To read the story of how Rachel Platten gave me the chance of a lifetime, please go here
Hello, I’m so excited to announce that I got the chance to write a new article for Beat Media which gives you 8 songs you need to add to your playlist ASAP. You can read it and share it with your friends and family by clicking here.
My first video book review will be up on Wednesday!
Chances are, you’ve sang this loudly while sitting in traffic:
Boys seem to like the girls
Who laugh at anything
The ones who get undressed
Before the second date.
I bet you would be shocked to realize that it wasn’t penned and performed by someone who is only 17.
Grace Martine Tandon who is known by her stage name Daya (Hindu for compassion and kindness) is a 17 year old rising pop star from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the age of 3, Daya began to learn the piano, eventually converting to jazz piano at the age of eleven. By this time, she had also learned to play the guitar, ukulele, saxophone, and flute. On April 22, 2015 her debut single “Hideaway” was released. It hit #23 on Billboard’s Hot 100. She signed with Artbeatz and her debut EP Daya (released on September 4 2015) debuted at #61 on Billboard’s Hot 200. Her debut album Sit Still, Look Pretty was released on October 7, 2016.
Song by Song Review
“Dare”: The first track off the album is full of dark horse vibes and a girl who even though young is wise beyond her years and knows who she is and who she wants to be and isn’t afraid to share that in this track. It’s a track that asks the listener to dare her to prove something to you, knowing full well she’s already going to exceed everything they are limiting her with. Contains electronica influences, a subtle use of vocal harmony, a mild rhythmic syncopation,and prominent percussion.
“Lengendary”: Originally from the Daya EP, it discusses living in the moment with someone. It features electronica influences, prominent percussion, and major key tonality.
“I.C.Y.M.I”: This track standing for “in case you missed it” is catchy and hashtag-worthy with it’s message of being totally over someone but they keep trying to hit you up. It features electronica influences, prominent percussion, and a subtle use of vocal harmony.
“Thirsty”: We’ve all met a member of the opposite sex who would not take NO for an answer and they were making you lose your cool (not to mention your appetite) with how “thirsty” they were coming off. Almost like the Daya version of Meghan Trainor’s “NO,” except this one contains electronica influences, mild rhythmic syncopation, and prominent percussion.
“Love of My Life”: With Carribean-style rhythms and influences, this track is catchy with a loud “HERE’s WHAT I’M ABOUT” message with lyrics like:
I could like you ’til the day that I die-ie-ie-ie (ie-ie-ie, ie-ie-ie)
But, I’m looking for the love of my li-i-i-ife
“Hideaway”: Daya, who walks out and is bold in her standards, in this bouncy track, Daya bemoans the lack of standards when it comes to her male dating pool, and wishes for a man who actually respects her.
“Cool”: The newest synthopop promotional single off the album, this track has the feeling of just sitting back and cruising while holding hands in a car with an unknown destination which is a perfect metaphor for a healthy relationship: exciting and thrilling but should be stable like a car ride down an empty street. Features r&b influences, romantic lyrics, and intricate melody phrasing.
“Sit Still, Look Pretty”: The title track off the album and the song that made me sit up and pay attention to Daya as an artist. It’s like the 2016 answer to a song that was popular in 1997, Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.” It’s a girlpower anthem taken to the next level with the track starting out with whistling on the backtrack. Girls shouldn’t have to be treated like objects or toys but instead of have their own lives and their own goals and ambitions and not be afraid to pursue them. It also makes me think of a post that Alicia Keys shared on Instagram and I had to repost it because it was totally on point.
“Talk”: I had this song on repeat from the first time I heard it because it is a lot like Pink’s “Just Like Fire.” It’s like a total purple in my hair anthem. It’s all about being who you are and not caring what people think and jumping out of the boxes that people try to place you in. Grace co-wrote it with her team, which makes me like it even more. Features of the musicality include electronica influences, extensive vamping, a vocal-centric asthetic, and a subtle use of a horn section.
“U12”: This song reminds me of the song version of the 80’s movie Sixteen Candles. It’s about having these feelings for someone who everyone seems to have an opinion about but you are letting them know that you don’t care what anyone says as long as they want to fall in love, you are ready to fall with them. Originally featured on the Daya EP.
