Posts tagged with "Taylor swift"

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Taylor Swift – Billboard’s Greatest Pop Star

Taylor Swift continues to honor her legacy in the music industry as album consumption for both Red (Taylor’s Version) and Fearless (Taylor’s Version) surpass 2 Million album equivalents globally. Taylor was named the “No. 1 Greatest Pop Star of 2021” by Billboard. The work that Taylor has been able to put out this year alone is showstopping, and we can only expect even bigger and better things for her to come.

Causing a global media storm with Red (Taylor’s Version), the total consumption of the album has moved over 1 Million album equivalents in the United States alone. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is set to accomplish the same successes this December, as well. The release of Red (Taylor’s Version) became Taylor’s 10th album to gain over 1 Million album equivalents during the release week. Following these triumphs, Taylor also became the first and only artist to debut atop the Billboard 200 and Billboard Hot 100 at the same time three times and in less than 16 months.

The album itself continues to keep leading vinyl album sales week since tracking began in 1991 with 114k sold. Taylor broke this record previously set by herself with folklore’s sister album, evermore. Now, more than 200k Red (Taylor’s Version) vinyl albums have been sold only a little over a month since the release.

Mary Ellen Matthews for use by 360 Magazine

Taylor Swift × Red (Taylor’s Version)

Following the long-awaited release of Red (Taylor’s Version), Taylor Swift has yet again made history in the music industry. The ultimate version of her 2012 classic, Red (Taylor’s Version) has become Taylor’s 10th album to move over one million album equivalents during its release week.

Red (Taylor’s Version) consists of an astounding 30 songs, including nine unreleased tracks – “Better Man (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” “Nothing New (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” [feat. Phoebe Bridgers], “Babe (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” “Message in a Bottle (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” [feat. Chris Stapleton], “Forever Winter (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” “Run (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” [feat. Ed Sheeran], “The Very First Night (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” and “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” [10 Minute Version].

Red (Taylor’s Version) debuted at #1 in the U.S. and marked the biggest album sales debut in the U.S. with 39k units, and the highest first week sales of any female artist in 2021. Total consumption reached an astonishing 605k units.

Taylor has become the only artist to successfully debut atop the Billboard 200 and Billboard Hot 100 for a third time, and in less than 16 months. The new version of “All Too Well” celebrates Taylor’s fourth #1 debut on the Billboard Hot 100. “All Too Well” also became the longest song to enter and reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

After going live, Red (Taylor’s Version) surpassed Spotify’s biggest opening day streams of all-time for a female with over 90 million streams, a record earlier held by Taylor herself. Red (Taylor’s Version) is Taylor’s fifth successive album to surpass 50 million Spotify streams in only 24 hours. The album has accomplished the greatest streaming week of 2021 for an album by a female artist, surpassing 300 million streams.

The album has also attained the leading vinyl album sales week since tracking first began in 1991. Red (Taylor’s Version) topped the past record that was also set by Taylor in 2021 with Evermore. With the release of this album, Taylor has also now locked in the record for fastest accumulation of four #1 albums by a solo artist in history.

To celebrate the release of Red (Taylor’s Version), Taylor wrote and directed the short film All Too Well The Short Film, inspired by the 10-minute-plus song of the same name. The 13-minute film stars Sadie Sink, Dylan O’Brien and Taylor Swift.

Taylor continued to launch a full-scale television takeover appearing on an array of shows. Taylor performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (watch HERE), Late Night With Seth Meyers (watch HERE), Good Morning America (watch HERE) and Saturday Night Live (watch HERE) with a performance of the 10 minute version of “All Too Well.”

Festivity revolving the release continued with the release of the official music video for “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” [feat. Chris Stapleton]. The filmic release was directed and co-written by Blake Lively and stars actor Miles Teller and Taylor (watch HERE).

