Thursday, August 20, 2009

What I'm Listening to Right Now... (Almost time for a new iPod)

I've had an 80GB iPod Classic with Video for two years now... only have 15.32 Gigs left... don't know what I'm gonna do LOL but anywho! There's a few albums & songs... I can't stop listening to:

Beyonce "Slow Love"

Ledisi 'Turn Me Loose'
2009 album from the Grammy Award-nominated vocalist featuring songs produced by Raphael Saadiq, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Chief XCel, Chucky Thompson, Rex Rideout and others. Although Ledisi was a seasoned artist before joining Verve, she says she is still finding herself musically. Turn Me Loose is a turning point in her artistic evolution.
"During the making of this record, I was asking myself, 'How do I maintain the listeners I have now and be myself as I today? That was the struggle. But I knew I needed to stretch myself and be more open to different people."
Features the first single 'Goin' Thru Changes'.
"I Need Love," "Alone, "Love Never Changes," & "Higher Than This"

Lupe Fiasco 'Live @ the Palace Theatre (Melbourne, Australia)'

Frankmusik 'Complete Me'
Frankmusik (real name Vincent Frank) is a producer, songwriter from Thornton Heath, South East London, England. He has lived there all his life and, one day, decided that it was high time that he made some pop music that was a little different. Through a combination of retro synths, Commodore 64 samples, fast chunky drum riffs, and tried and tested lyrics, Frankmusik decided to get the ball rolling in 2007 and was signed to Island/Universal December of that year. His debut album “Complete Me” was released on 3 August 2009.

At Glastonbury in 2009 (Frankmusik’s first performance there) it was announced that “Time Will Tell” will be the next released single.
[Courtesy of Last.FM]
*"Complete Me," "Vacant Heart," "Confusion Girl (Shame Shame Shame)," & "When You're Around"

LeToya (formerly of Destiny's Child), sophomore effort 'Lady Love'

LeToya Luckett, professionally known as LeToya, is an R&B singer-songwriter and actress, and a founding member of the multi-platinum-selling female R&B group, Destiny's Child, with whom she won two Grammy Awards and released many successful commercial recordings. LeToya's 2006 debut self-titled solo album for Capitol Records reached #1 on the Billboard Top 200 albums in July 2006 and was RIAA-certified Platinum (Dec 2006). The first single, "Torn", heated up BET's 106 & Park Top 10 video countdown, eventually closing out at #2, and that year LeToya was named "one of the best new artists of 2006" (AOL) and "Top Songwriter of 2006" (ASCAP). LeToya returns with her sophomore album, Lady Love. An intricate web of lyrical & melodic fiber that weaves in and out of the good, the bad, and the indifferent, Lady Love is a true testament to the ups and downs that come with love and relationships. "Not Anymore", written and produced by Ne-Yo, is an empowering mantra about being fed up with toxic relationships with a cleverly-scripted, powerful video set in the revolutionary period of the 1960s (directed by Bryan Barber). Other album highlights include LeToya's heart-wrenching, soulful rendition of the ballad "Regret", and works her way up from mid- to up-tempo tracks like the title track "Lady Love". Pop-influenced songs like "Drained" and the follow up track "She Ain't Got...", written by Chris Brown display LeToya's passion and vocal range. LeToya lays down a new chapter in her musical diary with Lady Love.
*"Regret (featuring Ludacris), "Take Away Love (featuring Estelle)," "Lazy," "Good To Me," "Over" & "Tears"

JoJo "Forever In My Life" (from her upcoming 3rd album 'Forever In My Life')
Leaked track from the young chanteuse 3rd project... known for hits "Leave (Get Out)" from her self-titled debut and "Too Little Too Late," from The High Road the follow-up her debut, took a hiatus from music to enroll in college (Go, girl!).

