The first song that we’re going to talk about is Beckah’s cover of Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Shape of You’, which was uploaded on April 20th, 2017 (you can check out the video below). This was the 1st cover of Beckah’s that I ever saw and honestly it hooked me right from the beginning. I love how she took a song about someone finding the love they crave in a person and instead turning into a song about finding love in Jesus. Although Ed’s version is great, I really like how Beckah took a club song and made it an AMAZING worship song. The next song we’re going to talk about is Beckah’s cover of ‘Sorry Not Sorry by Demi Lovato. This is the cover that will really show you just how much control and power Beckah’s voice has. This is definitely not an easy song to cover due to the incredibly high notes and long vocal runs the song has. This song definitely provides a round of vocal gymnastics for most vocalists however Beckah handles this challenge with ease. This is a cover that you will definitely want to blast from your car speakers this year!
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday we are going to discuss an INCREDIBLE new band that you will all be completely addicted to. If you’ve never heard of Anthem Lights then you NEED to keep reading because this amazing bands and covers will instantly hook you from the first note. This band has the amazing ability to cover a wide variety of songs from different genres, and still make each cover sound unique, but also keeps the original vibe that originally made the song a hit. Anthem Lights is a Christian pop/rock band that currently has 379,301 subscribers and over 64 million total channel views on YouTube, and over 72,000 Twitter followers, so if you don’t want to miss out on the music industry’s next big thing then keep reading to learn all about this band’s awesome music. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Anthem Lights’ cover of ‘This I Promise You’ by ‘NSYNC, which was uploaded on February 5th, 2013. I thought that this was an awesome cover to kick things off with because it allows each of the guys in the band to show off their amazing vocal skills. This cover is also a good example of this band’s phenomenal ability to take a song that we love, add the special Anthem Lights touch, and make the song feel like your listening to it for the first time. Next up we have Anthem Lights’ mash-up of the ‘2014 K-Love Fan Awards: Songs of the Year’ nominees, which was uploaded on March 11th, 2014 (you can check out below). This video is so incredible that you’re going to definitely replay it over and over. In this cover, Anthem lights takes multiple Contemporary Christian hits from the 2014 voting year, and combines all of the songs to create a memorable, entertaining video that fans will love (they have also released a 2015 edition so I would check that out too).
Now we’re going to talk about Anthem Lights cover of ‘Drops of Jupiter’ by Train, which was uploaded on March 11th, 2014. This can be a really difficult cover for an artist to pull off because it’s a very popular song, and is still a favorite among Train’s fan base. Once again Anthem Lights does an incredible job of making this song their own without changing what we originally loved about the song. Their vocals of this cover are so perfect that they instantly captivate you, and leave you mesmerized from beginning to end. The last video that we’re going to talk about is one of Anthem Lights’ original songs. It was extremely hard for me to pick just 3 covers to talk about (because all of their covers are amazing), so it was even more difficult to pick just 1 original song to write about I decided to pick a track off of their 2014 album ‘Escape’. Although I really loved all of the songs off of the album, I decided to go with the song ‘Top of the World’, because it’s a fun, energetic song that’s perfect to blast in the car. This song is a MUST HAVE on all of your playlists! The music video for this song was uploaded on YouTube on October 6th, 2014, and is just as fun and zany as the song itself (you can check out the video below). This video will definitely keep you entertained, and anxiously waiting to see what Anthem Lights releases next.
Keep up to date with everything Anthem Lights is doing:
iTunes: Anthem Lights
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to feature Andy Kirka aka RUNAGROUND, a phenomenal singer/songwriter/producer that you will be obsessing over! This is a channel that you HAVE to subscribe to, because regardless of your personal music tastes, you will find covers that you will be replaying all day. It’s rare that you find a musician that can take any song and make it sound original while also keeping the elements that originally made the song a hit. So now let’s get to the music! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first song that we’re going to talk about is RUNAGROUND’s live cover of ‘Set Fire To The Rain’ by Adele, which was uploaded on August 2nd, 2012. I thought that this was an amazing cover to kick tings off with, because we really get to see Andy’s powerful vocals. Needless to say, one of the most important rules of YouTube is that you HAVE to make a great first impression. This cover not only mesmerizes you, but leaves you wanting more. Ok, now let’s move on to RUNAGROUND’s cover of ‘Impossible’, which you can check out below (the James Arthur rendition, which is different than the song’s original version by R&B singer Shontelle), which was uploaded on January 21st, 2013. This cover does a really awesome job of showing Andy’s artistic talent, by displaying that he can fully connect to the emotions of a song. In this video you can really feel the venerability of the song’s lyrics, and Andy does a cool job of mixing the soulfulness of the original version of this song, with a cool punk pop edge that makes this rendition very unique.
