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 YouTube musician that you may or may not already be obsessed with. Trust me if you’ve never heard of Elyar Fox, then you need to continue reading this post. This 19 year old singer/songwriter from London is quickly taking over the music industry and the hearts of his fans one click at a time. Excited to hear more? Are you sure that you’re ready? Ok, then let’s go!
The first song that we’re going to talk about is Elyar’s ‘Treasure/When I Was Your Man’ by Bruno Mars video, which was uploaded on Mach 27th, 2013. I thought that this was a really cool Bruno Mars themed mash-up, which took two very different songs and perfectly matched them up. This video really showed off what a great musician Elyar’s is, and will have you hooked from the first note to the last. Next up we have his ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit cover, which was uploaded on April 7th, 2014 (you can’t check out the video below). I chose to include this video because it showed Elyar performing live. In this video we really get a look into Elyar’s performance style. Although we already knew that Elyar was a talents vocalist/musician, we really get to see how he is able to take command on stage and leave his audience spellbound. This video definitely shows that his performance skills are above and beyond that of a new artist. Just imagine how amazing he’ll be in a few years?
Now we’ll look at Elyar’s rendition of ‘Somebody To You’ by The Vamps feat. Demi Lovato, which was uploaded on June 4th, 2014. It was really cool to see Elyar take on a really fun, energetic song, because we really got to see his personality shine through. This cover really shows that Elyar is able to take on a just about any type of song, and will definitely get you excited to hear more of his covers. It’s cool to see your fav YouTubers really have fun with what they do, and we can certainly see that Elyar is having a lot of fun on this video which only makes us love him even more. Finally we’ll look at Elyar’s cover of ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, which was uploaded on April 19th, 2015 (you can check out the video below). This is definitely a tough song to cover because you not only have to sing the song correctly, but you also have to be able to show the deep emotions behind the lyrics. As everyone knows, this song was originally written as a tribute to ‘Fast and The Furious’ alum Paul Walker who sadly passed away in 2013. Because of this connection, this is a song that has to be sung with a lot of heartfelt emotion in order to maintain the magic of the original version. Elyar does an incredible job of capturing the emotions behind this song, and will definitely make you cry after you hear it.
All credit goes to YouTube,Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, elyarfox.com, Elyar Fox, Phredley Brown, Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, The Smeezingtons, Atlantic Records, Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne, Warner Music Group, Jack Patterson, James Napier, Nicole Marshall, Grace Chatto, The Vamps, Demi Lovato, Mercury Records, Virgin EMI Records, Hollywood Records, Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha, Kritian Lundin, DJ Frank E, Charlie Puth, Wiz Khalifa, Andrew Cedar, Marcos da Silva, all of the businesses, companies, people, stores, and any other original owners involved and/or mentioned in any of these videos, any and all companies, individuals, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.
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 ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to recap the 2015 ‘iHeart Radio Music Awards’! This award show was full of talented winners, unforgettable performances, and a host (Jamie Fox) that definitely kept the audience’s attention. So if y’all are ready, let’s jump into the recap (in order to not keep y’all here reading for an hour, I selected just a few performances to discuss).
Winners (I didn’t include some of the winners because then this post would be A LOT longer):
Best Lyrics: Blank Space by Taylor Swift
Honestly we all saw this one coming. With an infectious beat and catchy lyrics, Taylor has had us singing along to this song for months.
Hip Hop/R&B Song of The Year: Don’t Tell ‘Em by Jeremih feat. YG
This is an example of another song that has an inescapable beat, which is exactly what landed it at the top of the charts for weeks after its’ release.
Innovator Award: Justin Timberlake
Do we really need to explain this one! With each passing year, Justin Timberlake continues to prove to us that he can release tracks that have us singing and dancing along instantly. He is also able to release music that is either completely new, and/or takes what everyone else is doing in a way that we never would have thought possible. Honestly this is the guy who made suit and ties cool again…enough said (below is a video of Justin’s speech that I found on NBC’s YouTube channel)..
Best New Artist: Sam Smith
With hits like Stay With Me and I’m Not The Only One, we have all been jamming to Sam Smith this past year. You gotta love a guy that can constantly make us cry and still fall more in love with him every time we hear his songs.
Best Collaboration: Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj
You heard this song EVERYWHERE last year, and we’re still all singing along. But, when you get three superstars like Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj together honestly you can expect no less. We will definitely be dancing to this one throughout 2015.
Best Dance Song: Summer by Calvin Harris
This was the song that made us all wish that summer was a year around thing. Calvin Harris always seems to find a way of releasing songs that we just have to put on repeat. This should definitely be on your upcoming 2015 summer playlist.
Song of The Year: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
Ok, again this was a song that we could not (and would not) stop playing because, well it’s just so awesome! This song has a fun beat, unforgettable lyrics, and even an awesome message about, well, shaking all the negative stuff off. Gotta love how Taylor knows exactly what we need to hear.
