Thursday, 31 May 2012

Lady Gaga “heading to South Africa”

It all started with a little tweet by @Cherryflava on Twitter on the afternoon of Thursday 31 May: “@LadyGaga is coming to South Africa in October.” As we have learnt by now, never trust a rumour, it can go viral and just lead to disappointment. But, we’ve also learnt that a confirmation starts with a little rumour. Point in case being U2 who brought their 360° World Tour to SA in February 2011. The rumour started on the Internet. Although denied by “official companies”, it was later confirmed. So, now it’s Lady Gaga’s turn. The pop singer is according to trusted intel apparently touching down in South Africa in October as part of her Born This Way Ball Tour. If one looks at her October tour schedule, her last stop is Spain on 6 October, which leaves her the rest of the month open to perform in South Africa! Trusted intel also linked a very well known concert promoter to the tour. As yet, no official statement has been released. All we can say is AMEN! (if true) and start saving for the concert of the year!!

X-Factor finalist LeRoy Bell to perform with Zahara

LeRoy Bell
Singer/songwriter and X-Factor finalist LeRoy Bell and South Africa's biggest pop star Zahara will record together and perform on her first ever live DVD titled "The Beginning," slated for release later this year.  The live concert will take place June 8 and 9 at Carnival City and will feature a spectacular setting with a wide array of musicians and dancers.  "I'm very excited to be performing and recording with Zahara," said LeRoy.  " I fell in love with her voice immediately. She's phenomenal and it won't be long before the world outside of South Africa discovers her  true talent."  LeRoy has been busy in a Seattle recording studio working on songs for his upcoming CD slated for release in the fall.  The first single "One More Chance," will be out in the summer.  “We are busy creating a new hybrid of “Rock & Soul!” LeRoy gained national attention on the X-Factor not only for his voice but for his youthful good looks that defy his age. His appearance on the X-Factor has broadened his international appeal and has won him fans across the globe.

New Music! Justin Bergh's new single

Singer & songwriter Justin Bergh
He is is local hottie!. He sings with an Axl Rose and Bryan Adams style of music and now he has finally released new music!  The local SAMA nominated singer songwriter Justin Bergh is back with Miss You, the new self-penned single that has been put together by multiple award-winning producer Brian O’Shea. The soft rock track showcases Justin's highly acclaimed abilities as a prolific songwriter and vocalist whilst at the same time is brought to 2012 with modern elements of production that give this ballad an additional edge. “The English music market is incredibly competitive and local artists are up against many international artists for a spot on the play list and it made sense for me to uplift a great track with production by one of the country’s best producers,” said Bergh, whose hits include Love The Sinner, Not The Sin, Here With You, Out Of My Hands and Miss America, “I am very excited about this song and with the addition of Brian’s production magic, I am sure that it will go down well.” Justin Bergh shot to fame in 2000 with his debut album Love The Sinner and the hit No Ordinary World featured on the Big Brother soundtrack. His following album Out of My Hands received a SAMA nomination in 2003. Justin performed the South African National Anthem to 85,000 rugby fans at Twickenham in 2006.  His song Special was used by American Cable Giant Showtime to advertise their satellite Network in 2007 and he was personally invited by the now Princess of Monaco to perform at her 30th birthday in 2008. Justin toured South Africa as Bryan Adams’ support act in 2010.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Muses of music

The charming ladies of The Muses is conquering the local music scene with their fusing of classical instruments with contemporary music. The sensational electric string quartet from Johannesburg is on top form on their CD Pop on Strings, and The Beat sat down with three of the four members Mia Snyman, Anna Peacock and Olivia Kotze to chat about music, Spice Girls and their 'real' jobs.
The Muses

