Posts tagged with "Motown records"

Queen & Slim Soundtrack Out Now

Motown Records released Queen & Slim: The Soundtrack on vinyl for the first time. The two-LP limited edition of the acclaimed soundtrack is now available at participating independent record stores in conjunction with the Record Store Day’s RSD Drops 2020 program. Visit here for further details. Queen & Slim: The Soundtrack merchandise is available HERE.

Starring Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Queen & Slim is a powerful, consciousness-raising love story that confronts the staggering human toll of racism and the life-shattering price of violence. The film, from GRAMMYwinning director Melina Matsoukas and Emmy winning writer Lena Waithe, has won numerous awards including Best Movie at the BET Awards 20.

The music in the film serves as an additional voice and showcases the range of talent across Black artists with a compelling blend of genres. The 16-song soundtrack features new tracks by Ms. Lauryn Hill, Megan Thee Stallion x VickeeLo, Lil Baby, Vince Staples featuring 6lack X Mereba, Tiana Major 9 & EARTHGANG, Coast Contra; featuring BJ The Chicago Kidand Syd, plus classic songs byRoy Ayers, Bilal, Mike Jones and others. Blood Orange composed the film’s score and is featured on the soundtrack. See below for track listing.

Queen & Slim: The Soundtrack has received numerous award nominations, including an NAACP Image Awards nod for Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation. Collide by Tiana Major9 and EARTHGANG took Outstanding Original Song honors at the Black Reel Awards earlier this year and was named one of the best R&B songs of 2019 by VIBE.

Motown Records President Ethiopia Habtemariam, Waithe and Matsoukas served as executive soundtrack producers. AP said, “Together they’re like the perfect aux-cord DJs. They hit play, and they don’t miss.” The Atlantic noted, “The Best Part of Queen & Slim is the Soundtrack Music is woven throughout with an impressive ear for black American artists’complex relationships to the country they inhabit, and to other black people.”

TIME hailed the soundtrack as “an astounding collage of sound an ode to the past, present and future of black music.” NYLON predicted that Ride or Die from Megan Thee Stallion x VickeeLo “will be bumping in the club for months.” Pitchfork praised Vince Staples’ “Yo Love” feat. 6lack & Mereba as “a charming swerve from Staples that’s only further proof of the rapper’s chameleonic talents.” Rolling Stone said, “Guarding the Gates is an immersive and sprawling ballad as [Ms. Lauryn] Hill delivers a mesmerizing vocal performance.”

While on a forgettable first date together in Ohio, a black man (Kaluuya) and a black woman (Jodie Turner-Smith), are pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. The situation escalates, with sudden and tragic results, when the man kills the police officer in self-defense. Terrified and in fear for their lives, the man, a retail employee, and the woman, a criminal defense lawyer, are forced to go on the run. But the incident is captured on video and goes viral, and the couple unwittingly become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people across the country.

As they drive, these two unlikely fugitives will discover themselves and each other in the most dire and desperate of circumstances and will forge a deep and powerful love that will reveal their shared humanity and shape the rest of their lives.

Waithe wrote the screenplay forQueen & Slim from a story by herself and bestselling author James Frey (A Million Little Pieces, Katerina). The film is produced by Frey, Waithe, Matsoukas, Michelle Knudsen, Andrew Coles, Brad Weston and Pamela Abdy. The executive producers are Pamela Hirsch, Kaluuya, Aaron L. Gilbert and Jason Cloth. Universal Pictures and Makeready present Queen & Slim in association with 3BlackDot and Bron Creative, a Makeready/De La Revoluci, Films/Hillman Grad/3BlackDot production.

