Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Icona Pop, a DJ duo from Sweden.
I’ve been mildly obsessed with this female electropop duo ever since I heard “I Love It” in July. They’ve garnered international attention with hits like “Manners, “I Love It,” and “Nights Like This.” Now, they are gearing up to fully take the music world by storm. The ladies are releasing their sophomore EP titled, Iconic today and they are touring the US, Sweden and Norway throughout October.
Origins: Stockholm, Sweden
Band members: Aino Jawo, Caroline Elizabeth Hjelt
Known for: They are known for making music you can’t help but dance to, even if you can’t dance.
Used in a sentence: ”Icona Pop are majorly badass, effortlessly cool, and Aino Jawo’s haircut makes me all sorts of happy.”
File next to: Little Boots
Download now: “I Love It”
Five fun facts:
1.They have a blog that documents everything from their sick fashion sense, to beach days.
2.During Fashion’s Night Out in Manhattan, the ladies did a DJ set at Helmut Lang and an in-store performance at Urban Outfitters. Read more…
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Machine Gun Kelly, a hip-hop artist from Cleveland, Ohio.
Machine Gun Kelly, known as MGK for short, combines two of my favourite things: white rappers with mad skills, and illegal amounts of swagger. At 15, his rapid-fire lyrical style earned him his stage name, which is a reference to notorious 1930s gangster George “Machine Gun Kelly” Barnes. MGK has been blowing up on the hip-hop scene after releasing four mixtapes. His debut album, Lace Up, drops today!
Full name: Richard Colson Baker
Known for: MGK is known for his lightning speed delivery.
Used in a sentence: “If MGK continues to produce the type of brilliance he has thus far, then he’s probably going to have to change that dangerously placed “Almost Famous” tattoo.”
File next to: DMX, Yelawolf
Download now: “Invincible”
Five fun facts:
1. Born to missionary parents, MGK spent the first four years of his life in Egypt. He spoke Arabic before he spoke English. Read more…
By Victoria Abraham
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Little Mix, a British girl group.
Although the four girls of Little Mix originally had solo aspirations, their formation into a girl group led to them winning the eighth season of UK’s The X-Factor. But don’t let their origins jade you: they’re not your average fabricated-for-pop-stardom-cutie-pie girl group. These girls can sing and they do it well. They’re set to release their debut album, DNA, on Nov. 19.
Origins: The United Kingdom
Band members: Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall
Known for: Little Mix are known for their X-Factor beginnings.
Used in a sentence: ”These four ladies have the winning combination of cute, British, and talented.”
File next to: Girls Aloud
Download now: Their new track ”DNA.”
1. The girls auditioned for the show individually, but were combined into a group after each failed to make it past bootcamp’s first challenge.
2.The girls were then separated into two different groups during the Groups bootcamp challenge. After each group failed, Jesy, Perrie, Leigh-Anne, and Jade were combined to form the group Rhythmix.
3. One Direction’s Zayn Malik (who was on The X-Factor that same season) is dating Little Mix band member Perrie Edwards. Read more…
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Chaos Chaos, a band from Seattle, Washington.
Listening to Chaos Chaos, (formerly known as Smoosh), will amp up your cool factor because 1. They’re an indie pop band who’ve turned slightly electro, 2. The band is made up of two sisters, 3. They released their first album before they were teenagers, and 4. Their new EP is coming out on Oct. 16.
Band Members: Chloe Saavedra (vocals, drummer) and Asy Saavedra (vocals, keyboard)
Used in a sentence: “Asy and Chloe are impressively multi-talented, and their new single, “My Hands,” hints at great things to come.”
Download now: “My Hands”
File next to: Tori Amos
Five fast facts:
1. The girls released three albums under the band name Smoosh. Read more…
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Marina and the Diamonds, a singer from Monmouthshire, Wales.
Marina and the Diamonds is a synthpop singer with an indie pop heart. She balances her catchy pop aesthetic with lyrics that have more meaning and make more sense than your average bubblegum song. She’s currently touring Europe as part of her Lonely Hearts Club Tour.
Real name: Marina Lambrini Diamandis. ”The Diamonds” in her stage name refer to her fans.
Known for: Marina is known for her unique fashion choices, which she describes as a mix of vintage, cheerleader, and cartoon.
Used in a sentence: “Frequent hair colour changes, doll eyelashes, and a penchant for pink lipstick make looking at her just as fun as listening to her music.”
Download now: “Primadonna”
File next to: Florence and the Machine, Kate Bush
Five Fun Facts: Read more…
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles St.Vincent, an indie songstress, currently residing in Manhattan, who just released Love This Giant with David Byrne.