Noah Kahan's New Album - I WAS / I AM photo credit Aysia Marotta use by 360 Magazine

Noah Kahan’s New Album – I WAS / I AM

NOAH KAHAN RELEASES SOPHOMORE ALBUM I WAS / I AM –TODAY
FEATURING NEW SINGLE “SOMEONE LIKE YOU” FEAT. JOY OLADOKUN
ACCOMPANIED BY OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO OUT NOW
SET TO EMBARK ON I WAS / I AM HEADLINE TOUR THIS FALL
LISTEN TO I WAS / I AM HERE
WATCH “SOMEONE LIKE YOU” VIDEO HERE

Vermont singer and songwriter Noah Kahan releases his anxiously awaited sophomore album, I Was / I Am, today—listen HERE. The 10-track album features his newest single, “Someone Like You” feat. Joy Oladokun, accompanied by the official video also out today—watch HERE.

On the album, Noah says, “I can split my life into two parts. There is a defined and pronounced before and after within my consciousness that has become ever so clear to me in these long months of forced self-reflection. I started my journey here so fearful of changing, of losing the part of me that I felt was vital to staying grounded and unique. Somewhere in the last few years, I’ve had to let go of that fear, and allow growth, for better or for worse, to happen. This album is about examining that growth and measuring the difference from who I was when I started and who I am still becoming now. I’ve spent 4 years touring, traveling, experiencing things I would have given limbs for when I was a kid. I’ve lost friends. I’ve made lifelong connections with people I would never have otherwise gotten a chance to meet. I have failed so often and have had small successes that make it all worth it. I’ve fucked up, and I’ve lost people close to me. I don’t know if I’m ‘better’ or if I’ve regressed, I just know that I’ve grown. This album is about acknowledging that growth.”

On collaborating with Nashville singer and songwriter Joy Oladokun, Noah says, “Working with Joy on this song was one of those experiences that I’ll always remember and be grateful for. She is an incredible artist, and she was really natural on camera which made me jealous! I love her and her music and am so grateful for her involvement on this song.” Joy chimes in, saying, “When a folk-pop god like Noah Kahan calls, you come running.”

Noah Kahan took two years of milestones and transformed them into I Was / I Am, alongside his Busyhead collaborator and Grammy Award-winning producer Joel Little (Taylor Swift, Lorde, Shawn Mendes, Jonas Brothers, Khalid) and engineer Mark Rankin. Preserving his commitment to vivid lyricism, Noah crafted the new music with faster tempos and sweeping hooks, recharging his overall vision.

He says, “While writing this record, I’ve taken stock of who I am as compared to who I was when I started and what that means, for better or worse. I do have some perspective. I’ve also lost a lot. I’ve lost people close to me for different reasons. I’ve lost friendships. I lost my dog. Those experiences haven’t necessarily hardened me, but they’ve made me incredibly grateful for what I have now. The biggest change is a little bit of clarity in terms of who I am and the person I want to end up being. The songs on the record represent a new understanding of myself.”

I Was / I Am features Noah’s previously released anthemic singles, “Part of Me” and “Godlight,” and “Animal,” which capture his signature storytelling and evocative lyrics. The tracks have amassed over 12 million combined streams to date and received praised from the likes of BillboardSPINEntertainment Tonight, and many more.

This fall, Noah will embark on the I Was / I Am North American headline tour. Kicking off in St. Louis on October 14th and running through mid-December, the tour includes shows at New York’s Webster Hall and Los Angeles’ The Fonda Theatre, which are quickly selling out—see the complete list of tour dates below. Tickets are available now HERE. Noah Kahan has quietly emerged as a homegrown phenomenon with a combination of vivid songwriting and powerful performances (as well as a razor-sharp sense of humor on social media). He’s racked up over one billion streams across his catalogue, picked up a Gold Certification for “Hurt Somebody” feat. Julia Michaels, and performed on television shows such as The Late Show with Stephen ColbertLate Night with Seth Meyers, and TODAY. His 2020 Cape Elizabeth EP garnered critical praise from across the globe, and not to mention, he’s collaborated with a slew of artists, from Chelsea Cutler to mxmtoon to Quinn XCII to Gryffin.

