Hilary Duff Releases New ‘Sparks’ Music Video (And It’s So Bad, It’s Good)

Hilary DuffSo, who is Hilary Duff?

We all know (and Love) Hilary Duff as the cute little star of Lizzie McGuire, but a lot has changed since then. After her time on the Disney Channel, Hilary has pursued a music career but never reached the heights of other child stars. Take a look at Miley Cyrus, for example, who has won global fame despite her children’s TV history. Hilary released two albums between 2002 and 2003 and found mild success, but her music did not win her the acclaim she expected. The facts speak for themselves – she has yet to become a hit musician. These days, it seems that artists are incapable of producing timeless hits, which is a real shame.

What happened next?

In 2004, she decided to release yet another EP – this time it was a little different from her previous attempts. Her third album, ‘Hilary Duff’, was a mix of strong drum solos and, sure, the odd riff from the likes of Gary’s vintage guitars. At the time, you could have mistaken her for a wannabe pop-punk princess, but it was never going to last. This girl is anything but punk – she is a pure pop star, which is what we can see from her latest musical offering.

Breathe In. Breathe Out. (2015)

Her latest album, ‘Breathe In. Breathe Out.’, is something completely brand new. Gone are the rock elements that her songs used to have. Now, it is all about catchy tunes and heavily auto-tuned sounds. Fans have already heard a few songs on the album, and it seems to be quite popular already. ‘Chasing the Sun’ was the first single from the album and fans could download it online right away. The EP is her fifth official studio album and should change the way the world sees Miss Duff. The record is due for release in June, and there is a whole load of hype surrounding it already. Some people are even saying that the album will change the young singer’s life. (We won’t hold our breath!)

The Tinder Scandal

In the midst of releasing a new album, it seems that Hillary’s mind was on other things. This girl is looking for love and, like any modern woman, she headed over to Tinder to get it. Unfortunately, when UK paper, The Independent, wrote a piece on STD’s and Tinder, they chose Hilary’s photo to use. Many fans thought it was pretty funny that the young star had suddenly become the poster child for STD’s in Britain. Luckily, the error has not harmed the singer’s career.

The ‘Sparks’ Video

There have already been a couple of unofficial videos for this song, and now the singer has finally released the official one. In the video, the former actress is sporting lovely blue hair as she dances around to the sound of her latest tune. In what appears to be a sound booth, the singer dances with two other women and hums along to the music. Playing with a large bouncy ball, she starts to sing ‘Sparks’. It is awful, sure, but you have to watch it. The tune itself is catchy, yet forgettable. There is no doubt that it will be a hit, but I dare say that it will be fleeting in its success.

For some unknown reason, there is a constant whistling in the background of the song. The sound is sure to get in your head whether you like it or not. The choreography is simple yet effective, and Hilary seems to be having a great time. All in all, it is worth a look, but don’t expect anything too special as you won’t find it here. Check out her new video here.

 

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Iggy Azalea Reschedules The Great Escape Tour

Iggy AzaleaIggy Azalea was the definition of overnight success. She appeared from nowhere with a huge single, ‘Work’ in 2013. It blew up and paved the way for an enormous career. She wasn’t exactly hiding in the shadows before this though. She spent years working on music in her native Australia before making it big in America. When she dropped “Fancy” in 2014, everything changed. It hit number one on the Billboard chart and all across the planet.

The collaboration with Charli XCX was a massive hit, but not without its controversy. It sparked tension between the rap community and Azalea. A number of artists claimed she was ripping off black culture and forgetting her Australian roots. It was a messy time for the media, and Iggy. Now, the spotlight is back on her for yet another negative reason. She has just announced an entire rescheduling of her North American tour. Dubbed The Great Escape Tour, it has been pushed back months, now starting in September.

Her team made a statement suggesting lack of promotion as the main reason behind the postponement. We think that’s code word for “they didn’t sell enough tickets”! Her management team at Def Jam records have been relatively quiet. Though they have posted the following statement. “To accommodate for creative team availability and tour productions, it was determined that the tour will not be ready this spring. It’s important to Iggy that she delivers the show she envisaged to share with her fans. That requires more time in development.”

Iggy herself spoke to GQ about the tour. She told them:  “I want everything to be right. Everything from the tour book to what someone wears. Even the right faces for the dancers, and their attitude. Everything is equally important. At the moment, I’m just trying to work on the initial stage design and making a stage that I feel like can engage in an arena that big.” She’s certainly committed to putting on the best show possible.

