Monday, April 09, 2007
HILSON SHARES HER WORLD ON DEBUT ALBUM
It has been recently confirmed that "In A Perfect World" will be the title of singer/songwriter Keri Hilson's upcoming debut album, which is due later this year via Interscope Records. Confirmed tracks include "Get Me Off (The Bench)" and "Happy Juice", whereas producers/songwriters Tim "Timbaland" Mosley (Aaliyah, Brandy), Jamal "Polow Da Don" Jones (Keyshia Cole, Christina Aguilera), Nate "Danja" Hills (Katharine McPhee, Jennifer Lopez) and Justin Timberlake (Macy Gray, Rihanna) are among the talented musicians contributing to "A Perfect World". Don't forget to look out for more of Keri Hilson's songwriting on the next albums by Nicole Scherzinger (Interscope Records), Britney Spears (Jive Records), Melissa Jimenez (Universal Records), Tank (Blackground Records) and Paula Campbell (Sony Music).
Posted at 11:17 pm by mokhal
LEGEND REVEALS MORE INFO ON ESTELLE
Apart from producing tracks on the next albums by Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Keyshia Cole, Alicia Keys, Karina Pasian, Ashlee Simpson and Chrisette Michele, singer/songwriter/producer John Legend is really optimistic about his own protégé Estelle, who’s coming out with her sophomore album later this year. He recently revealed in an interview that “More Than Friends” and “Just A Touch” (featuring Will-I-Am) are two hot joints tipped for inclusion on Estelle’s highly anticipated sophomore LP .... Can’t wait!
Posted at 07:30 pm by mokhal
[MONICA MANIA INTERVIEW] MARIA HAMER JENSEN
Lots of listeners thought that Maria came out of nowhere when she released her debut album "My Soul" via DreamWorks in 2003, but in actuality, she was in the music business much earlier than that. The "I Give, You Take" singer was also 1/3 of girl-group Juice, who had great success in their home country Denmark with singles like "Best Days" and "My Love". I caught up with the lovely and beautiful singer/songwriter to talk about what she has been up to, whether she'll record another album, the difference between leading a solo career and being part of a band, working with female songwriters, and so much more …. Happy Reading everyone and don't forget to post your thoughts :)
Tell us how you got into singing? And when did you realize that it's the career that you want to pursue for the rest of your life?
I guess like most singers I started singing before I could talk (although I'm not sure if I was very good, lol). All I knew was that I loved being on stage whether it was singing, dancing, or acting, but it wasn't until I was discovered and signed by Carsten "Soulshock" at 15, I realized I could make it my career.
You were the lead singer of girl group Juice, and I gotta hand it to you cuz you looked so different when you released your solo album "My Soul". I didn't realize that it was you until I heard your voice on both albums, hee hee! Why did they split? And are you still in touch with your ex-band mates Eve and Anna?
I think the change both physically and sonically was just the natural process of growing up. I was only 17-18 when JUICE started, so by the time "My Soul" was released I had just become a lot more comfortable and aware of who I was ....
Even JUICE ending was a very natural process, we had simply outgrown the music and the restriction of being in a girl group, we were all ready to move on and try it on our own. I'm really happy and extremely proud to say, I am still very close to both Anne and Eve, without them I would never be the singer or the person I am today, I learnt a lot from both of them, and I still do ...
What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of being in a girl group? And were you more comfortable leading your own solo career?
Being in a girl group or any group I guess, can always be hard, because every one can't have it exactly the way they want it all the time (and being young doesn't help either).We definitely had our internal battles, but overall we loved each other and touring for us was like being on vacation with your friends. We partied every night on our tour bus driving across Europe. Sometimes being a solo artist you can miss having some one to share your experiences with. But writing, recording and performing your "own" songs, is an experience that comes close to nothing else. "My Soul" was everything I'd always dreamed my first solo album would be.
Juice's self-titled debut album didn't get released here in the United Arab Emirates, but I was lucky enough to grab a copy of their sophomore LP "Can We Get Personal?", Which song was your favorite from that album? And why?
Wow... that was such a long time ago... I think it was "I'm Into You". Great track and it was our favorite to perform. On the first album "Something To Feel" it was "Best Days", and on "My Soul" it was "My Soul".
[Listen] Juice - I'm Into You
[Listen] Maria - My Soul
Many readers will be surprised to learn that mega-producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins co-wrote Juice's "Into My Bed". Did you get to meet him in person? If so, how was it like working with him?