Casey McQuillen via PLA Media for use by 360 Magazine

Interview with Casey McQuillen

By: Skyler Johnson

Since American Idol’s first inception in 2002, no one could have guessed how popular the show would be and how many new musicians would gain popularity through the years, including Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, and Jennifer Hudson. Casey McQuillen performed on the show in season 13 and became a top 48 musician. Since then she’s done an anti-bullying concert series, and was interviewed by Kelly Clarkson, as well as released a lot of great music. I had the pleasure of interviewing McQuillen on her life and career up to this point.  

  1. How did you first get into music? 

I started writing music from a really young age!  It was when I learned to play some guitar around the age of 12, though, that I started performing and posting my music on the internet.  Since then, I’ve been lucky to have an amazing relationship with my audience, and many of my fans have been following my music for close to 15 years.

2. What, do you feel, is your biggest success as a singer/songwriter?

As a singer/songwriter, I think my biggest success has been writing about really difficult topics and conveying them on stage in a way that makes audiences feel connected and understood.  I wrote my song “Beautiful” at 17 about the pressures of conforming to beauty standards, and the response I’ve received from audiences all across the country inspired me to continue to be painfully honest in my writing.  The title track on my upcoming album “Can A Heart Go Bad?” addresses very personal and painful mental health issues, and though I’m a bit scared to share it the world, I’m confident my vulnerability will allow for a deeper connection with the listening audience.

3. Who are your biggest influences and why?

I would say Taylor Swift is my biggest songwriting influence because I’ve been listening to her music at every step of my career.  Other artists I feel very inspired by include Colbie Caillat, Kate Voegele (whom I had the honor of opening for), and Adele. All of these women write beautiful, complex stories into their songs, and I try to emulate that.

4. How important was it for you to campaign for anti-bullying?

I was picked on a ‘normal’ amount as a kid, but it was through self-reflection in songwriting years later that I realized how deeply I’d internalized a lot of the insecurities I’d developed in middle & high school, and how long those issues had continue to stick around in the back of my psyche.  Somewhere in my heart, I assumed the kids saying and doing mean things to me must be right, or why else would they treat me so badly?  In my anti-bullying concert series, I tell my story and sing the songs I wrote about growing up in that environment.  With perspective, we’re able to discuss that bullies bully because they’re insecure, not because there’s anything wrong with you.  And through these examples, I hope to help curb the cycle of internalized insecurity for the next generation.

5. What made you want to campaign for anti-bullying? 

It would have meant a lot to me as a young student to have a role model at school. I think I would have felt a lot less alone knowing that someone I looked up to had had similar experiences to me and made it out on the other side.  I want to be that person for these kids.

6. How was your experience performing on American Idol?

American Idol was great practice in performing under pressure.  I’ve found that my career cycles in these long preparation periods with my team, all culminating in big, high-pressure performances or interviews.  Being exposed to such high-stakes performances at such a young age on American Idol gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to be myself and have fun during those moments.

7. Was it odd seeing yourself on camera? 

I’ve been on camera most of my life, so I’m pretty used to it.  I started posting on YouTube and developing a following at a pretty young age, so it wasn’t that odd.  However, Idol was definitely the first time I’d ever been exposed to stage lighting and cameras, which are so bright and intimidating.  Before my Idol audition, they had me wait in this little box with a red light, and when it turned green, I opened the door and walked out onto the audition stage.  So, I truly hadn’t seen the lights until the moment the cameras were on me.  It definitely threw me for a loop!

8. How was being on The Kelly Clarkson Show, what was that experience like?

Honestly, it was one of the most surreal moments of my life.  It was very nerve-wracking, but Kelly Clarkson is the sweetest person and had even left me a hand written note in my dressing room welcoming me to the show and thanking me for my work in the community.  Small details like that really helped me feel at ease before the show, and she’s so friendly and funny that I felt like the interview was a breeze.  It was probably my favorite experience so far in my career.

9. Are you excited to go on tour?

I am PUMPED!  I was having so much fun touring with artists like Eric Hutchinson and Tyler Hilton before the pandemic, and it was so disappointing to have to cancel so many shows and stay off stage for so long.  But we are BACK baby, and I feel so honored to be hitting the road with the talented Clark Beckham this fall.  Come see us!

