Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an AMAZING singer that you’re going to be absolutely OBSESSED with!!! If you haven’t heard of Beckah Shae then prepare to be introduced to your favorite new singer. With years of experience in the Contemporary Christian genre, Beckah’ reputation has gained her award nominations (including a very prestigious Dove Award nomination, which is the highest award a Christian artist can earn), as well as a guest track on multiaward winning artist TobyMac’s 2010 album ‘Tonight’. Recently Beckah has been making waves on her YouTube channel by posting Christian versions of popular Pop songs. Not only is this an innovative and genius spin on the concept of covers, but has also allowed Beckah to show off her extremely impressive vocal range to a larger audience. So I know what you’re thinking now. You want to get to the music right? Ok then let’s jump into it. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first song that we’re going to talk about is Beckah’s cover of Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Shape of You’, which was uploaded on April 20th, 2017 (you can check out the video below). This was the 1st cover of Beckah’s that I ever saw and honestly it hooked me right from the beginning. I love how she took a song about someone finding the love they crave in a person and instead turning into a song about finding love in Jesus. Although Ed’s version is great, I really like how Beckah took a club song and made it an AMAZING worship song. The next song we’re going to talk about is Beckah’s cover of ‘Sorry Not Sorry by Demi Lovato. This is the cover that will really show you just how much control and power Beckah’s voice has. This is definitely not an easy song to cover due to the incredibly high notes and long vocal runs the song has. This song definitely provides a round of vocal gymnastics for most vocalists however Beckah handles this challenge with ease. This is a cover that you will definitely want to blast from your car speakers this year!
Now we’re going to discuss Beckah’s cover of ‘Havana’ by Camilia Cabello. I thought that this was a really creative cover because of Beckah’s change of the word Havana for Hosanna which makes her transition of this track into a worship song appear flawless. It never does cease to amaze me just how creative Beckah is. The final song that we’re going to discuss is Beckah’s cover of ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran, which features musician Damien Horne. This is an absolutely cover that is truly able to show how both artists are able to perfectly express the emotions and tenderness in this song and truly make a remarkable worship song out of it. Honestly I could sit here all day and explain why you should listen to Beckah’s music however her talent is something you must experience to fully understand, and recommend you do this immediately!
All photos and information used in this blog belong to Beckah Shea, Twitter, YouTube, Pateron, Instagram, Spotify, iTunes, Damien Horne, Aslyum Records, Ed Sheeran, Warner Music group, Atlantic Records, Steve Mac, Johnny McDaid, Kandi Burruss, Tameka Cottle, Kevin Briggs, Demi Lovato, Universal Music Group, Island Records, Hollywood Records, Safehouse Records, Warren “Oak” Felder, Sean Douglas, Trevor Brown, William Zaire Simmons, Camila Cabello, Sony Music, Epic Records, Syco Music, Jeffery Williams, Adam Feeney, Brittany Hazzard, Ali Tamposi, Brian Lee, Andrew Watt, Pharrell Williams, Louis Bell, Kaan Gunesberk, Frank Dukes, Young Thug, YSL, 300 Entertainment, Will Hicks, Benny Blanco, 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
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. If 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. I would find my tennis rating and it would be pretty good. 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. There rating would be even higher than mine. What I mean is 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. Of course, in film, there’s a lot of speculation about how the bigger films select their cast. Some people believe that there are auditions, whilst others assume it’s a word of mouth process. Due to this, a lot of people ask themselves is backstage a scam or is it worth trying to make some connections within the film industry? Of course, making some connections with people in the industry is always beneficial. However, there are still auditions that may have to be done. When auditioning, being able to not take it so seriously and put that pressure on yourself every time 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.
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. Recently, a friend of mine who knows How to get pokemon Platinum ROM so he can play on his computer was talking to me about the game and how the world of Pokémon is such a good escape from the troubles of modern life. 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. I know that everyone is different and different things work for different people, but when people ask me how to write songs I always recommend this method. Visit somewhere like The Sound Junky, buy yourself a guitar (or any instrument for that matter) that you will love and just start to play it. Enjoy it. The rest will come. 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:
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.
Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday we are going to talk about an incredible new artist that you will all have on repeat this fall. If you haven’t heard of Tay Watts then plug your headphone in and prepare for to have your mind blown. Tay will definitely make a mark on the music industry very soon, so keep reading so you can say that you discovered his awesomeness first. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Tay’s cover of ‘Take Your Time’ by Sam Hunt, which was uploaded on February 17th, 2015 (you can check out this video below). I chose this one because I really love how we not only get a great introduction to Tay’s vocal skills, but also his talents as a guitarist and rapper. He also shows us that he has the charisma and natural stage presence to grab his audience’s attention and keep it from the first note to the last. The next video that we’re going to talk about is Tay’s rendition of ‘The Reason’ by Hoobastank, which was uploaded on April 3rd, 2015. What I love most about this cover, is that we are able to see how well Tay is able to perform with other artists. In this cover, Tay is able to perfectly blend his voice with fellow YouTubers Jake Coco & Corey Gray (who we’ve spoken about in a previous blog post here: YouTube Wednesday: Corey Gray…the singer/songwriter whose music is the best Christmas present you’ll get this year). The ability to perform with multiple other artists is an invaluable skill to have, that proves that Tay is a true professional.
Next up we have Tay’s cover of ‘House Party’ by Sam Hunt, which was uploaded on July 22nd, 2015. The reason why I chose this video is because this cover shows us that not only can Tay handle the difficulty of portraying the emotions behind a ballad, but he can also rock out. It’s very important for a musician to be able to control the mood of an audience, because this shows that you are not only a vocalist, but a true artist. Tay proves through this cover that he has the artist depth to make us feel any emotion he chooses. The final cover that we’re going to talk about is Tay’s rendition of ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ by Michael Jackson, which was uploaded on September 17th, 2015 (you can check out this video below). Now this is an EXTREMELY difficult artist to cover because of the intense vocal and artistic that Michael Jackson was able to engrave in each of his songs. Tay does an amazing job of truly showing off his musical chops in this performance by not only paying tribute to Michael Jackson’s original vision of the song, but by also adding in his own personal touches that shows us who he is as an artist. This cover will give you all the feels.
All photos and information used in this blog belong to YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Keep Your Soul Records, Taylor Made Studios, Tay Watts, Jake Coco, Corey Gray, Sam Hunt, MCA Nashville, Capitol Records, Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally, Zach Crowell, Jerry Flowers, Hoobastank, Island Records, Douglas Robb, Dan Estrin, Chris Light Hesse, Markku Lappalainen, Howard Benson, Michael Jackson, Epic Records, Quincy Jones, 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.
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. Not only is Taylor an inspiration to all aspiring popstars out there, her impressive new video may also inspire any up and coming videographers that want to have their own success within the music industry. It can be tough to make waves in the music video scene, but one potential way to get ahead is by having the very best equipment in order to obtain the best shots possible. As a director, you could do this by investing in something like the Mavic Mini drone, as this could allow you to get shots that none of your competitors will be able to keep up with, and you may find yourself directing your own Taylor Swift video one day. 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
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog post, we are going to discuss a new singer/songwriter who will definitely make a splash on the country music scene this year. Hannah Jane Lewis is an INCREDIBLE musician with the vocal ability and artistry to completely take the music industry (and your radio) by storm. In fact, in August of 2014, she was featured in an article by the Wall Street Journal, who compared her music to country music superstar Taylor Swift. She has also played gigs at the C2C Festival at the O2 Arena (in England) as an opening act for pop duo Jill and Kate. Hannah returned to the O2 Arena to play at The London Sundance Film Festival. She has also played an extended tour in association with the charity Life Skills Education, which is an organization which assists teens in learning how to deal with cyber bullying/online safety. Impressive resume so far! With several AMAZING covers and infectious original songs, you will certainly find yourself replaying Hannah’s songs for weeks. So…let’s jump into the blog post.