Now we’re going to talk about RUNAGROUND’s cover of ‘Take Your Time’ by Sam Hunt, which was uploaded on December 29th, 2014. This cover really showed Andy’s talent as a performer, and since we already know that he’s an amazing vocalist, it was really cool to hear his rapping skills. This cover will really make you excited to see how RUNAGROUND’s sound changed in the future. The last video that we’re going to talk about is RUNAGROUND’s official music video for their original song ‘Solace’, which was uploaded on August 21st, 2014 (you can check it out below). This is a really beautifully shot video that has cool camera angles, and really keeps your attention from start to finish. The song is really catchy, and will stay at the top of all of your playlists this fall. It’s so cool to see RUNAGROUNDS original music, since we originally fell in love with the band’s covers. It’s great to see this band’s growth, and will leave you waiting to see what this awesome band does next.
Keep up with everything RUNAGROUND is doing:
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 ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about last week’s 2014 CMAs (Country Music Awards). This year’s show was once again co hosted by country music superstars Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, and featured really cool musical performances. Once again, Carrie and Brad were able to use their combination of witty banter, musical talents, and comic timing to poke fun at some of this year’s most highly profiled current events. They also performed a very funny song about George Strait not being at the show this year, and then later when they “discover” that he is at the show, they make comments about why he hasn’t gone anywhere (which is a joke about the tour that George Strait just completed, which was called ‘The Cowboy Rides Away’). The hosts opening monologue was definitely a fun way to kick off such an exciting, high energy show. So now let’s move on to the awards and musical performances!
Single of the Year:
‘Automatic’ by Miranda Lambert
Now if you were listening to country radio this year, you definitely heard this song (this single even reached #3 on the Billboard US Country AirPlay chart). Of course no one should be surprised at this win, because Miranda co-wrote the song and we all know that right now Miranda Lambert truly has the Midas touch.
Song of The Year:
‘Follow Your Arrow’ by Kacey Musgraves
This is another song that you’ve definitely heard all year long. This song was certainly a big hit as the 3rd single off of Kacey’s debut big label album, and its success is definitely evidence that we haven’t heard the last of this rising star.
New Artist of The Year:
Brett Eldredge first made his impact on the country music scene in 2012 when his single ‘Don’t Ya’ (which was certified Platinum in the U.S.) was released to country music radio and reached #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. This single was followed up with the similarity successful single ‘Beat of The Music’ (was certified Gold in the U.S.) in 2013. With such a strong show on his debut album, it’s not a surprise that Brett won this honor.
Vocal Duo of The Year:
Florida Georgia Line
Ok everyone who was surprised by this please raise your hands. Let me guess, there are no hands raised right? Yeah, if you’ve listened to the radio AT ALL this past year (country and pop radio), then you’ve heard of the country power duo Florida Georgia Line. These rising stars have also had cross-over remixes of two of their hit singles (Cruise & This Is How We Roll) with features from r&b/pop/rap stars Nelly and Jason Derulo. With their iron grip on both country and pop radio, I foresee 2015 to be an even BIGGER year for Florida Georgia line.
Album of The Year:
‘Platinum’ by Miranda Lambert
Midas strikes again! With her success from the singles ‘Automatic’ & ‘Somethin’ Bad’ (which features fellow superstar Carrie Underwood, and has been certified Gold, as well as peaking at #1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs), this was definitely a hard album to beat.
Vocal Group of The Year:
Little Big Town
With a new album which made its’ debut at #3 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums, and a lead single (entitled ‘Day Drinkin’), which peaked at #4 on the Billboard U.S. Country Airplay, this was certainly Little Big Town’s year to win this top honor.
Irving Waugh Award of Excellence:
With highly successful careers as the front man of the country rock band ‘Pure Prairie League’ and as a solo artist, Vince Gill is the definition of a country music icon. As a solo artist, Vince Gill has won every country music award (multiple times), has won 20 Grammy awards, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (in 2005), and was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2012). Honestly I could sit here and list all of Vince Gill’s INCREDIBLE accomplishments but that would take pages and pages. To make a long story short, if you listen to any one of Vince Gill’s records, you will definitely see why he deserves this award.
Male Vocalist of The Year:
This year Blake has certainly used his voice to prove why he deserves this top honor. This year, Blake released his latest album ‘Bringing back the Sunshine’, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard U.S. 200 chart(which counts albums of all genres) & #1 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums chart. The album also produced a single that peaked at #3 on the U.S. Country chart.
Female Vocalist of The Year:
Midas is here y’all…Midas is here! I don’t think I need to tell y’all why Miranda deserves this award, but in case you forget…listen to her latest album ‘Platinum’, and you’ll remember why she is so awesome.
