Thursday, June 29, 2017

Xposition - May, 2017


The 2017 Billboard Music Awards were held in May with Drake sweeping 13 awards from a whopping 22 nominations for which he was tied with the Chainsmokers. Among his awards were Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist and Top Rap Artist. The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey’s Closer also received top accolades which were Top Hot 100 Song, Top Collaboration and Top Dance/Electronic Song. Cher who was bestowed with the Icon Award performed a medley of her hits Believe and If I Could Turn Back Time. Other memorable performances of the night were Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On, Imagine Dragons’ Believer, Bruno Mars’ Versace on the Floor, Julia Michaels’ Issues and Camila Cabello’s medley of I Have Questions and Crying In the Club. Miley Cyrus also debuted her newest single Malibu, which sees her going back to her roots. Other significant wins of the night include:
·         Top New Artist: Zayn
·         Top Billboard 200 Album: Drake – Views
·         Top Female Artist: Beyonce
·         Top Duo/Group: Twenty One Pilots
·         Top Latin Artist: Juan Gabriel
·         Top Country Song: Florida Georgia Line – H.O.L.Y.
·         Top Rap Song: Desiigner – Panda
·         Top Rock Song: Twenty One Pilots – Heathens
·         Top Touring Artist: Beyonce

Now let’s take a look at the biggest singing competition in the world. The curtains came down on the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with Portugal as the winner for Salvador Sobral’s Amar Pelos Dois. The contest took place in Ukraine after the remarkable victory by Ukraine’s underdog Jamala stole the show with her breathtaking performance of the song 1944. Russia had originally planned to participate, but announced their withdrawal in April 2017, after their representative, Yulia Samoylova, was banned from entering Ukraine by virtue of having traveled directly from Russia to Crimea in 2015, a region that was annexed by Russia in 2014, to give a performance, which is illegal under Ukrainian law.

This was Portugal's first win and first top five placing in 53 years of participation. It was also the first winning song entirely performed in a country's native language since Serbia's Molitva in 2007. The top three countries – Portugal, Bulgaria and Moldova – all achieved the highest position in their Eurovision history, while host country Ukraine received its worst placing to date in a Eurovision final. The song written by Salvador’s sister Luísa Sobral amassed 758 points, setting the record for the most points achieved by a song in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, and topped both the televoting and the jury voting for the first time since Austria's Rise Like a Phoenix in 2014.

Tragedy struck the pop music industry when a bomb was detonated after an Ariana Grande concert. British Muslim Salman Ramadan Abedi made a suicide bomb attack after the show at the Manchester Arena of Grande’s 2017 Dangerous Woman Tour resulting in 22 deaths and 250 injured. The concert was sold out, and 14,200 people attended. Many exiting concert-goers and waiting parents were in the foyer at the time of the explosion. Greater Manchester Police declared the incident a terrorist attack and is the deadliest attack in the UK since July 2005 London bombings. Grande subsequently suspended her tour and flew to her mother's home in Boca Raton, Florida. She later announced that she would host a benefit concert in Manchester for the victims of the attack.

In more sad news, lead vocalist for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave Chris Cornell has also died which has been ruled as a suicide. Cornell was found dead in his Detroit hotel room early on the morning of May 18, shortly after performing at a Soundgarden concert the night before. He suffered from depression and substance abuse problems. Gregg Allman, singer-songwriter and rock n’ blues pioneer who founded The Allman Brothers Band has passed away at the age of 69 from complications of liver cancer on May 27.

Moving onto chart news, in the US, the tyrannical reign of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You came to an end with Kendrick Lamar’s Humble taking the rapper to his first number one. Bruno Mars however took the pole position from Lamar in the second week with his That’s What I Like. In the third week DJ Khaled debuted atop the charts with his star studded collaboration I’m the One with Quavo, Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper. This reign only lasted one week, as Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Despacito soared to the peak as a result of a new remix which features Justin Bieber. With Despacito claiming the throne it becomes the first mostly Spanish language No.1 in more than 20 years since Los Del Rio’s Macarena. This sort of No.1 turnover is the quickest since 1990. Meanwhile, Kendrik Lamar’s DNA debuted at No.4 and Zedd & Alessia Cara’s Stay and Kygo & Selena Gomez’s It Ain’t Me entered the top 10.

