Posts tagged with "Pharrell"

Willow Kayne from Derek Sherron, Epic Records for use by 360 Magazine

Willow Kayne shares high-energy single – I Don’t Wanna Know

Please meet UK pop provocateur Willow Kayne, who has shared her new single “I Don’t Wanna Know” today. Listen here at all DSPs.

After releasing a slew of independent singles, Willow signed with Sony this year and released her major label debut single “2 Seater” just a few months back to buzz and acclaim, even receiving early love from BBC Radio 1. Now, the 19 year old is throwing her hat in the ring as one of the most vivid, genre-blurring pop provocateurs in music today. A keen visual artist with influences as far-reaching as fashion design giant Nigo and production mastermind Pharrell, she pools together the most lucid touchpoints of all her inspirations to build a sound as diverse as her creative palette. Willow can trace this eclecticism directly back to her childhood, being raised by a hip-hop and house-obsessed father and a mother who produced videos for the likes of Erasure and the Prodigy. James Brown, Nas, and MF DOOM were all significant early influences, and soon she was making her own musical discoveries, falling hard for artists as diverse as Tyler The Creator, the Sex Pistols, Gorillaz, and Portishead.

Teaming up with UK hitmaker Oscar Scheller, “I Don’t Wanna Know” takes all of the attitude Willow has started to become synonymous with and ramps it up to 11 – taking cues from the old school rave culture that she is obsessed with by sticking a middle finger up to trolls over a drum & bass indebted production. It’s a high energy example of just how unpredictable a talent Willow is, and how easy she makes it look; the track is packed with hilarious one-liners that cut those who have bullied her online to size. An empowering anthem that deals with real life issues with a sense of confidence that feels refreshing in the landscape of pop today. The official video, along with a debut project and a HUGE announcement are all coming soon…

Watch previous music video “2 Seater” here.

“…a future star…” – i-D Magazine

“…playful lyricism, smooth refrains, and ‘90s-indebted grooves.” – NME

“…the artists that stick out from the pack are always those who are willing to switch things up, and quite clearly, Kayne isn’t afraid to do so…” – Lyrical Lemonade

“The Gen Z talent links together huge opposing forces, creating her own potent brand of rebel-pop.” – Clash Magazine

“A sizzling rallying-call from the Bristol-based artist all about living your own life and doing your own thing, ‘Two Seater’ blends rap verses with 90s-tinged pop influences, resulting in an instantly catchy debut.” – DIY Magazine

Socials:

InstagramTikTok

image from Nikki Crystal for use by 360 Magazine

DALLASK × LAUV — “TRY AGAIN”

Today, acclaimed producer/songwriter/artist DallasK unveiled his summery new single, “Try Again,” which features longtime friend and collaborator Lauv on vocals. With a wistful look back and a hopeful eye to the future, the track builds into an infectious, exhilarating plea to rekindle a romance that was perhaps never really over. You can download and stream “Try Again,” which was released today via Astralwerks, HERE. You can watch the lyric video HERE.

“Try Again” continues the collaboration that began when DallasK co-produced and co-wrote Lauv’s 2016 single “Breathe.” DallasK also co-produced and co-wrote “Sad Forever,” a single from Lauv’s 2020 debut album, ~how i’m feeling~, and collaborated on Lauv’s 2020 EP, Without You. The pair co-wrote “Try Again” with Michael Pollack (Lizzo, Zedd, Justin Bieber). In addition to producing, DallasK played all the instruments on the song.

DallasK, who is also known for his work with such artists as Tiësto, Fifth Harmony, BTS, Chromeo and KSHMR, says, “‘Try Again’ is actually the first dance record Lauv and I made together and it was super fun to create a unique record that encompasses both of our styles and influences.”

Lauv added, “Me and Dally made this song a couple years ago and we came back to it during quarantine and now we ready to put ‘er out into the world.”

Like the unforgettable ex in the song, the artists couldn’t resist returning to “Try Again,” a song that dates back to an informal 2016 recording session. Lauv and Michael Pollack joined Dallas at a lake house he’d rented in his hometown of Orlando, FL and there they created over a dozen songs.

