US rapper T-Pain is a man who clearly knows a thing or two about apps. His own ‘I Am T-Pain’ app – where users could re-create his infamous, auto-tune enhanced, style through their phone – attracted over 300,000 downloads in one week. He’s clearly someone who knows a good idea when he sees one, which is why we’re pleased to see him include Shazam in his Top 3 iPhone apps!
After he became the first artist to sign to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, J Cole’s every move has been met with huge levels of hype. Perhaps in a bid to quell that hype, or indeed to stoke it up, Cole has been playing a waiting game with the listening public who have been breathlessly awaiting his debut album.
In the meantime he has been tossing them the odd morsel, mainly in the form of the occasional collaboration – naturally, one with Jay-Z – and a series of mixtapes. 2010′s ‘Friday Night Lights’ offering saw him team up with a number of artists, among them Canadian rapper Drake who was at the time just begging to tip the scales from the world of underground hip hop to the realm of mainstream pop. Drake co-stars on J Cole’s latest offering, ‘In The Morning’, a silky smooth slice of laid back R&B. Drake manages to inject a bit of humour with some references to his Aunt’s equestrian activities while J.Cole plays the straight man as the pair shift between verses as if they had been working together for years.
With a remix of Rihanna’s latest single in the bag, as well as waves of industry love, J Cole is likely to be one of 2011’s biggest hip hop success stories.
This week New York hipster dance favourites Hercules And Love Affair previewed their latest album ‘Blue’ on SoundCloud. After their eponymous debut landed back in 2008, fans have been eagerly awaiting its follow up. The band, led by Andy Butler, have parted ways with previous label DFA Records and will release ‘Blue’ through influential London indie Moshi Moshi (previously home to the likes of Florence & The Machine, Hot Chip and currently The Drums).
The band’s debut single ‘Blind’ saw them collaborate with Anthony Hegarty and was the standout track from their previous album. While H&LA have not continued their relationship with Hegarty, who is presumably focusing on his work with Anthony & The Johnsons, the album boasts the vocal talents of Bloc Party frontman Kele and new ’Love Affair recruits Shaun Wright and Aerea Negrot.
Hercules will be debuting ‘Blue’ across Europe throughout Febuary and March, for full tour dates head to their MySpace.
Wiz Khalifa’s been wetting the appetite of hip- hop fans since he dropped his independent mixtape ‘Deal Or No Deal’ last year. With an underground hit in the shape of ‘Kush And Orange Juice’ and a huge online presence, it looks like 2011 will be the year that the Pittsburgh rapper crosses over to the mainstream: a fact backed up by Wiz’s appearance in Shazam’s ‘Sound Of 2011’ predictive poll.
Khalifa’s appearance on Jamie Foxx’s new single could be a tipping point. As the record gains an increasing amount of commercial airtime it paves the way for an assault on the charts when Wiz’s first major label drops later this year. Preliminarily entitled ‘Rolling Papers’, a none too subtle reference to Wiz’s perpetual love of jazz cigarettes, the album is already one of the most hyped releases on the calendar.
Although ‘Best Night Of My Life’ doesn’t show Wiz at his best, it’s enough to leave curious hip hop fans wanting more. Foxx shimmies through some fairly lazy, lady loving lyrics: rhyming “Bikini” and “Martini” probably didn’t require all of his mental capacity, but it’s still a fairly catchy couplet. This allows Wiz to pitch in mid-way through with a rap that showcases his much talked about talent. In many ways the tale of partying and drinking in ‘Best Night Of My Life’ mirrors Jamie Foxx’s former hit ‘Extravaganza’: in all likelihood it will repeat it’s huge commercial success in the next few months.
Check out this video interview to see us chatting to American rock band Papa Roach, who released their first album in 2000 which went triple platinum and who have since gone on to sell more than ten million albums worldwide.
At the end of 2010 Papa Roach took part in the infamous ‘Taste Of Chaos’ tour. Whilst in London we caught up with lead singer Jacoby Shaddix and Jerry Horton to discuss new music, being in a band and all things ‘roach.
Today it’s Australia Day and we would like to join in the celebrations with the song that has just been chosen as the people’s favourite of 2010 down under, Angus & Julia Stone’scharming and folk-tinged, feel-good track ‘Big Jet Plane’.
Today is the day when Australian national radio station Triple J reveals the results of their music poll – in which they try to determine the country’s best liked tune of the former year – through a special show counting down the top 100 most voted tracks. A popular chart since the 80’s, this year it has beaten all records by pooling over a million votes. The chart topping brother-sister duo crown twelve months of astonishing success, after sweeping the board at the ARIA awards – the Aussie equivalent of the Brits – where ‘Big Jet Plane’ scooped the single of the year honours, and their second long player ‘Down The Line’ also won ‘Album Of The Year’.
Although it mostly focuses on Australian artists, there are also some global stars featuring in this year’s lists, including KanYe West; Mark Ronson and ill-fated UK electropop outfit Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, whose singer committed suicide last year.
Those with basic French skills will know Carte Blanche refers to a blank cheque. However, for fans of hipster electronic music the name means something else entirely. Carte Blanche brings together the talents of UK DJ/Producer Riton and Ed Banger’s DJ Mehdi. Last year the pair toured across Europe and America, leaving a string of clubs recovering in their path. Carte Blanche cemented their bromance in the studio, the results of which came in the shape of the ‘Black Billionaires EP’: a release that pricked the ears of several tastemakers when it dropped on Ed Banger back in May.
The pair’s small output attracted the attention of Chicago house legend Green Velvet and Dutch Electro maestro Laidback Luke, who’ve both put their stamp on Carte Blanche tracks via ‘Black Billionaires: The Remixes’. Despite the hectic individual schedules of Riton and Mehdi, they’ve also found the time to get their heads together for a new track ‘Politrix As Usual’. We managed to grab a quick e-mail exchange with Mehdi to get his thoughts on the remixes, working with Kid Sister and if we can expect an album from the duo.
The hotly tipped Brooklyn act MNDR is following the steps of Chromeo; Neon Indian and Theophilus London by releasing her new single, ‘Cut Me Out’, as a free download through Green Label Sound.
One of Shazam’s 2011 Breakthrough acts, the former Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Mark Ronson collaborator –many of you may remember her vocals in The Business Intl’s first single ‘Bang Bang Bang’- joins the likes of Santigold and M.I.A with an eclectic mix of influences that range from new wave to electroclash.
Currently on tour supporting Chromeo; don’t miss the chance to catch the blonde singer’s live show when it comes to a venue near you.