single of the week

The Weeknd - Starboy ft. Daft Punk

 

album picks

DNCE's Debut LP 'DNCE' Is Definitely A Jam-Packed Party Playlist!
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Grace VanderWaal Launches Her Music Career By Getting Real On Her Debut EP 'Perfectly Imperfect'
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Album Review: twenty one pilots Meets MUTEMATH (The MUTEMATH Sessions)
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James Arthur's soaring success in 2016 might have been surprising for both fans and critics. His three year hiatus from the music industry would've been though of as a hindrance, but the 28-year-old crooner dominated the charts last year with his hit song, Say You Won't Let Go.

Though one might just know him from the aforementioned single and his controversial dispute with Simon Cowell, James is literally "Back from the Edge", as his sophomore album title suggests.

It definitely shows that the singer has more music in him as he discussed more intimate issues such dealing with anxiety, producing more heart-felt music, and of course, visiting Singapore.

Get to know James better in our interview below!

 

1. Say You Won’t Let Go has been dominating the charts and is deemed by many fans as a “depressing” track. Could you share with us the inspiration behind the song?

I wouldn't say it's a depressing track at all. It's a love story that I think everybody can relate too. If anything, it's a positive track about finding and being with that person. All my writing is influenced by life experiences but I like to create songs that are universally relatable.

 

2. Could you share with us one musician that you listened to as a child that has greatly influenced your current artistic style?

I have so many musical influences, from rap to soul. I like to explore with new styles all the time so I wouldn't pin point one specific artist as I believe you can get influences and inspiration from a variety of genres which I think is really important.

 

3. What challenges did you encounter in making the album, Back From The Edge?

I think the only challenge was how my music would be perceived by everyone. I am really proud of this album and the work and creativity that went in to it. I think there is always doubts and concerns about releasing music but I wanted to go with I felt was right this time round. This is such an honest and autobiographical album, I guess having that out there was a little scary. But the reaction has been amazing and I'm so pleased and proud of it.

 

4. What would be your best memory from 2016?

There are so many. It's been such a whirlwind year and having a number 1 single and album comeback was a feeling and moment I can't explain. The year 2016 has been the best Memory overall.

 

5. You’ve mentioned in a previous interview that watching X Factor gives you anxiety. Do you feel the same way when you play shows or write music?

I guess it's always good to have some nerves before writing and playing live music, as it gives you that drive to better yourself each time. Anxiety is a different beast in itself and it's built into my character. I have to deal with my anxiety in many of ways, but writing and playing live is where I am most comfortable.

 

6. Name one song from your debut album that still strongly resonates with you now.

I resonate with each of the album tracks as they all mean something different for me.

 

7. Will you be planning to bring Back From The Edge Tour to Singapore?

Of course! Would love to come over there and see you guys!

 

8. What message would you give to your Singapore fans?

Just a massive thank you... for believing in me and sticking with me. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the fans so this is all for them as it is for me.

 

 

Photo Credit: Columbia Records

Halsey might be dominating the charts and touring the world to meet thousands of fans, but the soon-to-be 22-year-old admits that fame hasn’t changed her a bit.

An artist so grounded you could almost feel it just from the sweet sound of her voice, and we’re not even talking about her dreamy vocals yet! You might want to watch out for that on Sunday at F1 Singapore Grand Prix.

Of course, we wanted to give you a taste of what it’s like to virtually be in her lovely presence as she talks about coming to Singapore for the very first time.

She might be a rising celebrity, but the humble New Jersey native shares how she was once an obsessed music fan like the rest of us, hence her strong empathy towards her supporters. With this I ashamedly blurted out my deep admiration for her, to which she responded with genuine gratitude (and lots of “awwws”). Isn't she the sweetest?

Without further ado, here’s what went down during our chat with the lovely Halsey!

 

Photo credit: Singapore GP

He admits loving his newfound fame and yet speaks with so much humility and warmth - Charlie Puth truly is a rare gem that does not let fame get to his head while still being able to enjoy the perks that come along with it. 

Oozing with boyish charm, it makes it difficult for one to not fall in love with Charlie. His answers about his love life are so strikingly honest that when you look beyond his chart-topping hits and insane musical talent (i.e. perfect pitch), you see no more than a regular 24-year-old looking for love and the perfect soulmate.

