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.


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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: 


Colin Magalong: The Dancing King

Colin Magalong: The Dancing King

This 23 year-old has blown me away with his artistry and blended sounds. Releasing two singles so far this year has put him on the map as someone to watch very closely… Latest single, “Melo” is a retro/funk/pop jam that sickens you with the dance bug (which is exactly Colin’s goal)

Did growing up in San Francisco inspire you?

“San Francisco was very rich in culture and diversity but I actually grew up 15 minutes south of it in kind of a bubble city. So it was a mixed experience with music. My music career there was very small, I tried to do the YouTube thing for a little bit and did covers and that was really fun, but ultimately I took all the videos down. I went to college to really hone my craft in silence in a lot of ways. I kind of just dropped off the face of the Earth, especially the internet and social media. I just wanted to take it seriously.

My parents were making me go to college, so music college was my next best bet. I’m so glad that I did and got the opportunity, because college is where I met some of my closest friends who are now running the label that I’m signed to. We’re all still very young, still learning, and growing together, and there’s been some growing pains without a doubt. But, I’m working with people that I really do love and that’s priceless.”

Who are some of your musical influences?

“In college: Alt-J, Cherub. It feels like all my peers were really into EDM or rap. Disco seemed to be like a really great middle ground where it’s still melodic and people still wanted to dance. It wasn’t such a vein genre, which I really enjoyed and I’m trying to continue to make people dance. That seems to be the best shows I’ve ever been to. That’s the dream show for me, where people are there for the music and their friends and their time, it’s not about how pretty I am, or how pretty I’m not whatever it might be.”

What can we expect this year from you?

“I moved to LA two years ago and have been writing constantly. I’ve been doing so much growing and just as a writer, not even as an artist. The songs that are on this EP have actually been in my dropbox for the last year and a half. It’s such a relief to get them finally out. ‘Bodies’ will be my next single and then you guys will get the rest of the EP and my second EP is already done. I’m really trying to get the music into the right hands and hopefully people enjoy it as much as I do.”

Tell me more about “Melo”? Any significance behind the spelling?

“It was the laziest way to write it which went hand in hand with the song; taking the easy route. Some of my friends thought it had to do with Carmelo Anthony (it doesn’t). It’s the easiest way to spell it. ‘Melo’ is about spending your night the easiest way so that’s how that came about.”

Any significant themes on the upcoming EP?

“There’s a lot of nostalgia for me. The whole EP was really the christening of my young adult life. I feel like a lot of the experiences come from me as a young man in LA trying to find out where I fit in this big city. A lot of them are just my first impressions of LA nightlife and romanticizing things that probably did not mean anything. Everything from growing pains to just being enamored by a look or the smallest things. I could take one little thing and turn it into a huge deal. Musically a lot of nostalgia. I feel like I’ve wanted to touch on a lot of the music I grew up with. My parents were big Motown and funk fans, so I wanted to bridge those two worlds. So, LA and my first couple years here really helped kind of guide these themes that I think people will appreciate.”

On living and working in LA:

“That’s what makes LA special for me, is just the talent. I tell everybody that half of my Uber drivers here are more talented than I am. Writing is really where people from all walks of life kinda get to meet on that same level. I’ve written with people from 60-17 years old – it’s a real great equalizer.

For the longest time my studio was in my apartment. It was a really scrappy bedroom setup that I think any teenager with a laptop could set up. When I’m not in my apartment, I’ll be at other people’s apartments. That’s just how I’ve been working and I know that’s how most people in LA work. Not everybody has the luxury of working at some great studios, but I think that goes to show that it’s really just all about the ideas and the people there. Technology has made it an even playing ground. People would be surprised to find out how many hit records were made in living rooms or bedrooms – it’s pretty remarkable.

I am so incredibly grateful and humbled by the people I’ve had the chance to work with. I think that you are who you hang out with and I’m just so humbled… I really am. In whatever way I can kinda put some of the spotlight on the people who help made this record a reality, I’d love to do that.”


Who You Need: Alison Wonderland

 

alison wonderland
Image via edmchicago.com

WHO: Alison Wonderland

WHERE: Sydney, Australia

GENRE: EDM

TOP SONGS: “Happy Place, “I Want U”

The hype surrounding Wonderland has been building over the past year. In late 2017, she was named New Artist of the Year at the Electronic Music Awards. Then later released a stormy single titled, “Happy Place”, a song that puts the spotlight on mental illness and finding one’s happiness. “Place” was the introduction to her second album, titled Awake, coming April 6th.

Her third single, “No” proves to be her strongest in a while. Following a bouncing beat similar to a Diplo masterpiece. She recently talked about the meaning behind the track; “I want to make a track that someone will hear and be like ‘shit, I totally get what she’s feeling, and if she can get out, maybe I can too.’ I don’t want them to be afraid to talk about it.” Working alongside producer/hitmaker Joel Little (Lorde, Sam Smith, Khalid), this album could be the EDM/pop mashup we’ve been waiting for. Keeping raw honesty in a genre that seems to be pigeonholed into one sound, Wonderland makes sure her music has meaning.