10. Are there any upcoming projects you’re allowed to tell us about?

My album “Can a Heart Go Bad?” will be coming out soon, so make sure to follow me on Apple Music and Spotify to stay up to date with all my releases.  I’m really proud of the album and I hope everyone will have a chance to hear it!

image from Joshua Hammond photo by Caity Krone for use by 360 Magazine

TROUSDALE — “THIS IS IT”

Single Out Now via Independent, click HERE to Listen

“Trousdale blends elements of Americana with sleek pop” – CMT

Fast-rising indie-folk trio Trousdale have released the music video for their latest single, “This Is It,” which urges listeners to stop, take a breath and recognize happiness in the moment. You can click HERE to watch the Nina Kramer directed and produced video, and you can click HERE to check out CMT’s premiere of the video, where Trousdale discusses the motivation behind an all-female crew for the shoot.

Their desire to empower young women and spread a universal message of love and self-acceptance can be found rooted in both the message and the video for “This Is It.”

Capturing the friendship behind Trousdale, the music video “shows our goofy, fun-loving side. It is somewhat of the antithesis of our last EP, Look Around. We’ve previously released songs that focus on heartbreak and loss. Alternatively, this song was born out of a genuinely fun night drinking and laughing at our favorite bar. With the song and video, we aim to highlight the importance of savoring the simple joys in life, because they so often go unnoticed.”

The infectious optimism and enthusiasm of “This Is It” has resonated with both media and fans. Spotify and Apple championed the single with adds to multiple key playlists including Fresh Finds County, Next Gen Singer-Songwriters, and Country Risers while indie mainstay Consequence featured the friendship anthem in their weekly New Sounds round up and The Honey Pop proclaimed “‘This Is It’ is magical and we had to stan.”

Blending unflinching vocals and raw, transparent storytelling that mirrors their real-world vitality, Trousdale has developed a devoted and engaged community on TikTok and other corners of the internet with “This Is It” mirroring the success of their previous releases. Their fanbase, along with supporters like the Jonas Brothers, Dan and Shay, John Mayer, Jensen McRae and Betty Who, have propelled the trio’s self-produced single “Wouldn’t Come Back” to over 2 million streams and their cover of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys to over 1 million streams.

Trousdale has garnered comparisons to Kacey Musgraves, The Chicks and HAIM, and prompted A1234 to compare their passionate lyrics and evocative storytelling to icons like Taylor Swift and her latest critically acclaimed albums Folklore and Evermore. Additionally, their singles “Better Off” and “Happy Anymore” along with “Wouldn’t Come Back” from their debut EP Look Around led to The Radar Station naming them the #1 Emerging Global Roots Artist and the #7 Emerging Global Artist, while landing on some of Apple Music and Spotify’s top Americana, Folk, Singer-Songwriter and Mood playlists including Roots Rising, Women of Folk, and Infinite Indie Folk.

"Best Driving Song" Survey Result image by Rita Azar for use by 360 Magazine

“BEST DRIVING SONG” SURVEY RESULTS

Insurance.com’s survey of the year’s most popular driving songs shows that most people get in touch with their inner disco dancer—with or without bell bottoms and platform shoes—while they’re on the road. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA shimmied its way into the top spot this year, knocking last year’s favorite, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, to fourth place.

This one-stop destination for expert advice on health, life and auto insurance asked drivers to name the best and worst road trip tunes, the genres most suited for driving, and the artists they’d rather not admit are on their playlist.

Find the complete survey results and detailed analysis on each category HERE.

Songs topping driving playlists this year include:

  • ABBA – Dancing Queen – 26%
  • Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’ – 25%
  • AC/DC – Highway to Hell – 23%
  • Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody – 23%
  • Carrie Underwood – Jesus Take the Wheel – 20%

Not surprisingly, “Dancing Queen” was most popular among drivers aged 45-54, who may be nostalgic about boogying the night away to the song years ago.

