Thursday, June 19, 2008
Many of you might have already noticed Keri Hilson in videos such as Timbaland's "The Way I Are" and "Scream" and Usher's "Love In this Club", but what you might not have known is that the sultry singer and video vixen is the talent behing many of your favourite tracks.
The Atlanta native has been in the music game since 2001 and has penned a number of chart-topping R&B and hip hop hits such as Chris Brown's "Young Love", Usher's "Love in this CLub Part 2", Britney Spears' "Gimme More", Omarion's "Ice Box" and Mary J Blige's "Take Me As I Am", amongst others.
But now, it seems like the volumptious songstress is no longer statisfied with just being behind the scenes. She has inked a record deal with Polow da Don's Zone 4 and Timbaland's Mosley Music Group to release her debut album later this year. If any of her guest appearances are anything to go by, one can expect an energy-filled, progressive R&B album that hits the right notes.
To jump things off, we present to you her first single, Energy:
Trust me, this lady is the future of R&B. Ya heard it first here on Encore!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Lil Weezy, the self-proclaimed Best Rapper Alive, achieved a career milestone this past week when his latest album, Tha Carter III, pushed more than 1 million copies in its debut week. That is a crazy number in this digital age where albums are downloaded for free on the net.
The last time this six-figure threshold was crossed was in March 2005 with 50 Cent's "The Massacre".
Sales for "Tha Carter III," Lil Wayne's first No. 1, were helped along by several of the rapper's new singles, including the chart-topping "Lollipop" featuring Static Major. His previous biggest sales week was a 238,000-unit start for "Tha Carter II" in 2005.
The man that Kanye refers to as a living rap legend joins an elite league of artists that have cracked a million copies in the first week. According to Billboard the prestigious list includes the following artists:
1. 'N Sync, "No Strings Attached" (2.42 million, 3/26/00)
2. 'N Sync, "Celebrity" (1.88 million, 7/29/01)
3. Eminem, "The Marshall Mathers LP" (1.76 million, 5/28/00
4. Backstreet Boys, "Black & Blue" (1.59 million, 11/26/00)
5. Britney Spears, "Oops ... I Did It Again" (1.32 million, 5/21/00)
6. 50 Cent, "The Massacre" (1.14 million, 3/6/05)
7. Backstreet Boys, "Millennium" (1.13 million, 5/23/99)
8. Usher, "Confessions" (1.10 million, 3/28/04)
9. Garth Brooks, "Double Live" (1.09 million, 11/22/98)
10. Limp Bizkit, "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water" (1.05 million, 10/22/00)
11. Norah Jones, "Feels Like Home" (1.02 million, 2/15/04)
12. Lil Wayne, "Tha Carter III" (1.01 million, 6/16/08)
Friday, June 13, 2008
Perceptions of Pacha is so entitled because of the fact that you have recently signed on to the record label Pacha, which is also part of the massive overseas nightclub group, Pacha (in particular centred around the club in IBIZA called Pacha .) In addition, Perceptions is a series the label does each year and it’s your turn this time around. How do you feel you compare to previous artists who have made a Perceptions album with the label? And how does Perceptions of Pacha differ from Caught in the Loop? How did you change and grow musically?
The last three years of touring solidly have had an enormous effect on our sound as Caught in the loop was recorded largely before we started performing live. I think Perceptions takes off from Caught in the loop and just cranks it up a notch!
It is a great honour to have been asked to do the perceptions album this year, we have also just finished a mix cd for the Pure Pacha release this year which is a double cd alongside Pacha resident Sarah Main.
Which song on your new album is your favourite and why?It changes daily I love them all as they are all special moments in our musical landscape.
Who are you listening to right now? What CD is in your car / Cd player or top on your iPod playlist?
Deadmau5, Koop – Koop Island, All the incredible remixes of the album that are coming in from all over the world and from the remix competition (www.goldfishlive.com) and Mix’n Blend’s Help is on the way mix (bootleg). Panic at the disco’s – 9 in the afternoon,
What is the craziest thing a fan or person in the crowd ever done at one of your performances? How did you respond?
Some drunk guy in Jozi decided to do a run and jump onto the stage and succeeded in snapping two of the double bass strings and one of the machine heads. We didn’t do anything we let the very large bouncers, who should have stopped him in the first place, sort him out…
Has anyone ever thrown panties onto the stage or at you? What did you do?No, but we had a massive Bra thrown at us at the Armchair theatre once, I hurled it back into the crowd.
