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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Kendrick Lamar LIVE in SA

Kendrick Lamar
Miller Genuine Draft today announced the return of Miller BOOMTOWN featuring international acclaimed rapper Kendrick Lamar LIVE in SA this summer. The three-city South African tour kicks off at the CTICC in Cape Town on the 7th November before moving to Johannesburg Stadium on the 8th November and Durban’s Wave House on the 9th November priced at R350-R1900. Self-professed ‘King of New York, Compton born rapper Kendrick Lamar is making serious waves in the rap world over the last few days. Recently crowned the ‘Hottest MC in the Game’ by hiphop authority MTV, the 26 year old is taking the scene by storm with his clever rhymes, witty lyrics and forward thinking attitude. He is young, he is fresh, he is ready and destined to change the game as we know it. “With the recent success and popularity of Miller BOOMTOWN at the Durban July, we decided to take Miller BOOMTOWN on tour for everyone to have access to the experience.”, says Carmen Hobbs the Miller Genuine Draft Marketing Manager. “And who better to align the beer with a fresh take on things than the Freshest MC on the globe right now, Kendrick Lamar. It’s all about keeping things the Fresh with Miller”. Tickets are available from www.computicket.com, the Computicket call centre on 0861 915 8000 or any Computicket outlet at Checkers and Shoprite. Golden circle tickets cost R650 while General Access tickets are R350. VIP Hospitality tickets will also be available at R1900.

Metallica: Through The Never 3D

Metallica fans are in for a big treat when the long awaited Metallica 3D movie, Through The Never opens in South Africa on 27 September. Award-winning filmmaker Nimród Antal (Predators, Kontroll) creates a ground-breaking 3-D motion picture event, Metallica Through the Never. The music-driven feature film combines a bold narrative and spectacular live-performance footage of one of the most popular and influential rock bands in history to produce a bracing, raw and visceral cinematic experience. Emerging young star Dane DeHaan (The Place Beyond the Pines, Kill Your Darlings, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) portrays Trip, a young roadie sent on an urgent mission during Metallica’s roaring live set in front of a sold-out arena audience. As the band performs many of their most iconic songs for tens of thousands of devoted fans on a never-before-seen stage created exclusively for the film, Trip is dispatched outside the arena to meet a disabled delivery truck and recover a mysterious item being transported to the show. But the seemingly simple assignment turns into a surreal adventure when his car is hit by an out-of-control driver. Trip, dazed and bruised, climbs out of his van only to find himself pitched into the middle of a tense standoff between angry protesters and charging riot police. In the ensuing mayhem, a vicious masked horseman sets his murderous eye on Trip while delivering indiscriminate deathblows to rioters and cops alike. Fleeing through the desolate, post-apocalyptic urban streetscape, Trip has only his wits to protect him as he attempts to deliver the band’s precious cargo and avoid becoming the horseman’s next victim. Featuring dazzling pyrotechnics, the most elaborate live-performance stage ever built and imagery drawn from the band’s trailblazing iconography, the immersive 360-degree show creates a mind-bending, ear-shattering mirror image of the destruction and chaos of Trip’s journey. Metallica Through the Never’s state-of-the-art 3-D photography, captured using up to 24 cameras simultaneously, engulfs audiences in one of the most innovative and exciting cinematic experiences ever imagined.

Daft Punk - Lose Yourself to Dance

For those who watched the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards would have seen a glimpse of the new Daft Punk music video, Lose Yourself To Dance. It's catchy, just like their massive hit, Get Lucky. The snippet we saw reminded us of something Michael Jackson would have done with his Don't Stop Till You Get Enough video. Lose Yourself To Dance is a dico funk song featuring Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams. The band said the song was the result of a desire to create dance music with live drummers with Daft Punk member Thomas Bangalter saying that they wishes to redefine dance music as "something lighter or something more primal." Well, we LOVE the catchy laid back funky tune. Pharrell Williams previously stated that the song "makes me feel like walking down the street in the middle of the night in London and it's 1984, 1985. I don't hear '70s in that at all." If you have missed the clip, see it below.


