This is probably the best news since ever, The Neptunes are back in the studio to record a whole new Neptunes album kinda like a Clones Part 2 according to The Herald Sun. “This new Neptunes record we’re working on right now is vicious,” Pharrell says excitedly. “It’s definitely harder – it totally demands sweat.” So how different is making a Neptunes album compared to N*E*R*D’s recent effort? “Music is music,” he says. “But with N*E*R*D we put more of our personality into it, that’s just us being us, and with Neptunes we produce for a lot of people so we allow space for their personalities, for them to be themselves and our music sort of commandeers the direction a bit.” He won’t give a release date – “But just know, I’m in here right now,” he says, before loud beats begin bouncing down the line. “Yeahhhh,” shouts Williams, “sweat time!” Thanks to matty.
This is the newest Star Trak signee. Bronx-born Maxine Ashley is a soulful ‘n sassy 17-year-old misfit from a puerto rican descent with one helluva voice. She eschews convention, wears her hair half fluorescent pink, half brunette, loves The Smiths, Neneh Cherry and Beyoncé, and has trouble keeping her big mouth shut. Her YouTube channel has already amassed 350,000+ views of her bedroom covers of R&B hits, but Maxine has traded her bedroom for the studios of New York and London, where she’s busy honing her international sound–a carefree mix of urban pop, R&B, dance, and soul that would be equally at home on the streets of the Bronx, London, or Tokyo. “You guys gotta get ready for this artist that I have, Maxine Ashley,” Pharrell says, “She is the next level. It is like grinding melodic pop.”
She was briefly part of a Xenomania group with Katie McKenna (now a member of Lite N Dark). A UK pop production house. Xenomania is a British songwriting and production team founded by Brian Higgins and based in Kent, England. Formed after Higgins met Miranda Cooper, Xenomania has written and produced for renowned artists such as Cher, Kylie Minogue, Dannii Minogue, Pet Shop Boys, and Sugababes. Her first outing is a guest vocal appearance on Italian DJ Alex Gaudino’s summer-smash, “I’m in Love“. Her tough yet vulnerable vocal atop Gaudino’s shimmering electronics has already wowed radio and club DJs Europe-wide, thus cementing Maxine’s first step on the road to international takeover. “I’m In Love” went to #1 in the UK Upfront Club Charts and released in the UK on Ministry Of Sound on September 19th. Check out some Covers and Pictures after the jump.
Alex Gaudino & Maxine Ashley – I’m In Love
Alex Gaudino’s new single was originally just a dance track with a catchy piano line and the looped “I’m In love” chant, in the same vein as Eric Prydz’s “Call On Me“. But the song was given new life with a topline written by Tim Powell performed by Maxine Ashley.
Meet Pharrell’s guitarist, GF native Brent Paschke. It might seem strange for a self-described “indecisive” guy like Grand Forks native Brent Paschke to make career plans before he was old enough to apply for a driver’s license, but he said he “just knew” all along that music was his calling. “That was just never a question,” he said. “In the seventh grade, I quit all sports. There was never a backup plan.” His risk paid off, and Paschke has gone from an ambitious guitarist who was convinced he’d make a suitable replacement for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ John Frusciante in the early 1990s to a musician, producer and songwriter who seems to have his imprint on everything these days. Over the years, Paschke has earned acclaim and the respect of fellow musicians — not to mention an ongoing gig with one of the biggest names in music and the chance to open for major acts like the Black Eyed Peas.
Getting A Break
Paschke graduated from Red River High School in 1990 and then attended a music school in Minneapolis. He cut his teeth as the guitarist for Twin Cities pop rock group Spymob, a band formed in 1993 that seemed poised for stardom. But a common occurrence for new bands — unexpectedly getting dropped from a record deal — changed those plans. Paschke said the band’s lawyer also represented Pharrell Williams, half of the Grammy-winning production team The Neptunes. Pharrell had a meeting with the president of Epic Records, who had just dropped Spymob, and Paschke said the timing worked out perfectly even though the band was “really bummed.” “Pharrell went in there telling her he loved Epic Records and his favorite band, Spymob, is on her label,” he said. “She then had to break the news to him that she just dropped us. Pharrell was like, ‘O.K., that’s fine, then I’ll sign them.’ That’s where it all started.”
