Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Grimsby Pop Idol star Kim Gee supports St Andrew's Hospice fundraiser at Valiant pub

GRIMSBY'S original Pop Idol star Kim Gee was in action along with a host of other singers at a popular charity show.
Kim won lots of fans all over the country when she sang her heart out on the ITV talent show – hosted by Ant and Dec – in 2003.

The judges back in those days were Simon Cowell, Pete Waterman, Neil Fox and Nicki Chapman.

The winner in the series that featured Kim was Scottish singer Michelle McManus.

Kim was in action at the annual Singers' Day show at The Valiant pub, in Wingate Road, Willows Estate, Grimsby.

Kim, 34, who lives on the estate, said she was pleased to support the day, which was raising money for St Andrew's Hospice, Grimsby.

"My uncle, Andy Braid, had motor neurone disease and he was at the hospice for the last eight months of his life," she said.

"He died about 10 or 11 years ago.


"I am doing a song called Heroes and I am dedicating that to the people at the hospice."

Other songs on her list for the show were Son Of A Preacher Man, Walking On Sunshine and Take A Little Piece Of My Heart.

Kim said she did not do as much singing these days as she is kept busy looking after four children, including a little boy that she has adopted.

"I home school them," she said. "That's my job."

Kim is still well known across the Grimsby area for her amazing performances on Pop Idol back in 2003.

"I came seventh in the live show," she said.

She also made local headlines when she won the first Pub Idol competition, sponsored by the Grimsby Telegraph, in 2003.

She said that, since then, she had kept busy and had worked at Compass FM radio station as a presenter.

"I lead a worship band at the Calvary Christian Fellowship Church on the Willows," said Kim.

"I have done that for a couple of years."

Landlord Cliff Barber said: "Kim and I are good friends."

Other singers in action at the extravaganza included those from the local pubs and clubs scene, including Stevie S, Steve Gold, Karen Leshone and Soul Finger.

Mr Barber said the Singers Day had been staged at the pub for the past ten years.

"The hospice has always been here to support it and the customers support it," he said.

"The singers give up their time to do it for a worthy cause."

He added that about £30,000 had been raised over the years for the hospice.

"It's a good worthy cause for local people," said Mr Barber.

"At some time in our lives, we have all known people who have visited the hospice or had family or friends there.

"They do a fantastic job.

"Thank you to everyone who has given us prizes for the raffle, which is a good fundraiser, especially the local shops in Wingate Parade.

"This is the fourth time I have run the pub. I have lived on the estate since it was built 47 years ago.

"I have lived here from day one."

Hospice representative Lauren Alexander, who attended the show, said: "It is absolutely fantastic that the local community on the Willows estate is raising money and that they are well in to the next decade of fundraising.

"Cliff has informed me that it has just grown and grown in support.

"I want to thank everyone for taking part and for giving money or donating their time to make it a success."

Monday, September 29, 2014

Britney Spears Fashion News: Pop Singer 'Would Love' To See Kate Middleton In Her New Lingerie Line

Britney Spears débuted her new lingerie line in London on Tuesday and the pop icon knows exactly who she'd like to wear it.
Britney Spears At The MTV Music Awards

"I would love to see Kate [Middleton] wear my underwear designs," Spears told People on Wednesday. "That would be splendid! I'm going to send her one of every piece, so she'll have plenty to choose from.

In defending her decision to offer some free samples to the Duchess, the singer-turned-designer claimed that her line is for "every type of woman."

Britney Spears Performs In Las Vegas

While known for her fragrances, Intimate Britney Spears is the 32-year-old's first entry into the world of lingerie design. As for her personal life, Spears admitted that she prefers to keep things interesting.

"I like to have matching and then sometimes I like to mix it up and change it up… to make it more interesting and fun" revealed Spears of her own lingerie.

Spears announced the lingerie line back in July, offering a wide array of styles all under $80.

"Every woman should feel confident and beautiful in everything she puts on," she declared in a July 23 interview with People. "My vision for The Intimate Britney Spears is to create pieces that are sexy, luxurious, and comfortable at the same time. I am excited to introduce this collection because I feel that we accomplished just that."

The Duchess of Cambridge has not commented on Spears' offer and is currently pregnant with her second child.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

K-pop singer takes back accusations of abuse, leaves fans unconvinced


Moon Joon-young, the leader of K-pop boy band ZE:A, on Monday took back his fiery criticisms of his agency's alleged exploitation of its singers, but fans remained sceptical of the "reconciliation."
The 25-year-old singer wrote on his Twitter Monday morning that he had an all-night talk the day before with Shin Ju-hak, the chief executive of Star Empire Entertainment Co., "as the final ultimatum." He posted an official apology "for causing controversy, which was straightened out after a candid face-to-face talk with the CEO."