In the UK, Sheeran’s Shape of You was toppled by Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson’s Symphony. This again proved short lived as DJ Khaled’s I’m The One debuted atop the charts in the UK as well before being replaced by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Despacito which continued at the top during the remainder of the month. During the month French Montana featuring Swae Lee’s Unforgettable, Jason Derulo featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Nicki Minaj and Shawn Mendes’ There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back all entered the top 10.

Other songs which became popular during the month were:

1.       Kygo & Ellie Goulding – First time
2.       DNCE ft. Nicki Minaj – Kissing strangers
3.       David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne – Light my body up
4.       Katy Perry ft. Migos – Bon Apetit  
5.       Charlie Puth – Attention
6.       J Hus – Did you see
7.       Disciples – On my mind
8.       Cheat Codes ft. Demi Lovato – No promises

Till the next beat...

At Ease!!!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Most Inspirational Songs of 2016


This segment of the year-end compilation is here to stay. This is mostly because unlike other decades, each year there are enough and more inspirational songs that are released. Even most movies and animated films include many inspirational songs, which is clearly reflected on this list. While inspirational songs did not chart high worldwide in 2016 like the preceding year, there were some really good songs. Particularly Andra Day's Rise Up is an exceptional song which has now been covered by hundreds of artists. It is also a favorite at auditions in reality contests. At second place is Sia with her Never Give Up from the film Lion and at third is Sucker for Pain by Lil Wayne and a number of artists from the film Suicide Squad. 

Sia is the only artist with two entries while Fergie has two entries as she is also a part of the Black Eyed Peas. The film Trolls also has two songs on the list. Other films include Zootopia, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Star Trek Beyond. Some other interesting facts are that Fifth Harmony's last single as a quintet is on the list as well as the Black Eyed Peas' final song before Fergie's departure; the official song for the UEFA Euro 2016 by David Guetta and the official English song for the Olympics 2016 by Katy Perry are also on the list. So here are the top 25 most inspirational songs of 2016:
  1. Andra Day – Rise up
  2. Sia – Never give up 
  3. Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons ft. Logic, Ty Dolla $ign & X Ambassadors – Sucker for pain 
  4. Katy Perry – Rise 
  5. Shakira – Try everything 
  6. Rihanna – Sledgehammer 
  7. Charlie Puth – One call away 
  8. Justin Timberlake – Can’t stop the feeling!
  9. G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha – Me, myself & I 
  10. Selena Gomez – Kill ‘em with kindness 
  11. Iggy Azalea – Team 
  12. Alan Walker – Alone 
  13. Fifth Harmony – That’s my girl
  14. Pink – Just like fire 
  15. David Guetta ft. Zara Larsson – This one’s for you 
  16. Tim McGraw – Humble and kind 
  17. Sia ft. Kendrick Lamar – The greatest 
  18. Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & MØ –  Cold water 
  19. Anna Kendrick – Get back up again 
  20. Fergie – Life goes on
  21. Zedd ft. Kesha – True colors 
  22. Dami Im – Fighting for love 
  23. Black Eyed Peas ft. The World – #WHEREISTHELOVE 
  24. Robbie Williams – Love my life 
  25. Beyonce – Formation 

Till the next chord...

At Ease!!!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Xposition - April, 2017


The 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards 2017 was held in March where Fifth Harmony and Kelsea Ballerini were the big winners. Song of the Year however went to Shawn Mendes’ Treat You Better while Britney Spears was honored with the first Icon Award for her contribution to music. Some of the best performances of the night included Hailee Steinfeld’s medley of Most Girls and Starving, Train’s Play That Song, Julia Michaels’ Issues and of course the Spears’ tribute where a medley of Oops!... I Did It Again, Circus, …Baby One More Time and Till The World Ends were sung by Kelsea Ballerini, Sofia Carson, Hailee Steinfeld and Jamie Lynn Spears. The other significant winners of the night were:
·         Best Female Artist: Ariana Grande
·         Best Male Artist: Niall Horan
·         Best Group: Fifth Harmony
·         Best Band: DNCE
·         Breakout Artist of the Year: Alessia Cara
·         Best New Artist: Grace VanderWaal
·         Best Collaboration: Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello – Bad things
·         Fiercest Fans: Harmonizers
·         Country Favorite Artist: Kelsea Ballerini
·         Country Favorite Song: Kelsea Ballerini – Peter Pan

