Rexx Life Raj Kicks Off 2021 With “Bad Bad Bad” Video
Rapper Rexx Life Raj kicks off the year with a new video for California Poppy 2 EP standout track “Bad Bad Bad.” The video showcases Raj’s lively and exuberant personality and sees the Pigeons and Planes Best New Artist in a hazmat suit playing a three on three basketball game, walking around his hometown, the Bay Area, and having a picnic in the park.
“Bad Bad Bad” also has the honor of being a part of ESPNmusic (@espnmusic) and the NBA on ESPN’s (@nbaonespn) featured commercial soundtrack. The song will be featured prominently throughout all NBA programming on ESPN and ABC, along with flagship shows Sportscenter and First Take.
California Poppy 2 saw Raj offering thoughtful commentary on what it means to be a Black man in America with his masterful flow and slick wordplay. Raj transitions from hilarious anecdotes and clever bullshit to heartfelt gems about relationships, and self-reﬂection, often making him both teacher and class clown on the same record. Produced by Kyle Betty (Raj’s in house producer) and ReeceBeats (G-Eazy, Kehlani) and mixed by Alex Tumay (Young Thug, Travis Scott), California Poppy 2 also featured industry luminaries like Juvenile and British rapper Kojey Radical.
Other singles from California Poppy 2 include “Freak” ft. Juvenile (an NPR Music Staff Top Pick), “State of Mind” (“sunny single” – Uproxx), “Tesla in a Pandemic” (“introspective instrumental that sounds as smooth as the Tesla” – Hot New Hip Hop) and “Canvas” (“will untether you from the day-to-day realities” – KUTX).
Nigerian-American sister duo VanJess announce their new EP ‘Homegrown.’ Slated for release on Keep Cool/RCA Records on January 29, the nine-song collection is the official follow up to their 2018 debut album ‘Silk Canvas,’ which Pitchfork called “a captivating fusion of 1990s R&B with contemporary electronic touches.”
‘Homegrown’ hosts a robust group of collaborators, including Grammy-nominated producer KAYTRANADA, neo-soul group Phony PPL and Pomo, whose producer credits include Mac Miller’s ‘Swimming,’ Anderson Paak’s ‘Ventura’ and HONNE’s ‘No Song Without You.’ As a whole, VanJess continues along their upward trajectory on ‘Homegrown,” creating a cohesive, well-rounded project that reaches new sonic heights elevated by remarkable visuals.
PRE-SAVE ‘HOMEGROWN’ HERE
Out today is VanJess’ new single “Curious.” The song lays out a diverting game of cat and mouse, as the ladies’ sultry “come hither” verses play off Jimi Tents and Garren’s accounts of passion and chemistry. Together, the vocal talents of each act ricochet off a bouncing beat produced by Jay Kurzweil (GoldLink, SZA).
In addition to “Curious,” singles like “Come Over,” “Slow Down” and “High & Dry” give a promising glimpse at what’s to come with ‘Homegrown.’ With a driving bass and drums that could soundtrack any bedroom disco, “Come Over” showcases VanJess’ perfected harmonies. Meanwhile, “High & Dry,” which LADYGUNN describes as a “sensual and laid-back vibe with intoxicating backing beats,” is a sensual invitation of a song, buoyed by VanJess’ stylish vocals and cheeky wordplay.
At the end of 2020, the ladies released a live rendition of “Slow Down” as a part of the eponymous “Homegrown Sessions,” which has also produced live versions of “Come Over” and “High & Dry.” Surrounded by clouds and looking as angelic as ever, VanJess takes viewers to heaven on “Slow Down” live. The song itself is a sweet, slow jam with swirls of R&B grooves and simmering undertones. VanJess’ on-point harmonies are accentuated by a brassy saxophone line and romantic production from Snakehips & Jonah Christian.
Artists including Krept & Konan, Ms. Banks and D Double share their experiences in this empowering new series
E4 is to present a new short form animated series, aimed at teenagers, that sees some of the UK’s leading MC’s, rappers and lyricists talk openly about mental health and the things that have impacted them, from grief and body image to trauma. The series will also reimagine science-based mindfulness techniques to help young people improve their wellbeing.
