Tag Archives: r&b

Monday Memos: 2015 Grammy Awards Recap

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!

Awards:

  • Record of The Year: Stay With Me (Darkchild Version) by Sam Smith
  • Album of the Year: Morning Phase by Beck
  • Best New Artist: Sam Smith
  • Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Say Something by A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera

Here are the categories we guessed correctly this year:

  • Best Country Song: I’m Not Gonna Miss You by Glen Campbell
  • Best Country Album: Platinum by Miranda Lambert
  • Best Country Duo/Group Performance: Gentle On My Mind by The Band Perry from the Glen Campbell I’ll Be Me Soundtrack EP
  • Best Rock Song: Ain’t It Fun by Paramore

*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

 

Performances:

Now there were a lot of awesome performances this year, but I decided to pick the top 10 must-see performances to discuss with y’all.

 

10) Eric Church: Eric performed his hit single ‘Give Me Back My Hometown’, which is a fun song that brings out the nostalgia in us all. As always, Eric captivated his audience and never lost their attention. The backdrop of the stage had scenes of a town in a Sepia effect, which just added an air of coolness to the number.

 

9) Ariana Grande: One number that was really interesting was Ariana Grande’s emotional performance of her song ‘Just a Little Bit of Your Heart’. The emotional ballad had a very intimate vibe that definitely captivated fans. The staging consisted of really dim lighting, purple stage lights, and really cool white smoke that appeared half way through the performance.

 

8) Pharrell Williams: Pharrell began his number with a spoken word performance of the beginning of his hit song ‘Happy’. The number then changed back to the original arrangement, and included dancers in bright colored clothing & choir robes. Towards the end of the number, the attention shifted over to the small stage in the center of the auditorium, where Hans Zimmermann was showing off his out of this world piano skills. Definitely a number we’d all be happy to see again.

 

7) Ed Sheeran feat. John Mayer & Questlove/Ed Sheeran & ELO: Ed performed a sweet rendition of his new single ‘Thinking Out Loud’, and was accompanied by John Mayer’s EPIC guitar playing, and Questlove (the drummer of the band The Roots, who are Jimmy Fallon’s house band) on the drums. This was such an awesome pairing that I know we all have our fingers crossed for these artists to collab again soon. After ‘Thinking Out Loud’, Ed switched over to another stage and performed ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ with British rock group, Electric Light Orchestra (aka ELO). This was another unexpected, yet really awesome collab that left us wondering who Ed will work with next (because obviously he can work with anyone and it will sound awesome).

 

6) Miranda Lambert: Miranda performed her song ‘Little Red Wagon’, and definitely showed that country music can rock. She was in full rock star mode, with a performance that included lots of cool smoke and explosion effects, an interesting red sun decoration in the background, and lots of flashing red lights that definitely raised the energy of the room to full blast.

 

5) Hosier & Anne Lennox: Hosier started the performance with their hit single ‘Take Me To Church’ & was later joined by Anne Lennox, who also performed her rendition of ‘I Put A Spell on You’ (which was originally by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins). This was another high energy performance that had the audience captivated throughout the number…what can we say, they put a spell on us!

 

4) Katy Perry: Katy performed a truly angelic rendition of her song ‘By The Grace of God’, complete with a beautiful white gown. The performance followed a PSA by President Barack Obama, and a speech by domestic abuse survivor Brooke Axtell (the PSA and speech were in support of a new program called #ItsOnUs, which is an initiative to end violence against women & girls). This was truly a strong way to deliver this powerful message.

 

3) Paul McCartney, Rihanna, & Kanye West: The legendary Beatle joined Pop star Rihanna, & Rap star Kanye West for a performance of the trio’s song ‘Four Five Seconds’. This was such an amazing number, that really brought out the true talent of all three artists, and showed the magic that can happen when artists of different genres come together to create something spectacular.

 

2) Sam Smith & Mary J. Blige: Sam & Mary J. Blige left the room completely speechless with their duet of Sam’s hit song ‘Stay With Me’. The two artists used their amazing vocal talents to deliver a breathtaking performance that was one of the highlights of the night. What made this performance extra cool was the old school soul flair that the artists added to the overall vibe of the show; it definitely left us hoping that they will work together again in the future.

 

1) Sia feat. Maddie Ziegler & Kristen Wiig: The top spot of the night has to go to Sia for her beautiful performance of her hit single Chandelier. The number took place in a destroyed, dirty room, and showed comedic actress Kristen Wiig & Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler performing the choreography from the song’s music video together. Although Sia & Kristen were INCREDIBLE, the star of the show was definitely Maddie. Seriously, she’s 12 years old and has already performed at the Grammys, how do you possibly top that!?! With such a HUGE start to 2015, I’m excited to see what this rising star does next.

