NERVO’s Rise to Stardom

The debut of their record is a huge stepping-stone for the dynamic duo who started broke, then climbed to international stardom.

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Album artwork for their debut of ‘Collateral.’

Olivia and Miriam Nervo (or the Nervo Twins) are twin sisters born in Melbourne, Australia, who say that their musical infatuations began when they were 7 years old and continued to this date. They attended a performing arts school for music and they went to various performances to cultivate their interests in music. However, at the time, they were models for the Australian Chadwick Models Agency. Another agency reached out to them asking for them to be their ambassadors, but they refused the offer deeming that music is their only focus. So, at the brisk age of 19, the two decided to make a daring move to London to start their music careers. Their LP retraces their journey, through a full and well-constructed 15 tracks, to becoming the “world’s highest-ranking female DJs.” It will release July 24th, but can be pre-ordered July 10th with the bonus of getting the track “Hey Ricky” in advance!

I remember hearing of these girls before on a Spotify playlist I was listening to while running and their single “It Feels” played. I was just extremely energized by the tune and power of the music produced as the bass took over and the vocals would soften and then escalate to get you pumping. The same goes for their piece “Hold On,” another inspiring and heartbeat-racing-type song. Both are definite summer playlist must haves whether on the dance floor, on the road, or at the beach.
Here are links to their soundcloud and official page to hear a few samples of their hit singles from the album Collateral:

 

In addition, the DJ-ing 28-year olds never thought they would find themselves collaborating with other producing stars such as David Guetta, Nicky Romero, Dev, Afrojack, Ke$ha, Avicii, Armin Van Buuren, Kelly Rowland, and Steve Aoki (among many others). NERVO, once hitting the club scene and making waves with the single ‘This Kind of Love,’ was able to reach the #1 spot on the world club charts in 2010 followed by ranking #1 on the Billboard, Hype Machine, and Beatport charts and becoming the highest ranking female DJs in all of history by DJMagTop100! They were able to perform in Vegas and many other venues, and with their unique look and charisma, they have been at the forefront of many photo shoots and publication covers! Furthermore, Liv and Mim are not only wicked producers, but are also killer DJs appearing at showcases like Ultra Music Festival, TomorrowLand and Ushuaia, Ibiza. They’re also the brand ambassadors for Tag Heuer, Ballantine’s Scotch Whisky, and clothing company Franklin & Marshall.

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Ohlala, Nervo stepping on it at the mainstage. © 2012 http://www.rudgr.com | Tomorrowland.
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© Al Powers, PowersImagery.com
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Tomorrowland Festival.

At their own performances you can catch them dressed up in exotic colors and outfits surrounded in multiple colors and layers of laser lights.

Despite all of this excitement, it certainly was not easy getting to where they are now, even if these girls are gorgeous, badass super stars!

When they first arrived to London, they worked as waitresses and bartenders while also producing their music on the side and attempting to submit tracks to organizations who would be willing to listen to them and give them a fighting chance with the record labels. Nonetheless, they were pretty short for money, practically broke.

“We have a saying that goes, the harder you work, the luckier you get. We think it is a lot of hard work. You just keep working.” ~ NERVO

Well, Dory couldn’t agree more– they just kept working, just kept swimming, just kept swimming, swimming, swimming until… BAM! DJ/Producing queens! In fact, I bet you did not know that the Grammy-award winning song ‘When Love Takes Over’ by David Guetta was actually co-written with NERVO!  Forbes Magazine wrote an article on how “NERVO Might Just be the Highest Paid Female Act in EDM.”

NERVO reports about their acquaintance with Guetta:

“We met David on Skype and what he didn’t know is that we had already seen him in Ibiza.  It was the beginning of a lovely friendship. We remember the very first studio session, where he had this massive studio in Los Angeles, which was a really big thing for us, because we were broke writers. To even be in a studio like that inspired us to work really hard and deliver great work.” ~ NERVO

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NERVO, Guetta, and Romero at the Delano performance in Miami, FL — March 21, 2013.

Now, in their first album, their sonic talent and skills are showcased in their detailed work in every song. In each track, there is a significant definition whether about love, power, heartbreak, set back, or freedom

“There is a mix of tracks on the album and all are intended for different purposes. That’s the beauty of working on an album! We didn’t need to just write tracks for the dance floor…” ~NERVO

The collaborations with other featured artists add a whole new element to their music that pours a bit of familiarity of style into a glass and then spikes it with a NERVO twist.

