Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss a young artist who is definitely on the rise. This talented young girl has already stolen our hearts with her infectious Pop/Rap songs, that have shattered records by becoming the youngest Covergirl spokesperson. Although 2014 was an AWESOME year for her, I predict that 2015 will only be bigger for her. Now if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m talking about singer/songwriter/rapper/dancer/actress/and all around cool girl Becky G (wow is there anything she can’t do!?! And she’s only 17…say it with me everyone…WOW!!!).
Becky broke into the mainstream music scene on June 12, 2012, when she was featured on pop singer/fellow YouTube sensation Cody Simpson’s single ‘ Wish U Were Here’. Becky’s career continued to heat up, with the release of her songs: ‘Turn the Music Up’, ‘Oath’ (which was technically released by Cher Lloyd, but Becky is featured and co-wrote the song), and ‘Problem’ featuring Will.i.am. Becky returned to what initially got her noticed by remixing ‘Die Young'( which was originally made popular by Ke$ha) the track also features Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa, and ‘Jenny from the Block’ (which was made popular by Jennifer Lopez, and renamed ‘Becky from the Block’). In 2013, Gomez released her EP ‘Play It Again‘, which features 4 new tracks. On April 23, 2014, she released her new song ‘Shower’, which is the first single off of her debut album. ‘Shower’ became one of Becky G’s biggest hits to date, and she performed it on numerous shows such as the 2014 Teen Choice Awards. Due to all of her success, Becky was asked to open on Katy Perry, Jason Derulo, and Demi Lovato’s upcoming tours.
With the ability to sing, rap, dance, and completely take control of a crowd in any venue, it is easy to predict that Becky will have a VERY long career. At a young age, Becky has been able to figure out how to build a fiercely loyal fan base, and is already a well-loved artist in both the English and Spanish music markets. Becky has also become a fashion and beauty icon for her fans, proving that she truly is a well-rounded entertainer. I am so excited to see where her career takes her, and I know that she will not only build a legacy as a phenomenal entertainer, but will also blaze a trail for young artists who follow her. Give it up for your queen Beasters!!!
Hey people of the internet!!! How is your Monday…I know everyone loves Monday!!! (you may now sarcastically laugh…ok that’s enough). On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to recap what happened at the first ever ‘I Heart Music Awards’…and A LOT happened so let’s get started! Now normally I talk about the host in a separate section, but this award show didn’t really have a single host and instead focused on using several different presenters. I think Pitbull served as the host (I’m not sure if that’s official or not) because he gave a very short monologue at the top of the show (after his performance). He mainly joked about the LA Clipper scandal (which is an NBA team for those of you who don’t know anything about sports…#NoShame). That was about it for the hosting duties…so let’s get the awards (yay!).
Hip-Hop/R&B Song of the Year:
‘Pour it Out’ by Rihanna:
This was definitely a tough category, but if we’re being completely honest, it’s hard for Rihanna to lose anything. Why you ask? Well first of all she’s Rihanna which means she’s awesome, and secondly this year she’s had hit after hit from her latest album ‘Unapologetic’ (which charted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart). So it’s easy to see why Rihanna deserved this award.
‘Timber’ by Pitbull feat. Ke$ha
‘Timber’ was performed at the top of the show (which I will speak about later…get excited!), and was certainly a crowd favorite. But, this is no surprise since it did chart at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart(as well as #1 on numerous other charts all over the world). Ke$ha also has a record of releasing numerous hit singles, so when you get two powerhouses together, you can’t expect anything else but collaboration gold.
‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley Cyrus
Now if there is an artist who has had an intense year, it’s Miley. If you’ve ever listened to ‘Wrecking Ball’, then you know that the song is full of angst and sadness, and the perfect song to cry to while eating a tub of ice cream. I think that any song that can make you think this much definitely contains some AMAZING lyrics.