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to the Grammy Awards, CBS, LL Cool J, Sam Smith, Darkchild, Beck, A Great Big World, Christina Aguilera, Miranda Lambert, Glen Campbell, Paramore, The Band Perry, GRAMMY.com, Eric Church, Ariana Grande, Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmermann, John Mayer, Questlove, Ed Sheeran, Electric Light Orchestra, Hosier, Anne Lennox, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Katy Perry, Barack Obama, Brooke Axtell, #ItsOnUs, Sam Smith, Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Sia, Maddie Ziegler, Kristen Wiig, Dance Moms, Lifetime, Capitol Records, Sam Smith, James Napier, William Phillips, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Epic Records, Ian Axel, Chad Vacarino, Mike Campbell, Dan Romer, Julian Raymond, John Hartford, RCA Records Nashville, Frank Liddell. Chuck Ainlay, Glenn Worf, Fueled by Ramen, Warner Bros. Records, Hayley Williams, Taylor York, EMI Nashville, Capitol Records Nashville, Luke Laird, Jay Joyce, Rodney Jerkins, Paul “Hotsauce” Dawson, Alicia Renee Williams, I Am Other, Back Lot Music, Columbia Records, Jet Records, Jeff Lynne, Asylum Records, Atlantic Records, Amy Wadge, Jake Gosling, Audra Mae, Joe Ginsberg, Rubyworks Records, Island Records, Andrew Hozier-Byrne, Hozier, Rob Kirwan, Okeh Records, Herb Slotkin, Arnold Matson, Don Was, Mike Stevens, Greg Wells, Roc Nation, Westbury Road, Mike Dean, Tyrone Griffin, Dave Longstreth, Dallas Austin, Elon Rutberg, Noah Goldstein, Monley Puzzle, Sia Furler, Jesse Shatkin, Greg Kurstin, real.com, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

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Monday Memos: Sweet Suspense…the rising group whose music is your best early Christmas gift

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss a rising group that you are already very familiar (and if you’re not read on, because trust me, you want to be)! If you saw the 3rd season of ‘The X Factor U.S.A.’, then you were one of the first to see the creation of music’s next big thing Sweet Suspense. This group has gone on to build off of the momentum they received while competing on The X-Factor, and are showing everyone that they are truly ready to be superstars. So please check out the rest of this blog post, to see why Sweet Suspense will be your new favorite group.

 

Sweet Suspense is an all-female pop power trio, who were first put together by Simon Cowell on the 3rd season of ‘The X-Factor U.S.A.’ in 2013. The group consists of singers Summer Reign, Celine Polenghi, and Millie Thrasher. Originally all three girls auditioned as solo artists, but were later placed in a group and given Simon Cowell as their mentor. The group showed their vocal diversity by performing songs from numerous artists and genres including Beyoncé (‘Wishing On a Star’), Icona Pop (‘I Love It’), The Supremes (‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’), and many other hits. The group ended up finishing in 12th place, but were able to use their popularity and momentum from the show to begin the launch of their empire. On August 9th, 2014, the group announced on Twitter that they were the first act signed to R&B/Pop superstar Jason Derulo’s new record label ‘Future History’.

 

Now that y’all know a little about this AWESOME group, let’s get to the music! In 2014, the group decided that they were ready to once again unleash their awesomeness upon the world by releasing a cover of Wilson Phillips’ hit song ‘Hold On’, on May 1st, 2014 (the link to the song is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l52rFw6IRk ) on sweetyhigh.com. I really enjoyed this cover because it was a fun choice that not only allowed the girls to show off their vocal abilities, but also their ability to captivate and fully entertain an audience, as well as bring a fresh feel to a Grammy nominated song. I feel that the fact that they are able to capture and keep your attention through a screen, definitely shows that they will be more than capable to do the same with a live crowd. On December 2nd, 2014 they released their debut Christmas single ‘Just Another Night’ on iTunes (here’s the link to the music video which was released on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGRxBrHj7o-gATJTxhLZijQ ). This song is the perfect choice for anyone who loves fun holiday music, and will be the perfect soundtrack for all of your Christmas parties. I also loved the music video for this song because it shows the group performing during a ‘Radio Disney’ event, as well as performing around the city they are in. This fun video really showed off the energetic and goofy personalities of the members of the group, which makes them seem not only talented but completely relatable. With such a strong debut, I am really excited to see what Sweet Suspense releases next.

 

Keep Up To Date With Sweet Suspense:
SweetyHigh YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SweetyHigh
  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Sweet Suspense, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, The X-Factor U.S.A., Simon Cowell, Summer Reign, Celine Polenghi, and Millie Thrasher, Beyoncé, Icona Pop, The Supremes, Jason Derulo. Future History, Wilson Phillips, sweetyhigh.com, The Grammy Awards, Radio Disney, iTunes, Chynna Phillips, Glen Ballard, Carnie Wilson, 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.

Monday Memos: Becky G…the rising pop star whose songs you’re going to be singing in the shower throughout 2015

Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss a young artist who is definitely on the rise. This talented young girl has already stolen our hearts with her infectious Pop/Rap songs, that have shattered records by becoming the youngest Covergirl spokesperson. Although 2014 was an AWESOME year for her, I predict that 2015 will only be bigger for her. Now if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m talking about singer/songwriter/rapper/dancer/actress/and all around cool girl Becky G (wow is there anything she can’t do!?! And she’s only 17…say it with me everyone…WOW!!!).