Across the five episode series produced by Mother’s Best Child & TOAD, viewers will be taken on an absorbing visual journey where they’ll be offered tips and methods to help cope with their mental health struggles, all backed by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation.
All episodes will drop on the 18th January and will be available to watch for free on All 4, Channel 4’s on demand streaming service.
Rap Therapy is supported by the government funded Young Audiences Content Fund which is managed by the BFI and supports the creation of distinctive, high-quality content for audiences up to the age of 18.
Episode 1: Trauma Rap star Konan talks candidly about the violent loss of his step-father and how he has coped with the trauma that has come from it.
Episode 2: Mindful Breathing Singer Ray BLK uses her soothing voice to guide you through a mindful breathing exercise, designed to help ease feelings of anxiety and stress.
Episode 3: Grief Rapper Krept opens up about losing his cousin, and fellow rapper, Cadet in a car crash, and how he has tried to process the grief.
Episode 4: Body Image Rapper and singer Ms. Banks focuses on body image by taking us back to her school days where she was the tallest in her class. She explains that practicing positive affirmations and self-love have helped her to be comfortable with who she is.
Episode 5: Sleep Bad habits before bed can often be the reason that we don’t get the sleep we need. In this episode, legendary Grime star, D Double uses his distinctive flow to guide us off into the land of nod.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing UK announced it has signed award-winning singer, songwriter, jazz musician, and radio broadcaster Jamie Cullum
Jamie Cullum is one of the UK’s top jazz artists/songwriters, known for crafting hit songs across genres and collaborating with prominent talent including Paul McCartney, Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar, Lang Lang, and Clint Eastwood. Jamie’s signing is an exciting return to the company after signing his first-ever publishing deal with EMI eighteen years ago.
Recently, Cullum released a brand-new album, The Pianoman at Christmas, which was recorded at London’s famous Abbey Road studios and features ten original songs played by 57 of Britain’s best musicians. Jamie said, “I’m so proud to have signed with Sony/ATV and to be rejoining a team I first started working within 2003 at the very beginning of my professional career.
Whilst I have had a long and interesting journey as a songwriter, I do feel like I’m entering a new phase in the body of work I’m creating. I know and respect the team at Sony/ATV and I’m excited to explore with them the possibilities of where we can use my songs not only within my own recorded output but also for other artists and in film, theatre, computer games, and beyond.”
Sony/ATV UK President, Co-Managing Director David Ventura and Co-Managing Director Tim Major said, “Jamie is a class act in every way – as a songwriter, a musician, a voice and as a person. We’re absolutely thrilled that he has chosen to work with us on this exciting next phase of his career.”
Fran Malyan, Sony/ATV Catalogue, said, “I’ve worked with Jamie from the beginning of his amazing career so I’m more than thrilled that he’s returning to his original home. His new album is a masterpiece full of brand-new songs that sound like standards.”
Cullum broke into the mainstream with his album Twentysomething in 2003, which earned him international success and made him the fastest-selling British jazz artist in history. It also earned Cullum his first Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Since then, Jamie has earned continued success with various albums including Catching Tales, The Pursuit, Interlude, Momentum, and his 2019 album Taller.
Cullum has received numerous top awards and nominations throughout his music career, including a 2020 Ivor-Novello award for “Age of Anxiety,” which won Best Song Musically and Lyrically, two BRIT awards for Best Male Artist and Best Live Act, a Grammy award, and several Grammy nominations. Cullum has also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song for “Gran Torino,” which was a collaboration between him and Clint Eastwood.
RAW LOOK AT LOVATO’S RESILIENT JOURNEY LAUNCHES MARCH 23
YouTube Originals today announced the first details for “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil,” a powerful four-part documentary event from Director Michael D. Ratner. The first two episodes of the docuseries will premiere for free Tuesday, March 23rd only on Demi Lovato’s YouTube Channel, with new episodes to be released weekly on each of the next two Tuesdays.