Artist of The Year: Taylor Swift
I think we covered why Taylor was so successful in 2014. Now the only question on our minds is how will she top it in 2015? We all know whatever she does, it will be awesome!
Performances (for this section I decided to pick 6 acts to talk to y’all about, because honestly if we try to talk about them all, we’ll be here all day):
Iggy Azalea & Jennifer Hudson:
Iggy Azalea & Jennifer Hudson performed their new song Trouble. The number was very elaborate, and began with Iggy and Jennifer emerging on to the stage, dressed like a prisoner (Iggy) & a cop (Jennifer). Iggy danced around the stage with her background dancers, until they eventually moved to another set that had pink prison phones, another set that looked like a public bathroom, and a final set that had a giant cage. It was a very fun performance, that was a great way to kick off the show.
Meghan Trainor performed her song Dear Future Husband later in the show, and really showed us just how captivating of a performer she is. This cool number began with Meghan on stage dressed in a black long pencil skirt, a coral blouse, and a white and black polka dot sailor hat. The nautical meets 1950s theme continued with Meghan’s large brass band (that played in the background throughout her performance), standing on a leveled band stands, which had neon wave decoration on the front of them. Her backup dancers finished off the fun theme with their black pants, suspenders, and straw hats. The performance was so much fun to watch from beginning to end, and proved just why Meghan’s natural star power has given her such a big year (below is a video of Meghan’s performance that I found on NBC’s YouTube channel).
Later on we had a breathtakingly beautiful performance from Best New Artist winner Sam Smith. Sam performed his song Lay Me Down. After all of the previous performances that got us up and dancing, this performance definitely slowed things down without losing our attention. The number had numerous candles all around the stage, and the lighting very dim, which added an intimate, acoustic feel to the performance. Of course Sam blew us away with his hauntingly beautiful voice, and once again proved that he is here to stay.
Country Song of The Year winner Jason Aldean performed his award winning song Burnin’ It Down. This was another really fun performance that definitely brought the energy back up, after Sam Smith’s performance. The staging included A LOT of fire pits, which added to the whole country meets rock vibe the song has (below is a video of Jason’s performance that I found on NBC’s YouTube channel).
Madonna & Taylor Swift:
Next up we had a very cool performance from Madonna & Taylor Swift, who performed Madonna’s song Ghosttown. The song began with Madonna singing the song accompanied by a guitarist, while the dim lighting on stage “hid” her guitarist’s identity. The guitarist was later revealed to be Taylor. This was a really interesting number, that was very different than anything else we saw on the show that night. Both artists did a fantastic job (which isn’t surprising), and this was definitely a performance everyone on the Internet will continue to talk about for a while.
Jamie Foxx & Chris Brown:
Of course we couldn’t end this recap without talking about the last number of the night (which was performed by the host of the show Jamie Foxx). The two performed Jamie’s new single ‘You Changed Me’, which began with Jamie performing the song on the piano with dim stage lighting, before the beat picked up, and the stage lit up. The song was very well choreographed, and showed off both artists’ performance skills. This high energy performance was the perfect way to end the night, and definitely got the audience excited for Jamie’s upcoming album, which drops later this year (below is a video of Jamie & Chris’ performance that I found on NBC’s YouTube channel).
All credit goes to iHeart Radio Awards, iHeart Radio, NBC, Taylor Swift, Big Machine Records, Republic Records, Max Martin, Shellbacks, Jeremih, YG, Def Jam Records, MIchael Munzing, Luca Anzilotti, Thea Austin, Jeremih Felton, Mick Schultz, Benito Benitez, Keenon Jackson, Dijon McFarlane, JIve Records, Zomba Group of Companies, RCA Records, Capitol Records, Jason Aldean, Broken Bow Records, Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins, Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Michael Knox, DJ Mustard, 5 Seconds of SUmmer, Capitol Records, Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Lava Records, Savan Kotecha, Rickard Goransson, Onika Maraj, llya, School Boy Records, Young Money Records, Cash Money Records, Average Joes Entertainment, The Valory Co., Calvin Harris, Deconstruction Records, Fly Eye Records, Columbia Records, Hozier, Rubyworks Records, Universal-Island Records, Andrew Hozier-Byrne, Rob Kirwan, Iggy Azalea, Def Jam Records, Grand Hustle Records, Mercury Records, Virgin EMI Records, Arista Records, J Records, RCA Records, Epic Records, Kevin Kadish, Sire Records, Warner Bros., Records, Maverick Records, Live Nation Entertainment, Interscope Records, Jason Evigan, Sean Douglas, thatgrapejuice.net, Evan Bogart, 20th Century Fox Records, all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, record labels, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post and/or are mentioned in any of the videos mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.
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.
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