 

Ok we are now moving on to the biography part of this post, but I’ll give you y’all the shorten version, because we have Wikipedia for the rest. Ok! Becky G was born on March 2nd, 1997 in California. Becky has stated in interviews that she didn’t have the easiest time growing up, due to financial problems that her family went through when she was 9. Because of the family’s financial struggles, they were forced to move into Becky’s grandparent’s converted garage in Inglewood, California. Becky has said that even at such a young age, she felt that she should try to help her parents earn money to support the family. So, she made a deal with her parents and asked them to give her 6 months to try to break into the entertainment industry, at the end of the 6 months, she would forget about it if she didn’t get any work. Luckily, Becky’s natural talent allowed her to make a lasting impression on casting directors, and began doing voice-over and commercial work. She also started  recording herself using Garageband (a computer program that let’s you record audio) to try showcase her singing abilities. Becky continued to gain exposure by  performing in two girl bands: G.L.A.M (which was produced By Multi Platinum Producer Andrew Lane, who has worked with artists such as: the Backstreet Boys, Lisa ‘Left Eye’. Lopes, among others, and on soundtracks for: High School Musical, Hannah Montana, and many more), and B.C.G. In 2011, Becky began uploading videos of remixed versions of popular pop and hip-hop songs on videos onto YouTube (she would write her own rap lyrics, and add them to the songs in order to show how advanced her sense of artistry was). She later released the songs on a mix tape called ‘@itsbeckygomez‘. Although all of her songs were loved by fans, it was her cover of Kanye West and Jay-Z’s song ‘Otis’, that caught the attention of industry legend Dr. Luke. He was so impressed, that he signed Becky to his label Kemosabe Records (which is apart of Sony Music Entertainment).

Becky broke into the mainstream music scene on June 12, 2012, when she was featured on pop singer/fellow YouTube sensation Cody Simpson’s single ‘ Wish U Were Here’. Becky’s career continued to heat up, with the release of her songs: ‘Turn the Music Up’, ‘Oath’ (which was technically released by Cher Lloyd, but Becky is featured and co-wrote the song), and ‘Problem’ featuring Will.i.am. Becky returned to what initially got her noticed by remixing ‘Die Young'( which was originally made popular by Ke$ha) the track also features Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa, and ‘Jenny from the Block’ (which was made popular by Jennifer Lopez, and renamed ‘Becky from the Block’). In 2013, Gomez released her EP ‘Play It Again‘, which features 4 new tracks. On April 23, 2014, she released her new song ‘Shower’, which is the first single off of her debut album. ‘Shower’ became one of Becky G’s biggest hits to date, and she performed it on numerous shows such as the 2014 Teen Choice Awards. Due to all of her success, Becky was asked to open on Katy Perry, Jason Derulo, and Demi Lovato’s upcoming tours.

 

With the ability to sing, rap, dance, and completely take control of a crowd in any venue, it is easy to predict that Becky will have a VERY long career. At a young age, Becky has been able to figure out how to build a fiercely loyal fan base, and is already a well-loved artist in both the English and Spanish music markets. Becky has also become a fashion and beauty icon for her fans, proving that she truly is a well-rounded entertainer. I am so excited to see where her career takes her, and I know that she will not only build a legacy as a phenomenal entertainer, but will also blaze a trail for young artists who follow her. Give it up for your queen Beasters!!!

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Becky G, Rebecca Marie Gomez, YouTube, Inglewood, California, G.L.A.M, Andrew Lane, Backstreet Boys, Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes, High School Musical, Disney Channel, Hannah Montana, BCG, Kane West, Jay-Z, Sony Music Entertainment, Kemosabe Records, Cody Simpson, Cheri Lloyd, Will.i.am, Ke$ha, Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, Jennifer Lopez, Teen Choice Awards, Katy Perry, Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato, 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.

 

YouTube Wednesday: Stevie Brock…the rising Pop/R&B star who you will fall in love with all over again

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to discuss an up and coming YouTube star that you might already be familiar with. This amazing vocalist found fame at a very young age, and was able to captivate audiences with is talent, charisma, and natural star power. Does the name Stevie Brock ring a bell? If you were a fan of Disney Channel/Radio Disney in the early 2000s then be prepared for some major déjà vu, and learn why Stevie is on the verge of a major career upswing. So sit down, read the blog, and prepare to witness musically greatness (trust me if you don’t already, you’re going to love him after reading this post).

