Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’, we’re going to talk about a PHENOMINAL singer/songwriter who you will completely fangirl (and fanboy) over from the moment you hear her. If you haven’t stumbled across one of Rebecca Shearing’s AMAZING covers then you have no idea how deprived your ears are. Not only can she sing and play the piano, but she also has the ability to perfectly tackle any genre of music and make it sound completely fresh and unique. So now let’s get to what y’all are waiting for, the music! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Rebecca’s cover of ‘Happy’ by Leona Lewis, which was uploaded on January 30th, 2010 (you can check out the video below). I thought that this was an awesome video to kick things off with, because the song is not only technically challenging but should make you experience the feels when you listen to it. Rebecca does a really good job displaying her vocal skills in this cover, and it definitely makes you eager to see what she’ll tackle next. The next video that we’re going to discuss is Rebecca’s rendition of ‘Gangnam Style’ by PSY, which was uploaded on October 15th, 2012. When I saw this video, I was immediately intrigued, and honestly it was everything I thought it would be and so much more! Rebecca did an AMAZING job rearranging this song into a cool jazzy rendition that will give the song a really fun, fresh vibe. It’s a fun play on this viral hit, that will have you addicted to ‘Gangnam style all over again.
Next up, we have Rebecca’s cover of ‘Just Give Me a Reason’ by Pink feat. Nate Ruess, which was uploaded on March 25th, 2013. In this cover Rebecca really showed off her artistry, by fully engaging herself in the song, and bringing out the emotions that the lyrics of this song have. The fact that Rebecca was able to show that she’s an amazing storyteller in this video, only makes me more excited see what incredible original music she releases in the future. The final cover that we’re going to discuss is Rebecca’s cover of ‘Flashlight’ by Jessie J from the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack, which was uploaded on June 12th, 2015 (and you can check out below). This was such a breathtakingly beautiful cover, and will make you become even more obsessed with Rebecca’s channel. This video really proves that Rebecca has continued to perfect her craft, and now is not only able to sing/play the piano EXTREMELY well, but is also a true artist that will captivate your from the first not to the last, and will leave you constantly wanting more. With all the growth we’ve already seen from her, I can’t wait to see where Rebecca’s career takes her next.
Keep up with Rebecca on the following sites:
YouTube: Rebecca Shearing
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ I have another exciting interview for y’all. Last Monday I introduced you to the AMAZING new indie pop band Signal City (which you can read here: Monday Memos: Signal City…the new band whose AMAZING music is our new found Fortune | celindareyesblog). I was recently able to interview Cameron Boyer from Signal City, and we spoke about that band’s musical influences, what to expect with their upcoming debut EP, who would be on the band’s dream tour, and so much more! So please read on, and remember that Signal City’s debut single ‘Fortune’ is available on ITunes NOW.
Celinda: Hi Cameron. I really love the band’s name, how did you guys come up with the name Signal City?
Cameron: Coming up with the band’s name was literally the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. We came up with so many names, probably over 200 in total. One thing we were all sure about though was “Signal”. At first we were just going to be called “The Signals”, but then we found out that like 6 bands already had that name. So after a while we decided to just put “City” after it. We still weren’t sure if we liked it, but it started to grow on us so we decided to stick with it.
Celinda: So what/who inspired you to pursue a career in music?
Cameron: For me it was my dad mostly. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have started this career. He forced me to do a musical when I was a kid. I was asked to do it by some friends but I declined, then my dad said “no you gotta do it”, and so I decided to try it, and that’s how it all started. I met Justin doing musicals, but the musical scene wasn’t really for us, so we decided to form a band.
Celinda: That’s a really cool story, so what bands or artists have influenced your band’s musical style?
Cameron: Once the band was formed, Green Day, Muse, The Killers, The Black Keys, and similar bands became our main influences. Green Day is what first influenced me, but I wanted to go further so I started listening to SOO many different genres of music. With all of those influences, we started to form our own sound, which is very broad and hits lots of different styles
Celinda: That is so interesting; I love to see bands that are well versed in various styles of music. So, what bands or artists have influenced your music that would surprise your fans?
Cameron: Well we were also influenced by classical stuff like Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc. We also listened to jazz, blues, ska, reggae, and indie. The fans would probably be surprised with the classical influences, and the blues and jazz stuff. Not too sure what would surprise them though.
Celinda: What’s your songwriting process like?
Cameron: We tend to write when we feel like it. It’s just that simple. When an idea comes we just go at it and don’t stop unless we can’t continue. Sometimes we write with all 5 members and sometimes we write with just 4, 3, 2 or by ourselves. We will do whatever it takes to write a good song.
