the production side has always been satisfying for me, I like to be in the spotlight obviously I’m a performer and I enjoy that, but it’s also great to be able to take these pieces and turn them into hopefully a masterpiece. Another show that I directed that I’m very proud of was ‘Viva Pinata’ which was a very funny show. Unlike ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ and Pokémon where we had to match existing animation and match lip flap which requires 50% acting and 50% technical skills, ‘Viva Pinata’ is a pre-lay show which means that we record the voices first, and then I would assemble the passing of the dialogue line by line and then send that to the animators to animate, so I was really creating the timing of the jokes. So that was really very satisfying. There’s a lot of fun to being on that side of the glass which a lot of people don’t really know unless you’ve been in production. Because you don’t know what goes into the making of these shows sometimes, so it can be very satisfying seeing it on air or on the big screen knowing the hours and days you put into creating that show.

 

Celinda: It sounds like such a meticulous process, but the effort definitely shines through. I really love the musical numbers that you did for Pokémon as Team Rocket and Brock, ‘Two Perfect Girls’ from the ‘Totally Pokémon’ soundtrack has always been a personal favorite of mine. How does singing on a soundtrack as these characters differ from performing your own music in terms of difficulty?

Eric: Well one of the things that I had to make sure, especially with ‘Two Perfect Girls’ was that I couldn’t sing to well. I couldn’t be this great singer and then be the funny Brock on the show. I had to really focus on being a little bit pitchy, and quirky and funny rather than singing every note right. Whereas when I did ‘Double Trouble’ [which is off of the ‘Pokémon: 2 B.A. Master’ soundtrack] with James I wanted to be a better singer because I thought there’s something in James’s voice that made me think that he could be a better singer. The hardest thing about singing in the episodes is that we would rescore a lot of the music so when we would write a song sometime the lip flap wouldn’t move in time with the music so I had to sing slightly out of rhythm with that song. That was really hard to do because I play I’m rhythmic, I almost had to keep the music really low in my headphones so I wouldn’t lock in.

 

Celinda: So switching gears, lets discuss your own music, which artists have influenced your sound the most?

Eric: When I was a young man my mother gave me a radio that only got a local AM station that played oldies, so I grew up going to sleep listening to the oldies like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and The Everly Brothers while my friends were listening to more mainstream Rock n’ Roll. So when I started to sing, I could sing like Buddy Holly so he was a huge influence in the beginning. As I got a little older so many people were comparing me to Cat Stevens, and once I started playing with a band it was the whole Bruce Springsteen thing, I sang along with people I could sound like, so I think my list goes Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Cat Stevens, and then Bruce Springsteen.

Celinda: I can definitely hear those influences in your music, so are there any artists who have influenced your music that may surprise your fans?

Eric: Yeah, I’m a songwriter so I listen to a lot of music just based off of the song, which can be in any style of music. I’m primarily drawn to a good lyric I listen to a lot of more folk rock guys, but people like Elvis Costello are a huge influence for me in terms of songwriting, as a lyricist I just think he’s a genius. It’s funny a fan asked me the other day what my favorite Rock n’ Roll band is and they were surprised to when I said AC/DC, I probably play AC/DC more than any band when I’m getting psyched up. Which is surprising because they say, “I don’t hear any AC/DC in hat you do”, and I say “Of course not, but that doesn’t meant that they can’t be a favorite band of mine”. I also like beautiful melodic instrumental stuff, to sort of clear my brain. Sometimes you want to out on music that has nothing to do with what you do so that you’re not analyzing it, you’re just enjoying it. My playlists would surprise you because I like old disco stuff too, and old R&B and old Hip-Hop because I like to dance even though I don’t play that stuff.

 

Celinda: So, I’ve really enjoyed your latest EP Character, honestly I’ve had it on repeat for the longest time, what inspired the EP’s name?

Eric: Well the art was the reason. I went to a convention and one of the staff members had drawn individual badges for all of the VIP guests as caricatures of the actors, and I really liked the style of the picture. As we were putting the EP together I was thinking I play characters, I am a character, and your character is your honor, so I thought that this word means so many things, it kind of fits with who I am.

Celinda: So what was your songwriting process like for ‘Character’?

Eric: Well we had been playing the song ‘One Last Dance’, which was something that I really liked but wasn’t on any album yet, and the fans kept asking when I was going to record that one. So the idea was to go into the studio and record a single, but of course when you do that and put that much pressure on one song, you might go in and the magic might not be there. So I thought let’s go in and do four songs so if it comes out great, then it comes out great, if not maybe the other songs are better. So with that I decided to sit down and start writing so that I really liked the four songs that we were going to do. The way that I write songs is I sit down with the guitar and come up with a chord progression and I sign nonsense words and find melodies. Then sometimes words form in what I’m singing just by the shapes of the vowels and continuants and the syncopation. Also I write what I know whether everything is autobiographical or not, I think why people gravitate towards what I do is because I sing about stuff from the heart that I’ve either experienced or witnessed.

 

Celinda: Wow that’s such an interesting process, so what effect has living in cities with such famous yet unique music scenes such as New York and Nashville had on your music?

Eric: Well when I lived in New York and I played around town I was sort of two Country for a lot of the rock clubs, which is funny to me because I’m so not Country. When I would come down to Nashville before I moved here, I was told that I was too Rock for the Country places, so I sort of fell in between these two cities. I will say that in New York my songs were longer, then when I came down to Nashville, I realized that the songs were shorter and followed more of a formula. So what was great is that I took the stuff from the Rock n’ Roll stuff I had been doing, and the stuff form the Country stuff I started doing, and found a happy medium. If anything coming to Nashville ahs helped me tighten up my songwriting to be able to say more with less, and in New York I got away with saying more with more.

 

Celinda: Lastly are there any upcoming projects that your fans should look out for?

Eric: Well I’ve been doing a lot of audio books, if you go to audible.com I mostly work for one particular writer named J.R. Rain, who’s got a great sense of humor, thriller, horror, sarcasm thing going on in most of the books he writes. I just finished up a book that I’m editing right now which is called ‘Ghost Crypt’, which is part of a series that he does, it’s a ghost story that takes place in the tubes of London which is fun. I do a lot of industrial and corporate stuff, I’m also doing a lot of international promos for American sitcoms that air in India. There might be some cartoon stuff coming down the line so people should definitely keep their eyes open for that. As I said there are things that I can’t really discuss whether their going to happen or not, but I would keep my eyes watching some of the stuff that you might be hoping to see me in.

 

Celinda: Is there anything that you would like to say to any of your fans who are reading this interview?

Eric: My anime fans have been very loyal to everything that I’ve done in the voice-over world which is great, and they’ve actually crossed over to be music fans, which is also great. The thing that I want to say to them is thank you for the support, and those who haven’t really experienced the other side of who I am with the music, I ask them to go check that out.

 

Celinda: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today Eric.

Eric: Thank you for asking me.

