Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Fergie DigitalSpy Interview: Talks New Album & BEP

Save a fantastic contribution to the Great Gatsby soundtrack with 'A Little Party Never Killed Nobody', it has been six years since we had a new single release from Fergie.

However, that wait ended last September with the premiere of the Black Eyed Peas star's new single 'LA Love (La La)', which will finally be available in the UK this weekend (January 25).

Digital Spy caught up with The Dutchess of pop to talk about her new single, its accompanying album and why she may not reunite with Black Eyed Peas later this year.

It's been six years since your last solo material, so what was it about 'LA Love' that made you decide it was the perfect track to return with?
"Well I did it and I just didn't want to sit on it and hold it. I felt like I was ready to call out to the world and say, 'What's up?' basically. I'm finishing this album and I'm coming with everything. I just didn't want to wait any longer."

Did you know as soon as it was finished that it was going to be the first single?
"It just felt good and the right time to spread some positivity. It felt right to me because there's all this craziness going on in the world right now. That's basically why. There's just so much going on with all the terrorism and ISIS and all of that, I just felt like I wanted to spread some chill Cali vibes."

There is such a love for The Dutchess and the singles that came from that album, so were you nervous about launching your second solo project?
"No, I'm deep in it right now as we speak. I'm going to the studio after I get off the phone. I'm completely involved in finishing the album and I'm razor-sharp focussed. I am engulfed in it. Every song is different, so for me, I'm really enjoying going into each song's vortex - from the lyrics to the sound of it, to what it looks like visually, not only in the video, but the performance - and sharing things that I've been writing for the last few years. I've been recording myself every time I get inspiration. I always write it down - it's my rule. Taking those ideas and evolving them into finished songs is such a great process that I remember how fulfilling it is to me."

How long have you been accumulating ideas? Has it been since the release of The Dutchess?
"Absolutely, because with a Black Eyed Peas album, there's not enough room for me to go into my personal feelings about everything. That's what you have a solo album for. So they're each their own animals. I'm very proud of it and I'm very excited to play it for everyone. It's definitely a lot of different styles all in one album, because I want it to represent me truthfully. It wouldn't be me if it just leant to one certain thing."

Is there a particular emotion or idea that it gravitates towards more, though?
"Each song is different. I mean, every one. That's all I can say. They're all just different facets."

You've worked with DJ Mustard on 'LA Love', but can you tell us who else you've been in the studio with?
"I'm going in with Doctor Luke today. Words can't express what I feel about the song we're doing today. I was in with last week. I've been in with Mike WiLL, Polow da Don, and the list keeps growing because I keep forgetting there are people where I'm like, 'Oh my gosh - I want to get in with them'. The process right now for me is just so fulfilling and reminds me of when I was recording The Dutchess."

We love your R&B material, but we know you're a big fan of old-school rock, so can we expect some of that influence in there?
"Absolutely - it's going to be all over the map."

Just how rock can a Fergie album go?
"We'll just see! [laughs] I mean I could do an entire album that's all rock. I'm not doing that, but there has to be a little bit of that in there because it's a part of me."

When are you hoping to get the album out?
"It's definitely this year. I'm working as fast as I possibly can making quality songs." has become somewhat of a national treasure in the UK because of The Voice.
"I know - I love it! I don't follow it, but I have switched it on before just to check in and see how he was doing. It's the perfect job for him. This is what he is meant to do."

Your name has been rumored a few times for these kind of shows, but is it something you'd consider doing?
"Oh I'm definitely open, there just hasn't been the time." also let slip recently that the Black Eyed Peas are going to be doing something special for their 20th anniversary this year, so have you guys met up to discuss that yet?
"Not really. I was just in the studio last week and I saw Taboo there, and I heard something will was doing and it was great. But maybe the guys are doing something? I haven't been in the group for 20 years, so it's more their anniversary of being together for 20 years. So maybe they're putting out an album themselves."

(Note: Fergie officially joined the band in 2003 so it is actually her 12th anniversary as an honorary Black Eyed Pea. That said, new BEP music without Fergie is a bit concerning.)

But when you guys get together I imagine the chemistry clicks back. You must be in contact all the time, right?
"Well I just saw Taboo at the studio for a few minutes, but I'm working on my stuff and I only have a certain amount of hours I can be in the studio because I have Axl. So I'm just very focussed on finishing my album right now."

How are you finding the balance between being a mother and being a recording artist?
"Oh I am on a regimen! I'm like queen of the iCal. I have everything scheduled in, marked in colors, all of that. I have to be at the studio a certain time and then I'm like Cinderella - I turn into a pumpkin! I gotta go! I used to hang out in the studio day in day out, but I don't have time to do that anymore. I've got to balance my life."

Not many people in the UK realize that you've been in the entertainment business for 30 years now as we didn't really get Kids Inc here in the 1980s. If you could go back to 1989 and give Fergie, the girl who was just about to leave the show a piece of advice, what would it be?
"It would be to trust your gut because when I've done that, it's worked for me. If you can see the pathway clearly, you can take the steps to make it happen. It doesn't matter what anyone else says or what their thoughts are, of what they think you should be doing. They just don't see your vision yet."

The album will definitely be out this year, so are you hoping to tour it?
"Hoping? I'm going to! There's no hoping - I'm doing it! I'm coming for you."

Are we going to be getting some dates in the UK?
"Absolutely, 100 per cent. I am coming for you - remember I said that! I will be bringing the LA Lovebus over there."

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Keri Hison Sings to a barely empty arena

Jacques Peterson wrote:
Remember Keri Hilson? The songwriter-turned-singer has a handful of hits to her name like Pretty Girl Rock and The Way I Are with Timbaland, but it’s been four years since she last released an album.

The 32-year-old opened for Lenny Kravitz at a concert in Dallas over the weekend, but she became the target of online ridicule after footage of her performing for a barely-there crowd hit social media. The audience reportedly increased once Lenny hit the stage, but barely anybody showed up to see Miss Keri Baby do her thing.

Well, Keri decided to clap back at her critics on Twitter–and her response was pretty damn perfect.

“I spent my day being ridiculed for getting paid $100,000 in one night, to do what I love 4 years after being publicly relevant. FML.

You’ve gotta love Keri for this. Not only did she spill the tea on how much money she made, she also acknowledged that she hasn’t been relevant in years–something most celebrities NEVER do, even if they know it’s true.