Your music has been described as  "a sensational Electrical String Quartet" - how would you guys describe it to new readers?
Mia Snyman: It's fresh and fun, and you won’t be able to resist tapping your feet to the beat of the music.
Anna Peacock: I would say it is all your favourite pop music played by electrical string instruments in such a way that you just want to party and dance with us!
Where did the story of The Muses started and how did you girls all meet each other?
Mia Snyman: We met each other through various music circles and orchestras, and muses started about a year ago when Olivia approached us all with this concept.
You play instruments, how did you come to master the instruments?
Mia Snyman: We all started very early with music lessons and we have played our instruments for many years, but I don’t think you ever get to a point where you feel you have mastered your instrument.
Anna Peacock: Well my mom literally 'popped' a violin between my legs when I was  barely 10months old.  I started lessons formally at the age of 3 and have never looked back! The cello is certainly the most beautiful instrument ever (but don't tell this to the other Muses…)
A muse is someone that inspires, so, who are your inspirations?
Mia Snyman: I am inspired by anyone who takes every moment and makes the best of it, and who is not afraid of taking a chance and going for their dreams. You never know the beauty that lies ahead by taking that leap of faith.
Anna Peacock: My co-Muses inspire me! Olivia with her wisdom, Mia with her beauty tips and Ruby with her fun fashion trends! I just love them!
Your CD Pop On Strings is a great collection of music. How did you ladies decide what to use?
Mia Snyman: We all actually sat one day with our record label, Electromode and made a list of our favourite songs, and then the top 15 made it onto the CD.
Anna Peacock: We sat and brainstormed with our producer and the whole team at our record company - our motto was: to have so much fun as we possibly can and to bring something new to the public!
What songs work for you and what songs don't?
Mia Snyman: I’ve personally changed my opinion a thousand times concerning my favourite track on the CD, because they all have a different flavour and vibe.
Olivia Kotze: Originally, we chose a Black Eyed Pea's song "Time" but realised it wasn't going to work well. The tracks that work the best are songs with interesting melody lines, the ones where the vocal line is mostly on the same pitch doesn't work very well.
What is the one genre of songs you'll never attempt to play?
Mia Snyman: I don’t think heavy metal is our thing, I mean seriously have you seen our pink album cover?
Tell us a bit more about your collaborations?
Mia Snyman: We love to collaborate with wonderful musicians like Prime Circle and Elvis Blue. We have been very fortunate to share a stage with them.
What has been your best collaboration?
Mia Snyman: My personal favourite was playing on Idols finale 2011 with Elvis Blue, it was such fun being part of a production like that.
How do you ladies relax when not performing?
Mia Snyman: My friends are extremely important to me so I spend most of my downtime with them.
Is The Muses a full time job?
Mia Snyman: Muses is definitely a full time job, but I do teach music at Kingsmead College as well.
What are your future plans with The Muses?
Mia Snyman: That's easy....to conquer the world..heh…heh.
What is the one thing that fans don't know about The Muses?
Mia Snyman: We constantly take video clips when we're on the road, and we are the goofiest girls in the world…
Anna Peacock: On our road trips we love to sing "If You Wanna Be" by the Spice Girls!

The NEW Smashing Pumpkins CD

Imagine Oceania. That’s what rockers The Smashing Pumpkins are asking their fans to do for the 13 songs on their new album OCEANIA, out on 19 June. Longtime fans of the visual arts - including their groundbreaking music videos and memorable album covers/packaging -  the band want to inspire creativity and evoke ones personal vision for each song, simply based on the title. That’s the idea behind their new social media endeavor, whereby fans can create their own imagery for any of the album’s 13 songs, tag them with #SPoceania and share them with each other via Instagram, Pinterest, Deviantart and Facebook and Twitter.  The band will also share, like and repost and repin on the official Smashing Pumpkins social sites and some images may end up on the official website. Artists can utilize photos, designs, paintings and words to imagine their own vision of the  songs on OCEANIA  including “Quasar,” “Panopticon,” “The Celestials,” “Violet Rays,” “My Love is Winter,” “One Diamond, One Heart,” “Pinwheels,” “Oceania,” “Pale Horse,” “The Chimera,” “Glissandra,” “Inkless” and “Wildflower.”  For more information on the campaign go to http://www.smashingpumpkins.com/oceania/imagine-oceania/.

Monday, 28 May 2012

CD REVIEW! Gossip - A Joyful Noise

American indie group Gossip had fans in their hands with their electro-punk influenced Music For Men CD. But with their new CD, A Joyful Noise, singer Beth Ditto and her group roped in the help of Girls Aloud producer Brian Higgins. No wonder we heard hints of ABBA and Madonna on this very poppy CD! Beth says she prepared for the album by listening to Abba, and she takes on these fizzing, electronic melodies just as that band might have, applying a topcoat of gloss and an under layer of tenderness and ire. A Joyful Noise grows on you. It's not the break-out rock on music we're used to know, but rather a fluffy Gossip with a CD that might producer some hits! Watch the video for their new song, Move In The Right Direction, HERE!

Elvis Blue almost a hijack victim

Elvis Blue
Local singing sensation Elvis Blue almost became the latest statistic of the hijacking epidemic in South Africa! In the early hours of Sunday morning (27 May 2012), Elvis wrote on his  Facebook page: "This morning at 3:30am my family and I was almost pushed off the N1 and hijacked just outside Sephokeng. Tried to phone the police but could not get through....be very careful of this stretch just past Grasmere heading south friends." Just glad to hear you and your family are safe, Elvis!