Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to talk about an AMAZING Country music band that you just gotta check out. If you’ve never heard of High Valley then please keep reading! These guys will instantly hook you with their incredible vocals, and insanely catchy songs. If you’re already a fan of this band then you know just how awesome they are, if you haven’t heard of them then prepare to be amazed. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
High Valley is a Canadian Country music band that has already made a HUGE splash in the Country Music scene. Because of this, they have already opened up for music legends such as: Little Big Town, Alan Jackson, and Shania Twain. They have also worked with country music stars such as singer/songwriter/producer Paul Bradt (who has won numerous music awards both in the U.S. and Canada, and also co-wrote the song ‘For You’, which was performed by Johnny Cash and Dave Matthews for the soundtrack of the film ‘We Were Soldiers’). Most recently High Valley worked with songwriter/producer Seth Mosley (who won a Grammy Award in 2015, and has worked with Contemporary Christian music superstars such as: Michael W. Smith, Mercy Me, Hawk Nelson who we covered in a previous blog which you can check out here: http://celindareyesblog.com/2015/03/monday-memos-hawk-nelson-your-new-favorite-band-has-arrived/, Jeremy Camp, Newsboys, and many others), and co-wrote songs with Ben Stennis (who has worked with country music superstars such as: Jason Aldean, Chase Rice, Tim Hicks), Fred Wilhelm (who has worked with country music legends such as: Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town) and award-winning Canadian country music songwriter Deric Ruttan.
Ok, now that you know a little bit about the band, let’s get to the music! Now I really wish that I could talk about all of this music that High Valley has released because it’s AMAZING (if you want me to talk more about this band please leave a comment below), but I choose 3 songs that I feel will really get you excited about High Valley. The first song that we’re going to talk about is High Valley’s cover of Bucky Covington’s 2010 single ‘A Father’s Love (The Only Way He Knew How), which was included on the band’s 2010 self-titled album. I absolutely loved this cover because High Valley slowed the song down just a bit which made it feel fresh, but were also able to keep the vibe of the original version that fans have come to love. Through this cover, High Valley is really able to make you feel the emotion of the lyrics, and you find yourself getting completely lost in the story they tell. The next song that we’re going to talk about is High Valley’s ‘Rescue You’, the 1st single off of their 2014 album ‘Country Line’. This is such a fun, high energy song, that is perfect to sing along to in the car. The message of the song is really sweet, and before you know it you WILL be completely addicted to this song. Ok, the final song that we’re going to talk about today is the band’s latest single off ‘She’s With Me’ (which you can check out the official music video for below).Personally this is one of my favorite High Valley songs, because it’s a really high energy song, with infectious lyrics, and it’s the perfect mix of country with just a touch of indie pop. You will definitely have this song on repeat for a LONG time. After hearing ‘She’s With Me’, I’m really excited to see what this incredible band will do next.
Keep up with everything High Valley is doing:
YouTube: High Valley
ITunes: High Valley
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to talk about a band that a lot of you may already be familiar with. If you’ve ever heard of the indie pop rock band ‘King The Kid’, then you’re already familiar with the AMAZING new band that we’re going to talk about, ‘Future Sunsets’. After ‘King The Kid’ disbanded, two of the members, David Michael Frank and Jose Mostajo, decided to evolve their sound and Future Sunsets was born. In 9 short months, Future Sunsets has already proven to have a loyal fanbase, with 7,421 subscribers, and 288,047 total channel views. So please read on to see why you will have Future Sunsets’ music stuck in your head all year long! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Future Sunsets cover of ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit feat Jess Glynne, which was uploaded September 30th, 2014. I really liked their take on this song, because they kept the upbeat fun vibe that made this song so popular, but also added their own flair that makes this rendition unique. This song was a VERY strong start for Future Sunsets’ YouTube channel, and will definitely make you excited to see more from the band (you check out the video below to find out for yourself). The next video that we’re going to talk about is Future Sunsets’ cover of ‘Bailando’ by Enrique Iglesias, which was uploaded on December 31st, 2014. I thought that this was such a interesting choice for the band, and they were honestly able to pull it off very well. It’s fun to see a band you like take a chance with a song that’s a little different than what they typically do, but equally entertaining. You will definitely play this video over and over, and love it more everytime.
