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Introducing…Conor Maynard (Live On The Splash)

In an era where record deals are becoming scarcer and scarcer, there’s something to be said when hitmakers Ne-Yo and Pharrell Williams both want to sign you.

Such was the predicament 19 year old Conor Maynard found himself in before eventually inking a lucrative deal with EMI Music last year.

Discovered online, the Brighton-bred star has seen his buzz boom; with his Twitter following topping the 160,000 mark and the Youtube views on the video for debut single ‘Can’t Say No’ sitting at over 4 million. All this prior to actually releasing any material.

Impressive? Yes! Surprising? No so much. For, Maynard presents quite the compelling “package”. Indeed, his sound skillfully and genuinely fuses “Pop” and “Urban” in a way many acts beyond his age are still striving to achieve.

Naturally, Maynard’s look and artistic direction have seen comparisons to a certain Justin Bieber drawn – especially with the latter now flirting with a harder/Urban sound. And they’re comparisons we’re sure will only intensify when Maynard hits the US in May.

However, pending then, watch the budding star justify his buzz on That Grape Juice’s The Splash.  Peep his performance of ‘Can’t Say No’ above and the track’s official video below. Get familiar with the name and face, as you’ll be seeing much more of it!

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Freshly Squeezed: Rita Ora

Get familiar with Rita Ora, Roc Nation’s latest debutante.

Hailing all the way from London town, the Albanian bombshell first caught the world’s eye when she starred in Drake‘s ‘Over‘ video back in 2010.

This was preceded by the 21 year old’s appearance in ‘Forever Young‘, the video by long time friend and mentor Jay-Z, who is readying the release of Ora‘s debut LP this year.

Billed by some fans as a talented alternative to Rihanna, the star kicked off her promo campaign this week with a stint ID Magazine, which is now available to watch below (along with her video for promo single ‘Hot Right Now’).

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Freshly Squeezed: Natalie Duncan

Enter Natalie Duncan.

Hailing from Nottingham, the Soul-filled singer presents quite the compelling package. From her hauntingly stellar vocals, to the lyrical depth she evokes as a songwriter, Ms. Duncan continually justifies her ever-growing buzz. It also doesn’t hurt that she satisfies today’s (sad, but true) demand for aesthetic brilliance from artists. In simpler terms, she’s a stunner.

Yet, for all her beauty, Duncan ensures it’s her talent which resonates most. Case, point, her chilling performance of ‘Devil In Me’ above.

Universal Music here have earmarked the budding star as “the next to blow”. Do you agree with them?

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Music

Exclusive: Introducing…Rebecca Ferguson

Enter Rebecca Ferguson.

Having made a name for herself on the British edition of the X Factor last year, the Liverpudlian is being tipped for global success after garnering critical and commercial praise with her debut album ‘Heaven’.

We caught up with the mother of two, who came second on the ITV show; chatting it up about everything from her life prior to the X Factor, juggling family life with her career, music, and much more. An exclusive acapella of her single ‘Nothing’s Real But Love’ also features.

When you’ve checked out the clip above, peep Ms. Ferguson’s video for ‘Love’ below…

Your thoughts?

 

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Introducing… Chris Grant (Part 2)

“Michael Jackson left the spirit of dance in Chris Grant” – Frank Gatson

For anyone else, such a billing would generate some discomfort. Yet for 23 year old Chris Grant, it’s not only a title he is humbled by, it’s one he’s keen to both embrace and honour.

A renown dancer and choreographer, the New York native has amassed a wealth of experience in his few years on the scene. Indeed, his choreography credits boast many a Beyonce stage-show, Jennifer Lopez‘s ‘On The Floor’ video, and most notably a spot on Michael Jackson’s ill-fated ‘This Is It’ concert.

With Grant eager to emerge from the shadows as an artist himself, That Grape Juice presents episode 2 of ‘Introducing…Chris Grant’.