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Arno Carstens goes Unplugged for his new tour

Rocker Arno Carstens will tour the South African Coast with his eclectic alternative rock brand during the month of September 2013, at venues in the Western & Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal as part of the annual Arno Carstens Unplugged series that will include popular tracks from Arno's solo career, including Another Universe, Hole Heart, Dreamer, Emergency, Two Dogs and Battlescars Gallactica as well as those from his career as the lead singer of Springbok Nude Girls: Blue Eyes, Genie and Little. "This Unplugged Series is a great way for me to perform my songs in a stripped down and intimate environment, and allows us to really connect with the audience. I'll be performing with Gus Warden on Percussion and David Watkyns on Keys & Trumpet and we'll take the audience on a journey that encompasses genres ranging from intimate musical sensitivity right through to a searing landscape of sound." says Carstens. As the lead singer of Springbok Nude Girls and subsequently as a solo artist, Arno Carstens has released 10 studio albums (5 as the lead singer of Springbok Nude Girls, 1 as half of the Electronica project, Bhelltower and 4 as a solo artist). He has had over 20 top ten singles, won 5 South African Music Awards and shared the stage with legends of the music world including U2, The Rolling Stones and REM. He has toured extensively in SA, UK, Europe and USA, headlined every major South African festival and performed at some of the most legendary international music festivals including Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, V Festival, T in the Park and Hard Rock Calling.  Arno has released 4 solo albums, Another Universe (2003), The Hello Goodbye Boys (2005), Wonderful Wild (2010) and Atari Gala (2012).

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - The Big Brawl

Sean 'Diddy' Combs
Although Miley Cyrus had the tongues wagging with her "interesting" performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, there was actually something else that has the gossip world buzzing... It is reported that Sean 'Diddy' Combs (aka Puff Daddy) was involved in a brawl at the MTV VMAs after-party. Music-news.com reports that Beyoncé Knowles was 'yelling' as Sean 'Diddy' Combs got into a scuffle at an MTV VMAs after-party. The singer clearly didn't approve of the fight, which happened at a bash hosted by her husband Jay-Z following the Video Music Awards on Sunday. According to onlookers, Beyoncé screamed when the altercation broke out and Jay-Z leapt into action to ensure she wasn't hurt. 'Diddy got in a fight with someone partying too close to him and his girlfriend [Cassie],' a guest revealed to New York Daily News' Confidenti@l. 'It was mayhem. Beyoncé was yelling to stop and Jay-Z was separating people and getting people away from Bey.'The ruckus apparently lasted for just a few minutes, with a few people being pushed and some bottles broken. However, Diddy was quick to reassure fellow revellers that it was safe to continue partying at the Dream Downtown in New York City. A host of big names including Leonardo DiCaprio, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and his 'N SYNC bandmates, Jessica Biel, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, Pharrell and Busta Rhymes are said to have witnessed the brawl.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Eminem announces details of new album

Eminem
Slim Shady is back! Slim, or better known to fans as Eminem, will release his new CD, Marshall Mathers LP 2, in November. And that's not all! The rapper's new single Berzerk will make its debut tomorrow (Tuesday). The rapper shared the news during a Beats by Dre commercial that aired during Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards, revealing his first LP since 2010's Recovery would hit shelves 5 November. The new album, Marshall Mathers LP 2, is a follow-up to Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP, released in 2000. MTV reports the project was executive produced by the lyricist's longtime collaborators Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin. The project will mark Eminem's eighth solo album. His previous releases include: Infinite (1996), The Slim Shady LP (1998), The Marshall Mathers LP (2000), The Eminem Show (2002), Encore (2004), Relapse (2009) and Recovery (2010). 

2013 MTV VMAs - a night to remember

Daft Punk
The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards will remembered for two stand out moments: 1 - A rare appearance by the French electro duo Daft Punk, and 2) a N'Sync reunion. Yes, the Lady Gaga song Applause was ok, but she's overshadowed by these 2 big events. And of course, there were the winners - well deserved (you might disagree). Video Of The Year: Justin Timberlake - 'Mirrors'; Best Hip-Hop Video: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton - 'Can't Hold Us'; Best Male Video: Bruno Mars - 'Locked Out of Heaven'; Best Female Video: Taylor Swift - 'I Knew You Were Trouble'; Best Pop Video: Selena Gomez - 'Come and Get It'; Best Song of the Summer: One Direction - 'Best Song Ever'; Best Collaboration: Pink featuring Nate Ruess - 'Just Give Me A Reason'; Best Video With A Social Message: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - 'Same Love'; Best Rock Video: Thirty Seconds to Mars - 'Up in the Air'; and Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award: Justin Timberlake. Watch below the hot performance of the briefly reunited N'Sync!

