Friday, August 31, 2007
[MONICA MANIA INTERVIEW] SHAMORA CRAWFORD
Shamora Crawford has made her mark in the music scene by penning hits for artists such as Monica ("Hurts The Most", "Breaks My Heart", "I Wrote This Song"), Jennifer Lopez ("Can't Believe This"), Maria ("Lonely", "Miss You"), Blu Cantrell ("10,000 Times"), Victoria Beckham ("L.O.V.E", "Into My Heart"), and Teairra Mari ("New Shit"). Her powerful singing voice can now be heard on the critically acclaimed debut album, "How It Feels", which was released independently via Striker Records. I caught up with the singer/songwriter to talk about her career in the music biz, working with several accomplished producers, collabos wish-list, future projects, and so much more … Enjoy reading, and don't forget to post your thoughts :)
Hamada: - What inspired you to become a songwriter? And who was the first artist you worked with?
Shamora: - This is a hard question because I never dreamed of becoming a songwriter. It kind of happened by accident. I was singing at a wedding when I was 16 and this producer/songwriter named Artie Hoyle asked me to come and demo some songs for him. When I went to his studio I was intrigued to find out that he was making money by writing songs. I was interested. I had written a little before, but hadn't formally put anything down yet. He played me J Dubb track, and I wrote a song and the rest is history.
Hamada: - I got to know you through your work with Maria on the tracks "Lonely" & "Miss you", and till this day I consider them two of my all time favorites. What do they mean to you? And how was it like working with her?
Shamora: - Thank you so much. Those are two of my favorite songs as well. At the time I was dealing with a tough breakup with an ex boyfriend and the constant push and pull between us was a strain. I was reminded how sometimes I took him being there for granted and I didn't realize how much I missed him until he was gone. Perhaps that's what those songs were all about. :) Working with Maria was really great though. She's one of the nicest people and a great artist, her voice is very true.
Hamada: - Were you surprised when Maria's album – "My Soul" - didn't sell as well as expected? And are you still in touch with her?
Shamora: - I was a bit shocked that her album didn't do better as far as sales. It wasn't her fault though, unfortunately her album dropped just before Dreamworks decided to drop all of their artists. Once again another great artist and a great album suffered because of it. Unfortunately I haven't spoken to Maria in a few years. I pray all is well with her.
Hamada: - Tell us about your debut album, "How It Feels", and what can we expect from it?
Shamora: - "How It Feels" is a representation of what we girls feel when going through the ups and downs of relationships. Finally guys get to really hear our side of things, and understand how we are truly affected by the joy, the pain, etc. Check it out; I'm sure you'll love it.
Hamada: - What do you think of the increasing trend with regards to songwriters turning to singers?
As far as other singer songwriters, there are quite a few that I absolutely adore. I'm a fan of real songs, so the obvious would be: Sting, Babyface, Roberta Flack, Prince, Sheryl Crow, Shania Twain, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, etc. I could go on and on with that one forever. How much time do you have? LOL :)
Hamada: - Which artists would you love to write songs for? And why?
Shamora: - Wow! I pray to work with Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Lalah Hathaway, Mariah Carey, etc. That list goes on and on too. I would love to work with them because they are true artists. Most artists nowadays aren't. These people have real talent, and no matter what they sing, you believe it. They move people through music, and their music is timeless, and I feel like those are the kinds of songs I write.
Hamada: - Are there any producers that you haven't worked with yet, but would love to collaborate with soon?
Shamora: - I would love to work with Warryn Campbell, David Foster, and Rick Rubin.
Hamada: - Do songwriters develop friendships with the singers they work with? Or is it always strictly professional? And are you friends with any of the artists you worked with?
Shamora: - Sure we become friends. I have become friends with a few artists, but it's just like any other job. Some of your colleagues you click with better than others.
Hamada: - Is there any song that you wish you've kept for yourself instead of giving it another artist?
Shamora: - Ummm, I'd have to say that one song that is really close to me and have always wanted for myself is "Hurts The Most". Monica did that song on her "After the Storm" album.
Hamada: - Which album have you recently bought and liked very much?
Shamora: - J Moss "V2…"
Hamada: - I'll ask you about some of the artists/producers you worked with, and you tell me what that experience was like:
o Soulshock & Karlin (producers):- Always a challenge. I learned a lot from these guys. They are incredible. I admire their work very much!
o Peter Biker (producer):- One of the nicest people I've ever met. He's also one of the most talented. He truly doesn't get the recognition he deserves.
o Kwame (producer): We never actually worked together in the studio. The track was sent to me.
o Monica: She's very nice and easy to work with.
o Jennifer Lopez: We actually never met when she recorded my song.
o Victoria Beckham: She's also very nice.
o Teairra Mari: We never met either. Again I wasn't there when she recorded the song.
o Blu Cantrell: This was a challenging session. The song turned out great though!