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Forbes Magazine article “Why NERVO Might jus the the Highest-Paid Female Act in EDM.”

With their notorious mark on DJ and music history for women as well as a monumemtal movement of style in the music industry in general, these two are sure to continue to grow and fabricate the biggest drops you’ll hear on the dance floor. That’s one small step for two women, one giant leap for music-kind.

You can follow them at their Twitter account: @nervomusic, and their Instagram account: @nervomusic, or like their Facebook page: NERVO.

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Ed Sheeran Concert at The Hollywood Bowl

The Ed Sheeran concert at The Hollywood Bowl with opening act Rixton was hands down one of the best performances I have ever seen. Period.

An English singer-songwriter and musician, Ed Sheeran has become one of the biggest names in the music industry and there is a reason for that! He became well known for his song, “The A-Team”, and his No. 5 Collaborations Project that caught the attention of Elton John and Jamie Foxx. If there is anything that people should know about Sheeran, it is that he is an extremely diverse individual when it comes to musical genius. He sings, he raps, he plays guitar and loops it. He composes his own music and produces all in several types of genres. He has also been known for opening for Taylor Swift on her “Red” tour and for collaborating and writing some of her songs.

My cousin was sweet enough to get me tickets to see him at one of the biggest concert venues in California, The Hollywood Bowl, on June 24th this summer. I was extremely excited, as this would be a trip to California to see my cousin and hear some great music; however, I was not prepared to witness the insanity and exhilaration that this concert would bring me. Sheeran’s second studio album X (read as “multiply”), released last year and it ranked as number one in the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200! He has also been nominated for the Album of the Year at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.

For those of you who have not been to the Hollywood Bowl, it is a massive venue that is always jam-packed and holds over 20,000 spectators. Shaped to its name, you enter the stadium and see everyone forming the shape of a round bowl and then the stage far below is massive and is embraced by a halo of lights also shaped like… you guessed it… a bowl.

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The wonder of the venue aside, the people who attended and occupied its arena were interesting to see. It was intriguing to see all sorts of people from any type of status quo you could name: old, young, preppy, tall, short, girls, boys, athletes, hipsters, couples, groups, artists, businessmen, doctors, etc. It was just so interesting to see how California could inhabit all of these people and how they all congregated for this one show to forget their differences and enjoy the commonality they shared here. After grabbing dinner and sitting down, the perfect weather of Los Angeles encircled us with a light breeze while remaining warm. The sky was still bright but more solemn and dim. Finally, a loud guitar played and out came the opening act, Rixton.

This English pop-rock boy-band have been making their run in the pop world and capturing many girls’ hearts with their boy-next-door sound. They are fun to sing along and dance to and after watching them perform, they seem like they are a great group of guys to hang out with. The lead singer, Jake Roche, was hilarious and had a great charisma on stage; he danced ridiculously and called out “Ello, darling!” to the crowd and took selfies with the crowd. Rixton had guitar battles between their two guitarists Charley Bagnall and Danny Wilkin. Then, they wrapped up with their most popular single “Me and My Broken Heart” and the crowd went wild. At the end of their production, Roche ran across the stage waving an American flag.

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After their performance, we all waited in anticipation for the main act. The sky got darker and became the best backdrop for our event: the moon was up, the stars emerged, and the rest of the arena was dark. I remember that as soon as someone saw his silhouette walk across the stage in the dark, he or she screamed and the crowd erupted into thunderous applause. He started playing his guitar and singing, and all I can remember from that point on was thinking the entire time, “Damn. I know I like his music, but I didn’t think he was such a musical genius! I’m in love!” He blew my mind away, and my cousin’s as well. She had actually never really listened to his music before and she was extremely impressed. For me, it was as if I was listening to Sheeran for the first time and re-experiencing his music. Sheeran just absolutely killed it! He was witty when he spoke to the crowd. He was kind. He was funny. He carried himself the whole time humbly, but his music projected him as some sort of prodigy. In each song, he would use his looping-machine to create beats and sounds that would accompany him through a song to make him a one-man band. He was brilliant!