Entertainer of The Year:
Well now we’ve reached the final award, and although the competition was extremely fierce, it is clear why Luke Bryan walked away with this award. His 2013 album ‘Crash My Party’ was SUCH a huge album for the country music superstar that it peaked at #1 on both the Billboard U.S. 200 & Top Country Albums, as well as producing 3 consecutive #1 singles, and two more singles that peaked at #2 and #5 respectively. If these statistics don’t convince you that Luke Bryan IS the country music entertainer of the year, then take a listen to his album ‘Crash My Party’ and you’ll see how his ability to entertain translates through the album so effortlessly.
Kenny Chesney kicked off the show with his performance of his 1st single ‘American Kids’ off of his latest album ‘The Big Revival’. The number consisted of a very hippie/bohemian theme, complete with fun multicolored lights, and a multicolored bus in the background, complete with an American flag. Kenny’s dancers were also dressed to match the theme, and made the audience feel as if they were invited to an awesome party.
Miranda Lambert & Meghan Trainor:
Next up we had a fun performance by two of music’s sassiest performers Miranda Lambert & Meghan Trainor! They performed a fun and unique performance of Meghan’s hit ‘All About That Bass’. The backdrop of the stage flashed the word ‘Bass’ in different colors throughout the number, and Miranda and Meghan both let their sassiness fly and because of this ha the audience hanging on their every word.
Lady Antebellum stepped up next with their infectious hit single ‘Bartender’. The performance was even more fun to watch with the addition of white, blue, purple, and red lights that kept the “party vibe” of the show going. There were also A LOT of small lights that went all around the stage, that made the stage look as if it were surrounded by stars, and this added the perfect finishing touch to a great performance.
Florida Georgia Line:
Next up we had an AMAZING performance of Florida Georgia Line’s single ‘Dirt’. Usually Florida Georgia Line tends to move around a lot during big award show performances, so I thought that it was a really cool change of pace to see them both sitting down and accompanying themselves on guitar. This performance also showed that these talented guys are able to not only draw in an audience through their stage presence, but simply through their musical skills. The backboard of the stage had cool revolving images of houses, roads, and fences in yellow and orange colors that made the images look as if they would explode at any second.
Keith Urban was next with his performance of his hit single ‘Somewhere In My Car’. The staging was cool with strobe lights that flashed all over the stage, but as always; it was Keith’s voice and unnatural guitar skills that stole the show. It honestly would not be a Keith Urban show without an EPIC guitar solo and he certainly did not fail.
The Band Perry:
The Band Perry was up next, with their performance of ‘Gentle In My Mind’, in honor of the great Glen Campbell. I really loved that the staging for this song was very simple, so the attention of the performance was on the song itself. The Band Perry added their own twist to the hit by changing the arrangement slightly, which brought a fresh vibe to the classic tune.
Kacey Musgraves & Loretta Lynn:
One of country music’s newest rising star Kacey Musgraves, performed the hit ‘You’re Lookin at Country’ with the iconic Loretta Lynn (who made the song famous in 1971). The backdrop of the stage has a very classic country look with a barn that said ‘Grand Old Opry’ on it. This was a really awesome performance that brought together the worlds of classic and modern country into a performance that was one of the standout numbers of the night.
Jason Aldean rocked the stage next with a performance of his single ‘Burning It Down’. The performance had a very country meets rock vibe, complete with cool red and white lights, and lots of energy that just made you want to get up and dance.
Little Big Town & Ariana Grande:
Next we had another “mash of the genres”, when Little Big Town performed with special guest Ariana Grande. First Little Big Town came onstage to perform their latest hit ‘Daydrinkin’. This had to be my favorite performance of the night because of all of the cool visual aspects of the number. The board consisted of two levels of drummers with black suits that had red lights. You could really only see the red lights, so this made the drummers look EXTREMELY cool (I honestly can’t even express just how cool this looked)! Little Big Town had similar outfits on, which added such a cool futuristic feel to their performance that said it apart from the all of the other performances. As always their vocals were VERY on point and near perfect (which is HARD to do in a group). Once ‘Daydrinkin’ was over, the lights instantly switched from red to blue, and Ariana Grande came out to sing a snippet of her hit collaboration ‘Bang Bang’. Little Big Town joined her, and in doing so added a fun country meets r&b flair to the song that was very cool.
Tim McGraw was up next with his song ‘Shotgun Rider’, which brought the classic Tim McGraw vine that fans have grown to love. The staging was very simple with cool blue lights circling the stage, and the confidence and energy that are now a Tim McGraw staple.
Cole Swindell: Cole Swindell performed a snippet of his song ‘Chillin It’, before announcing the winners of the award for ‘Radio Stations of The Year’. Even though Cole only performed a snippet of his song, he was still able to command the stage and grab the crowd in such a way that makes me very excited to see what his future holds.