“Words”: Rhythmically, this is my favorite song off the album because it has Latin influences and romantic lyrics. It’s about feeling close to someone but not wanting to say “love” yet because words only get in the way.
“Back To Me”: A synthopop ballad of always feeling second best to someone you continue to put first and how you have to come back to who you are, realize your worth, and walk away in confidence knowing someone better will come along but learning to love yourself in the meantime. This is another favorite off the album but was originally featured on the Daya EP.
“Got The Feeling”: Carribean rhythms and influences make up this track with layers of vocal harmonies during the breakdown.Lyrically, you see a song about liking someone but not loving them but still like being around them, almost like a fling.
Ain’t no keepin’ us from doing what we love (we love)
‘Cause we love it too much
The final track off the standard version of the album comes with a strong final statement from Daya, someone who’s young in years but wise beyond them and not afraid to be all that she is and tell others that they are free to due the same. Thank you Daya for standing up for the youth everywhere (especially young women like yourself) who dare to set the standard instead of meet it. And thank you for staying classy in the process!
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— The Smart Cookie (@TSCPhiles) October 16, 2016
Just writing that title made me choked up. I am still not over the fact that young and beautiful Christina Grimmie has passed away. Yet, was amazingly impressed with the way her team decided to share each of the four tracks off her Side A EP with each of the music videos that could be one long extended play final film that Christina starred in.
Snow White: This music video introduces us to the character of Jessica Blue who Grimmie and the music from the EP is portraying. Debuting on her Youtube channel on August 11, 2016, this one made me cry my eyes out because it was the first time I had seen new footage of Christina since that last performance video was shared. Yet, overall, whoever edited the music to match her lip syncing in the video did a poor job and I was worried all the videos were going to turn out this way.
Thankfully, the next video proved me wrong and set my worries at ease.
Her vocals slay on this track and coming from someone who hadn’t listened to the full EP, I was really impressed with the video, it’s editing, and the imagery and direction of this video. Christina stuns in that rooftop still. Wow.
This is by far my favorite music video because not only is this my favorite song off the EP because I relate to it but Christina sneaks in some of her personal values within it by having the lead grandmother say to Jessica: See that girl right there. She’s beautiful exactly how she is. Plus, you can really see Christina’s pure musical talent in this one and on this track.
One of the last tracks Christina ever performed live, this video is eerie because it shows Jessica at a live performance but to see Christina pretending to perform live knowing she isn’t ever going to again really shook me here. Yet, I love how beautiful she looks and sounds in this final video.
RIP Christina, you will forever be missed. You will forever be loved. Your music will live on to carry the message that was your life.
Devil horns included. At least that’s what I picture the CD cover saying of this track. It has serious bad-boy vibes from 19 year old Boston independent artist, Greer aka Christian Wilson. Blow Your Mind is an EDM pop anthem about taking the fast track when you meet someone. It has a very enticing rhythm and ear-worm potential lyrically.
When you think of the numbers 7/27 what do you think of? For most Harmonizers, this is the birthday of the girl group that keeps them motivated to chase their dreams and become bosses, much like it’s five founding members. Founded during the second season of the X-Factor made up of Ally Brooke (22), Normani Kordei (20), Dinah Jane (18), Camila Cabello (19), and Lauren Jauregui (19), they finished third on the show and signed a joint deal with Simon Cowell’s record label and L.A. Reid’s Epic Records.
Their debut album, Reflection reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 200 before being certified gold a year after it’s release in February 2015. Since they are pop music role models, they’ve gone on to have music featured in a Hershey’s commercial, become the face of Kohl’s Candie’s brand, and also the faces of the Clean & Clear brand. Despite their youthful ages, each lady in the group Fifth Harmony is seriously smart, sassy, and fierce and no person can deny their music packs some serious girl power!
7/27 is the girl group’s second studio album released on May 27, 2016. Since it’s release, it’s debuted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 200.
Song by Song Review
“That’s My Girl”: Featuring writing from hit singer-songwriter Tinashe, this track features themes of female empowerment despite the struggles we face as women, and has a drumline-type musicality, melody, and rhythm.
“Work From Home”: The lead single off the album which was Fifth Harmony’s highest charting single to date, features rapper Ty Dolla Sign and is a “fun, flirty song” that’s musicality will have you putting in work on the dance floor. My favorite part of the track is when Ty raps: “She’s the bae, I’m her boo.” For me, this is the anthem of anyone who works freelance or remotely.