 

*You can check out The Eric Stuart Band’s music video for their song ‘My Love Can Change That’ here:

 

Keep up with everything Eric is doing:

Website: ericstuart.com

Twitter: eric_stuart

YouTube: Eric Stuart

iTunes: Eric Stuart Band

Facebook: EricStuartBand

 

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Eric Stuart, Eric Stuart Band, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, One Piece, Slayers, Viva Pinata, Satoshi Tajiri, Ken Sugimori, Game Freak, Koch Records, John Loeffler, Rachael Lillis, Adam Blaustein, Ted Lewis, Louis Cortelezzi, Bob Mayo, Pokemon 2.B.A Master, Totally Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh! Kazuki Takahashi, Shueisha Inc., Viz Media, Hiroyuki Toshiki Inoue, BMF, Toei Animation, 4Kids Entertainment, 4K Media Inc., Takashi Watanabe, Takao Koyama, E.G Films, J.C. Staff Co., Ltd., Funimation, TV Tokyo, Konosuke Uda, Junji Shimizu, Muehisa Sakai, Hiroaki Miyamoto, Toshinori Fukazawa, Junki Takegami, Hirohiko Uesaka, Toei Animation, FOX, Rare, Krome Studios, Climax Group, THQ, Microsoft Game Studios, Netflix, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, Studio Gallop, Nihon Ad Systems, Satoshi Kuwabara, Konami, Rocky, Apollo Creed, Sylvester Stallone, John G. Avildsen, Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff, United Artists, Carl Weathers, Cat Stevens, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, AC/DC, Deram Records, Island Records, A&M Records, Mountain of Light, Jamal , YA, Atlantic Records, Legacy Recordings, Columbia Records, Sun Records, RCA (Victor) Records, HMV, Decca Records, Brunswick Records, Coral Records, Cadence Records, London Records, Warner Bros. Records, Razor & Tie, Mercury Records, Albert Productions, EMInR cords, Columbia Records, Epic Records, Atlantic Records, Atco Records, Elektra Records, East West Records, Audible, J.R. Rain, Ghost Crypt, Nasville, New York, One Last Dance, Character, London, India, ericstuart.com, YouTube, Twitter, Favebook, iTunes, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

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YouTube Wednesday: Travis Atreo…the soulful vocalist that will hook you from the first note

travis-atreo

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an awesome singer/songwriter whose smooth vocals will make you hit the replay button again and again. Remember the name Travis Atreo because this artist is about to make a big splash in the main stream music industry. According to Travis’ official Facebook page, he’s currently working on his debut solo EP which should drop in 2015 (so get excited!!!). So let’s move on to the part y’all really want to see…THE MUSIC! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!

 

The first video that we’re going to talk about is Travis’ rendition of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran, which was uploaded on October 12th, 2014 (I couldn’t embed the video into this post, but you can check out the cover here: Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (Cover by Travis-Atreo). Now this is a song that is difficult to cover because it not only requires vocal skill, but also the ability to really portray the emotions behind the lyrics. Travis does a great job of really pulling at your heartstrings and immersing you into the song. Trust me once you hear his version, you’ll want to replay it again and again. Next up we have Travis’ cover of ‘Sledgehammer’ by Fifth Harmony, which was uploaded on January 14th, 2015. What I really like about this choice, is that Travis is able to show that he not only has the ability to make us cry, but can also perform a fun song that you’ll want to get up and dance to. These covers will only get you more excited for his original songs because of the amazing artist range Travis has already shown us.

 

Now we’re going to talk about Travis’ version of the hit song ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, which was uploaded on April 15th, 2015. This is another cover that will have you crying, but also constantly pushing the replay button (this cover is multi-talented like that). With a unique sound and the ability to hold his audience’s attention, from the very first note, Travis has proven that he’s ready to be a competitive main stream artist that you instantly recognize on your radio. The last song that we’re going to talk about is Travis’ original song ‘Baby It’s Christmas’ which features former ‘Teen Wolf’ & ‘Arrow’ actor Colton Haynes, and was uploaded on December 3rd, 2014 (by this I mean the piano version of this song, I couldn’t embed the video in this post, but you can check out the link here: ORIGINAL Baby It’s Christmas (Piano Version) feat Colton Haynes). This is a really cool song that you will want to listen to all year long. The lyrics tell a beautiful story, and the interesting mix between Colton’s strong country vocals & Travis’ smooth R&B vibe is the best present of all.

 

Keep up with everything Travis is doing:

YouTube: Travis Atreo

Website: www.travisatreo.com

Twitter: travis_atreo

Instagram: travisatreo

Facebook:TravisAtreo

Tumblr:travisatreo

 

  •   All credit goes to YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Travis-Atreo, Colton Haynes, Jeph Loeb, Matthew Weisman, Jeff Davis, Marty Adelstein, Rene Echevarria, Tony DiSanto, Liz Gateley, Russell Mulcahy, Joseph Genier, Adelstein Productions, DiGa VIsion, Fisrt Cause, INC, Lost Marbles Television, MGM Television, Siesta Productions, MTV, DC Comics, Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, Blake Neely, Sarah Schechter, David Nutter, J.P. Finn, Wendy Mericle, Glen WInter, Gordon Verheul, C. Kim Miles, Corey Robson, Joseph Antonetti, Bonanza Prodcutions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television Distribution, The CW, Asylum Records, Atlantic Records, Ed Sheeran, Amy Wadge, Jake Gosling, Atlantic Records, DJ Frank E, Charlie Puth, Andrew Cedar, DJ Frank E, Kevin Weaver, Mike Caren, Neal H. Moritz, Ally Maki, Malcom Wheeler-Nicholson, Vertigo, Mad Magazine, Time Warner, all of the businesses, companies, people, stores, and any other original owners involved and/or mentioned in any of these videos, any and all companies, individuals, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

 

 

YouTube Wednesday: Elyar Fox…the artist that will keep you glued to YouTube all year

Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’, we are going to talk about an INCREDIBLE YouTube musicianelyar fox 2 that you may or may not already be obsessed with. Trust me if you’ve never heard of Elyar Fox, then you need to continue reading this post. This 19 year old singer/songwriter from London is quickly taking over the music industry and the hearts of his fans one click at a time. Excited to hear more? Are you sure that you’re ready? Ok, then let’s go!



The first song that we’re going to talk about is Elyar’s ‘Treasure/When I Was Your Man’ by Bruno Mars video, which was uploaded on Mach 27th, 2013. I thought that this was a really cool Bruno Mars themed mash-up, which took two very different songs and perfectly matched them up. This video really showed off what a great musician Elyar’s is, and will have you hooked from the first note to the last. Next up we have his ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit cover, which was uploaded on April 7th, 2014 (you can’t check out the video below). I chose to include this video because it showed Elyar performing live. In this video we really get a look into Elyar’s performance style. Although we already knew that Elyar was a talents vocalist/musician, we really get to see how he is able to take command on stage and leave his audience spellbound. This video definitely shows that his performance skills are above and beyond that of a new artist. Just imagine how amazing he’ll be in a few years?

Now we’ll look at Elyar’s rendition of ‘Somebody To You’ by The Vamps feat. Demi Lovato, which was uploaded on June 4th, 2014. It was really cool to see Elyar take on a really fun, energetic song, because we really got to see his personality shine through. This cover really shows that Elyar is able to take on a just about any type of song, and will definitely get you excited to hear more of his covers. It’s cool to see your fav YouTubers really have fun with what they do, and we can certainly see that Elyar is having a lot of fun on this video which only makes us love him even more. Finally we’ll look at Elyar’s cover of ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, which was uploaded on April 19th, 2015 (you can check out the video below). This is definitely a tough song to cover because you not only have to sing the song correctly, but you also have to be able to show the deep emotions behind the lyrics. As everyone knows, this song was originally written as a tribute to ‘Fast and The Furious’ alum Paul Walker who sadly passed away in 2013. Because of this connection, this is a song that has to be sung with a lot of heartfelt emotion in order to maintain the magic of the original version. Elyar does an incredible job of capturing the emotions behind this song, and will definitely make you cry after you hear it.