St. Vincent is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who takes the best parts of indie rock and combines them seamlessly with cabaret jazz and pop. Her clever, straightforward lyrics and unapologetic weirdness make for a lovely musical experience. She’s set to release an album with David Byrne titled Love This Giant on Sept. 11 and will be participating in the 30 Songs/30 Days Challenge to support Half the Sky, which turns oppression into opportunity for women worldwide.
Origins: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Full name: Annie Erin Clark. Her stage name “St. Vincent” is a reference to Saint Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center where the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas died. Also, Annie claimed in a different interview the name honors her grandmother whose middle name was St.Vincent.
Known for: Clark is known for using a variety of musical instruments and arrangements, and for her happy lyrics that have an unmistakably anxious edge.
Used in a sentence: “St. Vincent makes the kind of music that you wouldn’t be ashamed of having as “most played” on your iPod.”
Download now: She and David Byrne released a new album called Love This Giant featuring a song called “Who.” But we still love her classic track “Cruel.”
File next to: Feist, Kate Bush, David Bowie
Fun facts: Annie began playing guitar when she was 12. Later, she took on the piano, bass, organ and theramin.As a teen, she worked as the tour manager for her uncle’s band Tuck & Patti. Read more…
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Cimorelli, a girl group from Sacramento, California.
Cimorelli, pronounced sim-or-ELL-ee, is a group of six singing sisters who are as talented as they are adorable. Ranging in age from 12 to 21, the ladies combine their love of R&B, hip-hop, country and 80s synth pop to create a unique musical sound. Most of their songs are done a capella with occasional instruments. The ladies are currently working on their debut album.
Used in a sentence: “The Cimorelli singing sisters make ordinary siblings seem so unimpressive. They’re basically a modern Von Trapp family.”
Download now: “Some Nights” by Fun.
File next to: Megan & Liz
The sisters are part of a big family that includes five brothers — leading to a total of 11 children. Their mother Lynne is a music major, composer and choir director. She began teaching her daughters music between the ages of two and four. She taught them classical piano, three-part barbershop harmonizing and vocal jazz. Read more…
It’s been four years since New York rapper Nas released a solo album, so his new record Life Is Good serves as a re-introduction to his fans. In a phone interview with ANDPOP’s Azra Kassam, Nas talked about collaborating with Amy Winehouse and his best prank ever (it involves a blow up doll).
Life is Good was his daily mantra before becoming his album title: These last few years have been difficult for Nas, particularly because of a high profile divorce from singer Kelis. But he rose above it all and bared his soul for his eleventh studio album Life Is Good. “Instead of looking at all the losses, I started looking at them as blessings,” he said. “I started saying ‘Life is Good’ and it became a daily mantra… It was the obvious thing to do when it was time to title my album.”
So there you have it kids, the next time you’re feeling blue, try creating a positive, daily mantra for yourself. You can thank Nas later.
He and Amy Winehouse share the same birthday: Nas recently released “Cherry Wine,” a collaboration with Amy Winehouse, which appears on Life is Good. He said it was amazing to collaborate with Winehouse before her tragic death. “She was an incredible artist, she was a pure artist, and she was someone who loved music more than most people I meet,” he said. “She had a spirit that was about being honest and being raw and not caring about what anybody thinks.” In fact, Nas said when he was putting “Cherry Wine” together, he felt Winehouse’s presence as an angel.
Coincidentally, both Nas and Winehouse shared the same birthday, Sept. 14, though he was born ten years earlier.
Listen to it here:
His best prank involved a blow up doll: Read more…
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles AlunaGeorge, a duo from London, England.
If you’re into musical pairs where each half perfectly complements the other while remaining distinct, then AlunaGeorge are just the two for you. This duo offers an eclectic mix of UK garage, R&B and pop. Basically they are an indie R&B band, which means they are the best kind of oxymoron. Plus they have British accents.
Band members: Aluna Francis and George Reid
Known for: These Brits are known for George’s clear-cut production style and Aluna’s squeaky, contagious voice.
Used in a sentence: AlunaGeorge are a delicious musical hybrid that will make you press the repeat button again and again.
Download now: “You Know You Like It”
File next to: Noosha Fox, Dirty Projectors
Fast facts: Aluna once worked as a tiler for her friend, while George used to be part of the band Colour. The two met on the Internet while working on separate projects and their musical union was forged when George remixed “Sweetheart” featuring Aluna’s vocals. Even though they met on the Internet, they don’t have a Wikipedia page.
Timeline: Read more…
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Rita Ora, a British singer and actress. Her debut album, ORA, comes out this August.
Just like the DJ Fresh track that got everyone talking about her, Rita Ora is “Hot Right Now.” She expertly mixes street beats with pop, making you want to get up and dance. With her signature platinum blonde hair and bright red lips, this 21-year-old is set to blow up. Her debut album will be out this August, and she’s spending the summer opening for Coldplay.