“Several months later, Lauv’s artist project started to grow rapidly and he was suddenly on tour with Ed Sheeran and playing all around the world,” recalls DallasK. “We continued to work on his albums but ‘Try Again’ was always a favorite of ours that had gotten seemingly lost in the shuffle.”

After they rediscovered the track last year, Dallas FaceTimed Lauv with an idea for a more dance-focused version. Lauv loved it so much, he immediately re-recorded the vocals.

“Then we finished the record on a trip to Mexico for New Year’s and that’s the version you hear today!” says DallasK.

About DallasK:

Based in Los Angeles, DallasK (Dallas Koehlke) has released a string of acclaimed singles, including “All My Life,” “Self Control,” “I Know” and “Sometimes.” Praising the “relatable story” told on “Sometimes,” Billboard asked, “Does true love ever die? […] ‘Sometimes,’ the ghost of the past never really goes away. That’s the kind of love DallasK, Nicky Romero and XYLO wrote about on their summer heartbreak sing-along.”

DallasK is also known for his collaborations with such artists as Tiësto (“Show Me,” “Your Love”), Hardwell (“Area 51”) and KSHMR (“Burn”). He co-wrote and produced Fifth Harmony’s 5x Platinum single, “Work From Home” feat. Ty Dolla Sign as well as their singles “Down” and “He Like That.” He’s also remixed singles for such artists as Martin Garrix/Bebe Rexha, The Chainsmokers, MGMT, A-Trak/Andrew Wyatt, Skrillex and T.I./Pharrell/Robin Thicke.

Popdust observed, “It’s impossible to escape his influence. From Ariana Grande and Kesha to Lauv, Katy Perry and Fifth Harmony, Koehlke has curated a staggering number of today’s hits, whether behind the scenes or in the production chair.”

About Lauv:

Lauv has quietly and steadily become one of pop’s brightest rising stars. He has released his music completely independently with billions of streams to his name. He has written for some of the biggest stars in the world, performed on late night talk shows, played stadiums opening for Ed Sheeran, and sold out shows in 20+ countries as a headliner. And he did all of this without releasing an album.

That changed in early 2020, with Lauv’s official debut, ~how i’m feeling~. A 21-song tour de force, the project marks a breakthrough, a real moment of arrival, from a young singer/songwriter/producer who Rolling Stone called “Pop’s Up-and-Coming Heartbreak King.” The album released as a Top 20 album in 10 territories, including #9 in UK and #5 in AU, with over 1.5 billion combined streams to date.

Since then, Lauv has released a surprise new EP titled Without You, created during quarantine, and joined forces with rising global pop superstar Conan Gray on the new single “Fake.” Lauv has been open about his own struggles with anxiety and depression and has taken action on the issue with his Blue Boy Foundation, which supports programs that help young people feel more comfortable reaching out for help with mental health.

About Astralwerks:

Established in 1993 in New York City, Astralwerks was the brainchild of Caroline Records staffers who saw an opportunity for a label focused on the nascent electronic and ambient scene. Now based at the historic Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood, Astralwerks has emerged as a modern, artist-first label and the #1 market share leader for dance/electronic music in the U.S. Combining a scalable, independent and global-thinking ethos with the ability to tap into the resources of a major label has enabled Astralwerks to sign such artists as ILLENIUM, Jonas Blue, Alison Wonderland, EDEN, ZHU and Alesso. As a testament to its pioneering approach, Astralwerks has amassed 30 GRAMMY nominations, taken home six GRAMMY Awards and had historic releases from the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Swedish House Mafia, Halsey, Porter Robinson, Phoenix, Eric Prydz, Fatboy Slim and many others. The label has also released such massive singles as the 6x Platinum “Happier” by Marshmello + Bastille and FISHER’s “Losing It.”

image by Interscope Records for use by 360 Magazine

MONEYBAGG YO – WOCKESHA

MONEYBAGG YO DELIVERS HIGHLY ANTICIPATED VIDEO FOR WOCKESHA WITH APPEARANCE FROM LIL WAYNE 

Today, multiplatinum musician Moneybagg Yo unveiled the long-awaited video for his hit song Wockesha, which he co-directed alongside Ben Marc.

The breezy visual kicks off with a cameo from hip-hop legend Lil Wayne, who divulges his infamous speech on dismissing those who can’t mind their business.  Frame by frame, we see Moneybagg Yo become disillusioned by a lover which includes him seeing a mirage that equates to a complicated relationship.