JoJo has enrolled at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

She writes on her MySpace page, "After much consideration and research, I have decided that Northeastern University is the place for me! In the past week I've taken tours and met with students and professors of other Boston based schools, and now that the time to commit has come, I'm happy with the idea of being a student at Northeastern. They have a wonderful cultural anthropology program (which is what I am interested in going for) as well as a dual major option in International Affairs/Anthropology. I'm so excited!"

Don't worry, she won't be putting music to the side: "I am not going to put my career on hold, however. Progress is being made right now in (record label) Blackground's legal/contractual negotiations that have been holding up the release of any new music for months now. But I am happy to say that it looks like things are about to (finally) get rolling. Whhhhewwww.!! Since I feel the need to cover all my bases, I think it is essential and beneficial for me to eventually have a college degree. My long term goal is to gain a doctorate.... but I gotta take it ONE step at a time!"

JoJo's new album is titles “All I Want Is Everything,” and is scheduled to drop later this year.

Daniel Bedingfield 'Second First Impression'
New Zealand-born Daniel Bedingfield grew up in southeast London. Mostly influenced by contemporary R&B artists, his sisters Natasha and Nicola teamed up with him to assemble their first band, called the DNA Algorhythm. Inspired by a girlfriend from Leeds, Daniel Bedingfield recorded "Gotta Get Thru This" in his bedroom with a microphone plugged to his home computer. In December 2001, just a few weeks after its release by the independent Relentless Records, his song went straight to the top on the U.K. singles chart. At the age of 21, the promising pop singer became a local celebrity. Signing to Polydor UK, Bedingfield worked on some new material and released his first album, Gotta Get Thru This, in the fall of 2002. Second First Impression followed in 2005. [Drago Bonacich, All Music Guide]

Daniel Bedingfield’s (Natasha's brother) highly anticipated follow-up to the massively successful ‘Gotta Get Thru This’, further showcases his talent to create some of the most enduring pop moments around. Produced by Jack Joseph Puig it consolidates his position as one of Britain’s most diverse and talented young singer-songwriters. UK pressing includes two bonus tracks, 'Draw You' (Demo) & 'A Kiss Without Commitment'.
*"All You Attention," "Show Me The Real You," "If You're Not The One" & "Nothing Hurts Like Love"

Whitney Houston "Salute" [from the upcoming album 'I Look To You')
Possibly the third single, produced by R. Kelly with thumping bass... tell her man you can leave and I wish you well, if that isn't class I don't know what is! She states:
I feel like doing my hair... feel like calling my girls... feel like going to the club...
Colbie Caillat 'Breakthrough'
Check out interview with French press in later post!

BeBe & CeCe Winans "Close To You" (from the upcoming album 'Still')

The Gospel brother & sister is back with a new album after almost 10 years, doing solo projects... time has flown back, and fans have gotten wait they are waiting on! Debuting on their on label B&C Records...

BeBe and CeCe Winans are not only sharing inspirational messages from the recording studio on Twitter, the duo gave fans a chance to witness a video shoot via pictures and messages Friday.

Tweeting during the shoot, CeCe Winans wrote "It's HOT out here ya'll! And this crew is working it! Did I say it was HOT? It's HOT!"

According to the "Close To You" duo's twitter, the video was shot Friday afternoon and lasted nearly eight hours. (view pictures from the shoot here)

In related news, BeBe and CeCe Winans have unveiled the official album cover for their anticipated effort, titled "Still" (pictured).

"Still" is due to arrive in stores October 6.
[Some info courtesy of]

