Category Archives: Music

Will Zayn Malik Be Able to Make it as Solo Superstar?

Six months ago, a news broke the hearts of many Directioners (One Direction fans) when its member Zayn Malik announced that he will be officially leaving One Direction, he reasoned he wants private and normal life away from the limelight. However, just few weeks ago, he revealed the real reason why he left One Direction. He had signed contracts with RCA Records for his solo album. Yes, going solo is his real reason why he left the group which upset many Directioners.

 

Now, the question is, will he be able to make it big like any other successful artists who were originally from the group? Many members of successful groups did not succeed going solo. Only few of them became real icons. Let’s consider, Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys. His debut album had decent sales but never brought him to the heights. Another example is the members of the Spice Girls which all of them did their solo projects. They were successful in their native UK and some parts of Europe, but never spread to the entire world. Their solo fan bases are limited. Melanie C and Geri Halliwell became biggest selling members of the group though who had real solo number 1 hits.

 

Among those former group members who became successful on their own were Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Justin Timberlake, which these three became pop icons. Michael Jackson became one of the biggest selling artists of all time. Beyonce and Justin Timberlake were two artists from a group and now pop icons of this generation. Beyonce who scored 5 consecutive number 1 albums was formerly from successful girl group Destiny’s Child, while Justin Timberlake was from boyband NSYNC.

 

There are factors though that can contribute to an artist’s success. During the time of Michael Jackson, technology is still miles away from what we have now and competition wasn’t that tight. During Beyonce and Justin Tinberlake’s debut years, there’s no social media. But today, there are many ways to advertise or promote one’s music. Social media, other platforms of selling music. It depends on an artist’s activity.

 

As a former member of One Direction, Zayn Malik has been active in social media and interacts with their fans. With right music and promotion, he can be among those successful solo stars who carved their name in the music industry.

 

Most Notable Musical Siblings as Solo Artists

Talent runs inside the family. They may possibly become actors and actresses, or singers and musicians. They may choose the same career path like the first in the siblings has chosen. The list below were four most notable musical siblings that are solo artists.

 

Michael Jackson and younger sister Janet Jackson

Michael Jackson was formerly part of The Jackson 5 which eventually became The Jacksons. He became the most successful and popular “Jackson”, however, his sister, Janet Jackson, came close to superstardom with numerous number 1 and top 10 hits. Both of them did the same route, singing and dancing. They have such similar talents which generated them millions of fans and made the two pop legends. The two has proven their good relationship when Janet supported Michael through their song “Scream”. The song was written for the media who has been cruel to Michael during those years before the song was released. The year Michael died, Janet became like the spokesperson especially at the VMAs when they paid homage to the King of Pop.

 

Beyonce and Solange Knowles

When Beyonce was still with Destiny’s Child, her younger sister Solange Knowles has been supportive to her older sister even until Beyonce went solo. On one of Bey’s song and music video, Solange appeared along with Bey’s former groupmates, Kelly and Michelle. Time came when Solange entered the music industry too, however, her works received lukewarm reception. Last year, news broke out regarding Bey’s husband Jay-Z and Solange, which shows the latter his hitting the former. No clarification from any party about what happened though.

 

Britney Spears and Jamie Lyn Spears

During Britney Spears’ debut years, she’s always with her cute little sister and you can see how much Brit loves her sister. Recently, Jamie followed her sister when she entered the music industry. Nonetheless, she took the different route when she did country music. The Spears sisters were from Louisiana where country music was also popular.

 

Nick Jonas and Joe Jonas

Well, Kevin is not included because he never had a solo album. When the Jonas Brothers went hiatus, Joe Jonas released his first solo album which failed top ten entry. Nick Jonas formed his own band called Nick Jonas and the Administration which had moderate reception. Nick eventually released his solo project which scored him 2 big hits and a top 10 album. So far, he is the most successful solo Jonas.