The first cover song that we’re going to discuss U.S. Hannah’s version of Blessed The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts (which was uploaded on July 8th, 2013 you can check out the video for this cover below). This is the first video on Hannah’s channel that I saw, and it instantly blew me away. I love that this cover shows how well she is able to control her vocals, while playing guitar (which is really hard because it involves thinking about way too many things at once). I also really enjoyed the fact that Hannah was able to show that she can emotionally connect with a song, which is an essential asset in music. This video really shows that she has the talent and heart to become a country music superstar. The next cover we’re going to talk about is Hannah’s rendition of Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware, which was uploaded on October 21st, 2014 (here’s a link to the cover: Say You Love Me – Jessie Ware (Hannah Jane Lewis Cover). Once again Hannah is able to showcase her ability to control her vocals, and we are truly able to see her capabilities as a vocalist. She also shows that she can cover a song in such a way that keeps the original vibe of the song, but also always Hannah to make it uniquely her own by adding he own style. I love that we are able to see Hannah perform a song that is in a genre other than country music (even though she KILLS it in that genre), because we’re able to see all of the layers of her artistry. Next let’s move on to Hannah’s original music!
The first original song that we’re going to talk about is Hannah’s song Seventeen Again, which is the lead single off of her debut self-titled EP (which was released on November 10th, 2013, you can check out the official music video below). This is an energetic song about looking back on life and wishing that you weren’t in such a hurry to grow up (preach girl!). This song also talks about living every moment of life to the fullest, and appreciating the beautiful things in our lives that we may take for granted. The next song we’ll going to talk about is Hannah’s song First Time Feeling, which is off of her EP Run With You, that was released on January 18th, 2015 (here’s the link to the music video Hannah Jane Lewis | First Time Feeling – Official Music Video). This is a fun song about first love, and how it can often stay with you even after it’s over. This is definitely the perfectly song to blast when your relationship ends but you don’t want to be sad (or everyone around you is tired of hearing sad songs on repeat). The majority of Hannah’s songs seem to be upbeat and fun, which is definitely a reason why you’ll want to check out both of her EPs. If you love country music that is fun, energetic, and has a lot of heart and soul in the lyrics, then you’ll definitely wanna to add these songs to your playlists.
All photos and information used in this blog belong to YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Hannah Jane Lewis, Wall Street Journal, Taylor Swift, C2C Festival, O2 Arena, London Sundance Film Festival, Life Skills Education, Rascal Flatts, Lyric Street Records, Mark Bright, Marty Williams, Island Records, Jessie Ware, Ed Sheeran, Benny Blanco, Ben Ash, BenZel, For The Record Productions, Sam Johnson, Dan Waine, Tommy Reynolds, Shaun Reynolds, Dino Fetscher, Gareth Cobb, The Fold Studios, Fluid Mastering, reverbnation.com, and all products, people, corporations, individuals, businesses, and/or any and all other copyrighted material, 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.
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!
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
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.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss our predictions for who will win awards at the 2015 Grammy Awards! I choose 8 random categories (you can check out the rest of the nominees here: GRAMMY.com | The Official Site of Music’s Biggest Night) for us to look at, and added a few sentences why I think that these artists/songs will win. This is a really competitive year, so if y’all have any counter suggestions please let me know in the comments section below. Ready? Let’s go!
Record of the Year:
Fancy by Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
You couldn’t escape this song in 2014, and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Fancy received overall positive reviews upon its’ release, and was able to hold on to the #1 spot of the Billboard Hot 100 for 7 consecutive weeks.
Album of the year:
Beyoncé by Beyoncé Knowles
Ok, when an artist can release an album without any previous announcements or promotion, and the album debuts at #1…well that’s really awesome! The album sold so many copies within the first 3 days (828,773), that it has become the fastest selling album in the history of the iTunes Store…sounds like album of the year to me.
