ONE DIRECTION “STEAL MY GIRL” [SONG REVIEW]
Think what you want about One Direction but the British boyband has always delivered a distinct, high-grade pop sound that set them apart from other boygroups. One Direction’s sound is cemented in the group’s effortless vocal harmonies and a rock-edged pop sound that combines polished guitar riffs with sugar-coated hooks. Yummy. After selling millions of records and filling arenas all over the world (yes, they are legitimately the biggest band in the world), the group’s music has matured by way of “C’Mon, C’mon,” “Story of My Life” and “Little Black Dress.” The group is growing up and so are their fans. Their new single “Steal My Girl" continues where Midnight Memories left off. It’s a perfectly-produced slice of anthemic pop that has the potential to reach people far and wide while staying true to the group’s core essence. Now, that’s a job well done. 
Download One Direction “Steal My Girl” [iTunes]

ONE DIRECTION “STEAL MY GIRL” [SONG REVIEW]

Think what you want about One Direction but the British boyband has always delivered a distinct, high-grade pop sound that set them apart from other boygroups. One Direction’s sound is cemented in the group’s effortless vocal harmonies and a rock-edged pop sound that combines polished guitar riffs with sugar-coated hooks. Yummy. After selling millions of records and filling arenas all over the world (yes, they are legitimately the biggest band in the world), the group’s music has matured by way of “C’Mon, C’mon,” “Story of My Life” and “Little Black Dress.” The group is growing up and so are their fans. Their new single “Steal My Girl" continues where Midnight Memories left off. It’s a perfectly-produced slice of anthemic pop that has the potential to reach people far and wide while staying true to the group’s core essence. Now, that’s a job well done. 

Download One Direction “Steal My Girl” [iTunes]

Do yourself a favor and check out Sam Smith's guest stint on iTunes Radio. The British crooner plays us his favorite records for the hour and adds a personal touch to each song with a little bit of commentary. For example, he plays Drake's “Shot For Me” and explains that he is very drawn to the honesty of Drake's lyrics. He also notes that he prefers Drake's singing over his rapping. The varied show also includes Rihanna ”We Found Love,” Clean Bandit “Rather Be,” Destiny’s Child “Say My Name,” Tom Petty “Let Me Up,” Solange “Lovers In The Parking Lot,” and Whitney Houston “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay.” 
Other big takeaways:
Smith is obsessed with Whitney Houston and scours YouTube to find Houston live performances.
The first album he purchased was Britney Spears debut album (No shame!)
His first meet with Katy Perry at Coachella in 2013 was awkward but they had a proper introduction at this year’s GRAMMYs. He’s in love with her voice.
Not until Disclosure did he ever listen to electronic music. All he liked was pop.
The biggest surprise of all: Smith not only has a magnificent singing voice, he also has a delightfully soothing radio voice.
Listen to Sam Smith Guest DJ [iTunes Radio]

Do yourself a favor and check out Sam Smith's guest stint on iTunes Radio. The British crooner plays us his favorite records for the hour and adds a personal touch to each song with a little bit of commentary. For example, he plays Drake's “Shot For Me” and explains that he is very drawn to the honesty of Drake's lyrics. He also notes that he prefers Drake's singing over his rapping. The varied show also includes Rihanna ”We Found Love,” Clean Bandit “Rather Be,” Destiny’s Child “Say My Name,” Tom Petty “Let Me Up,” Solange “Lovers In The Parking Lot,” and Whitney Houston “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay.” 

Other big takeaways:

  • Smith is obsessed with Whitney Houston and scours YouTube to find Houston live performances.
  • The first album he purchased was Britney Spears debut album (No shame!)
  • His first meet with Katy Perry at Coachella in 2013 was awkward but they had a proper introduction at this year’s GRAMMYs. He’s in love with her voice.
  • Not until Disclosure did he ever listen to electronic music. All he liked was pop.

The biggest surprise of all: Smith not only has a magnificent singing voice, he also has a delightfully soothing radio voice.

Listen to Sam Smith Guest DJ [iTunes Radio]

OneDirection’s “Fireproof” is such a slice of lush. Very promising new sound. The cover art for the group’s album Four is brilliantly random — shot somewhere in a hotel room, showing the guys casually and having fun together.

British pop superstars One Direction have announced the global release of their eagerly anticipated fourth studio album, FOUR, on November 17, 2014 via Syco/Columbia Records. 

