Pop Alert: Newcomer Allie X Talks about Inspirations Behind New Track 'Bitch'


As long as there is pop, there is hope. And pop newcomer Allie X gives us plenty to believe in. Following the successful release of her synth-pop gems "Prime" and "Catch," the rapidly-rising Canadian singer now serves up the brand-new "Bitch." It's another slice of sonic excellence that further details Allie X's multi-faceted brand of pop that combines music, visual art and a very distinct point of view. Ruled by brooding synths and Allie's mesmerizing vocal performance, "Bitch" deliberately captures some darker undertones that show off her moodier side.

In a phone interview earlier today, Allie explains that "Bitch" explores  the "shadow self" construct that was developed by psychiatrist Carl Jung. It's a theory that investigates the relationship between conscious and unconscious processes of the psyche. "The shadow self personifies things that you don’t want to acknowledge about yourself or that you are ashamed off," Allie X explains. "It's the darker side of yourself that is buried in your unconsciousness. You need to bring it out because otherwise it can be dangerous." 

Allie explains that "Bitch" was one of the first songs she wrote and recorded in Los Angeles. It came together very quickly when she was having a bad day. "I holed myself up in the studio to work on music," she says. "The beat came first and then the lyrics started to flow. It was quick. It took a day. I didn't even conceptualize it in advance. It just came out this way and I realized afterwards what it all meant. I'm very proud of how it came out."

She adds, "['Bitch'] conceptualizes the relationship I have with myself. There's a line 'I'm a bitch/Come out' that illustrates that. The song is dark and domestic. It so interesting that after I finished the song I felt very relieved."

In a world too often ruled by cookie-cutter pop, Allie X serves up both style and substance with her music. It's pop music loaded with artistic value that perfectly balances light and darkness. It's the interplay between these two that make pop music so endlessly fascinating. Allie X has a firm handle on both elements, and puts forth a unique perspective that is very exciting to watch grow and develop. 

Follow Allie X on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr for more exciting updates soon. (A big thank you to Allie X for taking my call today and talking so candidly about her music.)

May 6, 2014 | Permalink

Sweden's Andreas Moe Turns Rivers Into Oceans on His New Single [Review]


Scandinavia continues to be an incredible rich breeding ground for fantastic new pop and dance music. Robyn's new single with the guys of Royksopp is a great example of that. To celebrate that much-anticipated new track I put together a sweet and crunchy "Scandi Sounds" playlist on Beats Music that features 25 great tracks from Northern Europe including tunes by Galantis, Erik Hassle, Private, Annie, Miriam Bryant, Tove Lo and many others.

I also included Andreas Moe's "Collecting Sunlight," a truly timeless pop gem that never really got its moment in the limelight. It's one of my favorite pop ballads in recent years. It's poignant, wonderfully performed and features a bittersweet melody that Swedes know how to craft like no other.

"Collecting Sunlight" is taken from Moe's debut EP that was released in 2012. That effort was followed by the This Year EP that the Swedish singer/songwriter put out in 2013. He also spent a lot of efforts on writing for other European artists which has garnered him 6 gold and platinum accolades in 2013 for songs that were released in Sweden, Holland and the UK. 

Fortunately for pop fans out there, there's a lot of great new work from Moe on the horizon. He has continued to work with a lot of other acts, including up-and-coming pop outfit Rixton. He's also featured on Tiesto's forthcoming debut album, titled A Town Called Paradise, with the song "Echoes." (EDM aficionados among you may remember that he also contributed the vocals to Avicii's "Fade Into Darkness" even though he never received official credit for it.)

To kick things off in 2014, the Swedish crooner returns with a brand-new single that reminds us exactly why we were so impressed by him in the first place. The single is called "Ocean" and is the title track from his new EP. It's a slice of heartfelt balladry that showcases Moe's incredible knack for melody and savvy lyricism. The song title is a metaphor to illustrate the immensity of love between two people.

"'Ocean' is a simple song about the power of love," Moe explains.  "When the right person loves you at the right time and in the right way, they can turn that 'river' inside of you into an 'Ocean.' I co-wrote and co-produced the song and I’m so happy to be able to release it as my next single."

Produced by Moe in partnership with Peter Miles, it's an accomplished effort that fits the singer/songwriter pop sound du jour. He he could have easily passed the track on to OneDirection or Philip Philips but fortunately for us Moe decided to record this one himself. Follow Andreas Moe on Twitter, Facebook and Beats Music.