 

Stevie Brock was born on October 23rd, 1990 in Centerville, OH (I found conflicting sources on this, so it could have been Centerville or Dayton, OH). Stevie began singing at a very young age, and at the ripe old age of 11, was discovered in Dayton, Ohio, and signed to WIRE Records (which was an Orlando, FL based record company owned by veteran manager Johnny Wright, who has managed successful groups and artists such as: New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, the Jonas Brothers, Menudo, Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Ciara). In 2002, Stevie was a guest vocalist on the group Triple Image’s single ‘Boy Next Door’ (Triple Image, Stevie Brock – Boy Next Door).  In 2003 Stevie released his debut self-titled album, which included a cover of the hit track ‘All for Love’ (Stevie Brock – All For Love) originally by the group Color Me Badd. ‘All for Love’ became a hit single for Stevie as well, and received a lot of rotation on radio stations such as Radio Disney, and was also included on the ‘Radio Disney Jams, Vol. 6’ CD. He later released a corresponding music video for the track. Also in 2003, Stevie toured with fellow pop sensation Aaron Carter on his  ‘Aaron’s Jukebox World Tour’, and later toured on Radio Disney tours such as: the ‘Jingle Jam’ Tour with Greg Raposo and Jesse McCartney, and Jump 5’s 2004 ‘Spring Thing’ Tour. Stevie’s career continued to soar in 2004, when he was asked to record the track ‘Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah’ (Stevie Brock – Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, which was originally on the 1940s Disney movie ‘Song of the South’) for the ‘DisneyMania 2’ album, ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’ for the ‘Radio Disney Jingle Jams’ CD, and ‘Three Is A Magic Number’ for the soundtrack to Disney’s animated feature Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (Three is a Magic Number -Greg Raposo, Matt Ballinger and Stevie Brock – YouTube, along with former members of the boy band ‘Dream Street’, Greg Raposo and Matt Ballinger). After some time, Stevie was no longer under contract with WIRE records, and moved back home to Centerville, OH, where he graduated high school in 2009. Stevie moved to Los Angeles, CA upon completing high school, and continued to perform in numerous venues, while continuing to build a very loyal fan base. Stevie released his first new single (since his 2003 debut album) on April 26th, 2012, entitled ‘Final Offer’ (Stevie Brock –  “Final Offer” (Official Video)). This music video for the track is a very artistically cool piece, which shows multiple shot transitions, and is entirely in black and white. The video really focuses on Stevie’s voice, and is a very cool change from your typical music video.

 

Stevie uploaded his first YouTube cover on September 3rd, 2010. The video was an acoustic cover of Taio Cruz’s hit track ‘Dynamite’ (Stevie Brock Covers – Taio Cruz “Dynamite” Acoustic).  I felt like this was the perfect song for Stevie to cover, because it left a lasting impact that would draw in new fans, and allow old fans to see just how much Stevie has grown as an entertainer. This rendition allows fans to see just how hard Stevie has been working over the past few years. His vocals are extremely well controlled, and his ease and charisma just leaps off screen. Although Stevie was always an incredible entertainer, he now appears to have an ease and confidence that truly allows his talent and passion for music to shine through. The video that we’re going to discuss is Stevie Brock’s cover of the Stevie Wonder classic ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)(‘Stevie Brock Live – Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” at The Roxy – 05.09.12) which was uploaded on April 3rd, 2011. The video shows Stevie Brock performing the hit song live, and once again proves the he has blossomed into a true entertainer. First of all, this is an extremely difficult song to sing due to the track’s insane vocal runs, and difficult notes. Secondly Stevie Wonder’s original rendition of the song is so flawless that it is almost impossible for any artist to cover. With all this said, I really loved Stevie Brock’s rendition, and I think that watching this video definitely proves what a powerhouse vocalist Stevie Brock is. The final cover video that we are going to discuss in right now (even through honestly we could discuss all of his videos in great detail), is Stevie’s cover of Mario’s hit track ‘Let Me Love You’ Stevie Brock Live – Mario’s “Let Me Love You” at The Roxy 05.09.12), which was uploaded May 25th, 2012. I really love that Stevie covered this song, because it allowed us to see that he has the artistry to take on an emotionally driven track. He proved that not only can he perform a song that makes us want to get up and dance, but he can also make us feel the emotion behind the lyrics of a song.

 

In 2013, Stevie and 3 of his high school friends (Dan Cox, Bill Reilich, and Dan Burtenshaw) reformed a Hip-Hop parody singing group called The Cream Pies that they had originally formed on high school. On January 9th, 2014 (The Cream Pies – We Love You, Ellen (Official Music Video)),  The Cream Pies uploaded a tribute video to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, which she featured on her show on January 15th, 2014. The video featured a hilarious Hip-Hop/R&B track, in which the various members of The Cream Pies took turns explaining why they loved Ellen. The video included some of Ellen’s famous games, catchphrases, and even ended with her famous ending phrase “anyway…” (C’mon you’ve seen the show; you know what I’m talking about).  She invited The Cream Pies to be guests on the show, and they made their debut appearance on January 22nd, 2014 (The Cream Pies Are Here!).  Ellen interviewed the group, and then they performed their Ellen tribute song love on the show (they even also received new ‘Ellen’ shirts to wear while they performed). Once the performance was over, Ellen gave the group a free trip to Las Vegas.

 

At the age of 23, Stevie has already had over a decade of experience in the music industry, and has proven time and time again that he has what it take to captivate an audience and turn them into lifelong fans. Over the years, Stevie has transformed from a teen heartthrob, into a mature adult vocalist, a task that is not always easy to succeed at. Due to his unique yet natural “it” factor, Stevie has been able to perfectly cultivate his growing image, while also staying true to the artist that his original fans grew to love. I can definitely see big things ahead for Stevie, and it is obvious that this talented guy will succeed with his solo career, The Cream Pies, and any other endeavor that he take on. It will certainly not be long before we are all fortunate enough to hear more music from this rising star, after all, he does it all for love.