Wockesha quickly became a fan favorite from the release of Bagg’s critically acclaimed fourth studio albumA Gangsta’s Pain, which recently earned gold-certification from the RIAA. On the metaphorical record, which samples DeBarge’s pillowy track, Stay With Me, Bagg finds himself taping into more of his emotional side. The Southern artist opens about indulging on his toxic pleasures, he raps “One minute I’m done with you, the next one I be runnin’ back. Go your way, I go my way, but somehow we be still attached.” Today the track has nearly 150 million streams globally across all streaming partners and has charted on the Billboard Hot 100.

Over the weekend, Bagg hit the stage at the 2021 BET Music Awards to perform a medley of Wockesha and his No. 1 song Time Today, which VIBE Magazine praised Moneybagg Yo gets the crowd turned up as he tears through his performance, delivering each line with the fervor and conviction heard on the actual record.” To date, A Gangsta’s Pain has cumulatively tallied over 300 million streams and counting. Meanwhile, Billboard, Complex, and UPROXX have already listed it as “Best Albums of 2021 So Far.”

A Gangsta’s Pain showcases Moneybagg’s versatility as an artist. He opens up with some of his most powerful tracks yet, but he also turns up with indisputable and inimitable bangers. Among those, it boasts singles such as the hard-hitting Shottas (Lala), platinum-selling Time TodayHard For The Next (feat. Future), and the recent anthem GO! (feat. BIG30). The 22-track opus earned widespread critical acclaim upon arrival. Billboard applauded his “authentic stories that connect to both the hearts and minds of the streets.” 

Meanwhile, UPROXX observed, Moneybagg Yo steps out of his comfort zone to conquer A Gangsta’s Pain on his pensive new album.” Rolling Stone highlighted Certified Neptunes (feat. Pharrell) as a “Song You Need To Know.” Continuing his takeover, Moneybagg recently made his late-night television debut with an impressive medley of Time Today and Hard For The Next on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Jesse Forta aka JForte image for use by 360 Magazine

Jforte QxA

By: Ally Brewster

Throughout this pandemic, the artist Jesse Forte, known as Jforte, has continued to do what he has done his whole career since he began making music in 2013: push the boundaries of his music and what he can do as an artist. Jforte is constantly creating and expanding as he has out a new song every week over the course of the pandemic (55+ weeks). Throughout his career he has also founded his business “Young Revolutionary Minds,” hosts the YRM podcast, wrote three books, launching products, and training to become an astronaut, all while giving back to and empowering his community. His song “Make It Happen” is culmination of his drive, story he wants to put out into the world to inspire others. We had the opportunity to ask Jforte about his career and what’s next for the artist:

You stated that making music consistently throughout the pandemic was a goal of yours, and you’ve clearly done that with one song produced each week for 55+ weeks. Where did the idea of weekly songs come from and why was it so important to be weekly? 

After writing my third book, “Make It Happen” and listening to “It’s All In Your Head” 200 times, I realized I needed to be consistent and treat my gift like a job. Once I heard Russ express it the way he did, it made sense to me and I tried it out. So far, it’s been going well and getting better! Being able to put out a song weekly keeps me energized to create. I know that people may not listen right then and there, but the music will be there forever and it’s better to start now than later.

What is the production process like when you are making a new song every week? Is it any different than the production of other work you have made?

At first, I had music I wrote to beats that were famous. Then, I shopped around for beats that made sense for the music I was putting out. I would purchase the beats and write music to them. Once I got the hang of it, I started buying more beats, listening, and then sitting down. [I would use] pen and paper [to] writ[e] down my feelings, thoughts, ideas, concepts and purpose. The more I write, the better I get.

Once I get the lyrics down, I start to rehearse them, call up an engineer, and prep for the studio. I generally have at least 5 songs ready to go, just because I like to truly take advantage of the opportunity of using the booth–time is money. Most of my sessions last between 3- 5 hours.

When I write books, I try to write 2-3 pages a day. When I wrote “Fail Forward Through Success,” I would write in Cartel coffee in Tempe every day, and I wouldn’t leave until I pushed out 3 pages.  Same thing with “Redemption,” and “Make It Happen” was special because I wrote it during the pandemic.