Hamada: - What are your future projects? And whom can we expect you to be working with soon?
Shamora: - I'm working on some stuff for Universal Music and Jive Records. I have recently finished writing a duet for Keke Wyatt and Raheem DeVaughn, Bad Boy recording artist Cheri Dennis, as well as 3 songs on the new Angie Stone album, "The Art of Love and War".
Hamada: - Last but not the least, is there any message you'd like to give to your fans all over the world?
Shamora: - Thank you for constantly supporting me. Great things are about to happen. Soon more than just us will know how great I really am. I thank God for all of you and his many blessings that we have yet to see!!! God bless!!! Love you all!
[Visit] Shamora @ MySpace
[Listen] Shamora - Betcha
[Purchase] Shamora - How It Feels
Posted at 11:56 pm by mokhal
JAMELIA COMPILATION TO BE RELEASED IN SEPTEMBER
British artist Jamelia will release her greatest hits compilation, “Superstar -- The Hits”, which is due 24th September via Parlophone Records. The set will feature some of her most successful joints such as “Thank You”, “See It in a Boy’s Eyes”, “Beware of the Dog” and “Something about You”. Among the most notable musicians Jamelia collaborated with throughout her musical career are Soulshock & Karlin (Keyshia Cole, Toni Braxton), Bloodshy & Avant (Christina Milian, Britney Spears), Stargate: Tor Erik Hermansen & Mikkel S. Eriksen (Jennifer Hudson, Leona Lewis), Cameron McVey (All Saints, Sugababes), Karen Poole (Janet Jackson, Kylie Minogue) and Chris Martin of Coldplay.
[Listen] Jamelia - DJ (produced by Soulshock & Karlin)
[Purchase] Jamelia - Thank You (Parlophone Records)
Posted at 11:05 pm by mokhal
DUPRI TALKS ABOUT NEW CAREY COLLABO
MTV recently caught up with music producer Jermaine Dupri to talk about his work on Mariah Carey's forthcoming album, and here's what he had to say: -
"You know what's crazy about the Mariah records? When I work on a Mariah record, she always goes home and records her vocals without me. I ain't heard the song! She calls and tells me, 'I finished, let's go and do it. She's a person that you have to respect her for doing her job," he added. "She respects me for doing my job. When I'm in the studio, she don't question what kick [-drum sound] I use. She don't question if I'm using the right snare. She might say, 'I ain't feeling it.' I could say the same thing. There's been plenty of times when I've said, 'Mariah, I think you need to sing this part over.' But after the last album, we got a pretty good understanding. She knows what I'm looking for from her now. We're hoping we have the same formula this time."
The as-yet untitled set which is expected in November via Def Jam Records, also promises to boast additional collaborations with Bryan Michael Cox (Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige), Johnta Austin (Aaliyah, Janet Jackson), Stargate: - Tor Erik Hermansen & Mikkel S. Eriksen (Beyonce, Leona Lewis), Nate "Danja Handz" Hills (Jennifer Lopez, Madonna) and Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean (Jennifer Hudson, Monica).
Posted at 12:46 pm by mokhal
DELTA GOODREM - IN THIS LIFE [VIDEO]
Delta Goodrem is out with the video for her new single, “In This Life”, which was produced by John Shanks (Ashlee Simpson’s “Pieces of Me” / Michelle Branch’s “Are You Happy Now?” / Sheryl Crow’s “Steve McQueen”). The track is lifted from her forthcoming as yet untitled 3rd album due later this year via Sony Music.
[Watch] Delta Goodrem - In This Life
Posted at 12:32 pm by mokhal
Thursday, August 30, 2007
T-PAIN TALKS ABOUT SPEARS' PROJECT
In a recent interview with MTV, rapper/producer T-Pain revealed that the tracks he did with Britney Spears are entitled "Cold as Fire", "Boyfriend" and "One of a kind". Here's what he had to say about their first encounter: -
"She came in there, shook my hand and went right into the booth. She was smiling the whole time. In an hour we had a song. I sang it first and she sung over what I did ... in key and everything! Then did a whole 'nother song. She was about her business."
Other tracks earmarked for inclusion on the as yet untitled project are:
- Everybody (Jonathan "J.R." Rotem).
- Who Can She Trust? (Jonathan "J.R." Rotem).
- Get Back (Nate "Danja Handz" Hills).
- Gimme More (Nate "Danja Handz" Hills).
- Kiss Me All Over (Sean "The Pen" Garrett).
- Pull Out (Sean "The Pen" Garrett).
- Love (Sean "The Pen" Garrett).
- Impossible (Schaffer "Ne-Yo" Smith).
- Red Carpet (Sean "The Pen" Garrett).
- Toy Soldiers (Sean "The Pen" Garrett).
- Freakshow (Bloodshy & Avant).
- All the Way (Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald / Cathy Dennis).