 

Throwback Song Reviews: Paula Cole and Sublime

There are so many great songs from decades ago. Some were unnoticed while others became big hits. Many people today even preferred old songs as they reasoned that gone are the days when real good music were heard over the radio. I have been a music fan since the mid-1990s and I can compare and see the big differences of today’s music from the past. I am still a music fan but people today looks for something new and the evidence were the new artists who are getting their songs hit the top 10. While more established artists fails the top 10, unless it was Taylor Swift or Rihanna.

 

Meanwhile, let’s check some of these old songs as I make song reviews of them which I call “Throwback Song Reviews”.

 

Paula Cole- I Don’t Wanna Wait

This artist generated this hit which was used for the hit TV series “Dawson’s Creek”. It may not reached the top 10 but it’s longevity contributed to the song’s success. Her previous song, “Where Have all the Cowboys Gone?” was a big hit too hitting the Billboard’s Hot 100. But Paula remained a humbled artist. She haven’t had a hit since then. “I Don’t Wanna Wait” is a soft rock song. When I first heard the song at its beginning, I expected it will be a good song and it proved me right. Paula’s voice is also excellent as it is soft but with power. It is one of the songs that I remember when I hear about second half of the 1990s.

Rating: 9 of 10

 

Sublime- Santeria

I first heard this song on MTV when it was requested by a letter sender. I am not familiar of the band then, but when the song was played, it was catchy but never sounds cheesy. It was a reggae rock song with a friendly sound but strong lyrics. It may not entered the official US charts but was their signature song.

Rating: 8 of 10

Credit: some facts from Wikipedia

Anticipating for New Record from Adele

 

It was four years ago since Adele released her blockbuster album “21” and almost 3 years since she released her last single, the James Bond theme with the same title, “Skyfall”. But where is Adele now. Many speculated that her album will be released in 2013. When it was not released that year, music prognosticators said it would be 2014, then 2015. Four more months, it would be 2016. However, there’s no indications of new album from her will be released this year. Is she keeping her fans wait? Well, die hard fans will wait. But some will get tired waiting, unless the album would be as good or better than “21”.

Why does Adele captured the hearts of many? Before anything else, let’s see how the album fared. The album, according to Wikipedia, has sold 30 million albums. If not accurate, I think it is really close to that number. The sales, though, made the album the biggest selling album this decade. Surely, the next to this album does not even hit 10 milion. Rarely, artists do not sell that much with albums. Nevertheless, Adele did it. Apart from her album, her singles sold multiple millions too! So she really captured the hearts of many listeners.

Prior to the making and release of her album, Adele experienced a painful heartbreak which led to the theme of “21”. The album expressed her grief, pain, angst and honesty. It was forceful that many people felt her and bought her record. Her vocals too is excellent, that even other artists, rock or pop musician loves her.

No matter how long, people will surely anticipate for her new album. Her new music will sell as expected after her previous albums were excellent and acclaimed by listeners and critics. Adele made fans wait, but it will probably be worth it. Will this album be “25” or “26”? We don’t know and it doesn’t matter, her music matters more.

 

 

Your Face Sounds Familiar 2: Second Episode Recap

Last night, four artists impersonated four legendary artists. Sam Concepcion rapped Slim Shady, Eminem. Myrtle Sarosa as 2NE1’s Sandara Park, while KZ Tandingan did Vina Morales and Kakai Bautista as Australian singer, songwriter and producer, Sia.

 

Tonight, another set of four artists performed. Actress Denise Laurel was unexpectedly a good performer. She did an emulation of Latina singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. It was almost perfect as she got Jen’s voice except the body. The performance was followed by singer Michael Pangilinan acted out as George Michael’s huge hit “Careless Whisper”. Rocker and Callalily’s vocalist Kean Cipriano became a pop star as One Direction’s Harry Styles. The finale performer was comedian Eric Nicolas who had shown his Willie Revillame impersonation.

 

The first week’s winner ended up was Eric Nicolas who was cheered by the audience. All of the 3 judges voted for him and majority of the celebrity performers as well.