Keep up with everything Elyar is doing:

YouTube: eldoode

Twitter: Elyar (@ElyarFox) | Twitter

Website: Elyar Fox – The official website

Instagram: Elyar Fox (@elyarfox) • Instagram

Tumblr: eldoode

Facebook: Elyar Fox | Facebook

 

 

  •  All credit goes to YouTube,Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, elyarfox.com, Elyar Fox, Phredley Brown, Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, The Smeezingtons, Atlantic Records, Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne, Warner Music Group, Jack Patterson, James Napier, Nicole Marshall, Grace Chatto, The Vamps, Demi Lovato, Mercury Records, Virgin EMI Records, Hollywood Records, Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha, Kritian Lundin, DJ Frank E, Charlie Puth, Wiz Khalifa, Andrew Cedar, Marcos da Silva, all of the businesses, companies, people, stores, and any other original owners involved and/or mentioned in any of these videos, any and all companies, individuals, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: 2015 Billboard Music Awards Recap

2015 Billboard music awards

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, we are going to recap the ‘2015 Billboard Music Awards’ (yay!!!). This year’s ‘Billboard Music Awards’ were hosted by rapper/actor Ludacris, and model Chrissy Teigen, and was definitely a show that we’ll be talking about for the rest of the year. One part of the show that we were all looking forward to was the premiere of Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ music video. With a large cast of celebrities such as: model/actress Cara Delevingne, supermodel Cindy Crawford, and actresses Hailee Steinfeld, Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham, Zendaya, and many more. The music video was very action packed and had a very cool futuristic spy feel to it. This video was definitely unlike anything we have seen from Taylor, and really shows her evolution as an artist. Now let’s move on to the awards, and finally the performances (I’m only going to include a few of the awards & performances that were shown during the show, because if I included everything, I would have y’all here all day. If you want to see the full list of winners and performances, check out billboard.com). So are y’all ready? Ok, let’s go!


Awards:

Top Duo or Group: One Direction

We all had to see this one coming because One Direction has been an unstoppable force ever since their first single dropped in the U.S. They have won tons of awards, broken numerous records, and were recently named the first band in U.S. Billboard history to have their first four debut albums debut at #1.



Top Billboard 200 Album: 1989 by Taylor Swift

Ok now we all know how well 1989 did this year, but honestly what else would you expect from Taylor Swift!?! With hit singles that stayed in our heads all year like Shake It Off, Blank Space, and Style, it’s no wonder that 1989 has ruled 2015 so far.



Top Male Artist: Sam Smith

Now if you’ve listened to the radio at all this year, you are very familiar with Sam Smith’s music. His debut album ‘In The Lonely Hour’ went platinum, and won Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Needless to say he’s had an AMAZING year.




Top Female Artist: Taylor Swift

With the success of 1989, it’s obvious that Taylor Swift would have a great chance of winning this award so I honestly don’t think that anyone would be surprised here.



Top Hot 100 Song: ‘All About That Bass’ by Meghan Trainor

Now you know you’ve been singing along to this one ever since it first came out. The fact that ‘All About That Bass’ has gone platinum 6 times in the U.S. definitely proves that Meghan deserves this award. I honestly don’t see this song’s popularity dwindling, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.



Top Artist: Taylor Swift

Again it’s Taylor Swift, she seriously ruled the radio waves this year so none of us are even surprised here.



Performances:

Nick Jonas ‘Jealous’:

So first of all we have to talk about is Nick Jonas’ performance of ‘Jealous’. This song was a really big hit for Nick this year, and the excitement of the crowd showed that this song is still a hit with fans. This performance had a lot of cool elements to it, such as awesome backboard graphics that really made this performance stand out. All in all this was a really cool performance that fans loved from beginning to end.



Mariah Carey ‘Vision of Love’ & ‘Infinity’:

Mariah Carey wowed us next with a performance that had everyone’s attention. She began her performance with her debut hit single ‘Vision of Love’, which is a song that we all still hold near and dear to our hearts. Next up we got to hear her new track ‘Infinity’. This performance definitely showed that Mariah is still able to impact is with her music, and will be an artist that we’ll keep coming back to for infinity.

 

Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth ‘See You Again’:

Ok now this is a song that we all have had on repeat for a while now and honestly you have to admit that you still cry whenever you hear it (Honestly how many times have you seen that music video featuring Paul Walker and just started to cry. #RIPPaulWalker). At the award show Wiz and Charlie were joined by YouTube star Lindsey Sterling who, as usual, blew us away with her amazing violin skills as. The vibe of the performance was very intimate and chilled which definitely made us all want to seriously cry. The emotionally charged lyrics were definitely front and center during this performance, due to Charlie and Wiz’s ability to deliver the song in a way that made us all feel the message of the song (seriously when Charlie started choking up during the song, I thought that I was going to lose it).


Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea ‘Pretty Girls’:

This was another performance that everyone was looking forward too, because we love Britney, and we love Iggy, so when you put them together it’s just perf! This performance had a very 80s feel to it, and was such a fun number to watch. It was so interesting to see these two collab because their musical styles are so different, so it’s exciting to see what they will each do next.


Tori Kelly ‘Nobody Love’:

The ‘Kia One To Watch Artist’ Tori Kelly was up next, and she really showed how talented she truly is. It was amazing to see her completely captivate the audience without any special staging or effects. It really made you feel like you were able to personally connect with Tori and fall even more in love with her music. This performance made me really excited to see what’s next for her.



Simple Minds ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me):

This was certainly one of the night’s most talked about performance, due to the fact that the cult classic movie ‘The Breakfast Club’ turned 30 this year. This performance had a very rock concert sort of vibe and the crowd was just completely hooked from beginning to end. It’s really fun to see so many different people rocking out to their favorite song, and the energy was definitely brought up A LOT during the this performance.


Imagine Dragons ‘Stand By Me’ (Ben E. King cover):

The last performance that we’re going to discuss is Imagine Dragon’s amazing performance of ‘Stand By Me’. This is a song that we all know and love, so it was so great to see that Imagine Dragons did their best to keep the original feel of the song intact, and molded their musical style to best fit the song. This was another tear jerking moment due to Ben E. King’s tragic passing recently, but I thought that this was a beautiful way for his incredible talent to be honored.

