Archive for the 'under the spotlight' Category

under the spotlight: fefe dobson!

June 29, 2010

I’ve been a big fan of Fefe Dobson from the beginning. I was intrigued because she was a (half) black girl doing music that wasn’t R&B. Her music and style resonated with me at a young age, because I felt like rebelling against everything that was considered to be normal. Not saying Fefe was groundbreaking, but she was the only black girl on TV doing rock music at the time.

In 2003, her self-titled debut album was released. It was lighthearted and sometimes angsty teenage pop/rock. I loved it. She didn’t make a big splash, but a lot of people remembered her because she stood out. In 2006, her second album was going to be released and show off a mature, edgier side of Fefe (which Rihanna ended up stealing). Unfortunately, Sunday Love was shelved and she was let go by her record company. I was so disappointed, but the album finally leaked. I guess the biggest disappointment was that the album was actually really good, and showed a lot of growth from the first album.

Fefe didn’t give up, though. She continued working on her music independently. Her music has been featured on a lot of commercials and ads. Her persistence finally paid off when she was finally resigned to her old label. Her new album Joy is set to be released in August.

Ghost is the newest single from Fefe. It’s more dance-pop driven than her older work, and it sounds like it could fit in flawlessly with the stuff that they play on the radio nowadays. I hope Fefe finally gets recognition with this album, but if not, I just hope the album’s good.

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under the spotlight: sia!

March 26, 2010

I am always scouring the earth and the internetz for new artists, because I love expanding my taste. One of my favorite artists that I have discovered in the past few months has to be Australian singer Sia! I found out about her when I first got news that she was working with Christina Aguilera on Bionic. Since then, I have listened to Sia’s music, and really enjoyed it! She is a soulful pop artist that makes great, melancholic ballads, and really joyous uptempos. I really liked Soon We’ll be Found, Breathe Me, and Drink to Get Drunk. I also like Destiny, a Zero 7 song which she is featured on.

Her new album We Are Born is coming out soon (the same day as Bionic I hear), and her first single is Clap Your Hands. She has 6 songs from her album on YouTube. They’re all really good. Check them out! By the way, she’s performing at Terminal 5 in New York City on May 6th at 7 PM! I just bought my ticket. Will I see you there?

under the spotlight: stephen simmonds!

March 10, 2010

Apparently he’s been around for a while, but I’m just now finding out about him. Thanks to rapper Example (UtS a few weeks ago) and his blog, I saw the newest video from Stephen Simmonds, called Adiyeah. I really like the song. The video’s… interesting. It’s cool, whatever.

He’s been out since 1997. He’s Swedish, but has had some crossover success in the US. Maybe I am too young, but I don’t remember seeing his videos on MTV. Then again, I didn’t watch MTV when I was little. So I looked at some of his older music, and it’s actually good. Very soulful, but still pop, and very 90s. Which I love. Kinda like a mixture of Craig David and D’Angelo. At least to me.

I don’t know what his next album will be called or when it will be released, but you watch the video for hi new single Adiyeah below!

under the spotlight: kid sister!

March 4, 2010

I don’t know how I first found Kid Sister. I think it was on BET one day when her first single, Pro Nails, was playing. Wasn’t really feeling her when I first saw her. Later on, I heard her again, but I liked the song! It was Control. It was a great electro song that I could see myself fist pumping (or something similar) to in the club. Then I heard some more songs like Beeper and Switchboard, which I loved, but there was no album!

Her debut album Ultraviolet was finally released last year! It is actually a decent album. Kid Sister has fun songs, down to earth lyrics, and a thick Chicago accent. I think she’s a really interesting female rapper, and she doesn’t have to make weird faces or put her pussy on my sideburns to get attention. She has been a staple on my monthly playlists. Check her out!

under the spotlight: example!

February 23, 2010

Just like the last artist I spotlighted, I first heard Example on XM Radio back in the summertime. Don’t think I found him on the jazz station, though. No no, his low-key summer anthem was playing on the BBC station.

This UK rapper caught my attention with the interesting instrumental of his single Watch The Sun Come Up. I was intrigued because it was very melodic, so I saved his name and the song as a memo on my phone. I did download it, but I forgot about it. It was not until recently that I started listening to him!

His new stuff from his forthcoming album Won’t Go Quietly is inspired by electro, house, and grime music (or “Dysfunctional Electro-Pop” as he describes it), but his older stuff is just really interesting hip-hop. I am excited for his new album, but until it leaks, I’ll listen to the old stuff and the two singles he’s released from his new album thus far.

I think he’s a really interesting rapper. Could just be the accent. Look out for his new album. Also, check out Me & Mandy, from his first album, below!

under the spotlight: melody gardot!

February 18, 2010

I found this gem of a singer back in the summertime. I was driving my mom’s new truck, with her free trial of XM Radio (which I loved). Naturally, I had it tuned to the jazz station. As I was driving down the thrilling streets of South Jersey, a sultry voice captured my attention. The name of the singer was Melody Gardot and the song was called Our Love is Easy.

Of course, I went home and downloaded the beautifully mellow jazzy goodness. I loved it so much, I put it on my Mellow Playlist (the perfect playlist to play as I packed to move to New York, not emotional at all). Even though I loved the song, it was not until last month during break that I listened to the whole album, My One and Only Thrill.

Melody Gardot has a very interesting story. This New Jersey native was hit by a Jeep while cycling in Philadelphia, which left her seriously injured to the point where she had to remain confined to her hospital bed for a year. She had to relearn simple, everyday tasks such as brushing her teeth. Even today she suffers with her memory, often waking up with no memory of what she has to do. Even so, she persevered and continues to make and perform great music!

Give her a listen. She has a great voice, and makes timeless music!

under the spotlight: mayer hawthorne!

February 11, 2010

In the first edition of Under The Spotlight, I will be putting Mayer Hawthorne on blast. I found out about him last year through my old dance teacher. She posted his song Maybe So, Maybe No on Facebook, and I thought it was great. Mayer Hawthorne captures 60s pop/soul and modernizes it just enough to make it sound fresh.

His album, A Strange Arrangement, has been giving me life since September, and has been supplementing my playlists month after month. Give the album a listen if you’re into the Motown pop/soul sound, Amy Winehouse, or if you just like good music.

Check out Maybe So, Maybe No:

And to everyone in the New York area, the Mayer will be playing at Webster Hall on March 4th! I will be there!