“It’s been two years since I came face-to-face with the darkest point in my life, and now I’m ready to share my story with the world. For the first time, you’ll be able to see my chronicle of struggle and ongoing healing from my point of view. I’m grateful that I was able to take this journey to face my past head-on and finally share it with the world,” said Demi Lovato.
“We are excited to continue sharing Demi’s brave story,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube. “YouTube Originals is committed to telling real stories about the complexities of life and for Demi to use our global platform to open up about this chapter is something we are very proud of.”
“Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil” is an honest look back at some of the most trying times in Lovato’s life as she unearths her prior traumas and discovers the importance of her physical, emotional, and mental health. For the first time, Lovato will open up about every aspect that led to her nearly fatal overdose in 2018, and her awakenings in the aftermath as viewers are granted unprecedented access to the superstar’s personal and musical journey over the past three years, including footage from when the initial production for this project began during Lovato’s 2018 Tell Me You Love Me World Tour. The docuseries is a follow up to her wildly popular 2017 YouTube Originals documentary “Simply Complicated,” which now has more than 35M views on YouTube.
“Demi’s willingness to explore the darkest elements of her life is going to leave the audience with a complete understanding of everything she’s been through and ultimately where she is going. Demi stands for empowerment, and this documentary is going to answer the many questions that have been out there – providing a real window into the life of one of the biggest stars in the world, who is simply a human being,” says Director and Executive Producer Michael D. Ratner.
“Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil” is directed and executive produced by Michael D. Ratner, and produced by Ratner’s OBB Pictures and SB Projects. Scott Ratner, Kfir Goldberg and Miranda Sherman also serve as executive producers for OBB Pictures. Scooter Braun, Allison Kaye and Scott Manson executive produce for SB Projects. Co-executive producers on the project are Andy Mininger and Arlen Konopaki for OBB Pictures, Jen McDaniels, Scott Marcus and James Shin for SB Projects, and Hannah Lux Davis. Marc Ambrose serves as producer.
Susanne Daniels is Global Head of Original Content for YouTube. Alex Piper, Head of Unscripted for YouTube Originals, and Cara Casey, Development Lead for YouTube Originals, will oversee the project for the global platform.
“Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil” continues YouTube’s commitment to bringing timely content to fans around the world including recent hits such as “Justin Bieber: Next Chapter,” a follow up to the record-breaking series, “Justin Bieber: Seasons”; “Hello 2021,” a five-part global New Year’s Eve celebration; “David Blaine Ascension,” which redefined magic once again when the world needed an uplifting distraction; “This Is Paris,” a documentary exploring the events that shaped the woman and iconic character she created; “Defying Gravity: The Untold Story of Women’s Gymnastics,” a documentary series that explores what it takes to be an Elite gymnast; Emmy-winning family series, “Create Together #WithMe,” hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt; and two installments of “The Creator Games Presented by MrBeast,” plus a slate of new content through the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund aimed to amplify Black voices amidst the ongoing racial justice movement: “Bear Witness, Take Action 2” hosted by Common and Keke Palmer; “Resist” from Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors; and “HBCU Homecoming 2020: Meet Me On The Yard” hosted by 2 Chainz and La La Anthony.
DEBUT EP ENACTOR OUT FEBRUARY 12, 2020 VIA SIDE HUSTLE RECORDS
Today, Chicago’s shadowy songwriter and detached, distorted dream-pop lyricist, Claude, shares her second single, “Everything’s Great,” from her debut EP, Enactor, due out February 12, 2020 via Side Hustle Records / The Orchard. The single arrives as Impeachment hearings dominate the media landscape, tying back to the very origin of the track. On writing the song, Claude says, “I wrote this song after Trump got elected. It felt like the world was ending and I wanted to somehow poke fun at his “Make America Great Again” slogan.”
A cathartic song that taps into a collective “empty eyes” energy that many felt after Election Day in 2016, Claude feels into the internal call for self-preservation to ignore the heaviness of reality (“You’ll go crazy if you don’t turn off your device”) and a call for escapism because of the weight of the world. It’s easier to fake it than to be rooted in what is so (“The menu for breakfast is mouthfuls of pretend” / “You get through life faster if you’re a good liar”).
