Monday, 30 March 2015

iFani Launches Historic #1stDayGold Campaign with Fans

True to form. Visionary Xhosa rap extraordinaire – iFani – revealed new album artwork and details of his innovative campaign #1stDayGold to core fans, plus over 6million Twitter Music lovers around the world, via an exclusive @iFani_Haymani Twitter Session held at 15h00 on 30 March 2015. This coincided with releasing his first single ‘Settle Down’ off I Believes In Me [2nd Quadrant], and launching a unique album pre-order.
The challenge; to achieve his biggest dream with the help of his fans. The goal; to reach Gold sales on first day of release with the upcoming album I Believes In Me [2nd Quadrant].   The plan; to simultaneously launch both digital and a first-ever physical pre-order of the album from 30 March till 28 April 2015.  The movement; to be involved in making history by joining thousands of fans in pre-ordering the album.

“I would like fans to see I am never afraid to be myself. I got on a quest to discover myself, by writing myself in the music. This brand is all about dreamers who are willing to give all of themselves in making their dreams come true” says iFani. In making his dream a reality, iFani has partnered with iTunes and Musica, and will be celebrating this imminent milestone with fans around the country creating special appearances targeting The Eastern Cape, Gauteng, The Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and The Northern Cape.  When pre-ordering the album digitally on iTunes fans will receive exclusive tracks which won’t be included on the album once live on 29 April 2015. Fans choosing to pre-order the album at Musica benefit from joining the movement #1stDayGold with a price reduction on the album and automatically stand in line to win cash prizes to the value of R10 000. “Beyond achieving #1stDayGold I would love to fund creative individuals and other dreamers who are up for the challenges that come with turning their dreams to reality.” All indications are that iFani’s upcoming album will catapult into SA charts in the same way his critically acclaimed debut did, marking the continuation of his story. iFani is a rapper that stands apart from all the others with his comedic wit, lyrical ability and creative punch lines. “I use my music to describe the person I am. My music follows no set rules or guidelines coz none of those rules define me.”

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Big Blues Meets Rock Festival 26 April, Hillcrest Quarry

Hold on tight when 'Blues meets Rock' in a head on collision at HILLCREST QUARRY in Durbanville on Sunday 26 April. If you are a solid Rocker, dreamy Blues bloke, or a bit of both, make sure to join us for a Blues Rock Sunday to live it up all you like as the Monday after is a public holiday! 9 Bands and 14 Artists in 30000 watts under one huge Marquee are guaranteed to give you the Blues Rock Fix you deserve. Food Stalls, Family Entertainment and Blues Rocking Goodness will be yours for 10 hours straight.And don't forgot the added mojo of a Massive Lucky Draw worth over R17000. Tickets: R150.00 at Computicket 0861 9158000

Organizer Richard Pryor comments on the bands that will be performing:

Van Coke Kartel
This Rock Quartet are a high energy, no nonsense Rock n Roll show. An Evolution of Fokofpolisiekar, these guys play hard and they play Loud and they will be headlining the Big Blues meets Rock Festival this year. Don't miss one of the top bands in the country delivering a high octane rock extravaganza!

Black Cat Bones
They are Modern-day storytellers, representing life through music in its most honest form. Their collective influences fused together in an audio diary made up of traditional as well as modern Blues, Rock, Metal and Country-inspired music. They know how to Rock a Big stage and were awarded the prestigious MK 'Best Live Act' Award. With a new Album coming out these guys are gonna be on fire. Watch them at your own Risk!

Pebbleman with Jesse Jordan.
This is pure 70's hard rock with a modern Progressive twist, a high dose of musical instrumentation and a good smattering of smoky Blues sauce to round off this delicious original rock recipe. These Guys have some awesome Musical skills individually but when they put it all together with Pebbleman, it comes at you like a Rock Tsunami. With an international record deal under their belt and 2 killer albums you better make sure you can handle the Shake when they land on the Big stage.

Albert Frost Trio
Albert with his Blues Trio must be one of the most entertaining and awesome blues outfits this country has ever seen. He's played every Nook and Cranny, including all 20 Oppikoppi festivals and much more. It's a musical thrill listening to Albert weave his mojo story as he takes you through some reworked standards and some killer originals. Watch one of the top guitarists in the country strut the Blues Stuff while the Trio sits in the pocket and lays it down.