Track Listing Queen & Slim: The Soundtrack

LP1 / SIDE

  1. Megan Thee Stallion feat. VickeeLo, Ride Or Die
  2. Bilal feat. Raphael Saadiq, Soul Sista (Remix)
  3. Vince Staples Feat. 6lack & Mereba, Yo Love
  4. Tiana Major9 & EARTHGANG, Collide

LP1 / SIDE B

  1. Syd, Getting Late
  2. Mike Jones feat. Slim Thug & Paul Wall, Still Tippin’
  3. Coast Contra feat. BJ The Chicago Kid, Queen x Slim
  4. Choker, Frame

LP2 / SIDE A

  1. Lil Baby, Catch The Sun
  2. Roy Ayers, Searching
  3. Ms. Lauryn Hill, Guarding The Gates
  4. Burna Boy, My Money, My Baby

LP2 / SIDE B

  1. Cedes Benz, The-Dream
  2. Little Freddie King, Standin’ At Yo Door (Live)
  3. Blood Orange feat. Ian Isiah & Jason Arce, Runnin’ Away
  4. Moses Sumney, Doomed

Joy Denalane – Be Here In The Morning

Today the R&B songstress Joy Denalane aka Germany’s Queen of Soul shares her video for Be Here In The Morning (feat. CS Armstrong) via Motown Records. The video was directed by Henrik Alm and made its broadcast premiere on BET Soul. Watch here. The track is off Joy’s debut U.S. album LET YOURSELF BE LOVED. Listen here.

“The song is about a relationship that’s in a good state, but maybe there is a moment where the partners tell each other that if you don’t see me for who I am we’re going to stumble into a problem,” says Joy Denalane. “Honor me for what and love me for who I am and if you do that then I’m gonna be there in the morning.”

“Be Here In The Morning” was created together with C. S. Armstrong. The Texan enchants the audience with a voice that many associate with the early Motown years. Be Here In The Morning is showcasing the vocal perfection of these two artists: in harmony with Joy Denalane they create a complex, soulful love duet about soulmates, consideration and tenderness. “Be Here In The Morning” captures a moment just before sunrise and lets another beautiful facet of love shine through on the album.

With LET YOURSELF BE LOVED Joy is making her definitive soul statement. The Motown album is in equal parts self-assertion, genealogy and homage to the great classics of the genre. A musical masterpiece where Denalane confidently brings together all the strands of her previous work. Nevertheless, she is not interested in vintage simulations of old soul recordings. She is driven by showing her musical identity. The album includes her singles I Believe (Feat. BJ The Chicago Kid), I Gotta Know, and Top Of My Love. Recently Joy performed her track Be Here In The Morning (Feat. CS Armstrong) on COLORS.

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Lil Baby – My Turn

Lil Baby declared 2020 as his year, and he continues prove not just that, but that he owns 2020 as he goes from strength-to-strength. This week the Grammy-nominated rapper is the first and only artist of 2020 to go RIAA-certified double-platinum in the U.S. with his release of “My Turn” (Quality Control Music, Wolfpack Global, Motown Records). “My Turn” is both 2020’s highest selling & highest streaming album in the U.S.

Lil Baby also hit #1 at urban radio for the 7th time — with his important and powerful single “The Bigger Picture,” hit 20 Billion streams globally, and was named Vevo’s Top Performing Hip Hop Artist of 2020.

All in a week’s work for Lil Baby who is celebrating his many milestones by giving fans the video release of “Forget That (featuring Rylo Rodriguez).” Rodriguez himself is an artist signed to Lil Baby’s 4PF label, where Baby continues to support artists and share his knowledge of being successful while staying authentic and true to himself.

WATCH: FORGET THAT (FEATURING RYLO RODRIGUEZ) HERE

Earlier this year, Lil Baby graced the cover of Rolling Stone; tied Prince and Paul McCartney for Billboard Hot 100 hits; saw his February #1 release of “My Turn” return to the top of the Billboard 200 three months later; spent 5 weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (tying Taylor Swift for most weeks atop the list in 2020). In June, Lil Baby dropped the powerful record, “The Bigger Picture,” articulating frustration, confusion, and a call to stand up for something much bigger than himself.

With such a rapid rise and a relentless stream of critical and commercial hits, it’s clear that Lil Baby is one of the greatest and most important success stories in hip-hop. At 25, has been one of the most dominant and critically acclaimed names in rap since his first release in 2017, and with just 3 years under his belt, it’s clear his run is far from over.