Next up we have Future Sunsets’ cover of ‘Iris’ by Goo Goo Dolls, which was uploaded on March 21st, 2015. This is a song that EVERYONE knows, whether you’re a fan of this genre of music or not. Because of this, there is definitely a added pressure to make an amazing cover, and the band perfectly hits this mark. They are able to not only make a rendition of this classic that is very well done and keeps your attention, but are also able to really make you feel the emotions that the lyrics convey. This cover definitely deserves 5 smiley face (because as I’ve said before, smiley faces are cooler than stars). The last video that we’re going to talk about isn’t a cover, but is a really awesome original song that you just gotta check out! Future Sunsets released the lyric video for their song ‘Without Your Love’ on December 16th, 2014 (you can check out the video below). This is a really cool song that has catchy lyrics, and upbeat vibe, and will instantly hook you as soon as you start to listen to it. It has a lot of the same elements that made fans fall in love with this band, but also show that they are constancy evolving and making their sound even better. I could definitely see them not only seamlessly integrating into mainstream music, but also stand out in such a way that will make them a cross-genre hit.
Keep up with everything Future Sunsets is doing:
YouTube: Future Sunsets
Twitter: Future Sunsets
Instagram: Future Sunsets
Tumblr: Future Sunsets
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, I’m going to help put a little magic into your Monday. Now if for some crazy reason you haven’t heard of 17 year old magician Collins Key, you are definitely missing out. This superstar has taken the magic/illusion industry to a whole new level by finishing in 5th place season 8 of America’s Got Talent, presenting at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards, and opening for Demi Lovato on her 2014 ‘Neon Lights Tour’. So now let’s check out some videos that are guaranteed to leave you spellbound. Ready? Let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Collins’ 2013 audition for the reality show ‘America’s Got Talent’. For his audition, Collins performed a trick that teleported a dollar bill into a sealed bag of chips. This is a really cool trick that will leave you wondering how he did it (you can check out the video below). Although the trick is awesome, one of the most impressive things about his audition, was how at just 16, Collins already proved that he could compete with the the most seasoned of showmen. The next trick that we’re going to check out is Collins’ performance for the ‘America’s Got Talent’ Vegas Week. This trick consisted of Collins mentally ripping a page out of a book, writing a word on the ripped page, and then teleporting that page into an envelope that a person is seated on. Again, this trick will leave you amazed, and will make you want to see more from Collins. Even though he didn’t win the competition, Collins definitely made his time on ‘America’s Got Talent’ count, and in doing so made us all fall under his spell.
Collins also has a very cool YouTube channel where he posts fun challenges, Q&A videos, and you guessed it, magic tricks. Let’s check out one of their videos right now! In this video, Collins does a trick in which he has a person pick a random card, and then sign the card. Then he does a lot of cool Harry Potter magic stuff, and another card takes a bite out of the random card, and then he finds that bite in the other card (yeah I know it’s a little confusing when I try to explain it, but check out the video below and you’ll see the awesomeness). Also, Collins gets bonus points for included One Direction’s drummer Josh Devine in this video because that’s just really cool! Ok the last video that we’re going to talk about isn’t actually a magic trick video, but is instead a magic trick revelation video. In this one, Collins explains how to do a trick with a scarf and an egg. Y’all should definitely check this one out, because it is guaranteed to freak out your family/friends, and will liven up any party.
Keep up with all the magic and fun by following Collins on these sites:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss an awesome new band that y’all will hear about A LOT this year. If you haven’t heard of Hey Anna, then you are definitely missing out. This cool indie-pop band’s music has already been featured on numerous awesome websites, and more recently on nylon.com (yeah they’re really THAT cool). The band is comprised of Anna Rauch-Sassen,(vocals), Erin Rauch-Sassen (guitar), Katie Rauch-Sassen (keyboard), Matthew Langer, and Jamie DiTringo. With their debut album ‘Run KoKo’ dropping later this summer, this is the band that you NEED to know about now, before all your friends become obsessed with them. Luckily for us, Hey Anna has recently released a new singe entitled ‘Island’, to get us prepared for the wave of awesomeness that ‘Run KoKo’ will bring. So are y’all ready to discuss ‘Island’? Ok, let’s go!