Corneille 'The Birth of Cornelius'
French-Canadian R&B singer Corneille translated personal tragedy into pop music success with his 2003 debut LP, Parce Qu'on Vient de Loin, a powerful and often harrowing song cycle inspired by his family's murder at the hands of a Rwandan death squad. Born Corneille Nyungura in Freiburg, Germany, on March 24, 1977, he was born into a Rwandan family completing an overseas study program. He nevertheless spent the majority of his childhood in Africa, absorbing native musical traditions as well as the pioneering American soul of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Prince. As a teen Corneille also discovered his parents' collection of classic chanson records by Jacques Brel, Charles Aznavour, and others, and this melting pot of influences converged to form a child prodigy who first recorded his own original songs at age 16. An appearance on Rwanda's national Discovery Awards broadcast soon followed, but in April 1994 Corneille's budding music career ground to a horrifying halt when a Rwandan military team stormed his home, killing his Tutsi father, his Hutu mother, and his brothers and sisters while he looked on in terror from behind the family sofa. Still reeling from his ordeal, Corneille joined up with a group of fellow Rwandan refugees and fled to Zaire, where he located a German couple who once befriended his parents. The couple took him in and brought him to Europe, where he remained prior to moving to Canada in 1997. Upon settling in Montreal, Corneille began studying communications while moonlighting in O.N.E., an R&B trio he founded with friends from Haiti. After scoring a Quebecois hit with the single "Zoukin'," the group became fixtures of the Montreal live circuit, opening for headliners including Isabelle Boulay. Corneille split from O.N.E. in 2001 to mount a solo career, earning attention and acclaim for a breakout performance at the 2002 Francofolies festival. The appearance earned him a gig alongside Eurythmics alum Dave Stewart, and the following year he issued Parce Qu'on Vient de Loin, a wrenchingly honest roman à clef documenting the loss of his family and subsequent escape from his homeland. The title cut and "Seul au Monde" were both huge hits, and earned Corneille nominations as Best Newcomer and Best Album at the 2004 Victoires de la Musique awards. After a well-received tour that included an appearance at the Nice Jazz Festival, he returned to studio to cut "Dix ans Ensemble," a duet with mbalax pioneer Youssou N'Dour for a fund-raising LP for the AIDS activism group Ensemble Contre le Sida. At year's end, Corneille returned to Quebec to collect the prestigious Félix award for Best Male Artist of the Year. At a special ceremony, he also became an official Canadian citizen. In 2005 he made his first return trip to Africa in the decade since his family's murder, performing at the N'Dour-organized Africa Live concert to raise funds for malaria victims. Corneille's much-anticipated sophomore effort, Les Marchands de Rêves, finally hit stores that November, painting a more positive portrait of African society while further embracing the Afrobeat, reggae, and soul influences that dominated his youth. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide
[Content provided by All Music Guide Copyright © 2008 All Media Guide, LLC]
*"Back To Love," "Heaven," "I'll Never Call You Home Again," & "Sweet Dependency"

Anything from Trey Songz 'Anticipation' to 'Ready'
There are entertainers who sing for their people and then there are singers who speak for their generation. Stevie spoke for hearts and souls; Marvin crooned for his country; Fela sent the rhythm of Africa abroad; Curtis gave the ghetto a voice. Artists come a dime a dozen, but a spokesman for the masses who's been bestowed with a voice from the heavens, once every generation. With Songbook/Atlantic Records R&B blessing Trey Songz, the first generation to come of age in the 21st century has one they can claim as their own.

One thing that Trey does better than any young R&B artist today is to create songs that resonate with fans regardless of gender, race, age, or residency. His music soars above categorization. You'll be hard-pressed to find many who can't relate to the gorgeous "Last Time." With production by R&B sure-shot Bryan-Michael Cox, Trey documents the challenges of monogamy and the complexities of infidelity in one final episode with his female on the side. The song is beautiful. It's ugly. It's common. It's special. It's human.

It's simple. Trey is at his best because for the first time we receive him in his entirety, as he makes a major leap forward from his debut. “I used ‘I GOTTA MAKE IT’ as a staircase to achieve,” he says. In the wake of the release of his first album, Trey found himself reaching into the mainstream at the same time that the underground was feasting on his mixtape releases. And Warner Music Group Executive Vice President Kevin Liles took notice. "On the new project, Kevin came in and he really got who I am as an artist," tells Trey. "Kevin always said 'I don't see "I Gotta Go" in the clubs. I see "I Gotta Go" on stage and then I see this guy in the clubs, poppin' bottles and throwing money. It's not matching.’ So he said the image is gonna match the songs this time."