Best new artist:
This year Iggy became the fourth solo female rapper to ever top the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the first female & non-American rapper to be featured on XXL Magazine’s annual Top 10 Freshmen cover issue (an issue that names the top 10 up an coming rappers, that is credited for giving any rappers the exposure necessary to become instant stars) also, she joined the Beatles as the only acts to ever have their debut Hot 100 at #1 & #2 simultaneously, she also passed rapper Lil’ Kim as the female rapper with the longest-leading #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100. Yeah, she definitely seems to have the tile of artist of the year locked down.
Best pop duo/group performance:
Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj
This song (which features 3 really big stars) has gone triple platinum in the U.S., and had the 3rd largest sales debut for a song in 2014. Bang Bang also played non-stop on all mainstream radio stations ALL year in 2014, so it’s definitely a huge contender for this award.
Best country song:
I’m Not Gonna Miss You by Glen Campbell
This song appeared as the theme song for Glen Campbell’s 2014 documentary I’ll Be Me 9which received numerous positive reviews), and is the final studio recording ever released from the legendary singer/songwriter. With a career that spanned over 50 years, and included: countless awards in music & film, a 2012 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, hosting a variety show entitled The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and so much more than I can include in this post. Because of his extraordinary career, and the fact that this song is extremely awesome, I definitely think that he deserves this award.
Best country album:
Platinum by Miranda Lambert
With singles such as: Automatic & Something Bad, we couldn’t get Miranda out of our heads this year. This album also made Miranda the first artist in history to start her career with five consecutive #1 albums. Platinum has also received nearly unanimous positive reviews from numerous critics. In the past year Miranda has been on a serious roll, so I don’t expect this to end anytime soon.
Best country duo/group performance:
Gentle on My Mind by The Band Perry from the Glen Campbell I’ll Be Me Soundtrack EP
Now this song previously won 4 Grammy Awards when it was originally released in 1968 (which proves how awesome the song is), and has gotten A LOT of radio play since it was released late this year. It has to be hard to cover such an iconic song from an extremely legendary artist (and the fact that this song appeared on that legend’s last project adds a little bit more pressure), despite all this pressure, The Band Perry really proved that it can raise to the challenge.
Best rock song:
Ain’t it Fun by Paramore
Ok, you know that you were jammin out to this song all year! This was definitely a change of pace for this band; however it was a risk that really paid off for them. This song is also Paramore’s highest peaking song, made the album it appeared on (also entitled Paramore) this band’s first album to produce two Top 40 hits, and was certified Platinum in the U.S.
All photos and information used in this blog belong to Grammy.com, the Grammy awards, Island Records, Virgin EMI Records, Amethyst Charlotte Aitchison, George Astasio, Jason Pebworth, Jon Shave, Kurtis McKenzie, The Invisible Me, The Arcade, Parkwood Entertainment, Columbia Records, Ammo, Boots, Deail, Jerome Harmon, Hit-Boy, HazeBanga, Key Wane, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash, Caroline Polachek, Rey Reel, Noah “40” Shebib, Ryan Tedder, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Def Jam Records, Grand Hustle Records, Mercury Records, Lava Records, Republic Records, Max Martin, Savan Koecha, Rickard Goransson, Onika Maraj, IIya, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Jessie J, Glen Campbell, Julian Raymond, Big Machine Records, Miranda Lambert, RCA Nashville, Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay, Glenn Worf, The Band Perry, John Hartford, Paramore, Fueled by Ramen, Warner Bros., Records, Hayley Williams, Taylor York, Justin-Meldal-Johnsen, 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.
Hello people of the internet!!! Since this is the last ‘Monday Memos’ blog of 2014, I thought that it would be cool to talk about who will be the next big breakout music artist of 2015. Last year I predicted that 2014 would be a HUGE year for Ariana Grande, and well y’all saw what happened (if you want to check out that blog post then here’s the link Artist Spotlight: Ariana Grande). This year I think that Shawn Mendes will rule the charts. If you’re not already obsessed with him, then read on to learn exactly why this singer/songwriter only needs 6 seconds to win you over.