Celinda: Very cool, it sounds like you guys are really creative. So speaking of writing good songs, what’s the story behind your debut single ’Fortune’?
Cameron: ‘Fortune’ is a song driven by the experiences that the band has encountered. We all have been through so many hard times, and have done so much hard work just to be in this band. Some of the sacrifices we have made have even forced one of us to move houses, lose friendships, and many more hardships. But we have always kept at it and take the opportunities that come along, so that we can get the best possible “fortune” out of them.
Celinda: That’s a really inspiring story. So what can you tell me about your upcoming EP?
Cameron: For the upcoming EP we worked with Simon Katz from Youngblood Hawke, which was awesome because he really helped us and took our music to new levels, which really opened up our minds and made us think. The new EP is very different from what we are used to writing, but we love it and are super excited to get it out there. Like ‘Fortune’, the whole EP has the theme of trying to stay alive and do your best in anything you do. Hopefully it inspires others the way it has inspired us.
Celinda: Now I’m really excited about the upcoming EP! So, what’s one thing that you wished you had known about the music industry before entering it?
Cameron: Definitely how to make it using an easier path. Hahaha, it’s been really hard, so I wish I knew everything I needed to make this process easier. But then again, I also don’t wish that, because it has made us who we are. So I appreciate the process, even though it sucks. Haha.
Celinda: Very true.So, if you could put together and go on a dream tour, who else would be on it?
Cameron: Our band, Muse, The Killers, The Black Keys, and Green Day.
Celinda: That would be an awesome tour! Ideally, what do you want Signal City’s legacy to be?
Cameron: I really want our legacy to be that we are a band that people remember in the best way possible. I want people to listen to our music and feel good about themselves and about everyone and everything around them, even those things or people whom they may not be fond of. I want people to say “Because of Signal City, I became a better person in whatever way”. I want people to see us in a positive light. I also want people to seriously rock out like crazy and have crazy fun too while listening to our music, haha.
Celinda: I definitely see that becoming Signal City’s legacy. Your music is so amazing and upbeat, that people can’t help but rock out and have fun while listening to it. Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Cameron: Just that I really hope that we make it, because I’m dying for more to hear our sound.
Celinda: I definitely see you guys making it far in the music industry, I am so excited about what’s ahead for Signal City. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions Cameron!
So as y’all can see, Signal City is definitely a band on the rise. I HIGHLY suggest that you all stay on the lookout for Signal City’s debut EP, which is dropping later this year (and don’t worry, I will make sure you ALL know exactly when the EP is released). If you’re looking for a band with infectious, upbeat music to jam out to this summer, then look no further. I anticipate that very soon, Signal City will no longer be LA’s best kept secret, and will instead be the band that EVERYONE is obsessed with. Now don’t you want to be ahead of the curve? That’s what I thought!
Keep up to date with Signal City:
Website: Signal City
Twitter: Signal City (SignalCity) on Twitter
Facebook: Signal City | Facebook
Instagram: signalcitymusic on Instagram
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, I am going to introduce y’all to an amazing indie pop band that you will soon be listening to non-stop. If you love the energetic sound of pop bands, and the unique vibe of bands such as FUN and Passion Pit, then you will become addicted to Signal City (formerly called Above Seclusion). With a fun, catchy single currently on ITunes, and a much anticipated EP scheduled to be released later this year, I suggest that you become familiar with this amazing band before everyone else jumps on the bandwagon.
Signal City formed 3 years ago in 2011, when Cameron (vocalist/rhythm guitar) and Justin (vocalist/lead guitar) met. They became friends, and soon found that they shared a love of music, and were both influenced by artists such as: the Black Keys, Muse, Green Day, Journey, etc. Cameron and Justin soon added vocalist/bassist Brennen to the band, and the final pieces of the band fell into place with the final additions of CJ (vocals/rhythm guitar), and Cole (drums). Once assembled, the band quickly began creating hits, and their meticulous dedication to their craft began to pay off when Signal City caught the attention of Simon Katz (of the band Youngblood Hawke), and later iconic engineer Mark Needham (a Grammy nominated producer, mixer, and music engineer, who has worked with artists and bands such as: Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, The Killers, Stevie Nicks, P!nk, Shakira, Imagine Dragons, and many more notable stars). After being thoroughly astonished by the band, Simon soon signed on to produce their debut EP. After they began working with Simon, the band began to collaborate amongst themselves, and in the words of Justin, “…discovered that working together drastically improves the music [they were] creating and solidifies [them] as a band”.