Survey participants also made predictions about what the next great classic road trip songs will be:

  • Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk – 34%
  • Taylor Swift – Shake it off – 27%
  • Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop the Feeling – 26%
  • Florida Georgia Line – Cruise – 25%
  • Billie Eilish – Bad guy – 20%

Although a disco song topped the list, the genre itself did not rank among drivers’ favorites for road trips. Instead, they prefer classic rock (15%), followed by country (12%) and ‘80s music (11%). Those who want to let Jesus take the wheel reported Christian gospel music is their favorite road trip genre (8%). Among the least popular genres—all with 1% popularity—were heavy metal, Latin, K-pop and indie/folk. Punk rock was dead last with 0%.

Survey respondents also listed some tunes and recording artists that they are unlikely to listen to with their windows down. 

Some of the most popular artists in the “guilty pleasures” category are:

  • Britney Spears – 16%
  • Adele – 15%
  • Bon Jovi – 12%
  • Justin Bieber – 12%
  • Celine Dion – 12%

“This is the third year we’ve conducted this light-hearted study,” explains Les Masterson, managing editor for Insurance.com. “It’s an opportunity to remind consumers that we spend a lot of time in our cars and it’s important to have the best possible car insurance coverage in the event that anything goes wrong.”

“While background music can be a nice way to help pass the time, it’s important that people maintain full attention on the road and avoid distracted driving,” Masterson adds.

This survey explores who controls the music during a road trip, how parents handle their children’s music choices, and what solo drivers are most likely to do when their favorite song comes on.

To gather these results, Insurance.com commissioned a survey of 1,000 drivers and asked them to choose the best and worst songs for driving, what song will be the next road-trip favorite, and which artists represent the biggest guilty driving pleasures.

Illustration By Alex Bogdan for use of 360 Magazine

The Unsung Heroes Behind Your Favorite Songs

By Deborah Fairchild

Maybe you commute to work listening to The Weeknd’s “Save Your Tears,” or you make chores around the house more palatable with a little assistance from the sounds of Drake or Billie Eilish.

If you follow popular music at all, you almost certainly are aware of those performers as well as many other big names in the business, such as Post Malone, Lizzo and Ariana Grande.

And when you think of their songs, you likely think of them.

But recorded music is not the work of just one person, no matter how talented and charismatic that person is on stage. Backup musicians, producers, songwriters, engineers and others also play significant if often unheralded roles in coaxing into existence those tunes that, as some have said, become the soundtracks for our lives.

To get an idea of the plethora of people whose efforts go into your cherished songs, take a journey through the credits for country singer Luke Combs’ album “What You See is What You Get.” Roughly 40 people earn a mention, from drummer Jerry Roe to engineer Alex Gilson to mastering assistant Megan Peterson. Luke may be the focus for country music fans who listen to the album’s songs, but it becomes clear pretty quickly that he is not doing it all by himself, as he likely would tell you.

That list of names connected to the album is more than just a formal acknowledgement to those who lend their talents to the final product. In the music industry, credits are part of the resume, so building an accurate record of who contributed to what is crucial for everyone involved. If, for example, you do digital editing, you want to be able to say you worked on Luke Combs’ album – or Drake’s or Taylor Swift’s – and you want to have the credit listed to prove it. That will help pave the way for more job opportunities down the line.

And, of course, there’s the not-so-small matter of the paycheck. Most people are drawn to the music industry because it’s something they enjoy, but they need to pay bills like anyone else. Yet, unless someone is keeping an accurate record of who contributed to the work, that pay might not make its way to the correct and deserving person’s bank account.

So, credits are important on many levels and they are something I take seriously, as you might imagine since my company, VEVA Sound, helps musicians store and organize their projects through our VEVA Collect digital platform.

But I’m also confident that the average music fan doesn’t spend as much time as I do contemplating the many, many people who deserve some credit for popular – or even obscure – songs. In fairness, the tendency to overlook behind-the-scenes people is probably true in a lot of other industries as well.

Books often include an acknowledgements page, or pages, where the author names editors, researchers, literary agents, librarians or anyone else who helped make the book a reality. Many readers, though, just skim the acknowledgments or skip them altogether. Movies end with not just a cast list, but an extensive cataloging of anyone who remotely had a hand in creating the movie, from key grips to gaffers. Unfortunately, moviegoers often mosey toward the exit as the credits begin to roll rather than stick around to check out all the names. That is, they leave unless they suspect the director included a bonus post-credits scene, as the Marvel movies tend to do, and even then they may pay little attention to the names.