With a staggering 94 number ones and over 46 million records sold, in just four short years, One Direction have gone from energetic pop upstarts to international superstars. The band’s third album MIDNIGHT MEMORIES made them the first band in history to debut at the top of the US Billboard 200 album chart with their first three albums and were named the IFPI’s Global Artist of 2013, becoming the biggest selling act in the world.

As the band’s song writing becomes more personal with each record, FOUR is set to be their most stunning yet. The album follows the global success of their huge sell out WHERE WE ARE stadium tour and the 3D film documentary THIS IS US. 

- Official Syco/Sony press release

Standing at almost 6’6 feet tall and with a string of smash hits to his name, Calvin Harris is a bonafide dance music giant. His production savvy and knack for melody make him a much sought-after DJ/producer who is equally respected in both the dance and pop world. I compiled a collection of songs that features some of his greatest collaborations, including his new single “Blame” featuring John Newman. The wide range of songs and vocalists on this list perfectly demonstrates the depth of Harris’ talent. Listen to it on Beats.
Also make sure to watch Calvin Harris live from the iTunes Festival in London at 1PM PT/4PM ET.

Standing at almost 6’6 feet tall and with a string of smash hits to his name, Calvin Harris is a bonafide dance music giant. His production savvy and knack for melody make him a much sought-after DJ/producer who is equally respected in both the dance and pop world. I compiled a collection of songs that features some of his greatest collaborations, including his new single “Blame” featuring John NewmanThe wide range of songs and vocalists on this list perfectly demonstrates the depth of Harris’ talent. Listen to it on Beats.

Also make sure to watch Calvin Harris live from the iTunes Festival in London at 1PM PT/4PM ET.

Bebe Rexha is the new featured artist in Beats Music’s #CoSigned Series that spotlights up and coming new talent. 

Bebe Rexha's doesn't shy away from explaining what inspires much of her songwriting. “I was bullied a lot as a kid,” she told me in a video interview. “Music was my escape. It was like a safety blanket for me. I connect with people in that dark place and I want to bring them to the light with my music.”

Her play on light and darkness has struck a chord with fans and peers alike. Her biggest claim to fame is writing “The Monster” for Eminem and Rihanna that went on to sell over 4 million copies worldwide. “It’s a very personal song to me,” she explains. “It’s okay when you’re not perfect and I’m gonna love myself regardless.”

Following her success with “The Monster,” Bebe is an in-demand songwriter who has written tracks with Max MartinZedd, Stargate, Usher, Tinashe, Quintino and Fraser T. Smith. She also cut a track with EDM maestro David Guetta that will appear on his forthcoming new album. You may also recognize Bebe’s distinct vocals from Cash Cash hit “Take Me Home” that she wrote in her childhood bedroom in Staten Island.

Amidst all of her songwriting success, Bebe released her debut solo single “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You.” It’s an instantly hooky and EDM-infused track that perfectly showcases Bebe’s knack for writing infectious melodies with a message that is relatable to millions.

Check out the “I can Stop Drinking About You” remix EP exclusively on Beats that includes revamps by The Chainsmokers, Quintino, Dawin and Felix Snow.

Kiesza made the crowd go “oooh” and “aaah” tonight at The Roxy. I was mightily impressed when I saw her at Perez Hilton’s pre-VMA bash on Saturday, but she brought it to a whole new level tonight when she did a cover of Jeff Buckley’s evergreen “Hallelujah” that she took from a heartfelt ballad to a ’90s flavored dance-pop track. Blown away. She has A VOICE. We’ve only just seen the early beginnings of where she can take it.
Spotted in the crowd: Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Foster, Scooter Braun, Stargate, Capital Cities, Perez Hilton.

Kiesza made the crowd go “oooh” and “aaah” tonight at The Roxy. I was mightily impressed when I saw her at Perez Hilton’s pre-VMA bash on Saturday, but she brought it to a whole new level tonight when she did a cover of Jeff Buckley’s evergreen “Hallelujah” that she took from a heartfelt ballad to a ’90s flavored dance-pop track. Blown away. She has A VOICE. We’ve only just seen the early beginnings of where she can take it.

Spotted in the crowd: Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Foster, Scooter Braun, Stargate, Capital Cities, Perez Hilton.

CHERRY CHERRY BOOM BOOM UNVEILS DEBUT EP — WATCH VIDEO FOR “A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE (CAN LAST FOR LIFE)”

Following the release of original tracks like “One & Only” and covers like “Come Back From San Francisco,” Cherry Cherry Boom Boom now unveils a fully-loaded EP —  aptly titled Cherry Cherry Boom Boom EP. The release includes “A Little Bit of Love (Can Last for Life),” “One and Only,” “Answering Machine” and “Come Back From San Francisco.”