Now I suddenly want a Keri Hilson comeback. Hopefully something happens this year, coz it’s been WAY too long.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Grammy Noms are out!

Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX, “Fancy
Sia, “Chandelier
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off
Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass

Beck - "Morning Phase"
Beyoncé - "BEYONCÉ "
Ed Sheeran - "x"
Pharrell - "G I R L"
Sam Smith - "In The Lonely Hour"

Hozier, “Take Me To Church
Sia, “Chandelier
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off
Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass

Iggy Azalea
Sam Smith
Brandy Clark

John Legend, “All Of Me (Live)
Sia, “Chandelier
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off
Pharrell Williams, “Happy (Live)

Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX, “Fancy
A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera, “Say Something
Coldplay, “A Sky Full Of Stars
Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj, “Bang Bang
Katy Perry featuring Juicy J, “Dark Horse

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Cheek To Cheek
Barbra Streisand with Various Artists, Partners
Annie Lennox, Nostalgia
Barry Manilow, Night Songs
Johnny Mathis, Sending You A Little Christmas

Coldplay, Ghost Stories
Miley Cyrus, Bangerz
Ariana Grande, My Everything
Katy Perry, Prism
Ed Sheeran, x
Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour

Basement Jaxx, "Never Say Never"
Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne, "Rather Be"
Disclosure Featuring Mary J. Blige, "F For You"
Duke Dumont Featuring Jax Jones, "I Got U"
Zhu, "Faded"

Ryan Adams, "Gimme Something Good"
Arctic Monkeys, "Do I Wanna Know?"
Beck, "Blue Moon"
The Black Keys, "Fever"
Jack White, "Lazaretto"

Paramore, “Ain’t It Fun
Beck, “Blue Moon
The Black Keys, “Fever
Ryan Adams, “Gimme Something Good
Jack White, “Lazaretto

Ryan Adams, "Ryan Adams"
Beck, "Morning Phase"
The Black Keys, "Turn Blue"
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, "Hypnotic Eye"
U2, "Songs Of Innocence"

Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z, "Drunk In Love"
Chris Brown Featuring Usher & Rick Ross, "New Flame"
Jennifer Hudson Featuring R. Kelly, "It's Your World"
Ledisi, "Like This"
Usher, "Good Kisser"

Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z, "Drunk In Love"
Usher, "Good Kisser"
Chris Brown Featuring Usher & Rick Ross, "New Flame"
Luke James Featuring Rick Ross, "Options (Wolfjames Version)"
Jhené Aiko, "The Worst"

Jhené Aiko, "Sail Out"
Beyoncé, "BEYONCÉ"
Chris Brown, "X"
Mali Music, "Mali Is..."
Pharrell Williams, "G I R L"

Childish Gambino, “3005;
Drake, “0 To 100 / The Catchup
Eminem, “Rap God
Kendrick Lamar, “i
Lecrae, “All I Need Is You

Common Featuring Jhené Aiko, "Blak Majik"
Eminem Featuring Rihanna, "The Monster"
I Love Makonnen Featuring Drake, "Tuesday"
Schoolboy Q Featuring BJ The Chicago Kid, "Studio"
Kanye West & Charlie Wilson, "Bound 2"

Nicki Minaj, "Anaconda"
Kanye West & Charlie Wilson, "Bound 2"
Kendrick Lamar, "i"
Wiz Khalifa, "We Dem Boyz"
Drake, "0 To 100 / The Catch Up"

Iggy Azalea, The New Classic
Childish Gambino, Because The Internet
Common, Nobody’s Smiling
Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP II
Schoolboy Q, Oxymoron
Wiz Khalifa, Black Hollywood

Hunter Hayes, “Invisible
Miranda Lambert, “Automatic
Eric Church, “Give Me Back My Hometown
Carrie Underwood, “Something In The Water
Keith Urban, “Cop Car

Kenny Chesney, “American Kids
Miranda Lambert, “Automatic
Eric Church, “Give Me Back My Hometown
Glen Campbell, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You
Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill, “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s

Dierks Bentley, "Riser"
Eric Church, "The Outsiders"
Brandy Clark, "12 Stories"
Miranda Lambert, "Platinum"
Lee Ann Womack, "The Way I’m Livin’"

Ziggy Marley, "Fly Rasta"
Lee “Scratch”, "Perry, Back On The Controls"
Sean Paul, "Full Frequency"
Shaggy, "Out Of Many, One Music"
Sly & Robbie & Spicy Chocolate, "The Reggae Power"
SOJA, "Amid The Noise And The Haste"

Alt-J, "This Is All Yours"
Arcade Fire, "Reflector"
Cage The Elephant, "Melophobia"
St. Vincent, "St. Vincent"
Jack White, "Lazaretto"

American Hustle
Get On Up: The James Brown Story
Guardians Of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Vol. 1
The Wolf Of Wall Street

Tegan And Sara Featuring The Lonely Island, "Everything Is Awesome!!! (From The Lego Movie)"
Ed Sheeran, "I See Fire (From The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug)"
Glen Campbell, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You (From Glen Campbell, I’ll Be Me)"
Idina Menzel, "Let It Go (From Frozen)"
Scarlett Johansson & Joaquin Phoenix, "The Moon Song (From Her)"

John Legend, "All Of Me (Tiesto's Birthday Treatment Remix)"
Crossfingers Featuring Danny Losito, "Falling Out (Ming Remix)"
Bastille, "Pompeii (Audien Remix)"
Five Knives, "The Rising (Eddie Amador Remix)"
Galantis, "Smile (Kaskade Edit)"
Mr. Probz, "Waves (Robin Schulz Remix)"

Arcade Fire, “We Exist
DJ Snake & Lil Jon, “Turn Down For What
Sia, “Chandelier
Pharrell Williams, “Happy
Woodkid featuring Max Richter, “The Golden Age

Beyoncé & Jay Z, "Beyoncé & Jay Z: On The Run Tour"
Coldplay, "Ghost Stories"
Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & Judith Hill, "20 Feet From Stardom"
Metallica, "Metallica Through The Never"
Pink, "The Truth About Love Tour: Live From Melbourne"


Sunday, November 2, 2014

'Anything That Connects': A Conversation With Taylor Swift

Melissa Block: I enlisted some expert outside counsel for this interview: my 12-year-old daughter. And I want to start with a question from her. "In your hit song 'Shake It Off,' why'd you address the song to your haters and not your motivators?"