Such realities may leave people thinking, “Who cares about credits anyway?”

Plenty of folks, that’s who.

But it was thinking along those lines that got those of us at VEVA Sound to begin wondering if there was something we might be able to do to create more awareness around music credits to make sure they – and the people behind them – don’t get overlooked.

What came out of that was a Credits Are Cool™ campaign that raises money for charity while at the same time emphasizing just how important those people behind the scenes are to the songs that keep music lovers humming, dancing and smiling.

To pull off the Credits Are Cool effort, we collaborated with a number of musical artists to create hoodies, t-shirts and sweatshirts with the name and image of a song on the front. On the back is a list of people who contributed to the song. In a sense, we are trying to create a movement, proclaiming that we should celebrate everyone who was involved in making music – not just the performers whose names are on a marquee.

Artists whose songs appear on the Credits Are Cool clothing include Sam Tinnesz, Wendy Moten, Sonia Leigh, Hailey Steele, Right Said Fred, Ty Herndon, Jamie O’Neal, Shelly Fairchild, Teke Teke, Whiskey Wolves of the West, and Tayla Lynn, granddaughter of Loretta Lynn.

Maybe through this initiative, in some small way, those who listen to music will take a moment to think about the fact that recorded music is a much more collaborative effort than they might ever have imagined. It could even open up career ideas for young people who love music and would like to work in the industry, but didn’t realize that there’s room for people other than the talented vocalist and the guitar hero.

Yes, credits really are cool because they are not just about seeing your name in lights. They are about how you get work in the ever-competitive music industry.

About Deborah Fairchild

Deborah Fairchild, president of VEVA Sound, started her career with the company as an archival engineer in 2004. In the past 16 years she has risen to lead the company in all facets of the business. She has grown VEVA into a global entity servicing major labels in North America and Europe, establishing offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London in addition to the company’s headquarters in Nashville. Fairchild has kept VEVA at the forefront of technology and continues to evolve and adapt VEVA’s services and technology to assist the needs of their extensive client base. She advises many label executives, producers, engineers and artists seeking archival and asset management solutions.

Jessia Press Image by William Arcand via Republic Records for use by 360 Magazine

Jessia x I Should Quit

Rising Canadian pop star and songwriter Jessia released the official video for her new single, I Should Quit.

Directed by Nina Kramer, the carefree video highlights Jessia’s struggle to accept her friends’ advice to stop making impulsive bad choices, while knowing that she should quit but in reality admits she has no intention of doing so. On the track, Jessia says “I’m really good at giving advice but not always good at taking it. I know what I SHOULD do but what’s the fun in always playing it safe? Sometimes you just need to fully accept that you are a hot mess.” 

Recently, Jessia was featured as Billboard Magazine’s Chartbreaker for the month of June. Her CRIA Gold-certified body acceptance anthem I’m not Pretty is currently Top 5 at Hot AC radio in Canada and features GRAMMY® Award-nominated artist Bebe Rexha on the official remix version of the track released last month. “I’m not Pretty” recently crossed 100 million+ streams and this week tops the Billboard Canada Emerging Artists Chart for the SEVENTH consecutive week at #1. 

I’m Not Pretty initially exploded on Tik Tok when Jessia introduced the a cappella hook of the song by sharing, “I don’t know if this is total trash, or if it’s actually a bop.” Turns out it was the latter, as the clip racked up 1 million views in a day. The candid lyrics describe a journey towards self-love and the emotions one can feel while on its path – a message that has instantly resonated with audiences all over the world. 

In addition to early support from international tastemakers, Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Ryan Tedder personally reached out to Jessia upon hearing the song to champion her work and collaborate. Together they are putting the finishing touches on more new music—due out soon.

2021 TOUR DATES

July 1 – Lights On Canada Day – Ottawa, ON

July 31 – Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL

October 30 – Outside Lands Festival – San Francisco, CA

ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS

Republic Records is Jessia‘s artistic home. A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Black Thought, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains a long-standing strategic alliance with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (J Balvin and Karol G).  In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse), and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production was the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.

