There are many lessons that come from age and experience, and when one discovers such a thing, one is compelled to broadcast it to the world. This is that. Sometimes those declarations sound like the cantankerous frustrations of cranky old men. But while this piece of writing you find in your hands does indeed center on one very important lesson, it will come with none of that “Back in my day!” nostalgia to scare you away. Because this is a story about right here and right now. Yes, there are hints of the future and just a bit of the past, but it’s certainly about today. Which is to say: it’s about NOTHING.NOTHING is the title of the 4th studio album from Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo and Shae Haley – collectively, the three musicians-slash-producers-slash-singers-slash-songwriters known as N*E*R*D. (No-one Ever Really Dies).
Formed as a concept band in their hometown of Virginia Beach, in 2000, N*E*R*D stands – defiantly – ten years later as a group of musicians who have worked tirelessly to carve out and conquer a new space in an otherwise nebulous musical world. Amazingly, this was not the album you were intended to hear. Early in 2010, Pharrell, Chad and Shae sat in their Miami recording studio listening to roughly 20 songs, recorded over the previous year, that they believed would form their newest album. Previous LPs, like their critically-acclaimed, highly-influential IN SEARCH OF, and its follow-ups, FLY OR DIE and SEEING SOUNDS, had explored the diasporas of the rock ‘n roll sound. They tenaciously, passionately created a musical space that subscribed to no boundaries or set of rules; and in that, created a loyal and dedicated following of fans that came from a myriad of backgrounds.
N*E*R*D – Nothing (2010)
Producers & Guests: Mansions On The Moon, Yelawolf, Kenna, Nelly Furtado, Christian Rich, Swizz Beatz…
– Hot-N-Fun feat. Nelly Furtado (Single)
– Party People (Single)
– Help Me
– Make You Feel Good
– Victory feat. Christian Rich
– You’re So Perfect
– I Seen The Light
– You’re The One
– For Sure
– The Man
– God Bless Our Soul
– Perfect Defect
– Nothin’ On You
– The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
“Pharrell Williams helps YouTube star Alyssa Bernal make her mark.”
When multiplatinum artist and producer Pharrell Williams is so anxious to get in touch with someone that he contacts her high school to try and track her down, you know that there is something special happening. When that happened to singer-songwriter and YouTube sensation Alyssa Bernal, the teenager was shocked. “They didn’t know who Pharrell was! They just thought it was some shady guy trying to get a hold of me,” said Alyssa.
Her mother finally spotted his MySpace message and 24 hours later, she and Alyssa were on a plane from their home in San Antonio, TX to meet Pharrell and Interscope Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine in Los Angeles. “Finding a new talent like Alyssa is so exciting to me,” Pharrell said. “There are a lot of young singers out there who can carry a tune, but Alyssa is the real deal. She is a true musician with an incredible voice.” Once signed to Star Trak, Alyssa met with her dream producer, Martin Terefe (Jason Mraz, Train).
Terefe’s schedule was fully booked for the next few months, but after an hour-long meeting with the young singer, he agreed to work with her – starting immediately.Alyssa and her mother moved to London for seven weeks to record her debut album, “In Love Again For The First Time.” Terefe helped develop Alyssa’s naturally sunny sound, enlivening her pop sensibility with notes of funk and soul. First single “Cali Cali Cali” is available on iTunes now, and is the perfect example of Alyssa’s sunny yet substantive style. Visit AlyssaBernal.com to watch her DIY video of the track and stay tuned to the site for updates on her debut.
Alyssa Bernal – In Love Again For The First Time (2010)
Producers & Guests: Martin Terefe
– Hey Love
– Never Woulda
– Cali, Cali, Cali (Single)
– Just In Time
– I Found You
– All I Need
– Here You Are
According to 88 Keys’ Twitter, he’s doing some beats for Pusha T. probably for his Studio Album, so it does look like Pusha T. is with G.O.O.D. Music at all, we’ll see, thanks to roflcopter. “Working on some beats for this guy @PUSHA_T right this second”
On ‘RapFix Live,’ Swizz recounted the epic meeting of the super-producer minds. It was a picture worth a thousand tweets: multi-platinum producers Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Swizz Beatz all working together in one studio. The image was snapped by Clinton Sparks and posted on his Twitter earlier this month. During MTV News‘ “RapFix Live” on Thursday (August 26), Swizz explained that the trio were booked in the same studio — Swizz to work with N*E*R*D and Kanye to work on Swizzy‘s forthcoming solo effort. By the end of the night, though, they all converged and had a “real down-to-earth conversation; I think hip-hop needs more of that,” Swizz recalled. “It’s really confidential, I’m not even gonna front,”
Swizz said about what went down that night. “I don’t want to be the person to let all the news out. I got to save some stories in case ‘Ye or P wanna elaborate on that. But just know that it was epic, and it was amazing to see such forces in the room, humbled but honest at the same time, comparing notes, comparing music.” The Ruff Ryders alum said the three producers are very “serious” when they discuss and critique each other’s work. But the respect level is so high that no one takes the suggestions personally, Swizz said. And he hopes that the “positive, competitive energy” they have together results in the best possible music. “If someone is saying ‘no’ to something or ‘It’s not right,’ the reason why is gonna come, and then the debate,” Swizz said of the process. “And you make the decision after that.”
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