Next up we have the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards where Nicky Jam made a massive comeback winning 6 awards where his song Hasta El Amanecer won the Hot Latin Song of the Year as well as Digital, Streaming and Latin Rhythm Song of the year. Artist of the Year was won by Late Juan Gabriel who also won the Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year – Male, Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year – Solo and his album Los Duo 2 won Top Latin and Latin Pop Album of the Year. Enrique Iglesias took away 4 awards including Latin Pop Songs Artist of the Year – Solo and Latin Pop Song of the Year for his collaboration with Wisin on Duele El Corazon. Other winners of the night include:
·         Artist of the Year: New – CNCO
·         Tour of the Year: Marc Anthony
·         Social Artist of the Year: Jennifer Lopez
·         Hot Latin Song Artist of the Year: Female – Shakira
·         Hot Latin Songs Label of the Year: Sony Music Latin

2017 Academy of Country Music Awards was also held in April where Jason Aldean was awarded Entertainer of the Year. Meanwhile, ACM Song of the Year went to Thomas Rhett’s Die A Happy Man and Album of the Year was awarded to Miranda Lambert’s The Weight of these Wings. The other winners of the night were:
·         Male Vocalist of the Year: Thomas Rhett
·         Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
·         Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town
·         Songwriter of the Year: Lori McKenna
·         Single Record of the Year: Florida Georgia Line – H.O.L.Y
·         Video of the Year: Artists of Then, Now & Forever – Forever country

The world’s apparent greatest songwriter, Ed Sheeran has privately settled a case against him which was lodged last year. In 2016, Sheeran was sued by songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard, writers of Matt Cardle's 2011 single Amazing, for USD 20 million for copyright infringement. US judge James Selna confirmed Ed’s case had been dismissed last month after the Suffolk born star reached an agreement with the writers, with no admission of guilt. Details of the settlement have not been made public. Following this saga, his titanic global hit Shape of You also came under fire as critiques alleged plagiarism from TLC’s legendary 90’s smash hit No Scrubs. Since then Sheeran has added both Kandi Burruss and Tameka Cottle who penned the R&B track as co-writers alongside the song's producer Kevin Briggs.

Glastonbury Festival 2017 has announced its full line-up where along with its headlining acts – Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters and Radiohead, a number of other high profile artists such as Lorde, Shaggy, Katy Perry, Clean Bandit, Birdy and Stormzy are to perform. Glastonbury will take place at Worthy Farm, Somerset from June 23-25.

Good news for N-Dubz fans as the Hip-Hop trio have indicated that they will reunite in the near future. Fazer confirmed that the group was anyway only on a hiatus and that he along with Dappy and Tulisa will return to the studio to produce new music. When that will exactly be God only knows.

Moving onto chart news, in the US Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You remained unmoved at the top during the entire month accumulating 12 non-consecutive weeks at No.1. Meanwhile, Drake’s Passionfruit, Kendrick Lamar’s Humble and Harry Style’s debut single Sign of the Times all debuted in the top 10. Future’s Mask Off and Sam Hunt’s Body Like a Back Road also entered the top 10.  

In the UK, Sheeran’s reign with Shape of You was only interrupted when Harry Styles debuted atop the charts with his Sign of the Times.  During the month Julia Michaels’ Issues, Zedd & Alessia Cara’s Stay and Kendrick Lamar’s Humble all entered the top 10.  

Other songs which became popular during the month were: 
1.       Drake ft. Travis Scott & Quavo – Portland
2.       Future ft. Rihanna – Selfish
3.       Kyle ft. Lil Yachty – iSpy
4.       Zayn ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR – Still got time
5.       Stargate ft. Pink & Sia – Waterfall
6.       Lana Del Rey ft. The Weeknd – Lust for life 

Till the next beat...