And with it, this week, being announced that Grant will portray the King of Pop in a show-stopping solo dance tribute at next week’s ‘Michael Forever’ extravaganza, it’s apt that this edition sees him discuss what it was like working with MJ in his final days – and more.

Hit ‘PLAY’ to get familiar with this face and story you’ll be seeing a lot more of! Click here to watch episode 1.

Your thoughts?

For more on Chris Grant, check out his official website:

www.chrisgrantmusic.com

Booking Enquiries: Chris@chokolate.tv

Chokolate Management & Chokolate Records – www.chokolate.tv

‘This Is It’ footage credit: Sony Pictures
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Music

Introducing…Tiwa Savage!

Enter Tiwa Savage.

Boasting a resume as impressive as her looks, the Nigerian newcomer is already somewhat of an international entity.

Born in Lagos, raised in London, and working in LA, the singer-songwriter has made quite the mark in each territory. For upon re-locating to the UK at age 10, she spent several years honing her talent until eventually catching the eye of George Michael and his team- who invited her to sing background for him on tour at age 17. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the trek lead to her taking up similar roles with the likes of Mary J Blige, Kelly Clarkson, and Chaka Khan.

Keen to step out from the shadows, Savage entered the UK incarnation of the X Factor, making it all the way to the Judges Houses segment of the 2006 series.

Since then, she’s signed a lucrative publishing deal with Sony Music (US), a union which saw her pen Fantasia‘s ‘Collard Greens & Cornbread’ (from the critically acclaimed ‘Back to Me’ LP). However, Savage’s biggest break comes in the form of her sizzling new single ‘Kele Kele’.

With Savage now dividing her time between Lagos and the US, the track and its accompanying video (above) fuse the best of both worlds. Indeed, she oozes a sass and confidence not dissimilar from Beyonce (interestingly featuring one of her staple dancer’s Kreyshaun in the clip), while seamlessly weaving in her native tongue.

It’s combination which seems to be paying off. For, not only has Savage taken her homeland by storm, she is drumming up quite the buzz on an global scale – giving an added boast to the long-overdue inclusion of African artists and music in the mainstream arena. A trend which recently saw Kanye West sign Nigerian star D’Banj to his G.O.O.D Music imprint.

For now, though, all eyes are on the stunning Ms. Savage, who you can hear more from below. Be sure to let us know what you think!

Your thoughts?

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Rachel Kerr Covers Amy Winehouse’s ‘Valerie’ On The Splash

Fearless. Ferocious. Free.

Just a few of the terms used to describe the tour de force that Rachel Kerr.

Having built a steady buzz on the live circuit, the Birmingham-bred singer-songwriter is ready to strike out on a grander scale, as she readies her EP for release before the year’s now. Prior to then,  you can and hear her soar on this, the latest episode of The Splash!

Check out her cover of Amy Winehouse‘s take on ‘Valerie’ above…

Click here to watch Rachel’s full Splash set on That Grape Juice TV!

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Music

Introducing…Chris Grant

“Michael Jackson left the spirit of dance in Chris Grant” – Frank Gatson

For anyone else, such a billing would generate some discomfort. Yet for 23 year old Chris Grant, it’s not only a title he is humbled by, it’s one he’s keen to both embrace and honour.

A renown dancer and choreographer, the New York native has amassed a wealth of experience in his few years on the scene. Indeed, his choreography credits boast many a Beyonce stage-show, Jennifer Lopez‘s ‘On The Floor’ video, and most notably a spot on Michael Jackson’s ill-fated ‘This Is It’ extravaganza.

With Grant eager to emerge from the shadows as an artist himself, That Grape Juice presents episode 1 of ‘Introducing…Chris Grant’.

Hit ‘PLAY’ to get familiar with this face and story you’ll be seeing a lot more of!

Your thoughts?

For more on Chris Grant, check out his official website:

www.chrisgrantmusic.com

Booking Enquiries: Chris@chokolate.tv (Chokolate Management & Chokolate Records – www.chokolate.tv)

‘This Is It’ footage credit: Sony Pictures
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Who Is Luke James?

