For our last From The Vault of 2012, we salute an artist that has been a highlight of our year and one we anticipate will continue to be as we cruise into 2013, She’s a favourite among our readers and is often referred to as the Vocal Bible. Of course, our penultimate pick is Brandy and her infectious hit ‘What About Us?’
Unveiled exactly 11 years ago, ‘Us’ was chosen as the launching single from Brandy’s third album, ‘Full Moon’, which proved an excellent choice since it was a worldwide smash and is among the star’s most recognizable songs.
Concocted by the omnipresent Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins alongside Lashawn Daniels, and Bran herself, the cut climbed its way to the 7th position of the Billboard Hot 100 and the Top 3 of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart; it reached #4 on the UK, #6 in Australia as well as #16 in Canada.
Sonically similar to Jerkins’ work on Michael Jackson’s final album ‘Invincible’ (which was released only a few months prior), the track was -at the time- considered cutting-edge R&B, and in many ways still is. Indeed, the numerous hiccups, blipping and other high-tech sounds garnished the song (and housing album) with a distinctive futuristic coating. A coating that would go on to encourage others to try their hand at fusing R&B with alternate sounds. Influential has many definitions – and ‘Us’ is one of them.
To bring the record to life, B-Rocka turned to the great Dave Meyers who created a surrealistic world where the R&B singer reigned supreme over docile men. Complimenting the song to a tee, the VMA nominated clip would usher in a slew of look-a-likes (see: 3LW’s ‘I Do’, Britney’s ‘Boys’ and Celine Dion’s ‘I’m Alive’).
The music industry may toss, turn, sway, and shake; yet Brandy has and continues to deliver. Opportunities aplenty have presented themselves for her to hop aboard bandwagons, yet – regardless of commercial performance – she has proven with impressive consistency that she is a pioneer and an undeniable vocal muse for singers of the R&B persuasion and beyond.
If ‘Two Eleven’ is anything to go by, the soon-to-be Mrs Press still has a lot to offer, both sonically and visually.
For Def Jam’s Rihanna, recent years have seen chart topping become just as organic as breathing- scoring a mind blowing 8 US #1 singles since April 15th 2008.
Now, just months after her own chart arrival, it seems her ROC sister Rita Ora is following suit with her debut album ‘ORA‘. For, in what we’d say solidifies Roc Nation‘s status as one of Pop’s better oiled machines, both starlets have made major gains on iTunes today.
With a back story far richer than the gossip that she’s oft burdened with, Rita Ora is undoubtedly head and shoulders above the rest of the Pop pack as far as heritage goes.
However, by way of the ever present Rihanna comparison, sharing that heritage has at times been a mission impossible for the starlet. Now, in a recent interview with Zurich’s ‘Music Talk‘, she has opened up on that heritage and why- even though it hasn’t always been safe to do so- she finds it important to fight in defence of her country, Kosovo.
Melanie Fiona certainly knows how to keep it moving.
We caught up with the vocal powerhouse recently at VH1 Divas 2012 where she confirmed that she is already working on the follow-up to the ‘The MF Life’ – her critically praised sophomore set which hit stores back in March.
Watch above as the Canadian belter dishes on the as-yet-untitled project, as well as her plans for the New Year.
Mariah Carey is ensuring her latest Australian adventure is a family affair.
Accompanied by husband Nick Cannon and their adorable twins Monroe and Moroccan, the premium diva is in Sydney ahead of her sell-out mini-tour in the region, which sets sail on New Years Eve.
The live dates kick-off mark an official return to the spotlight for the 42 year old, who is gearing up for the January debut of the American Idol – which she is judging on alongside Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban, and her manager Randy Jackson.
For now, though, peep more pics of the Carey-Cannon’s Down Under below…
As per the shot above (lifted from Instagram), the Grammy winner is all smiles in Hawaii where she is currently vacationing with long-term partner Ryan Press. And with good reason too – the music producer popped the question earlier this week.
The pair’s engagement crowns a successful year professionally for the soon-to-be Mrs Press; comeback single ‘Put It Down’ smashed on the Urban charts, while housing album ‘Two Eleven’ garnered ample praise among critics. What’s more, B-Rocka has signed up to reprise her role as Chardonnay on hit BET show ‘The Game’ – which returns early 2013.
Lil Wayne teams up with Drake and Epic’s Future for the ‘sort of a’ love song, ‘B*tches Love Me’. Pulled from the mogul’s forthcoming ‘I Am Not A Human Being II‘, this cut doesn’t feature much of Drake but does see Wayne speak a lot…about nothing.
None the less, it’s still a solid track- so check it out and let us know you feel about it below…
Rihanna may have announced ‘Stay’ as her latest single, yet the model is milking its predecessor ‘Diamonds’ for all its worth. And smartly too – given the fact it’s easily one of the year’s biggest hits and one of the few songs she can actually sing well.
Taking centre-stage on French show ‘La Meilleure Chanson’ tonight the 24 year old turned in another solid showing of the Sia penned smash.