Gerald Clark & the Deadmen
Gerald Clark can entertain for days just on his own, with an acoustic guitar. But when he teams up with the Deadmen everything comes alive in 50 shades of Blue and something really special unfolds. After he puts the Meat and Potatoes in the Blues pot, The Deadmen put the lid on it and now it's up to me and you to come watch it cook. His new material and a brand new Album will add huge flavour to this Blues potjie.

Boulevard Blues & the Mojo Heads
Experienced, well-oiled and a unit of international quality. They have been busy entertaining fans and spreading the Blues Gospel for 16 years now. With the eternal 'Doctor of the Blues' Doc John on Vocals and the Fender Endorsed Richard Pryor on guitar, they will take take you on a Blues Rock Journey of Note. It's a one way ticket and you ain’t coming back.  Joined by the Mojo Heads this year it's gonna be a set of incredible power and diversity, so stand back and let the Mojo overcome you.

Azurdee & The Blue River Band
Based in Pretoria these guys travel south with a Brand new album release in hand. They deliver the Country Blues with fired up cowboy boots and a double 'YEEHAW'!!! Lead singer Azurdee is originally from Kentucky and she is showing SA how to make music midwest style.The Band is preparing for an American tour in 2015 but before they go they want to tell you all about it at the Big Blues meets Rock Fest.

These guys will open up the Festival. A wonderful and incredibly talented 3 piece acoustic folk rock outfit with vocal harmonies that will resonate long after the show. Johnathan Tait leads the vocals with more than a nod to Neil Young while the others take turns to sing the sweet melody.Cajon, Guitar, Bass and 3 part harmonies will turn your ear wax to sweet folk rock Honey

The Mojo Heads
These are individual guests with wonderful talents and musical skills that will join Boulevard Blues in their epic set of 80mins. Tauna Fern, Nhoza Sitsholwana, Tony Shine, Mad Mouth Crawford plus more will show and play their Blues Rock trump cards.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

EPIC! The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy

I was punched in the face. Bloody nose. But it didn't hurt. Electro punks The Prodigy hits you hard in the face with their new CD, The Day Is My Enemy and the title track of the same name is dope. It's fucking brilliant. With hints of their track Poison (from their 1994 CD Music for the Jilted Generation) and some banging beats, the track sets the mood for the rest of the electronic onslaught. iTunes noted quite rightly, "described by principal producer Liam Howlett as 'an attack', the 6th studio album is a blast of gritty, two-fisted aggression. The title track combines 10-tonne synths with sternum-rattling break beats, while the appropriately titled track 'Nasty' is a dizzying rush of devilish melody and radioactive production. The closer, 'Wall Of Death' finds Keith Flint spitting familiar streams of venom over the unrelenting crunch of piston-like guitars and spooky atmospherics." The band also reveal the much anticipated track ‘Ibiza’ featuring  post-punk/hip hop duo Seaford Mods. Perfectly encapsulating Liam Howlett’s comments regarding the integrity (or lack thereof) in some of today’s dance music culture and the sanitised superstar DJs that fill the white island, the track is another shining example of The Prodigy’s heart-on-the-sleeve punk rock spirit they’ve always championed. The Day Is My Enemy will be out 39 March. The band’s new single ‘Wild Frontier’ came backed by the equally brilliant animated video devised and directed by Mascha Halberstad, watch the video here http://po.st/WildFrontierYT

REVIEW: Kelly Clarkson 'Piece By Piece'

A couple of years ago I saw Kelly Clarkson in South Africa when she was touring with her CD Stronger (2011). I didn't expect much. I'm not a fan. I just went because I got the tickets for free and my sister from Australia, who is a fan, was visiting and I took her to the show. The show was so-so, didn't blew me away, but was entertaining enough. So when I my fiancé bought the new CD (he is a fan), I was sceptical. He is loving it, but would I do to? Firstly, it's unfair and hard to compare Piece By Piece to Stronger. She is in total different space now than when she was back then - she's a married lady and gave birth to the most adorable chunky baby, River Rose Blackstock. Her new life as a mother and daughter clearly influenced her work here. Kudos for her as the lyrics give listeners now an insight into her personal life. The CD is about sound instead of songs. It seems she's gone the Taylor Swift 1989 route of having an eclectic offering of style and genre with country, electronic, R&B often blending on a single track. This CD is not my cup of tea, but I'm sure fans will love this offering.