It is certainly true that tour production is a complex process. It requires a huge team, hundreds of audio interfaces, microphones and transport. To produce an arena tour on this scale, everything must be perfect. But, we think there are some deeper problems at play here! Rumours suggest that there are rifts in the management.

Iggy recently handed over social media control to Def Jam (her managers). It came after beef with rapper Azealia Banks and the issue of black cultural appropriation. Let’s just say it got nasty! Sounds like there are bigger problems at the heart which needs time to resettle.

Here are those rescheduled tour dates in full:

Friday, Sept. 18           San Diego, CA         Valley View Casino Center
Sunday, Sept. 20         Fresno, CA              SaveMart Center
Thursday, Sept. 24       Oakland, CA           The Oracle Arena
Friday, Sept. 25           Los Angeles, CA      STAPLES Center
Tuesday, Sept. 29        Denver, CO             Pepsi Center
Thursday, Oct. 1          Minneapolis, MN      Target Center
Friday, Oct. 2              Rosemont, IL          Allstate Arena
Saturday, Oct. 3          Auburn Hills, MI       The Palace of Auburn Hills
Monday, Oct. 5            Washington, DC       Verizon Center
Tuesday, Oct. 6           Boston, MA              TD Garden
Thursday, Oct. 8          Toronto, ON            Air Canada Centre
Saturday, Oct. 10        Philadelphia, PA       Wells Fargo Center
Sunday, Oct.11            Brooklyn, NY           Barclays Center
Monday, Oct. 12          Newark, NJ             Prudential Center
Thursday, Oct. 15        Atlanta, GA             Philips Arena
Saturday, Oct. 17        Miami, FL                AmericanAirlines Arena
Sunday, Oct. 18          Orlando, FL             Amway Center
Thursday, Oct. 22        Houston, TX           Toyota Center
Friday, Oct. 23            Austin, TX               Frank Erwin Center
Sunday, Oct. 25          Dallas, TX               American Airlines Center
Tuesday, Oct. 27         Glendale, AZ           Gila River Arena

5 Ways in Which the Face of Modern Music is Changing

MusicThe music industry has been through a turbulent couple of decades, but the music is still coming at us regularly. So, here are 5 ways in which modern music is changing and being changed!

  1. The Ever Changing Face of Streaming

Where once we listened to music on CD and vinyl, now streaming is becoming more and more common, but no less controversial. The tendency towards streaming could be even more damaging than anything the industry has seen before.

There are various companies trying to monetize the streaming of music. It’s not easy though. People are no longer used to paying for the music they listen to. They’re used to it being free. Companies like Spotify have already been accused by many artists of paying far too little to use their music.

  1. The Splitting of the Industry

The industry is becoming more and more split. There are those who are accepted into the fold of the mainstream music industry and those who are not. To an extent, this has always been the case, but the gap seems to be widening, and it’s now near impossible to bridge.

This can have a detrimental effect on music in two ways. First of all, it narrows the variation between the mainstream music we hear on the radio and see on television. And the second is that those working on the fringes find it more difficult than ever to make a living because they hit a glass ceiling quickly.

  1. New Musical Equipment

As technology and musical equipment advances, it also becomes cheaper and more accessible. This accessibility is driving a much greater level of invention and exploration for young artists who want to try something new. It’s just unfortunate that these people will be left on the margins of the music world.

Synth and drone music is proving particularly popular with new artists at the moment. The kind of range and scope offered by instruments like the Yamaha DGX 650 or the Korg RK-100S is extraordinary. This innovation will only continue as technology progresses too!

  1. The Reliance on Gigging

As musicians find it more and more difficult to make money through regular channels like sales of music, the importance placed on playing live shows increases. For many bands and artists, this isn’t a bad thing.

There are downsides to not having music sales money to fall back on. However, a lot of people prefer to listen to music live. And it can be a great way to make money for artists if they put the time and effort into generating a following based on their live reputation.

  1. The Resurgence of Vinyl

One of the most surprising developments in the music industry over the last few years has been the comeback made by vinyl records. At the end of last year, the highest number of records were sold for 18 years. That’s quite remarkable considering all we hear about the relentless march of digital.