“The Life”: A song that should be used in a car commercial because of it’s EDM musical influences, co-written by Tinashe, this track discusses the youth of today living the life. Lauren said this about the collaboration with Tinashe, “She has really sick melody flows and lyrics. It’s very cohesive with us. It’s drawing from the same experience.”
“Write On Me”: A romantic track featuring musical elements of an acoustic guitar, is about drowning in someone’s story because you love them so much and everything about them, vocally the girl’s slay on this track. Co-written by Priscilla Renea, it features her signature musicality and songwriting style and produced by Norwegian DJ Kygo who gave this track it’s tropical house influences.
“I Lied”: This track is definitely one of my favorites because it’s got a great beat and it talks about how you think you found and felt love once before but you lied because this is love like you’ve never known. It’s a electronic love-ballad that references Mary J Blige’s Real Love.
“All In My Head (Flex)”: Co-written by the girls and featuring Fetty Wap, this reggae fun and flirty dance track is hella catchy. It’s the second promotional single off the album and is definitely a future earworm that will in fact, be stuck in your head.
“Squeeze”: A melodic song written by Priscilla Renea, it talks about wanting some comfort in a time of vulnerability. The squeeze is the action of a hug – a strong yet comforting hug. For all the times you need somebody to hug but there is nobody physically there for you, turn on this song and you will feel like you are getting a hug just by listening to this song – ‘Squeeze’. It features sample music from Fly by Sugar Ray.
“Gonna Get Better”: 5H Member Ally Brooke says this song perfectly expressed the emotions she was feeling the day they recorded this ballad. Musically, it has a reggae sound.
“Scared of Happy”: Another Tinashe-written track, in this song, it tells a story about a girl who used to be unafraid and strong but got hurt. And now that she has found another one, but she is having second thoughts because he might hurt her or leave her (like the last guy did to her). She is afraid to love again because of the hurt she has encountered with in her past. It very much sums up the scars that betrayal and abandonment cause.
“Not That Kind of Girl”: Right away, when I first heard this track I could hear the 80’s style vibes. Written and featuring Missy Elliot, this track talks about a girl who has standards and isn’t afraid to let guys know what they are. To me, this track sounds a lot like Janet Jackson’s “Creep” but in a totally original way. This song is now my phone’s ringtone.
My favorite line is in Missy’s rap verse: “You think I’m a THOT? Forget that.”
“Dope”: A track off the deluxe version of the album, it features a signature Fifth Harmony sound with their in sync harmonies and vocal ranges. It talks about the vulnerability that comes when you care for someone but lack the confidence to tell them how you feel.
“No Way”: Recorded two years prior to this album original slated for Reflection, this track written by Victoria Monet is a ballad that talks about two people’s relationship and how everyone else views it but only the two of them no the truth of the situation.
Overall, Fifth Harmony once again did not musically disappoint and is about to embark on the 7/27 tour with opening acts JoJo and Victoria Monet, starts on June 22 in Lima, Peru.
There are many trains to jump on nowadays. Yet, if you’re smart like myself, you’ll hurry up and join the MTrain bandwagon. Meghan is no newbie in terms of music. She’s been writing songs since she was 11 years old growing up in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Her first ever published song was 19 when she co-wrote a song with country duo Dan and Shay and “DJ Tonight” and “I Like The Sound of That” were born, and later cut by country supergroup Rascal Flatts. At the young age of fifteen, she home-produced her first three albums, Meghan Trainor, I’ll Sing With You (acoustic), and Only 17. Trainor attended Berklee College, and is a musical prodigy with the ability not only to write and sing songs but she can play piano, guitar, ukelele, percussion, and trumpet.
Not only is Meghan a musical force to be reckoned with at the young age of 22, she’s a prominent voice for body love no matter your size and self-love being the healthiest and most important form of love other than the healthy relationship Trainor has with her adorable parents, who supported her from the moment she was 12 years old, and told her dad she was going to be a pop star, and he would need to buy her a tour bus. Her personal style is ’50’s crooner meets the timeless beauty of Marilyn Monroe. She’s helped me and millions of other girls see that you should love yourself for who you are, and never be ashamed for what you look like even if you aren’t a size 2. #ThankYouMeghan
Meghan wrote “All About That Bass” but found no artists would use it. With incredible gutsiness, Trainor performed it on ukelele for Epic Records chair, L.A. Reid. It was released as her first single as a signed artist on June 30, 2014, and its music video became a viral sensation. “All About That Bass” reached number one in 58 countries and became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with worldwide sales of 11 million units as of December 2014.