The entertainment label also released an official statement, claiming Moon and Shin had "unraveled all the misunderstandings and conflicts in a cordial manner."

But the news did not convince online critics, with sceptical comments heating up news sites and online community bulletin boards.

"Talk of reconciliation. A bucket of lies (fnal****)."

"Don't you think it's strange? (snai****)."

"If it was such an easy problem, why have they waited so long to reconcile? This has been a longtime issue (vijd****)."

Some blamed Moon for quickly revoking his claims.

In recent years, the abuse controversy involving K-pop stars and their agencies has gained public attention, with a series of legal actions by globally popular singers. The three former members of TVXQ, now JYJ, Hankyung of Super Junior and Kris of EXO have taken legal action against S.M. Entertainment over common issues of maltreatment, hectic work schedules and scarce income.

Moon's Twitter manifesto also addressed these three key issues in detail.

1. Sunday morning: "I want to live like a human being, like a man."

The scandal surfaced on Sunday morning, when the distressed ZE:A leader voiced allegations of an inhumanly tight schedule and unfair distribution of income.

Moon wrote on his Twitter, "I am determined to speak out my heart, the world as I see it, and the life I live in tears. I mean to share them all with the public. I ask for support from the journalists.

"I will not bypass the injustice. I regret having been silent -- All I got in return was insults and depression that have imprisoned me."

He directly targeted the CEO of his agency, a daring move for an idol star in Korea.

"I believe a true leader, owner and ruler must heed to the cry of (his people) … I will show how tears can turn into fury. This is no joke. If my Twitter account disappears or I become silent, that will be the evidence of the pressure from those with power to do so.

"For the first time, I ask the world: CEO Shin Ju-hak of Star Empire Entertainment, do you think you are immune to this? … In tears I asked you not to cross the line, but you did. Now it is yours to handle this. I blew my top. I have been through everything, from circular hair loss to melancholia."

Later when these statements disappeared from the singer's Twitter, Moon's agency said the singer voluntarily deleted them.

2. Sunday evening: "CEO gets 70 per cent of the profit, members get 3.33 per cent each."

After voicing, then erasing, his words on Twitter, he posted criticism of the agency's unfair distribution of profit.

"A couple hours till the promised 24-hour. We should not have more victims, including ZE:A… Why should we be oppressed for loving to sing? Here, people without money become the sinners and those with money becomes the winners… I want to show young aspiring singers that this world is about being fabulous on the surface but financially poor in reality… They remain silent, not because they do not wish to, but because they cannot speak. Money mutes us."

The singer claimed that ZE:A's exclusive contract with Star Empire, approved by the Fair Trade Commission, has "the company and the nine-member band split the profit by a 7:3 ratio." For every 1 million won earned, Shin takes 700,000 won and ZE:A members divide the remaining 300,000 won by nine -- roughly 33,333 won for each member.

ZE:A's exclusive contract is effective for nine years, which includes the two-year military service term.

"I have given Star Empire my youth, teens and 20s. The housing is in such bad condition that I bumped into (a hard object) and hurt my face while going to the restroom at night. Once they sent me to KBS' sports entertainment show 'Dream Team' only a week before the comeback stage for 'Aftermath.' I broke my leg (in the show,) and had to tell people that I hurt my leg in dance practice instead.

"The world is all about money. The entertainment scene that I have experienced is even more so, and the mass communication outlets distort the news to the point that we think of committing suicide," he added.

"I am going to have a final word with president Shin Ju-hak. Please wait for me. Please do not delete (my case) from the portal's most frequently searched words."

3. Monday morning: "I saw President Shin apologise with tears in his eyes... but I know things may be much worse in some entertainment agencies."

Moon ended the dispute with his agency by posting an apology and a briefing of the talks between himself and Shin. He said the CEO offered a tearful apology in front of eight ZE:A members. Siwan is currently away for an outside schedule.

With a complete about-face in opinion, he wrote, "First of all, I apologise for triggering the controversy. We finished the talk just now and I am grateful that he accepted my feelings, which are all straightened for good.

"This is what I wanted to show. A CEO being chastised by the fans and the public. But now that the dispute has ended, it all comes down to a petty family fight… But I know things may be much worse at other entertainment agencies. I do not want Mr. Shin to stick out as a scapegoat. Guilty agencies need no accuser."