Shawn Mendes is a 16 year old Canadian musician. He first gained popularity by posting 6 second covers on Vine in 2013. He quickly received millions of views and followers in just a few months. In January of 2014, manager Andrew Gertler discovered Shawn and brought him to the attention of Island Records, where he eventually signed a record deal with. In early 2014 (before he was signed) he toured as a member of the ‘MagCon Tour’, which also featured numerous other social media stars. In June of 2014, he released his first single ‘Life of the Party’. The single ended up making Shawn the youngest artist to debut in the Top 25 with a debut song on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’. He also opened Austin Mahone’s nationwide tour, (called ‘Live on Tour’) as an opening act and released his debut major label EP ‘The Shawn Mendes EP’ in July of that year. 2014 continued to be a big year for Shawn due to his win as ‘Choice Webstar: Music’ at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards. As you can see, 2014 was an insanely awesome year for this rising artist. With an upcoming opening slot on Taylor Swift’s ‘1985’ tour, and the release of his debut full length album (sometime next year), 2015 is only going to be more insane for Shawn. So if you want to become a fangirl/fanboy now, please read on.
Next up we’re going to get to the part that y’all have been waiting for, yup, we’re gonna talk about the music! So let’s kick things off with Shawn’s debut single ‘Life if the Party’. This sweet ballad is about Shawn telling a girl not to be afraid to be herself. It’s a cute story about how we should all be comfortable in our skin because life is too short to be afraid. I thought that this was a really cool debut song for him because it’s catchy, and has a good message. Definitely a song you’ll want to add to your winter playlists. Next up we’re gonna talk about Shawn’s newest song ‘Something Big’, which was released in November of 2014. This song is a fun, upbeat song that is about the feeling you get right before something big in your life is about to happen. In this song we got to see a little of Shawn’s rapping skills (as if he wasn’t amazing enough), and you also get to see his different layers as an artist. Although I love his ballads, it’s cool to hear him have fun with a track, and it makes you wonder how exciting this song must sound live. The last song that we’re going to talk about is called ‘The Weight’. This track is a breakup song that tells the story of someone pretending that they’re ok without the person they love, but not actually being ok with the breakup. This is a really good song to cry to, and I found that the lyrics were really unique and insightful. This song also shows that Shawn has the emotional range that an artist needs to sing this kind of song (which shows how rounded of an artist he already is). These songs all leave you excited to see what he comes out with next, and just how much he will grow as an artist in the future.
All photos and information used in this blog belong to Vine, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Shawn Mendes, Island Records, Ariana Grande, all those associated with the MagCon Tour, Andrew Gertler, Teen Choice Awards, Ido Zmishlany, Scott Harris, “IdoVsTheWorld, Joshua Grant, 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.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to discuss the 2014 YouTube Rewind (here’s the link for y’all YouTube Rewind: Turn Down for 2014)! Now if you don’t know, every year YouTube releases a cool video where they highlight the biggest YouTube songs, events, videos, etc. of the year, and the video has numerous cameos from your fav YouTube stars. These videos honestly amaze me more and more every year, because of the creativity, hard work, and awesomeness that goes into all of these videos. So please read keep reading to find out why I know that y’all will love this video! Ready? Let’s go!