Dierks Bentley was up next with his party anthem single ‘Drunk on A Plane’. The backboard of the stage had a picture of a plane on a runway, and alternating names of “destination sites”. This performance definitely kept the show’s energy up, and made the show feel less like an award show, and more like an epic concert.
Co-host Brad Paisley performed next with his latest hit ‘Perfect Storm’. The number had an AWESOME Brad Paisley style guitar solo (which the crowd went wild for), and an energy and likability that showed why Brad’s career is steadily on the rise with no sign of slowing down.
Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe:
Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe were up next with their emotional duet ‘Lonely Tonight’, which had the crowd captivated from the first note, to the last. The staging for this number was very simple and stripped down, which perfectly brought out the intimate feel of the song, and really made you feel every word.
Co-host Carrie Underwood performed her latest hit ‘Something In The Water’. The backboard had REALLY cool blue lights that floated around and made it look like there was a giant waterfall behind Carrie, that later changed to multicolored lights. Later in the performance a choir of people walked on to accompany Carrie, and added a cool twist to the performance that matched the song perfectly. As always, Carrie’s show-stopping vocals took center stage during this number, and perform that she still has a HUGE presence in country music (BRAVO CARRIE UNDERWOOD!!!).
Next up we had the Entertainer of The Year himself, Mr. Luke Bryan. He performed his newest hit ‘Rollercoaster’, and had very simple staging. The backboard was grey with clouds and occasional thunder. Luke allowed his natural charisma to take center stage, and the crowd completely loved it (and they were even singing back to him at one part of the song).
Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town:
Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town took the stage once more to perform their duet ‘Smokin and Drinkin’ (off of Miranda’s latest album). The staging consisted of a lot of cool smoke and lights, which helped add a cool vibe to the performer that perfectly matched the chilled vibe of the song, Miranda & Little Big Town’s vocals went together perfectly, and made it clear that these two acts NEED to release more tracks together.
George Strait & Eric Church:
King George Strait returned to the CMA stage once more with his performance of his 2003 hit ‘Cowboys Like Us’. The backdrop had a lot of cool pictures of George Strait throughout his career, and added a very classic country feel to the performance. Eric Church added a little rock to George Strait’s classic country vibe, and brought another great example of what happens when modern and classic country merge.
Thomas Rhett performed a snippet of his hit song ‘Get Me Some of That’, while he announced the winners of the CMA ‘Personalities of The Year’ awards. Although his performer was short, Thomas certainly held his audience’s attention the entire time, and showed why he is a rising star to watch.
The Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott, & Hunter Hayes:
The Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott, & Hunter Hayes were up next with their performance of The Doobie Brothers hit ‘Listen To The Music’. The high energy performance was EXTREMELY fun to watch, and brought musicians from the whole spectrum of country music, to bring a fresh sound to this awesome song. The Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, and Hillary Scott killed their vocal performances, and Hunter Hayes had an AMAZING guitar solo that the crowd went crazy for. What I loved most about this performance was the fact that it felt less like a calculated award show performance, and more like a bunch of musicians jamming out.
The Doobie Brothers closed the show with their song ‘Takin it To The Streets’, (with some help from Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott, Hunter Hayes, & Brad Paisley). The number included an AWESOME keyboard solo, and had a very old school feel and energy that made the performance feel like an AMAZING concert.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog post, we are going to discuss an amazing new country singer that you ALL need to keep a close eye on. This talented young musician is an extremely talented writer, guitarist, and vocalist who is quickly on the verge of becoming country music’s next big star. Remember the name Hailey Steele everyone, because you will be hearing this name EVERYWHERE very soon! Hailey already has a very impressive resume, due to her appearances on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ (as a part of a country duo called ‘THE LINE’, she was on Team Christina) and Jay Leno’s ‘The Tonight Show’. She has also has had the honor of sharing the stage with legends such as Willie Nelson and Neil Young. She has also had the honor of being inducted into the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame. Hailey is currently signed with BMG Chrysalis Nashville (where she is signed to an exclusive songwriting deal, and has even co-written on fellow ‘The Voice’ alum and country music recording artist RaeLynn’s single ‘Boyfriend’) and is set to release her debut EP on November 18th, 2014. So needless to say, Hailey an artist on the rise please read on so you don’t fall behind.
