Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, we are going to do an ‘Artist Spotlight’ on the AMAZING performer Bruno Mars. Ready? Let’s get started! Over the years, there have been many artists who start out from the bars in Los Angeles and enter the music industry with talent and charisma, who instantly steal our hearts and souls. However, every once in a while, an entertainer emerges who is so phenomenally special, that they rise above the others, and leave us in awe of their musical abilities, Bruno Mars is one of these entertainers. Bruno Mars (whose real name is Peter Hernandez) was born on October 8th, 1985 in Honolulu, HI. At the tender age of two, he began performing throughout Hawaii, and by four he was performing shows five nights a week. Bruno has stated that his father moved to Hawaii from Brooklyn and began a group called ‘The Love Notes’, who sang 1950’s doo-wop and did impressions of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley. As a young boy, Bruno began performing with this group, and did an Elvis impression. After he completed high school, Bruno moved to Los Angeles, CA in order to continue his musical pursuits.
Upon moving to Los Angeles, Bruno worked with many undiscovered artists, such as Ne-Yo (who later wrote a hit song for the artist Mario, and has since become a huge star as well). Bruno has stated that he learned the importance of songwriting by watching how Ne-Yo wrote music. Bruno realized at that moment that he wanted to learn how to properly write songs, in order to (as he has stated to ’Vibe Magazine’), “…be respected for the songs that I write.” Bruno worked on his writing skills, and at the age of 18, he received a recording contract with the legendary ‘Motown Records’. Unfortunately, Bruno was later released from his contract due to creative differences, and he moved back to LA and continued to pursue his musical ambitions. He soon began working with songwriters/producers Phillip Lawrence and Ari Levine, and the trio soon became a highly sought after team called ‘The Smeezingtons’. Bruno soon began writing songs for popular artists, and in 2006, he met with Aaron Bay-Schuck (who at the time had just left his A&R position at Epic Records). Aaron (who later became Bruno’s manager); soon took a job at Atlantic Records, and wanted to sign Bruno immediately. However, Atlantic Records thought that Bruno was not ready yet, so Aaron kept The Smeezingtons on as songwriters and producers for the label. In 2009, Bruno was finally signed by Atlantic Records as a solo artist, and immediately began writing hits for artists such as Travie McCoy, Flo Rida, and B.O.B (Bruno lent his vocals to Travie McCoy’s song ‘Billionaire’, and B.O.B.’s song ‘Nothin on You’, which was his first real exposure as a solo artist).
In May of 2010 Bruno released his E.P ‘It’s Better If You Don’t Understand’, which peaked at #99 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. In August of the same year, Bruno co-wrote Cee Lo Green’s hit track ‘Forget You’, which was a huge hit for both artist (although Bruno did not sing on the track). Bruno’s debut full length album ‘Doo-Wops & Hooligans’ was released in October of 2010, peaked at #3 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart (and also peaked extremely high in numerous other countries, causing the record to be a vast improvement from his EP). Doo-Wops & Hooligans received a total of seven Grammy nominations in 2011 & 2012, and won in 2011 for ‘Best Pop Vocal Performance for the single ‘Just the Way You Are’. In 2012, Bruno released his second album ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’, which peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, and garnered Bruno five Grammy nominations in 2013. Bruno’s music has earned him international fame, and has been used in numerous commercials, as well as covered on the popular U.S musical-comedy ‘Glee’. Bruno is scheduled to perform at the halftime show of the 2014 U.S. Super Bowl, and honestly is most likely going to put on an amazing show.
As you can see, Bruno has had a very long road to achieve his fame and acclaim as a vocalist/songwriter/producer. Although he his past three years have been phenomenal, I think that 2014 is definitely going to be Bruno’s golden year. I anticipate him doing very well at the Grammys, and possibly even releasing another album by the end of this year, or in early 2015 (and we all know when he does release another album, it’s going to be musical perfection). Honestly, the Super Bowl Halftime Show is arguably the biggest event for an artist to perform at, thus Bruno’s invitation to perform there, proves that he is now recognized as one of the top musicians, currently in the industry. I anticipate that Bruno will only become more famous and will one day become a musical icon, just like the artists that he idolized as a young boy in Hawaii.
