This Is America: Nicole Arbour defends ‘women’s edit’ of Childish Gambino hit


A YouTuber who created a “women’s edit” of Childish Gambino’s This Is America video says it’s been “misinterpreted”.

Nicole Arbour describes her post as a “female positive/empowerment video”.

She’s faced strong criticism online – including accusations of belittling “black pain” and “stealin[g] our culture for money”.

Others told her to “stop cheapening black art and creativity” – but Nicole says people are “wrongly portraying this as white vs black”

Donald Glover’s original This Is America music video was released on 5 May and was praised for its commentary on issues like racism and police violence.

One week later, Nicole posted her own version online.

Many people have argued that her video makes light of “black pain and oppression”, as well as “editing out the race issues in favour of the feminist issues.”

Nicole responded on social media, saying “this was not the intent or theme at all”.

“It was created with every intention of bringing a light to women’s experiences,” she said.

“It was a tongue in cheek way to give additional glory to what I believe is the most impactful piece of art in recent years.

“Due to the sensitive nature of the original, I understand why some people are wrongly portraying this as white vs black,” she added.

Nicole ended her statement with a call for others to “create their own version of this video”.

“Through this honesty, I believe we can discover a new level of empathy and understanding for each other.”

This isn’t the first time a Nicole Arbour video has caused controversy.

In 2015, she uploaded “Dear Fat People”, which was called out for fat-shaming.

“That video was made to offend people,” she said at the time, addressing the video on US chat show The View.

“It’s just satire, I’m just being silly.”


Kaleka Keys – Nitenge featuring KatOyo A Ayoo




Victor Kaleka, better known as “Kaleka Keys”, is a keyboard player/pianist, composer, song writer and performing artist born in Kenya and based in Nairobi. His music cuts across the genres of Afro- Jazz, Gospel music and R&B.

His music career started in 2012 after high school when he began working with different bands. He grew fast within the music industry through hard work, motivation and discipline. He has performed in events and festivals in Kenya such as Koroga Festival, Kwetu festival, Cake Festival and many others.

He has worked with some of Kenya’s popular artists like Juliani and LJ Maasai. Currently, he is playing for an artist called Kidum Kibido who is well recognized internationally.
Among the artists who inspire him are; Brian Culbertson, Chick Korea, Cory Henry, Richard Bona, Shawn Martin and George Duke. His vision is to bring African Fused Jazz with a different feel.

Everything he knows is self-taught. He trained himself to play the keyboard by ear, listening to other musicians and practicing with YouTube tutorials.

Kaleka Keys is currently working on his first Album called “Flower Garden”. He has released one Single out ‘Blind Love – Official Music Video’

Kaleka Keys
Click for more about Kaleka Keys



 

Good luck SuRie in the Eurovision Song Contest


She’s a fan of Jeff Buckley who once harboured dreams of signing for Bella Union. So, can this dance diva succeed where Blue and Bonnie Tyler faltered?

“Welcome to my hooooome,” SuRie deadpans, before bursting into laughter. We are meeting ahead of the Eurovision final in Lisbon, and the UK’s contestant is perched on a velvet-upholstered chair in the opulent Portuguese embassy in London. She throws herself into the role of tour guide with aplomb. “If you see this tapestry,” she says, gesturing to a floor-to-ceiling artwork of a fleet of ships, “it depicts a voyage from Lisbon to the UK, and now I’m doing the reverse. I think there’s a lovely link.”

Today, SuRie, 29, is wearing roomy black athleisure; her candyfloss-coloured hair is cut into a short crop like Katy Perry’s. In the past her music has skewed slightly alternative, and pre-Eurovision she released a heartfelt piano-led cover of Jeff Buckley’s Lover, You Should’ve Come Over. But her current song, Storm, flips that 180 degrees: it’s a distillation of EDM and 90s dance that feels slightly dated but has the nefarious sticking power of an ad jingle. “Storms don’t last for ever,” SuRie belts out stagily, bringing to mind all those divas who have sung of making it through the rain to welcome a new day.

“It means a lot to me,” she says of her song. “I need a reminder sometimes to keep my chin up and keep perspective. If we come together, concentrating on love and positivity, we can get through it all.”