Taylor Swift: That's amazing. With the song 'Shake It Off,' I really wanted to kind of take back the narrative, and have more of a sense of humor about people who kind of get under my skin — and not let them get under my skin. There's a song that I wrote a couple years ago called "Mean," where I addressed the same issue but I addressed it very differently. I said, "Why you gotta be so mean?", from kind of a victimized perspective, which is how we all approach bullying or gossip when it happens to us for the first time. But in the last few years I've gotten better at just kind of laughing off things that absolutely have no bearing on my real life. I think it's important to be self-aware about what people are saying about you, but even more so, be very aware of who you actually are, and to have that be the main priority.

Here's a related question about the same song, from a 7th grader. She's thinking about the lyrics, and she says, "That sounds a lot like middle school. Do you have anything that you can tell a middle school girl to help 'shake it off'"?

She's exactly right. When I was in middle school, I had this fantasy — and I really thought this was how life worked — that when we were in school, we had to deal with bullying and kids picking on you for no reason, or making you feel like somehow don't deserve what you want, or you're not what you should be. And I thought that when you grow up and you're not in school anymore, when you're out there in the world with adults, that it's not like that anymore, that people don't attack each other for no reason or try to tear each other down. And I realized when I grew up that it's the same. It's the same dynamics, except we're not walking from classroom to classroom.

It's just interesting how you have to learn how to deal with this at one point or another in your life because people don't necessarily ever grow out of those impulses to pick on each other. Some of us do; some of us realize that's something you do when you're insecure, you try to lash out at someone else. But a lot of people will always do that to other people. So I guess what I try to encourage girls who are in middle school to do is to figure out a way to distract yourself from that negativity. Figure out what kind of art you love to create, or your favorite hobby. Something to throw all of your energy into. And realize that you're gonna have to learn how to cope with this at some point — because it's never going to end, necessarily.

There's definitely a different sound on this new album. You've left country completely behind; this is a really highly produced electronic pop album. But you also say to your fans in the liner notes that "this is a different story line than I've ever told you before." I'm not sure I'm hearing that — so what do you think is new about the storyline in these songs?

In the past, I've written mostly about heartbreak or pain that was caused by someone else and felt by me. On this album, I'm writing about more complex relationships, where the blame is kind of split 50-50. I'm writing about looking back on a relationship and feeling a sense of pride even though it didn't work out, reminiscing on something that ended but you still feel good about it, falling in love with a city, falling in love with a feeling rather than a person. And I think there's actually sort of a realism to my new approach to relationships, which is a little more fatalistic than anything I used to think about them. I used to think that, you know, you find "the one." And it's happily ever after, and it's never a struggle after that. You have a few experiences with love and relationships, and you learn that that's not the case at all. Lots of things are gray areas and complicated situations, and even if you find the right situation relationship-wise, it's always going to be a daily struggle to make it work. So those are different themes that I don't think people have really seen in my lyrics before.

Is the song "Wildest Dreams" maybe an example of that?

That's actually a really good example of the way I go into relationships now. If I meet someone who I feel I have a connection with, the first thought I have is: "When this ends, I hope it ends well. I hope you remember me well." Which is not anything close to the way I used to think about relationships. It's that realization that it's the anomaly if something works out; it's not a given.

Are there new musical influences here? Some music reviewers have been mentioning the influence of Lorde or Lana Del Rey or maybe Robyn in some of your songs. What do you hear?

I hear Peter Gabriel and I hear Annie Lennox. Those were the two artists that I was listening to a lot when I was making this record. What Annie does is so interesting to me, and it's not something you could ever try to duplicate. But the way she conveys a thought, there's something really intense about it. And I think that's I'll always aspire to.

And what about Peter Gabriel?

With Peter, that's an artist who has such incredible taste and such an incredible finger on the pulse of what would excite people, musically. What he was doing in the '80s was so ahead of its time, because he was playing with a lot of synth-pop sounds, but kind of creating sort of an atmosphere behind what he was singing, rather than a produced track. It was just kind of astonishing how he was able to do that. And then you see him in his later work, when he did that album full of modern-day covers. I mean, I just think that he's remarkable at giving people what they want, but they didn't think they wanted.

I want to ask you about the song "Out Of The Woods." There's this intriguing lyric in there about somebody "hitting the breaks too soon, 20 stitches in a hospital room." What's that about?

That line is in there because it's not only the actual, literal narration of what happened in a particular relationship I was in, it's also a metaphor. "Hit the brakes too soon could mean the literal sense of, we got in an accident and we had to deal with the aftermath. But also, the relationship ended sooner than it should've because there was a lot of fear involved. And that song touches on a huge sense of anxiety that was, kind of, coursing through that particular relationship, because we really felt the heat of every single person in the media thinking they could draw up the narrative of what we were going through and debate and speculate. I don't think it's ever going to be easy for me to find love and block out all those screaming voices.

Not to ignore the broader metaphor here, but I am curious about the actual event. What happened?

I'll bet you are. That's kind of between us, between the two people who it happened to. I think I put it in the song knowing it was an evocative lyric. And it was almost like this very strange, subtle clue to the media that they don't know everything that happened in that relationship, and they don't know everything that happens in my life, and I can have something really major and traumatic happen to me and they don't know about it.

How rare are those moments? When you feel like you can do something on your own that nobody will know about if you don't want them to.

It's strang,e because my life now is really abnormal. I get used to the fact that when I go out, there's gonna be a line of people wanting pictures on their phone, and there's gonna be crowds everywhere, even if there weren't crowds when I walked into a store. I realize the only privacy I'm really entitled to is when I'm in my own apartment or my own home, 'cause everything else is kind of — I'm looked at as sort of public property. And there's nothing I can do about that perception except control my mental perspective on it, which is, I need to treat people well. I need to be grateful. I need to take pictures with people when they ask for one. So if I'm not in the mood to do that, I don't leave my house.

You also do, in a certain way, make yourself pretty accessible through social media, right? You've been posting Polaroids of your fans holding your new album on your Twitter feed. And you chose fans to invite over to your various homes to have listening parties for the new album — made them cookies, I thin? You do have this funny dynamic of bringing people in a very managed way, in a very calculated way, and then having to figure out where the boundary is.

Well, yeah. I like for them to be in situations where they feel they can be themselves. Places they can't be themselves are when they're being pushed up against a barricade and there are thousands of them outside of a talk show, and they're trying to get a picture but they're screaming and everybody's freaking out. They can't necessarily be themselves when they're in these chaotic situations where fans usually find themselves.