In addition, I would like to applaud the set designers because their work made the entire event so much more exciting. Lights changed color schemes to perfectly match the mood for a particular song. Twelve screens surrounding the stadium projected Sheeran for all to see, but it was always in a different form. At times he was pixelated, then he was surrounded by shattered glass, then he was sketched out in hard-boiled style, and then he was on fire when he sang his song “Afire” (oh, the irony). The special effects never ended and it made for a great show. During his performance of “Think Out Loud,” they projected his music video for the song with him dancing as if he was on So You Think You Can Dance.

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It was funny, because as much as I hate to admit it, there is always some point of a concert experience that might get a little boring, but not during this concert. Sheeran kept me mesmerized by his talent and ability. There seemed to be no mistakes and each song flowed transitioned with ease. The crowd was enthusiastic and respectful. I saw an old man behind me who had attended with his wife and was fully enjoying the experience, swaying this way and that way, smiling cheek to cheek. Young girls jumped up and down, singing with each other. Couples held each other in their arms. My cousin and I laughed and danced along.

I know that this is why I love the concert experience. A place to commune without judgment and, specifically here in California, sit under the stars listening to music. The perfect summer set up.

Sheeran continued to amaze us with his insane-in-the-membrane remixes of old-timer songs that everyone loves and knows such as “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers and “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. He also executed a wonderful performance of a Stevie Wonder song he had the chance to sing at a Stevie Wonder Tribute. My favorite was when he did his remix of his song “Don’t” mashed with “Loyal” by Chris Brown and “No Diggity” by Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre.

The fact that he was doing this all alone was dumbfounding. His voice is deep and strong, but his vocal range can slip to perfect, sweet falsettos. His rhythm and ear for music is unfathomable. He jumped from slow songs to pop songs to rap songs, from old songs to new songs, all the way to traditional Celtic music (as heard in the score of The Hobbit). He was all over the place. I could not tell what kind of concert I was at, but it was an all-you-can-listen music buffet!

Everyone was bouncing and jumping; it was a party! But the best part had to definitely be when he asked all 17,000 individuals in the bleachers to pull out their lighters (in today’s millennial generation, that means our iPhone flashlights) and start waving them as he played along. I have never seen anything like it before. The moon was no longer in charge of lighting the sky– we were. I saw more little lights in the air than I have ever seen and it was one of the most memorable images I will ever have.

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Image above and video below of all of the 17,000 lights in the crowd.

At the end of Sheeran’s performance, the entire Bowl was covered in rainbow light and made for an energized and wild crowd. He left the stage, but he didn’t leave for long because he knew the crowd wanted him back. He finished off on stage with “Sing” and we left the Bowl more energized than when we had entered.

I do not know when I will experience such a concert in my life again, but I am at least happy to know that I did witness such musical prowess. Thank you to my cousin for the tickets and thank you to Sheeran and Rixton for a great performance—I totally recommend going to one of his concerts if you ever can!

Trey Songz has Re-Released his Album as “Trigga Reloaded” and it is Killer

Trey Songz “re-loaded” his album “Trigga” and it is something to really rave about.

American hip-hop, R&B/Soul artist, Trey Songz, released his album Trigga Reloaded on June 23rd, 2015 and it is a killer album. Based on his previous album, Songz went back and redid his album in order to make it a little steamier. Mr. Steal-Your-Girl is back and even more seductive than ever. He utilizes sweet, quick hooks, slick lines, and smooth percussion to carry his listeners through the album, and this time the whole set list flows much better.

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The album contains 18 tracks and is basically the same as the last with an extra shot of expresso or a booster of a few new singles. These singles are “Serve It Up,” “Always You,” and “Loving You” featuring Ty Dolla $ign. The album can now be found on Spotify and iTunes.

Here is the playlist of his entire album; give it a listen!

To highlight a specific way he has changed one of his songs, take “Foreign”  for example. The song started out as a single vocalist’s song, just Songz, but then it was remixed to include Justin Bieber, and now it is transformed in a very cultural R&B set up. You can here a woman speak in French for a longer portion of the song, a woman speak in Spanish, more music sounding cultural with hispanic tunes and melodies, changes in pace, and new instruments. It actually is a very entertaining and well-constructed record.

