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 have a very cool interview with rising singer/songwriter Meghann Wright. In this y’all will learn a little more about Meghann’s music, which artists have influenced her, and what words of advice she has for all of YOU (If you haven’t read my first blog about Meghann, then check it out here ). So please enjoy the interview, and remember to purchase Meghann’s self-titled EP on ITunes.
Celinda: Hi Meghann, so to start things off, what/who initially sparked your interest in pursuing a career in music?
Meghann: Well, I grew up in a very musical family. My parents were always playing, singing or taking us to concerts. It just seemed like a natural part of life, like eating or sleeping.
Celinda: So was there a specific moment in your career when you knew that you
wanted to pursue music?
Meghann: When my band ‘Running With Karma’ broke up, I realized I wanted music to be
my career and that if I wanted to get anywhere I would have to pursue it
on my own and establish myself as a serious musician, not just a member of
Celinda: Numerous artists such as Frank Sinatra, Alicia Keys, and Jay-Z have
described New York as a city of great inspiration and influence in reguard
to their songwriting, how do you feel that living in New York has
influenced your music?
Meghann: I would not have been able to write any of the music I make now without
the experience of living in New York. It can beat you down, but it is also
magical because so many people of all walks of life come to New York to
make something of themselves. It’s fascinating and inspiring. It truly is
my adopted home. Whenever I return to NY from being away, the skyline
fills me with love.
Celinda: That is really interesting. So, I really love that your sound is influenced by a variety of genres and artists, however which artist/bands would you say have had the greatest
influence on your music?
Meghann: Tom Petty and Dolly Parton have influenced my songwriting style, but I have
drawn influence from everything from post emo indie rock to jazz.
Celinda: Those are really interesting influences, so who are some other artists/bands that have influenced your music that might surprise your fans?
Meghann: Well, I grew up playing saxophone and I think my melodic approach and vocal
timbre were influenced by that a lot.
Celinda: That is so cool! If you could go on a dream tour with any artists/bands, who would you want to
Meghann: I would put together a crazy traveling festival like ‘The Good Times With
Bad People’ Tour I am currently on, and it would feature all of my friends’
bands regardless of their genre.
Celinda: That sounds like it would be such a tour. So where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Meghann: I hope to have a successful music career either writing, performing or
both. I could also see myself running a small indie label.
Celinda: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview Meghann, lastly is there anything else you’d like to add for any of your fans who are reading this interview?
Meghann: Never give up on yourself, no matter what anyone says. You have to be your
own biggest cheerleader, fan, quarterback, and whatever other sports
metaphor you can come up with. People don’t believe in you till you
believe in yourself. As my friends the Green Gallows say, “keep your head
held high and stomp the beat.”
Hello people of the internet!!! On today ‘YouTube Wednesday’, we are going to talk about an amazing new band that I am so excited to share with y’all! This U.K. band has been making a splash ever since their conception in 2009, and has shared the stage with a wide variety of successful and well acclaimed bands. Their songs will have you dancing, crying, and constantly wanting more. Ever since I first heard this band’s music (when they followed me on Twitter…once again thank you Twitter!), I have been absolutely addicted, and now I can’t imagine not constantly listening to this band’s music. Who is this amazing band you may ask? I’m glad you asked. This band is none other than the incredible talented ‘Reachback’. Reachback consists of Ruby Williams as the lead vocalist, Tom McHenry on guitar, Joe Williams on bass, and Craig Chin on drums. Together these four extremely talented musicians make up a band that I believe will have a great and lasting impression on the Pop/Rock music scene very soon. So if you haven’t heard of ‘Reachback’, read on!
Reachback was founded in 2009, and after two years of hard work released their first single off of their debut EP to ‘Absolute Radio’ (one of the 3 National independent Internet radio stations in the U.K. After the release of this single, Reachback was able to perform with famous and well acclaimed acts such as: McFly, Scouting For Girls, Mayday Parade, and Forever The Sickest Kids, just to name a few. After Reachback released its two next singles, they were given the distinction of being named ‘Unsigned Band of the Week’ by Sarah Champion of ‘Absolute Radio’, and caught the attention of Radio 1 (a large British radio station) and Kerrang! Magazine. Also, in September of 2011, the band was given the opportunity by MTV and Extreme of performing two of their songs acoustically at ‘Abby Road Studios’. In 2012, Reachback was nominated for 3 ‘Artist in Music Award’ nominations, a spot on the McFly ‘Keep Calm and Play Louder’ tour, the premiere of their music video for ‘No One Else’ on Kerrang! (a big online rock magazine) and MTV, showcases at MTV and Extreme Music headquarters, a slot on the ‘Red Bull Bedroom Jam Tour’, participating in some of the biggest music festivals in the U.K., participation in a celebrity football (soccer for Americans) tournament, and a performance at the ‘BT London Live Hyde Park Festival’ during the 2012 Olympics (wow I got tired just writing that, I can’t imagine how tired they were living it!). In 2013, Reachback spent the first half of the year touring the U.K and recording their new album (which is set to be released through Spectra Records in 2014!). So now that you know enough about the band to win a trivia contest, let’s get to the music!!!