Well now that you know all about the band, let’s get to the music! If you love fun, energetic songs that will make you want to get up and dance (or bob your head for fear that your dance skills might emotionally scar your friends), then Signal City is the band for you! Their sound is great for the summer time, because they have crafted the perfect blend of indie meets mainstream pop/rock. Their new single Fortune is a very strong introduction for Signal City, which will definitely become a fan favorite very soon. Fortune is a fun, high energy song that is reminiscent of bands such as Fun, and Echosmith, but still has a vibe that makes the track feel completely original and new. I found myself constantly replaying this song, and finding something else to fall in love with each time I played the song. I have said it before, but I believe that the #1 mark of a great band/artist is if they have the ability to make songs that not only instantly grab your attention, but keep you spellbound in such a way, that it is impossible to get tired of their songs. I definitely see in greatness in Signal City’s music, and I know that you all will too. I am VERY excited to see where this band ends up, and am even more excited to hear the INCREDIBLE music that they will release along the way. So, please check out Signal City’s music video for their debut EP Fortune (Signal City – Fortune (Official Video)), and stay on the lookout for their new EP, which will drop later this year.
So as y’all can see, Signal City has been able to use their passion for music, natural talent, and years of training, hard work, and dedication to make great strides in the music industry. With a growing, loyal fan base, and amazing mentors at their side, this band is truly on the verge of becoming ‘the next big thing’. With a unique sound that will make their music instantly recognizable on the radio, and the ability to captivate an audience’s full undivided attention, Signal City is on a powerful upward whirlwind. I anticipate that they will very soon become an inescapable name, and because of their ability to cross genres, will find fans in any and all music lovers. It’s very seldom that you find a band that is truly special, but once you hear Signal City, their specialness becomes apparent, and can only be described as magical.
Keep up to date with Signal City:
Website: Signal City
Twitter: Signal City (SignalCity) on Twitter
Facebook: Signal City | Facebook
Instagram: signalcitymusic on Instagram
Ok, last night (March 2, 2014) the Oscars aired, and it was a night full of fun, jokes, exciting musical performances, and A LOT of amazing film stars. Due to the amazing films that were nominated, the musical performances that were booked, and the humor and wit that always follows Ellen Degeneres (the host this year), it was easy to predict that the show would be amazing! So if you missed the show last night, or just want to review all of the amazing moments, then keep reading! Ready? Let’s get started!
This year’s Oscars were hosted by actress/comedian/talk show host Ellen Degeneres. Ellen emerged on stage in a really cool black velvet suit, which instantly made her stand out from the rest of the celebrities. She began her opening monologue by stated that “it’s been a tough time for us [in California]…it’s been raining…thank you for your prayers”. She then spoke about how movies inspire important things like, “love, family, and friends…and if you don’t have these things, then you end up in this [show] business”. Ellen then compared the Oscars to the film the ‘Hunger Games’ by stating that, “everyone’s hungry…and Jennifer Lawrence wins everything”. She then made fun of Jennifer Lawrence’s infamous falls at the Oscars last year and this year and stated, “If Jennifer Lawrence wins again, we will bring her hers [award]…” Ellen certainly brought numerous other hilariously memorable moments throughout the night. One such moment was Ellen’s now famous group selfie with numerous stars such as: Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Channing Tatum, among others. This picture instantly went viral, and actually shut down the social networking site Twitter for several minutes, making it a true historical event. At point Ellen continued the selfie mania by taking a photo of her reaction to how large the crowd was, and then jokingly placing emphasis on stating that she would be tagging the photo, “#selfie, #blessed”. At one point in the show, Ellen came out dressed in an all white suit, then looked at herself and stated, “oh new clothes!”. Another one of Ellen’s funniest moments came when she appeared on stage as ‘Glinda the Good Witch’, after P!nk’s rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as part of the ‘Wizard of Oz’ tribute. Upon “realizing” that she “missed” the tribute, Ellen said, “Guys that’s not cool!”, “you always had the power…oh never mind…”. However, the finniest moment of the night had to be when Ellen brought a pizza delivery man on stage, and stared handing our pizza to numerous celebrities (honestly what could be better than a pizza party with Ellen!…oh by the way Ellen I’m still waiting for my piece of pizza…just so you know… Ellen later took Pharrell Williams’ infamous brown hat, and went around to the various celebrities present and asked for a tip, she even “scolded” Brad Pitt for not donating “enough”. Due to all of these hilarious moments, and her natural charisma and lightheartedness, Ellen certainly further proved that she is truly a hilarious comedian, and a great entertainer. As always she didn’t disappoint, and proved that this is the “age of Ellen Degeneres”. I look forward to the next show Ellen hosts, because you know that if Ellen leads, then hilarity will follow.