I did this thing called the 1989 Secret Sessions a few months ago, way before the album came out. I had spent months picking fans on Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter — people who had been so supportive and had tried and tried to meet me, had been to five shows or however many events but had never met me before. And so I picked these people. And in every single one of my houses in the U.S. and my hotel room in London, I would invite 89 people over to my living room, play them the entire album, tell them the stories behind it. And I'd say, you know, you can share your experience, but please keep the secrets about this album a secret. Let's not talk about lyrics before the album comes out. Let's not talk about song titles. And if you see anybody leaking music, please let us know.

We spent four hours together each night, taking Polaroids and having a great time and giving them a chance to tell me their stories that they wanted to tell in their own time. Not being rushed. Not having to feel panic. And then they went back out into the world, and they kept those promises. They didn't talk about lyrics. They didn't spoil the secret for other fans. Two days before the album came out, it leaked online, and it was the first time I've ever had an album leak without it trending on Twitter — because my fans protected it. Anytime they'd see an illegal post of it, they'd comment, "Why are you doing this? Why don't you respect the value of art? Don't do this. We don't believe in this. This is illegal. This isn't fair. This isn't right." And it was wild seeing that happen.

What do you think other artists could take from that? You are having huge success with this album at a time when a lot of artists can't sell albums to the same extent as they used to.

Well I truly believe in the album. From the start of making one to the time it's finished, I focus on there being a visual theme and emotional DNA to it — including the physical package. I mean there has to be an incentive to go to a store, buy a CD. What people who are forecasting the downfall of the music industry don't think about is that there is a still a huge percentage of the country who drive their kids to school every day and play a CD and listen to it with their kids – there's a CD in the CD player in their car. So I understand that the industry's changing and a lot of people are streaming. However, there are a lot of people who aren't, which is what this release reflects. And so, in the physical CD, we've done an exclusive at Target that has three extra songs. It has three songwriting voice memos from my cell phone that were, you know, the initial rough rough ideas that I had; we put those on the album so people can have insight into the songwriting process. I have five sets of 13 Polaroids from the album photo shoot that are in an envelope in the CD, and depending on what album they get, they'll get a different set of polaroids with lyrics written on the bottom of them. So it's very much an experience that's different than downloading the music itself. It's almost like this kind of collector's edition, the physical copy.

I can imagine other singers listening to this saying, "You know, that's great for Taylor Swift. She has the resources to do all that. It's great marketing, but it's not art — and the rest of us are on a different playing field. We just can't compete with that."

I think that the way that the music industry is changing so quickly, we can learn something from every big release, anything that connects with people. At the end of the day, this is a case by case scenario. If some other artist tries to has the same exact marketing campaign, tries to do secret living room sessions, that's great — if it makes a connection with their fans. If it doesn't make a connection with their fans, then it's not gonna work for them. And I think that what we need to start doing is catering our release plans to our own career, to our own fans, and really get in tune with them. I've been on the internet for hours every single night figuring out what these people want from me. And when it came time to put out an album, I knew exactly what to do.

Let's think back to when your first album came out, when you were 16. You'd moved to Nashville with your parents to try to make this dream of yours come true. You were writing really personal songs about young love and your broken heart. Can you go back to those songs now? I mean, is there any way you can tap into that 16-year-old girl — or even younger, when you wrote them?

I wrote my first album when I was 14 and 15, so now we're going on 10 years of making albums right now. The formula has never changed, in that I try to make an album that best represents the last two years of my life. People have essentially gotten to read my diary for the last 10 years. I still write personal songs, and sometimes people like to put a very irritating, negative, spin on that — as if I'm oversharing, as if it's too much information — when this has been the way I've lived my life and run my career the entire time. So I do think it's really important that I continue to give people an insight into what my life is actually like, even though it comes at a higher cost now.

If you were to go back and perform one of your earliest songs, a song like "Tim McGraw," say, from your first album, could you connect? Could you go back to the girl who wrote that song as a young teenager?

Yes and no. When I do a live show, there are certain songs fans really want to hear, and I'm gonna always play those songs. There's a song called "Love Story" that I wrote when I was 17. I'm going to be playing that as long as I'm playing concerts. And I can go back and I can connect to that song — because of the stories I've heard from fans saying, "We walked down the aisle to that song," or how special I feel it was when that was our first No. 1 worldwide hit. But "Tim McGraw," that song I don't really connect to as much. I connect to it in the form of nostalgia, but that was a song about a first love. I'm in a very different place in my life right now, and I think you can only hope to grow so much, emotionally, that you can't necessarily connect to wide-eyed 15-year-old ideas of love anymore.

I've been thinking about that song — I was listening to it today — because it feels to me like "Wildest Dreams" is in many ways the 10-years-older version of "Tim McGraw," of telling somebody, "Look back and remember me this way." In that song it's a black dress and in the new song, I think it's a fancy dress.

Absolutely. I didn't think about that at all. The only difference is that "Tim McGraw," I wrote that song about a relationship that had already ended, hoping that he would remember me well. "Wildest Dreams" is about a relationship that is just beginning and already foreshadowing the ending of it.

Like I said, I am the mother of a 12-year-old girl, and she loves your music. Her friends love your music. You have a huge platform among a very vulnerable, impressionable set of the population. And I wonder if you think about turning your lens outward, turning it away from the diary page, and sending a broader message to girls who would be really receptive to hearing about big ideas and the big world that's outside.

Like what kind of messages?

Well, other characters. I don't mean to minimize the effect of a love song or a pop song. But do you ever think about writing about other experiences, things that might turn girls away from themselves in a different way?

There's nothing that's gonna turn girls away from themselves at age 12. I think that it's really important that I speak about things in interviews that I'm passionate about. I have brought feminism up in every single interview I've done because I think it's important that a girl who's 12 years old understands what that means and knows what it is to label yourself a feminist, knows what it is to be a woman in today's society, in the workplace or in the media or perception. What you should accept from men, what you shouldn't, and how to form your own opinion on that. I think the best thing I can do for them is continue to write songs that do make them think about themselves and analyze how they feel about something and then simplify how they feel. Because, at that age — really at any age, but mostly that age — what can be so overwhelming is that you're feeling so many things at the same time that it's hard to actually understand what those emotions are, so it can turn to anxiety very quickly.