Being someone as busy as you are, burnout seems inevitable. Have there been weeks where it felt impossible to make a song? Where do you look for inspiration in times where motivation may be lacking?

Whenever my mind becomes too loud, I get rest, meditate, take a break and when I feel better, I take a step forward with whatever the goal is. I’m cool with resting, but I’ll never lay down or give up on what I have intended to accomplish. Sometimes it doesn’t happen instantly, but patience and persistence have been the best lessons and gifts I possess. I have an engine that is going to go, whether I am motivated or would rather rest. That was instilled back at Parkview.

Was music always something you wanted to do, or was it more like a passion that snuck up on you? Who were your biggest inspirations when getting into the music industry? 

I was talking to Bow Wow a couple weeks ago on IG live and told him I performed “Basketball” for the talent show.  We bumped Pac in the car when I was 3 and I could hear Rakim through the womb when I was being created. That’s just confirmation that I am supposed to be right where I am and that these conversations are blessings from the universe saying “we got you” and to keep going!

I’ve always wanted to be a rapper. My second-grade teacher told me, “No.” Subconsciously, I listened to her for 20 years. Then, this inner me said to fuck her opinion and be happy. I knew I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t pursuing what was in me. That why it’s important to be around people that lift you up and let you dream!

My influences are Jforte and Yé– fun fact: I performed Roses at America’s Got Talent. They liked it but I didn’t make it past the 1st round. [Also,] Drake, Immortal Technique, Uncle Snoop, Meek Mill, Drake, Logic, Doja Cat, Cardi B, Jack Harlow, Bow Wow, Gucci, Rakim, Jay-Z, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Missy Elliott, Big Pun, 50 cent, Red Man, Method Man, HER, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, Pharrell, Michale Jackson, Prince, Queen, Tribe Called Quest, Dr. Dre and so, so many more. I just love good music!

It’s apparent that “Make It Happen” is an important, encouraging phrase for you as it is both a song title as well as the title of your third book; where did that phrase come from and what does it mean to you personally?

“Make It Happen” became even more powerful for me once I started to realize that people enjoyed the song and it pumped them up! “Making It Happen” means that regardless of circumstance, we rise to the occasion. That means meeting a deadline, being there for your loved one or just staying committed to the vision you see within yourself.

My goal is to share my truth in a majority of my music. If you listen to what I say in “Make It Happen,” it’s everything I’ve specifically been through. By the way, I write 100% of my lyrics–no ghost writers or floating pens. I thought I should mention that because I take pride in making the music you hear from me.

You’ve pursued many different avenues throughout your life, from music, writing, and hosting podcasts to getting a technical degree in software engineering, college football, becoming an astronaut and even making a biodegradable toothbrush and charcoal toothpaste. What motivates you to explore so many different paths, many of which people choose as a career rather than trying to do it all at once?

I was a D student in elementary school. I bloomed in middle school and started getting A’s and B’s. Then high school hit, and I was a jock. Then college hit, and I did pretty well. I’ve had a chip on my shoulder most of my life, I think it comes from being an underdog, my upbringing, and just realizing I want the best for myself and the people that enter my life. I definitely haven’t taken an easy road, but I know that I rather take a road less travelled and lead the way than to do what’s easy and regret the journey I could have had.

On your podcast “Young Revolutionary Minds” you share and support people’s journeys in reaching their goals. What led you to decide to share these people’s stories as the topic of your podcast?

One of my favorite podcasters, and the reason why I started that, was because of Lewis Howes. He is a big inspiration to me and I love listening to his podcast, you should check it out! Listening to his [podcast], made me realize I have met amazing people around the world and I’d love to share what they are working on! On top of this, I wanted to build relationships with new people, learn from some of the new leaders of the world, and have something to do while I was figuring out who I was.

You’ve been through lots of highs and lows throughout your life. What advice would you give people, whether it be making it in the music industry, or just achieving their personal goals? What have you learned that you’d like to share with people?

Love yourself. Trust that you are someone to adore, and know that your dreams will manifest when you do the work. Secondly, make sure to fight for what you want. When I say fight, I mean relentlessly go after what you desire. If you don’t know, ask questions, preferably from people who have been there or know how to get there. When it comes to music, don’t be afraid to explore different genres. Put your music out, stop waiting for the perfect time. Right now is perfect and will improve! Lastly, create a vision board and look at it every day. Read it out loud, then do something each day that gets you closer. And dream big!