 

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Stevie Brock, Disney Channel, Radio Disney, New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, the Jonas Brothers, Menudo, Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Ciara, Triple Image, Color Me Badd, Aaron Carter, Jump 5,Greg Raposo, Jesse McCartney, Song of the South, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers,  Dream Street, Radio Disney Jingle Jams, Taio Cruz, Matt Ballinger, Johnny Wright, WIRE Records, Stevie Wonder, Mario, the Cream Pies, Dan Cox, Bill Reilich, Dan Burtenshaw, Ellen DeGeneres, all of the record labels, businesses, individuals, companies associated with any of the previously mentioned songs, artists, businesses, or individuals, the YouTube channels: Kanaal van Konijntje, DisneyManiaMusic101, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

 

YouTube Wednesday: Rixton, the band you will be fangirling/fanboying about ALL YEAR!!!

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog, we will discuss a band that you might alright know a little about. With 49,000 Twitter followers, 37,051 YouTube Subscribers (29,762 on their YouTube VEVO channel), 24,000 followers on Instagram, and 31,985 likes on Facebook, this band is the next UK sensation that’s taking over the world. People of the internet please allow me to introduce you to Rixton! (You may now clap…ok that’s enough…fine a little more…ok we’re good). Now you may be familiar with Rixton’s infectious track ‘Me and My Broken Heart’, but if you want to learn more about the band that will soon be controlling your local airwaves, then please read on!

 

Rixton is a Pop/Rock/R&B band from Manchester, UK. The band includes lead singer/rhythm guitarist Jake Roche, bass guitarist/pianist/ backing vocalist Danny Wilkin, lead guitarist/ backing vocalist Charley Bagnall, and drummer Lewi Morgan. Rixton began three years ago, when Jake and Danny began collaborating on music. Two years later they were introduced to Charlie, and the final piece was found when they found Lewi performing in the back alley of a local pub.

 

Rixton released their first cover video on July 19th, 2012, which was an AMAZING cover of Chris Brown’s song ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ Chris Brown – Don’t Wake Me Up – Rixton Cover. I really loved this version, because Rixton was able to keep the original energy of the song intact, without using a lot of production. Also they were able to use their vocals, to give the track a very Ed Sheeran vibe, which made it sound very fresh. Chris Brown usually has very difficult notes in his music, so often it can be difficult for a band to emulate his songs. However, I definitely thought that Rixton was able to handle this challenge skillfully. Another cover released that Rixton has released that I’m IN LOVE with is their cover of Neyo’s hit song Let Me Love You’ Neyo – Let Me Love You – Rixton Cover . Rixton released this cover on September 7th, 2012. I really enjoyed this cover, due to the band’s ability to keep the song’s original feel, but also give the track a breath of fresh air. This song really showed off the strong R&B roots in John Roche’s voice, which will certainly make him an interesting vocalist to watch develop. On April 18th, 2013 Rixton released a cover of the sassy song ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ by Taylor Swift Rixton – I Knew You Were Trouble Cover – Taylor Swift Response. This is probably one of my favorite covers that Rixton has done, because it showed how creative the band is. They reworked the lyrics, so the song was told in the perspective of the guy that Taylor had “trouble” with. This is a song that can be sung by a girl or a guy, so the fact that Rixton took the time to change the entire perspective of the track, really shows that they are artists and not just a cover band.

 

Rixton released the music video for their first original single ‘Make Out’ Rixton – Make Out (Official Video) on October 22nd, 2013. The music video parodied a lot of popular artists’ videos, such as: Katy Perry’s song ‘Roar’, Justin Bieber’s song ‘Beauty and a Beat’, Miley Cyrus’ hit ‘Wrecking Ball’, Lady Gaga’s track ‘Applause’, and Robin Thicke’s super hit ‘Blurred Lines’. I really love how fun the music video is to watch, and the meticulous detail that went in to it. This was definitely a really exciting introduction to who Rixton is as a band, while still paying homage to Rixton’s YouTube roots. On March 18th they released their debut EP entitled ‘Me and My Broken Heart’. They released the video to their sophomore original track ‘Me and My Broken Heart’ Rixton – Me and My Broken Heart (Official Video) – YouTube on March 27th, 2014. The video tells the story of a woman con artist, who disguises herself as 4 separate women, and brings 4 men to an illegal poker game (separately of course). When she arrives to the game, she has a bag of $10,000, and as the game is being played, she switches the bag with one that contains regular paper. The “cops” then crash the game, and she throws the bag at each if the guys that she brought. When they leave, they discover that she kept all of the money. However, one of the guys realizes that the woman switched the bags, and grabs the bag with the money before he leaves. I really loved that this video had a very interesting plot, and it left me anxious to see what Rixton does for their next video. When the video for ‘Me and My Broken Heart’ was released, it premiered on MTV worldwide, and immediately began burning up the charts. According to their Facebook page, Rixton is working with GRAMMY winning producer Benny Blanco (who has worked with artists such as: Jessie J, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Britney Spears, Wiz Khalifa, and many more on some of their super popular hits), and are expected to drop their debut album on School Boy/Giant Little Man/Mad Love/Interscope Records later this year (I don’t know about y’all but I am VERY excited about this!!!…ok ok I’m done fangirling!).