Sorry... we never got to met him, we always did all our vocals in Denmark, and I think he was too in demand to stop by, but I hear he's really nice ...
[Listen] Juice - Into My Bed (co-written by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins)
Your debut solo album "My Soul" was released in 2003 via DreamWorks, and lead single "I Give, You Take" faired nicely on the charts. How come you didn't release another single? And do you agree with listeners who said that the album needed a few up-tempo tracks?
Unfortunately DreamWorks got sold right when the album was released and the single was the 4th most added on the radio. I was devastated because I loved the album and the people I worked with at the label. That's probably why I needed a break from the industry. It really was heartbreaking for every one involved.
It was never my intention to cater to the dance floor. just like when you listen to Sade.. I really just wanted to create a mood..
Throughout your musical career, you've worked with critically acclaimed female songwriters including Andrea Martin (Angie Stone, Pink), Lisa Simmons (Kelly Rowland, Fantasia), Shamora Crawford (Teairra Mari, Monica) and Tamara Savage (LeToya Luckett, Mario Vazquez). What do you think is the difference between working with them and male co-writers?
I love working with any one who is talented, I don't really care if they're men or women. I just enjoy being able to learn from them and hopefully become a better writer myself. But I do find as women we write about the same things, because our experiences of love are very similar. I think Andrea Martin, Lisa Simmons and Shamora are some of the best singers in the industry, and I wish the whole world knew how amazing they are.
What do you have to say about rumors linking you romantically to Carsten "Soulshock" Shack, who served as an executive producer of "My Soul"?
I feel I reveal so much about my love life in my songs already, I've never felt the need to name names, but it's obvious that after knowing each other for 14 years and working on 3 albums together, we've created a very special bond ...
What have you been up to since you stopped promoting the album? And will we see releasing another one soon?
I always dreamed of living in New York and studying acting, so that's what I've been doing for the past few years. But this year I've slowly started missing doing music, so you might hear something new from me.
Which producers/songwriters you'd love to work with on your next album?
I don't want to jinx it, but I'd love to work with these amazing French producers that I've been in talks with, but we'll just have to wait and see. Of course it's hard to imagine doing one with out Carsten "Soul" involved.
Tell me something that most readers of Monica Mania will be surprised to learn about you?
I love to talk (sometimes too much), which is probably one of the reasons I became a singer, to communicate and connect with other people.. I'm obsessesed with backgammon, my Dad started teaching me when I was 12, and I love playing it with strangers when I travel. Traveling is another passion of mine, I've traveled so much the last 10 years, I could be called a nomad....
A lot of my friends said that you could easily pass as Samantha Mumba's sister. How does that make you feel?
Most people thinks she's cute, so I can't really complain ;)
Last but not the least, what message you'd like to give to your fans all over the world?
I'm so happy if you in anyway have been touched by the music I've been involved in making... as a little girl that's all I ever dreamed... This isn't an exact quote, but I loved what it said ... "Let the change you'd like to see in the world, start with you ...." Love always.....Maria
[Visit] Maria on MySpace
Posted at 01:26 am by mokhal
NINA SKY GET NAKED ON NEW SINGLE
"Clothes Off" will be the lead single from Pop duo Nina Sky's upcoming sophomore album "The Musical", which is due later this year via Universal Records. The new set will boast star-studded alliances from Ryan Leslie (Britney Spears, Katharine McPhee), Scott Storch (Kelly Rowland, Mariah Carey), Schaffer "Ne-Yo" Smith (Paula DeAnda, Jennifer Hudson), Stargate (Kelis, Claudette Ortiz), Cool & Dre (Mary J. Blige, Christina Milian) and Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse, Mutya Buena). Other tracks set for inclusion on "The Musical" are "Sugar Daddy", "Electricity" and "Pieces".