It proves that the music industry still can surprise us and that human being still yearn for something physical in a world dominated by digital. This resurgence is also remarkable as it’s being driven by young people. Many of those young people would have been small children in 1996, the last time record sales figures were stronger.

Lady Gaga will sing on Oscar awards

Lady gagaLady Gaga was added to the list of performers who will sing during the ceremony of giving away movie awards “Oscar”. The singer joined the already announced Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Hudson and Rita Ora.
The news was confirmed to the website of Lady Gaga in Instagram, but details were not disclosed. This year’s Academy Awards will be handed out on 22 February.
It is not yet clear what will be the song, which Lady Gaga will present in front of the public, but all the fans are very excited about the new presentation of the scandalous singer.

Charli presented her new album “Sucker”

Charli SuckerThe new album Charli “Sucker” – a collection of 14 bold pop songs – already out in December in the United States, where he sold 35,000 copies in its first week, and in Australia, where immediately became the most ordered album in iTunes. In the US they record reached sixth place in iTunes. After his American debut recording received rave praise from critics, becoming part of the ranking of SPIN and Rolling Stone “50 best albums in 2014″.
Rolling Stone called itself Charli “bold pro, which is always the most fun a girl in the room.” Born in Hertfordshire star made a number of television appearances during the promotion of “Sucker”, a guest of the Saturday Night Live, Late Show with David Letterman, The Today Show and other shows.
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Sam Smith was the big winner of Grammy awards 2015

Sam SmithLast night in Los Angeles were given 57 annual awards Grammy. Show at Staples Center was hosted by LL Cool J.
The big winner of the evening was Sam Smith. The 22-year-old Briton won awards in the categories of song, record, album and artist of the year.
During the ceremony Sam Smith performed a duet with Mary J Blige.
The young singer got the Grammy awards for the most important categories:
Record of the Year – “Stay with Me” – Sam Smith
Song of the Year – “Stay with Me” (Darkchild Version) – Sam Smith
Best Performer – Sam Smith
Best Pop Album – In the Lonely Hour – Sam Smith

Will 2015 Be The Biggest Year Yet In Taylor Swift’s Insane Career?

Taylor Swift has been taking the music scene by storm for the past few years of her career. This musical superstar is amazing in every sense of the word, and her fans know it. She’s gained cult status and an army of supporters throughout her relatively short career. It would seem that the only way to go is up. So what is in store for Taylor Swift in 2015? Could this really be the year that she exceeds all expectations and outsells everyone? It’s looking highly likely.

Concerts and Appearances are what Taylor Swift does best. Getting out there on stage during tours is when she seems most alive and in the moment. She’s ultra fashionable and always looks great on stage in her outfit choices. Taylor attracts huge crowds wherever she goes. Her tours sell out in minutes, and if she’s appearing on a talk show, you can expect a crowd. Taylor Swift seems to have a talent for appealing to men and women of all ages, meaning that her live shows are filled with people from all walks of life. Her fans are renowned for following her kind spirit, and the live shows are fun and exhilarating experiences to be a part of.

Musical ability and instruments play an important part in Taylor Swift’s career. If you dream of becoming a superstar like her then Markson Pianos offer some interesting options to start with. Taylor often plays the piano when she performs live, and it proves that she’s not just a one trick pony. This superstar singer also plays the guitar. Is there no end to her talents?

The nicest pop star ever? If you have seen the recent articles and videos where Taylor Swift gets generous with her fans, you’ll soon be captivated by this star. Her generosity knows no limits and she loves to make her fans and everyone around her happy. Last Christmas she surprised some loyal fans by giving them Christmas gifts. There were plenty of smiles and hysterical screams all round. Especially when Taylor actually turned up at people’s homes to give them their gift in person. Not many musicians would go to this extent to make a difference in someone else’s life. She’s involved with many different charities and is reportedly a great friend to those she cares about. Taylor, you definitely win the award for the nicest pop star ever!

Taylor Swift

Music videos from Taylor Swift never disappoint. She’s had some cool celebrity boyfriends like Ed Sheeran and is clearly every bit as talented as him. Especially when it comes to choosing video producers or putting them together herself. Her videos are more like mini-movies and receive hundreds of thousands of views on all social media channels. Blank Space has received worldwide acclaim from fans and critics alike for its lavish and professional look. Taylor seems to relish every bit of her manic acting. This girl goes all out and gets into character doesn’t she? The fans love her and this just shows how well received Taylor Swift’s music is by all. Let’s hope she continues to be amazing during 2015 and that we see her career reach overwhelming new heights. She deserves it!