The result is a gift for all. Everyone's a winner. The world will be able to enjoy the complete experience of Trey Songz, the future of R&B. "This album, though he's a little older from the first album, is who he is," states Taylor. "He's soulful. He's street. He's hip-hop. He's sexual. He's diverse."

So Trey's reign begins. The people of today are ready for their representation (over 400,000 of them are his Myspace friends!). They've actually been ready since day one. Just like Trey speaks up for them, they've reciprocated. "Before my first album came out, the fans on my website were calling the release date, "Trey Day." So I decided this time it's gonna be “TREY DAY” for real. The first album was an introduction and this is the arrival."
[Interview courtesty of]
*From Anticipation: "Does She Know," "You Belong To Me," "On Top" & "Make It Rain" From Ready: "LOL (Smiley Face)(featuring Soulja Boy & Gucci Mane)," "Brand New," "Successful (featuring Trey Songz)," & "I Need A Girl (Remix featuring Teyana Taylor & Fabolous)"

Jessie James... self-titled debut album
“I only want to be wanted by you,” belts out 20-year-old Georgia stunner Jessica Rose James, better known as newly minted pop diva Jessie James, on “Wanted,” the first single from her Mercury Records/Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJ) debut album, and it’s love at first listen.

A big talent in a petite, power-packed package, James has been ready for her close-up since she was the age of two, when the self-described, well-traveled “military brat,” (with a little bit of Greek and Italian thrown in there), born under the fiery Aries sign in a field hospital in Italy, started singing into a toy microphone and tape recorder, a gift from her mom. By nine, she was composing her own songs on a plastic guitar (the first called “It’s Gonna Be Alright”), performing as a youngster at events like the opening of Sea World and the Republican Convention, and working with a string of significant writers in Nashville at 15.

After one of her song demos landed in the hands of Mercury President David Massey, she aced an audition with IDJ boss Antonio “L.A.” Reid. “He got out from behind his desk, started dancing, hugged me and said, ‘We’re going to dinner…and welcome to the label!’

“I’ve known this is what I was supposed to do since I was 10,” adds Jessie, who cites her influences as LeAnn Rimes, Christina Aguilera, Janis Joplin and Bobbie Gentry. “I’m just anxious to get out there and let the world hear me. I’m just so excited. I’ve got a lot to say and I’m more than ready for this.”

With a message of female empowerment and refusing to play the victim, Jessie’s first single, “Wanted,” which she co-wrote with American Idol judge and hit songwriter Kara DioGuardi as well as Mitch Allen and David Hodges, shows off her intensity in a full-throttle dance-rock scorcher that catches and won’t let go.

“My mother taught me when I was growing up not to let myself be treated badly,” she insists. “I think it’s a real good message to young girls out there… don’t wait around for a guy to change. Just get out.

“I just don’t like doing what I’m told. That’s what I love about rock. Rockers are just so ballsy. They do whatever they want on-stage, which I really admire. You still have to be a lady, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to be like that. I feel like, in another world, I could have been in a ‘90s rock band.”

On songs like the twangy “My Cowboy,” co-written with Mercury Nashville artist Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser, first previewed by Perez Hilton on his popular website last year, and the sassy “Blue Jeans,” with its hip-hop swagger and tribal percussion—featured on the soundtrack of the hit Touchstone film version of Sophie Kinsella’s best-seller Confessions of a Shopaholic—Jessie shows she’s not afraid to strut her sexuality, either. She points out that lyrics like "Gimme some like I never had" ("Wanted") and "Saddle up and take me for a little ride" ("My Cowboy") may be just what they say, suggesting the latter could well be about hopping on a horse.

“You can take it anyway you want,” she laughs. “There’s nothing wrong with being a little sexy, if you do it with class. I’m not going out there taking my clothes off, but I do think it’s empowering to feel comfortable with your sexuality...within reason, of course.”