Full name: Rita Sahatçiu Ora
Known for: Ora is known for her impressive vocal range and her edgy street style.
Used in a sentence: “Since you’re not old enough to drink, get a buzz going with Rita’s delicious musical cocktail of jazz, pop, street beats, and R&B.”
File next to: Rihanna and Aaliyah
Download now: Her new single “Roc the Life.”
Fun facts: Read more…
In the Rizzle Kicks new Toby Lockerbie-directed video for “Dreamers” they’re pretty convinced they can make it to the moon and back, which we won’t argue with because those guys can pretty much do anything in LIFE.
The duo spew out the lyrics in front of a wall painted with a gigantic, trippy white cat, wearing a monocle. They rap: “I can find that place/ Up in my dreams tonight/ Where you and I/ Don’t have to fight/ Over what is right or wrong/ It’s not you who decides/ Oh this is my life.”
The track is the sixth single from their album Stereo Typical.
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Little Comets, an indie rock trio from Jarrow and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Dig out your best hipster shoes and adjust your black-rimmed fake glasses, because Little Comets are the latest British indie rock group to make sweet love to your ears. With a slew of tours around the UK and a pending second album, they are definitely worth a listen.
Origins: Jarrow and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
Band members: Robert Coles (lead vocals, guitar), Michael Coles (lead guitar, backing vocals), Matthew Hall (bass, backing vocals). But it’s also all about nicknames with this band, Michael is Mickey and Matt is “the cat.”
Known for: They’ve been described as playing “kitchen sink indie,” whatever that means. But we love their clever lyrics, Robert’s unique voice, and the overall guitar-heavy sound.
Used in a sentence: “Even when they’re singing about arguments and worries, the Little Comets make you want to dance.”
File next to: Dutch Uncles, Frankie & The Heartstrings
Listen to now: Their acoustic version of “Jennifer.”
Fun facts: Read more…
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Grimes, a dream pop artist from Vancouver, British Columbia.
This 24-year-old is more than just a musician; she is also an artist, a music video director, and a member of the band L$D with Kreayshawn and Tragik. Grimes began recording experimental music while studying at McGill University in Montreal, where she got in to the underground electronic and industrial scene. She is yet another badass Canadian artist to add to your iPod.
Origins: Vancouver, British Columbia
Full name: Claire Boucher
Known for: Grimes is known for an eclectic musical style that mixes together a variety of musical influences from pop to hip hop to noise rock and medieval music.
Used in a sentence: “With her Unicorn-esque pink and green hair and ethereal sound, Grimes makes me think of mystical creatures frolicking in a meadow.”
Listen to now: Oblivion
File next to: Björk
Fun facts: Read more…
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Conor Maynard, a British pop singer from Brighton, England.
I swear I don’t have a thing for British music; it just so happens that a lot of musicians currently blowing up happen to be from Britain. Conor Maynard is no exception. Having recently won the MTV’s coveted Brand New For 2012 Award, Maynard is getting ready to release his debut album, Contrast at the end of July.
Known for: Conor Maynard is known for his catchy pop singles and a charismatic personality.
Used in a sentence: “Maynard’s boyish good looks and pop appeal are sure to convert scores of girls into “Mayniacs.”
Watch now: Watch the recently released video for “Vegas Girl”
File next to: Justin Bieber, Olly Murs
Fun facts: Read more…
Imagine Dragon’s new single “It’s Time went viral after being used in the trailer for the coming of age film The Perks of Being a Wallflower, starring Emma Watson. Their EP Continued Silence was released on Valentine’s Day and they’re currently recording their debut album Night Visions with Alex Da Kid (Nicki Minaj, Rihanna).
In a phone interview with andPOP, lead vocalist Dan Reynold’s said that while things are moving flash-fast, they’re ready. “I think it’s important for a band to have time to prepare or else they go viral overnight and are forgotten,” he said. “We’ve been a band for three years and are building something from the ground up.”
Here are a few things you may not know about them:
Imagine Dragons are pranksters: The guys don’t have access to the Internet on the road so they usually watch shows like Dexter and Game of Thrones. “Suddenly it’s taken a turn for the worse and has become a prank van,” Reynolds laughs. Pranks range from them slipping their clinical insomniac guitarist a five-hour energy drink (he stayed up for a week straight) or sneakily putting stickers in hair (ouch) so the victim has to yank it out later. Reynold’s best prank was an act of revenge, after a crew member pretended to delete every file on his computer. Upon discovering the prankster has major arachnophobia, he hid a hairy tarantula in a donut box. “He reached in and grabbed a donut. When he realized there was a spider in there he freaked out,” Reynolds said. “So we’re even now.”