First single, “Screen,” which was shared along with a music video, sets the stage for this new song, and talks about the all-too-relatable scroll droll and social media toll. A song about being detached in a digital era and social media’s existential impact, “Screen” connects to this conscious self-awareness of living through a screen and how numbing it truly can be.
American Songwriter, who premiered the song and video, says the song “shows Chicago musician Claudia Ferme delivering an eerie, evocative meditation on our collective social media anxiety,” adding, “You’d think social media would make us less lonely—particularly during a time when it’s literally illegal to hang out with other people IRL. Think again.”
On Enactor as a whole, Claude says:
“This EP is about the world outside of me and the world inside of me, about change and disassociation, about the different faces we put on, and about trying to be honest. In it are my ideas about the effects of technology, the state of the world, and the state of ourselves when we’re dealing with uncertainty and changes in our lives.
I originally recorded all of the songs for this EP myself the winter of 2017 into the spring of 2018 but then with the help of my dad, who works at a high school with a recording studio, and the school’s engineer added bass and drums and basically made an EP of songs the opposite way you’re “supposed” to make them. As I spent more time in Chicago and met more people who also played music I formed a band. The original members are no longer a part of this project but through one of them I met engineer, and bassist, Michael Mac and he helped me re-record the EP now that we had been playing them live for a while and I had a better idea of what I wanted the songs to sound like.”
Stay tuned for more on Claude’s new EP, Enactor, with more singles on the horizon, and don’t forget to follow her on socials. “Screen” and “Everything’s Great” are both out now on Side Hustle Records and the EP arrives February 12, 2020.
Johnny Crown releases official music video for”If You Were Wondering”
“If You Were Wondering” is the first single off Johnny Crown’s latest EP “Fear Don’t Live Here Anymore.” The new video from the rising star is dedicated to all the doctors, nurses, health care and front line workers in these trying times. The latest album “Fear Don’t Live Here Anymore” is an affirmation of the times during the Covid-19 pandemic and everyone is scared and panicking. Johnny is pushing forward to inject love into our atmosphere through the vibration of music with the intention to eradicate fear.
Johnny Crown is an emcee from Brooklyn NYC, whose style and voice will leave a lasting impression. At the early age of 12, Johnny saw his older brother rap and make his own beats, and instantly gravitated towards the art. Many years later, his brother gifted him with his own recording set-up. And the rest was history. From there on, Johnny learned how to write, record, and even mix his own to his liking. Johnny Crown released three projects in 2019 alone “Drunk”, “The Coolest Prince In The Jungle”, “Shine Your Light” and “Star Crest” – with different inspirations behind each album. “Drunk” is an ode to being intoxicated off of life, “The Coolest Prince In The Jungle” is an Afrobeats influenced album, and “Shine Your Light” was an awakening album. And the latest album “Fear Don’t Live Here Anymore” is an affirmation of the trying times during the Covid-19 pandemic and everyone is scared and panicking. Johnny is pushing forward to inject Love into our atmosphere through the vibration of music with the intention to eradicate fear.
Not only is Johnny a proven talented musician, but he is also a comic book creator, a children’s book author, an actor, a stand up comic also a mentor for Tina’s Angels and Richard’s Warriors, a non-profit organization created by Beyoncé’s mother Mrs. Tina Knowles Lawson and her husband Mr. Richard Lawson.
With Johnny Crown’s sound best described as modern hiphop, it’s clear his influences are those of the same ilk. His main influence is, of course, the person who manifested this all of him, his older brother. In turn, his older brother was also influenced by those Johnny listened to as well. Those include Jay Z, Notorious BIG, Sade, 2pac, Nas, Big L just to name a few. Classic albums like “Illmatic”, “Blueprint 2” and “Lovers Rock”, were vital to Johnny’s artistry as a whole; down from his delivery, to him performing in front of a crowd. Not only does Johnny pride himself in the lyricist aspect of the genre, but also in story-telling. And his music projects all of those abilities. A self-described renaissance man, jack of all trades, the Los Angeles-based artist is ready and focused to unleash an onslaught of projects in this new decade. So keep your eyes peeled for all that he has in store, and follow Johnny on his journey to the top, as he places a “Crown” on himself within Hip-Hop. Be sure to connect with JC on his website, social media, and digital music platforms.