Being in the public eye you make impressions on people and inspire others. You seem to try to always give back to communities and try to have positive energy that you’re putting out into the world. What message or feeling are you trying to put out to the world? Why is it so important for you to have that positive energy you’re exuding?

Being an artist is a privilege and my vision is to inspire 7 billion people around the world through my voice, ways of life and community. I make a lot of music– some deep, some chill, others scary, and some gangster–but the message I’m putting out is, be you. Cuz I’m me, and I do it better than anyone in the world. 😉 Being me, of course.

In 2020 you came up with the ambition goal to release a new song every week, and you have not stopped. How long do you plan to continue that? What’s next for you in 2021?

I’m going to keep putting music out and when I need a break, I’ll rest. I make music because it’s my passion. In 2021, I’m manifesting opportunities to create music with the people I listen to like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Bow Wow, Drake Meek Mill and Russ. I plan on finding ways for more people to listen to my music and to be inspired.

Jesse Forta aka JForte image for use by 360 Magazine

Jourdin Pauline image via Frankline Pena. Photographer: Edwig Henson,Designer: Ashton Michael. For use by 360 Magazine

Jourdin Pauline QxA

Jourdin Pauline is electrifying the music industry with her invigorating Trap Pop sound. The self-described Guyanese pop princess performs and writes catchy, anthemic pop music that has won her over 559k followers on her Instagram. Pauline’s most recently release, “Lustful Desires,” has granted the singer even more acclaim with its sensual visuals and 80s inspired aesthetic. As she looks to the future, Pauline is excited for the release of her debut EP at the end of May, co-produced by Killah B. We spoke with Jourdin Pauline about her music being featured on TV shows, her dream music collaborations, and what else is to come from her in 2021.

How have your fan received your recent release of “Lustful Desires”?

My supporters are extremely happy with the outcome of the single. They love it and can’t stop listening to it and have given me so many positive responses.

What are you most excited about concerning your first EP’s debut at the end of May?

I finally get to share all my hard work. I’m giving new energy and allowing people to see a small glimpse on what I’m capable of doing. I’m most excited to see my supporter’s responses, because I do this for them as much as for myself.

What was it like working with Killah B?

Killah B actually is the co-producer behind “Lustful Desires” and a few songs on my EP. It was challenging at first, but throughout the process the chemistry was there. He knows what he’s doing and I’m looking forward to creating more magic together.

Who is a dream music collaborator of yours?

The queen herself–Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, and I would love to tour with The Weeknd.

Where do you find songwriting inspiration?

My everyday life, my experience as a woman. Song writing is also a reflection of my day-to-day trials and how I overcome obstacles. It’s an extension of my true self.

What three words would you use to describe your Trap Pop music?

Turnt, Timeless, Translucent.

What is your favorite show your music has been featured on?

Grownish! I think that show is relatable to me and my peers.

Do you have any other exciting projects coming up in 2021?

I’ve been filming a movie, shows and a couple of live performances. I can’t say much at the moment, but just be prepared because I’m really excited.

*Photographer: Edwig Henson

*Designer: Ashton Michael

Jourdin Pauline image via Frankline Pena. Photographer: Edwig Henson,Designer: Ashton Michael. For use by 360 Magazine

Jourdin Pauline image via Frankline Pena. Photographer: Edwig Henson,Designer: Ashton Michael. For use by 360 Magazine

Moneybagg Yo illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Moneybagg Yo New Music

MONEYBAGG YO UNVEILS THE TRACKLIST FOR FORTHCOMING ALBUM A GANGSTA’S PAIN

Album Available This Friday, April 23, Featuring
Certified Gold Hit Single “Time Today”

Buzzing Memphis rapper Moneybagg Yo reveals the track list of his upcoming fourth studio album, A Gangsta’s Pain today. The 22-track collection will include features from Kaash Paige, BIG 30, Future, TripStar, Polo G, Lil Durk, Jhené Aiko, and Pharrell. Pre-order and pre-save A Gangsta’s Pain – one of the most anticipated hip-hop projects of 2021 to date – HERE. Available on all digital retailers this Friday, April 23rd via CMG/N-less Entertainment/Interscope Records.

