“People overcomplicate songwriting sometimes. They think it has to have some brilliant metaphor, some interesting imagery. They don’t realize that they can come into a room and just talk about what they’re feeling.” Illustration: Iris Gottlieb For nearly a decade, Julia Michaels has penned hit songs for the biggest acts in pop music. She is adept at turning people’s vulnerabilities into memorable hooks — think Justin Bieber’s “ Sorry ” or Selena Gomez’s “ Lose You to Love Me .” There are countless others, but all of them share distinctive traits. Where many songwriters might turn to the simplest, almost nursery-rhyme-level lyrics to get the message across, Michaels does the opposite. She crams as many words as possible into each phrase. Her lyrics sound spoken. On her own hit song, her 2017 debut solo single “Issues,” she sings, “Bask in the glory, of all our problems / ’Cause we got the kind of love it takes to solve ’em”; it earned her a Song of the Year nomination at the 2018 Grammys, along with a Best New Artist nod. Her rhyming may sound accidental, but that’s the pop-song illusion. Michaels’s idiosyncratic phrasing has symmetry and her rhyming is indeed purposeful, all to illuminate her primary subject: the infinite recursions of human relationships. After releasing three EPs and countless singles of her own, Michaels has just released her first full-length album, Not in Chronological Order. On this week’s episode of Switched on Pop , co-host Charlie Harding spoke with Michaels about how the vagaries of the heart inspire an endless stream of songs. Charlie: You’ve been in the songwriter game for a minute and have put out three EPs of your own, but Not in Chronological Order is your first full-length. Why now? Julia: I think I just wasn’t ready yet. With me, everything takes a little bit of time. It took me a long time to realize I wanted to be an artist. It took me a long time to feel comfortable with people potentially relating … [Read more...] about You’ll Always Know a Julia Michaels Song When You Hear One — Call It Her Superpower
May 16, 2013 - 11:21 BST hellomagazine.com Singer Christina Aguilera showcases her slimline figure with a Twitter picture taken on the set of her new video. Singer Christina Aguilera has shared a photo of her new, slimline figure with fans on Twitter. The snap was captured on the set of her new video and shows the mum of one flaunting her décolletage and toned curves on a waterfront balcony. Genie In A Bottle . The Voice to launch her new album Lotus , which was rumoured to be supported by a tour. 100 most influential people list. The bumper issue featured a glowing review of each entrant written by another high-profile figure. VIEW GALLERY Fellow singer Celine Dion was full of praise for Christina, describing her as "beautiful" and saying her vocals were "flawless". … [Read more...] about Christina Aguilera showcases new slimline figure with Twitter picture.
Photo: Amazon The video for Jessie Ware’s 2012 single “Wildest Moments” is a master class in stylish simplicity: just a single, unbroken shot of the London-based artist — looking a bit like a marble bust with a nose ring and an immaculate blazer — singing the song as the camera slowly orbits around her, caught in the gravitational pull of her quiet charisma. Especially in the U.S., this single off her excellent debut album Devotion served as most people’s introduction to Ware, and it felt rare to see a pop singer coming out of the gate with such sophisticated, un-showy confidence. (I know another Jessie who could stand to learn a thing or two from her.) Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that she’d first honed her talent a few steps behind the spotlight, touring as a backup singer for British artist Jack Peñate and filling out the sound of Florence + the Machine’s second album, Ceremonials . But the “Wildest Moments” clip has its own kind of transfixing — if slightly evasive — star power: As the camera moves around her, Ware’s gaze occasionally locks intensely with the viewer’s, and then, in the next breath, slips away. The song flickers similarly between extremes: “Baby, in our wildest moments, we can be the greatest / Baby, in our wildest moments, we can be the worst of all.” I don’t think there has yet been a Jessie Ware song about something other than love, and there may never need to be — in her music, being in love is such a glorious, terrible, straight-up kaleidoscopic state of being that she could probably get another dozen albums out of its infinite twists and turns. On Devotion , her Sade-slick pipes charted the breathless excitement of new romance (“Running”), the guilt of running away from something good (“No to Love”), and the wrenching feeling when a sure thing starts to tank in agonizing slow-motion (“Taking in Water”). These were torch songs for the James Blake era: minimalist, atmospheric, and ever-so-occasionally held … [Read more...] about Jessie Ware’s