How important is a slick media image to you as Goldfish? I am referring to the slick website design and the YouTube video Goosebump Productions created for you (both of which I like very much!). You have a very distinct style and you’re sticking to it. And when one compares your style to musical heavyweight, Kurt Cobain and the way he “hated” media exposure and being in the limelight, Goldfish and the way you handle the media tells a very different story. How do you approach or view the media? What kind of a relationship would you or do you seek to maintain?
Things where very different back in 1994 in the music world especially, people where still buying cds, at one stage Nevermind was moving 500 000 units per week!!!!!
That was part of his image and it worked for him.
These days it has become more accepted that music and media need each other to keep head above water. The internet has revolutionised all forms of media with those not able to move swiftly and adapt finding it the most difficult. We always wanted as many people as possible to experience our music and the only way we could achieve that was with huge media support.
Since signing to Pacha and thus becoming part of the Pacha lifestyle brand (owners of restaurants, hotels, record label, clothing label etc), what exactly does your contract entail? Do you have to wear the clothes and be seen at their hotels and clubs? Are you ‘slaves’ to the Pacha brand or are you still maintaining a certain amount of independence?
We have signed a one album deal with the record label which is associated with the Pacha brand as a whole but it doesn’t make us there gimps.
As a proudly South African band, why isn’t Goldfish registered on Load the Show – www.loadtheshow.co.za?
Everyone is trying to adjust to the internet revolution and coming up with new fancy ways to offer music to people but at the end of the day our strategy differs from theirs in this regards as we feel music is of value to people and we are all trying to foster this as a lot of people do not understand that if they download a song or whole album illegally they are making it harder for that artist/producer/dj/whoever to make more music in future.
On the other hand The load the show idea is great for up and coming bands who would have put their stuff out for free anyway and now they are earning some revenue out of it. We gave away loads of free music when we where starting out and it helped us progress faster to a point where our music was of enough value to people and they wanted to buy it. The music world has changed from a business model of Buy – Listen to nowadays where its Listen – Buy. So basically I am saying that there is a place for Loadtheshow and other sites like it but I don’t think we fit into it.
You (Dave) said on the YouTube vid that you take the studio into the clubs and play there live. How long does it take to set up the equipment? Is it stressful travelling around with your entire musical studio and all your costly equipment?
Yes it is a pain from time to time with airlines losing bags etc. but it is worth it in the end.
Our touring setup is not the same as our studio setup as we would need a small truck to move our studio around with us everywhere! Travelling is probably the main stress in our lives at the moment!
What’s the worst thing that has happened to you or your equipment while travelling to gigs? Do you pay for extra insurance on your equipment? Do you wish you could keep it all with you in the overhead compartments?
Definitely wish we could keep all our gear in the overhead compartments. Insurance companies don’t like insuring musical instrument so its very expensive…like each year you could buy yourself all new gear instead.
The worst thing to happen to our luggage so far was thanks to Air France and Charles De Gaul airport in Paris (avoid like the plague). They lost Dom’s bag with keyboard in and clothes and it never surfaced…other than that America is fun the double bass takes an extra day to pitch up each time as the TSA (transport security agency) thinks it’s a bomb or something suspicious! Come on didn’t these guys all go to band camp?
What legacy would you like to leave behind?A great catalog of amazing music.
What are your plans for the future? What are you currently busy with or working on?We just finished the Pure Pacha mix cd, we have also just finished the music video for This is how it goes which will be on our You tube site (www.youtube.com/user/goldfishlive ).
We are also working on the Remix album and a live dvd release of our cd launch concert at Kirstenbosch gardens this year.
How do you feel about the Independent Armchair closing down? The end of an era in Cape Town...
We where devastated by it closing down as it had become such a legendary place with so many special moments for Cape Town and us. It is such a pity that the city council can’t see past all the usual crap and just open its eyes to how culture could be one of our biggest exports and without venues like that it is hard to foster truly creative culture.
And finally, how do you make a goldfish live for decades?Feed it.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
By Nick Kaoma
Usher has come a long way since he released his self-titled debut album at the tender age of 16. The set which was produced under the supervision of a young hotshot Uptown Records executive Sean “Puffy” Combs, failed to ignite any musical flames – I can bet you some 2 cents that even the staunchest of Usher fans would be hard-pressed to single out a good song from that album.
Looking back at those early days, one can’t blame the young Usher for failing to hit the right notes. Sending an upcoming teenage star to the fast-paced city of New York to learn under the tutelage of an incredibly successful producer, who was riding the crest of his wave to the fullest, meant boundless exposure to things that a young’un is not supposed to see till he has at least grown a manly beard. All-night orgies, hard-partying and exotic excursions were de rigueur in the surreal world of Puff Daddy, as he was still known.