 

Due to their unique pop/rock meets blue-eyed soul sound and phenomenal talent; I see no reason why Rixton can’t become one of the biggest bands in the world very soon. Honestly, they have every element necessary to win over the hearts of music lovers everywhere. They have catchy songs, great vocals, and most importantly, a fiercely loyal fan base. With the help of superstar manager Scooter Braun (who has already had a hand in the very successful careers of YouTube sensation Madison Beer, Ariana Grande, and someone else…oh yeah…Justin Bieber!). With all the stars aligned, I predict that we will be hearing about Rixton for a looonnng time (and honestly we wouldn’t have it any other way).

 

Check out these links if you want to stalk…I mean keep up to date with what Rixton is doing:

YouTube: RixtonOfficial – YouTube

YouTube VEVO: RixtonVEVO

Twitter: twitter.com/rixtonofficial

Facebook: facebook.com/rixtonofficial

Instagram: instagram.com/rixtonofficial

Website: Rixton – Official Site

 

 

 

 

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Monday Memos: 2014 AMAs Recap

Hello people of the internet!!! On last night’s (November 24, 2013) AMAs, A LOT of stuff happened. Ok, ready? Let’s get started!

 

Host:

This year’s AMAs were hosted by Latin rap superstar Pitbull, who certainly seemed to be appreciative of his hosting gig. Pitbull said that it was a miracle that he was hosting the award show, and that he was living the American dream. Although Pitbull’s opening monologue was short, he did make a pop culture reference when he asked several female dancers to come on stage to twerk for the crowd. He also explained that twerking was not a new concept, and stated various names that twerking has been giving, previous to Miley Cyrus adopting the dance.

 

Winners:

  •  Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist: Justin Timberlake

With the tremendous success of his latest 2 part album ‘The 20/20 Experience’, it’s obvious why Justin tops pop this year.

 

  •  Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist: Rihanna

Once again Rihanna proves why she is an unstoppable force in the music industry, by adding yet another award to her long list of achievements.

 

  •  Favorite Country Album: ‘Red’ by Taylor Swift

The golden girl strikes again (and no I was not referring to her hair color) ! The first award that Taylor won last night was so appropriate and well deserved.

 

  • Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Album: ‘The Heist’ by Ryan Lewis & Macklemore

This team has had an iron claw on radio since their song ‘Thrift Shop’ made thrift stores cool (now you know you want to go to a thrift store and just start rapping…yes you do, don’t deny it!). They have had similar success with their numerous other tracks such as ‘Same Love’ and ‘Can’t Hold Us’, so it’s obvious why they would take this award home.

 

  •  Favorite Alternative Rock Artist: Imagine Dragons

One thing that keeps this band on top is their constant habit to always evolve musically. Even though they had us hooked when their hit song ‘It’s Time’ first hit the airways, Imagine Dragon has continued to push their musical capabilities with their equally infectious tracks ‘Radioactive’ and ‘Demons’.

 

  • Favorite Latin Music Artist: Marc Anthony

For the past few decades Marc Anthony has been an icon in Latin and mainstream music, so it’s not surprising that fans still love him.

 

  • Favorite Pop/Rock Album: ‘Take Me Home’ by One Direction

C’mon was it ever a question that this super group would win! Since their U.S. debut in 2011 with the smash ‘What Makes You Beautiful’, this boy band has had an iron grip on the hearts of U.S fans. This was One Direction’s first AMA, and as if that wasn’t special enough, they were the only British group of the night to win an American Music Award.

 

  •  Favorite New Artist of the Year: Ariana Grande

This powerhouse vocalist has been compared to many iconic female vocalists, and if this year is any indication, she will have a very long and successful career. At only 20 years old, Ariana has had a role on a successful Broadway musical, has been on two highly successful TV shows, and has had a number 1 album. So this is a girl you should definitely keep your eye on, and if you haven’t, pick up her debut album ‘Yours Truly’.

 

  • Icon Award: Rihanna

At the ripe old age of 25, super star Rihanna won the 1st ever Icon Award last night. With many accolades which include: six Grammy Awards, 12 number one singles, and the honor of being Billboard’s highest selling digital artist of the 2000s, it is obvious to see why Rihanna is a musical icon. The award was made extra special because Rihanna’s mother presented the award to her (Ok, everyone say AWWWWWWW!), so last night was a good night to be Rihanna, good job girl!

 

  •  Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist: Justin Timberlake

Since 1993, when a fresh faced young boy named Justin Timberlake appeared on ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’, he has had full control of the hearts of fans. From his time as a member of the highly successful boy band N’ Sync, to his even more successful solo career, Justin’s iron grip on the music industry has only tightened with age. And I have to say that it was so funny when Justin won, he walked over to Taylor Swift and started mouthing “Oh my god, oh my god” (yes, my words exactly Justin).

