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.
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