4. Aftermath

While Moon and Star Empire have seemingly reconciled, online critics argued that the agency has a history of mistreating its singers.

Another round of fresh criticisms were directed toward Shin later on Monday, after a critic posted a video clip of the Star Empire Entertainment chief slapping a female singer's face with a roll of documents. The singer turned out to be Sera, a former member of Star Empire's girl group Nine Muses. The movie clip later turned out to be a part of a documentary on K-pop artists, aired on British broadcaster BBC.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga Go 'Cheek To Cheek' On New Album

You might think they go together like oil and water, or chalk and cheese.

"I think it's probably what a lot of people are thinking when they hear Tony Bennett wants to do a jazz album with Lady Gaga," says Gaga herself of her new collaborative album with the legendary crooner, Cheek To Cheek. "They say, 'Huh? What are you talking about?'"
It's not the first time they've worked together. The pair collaborated on "The Lady Is A Tramp" for his album Duets II, which won a Grammy. Bennett says Lady Gaga's up to the challenge of a full album of standards.

"She's actually a very authentic jazz singer," he says. "She'll turn a phrase, she'll make it different, because of the moment that she's singing. And so, what happens is it keeps the songs alive; the interpretations become very intimate and everlasting."

Like Bennett, Lady Gaga was born in New York City. She's actually been singing jazz since she was a kid — but of course, she's best known for her pop songs and over-the-top stage shows, which draw sell-out crowds around the world. So, why did she decide to record with Tony Bennett?

"He's brought out a subtlety in me that I've missed for a while, because my life is very noisy," Gaga says. "It's a lot harder to sing with auto-tune, in a way, you know? It's a lot harder to sing with rigid electronic music and lots of spectacle. It can be very difficult, because it's not always extremely natural."

But the new record is natural, says New Yorker pop-music critic Sasha Frere-Jones.

"You know, her records have become increasingly so crowded, so noisy — but not with noise, just sort of noisy with information that I don't understand what's going on exactly," Frere-Jones says. "And this is a wide-open, fairly natural record. I'm sure there's some editing involved in there, but, you know, she's there. I don't know what the world will make of it, but it's actually pretty good!"

Frere-Jones also points out that Lady Gaga is more than pop spectacle; she can really play piano and sing. She says working with the 88-year-old Bennett has been a real education.

"I love watching Tony perform," she says. "I always sit in the theater and watch when he's performing without me, with his quartet."

Bennett hopes the learning experience extends to Lady Gaga's audience.

"It's the first time that young people that love [her] so much will fall in love with George Gershwin, with Cole Porter, with Irving Berlin," Bennett says.

"And most of them, a lot of them, surprisingly, know some of those songs," Gaga says. "And they're sort of getting more and more and more excited and it's becoming cooler for them to talk about who wrote what. Tony's really opening up a whole new generation.

"I feel very validated by this," the pop singer says. "You know, he's given my fans a gift by saying to them that he likes the way I sing jazz."

The two singers also seem to genuinely like each other. In addition to the album, PBS will be broadcasting a concert of Gaga and Bennett singing duets in October. And — in case any of Lady Gaga's fans are curious about who wrote what — Bennett promises there will be visuals, identifying the songwriters, at the start of every song.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Chrissie Hynde says pop full of 'porn stars trying to make records'

The Pretenders' outspoken lead singer Chrissie Hynde has again raised the spectre of so-called "stripper pop", blasting young singers for selling sex before music.
Hynde has labelled young pop stars "porn stars trying to make records".

The iconic Brass in Pocket hit maker has told the London Evening Standard there were too many scantily clad pop stars and rockers filming videos while wearing next to nothing.

"There's a definite division of what I'd call porn stars trying to make records, and then musicians.

"If you go and see Kate Bush, you'll see a real musician. She takes care of business the way she wants. If a girl walks on stage and starts playing like Jimi Hendrix, believe me, no one will be asking her to take her clothes off," she told the UK publication.

"If anyone says, 'I have to do this because my record company told me', that's a lie. The artist is in control of what they're doing. You can always tell anyone to f--- off.

"If they're under pressure to get their kit off, maybe they should just be making porn films. Maybe they're in the wrong game."

Hynde isn't singling out anyone for criticism, but her remarks come just days after actress Mayim Bialik took aim at Ariana Grande for wearing "lingerie" to promote her new album.

In 2013, Sinead O'Connor attacked Miley Cyrus after watching the pop star's Wrecking Ball video, in which the former Disney regular swings about on a huge metal ball, wearing only boots.