Best New Artist:
She’s 17, won two Grammys for her first single, which she co-wrote…yeah I would say that Lorde is the best new artist. She has also been able to make history in her home country of New Zealand by being the first solo act to get a debut single to chart #1 in the U.S. With all of this early success, I can only imagine what this young artist will achieve next.
Best Fan Army:
Rihanna (Rihanna’s Navy)
It’s no surprise that Rihanna won this award, because in order to have the success that she has had, you have to have a fiercely loyal fanbase. In her career thus far, Rihanna has been able to conquer music, movies, and has become a fashion icon for millions. ‘Rihanna’s Navy’ definitely came through on this one, and proved why they deserve this award.
With 3,803,044 VERY loyal instagram followers (and that’s just as of May 5, 2014), it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Austin took home this award. This talented young musician has been taking award shows (particularly fan voted award shows) by storm this year, and has proven that he is ready for a mainstream pop career. With the release of his debut album ‘The Secret’ expected to drop later this month, I definitely think that Austin needs to make sure he has plenty of room in his trophy case.
Young Influencer Award:
She’s stared in a hit all teen Broadway production, on two hit Nickelodeon TV shows, and has now made her mark on Pop/R&B music (even drawing comparisons to Mariah Carey…yeah that’s intense), so you would think that it would be no surprise that Ariana received this award. However, it’s not only her impossibly perfect talent that has influence her fans, but also the fact that Ariana has cultivated a very intense connection with them, and even admits to becoming friends with some her fans after meeting them on Twitter. With such a close connection to their idol, it’s no surprise that Ariana is a large influence on her fans.
Alternative Rock Song of the Year:
‘Demons’ by Imagine Dragons
Ever since this song dropped on October 22nd, 2013 it has controlled the airwaves, and has continued to launch alternative rock band Imagine Dragons into the spotlight. This band continues to prove that they can release hit after hit (they even won a Grammy last year for their song ‘Radioactive’), so it’s easy to see how ‘Demons’ had a great chance of becoming the mega hit it has become.
Song of the Year:
‘Stay’ by Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
Do I really need to explain why this song won? If you own a radio then you know what a huge hit this has been for Rihanna and Mikky Ekko. This track has charted at #1 in numerous countries, and has been acclaimed by critics. Since this track followed up Rihanna’s very popular hit ‘Diamonds’, you know it had to be catchy, relatable, and still hold a bit of that edge that sets Rihanna apart from other radio artists. This song certainly delivers and also proves that Rihanna is more than capable of digging deep and delivering emotionally driven songs with truthfulness and passion.
Best Country Song:
Blake Shelton ‘Boys ‘Round Here’
Country superstar Blake Shelton has certainly had a huge hit with this track. It was a fun direction for Blake, but it also didn’t tray from the sound that has made his fans fall in love with him. The track reached #1 on the ‘U.S Billboard Country Airplay’, and was praised by critics for “taking a chance” with its’ sound.
EDM Song of the Year:
‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii
If you didn’t know who this Swedish DJ/Producer was before, then you definitely knew who he was after the song was released on June 17th, 2013. This song not only launched Avicii, but also singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc (who co-wrote the track with Avicii). This song has definitely helped Avicii launch himself into the forefront of the rising EDM culture in mainstream music.
Until recently you may or not have known who this producer/singer/songwriter is but this year we all relieved a crash course in Pharrell 101. For nearly a decade, Pharrell has produced hits for artists such as: Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg, Nelly, Kanye West, Pitbull, Maroon 5, Fall Out Boy, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, etc. Pharrell has been well known for years in the music industry, as an innovator due to his experimentation with different sounds, and his collaborations with artists from very diverse genres. Lately, Pharrell has taken his creativity to a new level, and is now also well known for his vocal ability and onstage showmanship (as well as his famous brown hat from the Grammys…you know which one). With such an established history and bright future, it is obvious that Pharrell will continue to make a lasting impression on the music industry.