We are dealing with a huge self-esteem crisis. These girls are able to scroll pictures of the highlight reels of other people's lives, and they're stuck with the behind-the-scenes of their own lives. They wake up and they look at their reflection in the mirror, and they compare it to some filtered, beautiful photo of some girl who's really popular and seems like she has it all together. This is not what you and I had to deal with when we were 12. It's so easy and readily available to compare yourself to others and to feel like you lose.

I'm 24. I still don't feel like it's a priority for me to be cool, edgy, or sexy. When girls feel like they don't fit into those three themes, which are so obnoxiously thrust upon them through the media, I think the best thing I can do for those girls is let them know that this is what my life looks like. I love my life. I've never ever felt edgy, cool, or sexy. Not one time. And that it's not important for them to be those things. It's important for them to be imaginative, intelligent, hardworking, strong, smart, quick-witted, charming. All these things that I think have gone to the bottom of the list of priorities. I think that there are bigger themes I can be explaining to them, and I think I'm trying as hard as I possibly can to do that.

I'm really surprised to hear you say that you never feel cool or edgy or sexy. I mean, you spend a lot of time on red carpets. You go to fashion shows. Those three words don't fit into your view of yourself?

Not at all. I mean, going back to your daughter's age, I think a lot of our self-esteem and self-image is frozen in those formative years. And that was not a time in my life where I felt accepted or invited or like I belonged. And so I've kind of come into my own in that I no longer prioritize feeling those things.

You mentioned earlier you try to talk about feminism. What does feminism mean to you?

I mean, by my basic definition, it means that you hope for equal rights and opportunities for men and women.

And how does that play out in the music world that you're a part of? I mean, do you feel like that's not an issue for you anymore?

It's an issue every day that I read a headline that says, "Careful, guys. She'll write a song about you." Meanwhile, I have best friends who are male musicians and songwriters, who write songs about their girlfriends and their ex-girlfriends, and that joke is never made about them. As women in public eye, our relationships are tallied up in ways that they aren't for men. And if men have a lot of relationships that are tallied up, it's thought of as mischievous, cheeky. "Oh he's just out again with another girl." It's somehow done with a wink and a smile and for us, and it's supposed to be shameful, if we've had a few relationships that haven't worked out. When I open up a magazine and it says, "Who's the hotter mama: J-Lo or Beyoncé ?" You don't see, "Who's the hotter dad: Matt Damon or Ben Affleck?" It just doesn't happen. And if we continue this perception that women should be compared to other women and there's a winner and a loser, we're doing ourselves a huge disservice as a society.

Taylor Swift, thanks so much for coming in to talk to us. I appreciate it.

Thank you; it's been good to talk to you, too. Tell your daughter "Hey," from me.

Charli XCX 'Sucker' Official Tracklist

1. Sucker
2. Break the Rules
3. London Queen
4. Breaking Up
5. Gold Coins
6. Boom Clap
7. Doing It
8. Body of My Own
9. Famous
10. Hanging Around
11. So Over You
12. Die Tonight
13. Caught in the Middle
14. Need You Love

Rumored Selena Gomez "For You" Tracklisting

Was found on

01. The Heart Wants What It Wants
02. Come & Get It
03. Love You Like A Love Song
04. Tell Me Something I Don't Know
05. Who Says
06. My Dilemma 2.0
07. Round & Round
08. Forget Forever
09. Slow Down
10. A Year Without Rain
11. Naturally
12. Mas (More - Spanish Version)
13. Bidi Bidi Bom Bom (With Selena Quintanilla-Perez)
14. Falling Down
15. Do It

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Adele to sign $128 million deal with Sony.

Adele in talks to sign £80 million [$128 million] record deal that would see her given her own label

Adele is in talks to join music giant Sony in a staggering £80 million [$128 million] deal that would see her given her own record label.

The Someone Like You star has clashed with current label XL Recordings over the direction of her hotly anticipated new album and is in *negotiations to exit after eight years.

She released her two hugely successful albums, 19 and 21, with XL but bosses at Sony – home to George Michael, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and One Direction – are determined to entice the international superstar.

And part of the deal, one of the biggest in history, would see Adele tour [properly] for the first time.

Her XL contract demands a third album but head honchos at Sony are attempting to “buy her out” of the obligation.

Initially, Adele’s management are understood to have wanted £100 million [$160 million] for the switch but they’re believed to be *considering a more modest offer. What’s £20 million [$32 million] between friends?

The massive amount of cash is no surprise – she’s the biggest music star in the United States and smoking-hot property.

The behind-the-scenes grapple explains to fans why she’s yet to release another album.

A source said: “Sony want Adele and they will stop at nothing to get her. The money is absolutely huge but they hope she will sign for her own label.

“It means she’ll keep a higher percentage of profits from record sales and the proposed tour.

“She has never been on the road before so it will be a huge money-spinner and likely to sell out within hours.

“All of the signs are there that Adele will go to Sony and it would be a massive coup.”

Adele, 26, is already signed to Sony in the US [though Columbia Records] although XL look after her releases elsewhere.

A Sony spokesman declined to comment on the mighty big bid to bag Adele.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Carrie Underwood Is Making History with SITW

The First Single from Underwood’s Greatest Hits: Decade #1 Achieves the All-Time Mediabase Record for Most Impact-Week Stations!

With More than 124,000 Copies Sold, “Something in the Water” Marks Underwood’s Best-Selling First-Week Single of Her Career!

Nashville, TN – Superstar Carrie Underwood is making waves and making history with her compelling new single, “Something in the Water,” the first single from her December 9 album release, Greatest Hits: Decade #1. Released on Monday, September 29, “Something in the Water” has amassed more than 124,000 digital sales to date, earning the highest first-week sales tally of Underwood’s career. The sales figure also marks the best opening-week sales of any female country artist in 2014.

With today as its official airplay impact date, “Something in the Water” has set the all-time record for a country single at Mediabase, achieving a massive 144 total stations on impact date.

In all, the single tallies a whopping 157 first-week stations on board, including Billboard and Country Aircheck reporting stations.

On the Mediabase country airplay chart, “Something in the Water” explodes onto the chart at #25, tying Underwood’s previous personal-best debut (2007’s smash, “So Small”) and also tying the highest debut of any artist in 2014.

On the Billboard Country Airplay chart, Underwood further notches a career-high chart entry, as the single debuts at #17, simultaneously achieving the year’s highest debut for a solo artist.

Named last week’s USA Today Song of the Week, the publication praised “Something in the Water,” lauding the song’s production and “the purity” of Underwood’s vocals.