One cover that Reachback has performed that I really loved was their rendition of ‘Best Song Ever’ by One Direction Best Song Ever – One Direction (Reachback Cover). What I loved most about this version, was that it was less of a “cover’, and more of an individual take on the original song. Reachback’s version has more Pop/Soul influences, which makes this version pleasing to the ears in a different way. Honestly I find myself replaying this version over and over again without growing tired. When I saw that Reachback did a cover of ‘Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty Free Fallin – John Mayer/Tom Petty (Reachback Cover) (and was more recently made popular again by John Mayer), I was extremely intrigued. ‘Free Fallin’ is a very difficult song to cover, because the emotion and notes have to be exactly on point in order to have the impact that is expected of this song. Once I heard Reachback’s version, the only thing that surprised me was that I was surprised by how well they did with it. At this point it shouldn’t surprise me that this band is able to take such a classic song and breathe new life into it. Fans of the original version will certainly not be disappointed. Now this next cover is actually the first cover that I heard from Reachback, however I saved it for last because it’s my favorite. The finial cover that I’m going to discuss is Reachback’s rendition of ‘Cry Me A River’ &’Mirrors’ by the PHENOMINAL Justin Timberlake Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River & Mirrors (Reachback Cover) . Covering a Justin Timberlake song is certainly not an easy task to pull off, because he is such an amazing vocalist, however I am OBESSED with Reachback’s version of these two JT hits. I love that Reachback infuses its own unique style of Pop/Rock/Soul to make this rendition distinctly different than any other cove you’ll hear. I honestly feel like I could go on and on about how much I love Reachback’s covers, I am just so addicted to them.
However, although Reachback has released some INCREDIBLE covers, they have also released original music that is amazing. On September 22nd, 2011 Reachback released its’ debut single entitled ‘Butterflies’ Butterflies – Reachback, as part of their ‘Wake Up – EP‘. This Pop/Rock track tells the story of unrequited love in such a way, that will make you dance a little bit as you cry into that tub of ice cream (we all do that…right? O..K…moving on.). This track will certainly resonant with Paramore fans, due to this song’s style which is reminiscent of early-Paramore. Reachback released their third single on September 23rd, 2011, in the form of a track called ‘Without You’ Without You – Reachback . ‘Without You’ is a track about lost love, and the feelings of isolation and disbelief that follow a breakup. I really love how this song contains very meaningful and deep lyrics, but delivers the message is an “upbeat” way. The fact that this song is not a slow ballad, makes ‘Without You’ unique and memorable. Reachback released their first official music video to accompany their next single ‘No One Else’ on April 9th, 2012 REACHBACK – No One Else (OFFICIAL VIDEO) (up until this point, all of the singles had only had a photo of the band, and were not actual music videos). ‘No One Else’ is a song about a girl loving one guy so intensely, that no one else could ever take that guy’s place. These feelings become so intense, that the girl in the song still only loves that one particular guy, even after he is gone. I love how powerfully the message of the song is delivered, and the passion that is behind the lead vocalists’ (Ruby Williams) voice. I would definitely suggest that you purchase this song, and the rest of the band’s EP because it WILL have you singing along to every track before you know it.
Well I think that you can infer form this blog post that I am seriously obsessed with this Reachback…and trust me after listening to one of their covers or original songs you will be too. I can see why this band has already made such an impact in the U.K., and I know that it’s only a matter of time before they become a global sensation. I am very excited about what the future holds for Reachback, and I urge you all too go along with them for the ride!
Keep in touch with Reachback!!!:
YouTube: Reachback YouTube
Facebook: Reachback Facebook
Website: Reachback Band
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog, I want to introduce you to a phenomenal up and coming pop singer named Tyler Layne. I recently discovered Tyler on Twitter (I really owe you on Twitter!), and he really impressed me. At such a young age, Tyler already has the artistry, musicianship, and natural talent of a professional much older than him. I am really excited to share this artist’s music with you all, and I know that you will quickly become as obsessed with him as I am. I will warn you now, that once you hear Tyler Layne’s voice, you will definitely spend the majority of your time listening to his covers and original music. Ok so are you guys ready to be introduced to your latest musical addiction!?! Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Tyler Lane!!!