Artist of the Year:
I think we’ve gone through all the reasons why Rihanna is the artist of the year. I mean with hit track after hit track, and the deep love of her fans, I don’t think that any other artist could have received this award.
Pitbull & G.R.L.:
Pitbull and American/British/Canadian girl group G.R.L. (which was formed by the ‘Pussycat Dolls’ mastermind Robin Antin), performed their new track ‘Wild Wild Love’. The members of G.R.L. wore cool black leather short shorts and some wore fun dresses. Pitbull wore a coral jacket with a peach shirt and white pants. The back screen displayed a brown sky, with small white clouds. The staging also included lots of flashing lights that got the crowd excited. As ‘Wild Wild Love’ ended, Pitbull began performing his hit track ‘Timber’. For this performance, dancers came out and added an energy boost to the already high energy performance. This was definitely a fun way to start the show.
Country superstar kept the energy high by performing his 200 hit ‘My Kinda Night’. Luke kept his outfit casual by wearing skinny jeans, a black t-shirt, and matching black baseball cap. His staging included lots if cool spotlights shooting out throughout the stage. Luke also brought his showmanship to the table by showing off fun dance moves, and interacting with the fans. He’s performance definitely made this our “kinda night”. Good job Luke!
Now if you own a radio and do not live under a rock, you know who Bastille is, and you’re guilty of car singing their hit ‘Pompeii’ one too many times( it’s ok we’ve all done it…and the song is definitely awesome enough to warrant that crazy look random strangers on the road give you as you’re driving). Bastille gave an amazing performance that included lots of cool flashing lights, and the lead singer assisting on the drums at different points of the song. The performance made an impression by being very memorable, and so intriguing that you couldn’t look away. I think that this performance proved that Bastille will become as famous as they want to be (yes it was THAT amazing!).
Ed Sheeran began his performance with an up tempo version of his 2012 (2011 in the U.K.) hit ‘The A Team’. The performance was shown via satellite from the ‘Hotel Cafe’ in Los Angeles, CA. He followed up this song with his newest hit ‘Sing’, which not only showed off his amazing vocal abilities, but also his guitar skills. It was a very fun performance to watch, and further cemented why Ed’s talent has been able to capture his fans’ hearts.
Ariana began her performance with her breakout hit ‘The Way’ (which you have DEFINITELY had hairbrush karaoke sessions too). Ariana came out wearing a black jazz with knee-high white go-go dancing style boots. She was accompanied by several male dancers who wore white shorts and black dress coats, enter background singers wore black dresses that matched Ariana dress except they wore black boots. The back screen had ‘Ariana’ written in large bright lights. As always, Ariana gave spectacular performance of ‘The Way’. She then changed into a sparkly black dress, her background singers wore black pants and white mid drifts, and her background dancers wore black shirts (some wore white shorts) and no shirts. After changing, Ariana sang her new hit song ‘Problem’, which of course she sang flawlessly, which warranted cheers from the crowd.
The most anticipated performance of the night was definitely the premiere of Michael Jackson’s debut single ‘Love Never Felt so Good’ off of his second posthumous (which means that it was released after his death) album ‘Xscape’. The track features Justin Timberlake, and was previously recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1984. The performance was really intricate, with numerous dancers who were dressed like Michael, and danced along with video of clips of Michael (which were shown on the back screens). Usher came out as the song began and danced along with the other dancers. It was really cool to see all of these talented dancers pay homage to Michael Jackson, and celebrate his work. The performance ended with a large poster falling over the screen, with the cover of Michael’s album on it. This was definitely the crowd favorite performance of the night.
Hip-Hop/Rap artist was up next with his track ‘California Love’. He wore a baseball cap, blue jeans, and a cool jacket. Before his performance he did a testimony about seeing a Dr. Dre and Tupac shoot a music video in his hometown of Compton, CA. His song gave off a very 80s meets Run DMC meets Will Smith vibe, and the performer was a lot of fun to watch.