 

 

 

  •  All credit goes to unrealitytv.co.uk, Billboard Music Awards, Taylor Swift, Ludacris, Chrissy Teigen, billboard.com, Cara Delevingne, Cindy Crawford, Hailee Steinfeld, Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham, Zendaya, One Direction, Syco Records, Columbia Records, 1989, Big Machine Records, Max Martin, Jack Antonoff, Nathan Chapman, Imogen Heap, Greg Kurstin, Mattman & Robin, Ali Payami, Shellback, Ryan Tedder, Noel Zancanella, Shake It Off, Republic Records, Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour, PMR, Columbia Records, Method, Jimmy Napes, Steve Fitzmaurice, Komi, Naughty Boy, Two Inch Punch, Eg White, Fraser T Smith, All About That Bass, Meghan Trainor, Epic Records, Kevin Kadish, Nick Jonas, Jealous, Island Records, Jealous, Sir Nolan, Nolan Lambroza, Simon WIlcox, Mariah Carey, Ben Margulies, Rhett Lawrence, Narada Michael Walden, Columbia Broadcasting System, Sony Music Entertianment, Legacy Recordings, Eric Hudson, Priscilla Renea, Taylor Parks, IIsey Juber, Wiz Khalif, Charlie Puth, See You Again, Paul Walker, Lindsey Sterling, Atlantic Records, DJ Frak E, Andrew Cedar, Marcos de Silva, Britney Spears, Iggy Azalea, Pretty Girls, Rostrum Records, Taylor Gang Records, George Astasio, Jason Pebworth, Jon Shave, Maegan Cottone, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall, The Invisible Men, Jive Records, RCA Records, Def Jam Records, Mercury Records, Grand Hustle Records, Virgin EMI Records, Tori Kelly, Nobody Love, Capitol Records, Savan Kotecha, Rickard Goransson, SImple Minds, A&M Records, Keith Forsey, Steve Schiff, Virgin Records, The Breakfast Club, Universal Pictures, John Hughes, Ned Tanen, A&M Films, Channel Productions, Imagine Dragons, Ben E. King, Stand by Me, KIDinaKORNER, Interscope Records, Atco Records, Stand by Me, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Atco Records, Atlantic Records, Ichiban Records, all of the businesses, companies, people, and any other original owners that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended

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YouTube Wednesday: Kurt Hugo Schneider…the producer/director behind all your favorite YouTube musicians

Kurt Hugo Schneider

Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’, we are going to talk about director/music producer Kurt Hugo Schneider! Kurt is one of the AMAZING YouTube producers that has worked with so many of our fav musicians (both YouTubers and mainstream musicians). I guarantee that you’re VERY familiar with Kurt already, but just in case you’re new to his awesomeness, Ready? Ok let’s go!

 

Kurt began his online career in 2008, when he and his friend Sam Tsui released a cover of ‘Can I Have This Dance’ from the movie ‘High School Musical 3’ (this is the first video that is on their YouTube channel as of 3/31/2015). In this video, Kurt accompanies Sam on the piano, and also added cool effects on the video that make it look like multiple copies of Sam are singing at the same time. Kurt continued to post videos with Sam, with other people, and also solo, before he posted a cover that would begin to change his channel. On July 24th, 2009 Kurt uploaded a new cover with Sam Tsui, which was an a cappella Michael Jackson Medley, which features Kurt beatboxing (I included the video below so y’all can check it out). This video got a lot of media attention for Kurt & Sam, and is still one of their most popular videos with over 33 million total views. In 2009 & 2010, Kurt’s channel started growing so much that he & Sam were featured on: The Bonnie Hunt Show, Oprah, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Since then Kurt’s channel has definitely not slowed down, & he has worked with INCREDIBLE artists such as: Jason Derulo, Victoria Justice, Max Schneider (who we have already talked about, click here to read about him: ‘YouTube Wednesday’: Max Schneider, Hollywood’s longest kept secret | celindareyesblog), Alyson Stoner, Keke Palmer, Hunter Hayes, Jason Mraz, and so many more. Now that we know how Kurt built such an awesome channel, let’s move on to some of the bigger projects he has released.

 

Now let’s talk about some of the other amazing projects Kurt has been a part of (and remember guys that I’m just giving you a quick little highlight reel because honestly we could be here for days talking about why Kurt is so awesome). Kurt (along with Max Schneider) co-wrote the song ‘Standing In China’, which is on pop singer Cody Simpson’s album ‘Paradise’ (which was released in 2012). Another really awesome collaboration that Kurt did was a ‘Holiday Medley’ with Victoria Justice & Max Schneider which was uploaded on December 14th, 2012. This cool mash-up of popular Christmas songs features multiple videos that were played on multiple Sprint phones, that give the illusion that the vocalists in the videos are jumping from one phone to another phone (sorta hard to explain, but check out the video below to check out the greatness! In 2013, Kurt teamed up with Coca-Cola to create music videos (along with some really talented vocalists) where Kurt covered ‘Feel So Close’ by Calvin Harris & ‘Little Talks’ by Of Monsters and Men (this is the only cover that feature an instrument because the other artist in the video is a cellist) for their ‘The Sounds of AHH’ campaign. In the covers, Kurt is shown making the track playing only Coca-Cola bottles, glasses and cans. Like I said, this is only a small sample of the cool videos you’ll find on Kurt’s channel, so definitely add him to your “must watch” list!

 

 

YouTube: KurtHugoSchneider

2nd YouTube Channel: Kurt

Twitter: kurthschneider

Instagram: KurtSchneider

Website: Kurt Hugo Schneider

Facebook: Kurt Schneider | Facebook

 

 

  • All credit goes to Kurt HugoSchneider, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, kurthugoschneider.com, Facebook, High School Musical 3, Sam Tsui, Michael Jackson, The Bonnie Hunt Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Degeneres, Bonnie Hunt, all of the writers/producers/and other businesses, companies, mangers, and record labels who were involved with the production of Can I Have this Dance from High School Musical 3, Cody Simpson, Jason Derulo, Victoria Justice, Max Schneider, Alyson Stoner, Keke Palmer, Hunter Hayes, Jason Mraz, Sprint, Coca-Cola, Calvin Harris, Of Monsters and Men, Atlantic Records, DJ Frank E, Adam Messinger, Nasri, Shawn Campbell, Dr. Luke, Supa Dups Alex Dezen, Chris Morris, Drew Pearson, and all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, record labels, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post and/or are mentioned in any of the videos mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: 2015 Grammy Awards Recap

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about the 2015 Grammy Awards (btw we guessed half of the winners correctly this year, yay!). This year the award show was full of unique performances, surprises, and of course, awesome awards. It was truly a night dedicated to music, and all that it represented this past year. The show was once again hosted by rapper/actor LL Cool J, who stated at the top of the show that he wasn’t going to perform an opening monologue so that there would be more time for the music. I thought that it was a really memorable show, and will definitely have us all discussing it the rest of the year. If you missed the show, or just want to relive all the moments again, then please read on as we recap the 2015 Grammy Awards!

Awards:

  • Record of The Year: Stay With Me (Darkchild Version) by Sam Smith
  • Album of the Year: Morning Phase by Beck
  • Best New Artist: Sam Smith
  • Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Say Something by A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera

Here are the categories we guessed correctly this year:

  • Best Country Song: I’m Not Gonna Miss You by Glen Campbell
  • Best Country Album: Platinum by Miranda Lambert
  • Best Country Duo/Group Performance: Gentle On My Mind by The Band Perry from the Glen Campbell I’ll Be Me Soundtrack EP
  • Best Rock Song: Ain’t It Fun by Paramore

*If you want to see the full list of Grammy Award winners then please go to GRAMMY.com | The Official Site of Music’s Biggest Night

 

Performances:

Now there were a lot of awesome performances this year, but I decided to pick the top 10 must-see performances to discuss with y’all.

 

10) Eric Church: Eric performed his hit single ‘Give Me Back My Hometown’, which is a fun song that brings out the nostalgia in us all. As always, Eric captivated his audience and never lost their attention. The backdrop of the stage had scenes of a town in a Sepia effect, which just added an air of coolness to the number.