If you’re looking for a fun, yet soothing summer anthem, then ‘Island’ is perfect for you. This song combines the best of Indie and Pop music, into a song that you will be singing along to all year long. I have seriously had ‘Island’ on repeat for the past few days, because it just has this incredible energy that completely makes you incapable of not having it constantly on repeat. I am soooo excited that Hey Anna released ‘Island’ as their upcoming album’s lead single, because it really gets you excited to see what their full album will sound like. It’s not very often that you hear a single and think “wow this band is going to be unstoppable”, but that’s exactly the feeling you get after listening to ‘Island’. So get ready people of the internet, because Hey Anna is about to shake up the music industry in a BIG way!
Keep up to date with everything Hey Anna is doing:
Twitter: HEY ANNA (@heyannamusic) | Twitter
Website: HEY ANNA
Instagram: HEY ANNA (@heyannaband) • Instagram
SoundCloud: HEY ANNA | Free Listening on SoundCloud
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss an AMAZING band that you will have on repeat all year. If you haven’t heard of the awesome pop punk/Christian rock band Hawk Nelson (which is hard to believe considering their music has charted at #1 on VH1’s ‘Top 20 Countdown’, and they have been nominated for numerous of the music industry’s top awards), then be prepared to become addicted to their music. What’s really cool about this band’s sound is that it has a wide variety of influences, so whether you like pop, punk, or rock, you will find songs that you love! Their new album ‘Diamonds’ dropped today (March 17th), so y’all should all definitely pick up a copy (I promise you won’t be disappointed). So, if you’re not already a Hawk Nelson fan, please read on and prepare to become obsessed.
The first song we’re going to discuss is the band’s song Shaken, (which is off of their 2009 album ‘Live Life Loud’, you can check out the official music video for the song below). This is a really powerful song that will instantly grab your attention and won’t let go until the last note. I love that the lyrics have a really powerful message about a person being “shaken” by something and because of this, wanting to find out how they can make a difference. The music video for this song is also extremely powerful, and will definitely make you wonder what you could do to make a positive difference in the world. The next song that we’re going to talk about is Hawk Nelson’s single ‘Words’ (which is off of their 2013 album Made). I thought that this was a good song for us to talk about next because so many problems that we have in our day-to-day lives is caused by words. As this song explains, words have the power to lift us up, or tear us down. I think that this song is the perfect anthem for all of the bullying that so many people face daily at work, school, home, and even over the internet.
Now we’re going to discuss two of the new songs off of Hawk Nelson’s latest album Diamonds. The first song that we’re going to talk about is the band’s single ‘Drops In The Ocean’ (you can check out the official music video below). This is a really sweet song about someone loving & forgiving you unconditionally. The lyrics in this song really leaves a powerful impact. Whether you think of God, a family member, a friend, or someone else when you hear this song, I definitely think it’s one that we can all relate to. The final song that we’re going to discuss is the title song of the album, ‘Diamonds’. Now even though I LOVE so many of Hawk Nelson’s songs, I have to say that this one is my one of my top favorites. This is the perfect song to kick off your spring/summer playlists with! It is an energetic, uplifting song about God helping you take the negative things in your life, and turning them into positive things. With all of the pressure that we face in our day to day lives, it’s nice sometimes to hear that everything will be ok, and this song will definitely leave you feeling that way. Judging by these two songs, I definitely think that this album is a must have for anyone who loves AMAZING music!
Keep up with everything Hawk Nelson is doing:
Twitter: Hawk Nelson (@hawknelson) | Twitter
YouTube: Hawk Nelson – YouTube
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to talk about an AMAZING vocalist who y’all are gonna be playing on repeat all year! If you haven’t heard of Ebony Day, then please read on and meet your fav new artist. Ebony Day is a 21 year old rising YouTube music star, who (as of February 7th, 2015) has 33,028,043 total views and 314,806 subscribers on YouTube. In 2013, she was also the first unsigned artist to be voted the MTV Artist of the Year (yeah, that’s incredibly impressive!). Ebony’s channel has a cool mix of songs from various different genres, so you’re almost guaranteed to find a cover that you love. So if y’all are ready, let’s dive into the blog post and talk more about Ebony’s covers and original music.