Friday, 20 March 2015

One Direction tour problems - Zayn Malik out due to "stress"

Oh dear. The price of fame is tough. The British boy band One Direction's tour has hit a snag. BBC reports that member Zayn Malik has apparently been booked off for "stress" during their current world tour.

A statement said: "Zayn has been signed off with stress and is flying back to the UK to recuperate.

"The band wish him well and will continue with their performances in Manila and Jakarta."

The BBC reported that on "Wednesday the singer declared his love for his fiancée, Little Mix star Perrie Edwards, after photos emerged of him with his arm around another woman."

We are not sure how this will affect their SA dates at the end of March.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Martin Garrix Releases Brand New Single "Don't Look Down" featuring Usher!

Martin Garrix and Usher in the studio
Electronic dance music’s youngest and fastest rising superstar Martin Garrix releases his brand new single “Don’t Look Down” featuring Usher to radio in South Africa today. The duo has been discussing the collaboration on Instagram and Twitter over the last few weeks in anticipation of its release and late yesterday evening the full version of the track was made available online.

Have a listen to “Don’t Look Down” on Youtube here: http://smarturl.it/DLDlv
Get the single on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/DLDiT

About Martin Garrix
At only 18-years old, having signed to Spinnin’ Records and backed by Scooter Braun, Dutch DJ superstar Martin Garrix has become one of electronic dance music’s youngest superstars, amassing a chart-topping, high-streaming musical legacy along the way. Leaping 36 places to #4 of the DJ Mag Top 100 charts in 2014, garnering both the attention of Billboard’s prestigious “21 Under 21” as well as Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list and dropping his first BBC Essential Mix, Martin Garrix’s story is only just beginning.

His global smash hit single “Animals” charted at #1 in the UK and reached international platinum status with to date more than 100 million streams on Spotify and 400 million views on YouTube. Entering 2015 with high-profile shows and festivals on the calendar and a brand new residency at Las Vegas’ super club Omnia, Martin’s ambitions continue to ramp up.

He’s currently been working in the studio finishing new tracks for his debut album, including collaborations with Usher, Ed Sheeran, David Guetta,  and Tiesto, among many others.

About Usher
Challenging himself creatively and testing musical boundaries are characteristics that have defined Usher's career since he was first discovered twenty years ago on Star Search.  Usher has been ranked by the Recording Industry Assn. of America as one of the best-selling artists in American music history, having sold over 50 million albums worldwide.

He has won numerous awards including 8 Grammys and was named the #1 Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade. Billboard named him the second most successful artist of the 2000s decade, with his career-propelling 2004 album “Confessions” being ranked as the top solo album of the 2000s decade.

Usher has attained nine Hot 100 #1 hits (all as a lead artist) and 18 Hot 100 top-10 singles.

REVIEW! Madonna - Rebel Heart

The Super Deluxe Edition cover
I took my time reviewing this CD. Not that it's bad or difficult to review, but because I wanted the music to filter my soul and find hooks in my being. Rebel Heart is undoubtedly the Queen Of Pop's best work in her long career. Forget about Hard Candy or MDNA, this CD should have been a follow-up to Madge's CD, Confessions on a Dance Floor. It sit perfect next to Confessions. You get a bit too old and new on Rebel Heart. A mix bag of pop, EDM, hip-hop, drum & bass and some reggae beat as well. Lyrically Madge touch on the same themes of her previous music - love, hate, sex, religion, and this is maybe the only downside of the CD. Not that down, but still it lacks some originality. She incorporate lyrics from her best known hits on some of the song. But in the end, looking at the CD as a whole, it works. I always find it hard to pin point the best track on the CD, and on Rebel Heart is the same. It's such a diverse CD with so many sounds and genres mix together, but my conclusion is that the out of the whopping 19 tracks, the song Veni 'Vidi Vici' incorporates all the sounds and genres on this CD and it's a ‘flippin’ cool track. Of course now begs the question, with Madonna going on tour later this year with Rebel Heart, will she finally tour South Africa? She has shunned her South African fans for like in forever. So here is hoping she'll visit the Motherland this time around.