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Tiwa Savage – Temptation ft. Sam Smith

Today, Nigerian-born singer/songwriter Tiwa Savage shares her new single “Temptation,” featuring multi-GRAMMY Award-winning pop phenomenon Sam Smith. Released via Motown Records, “Temptation” is the latest single from Savage’s highly anticipated fourth studio album Celia, due out this Friday. The track is written by Tiwa Savage, Sam Smith, and Fireboy DML. It was recorded in Lagos, Nigeria and is produced by London.

Listen to “Temptation” by Tiwa Savage feat. Sam Smith HERE 

Hailed as the “Queen of Afrobeats,” Savage is the most popular female artist in Africa, and arguably the most popular artist in Nigeria. Last month, the globally celebrated fashion icon offered the first glimpse at her forthcoming album with “Dangerous Love” — a laid-back and enchanting track built on her signature blend of R&B and Afrobeats. Marking her directorial debut, the song’s video finds Savage co-directing alongside Ibra Ake (Childish Gambino, Beyoncé) for a stunning visual shot in Lagos, Nigeria.

Named after her mother, Celia showcases Savage’s extraordinary vocal talent and the incredible musical growth she’s experienced over the years. Born in Lagos, she grew up attending church with her parents and soon developed a love for performing, then relocated to London with her family at the age of 11. At the age of 16, she found herself singing backing vocals for George Michael — a turn of events that quickly led to working with the likes of Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Emma Bunton, and Blu Cantrell.

Despite having already completed a degree in business administration at the University of Kent, Savage was determined to pursue music and landed a scholarship at the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston. Although she later moved New York City and linked up with various producers and industry professionals, she eventually returned to Nigeria (a move partly motivated by the lack of true female superstars in her home country). In 2019, she signed an exclusive recording contract with Universal Records, releasing her first global single “49-99” under Motown Records that summer. By the following spring, Savage had graced the cover of Billboard magazine’s first issue devoted entirely to Africa, alongside Afrobeat superstars Davido and Mr Eazi.

Through the years, Savage’s fearlessness in merging eclectic genres has more than paid off, earning her an abundance of awards and accolades. To that end, she made history in 2018 by becoming the first female to win the MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act. She’s since garnered four Channel O Music Video Award nominations, five World Music Award nominations, and a multitude of nominations from the MTV Africa Music Awards, BET Awards, MOBO Awards, and many more. She’s also undertaken a number of philanthropic endeavors, supporting several youth engagement organizations and breast-cancer-screening projects across Nigeria and beyond. Additionally, Savage is very active in #JusticeForUwa, loudly voicing her disgust at the rape of a young girl in a church in Nigeria, and creating an Instagram account where rape victims can speak out.

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Joy Denalane – I Gotta Know

Today, Motown Records signee, the R&B songstress Joy Denalane aka Germany’s queen of soul drops the video for I Gotta Know. Watch it HERE. This follows Joy’s recent releases Top Of My Love, Put In Work, and Believe (featuring BJ The Chicago Kid). The tracks are off her upcoming album LET YOURSELF BE LOVED out September 4th.

With I Gotta Know, Joy Denalane shares a roaring, at times angry song which shows that love in all its complexity is not only told in ballads or mid-tempo compositions. Backed by a fantastic band, grand strings and winds, Joy Denalane creates a sound that is almost bursting with energy, perfectly woven to provide the necessary space for the powerful bandwidth of her voice. I Gotta Know pushes for the truth behind the rumors, yes, jealousy also plays a role, but at the core there is the pure and simple desire to not be hurt and humiliated by further lies. A universal feeling in which Joy Denalane instills with her voice self-confidence and strength and prefers to demand the end of the relationship rather than to continue to torment herself. I Gotta Know is a power move full of femininity and emotion.