According to an interview that Pharrell gave to the Australian Newspaper “The Herald Sun” from 23rd December 2010, The Neptunes are back with Madonna in the studio for her new album and the great thing about it is that Madonna never works with a producer more than once so this means she’s a big Neptunes fan “We’ve also got some stuff going on with Madonna.” Says Pharrell. Madonna has confirmed that she is officially seeking collaborators for a new album. In a post to her Facebook page last week, the Queen of Pop says she’s ready to get back to her pop music roots.
“Its official! I need to move. I need to sweat. I need to make new music! Music I can dance to,” she writes. “I’m on the lookout for the maddest, sickest, most bad ass people to collaborate with. I’m just saying . . . ” And though Madonna hasn’t released any new music since 2008′s Hard Candy, she has been anything but lazy. In the past year the singer has helped her daughter launch an exclusive clothing line through Macy’s, directed a film, and opened the first of a global chain of fitness centers. During a recent interview with British radio, the 52-year-old also revealed that she has no plans to give up her other business ventures when she gets back in to the studio. “I have a movie I have to finish. I have a new record I have to make. I have more gyms to open,” she explains. Thanks to matty.
It’s rare the world goes more than a few months without hearing a piece of new music involving Pharrell Williams. Wether fronting N*E*R*D, collaborating with chart-topping artists (or producing them), working with The Neptunes or on solo material. Williams is a man constantly in motion. But he’s no glutton for punishment. “Nah. I’m a glutton for making people move,” he laughs. After a busy year that involved releasing N*E*R*D’s fourth album Nothing and Williams scoring the animated movie Despicable Me, he’s in a good place.
“The new stuff has been going well,” Williams says. “We’ve been playing with Gorillaz on the road so it has been fun. They are awesome – there were so many people on stage it was like Parliament psychedelic up there.” Speaking from a Miami studio, Williams reels off an equally jam-pcked calendar for 2011. “I’ve just been all over the place from project to project. Right now I’m working on lil’ Neptunes music,” he says. “And there’s another Despicable Me. We’ve also got some stuff going on with Madonna.”
He drops that last name casually, but won’t divulge further details, Williams says he learns a lot from the plethora of artists he works with. “I learn in every process,” he says. “every session I have I try to take something from and learn different things – how to make great music, how to make that music greater. “Working with Daft Punk – they’ve been our buddies for like 10 years, and watching those guys work is pretty amazing. They make great beats and it was cool to collaborate with them. I love Uffie – she’s got a great energy about her and Nelly is really sweet and super-talented.”
As we already know Despicable Me 2 is already in works Part 1 grossing $56.3 for its opening first weekend, which is massive coming from an up-and-coming animation studio (Illumination, based at Universal) and a completely original film, with no books or previous movies to spring off from Pharrell revealed that he is gonna score again the movie. And while Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud are the film’s directors, it’s probably Illumination head Chris Meladandri who deserves most of the credit, for putting the studio together by recruiting all the good animators he knew, and encouraging original ideas amid the expected adaptations and remakes (those are coming down the line). “And there’s another Despicable Me.” Says Pharrell.
Primarily– and this should come as no surprise– the gears are already in motion for Despicable Me 2, which Meledandri is developing with the film’s writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. They’re also planning two short films featuring The Minions, Gru’s little yellow assistants who were apparently a major part of the film’s appeal to kids. It’s not clear where we might see The Minions next– either before another Illumination film or on the DVD or somewhere else– but you can definitely count on an enhanced role for them in the sequels. Thanks to matty.
With Pusha T. continuing to make a name for himself as one of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music artists, SOHH recently talked to the Clipse member to see if he feels pressured to bring his “A” game. Confident in his bars, Pusha assured SOHH and fans alike that he is the same artist he was when he first entered the rap scene. “Nah man, I’m Pusha, man,” Pusha told SOHH when asked if he felt pressure to deliver amongst the likes of his G.O.O.D. Music family. “Kid Cudi has his lane, Big Sean has his lane, Kanye’s got his lane, Common has his lane, you know. We’re like multi-faceted diamonds. Everybody is a color. There’s so many colors that comes out of this G.O.O.D. Music diamond and I don’t feel pressure, I just do me. I made Hell Hath No Fury! [laughs] Are people serious? I’ve said the greatest sh*t throughout my career. [laughs] [People remember my Funkmaster Flex] freestyle, that’s just one. I’m gonna do 12 more of them sh*ts.”