At Ease!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK ~ Every Romantic's Guilty Pleasure ~


All Asians born from the late 1970s to the early 1990s know almost all of their hit songs. While Sri Lanka as an insignificant isle in terms of the mainstream music industry does not witness concerts of many top notch musicians, we are indeed privileged to have these Danish guys rocking Colombo for the second time.

Michael Learns to Rock, was formed as a foursome in 1988 composed of Jascha Richter, Mikkel Lentz, Kåre Wanscher and Søren Madsen. They have now sold over 11 million records worldwide for a career spanning for almost thirty years. They are extremely famous in Asia, mostly due to their subdued clean image and also because their love songs are very pure with little or no hint of sexual innuendo.

Although the quality of their songs was on a level of those boy bands of the nineties, they never made ground in the two big music markets – US and UK. However, their popularity in Asia and Scandinavia is undeniable as they are overplayed on radio stations, television music shows and in any sort of lounge atmosphere. Theirs is a very pop/soft rock sound with any hardly fast paced beats or rhythms.

Their eponymous debut album was released in 1991 and peaked at No.1 in the home country. This album contained their signature hit The Actor which peaked at number one in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines.

Their second album Colours released in 1993 contained another two hits – Sleeping Child and 25 Minutes. Their third album Played on Pepper was released in 1995 which contained their second No.1 hit, That’s Why (You Go Away) and a somewhat fast paced pop rock single Someday.
In 1996 the band released their first edition of their greatest hits titled Paint My Love – Greatest Hits wherein the title song Paint My Love, became their greatest love song. The song composed by lead singer Jascha Richter was initially written in Danish – Kun med dig – as the Danish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest of 1996 sung by Dorthe Andersen and Martin Loft. However, it was one of seven entries voted off in a pre-contest semifinal. This led the band to release the English version in their album.
The band took to the studio again and released their fourth album Nothing To Lose in 1997 which contained the hits Breaking My Heart, I’m Gonna Be Around and Something You Should Know.

In 1999, the band rebranded themselves with the simple acronym MLTR and released another compilation album under the same name. This album contained their hit Strange Foreign Beauty.  In a process undertaken by MLTR for the first time, the song was made by compiling the best details from recordings of ideas made individually by the four members. This album included their previous hits, either remixed or refined in some way by notable international producers. This greatest hits album went to the top of the Danish sales charts (the second MLTR album after their first album to do so), as well in Sweden and Portugal, and logged sales of nearly a million copies.

In 2000, Søren Madsen left the band and the remaining members decided to continue as a trio and released Blue Night which was also moderately successful and produced hits such as You Took My Heart Away, Angel Eyes and the title track. In 2001, they released another compilation album titled 19 Love Ballads with all their best singles and an original single titled The Ghost of You

In 2004, the band released their sixth studio album which was another eponymous album. This album produced hits such as Frostbite and Take Me To Your Heart. Take Me To Your Heart was one of the most downloaded songs in Asia that year exceeding 6 million downloads alone and this memorable ballad proved to be their last hit single worldwide.

After 2004, the band went on to release two more studio albums Eternity in 2008 and Scandinavia in 2012. Thereafter, the band celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2014 with the release of a compilation album 25: The Complete Singles wherein two original singles Silent Times and Call on Love were released. In 2016, they released an Extended Play titled With Love which produced the singles We Shared The Night and Dream Girl.

Although I have covered in this review almost all the songs that were hits for the band, here are some of the other songs which are worth listening to:
·         How many hours
·         Anyway you want it
·         We shared the night
·         More than a friend
·         Nothing to lose

·         Sweetest surprise 

Till the next review...