This announcement follows Moneybagg’s recent string of singles “GO! (with BIG30),” “Hard for the Next” featuring Grammy award-winning artist Future and “Time Today” which recently achieved Gold status by the RIAA, reached #1 on radio and is currently charting on Billboard’s Hot 100. In addition to plugs from Pitchfork, Complex, Hypebeast, Consequence of Sound, and more, Brooklyn Vegan noted, “Memphis rapper Moneybagg Yo continues to rise and remains prolific. The music video has amassed over 28 million YouTube views and counting since its release in late-March.

Additionally, Moneybagg Yo to host ‘First Listen’ Live Stream Listening Party where he will play brand new tracks and chat with Apple Music super fans ahead of the release of massively anticipated album A Gangsta’s Pain. Live-stream event, hosted by Apple Music’s Ebro Darden, begins Thursday, April 22 at 8:45 pm PT / 11:45 pm ET on Apple Music.

PRE-ORDER MONEYBAGG YO’S, A GANGSTA’S PAIN HERE

A GANGSTA’S PAIN TRACKLIST:

1. Memphganistan (Ft. Kaash Paige)

2. Just Say Det

3. GO! (With BIG30)

4. Wockesha 

5. Shottas (Lala)

6. Hard For The Next (With Future) 

7. If Pain Was A Person

8. I Believe U (Ft. TripStar)

9. Time Today 

10. Interlude

11. Free Promo (Ft. Polo G & Lil Durk)

12. Hate It Here

13. Love It Here

14. Clear Da Air

15. Projects

16. One Of Dem Nights (Ft. Jhené Aiko)

17. FR

18. Certified Neptunes (Ft. Pharrell)

19. Change Da Subject

20. Least Ian Lie

21. Bipolar Virgo

22. A Gangsta’s Pain

MONEYBAGG YO SHARES VIDEO FOR TITLE TRACK “A GANGSTA’S PAIN” – WATCH HERE

Celebrates The Success Of His No. 1 Album, A Gangsta’s Pain

Multiplatinum recording artist, Moneybagg Yo shared the video for his track “A Gangsta’s Pain.” In the video directed by Ben Marc, the Memphis superstar celebrates the victory of his recent No. 1 album, also titled A Gangsta’s Pain. After spending two weeks at No. 1, he took to Instagram to share a message on his continued success, “Took my pain and turnt it to some millions.” WATCH HERE.

On A Gangsta’s Pain, Moneybagg showcases his versatility as an artist – he opens up with some of his most powerful tracks yet, but he also turns up with indisputable and inimitable bangers. Among those, it boasts singles such as the hard-hitting Shottas (Lala),” platinum-selling Time Today, “Hard For The Next” [feat. Future], and the recent anthem GO!” [feat.BIG30]. The 22-track opus earned widespread critical acclaim upon arrival. Billboard applauded his “authentic stories that connect to both the hearts and minds of the streets.” Meanwhile, UPROXX observed, Moneybagg Yo steps out of his comfort zone to conquer A Gangsta’s Pain on his pensive new album.” Rolling Stone highlighted “Certified Neptunes” [feat. Pharrell] as a “Song You Need To Know.

Praise for A Gangsta’s Pain:

“Moneybagg Yo keeps working his way to the top”  Billboard

“Memphis’s own Moneybagg Yo goes big on his fourth full-length album”  – Fader

“At his best, the stalwart Memphis rapper excels at heart-on-sleeve, bluesy songwriting, and his new album shows him deepening and opening up.  –Fader

“Moneybagg Yo has had a good year so far with his career and this album
should be the icing on it all.”  — V Magazine

“This consistency coupled with a steady improvement from project to project has brought the rapper a new cast of supporters as his artistry becomes more and more refined.” – UPROXX

“With a barreling flow growing more refined by each project, Bagg’s at his best these days” – Okayplayer

Beyoncé - Black is King illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

A Gift From Beyoncé

‘Superb. Reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Remember The Time!’Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

By Mina Tocalini

Beyoncé’s new film “Black is King,” a celebration of the “breadth and beauty of Black ancestry”, released on Disney+ today. Similar to Beyoncé’s 2016 film, “Lemonade,” “Black is King” acts as a visual album to her soundtrack, “The Lion King: The Gift.” Black Is King” explores the “timeless lessons” from Lion King in a visually rich modern journey of Black empowerment and resilience.

