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31 October 2010
CATEGORY 4: BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST
Jay Sean debuted in the Asian underground scene as a member of the Rishi Rich Project with ‘Dance With You’, which reached #12 on the UK Singles Chart in 2003. He was subsequently signed to Virgin Records, where he produced two UK Top 10 hits, including ‘Eyes On You’. His debut album Me Against Myself, was only moderately successful in the UK, but sold more than 2 million copies across Asia.
He left Virgin in 2006 to found his own independent label, Jayded Records. After a gap of four years, he returned in 2008 with ‘Ride It’ and his second album, My Own Way, became his most successful album on the UK Albums Chart. In 2010, his American debut single ‘Down’ topped the Billboard Hot 100, making him the first solo artist of South Asian origin and first UK urban act to top the Hot 100. He has since been ranked #35 in Billboard’s Hot 100 Artists of 2009. Other notable singles he produced this year are ‘Do You Remember?’ and ‘2012 (It Ain’t The End), featuring up and rising singer-rapper Nicki Minaj.
Then & Now: Jay Sean’s ‘Eyes On You’ (2003) and ‘2012 (It Ain’t The End)’
Kelis found mainstream success in the US in 2003 with her Billboard Top 5 single, ‘Milkshake’, which helped propel her third album, Tasty, to sell over 400,000 copies in the US in just two months. Her second single, ‘Trick Me’, proved successful on radio and music video channels in Europe, but did not garner success in the US, where it barely received airplay.
She has collaborated with artists, including Enrique Iglesias in ‘Not in Love’, Cee Lo in ‘Lil Star’ and Nas in ‘Blindfold Me’. In 2007, she worked with Cee-Lo Green on an alternative dance album, together with electronica producer Calvin Harris. It was from then on that she changed her musical style to dance and pop music, a different direction from her previous R&B based sound. She started working with producers like will.i.am and David Guetta, who produced the first single from her album titled ‘Flesh Tone’ in 2009 called ‘Acapella’. ‘Acapella’ debuted in the top five in the UK Charts, and reached #1 in the US Hot Dance Club Songs. She has also won several awards including the BRIT Award and the Q Award.
Then & Now: Kelis’s ‘Trick Me’ (2003) and ‘Acapella’
Kelly Rowland rose to fame in the late 1990s as one of the founding members of Destiny’s Child. During the hiatus of Destiny’s Child, she collaborated with rapper Nelly in ‘Dilemma’, a worldwide number-one hit, and released her rock pop-influenced debut solo album Simply Deep in 2002, which sold over 2 million copies worldwide. She released her much-delayed (due to the final tracklisting being ‘too full of midtempos and ballads’) 2nd album Ms. Kelly in 2007, which included the platinum international record ‘Work’.
In 2009, she ended her professional relationship with manager Mathew Knowles and former label Columbia records to explore other ventures. Her first step was the house collaboration with David Guetta in ‘When Love Takes Over’, which earned Rowland her fifth Grammy Award. She subsequently signed on to Universal Motown Records, where she released her album’s lead single ‘Commander’, and other singles including ‘Rose Colored Glasses’ and ‘Grown Woman’. ‘Forever and a Day’ was released as the album’s second international single in September in 2010.
Then & Now: Kelly Rowland’s ‘Dilemma’ (2002) and ‘Forever and a Day’
KT Tunstall broke into the public eye when she performed ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’ live on Jools Holland. She has since picked up a BRIT Award and a Grammy nomination. Her debut album, Eye To The Telescope, produced radio-friendly singles including ‘Other Side of the World’ and ‘Suddenly I See’. ‘Hold On’, the lead single from her second album Drastic Fantastic, was moderately successful, charting at #95 on the Billboard Pop Chart, but failed to make impact inside the Hot 100.
In September 2010, she released her third studio album titled Tiger Suit. The album features more contemporary ingredients than her previous work. Several tracks harness electronic beats to her acoustic guitar, but without losing her folk, alternative sounds. ‘Fade Like A Shadow’ was the lead single in the US, and ‘(Still a) Weirdo’ in the UK. It is great that she is taking risks as a composer and record-make, never settling into the role of the earnest grounded folk artist, but instead winding up with a great album that ‘satisfies as pure sound and as songwriting sustenance.’