Friday, 23 August 2013

New Coldplay song, Atlas, released

Coldplay
Coldplay quietly released a brand new song today. 'Atlas' will be included on the soundtrack to Hunger Games 2, reports music-news.com. The song was recorded for the movie and is not planned to be included on Coldplay's next album. 'Atlas' features the lyrics 'caught in the fire, say oh' suggesting that Chris Martin wrote the song specifically for the movie. The full title of the film is 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'. Martin is a fan of The Hunger Games books. 'We are so honoured that Coldplay, one of the iconic rock bands of our generation, will perform the first song out on the new soundtrack,' said Tracy McKnight of Lionsgate said in a statement. 'Knowing that Chris Martin is a fan of the books makes this even more meaningful. The Coldplay single underscores the stature of recording artists we've assembled for this powerful soundtrack.' The soundtrack to the first movie features music by The Arcade Fire and Taylor Swift.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Idols SA judge Unathi Msengana release live DVD

Idols SA judge Unathi Msengana has just released a live DVD. The South African singer, actress and radio personality has released An Intimate Night With Unathi  - a 10 tracks DVD which is a collection of her three previous studio albums and features songs such as A Mother's love song, You make me happy, Ngiyak'khumbula and Sana lwam. “The show,” she told Port Elizabeth Express, “is about my journey, my growth, my joys and my sorrows.” She is one of those people you cannot leave without. Many love to hate her, but it is her positive energy, outspoken personality and music that keeps people going back to her for more. She is without a doubt the modern day African Renaissance Woman. This independent singer and songwriter proudly financed the entire project of recording the DVD, as she wants to emphasize the importance of ownership to upcoming musicians. Unathi who is a Rhodes University Journalism and Drama graduate and also a graduate in Media Studies from University of Utrecht International, moved to the city of gold (Johannesburg) in 2001 to start her career. She was a presenter for Castle Loud and then moved onto the YFM platform. Currently she co-hosts one of the biggest breakfast shows in the county on Metro FM with the renowned media personality Glen Lewis. Together they have taken Metro FM's breakfast show to greater heights. Unathi has not only graced the local stages and platforms such as Bank Joy of Jazz Festival. Performing for the United Nations delegates she evoked such strong emotions that the legendary producer Quincy Jones gave her a standing ovation and even joined her on stage to sing her praises. She has shared the stage with international greats such as John Legend and Youssou N'dour.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Catching up with local rockers The Parlotones

The Parlotones, who has been named "Biggest selling rock band of the decade" in South Africa, left for greener pastures in Los Angeles in January this year. The band is now back in South Africa for a brief visit, and The Beat caught up with them to find out about life in the States, meeting Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones, their new music and why South Africa is still the best country to live in!

Welcome back to SA! How long are you lads here for? Hello! It's great to be back, although it's only briefly. We're here for a month and heading back to LA at the end of September.

Why are you back? We are finishing up some bits and pieces for the album that we can't do via the internet. There is also going to be an album launch, and Jo'burg day. And of course we need to see our families and friends again!

You’ve been in LA for some time now. For those who don’t know, why did you move to LA? We have come a long way in South Africa and don't think we can grow much more as a band by staying here. We have explored Germany and the UK and have had some success there, but we feel America is the place to be if you want to crack it worldwide. We chose LA because it feels similar to Jo'burg, and also most of the people we're working with live in LA. We spent most of our time on the road though, we're constantly touring.

What do you guys miss the most about South Africa when in LA? Mostly our families, and the familiarity and comfort of home.

How has the reaction been from American fans about your music? Very good! We've been gaining more fans every time we play, and are building up a loyal fan base. We've been getting radio play and are getting some music into TV shows and movies as well, so things are off to a good start.

What would you say is the biggest difference performing to an overseas crowd that performing to a home grown crowd? Well obviously the size of the crowd is a little different, but other than that it's basically the same. People dance, sing along and clap, it's pretty much the same atmosphere anywhere you go in the world. South Africans do tend to know a lot more of the songs and words, so they sing along a lot more.

Tell us a bit more about the new CD? It's gonna be cool! We've recorded quite a few songs, but can only put 10 to 12 on the album, so unfortunately some will be left off. But we feel there is a lot of "classic Parlotones sound" mixed in with a little more slightly "different" stuff. We like it all, and think people are gonna enjoy it as well.

Any interesting places and things you guys have seen or done while in LA? Yeah lots! We've been hiking in the Hollywood hills, been out to various clubs to watch bands, we've been to comedy clubs and theatre performances, and even a big church (where we performed an unplugged version of one of our new songs.) We met Mick Jagger one night, and Scott Weiland (from Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver) was at one of our shows at The Viper Room. We've even been surfing!

Why would say South Africa is still the best country to live in? It just is! It's hard to explain, but I guess home is where the heart is, and our hearts belong in South Africa.

