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That Grape Juice A&R: Ciara’s Seventh Studio Album

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Welcome to the latest edition ‘That Grape Juice A&R‘, the ‘TGJ’ original feature which sees us switch critic for creative and weigh in on the directions of our staple acts.

Who we’ve set our Evan Lipschutz-sized sights on this time? Ciara.

Since ‘1,2 stepping’ onto the scene 12 years ago, the siren has etched her name in the history books thanks to a slew of chart smashes and memorable performances.

Now, as she commences work on her seventh studio album, the 30-year-old finds herself at a career crossroads.

Last year’s ‘Jackie’ didn’t resonate as hoped – critically or commercially – and ultimately saw the singer depart Epic Records.

In the time since, she’s made a number of notable changes in her team, upped her brand positioning, and is reportedly on the cusp of formalising a new deal.

So what time is better than the present to share our views of where she could (and perhaps should) veer with her next release.

Meet us below…

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Music

Freshly Squeezed: Introducing… MAAD

“Dynamite” is what many have deemed newcomer MAAD. Could she be next to blow?

We, here at That Grape Juice, wholly feel so.

In a sea of sameness, the New York bred beauty stands out from the pack. Powerfully.

It’s not just her statuesque aesthetic, but her narrative too.

Her ascend began in the world of modelling and to-date she has featured in publications such as ELLE and NYLON, while also fronting campaigns for the likes of Seventeen and Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Music, however, has always been the budding diva’s divine calling.

Indeed, when not spinning hits as one of NYC’s most sought-after DJ’s, the rising star logs in studio time with the likes of Claude Kelly, Jonas Jeberg, and The Vamp – the latter of who produced her infectious new single ‘Black Ice.’

The deliciously seductive cut has been garnering plenty of play around TGJ HQ over the last few weeks, but it’s its video that has our jaws ajar.

Directed by Creative Destruction, the visual sees MAAD sassily state her claim for superstardom…with an exclamation mark.

She slips, slides, and grinds with seasoned precision and pulls from her modelling skill set to ensure almost every frame is an editorial in itself.

With too many artists chasing the minimalist trend, this young lady re-affirms the importance of performance art. And we’re oh so sold on what she’s selling – as there’s not enough of it permeating the music landscape.

Both retro and refreshing.

MAAD’s EP ‘‘Lé Funk’ lands in September.

Until then, hit PLAY on ‘Black Ice’ above…

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Music

Wireless Festival Climaxes With Epic Performances From Big Sean, Jeremih, Kehlani, & More

TGJ Were On-Hand At London's Most Popular Music Spectacle

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From scale to line-up, few spectacles can rival the bolt of electricity the Wireless Festival brings to London annually.

The 2016 instalment was no different.

Over a three day duration, the extravaganza played to thousands in Finsbury Park and brought with it powerful performances from the likes of Miguel, J.Cole, Future, and Fergie.

Its final day set off fireworks with spirited showings from Big Sean, Kehlani, Young Thug, and Boy Better Know – who brought out guest Pharrell. 

Cop a gander above and below to see what over 70,000 revellers enjoyed during the most “turnt up” Wireless yet!

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Music

Exclusive: Kelly Rowland’s Group June’s Diary Dish On Debut Album / Sing ‘Hotline Bling’

'L.A.N.C.E' Singers Spill All At The 2016 BET Awards

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That Grape Juice were on hand at the 2016 BET Awards and so too were Kelly Rowland‘s new girl group June’s Diary.

Their appearance was fitting given that the five-piece were pieced together on hit BET series ‘Chasing Destiny.’

With season one wrapped, the soulful quintet have wasted no time servicing material to the masses.

Indeed, they used the ‘Awards platform to debut the video for their new single ‘L.A.N.C.E.’

Speaking with our girl Megan on the red carpet, the collective – comprised of Shyann, Kristal, Gabby, Ashly, and Brienna, spilled on their debut album.

Watch above as they reveal whether mentor Kelly will feature on the LP; they also perform an impromptu acapella of Drake‘s ‘Hotline Bling’ – which was all sorts of amazing.

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Music

TGJ Roundtable: 2016 BET Awards Review [#BETAwards]

New Feature Sees Editors Sam, David, Rashad, & Joe Sound Off On Hottest Topics

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Welcome to the latest TGJ Roundtable!

Over the years, That Grape Juice has established a distinguished voice that – whether loved or loathed – sparks discussion, debate, and on occasion drama!

Though comprised of seasoned writers who share a similar outlook on Urban Pop culture, the idiosyncrasies of the TGJ team members often lend for quite heated debates “behind the scenes” about the hottest topics.

Now, we give you a front row seat to the show. In a format similar to ‘The View’ or ‘The Real’, TGJ editors – Sam, David, Rashad, and Joe – get real in a very candid way.

Today’s roundtable topic is the…

 2016 BET Awards Review

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Music

Competition: Win Tickets To See Brandy Live In London!

We Have A Pair Of Passes To The 'Slayana Tour' Up For Grabs

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Brandy is UK bound!

The Vocal Bible is set to serve up a chapter and verse in showmanship this month on the British leg of her eager awaited ‘Slayana Tour.’

With over 20 years of success in show business, the multi-talented R&B titan naturally has a long list of hits to match – all of which she’ll be performing on the trek.

Due to touch down in countries such as Australia and South Africa, the UK dates (presented by Musicalize) will see the songbird nest on stages in Manchester, Birmingham, and Bristol, before climaxing in London.

That Grape Juice are giving away ONE pair of tickets to the London concert, which takes place June 28th at the indigO2 inside the O2 Arena.

Want to be in with a chance of seeing B-Rocka do her thing? We thought as much! To enter, simply answer the question below…

Which Song Did Brandy Win A Grammy For?

a) Beggin’ & Pleadin’

b) The Boy Is Mine

c) Put It Down

Submit your answer, along with your full name, age, address, and telephone number to the email address below. Please be sure to title entry ‘Brandy – That Grape Juice’ :

[email protected]

All entries must be received by 11.59am GMT on Wednesday June 22nd 2016.

Entrants MUST also be following That Grape Juice on Instagram and/or Twitter:

Instagram.com/ThatGrapeJuice
Twitter.com/ThatGrapeJuice

 

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Entertainment

The Real: Five Names Who Could Replace Tamar Braxton

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As the age old adage goes, the show must go on and for FOX talker ‘The Real’ that’s exactly what’s happening.

Yesterday brought with it news Tamar Braxton had “mutually agreed” to part ways with the series on which she’d served as an anchor panelist since its 2013 launch.

Word on the curb is that she was fired, but at this junction it’s almost inconsequential. She won’t be back.

Given that the show remains a top priority for its network, it got us wondering: who could be a suitable replacement?

Say what folk will about Tamar, but it’s undeniable that she brought a certain spark that – whether loved or loathed – provoked a reaction.

Here are five names we feel could do the same with their own unique twist…

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