By the time he went into the technicalities of song-writing, he had the entire room convinced he didn't earn a full-scholarship to Berklee College of Music with just a pretty face.

And of course, what's going on with him and Selena Gomez lately?

Find out from the video below!

 

Photo credit: Spin or Bin Music

I am now convinced that Birdy is a magical fairy that found her way into this planet and solely exists to shower us with her melancholy yet heart tingling vocals.

Sporting a denim dress with a pair of Chuck Taylors that one could only ever dream of pulling off so elegantly, Birdy carries the poise and gentleness that she had ever since entering the music industry at a young age. She gives a sparkling aura that I’d like to compare with the pixie dust emoji. Yes, I know you can imagine it too.

Birdy began turning heads by posting original songs and covers on YouTube when she was just 14. Her big breakthrough was a cover of Bon Iver’s Skinny Love that until this day would send you shivers down your spine.

So we consider ourselves lucky for being graced by Birdy’s presence just a few hours before her debut show in Singapore.

Watch the indie folk goddess answer some of your questions with such undying eloquence:

 

Photo Credit: Donwei for Spin or Bin Music

Yes, we are talking about the kid who was discovered by Ellen!

If you claim to know the pop music scene very well and still don't know who Greyson Chance is, you were probably living under a rock from 2010 to 2012. So we forgive you if you have only discovered music in the recent years.

Greyson is an American singer who first got discovered by The Ellen Show for his viral performance that was posted on YouTube of Lady Gaga's Paparazzi when he was just 12 years old.

Several successful singles later, Greyson took a break from the spotlight for a few years to rediscover his love for music. Not only was he successful in doing so, but in the process of it all, a little something called "puberty" hit him hard. It feels as though Chance is a completely different person now as he shot up many inches in height and his voice dropped about 7 tones lower.

We had the chance (wink) to chat with this talented 18-year-old singer and pianist about everything that's happening in his life at the moment; his new EP Somewhere Over My Head that will be dropping May 13th and his next single Back On The Wall that will be released even sooner on April 29th. And great news!!! Greyson will also be making a trip down to our sunny island on June 18th to share with us his latest body of work!

Okay, enough from us. Read on to find out what he has to say about all of this and more for yourself!


1. Wow Greyson! It's been a long time, what have you been up to?
Oh wow, I have a lot of ground to cover there! I'm about to release a new single in the next week and I have an EP coming out soon. And we will be coming to Singapore in June. I've been away from the scene for quite a bit amount of time but I'm really excited about this new lease of music and just to say hello again with the new EP!

2. We are very excited about your Somewhere Over My Head EP that will be dropping May 13th. How would you describe your sound now as compared to your Hold On 'Til the Night and Truth Be Told days?
I would say that my sound now is a bit more mature because I'm 18 years old now. Compared to the older music, this is a whole new direction and whole new style. I think people would also be very surprised to see how I look like now as compared to 2012.

3. Your new single Back On The Wall is coming out really soon on the 29th of April, can you give us a little tease on what the song is about?
The song is basically telling someone, the first line of the song is "I'm wild, I'm loyal." and that is just the entire theme of the song. It is just being with someone and saying I know I'm a bit crazy sometimes but your love puts me back on the wall and it freaks me out a bit. It's a fun record, it's a really feel good song. You like want to roll your windows down when you play it. It's really important to me, I hope that people will enjoy and like it as much as I do!

4. You mentioned that you want to show people that you have matured and can write music, what has particularly inspired you in the past few years to write your own music?
I think I'm inspired by just a lot of things that happen in my life. It's just kind of everything that's going on. I'm very inspired by my friends as well. I'm really proud of their stories and what's going on with them. With this EP in particular, I moved from Oklahoma to Los Angeles in August so I wrote a bit about some of the homesickness that I was feeling. I was missing my family, missing my friends back at home in Oklahoma. This was quite represented in the music but yeah, I guess good songwriting is good storytelling. So I think fans will be able to listen to the EP and hear 5 stories that were kind of happening in my life during the time I was writing the record.

