Ciara Debuts "Turnt Up"

After a long weekend that found hr being served with legal papers mid-performance, Ciara hopes to put the focus back on her new music with the release of “Turnt Up.”

Premiering originally on Power106, the latest from Ciara attempts to capture the energy of club life and transform it into a 5-Minute+ track. The results are a little mixed, with a hard hitting hook that’s surrounded by less than exciting verses, but when the end finally rolls around I’m willing to wager you will have a smile on your face. You can stream “Turnt Up” below.

Ciara has a new album coming out later this year. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on “Turnt Up.” (more…)

Ciara Crafts New Female Anthem With "I'm Out"

Ever since Beyonce released “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It), ” the world has been starving for another female anthem to kickstart nights that end in blurred memories and unending smiles. Some could argue Taylor Swift has delivered such a song, maybe even more than once, but anyone claiming that need only hear the latest from Ciara to know T. Swift cannot hold a candle to what we need.

“I’m Out” brings together Ciara and YMCMB diva Nicki Minaj against a beat that all but demands you get off your butt and start dancing. Ciara intros the song asking all the ladies who hear it to get the party started, and Minaj follows suit quickly thereafter with a flurry of bars about just how she is as bad as she wants to be. The lyrical content may not be much deeper than a puddle on a hot May day, but it’s as infectious as the common cold and no amount of silly lines about luxurious lifestyles can take that away. You can stream “I’m Out” at the end of this post. (more…)

Ciara Debuts "Body Party"

Just a few weeks after first debuting the audio, Ciara has released the official video for her comeback single, “Body Party.”

Both a suggestive and silly title, “Body Party” is as sultry as pop music can get without ever losing focus of the need to entertain as many people as possible. The house party vibe of the video feels a bit too familiar to be enjoyable, but it’s hard to deny the smooth dance moves on display. You can find the video at the end of this post.

Now that a video is out it seems the comeback of Ciara is in full swing. Her new album will arrive July 9. Does “Body Party” have you hungry for more? Comment below and let us know. (more…)

Stream Ciara's New Single, "Body Party"

Ciara has been out of the pop limelight for a few years, but it seems she is back and more determined for success than ever with the release of her new single, “Body Party.”

Choosing to go the ballad route over an EDM-infused single, “Body Party” finds Ciara talking sex and romance over a beat produced by hip hop heavyweight Mike Wil Made It. It’s the kind of song you play with the lights turned low and hopes for setting the mood at an all time high, but I’m not sure it will go far as far as radio play is concerned. You can stream the single and decide for yourself, after the jump. (more…)

UnDeadmau5 Survives Club Fire

Progressive House producer, Deadmau5 had a scary run-in with an airhorn last friday playing a show at New York City’s Provocateur club in the Meatpacking District. While premiering his Twitter collaboration “The Veldt” to the crowd, the Mau5 got a little too squeaky with his airhorn, causing sparks to fly and nearly engulf the star-studded DJ booth, which included the likes of Ciara and model Hillary Rhoda, as reported by Spinner.

Sound and Vision: The Pop-Star Chatroom: Collision and Communion on Twitter

For a good time, call¦

On second thought, don’t.

That might have been what Justin Bieber was thinking in March when he found out he might be facing legal action for tweeting a fake phone number minus one digit to his 19 million Twitter followers, resulting in more than 1,000 phone calls being made to a man and a woman in Texas who threatened to take him to court. (The potential plaintiffs’ requests: an apology, concert tickets, free publicity and financial compensation for out-of-pocket expenses.)

It was a harmless enough prank, yes, but the next time Bieber tweets something, he might want to consider doing what so many pop stars are doing and tweeting it to someone who’s also famous”like his new BFF Carly Rae Jepsen, the recipient of several recent Bieber tweets, including one wishing a happy easter to his fellow Canadian and fellow Top 10 resident on Billboard’s Hot 100 (Bieber with Boyfriend, Jepsen with Call Me Maybe).

Who else is connecting on Twitter? I love you, you cray, Katy Perry tweeted on March 31 to Rihanna, who made news when she began following her ex Chris Brown on Twitter. Rihanna’s sometime collaborator Nicki Minaj had a brief war of words with Cher last November on Twitter over a third party’s misinterpretation of Minaj’s lyrics: “@cher did you know that b***h @NICKIMINAJ dissed you in her song DID IT ON EM.” Cher flipped. Minaj fans flipped, too, explaining that it was a “rap metaphor,” not a jab. Cher conceded defeat. Minaj offered, simply, “@Cher #stopit5.” Case closed.


Sound and Vision: The Fall of R&B: How Pop Is Selling Its Soul for a Dance Beat

Remember the days when R&B and hip hop was the sound of pop? From the ˜90s to the mid ˜00s, music’s most dependable hitmakersMariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Boyz II Men, R. Kelly, Usher, Brandy, Monica, Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé, among themspecialized in crossover soul, climbing both the R&B charts and the Hot 100 in tandem.

But lately, something strange has been happening on Billboard’s R&B /Hip-Hop Songs chart: A hit is no longer necessarily a hit. Just because a song is big in the R&B sphere doesn’t mean it’s big anywhere else. For the week ending April 7, 2012, only one song in the R&B/Hip-Hop Top 10Tyga’s “Rack City”had managed a comparable placing on the Hot 100.