Beyoncé announced her excitement for the film’s release via Instagram, while further acknowledging the impact of its release and message: “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey… I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history.”

Beyoncé’s prideful film explores the Black experience and history through a young king’s story of “betrayal, love and self-identity.” Additionally, given the timing of its release, the film presents the necessity of honoring and telling stories from the Black perspective and that of any underrepresented community.

Simply put, the film is a celebratory visual journey of the Black experience. Initially the flow of the story seems interrupted and fast paced, but further on, it becomes clear that instead of following a linear narrative, it challenges the audience to find the connections within the short moments that frame each message.

Reiterating the same story we know and love is unnecessary, so rather, “Black is King” reinvents the Lion King through thematic experimentation intended to ignite pride in the Black identity. In a stunning collage of Afro-Soul music, narrative driven reflections and strikingly beautiful imagery, the film successfully expresses inspirational messages of hope, growth, love and community.

Some have critiqued the lavish presentation of Blackness via art, dance and fashion to be excessive and fast paced. Yet, this film’s message is focused on individuality and self love derived from the appreciation of Black culture. A culture of an entire continent and of Black communities around the world, it is anything but simple.

The immense detail in this film celebrates the complexity of Black beauty and the fast paced editing can not only be considered a reference to music video styles. It may originate from there, but can we not interpret it as being part of the overwhelming journey of defining your identity while struggling with the racial tensions in society.

Beyoncé did not create this to simply further enhance her image in a display of wealth, popular culture already associates her persona this way, we expect it and should not disregard the artistry for embracing it. She is simply using her power as a superstar to lead the unifying celebration, as should be done by those who can.

Additionally, Beyoncé is not the only star in “Black is King”, although American audiences may mainly recognize her. Emerging African artists such as Wizkid, Busiswa, Shatta Wale, Salatiel, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Tekno, Moonchild Sanelly and Lord Afrixana were part of the album and in some in the film. Black American artists also include Kelly Rowland, 070 Shake, Childish Gambino, Jessie Reyez, Pharrell Williams, Nija, and Tierra Whack. The presence of these Black American legends establishes the familiarity necessary to create an alliance between both Black cultures and induce a movement of African diaspora celebration.

Follow Beyoncé: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

music, note, orange, black

Teyana Taylor Announces Juneteenth Album Release

Teyana Taylor has announced her highly anticipated third LP, THE ALBUM, will be released on Juneteenth aka June 19th. THE ALBUM features special guests Rick Ross, Erykah Badu, Quavo, Missy Elliott, Future, Big Sean & more.

The announcement of the album release date comes on the heels of another very special reveal: Teyana’s pregnancy with her second child. Teyana revealed the news on Friday in her intimate, self-directed video for “Wake Up Love” featuring her husband Iman Shumpert, and daughter Junie. Teyana’s increasingly significant and dynamic body of a work as a director was celebrated today with a 2020 BET Award nomination for Best Director.

Tapped by Pitchfork as one of the “most anticipated albums of the summer,” THE ALBUM also features Teyana’s new graduation anthem “Made It,” pegged by NPR as a “a triumphant, isolation-proof anthem for the Class of 2020,” the Janet Jackson-approved viral sensation “Bare Wit Me”, the Kanye West-produced “We Got Love.”, and “How You Want It? (HYWI?)” featuring King Combs

Since 2018’s KTSE, Teyana’s star has continued to rise; from her successful career as video director and continued investment in her production company, The Aunties, to her acting and modeling career, to a string of scintillating self-directed singles and videos, including “Morning” with Kehlani. THE ALBUM is poised to take her to the next level.

THE ALBUM is the highly anticipated successor to K.T.S.E. (June 2018), Teyana’s second album, one of the five G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam albums produced by Kanye West during his 2018 sojourn in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. K.T.S.E. (acronym for Keep That Same Energy) set off an 18-month chain reaction for Teyana, starting with its summertime Top 10 R&B smash “Gonna Love Me.” She performed “Gonna Love Me” (in a medley with “Rose In Harlem,”another K.T.S.E. track) on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Hip-hop audiences embraced the “Gonna Love Me” remix featuring Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah, Method Man and Raekwon, whose video was directed by Teyana.