5. Do you have any advice for people who would like to song-write but don't know how to or where to start?
Yeah! I would say to anyone who wants to be a songwriter that it can be quite hard sometimes. You just have to stick with it. It's very full of muscles and you have to exercise the muscles. And also I think like try to write as much as possible. If you are really frustrated about something, try to pick up a pen and paper or something and write about how you are feeling about it and how you might be able to fix it. Just always keep trying and never stop creating. That would be my advice.

6. What would you say is the biggest lesson that you have learnt in your time being away from the spotlight?
Erm... I think when I went away for a bit, I think I kind of fell in love with music again. I think for a while when you're on the road and working, it can be really hard. And it's easy to forget why you're doing it. And I think when I was away, I really discovered my love for music in a whole other light and a whole other way. And that's also why I'm really excited for the EP because it shows and represents that.

7. June 18!!! That's when you will be coming to Singapore! Do you remember anything about Singapore from your previous visits?
Yeah! Actually Singapore is one of my favourite cities in the world. I love the people in Singapore, everybody is super nice and super welcoming. The food is also amazing! So I'm looking forward to that! I'm looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and some old fans.

8. What can we expect from your show in Singapore?
You'd expect, like I said, a much taller Greyson for sure! You can expect new music, I'm really excited to play these songs and kind of introduce them to everyone. I'm coming with just a piano which I think it's always more fun! So it'll be an intimate show, playing out new music to the fans.

9. We know that Lady Gaga has always been one of your inspirations and someone you would hopefully one day collaborate with. Are there any other artists you would like to collaborate or write with?
Yeah, well I just met Sam Smith a couple of months ago. So that will be a very large dream collaborator! But I think he's very very busy, so maybe if you could speak to Sam and help me out... I wish! But yeah, I love Sam!

10. What kind of song do you think you'll write with him?
Man, I would hope we would write a record where I could not look like such a crappy singer as compared to him. I don't want to disappoint. But probably, he's really good with those soppy ballads. So I'd go with something like that!

11. What's your favourite song at the moment?
Hmmm... let me think. Favourite song at the moment... wow, let me think about that. Do you like Kendrick Lamar in Singapore? Yeah, we do! Yeah, I love his new album. The untitled album. Just any song on that even though I'm a skinny white kid from Oklahoma I can still blast some hip hop!

12. Would you like to try to cover one of his songs one day?
Absolutely not! It'll be terrible and I'm never gonna try that! But I love his music!

13. So are there any other songs that you'll like to cover?
Well yeah, I'm actually a really big rock fan. I really like it when pop artists take like rock songs or even indie records and bring them more into like a pop light. There are a lot of like underground rock that I'll really like to cover.

14. Do you have your next career move planned out?
I think I do but I'm not sure that I can tell you about it but I try to stay on top of everything.

15. What is something that you hope to achieve in the coming year?
We are putting out this EP and it's been a while since I released music so this is a big step for me. But I think next year I'd like to release a new piece of music and as many songs as I possibly can, and keep giving the fans content.

Maybe an LP next time?
Yeah, that wouldn't be a terrible idea. I'm starting off with an EP and I think the next move will definitely be an album!

16. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
OH WOW. I only get one thing? Yes. Oh man, I need a whole list of things. I would change everyone's brain and make it so that they will not be judgemental about anyone or anything. That would be the one thing that I'll change. And ISIS is really not cool, I don't like them as well.

17. Do you have a message to your fans here in Singapore?
Yes! I would say, thank you first of all for sticking by me for so long since 2010, 2011, listening to the music. And I'm so excited to bring the new EP on my trip to Singapore to see some familiar faces and I'm just really really thankful for them and I can't wait to see them!


*****

After talking to Greyson, we realised that not only has his voice and music changed but his perspective as well as outlook on life has matured so much. It was just so refreshing to hear someone be so passionate about something that they love. His determination to be the best that he can be has inspired us to do likewise. We absolutely can't wait to watch him perform LIVE in Singapore in June! See you then Greyson!

 

Concert Details:

Date: 18 June 2016, Saturday
Venue: myVillage Rooftop @ Serangoon Gardens
Ticket Prices: Spend a minimum of $90 at myVillage and redeem a ticket or $160 for a pair.*

For more details click here

Photo Credit: Universal Music Singapore