Joy has collaborated with the likes of Raekwon, Lupe Fiasco, Bilal, Common, Hugh Masakela and more. Joy’s talent, emotional honesty, the culturally complex story of her life and natural beauty make her an incredibly attractive and versatile artist. Joy is the essence of the modern, global, black woman. She is the daughter of a South African father and a German mother and was born in the divided city of Berlin. Her access to African music and rhythms as well as her love of American soul music made her an enthusiastic follower and participant of the up-and-coming Hip-Hop movement, which found a home in the culturally diverse city of Berlin at an early age. At the same time, she was inspired by singers like Aretha Franklin, Letta M’Bulu and Mary J Blige, who gave her the energy and courage to combine all these musical backgrounds and create her own unique style. She is strong, beautiful, sensitive, a working mother and an ambitious artist

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Chaz French – What A Day Video

Today, critically acclaimed Washington, D.C. rapper Chaz French presents a powerful music video for his latest single “What A Day.” Watch it HERE. Get it HERE via Motown Records.

In the sunny day-in-the-life visual directed by Nicolas Castro, the MC gives a tour of various black-owned businesses in his hometown of Washington, D.C. Taking to the streets on his bike, he cruises the neighborhood and meets up with author and activist Tony Lewis, Jr. to pick up his book Slugg: A Boy’s Life In The Age Of Mass Incarceration before stopping by Southwest Soda Pop Shop, The Museum, Spice Suite, and the legendary Horace & Dickies. We see the faces of this community in the clip.

In a thoughtful post-script, he recalls, “I spent Black Out Tuesday supporting friends and family with Black-owned businesses and hope you did too… What A Day.”

Stay tuned for more music from Chaz French very soon.

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Sing Illustration by Mina Tocalini

Tiana Major9 – At Sixes and Sevens

Tiana Major9 announces the release date for her Motown debut EP, At Sixes and Sevens

Today, Motown Records’ rising star Tiana Major9 announced the date for her label debut EP, At Sixes and Sevens. On August 7th, Tiana will root her blend of R&B, soul, and hip-hop attitude with smooth jazz eloquence, all the while staying true to her East London and Jamaican spirit in the EP. When asked about her EP Tiana states, “To be at Sixes and Sevens means to be at a state of total confusion…Love is confusing.”

Leading up to this release, Tiana has kept her fans excitedly awaiting. In June, SPIN premiered Tiana’s track “Lucky,” which is on the upcoming EP. “Lucky” followed the breakout artist’s Motown solo debut, “Think About You,” which premiered on Teen Vogue. Tiana also promotes the upcoming EP with the release of the first episode of her new autobiographical 4-part miniseries, Behind At Sixes and Sevens. The series explores the journey of Tiana signing with Motown Records and gives fans an earnest look into the star’s life.

Tiana Major9 has been referred to as “one to watch in 2020” by Billboard and listeners couldn’t agree more. Watch out for all that is to come from Tiana in 2020, and beyond.

Tiwa Savage Dangerous Love artwork

Tiwa Savage – “Dangerous Love”

Nigerian-born singer, songwriter, and fashion icon TIWA SAVAGE – widely regarded as the ‘Queen of Afrobeats’ – releases her brand new single, “Dangerous Love,” via Motown Records. The song is the first official single taken from her long-awaited fourth studio album ‘CELIA’, aptly named after her mother. Listen to “Dangerous Love” HERE.

Produced by Cracker Mallo and recorded in Tiwa’s home city of Lagos, Nigeria, “Dangerous Love” is the perfect blend of R&B and Afrobeats. With a powerful, enchanting chorus and silky ‘afro’ beat throughout, the mid-tempo record is a representation of Tiwa’s musical growth and preview to her upcoming project.

“Dangerous Love is such a vibe! It’s a song that is basically about a girl who is dipping in and out of a ‘relationship’ with a guy that really doesn’t deserve her time or attention. She knows that he is bad for her but she gambling with her heart anyway,” says Tiwa Savage. “I feel like every girl and maybe guys too can relate to this one.”

Savage’s fearlessness in combining various genres has paid off, earning her abundance of award wins and recognitions. In 2018 she made history by becoming the first female to win the MTV European Award for ‘Best African Act’. She has since earned four Channel O Music Video Awards nominations, five World Music Award nominations, MTV Africa Music, BET & MOBO Award nominations and many more.