Lots of his fans exclaim that they love the renovation of the album. Nonetheless, many of his fans profess their disappointment, as well, because they feel that there is not enough uniqueness or difference to this album after waiting so long for its release, and they question why he reused and recycled songs. I figured that this was a cool idea to remodel and add to his songs, but I understand how that may seem boring to many and how it does not necessarily show any musical prowess except that he tweaked his album. There were 3 new songs on this album, but that was the extent of the novelty for the track list.

In an interview on The Wendy Williams Show over the album, the Virginian-born artist mentioned how he just got back from his tours with Chris Brown, Tyga, and Nicki Minaj. He also admitted that songs on the album do have to do with his jewelry designer girlfriend, whom he has known for about 8 years, but only until now had they decided to take the next step towards a relationship.

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Songz on the Wendy Williams Show.

Williams asked him why he decided to reload the album, to which he responded that the reason was because so many of his fans loved the songs on the last album and wanted more of it in music videos and other forms, that he felt like he wanted to “extend the life of this album.”

Overall, after giving a full listen to the Trigga Reloaded, I found myself singing along because I knew them from before, and I was pleasantly surprised in each song when the adjustments kicked in and made the track something new to listen to, while still staying the same familiar piece I heard before. The album is slick, sexy, cool, slow, and fast. And it is definitely a lot more explicit. A great R&B album for the summer.

Let us know what you think of it!

The Top 10 Places in the World to Throw a Major Rager Music Festival

Feeling wanderlust? It is the summer and if there is anything that we would rather be doing, it would be traveling, exploring new worlds, and experiencing novel discoveries. It could even be greater than that. Here is a list of the top 10 places in the world to throw a major rager that would create the ultimate unique adventure.

The best part about traveling is that you meet new people, and how you do that is up to you, but here in this list, you are going to find how you can meet and bond with people through the passions that are our interests—food, music, dancing, and architecture. In these places, the only thing you need is a dance floor, a good beat, bright lights, dark nights, and a great group of friends.

So, let us take a look at where our music festival-driven millennial generation would desire to have a party at:

1. ROMAN AMPHITHEATER – FORT PUNTA CHRISTO, CROATIA

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This is the amphitheater, Punta Christo (built in the 19th century), which is one of Pula, Croatia’s numerous forts that was used to hold thousands of spectators who watched gladiators slaughter one another to the death for entertainment. Now this death show has become the hub for many huge techno and house concerts.

 

2. LANGJÖKULL GLACIER – OUTSIDE REYKJAVÍK, ICELAND

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This is one of the most stunning locations for a music festival to be held. The festival here is called Secret Solstice, that is held against a glacier in Reykjavik, Iceland during the summer solstice, which is a 72 hour period of continuous sunlight. It includes events such as the ‘Icerave’ within a glacial cave system that displays artwork and a secret lagoon party in the oldest geothermal pool in Iceland.

 

3. MANOIR DE KEROUAL – GUILERS, FRANCE

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Ooo la la! Here in this French countryside  it is not always quaint and calm. For those that adore techno, but prefer it a little more indie, this is the spot for you. Here is the festival Astropolis, one of France’s oldest and wildest music festivals held in a 16th century manor!

 

4. RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE – MORRISON, COLORADO

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This is definitely, one of the biggest festivals around. Be prepared to be one with nature when you trek to this insane music sanctuary in the middle of massive rock structures in Red Rock, Colorado. It has the perfect location for acoustics with its two 300-foot monoliths. It has three major festivals like HARD Red Rocks, with Dog Blood and The Glitch Mob, the Global Dance Festival with Tiësto, Kaskade and Above & Beyond, and the Mad Decent Block Party with What So Not, Major Lazer and more.

 

5. GREAT WALL OF CHINA – CHINA

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Did you ever think that one of the 7 Wonders of the World would be the perfect spot for a festival? Well, the YinYang Festival does. It is known to foster one of the craziest raves in the world. With a seemingly endless dance floor, you can not go wrong partying and enjoying music here with people from all over the world.

 

6. MAYFIELD DEPOT – MANCHESTER, UK

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This has to be one the most absurd and fantastic places to have an epic rager. Held in an abandoned, run-down warehouse, The Warehouse Project is a festival to let loose and go crazy at England’s Mayfield Depot that is soon to be torn down.