11 Pop Singers Worth Listening to Over Any Mainstream “Pop Star”

It's hard to tell people you like pop music. Inevitably, "pop" conjures ideas of fluffy, insubstantial tunes targeting the lowest common denominator. To some extent, that's true — it's difficult to argue that consumerism and capitalism aren't the driving forces behind pop music, and that sometimes that makes for meaningless fluff.

But there's nothing wrong with an irresistible hook. And when it comes down to it, everybody loves a catchy song.

In that spirit, here are 11 artists who write great pop songs but aren't actually pop stars. Their music is catchy, artistic and fun, but you won't hear them on the radio. And that's a good thing.

1. Kiesza

Kiesza came out of nowhere. Before she was a singer, she nearly became a sniper in the Canadian navy. But earlier this year, when she released the one-take dancing video for her song "Hideaway," she blew up almost immediately.
"Hideaway" went on to become the third-fastest selling single of 2014 in the U.K. It's also received plenty of critical acclaim for successfully pulling off a '90s-inspired disco track. Its pulsing rhythm and infinite dance-ability underscore the song, perhaps owing to Kiesza's past as a ballerina. As if all that weren't enough to win us all over, Kiesza recently announced that she's written songs for Rihanna's upcoming album. She has the best of both worlds.

2. Mapei

Half-American, half-Liberian Mapei has been creating music for quite a while. She started out working in rap, but it wasn't until she went on to collaborate with Justice on "Don't Wait" that she caught the music world's attention.

The song has reached No. 1 on Hype Machine repeatedly, and for good reason; it flawlessly toes the line between sadness and sensuality. The track incorporates different cultural influences, opening with Brazilian baile funk drums. The mashed-up sound makes sense, as Mapei grew up all over the world. She started in Rhode Island, then spent time in Sweden, Brazil and Tunisia. Her album is set to drop on Sept. 23, and although "Don't Wait" is almost perfect, her new single "Change" is even more fun.

3. Haerts

Haerts makes music like Fleetwood Mac would have made if they were just starting today. A quartet from Brooklyn, N.Y., they have American roots as well as German and English. Vocalist Nini Fabi can conjure a dreamy aural haze like no one else.

Haerts were all over the blogosphere on "best of 2013" lists, and they're not slacking off in 2014 either. They intend to release their debut LP on Oct. 28. 

4. Betty Who

Betty Who gained instant notoriety when Spencer Stout used her song "Somebody Loves You" to propose to his boyfriend via a flashmob at Home Depot. The video currently has more than 12 million views, and what's more, the couple famously got married during Macklemore's epic performance of "Same Love" at the Grammys.

Clearly, Betty Who's catchy melodies have the capacity to inspire and connect people, but she's recently also proved that her songs are as delightful as they are meaningful. "All of You" and "Runaways," which precede her Oct. 7 album Take Me When You Go On, capture the heart of innocent young love, driving pop music to its sweet edge with euphoric hooks. 

5. Adore Delano

The sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race was infinitely better than the fifth, almost solely because of Adore Delano. Since the show, Delano's been making club jams like "DTF," but her summer single "I Adore U" is a power-pop ballad that is simply beautiful. Her vocals soar, the rap bit is on point and the video is a brutally honest, gorgeous visual that matches the song's sincerity.

6. Lo-Fang

Thirty-year-old Matthew Hemerlein is a bona fide musical prodigy: He's classically trained in violin, cello, bass, piano and guitar. No one since Andrew Bird has so easily switched between instruments, playing the violin onstage like a third appendage. But his real selling point is his hypnotic voice.

He's commited to playing with bold gender identities too, balancing out the masculine and the feminine in his life and music. He sees "fang" (his industrial beats) as male and "lo" (his string melodies) as female. He wrote his debut album, Blue Film, while traveling, and plays every instrument on the album himself. All his conscientious artistry paid off when Lorde named his song "No. 88" as her favorite of 2013 and then invited him to open for her spring 2014 tour.

7. Lolawolf

No one has electro-indie pop down like Lolawolf. The band is fronted by fashion darling and actress Zoë Kravitz (the daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet), who, of course, sings beautifully. Their music is warm and atmospheric, with a sarcastically funny edge perhaps best summarized by the lyric on "Drive (Los Angeles)": "I could stare out your window, and fuck you tonight."

Just as artists like the Weeknd and Drake brought melancholy back to mainstream R&B, Lolawolf is making pop darker and far more interesting. 

