The saying goes, “if at first you don’t succeed, try again.” That is exactly what Fletcher Howell, Garrett Garfield, and Christopher Kim did when their previous band Hearts and Hands disbanded. “It’s about moving forward, away from and without the bullshit,” Howell said, addressing the change. “Hearts and Hands had several lineup changes and we lost a few members through ‘natural selection.’ It just didn’t work. Some friendships ended, and instead of pursuing other interests, we kept going and started fresh.”
If you haven’t heard of Dawn Richard, now is the perfect time to listen. Richard first became known to the world as a contestant on MTV’s “Making the Band” where Sean “P. Diddy” Combs was searching to create the world’s next big girl group. He succeeded in creating Danity Kane, where Richard shined as one of the lead vocalists. After two very successful albums, the group disbanded, but Dawn was able to find a home with her old boss, becoming one-third of the group Dirty Money along with Diddy and singer-songwriter Kalenna Harper. While the trio had success, it was never meant to be a long-term thing.
Coming down from her 2014 release Aquarius and gearing up for her sophomore album Joyride, Tinashe decided to join the ranks of music’s elite and surprised the world last month with Nightride, a sexy, subdued, cool and slightly dark glimpse into another side of the singer’s skill set.
One can say that life has imitated art for Alexa San Roman and Dane Petersen of Heirsound. Both singer and songwriter came together from California and New York in 2014, literally merging together to create music. Alexa explains, “The release of Merge is the bridge between our old musical styles and the future of Heirsound.” We chatted with the duo about how they formed, the importance of visuals to accompany their music, and the overall ideas and inspiration that helped create their new EP, Merge.
Don’t let the title fool you. This is not an R&B album by Brian McKnight. Instead, it’s a look into the mind of one of hip-hop’s leading new artists: Travis Scott. His sophomore album, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, is Scott’s take on letting your creativity flow and just being able to create without constraints. Travis Scott is pretty lucky to do so himself. He’s signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music as a producer and T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records as an artist. He’s produced and written songs with everyone from Rihanna to Jay-Z, but it is through his own music that he shines most.
It’s been four years since Usher’s last album, and the R&B genre seems to be facing an identity crisis. Think of classic R&B and you think of love songs and sad songs influenced by soul and jazz music. But today’s R&B is mostly influenced by hip-hop and the occasional EDM beat. Usher has walked both of these roads with much success and the 37-year-old singer just released his eighth studio album, Hard II Love. At his Tidal listening session he said, “I really did cater this album to men, specifically men who don’t think love is cool to do.”
SYMON, a 23-year-old California native, has known that she was meant be a performer since she was a young girl. “Growing up in the ‘90s, a lot of pop stars were incredibly inspiring to me,” says SYMON. “I remember studying Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and the Backstreet Boys and thinking, ‘This is what I want to do when I grow up.’ I want to sing. I want to make people feel amazing and I want to entertain.” She has crafted a “pop sound with a lot of island and urban influence,” and with her new single “Say” breaking into the Radio Top 60 charts, she seems to be well on her way. We chatted with the pop sensation about her inspirations, her upcoming EP, and her cool connection with Demi Lovato.
Young and carefree, the UK-based band The Hunna, made up of Ryan Potter (vocals/guitar), Dan Dorney (lead guitar), Jermaine Angin (bass), and Jack Metcalfe (drums) is set to take on America. They are signed to 300 Entertainment, co-founded by two huge names in the music industry: Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles. The group recently finished their first U.S. tour and is preparing to release their debut album 100 in late August. Here, the group tells us how they formed and the meaning behind the members’ fun nicknames.
This year, the MTV Video Music Awards found its way back to New York City, but instead of using Radio City Music Hall as its classic venue, the show took place at Madison Square Garden for the first time. In recent years, the VMAs has not had a traditional host and this year was no different. Comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele were in character as social media mavens (because if you know anything at all, you know the best place to watch an award show is on Twitter) but none of their antics, most of which were impossible to follow, seemed to connect with the audience.
If you follow DJ Khaled on Snapchat, you would know he has had an amazing year so far. From his partnership with T-Mobile, signing a deal with Epic Records, and opening up for Beyoncé on the Formation World Tour, DJ Khaled has been almost inescapable. With eight albums already under his belt, he found a way to reinvent himself through the use of social media by showing us his daily life and hard work ethic on Snapchat. Day after day, DJ Khaled shows us the things “they” don’t want us to have and the “major keys” to success with cameos from his celebrity friends and his endearing fans whom he calls “fan luv.”
If you’re into music like I am, then we probably share the same dream of making it to the Coachella Music Festival in California someday. But fear not! There are many other great music festivals (some new, some old), that rival Coachella in awesome lineups and atmosphere. Festivals have become an easy way for many music lovers to see their favorite artists at reasonable prices. Here are 5 music festivals to check out this summer.
Ariana Grande is back! Her third studio album, Dangerous Woman, finds the 22-year-old wanting to assert her womanhood while still remaining the youthful girl we’ve come to know. With two number one albums already under her belt (Truly Yours and My Everything), Grande is definitely aiming to achieve the same feat again. She’s not a stranger to high profile collaborations as we’ve seen with her hugely successful singles,“Bang, Bang,” “Break Free,” and “Problem.” Dangerous Woman aims to be no different including features with Nicki Minaj, Future, Lil Wayne and Macy Gray.