The first cover that we’re going to talk about, is Ebony’s rendition of ‘Whatcha Say’ by Jason Derulo, which was uploaded on December 14, 2009 (here’s the link to the video if you wanna check it out: Jason Derulo – whatcha say acoustic cover ebony day). I really like this cover because it’s a really cool, acoustic take on the original song (which is more of an upbeat song). This video is a really good introduction to Ebony’s music, because it really shows off her style as an artist. The next video that we’re going to talk about is Ebony’s version of ‘Good Life’ by One Republic, which was uploaded on October 19th, 2011 (check out the video here: Good Life – OneRepublic (Ebony Day cover) ). I like this cover because we get to see the fun side of Ebony. Most of her videos have a very chilled out acoustic vibe, so it’s fun to see a different side of Ebony in this one. Even though she does come off as a bit shy in the video, it’s fun to see an artist travel outside their comfort zone because it proves that they’re not afraid to grow as entertainers. The last cover that we’re going to talk about is Ebony’s take on ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, which was uploaded on February 12th, 2014 (here’s a link to that video: Rather Be – Clean Bandit (Ebony Day & Shaun Reynolds Cover) ). This is one of my all time favorite Ebony covers, because this video perfectly shows just how far she has grown as an artist. In this video we are able to fully see that Ebony is an entertaining performer, who has an incredibly unique and captivating voice. In this video Ebony no longer looks shy performing in front of the camera, and truly looks like a seasoned performer. This cover definitely proves that Ebony only gets better with time, and I am really looking forward to what covers she releases next.
Ok, now that we’ve talked about Ebony’s cover videos; let’s talk about her original music. She released her debut EP ‘The Beginning’, on September 29th, 2013. The EP (which you should DEFINITELY pick up in iTunes after you finishing reading this blog post) is a 4 song album which has songs all about love and heartbreak. I picks two of my favorite songs to talk to y’all about (which was hard because I love all of the songs). The first song that we’re going to discuss is called ‘Good Thing Gone Wrong’ (here’s a live acoustic version of the song EBONY DAY – Good Thing Gone Wrong – The Beginning EP (Live Acoustic Sessions) , which was uploaded to Ebony’s channel on September 13th, 2013). This is a sassy song about a relationship gone wrong, that will definitely having you thinking that maybe it’s not so bad if you’re single this Valentine’s Day. I really love a good breakup song that you can cry too (I mean who doesn’t right?), but it’s also cool whenever artists can release a fun breakup song that doesn’t have to be depressing to be good. The last song that we’re going to talk about is Ebony’s song ‘Crazy Over You’ (here’s a live acoustic version of the song EBONY DAY – Crazy Over You – The Beginning EP (Live Acoustic Sessions) , which was uploaded to Ebony’s channel on September 6th, 2013). This is definitely my FAVORITE song on the EP, because it’s so different from anything that Ebony has previously released. This song breaks away from Ebony’s usual singer/songwriter meets pop vibe, and incorporates more of a Latin music feel (sorta like an early JLo kinda vibe, think of songs like ‘If You Had My Love’). This is such a fun song that’s about what it feels like to really be into somebody (so basically the way we all fangirl over every cute celebrity…you know you do). I loved that Ebony showed that she’s not afraid to take risks with her music, and that she can actually be awesome in a variety of genres. This EP definitely made me excited to see what Ebony releases next!
Keep up with everything Ebony is doing:
Twitter: Ebony Day (@ebonyday1) | Twitter
Instagram: Ebony Day (@ebonyday1)
Facebook: Ebony Day | Facebook
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about the 2015 Grammy Awards (btw we guessed half of the winners correctly this year, yay!). This year the award show was full of unique performances, surprises, and of course, awesome awards. It was truly a night dedicated to music, and all that it represented this past year. The show was once again hosted by rapper/actor LL Cool J, who stated at the top of the show that he wasn’t going to perform an opening monologue so that there would be more time for the music. I thought that it was a really memorable show, and will definitely have us all discussing it the rest of the year. If you missed the show, or just want to relive all the moments again, then please read on as we recap the 2015 Grammy Awards!