 

  •  Favorite Country Female Artist: Taylor Swift

Ok, for 1 minute we’re going to pretend that this was a surprise…ok minute over now back to the blog. Well, Taylor had such a successful night last night, adding 4 more awards to her large collections (Have you ever wondered how many award shelves she must have?).

 

  •  Favorite Single of the Year: ‘Cruise’ by Florida Georgia Line Feat. Nelly

This cross-over track has controlled mainstream and country radio for the last year, and has turned country duo Florida Georgia Line into a household name. With all of this considered, it makes perfect sense that this song won the AMAs first ever ‘Single of the Year’ award.

 

  •  Favorite Soul/R&B Album: Justin Timberlake

Yes Justin Timberlake won again! (It was a good night to be Justin Timberlake! GO Justin GO Justin! ok my fangirl moment is over).

 

  •  Favorite Electronic Dance Music Artist: Avicii

This has been a huge year for electronic dance music, and Avicii’s mega hit ‘Wake Me Up’, featuring vocalist Aloe Blacc, has certainly put him in the fore front of the minds of music lovers.

 

  • Favorite Country Male Artist: Luke Bryan

The country superstar has been burning up the charts, as well as celebrating a very successful year with a lot of awards. It seems that fans just can’t get enough of this rising king of country.

 

  • Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group: One Direction

Now when you say the words ‘favorite’, ‘pop’, ‘group’, you gotta think of One Direction. These guys have gone from reality show contestants to full-fledged pop superstars, and with the release of yet another #1 album, it’s obvious that there is no stopping these talented guys (good job Simon Cowell, we are forever in debt to you!).

 

  •  Favorite Country Group: Lady Antebellum

This group has had quite the year, from releasing a successful album, to performing with the legendary Stevie Nicks; this group is truly making their mark on music history.

 

  • Favorite Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift

Just when you think that Taylor can’t do anything else to surprise us, she does something amazing like this. Good job Taylor, after all your success with ‘Red’ you deserve this award (c’mon you know she does…don’t be mean)

 

The following awards were not presented during the actual award show:

  • Favorite Female Artist-Pop/Rock:

This award shows that Taylor’s music has now gone beyond genre restrictions, and that her fans now span an extremely large demographic.

 

  • Favorite Artist-Adult Contemporary:

From their hit 2002 album ‘Songs about Jane’, this rock band has had the hearts and ears of fans worldwide. With front man Adam Levine’s participation on the hit NBC show ‘The Voice’, this band has only gotten more and more popular.

 

  • Favorite Artist-Contemporary Inspirational: Matthew West

This super star has been taking his fans “to church” ever since his award winning 2003 debut album ‘Happy’. Matthew has also written tracks for numerous Christian and mainstream acts (such as Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus, and country music legend Vince Gill).

 

  • Top Soundtrack: Pitch Perfect

 

Ok on the count of three everyone say YESSSSS. Ready? One, two, oh I can’t wait YESSSSS! You know you’ve been spending the past year quoting every line form this movie, and singing every song. So of course it would make sense that this movie is so successful I mean it brought us Fat Amy right?! You may now jump in the air and fangirl…ok time’s up.

 

Performances:

There were so many amazing performances this year so let’s get started!

  • Katy Perry kicked off the show with a performance of her hit song ‘Unconditionally’. The performance had a Japanese theme, complete with Katy and her dancers wearing beautiful, multicolored kimonos, and dancing with fans. The screens behind Katy had visuals of Japanese lanterns rising up, which helped the overall effect of the performance. There was also a Zen garden on the stage, and midway through the performance, Katy danced with an umbrella as strobe lights shined around her. The performance ended with confetti falling from the ceiling, as some of the dancers did acrobatic tricks in the air. Katy then ascended the stairs, a smoke screen emerged, and then Katy disappeared. A very cool way to end a performance if you ask me!
  • Next up was the super group of the moment, One Direction. The guys sang the track ‘Story of my Life’ one of the singles off of their latest hit record ‘Midnight Memories’. The staging consisted of several small light bulbs which resembled candles, and gave a very intimate feel to the performance. The guys mostly stood still during their performance, but in typical 1D fashion, they looked as if they were singing to every individual girl in the audience. Such a solid performance by the guys on their big night!

 