 

9) Ariana Grande: One number that was really interesting was Ariana Grande’s emotional performance of her song ‘Just a Little Bit of Your Heart’. The emotional ballad had a very intimate vibe that definitely captivated fans. The staging consisted of really dim lighting, purple stage lights, and really cool white smoke that appeared half way through the performance.

 

8) Pharrell Williams: Pharrell began his number with a spoken word performance of the beginning of his hit song ‘Happy’. The number then changed back to the original arrangement, and included dancers in bright colored clothing & choir robes. Towards the end of the number, the attention shifted over to the small stage in the center of the auditorium, where Hans Zimmermann was showing off his out of this world piano skills. Definitely a number we’d all be happy to see again.

 

7) Ed Sheeran feat. John Mayer & Questlove/Ed Sheeran & ELO: Ed performed a sweet rendition of his new single ‘Thinking Out Loud’, and was accompanied by John Mayer’s EPIC guitar playing, and Questlove (the drummer of the band The Roots, who are Jimmy Fallon’s house band) on the drums. This was such an awesome pairing that I know we all have our fingers crossed for these artists to collab again soon. After ‘Thinking Out Loud’, Ed switched over to another stage and performed ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ with British rock group, Electric Light Orchestra (aka ELO). This was another unexpected, yet really awesome collab that left us wondering who Ed will work with next (because obviously he can work with anyone and it will sound awesome).

 

6) Miranda Lambert: Miranda performed her song ‘Little Red Wagon’, and definitely showed that country music can rock. She was in full rock star mode, with a performance that included lots of cool smoke and explosion effects, an interesting red sun decoration in the background, and lots of flashing red lights that definitely raised the energy of the room to full blast.

 

5) Hosier & Anne Lennox: Hosier started the performance with their hit single ‘Take Me To Church’ & was later joined by Anne Lennox, who also performed her rendition of ‘I Put A Spell on You’ (which was originally by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins). This was another high energy performance that had the audience captivated throughout the number…what can we say, they put a spell on us!

 

4) Katy Perry: Katy performed a truly angelic rendition of her song ‘By The Grace of God’, complete with a beautiful white gown. The performance followed a PSA by President Barack Obama, and a speech by domestic abuse survivor Brooke Axtell (the PSA and speech were in support of a new program called #ItsOnUs, which is an initiative to end violence against women & girls). This was truly a strong way to deliver this powerful message.

 

3) Paul McCartney, Rihanna, & Kanye West: The legendary Beatle joined Pop star Rihanna, & Rap star Kanye West for a performance of the trio’s song ‘Four Five Seconds’. This was such an amazing number, that really brought out the true talent of all three artists, and showed the magic that can happen when artists of different genres come together to create something spectacular.

 

2) Sam Smith & Mary J. Blige: Sam & Mary J. Blige left the room completely speechless with their duet of Sam’s hit song ‘Stay With Me’. The two artists used their amazing vocal talents to deliver a breathtaking performance that was one of the highlights of the night. What made this performance extra cool was the old school soul flair that the artists added to the overall vibe of the show; it definitely left us hoping that they will work together again in the future.

 

1) Sia feat. Maddie Ziegler & Kristen Wiig: The top spot of the night has to go to Sia for her beautiful performance of her hit single Chandelier. The number took place in a destroyed, dirty room, and showed comedic actress Kristen Wiig & Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler performing the choreography from the song’s music video together. Although Sia & Kristen were INCREDIBLE, the star of the show was definitely Maddie. Seriously, she’s 12 years old and has already performed at the Grammys, how do you possibly top that!?! With such a HUGE start to 2015, I’m excited to see what this rising star does next.

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to the Grammy Awards, CBS, LL Cool J, Sam Smith, Darkchild, Beck, A Great Big World, Christina Aguilera, Miranda Lambert, Glen Campbell, Paramore, The Band Perry, GRAMMY.com, Eric Church, Ariana Grande, Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmermann, John Mayer, Questlove, Ed Sheeran, Electric Light Orchestra, Hosier, Anne Lennox, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Katy Perry, Barack Obama, Brooke Axtell, #ItsOnUs, Sam Smith, Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Sia, Maddie Ziegler, Kristen Wiig, Dance Moms, Lifetime, Capitol Records, Sam Smith, James Napier, William Phillips, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Epic Records, Ian Axel, Chad Vacarino, Mike Campbell, Dan Romer, Julian Raymond, John Hartford, RCA Records Nashville, Frank Liddell. Chuck Ainlay, Glenn Worf, Fueled by Ramen, Warner Bros. Records, Hayley Williams, Taylor York, EMI Nashville, Capitol Records Nashville, Luke Laird, Jay Joyce, Rodney Jerkins, Paul “Hotsauce” Dawson, Alicia Renee Williams, I Am Other, Back Lot Music, Columbia Records, Jet Records, Jeff Lynne, Asylum Records, Atlantic Records, Amy Wadge, Jake Gosling, Audra Mae, Joe Ginsberg, Rubyworks Records, Island Records, Andrew Hozier-Byrne, Hozier, Rob Kirwan, Okeh Records, Herb Slotkin, Arnold Matson, Don Was, Mike Stevens, Greg Wells, Roc Nation, Westbury Road, Mike Dean, Tyrone Griffin, Dave Longstreth, Dallas Austin, Elon Rutberg, Noah Goldstein, Monley Puzzle, Sia Furler, Jesse Shatkin, Greg Kurstin, real.com, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

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Monday Memos: 2014 CMA Awards Recap

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about last week’s 2014 CMAs (Country Music Awards). This year’s show was once again co hosted by country music superstars Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, and featured really cool musical performances. Once again, Carrie and Brad were able to use their combination of witty banter, musical talents, and comic timing to poke fun at some of this year’s most highly profiled current events. They also performed a very funny song about George Strait not being at the show this year, and then later when they “discover” that he is at the show, they make comments about why he hasn’t gone anywhere (which is a joke about the tour that George Strait just completed, which was called ‘The Cowboy Rides Away’). The hosts opening monologue was definitely a fun way to kick off such an exciting, high energy show. So now let’s move on to the awards and musical performances!

 

Awards:

Single of the Year:

‘Automatic’ by Miranda Lambert

Now if you were listening to country radio this year, you definitely heard this song (this single even reached #3 on the Billboard US Country AirPlay chart). Of course no one should be surprised at this win, because Miranda co-wrote the song and we all know that right now Miranda Lambert truly has the Midas touch.
Song of The Year:

‘Follow Your Arrow’ by Kacey Musgraves

This is another song that you’ve definitely heard all year long. This song was certainly a big hit as the 3rd single off of Kacey’s debut big label album, and its success is definitely evidence that we haven’t heard the last of this rising star.
New Artist of The Year:

Brett Eldredge

Brett Eldredge first made his impact on the country music scene in 2012 when his single ‘Don’t Ya’ (which was certified Platinum in the U.S.) was released to country music radio and reached #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. This single was followed up with the similarity successful single ‘Beat of The Music’ (was certified Gold in the U.S.) in 2013. With such a strong show on his debut album, it’s not a surprise that Brett won this honor.

