Watch this Behind The Scenes Video from #HiddenFigures featuring Pharrell.
Pharrell & Clive Davis
Photos by Lester Cohen & Emma McIntyre. The 12th annual Songs of Hope event on Sept. 15 doubled as a bittersweet send-off for Ron Fair and Stefanie Ridel, who just sold their palatial Brentwood home (asking price: $15.5 million). The music industry couple — he a Grammy-winning producer, she a singer and former groupmate of Fergie’s — is moving to Nashville. Or, as Fair cracked, “from one Brentwood to another.”
The two have hosted the fundraiser for City of Hope’s Music, Film, and Entertainment Industry group for several years. The 2016 edition honored Pharrell Williams with the Clive Davis Legend in Songwriting award; composer John Debney, whose credits include The Jungle Book and The Passion of the Christ, with the Electronic Arts Composer Award; and Mike Posner the Trendsetter award presented by Pandora. Said Williams of his honor: “My life is a result of my parents, an environment that was filled with all kinds of music … I consider myself a perpetual student, and I always will be.”
The event, co-chaired by David Renzer, Chairman, Spirit Music Group; Doug Davis, Owner of The Davis Firm; Evan Lamberg, President, Universal Music Publishing Group, North America; and Steve Schnur, President of Music, Electronic Arts, featured a three-song performance by Posner along with a silent auction. According to organizers, over $300,000 was raised, up from last year’s figure of about $250,000.
Clive Davis & Pharrell
Among the more than 400 people guests who attended the event were a host of executives, managers and music-makers, some with official hosting functions (like veteran producer Jimmy Jam, and Williams’ manager, Ron Laffitte), others simply out to support the fight against cancer. Since 1973, City of Hope’s Music, Film, and Entertainment Industry group has raised more than $110 million including the Songs of Hope event which has raised over $3 million. City of Hope is committed to preventing and fighting HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening illnesses.
Tim Cook ushered in a new era of Apple products in a rather unusual way – by singing carpool karaoke with James Corden. The Apple chief executive opened his keynote address in the passenger seat of the Late Late Show host’s car. Pharrell Williams later joined the two in a rendition of Lynrnd Skynrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama“. While it may seem like a random occurrence at an Apple event, the company just announced it purchased exclusive streaming rights to the “Carpool Karaoke” spinoff series.
“We love music, and Carpool Karaoke celebrates it in a fun and unique way that is a hit with audiences of all ages,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of software and services told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a perfect fit for Apple Music.” Among the announcements at the Apple keynote will be the highly-anticipated – and controversial – iPhone 7, as well as significant upgrades to the Apple Watch.
Variety, the definitive voice of the entertainment industry announced that the media company will host the industry’s first-ever conference focused on diversity – including gender, ethnicity, aging and sexuality – on film, television and digital outlets. Over the past several months, the conversation around these topics has intensified, and Variety will lead the dialog by engaging some of the most senior corporate executives and talent in the creative community. The conference is called “Inclusion.”
Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Studios, and multi award-winning musician Pharrell Williams will have keynote conversations with Variety editors in addition to a host of panels on topics ranging from LBGTQ rights to advancing Latino entertainment to the cultural importance of creating programs designed to support underrepresented groups in Hollywood. PwC’s U.S. Chairman Brian Cullinan will moderate a fireside chat with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
Need your Alyssa Bernal fix? We got you covered. We caught up with the talented songstress to chat about her recent projects, career goals, halloween must-watches, and so, SO much more. Check out her Q&A below and don’t forget to follow Alyssa on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest!
Tell us what you’ve been up to lately! What should fans be expecting from you, musically, from the rest of the year?
Lately, I’ve been working on my 2nd full length album! It should be done within the next few months and should be expected to drop January 2017. I’m really excited cause this will be the first major project I’ve co-produced for myself and I’m so passionate about it!
What’s been the highlight of 2016 for you?