K.T.S.E. spun off a hot new single and video for Teyana in early 2019, the explicit “WTP (Work This P***y).”

The video was nominated for “Best Dance Performance” at the 32^nd annual BET Soul Train Awards.The third single from K.T.S.E. was the evocative “Issues/Hold On.”

After slaying the audience with the song live on Ellen in April 2019, Teyana was surprised on-air when Ellen presented her with the RIAA gold award plaque for “Gonna Love Me,” bringing it all full circle.

About TEYANA TAYLOR:

Being a jack of trades has enabled Teyana Taylor to become a master of all. From her smoky melodic vocals to her dynamic dance moves, the R&B superstar entertainer dips in dives between her talents as singer, songwriter, producer, director, dancer/choreographer, actor, fitness guru, model, and mother. When it comes to describing herself, the Harlem native can only think of one word: Everything.

“I literally can do everything. I never look at anything as being impossible,” she explains. “I exhaust all options to make what happen when I need to make happen.” Her mantra made her an early favorite to artists like Pharrell, who she signed her first deal with, and later choreographed videos for artists like Beyoncé and Jay-Z. In 2014, Teyana’s love for the arts and R&B earned her the title of the first woman signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint.

Between R&B’s identity crisis in the 2010s, Teyana dropped her debut album VII, with tracks like “Maybe” (featuring Yo Gotti and Pusha T) and the sultry “Just Different” shaping her musical persona. The critically acclaimed album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in 2014, cementing her position in today’s modern R&B field. “I fought for that raw, hood necessary R&B and now I feel like it’s better than ever,” she says.

Robin Thicke “Forever Mine”

R&B superstar Robin Thicke debuts his latest single “Forever Mine”, a soulful ballad that exudes love and affection. Thicke reminds the world that it’s important to take a moment and appreciate their loved ones. “Right now people are more stressed than ever,” Thicke says. “We need patience, we need hope and we need love.”

The five-time GRAMMY award nominee and panelist on “The Masked Singer” has been isolating at home, like most of the world during these unprecedented times, spending quality time with his children. “Forever Mine” takes a moment to slow things down and give thanks to a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love, with Thicke crooning the lyrics, “can’t let a love like this pass you by.” The ballad comes packed with sultry jazz saxophone intermixed with a quintessential piano melody, all driven by Thicke’s powerful vocals.

A nod to the late Andre Harrell, a longtime friend and collaborator of Thicke’s, he confides “‘Forever Mine’ was the last record I finished with Andre, my mentor, perfect someone, executive producer, and Godfather to my son Julian. When you meet the you can’t let them slip away.”

“Forever Mine” is one of the new songs from his upcoming studio album.

In the meantime, fans can invite Robin into their own home via Zoom in a series called “Robin Doing Things.” Thicke has created a special home video that people can download on his website to use as their virtual background. The hilarious recording features him lifting weights, cleaning, drinking orange juice, along with a few other surprises, all from his kitchen.

For artist updates and more, visit robinthicke.com and stay connected with Robin on social media @robinthicke.

ABOUT ROBIN THICKE:

Robin Thicke is a five-time GRAMMY® Award nominee, diamond-selling performer, actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Since the launch of his solo career in 2003 – after writing for everyone from Michael Jackson to P!nk – Thicke has notched multiple gold and platinum certifications and consecutive Top 5 bows on the Billboard Top 200. His 2013 sixth album, Blurred Lines crash the Billboard Top 200 at #1 and produced the RIAA Diamond-certified title track, “Blurred Lines” [feat. T.I. & Pharrell]. The song made history, clutching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks. The hit single garnered Thicke as the first artist to simultaneously occupy the #1 spot on the Hot 100 and Top 200 since 2012, putting him in an elite group of 17 other acts to accomplish this feat in the previous decade. In 2019, Thicke joined the panelist of judges on FOX’s dynamic reality singing competition, “The Masked Singer,” alongside Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Nicole Scherzinger and show host, Nick Cannon. The highly anticipated finale aired last week.