8. Lowell

"When I first stopped stripping and started making music, I was legitimately blackmailed by people," singer Lowell told Radio.com. "But I realized that all I could do was just be comfortable with who I was ... and just try to be the best person I could be and not give a shit what anybody thinks."

It's this willingness to open up to her fans, to share her past and present with us, that makes Lowell a successful modern star. Her quirkiness might keep her off the top of the charts, but her music is still phenomenally catchy. She's also incredibly smart, careful not to discriminate against sex workers by denouncing her past. She convincingly articulates that stripping can be empowering, but that the surrounding industry is what can sometimes be victimizing. Her music is political yet fun, a perfect combination.

9. MisterWives

Pop music is known for being overproduced and autotuned, perhaps because it's often more about image than rigorous musical training. But that's not true for New York-based MisterWives, whose lead singer, Mandy Lee, attended visual and performing arts powerhouse LaGuardia High School and studied opera. Their band name is also a sassy play on Mormon "sister wives," but instead of polygamy, Mandy is "married" to her five male bandmates. They also do a killer cover of Sam Smith's "Money on My Mind."

10. TALA

Listening to TALA is like unwrapping a present, with infinite delightful surprises hidden under every rich sonic layer. TALA is half-Iranian, but she grew up in South London, and she's making sure that her music is a reflection of her diversity and identity.

"Growing up in quite a diverse family and in such a melting pot, I've always mixed cultures," she writes in BuzzFeed. "That's just a part of who I am, and it's a part of my music and imagery. We live in a time where certain imagery from the Middle East can be quite alien to Western culture and quite scary for people sometimes. If you can take the positive aspects of what is quite a beautiful culture, than I think it's great to throw that in the mix."

If music is a universal language, then it's people like TALA who can really get a positive message across. 

11. Alvvays

This is washy lo-fi pop. Yes, that's been done many times before, but Alvvays does it impeccably. Their first single, "Archie, Marry Me," was the No. 1 most-added song on college radios across America and Canada. It's understandable; the song's chorus is painfully true to a 20-something experience: "It's too late to go out, too young to stay in."

Molly Rankin, the lead singer, is of the famed Rankin family, a Canadian musical family with many awards to their name. But she'll prove any critic crying nepotism wrong: Alvvays' debut is a powerhouse because of her gorgeously wistful voice and her own compelling lyrics. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Singer with sensual dance steps to represent Vietnam at 2014 MTV EMA

A well-loved Vietnamese pop singer will represent her country at the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards (2014 MTV EMA), which is set to wrap up in Scotland in November 2014, MTV Vietnam announced on Monday.
Ho Ngoc Ha, a popular singer, who has entranced a large number of young local fans thanks to her ‘trendy’ singing voice and sensual dance steps, will compete in the Best Worldwide Act category.

Ha won 246,289 votes on MTV Vietnam’s website, followed by two other Vietnamese pop singers Son Tung MTP and Dong Nhi.

The candidate list also included some other pop singers.
The voting went on from Tuesday last week to this Monday noon, September 15, but on Tuesday, Ha’s photo was seen on MTV Thailand’s Facebook as the Vietnamese representative.

The photo was removed shortly after that.

Representatives of MTV Asia claimed that the photo was a mix-up.

Rumor also has it that MTV Vietnam has fixed the voting result and chosen Ha as the winner.

Ho Tri Quyen, an MTV Vietnam representative, said that all MTV channels in Southeast Asia have the privilege to nominate a local singer to attend the first round of the Best Worldwide Act.

While working with MTV Asia, MTV Vietnam considered choosing Ha as the Vietnamese representative.

“However, given the success of My Tam at the 2013 MTV EMA, who was voted by fans as the Vietnamese candidate, we decided not to use our privilege and leave the choice to the fans,” Quyen added.

The final round of the 2014 MTV EMA will take place in Glasgow, Scotland on November 9.

Last year, famed pop singer My Tam became the first local artist to represent Vietnam at the 2013 MTV EMA’s Best Worldwide Act category in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Tam then won the Best Southeast Asia Act based on audience voting in the first round of the 2013 MTV EMA and went on to represent the Southeast Asian region in the second round.

MTV EMA is aired on more than 60 MTV channels in different countries, which are watched by over 700 million households the world over.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Twin pop singers from Atlanta find a welcome in China

After their trysts with gospel music, R&B, hip-hop and some Motown in parts of the world, two Americans are now happy to entertain China. Belle Taylor talks to the Jackson Twinz.
Preach and Danger Jackson are identical twins, but that's not the only reason it's tricky to tell them apart.