What the rest said:
The Daily Telegraph writer Neil McCormick, Saeed Saeed of The National, Andy Gill of The Independent, Lewis Corner of Digital Spy and Lauren Murphy from The Irish Times all gave the album 4 out of 5 stars. McCormick felt that "For the first time in years, Madonna doesn't sound desperate", praising it in comparison to Hard Candy and MDNA.
Saeed called it "a fine collection of sturdy pop tunes in which Madonna finally allows herself to look back and sometimes pilfer from her peak periods of the late 80s and early 2000s". Murphy wrote "the indisputable pop icon is back with a tentative bang" after MDNA had "few memorable pop hits".
For Gill, the most impressive factor about Rebel Heart was Madonna's vocals, while it was described as "some of Madonna's most captivating work in years] by Corner. A four out of five star rating was also given by Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic, who found Rebel Heart to be a revival of Madonna's defiant side and her confessional mood.
Writing for The Quietus, Amy Pettifer praised the album, describing it as "a darker return to the club culture roots for Madonna, and it seems – on some level – to face up to the missteps of her more recent releases." Jim Farber from New York Daily News also gave a positive review, deeming Rebel Heart boasting with "some of the most finely structured pop melodies of Madonna's 32-year career"

Awolnation's new CD Run is out now

AWOLNATION`s new studio album titled Run (Red Bull Records) was released yesterday. This new album is the highly anticipated follow-up to their chart-topping debut Megalithic Symphony.

The first single off the album “Hollow Moon” (Bad Wolf) was released to radio in South Africa in February and is playlisted on 5fm, as well as various campus, community and online radio stations. It is currently charting on Tuks fm, Pukfm and Kovsie fm.

Link to “Hollow Moon” (Bad Wolf) official video: http://youtu.be/i2PsXT88UeU

A second track from the album titled “Windows” recently also premiered on Rolling Stone:

Soundcloud link to “Windows”: https://soundcloud.com/awolnation/windows

AWOLNATION is currently premiering a new video for “Windows” that can be viewed on YouTube. Fans that pre-order the new album at iTunes will instantly receive downloads of “Windows,” the title track “Run,” and the debut single “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf).” Already climbing the charts, the track quickly became the #1 most added track at alternative radio where it currently sits in the Top 10. KROQ will stream a special AWOLNATION performance live from the Red Bull Sound Space on Tuesday, March 10 at 3:00pm Pacific. Fans can view the concert in its entirety online at http://kroq.cbslocal.com/webcast.

Following a whirlwind two-year world tour in support of Megalithic Symphony, AWOLNATION withdrew into the depths of the California coastline to construct the sophomore effort. A culmination of the years following the release of the debut album, the 14-track Run, was written, performed and produced entirely by musical architect Aaron Bruno. The end result is a finely tuned musical masterwork that is at times, and all at once, sprawling, atmospheric, exuberant, earnest and refined with moments of a signature aggressive unease.  “There is not one second on the record that hasn’t been thoughtfully placed,” said Bruno. “Every single element serves a purpose.”

Standout songs alongside the first single “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” include the cinematic “Jailbreak,” the soaring anthem “I Am,” the title track “Run,” the euphoric “Windows,” the painfully vulnerable “Headrest for My Soul,” and the atomic rebellion of “KOOKSEVERYWHERE!!!!”

Released in 2011, the band’s gold-certified debut album Megalithic Symphony was an alternative music revelation that became an astonishing success resonating with fans around the world. The album holds a number of long-running Billboard chart positions including 146 weeks on the Independent Albums chart, 111 weeks on the Billboard Top 200, 105 weeks on the Top Rock Albums chart and has topped the Heatseekers Albums chart 8 separate times.

Their hit single “Sail,” a redefining global anthem, is certified 6x platinum in the U.S. and is the second longest charting song in the Billboard Hot 100's 55-year history. It has amassed hundreds of millions of video views and streaming plays online, topping Billboard’s Rock Streaming Songs chart in 2014 and charting around the world: it is certified 10x platinum in Norway, 6x platinum in Canada, 3x platinum in Sweden, 2x platinum in Australia and New Zealand, platinum in Switzerland, gold in Austria, Germany and the UK.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

My 3 hit tunes for the week

Jamie Foxx – “You Changed Me” Ft Chris Brown

Oscar and Grammy Award winning artist Jamie Foxx has just released his long-awaited new single, “You Changed Me” featuring Chris Brown! “You Changed Me” was written by Jamie Foxx, Boi-1da, Vinylz, Allen Ritter, Kevin Cossom, Breyon Prescott and Chris Brown and was produced by Boi-1da and Vinylz. Early radio feedback indicates that the track is set to be a smash for the talented singer and actor, who has a new album in the pipeline, due out on the 19th of May.