At Ease!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Xposition - March, 2017


Although we may be just recovering from the hangover of the Grammys, award season is still not over. March kicked off with the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards where Justin Timberlake won the coveted Song of the Year for Can’t Stop The Feeling! The Innovator Award was bestowed on Bruno Mars while the Male and Female Artists of the Year were won by Drake and Adele respectively. Katy Perry and Skip Marley performed their newest hit Chained to the Rhythm for the third award show in a row. Ed Sheeran performed a medley of Castle on the Hill and Shape of You and Bruno Mars performed a medley of Treasure and That’s What I Like. Other big winners of the night include:
·         Best New Artist: The Chainsmokers
·         Best Duo/Group of the Year: Twenty One Pilots
·         Rock Song of the Year: Green Day – Bang bang
·         Country Song of the Year: Dierks Bentley – Somewhere on a beach
·         Dance Song of the Year: The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey – Closer
·         Hip-Hop Song of the Year: Drake ft. Wizkid and Kyla – One dance
·         R&B Song of the Year: Rihanna ft. Drake – Work
·         Latin Song of the Year: Enrique Iglesias ft. Wisin – Duele el corazón
·         Best Lyrics: Justin Bieber – Love yourself
·         Best Producer: Benny Blanco
·         Best Tour: Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams Tour
·         Best Video: Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign – Work from home

Next up we have the 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards. There were only two performances during the show – Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello with Bad Things and a medley of Touch and Shout Out To My Ex by the Little Mix. Favorite Song was won by Work From Home by Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla $ign. Favorite Group went to Fifth Harmony while Favorite Male and Female Artists went to Shawn Mendes and Selena Gomez respectively. The other winners of the night for music were:
·         Favorite New Artist: Twenty One Pilots
·         Favorite Music Video: Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall – Juju On The Beat
·         Favorite DJ/EDM Artist: Calvin Harris
·         Favorite Soundtrack: Suicide Squad
·         Favorite Global Music Star: Little Mix

Rock n’ roll legend Chuck Berry died at the age of 90 from cardiac arrest. On March 18, 2017, police in St. Charles County, Missouri, were called to Berry's house, where he was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene. Berry was set to release “Chuck”, his first studio album in more than 35 years. More on musician deaths, the remaining members of Sister Sledge confirmed that their sister Joni passed away at the age of 60 from natural causes which arose from complications from a preexisting condition. They also vowed to continue touring as a duo.

Moving onto chart news, in the US Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You reigned supreme throughout the month accumulating 7 non-consecutive weeks at the top. Meanwhile, Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley’s Chained to the Rhythm debuted at No.4 and The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk’s I Feel It Coming, Rihanna’s Love On The Brain, The Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s Something Just Like This and Clean Bandit featuring Sean Paul and Anne Marie’s Rockabye entered the top 10.

In the UK too Shape of You continued the apparent global dominance alongside the debut of Sheeran’s latest album ÷ which topped album charts worldwide and the singles therein peaking within the singles charts. During the week of the debut nine of the top 10 were by Ed Sheeran. The most notable out of these singles are Galway Girl, Perfect and How Would You Feel (Paean). Other than this Martin Jenson’s Solo Dance, Kygo & Selena Gomez’s It Ain’t Me, Drake’s Passionfruit and Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson’s Symphony all entered the top 10.

Other songs which became popular during the month were:

1.       Jason Derulo ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign – Swalla
2.       Kodak Black – Tunnel vision
3.       Calvin Harris ft. Frank Ocean & Migos – Slide
4.       Anne Marie – Ciao Adios
5.       Ed Sheeran – New man
6.    Lana Del Rey – Love
7.       Inna – Gimme gimme

Till the next beat...

At Ease!!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

My Favorite Hits of 2016


2016 was a year which definitely catered to my taste. From EDM and Reggae Fusion to Pop and Alternative Rock there were awesome hits galore. One thing is for sure the songs of 2016 were much better than 2014 and were on an equal level with 2015. Although there was only a lone floorfiller last year in the form of Sia’s Cheap Thrills there were a few mind-blowing EDM hits. Alan Walker rules this list with his global hit Faded. The slow and relaxing beats of the tune are accompanied by the uncredited soothing vocals of Iselin Solheim. At second place is Stressed Out the Alternative Rock hit for the duo Twenty One Pilots followed by Swedish newcomer Zara Larsson's Lush Life at third place. 