Produced by Mark Bright, and written by Underwood, Chris DeStefano, and Brett James, “Something in the Water” is available for sale here:


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Just noticed that...

My pages views have more than doubled for the past couple of weeks so that pretty awesome to see.  I'm sorry for not updating as much because I am currently working 6 days a week with a new temp job.  But I will still try to update as much as I can.

Madonna Extends Sessions With Diplo & Pushes Back Album #13

Billboard wrote:
Madonna's been hard at work on her upcoming new album -- as evidenced by her prolific posts on Instagram -- and is planning for it to be released in 2015, according to a representative.

Among those she's working with is super-producer Diplo, who has turned up in multiple photos on the diva's Instagram account. It's unclear if Diplo (who recently graced the cover of Billboard magazine) is materializing as the album's primary producer, but it would seem that he could play a significant role in the project.

When asked specifically about Diplo and his involvement in the album, Madonna's manager Guy Oseary told Billboard, "She's currently in the studio with Diplo and having a lot of fun," but didn't offer any further clues about the project. Alas.

In his Billboard magazine cover feature, Diplo said that he's had multiple studio sessions with Madonna that have resulted in at least three "amazing, smashes." "I got really lucky because she's been really understanding and open to my ideas. And she's like, 'I hate sleeping…'"

Madonna's next album is due out on Interscope Records, and -- based on a glance at her Instagram feed -- may also feature collaborations with Toby Gad, MoZella, S1, Ariel Rechtshaid, Avicii, Natalia Kills and Martin Kierszenbaum. On last week’s Pop Shop Podcast, Kierszenbaum — the head of Cherrytree Records who also records as Cherry Cherry Boom Boom — told Billboard that he was “very proud” of the work he completed with Madonna in the studio.

“It was a real privilege to write with Madonna, and with Natalia Kills,” said Kierszenbaum. “We ended up writing about seven songs. We were meant to only be there with her for a couple of days, but we really distilled it down to a very traditional writing session. It was just me on the piano, and Madonna and Natalia Kills around it, and we just wrote songs the old-fashioned way, just playing the piano and singing. … I don’t know what she’s gonna use from the sessions, but it was a tremendous honor.”

Madonna’s last release, 2012's MDNA, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart -- her fifth consecutive No. 1 studio album and her eighth chart-topper overall.

Zedd Interview from Billboard

Vice and Absolut Vodka teamed up Friday to host a high-glam industrial rave on a pier in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood that featured performances by electronic hip-hop producer AraabMuzik and Washington, D.C. DJ Alvin Risk, as well as a surprise headline set by Zedd.

The Grammy-winning German house producer -- whose electro-pop hits "Clarity" and "Break Free" have hit the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 -- revealed himself in a climactic arrival, climbing out from a shipping container that was lowered onto the stage. And as the crowd erupted in excitement, cameras rolled for an Absolut advertising campaign documenting the rave dream scene: Long entrance corridors shaped by storage containers opened into a neon-lit stage with food trucks, sprawling bars, selfie-photo booths by the Phhhoto App, colorful drinks served in mason jars and above the dance floor hovered a gigantic mirrored disco ball designed by the Vita Motus, which designs Coachella's Do Lab. (In other words, it should make for a pretty cool commercial.)

Billboard caught up with Zedd before his surprise set to find out when we can expect his long-awaited second album.

Billboard: You have a partnership with Bud Light Platinum. Does working with Absolut compliment or compete with that? How did it come to be?

Zedd: I don’t see it as competitive. Both brands are very involved in this cultural space of dance music, and they allow me to be very involved in the concepts. For me, that’s super important. Major events like these take a lot of hands, and Absolut sent me sketches of how it might look and asked how I thought the reveal should go, and so on. When I showed up here tonight, the final product blew my mind. I’ve never done anything like this before.

How’s your hearing? I read you had a hearing-loss scare in one ear.

Being constantly around noise is obviously not great for you, but I am always wearing earplugs. Ironically, it actually happened when I had a few days off and hadn’t been around any noise at all. The doctor said it was a combination of stress and not getting enough sleep and so on. Go figure. But it’s all good now.

You’re one of the few EDM producers to have serious success on the pop charts. Do pop stars hit you up all the time now?

A lot of people are asking, for sure, but I barely have enough time to finish my own stuff. Whenever I do something, I have to love it. Ariana [Grande] is a great example of that. We played a show together a few moths ago and I just loved her voice. It was amazing. So when the opportunity to do something came up, we jumped. That was a no-brainer.

What do you take into consideration when sorting out collaborations?

When it’s about getting a singer for my tracks, it is strictly about the voice. I will have created a song and have a specific idea in my head about what kind of vocal texture I want on it. From there, I dig through iTunes and listen to everything until I’ve nailed down examples of the type of voice I want. I tell my manager who I’m aiming for and we’ll search for artists that have similar voices.

For artists that ask me to produce for them, the rule is I have to love it. Sometimes, it happens that I'll have made a great track that doesn't quite fit my own album, so I open it up for other people to work with. I tell my A&R that if they have someone who might fit this song, I'm open to it. I’d always rather have someone else benefit from a song than throwing it away.

What's the status of your next album? Who are you working with and who do you want to work with?

The honest truth is that I don’t know yet. I talked to Hayley Williams about doing another song together and we definitely want to, it’s just a matter of finding the right one. Aside from that, I’d love to work with Muse and Silverchair, because I grew up in bands and they really inspired me. But nothing is confirmed, that’s just my wish list.

Pardon the phrasing, but what’s taking so long?

No it’s true, it’s taking forever. It’s hard to find time to sit down and focus on it. I’ve written most of the songs but the production process is long for me – making them sound the way I want them to sound, finding the right vocalists, and so on. I might put out a single or two in the next six months or so, but I need to get off the road for a little while. The plan for the second half of this year was to play less shows and do more studio work. I do a lot of Vegas shows and I literally stay in the studio until 9 p.m., hop on a plane and fly over to get on stage by midnight. That way I can still get a full studio day in. Anyway, I'm hoping that by early next year, it will be wrapped. But we'll see.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cody Simpson update - ready for the next stage of his career

Already a big name in the US, Simpson has split with his record label there and is soon to release a duets album with pop superstar Justin Bieber.

“Everything is going well at the moment,” Simpson told Confidential on the phone from his Los Angeles home.