Have a listen to “You Changed Me” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oG0-3ywU6k

Jazmine Sullivan – “Let It Burn”

Jazmine Sullivan has a brand new single for radio this week! “Let It Burn” is taken off of her recently released album Reality Show, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard R&B Chart at the start of the year. The song follows on from the success of her previous single “Forever Don’t Last”, which was a Top 10 hit at Urban AC radio in the United States and received good airplay in South Africa as well.

Listen to “Let it Burn” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EATQP3_fFg

Luke Christopher – “Ms. Holy Water”

21-year old Los Angeles native Luke Christopher is a brand new signing to Sony Music/RCA Records that is set to take the industry by storm this year! Having dropped several mixtapes already and having had an underground hit (“Life Jackets”) last year, Luke is ready to get out there in a big way with his official debut single, called “Ms. Holy Water”.

Check out the music video for the track – which is starting to get a lot of online interest – over here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuByXAIj2A0

FOKOFPOLISIEKAR: Antibiotika India Pale Ale (IPA) out now!

At the end of 2014, FOKOFPOLISIEKAR successfully launched their Dagdronk Blonde Ale; the first in their series of four craft beers. Sales exceeded everyone’s expectations and the Blonde Ale sold out at one point.  Next in line is the Antibiotika India Pale Ale (IPA).

Duane Vermeulen, Springbok and SARU’s Rugby Player of the Year, was the first to taste Antibiotika.  This is what he had to say: “This is exactly how a craft beer should taste.  Fresh and unique and just the right name for when you have a bad day… Antibiotika!!!”

From Fokofpolisiekar’s lips to your screens:

“As avid beer drinkers, we’ve always been fans of Rock 'n’ Roll. And so, in 2003 we set our blurry sights on creating a unique brand of local Rock, Fokofpolisiekar. The gentlemen at Sir Thomas Brewery, on the other hand, are music addicts with a knack for making excellent beer. Gang! Bang! We make the music. They listen to it. They make the beer. We drink the beer. We make the music. Feedback loop created.


“It is a hoppy beer, dark gold in color, bitter due to the amounts of hops used and bubbly, as it should be! This beer shows epic hop aromas that are complex and beautifully integrated. The bitterness is in balance, bringing the flavor forward and leaving a lip-smacking bouquet behind after swallowing. Tones are reminiscent of canned tropical fruit, raisins and prunes, spice, grapefruit and much more.’’ – Jaco ‘’Snakehead’’ Venter.

‘’All our beers are bottle fermented, which means it is bottled with sugar, and active yeast, just like a Champagne and MCC “Method Cap Classique”. These cause light sediment at the bottom of the bottle, and gives the beer a great ageing potential and ability. All our beers are bottled on site, under the brewer’s supervision. Our beers contain 100% natural ingredients and no additives, preservatives, thickeners or stabilisers; they take longer to brew, and the brewery don’t cut corners to save money, at the expense of quality and taste.’’ – Wynand Myburgh

More Fokofpolisiekar beers to look forward to:

June 2015: Hemel Op Die Platteland Amber Ale (Rooibos infused)

September 2015: Skyn(Heilig) Weiss beer

Monday, 16 March 2015

Die Heuwels Fantasties release new video - Ballade vir 'n Enkeling

Local super rockers Die Heuwels Fantasties recently rerecorded the theme song for the film, Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling.  The music video for this single was introduced on kykNET Jukebox this past Saturday. The film will premiere in theatres across the country on 20 March. Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling, Doen Net Wat Ons Wil featuring Riana Nel, and the captivating lyrical poem, Stilte performed by Hunter Kennedy,  is now available on the Ja.Nee.Lekker. Deluxe album. This album is out now and on the shelves of all good music stores across the country.