Famed DJ Carl Cox to headline the exclusive Electric NYE Ball in Cape Town on 31 December 2013

Carl Cox
Electronic legend, Carl Cox is heading to South Africa. The famed DJ is headlining the Electric NYE Ball in Cape Town's CTICC on 31 December 2013. What better time to celebrate with this music icon than this one-night only New Year’s Eve 2014 DJ set, talk about starting the year with a bang… Carl’s early days saw him spinning rare groove and hip-hop in the bars of Chicago and New York. He went on to become a veteran of the acid house scene, and the stalwart of electronic music he is today; Coxy, as he’s affectionately known, is showing no signs of slowing down. His residency at Space is one of the most popular club nights in Ibiza and his Global Radio show reaches 12 million listeners in over 35 countries. “We have been working on acquiring this booking for the past few years, and, to coin a phrase from the master himself - oh yes, oh yes- we did it! We are honoured to have the world’s number one party DJ here in South Africa, performing exclusively under the African night sky, in the No.1 tourist destination in the world, as we salute the year that was 2013.” says Shaun Duvet of Electric Music. Tickets for the exclusive event go on sale Monday 26 August 2013.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Goodnight Wembley releases Bang!

Cape Town based rock band, Goodnight Wembley have released their debut album BANG!, entering the iTunes album chart at #8. In celebration of their new release, the band has also taken over online streaming site, Deezer, with their top music suggestions. Earlier this month, Goodnight Wembley played a main-stage slot at Oppikoppi giving fans a taste of what to expect from BANG!. The five-piece band, comprised of members from Taxi Violence, 7th Son and Dead Lucky, only launched as a working band in mid-2012, but quickly won over South African crowds with their larger-than-life rock sound and stage presence. The 11-track album BANG! was recorded on drummer Jean Labuschagne’s farm in Stellenbosch in November 2012.  Brendyn 'Rusti' Rossouw of Heritage Sound was at the production controls, with mixing done by Neal Snyman. Away from all the distractions of the city, Wembley were able to focus on making the project world class and spent an entire month living, writing and recording on the farm, leaving only for the occasional show. A documentary detailing the studio process on the farm will go out to fans later this year. The Mother City musicians were able to pull together their own grunge, rock and pop culture references creating a sound that manages to appear both fresh and nostalgic, curious and catchy, innovative yet familiar. The album also includes an exciting collaboration with Francois van Coke (VCK/Fokofpolisiekar) and members of Dead Lucky.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Report: Lady Gaga 'Applause' single flops

Mother Monster, Lady Gaga
It must have been a mother of a monster weekend for the one and only Mother Monster. According to the examiner.com many prominent websites declared Lady Gaga's latest musical offering, Applause, a big flop. "Showbiz411 notes that "Applause" has already fallen to number 4 on iTunes and number 8 on Amazon. Perhaps other artists wouldn't be upset, but Lady Gaga had declared "Applause" as the song of the decade. Radio stations are getting poor feedback for the song as well," states the examiner.com. "Interscope is taking action by rush-releasing a second single "Swine" on September 1. This isn't good. Releasing two singles more than two months ahead of the "ARTPOP" album release spells disaster. Lady Gaga isn't taking the news too well. She has gone on a Twitter meltdown, even trying to drag Madonna and Perez Hilton down with her. The worst part about Lady Gaga's flop is that sales and Youtube numbers have been inflated. Mother Monster held a contest that gave incentives to fans who downloaded "Applause" the most and pressed the Refresh button on her YouTube video several thousand times. Several Gaga fans are even turned off." It is reported that Katy Perry's new song Roar sold 450 000 digital copies by the end of last week, where Lady Gaga's Applause only managed to sell 200 000 by the end of the weekend. No Applause here....

Friday, 16 August 2013

Rockers Keane getting ready for Greatest Hits CD

Keane
English alternative rock band Keane have announced details of their greatest hits album. The Very Best of Keane will be released on November 11 and includes all the hits from their five studio albums, which have collectively sold over 11 million copies. "It's over a decade ago that we were busy making our first record Hopes & Fears," singer Tom Chaplin said in a statement. "Having got together in the mid '90s, things took a while to get going for us as a band, but once they did, it became an incredible ride! We've had five consecutive number one albums, toured the world countless times and experienced some very heady days. "We wanted to put something out there to mark this milestone, to say thank you to all our fans and to try and send you all on a journey through the songs which we're most proud of." The retrospective features 18 fan favourites from their five records as well as two brand new songs, 'Higher Than The Sun' and 'Won't Be Broken'. A deluxe edition of the release also includes all of their B-sides, while the super deluxe version is accompanied by a DVD of a new acoustic set of their songs chosen by fans.