Hailey uploaded her first original song on YouTube on March 4th, 2012. The song is entitled ‘Electric Blue’ (ELECTRiC BLUE – HAiLEY STEELE) and I think that it is an excellent introduction to just how talented Hailey is. I love how Hailey is instantly able to capture your attention, and leave you under her spell for the duration of the song. This ability really shows just how much of a natural star Hailey is, because not only is she singing while playing the guitar (not an easy task because you have to focus on multiple things at once), but she’s also performing the song in such a way that once the song ends, you instantly want to hear more. The next song that we have to talk about is Hailey’s performance of ‘Boyfriend’ (Hailey Steele – Boyfriend, uploaded on October 6th, 2013) by RaeLynn. I really loved hearing this version of the song, because Hailey and RaeLynn have very different tones and styles, so it is fun to hear this song performed in a fresh way. I loved that Hailey was able to really bring out the sass and attitude in this song, and she definitely makes you just wanna get up and dance. Since ‘Electric Blue’ was a more heartfelt, emotional song, I thought that ‘Boyfriend’ was a fun contrast, and it definitely proves that Hailey is a well rounded artist that can make you cry one minute and then get up and dance the next. The final song that we are going to talk about in this post is my FAVORITE song on Hailey’s YouTube channel, entitled ‘Diamonds’ (Diamonds-Hailey Steele), which she uploaded on January 12th, 2014. I really love this song because it’s fun, catchy, and has a great message that everyone can relate to (basically all of the ingredients to a perfect song in my opinion). I definitely think that this song could be a MAJOR hit, and it makes me excited to see what Hailey will release next. I really love when a songwriter is able to express exactly what they feel through a song, but still make it something that you can jam out to, and Hailey definitely accomplishes this task.
So as y’all can see, I have become a HUGE Hailey Steele fan, and I think once you hear her music, you will be too! It’s not often that an artist has a special something about them that makes you unable to turn away, and Hailey definitely has that quality. I am very excited to see where this talented artist’s career leads her, and all the AWESOME things she is going to be able to accomplish along the way. As Hailey says in her soon to be hit song ‘Diamonds’, “Diamonds take pressure, and patience, and time”. Well it is definitely this diamond’s time to shine!
Stay up to date with Hailey:
Instagram: hailey_steele on Instagram
Facebook: Hailey Steele | Facebook
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to discuss the new AwesomenessTV show ‘Life’s S.o. R.a.d.’, which centers around YouTube star Lia Marie Johnson (who we’ve previously featured on the blog, you can find the link to that post here YouTube Wednesday: Lia Marie Johnson, The next comedy genius/music star you need to know about | celindareyesblog) and Amanda Steele (aka MakeupbyMandy24). The show follows these two AWESOME youtubers as they help design AwesomenessTV’s ‘s.o. r.a.d.’ line which is now available at Kohl’s. The show is currently available on AwesomenessTV’s YouTube channel (which I’ll link at the bottom of the post), and is definitely a show that all YouTube fans will become addicted too. My favorite part of the show is seeing how these two very different girls were able to combine their styles and create a line that will appeal to all fashion lovers. In the rest of the post, we’ll talk about the show, and also discuss the line a little bit (which I suggest you all check out btw…trust me you’ll LOVE IT!). Also please check out YouTube stars/Island Records recording artists Cimorelli, whose new song ‘That Girl Should Be Me’ is the theme song to ‘Life’s S.o. R.a.d.’ (here’s a link to the official lyric video for the song That Girl Should Be Me Official Lyric Video – Cimorelli – YouTube). So are y’all ready? Let’s start!
Once I saw the ‘s.o. r.a.d.’ collection I instantly fell in love with SO MANY of the pieces. One of my fav pieces has to be the Teal Plaid Ponte Leggings; I absolutely love how these leggings incorporate the plaid trend, and also give you a fun staple piece that you can dress up and down in many different ways. With fall here and winter not far behind, I can definitely see these leggings as a great piece to wear if you’re hanging out at home (watching AwesomenessTV of course!), or hanging out with friends. Another piece that I really love is the Poorboy Ribbed Skimmer Crop Top. I love that the tops come in 6 really beautiful colors that I think will please everyone. Whether your style is edgy, girly, casual, or anything in between, you will want one (or all) of these tops. I also really love that the top is longer than a traditional crop top, which makes it perfect for fall/winter, but is also fitted enough to dress up any outfit. The final piece that I’m going to talk to y’all about is the Grandpa Cardigan. Now I promise that this cardigan will definitely NOT be something that you would find in your grandpa’s closet (but your grandma might steal it from you so be careful). This cardigan comes in three colors that are absolutely PERFECT for the fall/winter seasons. This cardigan also combines a fitted style with a comfortable fabric, which will help you dress up your look but still stay comfy (you gotta love it when beauty isn’t painful). I would definitely suggest that you all check out this AMAZING collection, because I know that you will find something (or lots of things) that you will instantly fall in love with (remember, it’s never too late to start your Christmas list…are you listening Santa?).