Then & Now: KT Tunstall’s ‘Black Horse and The Cherry Tree’ (2005) and ‘Push That Knot Away’
Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam, better known by her stage name M.I.A, is a British singer-songwriter, rapper and record producer whose ‘eclectic compositions combine elements of hip-hop, electronica, dance, and alternative music.’ She released her debut album Arular (named after her father) in 2005 and second album Kala (named after her mother) in 2007.
The latter album produced top ten chart favourites including ‘Jimmy’ (written about a genocide tour date invite that she received from a journalist while in Liberia) and ‘Paper Planes’, and has been characterized as celebratory and infused with rawer, ‘darker, outsider’ themes such as immigration politics, personal relationships and war.
In 2009, Time magazine included M.I.A in its annual Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people. Also in the same year, the song and short film ‘Born Free’, a song from her third album, Maya, was leaked online. It depicted a genocide against red-haired adolescents being forced to run across a minefield and caused controversy due to its graphic violent content. The first official single from Maya, ‘XXXO’ reached the top 40 in the UK. Maya was also her highest-charting album in the US, reaching #9 on the Billboard 200.
Then & Now: Maya’s ‘Jimmy’ (2007) and ‘XXXO’
Nicole Scherzinger is best known as the lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls. They have released two albums, PCD and Doll Domination, producing chart-topping singles including ‘Don’t Cha’, ‘Buttons’, ‘Stickwitu’ and ‘When I Grow Up’. However, she says that everyone recognizes her from PCD’s debut single ‘Don’t Cha’ which, although amazing, does not fulfil her musical desires.
From 2006 to 2008, she worked on her debut album titled ‘Her Name Is Nicole’. She recorded and wrote about 75-100 songs for the album, which was supposed to be released in 2007 before being pushed to 2008 and later in 2009 before being shelved. The album included singles like ‘Whatever U Like (featuring T.I)’, ‘Baby Love’ and ‘Supervillain’. However, it was not enough to chart in the US. In August this year, she teamed up with RedOne, who helped produced her new single ‘Poison’, which premiered on her official website on October 14, 2010. She is also set to appear at the Jingle Bell Ball at London’s 02 Arena in December. Earlier this year, she became the winner of the tenth season of Dancing with the Stars.
Then & Now: Nicole Scherzinger’s ‘Whatever U Like’ (2007) and ‘Poison’
To view the nominees for Best Dance Recording, click here.
To view the nominees for Best Pop Collaboration, click here.
To view the nominees for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, click here.
Results will be announced on 26th December 2010!
Nominees for BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE and BEST MALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE to be revealed next week! Stay peeled to realitymunches!
Labels: Best of Music 2010
2nd Runner-up: Andy South
Andy’s line was inspired by his hometown at Vientanne, Laos. It was good that he fused his personal heritage into his line. It felt high-fashion without a tinge of costume feel to it. A little more diversity and colour would have helped enhanced the rather dull green and grey palette. The first piece did not wow the audience enough, but I thought the 11th piece was still the best. It was good that he moved away from the hard and edgy to focus on softness though that may not be his strength. He might be too safe.
1st Runner-up: Mondo Guerra
His collection is very Mondo. It was unique, eye-catching and dramatic. The collection was very cohesive, with a nice use of colour and mix of prints. There was a good range of loud and special pieces, intertwined with the quiet ones that were nevertheless strong standalone clothing. The skull designs showed his creativity, but it could pass off rather 77th Street. The tunic dress with the dash of pink, as well as the strapless dress, was lovely. The pieces may be decorative, but it could be too overwhelming. Some of his clothes may be too over-the-top.
Nina and Michael Kors were afraid of choosing Mondo as the winner may produce repercussions similar to the previous season, when they chose Seth Aaron as the winner. “...and in fashion, it changes very quickly. It’s not about [being current], it’s about [Gretchen’s] style right now.” It’s a battle between the fashion veterans (Garcia and Kors) and the upcoming fashion critics (Klum and Simpson) – major bitchfight. The veterans won. This was VERY shocking.
Winner of Project Runway 8: Gretchen Jones
She had a title to her collection – Running Through Thunder. The range that she provided was fantastic, from jackets, to sweaters, pants and skirts. The collection is very trendy and ready-to-wear. She always puts her personality into her clothes – the vibe of the girl comes off very strong, very Gretchen. The styling was good as well, making the models feel polished and sophisticated. One gripe is her monotonous collection, which would have worked with a dash of colour. The sleek, tacky looking leather for one of her pieces may not necessary gel into her line. The third-sergeant jewellery (I totally coined that term) is gorgeous. Her collection is very wearable and casual, and is speaking to the moment.