NEW! Eminem 'Survival' track released

Eminem
Rapper Eminem has suddenly dropped a brand new song titled 'Survival'. The song will be featured in the upcoming computer game 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' and on his next album. 'Survival' features Liz Rodrigues and was produced by DJ Khalil. Across a snarled hook by Liz Rodrigues (and lots of video game gunshots), Eminem raps that he "came up rough / came to ruffle feathers", calling this his "last chance to make this whole stadium erupt". Then again, Marshall Mathers is pretty clear he has no plans to retire (again): "If I don't do this music shit I lose my shit," he spits in the full version of the track. "It's all I know how to do ... I don't own no diploma for school, I quit! So there's nothing for me to fall back on." In a video statement, Eminem said :"The [new] song's about fighting back and it seems like it fits Ghosts perfectly, I'm gonna be a big part of the [Call of Duty] game. My new song's in it, got a video dropping for it soon too." Although a title is yet to be announced for Eminem's 8th album Dr Dre announced back in March that the album was close to completion. Eminem was last heard on Pink's 'The Truth About Love' album on the track 'Here Comes The Weekend'.

Lady Gaga's drag club 'madness'

Mother Monster, Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga's Applause video was 'spur of the moment', reveals a drag queen to music-news.com. Mother Monster released the music promo for her new single from album ARTPOP this week, which features cross-dressing performers. Gaga and her Haus of Gaga entourage visited Micky's nightclub in West Hollywood, California to capture footage for the video. Famed female impersonator Shannel had no idea she was going to be in it initially, as Gaga appeared at the venue unexpectedly. "It was very last minute, spur of the moment. We knew nothing about it,' told MTV News. "She just sat there in the crowd, just as a regular spectator, and then it just became a lot more interactive [when she came on stage and] that got the crowd really up and going. And then birthdays came around and she started singing to all the people onstage. It was great!" Shannel admits the crowd got a little carried away with excitement while watching Gaga sing. The drag queen believes no one expected the superstar to interact so intimately with fans. "Madness! It was lots and lots of energy! To the audiences' perspective, it was this completely overwhelming thing that kind of came," she explained. "It sealed the deal [when she jumped onstage]. Like 'Whoa, she's raised human' and she doesn't have to have a bodyguard on her every second of the moment, [she has] her own free will and spirit and all of that. It was pretty cool."

HOT CD! DJ Cleo - Eskhaleni 9/ Es'Khaleni Soul

The Multi-award winning Tlou Cleopas Monyepao popularly known as DJ Cleo is back with his 9th double disk entitled Eskhaleni 9/ Es'Khaleni Soul and he is the executive producer of the album. He is still doing what he does best giving his followers and fans ‘good music’. There is no doubt that this 34-year-old musician is a trend-setter. When it comes to dance music, he leads and the rest follow. Imagine being called a veteran at his age...He is a producer, song writer and singer just to mention a few. DJ Cleo is a master when it comes to his craft. And what sets him apart besides the talent he has is the respect he has for his fans. This time DJ Cleo went for the kill judging from the heavyweights and veterans he features in both discs. Discs 1 feature at least 13 tracks while disc 2 has 15 tracks, and believe me, once you start playing both discs you will not want to put them down. The offering has powerful tracks such as Zooma featuring DJ Mlungu, Mbizo Rocker featuring legendary Phuzekhemisi, No Ish featuring Club 808 co-presenter Thando Thabethe, Skorokoro featuring legendary Condry Ziqubu and Inspector Mkhaba and We are the bad boys featuring AKA and Jahseed. This Ekurhuleni born has managed to make the title ‘Es’khaleni’ some sort of religion and it has worked for him as he now has the 9th edition of it. He has helped discover and hone some of the music talent in the country, and with his unique skills and business mind, DJ Cleo is a role model to many. This king of music downloads owns his own record label Will of Steel Productions and he has worked with popular names like Brickz, Pitch Black Afro, Mzekezeke, Mandoza, Donald Moatshe, The late Brown Dash and he also worked on the soundtrack for the Oscar-winning feature film Tsotsi, and the list goes on. Eskhaleni 9/ Es'Khaleni Soul is a must have in your collection and the tracks are a ‘must’ download.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Michael Jackson's The Immortal World Tour™ heading to South Africa...but only Johannesburg

The Estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil announced today that Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour™ will be coming to South Africa in March 2014 for an exclusive, once in a lifetime, series of shows at Johannesburg's Coca-Cola Dome. The show is a riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy that immerses audiences in Michael Jackson's creative world, and is aimed at lifelong fans as well as those experiencing Michael’s creative genius for the first time. This once-in-a-lifetime electrifying production uses Cirque du Soleil creativity to give fans worldwide a unique view into the spirit, passion and heart of the artistic genius who forever transformed global pop culture. The show captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations. Written and directed by Jamie King, the show includes 49 international dancers, musicians and acrobats and is the largest touring arena production in the world. Since its world premiere in Montreal in October 2011, the enormously successful arena production has thrilled audiences across North America, Europe and Asia and was listed by Pollstar as one of the top selling arena tours worldwide for the first half of 2013. Presented by 94.7 Highveld Stereo and M-Net. Tickets range from R340 – R850 and available from www.bigconcerts.co.za or Computicket.

Sean Kingston bounces back with hot new release

Sean Kingston
Sean Kingston is back, and after recovering from a devastating accident in 2011, he’s back stronger than ever.  He’s already been enthusiastically welcomed; when it came time to record the album, Sean’s friends T.I., Wiz Khalfia, Chris Brown, Yo Gotti, Wale, Busta Rhymes and 2Chainz all showed up.   Produced by Jonathan “J.R.” Rotem, Red One (who produced Fire Burning) and new producers Nic Nac,  “Back 2 Life” is a fiercely innovative album that shows off Sean’s talent as a singer as well as his song writing skills. “Back 2 Life is a really honest reflection of where I’m at in my life right now,” Sean says. “I knew I needed to address some difficult things on the album, but my goal was to do it in an upbeat sort of way.” Dedicating nearly his entire life to music and achieving superstardom when he was just 17, Sean Kingston has amassed an untold amount of experience as a singer/songwriter over the years. On his third-full length album Back 2 Life, the 23-year-old builds on that experience by immensely expanding his song writing role, nixing the multi-producer approach of his last release, and pushing for a fresh new sound. Like his 2007 self-titled debut (featuring the double-platinum breakout hit “Beautiful Girls”) and sophomore album Tomorrow (featuring the smash singles “Fire Burning” and “Face Drop”), Back 2 Life fuses reggae, hip-hop, R&B, and electro to create melody-soaked pop. But on Back 2 Life, the singer/songwriter blends his newly strengthened vocals with fiercely inventive effects and hard-hitting live instrumentation - a formula that’s yielded his most passionately inspired work to date.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Twitter battle: Gaga Vs Perry. Applause Vs Roar

It is always fun when there is a 'pop battle' between fans of two singer. At the moment it's fans of Mother Monster, Lady Gaga versus fans of Katy Perry. And all the hoo-ha?  Both multi-million-selling artists have released new singles, Perry with ‘Roar’, and Gaga with ‘Applause’, and now we have  overly invested teenagers screaming at each other via the medium of Twitter. One fan wrote, "we can understand why Katy is #1 on itunes, this is real music unlike floppause," while another commented on Lady Gaga, "this sounds like if Poker Face and Alejandro haved a baby!!!! I LOVE IT. FINALLY THAT GAGA OF THE FAME MONSTER AND THE FAME IS BACK!!!!!!♥ love this song! The Irishtimes.com gave an early verdict in the hotly contested 'pop battle', by saying, "Gaga’s new track is detached and cold, Perry’s is emotional and air-punching. Both are as cynical as the other, of course, but which is better? Hands down, Perry’s." They continue, "Gaga opens the song blustering and shouting, like a misguided opera interlude in a Eurovision performance that sees the audience stare around uncomfortably while a robust woman dressed in leather shakes her first at the arena. Meanwhile, Perry’s anthem is the soundtrack to daydreams about rescuing people from hostage situations while still looking hot / winning Wimbledon even though your knee gave way in the final set but you STRUGGLED ON." Celebuzz reported, The last time Lady Gaga released a lead-off single ("Born This Way"), everyone got mad because it sounded a lot like Madonna's "Express Yourself" (allegedly). This one doesn't sound anything like Madonna (which is good, considering what she's been putting out lately, but it also doesn't sound much like anything at all, really." For Katy, they said, "Oh, a simple pop-friendly beat! Awesome. But, agh, these lyrics. "I'm floating like a butterfly / Stinging like a bee, I earn my stripes." Some are saying the song is actually just a rip-off version of Sara Bareillis' "Brave" (which, now that I know what that is, sounds fair); I say it sounds more like a good chunk of the songs Katy Perry has produced over the last few years. Which is disappointing for two reasons: 1.) it's a little lazy; and 2.) that means "Roar" is probably going to be #1 on the charts for the next 10 weeks." So what do you think? Are either of these songs legitimately good? Let us know your thoughts...