I really love this show because you get a cool sneak peek into what it’s Iike to design a clothing line. The show starts by showing a room tour of each girl’s personal bedroom, as they describe why these items help describe their personal styles. The following episodes show Amanda and Lia vintage shopping for ideas about the kinds of patterns and cuts they want for the pieces in the ‘s.o. r.a.d.’ collection, and lastly (at least for the episodes that are posted as of October 7th, 2014), they go through sketches of possible designs and give their input about how the sketches could be even more awesome. I really like that this series not only shows the process that Amanda and Lia went through to make the line, but also has the feel of the YouTube videos that made us fall in love with these girls in the first place. I think that it’s really cool that the line was designed by two girls that are not only fun and fashion forward, but also have very different styles. One of the things that made this line so cool to me is the diversity within it. Honestly there is something for EVERYONE, so no matter what your style is; you will still look so rad!
Keep in touch with AwesomnessTV, Lia Marie Johnson, Amanda Steele, and Cimorelli (all other social networking sites/websites are on their official YouTube channels:
AwesomenessTV: AwesomenessTV – YouTube
Lia Marie Johnson: liamariejohnson – YouTube
Amanda Steele: MakeupbyMandy24 – YouTube
Cimorelli: cimorellitheband – YouTube
AwesomenessTV: AwesomenessTV (@awesomenesstv) | Twitter
Lia Marie Johnson: Lia Marie Johnson (@LiaMarieJohnson) | Twitter
Amanda Steele: Amanda Steele (@MakeupbyMandy24) | Twitter
Cimorelli: #PreorderRenegade (@Cimorelliband) | Twitter
AwesomenessTV: awesomenesstv on Instagram
Lia Marie Johnson: legit_lia on Instagram
Amanda Steele: makeupbymandy24 on Instagram
Cimorelli: cimorelliband on Instagram
Hello people of the Internet!!! Last Thursday (January 16th, 2014), I had the pleasure of interviewing the amazing band Rivers Monroe (cue the clapping….ok let’s continue!). I already knew that these guys were phenomenally gifted musicians, but my experience interviewing them led me to find out that they are also really funny, cool guys. The band was very enthusiastic to share details about their music, memories of past tours, and future dreams with all of their fans. So, if you’ve just joined the “Rivers Monroe Family” (a term the guys use to describe their unwavering supportive fans), or if you’ve known about these guys for years, please allow me to help you become better acquainted with Mat, Mike, Doc, Kirby, and Dan, the masterminds behind music’s newest sensation. Also, remember to pick up their album, which drops digitally on February 18th, 2014.
Celinda: I noticed that you guys are signed to a label now, so that’s exciting right!? How did that happen?
Rivers Monroe: A girl named Jenny that was a big fan of our band,worked at a jewelry store in Philadelphia, and Pat (O’Connor, Rivers Monroe’s manager) walked into the store to buy his wife a necklace for their anniversary, and he mentioned something about working in the music industry. So Jenny said “you gotta check out this band Rivers Monroe, they’re really awesome”. So when he came back into the store to pick up the necklace, she reiterated the fact, and I guess after that he did check us out. So Jenny gave us Pat’s number, and we reached out to him at that point, and that’s how everything got started. That’s the story of how we got our manager, but as far as how we got a deal, it’s really been a lot of hard work over the past few years. We’ve just been able to gain enough traction to release the album through the label. We’ve really just tried to hit the social media as much as possible, and we try to reach out to a lot of people who we think might be interested in checking out our music.
Celinda: Yeah they say that it takes 10 years to be an overnight sensation, so I think that you guys are a little ahead of the curve.
Rivers Monroe: Yeah, that’s pretty accurate. We’ve heard before that if you were locked in a jail cell, and you had a very dull spoon, and you basically dug your way out through the wall with the spoon, that’s basically what it’s like. There’s no quick way from point A to point B, you just gotta chip away little pieces at a time, and if you’re patient enough then you’ll get there.
Celinda: Now I know that your new album is going to be released on February 18th through The Phosphorylative Entertainment Group, Inc. (with digital distribution through Universal Music Group), but is that just a digital release or will it be in stores as well?
Rivers Monroe: I think we’re really going to try to push the digital, because everything is digital. I mean we might do some physical copies that we can sell at the shows, and we may get some in stores.
Celinda: What’s the theme of the album?
Rivers Monroe: Lots of colors! I don’t know if there’s a general theme, we would say we’ve just kinda been writing about what we’ve been going through the last couple of years, you know relationships, being on the road, struggling, the good and bad of life.
Celinda: Awesome, so what’s your favorite track on the album?
Rivers Monroe: Moments is a good one. We love playing ‘Moments’ live. But honestly when you choose, it’s kinda like saying which one of your children you love the most. It’s like you don’t wanna choose, because you know one of them is a brat, and one’s an honor role student, and you know one of them is just definitely going to make enough money for you to retire on them.
Rivers Monroe: Celinda I have a question for you, what’s your favorite song?