The highlight of 2016 for me has simply been getting back out into the (music) game and sharing my music with the world again. I had been on quite a molding hiatus; growing, learning, and recreating myself as an artist. I decided to go from the “singer-songwriter, guitar playing girl next door”, to the “singer-songwriter, future-neo-soul free spirit”, lol. That said, it was like stepping out into another world musically. And so far, I’ve been let back in with open arms and so much support! The shows, the crowds, and just the experiences in this direction have been nothing but good to me!
Photos by Anna Victoria Best. Following rescheduled phone calls and pencilled-in meetings from New York City to London to Amsterdam, we finally catch Pusha T when he’s back home in Virginia Beach, the city where he was raised after his parents moved from the Bronx when he was young. A scroll through his Instagram feed throws up posts from Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm, where the recently appointed G.O.O.D Music president has been performing, having meetings and inspecting European streetwear stores, but right now it’s 9AM and the early-rising rapper has just finished up at the gym.
“Success looks like longevity and being able to provide, being able to be a chameleon and change with the times. To be relevant in so many different times without compromising yourself. Success looks like Pusha T.” It’s a hefty statement, but one that can’t really be denied. While Pusha, born Terence Thornton, has avoided the celebrity scandal that would be required to place him on the front of the gossip magazines, to music fans he’s up there with the best of them.
After breaking through in 2002 with the timeless syncopated table-beating rhythm of ‘Grindin’’ as one half of The Clipse with his brother Malice – and bringing street credibility to Justin Timberlake’s debut single ‘Like I Love You’ in the same year – he went on to release two LPs produced entirely by The Neptunes at the height of their career. After their third album, ‘Til The Casket Drops’, The Clipse went on an indefinite hiatus, but Pusha would go on to enjoy the next leg of his mammoth career as a solo artist under Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music imprint. In a genre where you’re lucky to get to album three without completely losing relevance, Pusha has consistently continued to win, maintaining his integrity and sounding as fresh as ever. By his own definition, there’s no doubting his success.
“I can only write about the things I’ve seen, and the things I’ve been through,” describes BIA about her sometimes hardcore music. It’s not uncommon to find this pretty face spitting rhymes about perico, dumping on her adversaries and the struggles she faced as a bi-racial teen (she is of Puerto Rican and Italian descent). The twenty-something year old has been patiently waiting for her time to shine ever since she caught the ear of Pharrell several years ago.
Introduced to Skateboard P by longtime Star Trak member Fam-Lay, the deadly emcee has grown from a hungry rapper with little direction to one of the names on must watch rapper lists from numerous music outlets. Having called everywhere from New York City, Boston and Miami home, Bia is readying two major projects that reflect her diverse living experiences. “I have a debut album that I’m working on, but then I also have another project — it’s called Trap Vogue,” says BIA about her upcoming releases.
“That will probably go first all original beats with trap elements and new sounds.” Producer Cardo Got Wings — who also produced “Gucci Comin Home” — has already contributed beats for Trap Vogue. BIA says she prefers to build songs from scratch with the producer in the studio with her. The rapstress also reveals that she’s at her most creative early in the morning, so it’s likely you’ll find her up at 6:00 AM penning tracks in the crib.
Robin Thicke is heading to South Africa for his first-ever live performance and will be this year’s international star on the stage at ANN7’s South African of the Year Awards 2016 on 25 November. Last year the SATYs courted controversy when, after Christina Aguilera pulled out, American artist Jason Derulo performed and asked the audience who didn’t appear responsive enough to him “Y’all speak English, right?”
ANN7 says it plans to make this year’s SATYs, that will be broadcast on 25 November from 18:00, “bigger and better.” The awards ceremony will again hand out trophies to South Africans in categories ranging from best artists and conservationists, to sport, youth and business leaders, culminating in the award for South African of the Year.
Former member of The Neptunes and Teddy Riley protege Mike E teamed up with No Malice on “New Life“, the title track from his new EP titled New Life, get it now on iTunes.
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