Here are the categories we guessed correctly this year:
*If you want to see the full list of Grammy Award winners then please go to GRAMMY.com | The Official Site of Music’s Biggest Night
Now there were a lot of awesome performances this year, but I decided to pick the top 10 must-see performances to discuss with y’all.
10) Eric Church: Eric performed his hit single ‘Give Me Back My Hometown’, which is a fun song that brings out the nostalgia in us all. As always, Eric captivated his audience and never lost their attention. The backdrop of the stage had scenes of a town in a Sepia effect, which just added an air of coolness to the number.
9) Ariana Grande: One number that was really interesting was Ariana Grande’s emotional performance of her song ‘Just a Little Bit of Your Heart’. The emotional ballad had a very intimate vibe that definitely captivated fans. The staging consisted of really dim lighting, purple stage lights, and really cool white smoke that appeared half way through the performance.
8) Pharrell Williams: Pharrell began his number with a spoken word performance of the beginning of his hit song ‘Happy’. The number then changed back to the original arrangement, and included dancers in bright colored clothing & choir robes. Towards the end of the number, the attention shifted over to the small stage in the center of the auditorium, where Hans Zimmermann was showing off his out of this world piano skills. Definitely a number we’d all be happy to see again.
7) Ed Sheeran feat. John Mayer & Questlove/Ed Sheeran & ELO: Ed performed a sweet rendition of his new single ‘Thinking Out Loud’, and was accompanied by John Mayer’s EPIC guitar playing, and Questlove (the drummer of the band The Roots, who are Jimmy Fallon’s house band) on the drums. This was such an awesome pairing that I know we all have our fingers crossed for these artists to collab again soon. After ‘Thinking Out Loud’, Ed switched over to another stage and performed ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ with British rock group, Electric Light Orchestra (aka ELO). This was another unexpected, yet really awesome collab that left us wondering who Ed will work with next (because obviously he can work with anyone and it will sound awesome).
6) Miranda Lambert: Miranda performed her song ‘Little Red Wagon’, and definitely showed that country music can rock. She was in full rock star mode, with a performance that included lots of cool smoke and explosion effects, an interesting red sun decoration in the background, and lots of flashing red lights that definitely raised the energy of the room to full blast.
5) Hosier & Anne Lennox: Hosier started the performance with their hit single ‘Take Me To Church’ & was later joined by Anne Lennox, who also performed her rendition of ‘I Put A Spell on You’ (which was originally by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins). This was another high energy performance that had the audience captivated throughout the number…what can we say, they put a spell on us!
4) Katy Perry: Katy performed a truly angelic rendition of her song ‘By The Grace of God’, complete with a beautiful white gown. The performance followed a PSA by President Barack Obama, and a speech by domestic abuse survivor Brooke Axtell (the PSA and speech were in support of a new program called #ItsOnUs, which is an initiative to end violence against women & girls). This was truly a strong way to deliver this powerful message.
3) Paul McCartney, Rihanna, & Kanye West: The legendary Beatle joined Pop star Rihanna, & Rap star Kanye West for a performance of the trio’s song ‘Four Five Seconds’. This was such an amazing number, that really brought out the true talent of all three artists, and showed the magic that can happen when artists of different genres come together to create something spectacular.
2) Sam Smith & Mary J. Blige: Sam & Mary J. Blige left the room completely speechless with their duet of Sam’s hit song ‘Stay With Me’. The two artists used their amazing vocal talents to deliver a breathtaking performance that was one of the highlights of the night. What made this performance extra cool was the old school soul flair that the artists added to the overall vibe of the show; it definitely left us hoping that they will work together again in the future.
1) Sia feat. Maddie Ziegler & Kristen Wiig: The top spot of the night has to go to Sia for her beautiful performance of her hit single Chandelier. The number took place in a destroyed, dirty room, and showed comedic actress Kristen Wiig & Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler performing the choreography from the song’s music video together. Although Sia & Kristen were INCREDIBLE, the star of the show was definitely Maddie. Seriously, she’s 12 years old and has already performed at the Grammys, how do you possibly top that!?! With such a HUGE start to 2015, I’m excited to see what this rising star does next.
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.