Aside from being the spitting image of each other, they often dress alike, and the brothers are no shrinking violets when it comes to sartorial style. They appear more like screaming carnations, with red trousers, red shirts and matching short red ties. They top off the ensemble with black shoes, and wear dark aviator sunglasses even at night.

"Our father always told us, it doesn't matter if you are flat broke, you always dress like you have a million dollars in your pocket," Preach, whose real name is Scharodrick, says.

His brother Danger (real name Scharod) interjects, "2 million!"

The snappily dressed duo are best known by their stage name The Jackson Twinz, and are recognized by many people in Beijing. They have appeared in nightclubs and bars and have been the musical entertainment at countless balls, music festivals, fashion shows and corporate events ever since they touched down in the Chinese capital four years ago.

"We didn't plan to be here," Danger says. Preach nods in agreement: "But China had a surprise for us. It's green, it's open, it's new."

The brothers were performing in Singapore when they first were presented with an offer to travel to China. Initially reluctant, they decided to take a risk and found themselves happily surprised. A residency at Beijing's Lan club led to further opportunities and they have since made the city their base.

"We played at the wedding of a celebrity, we didn't know who the celebrity is, and then it just led to other things," Preach says. "We are quite business orientated, so we spoke to the owners (of Lan) and we said, 'if you want to be successful here, if you want to pack this place out with high-end customers we need to go outside at least once a month,' ... so every month we went out and did some big TV show and that brought in clients."

The brothers are from Atlanta and started singing gospel in the church with their sisters, also twins, when they were children. "But they were a little bit tone deaf," Preach says of his sisters, waving his hand in a mockingly dismissive gesture.

He says, the brothers though had the perfect pitch when they were aged 8 or 9, and easily got their way. "In our family we have 17 sets of twins and we were the only boys."

Gospel led to singing R&B, and in 1991 they ventured overseas for the first time - to Japan where they found themselves playing at a venue that specialized in Motown music. The genre - soul music infused with pop, and inspired by the American motor town of Detroit - was unfamiliar to the brothers, but they quickly adapted, and credit the experience for broadening their repertoire.

"You gotta know the crowd," Preach says. "We can change our style. When we were (at) Gary's Motown in Japan we knew nothing about Motown. It's the 1930s, sometimes 1920s music."

Danger says their gospel background made the music easy enough to pick up, but the other aspects of Motown were a learning curve. "It's all dancing and singing, lights camera, action, for six months straight! Then we were also doing hip-hop and R&B, we went up to Tokyo for that."

The influence of those years can be seen in their stage act today. The brothers not only sing, but they know how to work a crowd into a frenzy. Their dance moves help, as does their propensity to pull members of the audience onstage to be part of the show.

They have recorded several albums, mainly in their genre of choice - R&B, but usually manage to squeeze a gospel track into each one, but their main game is performing, which they have done the world over. Spain, Germany, Malaysia and the Philippines are among the countries where they've played.

But for now, they are happy to take the opportunities that are coming their way in China, including landing minor acting roles in movies.

They say hard work and professionalism have held them in good stead in China, and while they see an increasing number of musicians making their way to the country, eager to take advantage of the opportunities available, they say not everyone is successful.

"We say to people, it don't happen overnight," Danger says.

He has some sound advice for those who want to pursue their own China dream. "Whatever path you take, just work hard."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pop singers to give concert in Baku

Here is amazing news for the fans of Nicole Scherzinger, Will.I.Am, Apl.de.Ap from "Black Eyed Peas" and soloist of "LMFAO" Redfoo. Following the example of Shakira, Beyonce and Jlo, these internationally renowned singers will come to Baku for the first time with a concert program.
The festival Adrenaline will be held in the biggest Baku concert hall Crystal Hall on November 1.

The tickets for this amazing show are available in the box offices of the city. The ticket prices start from 30 manats.

The soloist of the worldwide known Pussycat Dolls burlesque group Nicole Scherzinger is an American pop singer, dancer and producer. She began her solo career in 2006.

William Adams better known as Will.I.Am is an American rapper, music producer, one of the founders and the leader of the hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas.

Stefan Kendal Gordy better known by his stage name Redfoo, is an American singer, dancer, record producer, DJ and rapper best known as part of the musical duo LMFAO.