  •  Ariana Grande was the next performer, and even though she tweeted that she was extremely nervous about her performance, she certainly didn’t show it. Ariana sang a very small portion of her hit song ‘The Way’, and then dove into a full rendition of her 50’s inspired hit ‘Tattooed Heart’. The throwback style performance was made complete with 4 backup singers, who all sang with old school 50’s style mics (you know the one’s that can’t be taken off of their stand, but look really cool. Oh and Ariana also sang with this kind of mic, so it made her performance that much more authentic). When Ariana finished performing, she received a standing ovation, and it was definitely deserved, because her voice was so strong and precise, despite the fact that she has been performing A LOT…don’t you wish you were this amazing? I sure do!
  •  Imagine Dragons were up next, and they definitely brought the rock and roll with them. Their set started with their newest hit ‘Demons’, which included cool blue lights and a lot of smoke on the stage. They then transitioned into their song ‘Radioactive’, which included red lights and yeah you guessed it smoke! At another part of the performance, all the members of the band had a drum solo, so that was so different and cool!
  • The man of the honor was up next…yup you guessed it Pitbull! Pop star Ke$ha joined him on their hit song ‘Timber’ with several dancers on stage with them. The staging consisted of two staircases, and there was a lot of really cool fire shooting all over the stage. The pressure was definitely on for Pitbull to deliver on this performance because of his job as host, and….he delivered. Two thumbs up!
  • Justin Timberlake was up next and as always he delivered. JT sang the track ‘Drink You Away’, one of the songs off of his album ‘The 20/20 Experience’. He introduced himself as Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids, and the band included several backup singers, and instrumentalist. Justin also played the guitar during his performance (he sings, dances, acts, writes music, plays guitar, seriously what can this guy not do!). The performance once again proved that this super star isn’t going anywhere!
  • Country duo Florida Georgia Line performed their infectious cross-over hit ‘Cruise’ with hip hop star Nelly next. All three guys did an amazing job performing the song, and once the song was completed, they transitioned into singing Nelly’s 2001 hit ‘Ride wit Me’, which was unexpected, but was also a very cool transition. Since Florida Georgia Line and Nelly have been performing this song on award shows all year, it was nice to see them do something different with this performance.
  •  AMA Icon award .winner Rihanna performed her super hit ‘Diamonds’ next, and she definitely “shined bright like a diamond” (I’m sorry I had to say it). Rihanna wore a beautiful black dress, a pearl chocker, pearl barrettes, and diamond earrings, which made her performance, look very elegant. Between the stunning ensemble that Rihanna wore, and her incredible vocals, Rihanna proved that she is a musical icon!
  • Next up was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who performed live from Miami via satellite feed (don’t you just love technology!). The two performed their latest hit ‘Can’t Hold Us’, and their staging had lights of various colors, and some of the lyrics appeared on the screen behind them. They brought a lot of energy to their performance (as always!), and proved why they deserved such a great year (because c’mon, 2013 was a very good year for these guys!).
  • Multi-talented superstar Jennifer Lopez performed next, with an amazing tribute to late Cuban superstar Celia Cruz. JLo performed a medley of some of the late superstar’s hit songs. Her performance showcased numerous dancers doing many Latin style dances, and JLo (who had 3 quick changes during the performance) proved that her dancing skills haven’t lost a beat during her many years in the industry. She did many difficult dances, including one move at the end of her performance where she was lifted into the air by her partner, and ended in a plank position above his head. This performance was actually my favorite of the night, you gotta love her.
  • Great Big World and Christina Aguilera performed their chart topper ‘Say Something’ next, and it was pure magic. My favorite thing about their performance was the fact that the two acts have such distinct voices; however their voices still blend together so perfectly.
  • Hip Hop artist Kendrick Lamar performed his hit track ‘Swimming Pools (Drank)’ next and showed that he is one to watch in hip hop. The artist is currently opening for Kanye West, and his performance at the AMAS last night demonstrated that he won’t remain an opening act for very long.
  •  Country superstar Luke Bryan performed his hit ‘My Kinda Night’ next, and he certainly received a warm welcome form the crowd. The back screen behind Luke had a ring pattern that grew and then collapsed (it sort of reminded me of a screensaver, it was really cool). The staging also consisted of lots of red and white lights, and of course included Luke’s signature dancing. All in all it was a very fun performance, that made you wanna get up and dance.
  • Iconic R&B group TLC made a special appearance next, and performed their hit ‘Waterfalls’ with the assistance of rap/hip hop artist Lil’ Mama. The group performed all of the original dance moves from the ‘Waterfalls’ music video, and Lil’ Mama did an excellent job performing the rapping segment of the song. At the end of the performance, the back screen showed a photo of the late Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes, which was a beautiful touch to the performance. The performance itself was amazing, and showed just how great T-Boz and Chili are, due to the fact that they can still perform the iconic song with such precession and skill, even after all these years.

 

So all in all, the AMAs were full of exciting moments and amazing musical numbers. The show definitely did not disappoint, and made me excited for next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to all those who have any part of the production, conception, implementation, or are in any other way involved with the  AMA awards, Pitbull, Justin Timberlake, all those involved in the production, conception, implementation, or are in any other way involved with the following albums or singles: The 20/20 Experience, Red, The Heist, Take me Home, Songs of Jane, Thrift Shop, It’s Time, Can’t Stop Us, Yours Truly, Same Love, Radioactive, Demons, What Makes You Beautiful, Cruise, Wake Me Up, and Happy, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Imagine Dragons, Marc Anthony, One Direction, Ariana Grande, The Mickey Mouse Club, N’ Sync, Nelly, Florida Georgia Line, Avicii, Aleo Blacc, Luke Bryan, Simon Cowell, Lady Antebellum, Stevie Nicks, Maroon 5, Adam Levine, Matthew West, Fat Amy, Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Vince Gill, all of the individuals, labels, and other corporations associated with any and all artists, bands, groups, and individuals mentioned in this blog post, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.