The EP is available now for streaming on Beats Music and for download on iTunes via Royal Pop Records.

To the uninitiated, Cherry Cherry Boom Boom is the artist moniker of label executive and pop impresario Martin Kierszenbaum who is the founder and president of Cherrytree Records. Yes, that’s right. That’s the fine pop imprint that is the home of Sting, Feist, Robyn, Ellie Goulding, La RouxDisclosure, RAC and many other hot and emerging pop acts. 

A press release sums Kierszenbaum’s career:

Working his way from the mailroom at PolyGram Records to signing the Russian group t.A.T.u. (and co-writing the majority of their album), to founding Cherrytree Records in 2005 with the help of Jimmy Iovine and turning it into the powerhouse it is today, Martin has proven again and again that his ear and sensibilities are one-of-a-kind in more ways than one.  Cherrytree Record’s first release was Feist’s Let It Die, which was followed by releases from the likes of Robyn, Ellie Goulding, Disclosure, LMFAO, Far East Movement, La Roux and of course, Lady Gaga for her debut album The Fame (Martin co-wrote and produced 4 songs including the title track). 

What initially started as an effort to fuel his own creative mojo has turned into something a little more serious, yet is still casual and fun. Kierszenbaum writes me:

Writing and recording music is something I’ve done since I was a kid. It makes me happy and it keeps me in close contact and around fellow musicians and music lovers. This music-is-first attitude also informs and sets the tone for our approach on behalf of our artists at Cherrytree. That may sound like something that’s rare today but it was really prevalent in the 60’s and 70’s when labels were run by musicians and that’s an inspiration for us.

In fact, it was Lady Gaga who coined the name Cherry Cherry Boom Boom when she was working with Kierszenbaum in the studio to record  tracks for The Fame. Pop aficionados among you may have heard the pop star calls out “cherry cherry boom boom” on the opening of “Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say).”

The Cherry Cherry Boom Boom EP demonstrates Kierszenbaum knack for great pop melodies. Whether it’s covering other people’s songs like “Answering Machine” (The Replacements) or ‘Come Back From San Francisco” (The Magnetic Fields), or writing his own original compositions, he knows exactly how to give the music a powerfully melodic twist that defines his signature sound.

[Beats Music]
[iTunes]

RYAN TEDDER, ELLEN DEGENERES, DEMI LOVATO, CEE LO, HUNTER HAYES TALK ABOUT THEIR FAVORITE COLDPLAY SONGS
Coldplay’s new album Ghost Stories is streaming exclusively on Beats music today.
Ghost Stories is the group’s sixth studio album that was first released via iTunes in May. The group of Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion worked with GRAMMY-winning producer Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence Welch) along with long-time collaborators Daniel Green and Rik Simpson on the production of the album. None other than Avicii, Timbaland and French soundboard prodigy Madeon pop up on the record too as guests.
Following the grand and vibrant soundscapes of Viva La Vida (2008) and Mylo Xyloto (2011), Coldplay explores a new sonic direction on Ghost Stories. The group delivers a sound that is more introspective and melancholic with lyrics that are intensely personal. 
Ghost Stories tells a story of a man who is going through a dramatic break up and is coming to terms with living a life without the one he loves. The album chronicles the pain and confusion of a break up on songs like “Magic” on which Martin laments, “Cut me into two/I disappear from view/And I can’t get over you.” 
But even though Ghost Stories tells a story of heartbreak, its message is never bleak. In the world of Coldplay there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the pain and disappointment, Martin often acknowledges that the future is bright and hopeful. ”Cause you’re a sky/you’re a sky full of stars/You’re such a heavenly view,” he sings on “A Sky Full of Stars,” a vibrant and uplifting anthem that captures a bittersweet sentiment and reaches far beyond Martin’s own experiences.
And herein lies the album’s greatest achievement. It poignantly captures a universal truth and sense of redemption that people everywhere can relate to. Throughout their career, Coldplay has served up a rich canon of songs that touches a nerve with people. We asked a few artists about their favorite Coldplay songs and why it is special to them.
Ryan Tedder Favorite Coldplay song: “In My Place” [link]

I was 22 and had just decided to start a band when that song came out and I thought ‘SHIT, I gotta up my game if these guys are doing stuff like this.’ The beat is sick and that guitar line is so simple yet sounds like a stadium.