Donna Summer gets remixed for new project

Donna Summer
The late Queen Of Disco Donna Summer is going to hop back on the charts later this year with a new remixed project, called Love To Love You Donna. The set will feature a number of re-workings from the likes of Giorgio Moroder, Hot Chip, Chromeo & Oliver, Frankie Knuckles, Eric Kupper and others. Giorgio Moroder - who co-produced some of Summer's albums in the 1970s - has reworked 'Love To Love You Baby' for the project. The producer debuted his remix of the classic track during his set at Way Out West festival in Gothenberg, Sweden last week. Knuckles and Kupper have worked on a new version of 'Hot Stuff', while Hot Chip have remixed 'Sunset People'. Chromeo & Oliver have reworked 'Love Is In Control (Finger On the Trigger)' as the set's lead single, reports Billboard. Love To Love You Donna was originally intended as a tribute record, but transformed into a full remix project. Listen to Love Is In Control, HERE!

OFFICIAL! Lady Gaga's 'Applause' is one killer song

Mother Monster, Lady Gaga
All hail The Gaga! Mother Monster is back with her first official single 'Applause' which is featured on her much anticipated new CD, ARTPOP. The title should be self-evident, but the jam is essentially about Mother Monster's intense need for her fans' adoration in the form of good old-fashioned claps. In a sense, the song is a readymade rebuttal to anything negative critics might lob her way — and a rallying call for her Little Monsters to dole out that life force that sustains her: applause. The reviews have started to pour in for Gaga's new track, but — good or bad — Mother Monster won't be hearing any of that. As she stated on Twitter Sunday (August 11), Lady Gaga does not truck with music critics: "Dont focus on ANY blogger criticism. I have been a producer/songwriter/musician for over 10 years. Trust the artist bloggers are not critics." When it comes to opinions, Gaga only really cares what her fans think of her jams — and said thoughts best be accompanied by a lot of clapping. The majority of the song, predictably, features Gaga stressing that she lives "for the applause, applause, applause," asking fans to "put your hands up make'em touch." Lady Gaga premiered the full version of her new single "Applause" one entire week earlier than scheduled. The DJ White Shadow co-produced dance floor-ready anthem was supposed to be radio premiered and released on iTunes on 19 August, but due to speculation (although, it was more than speculation actually…new snippets were being posted online left and right) some people had obtained the full track somehow and were threatening to leak it, Gaga had to take immediate action and what she did, was the only thing she could've done, ditch 19 August, and premiere "Applause" now.  Listen to the new track, below.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Ashanti on Army Wives on M-Net Series Showcase

Grammy Award Winning singer/songwriter, actor and author, Ashanti can now be seen on the hit television drama Army Wives (Premiers weekly Wednesdays 20.30 on M-Net Series Showcase, DStv Channel 113). The show, now screening its 7th season, has introduced three new wives to the line-up with the highly acclaimed music diva sensation Ashanti playing the role of Latasha Montclair. Montclair is a fun loving mother of 3 that keeps her fellow Army Wives close to her heart and her family closer.Ashanti is most famous for her eponymous debut album, which featured the hit song "Foolish", and sold over 503,000 copies in its first week of release throughout the U.S. in April 2002.

CD! Various Artists - Unforgettable Vol. 2

Besides its ability to rekindle all the hits and memories neatly compiled and considered in one place over the last 50-odd years, Unforgettable Vol. 2 will remind you of a whole lot more than just a walk down memory lane. Music’s always enjoyed the unique ability to take music lovers right back to when a pop hit was first on high rotation. Etched in memory and carved out in the annals of Top 40 charts, Unforgettable Vol. 2 is the welcome second chapter to a now burgeoning classic hits compilation series. Three discs, 60 tracks and a comfortable lifetime filled with only the biggest and best. Round one of three opens in recent past tense with Nelly Furtado’s “I’m Like A Bird”, before swooping though Crowded House’s “Fall At Your Feet”, Roxette’s breakout smash hit “The Look”, and the evergreen pop staple from Indecent Obsession “Kiss Me”. One hit wonders are often difficult to find independently. That’s were Unforgettable Vol. 2 does its best work. Think The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”, Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses At Night”, Sandra’s “Everlasting Love” and Joe Esposito’s “Lady, Lady, Lady” and each is included, ready and welcoming. And all of this before you’ve even considered moving on to the second in what is a very powerful three-part trilogy. Sliding back in time Wet Wet Wet’s “Love Is All Around” kick starts chapter two, before Tears For Fears’ “Shout”, Lionel Richie politely professes his love and commitment in “Hello” and Air Supply confess they’re “All Out Of Love”. By the time you’ve hit the summit and pinnacle piece of this pop-rock memorabilia collectable, all you’ll want to do is take Abba’s lead on “Dancing Queen.