SuRie’s hope is that her posi-pop earworm will be enough to give the UK its first Eurovision win since Katrina and the Waves’ Love Shine a Light back in 1997. Even the most dedicated fan of the contest would find it hard to deny that the UK has dropped the ball in recent years, with unmemorable entries from Blue, Bonnie Tyler and last year’s balladeer, Lucie Jones. “I don’t know what the problem is,” SuRie says. “But I hope to be a small cog in that wheel of trying to improve the reputation.”


The latest track from Deena Ade – Melo



Deena Ade is an alternative artist, who has been described as raw and powerful in her vocal and lyrical delivery. Reminiscent of the Eryka Badu and late Amy Winehouse to name a few. 

Melo Produced THABEATSMITH is the official single from her debut project ‘The Cries Of My Subconscious’

She explores a world of an Alpha female, who’s one desire is to capture the attention and love of another. Miss SLUTWALK herself proves once again to go against the grain in this song. Entwining her sultry vocals with her words of seduction.

Born Medina Agboluaje, the first of four children, music has been a substantial goal of Medina since the age of eight. As a child Medina performed around London for a local charity, which eventually led to performing for the late Papa Madiba in this state visit to London. Over twelve years later Medina can be found performing weekly in London’s hottest underground spots.

Having found much comfort in the training received by mentors such Beats by Sarz and other industry power players, Deena is now ready to face the music industry with the intensity she believes it is lacking. Using a name to define her sound and style can be quite daunting, but under the fabric of her stage performances lies a blueprint of influences. For example Amy Winehouse, Asa, Beyonce, Wizkid, Fela Kuti. 

Deena Ade is currently releasing a song a month for a year which will be followed up by an LP project, set to be released in November titled “THE FEMINIST”. As her talents and fan base continues to grow, she emphasises on people not to over look as her, as she is the future of the African Music Industry. As she says ” It doesn’t matter what people say, as long as they like my music’. 

 


ABBA announce first new songs for 35 years


Swedish four-piece take to Instagram to announce two releases that will form part of an ‘avatar tour project’

Abba have announced that they have written and recorded their first new songs since they split in 1983.

The Swedish four-piece, who had nine No 1 hits in the UK between 1974 and 1980, and who have sold hundreds of millions of records worldwide, announced on Instagram that they had recorded two new songs for a project in which avatars of the band will perform.

The band said in a statement: “The decision to go ahead with the exciting Abba avatar tour project had an unexpected consequence. We all felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did. And it was like time had stood still and we had only been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!”

One of the two new songs that resulted, called I Still Have Faith in You, will feature in a TV special to air in December.

The statement concluded: “We may have come of age, but the song is new. And it feels good.”

Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus revealed details of the band’s forthcoming project in Brussels earlier this week. The centerpiece is the two-hour TV show co-produced by NBC and the BBC, which will see the band perform as computer-generated avatars. Ulvaeus said the band had been digitally scanned and “de-aged” to look like they did in 1979, when they performed their third and final tour.

The avatars are then set to tour the world from next year.

Abba formed in Stockholm in 1972. They comprised two couples: Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog; and Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, all of whom had enjoyed musical careers in Sweden. The group burst on to the international stage after winning the Eurovision song contest in Brighton in 1974 with their song Waterloo.

From the mid-70s until they split, Abba built up a formidable arsenal of global hits including Knowing Me, Knowing You, Take a Chance on Me, Dancing Queen and The Name of the Game – all of which reached No 1 in the UK.

Fältskog and Lyngstad were the lead singers; Andersson and Ulvaeus composed the songs. Never less than impeccably produced and performed, Abba’s records were critically disdained at the time, but their popularity has endured. Their 1992 compilation Abba Gold has sold 30m copies – more than 5m of those in the Britain – and spent 833 weeks in the UK album charts.

Their jukebox musical Mamma Mia! debuted in the West End in 1999 and is still running both in London and worldwide; its website claims that it has been seen by 60 million people in 440 cities.

The stage show was adapted into a film in 2008, which grossed $615m (£447m) worldwide. A sequel, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, will be released in June. The actor Lily James – who is set to appear alongside the cast of the first film including Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried and Colin Firth – told the BBC last week: “There’s lot of songs in there, lots of new ones. Lots of ones, actually, that weren’t in my repertoire of Abba and I think they’re going to be huge hits again, and reawaken the love of Abba.”