His sister’s book club read The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Read more…
Since 1997, U.K. band Keane has been wooing Brits with gorgeously emotional lyrics and a distinct piano sound that set them apart from other rock bands. With more than 10 million albums sold worldwide they’ve definitely wooed fans across the pond and in other international markets. After a four-year break between their third album Perfect Symmetry and the release of their fourth album, Strangeland in 2012, Keane is back with a vengeance.
Here are five things you might not know about them:
They’ve been plotting to conquer North America: Although they have fans everywhere from Britain to China, (they were even invited by Burberry to play a concert in Beijing in 2011), Keane has yet to experience that kind of success in North America. “I think that’s been our plan for quite a few years really,” said Tim Rice-Oxley, co-founder, chief composer and pianist. ”It’s never going to be easy for a British band to conquer America, but we feel they’ve got a lot of love for us here and we’re just really happy with that.”
They want to give you the best night of your life: Keane’s favourite thing is performing live shows and with a score of new songs and more energy than a five-year-old after a Big Gulp. They won’t disappoint. “I am looking forward to being on stage with my friends and trying to get everyone going crazy and singing along. Keane fans are really dedicated and passionate. We like every single person in the room to be having the best night of their lives,” said Rice-Oxley.
They think making music is magical: While some other artists are busy pulling out gimmicks like Mary Poppins and her carpet bag, Keane likes to keep it real and focus on the music. “We think it’s sacred, to us it’s magical that music sort of appears out of thin air. The music is something that we feel so passionate about. We don’t want to do stuff that just feels like we are doing it for commercial purposes.”
Give a listen to their newest single, “Silenced By The Night.”
They aren’t trying to be cool and they don’t care what you think about that: Read more…
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Yuna, a songstress from Malaysia.
Yuna is already a successful singer in Malaysia, but she only recently began making inroads into the North American and European music scenes. Judging by a badass performance at the Converse Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn, her Pharrell-produced single “Live Your Life,” and scheduled performances at Lollapalooza in August, Yuna is set to conquer North America.
Origins: Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia
Full name: Yunalis Zarai
Known for: Yuna’s dazzling live performances and beautiful headscarves set her apart.
Used in a sentence: “Although Yuna describes her music as a mix between Mary Poppins and Coldplay, her sound has an unmistakably soulful quality that makes you want to sip a latte at the corner coffee shop.”
File next to: Bon Iver, Corinne Bailey Rae
Download now: “Live Your Life”
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles The Maine, an indie punk band from Tempe, Arizona.
If you’re missing some head-banging in your life, then you’re probably musically compatible with The Maine. These guys have some serious stage presence and strong vocals. They recently wrapped up their North American Pioneer World Tour with Lydia and The Arkells. If their performance was anything like the one I saw in Saskatoon, then this band definitely owned the audience and stage.
Band Members: John O’Callaghan (Vocals), Garrett Nickelsen (Bass), Pat Kirch (Drums), Kennedy Brock (Guitar, Vocals), Jared Monaco (Guitar)
Known for: This band is known for badass stage antics and strum-worthy guitar solos.
Used in a sentence: “They may be from the deserts of Arizona, but The Maine won’t hang you out to dry.”
Download now: Misery
Fun facts: Read more…
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Olly Murs,a reggae pop artist from England, that’s currently opening for One Direction on their North American tour.
Mr. Murs is yet another example of how the British are dominating North American airwaves. His career took off when he finished as the runner-up on the sixth season of The X Factor in 2009. Now he’s working on his third album, which will be released in November 2012.
Origins: Essex, England
Real name: Oliver Stanley Murs
Known for: He is known for a cheeky persona and energetic live shows.
Used in a sentence: “Olly Murs’ Catholic schoolboy appearance makes the reggae and ska influences in his music pleasantly surprising.”
File next to: Will Young, Robbie Williams
Download now: “Heart Skips a Beat” (This version features Chiddy Bang)
Notable lyrics: Read more…
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Neon Trees, an alternative rock band from Provo, Utah.
All the members of this band belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But don’t let their religious leanings fool you because they definitely know how to rock your ear buds. In July, they’re headlining the NYLON Summer Music Tour, during which they’ll be going all over the U.S., as well as Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Their new album, Picture Show, was released on April 17, 2012.
Origins: Provo, Utah
Name Meaning: “Neon Trees” comes from the lit trees on the In-N-Out Burger signs, which inspired Tyler Glenn. Oddly enough, Branden Campbell’s father designed those lights.
Band members: Tyler Glenn (vocals, keyboard), Chris Allen (guitar, vocals), Branden, Campbell (bass guitar, vocals), Elaine Bradley (drums, percussion, vocals), David Charles (touring guitarist)
Known for: Neon Trees are known for making teen angst sound cool.
Used in a sentence: “Neon Trees are like the band you wish you and your friends were awesome enough to form.”
Download now: “Everybody Talks”
File next to: The Killers, Marianas Trench
Fun facts: Read more…