*This is only a partial list of the winners, for a full list please visit Oscars.com
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Even though it was not my pick, I can certainly see why ’12 Years a Slave’ took home this coveted award. The acting in the film was superb (especially the performances of lead actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o). The actors were really able to translate the emotional depth of the script to the screen, and thus made the audience feel the correct emotions at precisely the right time. The ability to have great dramatic timing is not an easy task to perform however, the actors in this film were able to do this with ease. This film also had an amazing script, which contained thought provoking themes, and dialogue such as “I don’t wanna survive, I want to live”. The dialogue had audiences clinging to the film’s every word, and helped the film strengthen its grip on all those watching it. I also loved the meticulous detail that the costume department and other crew members obviously used in order to make every aspect of this film perfect and this further invoking our attention.
Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Now this was truly a very difficult category to judge because all of these actors gave superb performances in their respective roles however, I do see why Matthew won this category. Matthew has the uncanny ability to perfectly embody any character he is given, and use his performance to transport an audience to where they need to be. His performance in Dallas Buyers Club was certainly no exception. In this film Matthew was able to make us feel every moment that his character Ron faced when he was diagnosed with AIDS. The fact this film is inspired by actual people and events (it has been noted that some characters and situations have been changed and/or created in the film), adds a great amount of credit to Matthew’s performance because it is very difficult to accurately translate a person’s life in screen (and selfishly I did want Matthew to win for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ because he’s from Texas, and I’m from Texas, so I have to root for my fellow Texans!).
Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
With stellar performances in films such as: ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, ‘The Aviator’, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, etc. etc., it should come as no surprise that Cate had a great shot at winning this award. The competition for this category was stiff due to the appearances of veteran A-List actresses such as: Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock, and of course Meryl Streep (yeah “the” Meryl Streep). But despite the other amazing actresses in this category, Cate Blanchett’s performance in ‘Blue Jasmine’ was too amazing to ignore. Cate’s portrayal of a woman who goes from being extremely wealthy to losing it all ( including her mind) is perhaps some of Cate’s finest work. She is able to portray the process of a woman’s unraveling , without making it seem over dramatized or unnatural.
Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
This was another extremely tough category to participate in, but Jared Leto was able to rise above the rest. Although he has given several other good performances in various other films, I really think that Jared Leto was breathtakingly good in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’. He was not only believable as the unique character of Rayon ( a young HIV Positive transgender woman who Matthew McConaughey’s character meets during one of his hospital stays, and later goes into business with when he begins the Dallas Buyers Club). In the role, Jared is able to accurately portray all of Rayon’s emotional highs and lows. Through this performance, Jared further cemented his place as a phenomenal musician and actor. Although he has said that he will focus on his band’s music ( 30 seconds to Mars), I think that Jared has proven that he has the talent to portray any character, and we will certainly see him in another Oscar caliber role soon.
Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen
Although there were many deserving films in this category ( the minions in Despicable Me are soooo cute!) you just can’t beat a Disney animated movie. With talented actors such as: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, etc. etc. there was no way for this film to fail. Another thing that this movie had in its’ favor was a heartwarming story, amazing music (we’ll talk about ‘Let it Go’ later, but another favorite I mine was ‘In Summer’ performed but Josh Gad, which was a hilarious and adorable song that told the story of a snowman’s desire to experience summertime), and unforgettable moments and characters. These elements are what have made several other Disney films such as: ‘The Lion King’, ‘The Little Mermaid’ , ‘Mulan’, ‘Snow White’, and various other films classics among children and adults. Since its release, ‘Frozen’ has received praise from critics and has also grossed over $1 billion ( That’s unbelievably impressive isn’t it!?!). I definitely think that this film will enter the elite club of Disney classics, and I will definitely be first in line when they make ‘Frozen’ 2 ( hint hint Disney ).
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Once again we face a category that had many amazing contestants however, I have to say that I do agree that Lupita’s performance in ’12 Years a Slave’ was fantastic. I recently did some research on the actress, and I was baffled to learn that ’12 Years a Slave’ was Lupita’s first major film! Her delivery of the emotionally charged script was riveting, and left the audience completely entranced by the story. Obviously this was an amazing film for to help Lupita get her name out there, and I think that we will certainly see more amazing films from this talented new star. I can’t wait to see where her career takes her, and how many unforgettable moments and characters she will create.