30 Seconds to Mars:
30 Seconds to Mars performed their new song ‘City of Angels’ (I’ll give you one chance to guess which city the song is about…well go on take a guess…you know you know it). The performance included testimonies from celebrities and regular people trying to have a career in LA on the good and bad things about the city (these testimonies were also in the band’s music video for the song). The performance had a very haunting vibe about it, and ended with a superman impersonator saying, “Do I think I’ll make it in the industry? Only if I keep believing”.
Next Shakira performed her new song ‘Empire’. The staging was very elaborate and perfectly matched the vibe of the song. The back screen had images of leaves falling behind a black background that alternated between black, pink, and yellow. Then once the chorus hit, colored smoke was released. Shakiest certainly got really into her performance, which made the crowd go crazy for her. Shakira also brought a very rock and road vibe to her performance at one point, when he grabbed her mic stand, turned it upside down, and sang into it while holding the mic above her head. It was a very fun and unforgettable performance to watch.
Next up was Blake Shelton who performed his new track ‘Doing What She Likes’. The staging was very simple, with a back screen that changed colors from blue to yellow, with the image of a palm tree on the screen. Blake accompanied his band on the guitar, and definitely gave a fun performance that the audience just loved.
Arcade Fire performed their track ‘Normal Person’ (which was shown via video). Their performance included cool purple lights that lit up the stage, and the audience wearing cool foam fingers. This high energy performance was a lot of fun to watch, and continued the high energy trend that ruled the evening.
The last performance of the night was given by Pharrell Williams who did a medley of several of his hit tracks. He began his performance with his track ‘Come Get it Bae’ off of his album ‘GIRL’. The staging was definitely the most elaborate of the night, and included multiple stages, and numerous dancers who wore very futuristic ‘Jetsons’ style outfits. The next song that was performed was the 2013 hit ‘Blurred Lines’. While singing this song, Pharrell went into the area that the celebrities were sitting, and sang to them. The next song that was performed was another big hit from 2013 entitled ‘Get Lucky’. While this track played, the dancers went into a circle of mirrors and danced to the song. The finally song that was fine was ‘Happy’ (which was included in the ‘Despicable Me’ soundtrack, as well as ‘GIRL’). The dancers reemerge in letterman jackets, which have them a very 50s vibe, and was a nice finishing touch to an amazing number.
This award show also contained numerous testimonies from artists such as Iggy Azalea, Coldplay, John Legend, Lady Gaga, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Pete Wentz of Fallout Boy, Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Rita Ora, and many more. the artists spoke about their experiences in LA, their first times encountering the city, and the lessons that they’ve learned from their failures and triumphs in the music business.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog, I want to introduce you to an amazing up and coming pop-punk band called ‘Late Nite Reading’. I recently discovered this band on Twitter (thank you Twitter!), and I have to say that they really impressed me because of their superb artistry, musicianship, and catchy songs. I am really excited to share this band’s music with you all, and I know that you will quickly become as obsessed with this band as I am. I apologize before hand, because you will definitely make a lot of purchases on ITunes after reading this blog (but on the upside, you will also have a lot of awesome music to add to your collection, so the end justifies the means). So are you ready? Ok, let’s begin then!!!
This band originated in the summer of 2009 in Indiana when former band mates Brady Szuhaj (a bassist), and Dalton Wixom ( a vocalist/rhythm guitarist) decided to start a new project together. After several member rotations, the final missing pieces were finally put together when Drew Cottrell ( a drummer), and Clayton Collins ( a lead guitarist)were added to the band. With the missing members in place, Late Nite Reading began their journey towards world domination. The band released their first EP ‘Cycles and Sounds’ in June of 2010, and has a very 90s punk feel to it. Their songs are well crafted, interesting, and definitely could have been heard on the radio in the 90’s to early 2000s. In the band’s debut, you can hear influences of great bands such as Semisonic, Green Day, and bands similar to these. The influence on the record’s overall sound comes full circle with the bands track ‘Nostalgia’, which includes lyrics about the band “missing the 90s”. Upon hearing this EP, I couldn’t help but applaud Late Nite Reading for paying homage to the bands that obliviously had a huge impact on their music. It was a truly a memorable debut.
