Beyonce urged U.S. voters to “take action to dismantle a racist and unequal system” as she accepted the Humanitarian Award at the virtual BET Awards on Sunday night.
The 38-year-old singer was introduced by former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, who paid tribute to her philanthropic efforts as well as her musical success.
Following tributes from Tyler Perry and her mother Tina Knowles-Lawson, Beyonce used her speech to encourage fans to vote in the upcoming U.S. election in November in the hopes they can collectively try and change the system.
“I want to dedicate this award to all of my brothers out there, all of my sisters out there inspiring me, marching and fighting for change,” Beyonce said, referencing the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. “Your voices are being heard, and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain.”
Beyonce is the perfect example of using an immense public platform for good, we hope more artists will follow in her footsteps.
In a sweet seaside Q&A video on the Girl on Fire star’s YouTube channel, the musicians discussed how their family life has been affected by the Covid-19 crisis over the past few months, and answered questions from fans
Beginning the segment, Alicia asked whether the two had ever spent as much time together as they had during their coronavirus pandemic, to which Swizz shook his head and said: “This is, like, married married married.”
The singer went on to admit that she’s “loving” having some downtime, and confessed: “For (the children) to wake up knowing that we’re always there, for us to wake up, always being there — it’s kinda cool.”
We can’t wait to see what this talented singer-songwriter may have cooked up for fans during lockdown.
Following the unveiling of her debut single ‘Coke & Mentos’ last month, Sydney singer-songwriter Tia Beale has just released her latest single ‘Do It Over’. It speaks lyrically of the devastating loss of a close friend of Tia’s to suicide. The haunting vocals throughout the track truly captivate the listener and transport them to the memories that TIA reflects on.
The sophisticated 20-year-old hails from Sydney’s Northern Beaches and studied at Sydney’s Australian Institute of Music (AIM), initially harbouring dreams of becoming an actor. Watch her unparalleled performance in the stunning video for ‘Do It Over’:
Like most of her music, ‘Do It Over’ is recorded in collaboration with music industry veteran Steve Clisby, who has played alongside everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Kool & The Gang and Chaka Khan. This soulful track definitely marks TIA as one to watch in 2020.
“Breathe Again is an honest, deeply human, yet energising release, likely to make waves throughout 2019…the song makes for a bold and beautiful introduction to an artist with a clear love for and dedication to her craft” Stereo Stickman
In 2019, Italian star Vina Rose released an unforgettable ‘pop banger’. Her single ‘Breathe Again’ received critical acclaim, demonstrating a vocal prowess that’s sure to brighten up the UK pop scene. The artist has recently made the move to London to build her career, leaving her fame in Italy behind.
Now Vina Rose is set to wow new audiences with her fresh EP Crossroads. It’s a musical project that really allows her talents to show. From the anthemic ‘Heart of Gold‘ to the dark and brooding dance-inflected title track, which sees her reflecting on the momentous decision she made to relocate at the height of her career, it’s clear this artist is one to watch.
Vina Rose has performed alongside the likes of Italian superstars Andrea Bocelli, Zucchero, Alexia and Giorgia, both across numerous festivals and on television. Similarly, Vina has appeared on TV shows around the world: on the BBC (acting in the production Victoria and Albert -The Royal Wedding) and ITV as well as hugely popular worldwide hits such as Dancing with the Stars and MTV Unplugged.
Elvic Congolo is known for making ‘Congo-Funk’ but his upcoming single ‘Our Story’ is a more heartfelt tale of how love can fall apart.
Elvic himself explains “Our Story”: When I hear “Our story”, I picture a beautiful relationship between two people. Their relationship was fantastic, they were in paradise. Unfortunately, their love couldn’t conquer the obstacles coming their way and it did not last”.
The song is a strong but gentle reminder that we often find happiness by remembering what we have in common with other people, not what divides us.
Hailing from the small village of Vittangi in the northernmost part of Sweden, is Yajna. A singer, sportsperson, and businesswoman, who has tried her hand at many careers, but always gone back to her ultimate passion – music.