May 4, 2014 | Permalink

Robyn and Röyksopp Deliver What We Hoped for on Glorious New 'Do It Again'


The best thing about Robyn's new single with Röyksopp is that it delivers exactly what we had hoped for. Driven by a bouncy bassline and sparkly synth flourishes, "Do It Again" is an effervescent pop confection that's all about having the euphoria take over and letting yourself go on the dancefloor. It's the message of nostalgia and sweet escapism that dominates much of Robyn's work and this new track is an excellent example of that. "Do It Again" is taken from a brand-new mini album that Robyn and Röyksopp will release together next month in conjunction with a handful of shows on both sides of the Atlantic.

The mini album is a tastemaker for a full-length Röyksopp album that is expected sometime later this year. Unfortunately, a bunch of tracks from the mini album leaked and already made their way out to people. I contained myself and refused to listen to the low-quality audio tracks that were floating around. I waited for the full and rich WAV experience to fully immerse myself in Robyn's new music. That's how she intended the music to be enjoyed and we should respect that. 

In fact, the whole point of "Do It Again" is to celebrate the anticipation. "Wait for it, wait for the build up," Robyn reminds us. Of course, the song title is also a reference to Robyn's reunion with Röyksopp after they teamed previously on "The Girl & The Robot." The song was crafted as a rave-inspired throwback that the Swedish pop pixie and the Norwegian electro wonderboys worked on after a night out together in Bergen. Robyn refers to the song as an "accidental pop song" that came together spontaneously.  

Check out Röyksopp & Robyn "Do It Again" on Beats Music now. (P.S. I've heard the entire mini album in all of its sonic glory and fans will not be disappointed. Just wait for it. Available on May 26 via Cherrytree/Interscope Record)

April 29, 2014 | Permalink

Jennifer Lopez Previews New Album and Single at Malibu Brunch [FULL DETAILS]

Catching up with Jennifer Lopez following brunch in Malibu

Jennifer Lopez is putting the final touches on her long-awaited tenth studio album that is expected sometime later this year. The album comes at an important time for Lopez. In addition to being involved in many different television and movie projects, she's also a mother who went through a divorce in the last two years that has changed her outlook on love and live. All of those experiences have influenced her point of view on this forthcoming new album, which is shaping up to be one of her most personal to date.

"I've always sung about love," she explained at an intimate brunch event in Malibu on Friday. "It was always love in a certain way. A fairytale type of way. After everything that has happened I still believe in love, but love means something different to me now. The experiences have made me more grown." 

Lopez and her team had invited a small group of writers for an intimate brunch event at Nikita Restaurant on Friday morning to play some of her new songs and talk candidly about her new album. Sitting comfortably on a barstool in front of about 20 people at a private room overlooking the gorgeous Pacific ocean, Lopez spoke about the album and introduced each song with a little bit of background to create context.

If there are three things you really should know about Jennifer Lopez's new album, it's that it's honest, fun, and shows off different facets of her personality and the music she loves. This new record will make you move, dance and it may even give you goosebumps at time (it did for me). And with pop hitting a bit of a stalemate this summer, this new Jennifer Lopez album could not come at a better time. She's ready, pop's ready and, most importantly, the music is ready.

Lopez worked with a range of different writers and producers on this new album, including Max Martin, Harmony, Roccstar, Sia and Chantal Kreviazuk. "I've never been an artist who just does one thing," she explained. "I do pop, I do R&B, I do hip-hip, I do Latin. I'm many different things. Don't try to box me!"

The first song Lopez played for the small crowd was "Emotions." It's a track that directly relates to some of her experiences in the past two years following her divorce. It's a midtempo track that is dominated by Lopez's heartfelt delivery and poignant lyricism. "I feel good because I don't feel bad," she sings, which perfectly sums up that she's in a much better place now and has moved on from love from the past.

The next song the superstar played was her new single "First Love." Ruled by a big pop chorus and heavy percussion, it's a massive pop single that was produced by hit maker Max Martin. It's a track that has the potential to climb up the charts quickly. "First Love" is fresh, instantly infectious and very now.

The entertainers continued on that high note with "Big Booty" a bonafide pop romp that was produced by, no surprise here, Diplo. "She got the boom, shake the room," Lopez sings in the sweltering pre-chorus that leads to a mightily catchy chorus that is an irresistible earworm. Lopez explained that she really fell in love with the beat when she first heard the song. "I was driving with my twins in the back of the car and I played them 'Big Booty'," she smiles. "They sat upright immediately and caught on to the beat.