*All photos and information used in this blog belong to YouTube, Bruno Mars, Atlantic Records, Motown Records, Barry Gordy, Cee Lo Green, Travie McCoy, B.O.B., Philip Lawerence, Ari Levine, Aaron Bay-Schuck, Flo Rida, Arista Records, Elektra Records, BMG Rights Management, Fueled By Ramen, Warner Music Group, Grand Hustle Records, Rebel Rock, Boston.com, Ne-Yo, Vibe.com, hitquarters.com, wallpapergrab.com, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended
Hello people of the internet, for today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog I am going to introduce you all to your newest pop-punk obsession…7 Minutes in Heaven. The mastermind behind 7 Minutes in Heaven is the amazingly talented Timmy Rasmussen. This pop-punk band is very close to exploding all over your radio, so if you want to be ahead of the curve, continue reading. Ok are you ready?! Then let’s get started.
Timmy Rasmussen is a 20 year old musician (as of 2013) from Battle Ground, WA (I know that is such a cool name for a town!). He began 7 Minutes in Heaven in December of 2011, and the music originally had a very acoustic tone. Timmy initially released a Christmas EP through PureVolume (a website where aspiring musicians can showcase their work…here’s a link to 7 Minutes in Heaven’s page: 7 Minutes in Heaven on PureVolume). The Christmas EP received a lot positive feedback, and this inspired Timmy to move to Des Plaines, IL in order to seek more opportunities to share his music. After relocating, he released a track titled ‘Undercover Lovers’, which according to 7 Minutes in Heaven’s Facebook page had an unintentional “rad 80’s” feel to it. I completely agree with this statement due to the fact that this song has a touch of a synthesizer sound to it, which is certainly reminiscent of the early to mid 1980’s. I like this track because it not only has a cool throwback element to it, but it instantly grabs the listener’s attention, and leads you wanted to hear more. The next track he released was a fun tune entitled ‘Strike Three’. This song (which was an old track that was remastered for fans), certainly shows 7 Minutes in Heaven’s roots. Although the remastered version of this song has numerous instruments and very good production on it, you can certainly hear the original acoustic tone of the song, which shows how Timmy was able to flawlessly transition 7 Minutes in Heaven’s original sound into a more pop-punk sound (which is the musical direction Timmy eventually wanted to go in).
The first true pop-punk track that 7 Minutes in Heaven released was the infectious song ‘California’, which was released digitally on July 16th, 2012 (7 Minutes in Heaven – California – YouTube). This song is the perfect tune to add to your summer road trip playlist, or to remind you of that special summer love. I have been playing this song non-stop for the past few weeks, and I have to say that it becomes more addicted each time you play it. On March 8th, 2013, the band’s first original record ‘Get in the Van!’ was released, and I have to say that it is honestly one of my favorite albums of 2013. The songs are all super catchy, and the sound is very reminiscent of late 90’s-early 2000’s punk/alternative rock. If you’re a fan of Blink-182 or Simple Plan, then you will definitely like this record. One aspect of this album that I found particularly interesting was the name of track # 2 entitled #SorryNotSorry. I really loved the use of a hashtag (the name of this symbol: #) in the track’s title, because it is a play on this popular twitter feature, which I believe will really resonate with 7 Minutes in Heaven’ younger fans. Every song on this record is good enough to currently be on the radio, so I would suggest buying the entire album, because you will not regret it. Although this band is currently unsigned, I see big things on the horizon for 7 Minutes in Heaven. I can certainly see this band’s songs on constant radio rotation and with fans worldwide. If you haven’t already heard of this emerging super band, become familiar with them now, so you can say that you knew about them first!
Here are some links so you can connect and stay informed with what’s going on with 7 Minutes in Heaven.
7 Minutes in Heaven:
Facebook: 7 Minutes in Heaven
YouTube: 7 Minutes in Heaven – YouTube
Instagram: 7mihband on Instagram
*All photos and information used in this blog belong to 7 Minutes in Heaven, PureVolume, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Timmy Rasmussen, ITunes, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended
Hello people of the internet! For this ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog, I am going to introduce you to a group that I have recently become obsessed with. I first heard of them, when they started following me on Twitter, so I decided to listen to their YouTube covers and original music. I have to say that my first impression of them was surprise…as to why I hadn’t ever heard of them before! Luckily, after reading this blog, I know that you’ll check them out and became as obsessed with them as I am ( you’re welcome). If you like country super groups such as Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry, then you’ll love Ashton Lane. They are a country group from Scotland, which consists of lead singer Ester O’Connor, her brother, and her husband. I wasn’t able to find too much more biographical information about them however; I will tell you what I think of their music, and their overall sound as a group. Shall we begin? Great, let’s go!