These songs are also available on Die Heuwels Fantasties’ app:

Friday, 13 March 2015

Timbaland is the 'king' of music for TV's hottest show, Empire

Since the first episode of the Fox TV series Empire, you can hear the musical influence of American rapper, record producer, and songwriter and music genius Timbaland. It's hard to miss his signature beats and subtle touches to all songs in Empire. He is the executive music producer for the show. Empire is the first TV series for Timbaland, who is best known for working with Jay Z, Justin Timberlake and Rihanna. Lee Daniels, co-creator of Fox’s new series “Empire,” told Variety  “In three days, he gave me some music that was just astounding, and I said ‘Done’,” Lee says. He adds, “The story drives the music, the music doesn’t drive the story. That was very important to me that we’re not just popping out musical numbers for the sake of popping out musical numbers.” The producer, who is used to working in the studio at his own pace says that he is challenged by the speed of television. “We’ll get a script in late, they’ll need a song by the next day or the day after,” he explains. “There’s no time to think too much about anything. It’s an adrenaline rush. I’m still learning how it works,” he told the New York Post. On Wednesday 18 March season 1 will come to an end with a bang in a 2 hour series finale (in South Africa the final will be aired as two separate episodes on 6 and 13 May). Commenting on season 1 coming to an end he told musictimes.com "Now that I'm at the end of the show, I'm learning how TV shows work. I feel like as we go along, just like in any business, your first is not your top. Sometimes it might take a year or two to get to the crème de la crème. I feel like as we get more and more into the episodes, I think when we get to season two, I feel like that's when you're going to really see the music. Because right now you're going to see the drama of a woman being used and a man becoming very powerful."

Thursday, 12 March 2015

'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck' out in May

It's finally here, the documentary of the grunge god and iconic musician, Kurt Cobain. The documentary is directed by Brett Morgen who has worked on it since 2007 when the Nirvana singer's widow Courtney Love approached him with the idea. It is the first documentary about Kurt Cobain to be made with the cooperation of his family. Morgen and his team were given access to the entirety of Cobain's personal and family archives. The documentary includes footage from various Nirvana performances and unheard songs, as well as unreleased home movies, recordings, artwork, photography, journals, demos, and songbooks. Morgen used the interviews in the film Lenny as a model for the interviews in the film. The film's title, Montage of Heck, takes its name from a musical collage that was created by Cobain with a 4-track cassette recorder in about 1988, of which there are two versions; one is about thirty-six minutes long and the other about eight minutes long. Several of the film's scenes were animated by Stefan Nadelman and Hisko Hulsing. The film was co-produced by HBO Documentary Films and Universal Pictures International Entertainment Content Group. The documentary airs on 4 May on HBO in America, however, there is now news as yet when or on what channel it will air in South Africa.

Josh Groban releasing his highly anticipated new CD, Stages, in April

Josh Groban announced his new CD Stages will be out at the end of April. The album is a collection of some of the greatest musical theatre songs of all time, which Groban describes as “gorgeously arranged songs that have stood the test of time,” and which he was drawn to because of their combination of “incredible melody with an incredible story.” The album is available for pre-order at all participating retailers and JoshGroban.com. “Nothing has inspired me more in my life than the energy that is shared in a theatre when great songs and great art are on the stage,” he says. “I wanted this album to pay tribute to those inspirations and memories.”

Recorded with producers Humberto Gatica and Bernie Herms in both Los Angeles and London’s Abbey Road (with a 75-piece orchestra), Stages features songs from Les Misérables (“Bring Him Home”); Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel (“You’ll Never Walk Alone”); Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George(“Finishing the Hat”), Sweeney Todd (“Not While I’m Around”), and Into the Woods (“Children Will Listen”); The Fantasticks (“Try to Remember”); A Chorus Line (“What I Did For Love”); Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera (“All I Ask of You”), The Wizard of Oz (“Over the Rainbow”), and others.

Another highlight is “Pure Imagination,” originally sung by Gene Wilder in the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, which though best known as a film, is also a West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “It’s a tiny bit of a cheat because it was from a film originally, but I really wanted to sing it,” Groban says. “The fans wanted me to as well. It’s one of my most requested songs to record ever. I am a huge fan of the original film, it was a part of my childhood. Gene Wilder will always be number one for me with this song. There’s a tenderness to the way he sang it that is just the essence of Wilder. It’s something in his soul that will never be duplicated.”

“Stages is an album I’ve wanted to make since I signed to Reprise/Warner Bros. Records during my freshman year as a Musical Theater student at Carnegie Mellon,” Groban says. “I knew in my heart that, at some point, I would visit the songs I love from that world as an album. Having lived in New York City the last few years, seeing as much theatre as I could see, and having so many great friends in the theatre community, it became really inspiring to take this on. It was time.”