 

Based on the accumulated scores, here’s the ranking of the performers:

1. Eric Nicolas as Willie Revillame

2. Sam Concepcion as Eminem

3. Kakai Bautista as Sia Furler

4. Kean Cipriano as Harry Styles of One Direction

5. Denise Laurel as Jennifer Lopez

6. Myrtle Sarosa as Sandara Park of 2NE1

7. KZ Tandingan as Vina Morales (tie)

8. Michael Pangilinan as George Michael (tie)

 

So far, the ranking was okay except Kean and Denise. I think Denise did better as what she did is more difficult. Nevertheless, it is a good start for the show.

 

Each of the 8 artist seemed doing their comfort zones next week when the artists they’re going to copy were according to their tastes and style. Excited to see their performances next week. Can the winner this week attain his position? Or somebody will take the victory?

 

By the way, last season’s winner Melai will do her weekly impersonation that’s surely an anticipation for viewers.

 

Your Face Sounds Familiar 2 was aired by ABS-CBN every Saturday and Sunday night.

 

 

 

Song Reviews: The Weeknd, OMI, Justin Bieber

Then I decided to listen to several songs, old or new, and thinking of reviewing these songs and recommend those worth listening.

 

The Weeknd- Can’t Feel My Face

The Weeknd has been in the music industry for several years but just recently grabbed the attention of listeners, could it be when she sang with Ariana Grande on her top 10 hit “Love Me Harder” or the Fifty Shades of Gray hit song “Earned It”. Now, he is shining more on his own through this song “Can’t Feel My Face”. This song is a remisniscent of the 1980s when Michael Jackson is at its peak. I can hear the MJ vibe in this song, which he succeeded. The vocals are great and his collaborator Max Martin deserves the credit.

Rating: 8 of 10

 

OMI- Cheerleader

OMI who was considered as breakthrough artist cannot be considered as a new artist as well as this song, “Cheerleader”. The song was first released in 2012 but not for a global distribution. It attracted attention from listeners and radio when it was remixed by young DJ, Felix Jaehn and first topped several European markets until crossed the UK market and eventuated to the top and huge seller. This year it went to Billboard’s apex during summer. The song has a feel-good vibe. When you were just sitting and relaxing, turn on your MP3 players or phone and have your headsets or earphones on and listen to this song, it was very light and catchy. Though, the original version was better than the remix on.

Rating: Original version- 8.5 of 10

Remixed version-7.5 of 10

 

Justin Bieber- What Do You Mean?

Bieber Fever is not over. Justin is “just in” and conquered the summit of worldwide charts when this single “What Do You Mean?” was released. It was a perfect time for his comeback after negative news spread and infected people’s minds against him during the recent years. Well, he recently apologized for all his mistakes and starting a new and positive life. Why not give him a chance? I am not a fan and I hated all that he did but he seemed trying to turn all those negatives into positive. Going back to the song, I love the chilling EDM sound. It’s not stressful to listen to like other EDM music does. Also, it’s a shift to more EDM from his usual R&B tune from “Journals”. Good try Bieb and you succeeded that even non-Biebs got to listen to ya.

Rating:8.5 of 10

 

Credits: Some facts from Wikipedia

 

The Powerful Voice of Sia

Last night while watching a TV show, there’s this singer who performed one of 2014’s biggest hits, “Chandelier” from the singer and songwriter Sia. The song was considered as the artist’s breakthrough. If you will ask common people if they already heard Sia before, only few or even none may answer “Yes”. But now, everybody knows the song, some people will even say it is difficult to sing.

 

Well, Sia has a unique voice and nobody can sing like her. When I first heard “Chandelier”, there’s a little touch of Rihanna but hers is more unique and has higher range. It’s a perfect song she wrote for herself and a good idea not to give to other artists. You heard it right, she had written to other artists and they were superstars. Britney Spears’ “Perfume” was written by her and even did background vocals. While another pop star Christina Aguilera collaborated with her in a number of songs for her (underrated and underwhelming?) album “Bionic”. And who will forget the worldwide hit “Diamonds” , the last number 1 hit from Rihanna? Recently, you heard her composition/s in Beyonce’s huge self titled album and from the movie “Pitch Perfect 2”. It is a testament of her huge talent that other artists adore her.