“Things are picking up. It is just like I’m on the edge of a new phase in my career and I’m starting to fall into my own, musically and creatively.”

Cody Simpson feels he is ready for the next phase of his career ... at the ripe old age of 17.

He continued, confirming he had parted ways with America’s Warner/Atlantic Records but said it was too early to “make any announcements just yet” on his new label.

“I just actually finalised leaving my record label, I’d been trying to do that for a little while,” he said.

“I’m moving over somewhere else. It was just time for me to find a new home and a new team and a new fresh set of hands on my project and a vision that matched my own.”

Simpson burst onto the international charts at the age of 14 with breakthrough single Pretty Brown Eyes, in 2011. He and Bieber share a manager in Scooter Braun.

Simpson shares a manager with Justin Bieber in Scooter Braun.

The pair will release an original album by November.

“It is a smack bang duets (album),” he explained. “Justin has been a good mate of mine for a while. Its just us writing. He told me he felt like I’d figured myself out and have grown into what he knows I will be so he was like, ‘I see you as that guitarist, singer songwriter you’ve always wanted to be’. I play all the guitars on the album.”

As for Bieber’s bad boy reputation, Simpson said: “I can’t speak for him. I don’t get involved in any kind of drama, we are definitely different people and come from different places and different worlds but as far as to me, he has always been extremely cool and generous.”

After that collaboration, Simpson, who recently competed on Dancing With The Stars America, will record a new solo offering for early next year.

“That is going to very much be a big step for me musically,” he said. “It is tough, I’m definitely just kinda hitting the reset button and going back to my roots.”

Simpson hasn’t been home to Australia since Christmas. He’ll be guest of honour as he performs with the Australian Girls Choir on board Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Legend ship as it sails into Sydney for the first time on September 22. Fans can win a chance to be in the audience by registering via

“We’ll do a few live songs up on the deck,” he said, adding that his must do’s in Australia include “eating a meat pie and catching up with my mates”.

“I’m just looking forward to being home, there’s no other feeling like it because I am always travelling.”

He’s also vowed to return when he turns 18 in January. The legal drinking age in the US is 21.

“I am definitely without a doubt going to celebrate my 18th back home, I”m really looking forward to it,” he said.

On a personal note, Simpson is “single at the moment”, having recently dated American model Gigi Haddad.

Britney Spears renews contract and is RECORDING NEW MUSIC

When she’s not performing, she’s at home in a creative space writing and recording music. They confirm she’s renewed her contract with label RCA.

In my off-time I do record. Once in a while I’ll just go into the studio if there’s a really good song that I have in my head and want to do. I think as artists you’re constantly in creative motion. If I stopped writing songs then that’s a part of me that would stop in my life, and I need constant motion… I’m definitely more in a creative space now. You have more time to go there spiritually in your home with a piano than you would being in a hotel room.”

Rihanna and others to be featured on Kanye's new album.

It’s arguably fall’s most mysterious and highly anticipated album -- and the less West says about it, the more curiosity grows. He reportedly has been spending a lot of time in the studio with -- get this -- Paul McCartney, but no word yet on whether a full-blown collaboration is in the works. Confirmed studio guests include everyone from Rick Rubin, Rihanna and Q-Tip to Yeezus collaborator Evian Christ, Young Thug and Young Chop. West was reportedly smitten with Beyoncé’s sneak attack, so expect this one to drop with little-to-no notice. -- Jem Aswad

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sorry for not posting again but I have a legit reason now!

I finally got a JOB!!!  It's  not the greatest job in the world but it's a job. i should be making more frequent posts soon.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Selena Gomez Signing New Record Deal Soon

Selena Gomez headed to NYC this week to focus on work. And being the amazing/lovely/incredible person that she is, she spent some time with her Selenators as well.

One mega fan met Selena multiple times throughout the week (#lucky), including one day when Selena GAVE HIM A RIDE IN HER CAR. Seriously, she scooped him up and let him join her in her car—because she's the coolest person ever!

And not only did she give him a ride, but Sel also shared some major career news that the lucky super fan revealed in the tweet below (get ready to FREAK OUT):

Selena's in NYC to sign a new record deal, finish the album, and getting scripts for 3 new movies my queens coming back BIG watch out y'all!

Are you excited for new Selena movies and music? What kind of movie do you hope she stars in next?

Full @

X Factor: Fifth Judge Concept Revealed

The X Factor 2014 is set to get another new, fifth judge for the live shows… and a new category for them to mentor.

Louis Walsh, Cheryl Cole, Simon Cowell and Mel B kicked off auditions last month and will go into the live shows later this year mentoring – in no particular order – the Boys, Girls, Overs and Groups.

But – according to the Metro newspaper – a fifth ‘wildcard’ category will be introduced along with a brand new judge to mentor them for the finals.

The wild card category will be made up of a mix of acts from the other categories who failed to make it into the live finals in their original respective groups of budding performers.

“Simon Cowell is planning on including a wildcard category which will be mentored by a mystery fifth judge,” an insider told the newspape today. “There was a creative meeting three weeks ago and plans are now being put into action.”

According to the tabloid, favourites for the role include Rita Ora and Mary J Blige.

Both have appeared on the show in the past, but Rita has publicly ruled herself out of the show.

But the new fifth judge spot is a much reduced role compared to the other judges’, having to only appear on the live finals and missing out on the room auditions, arena auditions, bootcamp and judges’ houses stages.

This may mean that stars who couldn’t commit to the full series could take up the spot.

The insider added: “A fifth judge will prevent the deadlock and add some spice to the panel during the live shows.

“Rita Ora and Mary J Blige are currently in discussions with show bosses.”

Didn't see this posted. What do you think about the concept and who do you think will do it? Apparently Demi Lovato is also now an option.

Kesha's Essay for Elle UK on Rehab, Body Issues + Pressures

There had been a lot of speculation over Kesha's two-month stint in rehab earlier this year. While she admitted herself for an eating disorder, many publicly wondered whether that might be a euphemism for substance abuse. Now the "Rising Star" expert and "We R Who We R" singer has opened up about her experience in an essay for Elle UK, addressing the rumors and confronting her own issues of insecurity and the pressures she faces as a female pop star in the music industry.

Sure, I've written songs about partying, but my dirty little secret is that I'm actually incredibly responsible," she writes early on, describing her thoughts during the trip to the rehab center. "I take my music and career very seriously, and certainly didn't land in this situation from partying. But I was cut off from the outside world and I imagined people making up stories at a time when what I really needed was support."