The savvy folks of LA Face Records learned from their ways and decided to link up Usher, who had just graduated from high school, with fellow Atlantian Jermaine Dupri. This proved to be a sage move on their part, one need only look at the 30 million copies that the diminutive producer has helped Ush push.
Fast-forward to 2008: the fast-moving, womanising young stud with millions of screaming fans has evolved into a mature husband and father whose life priorities have changed. His new album in four years inevitably embodies and epitomises this growth. Usher’s A&R Director had initially named the album “The Measure of a Man”, after Sidney Poitier’s memoir of the same name. However, after finding out that another artist had already used that title, Usher came up with “Here I Stand”, a good-enough title that signifies his independence, growth and new-found level-headedness.
As per usual, Usher released his fifth album on the back of a scorching-hot single courtesy of on-form producer Polow Da Don (Rich Boy’s “Throw some D’s, Fergie’s “Glamorous” & Nas’ “Hero”). “Love in this Club” featuring Young Jeezy was leaked to the internet by the anxious producer and soon shot straight to the top of American charts. And as they say, when the US coughs the rest of the world catches the cold, so the joint quickly made it to the top of radio charts across the globe.
The question I kept asking myself prior to the official release of the album was, would Usher try take back the musical space that young’uns such as Chris Brown and Ne-Yo have been renting in his absence or would he simply carve new room for his own grown-up sound? After listening to the album for a lengthy period, it is suffice to say that he has wisely chosen the latter option. Everybody knows that you don’t pick fights with lil’ boys, they might just cause you some unwanted embarrassment!
Throughout the album, Usher has strung a golden thread of maturity and decisiveness. He is no longer a groupie-obsessed star; he is now a grown-ass man whose role in the world has been cast in stone.
On his latest single "Moving Mountains", Usher touches on break-ups and the emotional drama that they come with. This is definitely a track that many heart-broken souls, who despite continuous attempts can’t seem to bring the mojo back into their relationships, will relate to. "It's like moving mountains, hey. But I keep climbing and hoping things would change and the sky turns gray, and the water from the rain washes progress away", he sings on the track.
On “Prayer for You”, Usher has an intimate conversation with his new-born baby and promises to give him everything under the sun. This song will definitely resonate with new parents out there; the vulnerability on it is just so sincere.
He then proceeds to remind us of his freaky side on "Trading Places" where he performs all sorts of bedroom acrobatics with a young, wild thang. Good pal, Jay-Z, makes an appearance on "Best Thing" a sexy number produced by Jermaine Dupri that will definitely get booties shaking on dance floors.
"His Mistakes" addresses the thorny issue of the new boyfriend paying for the old boyfriend's mistakes. "Always guilty before the sin, I can't win", he sings. Usher deserves accolades for summing up this common problem that really irks the living hell out of fellas in a 5 minute song.
Overall, Mr Raymond IV has delivered a solid, enjoyable album that can stand head and shoulders above the rest, but nevertheless I can’t help thinking how he has failed to match the exquisite taste of “Confessions”. Oh well, I’m sure I'll be able to live with that!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Kelly Rowland, the pop superstar, is set to perform at the POSI+IVE Rocks festivities at Sun City this weekend (13 – 15 June 2008). According to reports that are doing the rounds, she will be replacing Backstreet Boys, who can no longer make it (we’ll give you confirmation on this at a later stage).
Kelly will find herself in the company of Latino heart throb Marcos Hernandez who’s also set to keep ladies’ hearts pumping.
The annual POSI+IVE Rocks event is billed as a larger than Life “fusion of music, fashion, art and cuisine with a world-class line-up of musicians, artists, and designers”.
It is a unique collaboration between local and international leading fashion designers, musicians, artists and acclaimed chefs, resulting in a three-day POSI+IVE extravaganza which raises funds for Sun International's HIV/AIDS initiatives: Tapologo Aids Hospice, Noah, St Michaels and Missionvale Care Centre.
The POSI+IVE weekend festivities also include; a classical music picnic on Saturday 14 June presenting Lira, Abri and Jannie Moolman; golf days on Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 June on Lost City Golf Course and Gary Player Country Club; and the Wall of Hope which features various paintings donated by global celebrities and sporting icons.
Tickets for the all the shows are now on sale, so if you’re in the North West and surrounding areas, support these events which are for a good cause.
Monday, June 9, 2008
The Boys from Muizenberg, Cape Town have effectively taken over the house scene in Mzansi. Their ability to blend pulsating house beats with live instruments have put them in a league of their own, so much so that promoters from afar afield as Spain and South America have come calling.