Photo-Illustration: by Vulture; Photo by Magnolia Pictures Regina Hall radiates gentle warmth and empathy in Support the Girls, Andrew Bujalski’s 2018 indie film about the stretched-thin but fiercely bonded employees of a Hooters-esque breastaurant called Double Whammies. As Lisa, Double Whammies’s long-suffering and incredibly loyal middle manager, Hall is both heartbreaking and low-key funny, maneuvering the insane machinations of her boss, Cubby (James Le Gros), the oft-perverse behavior of her customers, and her crumbling marriage, all while acting as something of a mother figure to the young, scantily clad women who work beneath her (Haley Lu Richardson, Junglepussy, and Dylan Gelula ). The role is an exercise in subtlety — Hall’s wide-open face contorts just slightly enough to let the audience know that Lisa is in pain, but not enough to clue in her adoring coworkers. It’s a revelatory, naturalistic performance that, coming on the heels of years of laugh-out-loud comedies ( Girls Trip, Think Like a Man, Scary Movie) and darker dramas ( The Hate U Give, Law-Abiding Citizen ), shows off Hall’s range. The film itself is just as quietly powerful, studying the bleak dynamics of late American capitalism and the way it intersects with structural sexism and racism without being didactic or losing its sense of humor. Its politics are baked into the story, like the scene in which Lisa’s white male boss takes her on a furious joyride around the city in pursuit of someone who cut him off, ranting at her about her job performance while she tries to manage his emotions so that she won’t find herself in a fiery car wreck, or when Lisa has to fire an employee who’s just attempted to break into the company safe, but lets him know she understands his desperation and forgives him. None of it would work without Hall, who, much like Lisa does at Double Whammies, gives Support the Girls a center of gravity, a deep sense of goodness, and a surplus … [Read more...] about Regina Hall Answers Every Question We Have About
“I empathize with Yasuke so much — feeling like an outsider all the time, especially in music and in the electronic-music space that I occupy.” Photo: Flying Lotus/YouTube Yasuke , Netflix’s newest anime series, released today, is based on the life of its titular figure, a Black samurai who served under Oda Nobunaga in 16th-century Japan. Directed by LeSean Thomas ( The Boondocks , Cannon Busters , Black Dynamite ) and starring LaKeith Stanfield , Yasuke rounds out its creative braintrust with Los Angeles producer and Brainfeeder founder Flying Lotus , whose anime bona fides include the score for the Blade Runner 2049 prequel Blade Runner Black Out 2022 and songs written for Carole and Tuesday , both by Cowboy Bebop and Space Dandy director Shinichirō Watanabe. Yasuke delivers dueling metaphysical narratives, bouncing between the character’s past and present as new threats necessitate revisiting old scars, giving viewers the feeling of being dislodged from time. Its sensibility is further aided by FlyLo’s score, in which chilly synths and traditional Japanese instruments carry the producer’s signature sound in new directions, and friends like Thundercat and Niki Randa pop up in the opening and closing themes. I spoke to Flying Lotus this month about what he saw in the life of Yasuke that made this collaboration a no-brainer, and his journey from watching Dragon Ball Z in syndication on Toonami to making music for Adult Swim to helping to pull Yasuke together in the middle of a profoundly taxing and uninspiring year. I should start by congratulating you on winning the Grammy with Thundercat for Best Progressive R&B Album for It Is What It Is . Was this the first Grammy win for Brainfeeder? On Yasuke , you’re a composer and an executive producer, and you’re credited with helping to come up with the story. A decade and a half ago, you were doing bumper music for Adult Swim. Now, you’re on the … [Read more...] about Flying Lotus’s
April 29, 2021 - 12:24 BST Gemma Strong Prince William made a joke about younger brother Prince Harry in his wedding speech after marrying Kate Middleton It's been ten years since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married in Westminster Abbey but there are still some details from the big day that are being revealed. Claire Jones, who worked as a harpist at the couple's Buckingham Palace afternoon reception, has disclosed some details from William's very personal speech to guests, including a joke he made at brother Prince Harry 's expense. MORE: Kate Middleton and Prince William's unusual 10th wedding anniversary gifts revealed Speaking to People , Claire revealed: "He made a lovely little remark about me. The first thing he said to me was, 'Did you hear what I said in my speech?' I said I did, but I asked him to remind me because I hadn't heard it all. Loading the player... WATCH: Prince William sneaks a peek at bride Kate Middleton walking down the aisle "He said, 'Thank goodness Claire turned up to play the harp because otherwise, we'd have to get my brother to play it instead.'" MORE: 13 of the most romantic royal wedding kisses through the years READ: 26 memorable moments from Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding She added: "He thought that was hilarious. I thought it was quite funny he said that. He was very accommodating and warm. I wished them well, and I said I hoped they would have a happy and joyful life together." Prince William made a joke at Prince Harry's expense in his wedding speech Claire also revealed that she had something in common with royal bride Kate on the day – they were both wearing Alexander McQueen, although the musician admitted hers was borrowed. MORE: Kate Middleton's wedding dress from every angle – all the photos "She looked divine. But the first thing she said to me was, 'Oh my goodness, you … [Read more...] about Prince William made a joke about Prince Harry in his wedding speech after marrying Kate Middleton