Kesha goes on to describe her passion for music that spawned from feeling like an outsider through her early years, coping with bullying at school by dedicating herself to her art until singing a record contract at 18. But even though she found her unique style rewarded, the entertainment business was not a salvation.

"The music industry has set unrealistic expectations for what a body is supposed to look like, and I started becoming overly critical of my own body because of that," she writes. "I felt like people were always lurking, trying to take pictures of me with the intention of putting them up opine or printing them in magazines and making me look terrible."

She stood up for herself through her music, writing anthems for empowerment like "We R Who We R," "Warrior" and "Love Into The Light," but even those began to feel like lies.

"I felt like a liar, telling people to love themselves as they are, while I was being hateful to myself and really hurting my body. I wanted to control things that weren't in my power, but I was controlling the wrong things. I convinced myself that being sick, being skinny was part of my job. It felt safer somehow."

Eventually, she asked her mom for help and admitted herself to rehab. The growth process was slow at first but it worked and she was able to focus on her music without obsessing over how she looks.

"I knew I was ready to leave when I'd gained enough confidence to get on a plane knowing there would be paparazzi at the airport at the other end. I was right - they were there. But this time, when I saw the pictures, I felt OK."

The entire piece has been scanned and posted at ATRL and you can read it here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Usher to Perform at the VMA's

Usher will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his self-titled debut with a performance at the MTV Video Music Awards next month.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Grammy winner will open the 31st annual ceremony, which will air live on August 24 from the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

Usher previously graced the VMA stage in 2010, performing a medley of “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” and “OMG.”

Just last month, he performed a retrospective of hits along with “Good Kisser” at the 2014 BET Awards.

Ariana Grande will also hit the VMA stage to perform her Zedd-produced single “Break Free” along with Australian pop-punk act 5 Seconds of Summer.

Usher is gearing up for the release of his eighth album. Earlier this week, he debuted his Pharrell-produced single “She Came to Give It to You” featuring Nicki Minaj.

The Future of Music, an Essay by Taylor Swift

Where will the music industry be in 20 years, 30 years, 50 years?

Before I tell you my thoughts on the matter, you should know that you're reading the opinion of an enthusiastic optimist: one of the few living souls in the music industry who still believes that the music industry is not dying…it's just coming alive.

There are many (many) people who predict the downfall of music sales and the irrelevancy of the album as an economic entity. I am not one of them. In my opinion, the value of an album is, and will continue to be, based on the amount of heart and soul an artist has bled into a body of work, and the financial value that artists (and their labels) place on their music when it goes out into the marketplace. Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently.

In recent years, you've probably read the articles about major recording artists who have decided to practically give their music away, for this promotion or that exclusive deal. My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet…is that they all realize their worth and ask for it.

Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It's my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album's price point is. I hope they don't underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.

Arrows Through the Heart
In mentioning album sales, I'd like to point out that people are still buying albums, but now they're buying just a few of them. They are buying only the ones that hit them like an arrow through the heart or have made them feel strong or allowed them to feel like they really aren't alone in feeling so alone. It isn't as easy today as it was 20 years ago to have a multiplatinum-selling album, and as artists, that should challenge and motivate us.

There are always going to be those artists who break through on an emotional level and end up in people's lives forever. The way I see it, fans view music the way they view their relationships. Some music is just for fun, a passing fling (the ones they dance to at clubs and parties for a month while the song is a huge radio hit, that they will soon forget they ever danced to). Some songs and albums represent seasons of our lives, like relationships that we hold dear in our memories but had their time and place in the past.

However, some artists will be like finding "the one." We will cherish every album they put out until they retire and we will play their music for our children and grandchildren. As an artist, this is the dream bond we hope to establish with our fans. I think the future still holds the possibility for this kind of bond, the one my father has with the Beach Boys and the one my mother has with Carly Simon.

I think forming a bond with fans in the future will come in the form of constantly providing them with the element of surprise. No, I did not say "shock"; I said "surprise." I believe couples can stay in love for decades if they just continue to surprise each other, so why can't this love affair exist between an artist and their fans?

In the YouTube generation we live in, I walked out onstage every night of my stadium tour last year knowing almost every fan had already seen the show online. To continue to show them something they had never seen before, I brought out dozens of special guest performers to sing their hits with me. My generation was raised being able to flip channels if we got bored, and we read the last page of the book when we got impatient. We want to be caught off guard, delighted, left in awe. I hope the next generation's artists will continue to think of inventive ways of keeping their audiences on their toes, as challenging as that might be.

There are a few things I have witnessed becoming obsolete in the past few years, the first being autographs. I haven't been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera. The only memento "kids these days" want is a selfie. It's part of the new currency, which seems to be "how may followers you have on Instagram."

Fan Power
A friend of mine, who is an actress, told me that when the casting for her recent movie came down to two actresses, the casting director chose the actress with more Twitter followers. I see this becoming a trend in the music industry. For me, this dates back to 2005 when I walked into my first record-label meetings, explaining to them that I had been communicating directly with my fans on this new site called Myspace. In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans—not the other way around.

Another theme I see fading into the gray is genre distinction. These days, nothing great you hear on the radio seems to come from just one musical influence. The wild, unpredictable fun in making music today is that anything goes. Pop sounds like hip hop; country sounds like rock; rock sounds like soul; and folk sounds like country—and to me, that's incredible progress. I want to make music that reflects all of my influences, and I think that in the coming decades the idea of genres will become less of a career-defining path and more of an organizational tool.

This moment in music is so exciting because the creative avenues an artist can explore are limitless. In this moment in music, stepping out of your comfort zone is rewarded, and sonic evolution is not only accepted…it is celebrated. The only real risk is being too afraid to take a risk at all.

Celebrity Spotlight
I predict that some things will never change. There will always be an increasing fixation on the private lives of musicians, especially the younger ones. Artists who were at their commercial peak in the '70s, '80s and '90s tell me, "It was never this crazy for us back then!" And I suspect I'll be saying that same thing to younger artists someday (God help them). There continues to be a bad girl vs. good girl/clean-cut vs. sexy debate, and for as long as those labels exist, I just hope there will be contenders on both sides. Everyone needs someone to relate to.

And as for me? I'll just be sitting back and growing old, watching all of this happen or not happen, all the while trying to maintain a life rooted in this same optimism.

And I'd also like a nice garden.

World Street Journal