On Repeat: “Wait” – Chantel Jeffries

The 24-year-old has gone from social media star/model (check out her YouTube channel) to a SERIOUS DJ playing pool parties, runways, and other hip events. Recently signing with the new Universal Music Group sub-label called 10:22 pm, this California native is ready to pounce on the music scene any minute now.

Her first crack at a hit and she did it. “Wait” is a summer bop. It’s radio-ready with bouncy beats, hip-hop vocals, and killer features (feat. Offset and Vory). Jeffries produced and co-wrote this strong intro to our new favorite DJ.

I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us this year.


Man Crush Monday: Post Malone

Man Crush Monday: Post Malone

(Image via nme.com)

The 22-year-olds sophomore album titled, beerbongs & bentleys is jam-packed with an 18-song tracklist. Featuring a couple we already know the words to; “Candy Paint” and “rockstar”. Post Malone makes a rap album that almost doesn’t feel like rap at all.

Malone carries his own weight on this album; although he has some stellar features (Nicki Minaj, G-Eazy, YG, Ty Dolla $ign…) Songs like, “Rich & Sad”, “Psycho,” “Zack and Codeine,” and “Better Now” have that addicting Post Malone sound. Some beats are pop, while others are harsh hip-hop.

He’s unlike other rappers, as we hear on the acoustic ballad, “Stay”; which seems to already be a fan favorite. Malone’s wavering voice glides alongside a smooth acoustic guitar. He sings about the struggle to maintain a relationship; “Tell me that it’s all okay, I’ve been waitin’ on this all damn day, call me in the mornin’, tell me how last night went, I’m here, but don’t count on me to stay.” Never have I been able to listen to a rapper sing an acoustic ballad like this and still like it.

This album has been in the works for a couple years now. Malone tweeted in late 2016: “beerbongs and bentleys isn’t a song…. It’s a whole project. also a lifestyle and it’s coming.” Time definitely did this project justice. Full hip-hop albums are hard to love in their entirety, but Post Malone has managed to make each song stand on its own full of bubbly choruses and insanely cyclical beats.

According to forbes.com, beerbongs & bentleys already destroyed the record for the most streams of songs on an album in the U.S. All 18 songs were played 48 million times in just the United States.


 

Ari’s Return

Ari’s Return

(image via soundsblog.it)

The pop singer is back after a much-needed break from social media and the public eye following the tragic Manchester concert bombing last May. Grande has reportedly finished her fourth studio album which has been described as a “personal masterpiece”… of course.

Today is finally the day. We get a taste of what she’s been hanging onto for quite some time now. Grande’s new single “No Tears Left to Cry” is an obvious reference to what happened last year. Fans at a listening party in London said the song brought them to tears. A source told The Blast that people “openly wept at how she alludes to the bombing and how incredible the song is.”

At first listen, Grande’s echoing vocals immediately steal the show, singing, “right now I’m in a state of mind, I wanna be in like all the time, ain’t got no tears left to cry.” A runway-esque beat leads the song to easily mimic tracks off the singers debut album, Yours Truly. Despite popular belief, “Tears” isn’t sad at all. It’s a beautiful medley showing resilience and happiness.

Watch the video below: 


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.