WINNERS! 2013 Teen Choice Awards: Music

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The music winners of the 2013 Teen Choice Awards, which was held yesterday (11 August)  at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, are out. Here are the categories and winners... Choice Male Artist: Justin Bieber; Choice Female Artist: Demi Lovato; Choice Music Group: One Direction; Choice R&B Artist: Bruno Mars; Choice Hip-Hop/Rap Artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Choice Rock Group: Paramore; Choice Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Artist: David Guetta; Choice Male Country Artist: Hunter Hayes; Choice Female Country Artist: Taylor Swift; Choice Country Group: Lady Antebellum; Choice Country Song: Taylor Swift - 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together; Choice Single: Female Artist: Demi Lovato - 'Heart Attack'; Choice Single: Male Artist: Justin Bieber featuring Nicki Minaj - 'Beauty and a Beat'; Choice Single: Group: One Direction - 'Live While We're Young'; Choice R&B/Hip-Hop Song: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton - 'Can't Hold Us'; Choice Rock Song: Imagine Dragons - 'Radioactive'; Choice Love Song: One Direction - 'Little Things'; Choice Break-Up Song:  Selena Gomez - 'Come and Get It'; Choice Music Breakout Artist: Ed Sheeran; Choice Music Breakout Group: Emblem3; Choice Summer Song: 'We Can't Stop' - Miley Cyrus.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Celebrating Women's Day with soprano, Vera-Marie

Local soprano Vera-Marie is a lady with both her feet planted firmly on the ground. The Beat visited her to find out her thoughts on National Women's Day on Friday 9 August, what it means to her and what she will be doing this day.
The beautiful South African soprano, Vera-Marie

What does Women’s Day mean for you? For me it's a day to appreciate and honour women from EVERY walk of life who are the essence of our lives.

How will you be spending the day? I'll be in Piet Retief in preparation for the evenings concert with my fellow soprano singer Pretty Yende in celebration of this wonderful day. Pretty and the conductor Kutlwano Masote decided together on the singers to be involved. I was grateful and honoured to receive this phone call from Maestro Masote! 

Where does your interest in opera music come from? I was mostly exposed to Musical Theatre, our family often visited the State Theatre to view productions like, Gigi, My Fair Lady, Camelot etc. since then I knew I definitely love the theatre. Opera was mostly introduced through my Grandmother who also loved singing opera and my singing teacher of that time Tippi de Kok.

What are your favourite operas? It's very difficult to choose for every character and opera speaks to the soul, but I must admit that I do favour the more dramatic roles and operas like Carmen, Samson et Dalila, don Carlos etc.

We understand you were the under study for Katherine Jenkins when she visited our shores. WOW! Tell us more about that? Yes, it was for a variety concert consisting of several performers. I was asked to prepare her solos and be on stand-by for that specific concert should anything go wrong.

When not singing, how do you relax? I spend time with my family.  We love the outdoors, we often play some golf (that really takes my mind off everything).

What is the one thing people don’t know about. I love going for a jog....i would love to do the Comrades Marathon .....one day.

What advice would you give to women to equip them with women rights? I would advise anyone to watch the movie 'As it is in Heaven' and follow the lyrics of Gabriella's song. It has a wonderful message. My favourite part "I have never lost who I was, I have only left it sleeping"

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Jack Parow detained before Oppikoppi BewilderBeast

Jack Parow was detained in the early hours of this morning on charges of allegedly disturbing the peace.  Parow and some friends were staying at the Vaalkop dam 60 km South East of Northam where the popular Oppikoppi BewilderBeast music festival is taking place this weekend.  Parow and a friend took a catamaran out on a joy ride on the dam at about 1:30 am on Wednesday morning. After repeated requests over loud hailers Parow and his friend finally returned to shore. Both co-operated and came quietly, but repeatedly tried to explain to the authorities that they had simply “borrowed” the boat. Parow and his friend are currently being detained for public disorder and disturbing the peace. Jack Parow was scheduled to perform at the Oppikoppi festival on Sunday, and is currently unavailable for comment.

Cookie Monster covers Icona Pop's I Love It

Cookie Monster from Sesame Street wants cookies, but he's apparently on a new diet where he must wait for an unspecified amount of time before he can indulge himself. So what does he do with his idle time? He covers Icona Pop's summer anthem I Love It except his version is all about, you guessed it, cookies!