The Curious Case of Hayley Kiyoko

(Image via teenvogue.com)

It feels as though Hayley Kiyoko came out of nowhere. All of a sudden, you hear the thudding beat of her lead single, “Curious” and it pulls you in right away. Who is this girl? And what is she doing to me?! Little did we know, Kiyoko was going to blow us all away with a debut album worthy of all the recognition in the world.

Opening with an enchanting overture, reminiscent of an M83 production, “Expectations (Overture)” leads the album into the extravagant and expressive work of art it is. Strings and chorus-like vocals add euphoric elements that feel almost church-like. Which kicks straight into the funky “Feelings”. A stand out single dealing with the transparency of human emotion. Kiyoko confidently sings, “I over communicate and feel too much. I just complicate it when I say too much.” While the song structure remains basic like any other pop song, the funky guitar adds a new groovy layer.

While the pop scene is supercharged with “boy crazy” female leads, Kiyoko remains true to who she is. She’s a lesbian, and proud of it. “I’m not over-sexualizing my music. I make out with women because I love women, not because I’m trying to be sexy. That’s not to turn heads — that’s my life” she tells Refinery 29. Teaming together with one of the most honest women in the pop/R&B genre proved Kiyoko can secure any song she wants (listen to the fun Kehlani assisted “What I Need”).

Songs like, “Mercy/Gatekeeper” and “Under the Blue/Take Me In” prove Kiyoko’s artistry in a genre that is so often saturated to the point of overconsumption. “Mercy” cranks out dramatic muffled vocals that almost feel like an inner monologue. “All I wanna do is cry and bang my head until I start to fly” spin out of Kiyoko’s mouth as she describes a turbulent time. The song feels like an emotional rollercoaster, up and down, as if she couldn’t decide how the song was going to end. Perhaps mimicking what she felt in real life. The words, “just give me mercy, cause I keep hurting, hurting” repeat throughout the song, adding to its raw honesty.

Each track feels different from the rest in a way that’s indescribable. “Molecules” and “Let It Be” close this album in such a delicate way. “Molecules” deals with a shift in perspective about a friends tragic loss. On Instagram, Kiyoko said “Let It Be” is about “Accepting the bravery to move on, and start a new beginning, even if it’s hard.” She then went on to say, “Sometimes good things come to an end and you don’t know why or how it happened. But there was a reason for that chapter in your life. You grew and learned to love. It’s hard to follow your heart and listen to your gut when you know things won’t work out.”

Expectations exceeded all my expectations. It serves a hot dish of fun, honest, and raw pop. Something the music industry should be admiring and honoring very closely.

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On Repeat: “Mine” – Bazzi

(Image via pmstudio.com)

“You so f****ng precious when you smile.” Call it modern romance, or just a pop dream. Singer/Songwriter Bazzi is making women everywhere blush.

“Mine” might be the catchiest song I’ve heard in months. For some reason the melody rings in your head over and over begging you to hit repeat. It’s so beautiful, you can’t stop admiring it and singing along.

The mature 20-year-old told Billboard.com the story behind the track, “‘Mine’ was interesting because it was about the way that someone made me feel so loved — so beautiful, so special, so accepted…I knew that I could take that exact feeling and direct it at people, and not just that person. I could make songs to make people feel that love and acceptance. In such a sad, insecure world, I knew the power of what that could do for people.”

“Mine” has more than 190,000,000 streams on Spotify and is currently #15 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it’s way up the charts every week.

 


 

Ty Dolla $ign’s ‘Don’t Judge Me’ Tour

Ty Dolla $ign’s ‘Don’t Judge Me’ Tour

The Los Angeles native’s latest album Beach House 3 scored high in the hearts of his fans. Featuring hot collabs with Lil Wayne, Future, Jeremih, Tory Lanez, and more. He kicked off his Spring “Don’t Judge Me” tour and damn…it’s a party.

Ty quite literally erupted onto the stage in a cloud of smoke and within minutes was lighting a joint. He jumped around with a fiery energy as he sang/rapped for almost two hours.

If there’s one thing you should know about Ty Dolla $ign, it’s that his features are just as good as his solo music. He performed bangers you almost forgot he was on to begin with; “Fade”, “Swalla”, and even “Work From Home”.

He also managed to show off his unique vocals on the acoustic ballad, “Famous” while giving a speech about social media and how the numbers mean nothing. Ty seems as real as it gets. He brought his best friends on tour with him and they look like they are having a blast.

Songs like, “Dawsin’s Breek”, “Droptop In the Rain”, and “Love You Better” had fans jumping and screaming in excitement. He sang more runs then Beyonce and got the audience to chant “Beach House 3” way too many times. Not to mention, invited a fan onstage to smoke with him.

Cue the blunt balloons, a killer light show, a cute documentary style film playing in the background, and a DJ worth hiring for every party for the rest of your life, and I’d say you have a successful tour.

(Image via headlineplanet.com)

Miguel’s ‘War & Leisure’ Tour!

Miguel drifts around on a tiny stage while his band bangs out every note. He gets the crowd to chant “splish splish”. “Righteous” – he says in return. The War & Leisure tour is peak Miguel. If you’re thinking about seeing him, see him NOW.

A set list of 20+ songs will satisfy the old and new Miguel fans while draining the voice right out of your lungs. 2010’s “All I Want Is You” and “Sure Thing” prove the singer has been mastering R&B for quite some time now. While newer fans can sing to the bouncy “Banana Clip”, “Pineapple Skies”, and the crowd favorite: “Sky Walker”. But pretty much everyone can reminisce over “How Many Drinks?” and the saucy “Do You?”.

The California native managed to pack in everyone’s favorites and then some. About halfway through the set, the singer performed a flawless medley of his song with Wale: “Lotus Flower Bomb”, “Power Trip” with J Cole, and his recent collab with Dua Lipa: “Lost In Your Light”. A steady beat stitched them all together without a hitch.

Miguel’s voice cannot be fully appreciated until you hear it live. Effortless runs and endless vibrato make you wonder how he’s managed to keep that voice so pristine for so long… and how he makes it look so damn EASY.

The show itself was enlightening to watch. A shining array of bright lights echoed every rock breakdown Miguel’s band did so well. The energy was more than the room could handle.

My only complaint? The merch was way too expensive. I will never pay $45 for a t-shirt…

(Image via Variance Magazine)