 

7. SAHARA DESERT – ERFOUD, MOROCCO

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Transahara festival recently celebrated its eighth and final festival in one of the hottest (punny) places ever, the Sahara Desert. It was set in a secret location 30 minutes from the Village of Erfoud, Morocco. However, just because this festival finished up does not mean that there are not many more in Morocco. It has some wild festivals such as Gnawa where the location is among sand dunes of Merzouga, also known as the Erg Chebbi. It is claimed to be some of the highest dunes in Morocco—some being almost 600 feet high. There is exotic wildlife. There is a beautiful Arab spring. There are pink flamingos and camels!

 

8. ARCOSANTI – ARIZONA DESERT, USA

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Arcosanti is a festival known to be called an ecological “urban laboratory.” Why? Because it is found in the Arizona desert spread across 25 acres, inspired by architect Paolo Soleri’s theory of compact city design, Arcology (combining architecture and ecology).

There are greenhouses, gardens, agricultural fields and fascinating architecture. Arcosanti hosts other events like FORM Arcosanti. If you’re tree hugger, a green lover, or overall an environmentalist who appreciates music, this is the rave for you.

 

9. PETROVARADIN FORTRESS – NOVI SAD, SERBIA

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Over the river and threw the woods… just kidding, but on a hill and next to the Danube river, the Petrovaradin Fortress is a beautiful site in Serbia for an historical venue. Now, this battle protecting barrier is a domain for one super intense festival known as Exit Festival. This festival has been named the “Best Major European Festival” by the EU Festival Awards in 2014. The acoustics are said to be killer and the sites around such as the meadows and fields and underground tunnel systems make for the most unique experience. In a lush valley, the DJ’s have their Dance Arena, and in the past, there have been artists such as Hardwell and Martin Garrix there.

 

And finally, last but not least…

10. FERROPOLIS – GRÄFENHAINICHEN, GERMANY

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Ferropolis, aka “The City of Iron,” is a museum located on a former mining site-turned-industrial monument in Gräfenhainichen, Germany.

Melt Festival is Germany’s biggest rave. The past mining ewuipment surround the vicinity giving the event a dark, edgy, and grungy vibe. Other festivals are held there such as Splash! and “Ferropolis in Flammen”  or “Ferropolis in Flames.”

How insanely awesome is that?!

 

So, make sure the next time you want to go to a music festival, to check out some of these. Would any of these go on your bucket list?

Selena Gomez Just Dropped “Good For You” Featuring A$AP Rocky and the Result is Fire

Selena Gomez released a new song called “Good For You,” featuring American rapper A$AP Rocky. It was finally leaked at Midnight on June 22nd.

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@selenagomez.

At first when hearing about the collaboration, many people felt skeptical of its production because of the two different genres the two execute. However, the actress and singer was able to perform a solid dark and sexy tune with Rocky that made it a very good listen for the summer. She looks fabulous in the single cover picture and somehow the simplicity of the rhythm and tune fits her melodic, breathy vocals. It is sultry yet classy; it is eerie yet enticing.

Many admit to be very impressed with the piece and with Gomez’s recent year of numerous collaborations such as with her music producing prodigy boyfriend, Zedd, in the song “I Want You To Know,” and her recent appearance in Taylor Swift’s music video for “Bad Blood.”

 

The lyrics she sings are typical of an R&B and hip-hop song and is interesting coming from Gomez, but somehow, it works!

Here is an excerpt:

I’m in my 14 carats, I’m 14 carat
Doing it up like Midas, mmm
Now you say I got a touch, so good, so good
Make you never wanna leave, so don’t, so don’t

It is nothing like we have ever heard  from her before. Gomez, the 22-year old, and A$AP Rocky, the 26-year old decided to work together earlier in the year and an Instagram photo of Selena on the floor with the description “A$AP Rocky” dropped the hint that there would be a collaboration coming out soon.

 

As mentioned, the record is chill, erotic, and epic. A triple threat. I believe Gomez is headed in the right direction with her dynamic choice in music this year for her publicity and her talent experience in the music realm. It has definitely been deemed another leap to escape from the Disney Channel persona she started out with into a sexier and more sophisticated adulthood identity. With Rocky in the mix and the lyrics:

Hold on, take a minute, love

Cause I ain’t trying to mess your image up

The single is supposed to be seen on her upcoming album to follow her 2013 album Stars Dance. Nonetheless, an official release date has not yet been announced.