 

Back then, Sia already released records nevertheless, reception from the public was lukewarm. Her first music video and song that I heard and saw was “Clap Your Hands”. It’s catchy but a song that lacks force to elevate her song to the masses. Then I heard her voice over David Guetta song “Titanium” and Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones”. She co-wrote the songs and served as doorway to international stardom.

 

After “Chandelier”, her controversial song (because of its music video) “Elastic Heart” proved she can’t be a one-hit wonder (as solo) when it peaked inside the top 20 globally. It’s a good song too and garnered hundreds of millions of hits in YouTube.

 

What’s next from Sia? Looking forward to hear more from her and show everyone the power of her voice.

Watching “You’re Face Sounds Familiar 2”

I am currently watching a TV show which local celebrities impersonate music artists assigned to them. It was called “Your Face Sounds Familiar”. The show is the Philippine version which originated in Spain by the company Endemol, the same company which conceptualized the globally popular, Big Brother.

 

The program that currently shows in Philippine TV is the second season. The first season just ended last summer and second season quickly followed after the success of the first one. The first winner was Melai Cantiveros who won solely from votes. In her final performance, she copied Miley Cyrus and hanged in a wrecking ball, which made her win due to its entertainment value. She may not be a professional vocalist but she has that ‘EV’. She outperformed professional singers Nyoy Volante and Jay-R, and actor (who’s likely to become a future recording artist) Edgar Allan Guzman. Now, Melai is now part of the second season of the show but not as contestant.

 

Eight ‘new artists’ are vying to imitate the artists that will be assigned to them. These artists weren’t all professional singers. There are comedians and actors too. The first performer during the show’s pilot was R&B/pop singer and actor Sam Concepcion who impersonated Eminem. While the second performer was cosplayer and former Pinoy Big Brother winner Myrtle and showed her Sandara moves. Soul singer and X Factor Philippines winner KZ sang her inner Vina Morales out (though I think she had the poorest performance). But the most surprising performance came from theatre actress, singer and comedian Kakai Bautista who reached the Sia range of the song “Chandelier”.

Four more performances will be shown tomorrow. Scoring and the first winner of the second season will be announced tomorrow. I am excited to watch tomorrow’s performances and who will stand out among the eight artists.

 

Your Face Sounds Familiar (PH Edition) airs on Saturday and Sunday night on ABS-CBN.

My Thoughts on Spotify

Anybody here uses Spotify? If you are not familiar of Spotify, it is a music streaming service where you can listen to your favorite songs. Once you joined or registered in this service, it’s like you entered a gateway to millions of songs all over the world. You can even listen ┬áto an entire album by an artist. Likewise, you can see and hear the catalog of your favorite artists. But take note, expect disturbing ads and you have the choice to upgrade to premium to enjoy more of its offers like saving songs or an entire album for offline listening. Once subscribed, you can listen to any songs you want. Nevertheless, if you are a fan of Taylor Swift, don’t expect all of her songs were there. Just late last year, she pulled up her albums from the service to coincide with the release of her blockbuster LP “1989”, as stated that the service pays low rates to the artists. This may had contributed to physical and digital sales of the album.

 

Well, my thought in this, I agree with some artists and even Spotify developers saying that streaming is the future of music. Why not? People loves listening to music for free. Surely, more people will download music streaming service apps in the future. Monthly subscription isn’t even too expensive. In some countries, monthly subscription costs at about $10. While here in the Philippines, it only costs $3 or PhP129. You can pay through credit card. But what I like is there’s another method of payment. If you have verified PayPal account, it’s one of the options for payment.

 

I support music streaming service like Spotify. Physical albums sales are declining due to other ways of music listening, illegal downloads and piracy. Spotify pays artists, and if an artist wants his/her music be heard, promotion is also important. More and more people are using the internet and social networking sites, it can be good medium to promote their records.

 

I am thankful to Spotify because I got to listen to my favorite music at the comfort of my phone legally. Indeed, Spotify will grow as well as other streaming services.