Lopez was also eager to play some unfinished material to give us a good taste for the sound on the album. "I have trouble finishing albums," she smiled. "I always want to record more and continue working on it. Like this track. I was working on it two days ago with Roccstarr, you many not know him yet, but you will soon. I love this track so much I wanted to share a snippet with you guys."

The track is titled "Actin' Like That' and it's best described as a pop song with strong hip-hop undertones. Lopez always serves up big rhythmic numbers that you can easily dance to and this new track is a perfect example of that. 

"Never Satisfied" is the next track Lopez played for us. It's a big power ballad that neatly spotlights her distinct pop vocals. In fact, Lopez sounds better than ever on this track and it's really great to hear her belt out a big tune. The last track "Let It Be Me" hits a similar emotive vein. She wrote the song with upcoming RocNation singer/songwriter Kirby Lauryen and was produced by Harmony. "It was one of those songs that I heard early on and I really wanted to record it," Lopez explained.

Following the listening session, Lopez graciously spent a little more time with her guests to take photos and chat a little more about the record. She told me she was excited to share this new music and that was particularly happy with all the collaborators on the album. I complimented her on the lyrics of the songs and Lopez gave credit to the songwriters she collaborated with to help her bring stories to life.

No release album date has been set yet but make sure to look for her new single "First Love" very soon. In the meantime, check Beats Music for an Intro to Jennifer Lopez to enjoy all of her hits from the past.

April 27, 2014 | Permalink

Tiësto Premieres Video for 'Wasted' feat. Matthew Koma, Unveils Album Details

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Tiësto is a bonafide dance music institution. For the past twenty years, he has ruled dancefloors across the world with his music that has inspired and influenced a whole new generation of DJs that's emerging now. The superstar DJ is getting ready to turn things up a few notches and cross over into the pop world with his forthcoming major label debut album, titled A Town Called Paradise, that will be released on June 16. The record was introduced by the single "Red Lights" and while that track is still gaining momentum, Tiësto has unleashed his new single "Wasted" featuring pop crooner Matthew Koma this week.

When I spend some time with Tiësto prior to his Hakkasan show in Las Vegas back in February, I congratulated him with the success of "Red Lights" in the pop charts. It's was an impressive accomplishment for the DJ who is one of the biggest names in dance but hasn't been able to fully crack the pop world in North America until now. He smiled and said that he had even bigger things coming, referring to "Wasted" as one of his most exciting projects to date. After hearing the song, I now know exactly what he meant.

"Wasted" perfectly shows off Tiësto musical versatility. It combines an instantly catchy, feel-good chorus with punchy beats that will get any party started. The song is also a crowning achievement for Matthew Koma. He's the King of EDM features, writing one incredible top line after the other, and his vocals on "Wasted" are some of the best he has done so far. The video for the song premiered this morning and takes viewers to a 1960s house party with Tiësto and Koma entertaining a group of Stepford Wives.

The tracklisting for A Town Called Paradise is equally impressive. It's an action-packed and star-studded effort that includes collaborations with fellow DJs Hardwell, Sultan & Ned Shepard, Firebeatz, MOTi and Dzeko & Torres, plus guest appearances from Icona Pop, Matthew Koma, Ladyhawke, Zac Barnett from American Authors and Krewella.

 A Town Called Paradise tracklisting is:

1. Tiësto "Red Lights"
2. Tiësto "Footprints" feat. Cruickshank
3. Tiësto "Light Years Away" feat. DBX
4. Tiësto "A Town Called Paradise" feat. Zac Barnett from American Authors
5. Tiësto & Hardwell "Written In Reverse" feat. Matthew Koma
6. Tiësto "Echoes" feat. Andreas Moe
7. Tiësto & Firebeatz "Last Train" feat. Ladyhawke
8. Tiësto "Wasted" feat. Matthew Koma
9. Tiësto "Let's Go" feat. Icona Pop
10. Tiësto "The Feeling" feat. Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
11. Tiësto "Shimmer" feat. Christian Burns
12. Tiesto & Kaaze "Rocky"
13. Tiësto and Sultan & Shepard "Close To Me" feat. Quilla
14. Tiësto "Set Yourself Free" feat. Krewella

April 25, 2014 | Permalink