Celinda: I’m glad you asked that, no body mentioned my favorite song.My favorite is ‘Chasing Sunsets’. I was hoping somebody would say that one. I guess that’s just the child left alone in the dark, that you’re like “oh yeah you’re here too!”
Rivers Monroe: That’s a good one. We love that song, the intro is really cool. You know we spent like a month writing the music for that song, and we went back and forth hating each other every night, but to actually write the lyrics, it only took like under an hour. Yeah, but we still hate each other! We wrote that song when we had just gotten off tour, so we had a lot to write. That song is definitely all about the first east coast tour that we did, which was a very cool experience.
Celinda: I saw on your Facebook page that there are a lot of really cool rock bands that you guys look up to. Are there any bands or artists that influence you that may be surprising to your fans?
Rivers Monroe: I would say Prince for Mat Rivers. I think people would be surprised at this, but a big influence for Mike is Barbara Streisand. Kirby what do you got man? Well what I’m listening to right now, is Parachute, Coldplay, The Script, anything with the world “the” in front of it could possibly be on my iPod right now. But I’m definitely listening to a lot of slower songs, getting ideas for the next album. I’ll then pitch all of the ideas to the band, they’ll say that they all suck except for one, and we’ll proceed from there, and I’ll be great. Michael Jackson is another surprising influence on our music. Outside of the rock genre I would probably say Eminem.
Celinda: How have you evolved musically throughout this whole process?
Rivers Monroe: Well we’ve definitely become better musicians than when we first started. We practice a lot more, and we’re a lot more focused. Focus is huge because when you’re not out on the road all of the time doing shows, sometimes when you’re at home, you can lose focus because there’s so much other stuff going on in your life. If you can stay focused every day, and keep practicing as a band, then you get better. Now that we’re signed and we don’t have day job, all we have to worry about is making music, and going on tour. I think we’ve really learned a lot from each other as far as songwriting, and writing as a unit. We know who has strengths where, and we know each other so well that we’ve become a family of brothers.
Celinda: You guys have opened on tour for a lot of bands such as Paramore, Fun, All Time Low, Relient K, etc., are there any bands or artists that you’d love to go on a dream tour with?
Rivers Monroe: I think Jimmy Eat World would be awesome and maybe 30 Seconds to Mars. I would also say Anberlin; I’m a huge fan of them.
Rivers Monroe: Let me ask you this though, if we were gonna go on tour with any band, what band would you match us up to go with? Counter Question!
Celinda: Let’s see, well I know that you’ve already opened for them, but selfishly I would love for you to go on tour with Paramore, just because I love them. This is a really obvious answer but Fall Out Boy would be cool. I do have one that may not be so obvious; I would really like you to go on tour with Switchfoot.
Rivers Monroe: Yeah, I will tell you one thing though, if we could go on tour for any band we’ve played for, it would be All Time Low. We got to play a really cool show with them a couple of months ago, and they were awesome. They were literally the nicest, coolest guys.
Celinda: Is there anybody that’s already dead, that if they were alive, you guys would like to tour with?
Rivers Monroe: The Beatles and I would say Michael Jackson as well.
Celinda: Personally I see a lot of the same characteristics in you as successful bands such as; Fall Out Boy, 30 Seconds to Mars, and We The Kings, musically is that the direction you would like to go in eventually?
Rivers Monroe: Yeah, definitely! All of those bands that you mentioned are bands that we listen to, and it’s not like we try to write music that sounds exactly like them, but that’s the kind of music that we listen to, so naturally we write music that sounds like that.
Celinda: Ok, here’s a fun question. What’s your favorite memory of past tours you’ve been on?
Rivers Monroe: I think the first stop we had on the first tour was like one of those things were you’re out of your element, and you’ve slept on a bus all night long, and you wake up in a funk, and you’re like “Oh my god where are we?”. It’s hard to explain it, but it’s like a good and unfamiliar feeling. We’ve had a lot of really great experiences, I mean every place that we went was cool and unique in its’ own way, because we were in so many different towns, and the culture in those towns is very different. We had a really good time in Nashville, and I think one of the reasons for that was because we actually stayed there a little bit longer than some of the other places, so we were able to kind of get out and explore the town a little bit. Here in the northeast when you go out they have cover bands that will play Top 40 music, but down there, it’s all country, and they all had on their cowboy hats and boots so that was cool. That was definitely one of the more fun experiences on tour. Everywhere we went into, everyone was so nice. Even the bad stuff that happens when you’re on tour is good stuff, because you can look back and laugh. One time we ran out of gas, and we were like “did we seriously just run out of gas?”, but looking back on it now, it’s pretty funny.
Celinda: If you had a crystal ball, where would you see Rivers Monroe in 10 years?