Allen Pineda Lindo is a Filipino-American rapper, music producer, also known as a member of the band Black Eyed Peas, acting under the pseudonym Apple D Ap.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Meet Thurmon Green, the NYC Singer on a Mission to Subvert Pop

Earlier this summer I took the ferry across to Fire Island, a glamorous stretch of sand and sexy architecture just across the water from Long Island, NY. Arts organization BOFFO were throwing a party to celebrate the end of GEN F graduates Lafawndah and Nick Weiss of Teengirl Fantasy's spell as artists-in-residence. I didn't know it on the ferry over but it turned out to be the first time I would see Thurmon Green perform. Stood by the side of a Hockney blue pool in crimson shorts and shirt, and wearing the most bashful of smiles, Green turned a casual Saturday afternoon into a pure pop moment. There's his rich, sure, sassy voice, of course, but it's more than that: Green is the whole package a face you can't take your eyes off, a flick to his shoulder that oozes confidence and songs that winkle out a fresh angle on familiar feelings.
Back in March he premiered his video for "The Grind," a song that unpicks the social conventions of the daily grind to a backdrop of nuanced choreography—he sings of vulnerability but his body language frames it as a strength. While it sounds like a hit-in-waiting, it could've easily never materialized. Green grew up in LA—a place he is very fond of, saying "for me LA's not just Paris Hilton and the beach, it’s family ties and this kind of warm softness"—and was all set on being a filmmaker, moving to NYC to study it at college. Halfway through, however, he realized he needed to be making music instead, something he had dabbled in as a kid but without training. Reveling in the "mystery and ignorance" of his experience with music, he sketched out the handful of tracks that would go on to become his debut EP Adolphus (out next week on NYC label/collective DOOM DAB; listen to the premiere of EP track "Like That" below) on GarageBand before recruiting friend and producer Billy Scher to "give the songs legs." Ahead of the release,Green popped by The FADER office to chat about making a proto-The Social Network as a 16-year-old, visual representation, and the joys of subverting pop.
Thurmon Green"Like That"

When we were chatting earlier, you mentioned singers like Arthur Russell and Anita Baker who are known for their strength in vulnerability. I’m drawn to singers who weren’t necessarily trained singers or who are not concerned with perfection. I grew up learning if you study something, or you practice it really well, you become really good at it and people will appreciate that. But [becoming a singer] has been the most organic, natural process that’s recalling what I was originally drawn to as a child—instinctually more performance-oriented stuff. But then as a teen it was stamped out of me by the world, so this is me returning to the performance side.

Why was it stamped out of you? I had a totally chill childhood—just in the regular ways that teens are taught to not shine too bright. But as a child it’s just your instinct to do whatever you want and for me it was performing. That’s why I titled the EP Adolphus, because for the first ten years of my life I was known as ‘Dolph’ to my family—that’s my middle name. Iguess it got more formal around sixth grade for roll call, so they started calling me Thurmon. But I still think of myself as Dolph in my head. So with this EP, it’s me going back to Dolph. 

When you say performance as a kid, do you mean singing or acting? Anything, honestly. I would just reenact scenes from movies and use my siblings as like the props and the co-stars. I would sing the theme song to Touched by an Angel, this cheesy show about angels. It had a gospel theme song and I would sing it.

How did you end up in New York? I came here for film school. I was like "film guy" in high school. I was entering film festivals and I was also doing teen plays at my high school and dabbling in music a little bit. But it was mostly film because that’s what I thought was the most respectable creative work to my parents who come from a humble background. I loved film but midway through film school at NYU Tisch I fell out of love with the process. The faculty and resources were amazing but everyone was just not really invested in being a critically minded artist and I think that’s so valuable. Luckily, as I checked out of film school, I was drawn to a circle of intellectually minded individuals and music people and started to just jam. You know, college jam sessions. That led to more serious messing around in GarageBand. After I graduated, I started to be like, “Okay, let me do this,” because it combines all the things I’m interested in. It feels like a continuation of me as a film-making artist but I feel like it’s the best job in the world to be a popstar because you get to just combine all these different things and work with so many different people and create this world that can encompass your own personal mythology. 

What was the film that got you into film school? I made this film called Connect which was basically before everyone was doing stuff about technology pulling us all away from one another. It was about a group of teens whose lives intersect and finally cross paths when their technology fails them and they have a human interaction. I still stand by it. Of course it was made when I was sixteen but it actually when pretty far—it got into a few festivals and I got some scholarship opportunities through it. 

What changed to make you decide you wanted to go for music? I think it was becoming a more critically thinking, intellectually minded person. I was fortunate enough to take courses in college that were on social-cultural analysis and [through that] my own independent reading of performance as resistance and the importance of visual representation. I thought, “Okay, it is important for someone that looks like me to be on a platform.” I think people want that and need that in 2014. That motivated me to put myself front and center and have the courage to put myself in the artwork. 