Upon clicking on Ashton Lane’s YouTube page, I decided to listen to their cover of Rascal Flatts hit song ‘Come Wake Me Up’ Come Wake Me Up Rascal Flatts- Rascal Flatts Come Wake Me Up ASHTON LANE COVER – YouTube, because honestly I thought that if they could do a good job on this cover, then I would have a good idea of their vocal talents. I used this song as a way to measure how good the group is, because Gary LeVox (the guy who usually sings the lead vocals in Rascal Flatts’ songs) is a phenomenal vocalist, so I thought that if Ester O’Connor could handle the same notes, then that would show us how good the band is. After I listened to their take on the hit track, I decided that this group is definitely the real deal. First of all, O’Connor has a beautiful voice. Not only is her voice technically correct, but she is also able to perfectly express the emotions within the songs she sings. The group’s harmonies were also very tight (which honestly can be a very difficult task to master), and shows how meticulous and serious the group is about their craft. The next cover song I listened too was the group’s cover of Katy Perry’s hit ‘Wide Awake’ Wide Awake- Katy Perry Wide Awake- Wide Awake Katy Perry (ASHTON LANE KITCHEN SESSIONS) – YouTube. Now I know that you’re probably wondering why I listened to this cover if Ashton Lane is a country group (just stay with me, I promise I’ll connect the importance of this cover back to the group’s primary genre), well the answer is simple…I wanted to see the group’s emotion depth. Now I know that I just raved about the group’s lead singer’s ability to capture emotion in her vocal delivery however, I wanted to see if she could really tap into the vulnerability that Katy Perry shows in the song. O’Connor definitely demonstrated that she is not afraid to completely commit to the emotional content of a track, which is a trait that is absolutely necessary in country music (see, I told you that I would connect this cover back to the group’s primary genre). The final cover video that I listened to was the group’s cover of Taylor Swift’s infectious track ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – YouTube, (on a side not, I only looked at three cover videos, for the purpose of reviewing the group’s musical abilities…later on I listened to all of the group’s videos and my obsession with them only grew J). My reasoning for choosing this cover, is that I wanted to see if they could cover a fun song. At this point I knew that Ashton Lane could make me cry, and could make me look deep within myself for the answers to life’s problems however, I wanted to see if the group could make me want to dance…as excepted, they did not disappoint! The group’s execution of this sassy tune showed me that they can certainly handle producing a good quality mainstream country hit.
Now that I knew that Ashton Lane could put a cool spin on an already popular song, I was curious as to whether they could create original music that would have the same effect. Luckily, the group has a link on their videos which allows you to receive 7 free songs from their album ‘Magic in the Air’. Upon listening to three of these songs, I realized that there is no reason why this group is not already famous. Their original material is honestly very good, and I found myself humming along to the catchy tracks within a few rotations of the songs. The group has their full album available for purchase on ITunes, as well as another album entitled ‘Other Side’, and several singles. I would suggest purchasing all of the music that Ashton Lane has put out, because you will quickly become OBSESSED with them.
When I first decided to listen to Ashton Lane’s YouTube videos, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I hoped that I would find a good emerging country band that I could introduce to all of you, and that would be that. After listening to their music, I came to the conclusion that I had no idea what I had stumbled upon. I can say with a great deal of confidence that Ashton Lane will soon become a household name. I can definitely picture hearing their music on mainstream and country radio, as well as seeing them on every major award show…yea they are just that AMAZING! This group certainly showed me that they deserve to be in the fore front of everyone’s mind, and if a group can perform this amazingly with live vocals and two guitars, can you imagine what they can do with a full band and a lot of production behind them!? I personally cannot wait for Ashton Lane to become the next country super group. Trust me, the question is not a matter of IF the group will become a worldwide phenomenon, but rather WHEN this will happen. The group currently (as of December 17, 2013) has 45,659 Twitter followers, 10,487 likes on Facebook, and 7,225 subscribers on YouTube. My guess is they will become inescapable very soon, and you can say that you knew them when they were still music’s most well kept secret.
Here are some links so you can keep up with the group’s career J:
Facebook: Ashton Lane
YouTube: Ashton Lane – YouTube
*All photos and information used in this blog belong to Ashton Lane, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, countryschatter.com, eventim.co.uk, 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.