Abba’s split in 1983 followed the divorces of both couples. Ulvaeus and Andersson went on to write two musicals, including Chess – a revival by the English National Opera opens on Friday in London – before largely devoting themselves to Abba’s legacy. Fältskog and Lyngstad have kept much lower profiles, though Fältskog – long claimed to be a recluse – returned to pop music with an album, A, which was released in 2013.

The group have long held out against lucrative offers to reform – they were reported to have been offered $1bn to play a concert in 2000. In 2014, Ulvaeus told Billboard: “you will never see us on stage again … we don’t need the money, for one thing.”

Peter Robinson, editor of Popjustice, described the announcement as “the biggest pop news of the 21st century. Most fans grudgingly admired Abba’s refusal to record new music, but I think we all sometimes daydreamed about the band possibly, maybe, one day having a rethink at the right time, on the right terms and for the right reasons, which seems to be what’s happened here.” He added: “It’s a pop miracle.”


Latest release from FFM Records – Dita Nurdian ‘Miss Dee’



Dita Nurdian is an Indonesian writer of electronica and dance music. Her passion for this genre is evident in her prolific output. At FFM Records, we have released 4 of Dita’s latest tracks and you can download them here, Beatport and stream on Spotify.




Dita Nurdian is FFM’s Ambassador for Indonesia




Introducing the stunning Martina Difonte



Whether it’s fashion, music or art, the most beautiful things are made in Italy. Martina Difonte is no exception with her rich, powerful vocals, poise and graceful movement, Martina is simply a star of Rome.

One of the most beautiful films ever made, in my humble opinion, is Giuseppe Tornature’s Cinema Paradiso.  Martina’s cover of the Ennio Morricone theme  from the movie is a perfect tribute to this timeless classic.

Martina Difonte
Visit Martina Difonte’s Official Page

Martina Difonte

 




Introducing the brilliant Lisa Ballew – Why Did You Wash Me Away?



The talent for writing and crafting a song aren’t always innate, but with Lisa Ballew it was something that was instinctive. Raised on the west coast of California, she connected with a deep-rooted musical family tree and began writing her own music at the early age of 13.

At 20 she ventured to Nashville to grow her musical prowess and feed and perform in a creative community. She eventually returned to the West Coast to be near family and continued to develop her art. She has crafted hundreds of songs that are ready for an audience.

“I think there was a period where my songs were cathartic and more for me…an outlet to express how I felt and saw life during both beautiful and difficult times. I finally had a realization that I had been stowing away my songs, my gifts and talents. I felt a strong sense that it was time for me to put it all out there. I needed to move forward in my musical journey and share my songs.”

That journey lead to the creation and release of “Ready For The Ride.” It showcases a pop sensibility and Lisa’s ability and passion to create songs that are relevant and commercial. This is just a glimpse of a deep catalog of songs waiting to be heard. The ride is just beginning…… 

Large H

Visit Lisa Here and check out the full album




Introducing Sara Strudwick – From an island bursting with talent



By Roger Moisan

Measuring just 12 miles by 5 and situated just off the coast of France, Jersey CI is absolutely bursting at the seams with musical talent. Sara Strudwick is one of the island’s most precious jewels. A singer songwriter and awesome performer, Sara, now based here in London is set to take the music scene by storm. You can see Sara performing live at the Spice of Life, Soho on 19th May.

Sara Strudwick
Sara Strudwick

 

Sara started singing at the age of 13, growing up as an artist on the island of Jersey.

She became a teacher at her music school at the age of 16, while gaining experience in live performance and in the studio. Sara began her youtube channel in 2014 using her work in Dream Box Studios with the help of the producer Jack Helm. In 2014 her live performance of her first ever original brought her to the attention of UK talent scouts.

During her time in Jersey Sara had the opportunity to support some major artists such as James Arthur, Jess Glynne, The Vamps, Tom Jones and more.