Rivers Monroe: Wow 10 years, that’s a long time. I would like to say that we’re playing on Top 40 radio stations, we’re doing national tours, and we’re playing with some of the bands that we previously spoke about. Maybe we could have one or two “Best Of” albums. We hope for that, but at the same time we see that happening, because we know how hard all of us have worked to be successful, and we know that we’re gonna do it. I think a lot of bands don’t see the bigger picture, and we want to be very successful, to just write and record, and just reach out with our music to as many people as we can.
Rivers Monroe: Let me ask you a question, where do you see Rivers Monroe in 10 years?
Celinda: I see you guys as a really huge band being played all over the radio, with shelves and shelves of Grammys and all of those awards. I see a lot of supermodels in your future. I just see a lot of success for you guys, and I’m excited. Honestly I don’t see a reason why in 10 years, you guys aren’t a household name. When I first heard your music, I downloaded it, and have had it constantly on repeat. I actually played your songs for my dad who was a DJ in the 80s and he played with MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, and a lot of other acts that were popular in the 80s, and when he heard your music, he said that if he was still on the radio your music would definitely be the kind of stuff he would put on rotation.
Rivers Monroe: That really means a lot! It’s really cool to get respect from an older crowd that might be into other genres. I think we definitely are influenced by a lot of classic rock, even though you may not hear it in our music.
Celinda: I can definitely hear in your music how dedicated and meticulous you are with your work. I think when you listen to different artists; you can tell how dedicated and involved they are in the process, just by the sounds that they come up with, how each track differs, and how they grow over time. Especially with a band like you guys, where each member is playing an instrument or lending vocals, you can predict the ones who are going to make it, and the ones who are just around for now.
Rivers Monroe: We agree. There’s a lot more to it when it comes to songwriting, than just getting together in a room and playing a lot of loud music for an hour a week. I mean we do that a lot, but there’s also a lot of different songwriting, producing, and recording that we do on our own. The way that we put different tones together, I don’t think we’ve ever written two songs the same way. You definitely have to be able to write in different ways in order to be a successful band.
Celinda: I think that this mentality is something that sets you guys apart from other established bands, and some bands that are up and coming. You can hear differences between each of the tracks on your album, and I think that when someone can buy a band’s full album and listen to it from start to finish without feeling like they’re listening to the same track over and over, then that’s what gives you staying power.
Rivers Monroe: We definitely appreciate you saying that! That was actually one of the things that I thought was really cool when I read your original write-up, the fact that you said that you could listen to the album from start to finish. I think that it really shows how much effort we put into the production and songwriting. As far as the production and stuff goes, Mat Rivers has really gotten good at producing and recording at home. Because of this, when we write songs we don’t just go and practice them, we get the guys together, record some stuff, and Mat will add a lot to make the music different, and this extra effort really sets us apart.
Celinda: Is there anything else you’d like to add for your fans, or for people who are just discovering your music?
Rivers Monroe: We would encourage fans to reach out to us, because we love to take time for fans and people who want to be a part of what we’re doing. First and foremost, we appreciate everyone who supports our music, because the fans and family are the basis of any band. Anyone who knows us knows that we’re positive guys, and you have to surround yourself with positive people, because there are so many negative people out there who are jealous of what you’re doing, or are just haters. The crazy thing about some bands is that some of them aren’t super social, and we’ve different, we’re all really outgoing and we just love talking to people. It’s all about being able to interact with your fans, and we take a lot of pride in reaching out to people and making them feel like they’re a part of our breaking out, because they are a part of it.
Celinda: Yeah, just speaking to you guys for a little while now, I can tell that you’re all really nice guys. I really appreciate that you took an interest in the write-up I posted about you, and I think that this shows that you are really nice guys who care about their fans. I definitely see you guys becoming a huge, widely known band, and I’m just excited that I was able to talk to you just when everything is about to change for your band. I’m really excited for you guys!
Rivers Monroe: Yeah we’re really excited too, because we feel that this is finally our time to really shine. This is just the start of everything, so we’re really excited to drop the album, and get it out to as many people as possible.
Celinda: I think that this is all of the questions that I have for you guys, but thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I’m really excited that I had the opportunity to meet you guys. Are there any last minute things you guys want to add?
Rivers Monroe: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us! We don’t have anything else to add, we just hope that everyone loves the album, and continues to support our future projects.
Here are the links to stay in touch with Rivers Monroe, and PLEASE remember that their album drops digitally on February 18th, 2014:
Website: Rivers Monroe
Facebook: Rivers Monroe | Facebook
YouTube: RIVERS MONROE – YouTube
* All photos and information used in this blog belong to Rivers Monroe, Mat Rivers, Mike Monroe, Doc, Kirby, Dan, any and all managers, labels, lawyers, and publicists involved with Rivers Monroe, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, bistroonbridge.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.