Having grown up surrounded by music, her mother being a composer and organist in the local church, Yajna starting writing songs of her own from a young age, as well as becoming a star soloist for the local choir. However, in her teenage years, her talents saw her embark on a snowboarding career, going as far as to start her own company INACTION.
But in 2018, Yajna finally decided to follow her heart, to become a music artist. Her debut single, Natten Lång, was a storm of success across Swedish radio, but London was the place she found her true sound. It was there she recorded her recent trilogy, The Rising Phoenix, an epic and dreamy mix of soul and RnB.
The trilogy features singles ‘You Are Beatiful‘, ‘Femenomenal‘, and title-track ‘The Rising Phoenix‘. The songs take you on a journey through Yajna‘s life, from the ashes of her lowest moments, to her emergence from the fire. Ultimately, wishing to spread a message of hope, love and power.
After losing their singer to a top West End production, it could have all been over, but Jody and the Jerms have emerged better than ever, and with a new vocalist taking center stage. Their new single, He Doesn’t Know Me Much At All, is a collaboration between guitarist Liam Jeger, drummer Alex Bridge, and newcomer Jody on vocals – who between them have performed alongside the likes of Radiohead and Supergrass.
Already having seen success overseas, receiving significant play on one of Spain’s largest radio stations, RTVE, Jody and the Jerms looking to announce their first 2020 live dates in the very near future.
The group previously saw much success as The Anydays, and are now broadening their musical horizons from the indie genre, infusing their sound with power-pop and new wave. With a fresh new look, and a fresh new sound, this is sure to only be the beginning for Jody and the Jerms.
Following her iconic release ‘Rebuild This Land’ that reflected on rebuilding the unity of countries after the Brexit decision, PachYa continues to enforce this message through her music with the release of ‘Kind of Different Human’.
Having lived in the UK for 10 years PachYa was settled with her child and surrounded by friends, however when the referendum signaled that Britain planned to leave the European Union it was as if opinions changed over night and PachYa subsequently felt that it was necessary for her to move back to Poland.
Now using her music to “unite” people in a time of divide, PachYa echoes the electronic beats and dance rhythms of Alan Walker and INNA and combines them with her crisp vocals to create tracks that elicit the universal joy of dance.
Singing in Italian, Polish and English Language, PachYa reinforces the need to rebuild bridges and to concentrate on what binds us together as people, not what divides us.
Having emerged onto the music scene as the songwriter behind Carmen Grey – one of Finland’s biggest ever rock bands, Tommi Tikka has partnered with fellow lyricist Antti Autio to form The Impersonators, a two-man project journeying away from the generic production that’s typical of producing music while signed to a major label. From a period of having been signed to Sony/BMG came a longing to have complete artistic control over the final product, and thus gave rise to a duo which masquerades as a full band, born of the living room instead of the studio. In utilising all of his ability as a competent instrumentalist, Tommi notes that he feels like he’s impersonating all of the members in his imaginary rock group.
Speaking ahead of their forthcoming EP ‘Sad Cafe‘, released 22nd March this year, Tommi discusses their journey up to this point:
“The reason why The Impersonators took the shape it did was that I wanted to have complete artistic control over how my songs were produced. Writing and recording for major labels was awesome and I am so grateful for everything they did but at the same time, I wasn’t always happy with the sounds and the final product. My goal was to avoid the sterile production typical of modern pop/rock.”
From the perspective of style, The Impersonators’ goal is to nurture and cultivate the creativity, spirit and warmth that graced the pop records of yesteryears – realised through poignant lyrics, emotive music and sixties-flavoured vocal harmonies. Partnered with their producer – Janne Saska, The Impersonators are a group of two songwriters, whose inspiration is inherently true to life.