Sara moved to London at the age of 17 to study music at university, and began working with producer Tim Arnold, opening for Blake Morgan where she was introduced as The Reservations ‘Emerging artist of 2017’ in London’s Soho. Sara has since gone on to play festivals such as Burtonfest, Burton on Trent and Septemberfest at Donnington Park.

Sara most recently took to the stage at the Half Moon Putney in October of 2017 with a completely new line up before stepping down from performing to begin writing an EP.

Sara Strudwick
Sara Strudwick at the Spice of Life 19th May 2018

New York’s Blake Morgan – “Sara is already an artist who is truly original”

Managing director of  VMGSounds, Adam Corns – “Go give Sara Strudwick a follow. I was really impressed with her whole set at #BurtonFest2017 in particular Sara’s flawless vocals. Awesome band and backing vocalists to. Certainly one to watch out for.”

Songwriters news UK – 23rd October 2017

“Sara Strudwick –  Sara is gaining all kinds of accolades as her career progresses , she’s got the looks the talent and the support as she hits the stage with a full band and a massive vocal and two backing singers – check out Sara’s timeline and media – She’s played Donnington –  A seriously BIG DEAL for a rising star !! and even tho she hinted on-stage that she was new to songwriting  – we would argue differently – her material is strong , intense, upbeat and is gonna work well in any festival / live band / party venue  with some AWESOME Guitar Rifts to seal the deal !! 

Forgive Me It’s Not You  – this is an awesome song – her material is strong and engagingly listenable  and –  along with the band , had the audience hooked!”

Sara Strudwick
Contact and follow Sara at her Facebook home

Sara Strudwick

 


Introducing Maddy Carty – Not Just a Political Songwriter

By Roger Moisan

The other evening, I had the great privilege of meeting Maddy Carty and was instantly struck by her engaging and powerful message. Hailing from the same camp as Amy Winehouse, Adele and Jessie J (the Brit School) Maddy Carty is an equally phenomenal tallent. Like many of Maddy’s generation, she is able to see through the blatant lies and glaring stupidity of this current Conservative government.

With rough sleeping at a record high across the UK, millions of families relying on food banks just to survive and our public services being eroded on an industrial scale, Maddy’s songs cut through the fog of media spin and tory propaganda.

Maddy Carty
Maddy Carty

Maddy’s latest album, ‘Come And Get It’ is not just a political statement but a beautiful blend of humour, sadness and fun coupled with the West London Sound.

As a West London resident, Maddy was deeply affected by the unnecessary tragedy,  one year ago, of the Grenfell Tower fire. A year on and many families are still displaced and looking for answers as to why their lives were turned upside down on that dreadful night. Maddy highlights the issues surrounding Grenfell and the many injustices in our society in her songs.

Never before has there been greater inequality in our society with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. It is through artists like Maddy Carty that we can see a glimmer of hope that things are about to change.

If you haven’t downloaded Maddy’s latest album, you should!

 

Visit Maddy Carty Music

Maddy Carty Music
Maddy Carty Music

Biography

South London-born singer-songwriter Maddy Carty is an ex-BRIT School student who went on to study at Leeds College of Music. After graduating, she headed back to London to form her own band, and record her debut album, Come And Get It.

Drawing her inspiration from artists such as Tracy Chapman, India.Arie and Van Morrison, Maddy writes all her own material.

She has supported Norman Jay and Madness at House of Fun Festival, played The Brooklyn Bowl with Maxi Priest and performed at venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, The Troubadour and The Scoop for More London Festivals.

Maddy’s first album, ‘Come and Get It’ has received support from Radio 1xtra, BBC6 and BBC London amongst many others. Her new feature track ‘Got No Love’ has been championed by Mistajam and DJ Target on Radio 1.

Maddy is now writing for others as well as working on her new project and the first single ‘Same Way’ is out now. 

“Fantastic, great sound. Well done girl!”
Robert Elms BBCLondon

“A strikingly sophisticated and self contained talent Maddy Carty’s commanding yet delicate vocal is serviced by original songs of depth and commitment.”
Gavin Martin, Music Journalist

“Sickeningly talented – and using her gifts to make the world seem just a little bit fairer.”
Ian McCann, Record Collector Magazine

“Love her voice, love her song!”

David Rodigan BBC1xtra