Jack Antonoff illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

PRODUCER JACK ANTONOFF IS EVERYWHERE

By: Andrew Shibuya

Working quietly beside some of today’s most famous and talented musicians is producer Jack Antonoff. Though one likely knows the various critically acclaimed albums he has co-produced over the past five years with artists such as Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Lorde, he seems to have worked primarily in the shadows of these singer-songwriters.

Known for his sleek and polished pop, his signature 80s-style synths, and ornate instrumentation, Antonoff began his rise to prominence first as a member of the now defunct group fun., and later as one of the producers on Swift’s 1989 and Reputation. And while he is far from unknown by any means, it is only this past spring that Antonoff’s influence has seemed to be inescapable.

In the past six months alone, Antonoff has been credited as co-producer on some of the most celebrated and eagerly anticipated releases of the year, including Del Rey’s Chemtrails Over the Country Club, St. Vincent’s Daddy’s Home, Clairo’s forthcoming Sling, Lorde’s forthcoming LP, as well as on Swift’s last two LP’s, evermore and folklore. Given the prominence of the artists he works with, and the sheer amount of Antonoff’s work that is being released at present, one can only help but wonder if there are any implications to Antonoff’s extensive list of collaborators and his unmistakable influence over much of the contemporary pop scene.

This past week alone saw the release of both Lorde’s and Clairo’s first singles (“Solar Power” and “Blouse”, respectively) from their forthcoming records, with the two singer-songwriters even lending their vocals to each other’s tracks. And while the producer himself once stated that each record he produces has its own “sound world”, many fans have taken to social media to complain about what they deem to be Antonoff’s “copy-pasting” from record to record. Critics have pointed out some of the valid similitudes among some of Antonoff’s most recent works.

For example, many critics point to similarities between the key, tempo, and vocals of the refrain of St. Vincent’s track “… At the Holiday Party” from her latest work “Daddy’s Home” and the chorus of Lorde’s recent single “Solar Power”. Side by side, the sonic resemblance between the two is somewhat uncanny. Fans have even gone as far as to create mashups of the two songs, alongside pleas for Antonoff to take a break from working with so many artists at once.

Another instance of Antonoff’s so-called “copy-pasting” that fans have taken grief with is the use of identical instrumentation from tracks from Del Rey’s two most recent albums, both co-produced by Antonoff. The distinctive jingle bells of 2019’s “How to Disappear” are used almost identically as in the chorus of 2021’s “Wild at Heart”. Many fans were quick to express their dismay given the fact that several tracks from Chemtrails Over the Country Club were recorded during the sessions for Norman Fucking Rockwell!  and “Wild at Heart.” For some fans, these tracks seemed to merely be leftovers from the first LP, leaving many lamenting that Antonoff must be too busy to be wholly novel with each work.

This is not to say, however, that Antonoff’s production has by any means become stale, nor that the producer is lacking versatility. Contrarily, his range is objectively remarkable. Take, for instance, his work with indie rock artist Annie Clark, who writes and performs as St. Vincent. From the glam rock and electro-pop sound of her 2017 LP MASSEDUCTION to the psychedelic and 70s-inspired Daddy’s Home alone, Antonoff, co-producing with Clark, proves himself to be adroit across a multitude of instruments and production styles.

And still, many fans of St. Vincent’s remarkable career over the past decade and a half consider Clark’s last two albums, both co-produced alongside Antonoff, to be among her worst. Critics often cite the sleek and polished production that Antonoff favors as the problem. This, of course, begs the question: are these artists responsible for the similarities in their work with their peers’, or could Antonoff be to blame?

Based on what the artists he works with have to say, the former might seem to be the answer. Swift, following the release of her 2020 LP folklore, wrote in a tweet about Antonoff: “Talking to Jack about life is one of my all time favorite hobbies. He’s always curious, always wondering how to keep learning and growing. He’s the best.” Del Rey, Lorde, and Clark have all likewise echoed this sentiment, similarly praising Antonoff’s willingness to listen and move in any direction musically.