Posted at 01:25 am by mokhal
Sunday, April 08, 2007
BOBBY VALENTINO - SPECIAL OCCASSION [ALBUM COVER]
Here is the album cover to Bobby Valentino's sophomore album "Special Occasion", which is due May 8th via Def Jam Records. Tim "Timbaland" Mosley (Nelly Furtado, Nicole Scherzinger), Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins (Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton), and Tim & Bob (Chante Moore, Jennifer Lopez) are among the album's producers. Lead single "Anonymous" has already been filmed, whereas "Rear View" is said to be a strong contender for being the 2nd joint released from the album. All in all, I wish the "Slow Down" singer all the best :)
Posted at 07:28 pm by mokhal
Saturday, April 07, 2007
EVE GON' COME BACK IN AUGUST
According to her official MySpace page, "Tambourine" is set to be the lead single from rapper Eve's upcoming album "Here I Am", which is due August 7th via Interscope Records. The final track-list hasn't been finalized yet, but "Here I Am" will boast collaborations with producers Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean (Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears), The Neptunes (Alicia Keys, Beyonce), Cool & Dre (Christina Milian, Mary J. Blige), Dr. Dre (Gwen Stefani, Janet Jackson), Jamal "Polow Da Don" Jones (Nicole Scherzinger, Christina Aguilera), Scott Storch (Kelly Rowland, Mariah Carey) and Johnathan "J.R." Rotem (LeToya Luckett, Rihanna). Rapper T.I. is featured on the track "Cashflow", whereas pop artists Shakira and Gwen Stefani are rumored to make appearances on the album as well.
Posted at 08:20 pm by mokhal
COLE DRAFTS SOULPOWER FOR SOPHOMORE ALBUM
R&B vocalist Keyshia Cole is currently putting the final touches on her upcoming sophomore album rumored to be titled "Tears From A Soldier's Heart", and it has been recently confirmed that my favorite production team Soulshock & Karlin are among the album's producers as well! This is so exciting, and I'm very fond of Keyshia for hooking up with them … You go girl! Fans of Soulpower should also look out for more of their productions on the next albums by Kelly Rowland (Sony Music), Whitney Houston (J Records), Mary J. Blige (Geffen Records), Mario Barrett (J Records) and newcomer Kasey Butler (Blackground Records).
Posted at 08:09 pm by mokhal
IGLESIAS SET TO RETURN THIS SUMMER
Latin heart-throb Enrique Iglesias is planning to release his next album "Insomniac" on 12th June via Interscope Records. The new set will be preceded by lead single "Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song)", which was co-written by Sean Garrett (Kelly Rowland, Nicole Scherzinger). Other contributors on "Insomniac" include Johnta Austin (Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson), Schaffer "Ne-Yo" Smith (Jennifer Hudson, Christina Milian), Cathy Dennis (Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears), Bloodshy & Avant (Brooke Valentine, Rob Thomas), Max Martin (Kelis, Kelly Clarkson), Anders Bagge (Nick Lachey, Danity Kane), John Shanks (Katharine McPhee, Kelly Clarkson) and Mark Taylor (Keisha White, Delta Goodrem).
Posted at 07:58 pm by mokhal
Myxx are a new girlgroup hailing from ATL, and they consist of sisters Evonne (rapper) and Elizabeth (vocalist). The band name comes from the fact that they are bi-racial, lol! Myxx are currently in the process of recording their debut album, which is due later this year. The new set will boast collaborations with production team The Insomniax, as well as R&B vocalist Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men. I recently heard their song "I'll Be Waiting", and it's actually pretty catchy! I strongly recommend giving it a listen as well :)
[Visit] Myxx at MySpace
Posted at 07:57 pm by mokhal
MUTYA BUENA - REAL GIRL [HQ VIDEO]
Here is the video for British songstress Mutya Buena's debut solo single "Real Girl" taken from her upcoming debut album which goes by the same name. The new set is expected to drop in June via Island Records, and even though no track-list has been confirmed yet, "Real Girl" will sport collaborations with songwriters/producers Johnny Douglas (Kylie Minogue, Amerie), Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse, Sean Paul), Greg Kurstin (Lilly Allen, Peaches), Jim Beanz (Nelly Furtado, Shakira) and Karen Poole (Janet Jackson, Kelly Clarkson).
[Watch] Mutya Buena - Real Girl
Posted at 03:04 am by mokhal
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MONICA MANIA INTERVIEWS
Andrew "Pop" Wansel
Aria Crescendo of Paradiso Girls
Brit & Alex
Carsten "Soulshock" Schack
Celena Cherry [of The Honeyz]
Charmayne "Maxee" Maxwell [of Brownstone]
Cleo Higgins [of Cleopatra]
Cristyle "The Ink" Johnson
Darren Lewis of Future Cut
Edwin "Lil' Eddie" Serrano
Evan "Kidd" Bogart
Jonas "Jay Jay" Jeberg
Jonathan "J.R." Rotem
Karen Poole # 2
Maria Hamer Jensen
Meleni Smith (2)
Michelle Bell of Lynn & Wade LLP
Patrick "J.Que" Smith
Peach Candy: Rasheeda & Kandi Burruss
Reginald "Syience" Perry
The Writing Camp
Tynisha Keli (2)
Victoria "Lady V" Horn
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