Hunter HayesFavorite Coldplay song: “Magic” [link]

The first time I heard ‘Magic; it was instantly my favorite Coldplay track. I’ve normally loved the ‘Hurts Like Heaven’ and the ‘Viva La Vida’ energetic vibe of the catalogue but Magic reshaped all the pieces of the band’s sound into something excitingly unexplored. And as someone who is inspired by their never ending search for something new to hear such a shift is yet another breath of fresh air and a brilliant way of saying that there is, in fact, so much more to say and hear from this incredible group. I also must say, the live show these guys put on is at the top of the list of best and most exciting, fun, and incredibly sincere shows I’ve ever seen. Such a big fan. 

Cee Lo Favorite Coldplay song: “Trouble” [link]

Some of the best music has a redemption quality. The words of ‘Trouble’ articulate a complicated issue, but by putting it into lyrics, the intentions become more clear, more acceptable, more genuine. The honesty is redeeming.

Ellen DeGeneresFavorite Coldplay song: “Yellow” [link]

Because it is just so beautiful.

Demi LovatoFavorite Coldplay song:  ”Yellow” [link]

Coldplay has the ability to make songs instant classics and the perfect example of this is with my most favorite song of theirs to date.

Listen to Coldplay Ghost Stories on Beats.

RYAN TEDDER, ELLEN DEGENERES, DEMI LOVATO, CEE LO, HUNTER HAYES TALK ABOUT THEIR FAVORITE COLDPLAY SONGS

Coldplay’s new album Ghost Stories is streaming exclusively on Beats music today.

Ghost Stories is the group’s sixth studio album that was first released via iTunes in May. The group of Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion worked with GRAMMY-winning producer Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence Welch) along with long-time collaborators Daniel Green and Rik Simpson on the production of the album. None other than Avicii, Timbaland and French soundboard prodigy Madeon pop up on the record too as guests.

Following the grand and vibrant soundscapes of Viva La Vida (2008) and Mylo Xyloto (2011), Coldplay explores a new sonic direction on Ghost Stories. The group delivers a sound that is more introspective and melancholic with lyrics that are intensely personal. 

Ghost Stories tells a story of a man who is going through a dramatic break up and is coming to terms with living a life without the one he loves. The album chronicles the pain and confusion of a break up on songs like “Magic” on which Martin laments, “Cut me into two/I disappear from view/And I can’t get over you.” 

But even though Ghost Stories tells a story of heartbreak, its message is never bleak. In the world of Coldplay there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the pain and disappointment, Martin often acknowledges that the future is bright and hopeful. ”Cause you’re a sky/you’re a sky full of stars/You’re such a heavenly view,” he sings on “A Sky Full of Stars,” a vibrant and uplifting anthem that captures a bittersweet sentiment and reaches far beyond Martin’s own experiences.

And herein lies the album’s greatest achievement. It poignantly captures a universal truth and sense of redemption that people everywhere can relate to. Throughout their career, Coldplay has served up a rich canon of songs that touches a nerve with people. We asked a few artists about their favorite Coldplay songs and why it is special to them.

Ryan Tedder 
Favorite Coldplay song: “In My Place” [link]

I was 22 and had just decided to start a band when that song came out and I thought ‘SHIT, I gotta up my game if these guys are doing stuff like this.’ The beat is sick and that guitar line is so simple yet sounds like a stadium.

Hunter Hayes
Favorite Coldplay song: “Magic” [link]

The first time I heard ‘Magic; it was instantly my favorite Coldplay track. I’ve normally loved the ‘Hurts Like Heaven’ and the ‘Viva La Vida’ energetic vibe of the catalogue but Magic reshaped all the pieces of the band’s sound into something excitingly unexplored. And as someone who is inspired by their never ending search for something new to hear such a shift is yet another breath of fresh air and a brilliant way of saying that there is, in fact, so much more to say and hear from this incredible group. I also must say, the live show these guys put on is at the top of the list of best and most exciting, fun, and incredibly sincere shows I’ve ever seen. Such a big fan. 

Cee Lo 
Favorite Coldplay song: “Trouble” [link]

Some of the best music has a redemption quality. The words of ‘Trouble’ articulate a complicated issue, but by putting it into lyrics, the intentions become more clear, more acceptable, more genuine. The honesty is redeeming.

Ellen DeGeneres
Favorite Coldplay song: “Yellow” [link]

Because it is just so beautiful.

Demi Lovato
Favorite Coldplay song:  ”Yellow” [link]

Coldplay has the ability to make songs instant classics and the perfect example of this is with my most favorite song of theirs to date.

Listen to Coldplay Ghost Stories on Beats.