Posted at 05:42 pm by mokhal
ESTELLE FALLS APART ON NEW JOINT
British R&B artist Estelle has a new song called "I Fall Apart" which will appear on the movie soundtrack "Why Did I Get Married?" – due 25th September via Atlantic Records. The track features John Legend, who is also executively producing her forthcoming sophomore album. The as yet untitled LP is expected to sport additional collaborations with Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean (Angie Stone, Jennifer Lopez), Mark Ronson (Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse), Will "Will-I-Am" Adams (Mary J. Blige, Nicole Scherzinger), Kanye West (Mariah Carey, Nicole Scherzinger) and Cee-Lo (Faith Evans, Kelis).
Posted at 03:54 pm by mokhal
SCHERZINGER DONE WITH NEW VIDEO
Nicole Scherzinger recently finished shooting the video for her second single, "Baby Love", with acclaimed video director Francis Lawrence (Jennifer Lopez - "Get Right", Pussycat Dolls - "Buttons", Britney Spears - "I'm a Slave 4 U"). The track was co-written by Kara Dioguardi (Jordin Sparks, Christina Aguilera), and produced by Will "Will-I-Am" Adams (Justin Timberlake, Kelis).
Look out for her debut album, "Her Name Is Nicole", due November 6th via A&M Records. Among the additional collaborators expected are Kanye West (Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson), The Neptunes (Madonna, Gwen Stefani), Sean "The Pen" Garrett (Fergie, Mary J. Blige), Jamal "Polow Da Don" Jones (Kelly Rowland, Ashanti), Nate "Danja Handz" Hills (Leona Lewis, Nelly Furtado), Tim "Timbaland" Mosley (Ashlee Simpson, Samantha Jade), Keri Hilson (Ciara, Paula Campbell), Soulshock & Karlin (Toni Braxton, Monica), Schaffer "Ne-Yo" Smith (Rihanna, Jennifer Hudson), Future Cut (Sugababes, Lily Allen) and Terius "Dream" Nash (Celine Dion, Britney Spears).
Posted at 03:31 pm by mokhal
MINOGUE RETURNS WITH NEW SINGLE IN OCTOBER
Kylie Minogue's forthcoming album is entitled "X", and it will be preceded by lead single - "2 Hearts" - for which a tentative release date is earmarked on 15th October via Parlaphone Records. The set is expected to boast collaborations with producers Bloodshy & Avant (Jennifer Lopez, Madonna), The Runners (Britney Spears, Christina Milian), Calvin Harris (Roisin Murphy, Kelis), Groove Armada (Mutya Buena), as well as songwriters Jim Beanz (Jennifer Hudson, Nelly Furtado), Karen Poole (Kelly Clarkson, Janet Jackson), Amanda Ghost (Jordin Sparks, Alicia Keys) and Cathy Dennis (Rachel Stevens, Thalia).
Posted at 02:38 am by mokhal
DION TOUCHES THE SKY ON DREAM PENNED TRACK
According to a recent interview with Urban Bridgez, songwriter Terius "Dream" Nash helmed a song for Celine Dion called "Sky of L.A.", and it will be part of her forthcoming album – "Taking Chances" – due 13th November via Sony Music. The set is expected to boast additional collaborations with Kara Dioguardi (Ashlee Simpson, Christina Aguilera), Linda Perry (Alicia Keys, Britney Spears), John Shanks (Katharine McPhee, Delta Goodrem), Tim "Timbaland" Mosley (Madonna, Nelly Furtado), Schaffer "Ne-Yo" Smith (Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson) and Ryan "Alias" Tedder (Leona Lewis, Jennifer Lopez).
On a side note, did you guys know that Dream's signature hit, "Umbrella", was initially offered to Britney Spears? Actually I'm not really surprised cuz he previously penned her duet with Madonna - "Me against the Music". Look out for more of his work on the next projects by: -
- Nicole Scherzinger (A&M Records).
- Brit & Alex (Interscope Records).
- Lucy Walsh (Def Jam Records).
- Wynter Gordon (Atlantic Records).
- Karina Pasian (Def Jam Records).
- Mary J. Blige (Geffen Records).
- Gia Farrell (Atlantic Records).
Posted at 01:09 am by mokhal
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
EMILY KING - EAST SIDE STORY [OUT NOW]
Singer/songwriter Emily King released her debut album, "East Side Story", as of 28th August via J Records. The set features lead single, "Walk in My Shoes", which was helmed by female songwriting team The Big Drawz: Tenesha Blacks & Shannell Irving. They are also in the studio working on tracks with production team Stargate: Tor Erik Hermansen & Mikkel S. Eriksen, so you'd betta watch this space! Other notable musicians backing King on her "East Side Story" are Chucky Thompson (Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans), Marsha Ambrosius (Alicia Keys, Jazmine Sullivan) and Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis).
[Read] Emily King - Monica Mania Xclusive Interview
[Purchase] Emily King - East Side Story (J Records)
Posted at 09:53 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
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