All roads look set to lead to LoveBox this year as organisations have just announced the first round of artists/DJ’s confirmed on the bill. Among some of them are SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, Azealia Banks, Jurassic 5 (!), Julio Bashmore, Purity Ring, Gold Panda, AlunaGeorge and the man-God himself D’Angelo! Aside from Mark Ronson and Goldfrapp a full list of headliners has yet to be announced but something tells me there’ll be some pretty legendary names thrown in the mix – watch this space.
Lovebox takes place in London on July 19th-21st, for more line-up and ticket information head over to their official website.
I could write a dissertation on how influential Prince has been to all the musicians featured in this video, but that would be digressive and long. Instead I’m going to calmly bug the f*ck out that D’Angelo is on camera talking about Prince (albeit rather briefly). The piece (courtesy of Okayplayer) not only features God D, but also master of Prince-ology Questlove, Bilal (Purple incarnate) and the legendary Elvis Costello to name but a few, all speak on Prince’s impact on them and on music period. Interviews were conducted backstage at the Music of Prince Tribute in New York.
… It certainly feels like something very big is coming from the Purple Yoda this year, don’t know what it is but it’s coming.
Prince just released some new songs on his (now not so) mysterious website 3rdEyeGirl.com, all for just $0.88 each. Among the 4 songs available to purchase is ‘Breakfast Can Wait’ – his latest attempt to impregnate you with a purple love child. Back on his smooth-as-f*ck groove, Prince exercises his iconic falsetto over sexy synth, guitars and a deep-soul beat. Dude switches it up chimpunk style (literally) and still sounds better than everyone else. F*ck.
The good news keeps on rollin’ in. And Beyonce’s return is about to go into hyperdrive.
As we all struggle to stay focused (on anything) after seeing Beyonce on the cover of GQ’s “100 Sexiest Women of the 21 Century” issue (picture below), the full cover story has been released. The superstar opens up about married life, being a new mother, her upcoming Super Bowl XLVII performance and most excitingly details of her upcoming 5th studio album.
On speaking of the album Knowles’ said “I’ve been working with Pharrell and Timbaland and Justin Timberlake and Dream. We all started in the ’90s, when R&B was the most important genre, and we all kind of want that back: the feeling that music gave us”. When asked about the influences behind the album, she replied “Mostly R&B. I always have my Prince and rock/soul influences. There’s a bit of D’Angelo, some ’60s doo-wop. And Aretha and Diana Ross”. She also talked about her songwriting process and where she finds inspiration, saying: “I used to start with lyrics and then I’d find tracks—often it was something I had in my head, and it just so happened to go with the melody. Now I write with other writers. It starts with the title or the concept of what I’m trying to say, and then I’ll go into the booth and sing my idea. Then we work together to layer on… [on her inspirations] The silliest little thing that you hear on the radio, it comes from something deeper. ‘Bootylicious’ was funny, but it came from people saying that I had gained weight and me being like, ‘I’m a southern woman, and this is how southern women are.’ My motivation is always to express something or to heal from something or to laugh and rejoice about something.”
… So an album inspired by R&B and by Prince, D’Angelo, Aretha and Diana Ross? Yikes. Not to mention a new HBO documentary, a new single featuring Lady GaGa & Azealia Banks titled ‘Ratchet’ and hopefully today a new collaboration with Justin Timberlake…. Everyone else should just go home. Read the entire article here and peep the rest of the photoshoot below.
This is the latest single off the upcoming long-player ‘No Beginning No End’ that is set to drop next January. For those like me who can’t wait that long the ‘It’s All Over Your Body’ EP is available now. This single enlists the help of some serious heavyweights including Takuya Kuroda on trumpet, Corey King on trombone, Chris Dave on drums, Robert Glasper on keys and D’Angelo’s own Pino Palladino on bass. As you would expect the groove is on a next plane. You can catch Robert Glasper being supported by Jose James on Sunday as part of the iTunes festival at the Roundhouse. For those not lucky enough to win tickets you can catch Robert Glasper as part of the London Jazz Festival for his annual show in November, this time with the experiment in tow. A show not to be missed. Keep up to date with all the London Jazz Festival programming with Serious and watch out for the review of Sunday’s show next week!
This past weekend saw one of the years biggest festivals take place in Philadelphia; Curated by Jay-Z and sponsored by Budweiser the 2-day ‘Made in America’ event saw performances from the likes of Jay-Z (full performance above), Kanye West & G.O.O.D Music, D’Angelo, Jay Electronica, Janelle Monae, Drake, Jill Scott, Run DMC, Odd Future and others. Take a peep up top and after the jump to see some of the highlight performances…
‘Livin in Vain’ features the uniquely soulful tones of Cleveland newcomer Lorine Chai, whose textured voice reminds me a little of Shingai Shoniwa (of the Noisettes fame) when riding this nicely paired post-dubsteppish half-timer with D’Angelo’esque Fender rhodes twitch.
Chai’s raspy vocals aside though, ChanceTheRapper’s guest verse also makes an impression – in fact, his performance almost steals the show. Maybe it’s his clever Arrested Development style phrasing and the character in his voice. Whatever the case, my curiosity lead me to his Soundcloud which is pleasantly full of new songs that display all of the skills heard above and more – go check ‘em out.
‘Living in Vain’ will feature on Lorine Chai’s upcoming, as yet untitled debut album.
A few months ago we popped up a striking record by this up and coming LA songtress, titled ‘Dr. Lock‘. It recalled the vintage zest of Neo-Soul we’d loved and experienced too long ago. That is, right before ‘neo’ sadly turned into tired BBQ music with poor engineering, bland imagery, minimal progression and fell victim to it’s dull caricatures (exceptions being Erykah, Bilal and forthcoming D’Angelo all of whom manage to experiment with relevance). But that’s besides the point. Bago is moving on – here to excite in a realm beyond any 10-year-cycle retro labelling and yank Soul into the present.
‘Remember’, like ‘Dr. Lock’, is again produced by fellow Westcoaster Alexander Spit who himself hints at being a flexible force. In a turn for the neoteric mindset meeting time-honoured grit, the two have managed to take the Shangri-La’s 1964 classic ‘Remember (Walking In The Sand)‘ and turn it into a maybach banger with fat lows, belligerent drums and Bago’s powerful resound echoing like some femme fatale right before she empties the clip. And just when contemporary soul was in need of a trill’er makeover…
Sunday Best, Bago’s produced entirely by Spit, is coming soon.
Last night the annual BET Awards took place in Los Angeles. Unlike previous years in recent memory, the show pulled out all the stops and racked in some mega-star names including Kanye West & Jay-Z, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Usher and most amazingly, D’Angelo who performed ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’ for the first time in America in over 10 years (he also performed ‘Sugar Daddy’, a new song her debuted during his European tour).
The night was also dedicated to those the industry had lost this past year – including Donna Summer (who was honoured by Chante Moore) and of course, Whitney Houston – who’s tribute was lead by Mariah Carey and performed by mother Cissy Houston, her brother Gary, Brandy & Monica and Chaka Khan.
Not sure I’ll bore of ‘D’Angelo news’. We’ve lived over 10 years without a word and now…
It would seem BET are pulling out all the stops this year with their annual music awards. Not only have they confirmed performances from Kanye West & Pusha T, Usher, Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown, they’ve also promised an all-star ‘diva tribute’ to the late great Whitney Houston, lead by the singers mother CeCe Houston.
… And now they’ve added D’Angelo to the bill. A massive scoop for the show who over the past few years have earned a bit of a negative reputation of not being able to put on an a-list show.