The video includes YouTube stars such as: Bethany Mota, Amanda Steele (MakeupbyMandy24), AmazingPhil, Brittani Louise Taylor, Connor Franta, Epic Rap Battles, Hannah Hart, Grace Helbig, and so many more! There were also SO many popular songs featured such as: ‘Turn Down For What’ by DJ Snake & Lil Jon (link here: DJ Snake, Lil Jon – Turn Down for What ), ‘Fancy’ by Iggy Azalea (link here: Iggy Azalea – Fancy (Explicit) ft. Charli XCX – YouTube), #SELFIE’ by The Chainsmokers, (here’s a link: #SELFIE (Official Music Video) – The Chainsmokers) ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams (link: Pharrell Williams – Happy (Official Music Video), ‘All About That Bass’ by Meghan Trainor (here’s a link: Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass – YouTube), and lots of our other favs from 2014. We also got to see recreations of some of this year’s most popular viral videos and events such as: the ‘First Kiss’ Video which was uploaded by Tatia Pllieva (I got a link for ya: FIRST KISS), the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (which was uploaded by basically everyone), and lots of other really awesome videos. What I loved most about this rewind video, is that it had really cool transitions with the music and the different scenes, and that it felt like a really epic music video, not just a mix of various video clips. There was also another really cool segment where different YouTubers performed ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, while they stood in front of a cool snowy mountain background and drew with snow in the air. I honestly LOVED the special effects in this scene, because it really felt like a scene from a movie, it was just so cool. I also thought that the ending was perfect (which was a “how it should of ended’ segment, because it left the vide on a hilarious ending note. Just perfect! It was so cool to see a visual yearbook of YouTube and pop culture events, because you realize how much can happen and change in a year.
So what did y’all think of the 2014 YouTube Rewind? Personally this one was so good that it made me excited for the next year’s video. I can’t wait to see what AMAZING music and YouTube acts will be featured! What do you think next year’s video is going to be like? The one thing we can predict is that if 2014 was so big and impactful, 2015 is going to be even crazier.
All photos and information used in this blog belong to YouTube, DJ Snake, Lil Jon, Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX, The Chainsmokers, Pharrell Williams, Meghan Trainor, Tatia Pllieva, The Amyotrophic Lateral Scierosis Association and all of it’s sponsors and affiliates, Columbia Records, Island Records, Amethyst Kelly, Charlotte Aitchison, George Astasio, Jason Pebworth, Jon Shave, Kurtis McKenzie, The Invisible Men, the Arcade, 604 Records, Dim Mak Records, Andrew Taggart, Back Lot Music, I Am Other, Columbia Records, Epic Records, Kevin Kadish, WREN studios, Soko, 9to5google.com, Frozen, Walt Disney Corporation, Idina Menzel, Hollywood Records, Kristen ANderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Action Movie Kid, Aichi Ono, Amanda Steele, AmazingPhil , Andy Raconte,, Anil B. Ape Crime, Apollos Hester, Barely Political, Bart Baker, Bethany Mota, Big Bird, Bilingirl, Brett Nichols, Brittani Louise Taylor, Carrie Fletcher, Chris Hardwick, Colin Furze, Conan O’Brien, Conchita Wurst, Connor Franta, Corridor Digital, Cyprien, daaruum, danisnotonfire, Devil Baby, Dodie Clark, Ella Caney-Willis, Enjoy, Phoenix, Epic Rap Battles, Evan Edinger, fouseyTUBE, Freddie W, Gabriel Valenciano, Gal Volinez, Grace Helbig, Hajime, Hannah Hart, Heart, Hello Denizen, Hikakin, HolaSoyGerman, How It Should Have Ended, IISuperwomanII, iJustine, Ingrid Nilsen, iTakahashi, JennXPenn, Jenna Marbles, Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver, Kacy Catanzaro, Kid President, Kingsley, Kosuke, Kurt Hugo Schneider, Le Floid, Luke Cutforth, Mamiruton, Manako (Q’ulle), MasuoTV, Matt Bittner, Max Murai, Michelle Phan, Mika Shindate, Niki Albon, PDS, Pentatonix, PewDiePie, PrankvsPrank, Raphael Gomes, Rhett & Link, Rosanna Pansino, Sadie Miller, Sam Tsui, Sami Slimani, Sammy Albon, Sasaki Asahi, Seikin, Sione Vaka Kelepi, Sir Fedora, SkyDoesMinecraft, Smosh, Stephen Colbert, Steve Kardynal, Stuart Edge, The Fine Bros, The Gregory Brothers, The Slow Mo Guys, Troye Sivan, Tyler Oakley, VlogBrothers, Vsauce2, Vsauce3, WORLD ORDER, 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.
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!
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 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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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!!!).
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 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.
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