Thursday, February 01, 2007
HUDSON TO START RECORDING ALBUM ON MARCH
Dreamgirls star Jennifer Hudson will start recording her debut album in March, which is one week after performing “Love You I Do” @ the Oscars on 25th February. The track has also been nominated for best song category. As for the album, I really can’t wait to hear it, and hopefully she’ll get to hook up with the best songwriters and producers. Production team The Underdogs are definitely going to be part of the album, especially after their great success on the “Dreamgirls” soundtrack.
Clive Davis’ J Records, on the other hand, is coming out strong in the period between 2007/2008 with new albums being released by Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Mario Barrett, J. Valentine, Joi Campbell, Jazmine Sullivan, Emily King and Tamar Braxton. Whom are you looking forward to the most?
Posted at 02:44 pm by mokhal
CHRISTINA ROLLS WITH ROLSTON ON NEW VIDEO
Christina Aguilera finished shooting the video for her latest single, “Candyman”, with director Matthew Rolston, who also worked on several of my favorite music videos including Salt N Pepa’s “Whatta Man” featuring En Vogue, Paula Abdul’s “Crazy Cool” and Beyonce’s “Work It Out”. Musician Linda Perry (Pink, Sugababes, Goapelle) co-wrote and produced “Candyman”, and she was also responsible for Aguilera’s previous single “Hurt”. Do you think “Candyman” will bring Christina back to the top 10 singles chart? Only time will tell!
Christina on the video set of “Candyman”.
Posted at 02:31 pm by mokhal
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
INTRODUCING JOSS STONE [ALBUM COVER]
Here is the album cover for Joss Stone’s upcoming 3rd album “Introducing Joss Stone”, which is due 20th March via Virgin Records. The new set will be preceded by the lead single “Tell Me ‘Bout It”, and includes collaborations with vocalist Lauryn Hill, rapper Common, as well as productions from Raphael Saadiq (Kelis, Lionel Richie, Kelly Price) and Beau Dozier (3LW, Avant, B2K).
Posted at 09:20 pm by mokhal
KERI SHOCKS TIMBALAND ON NEW ALBUM
The Clutch member Keri Hilson is going to be featured on Timbaland’s upcoming album “Shock Value” not only as songwriter (she co-wrote Timbo’s duet with Nicole Scherzinger on “Scream”), but as a performer too! The name of the track hasn’t been revealed yet, but you can tell how excited I am J
She’s also keeping herself busy by writing new songs for Britney Spears, Megan Rochell, Paula Campbell and Tank, as well as putting the final touches on her upcoming debut album (rumored to be titled as “A Perfect World” after being named initially as “Keri’d Away”), which sports collaborations with Justin Timberlake, Polow Da Don (Keyshia Cole, Mya), and Nate Hills (Nelly Furtado, Katharine McPhee), who produced the following songs for Hilson: - “Love Ya”, “Where Did He Go”, “Happy Juice” and “Hands & Feet”.
Posted at 09:14 pm by mokhal
NEYO SNAGS RIHANNA FOR NEW ALBUM
Singer/songwriter NeYo is currently putting the final touches on his next album, and he's also writing penning new hits for the likes of Nina Sky, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Trinity Stone, Karina Pasian, Enrique Iglesias and Britney Spears. He recently mentioned in an interview that "Leaving Tonight", a duet with Rihanna, is going to be released as one of the singles from his upcoming sophomore album. Me thinks that this joint will do very well on the charts cuz he and Ms. Fente make quite a team, especially after the success of "Unfaithful", which was originally offered to Rihanna's label mate Megan Rochell.
Posted at 01:04 am by mokhal
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
BROWNSTONE TO MAKE A COMEBACK?
Former Brownstone member Maxee revealed to me exclusively that she and the rest of the members are likely to make a comeback very soon. Apparently Brownstone are getting lots of offers to record another album, and honestly I couldn't be happier. I'm not sure who will be the 3rd member besides Maxee and Nicci since Mimi was forced to leave the group due to health reasons, and was replaced by Kina Cosper. Either ways, this is definitely one comeback I'm keeping my eyes on!
During their musical career, Brownstone worked with the best producers in the business including Soulshock & Karlin (Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton), Gordon Chambers (Allure, Karina Pasian), Troy Taylor (Trey Songz, Black Buddafly) and Rodney Jerkins (Shola Ama, Mariah Carey), so I can't help but wonder who will they hook up with this time around?
