Our “mysterious duo/artist” list continues to grow with ASTR, an upcoming musical outfit from NYC who have just released their first music video for their superb future-pop single ‘Operate’. If Rihanna had an awkward, slightly edgier younger sister – her music would probably sound a little like this. The infused trap-snares and R&B-tinged vocals blend well into the songs pop-drama sensibility; And like all respectable pop gems it’s armed with a killer hook that’ll be bouncing around in your head for hours.
Jessie Ware performed an emotional rendition of Rihanna’s #1 single ‘Diamonds’ for BBC Radio 1′s Live Lounge earlier today. And just like everything else she sings Miss Ware adds her own cool-romanticism to the song and gives it a whole new elegance. In this form, this could have very easily been a Jessie Ware song.
Music’s biggest night, the 55th annual Grammy Awards, is currently taking place in Los Angeles at the Staples Centre. With performances from Justin Timberlake, Frank Ocean, Rihanna, Miguel, Alicia Keys and a whole host of others, this years show promises to be spectacular. Hosted by LL Cool J (for the second year running), we’ll be updating this post with all the nights performances. Check them after the jump.
Willow Smith takes a break from being a hair whipping tween-star and reemerges a tortured artisté… Apparently. You’re bound to make a statement (and a stir) when you’re the 12-year old progeny of Will Smith and decide to release a new single sampling… Radiohead no less. Kids today.
For what its worth ‘Sugar and Spice’ stands alone beautifully and lyrically speaking it appears to have Willow digging deep: “I sat in front of the TV screen / Sad he’s always screaming at me / they want to puncture me / and wonder why I bleed / Take a swing at me / I’ll fight till the death / My light is bright / I tried to be sugar and spice / But I’m melancholy and can’t do anything right / The monsters under my bed keep making noise at night / I just want silence”.
Given her age the fragility of her voice can be forgiven and to her credit she uses it to the best of its ability, delivering an almost Rihanna-esque performance (take that as you will). For the most part though this isn’t bad… A little far fetched perhaps, but definitely not bad.
A$AP Rocky takes a big leap into his inevitable superstardom by joining Rihanna on the official remix of her latest single ‘Cockiness (Love It)’. What’s more Rocky is also rumoured to bewill be joining Rih-Rih on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards this week – nice headway towards that debut album promo. It’s no ‘Birthday Cake’, but hey, A$AP’s verse makes up for that.
Despite the dismal British weather we took full advantage of the line-up, making sure our must-see acts were ticked off – and of course, experiencing new performers we hadn’t yet caught live.
The weekend began relatively calm on Friday – Santigold entertained us with a high octane performance of material from her new album Master of My Make-Believe, while The Roots reminded everyone about to get their brain zapped by Deadmau5 what music with melody and rhythm sounds like.
Saturday was a lot more exciting. Not only were we amped to see the like of Drake, Nicki Minaj, Deliliah, AlunaGeorge etc – all of whom put on great shows, but it was also the day we were to experience the allusive Weeknd live for the first time.
As frequenters of PinBoard will know, we’ve championed the rogue Canadian for some time – his body of work thus far has been a hot topic across many of our digital pages and so it was with a lot of excitement we trawled through the mud over to the Pepsi Max stage to see how Abel Tesfaye delivers in person…
Not a big fan of mash-up’ism, even official ones, but here’s how G.O.O.D. Music’s ‘Mercy’ would sound swagging over the Japanese bonus track ‘Furnace Loop’ from last year’s Satin Panthers EP. It’s been obvious since ‘Oops‘ dropped that the Glaswegian wizard really does deserve to get a more secure seat amongst the crop of Stateside urban producers (still waiting for that Rihanna/Mohawke moment). So great news it was when Kanye enlisted him for studio sessions, the result of which has HudMo credited on the original ‘Mercy‘ for playing additional instruments. Whilst his profile’s positively increased in the last year, we can also expect a second album later this year following 2009′s immense Butter.
As a long-innovative ear at developing next level programming techniques and taking Americanized sonics through their maximal paces (growing minimal and focused in the process), here’s hoping he takes further shots at the throne and at some stage achieves that crossover we’ve waited on for years.
TNGHT (the production outfit formed with Lunice) release an EP July 7th on Warp x LuckyMe. Check out our recent preview here and try not getting into a fight.
The BBC’s Hackney Weekend was by all accounts a roaring success this weekend. Set in the heart of Hackney, the 2-day event saw performances from superstars Jay-Z & Kanye West (The Throne), Nas, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Plan B, Labrinth, Jessie Ware, Azealia Banks, Jessie J, Michael Kiwanuka, Santigold and loads more.
Watch some of the highlight performances from the festival up top and after the jump and check our tumblr for some snaps of our adventures from Saturday.
We’re in full of festival spirit and already looking forward to the next big one – this year’s Wireless 3-dayer! And with MTV now an official sponsor, those unable to attend will also be able to enjoy the action online come 6th-8th July.
This years line up is immense – The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Drake, The Roots, J. Cole and loads more. In addition, you’ll also be able to connect with our friends at Starwood who’ll not only have a VIP pod on site (all about those rockstar naps!), but who are also offering one lucky winner a trip to London for the Hard Rock Calling gig, headlined by the boss himself – Bruce Springsteen on 14th July.
The Starwood Hotels & Resorts have launched the Rockstar Yourself competition site to promote their partnership with Live Nation and to show their SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) exclusive access to music events. All you’d need to do is upload an image of yourself and add some rockstar accessories – the results will then be posted on their Hall Of Fame and on Facebook after which the winner will be announced. Get involved!
It’s the month London has been waiting for. No not the Olympics. No not the Queen’s Jubliee either. It’s the month when The all powerful The Weeknd decides to grace our city’s presence with his first solo show. It’s going to be a biggy.
That aside, there are festivals warming us up for the summer months, A$AP Rocky and his mob is back, plus The Internet will also be headlining at our homies Deviation 53rd night. Check out @PinBoardLive to win free tickets to the show too. We also see out the month with Ms Badu doing what she does best at the Hammersmith Apollo.