Beyonce knows. Universal Music know. And, very soon, you’ll know too. For, the industry buzz surrounding this New Orleans native shows no sign of slowing.

Despite his humble age, the singer-songwriter is no stranger to the industry. Indeed, some may remember his J Records jaunt as part of R&B duo Luke & Q (their debut ‘My Turn’ still garners many a play here at TGJ HQ).

And while that venture didn’t propel James to the heights his talent called for, it also didn’t quel his desire to succeed. As such, he picked up pen and began crafting hits for a bevy of music’s biggest names – including Chris Brown (‘Crawl’) and Britney Spears (‘Kill The Lights’).

True talent, as the saying goes, can’t but be discovered eventually – and it wasn’t long before James’ abilities caught the attention of a certain Frank Gatson. Creative force behind the likes of Beyonce, EnVogue, Tyrese and the King of Pop Michael Jackson, Gatson spent a year honing and refining James, ultimately managing him into a lucrative record deal with Island Def Jam/Universal (by way of producer Danja‘s New Age Rock Stars imprint).

Now ready to emerge from the shadows, James posits a compelling package. For, in an industry which increasingly favours image over substance, his pin-up looks and undeniable vocal ability sees him dually tick both boxes. It’s this combination which has also garnered him a fan in none other than Beyonce; who not only featured him prominently in her ‘Run The World’ visual, yet more over is an actual fan of his music.

So as to whet apetites for James’ forthcoming material, ‘HIT’ play on the clip above for a visual exclamation!

Your thoughts?

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Introducing…Jhene Aiko

Far removed is the R&B world from the ear splitting fangirl screams at the sight of new millennium boy band, B2K. Now, the mention of the one time heartthrobs induces jokes about member Raz-B‘s boy-who-cried-rape internet antics. The rest of the guys are still releasing music, albeit to no specific hurrah. But there are still a few artist from the old T.U.G. Entertainment roster making legitimate noise on the current music scene. The all girl response to B2K, collective TG4, was ultimately shelved by the label, but produced Amber Streeter, now known as Seven of fledgling female quartet Richgirl. The 24-year-old is a frequent collaborator, and apparent muse of R&B singer Chris Brown (see ‘She Ain’t You’, F.A.M.E, In My Zone series, etc.). 2011 also saw the reappearance of B2K’s resident rhymer Lil’ Fizz’s younger cousin Jhene.

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Hot or Not: Fantine – ‘Rubberoom’

Enter Fantine.

Quirky, fresh, and musically eclectic, the Russian-born, Australian-based singer is looking to make an International splash with new single ‘Rubberoom’.

Yet, despite only now serving up her debut offering, Fantine is no stranger to the industry. Indeed, last year she set out on tour Down Under  as guest vocalist and co-writer with Indie-Electro-Soul outfit Space Invadas, a trek which saw her take centre-stage at some the country’s largest music festivals, including Future Music, Splendour In The Grass, and support spots with Lupe Fiasco.

Now ready to break out on her own, she serves up ‘Rubberoom’ for the International market. Having already drummed up a buzz in her own abode, she looks poised to do the same here. For,  the Alex Gray penned cut has many talking. Check out the single in its video form above.

We’re liking what we see, however we’re ever to keen to hear what you think…

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Introducing…Candice Pillay

Singer/songwriter/model Candice Pillay has been generating quite the buzz in the UK and abroad and is now hoping to sting across the pond in the United States.  The 29-year-old South African beauty was recently signed to Bangladesh Records – headed by famed R&B/hip hop producer Bangladesh.  Though her sound has delved in R&B, soul, acoustic guitar and piano, and Europop, the songstress is no stranger to Urban pop.

Check out her take on the 2010 Bangladesh-produced Kelly Rowland banger ‘Smooches’ after the jump:

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