Visit Maxee on MySpace
Posted at 12:13 am by mokhal
Monday, January 29, 2007
HILARY REGAINS DIGNITY ON NEW ALBUM
Pop star Hilary Duff is currently putting the final touches on her next album "Dignity", which is due April 2nd via Emi Music. The new set sports collaborations with producers/songwriters Will-I-Am (Mary J. Blige, Kelis), Tim & Bob (Mya, Jennifer Lopez), Vada Nobles (Rihanna, Lauryn Hill), Rhett Lawrence (Kelly Clarkson, Victoria Beckham) and Kara Dioguardi (Katharine McPhee, Christina Aguilera). "With You" is set to be the lead single from "Dignity", whereas "Burn", "Stranger", "Play With Fire" and "Danger" are among the other tracks tipped for inclusion on the album.
Posted at 10:10 pm by mokhal
Friday, January 26, 2007
[MONICA MANIA INTERVIEW] CLEO HIGGINS
Do you guys remember the cute British girlband Cleopatra who captured our hearts in the 90s with hot joints like "Cleopatra's Theme", "Life Ain't Easy", a cover of Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and "Come and Get Me"? Well, after several years out of the spotlight, lead singer Cleo is coming back stronger than ever with her solo debut album. I caught up with the lovely Ms. Higgins to talk about the album, her collaborations wishlist, Cleopatra's last album "Steppin' Out", as well as the perks of being solo and being part of a girlband.
Rumor has it that you've been recording a new album, is that true?
I have indeed been busy recording a new album.
How's the process of recording your debut album been going so far? And have you signed with a label yet?
It's been going really well. I've been writing different types of songs from R&B, Pop, Rock and even a bit Indie.
I've signed to an independent label called Eastside. The plan is to release the debut single between Feb/March 2007.
Whom have you collaborated with on this album in terms of producers/artists/songwriters?
I mainly write the majority of my material, I find I can portray how I'm feeling, my frame of mind and make my songs a lot more personal. I've always wrote my own songs since I was about 9.
I've done a lot of work with Murlyn, who worked with the likes of Britney Spears and Madonna. Stuart Roslyn, Paul Waller (Spice Girls) Octave (All Saints), Davinche (Kano, Ms Dynamite), Herbie Crichlow (3T, Backstreet Boys), along with some up and coming producers.
As part of Cleopatra, you've worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry including Stargate, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and James Poyser. Have you tried contacting them regarding your new material? And what do you think of Stargate's recent success in the United States?
I haven't tried contacting any of them though I may be going in with Stargate once they're back from the U.S. I am over the moon with their recent success. They completely deserve it. I love those guys.
I bought Cleopatra's "Steppin' Out" in late 2005, and I gotta admit that I still love listening to it! I'll ask you about my favorite songs, and you answer me with liner notes about how that song came about or some of the beautiful moments that connect with it:
Awww, thank you! It was a lot of fun writing/recording the album. Glad you enjoyed it!
U Got It
It was offered to us by producers Stargate, and it was an instant hit with us when we heard it. It was also the first single in the U.S off of the second album "Steppin Out".
This song was written by Darryl Simmons (Toni Braxton, Destiny's Child). We chose "Sweat Me" out of a bunch of songs he gave us to listen to and it jumped out at us. I was nervous working with him because of the people he had worked with.
Who's Your Woman?
We wrote and recorded this song with producer Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis at Flyte Tyme studios in Minneapolis. Crazy enough I wasn't nervous at all because I had geared myself up to work with them for a long time. We wrote the song from scratch and it was a great experience.
I spoke to Janet while I was there and quizzed her about her nephew TJ
Mariah casually interrupted my recording session, ha ha, which was fine because she is one of my idols!!! The girls also had the pleasure of helping Mariah choose her album cover for Rainbow and apparently she went with the picture they liked the most.
We recorded this song with Debra Killings, who is a well known backing vocalist for some of my fave artists. The song was recorded at DARP Studios. This is the only song we recorded with a female producer! Go Debra!!! This song is up on my Myspace ;)
Questions And Jealousy
Somewhere along the lines the title of this song was changed by accident. It's actually called 'Questioning Jealousy'. The song's about people who like to hate on people who succeed. On the original we sampled Method Man for the talking at the beginning but couldn't get clearance in time for when the album went to press.
Come and Get Me
We wrote this song with production team Cutfather & Joe, and it was the first single in the U.K. At the time when we were supposed to be promoting the single, we was in the U.S and Japan. The single didn't do as well as anybody expected which is a shame. I personally felt this was the wrong choice for the first single.
This is the only song on the second album that made it from the producers from our debut, and it was the only ballad. I was very ill on the day we recorded this to the point that I could barely talk never mind sing ... Very personal song to me! It was written with the intention of helping others in their time of need. I had a god cry listening back to the song for the first time.
