“Reasons” feels different from any other Cautious Clay song. It’s lined with exuberant hip-hop elements; starting with a deep guitar riff then swiftly back into a rhythmic beat. Keeping his harmonic background vocals and soaring alto notes as he croons about making mistakes, changes, and being honest.
“I did it all for the no, I did it all for the no good reasons, I said it all for the need, I always knew you would change like seasons” Clay preaches on the chorus. “Reasons” is edgy and urgent, unlike the slower yet philosophical themes of Clay’s previous work.
The Brooklyn-native is working on an EP to be released early next year.
Since the August release of Wafia’s fizzy pop single “I’m Good”, fans have been blowing up the singers spotlight. “Good” serves as a fun breakup anthem (or maybe you just decided to stop eating Cheetos in bed…to each their own.) A bouncy beat makes this song cheeky like a 70’s sitcom intro, add in some layered harmonic vocals and you’ve got a hit.
Wafia proclaims her naivety and boy did she learn. She starts out the song like any good ole love story; “I was so young, I was so dumb when I gave you my heart.” The singer says, “‘I’m Good’ was an attempt at writing a self-fulfilling prophecy. At the time I could foresee heartbreak that I was going to have to work through and I wanted to write the song that I’d want to hear at the end of it all.” Genius? I think so.
If you’re interested in some of her other work that may not be pulsing through the radio waves, listen to my personal favorite, her joint EP titled (m)edian, with producer/singer-songwriter extraordinaire, Ta-Ku. “Meet In the Middle” and “Love Somebody” will write the love letter you never found the words for. Also, check out her solo work including “Bodies” and “Only Love”. Not to mention her explosive pop-dance hit, “Better Not” with rising EDM act, Louis the Child.
The New Jersey-native released her Romeo & Juliet inspired album last June, titled, hopeless fountain kingdom. Brimming to the surface with themes of love, betrayal, friendship, and so much more. Each song spoke to a different piece of the puzzle we call love.
Halsey appeared from behind a large white sheet, ethereal in an all-white getup decked out with a lace veil. The crowd of twenty-somethings screamed in admiration as she belted the opening track, “Eyes Closed”. Her bright blue hair bobbed around as the dramatic visuals behind her set the mood.
She sings, “I can put on a show” from “Heaven In Hiding” and boy, can she ever put on a show. Massive screens behind the singer showcase various artistic elements that enhance the themes we hear in each powerful song. Buzzing bugs, kaleidoscope colors, and religious symbols illuminate the stage. Halsey has remained the same throughout the years; a lyrical mastermind who knows how to execute beautifully. She twirls, stomps, and dances around to tracks you forgot you could even dance to (listen to “Don’t Play” with the bass up as high as it’ll go). hopeless fountain kingdom’s“Alone” had the crowd bouncing as if there were trampolines beneath our feet.
A sense of female empowerment could be felt miles away from the stage. With Halsey recently breaking the news of her relationship with rapper G-Eazy ending, she seemed to give fans a dose of her current reality. “I want you to know, it’s okay to be alone,” the singer confidently says into the mic, “I’m learning it again this week.” She went on to give a supercharged performance of “Don’t Play” featuring a choreographed stomp in shallow water, and a call & response exchange with the loud crowd; “WOMEN, DON’T PLAY NO GAMES!!” over and over. Hand me the torch, I’m ready to run around the world chanting that.
Halsey’s voice is already unique, but hearing her live is a different story. Frequent harmonic interludes and prolonged outro’s made the singer seem even more of a pop star by the second. Her drummer (tucked in by the corner of the stage) amplified each track to feel more organic and less like a guy in the back hitting a play button on a soundboard. Songs like, “Closer” (by The Chainsmokers), “Now Or Never”, “Bad At Love”, and “New Americana” had fans screaming from the rafters. It felt as though she couldn’t have done more if she tried – she did it all and has mastered this tour.
Utah native, Madge, is slowly creeping her way into our headphones. An obscure pop singer and producer now living and creating music in LA. Newest single, “Alice” has finally put her on the map. Child-like vocals, cat sounds, and a punchy sing-a-long beat draws you into whatever magic is happening on this track. She’s so cool, it hurts.
Talk a little more about your background in music? Was it always an interest of yours?
“I grew up playing classical piano quite seriously. I always had a love/hate relationship with it. In fact, as a teen I swore it off altogether. It’s been fun to claim ownership of it again on my terms.”
What/who are some of your inspirations? Whether it be art, movies, musicians, etc.
What does your studio look like? Who is with you? Is self-producing important to you?
“It’s a corner of my living room with a big stained glass window along the right side. I work with my partner in the studio space, but produce almost everything myself for Madge. I love collaborating and have collaborated on Madge (with Chance Lewis for my single “Alice”), but self-producing is REALLY important to me. It’s at the heart of Madge.”
People seem to stumble over the words to describe your sound. What would you call it?
Tell me more about your latest single “Alice” and where the inspiration came from?
“Alice is about a poltergeist. It’s the intersection of humor and horror, pleasure and spooks. I felt haunted by her for several years and now she’s like a funny bat that hangs out on my shoulder at night.”
What are your musical plans for the rest of this year?
“I’ll be releasing an EP later this year and playing a bunch of shows this summer. I also have a self-directed / self-edited music video for “Alice” coming out soon!”
It feels as though every week, we are graced with another Chelsea Cutler tune. One that shakes you to your core, maybe makes you cry, and will probably play on repeat for the next week until you get another new song.
Cutler explained her latest release, “Someone Else” saying that it wasn’t actually about a situation she’s experienced. She filled in RapGenius; “What I can also honestly say is that I think it describes a situation that we can all relate to: making a fool of yourself over and over again because ur lonely and u miss somebody and u don’t want to be alone with your racing thoughts. u text or call them because ur WEAK. and u are scared of what they’re doing or who they’re with.”
The song follows the singer/songwriters classic electro-pop formula. The verses tell a relatable story and the chorus comes in to pull your heart apart…then makes you dance a little bit.
For tickets to see Chelsea Cutler, live, click here!
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.