Trainor’s three home-produced albums were pulled from circulation in anticipation of her major label album, Title, which was released on January 9, 2015. It debuted atop the Billboard 200 charts, making Meghan the 13th artist with a #1 single and #1 album. It was the 9th best-selling album worldwide of 2015.
Thank You was released on May 13, 2016 from Epic Records and musically inspired by Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and Bruno Mars.
Song by Song Review
“Watch Me Do”: A James Brown feel, this song produced by Ricky Reed, is a sassy self-love anthem about “doing your thing.” My favorite part is the bridge: I’m the shhh, be quiet/I’ve been on a low-hater diet.
“Me Too”: This has to be my favorite off the album right now mostly because it’s so catchy and it’s the second single off the album. It’s Trainor’s club banger co-written with Jason Derulo that once again promotes self-love in a healthy way and good luck not dancing to this one when you hear it. The video for this was pulled because a heavily edited version photoshopped Trainor’s waist to an unrealistic size and she pulled it because it gave mixed messages. Once again, #ThankYouMeghan
The first single off the album, about a hard rejection, and standing up for being okay with your independence while out at a club or a party, it’s Trainor’s joke with L.A. Reid. The track is a powerful woman’s anthem.
“Better:” Containing soca elements and featuring, Yo Gotti this track is about realizing that the person you are seeing isn’t up to your standards, and letting them know that.
“Hopeless Romantic”: This is one of my favorites off the album because this track is my response to all those Nicholas Sparks movies, saying how they set one’s expectations at a unrealistic level but either way, I’m not giving up on love. It reminds me of an old-school ballad.
“I Love Me”: This is another favorites off the album because it’s just too catchy not to dance and sing along too. It’s a song celebrating who you are as an individual. Featuring Lunch Money Lewis, it reminds me of a song that you can dance to or kids to double-dutch to.
“Kindly Calm Me Down”: A piano ballad that shows sassy Trainor’s vulnerable side. Trainor wrote it when she 18 about her father’s battle with cancer and she pitched it to fellow pop singer Christina Aguilera who didn’t cut it because it didn’t fit her album when it was in its final stages.
“Woman Up”: Co-written by Hot Chelle Rae bae Nash Overstreet and Taylor Parks, this girly song is about being strong after a break-up with dance pop musicality complete with reggae elements.
“Just a Friend To You”: A track written and performed on a ukelele, it’s a song about seeing a friend as more but you can’t do anything about it because the circumstances aren’t right.
“I Won’t Let You Down”: With Carribean vibes, the song comes off as if Trainor is singing to her parents but it’s actually a self-actualization song about bettering oneself.
” Dance Like Yo Daddy”: A song inspired by dancing with her dad in the music video for “Better When I’m Dancing” which she wrote for the Peanuts movie, it’s a song she co- wrote with Kevin Kadash for both her dad and for the love of dancing.
“Champagne Problems”: A dancy song she co-wrote with Ryan Tedder last for the album after she had a problem with the album and her manager said to her, “Don’t forget. You have champagne problems.” It’s a song about problems that are so miniscule you don’t really need to worry about them.
“Mom”: Featuring Kelli Trainor in the bridge, this “mom song” is one that can bring emotion and fun. This song is showing Meghan’s thanks to her mom for being the best mom she can. She is also expressing the love her mom gives towards her, to her fans and of course, her mother! As someone who’s best friends with her own mom, I love this song a lot because it has the same musicality of “Dear Future Husband” but brags on moms everywhere.
“Friends”: Co-written with Ryan Tedder, it celebrates spending time with friends with a sound much like a “Bob Marley track.”
“Thank You”: The title track off the album where Trainor personally thanks her fans for helping her live her dream everyday it features R City and leaves the album on positive note.
Overall, this is another solid banger of an album and for that, we’d all like to “Thank You” to Meghan for being such a light musically and teaching young people to be okay with who they are. You are a role model and are the only popstar I know who does press in a onesie and heels. Keep slaying, girl.