So what is it about Antonoff that makes him so compelling to artists and somewhat divisive amongst fans? With every album and single that he produces comes an accompanying Instagram post alongside various platitudes praising the new work and artist. Just below rests humorous, and somewhat exasperated, comments from fans wondering when the producer has time to sleep.

With so many of his collaborators being women, many interviewers and fans have been curious as to why Antonoff tends to gravitate toward female singer-songwriters. In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Antonoff responded to the question regarding the majority of his production being for female artists, stating, “It’s never come up in my head outside of being interviewed.”

Fans, however, are constantly intrigued by Antonoff’s prodigious discography, especially the predominance of women singer-songwriters with whom he collaborates. Some in this online discourse criticize Antonoff’s dominance in pop production, given that in a recent report conducted by USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, just 2.6 percent of all producers are women. These critics argue that these famous and talented artists should seek out women producers, as opposed to simply continuing to work with Antonoff.

Still, Antonoff remains one of the most in-demand producers who is sought out by some of the biggest names in music, most notably by prominent and talented female singer-songwriters. Is it because he’s simply the most talented? Or the most well-known? And, how much Antonoff is too much Antonoff? Though the answer to these questions may be unclear, his influence is undeniable–and now, almost inescapable. Behind the scenes of many of the greatest pop releases of 2021, and indeed the latter half of the past decade, was Antonoff working tirelessly.

Image of Brynn Cartelli provided by Glenn Fukushima and Elektra for use by 360 MAGAZINE.

Brynn Cartelli x Based On A True Story

Singer Songwriter Brynn Cartelli has released her debut EP Based On A True Story, available now at all DSPS and streaming services (EP artwork/tracklisting below). The EP arrives alongside a heartwarming lyric video for “Jane” featuring home footage from her childhood, available now on Brynn’s official YouTube channel.

Returning to her hometown of Longmeadow, MA after the surreal experience of winning NBC’s season 14 of The Voice and touring with Kelly Clarkson, Brynn became hyperaware of getting back to her normal life as a teen. Based On A True Story is a snapshot of the time she spent reconnecting with friends, being observant, and really honing into what being young is about.

Cartelli comments on the EP, “Based On A True Story is the foundation of who I am as a singer-songwriter. Writing this project brought me back home, back with my friends and family. I was finally able to comment on my high school and teenage experience from an honest place. It feels like I’m opening up my diary for the world to read, and I could not be more terrified and excited all at once.”

Brynn takes seemingly small moments from typical suburban experiences and turns them into candid, anthemic pop ballads that people of all ages can relate to. The previously unreleased “Imaginary Stranger” fulfills a wish she held for years, vividly detailing her connection to her grandfather who passed away from lung cancer six years before her birth. Then, there’s the piano-driven “Love You In My Mind,” which is based off a collection of stories from fans who were obsessing over crushes. Blossoming from an acoustic intro into a bouncy refrain, the buoyant “We Belong”  captures an idyllic moment of teen freedom and friendship in lines like, “We didn’t get invited to the party it’s fine, so we’ll sit around the fire and we’ll talk about life.” As the final addition to the EP, “Jane” pairs a powerhouse vocal performance with lullaby-style instrumentation that sees Brynn imagining what it would be like if she was someone else specifically choosing the name Jane because that’s almost what her mom had named her.

Co-written by Brynn and Ben Abraham (Demi Lovato, Sara Bareilles, and Kesha), “If I Could”  which has already seen over 2 million streams, is Brynn’s message to a friend in a one-sided relationship, “If I could do it for you, then I would say, Goodbye.” She originally shared a snippet of the song through a post on Tik Tok that has amassed over 8 million views and recently performed the track on The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Long Way Home” co-written by Brynn and Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift, Kylie Minogue and Colbie Caillat), was the first track released off the EP and her first new music since 2019, attracting praise as People named Brynn among its “Emerging Artists to Watch.” Directed by Blythe Thomas (Julia Michaels, Hozier, Grace Vanderwall), the official video for the track sees Brynn and her real-life friends driving around New York City, singing and dancing through the streets of Greenwich Village and Times Square, and even celebrating her friend Piper’s 18th birthday with a surprise cake.

BASED ON A TRUE STORY AVAILABLE NOW