Enter for a chance to win a collection of CD’s from N*E*R*D. HipHopDx has teamed up with N*E*R*D to give One (1) Grand Prize winner & Three (3) runner up winners the chance to win N*E*R*D CD’s! Grand Prize Winner Will Win: Copies of The Best Of N*E*R*D, Fly Or Die, and In Search Of. Three Runner Up Winners Will Win: A Copy of The Best Of N*E*R*D. On January 11, Virgin/EMI will release The Best Of N*E*R*D, a new CD and digital collection gathering 16 of the band’s top Virgin singles, album cuts, b-sides and remixes.
The Best Of N*E*R*D includes the hits “She Wants To Move,” “Rockstar,” “Lapdance,” “Run To The Sun,” and “Fly Or Die,” other standouts from their two Virgin albums, plus b-sides “What’s Wrong With Me” and “Lil’ Suzy” featuring Kelis, as well as remixes for “Maybe” (Sander Kleinenberg Remix – Radio Edit) and “She Wants To Move” (Justice Remix).
Show your holiday spirit…
1. RSVP To The Cali Cali Christmas Event On Facebook
2. Vote For Alyssa In The MyYouTube Program
3. Create & Share Your Own “Cali Cali Christmas” Music Video
4. Tweet Your Favorite Lyric From ‘Cali Cali Cali’ With The Hashtag #calicalixmas
5. Post Your Alyssa Photos On Their Official Facebook Wall (ex: Pictures From The ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ Tour, Snapshots Of You With The Album, etc.)
6. Include @alyssabernal In Your #FollowFriday Tweet.
7. Post A Video Of Your Cover One Of Alyssa’s Songs & Post It On Her Facebook Wall
Win Gifts From Alyssa, Daily Holiday Giveaways Including:
• Autographed Fanny Pack
• Autographed Alyssa Posters
• Autographed Cali Cali Cali EPs
• Phone Call from Alyssa
• Miscellaneous Alyssa Merchandise
Alyssa Bernal recently put together a list of her favorite Christmas songs and wanted to share them with our readers. The “Cali, Cali, Cali” artist certainly has a rock solid X-Mas playlist. Here’s her favorite songs.
Alyssa Bernal’s Top Ten Favorite Christmas Songs
01 – Whitney Houston – The Christmas Song
02 – Frank Sinatra – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
03 – Bing Crosby – Winter Wonderland
04 – Celine Dion – O Holy Night
05 – José Feliciano – Feliz Navidad
06 – Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
07 – Charles Brown – The Christmas Song
08 – Rascal Flatts – I’ll be Home for Christmas
09 – Amy Grant – Grown Up Christmas List
10 – Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Here is another peak at the work you can expect to hear and see in Prophetic’s next project MPMP2, the sequel to his debut Mo Profit Mo Progress. You can watch him as he travels, performs and gains recognition and support from one of today’s most influential musicians, Pharrell Williams. Look for MPMP2 early 2011 but you can download Prophetics free web-tape “Wow You Still Sleepin’” from umbrellasup.com, thanks to Xavier.
Hey there friends,
I wanted to write back to this message since I’ve been getting a lot of questions and comments about the new album. Max and I started recording last February in Milwaukee at the Burst Collective with our engineer, Dan Stringer, and spent about 5 months intensively working. We then moved out to L.A. and, between there and New York, spent another couple of months tweaking the material. We gave a CD of it all to the label. And then….the waiting game commenced, for us and for all of our amazing supporters, yourself included.
We hope to have an update on when and how the album will come out in the next few weeks, and I promise that I’ll let all of you know right away on this blog, my twitter, the official Chester French blog, and by email if you’re a member of our Concierge Service. We are so grateful for all of you who have continued to support us and stay in-touch while we’ve been “off the grid” during this past year. Your emails, snail mails, tweets, and other kind correspondences have always been incomparable motivation. From snowy Wisconsin, I wish all of you the happiest of holidays!