Groban says the title was inspired by his lifetime love for the musicals represented on the album, as well as “the countless stages, both physical and
metaphorical, it has taken for me to get to a place where I have the opportunity to record an album like this in the way we did it, with the great orchestra at Abbey Road. It was an extraordinary ‘pinch me’ opportunity. There was a great freedom to go big with these songs because the world of musical theater welcomes that. It’s all about big stories, big emotions, and big vocals. Every arrangement on this album is its own work of art. Standing in the room and listening to the orchestra was just breath taking. And Both Humberto and Bernie are producers who think about the warmth and clarity and emotion of the voice. What I love about them is the vocal, the arrangement, the quality is key.”

Stages features three duets: Kelly Clarkson is featured on “All I Ask of You” (“she can, quite simply, do anything”); Audra McDonald sings on “If I Loved You” (“in my head I heard her on this and to sing it in the room with her was a dream come true”); and trumpeter Chris Botti plays on “Old Devil Moon” (“he plays with such control and expressiveness”). “All of these duets have great meaning to me and I’m honoured to have them on this album,” Groban says.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Get ready for neon-lights, chart-topping musos and electrifying DJs in a not-to-be-missed mix of sport and entertainment!

It’s the most fun you can have in the dark! South Africa’s electric night-time spectacular has gone national with Neon Run 2015 taking place with five fun-filled festivals at major city centres.

Join thousands of runners, joggers and walkers decked out in all manner of glow and neon paraphernalia as they complete the course and manoeuvre through glow stations before celebrating at the post-race party with a dazzling laser light show.

The Neon Runs take place in the following South African centres:

• 11 April – Port Elizabeth, St George’s Park
• 18 April – Cape Town, Newlands Stadium
• 25 April – Bloemfontein, Chevrolet Park
• 9 May – Durban, Sun Coast lawns, Sun Coast Casino
• 16 May – Johannesburg, Wanderers Stadium

Performing will be some of South Africa’s top musicians and DJs.

5FM’s Nick Hamman will serve as master of ceremonies for all five neon events with Cape Town based DJ Chris Taylor – known for playing uplifting progressive house and electro – as resident DJ for Neon Run South Africa. 5FM DJ Vic Naidoo will appear in all five cities; Roger Goode will take to the stage in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Johannesburg and DJ Fresh will appear in Bloemfontein and Durban.

Also on the line-up are explosive electro-swing act Goodluck (Port Elizabeth); Grassy Spark with their unique fusion of ska-blend and other genres (Cape Town); Sama winning house band Mi Casa (Cape Town and Johannesburg); Afrikaans kwela folk artist Oros in ‘n Lang Glas (Bloemfontein); rock 'n roll and Indie Kwela pop band Desmond & the Tutus (Bloemfontein and Durban); electro, rock, dance, folk and hip-hop group iScream & the Chocolate Stix (Durban); Rubber Duc (Johannesburg) with their folk-swing-hop sound  and The Illustrators (Johannesburg).

Gates open at 15:00 with music throughout the event while the race starts at 18:30. A beer tent and food stalls are available.

The cost is R250 per person, under 11s play R90 while if four people or more book the price is R200 a person. Every ticket includes entry into race, the music festival, glow sticks and an official Neon Run head band.

The 2015 tour includes more UV, neon paint, graffiti walls and lasers than ever before with participants at each event in line to win amazing prizes including the use of a Mitsubishi car for a year. Those Discovery members taking part also get Discovery points.

Partners for Neon Run South Africa 2015 include 5FM, Discovery Vitality, Flying Fish, Four Fire, Lorna Jane, Medal Paints, Mitsubishi Motors, Nu Tickets, Orbit, Planet Fitness and Thirst.

Simphiwe Dana Launches fan-driven 'Campaign of Healing'

Award-winning songstress Simphiwe Dana has this past week embarked on a ‘campaign of healing’ for herself and her fans to commemorate the release of the third single ‘Killjoy’ off her critically-acclaimed latest album Firebrand. As preparation for the music video for ‘Killjoy’, Dana saw it fit to include her fans in the exciting creative exercise behind the creation of this music video, and is doing this by calling her fans and followers to share their ultimate #Killjoy experiences, which will result in the most profound stories or funniest anecdotes being selected for inclusion in the music video creative. “The song Killjoy is about heartbreak; the depression that comes with it and what happens after you have blamed yourself for the inadequacies of your lover. The song is also about the pain that comes with the realisation that it is not your fault and that you now have to walk away,” explains Dana.