That’s pretty fearless. Yes, but I would say it really took a supportive community of artists and friends around me. My family has always been very supportive of these pursuits. They may not always like the music or understand the film or whatever, but they’re always really supportive. 

What do you mean when you say “someone that looks like me?” Someone who is not the traditional, conventional version of a male pop star. Regardless of how I actually look, I don’t feel like that. I mean, I don’t look like Trey Songz. And, you know, someone being involved in a kind of progressively minded, queer community of artists that may not be the person who is going to go for this kind of pop iconography. 
1ers feat. Thurmon Green"Dancing Away"

We all think there’s this traditional idea of a pop star and how they look and behave, but that tradition has only been around a few years really. Just as I finished talking, I realized someone with that kind of gumption or gall to be so intensely themselves sets the standard. They mold everything. I also feel like as a young African American male to put myself in a position of being looked upon, gazed upon on camera while simultaneously running things behind the scenes feels really important. Also to show that in a really beautiful way. My friends and I made “The Grind” video. It was made with love. They’re the ones behind the camera and it’s made with their loving gaze. It really is all about love in the end. I would love to just be this visual representation of all the things I really care about, which is being positive in the face of so many oppressive things going on in the world—especially as an African-American young man existing in mainstream society. To do that in the pop mainstream would be extremely subversive but so much fun. 

When subversion is done well, it’s just kind of opening a door and being like, “Actually, we could go this way.” You can totally do it with music more than anything else. More than any other art form—someone can call me out in a comment—I think music is the most unifying. I’m not the first person to say this. The weirdest song can be liked by the most normal person and vice versa. Subverting mainstream culture can be done through something as cerebral and ephemeral as music.  

You’ve said pop a number of times, and you’ve also talked about R&B before. I could be saying R&B interchangeably with pop. To me pop is just the broader global influence. It’s like the little baby in India singing Michael Jackson with a Pepsi shirt on. I mean, to me that’s pop. And pop can be R&B, hip-hop, you know? I have no problem being called R&B because to me that encompasses is all things that I love. It’s like, you know, you have Brandy here, Little Dragon, BB King...you know, just whatever you wanna put, I’m down. And it could end up in my music somehow. 

Where does your positivity come from? I think it comes from a really unsentimental place. It’s not about being an optimistic person; it’s about being a hopeful person. There’s just so much horrible stuff in the world that I think that probably fuels me to create things that make people happy, or at least that they can feel like someone is relating to their situation. I also think I probably just have fear of mortality and I just want to make things that make people move, which is like the opposite of dying. 

Even when I make songs that are a little more like “The Grind,” which, while being perhaps dark, has a sense of humor and to me is kind of like someone telling a story. I’m really inspired by singers like Alberta Hunter and Bessie Smith—the idea of [creating] these intimate environments and someone just telling their troubles. But like there’s always this unshakeable quality to it. It’s not like, “Oh woe is me,” but ”This is what I’ve lived through and I’m still here.” When I perform “The Grind” it feels like this redemptive thing that I bring into the performance. There’s like a wink in it. It’s like, “This didn’t get me because I’m still here and I’m telling this story.” 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Ladies' Code singer Rise dies after crash

Ladies Code Ladies' Code, with Rise pictured second left, were returning from a TV appearance when the crash happened.
A second member of South Korean pop group Ladies' Code has died, four days after the vehicle they were travelling in crashed near Seoul.

Kwon Ri-sae, known as Rise, died in hospital at the age of 23 on Sunday.

She had been unconscious after emergency brain surgery following Wednesday's accident, a spokesperson from Polaris Entertainment said.

Her death follows that of 22-year-old bandmate Go Eun-bi, better known as EunB, who died shortly after the crash.

The five-member group made their debut in 2013 and released their latest single Kiss Kiss last month.

One other member of Ladies' Code fractured her jaw and two had minor injuries and were treated for shock.

Police inspector Lee Ho-dong told the Associated Press that the crash happened when band were returning to the South Korean capital after filming a TV appearance in the south-eastern city of Daegu.

The van driver was treated for a minor injury before being questioned and may have been speeding on a wet road to meet a tight schedule, Mr Lee said.

"We are investigating the exact cause of the accident," he said. "But it's difficult because the highway section where the crash occurred did not have a closed-circuit television camera."

He added that a camera from inside the van had been sent to the National Forensic Service.