International Rock Star Kip Macklejar releases his single “The Coal Miner’s Daughter”
Kip Macklejar is an up and coming rock artist based out of Copenhagen, Denmark. With a love for classic rock and a fun, energetic sound, Kip Macklejar is one of the hottest names in the rock genre!
Although Kip Macklejar is a young artist, he grew up listening to what many might now consider “the oldies.” Kip Macklejar has always been obsessed with bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Cage the Elephant, and Frank Zappa. Kip Macklejar can remember seeing the Rolling Stones play at age 13 and being so excited by the concert that he signed up for guitar lessons the very next day. This love for rock music comes from the deep connection between rock music and Kip Macklejar’s personality. For Kip Macklejar, rock music—much like life—is all about going against the grain and being as unapologetically fun and original as possible. In making his music, Kip Macklejar remembers the inspiring attitude of the rock legends before him, while striving to make his music authentic and original in unique ways
Kip Macklejar’s sound is a blend of upbeat rock and blues rhythms, resulting in a funky sound that pays homage to its classic rock roots. Perhaps the best example of this sound is the 2020 single Alligator Swamp Monster. The viral track has gained attention on internet playlists for its playful and funky energy that gets listeners feeling like a badass!
Currently, Kip Macklejar is working on the release of the upcoming EP, The Coal Miner’s Daughter, which will be released as a three-part song and feature accompanying animated music videos that bring the story within the songs to life. Kip Macklejar hopes that the EP will help him show off his lyrical storytelling abilities, while also helping him to further develop and mature his rock/blues sound. In the meantime, Kip Macklejar is excited to meet new fans and to continue spreading good vibes with his unique music!
East Coast recording artist Bruce L delivers his latest EP “The Basis: Negative”
Bruce L. was born and raised in Birmingham, AL, and is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. He is a musical artist on the rise and is also an actor/ model signed with the talent agency, Carol Shaginaw Talent.
Bruce L’s love for music stems from his upbringing in the dirty south; he was exposed to everything from rock to hip-hop to classical music. He recently released his first EP, The Basis: Negative, to all streaming platforms; which garnered a niche fanbase. He is looking to expand his horizons in the film and music business and his next release, The Basis: Positive, is currently in development.
West Baltimore recording artist FMB Foreign drops her latest single “GET Busy”
Family. Money. Business. Principles that run the world at its highest levels, and words that are held close to the heart of West Baltimore recording artist FMB Foreign. Foreign’s passion for showmanship started during her youth as a basketball star who loved putting on for the crowd. She would dabble in music and eventually study radio & interactive media in high school, with artists like Drake, Lil Wayne, and G Herbo inspiring her diverse style that mixes hardcore street subject matter with mainstream musicality. 2013 would mark the beginning of her professional debut as a recording artist which would start with single releases and evolve into a highly revered mixtape series, Plugged Inn 1 and 2.
Her vision in entertainment was an unselfish one, with her family and their collective success as a team being the objective for FMB. Her crew members FMB Church, FMB Dayy, and FMB Koke bring unique perspectives and voices to the new scene of Baltimore rap with raw wordplay backed by real experiences. Their presence as a team has spanned the indie & open mic circuit from Baltimore to NYC, where they’ve impressed countless rooms and won a handful of competitions.
FMB’s goal is to be a respected brand that creates and sells music, art, and merchandise while being influential in many markets. Being charismatic personalities has made their styles set trends in their community and as far as their ever-growing online presence spreads.
In 2020, FMB Foreign looks to create diplomatic relationships with fashion, media, and creative brands worldwide. Look forward to an impressive year of growth for the brand as FMB springboards from Baltimore to the entire country.
Be sure to connect with FMB Foreign on all social media and digital music platforms.