Posts tagged with "British Artist"

Sam Johnson – Nineteen

Following on from the soaring success of his recent single ‘Changes’, which landed in Spotify editorial playlists such as ‘Pop Brandneu’, ‘Easy’, ‘Pop Relax’ and ‘New Pop UK’, was played on Apple Music’s Radio Show ‘New Music Daily Deutschland mit Aisha’, and highlighted in Billboard’s 10 Cool Pop Songs feature, British singer and songwriter Sam Johnson continues to build momentum for his forthcoming EP ‘Are We There Yet?’ with the release of his latest stunning single ‘Nineteen’ out November 20th.

LISTEN TO ‘NINETEEN’ HERE
WATCH THE LYRIC VIDEO HERE

Continuing the bold and thunderous sound that has become a theme of his latest offerings, ‘Nineteen’ sees Sam combine warm and wistful aesthetics with a truly anthemic production. Channeling his humble roots as a gifted acoustic singer-songwriter, the track quickly shifts gears and delivers a bright and euphoric texture that embodies the multifaceted feel that Sam Johnson has injected into all of his material to date.

Speaking about his new single, he said, “This one is a little more direct than the others. No hidden meaning here. It’s a very literal and biographical throwback to my fairly hedonistic last few years of school. My friends and I seemed far more focused on smoking high grade than we did on getting high grades and it certainly showed in our A level results. Still, they were some of the best days of my life, and this is a regret free ode to them. Interestingly though, I was born in 1995, and certainly not taking my final exams that year. The opening line ‘flash back to ninety-five’ can therefore be seen as a rare example on the EP where I gave myself artistic license to not be entirely honest, but instead allow some ambiguity because I liked the way the line sounded.”

‘Nineteen’ follows up the success of his previously shared singles ‘Changes’, ‘The Kids Are Alright’, the latter of which landed on Spotify editorial playlists Fresh & Chill, Pop Right Now and New Music Friday in the UK, Germany and Switzerland; Apple Music’s New Music Daily in eleven countries, and named Record Of The Week on BBC Radio Shropshire, and its follow-up ‘Peter Pan’, which found a home on Spotify’s Easy playlist.

Taken from Sam’s forthcoming EP ‘Are We There Yet?’ which is set for a January 2021 release, his latest collection is set to see him grow more as an artist and a human being throughout. “I create characters influenced by what I see around me,” he says. “A lot of the lyrics are touchstones of my childhood, and where I grew up… and the people that I grew up around.”

In recent weeks Sam Johnson was announced as a member of the Ivors Academy Youth Council. The newly formed Youth Council is made up of sixteen young creators from the Academy’s Youth Network, acting as an advisory group, which will form a central role in shaping the future of the Academy. The Academy’s Youth Network, which was established last autumn, is a growing and connected community of young creators and a hub of partnerships with Universities, Colleges and other non-academic organizations. The Network aims to empower and educate young songwriters and composers of all genres, and provide a platform at the Academy to voice views on music industry issues.

A driven and relentlessly ambitious artist, Sam Johnson’s story also owes a debt to chance. Fate dealt him an unusual card when Kevin Shields – My Bloody Valentine auteur – crossed his path, taking the fledgling talent into the studio for the very first time. “That was a real moment for me… that developed my backbone. It made me want to have that element of legacy. And he made me realize that it could be done.”

A country boy lost in the big city, Sam’s music has taken him from a rural setting to the London metropolis, but he’s driven by an extraordinary sense of purpose. ‘Are We There Yet?’ is a tightly bound EP, one where each passage speaks to the next. Overseen by My Riot at RAK Studios, the production is left deliberately raw, almost unfinished, so that the songs “could breathe, without over-cluttering it too much”.

Elton John – I Can’t Go On Living Without You

I Can’t Go On Living Without You has been unveiled to celebrate the release of Elton John’s Jewel Box, released today via UMe. Multiple GRAMMY winner Mark ‘Spike’ Stent (Shawn Mendes, Selena Gomez, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber) has given the unreleased 1968 mix – one of the many gems of Jewel Box – a 2020 polish in time to celebrate one of the most eagerly awaited releases of the year. Watch Here.

The 1968 original captures the sound of a long-lost swinging London and typified the writing-to-order pop that Elton John and Bernie Taupin had been contracted to Dick James Music to deliver for other artists to cover.

Written and recorded at DJM studios in Central London in Spring 1968, “I Can’t Go On Living Without You” was selected for consideration for the UK’s Eurovision Song Contest entry the following year. Six songs were chosen for the public vote for Lulu to take the winner forward to the competition’s final in Madrid that March. To get to the final six for songwriters of that day was prestigious enough. Another aspiring team – Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber – submitted a song entitled “Try It And See,” which, according to Rice, didn’t even make the final 50. A year or so later, new lyrics were provided, and it became “Herod’s Song” in Jesus Christ Superstar.