The song at No. 1, Beyoncé’s “Love on Top,” which had been there for multiple weeks, was way down at No. 54 on the Hot 100. (It briefly entered the Top 40 last September, debuting and peaking at No. 20 after Beyoncé performed it at the MTV Video Music Awards.) Meanwhile, there wasn’t a single R&B diva in the Top 40 aside from Janelle Monae, who got there by guest-singing on rock band fun.’s No. 1 hit We Are Young.

What happened to pop’s soul? There’s a disconnect between the pop and R&B charts that hasn’t been so pronounced since the days when Michael Jackson’s label, CBS Records, threatened to pull all of its artists from MTV if the then-fledgling network didn’t play Jackson’s “Billie Jean” video.


South By Midwest

Britni Elise

Marvelous Enterprises Artist Development Center in Atlanta, Georgia, has helped launch the careers of New Edition, Usher, Keri Hilson, Aaliyah, Ciara, T.I. and many more R&B, pop and hip hop artists. And although she doesn’t hail from the ATL, Britni Elise may be the Artist Development Center’s newest ingénue. Not only does the Ohio-based singer have a limber set of pipes; she’s got a single that’s good enough to carry her into pop’s upper echelon. Rock This is a party anthem extraordinaire, a confident club banger that’s fit for prime time on the dance floor. But it’s not the only ace in Elise’s sleeve. A super charged power ballad, I Miss U lifts off at the chorus, Elise’s voice soaring over the scales. And her percussive, shimmering piano track Hello (So Damn Right For Me) is polished to perfection. With songs like these, Elise is poised for a big break into the mainstream consciousness. You can bet she’s gonna rock this.

“Rock This” – Britni Elise



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The EditoriaList: Best And Worst #1 Singles 2000-2010

This was a brutal exercise, listening to at least large chunks of every Number 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 for the years between 2000 and 2010 (I should have stopped at 2009, but I’m a glutton for punishment). Anyway, in order to avoid repetition, if a song was a Number 1 in more than one year (carried over from a previous year), I only considered it for the first year in which it hit the top spot. I thought I might see some kind of trend in quality of pop music, but no such luck”highs and lows abound throughout.


Best: Smooth by Santana featuring Rob Thomas. Rob Thomas tries really hard to wreck this song with his awful singing, but it’s still really catchy. Sorry Rob, but I’ve come from the future to tell you that you’ll have more success offending listeners with your solo record.

Worst: The epic and universal terribleness of Arms Wide Open by Creed beats out such dreck as Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon and a song called I Knew I Loved You by a band that wrote the name Savage Garden on a piece of paper, looked at it and said, Yes. Let’s name our band that. That’s not totally stupid at all.

Dishonorable mention: Independent Women Part 1 by Destiny’s Child, for opening the song with a shout out to Charlie’s Angels, the movie in which it is featured, and for kicking off the verse with the lyric, Question: Tell me what you think about me. Yeah, that’s not a question, that’s a command. What do I think about you? I think that you’re too pushy and have a tenuous grasp on parts of speech.


Vocal Points: Justin Bieber Coached Through Puberty

Teen-pop superstar Justin Bieber started heating up on YouTube at the age of only 12. His sweet voice and adorable image made him so popular that Justin Timberlake and Usher were fighting over him. But since signing to Island Records and upping his status from YouTube sensation to worldwide teen heartthrob, he has undergone many changes. Some were easy, but others required a great deal of work.

Usher, voice coach Jan Smith, and Bieber

Justin Bieber‘s voice was incredibly high at the beginning of his career, typical for a young boy who has not yet reached puberty. Since then, the inevitable happened”his voice deepened. While every kid goes through puberty, few go through it while subjected to such intense scrutiny. Since he rose to fame, people have speculated that Bieber’s musical career would end when his voice dropped. And after his noticeable voice-crack during his performance of “Pray” at the American Music Awards in November, it seemed that they may have a point. Instead of letting that performance bring him down, Bieber used it as a learning experience and invested in a voice coach to help him strengthen his voice and ensure his continued success.

His weapon of choice: Jan Smith (dubbed ‘Mama Jan’ by Usher, who is also coached by her). Smith has coached stars like Ciara, Rob Thomas and Trey Songz, and her work with Bieber has helped him to learn the difference between singing for fun and singing as a profession. When Bieber was initially discovered, he sang because he loved doing it. But now he has been forced to learn discipline and the necessary steps required to sustain a career based on his voice. This is why a voice coach is so essential for Bieber. He needs someone with experience to guide him in learning vocal technique and to make him practice every day.










Michael Jackson is a great example of a child star who was well disciplined. His voice started out as male soprano and he was able to sustain it with great success as a high tenor after his voice changed. Jackson’s voice coach for most of his career was Seth Riggs, who rehearsed with him for at least two hours a day, six days a week. This kind of training strengthens the voice and allows singers to be at their best despite the fact that they are performing day after day, week after week.

Bieber’s voice has already grown significantly, but it is time for him to mature and take responsibility for keeping his voice strong. He can rely on Jan Smith for help, but it will be ultimately up to him and how seriously he takes his voice training.