 

Vocal Duo of The Year:

Florida Georgia Line

Ok everyone who was surprised by this please raise your hands. Let me guess, there are no hands raised right? Yeah, if you’ve listened to the radio AT ALL this past year (country and pop radio), then you’ve heard of the country power duo Florida Georgia Line. These rising stars have also had cross-over remixes of two of their hit singles (Cruise & This Is How We Roll) with features from r&b/pop/rap stars Nelly and Jason Derulo. With their iron grip on both country and pop radio, I foresee 2015 to be an even BIGGER year for Florida Georgia line.

 

Album of The Year:

‘Platinum’ by Miranda Lambert

Midas strikes again! With her success from the singles ‘Automatic’ & ‘Somethin’ Bad’ (which features fellow superstar Carrie Underwood, and has been certified Gold, as well as peaking at #1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs), this was definitely a hard album to beat.

 

Vocal Group of The Year:

Little Big Town

With a new album which made its’ debut at #3 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums, and a lead single (entitled ‘Day Drinkin’), which peaked at #4 on the Billboard U.S. Country Airplay, this was certainly Little Big Town’s year to win this top honor.

 

Irving Waugh Award of Excellence:

Vince Gill

With highly successful careers as the front man of the country rock band ‘Pure Prairie League’ and as a solo artist, Vince Gill is the definition of a country music icon. As a solo artist, Vince Gill has won every country music award (multiple times), has won 20 Grammy awards, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (in 2005), and was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2012). Honestly I could sit here and list all of Vince Gill’s INCREDIBLE accomplishments but that would take pages and pages. To make a long story short, if you listen to any one of Vince Gill’s records, you will definitely see why he deserves this award.

 

Male Vocalist of The Year:

Blake Shelton

This year Blake has certainly used his voice to prove why he deserves this top honor. This year, Blake released his latest album ‘Bringing back the Sunshine’, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard U.S. 200 chart(which counts albums of all genres) & #1 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums chart. The album also produced a single that peaked at #3 on the U.S. Country chart.

 

Female Vocalist of The Year:

Miranda Lambert

Midas is here y’all…Midas is here! I don’t think I need to tell y’all why Miranda deserves this award, but in case you forget…listen to her latest album ‘Platinum’, and you’ll remember why she is so awesome.

 

Entertainer of The Year:

Luke Bryan

Well now we’ve reached the final award, and although the competition was extremely fierce, it is clear why Luke Bryan walked away with this award. His 2013 album ‘Crash My Party’ was SUCH a huge album for the country music superstar that it peaked at #1 on both the Billboard U.S. 200 & Top Country Albums, as well as producing 3 consecutive #1 singles, and two more singles that peaked at #2 and #5 respectively. If these statistics don’t convince you that Luke Bryan IS the country music entertainer of the year, then take a listen to his album ‘Crash My Party’ and you’ll see how his ability to entertain translates through the album so effortlessly.

 

Performances:

Kenny Chesney:

Kenny Chesney kicked off the show with his performance of his 1st single ‘American Kids’ off of his latest album ‘The Big Revival’. The number consisted of a very hippie/bohemian theme, complete with fun multicolored lights, and a multicolored bus in the background, complete with an American flag. Kenny’s dancers were also dressed to match the theme, and made the audience feel as if they were invited to an awesome party.

 

Miranda Lambert & Meghan Trainor:

Next up we had a fun performance by two of music’s sassiest performers Miranda Lambert & Meghan Trainor! They performed a fun and unique performance of Meghan’s hit ‘All About That Bass’. The backdrop of the stage flashed the word ‘Bass’ in different colors throughout the number, and Miranda and Meghan both let their sassiness fly and because of this ha the audience hanging on their every word.

 

Lady Antebellum:

Lady Antebellum stepped up next with their infectious hit single ‘Bartender’. The performance was even more fun to watch with the addition of white, blue, purple, and red lights that kept the “party vibe” of the show going. There were also A LOT of small lights that went all around the stage, that made the stage look as if it were surrounded by stars, and this added the perfect finishing touch to a great performance.

 

Florida Georgia Line:

Next up we had an AMAZING performance of Florida Georgia Line’s single ‘Dirt’. Usually Florida Georgia Line tends to move around a lot during big award show performances, so I thought that it was a really cool change of pace to see them both sitting down and accompanying themselves on guitar. This performance also showed that these talented guys are able to not only draw in an audience through their stage presence, but simply through their musical skills. The backboard of the stage had cool revolving images of houses, roads, and fences in yellow and orange colors that made the images look as if they would explode at any second.

 

Keith Urban:

Keith Urban was next with his performance of his hit single ‘Somewhere In My Car’. The staging was cool with strobe lights that flashed all over the stage, but as always; it was Keith’s voice and unnatural guitar skills that stole the show. It honestly would not be a Keith Urban show without an EPIC guitar solo and he certainly did not fail.

 

The Band Perry:

The Band Perry was up next, with their performance of ‘Gentle In My Mind’, in honor of the great Glen Campbell. I really loved that the staging for this song was very simple, so the attention of the performance was on the song itself. The Band Perry added their own twist to the hit by changing the arrangement slightly, which brought a fresh vibe to the classic tune.

 

Kacey Musgraves & Loretta Lynn:

One of country music’s newest rising star Kacey Musgraves, performed the hit ‘You’re Lookin at Country’ with the iconic Loretta Lynn (who made the song famous in 1971). The backdrop of the stage has a very classic country look with a barn that said ‘Grand Old Opry’ on it. This was a really awesome performance that brought together the worlds of classic and modern country into a performance that was one of the standout numbers of the night.

 

Jason Aldean:

Jason Aldean rocked the stage next with a performance of his single ‘Burning It Down’. The performance had a very country meets rock vibe, complete with cool red and white lights, and lots of energy that just made you want to get up and dance.

 

Little Big Town & Ariana Grande:

Next we had another “mash of the genres”, when Little Big Town performed with special guest Ariana Grande. First Little Big Town came onstage to perform their latest hit ‘Daydrinkin’. This had to be my favorite performance of the night because of all of the cool visual aspects of the number. The board consisted of two levels of drummers with black suits that had red lights. You could really only see the red lights, so this made the drummers look EXTREMELY cool (I honestly can’t even express just how cool this looked)! Little Big Town had similar outfits on, which added such a cool futuristic feel to their performance that said it apart from the all of the other performances. As always their vocals were VERY on point and near perfect (which is HARD to do in a group). Once ‘Daydrinkin’ was over, the lights instantly switched from red to blue, and Ariana Grande came out to sing a snippet of her hit collaboration ‘Bang Bang’. Little Big Town joined her, and in doing so added a fun country meets r&b flair to the song that was very cool.

 

Tim McGraw:

Tim McGraw was up next with his song ‘Shotgun Rider’, which brought the classic Tim McGraw vine that fans have grown to love. The staging was very simple with cool blue lights circling the stage, and the confidence and energy that are now a Tim McGraw staple.

 

Cole Swindell:

Cole Swindell: Cole Swindell performed a snippet of his song ‘Chillin It’, before announcing the winners of the award for ‘Radio Stations of The Year’. Even though Cole only performed a snippet of his song, he was still able to command the stage and grab the crowd in such a way that makes me very excited to see what his future holds.

 

Dierks Bentley:

Dierks Bentley was up next with his party anthem single ‘Drunk on A Plane’. The backboard of the stage had a picture of a plane on a runway, and alternating names of “destination sites”. This performance definitely kept the show’s energy up, and made the show feel less like an award show, and more like an epic concert.