So, what do you think of the song? Make sure to share this article with your friends and let us know what you thought of it!

Boys Don’t Cry…in Heaven: Frank Ocean and Kid Cudi

After much silence, Frank Ocean and Kid Cudi finally let their inquisitive fans know the names of their newest albums and their approximate release dates!

It has been quite the buzz among people as it has been 3 years since Ocean’s big release Channel Orange and a year since Cudi’s last album Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon (and the new one will not be the man on the moon III). People have held high expectations for these two new albums and the fact that they both are coming out this summer is why I decided to write this article. I wanted to make a little comparison between Ocean and Cudi based on their background stories, what I have heard from students I have interviewed on campus, and from my radio show crew, The College Blueprint, at WTBU Radio.

“As a writer, as a creator, I’m giving you my experiences.” ~Frank Ocean

This is what Ocean said one night when interviewed on Jimmy Fallon.

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Ocean and skyline. Photosource from interview with The New York Times reporter, Jeff Himmelman.

Christopher Breaux (Ocean’s original name before he officially changed it in 2010) or nicknamed, Lonny, had a childhood that was mostly engaging himself in solitude. He said he used to climb rooftops, listen to music, and read.

Ocean told a New York Times reporter, Jeff Himmelman, that “art’s everything we hope life would be, a lot of times…That’s what I get from it. And that’s what I’ve tried to do. In the storytelling and the sonics and everything. That’s what I’ve tried to do, because I just think that’s the purpose of art. Push, you know?”

Ocean is clearly a 25 year-old man of depth, one who does not take the simple way of thinking. He expresses that profoundness of his personality through the lyrics of his songs and the stories he conveys. He explains the truth of his father leaving his family when he was little in his song “There Will Be Tears.” The synthesized white noise and layers of his voice and beat contradict and unite his heartbreaking tale. His mother explained that his father’s absence left a huge hole in his life. He was trying to find who he was– mind and soul. In his tune “Bad Religion,” Ocean openly refers to his love for another man—a strong and proud moment for him and his fans.

Ocean is a man of many talents, and in addition to releasing his new album called Boys Don’t Cryon July 15th this summer, he will also be releasing a “publication” which he deems is a piece with many layers and where he explains the term he uses #Issue1. He announced these releases via a photo he posted on his official site with a picture of him sitting with a magazine and its cover page labeled all over in the text Boys Don’t Cry and #ISSUE1 #Album3 #JULY2015 #BOYSDONTCRY. Ocean stated, “I got two versions. I got twoooo versions.” What does this mean Ocean?

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Ocean’s album and publication announcement on new project. Photo source from Hiphopdx.com.

A collaborator of his, Nabil Elderkin, complimented his newest works, and in an recent discussion, declared that “everyone should be excited about this new album — that sh** is fire. He’s making a great record. It blows the sophomore-album myth out of the water.”

The new album is expected to feature such producers as Hit-Boy (known for working with Kanye West, Eminem, and Jay-Z) and with Rodney Jerkins (best known for collaborations with Michael Jackson and Destiny’s Child).

In November, Ocean released a new song said to be on the new album called “Memrise” (also found in the video below).

 

You can hear the melodic, raw, harmonic, moody, and atmospheric vibes Ocean consistently incorporates into his work that brands it his own. The R&B singer accentuates the detailing of his music by using the simplest of techniques and sparks the listeners’ attention with his voice and story.

His previous album, Channel Orange, won Best Urban Contemporary Album and was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2013 Grammys. Himmelman proclaimed the album as one of the most meticulously constructed records of the year.

Ocean was also known to be associated with a rap assembly known as Odd Future, an American hip hop group from Los Angeles, California, including members such as Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt. This group has gradually been breaking up over time, but their collaborations in this group are, no doubt, a part of the start for these artists and their careers.

In similar fashion, another beloved R&B artist announced the release of his newest album via Twitter on Saturday, April 4th. Just like Ocean, Kid Cudi surprised us all and kept quiet about the album creation and date for so long until he finally announced that it would come out sometime this year of 2015. (And here we thought the two were going to pull another mysterious, out-of-nowhere album drop like Drake.)

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@kidcudi.