To view the season finale, visit here: http://realitytvfan.org/2010/10/29/project-runway-usa-8-%e2%80%93-episode-14-dailymotion/
Cher Lloyd – Stay
She made me tear! Holy crap! Freaking hell, she’s the new Cheryl Cole! “Cheryl’s trying to turn you into her.” HAHA! Oh god, she is my freaking guilty pleasure! I didn’t know she had those vocals! She has GOT to win this. She decides to break away from her normal style of music to shock everyone with an emotional song, and she executed a homerun. CHER LLOYD CHER LLOYD CHER LLOYD WOOHOO!
Rebecca Ferguson – Wicked Game
That was a class act. Her voice seems to have come off even stronger! Simon said the unthinkable: He compared her to Leona Lewis. Ok, she’s going to win this. (P.S Walsh keeps banking no the fact that she has a unique recording voice. I mean, is there anything he can say besides that?)
One Direction – Total Eclipse Of The Heart (hurhur, ECLIPSE.)
Paije Richardson – Back to Black
Broadway. Cabaret. He has definitely gained confidence over the weeks... transforming into a diva (as he would like) who delivers as much as he promises to. A very good job.
Matt Cardle – Bleeding Love
He is the only contestant who has been choosing popular contemporary songs each week – ‘Just The Way You Are’, ‘Baby One More Time’, ‘When Love Takes Over’... now Leona’s classic. I think it was a throwaway of a week – he shouldn’t’ have touched this song. I liked his vocal arrangement of the bridge though, at least he made attempts to switch it up from the original. Simon gave him props for doing so. Brian Friedman was creative in making the stage look like some sea of pulmonary veins.
Treyc Cohen – Relight My Fire
The haunting music during her intro was hilarious. She griped that her previous performance probably didn’t connect with the younger generation, so I was quite puzzled when she chose ‘Relight My Fire’. She’s a very good performer, and I agree with Dannii – I want to know what her signature genre is. Simon put it so aptly: the problem with Treyc is that she just ‘comes out on a Saturday night, sings well, looks pretty, but there is nothing original there.’ He was being mean, though, when he questioned if Cole knew her place of residence.
Belle Amie – Venus
They go Bananarama this time around! Sexy outfits, sexy poses, sexy women and men – the styling for the performance was on-the-mark. They finally worked the stage! I didn’t see why Dannii was so anal about the vocals, and Cheryl wanted them to do a non-girl-band song, like hello?! (P.S Why wasn’t their time being hollered by the announcer before their performance?!)
Katie Waissel – Bewitched
She’s enjoying every moment on stage – love how she always puts so much effort in dressing up for each performance, who cares if she’s more style than substance. If Wagner can stay in the competition with his nonsense, I don’t see why she should be critiqued negatively. She is really a Gwen Stefani – fun and spunky, not so brilliant on the vocals, but so likeable by everyone.
Aiden Grimshaw – Thriller
Mr. La Roux takes the stage with the most iconic MJ song. I liked the sinister and intense moment in the beginning, but thought the performance fell apart gradually, and it lost my attention. He totally just flashed a Wallace and Gromit smile after Cole’s critique, and that’s just disturbing. He should stay grim.
Wagner – O Fortuna / Bat Out Of Hell
Wait a minute, why was he wearing ‘Vote Rebecca’ during his rehearsals? Ok, he is the contestant (aside from Shirlena Johnson) capable of making my jaw drop from start to end. “From Matt, to Wagner, yeah, it’s different!” – Dannii wins. It was Loca throughout the entire performance.
30 October 2010
Mahsa is a loser. She offered to tell the man exactly what each of the women sold in the previous challenge. That pissed Brandy so much that she told Mahsa to STFU.
For the next task, the teams are required to stage backer’s auditions for two new Broadway musicals, where they will be judged on the quality of their marketing materials as well as their overall presentation. Liza was the project manager for the women, and Steuart was Octane’s PM.
Upon meeting the composer and lyricist of Darling, Liza immediately admits she has never seen a Broadway musical. The funniest thing was when she asked if a Broadway show involves people ‘getting on stage, and doing a little bit of talking, then they jump into song’. LOL.
Stephanie immediately talks about her 30 years studying with the Royal Conservatory, and dismisses Poppy’s musical background, saying that listening to ‘Miley Cyrus on her Walkman while she works out’ doesn’t count. That was a good one, Steph.