 

Brad Paisley:

Co-host Brad Paisley performed next with his latest hit ‘Perfect Storm’. The number had an AWESOME Brad Paisley style guitar solo (which the crowd went wild for), and an energy and likability that showed why Brad’s career is steadily on the rise with no sign of slowing down.

 

Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe:

Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe were up next with their emotional duet ‘Lonely Tonight’, which had the crowd captivated from the first note, to the last. The staging for this number was very simple and stripped down, which perfectly brought out the intimate feel of the song, and really made you feel every word.

 

Carrie Underwood:

Co-host Carrie Underwood performed her latest hit ‘Something In The Water’. The backboard had REALLY cool blue lights that floated around and made it look like there was a giant waterfall behind Carrie, that later changed to multicolored lights. Later in the performance a choir of people walked on to accompany Carrie, and added a cool twist to the performance that matched the song perfectly. As always, Carrie’s show-stopping vocals took center stage during this number, and perform that she still has a HUGE presence in country music (BRAVO CARRIE UNDERWOOD!!!).

 

Luke Bryan:

Next up we had the Entertainer of The Year himself, Mr. Luke Bryan. He performed his newest hit ‘Rollercoaster’, and had very simple staging. The backboard was grey with clouds and occasional thunder. Luke allowed his natural charisma to take center stage, and the crowd completely loved it (and they were even singing back to him at one part of the song).

 

Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town:

Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town took the stage once more to perform their duet ‘Smokin and Drinkin’ (off of Miranda’s latest album). The staging consisted of a lot of cool smoke and lights, which helped add a cool vibe to the performer that perfectly matched the chilled vibe of the song, Miranda & Little Big Town’s vocals went together perfectly, and made it clear that these two acts NEED to release more tracks together.

 

George Strait & Eric Church:

King George Strait returned to the CMA stage once more with his performance of his 2003 hit ‘Cowboys Like Us’. The backdrop had a lot of cool pictures of George Strait throughout his career, and added a very classic country feel to the performance. Eric Church added a little rock to George Strait’s classic country vibe, and brought another great example of what happens when modern and classic country merge.

 

Thomas Rhett:

Thomas Rhett performed a snippet of his hit song ‘Get Me Some of That’, while he announced the winners of the CMA ‘Personalities of The Year’ awards. Although his performer was short, Thomas certainly held his audience’s attention the entire time, and showed why he is a rising star to watch.

 

The Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott, & Hunter Hayes:

The Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott, & Hunter Hayes were up next with their performance of The Doobie Brothers hit ‘Listen To The Music’. The high energy performance was EXTREMELY fun to watch, and brought musicians from the whole spectrum of country music, to bring a fresh sound to this awesome song. The Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, and Hillary Scott killed their vocal performances, and Hunter Hayes had an AMAZING guitar solo that the crowd went crazy for. What I loved most about this performance was the fact that it felt less like a calculated award show performance, and more like a bunch of musicians jamming out.

The Doobie Brothers closed the show with their song ‘Takin it To The Streets’, (with some help from Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott, Hunter Hayes, & Brad Paisley). The number included an AWESOME keyboard solo, and had a very old school feel and energy that made the performance feel like an AMAZING concert.

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to the CMAs, The city of Nashville, The State of Tennessee, Miranda Lambert, RCA Nashville, Nicolle Galyon, Natalie Hemby, Mercury Nashville, Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, Brett Eldredge, Atlantic Nashville, Florida Georgia Line, Big Loud Mountain, Republic Nashville, Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay, Glenn Worf, Little Big Town, Capitol Records Nashville, Vince Gill, RCA, MCA, MCA Nashville, Blake Shelton, Giant Records, Warner Bros. Nashville, Reprise Nashville, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Blue Chair, Columbia Nashville, Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, Epic Records, Kevin Kadish, Meghan Trainor, Lady Antebellum, Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hilary Scott, Rodney Clawson, Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins, Keith Urban, J.T. Harding, the Band Perry, Republic Nashville, Glen Campbell, Capitol Records, John Hartford, Loretta Lynn, Decca Records, Broken Bow Records, Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins, Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Little Big Town, Ariana Grande, Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet, Troy Verges, Barry Dean, Jessie J, Nicki Minaj, Lava Records, Universal Music Group, Max Martin, Onika Maraj, Savan Kotecha, Rickard Göransson, Big Machine, Marv Green, Hillary Lindsey, Troy Verges, Cole Swindell, Shane Minor, Dierks Bentley, Josh Kear, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Artista Nashville, Lee Thomas Miller, Ashley Monroe, Brent Anderson, Ryan Hurd, Republic Records, Universal Republic, Island Records, Gut Records, Disturbing London, Young Money Records, Cash Money Records, Republic Records, Carrie Underwood, Artista Nashville, 19 Entertainment, Chris DeStefano, Brett James, Michael Carter, Hemby, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, George Strait, MCA Nashville, Anthony Smith, Bob DiPiero, Eric Church, EMI Nashville, Thomas Rhett, Valory Music Group, Rhett Akins, Michel Carter, Hillary Scott, Hunter Hayes, Atlantic Records, Jennifer Nettles, The Doobie Brothers, Warner Bros. Records, Michael McDonald, cmaworld.com,Tom Johnson, all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

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Monday Memos: The theme songs of your life

Hello people of the internet!!! Today’s ‘Monday Memos’ is going to be a little different than the normal blogs that I usually post. As I’m sure many of you know I am a huge fan of Music. I literally spend all day with my headphones on, so I thought why not write a quick story, and insert music into it. Basically this is what I imagine a person’s day might be if we all had theme music automatically inserted into our days. It’s meant to be a funny blog post, so hope y’all enjoy. Ready? Let’s go!

 

You wake up in the morning and realize it’s time for school (boo!!!), then you remember that school means hanging out with friends, stalking…I mean talking/wishing you could talk to that special someone that has no idea you exists, oh and there’s that thing called homework or something that everyone keeps saying you should do but it can’t be that important right? So you get up and start singing in the shower, pick out an AWESOME outfit, do your hair and makeup, take a look in the mirror and think “I wish that I could be like the cool kids”. But what the other kids might think or say doesn’t matter because you’re just gonna shake it off. Ok, so now you’re off to school. Great now we’re at school, let the learning begin! (yay?) Ok so school has been ok so far, now it’s lunch time! Oh know there goes that guy you like, quick don’t look! Oh he saw you; well what are you waiting on? Wave! Not frantically like you’re insane…maybe he didn’t notice?!? Oh no, his mean girlfriend did. Great. Well just go sit down with your friends. Maybe they didn’t notice you. Wait, why wouldn’t they notice you? You’re awesome! Well that’s what everyone keeps saying. That girl is so mean to everyone, why is he even with her? Seriously sometimes you just want to scream,” You Belong With Me”!!!! She always makes fun of you because you’re shy and maybe even stutter a little bit. So what if you’re not the most popular or confident person ever. That’s ok right? Wait maybe people don’t like shy? Maybe you need to be louder and more noticeable. But who care what they think right. Right? Then you start thinking “Am I Wrong”? Do I really need to change? Oh no that cute guy is coming. Is he going to laugh at how you waved at him? Quick! Hide!!! Too late he’s here. Ok act casual, act cool, please stop it with that goofy smile. Ok he’s talking, so far so good. Ok, he just wanted to tell you hi because you didn’t see him wave back. Oh and now he’s leaving. Aww that was nice. It’s not fair for someone to be that nice and good looking. One of these days you know you’re just going to say “that’s what makes you beautiful”, then he’ll realize that you’re perfect together and you’re have that fairytale love story that everyone keeps saying is impossible. Yeah it will be perfect! And now the bell rings…ok back to reality. Yeah after all those classes school is over for today! Let’s go crazy, let’s get a tattoo…ok maybe not that crazy. Let’s go home and watch YouTube. Ok well that was 3 hours well spent. You know what time it is now? Netflix time!!! Gotta love Zac Efron and Channing Tatum. Ok time for bed. Makeup is off; pajamas are on, now time for some music and a few hours of looking on Twitter and Instagram. 5 hours well spent. You know what? Who cares what other people think? Yeah YOU ARE AWESOME! You don’t have to try so hard. Right? Right! Yeah, because you really don’t care! Ok, nice talk. Time to go to sleep. Goodnight!