Genre wise EDM has numerous entries followed by Pop, Reggae and Rap. Alan Walker, Dua Lipa, Sean Paul and Zara Larsson lead the list with three entries each followed by Twenty One Pilots, Clean Bandit, Anne Marie, Zedd, Hailee Steinfeld, DNCE, Justin Bieber, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Rihanna, Jonas Blue, Ariana Grande and Louisa Johnson all have two entries each, either as a lead or featured artist. So here are my 50 favorites hits of 2016:  
  1. Alan Walker – Faded
  2. Twenty One Pilots – Stressed out
  3. Zara Larsson – Lush life
  4. RedOne ft. Enrique Iglesias, R.City, Shaggy & Serayah – Don’t you need somebody
  5. Dua Lipa – Hotter than hell
  6. The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk – Starboy
  7. Rihanna – Love on the brain
  8. Tinie Tempah ft. Zara Larsson – Girls like
  9. Twenty One Pilots – Heathens
  10. David Guetta ft. Zara Larsson – This one’s for you
  11. Pitbull ft. Enrique Iglesias – Messin’ around
  12. Halsey – Castle
  13. Sia ft. Sean Paul – Cheap thrills
  14. Dua Lipa – Blow your mind (mwah)
  15. Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & MØ – Cold water
  16. Sean Paul ft. Dua Lipa – No lie
  17. Olly Murs – You don’t know love
  18. Zedd ft. Kesha – True colors
  19. Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna – This is what you came for
  20. The Veronicas – In my blood
  21. Kungs vs. Cookin’ On 3 Burners – This girl
  22. Hailee Steinfeld ft. DNCE – Rock bottom
  23. Clean Bandit ft. Anne Marie & Sean Paul – Rockabye
  24. Thomas Rhett – Die a happy man
  25. Troye Sivan – Youth
  26. The Chainsmokers ft. Daya – Don’t let me down
  27. DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber – Let me love you
  28. Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons ft. Logic, Ty Dolla $ign & X Ambassadors – Sucker for pain
  29. Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – I know what you did last summer
  30. Ariana Grande – Into you
  31. Years & Years – Worship
  32. Alan Walker – Alone
  33. Anne Marie – Alarm
  34. Flo Rida – My house
  35. Ellie Goulding – Something in the way you move
  36. Clean Bandit ft. Louisa Johnson – Tears
  37. Mike Posner – I took a pill in Ibiza (SeeB Remix)
  38. G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha – Me, myself & I
  39. Jonas Blue ft. JB Cooper – Perfect strangers
  40. James Arthur – Say you won’t let go
  41. Pitbull – Freedom
  42. Alan Walker – Sing me to sleep
  43. Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj – Side to side
  44. Selena Gomez – Kill ‘em with kindness
  45. Pink – Just like fire
  46. Coldplay – Hymn for the weekend
  47. Hailee Steinfeld & Grey ft. Zedd – Starving
  48. Jonas Blue ft. Dakota – Fast car
  49. Louisa Johnson – So good
  50. DNCE – Body moves 
Till the next beat...

At Ease!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Xposition - February, 2017


It was all about the Grammys in February as the most esteemed awards ceremony in music took place at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, California. The 59th Annual Grammy Awards kicked off with Beyonce leading the fray with 9 nominations. However, Adele was the biggest winner of the night grabbing 5 awards including the coveted triple crowns for Song of the Year and Record of the Year for Hello and the Album of the Year for 25. Adele also became the first artist in history to win all three general field awards in the same ceremony twice, previously winning all three categories in 2012. She was followed by David Bowie and Greg Kurstin with four trophies.

The ceremony kicked off with a stellar performance of Hello by Adele followed by other great performances by Ed Sheeran with his global hit Shape of You and Bruno Mars’s That’s What I Like. The ceremony had three tributes wherein Adele sang George Michael’s Fastlove, Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, Little Big Town and Andra Day collaborating for a Bee Gees tribute medley, and Bruno Mars and The Time collaborating for a Prince medley. The other significant wins of the night include:
·         Best New Artist: Chance the Rapper
·         Best Music Video: Beyonce – Formation
·         Best Dance Recording: The Chainsmokers ft. Daya – Don’t let me down
·         Best Dance/Electronic Album: Flume – Skin
·         Best Rock Song: David Bowie – Blackstar
·         Best Urban Contemporary Album: Beyonce – Lemonade
·         Best Rap Song: Drake – Hotline bling
·         Best Country Song: Tim McGraw – Humble and kind
·         Best Country Album: Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
·         Best Song Written for Visual Media: Justin Timberlake – Can’t stop the feeling!