“If you start with the lyrics and the story, it’s somehow easier to find the right mood musically. I like to write autobiographical songs that reflect what’s happening either to me or around me in real life. I dislike ‘cool’ love songs. I don’t think there’s anything cool about being in love – so much of it is actually difficult and unnerving. Love make you vulnerable and aimless in so many ways. It’s trusting the other person with your happiness and ultimately, with your life.”
Previous outfit Carmen Grey had enjoyed no less than 8 top-ten hits, including Tommi’s proudest feat ‘Gates of Loneliness’, which stood as the most played song in his native Finland during 2010. However, outside of the security of the ready-built music machine which generates both hype and distribution, it’s of little surprise that The Impersonators had struggled to take the first steps towards success in their own right:
“I pestered a few local labels trying to get them to sign us, but it was a real challenge getting them to listen to our stuff. One guy said to me that he’ll listen to the CD if I bring it to him dressed as Santa Claus (Christmas was just around the corner) and give everyone at the office a small present. I surprised him when I showed up with a sack of candy canes and, obviously, a CD.
You can just imagine his surprise when he realised it was me. He did listen to the CD, and although he didn’t sign us, he gave us a few names that turned out to be very valuable for us. It was a fun afternoon all in all and as the two absolutely gorgeous secretaries wanted to sit on Santa’s lap, I consider it an out-an-out success.”
He also reflects on his past with Carmen Grey detailing some crazy stories and experiences such as supergluing their manager’s door shut during a stint in Berlin:
“We cut the phone cord and stole the battery from his mobile phone, so he couldn’t call for help. It was a prank and we were supposed to let him out after an hour or so, but then we received the news that our song was #1 in Finland and forgot all about him. That evening at the airport we realised he was missing. Obviously, all it took was a quick call to the hotel and the help of the local fire department to get him out. He was pissed off but calmed down after a huge bouquet of flowers and a very, very expensive bottle of cognac.”
Tommi explained that his approach to life, music and everything in between has long since been in accordance with one of Abe Lincoln’s most famous quotes: “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count; it’s the life in your years.” Musically, this EP is etched in subtlety. Stylistically reminiscent of the bejewelled power-pop of The Go-Betweens, the effortless song-writing genius of Matthew Street and the immediacy and worldliness of early R.E.M., ‘Sad Cafe‘ succeeds in delivering timeless studio-based alt-pop melodies.
Emanating from Ukraine is the refreshingly modern and exquisite voice of DIYÂ, launching her international career to bring to life a refreshingly honest take on her innermost feelings and experiences. DIYÂ started her journey towards becoming an artist at an early age. From playing piano from the age of 5, she quickly found that an accompanying musical talent was to be realised through her voice. So it was to be that after school she went on to study at the Kiev Municipal Academy of Variety and Circus Arts as a vocalist. Despite an enjoyable experience in a local cover band, there was always a lingering inner sense that she was destined to become a star in her own right:
“My musicians were much older than me – they were like old rockers who were comfortable to perform with such a young lady in sparkly glamour clothes, because it does not matter what I look like. I can feel the songs I’m singing and the range of my voice gave me a lot of options to sing anything from girly songs to cool hard rock songs. When all the people were jumping and dancing near the stage, I felt so cool in those moments, but sad at the same time because I felt that I must sing my own songs, and it was my dream that people would also enjoy to listen to them” – DIYÂ
This is a journey that is universally relatable and comes from a standpoint which is much further rooted in sharing her own views than it is about selling records. With the story behind the tracks focusing on different pivot points of her life, there is something inherently personal on offer with becoming a part of the experience. Sometimes thrilling, but occasionally shattering, each song has been meticulously crafted to accommodate the inner expression of her state of mind within that given moment.
She has spoken openly about whether her parents gave her enough support to pursue her dream, but her own determination to succeed has made her a lot stronger since then, and this is something they look back and laugh about now. There’s always something to be said for music that taps in to that spiritual centre within you and causes those beams of happiness to pierce the skin. In an world saturated with all kinds of external forces competing for your attention, what we have here is an ambience that cuts through the clutter to reach your inner voice and find peace.