Working with producer Julian Bunetta (Hillary Duff, Sean Kingston), James’ debut album shows off a variety of musical styles and sounds, from the arena-rock belt of “Wanted,” the mix of banjo, fiddle and rock guitar in “My Cowboy” and the hip-hop beat and playful schoolyard rhyming of “Blue Jeans” to the torch song ballad “Guilty” and the stark, stripped-down, soulful blues intimacy of “Liar.”

“When I first tried to get a record deal, my real problem was, I couldn’t put my music in a single box,” she explains. “I just loved everything. That was part of me growing up in so many different places. I didn’t want to limit myself to just one kind of music. I just decided, why not just do all of it, and somehow blend it together. And I think I’ve done that. There are all different types of music, beats and instrumentation.”

And though based in Nashville, this “southern girl” wanted to “be a little more risky,” delving into other genres, especially on “Blue Jeans, co-written with Bunetta, a playful, hip-hop chant, inspired by her experience on the step team in high school.

“That song came about in the studio,” she recalls. “Julian and I worked for hours upon hours in the studio making hit happen. We were on the same page, young and hungry, and it just worked.”

Co-written with Josh Kear, who penned Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” and Mark Irwin (Garth Brooks), “Guilty” is similarly a song that turns the tables on the usual tale of women as victims, deciding, in no uncertain terms, what’s good for one is good for the other, with telling lines like, “I feel everything/But guilty.”

“That’s my favorite song on the album, production-wise, lyrics, melody,” says Jessie. “You can really feel the pain I’m going through. I was dating this rock musician at the time, who was always on tour. And I was thinking, ‘I bet he’s doing all these things, so why shouldn’t I?’ So I went into a writer’s session with Josh and told him how I was feeling about this guy, what was going on in my head. He started strumming the guitar and I just began singing. It just felt so natural, a really special moment.

“I’ve never written a song I didn’t feel true to. Everything I’ve ever done is a true story. I feel everything I write. I can’t fake it.”

For Jessie James, music is her life, her passion, her lover. She won’t even date, with her focus saved strictly for her career. She has no other choice. And now, she is fully prepared to see all those childhood dreams finally come true.

“I’m losing patience/Over the time you’ve wasted,” she wails in “Wanted” about a recalcitrant lover, but she may as well be talking about the release of her new album.

“I’ve always had too many fantasies to just settle in life,” she says.

“I’ll never quit chasing my dreams. I don’t care about the money or the fame. I’ve always been an old soul and able to relate to people older than me. That’s why I had a difficult time in school. I was ready to get out and start singing. I’d sit in math class writing songs in my journal, looking at the clock, waiting to leave.”

For Jessie James, school’s out. With her debut Mercury album, she’s graduated and on her way to the stardom she always envisioned for herself.

“I just want to be wonderful,” she writes on her MySpace page.

Jessie James’ self-titled bow proves she’s more than ready to seize her moment.
[This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.]
*"Burning Bridges," "My Cowboy," & "Girl Next Door"

NOTEWORTHY TRACKS that I'm slowly overplaying:
Mary J. Blige "Stronger" from the upcoming track titled album and to be featured in the soundtrack to the Lebron bio-docu, Jay-Z "Run This Town (featuring Rihanna & Kanye)" which I recently saw the video for and it really matches the track... Yuksek "Tonight," honestly I'm a new fan of dance/electronic music... something about it makes my soul jump, LOL! Teedra Moses "Everybody Rock!"... really hopes she releases an album sometime in the future because this track is sick! Sean Paul "Double Safety Lately." which isn't a featured track on Imperial Blaze but should've been included on the album, makes me think of a black sand beach at night! Paramore "Ignore" from the upcoming, highly anticipated album 'Brand New Eyes'. Kelly Rowland "Blaze (featuring Rock City)" is an unreleased track from the Ms Kelly album, song goes hard!

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