From a Nobody to Biggest Selling Artist of the Year and Bezzie of Taylor Swift: Ed Sheeran Rules!

Ed SheeranAlthough it might sound harsh, Ed Sheeran was once a wannabe artist off the radar; he was a nobody. Not anymore though! Ed has quickly gone from nobody to biggest selling artist of the year. Not just that, he has many celebrity mates, including the gorgeous Taylor Swift (but don’t insinuate that anything is going on for heaven’s sake, or Taylor will have something to say)!

Ed Sheeran has a bit of a scruffy image, but you can’t deny that he seems like a real nice guy. Many celebrities would back up that fact too. Ed was the biggest selling artist of 2014, after releasing his second album, titled ‘X’. He’s also the most searched for male celebrity on Google, after such a short amount of time in the spotlight!

He doesn’t believe in fancy shows, and instead prefers to perform with a backing band and acoustic guitar. Some would call it a very successful busk! If you wanted to do the same, I’d advise guitar training by GuitarChamps.com to be in with a chance.

Although we can all agree that Ed is a great guy, it isn’t his nice guy image alone that’s taken him to the top. His sheer ambition to make it to the top and refusing to give up his boy next door image probably helped too. He also has just the right amount of businessman in him.

Many people from all over the world enjoy covering his songs, as you can see by doing a quick search on Youtube. It’s simple to strip away all of the bells and whistles in his songs and still make them sound awesome with nothing but a camera and a guitar. Ed proves that you should never underestimate the power of being nice. Did you hear about the time Caitlin Moran, an influential journalist had something less than nice to say about Ed? She declared she’d throw her kids in a canal if they said they liked him. Classy! But that’s not all…Ed responded by giving her virtual hugs via Twitter. He cleverly sidestepped a social media row, and Moran swiftly offered a grovelling apology.

You may also have heard of Ed’s brief fling with songstress Ellie Goulding. Although nobody has approached a magazine with the complete story yet, from what we gather, Ellie did the dirty on Ed with a member of One Direction. While he wouldn’t divulge this information completely, he did write a song giving the game away. He didn’t name call, he simply told it how it went down. And that’s another thing we love about Ed. He’s honest!

Don’t fret ladies, Ed has a new shoulder to cry on. Athina Andrelos is Ed’s new girlfriend, and has recently spent Christmas and New Year with him judging by Instagram and Twitter. The couple look cute together, and we must admit, she looks stunning!

Do you love Ed Sheeran as much as we do? Let us know why you think he rules by leaving a comment!

Why Are Popstars of Today Not Considered Timeless?

music starIf you look at the charts of today, you’ll see the likes of Miley Cyrus and One Direction topping the charts. Whilst these music stars make fantastic pop songs, they aren’t really considered timeless. Even the likes of Adele and Ed Sheeran who are stars listened to all over the world will probably not be listened to in 20 years time. Yet, we have the likes of Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna and so many others that have been around for years and look set to be around for years to come.

The Quality of Music

Even if you’re a One Direction fan, you have to admit that the quality of music they offer is not up there with the likes of The Beatles, but why is that? One theory given by many music insiders is that the people making music don’t care as much. People like Michael Jackson and Prince have always written and produced their own songs.

They cared about the outcome of a track and whether it sounded good. When you have a readymade band such as One Direction, they tend to show up at the recording studio and just do what they are told. This creates a great listenable song, but many industry insiders will argue that these are lacking passion – and that is why we won’t be listening to them 20 years down the line.

The Amount of Music We Have Access To

We are very lucky to live in a generation that has access to some fantastic technology. There is no denying that technology has changed and improved our lives. What you might not have given much thought to is how this has changed the way music is made.

If you look into how a track is recorded or how an album is made you’ll find that it is a very different process to how it was 30 years ago. We can now complete the recording of songs much more quickly than we once did. With this being the case, it stands to reason that we’re going to create more music – just because it is so much easier to do.

This means that pop bands tend to concentrate on how many songs they are putting out and what their chart position is saying. When you’re concentrating so much on how much music you are putting out there, it stands to reason that quality might drop a little.