Can’t wait to hear the new material!
Grammy Award winning artist Pharrell Williams introduced local Miami musician Cris Cab poolside outside the Fontainebleau’s nightclub, Arkadia. The 17 year-old Miami native, Cab has been writing music for the past three years and is currently recording his first album. His recent performances include multiple venues in and around the Miami area, as well as shows in the Bahamas. Cab cites his Cuban descent and his frequent visits to the Bahamas as part of the inspiration for his unique musical sound, which draws on reggae, as well as hip hop and rap influences. Although new to the scene, Cab graced the stage with confidence and an eagerness to perform. Arkadia guests were quite impressed with this new emerging artist!
Cris Cab – Scandalous
Here is a tune off Asher Roth’s and Nottz upcoming project, The Rawth EP called Gotta Get Up featuring D.A. of Chester French. The Rawth EP is set to drop on December 27th, 2010 and according to D.A., he also worked on Asher Roth’s second studio album The Spaghetti Tree , so since The Neptunes have worked with Asher on 11 tracks for the album, D.A. will probably be on one of Neptunes’ tracks (if they make the final cut… lol).
What do ya’ll think? Please reblog and support Nottz and Asher doing a cool independent project with this EP! I did a few other things with Asher for his upcoming album, as well, so hopefully those will see the light in the near future. I still think Asher is a great rapper who is admirably refusing to ride silly trends and is instead pursuing greatness and staying true to himself.
Check out this awesome fanmade video of Common’s Come Close by AngelXStrider dedicated to his girlfriend, that’s pretty sweet (no homo).
Hello everyone, I made this video for my girlfriend’s birthday. She’s partially deaf so the thought of using this song from Common immediately came to mind. I took the concept he did for the video and made it my own by doing a combination of sign language, animation, and typography. I wanted to share this video along with everyone else and I hope you all enjoy watching it.
Common – Come Close (Fanmade Video)
After the Oscar Nominations, Despicable Me has been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Anmitaed Feature Film according to stylebistro.com. Although I would love to see Despicable Me to win, but I think Toy Story 3 will win it, you never know though! 68th Annual Golden Globe awards will be held on Sunday, January 16 2010 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC, hosted by comedian Ricky Gervais.
Best Animated Feature Film:
‘How to Train Your Dragon’
‘Toy Story 3′
Could this be the hippest Best Original Song category in years? Meh, probably not. Basically, it works like this. If you had an original song in a movie this year, you’re basically on the shortlist (hello Katrina Elam for “Pure Country 2”). Then, the Academy goes through a pretty ridiculous system to determine the nominees (more on that in a second) which results in small handful of final contenders who are all usually from one or two films (get ready for mulitiple nods “Burleseque”!).
So what does that all mean? Well, hopefully we won’t have to deal with Justin Bieber‘s “Never Say Never” (featuring Jaden Smith!) from “The Karate Kid” coming near the Kodak Theater, but it also means that good and/or creative songs by worthwhile talent (Beck for “Life During Wartime,” Pharrell‘s tunes for “Despicable Me,” Jonsi‘s “Stick & Stones” for “How To Train Your Dragon”) will probably get left in the dust to make room for much more easily digestible fare or familiar names (they might as well just send Randy Newman his invitation now). But we swear to god, if we see that douchebag Owl City step up to a microphone during the Oscar ceremonies, we’re gonna ga’hoole all over our TV screens.
Voting to whittle down the shortlist will begin on January 6th, when the Academy will screen clips featuring each song, in random order, for voting members of the Music Branch in Los Angeles. Following the screenings, members will determine the nominees by an averaged point system vote. If no song receives an average score of 8.25 or more, there will be no nominees in the category. If only one song achieves that score, it and the song receiving the next highest score shall be the two nominees. If two or more songs (up to five) achieve that score, they shall be the nominees. Did you follow all that? Yeah, we didn’t either.