The first phase of the campaign was launched concurrently on Facebook ad Twitter, where Dana herself shared her own personal story of having been through what she now terms a ‘relationtrick’. “The campaign seeks to create a safe space for those who have dealt with severe heartbreak.  It is a campaign to show solidarity and start the process of healing. Oftentimes we feel all alone in our experiences, and we start to see fault in ourselves…that maybe we are not good enough for love, until we realise many others have been where we are and made it out” adds Dana.  Through the tone and manner of the discussions, Dana has with the participants of the #Killjoy campaign, a dominant theme that comes across is that of being able to laugh about one’s #Killjoy experiences, and breaking the power-hold that heartbreak often has on those who experience it.  “It has been great therapy, telling your story is like throwing off a huge boulder that has been weighing you down, it also destroys the power the experience has over you, and helps you see your experience through other people's eyes’ says Dana.

Simphiwe Dana – who is typically media-shy and protective over her private life, also used this exercise to share her own personal story.  “Sharing my personal story was also very therapeutic, it was like I had put a painful episode in my life inside a bubble and blew it away!”  Additional to the #Killjoy campaign, Dana is also in the process of planning a tour around South Africa, as well as putting final touches to an upcoming celebration of her 10 years in the music industry, details of which will be announced in due course.  Fans of her music prowess are also in for a treat as the broadcast of her latest live performance is featured on SkyroomLive on SABC1, on Saturday 14 March 2015.  

You HAVE to hear these 4 hot tunes!

I always get super excited when new music hits the airwaves. And listening these 4 new tracks caught my attention and they're super-hot.

Jordin Sparks – “Double Tap” Ft 2 Chainz

Jordin Sparks is back with a bang! The former American Idol winner and “Tattoo”, “No Air” and “Battlefield” hitmaker is back and in a brand new direction with “Double Tap” featuring 2 Chainz. “Double Tap” serves as an introduction to a more mature Jordin that has grown into herself and is ready to step out and show the world that she continues to be a force to be reckoned with.

Music video coming soon! Have a listen to the song over here in the meantime: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-ZgO2KxclA

Treasure Davis – “Simple” Ft Kid Ink

We’re excited to announce a brand new signing —Treasure Davis, the multi-talented singer-songwriter with a distinctive raspy voice paired with an intoxicating quirky personality! The Los Angeles native kicked off her career by landing background singing gigs for artists such as Keyshia Cole, Kelly Price, Keri Hilson and Nicki Minaj, and ultimately earning songwriting credits for singles with Chris Brown and the Pussycat Dolls. “Simple” featuring Kid Ink serves as Treasure’s first official single, which is already starting to generate buzz in the US.

Listen to “Simple” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlwkEpfkcNA

Nervo – “It Feels”

Australian DJ duo Nervo have released their brand new single “It Feels”! The thumping club banger solidifies the ladies as a powerhouse in the dance scene and the single is already starting to gain a lot of traction online.

The music video for “It Feels” premiered just a day ago! Have a look at it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvUtK9mvYug

P Reign – “DnF” Ft Drake & Future

Hailing from Toronto, Canada – P Reign is no stranger to the hip hop community and has worked with the likes of Drake, A$AP Rocky, Waka Flocka Flame, French Montana, among many others.  He's released 2 mixtapes to date (The Canadian Dream & When It Reigns It Pours) as well as first commercial debut – the Dear America EP, which dropped last year.

“DnF” is building as a mega hit internationally and the music video is on 15 million views already. Watch this space! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtodyi12q-4

Monday, 9 March 2015

Die Heuwels Fantasties - Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling theme song & Ja.Nee.Lekker

DIE HEUWELS FANTASTIES ended last year on a high note with the release of their greatest hits vinyl, Deuntjies vir die Draaitafel, and the launch of their fourth album, Ja.Nee.Lekker.  The alternative pop group continues 2015 in the same level. Die Heuwels Fantasties launched the theme song for the film, Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling, to radio stations across South Africa last week.  The film will premiere in theaters on the 20th of March. The whole version of the song will only be found on the Ja.Nee.Lekker. Deluxe, which will be released later in March, and on Die Heuwels Fantasties’ app.  A collaboration with Riana Nel, Doen Net Wat Ons Wil, will also feature on the deluxe.The music video for Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling will premiere on kykNET Jukebox on Saturday, the 14th of March.