Best Original Song: ‘Let it Go’ (from Frozen)
Frozen strikes again!!! I was so excited that ‘Let it Go’ won for two reasons: 1) It is an amazing and inspiring song about shedding what others think and expect of you, and living your own life ( this is a classic Disney theme, and one of the things they makes Disney music so epic!), 2) Idina Menzel performs the song!!! Now many people may recognize her from the hit Fox show ‘Glee’ however, my fellow theater nerds will recognize Idina from her various roles on Broadway (probably the most famous is ‘Wicked’, but seriously this woman is like the queen of Broadway…ok I’ll stop fangirling now…wait…ok I’m done now for real). With the combination of an amazing vocalist like Idina Menzel performing the song, and the talented writers at Disney, there was no way for ‘Let it Go’ to lose! This and all of the other music in Frozen definitely left me wishing for a sequel ( and Disney has now announced that ‘Frozen’ will be adapted into a Broadway musical…so maybe Idina will reprise her role??? Probably not but we can dream, can’t we?!).
First up was Pharrell with his track ‘Happy’ from the animated film ‘Despicable Me 2’. It was obvious that he used the fun loving, carefree tone of the song to inspire his performance. When the performance began, he appeared on stage in jeans, red sneakers, a T-shirt, track jacket, and a black hat reminiscent of his infamous Grammy hat. As the song progressed, back-up dancers appeared and danced around joyfully. Pharrell then walked off stage and went to the front row, where he preceded to dance with several of the actresses that were seated there. All of the backup dancers were dressed in fun, everyday clothing. The back screen had the lyrics of the song, and at one point of the song, a dance circle was formed and several backup dancers did break dancing in the middle. The song then ended with a back screen full of minions (small, yellow creatures that are characters in the film). The overall feel of the performance was fun, and it left you “happy”.
Karen O (most widely known as the lead vocalist of the rock band the ‘Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ), performed the song ‘Moon Song’ (from the film ‘Her’), with Ezra Koenig ( guitarist for the band ‘Vampire Weekend’). The execution of the performance was very simple (which perfectly complemented the acoustic elements of the song). The staging consisted of a single spotlight on Karen and Ezra, with a bright moon in the background. Karen had on a beautiful, sparkly red dress, and sat on a set of steps with Ezra. The overall presentation of the performance was very serene and was dominated by Karen’s strikingly unique vocals.
Next up was the iconic rock band U2, who performed their song ’Ordinary Love’ from the film ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’. As always, U2 was phenomenal, and truly had the crowd mesmerized from their talent. This band has had numerous hits that have become rock staples , so it is no surprise that their experience and overall phenomenal charisma was able to keep the audience engaged . They certainly showed through this performance like wine, this band only gets better with time.
Wizard of Oz Tribute:
Next up was P!nk who performed ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ as part of the show’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ tribute. The back screen played scenes from the ‘Wizard of Oz’ throughout the performance, and the lights and staging were kept very simple in order to place emphasis on P!nk’s performance. P!nk looked every bit the classic Hollywood star, with a lovely sparkly red dress, and perfectly placed hair and makeup (she is a Covergirl, so you know she’s going to look awesome!). Her performance was simply breathtaking, and showed that P!nk is truly one of the most vocally gifted artists in music today. Her technique was flawless, and her execution appeared effortless. She was also able to translate the emotional depth that the lyrics of the song contain, and left the audience feeling every emotion that the lyrics depict (I honestly had to work hard at not crying…ok maybe I cried a little, but don’t tell anyone ok ). At the end of her performance she received a well earned standing ovation.
When Bette Meddler performed, all hope of not crying was eliminated. Bette came on stage (after the Oscars honored those in the film industry who passed away this past year), and performed her iconic track ‘Wind Beneath my Wings’. Bette did a phenomenal job performing this moving track, and truly entranced her audience. Her performance ended with a standing ovation, and further cemented that fact that she is truly a star vocalist and entertainer that is able to continue to move a crowd to her bidding even after all these years.
Last but most certainly not least, Actress/Vocalist Idina Menzel performed ‘Let it Go’, the winner of the Oscar for ‘Best Original Song’. Idina wore a gorgeous dress, and the stage had blue and silver sparkly chains. When the chorus of the song kicked in the stage was lit up with gorgeous blue lights that perfectly complemented the rest of the staging. As always Idina’s vocals were nothing short of spectacular, and she was truly able to express the deep emotions that the award-winning song conveys through its lyrical content. She left the audience stunned and amazed, and definitely proved why she has always been considered one of Broadways’ brightest stars. She also received a standing ovation at the end of her performance, further adding acclaim to a golden night for ‘Frozen’.