 

As you can tell, it’s not a serious blog, and I also focused more on lyrics and title from songs that fit the story, instead of what the songs are actually talking about. Anyway with that in mind, I hope y’all enjoyed the story and if this is something that you like, maybe I can write a part 2 in the future!

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to all of the labels, managers, corporations, people, businesses, and any other person or sponsor involved in any way, shape, or form, with the following artists, people, groups, etc.: Becky G, Echosmith, Taylor Swift, Nico & Vinz, One Direction, Hunter Hayes, Colbie Callait, Demi Lovato, Kemosabe Records, Rebecca Marie Gomez, pinterest.com, Twitter, Instagram, Lukasz Gottwald, Henry Walter, Planet VI, Warner Brothers Records, Jamie Sierota, Noah Sierota, Sydney Sierota, Graham Sierota, Jeffery David, Jesiah Dzwonek, Big Machine Records, Max Martin, Shellback, Universal Republic Records, Liz Rose, 5 Star Entertainment, EMI Group Limited, Syco Records, Columbia Records, Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha, Jim Jacobs, Warren Casey, Nathan Chapman, Atlantic Records, Troy Verges, Barry Dean, Republic Records, Antonio Dixon, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Jason Reeves, Hollywood Records, Carl Falk, Zac Efron, Channing Tatum, YouTube, Netflix, Savan Kotecha, Rami Yacoub, Cher Lloyd, all other original owners. Any corporations, businesses, people, etc., that have not been mentioned in this blog post are given full credit for their work, and their previous absence was purely accidental. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

 

Monday Memos Artist Spotlight: Why 2014 Is Going To Be A Golden Year for Bruno Mars!

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, we are going to do an ‘Artist Spotlight’ on the AMAZING performer Bruno Mars. Ready? Let’s get started! Over the years, there have been many artists who enter the music industry with talent and charisma, who instantly steal our hearts and souls. However, every once in a while, an entertainer emerges who is so phenomenally special, that they rise above the others, and leave us in awe of their musical abilities, Bruno Mars is one of these entertainers. Bruno Mars (whose real name is Peter Hernandez) was born on October 8th, 1985 in Honolulu, HI. At the tender age of two, he began performing throughout Hawaii, and by four he was performing shows five nights a week. Bruno has stated that his father moved to Hawaii from Brooklyn and began a group called ‘The Love Notes’, who sang 1950’s doo-wop and did impressions of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley. As a young boy, Bruno began performing with this group, and did an Elvis impression. After he completed high school, Bruno moved to Los Angeles, CA in order to continue his musical pursuits.

 

Upon moving to Los Angeles, Bruno worked with many undiscovered artists, such as Ne-Yo (who later wrote a hit song for the artist Mario, and has since become a huge star as well). Bruno has stated that he learned the importance of songwriting by watching how Ne-Yo wrote music. Bruno realized at that moment that he wanted to learn how to properly write songs, in order to (as he has stated to ’Vibe Magazine’), “…be respected for the songs that I write.” Bruno worked on his writing skills, and at the age of 18, he received a recording contract with the legendary ‘Motown Records’. Unfortunately, Bruno was later released from his contract due to creative differences, and he moved back to LA and continued to pursue his musical ambitions. He soon began working with songwriters/producers Phillip Lawrence and Ari Levine, and the trio soon became a highly sought after team called ‘The Smeezingtons’. Bruno soon began writing songs for popular artists, and in 2006, he met with Aaron Bay-Schuck (who at the time had just left his A&R position at Epic Records). Aaron (who later became Bruno’s manager); soon took a job at Atlantic Records, and wanted to sign Bruno immediately. However, Atlantic Records thought that Bruno was not ready yet, so Aaron kept The Smeezingtons on as songwriters and producers for the label. In 2009, Bruno was finally signed by Atlantic Records as a solo artist, and immediately began writing hits for artists such as Travie McCoy, Flo Rida, and B.O.B (Bruno lent his vocals to Travie McCoy’s song ‘Billionaire’, and B.O.B.’s song ‘Nothin on You’, which was his first real exposure as a solo artist).

 

In May of 2010 Bruno released his E.P ‘It’s Better If You Don’t Understand’, which peaked at #99 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. In August of the same year, Bruno co-wrote Cee Lo Green’s hit track ‘Forget You’, which was a huge hit for both artist (although Bruno did not sing on the track). Bruno’s debut full length album ‘Doo-Wops & Hooligans’ was released in October of 2010, peaked at #3 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart (and also peaked extremely high in numerous other countries, causing the record to be a vast improvement from his EP). Doo-Wops & Hooligans received a total of seven Grammy nominations in 2011 & 2012, and won in 2011 for ‘Best Pop Vocal Performance for the single ‘Just the Way You Are’. In 2012, Bruno released his second album ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’, which peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, and garnered Bruno five Grammy nominations in 2013. Bruno’s music has earned him international fame, and has been used in numerous commercials, as well as covered on the popular U.S musical-comedy ‘Glee’. Bruno is scheduled to perform at the halftime show of the 2014 U.S. Super Bowl, and honestly is most likely going to put on an amazing show.

 

As you can see, Bruno has had a very long road to achieve his fame and acclaim as a vocalist/songwriter/producer. Although he his past three years have been phenomenal, I think that 2014 is definitely going to be Bruno’s golden year. I anticipate him doing very well at the Grammys, and possibly even releasing another album by the end of this year, or in early 2015 (and we all know when he does release another album, it’s going to be musical perfection). Honestly, the Super Bowl Halftime Show is arguably the biggest event for an artist to perform at, thus Bruno’s invitation to perform there, proves that he is now recognized as one of the top musicians, currently in the industry. I anticipate that Bruno will only become more famous and will one day become a musical icon, just like the artists that he idolized as a young boy in Hawaii.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*All photos and information used in this blog belong to YouTube, Bruno Mars, Atlantic Records, Motown Records, Barry Gordy, Cee Lo Green, Travie McCoy, B.O.B., Philip Lawerence, Ari Levine, Aaron Bay-Schuck, Flo Rida, Arista Records, Elektra Records, BMG Rights Management, Fueled By Ramen, Warner Music Group, Grand Hustle Records, Rebel Rock, Boston.com, Ne-Yo, Vibe.com, hitquarters.com, wallpapergrab.com, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended