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Music Is My King Size Bed

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Country/Pop Singer Jessie James Goin' 'Back To Her Roots', Tweets Her Frustrations

Looks like I'm not the only one confused by singer/songwriter Jessie James' musical identity crisis. The country/pop sweet heart from Georgia took to her Twitter last Thursday, venting frustations about her forthcoming second album, Daughter of a Gypsy, due for release on September 28th.  The singer tweeted three messages in ALL CAPS, mentioning that "music is still coming out..."

The Italian-born/Georgia-bread singer released the first single, "Boys In The Summer" off of 'Gypsy' at the end of June, where it stalled at #116 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at #58 on the Billboard Country chart.  Not exactly an amazing showing but previous singles didn't really chart much higher. Her debut single, "Wanted" only peaked at #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 while her self titled debut album managed to make it all the way up to #23 on the Billboard 200.  She's had MODERATE mainstream success I'd say, which is more than some up and coming artists can say.
I'm not really sure what she's alluding to when she Tweeted, "I know things are confusing right now." Did a story break that I somehow missed? Did she leave her label, Mercury Records? What's going on behind the scenes? From the looks of things, James was at the mercy of her record label, like many young artists, putting out mainstream, radio friendly music that would do well across multiple formats.  With the chart failure of "Boys In The Summer" perhaps she's ready to quit straddling that country/pop line and jump head first into country.  It'll be interesting to see what "big changes" she's referring to, but whatever it is I wish her the best.  She's a beautiful, talented young singer who hasn't even come close to peaking.
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Natalia Kills Is 'Fresh To Death'

Let me just say that I've been aware of Natalia Kills since she digitally released first promo single "Zombie" last December.  I know there's been a lot of internet buzz about this lady and for good reason! She's amazing!  She's got a great voice, she's GORGEOUS and her music released so far all features super-slick production no expense spared. There's something really mysterious about the British born singer/songwriter Natalia Keery-Fisher (AKA Natalia Kills).  For me, it's the promotional artwork that's come out so far which paints this picture. The black and white single sleeves for both "Zombie" and "Activate My Heart" seem to portray her as a modern day femme fatale of sorts.  A woman with a secret.  I think that's part of her appeal.  It's at least what hooked me in initially.  I am loving this explosion of electro-pop female vocalists that have come out here in America recently!  First on the scene was Lady Gaga.  Whether or not she was actually first on the scene doesn't really matter. Gaga paved the way for this new crop of pop artists to get their music played on mainstream U.S. radio.  Because of this new interest in the dance/pop genre, artists like Lolene, Sky Ferreira and Natalia Kills will all get a much-deserved shot at cracking the top of the charts (and I hope they do).

Signed to Music Group (distributed by Interscope/Cherrytree Records) the multi-talented singer and actress first garnered attention when she starred in the BBC radio soap The Archers, followed by a role on the BBC comedy series All About Me.  After signing to a UK indie label in 2003, Natalia (then known as Verbalicious) released her debut single, "Don't Play Nice" in 2005.  The single went on to chart at #11.  Even after parting ways with her label, Natalia didn't go away. In fact, in 2008 she had the distinction of being named the #1 unsigned artist on MySpace Music, ultimately leading to her re-discovery by, who subsequently signed her to his label.  After stepping in on guest vocals for Flo-Rida's Akon collaboration, "Available" it was time to get started on her solo debut.

Going by the name "Natalia Kills," she set out to make "darker sounding pop music" and released her first video for "Zombies," a promotional single released to get the buzz going.  While the single failed to ignite the charts, it succeeded in generating the singer some buzz, predominantly online.  "Zombie" would be the first single released from her debut album Perfectionist, due out this Fall.  In an effort to help promote the release of her singles and eventual album, Kills' produced and co-directed an online mini-series called Love Kills xx as well as a film The Exhibitionist.  The episodes tell a story while showcasing some of her new songs.  The 10-episode first season aired on the Cherrytree Records website and a second season is set to film before the year is out.  This girl's quite ambitious, wouldn't you say? I admire that immensley! She has a vision and the people she has behind her are all about that vision.

Writing her own lyrics, Kills can't do it alone and supposedly has some pretty fabulous collaborators on board for this record.  She's rumored to be working with several top-notch producers including Jeff Bhasker, Fernando Garibay, Cherry Cherry Boom Boom, and hitmaker Akon. Sounds AMAZING. If her past three singles are any indication, Natalia Kills could be the next big thing.  Her official first single "Mirrors" is out now on iTunes.  Make sure you check out this little sneak peak at the video for "Mirrors" and look out for more info on her debut album Perfection, coming out this Fall.

Check out Natalia Kills on the web:
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My 'Obsession' With Sky Ferreira Continues

Last week, when EMI sent me Sky Ferreira's new Ryan Tedder-produced U.S. single "Obsession," I was BEYOND excited to say the least! You've all seen my rants and raves about my OBSESSION with Ferreira's first international single, "One" so when I heard that Capitol Records was releasing a DIFFERENT song here in the States I was unhappy.  When I heard Ryan Tedder was the producer...I was furious (*slight exaggeration*).  Ryan Tedder's a talented guy but his cookie cutter pop production ("Already Gone" vs. "Halo") has the tendency to sound TOO commercial, TOO perfect, TOO much like something we've already heard and none of those things describe Sky Ferreira.  At least "One" was something different.  Bloodshy & Avant managed to create a fresh, electro pop sound for the equally fresh-faced Ferreira and it fit her to a T!

While "Obsession" might not be AS fresh-sounding, musically speaking, it works as a US-radio friendly introduction to a talented artist who's already generating quite a bit of buzz around the world.  I think it's the PERFECT launch single for Ferreira here in the States.   In a recent interview with MuuMuse Ferreira describes the sound of the single:
"It’s very poppy, and it has like a Gary Glitter chant in the intro. I would say it’s glam’s very bold."
I have to agree. It's COMPLETELY different from "One" but in a good way.  It also gives me a bit more insight into her abilities as a singer.  While she'll likely get the occasional Ke$ha-comparison, Ferreira shouldn't be written off as another Ke$ha clone. She's definitely her own artist, and at only 18 years old she's already done so much with her career.  At the end of last month Ferreira Skyped with Arjan over at ArjanWrites about the "extremely pop" sound of "Obsession," and how she understands that at this stage in her career, it's all about compromise.
"A number one record is cool...that's why I'm doing "Obessesion"...I like "Obsession," it's a really good pop song but it's extremely pop and that wasn't exactly what my goal was...I was glad "One" came out before that so that people know that I can still do other stuff. I wanna be capable of doing all different types of music. But I'm glad I get to do something like "Obsession," I'm really lucky to. It's first I was really like bitter about it you know, because I wanted MY songs to be on the record so it was like a bit hard for me but I appreciate it and I understand I have to compromise with the people distributing and making it possible to have my own music out...I very much stand behind might be my biggest song's really catchy and everything."
Sky was right. It's "really catchy and everything," and while "One" might still get my vote, I am getting really excited for her debut album due out on January 11th here in America.  Listen to a short clip of "Obsession" below. It's due out sometime later this month or early next month.  "One" is due out in the UK August 23rd.  UK fans can pre-order the digital EP on iTunes with remixes from Logistics, BAR9, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Style of Eye.

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Benny Benassi, Yolanda Be Cool + DCup Remix New Alesha Dixon Single

Alesha Dixon's new single isn't out until September 5th but we already have the official tracklisting for the digital EP and SURPRISE SURPRISE we have some REMIXES!  UK fans can pre-order "Drummer Boy" now on iTunes.  The downloadable EP includes the single version + five remixes + the music video.


1. Drummer Boy
2. Drummer Boy (Yolanda Be Cool + DCup Remix)
3. Drummer Boy (Benny Benassi Remix)
4. Drummer Boy (Crazy Cousinz Remix)
5. Drummer Boy (Swindle Remix)
6. Drummer Boy (MoDrums Remix)
7. Drummer Boy (Video)

There's also a UK promo coming out with the radio mix, the Benassi mix and a new mix by Chico Secci.  Now, I know I went into detail about my thoughts on this song in my last blog post, but you learn something new EVERY DAY. Did you know that "Drummer Boy" features drum samples from the Dallas Austin-produced 2002 film Drumline? Neither did I! The song was written by Akon's latest find Shamrock and lyricist Nate Walka (Jamie Foxx, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, M.I.A.).  Sounds like Dixon is really turning up the heat with The Entertainer.  At the rate "Drummer Boy" is growing on me, I'll be a full blown Alesha Dixon fan again in no time! The Entertainer is due out November 24th via Asylum Records.

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Hot Video Alert: Kanye West - Power

I originally didn't want to post this video. Kanye West bothers me. He's an egotistical, pompous ass who needs to eat a BIG slice of humble pie. I'm pretty sure I felt this way LONG BEFORE he infamously stole Taylor Swift's spotlight at last year's MTV Music Video Awards...but there's no denying his talent.  He's just a talented artist with a high opinion of himself.  To be honest, the thing that struck me about his video for "Power" wasn't the rapping, it was the visual imagery. So lush. It really is like a painting. It's also under 2 minutes long, covering only first verse of the nearly 5 minute long track . Short and sweet. The cover art for the single was produced by American visual artist George Condo, while the video clip was directed by artist Marco Brambilla. I'm intrigued by Kanye West. Whatever your opinion of the guy, no doubt he ALWAYS gets people talking.  Download the video for "Power" on iTunes now and get the full length single while you're at it.  It's out in the UK August 30th.

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