While David may be crazy, he actually made the most sense in Octane this time around. And although Steuart flubbed his lines, the judges were pleased with the audition and appreciated the marketing materials. The men’s team won, and Trump congratualated David in particular, telling him his comeback is one of the most amazing ones in The Apprentice history.
Trump asked Mahsa why Kristin Chenoweth (one of the judges, you would know her from Glee and Pushing Daisies) liked Liza so much. She said it was probably the three lines she wrote for Liza to read. Come on, Donald Trump wasn’t asking about you. From this point on, Mahsa went down. Brandy named her the ‘most classless individual’, saying how she treats everyone like it’s ‘The Mahsa Show’.
Brandy explained how Mahsa revealed their sales totals to the men before the previous task’s boardroom, and Mahsa said it was true, adding on that Clint told her the men’s totals too (which was total bull, so bull that Clint brought the rest of the men back to the boardroom to disprove that claim).
When questioned if Mahsa was lying, Mahsa erupts and says ‘I NEVER LIED MR. TRUMP!’ Clint tells her to shut up (as if an STFU from Brandy wasn’t enough), and Trump identified this issue as a matter of disloyalty, thereby firing her.
To view the episode, visit: http://www.zshare.net/video/82103427c05a576b/
‘Promise This’ serves as the lead single from Cole’s second studio album, Messy Little Raindrops. It is an up-tempo dance-pop song written by UK music producer, Wayne Wilkins, who also wrote Cole’s debut single ‘Fight For This Love’. ‘Promise This’ skips very thrillingly from the video gamey verses to the addictive choruses to the alouettes (why is French for skylarks).
Sophie Muller, director of the video, adds on graceful and muscular choreography to create even more drama to the song. The video features scenes of Cole dressed as a flamenco dancer, and donning a black leotard outfit. The song has reached the top spot in Ireland, and is set to do well in the UK, after she had performed the single live on The X Factor.
‘I Like It’ is the lead single from Iglesias’s first bilingual studio album, Euphoria. The song is produced by RedOne (hence the very Eurodisco feel) and co-written by himself and Pitbull, and interpolates Lionel Ritchie’s 1983 classic ‘All Night Long (All Night)’. While the lyrics are cheesy enough to ensure it remains an Enriquesque song, the Eurodisco production courtesy of RedOne makes this song a very popular one in the clubs.
The song has reached number one in Canada, and has become a top ten hit in the UK and the US, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100, making it his first solo top five hit in nearly eight years, the last being 2001’s ‘Hero’.
Far East Movement – Like A G6 [Song lyrics]
Ke$ha – Take It Off [Song lyrics]
‘Like a G6’ is a electrohouse single by Far East Movement featuring The Cataracs and Dev. The name of the song originated from Drake’s comment about having G4 pilots on deck. In response to that, they said ‘What’s flyer than a G4? Of course, it would be a G6.’ Totally up to the listener’s interpretation. The tune has received 1.4 million digital downloads, and has hit number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Far East Movement is an electro hop and electronic dance rap quartet based in Los Angeles, California. They They represent different generations of Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Filipino ancestry within the Asian American community. Visit their official website here. http://www.fareastmovement.com/ They are signed by Cherrytree Records, who also houses artistes like La Roux, Keane, Feist, Robyn, Ellie Goulding, Natalia Kills and more.
‘Take It Off’ was released as the fourth official single from her debut album, Animal. The song is an upbeat dance pop song that uses heavy amounts of auto tune and utilizes an electro infused beat. Two music videos for the single were released. The first featured her and her friends on another planet dancing around in a moshpit while turning into star dust as they took it off. The second features a more dominant animal theme drawing from 80’s themed inspiration.
While there is a heavy dosage of auto-tune, the song should be complimented for its irresistibly catchy beat and chorus, and its celebratory mood of dropping inhibitions. The song charted in the UK and US even before being announced as a single, and has sold over a million copies in the US as of October 2010.
Robyn – Dancing On My Own [Song lyrics]
Usher – DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love (feat. Pitbull) [Song lyrics]
‘Dancing On My Own’ is the lead single from Robyn’s fifth studio album, Body Talk Pt 1. The main idea behind the song is Robyn watching the man she loves dancing with another woman, while he is oblivious of her presence on the dance floor. The song, according to Robyn, is inspired by ‘inherently sad, gay disco anthems such as Ultravox’s ‘Dancing With Tears in My Eyes’.