“Alice” from “Alice in Wonderland”
“Forever One Love” from “Black Tulip”
“Freedom Song” from “Black Tulip”
“Bound to You” from “Burlesque”
“Welcome to Burlesque” from “Burlesque”
“You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from “Burlesque”
“There’s a Place for Us” from “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong”
“Me and Tennessee” from “Country Strong”
“Despicable Me” from “Despicable Me”
“Prettiest Girls” from “Despicable Me”
“Dear Laughing Doubters” from “Dinner for Schmucks”
“Better Days” from “Eat Pray Love”
“If You Run” from “Going the Distance”
“Darkness before the Dawn” from “Holy Rollers”
“Sticks & Stones” from “How to Train Your Dragon”
“Le Gris” from “Idiots and Angels”
“Chanson Illusionist” from “The Illusionist”
“Never Say Never” from “The Karate Kid”
“To the Sky” from “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole”
“What If” from “Letters to Juliet”
“Life During Wartime” from “Life During Wartime”
“Made in Dagenham” from “Made in Dagenham”
“Little One” from “Mother and Child”
“Be the One” from “The Next Three Days”
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours”
“When You See Forever” from “The Perfect Game”
“I Remain” from “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”
“Dream Big” from “Pure Country 2: The Gift”
“How I Love You” from “Ramona and Beezus”
“Darling I Do” from “Shrek Forever After”
“Noka Oi” from “Six Days in Paradise”
“This Is a Low” from “Tamara Drewe”
“I See the Light” from “Tangled”
“Rise” from “3 Billion and Counting”
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3”
“Eclipse: All Yours” from “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”
“Nothing” from “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too”
“A Better Life” from “Unbeaten”
“Shine” from “Waiting for ‘Superman’”
“The Reasons Why” from “Wretches & Jabberers”
Here is Manami’s latest single called Miss Little Voice (check out the video below) that’s been released on September 22nd in Japan. The CDS include another song called Password, which is available now on iTunes and according to her iTunes site, there is another song available but its written in Japanese and my Japanese isn’t that good but it’s probably the theme song to a Japanese Samurai Series that Manami has been working on, you can check the preview on the trailer here. Manami also started her own blog on her official site with pictures and infos, check out some pics after the jump.
Manami – Miss Little Voice
01 – Miss Little Voice
02 – Password
Pre-order it Here.
Manami – Miss Little Voice
According to D.A.’s twitter, he has worked with Honor Society on the tune Gentleman After Dark for their upcoming mixtape, It’s pretty nice, check it out. Honor Society is a pop rock band signed to Jonas Records in affiliation with Hollywood Records. The band released its debut album Fashionably Late on September 15, 2009 debuted at #18 on the Billboard 200.
Honor Society – Gentleman After Dark (D.A.) (10′)
The art of music production comes easy for Pharrell Williams, but the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and producer met his match when Hollywood came knocking on his door. Williams along with famed Brazilian artist and composer Heitor Pereira (“Curious George,” “It’s Complicated“) scored and wrote the original music for the Universal Pictures/Illumination Entertainment animated feature, “Despicable Me.” Under the guidance of the legendary and Oscar-winning Hans Zimmer, Williams wrote the theme song and several other original pieces in the flick.
The man behind The Neptunes, alt-rock collective N*E*R*D, and a slew of chart-topping hits from the likes of Justin Timberlake to Jay-Z admits that he did feel a bit out of his league in the presence of Zimmer (“The Lion King,” “Gladiator“) and Pereira. “We often, as artists, put a lot of other things around it, such as video or products or ancillary merchandising, whereas with the world that [Hans and Heitor] work with — they are sort of like the fulcrum point of a film,” said the 37-year-old Williams.
Voiced by Steve Carell, Julie Andrews and Russell Brand, “Despicable Me” has grossed over $250 million in U.S. box office receipts to date and Williams music has garnered much praise. From the moody title track to the Steely Dan-esque, “Rocket’s Theme,” Williams makes the transition from producer to composer seem easy. “Pharrell is not only a great writer and producer of songs,” said Chris Meledandri, the film’s producer. “He also is a very talented recording artist and performer himself, and the music that he’s writing is just an extraordinary fit with the film.”
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