Tyler Layne was born in Portsmouth, VA and discovered his love of entertaining at the ripe old age of 4, when he began singing in his church’s choir. By the age of 5, Tyler was a soloist in his choir, and his love of music continued to flourish. Only two years later at the age of 7, Tyler began to astonish crowds at local festivals and community events. At the age of 8, Tyler began professional training in piano, voice, and acting. This training made the already naturally gifted entertainer an even stronger performer, which became a huge asset for Tyler when he became the youngest member of the group RD7, after impressing judges related to Radio Disney. As a part of this group, Tyler was given the opportunity to tour with numerous famous musical acts such as: Raven Symone, The Cheetah Girls, The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. After Tyler’s time as a part of RD7 was completed, Tyler founded other groups called Seven5Seven and Brooke and Tyler. The experience and public recognition that Tyler gained by participating in these groups led him to feel confident enough to continue his career as a solo artist.
On January 18th, 2012 Tyler posted his first YouTube video, which was a cover of Rihanna’s hit track ‘We Found Love’. Tyler had no idea that posting this video would snowball into the opportunity to share his music on a much larger scale. Tyler has continued to post videos of himself singing hit songs from popular artists such as: Katy Perry, Adele, One Direction, Hunter Hayes, Imagine Dragons, Bruno Mars, etc. As if Tyler’s vocal ability was not impressive enough, he has also used his YouTube platform as an opportunity to demonstrate his phenomenal guitar, piano, and songwriting skills. Tyler released his first original song on YouTube, on January 28th, 2012 entitled ‘Dear Julia’. This track is a piano driven ballad, which was certainly an early indicator of Tyler’s advance skills as a writer, which is an increasingly more important commodity for artists to have. Tyler made a music video to accompany this single, and was able to show his acting talent through the video’s emotionally charged lyrical content. Tyler’s next original song was a fun, high energy track which featured pop-rock band Everlife. The video contained numerous photos of Tyler’s performances throughout the years, and really showed just how seasoned the young entertainer was at that point. Tyler has released 3 additional original songs, which are entitled ‘Over the World’, ‘Ms. Perfect’, and his latest single ‘Boom Boom’ (all of these songs are currently available on ITunes, so I would suggest you go pick them up…after you read this blog of course! And for all of you remix lovers out there, ‘Boom Boom’ has been remixed, and it is AMAZING!!!!).
Tyler’s latest two singles (‘Ms. Perfect’ and ‘Boom Boom’), showed an evolution for him as an artist, due to the videos’ production quality, and the videos’ storylines. In ‘Ms. Perfect’, Tyler demonstrates that he can not only sing and act, but can also control a stage, and dance (seriously how can one person be so talented!). Although I love Tyler’s other music videos and his live covers, I feel that the Ms. Perfect video showed the audience his fun personality, which only makes you fall even more in love with his talent. My favorite video is definitely the ‘Boom Boom’ video, just because the song is amazing, and the video itself makes you want to get up and dance (seriously, how do I get invited to a Tyler Layne house party!?!). I can definitely see this song become a huge radio hit, and an infectious summer time song, that will have us dancing for years to come.
Since Tyler posted his first video in early 2012, the young entertainer’s talent as a musician, vocalist, songwriter, actor, and all around amazing entertainer has taken center stage. You can see Tyler’s growth through his videos, and it seems that he has nowhere to go but up. In the past few months, Tyler has had many phenomenal accomplishments, which include becoming a partner with YouTube super channel VEVO (also home to artists such as One Direction, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, John Legend, and just about any popular artist imaginable. This is also where you can find Tyler’s music video for ‘Boom Boom’). Other accomplishments that Tyler has had are his sponsorships with Peace Tea, Sodiem Clothing, and Giannini Guitars. However, arguably Tyler’s largest accomplishment to date is signing with the record label ‘Blow Me A Bubble Records’. In this day and age, the competition to secure a record deal is cut throat, so for an artist to sign a deal is a HUGE accomplishment. Make sure you catch Tyler on ‘the Fanatics tour’, which began on January 11th, 2014, and continues through July 26th (I believe that Tyler will be performing on all of the tour dates, but make sure you check the website here (the FANatics tour | Showcasing up and coming talent) to see if he is performing in your city…there are also A Lot of other amazing acts on the tour, so I highly suggest that you check it out!).
As for Tyler’s future, I definitely see this shinning light only getting brighter with time. Although Tyler’s original music has been primary pop, I can definitely see him crossing over into music that has a more soul vibe to it. I think that Tyler’s natural vocal talent is very unique, and his determination and persistence to constantly become better at his crafts will certainly set him apart from current mainstream radio artists. I see big things on the horizon for Tyler, and definitely think he will soon become a household name and eventually a worldwide phenomenon. With an entertainer like Tyler, there are no limitations, and I am very excited to see what amazing project this modern day Renaissance man produces next.
Do you want to stay connected with Tyler? Here’s how:
YouTube: Tyler Layne – YouTube
YouTube VEVO: TylerLayneVEVO
Facebook: Tyler Layne Online