The Popularity of Brands

Without a doubt, the world of social media and the World Wide Web has changed the way the music industry works. These days it is music easier for bands to build up a following and a loyal fan base, often before they have even released their first song. With so many and vowing to support the band and buy their track, there isn’t so much pressure on the track makers to get it right. The music industry is all about sales and chart positions. If a loyal fan base is going to buy the track anyway, it doesn’t matter quite so much what it sounds like.

popstars

We can also thank reality TV for making this very much the case as well. We have seen the popularity of shows like American Idol and X Factor increase across the world. In these shows, the winner is more or less guaranteed a number one selling single. When you’re a music producer and you know that the number one name across the country is going to sell well, you don’t have to worry too much about making sure that your song stands out.

american-idol

Trends in Music

When you have people making fast music like this, you tend to have music that is created to cater to the current trends. We saw this in the ballads of 2010 and the dance music that was popular in 2014. Every other year or so we see trends changing. It is then down to music producers to create pop songs that bands can sing to cater to this.

At the end of the day the music industry is a money making machine and insiders now want ways to make that money as quick as possible. You could argue that it has become less about talent and more about what is going to sell.

Back in the day artists didn’t seem to worry as much about this. Instead, they concentrated on making music that they loved and that they knew sounded good.

Artists That Are Considered Timeless

There are so many artists that are considered timeless, but these tend to be people from over 20 years ago. If you look up a Michael Jackson song list of rare songs you’ll find many of them that you know, because his songs are and were played everywhere. If you go to a party or arrange a wedding then you’ll always have a few Madonna songs thrown in, probably alongside something by The Beatles and possibly Prince.

Even when it comes to seasonal songs such as Christmas songs, it is songs that were created a  number of years ago that we listen to and love. Even if you buy a brand new Christmas album, you’ll often find that this is modern day artists such as Katy Perry and Taylor Swift doing cover versions of songs written many years ago.

Industry insiders will tell you this is because time and effort was put into making songs. Putting a song out to the public was much harder work and much more costly. On those two points alone it makes sense that effort was put into them. The last thing the music industry wanted to do was put all that money and effort into a track that flopped. Instead, they worked hard behind the scenes to make sure that this didn’t happen.

There are many talented artists out there now in the modern day charts. However, it tends to be the singer-songwriters that are considered  memorable and timeless. Will we be listening to the likes of One Direction in 20 years time? Only time will tell!

Watch U2’s Awesome Performance at the 2014 MTV EMA’s Here

u2-emaMTV recently announced that U2 would be one of the performers at this year’s EMAs — 2014 is the 20th anniversary of the awards — making it their fourth time performing at the EMAs. Their last performance was back in 2009 when the EMAs were in Berlin, Germany.

What has the iconic band been up to recently? MTV points out that U2 surprised their fans back in September by releasing their 13th studio album for free. The album, Songs of Innocence, was the follow-on to No Line on the Horizon from 2009, and Songs of Innocence debuted in the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Top 200 despite the free release. (It also started at #1 on almost every other album chart around the world.) Also working on Songs of Innocence were world-famous producer Danger Mouse, Declan Gaffney, Paul Epworth, Flood, and Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic.

The 2014 EMAs were in Glasgow, so a U2 performance had Glasgow City Council Leader and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau chair Councillor Gordon Matheson very excited. He released a statement that the U2 performance would be welcome news to music fans across Glasgow and help reinforce the city’s “enviable reputation” as a world-class destination for music.

Additional performers at the 2014 EMAs were Charli XCX, Ariana Grande, Royal Blood, Kiesza, Ed Sheeran, Enrique Iglesias. Host was Nicki Minaj. Fifth Harmony, Jake Miller, and Nick Jonas performed from Miami for the kick off, and there are rumours that Alicia Keys will be performing. Calvin Harris’ scheduled performance had been cancelled due to illness.

The EMA performance is just one of the Irish band’s many performances in the wake of the Songs of Innocence release. They are also releasing a film project centered on the album, which will consist of a series of 11 different videos by what they describe as 11 different world-famous urban artists. Each of them will represent a different track on the album. A new tour has also been announced, fans can get U2 tickets here.

Unlike the tour, the Songs of Innocence film project, appropriately titled Films of Innocence, has not yet been officially announced by the band. However band representatives have confirmed the concept and the videos are available for pre-order on iTunes. Unlike the free iTunes release of Songs of Innocence, the videos won’t be free — to buy it on the release date of 9 December will set fans back £6.99 or £8.99 to buy the HD version.
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