The last time that Encore caught up with Goldfish, they had just dropped their debut album and were effectively stealing the hearts of fans in every city they hit. A year-and-a-half later, the duo who not so long ago were holding down a residency at mid-size clubs like Baraza and Ignite in Camps Bay have now graduated to big-time venues such as Kirstenbosch Gardens and opening for international headliners such as Fatboy Slim.
Our intrepid music doyenne, Larissa Focke, hollered at the guys while they were in Ibiza and got the inside scoop on their new album Perecptions of Pacha, their international record deal and much much more.
This is Part 1 of the interview; look out for Part 2 towards the end of the week.
So, is Goldfish ever going to slow down?
Things have snowballed so fast that I don’t think Gold Fish is going to slow down in the foreseeable future. Internationally things are just starting to heat up which could keep us busy for a long long time!!
What have you guys been up to in the 2 years since we last spoke?
We have been touring all over SA and the world. We spent the whole of last year recording Perceptions of Pacha and touring at the same time!! It was a crazy year, and this year looks like an equally crazy one with us just having completed a mix album for Pure Pacha release next month containing our original tracks as well as some exclusive remixes that we have done (including our Bob Marley remix!). We have been bouncing between the studio, the stage and aeroplanes!
Dave, you have such an amazing voice. Why don’t you sing live or sample your own voice more often?
Thanks! The new album has two more tracks that I sang on ( Just for tonight and Soundtracks and come backs). Being a live vocalist is another kettle of fish altogether, but you never know perhaps I will break out into song sometime soon?? Up until now we have been concentrating on what we do best, but we are always up for trying new things.
Does it ever irritate you when people compare your music to Cafe del Mar, Kruder and Dorfmeister etc? Sure, these artists may have influenced your music but you have your own style! Plus, it’s pretty much a fact that Goldfish’s sound cannot be put into a box. How do you deal with these comparisons?
Once again thanks, the comparisons are great as we are huge fans of most of the comparisons that are made. It would be a worry if we where being compared to Kurt Darren. Everyone always wants to pigeon hole music as it makes it easier to say to someone “I don’t like Dance music” or “I don’t like hip hop” it allows you to make generalizations and not be open-minded. My advice is listen first, pigeon hole later!
Is house music making waves all over the world? Do you see a trend emerging? Should the local scene jump onto the bandwagon and take advantage of house / electronica’s recent popularity? (Plus, is hip hop dead?)
House has been on the back burner and underground for the last few years but there are such Great things happening in the scene that it is once again starting to feature more prominently in all forms of media.
The internet revolution hit dance music the hardest when it arrived But it also made Dance music react first with websites like djdownload.com and beatport.com launching to allow anyone to buy music online legally. On top of this the explosion of social networking websites has been lovingly embraced by Dance music and allowed it to spread through areas that traditional media never let it in the past. Unfortunately like bob, hip hop isn’t dead, RIP soon I hope.
How was Up the Creek festival? And how do South African gigs compare to the international gigs you perform at so often?
We didn’t play UTC this year. We did have a spanking gig at Splashy Fen in the Drakensberg, What a great festival!
SA is our home and we have such amazing support that it is hard to compare the two, the main difference is that overseas most people haven’t heard of us yet but they are more open to new things and even when they see us for the first time they go mad!
What was it like opening for FatBoy Slim?
It was probably our best gig of 2006 and he is such a cool guy too. Had a couple of beers with him after the show and talked about fishing and just arb stuff!
Which international act (Pete Tong, FatBoy, Stereo MCs, Mr Scruff) did you enjoy headlining for the most and why?
I suppose Pete Tong as we landed an international record deal on the back of that gig! We are playing with him tonight again in Ibiza for the closing of the international Music Summit which has been amazing.
What is the coolest place in the world your music has taken you?
A hidden beach in a nature reserve on the Northern coast of Mahe, Seychelles, Eating freshly caught yellowfin tuna sashimi.
Is Kirstenbosch still the best place to perform in SA?
No in the world, by far!
Who is your favourite South African band?
New Academics, Plush, Dirty Skirts.
How important is it for Goldfish to maintain a South African sound ie to have Shangaan and Shona in the samples and mixes?
It is not about maintaining a sound it is just how we make music and how our country has influenced us over the years. We love having vocals on tracks and sometimes a track just screams for an African vocal.
To be continued.....
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Revered neo-soul singer and songwriter Dwele is gearig up to release his third studio album "Sketches of a Man" on June 24th. Peep the video for his latest single "I'm Cheatin'".
From the sound of it, the song tells of a man who loves his girlfriend’s conservative side as well as her care-free side and dreams of cheating on one with the other as if they were two different people. “It’s based on a true story that I put a spin on. Unless you really pay attention, you might get the wrong idea,” Dwele admits.