“I Can’t Go On Living Without You” was sung by Lulu on her BBC1 primetime show Happening For Lulu on Saturday, February 1, 1969. “Back then, Eurovision wasn’t quite the orgy of embarrassment it is now, but still, it wasn’t like Pink Floyd, and Soft Machine were queuing up to get involved,” Elton wrote in his acclaimed, best selling memoir Me. In fact, he revealed, although credited to Bernie, he had written the lyrics by himself. On the following Monday, the composing team Bill Martin and Phil Coulter (who had written the previous year’s Eurovision entry,  Congratulations) reviewed I Can’t Go On Living Without You, the fourth of the six contenders, in the Daily Express. Martin wrote, “I strained my ears to hear a non-existent melody coupled with a pathetic lyric.” Coulter added, “a very unimaginative title for what is just a dull and uninteresting song.” Elton wrote in his diary on Monday, February 3: “Went into the office. General reaction to Lulu – not very good.”

When the final result came through a fortnight later, the song had come sixth in the audience poll. Out of six. It had received 5087 votes. Ironically, it was beaten into last place by a song called Are You Ready For Love? (but not the one Elton was to take to No. 1 in 2003). The song that Lulu did take forward, “Boom Bang-A-Bang,” garnered 56476 votes.

Although Lulu was to be the joint winner of Eurovision that year, “I Can’t Go On Living Without You” did attract some cover versions; Cilla Black recorded it on her 1970 album, Sweet Inspiration; Pickettywitch singer Polly Brown released it on the flip side of “So In Love” in 1973, and Sandie Shaw’s version belatedly came out in 2004.

Now it’s time to hear the Elton original for the first time. ‘I Can’t Go On Living Without You’ is three fabulous minutes of the zingy easy listening pop of the day, with a catchy chorus and a memorable hook.

The track is accompanied by a new lyric video from Ladybug Studios where, like the track itself, the song’s swingin’ 60s vintage will be given a fresh and contemporary twist. It features images of Elton and Bernie from the period.

Elton: Jewel Box is available now as deluxe 8CD and 9LP box sets, standalone 4LP, 3LP, and 2LP breakouts. On streaming services, we’re celebrating its wealth of rarities, deep cuts, and B-sides via a series of regular three-song batches, culminating with the complete ‘Jewel Box’ appearing, in full, in March for Elton’s 75th birthday.

deryk – goodtimes

Auckland-based, UK-born newcomer deryk first arrested us with her affecting voice on her debut single “Call You Out” earlier this summer. She has since shared the moving follow up “One Star,” alongside announcing plans for her debut EP release WOMb out on October 2nd.

The EP focus track, “goodtimes” is a heart-on-sleeve account of a time in deryk’s life that she invites us to share with her. The song, which is at times almost uncomfortably intimate, succinctly showcases her impeccable ability to harness a mature understanding of life’s common experiences. A tale of heartache and lessons learnt, “goodtimes” manages to be both melancholic and uplifting—like only the best multidimensional pop music can.

LISTEN TO “goodtimes” HERE!

“‘goodtimes’ is about not being able to reminisce or enjoy looking back on a time period in your life because it turned out to be a complete waste of time. It’s like Good Times, except the tainted, bitter version. I don’t believe in regret because ‘everything is a learning experience blah blah blah’ but reminiscing and only seeing your oblivious, vulnerable self. Wearing rose tinted glasses can be self-destructive. Accepting defeat and letting ‘the goodtimes go’ is a healthy next step. At least you know better now,” says deryk.

The sound of deryk is unique and captivating, molding distinctive, rhythmic vocal phrasings and visceral lyrics around craftily submerged melodies and ghostly modular tones. Slow music for fast times, space and solace amongst the confusion, a gentle reveal in the age of instant gratification, mordant lines over sumptuous melodies—deryk is something special.

deryk is heavily influenced by British culture in all aspects for her creativity thanks to her mum. Musically, she draws inspiration from powerful female artists like PJ Harvey, Fiona Apple, Esperanza Spalding, Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell and Bjork, as well as her love for Bristol and its culture in the 90’s, deryk has crafted her own sound that feels utterly contemporary while still retaining a hazy, timeless quality. Contributing to that is production and writing spar, Justyn Pilbrow, whose extensive experience with artists like The Neighbourhood, Chelsea Jade and Halsey helped deryk capture her vision.

deryk: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE

Swatch x Colourshift

History, milestones, personalities, myths, icons…culture meets design and art in these small, colorful filigreed and highly adorned pieces of paper. Banknotes have been an integral part of our day-to-day life and it is about time to celebrate their beauty and evolving rarity.

With currencies’ growing tendency to become more and more virtual, Swatch seizes the opportunity to pay tribute to these beautiful stories printed on paper – before they clear their way to convenience. In her work, British artist Justine Smith explores the concept of money and how it touches almost every aspect of our lives: “For me, it is like working with an elemental force which impacts upon all of us in a political, social and moral level. A banknote can be seen as a little piece of propaganda, a cipher portraying specific aspects of a given state.”

More than the stylistic reference, the use of banknotes creates a strong and tangible connection between people and the artworks. Her Swatch Art Special COLOURSHIFT was inspired by bitcoin codes, and engages with the never-ending shift from physical to digital money. “I liked the idea of making by hand something that would normally be created digitally – COLOURSHIFT stands for the changing spectrum and shift we are now experiencing.” Enjoy discovering which color bit comes from where – and find out what the color stripes stand for…