Next up we have the 37th BRIT Awards. Little Mix opened the show with their hit Shout Out To My Ex which went on to win the British Single of Year. Other great performances included Emeli Sande’s Hurt, an extremely politically controversial yet good performance of Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley’s Chained to the Rhythm and also Ed Sheeran with a medley of Castle on the Hill and Shape of You featuring a guest appearance by Stormzy. The Chainsmokers and Coldplay collaborated on stage to deliver their surprise new single Something Just Like This. David Bowie was posthumously awarded both the British Male Solo Artist as well as the British Album of the Year for Blackstar. The Icon Award was bestowed on Robbie Williams while the Global Success went to Adele. The other award winners were:
·         British Female Artist: Emeli Sande
·         British Group: The 1975
·         International Group: A Tribe Called Quest
·         British Breakthrough Act: Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
·         International Male Solo Artist: Drake
·         International Female Solo Artist: Beyonce
·         British Video: One Direction – History

La La Land was the winner of all the music related awards at the 89th Annual Academy Awards where Justin Hurwitz won for Best Original Score for the film and Best Original Song for City of Stars which was performed by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in the film.

Apart from the awards, we have the jaw-dropping halftime performance by Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl LI. She started off with a mash up of God Bless America and Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land before teasing the audience with the first line of the chorus of her hit Edge of Glory. This leads to a medley of her greatest hits starting off with her biggest hit Poker Face and going on to sing Born This Way, Telephone and Just Dance. She then mellows it down with her latest single Million Reasons for which there was pin drop silence in the stadium. Then she finishes it off with her second biggest hit Bad Romance. With an intense and astutely choreographed production, her performance is now ranked among the best Super Bowl halftime shows of all time. 

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has released the biggest music acts in the world for 2016 and Drake tops the list. Drake achieves this position for the huge success of his fourth album, Views and the multiplatinum hit One Dance featuring WizKid and Kyla. At second place is David Bowie who posthumously witnessed monumental success for his final album Blackstar. The full top 10 are:
1.       Drake
2.       David Bowie
3.       Coldplay
4.       Adele
5.       Justin Bieber
6.       Twenty One Pilots
7.       Beyonce
8.       Rihanna
9.       Prince
10.   The Weeknd

In festival news, Lady Gaga has officially replaced Beyonce as a headliner of Coachella 2017 where the latter was advised by doctors to stay away from the stage due to her pregnancy. It was a no brainer for the organizers of this massive concert to invite Gaga after her acclaimed performance at the Super Bowl. Eminem has been announced as the third headliner for the Reading and Leeds Festival 2017 alongside Muse and Kasabian.

Jay-Z has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and became the first rapper in history to be bestowed with such an honour. Alongside Jay-Z will see Max Martin and the duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis also inducted. Madonna and George Michael were both nominated but did not make the cut.

Moving onto chart news, in the US Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert’s Bad and Boujee was replaced in the second week by Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You returning to the top backed by his Grammy performance. Meanwhile, The Chainsmokers’ Paris debuted within the Top 10 and Lady Gaga’s Million Reasons soared to No.4 propelled by her performance at the Super Bowl and Alessia Cara’s Scars To Your Beautiful also entered the top 10.

In the UK, Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You remained at the top aided by performances at both the Grammy Awards and BRIT Awards accumulating six consecutive weeks at the top. Also during the month Sean Paul featuring Dua Lipa’s No Lie, Dua Lipa’s Be The One, Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley’s Chained to the Rhythm and Taylor Swift & Zayn’s I Don’t Wanna Live Forever entered the top 10.   

Other songs which became popular during the month were:

1.       Big Sean – Bounce back
2.       Julia Michaels – Issues
3.       Train – Play that song
4.       Major Lazer ft. Nicki Minaj & PARTYNEXTDOOR – Run up
5.       Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa – Scared to be lonely
6.       Stormzy – Big for your boots 

Till the next beat...

At Ease!!!