The band’s next EP ‘Dedicated to Deadlines’ (which was released in November of 2011)once again shows not only how amazing Late Night Reading is, but also their meticulous attention to every detail that goes into the production of their music. With this EP, you really saw the band’s growth as musicians. The overall sound of the album was very modern and fun, the only thing that I wish was different about the record is the length…it definitely should have been a full length album. Every track on this album is amazing, and the entire EP leaves you in great anticipation for more music. Obviously Late Nite Reading’s fans agreed, because they have given the album amazing reviews on ITunes (with every review giving the EP 5 out of 5 stars as of January 9th, 2014.
The band’s newest EP ‘Walls’ was released in April of 2013, has to be my favorite EP from the band this far. This record definitely shows that Late Nite Reading has finally perfected their sound. This album combines the vintage punk sound of their debut EP, with the modern vibe that dominated their second EP. The marriage of these two distinct sounds leads to a very unique product, which only solidifies Late Nite Reading’s bright future in music. I love how this band is continually growing as artist, but have never lost sight of their music roots and influences.
The band has performed and toured with numerous highly successful bands, such as All Time Low, The Summer Set, and Taking Back Sunday. Late Nite Reading has also released numerous covers, which are so well reconstructed that you would never know that these tracks are covers. Their first cover (a song entitled ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ by Foster the People) was released in May of 2012. This cover of the popular track is very different from the original, but is still an amazing track; which further shows the artistic depth of Late Nite Reading. The band has also covered ‘One Thing’ by British boy band superstars One Direction, ‘Here’s to Never Growing Up’ by Avril Lavigne (this cover also featured fellow pop-punk band 7 Minutes in Heaven) and ‘Die Young’ by Ke$ha. My favorite cover that they’ve done is their Die Young cover, due to the way the band took this pop/rap track, and reshaped it into an amazing rock song. Late Nite Reading’s ingenuity takes center stage with this cover, and demonstrates that they have a strong enough sense of artistry and individuality to be a marketable band.
Upon exploring this band’s repertoire, I found that Late Nite Reading’s biggest strength is their ability to quickly grow and evolve as artists, their meticulous sense of detail in their work, and their amazing skills as musicians (seriously these guys are astonishing with their instruments). I would certainly recommend that everyone check out Late Nite Reading now, because very soon you will hear them blowing up your local radio airways. I anticipate great things for this band in the future, and am anxiously anticipating their next project.
Keep in touch with the band!!!
YouTube: LateNiteReading – YouTube
*All photos and information used in this blog belong to Late Nite Reading, YouTube, Twitter, ITunes, Brady Szuhaj, Dalton Wixom, Drew Cottrell, Clayton Collins, Foster The People, Columbia Records, Startime International, Mark Foster, One Direction, Syco Music, Avril Lavigne, Martin Johnson, Chad Kroeger, David Hodges, J. Kash, Epic Records, 7 Minutes in Heaven, Timmy Rasmussen, Ke$ha, RCA Records, Kemosabe Records, Kesha Sebert, Lukasz Gottwald, Benjamin Levin, Henry Walter, Nate Ruess, Dr. Luke, Cirkut, MCA Records, Benny Blanco, showclix.com, Fearless Records, Lookout! Records, Reprise Records, Hopeless Records, Sony Records, Warner Bros. Records, Victory Records, 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.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ blog, we will be discussing an artist that has had an amazing year, and that I feel you need to keep an eye on her next year. Now who is this artist you ask? I’m glad you asked that! It’s the multitalented Ariana Grande (Cue the clapping!!!!!) 2013 was a very good year for Ariana, but she has worked for years to get to this point in her life, and she certainly deserves all the success she has had. So if for some strange reason you don’t know who Ariana Grande is, you will definitely know about her after you read this blog. Ready!? Well then let’s get started!