You Can't Be In My Life
Another song we did with Stargate and one of my faves.
You were also signed to Madonna's Maverick label? What did you think of her managerial skills? And do you think she was fair while handling Cleopatra's musical career?
I can't really comment on this subject as I don't know the facts to do so. Maverick didn't have 100% control of our career and a lot of things had to be Ok'd with our UK label first.
Which artists you like listening to @ the moment? And what are some of your current favorite songs?
I'm listening to all the new stuff and I still love all my old stuff so it's a complete mix. Ciara's "The Evolution", love this album. Jojo's "The High Road", I'm in love with this album too. Beyonce's "B'Day", another great album I love to jam to. Fantasia, that's my girl!!! Tamia, Mariah the list goes on!
How are your sisters Zainam and Yonah doing? And is any one of them planning to pursue a solo career as well?
They're doing really well. They are both concentrating with their own projects and all seems to be well
What are the advantages and disadvantages of being in a girl group?
Advantages are you always have a shoulder to cry on, someone to finish your sentence when you're stuck and someone to have a good giggle with! Disadvantages would be like any other group of girls. Arguing about who wears what and because we're sisters we have other things we can nit pick at.
If you got the opportunity to join a successful girl group, would you take it or insist on pursuing a solo career?
It's a bit of both to be honest. I love being in a band! Working as a team, always having back up there, someone to talk to, harmonizing, writing etc …
The perks of being solo is I do me!!! I write what I want to, wear what I want to.
Which producers/songwriters are in your wish list of future collaborators?
I would love to work with Stargate again, Jam & Lewis, the list is long!!! I prefer to write with someone who hasn't got the biggest catalog book because they're more hungry to produce/write something you want.
Last but not the least, is there any message you'd like to give to your fans who are awaiting your return to the music scene (me included, hee hee)?
Thanks for being patient and supportive over the years and sticking with me while I grew from a young girl to a young woman. Hope you guys enjoy my work and feel free to message me anytime :o) Love always Cleo xXx
Visit Cleo @ MySpace
Posted at 07:34 pm by mokhal
NEYO SHOWS REAL LOVE 2 TRINITY STONE
R&B crooner NeYo is featured on a new track by British girl group Trinity Stone called "Real Love", which was produced by Stargate (Beyonce's "Irreplaceable", Rihanna's "Unfaithful"). I gotta admit that their album is shaping up to be very interesting since it also includes collaborations with Soulshock & Karlin (Toni Braxton, Luther Vandross), Cee-Lo (Amerie, Kelis), Johnny Douglas (Tina Turner, Kylie Minogue), Karen Poole (Sugababes, Atomic Kitten), Pete Biker (Keisha White, Jamelia), Kenisha Pratt (TLC, Brandy) and Octave (Cleo, All Saints). There's still no release date set for their upcoming debut album, but tracks that are tipped for inclusion include "Ayo", "Nothing Like Him" and "Let Me Be Me". I've got one thing running through my mind though … Could they be the first British girl band to break the American market since the Spice Girls? … Only time will tell …
Thanx Tom for the tip J
Posted at 07:29 am by mokhal
Thursday, January 25, 2007
MYA GOES HEAD 2 HEAD WITH MARIO BARRETT
Sexy songstress Mya confirmed to fellow blogging site Rap-Up that “Lock You Down” featuring Lil Wayne will indeed be the lead single from her upcoming fourth album “Liberation”, and it's scheduled to be shot in LA next month. The track was produced by Scott Storch (Toni Braxton, Silena Murrell), and co-written by Makeba Riddick(Jessica Simpson, LeToya Luckett). “Liberation” also includes additional collaborations with rapper The Game, songwriter Johnta Austin (Trey Songz, Fantasia), as well as producers Bryan Michael Cox (Ciara, Gwen Stefani) and Johnathan Rotem (Britney Spears, Rihanna).
It’s also important to note that since “Liberation” is going to be released on May 8th, which also means that Mya is battling it out with R&B crooner Mario Barrett, who is also releasing his 3rd album “Go!” on the same date! Do you think Ms. Harrison has what it takes to win this fierce battle?
Mya in the studio with Johnta Austin and Bryan Michael Cox.
Posted at 02:33 pm 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
*Musicians' Galore - Sister Blog*
Bronx River Parkway
Cigna Sight And Sound
J's Random Corner
Music, Gossip, & More
Pop Music Kingdom
R&B Music Blog
Rory And Summer Show
Singers Room Blog
Str8 Outta NYC
The Next 2 Shine
That Grape Juice
The Gospel Fill-Up