In 2019 she signed an exclusive recording contract with Universal Records and in September released her first global single titled ’49-99’ under Motown Records. In May, 2020, Tiwa Savage graced the cover of Billboard Magazine’s first issue devoted entirely to Africa alongside Afrobeat superstars Davido and Mr Eazi.

Tiwa was born in Lagos, Nigeria, where she lived until the age of 11 when her parents decided to move to London. In her early days, like most families, she would attend church with her parents and soon developed a love for performing and relocated to London. At the age of 16, Tiwa found herself singing backing vocals for George Michael. As a result of that session, Tiwa quickly found further work over the years with the likes of Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Emma Bunton and Blu Cantrell.

Despite having already completed a degree in Business Administration at the University of Kent, she was focused to continue pursuing music and received a scholarship at the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. With her newfound strength to push forward with music, Tiwa moved from London to New York City and began taking meetings with various producers and industry professionals. Inspired and stimulated by the lack of true female superstars in her home country, she moved back to Nigeria.

Savage has also been active in her philanthropic endeavors, supporting various youth engagement organizations and breast cancer screening projects across Nigeria and further afield. Tiwa also is very active in #JusticeForUwa, loudly voicing her disgust at the rape of a young girl in a church in Nigeria, and creating an Instagram page @WeAreTiredNg where rape victims can speak out.

Follow Tiwa Savage: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Joy Denalane hands clasped

Joy Denalane – I Believe

Today, the R&B songstress Joy Denalane drops her new single “I Believe (featuring BJ The Chicago Kid),” her first official release in the US off her upcoming album Let Yourself Be Loved. Listen here via Motown Records. Additionally, Joy will perform live tomorrow at 9AM ET / 12PM PT. Tune in here.

“”I Believe” is about being in that safe space where “you being you” is enough and where your loved ones see you for who you are,” says Joy on the meaning of the song.

On “I Believe,” Joy’s airy soul-soaked vocals soar as she sings about falling in love complemented by BJ The Chicago Kid’s wild adlibs and tonality creating a vivacious R&B banger. In unison they belt “For you I’d take a leap of faith cause I believe.” Aside from the duo’s vocal prowess, celebratory trumpets, a convivial choir, and the feeling of inspiration felt throughout the track add more flair.

Both artists are staples in the world of R&B. Joy is an international star on the rise hailing from Germany. She has worked with Raekwon, Lupe Fiasco, Bilal, Common, Hugh Masakela and more while BJ is a known collaborator to the likes of Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, and Anderson Paak.

Joy’s talent, emotional honesty, the culturally complex story of her life make her an incredibly versatile artist. Joy is the essence of the modern, global, Black woman. The daughter of a South African father and a German mother, she was born in the divided city of Berlin. Her access to African music and rhythms as well as her love of American soul music made her an enthusiastic follower and participant of the up-and-coming Hip-Hop movement, which found a home in the culturally diverse city of Berlin at an early age. At the same time, she was inspired by singers like Aretha Franklin, Letta M’Bulu and Mary J Blige, who gave her the energy and courage to combine all these musical backgrounds and create her own unique style.

FOLLOW JOY DENALANE: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine, BLM, black lives matter, protests, marches, change

Motown Records Campaign

Today, Motown Records put up a virtual “help wanted” sign, seeking Black creatives to apply their talents to developing materials to promote upcoming releases from the label’s artists. To be considered for a role with the Motown collective, applicants are encouraged to submit a resume and portfolio to CMGHR@umusic.com. For details, check out this promotional spot, which features “Jobs,” the new track from Quality Control/Motown’s City Girls.

The announcement coincides with today’s J for Jobs focus on The ABC Initiative – a multi-faceted campaign focused on helping communities navigate the fundamentals of life in these unusual times. Over the course of 13 weeks, the label is unveiling compelling social media content to entertain, inform, and inspire Motown’s followers. Tied to the alphabet, topics include everything from Action, Fake News, and Jobs to Nurses, Side Hustles, and Xenophobia.

The ABC Initiative is also bringing immediate aid to the hungry, small business owners and others who are particularly vulnerable at this point in history. Inside Projects, a Los Angeles-based creative agency led by two Black women created the campaign and is responsible for its execution.