With 14 new songs waiting in the wings, I can’t wait to hear what Wonderland will debut live at Coachella.


 

 

Q&A with Alice Gray

Alice Gray is one to watch. With one single under her belt and a striking new collab titled “Front Row” just released, 2018 is her year to shine. I spoke with the pop singer about her inspirations, come-up to music, and plans for the rest of the year.

alice gray
image via facebook.com/imalicegray

“Front Row” is such a romantic fun song. How did this collab come about? And do you hope to do more EDM/Pop tracks like this in the future?

“I met VALNTN only this past fall when my friend and mixing engineer, Andi Inadomi, asked me to join their session. We had a fun time and wrote a great song so we continued writing together. Val and 5ALVO had produced the instrumental for ‘Front Row’ almost a year ago and had many song writers take a crack at top line, but nothing stuck so he asked me to try my hand at it. I brought in my trustee songwriting collaborator Stephen Conley who co-wrote ‘Pink Cadillac’ to add his magic and the three of us wrote and cut vocals for ‘Front Row’ over the course of one session. It was my first experience recording ‘gang vocals,’ – hysterical.”

Who are you currently listening to a lot? And why? 

“I have a fascination with Francis and the Lights. I saw his video for “Friends” when he released his album Farewell, Starlite! and I was immediately drawn to his uninhibited dance moves and mysterious demeanor. He’s even better onstage! 

I will forever love my dream pop ladies Lana and Lorde. My new favorite is SZA – she has no filter and writes in a non-formulaic way that is very inspiring to me. It’s easy to get caught up writing a formulaic pop song.”

Has music always been your passion? 

“It has. I sang ‘Part of Your World’ from the Little Mermaid constantly as a child. My mom gave me a tape recorder that I’d carry around- singing into it, playing it back, and listening with pure joy. I had a little trio band in elementary school called the GAP Girls (acronym of all our last names and we all wore GAP sweatshirts A LOT) I’d write songs and choreograph these strange little dances to go with them that we’d perform for our teachers on the school lawn at recess.

However, I became very shy in middle school and stopped singing. I’d wait until I knew for sure no one was around to sing. I’d write these angsty little love songs on pads of paper all around the house. I was the go-to playlist girl- I’d spend hours on Limewire downloading bootleg music and burning CD’s for my friends. When I got my first MacBook in High school I started making songs on garage band, but I wouldn’t show anyone. Instead I pursued my other, more introverted love; drawing and painting. It wasn’t until I was about to graduate with a degree in fine arts that I needed to get over my fear and took a songwriting class. That class changed my life.”

Tell me about “Pink Cadillac” and where the inspiration came from

“‘Pink Cadillac’ is a complicated song to explain. I walked into my first session with Stephen Conley and told him I wanted to write a song inspired by Angelyne, the infamous woman that drives around Hollywood in her pink corvette. I’d seen her around my neighborhood a lot so I looked her up and watched a little documentary on her. I found her to be both fascinating and fearless, but also sad and I wanted to use this really unique imagery in a song. We came up with a scenario that reflected what I was going through at the time, but colored it in Angelyne’s world. I ended up having a meeting with Angelyne to discuss her making an appearance in the music video. She loves ‘Pink Cadillac’ and agreed to be in it, but as an independent artist I didn’t have the funds to create the music video I envision for that song. I plan to change that very soon.”

What’re your plans for 2018? Is there an EP or full length album on the way? And if so, how is the process coming along? 

“2018 is going to be a big one. I’ve got a bunch of songs lined up, brand collaborations, in pre-production for a music video and starting to play a lot of shows. I have more than 5 songs lined up, enough to make an album, but we are going to give them each their own day in the sun and release them month by month as singles. When I create my first album, I want to go about it very purposefully and craft songs that are meant to be released together as a single piece of art.”

 


Who You Need: Kim Petras

 

Kim Petras
Image via gaytimes.co.uk

WHO: Kim Petras

WHERE: Cologne, Germany

GENRE:  Pop

TOP SONGS: “I Don’t Want It At All”, “Hills”

 

Petras’ latest single, “Heart To Break” is a bubblegum pop explosion. Releasing killer singles (6, so far) is what she’s been doing best; teasing fans with more and more catchy anthems, even featured on Charli XCX’s latest album Pop 2. 

“It’s describing the part of you that is about to make a mistake and knows you’re making a mistake, but you don’t care because you still want to jump in and do it,” she tells Billboard on the meaning behind “Heart To Break”. The song is infectious as ever, as she belts the chorus in maybe the highest notes possible.

Other singles like, “Hills” and “Slow It Down” show different genre elements Petras has managed to include into her discography. A little bit hip-hop, a little bit electronic; she seems to incorporate whatever she feels and it WORKS. Will we get a full-length album this year? Only time will tell…