And just like Ocean, Cudi rides on his emotions and is extremely vulnerable to them and expressive of them in his music showing his broken down soul to all of his listeners, but I guess that is what makes them so famous and loved—the relatable connection of sorrow, anguish, and a bit of dysfunction. For this instance, there is such a thing as the “dude in distress.”

A little more on Cudi—his real name is Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, born in Cleveland, Ohio where he was a lower-middle class kid. His mother was an elementary school teacher and his father was a house painter and a WWII veteran who died at the age of 67 of cancer in 1995.

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@officialindicud.

Ocean, no dad. Cudi, no dad.

Cue Cudi and his emotion. Cudi’s mother also spoke about how his father “was always a strong force in their lives, and when he got sick, they went through that sickness with him… it was a devastating time for all of them–Scott especially, because he was the baby. There’s a sadness [in him] because of the void.”

Similarly, Cudi used his misery to drive his creativity and began to have an interest in singing. With the support of his mother, he joined the school choir and read lots of Calvin and Hobbes (YES-loved those comics) to spark his drawing interest. He developed a more serious interest in rap, which she still supported him for (go mom), but even then he continued to carry the melancholy as well as have bad grades, like C’s and D’s. He went to Toledo University but dropped out after one year of studying film. Cudi remarked, “there was something in the room, and everybody was consuming the inspiration,” and so he couldn’t stand it any longer and left hoping to build up the courage to deliver his own words and thoughts through the power of song.

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@officialindicud.

Through sonic storytelling the two create their music and life maps. Through the intonations, the two artists let their audience into their worlds.

Many people that I have talked to compare the two artists with one another. I always hear around BU or on the radio show I DJ at on how the two have similar contextual backgrounds, mindsets, and definitions of life. They are chill but extremely sensitive beings with a lot to say and a lot to hold back, but their creative capacities are greater than so many that the depressing topics of choice are less irritating and whiny than they are inspiring and moving.

However, I have also heard that both can tend to play on the “safe” side in the way they play the music industry game. People say that it seems the two remain static when there could be more room for experimentation with vocal and musical fluctuation and expression.

I don’t know how I feel about that criticism. I do see how people think that rhythmically, most of their songs keep at the same pace or embody the same aura, and I totally agree that most of their music plays around with the same tools, tempos, and subject matter, but I think that is what makes them so appealing to the crowd. They specifically target that collection of people. Without the voice and tunes and consistency that they bring, I think many of us would be lost with the ever-changing and dynamic world of hip-hop that is mainstream and big like Kendrick Lamar or Jay-Z or Kanye West. Sometimes you just need that break of voice and need to go from a song on an album like To Pimp a Butterfly to a song like “Forest Gump” or “Maniac.” These can sometimes be the go-to songs for listeners out there, but again, it is all personal preference and individual choice and what is so great about music is that it is free—that you have the choice to choose. There are so many options out there to pick from. Ocean had mixtapes though to his credit: TheLonny Breaux Collection and Nostalgia, Ultra. Both were pretty novel.

We have to learn to “embrace the martian,” as Cudi would say or know that “we all try” and can not appease everyone, as Ocean would say.

Nonetheless, no matter who critiques or adores these two, we are all extremely anxious for their new albums and can not wait to see what the two have up their sleeves for us this time.

 

Spotify is Now “Running:” New App Initiative

In the above image, Twitter account @Mashable remarks on their experience with Spotify’s, one of the largest music streaming platforms of our generation, newest app invention. You athletic runners out there, this is for you!

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Picture of @Mashable tweet about their experience with Spotify’s new app. Photo source from Twitter: @Mashable.

Spotify announced the release of its newest app, Spotify Running. Now, let me begin by saying this, I was incredibly amazed by the idea and think that it is going to augment Spotify’s listener and user numbers a ton. It is so innovative. The idea behind the app is that when you start running the app will begin to track your pace and choose songs that match that beat and rhythm of your step while also calculating the genre of songs based on what you have listened to. How cool is that?!

Candice Katz, a Spotify blogger posted that, “Music is the perfect running companion but sometimes you need even more motivation to push on… That’s why Spotify Running is all about helping you go the extra mile.” (Spotify Running video advertisement below.)

Time Magazine even praised the app as something fun and exciting!

Another cool aspect is that the app was constructed with the help of some well-known DJs, like Tiësto, and composers who also included some novel original pieces of their own to fit what runners might prefer to run to.