The song has been compared to Robyn’s previous misty-eyed electro-disco singles ‘Be Mine!’ and ‘With Every Heartbeat’ due to its vulnerable lyrics. Its pulsing synths and electronic percussion manage to sound ineffably melancholic. The song has reached number 3 in the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart, and became her fourth UK top ten hit, peaking at number eight.
‘DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love’ is the first single from Usher’s debut EP, Versus. The song is an electronic/dance track that has received positive reviews with critics commending its infectious club vibe and catchy chorus. Pitbull drops his usual party antics, lending an energizing verse and ad-libs, making this track a smooth club tune that keeps clubegoers grooving for months.
The lyrics may be repetitive, but Usher’s high register fits seamlessly with the dance beats. Throughout the video, the surrounding dancers are periodically frozen in time while Usher continues krumping at normal speed. The song became the sixteenth top-ten hit of his career in the US, and has became a top-ten hit in the UK as well.
To view the nominees for Best Pop Collaboration, click here.
To view the nominees for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, click here.
Labels: Best of Music 2010
Greyson Chance – Waiting Outside The Lines
Nicole Scherzinger - Poison
Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand
Katy Perry – Firework
Nicki Minaj – Right Thru Me
Robyn – Indestructible
She’s pulling off a ‘shut-eyed’ Matt Cardle in her rendition of Fireflies here.
Marty likes to believe he has control of the game by hanging onto that individual immunity. He thinks that he shouldn’t get a vote from Jane because he didn’t lie to her and voted for her. Jane probably voted for you because she hates your guts.
The reward challenge involved throwing a ball into the goalpost, with a person from the opposing tribe defending the post. First to five wins. Espada wins the challenge, despite Dan being absolutely useless in the challenge. They get to go horseback riding and enjoy a Nicaraguan breakfast, as well as milk goats. NaOnka doesn’t ‘play with animal’s nipples trying to get milk out’ by the way. [FYI, Kelly Purple got interviewed for the first time, and we witness her slowly turning into Fabio while describing the reward. “You get to milk your own milk, I guess. I don’t know if that makes sense. You get to milk your own milk and that sounds amazing.”]
Jane is sneaky. She decided to catch fish and secretly keep it for herself, and she is adamant in seeing Marty and Jill gone.
Sash said something disturbing, but it’s one thing that’s so true in Survivor: “The older people who came over from Espada can work their butts off, feed me all day long and they’ll help me get stronger, so I love it. I get to stay home all day, relax, eat the fruits of their labor while they go out, they work hard. I give them a lot of credit, but this is a game and long run, for me, who stays in this game isn’t a matter of how hard you worked around camp, it’s about how loyal you are to me."
It was down to the crucial immunity challenge to determine who would be the 8th person voted off the island. Now, the weirdest thing was Sash sitting out of the challenge. If their tribe loses, he’d have such a huge target on his back! (Actually it’s alright, he has officially become Brenda’s wingman, so he’ll be safe.) True enough, Espada trashed La Flor big time.
Sash proposed two options to Marty:
Option 1: Tribe splits 3-2 votes to Marty and Jill in order to flush Marty’s hidden idol. Jill and Jane come to a tie-breaker, and Jill goes home.
Option 2: Marty hands Sash the hidden idol, and Jill goes home. Should they lose next challenge, Marty will get back his idol from Sash (supposedly).
Option 3: Marty hands Sash the hidden idol, and Brenda initiates a mutiny to vote Marty off.
Ok, option 3 wasn’t proposed, but it was Brenda’s idea.
Marty chose option 2. WHAT?! Jill was stunned LOL, because that spells her doom.
In response to Marty’s criticism that Jane flip-flopped, Jane said: “When we became yellow, I became yellow.” Kudos to you Jane, that’s the spirit. What’s with the division between young and old?
OH MY GOD, SASH MADE A HUGE FREUDIAN SLIP. “If there’s a time when I lose trust in them – I’m sorry, if there’s a time when they lose trust in me, then I’ll have to turn it over or I’ll have the biggest target on my back of this entire tribe.” That was plain stupidity! Now, what amazes me was Fabio’s comment, that he was familiar with Freudian psychology, which somewhat revealed he was not as dim as he seems.
The younglings’ plan worked out perfectly, Jill received 3 votes, whilst Marty and Jane each received 2.
To view this episode, visit: http://www.zshare.net/video/820611283d1e06fa/
Looking forward to the merge next week!
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