Ariana was born on June 26th, 1993 in Boca Raton, FL. She began performing in local theater production and at local sporting events at a young age, and even at this time, she had an amazing voice, as well as a comfort and ease in front of large crowds. Here’s a link to a video of a then 8 year old Ariana performing the national anthem at Chicago Blackhawks vs. Florida Panthers hockey game in Sunrise, FL Ariana Grande at 8 years old singing National Anthem – YouTube (Watch the video and you’ll be impressed…did you watch it? It was great right?) In 2008 Ariana began work on the Jason Robert Brown musical 13 (which was a show that had a 105 performance run on Broadway). She played the character of ‘Charlotte’, and sang 3 songs (which included: ‘It Can’t Be True’, ‘A Little More Homework’, and ‘Brand New You’) on the show’s album.
In March of 2010 Ariana made her debut as a main cast member on the new Nickelodeon show ‘Victorious’ (the show stared Nickelodeon alum Victoria Justice, and Ariana’s former ‘13’ costar Elizabeth Gillies was also a part of the cast). Ariana played the role of ‘Cat Valentine’ on the show until ‘Victorious ended in February of 2013. ‘Victorious’ creator Dan Schneider was so impressed by Ariana’s work and fan reception on ‘Victorious’, that he cast her in a spin-off show called ‘Sam & Cat’, which also included ‘iCarly’ (another highly successful Nickelodeon show) alum Jennette McCurdy (who plays Sam on the girls spin-off show). ‘Sam and Cat’ aired in June of 2013, and is a situational comedy, which has been a huge hit for the network thus far. In August of 2013, Ariana starred as ‘Amanda Benson’, in the Nickelodeon movie ‘Swindle’.
Although Ariana has had great success as an actress, she is also an accomplished singer. She released a single in December of 2011 called ‘Put Your Hearts Up’, which was a pop song about how doing small good deeds can cause big changes in the world (Here’s a link to a lyric video of the song Ariana Grande – Put Your Hearts Up (+ Lyrics) – YouTube, I highly suggest checking out his song, it’s very inspirational and well sung). Ariana has also released many amazing covers over the past few years, such as a rendition of Mariah Carey’s hit ‘Emotions’( Emotions – Ariana Grande (Mariah Carey cover) – YouTube), Leona Lewis’ track ‘Bleeding Love (’Bleeding Love – Ariana Grande – YouTube), and Alicia Key’s hit track ‘If I ain’t got you’ (‘If I Ain’t Got You’ Ariana Grande 🙂). On September 3rd, 2013, Ariana released her debut album ‘Yours Truly’ through Republic Records. ‘Yours Truly’ sold 138,000 copies in it, making Ariana the first female artist since January 2010 (when Ke$ha’s album ‘Animal’) to have a #1 debut album. The overall sound of this album was much more R&B than Ariana’s previous song ‘Put Your Hearts Up’, and has caused her to be compared to strong female vocalist, such as Mariah Carey. Ariana has performed on numerous shows such as ‘The Today Show’, ‘Dancing with the Stars’, and the ‘MTV Video Music Awards’ pre-show. Ariana performed her song ‘Tattooed Heart’ at the 2013 American Music Awards, and also won ‘New Artist of the Year’ at the award show (here’s a link so y’all can see how awesome she was: .Ariana Grande performing at AMAs – YouTube). Ariana also released
2013 has certainly been an extraordinary year for Ariana Grande, and I foresee 2014 being an even better year for her. It is rumored that Ariana will release another album in 2014, and her show ‘Sam & Cat’ is still one of Nickelodeon’s highest rated shows. Ariana Grande has defiantly proven in the last year that she is Hollywood’s newest “It” girl, and she certainly has the talent and fan base for a long and fruitful career.