You’ve got a whole host of genres available to you from hip-hop, to indie kick, to electronic, to pop, to country and more. Just imagine it is like hitting a Piñata and you don’t know what is inside, but that’s the thrill of the surprise! You could get Mumford and Sons, or Kygo, or The Killers, or Zedd, or Beyoncé, or Kendrick Lamar, or Queen, or… Who knows what?! The list goes on!

Spotify announced this sweet new app at a press conference last week and they tweeted about it to their followers on May 21st.

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Image of @Spotify announce its newest app and a #NewSpotify to its followers. Photo source from Twitter: @Spotify.

There has been much talk about the engaging tool Spotify has developed. Specifically, staff writer for Macworld, Caitlin McGarry, was pleased by the database’s fabrication. She wrote,

“The new running feature and podcasts alone would convince me to pony up for a premium subscription if I didn’t have one already.”

Now, she mentioned podcasts. What, you ask? Well, in addition to the Running app, Spotify has also added features to the app design that allows you to watch podcasts and, at the moment, a limited number of, shows and videos. All of this is meant to keep up with the music industry that is growing ever-so rapidly. Although, McGarry may be a strong believer in the renovations, there are still some skeptics out there.

For instance, Spencer Kornhaber, a writer for The Atlantic, criticized the app, noting, “Spotify didn’t revolutionize my run.” He explains that a lot of the time, the app would freeze at one particular mph pace and would not change the song according to his beat or would choose a song he truly didn’t love, but it chose it just because at one point it played through his streaming history. However, he also wrote that “music, study after study has shown, can improve a person’s exercise routine by motivating, distracting, and pushing the body’s tempo…Spotify was smart to bring Tiësto in, as dance is often called “body music” for a reason.”

Nonetheless, I think that it is a great step towards a brighter more successful and creative future for Spotify, and I can’t wait to get the app and start using it for my morning workouts or late night walks this summer.

So, get up and get out and let Spotify soundtrack your life!

The Weeknd Releases a New Music Video “The Hills”

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The Weeknd in the city at night found on his Google+ page.

The Weeknd, aka Abel Tesfaye, recently  gave a preview to his proposed new album that will be debuted sometime this coming year. The title and exact date for the album release is still unknown, but it is to be the follow up album to Kiss Land as well as a continuation to the style of his song “House of Balloons”. The Canadian post-apocalyptic-esque R&B singer, songwriter, and record producer became a sensation when his singles “Often” and “Earned It” hit the “Billboard Hot 100” list!

Now, The Weeknd releases a new music video for his song “The Hills” that includes the lyrics:

Hills have eyes, the hills have eyes
Who are you to judge, who are you to judge?
Hide your lies, girl, hide your lies
Who are you to trust, who are you?

(Lyrics at http://genius.com/The-weeknd-the-hills-lyrics)

The song is quite haunting, but definitely defines what The Weeknd does best. He seduces his audience with his falsettos and lazy intonations that make his music smooth and enticing to listen to.

From the beginning, The Weeknd has always had an eerie atmosphere to his music and it is almost as if you’re Alice in Wonderland stepping into an even darker version of Wonderland, or to Abel’s perspective, “Kiss Land.” Also, just look at his hair? Tell me you do not think he is Other-Earthly or some sort of Other-Being with that spider thing on his head?! (The post-modern version of The Mad Hatter?)

This time, in “The Hills,” the music video commences with The Weeknd, mid-afternoon or early evening, wounded and bleeding from the head. He emerges from the car and then two other women step out of the flipped over car that they were just in. One of the women begins pushing him and shouting at him, but he continues to stagger along through the quaint and typical suburban neighborhood around them. The music and his voice are then accompanied by a freaky sounding scream sprinkled throughout the song. The lights gradually get darker and darker until his face is no longer visible and the car explodes into flames in the background behind him being the only source of light in the frame. The musician eventually enters into a mysterious house and goes upstairs to where he finds two women sprawled across the bed and some random old lady. The end. Uhh… That’s so-Weeknd-like …

The erotic song was produced by Million $ Mano and Illangelo. Abel, the artist himself, presented the song live at Coachella last month.

Here’s the link to the song– Check it out and let us know what you think! What do you think the new album will be like?