Melanie Fiona: New York Men Are Aggressive

Melanie Fiona with a heart

Melanie Fiona spoke with am New York in a Q&A, where the Canadian R&B singer talked about changes she’d like to see in New York City, not taking the subways in high heels, hating the Big Apple’s garbage, loving Times Square, and NYC’s men.

“New York men are aggressive! From the taxi driver to the garbage man, you get hollered at and whistled at and talked to in Spanish,” the 28-year-old said. “They’re more risque, but they’re more fun. From going out for a meal to seeing a show, I’m an easy sell. Just take me somewhere I’ve never been before and I’m sold!”

Usher: I’m Not Dead

Usher

Usher checked in with his Twitter followers (@usherraymondiv) on Tuesday (April 10) after a false internet hoax surfaced that he had died in a car crash. The 33-year-old R&B singer writes:

I must’ve died and went to heaven…Alive and cold kickin ass!!

Never scared, never dead…Just #Lookin 4 myself.

Melanie Fiona Releases ‘The MF Life’

Melanie Fiona sitting on an inflatable chair

Melanie Fiona has released her second studio album ‘The MF Life’ on SRC Records and Universal Republic. The Canadian R&B singer turned to a team of producers on the effort that included No I.D., Espionage, Salaam Remi, Andrea Martin, Rico Love, Los Da Mystro, T-Pain and others.

“The ‘MF’ in the album title represents my initials, but it also gets at the many facets of myself as an artist and a young woman,” Fiona said about the album title. “It can be viewed as the ‘Mighty Fine Life’ in times of triumph and success, but also the ‘Mother-F-ing Life’ when I’m dealing with frustration or misfortune. I celebrate both. I feel it would be dishonest if everything was all about glitz and glamour. It’s about the balance of life, the yin and the yang, the good and the bad, all of that.”

‘The MF Life’ Track Listing:
1. “This Time” Featuring J Cole
2. “4 AM”
3. “Break Down These Walls”
4. “I Been That Girl”
5. “Wrong Side of A Love Song”
6. “Running” Featuring Nas
7. “Change The Record” Featuring B.o.B
8. “Gone And Never Coming Back”
9. “Bones”
10. “Watch Me Work”
11. “Can’t Say I Never Loved You”
12. “L.O.V.E” Featuring John Legend
13. “6 AM” Melanie Fiona & T-Pain – BONUS TRACK

Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks:
14. “Rock Paper Scissors”
15. “Can’t Do This No More”
16. “What Am I to Do”
17. “Like I Love You”

Melanie Fiona 'The MF Life'

Michael Kiwanuka Pays His Dues As Chipmunk’s Session Guitarist

Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka spoke with the Evening Herald about how his first listen of an outtake of ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’ by Otis Redding was a life-changing moment for him, beginning the Londoner’s love of soul music. But the 24-year-old got sidetracked by getting involved with rock bands and with British rapper Chipmunk. “I wasn’t really that comfortable,” Kiwanuka said about briefly being a session guitarist for Chipmunk. “I just had to do it. As a session guy, you wait for a gig and if it comes, you just kind of take it, and I wasn’t as prolific or successful enough to be able to pick my own gigs. But it was a million miles away from what I wanted to do. I just tried to get the job done.” Read more.

Nneka Releases Third Album ‘Soul Is Heavy’

Nneka singer

Nneka’s newest full-length album, ‘Soul Is Heavy’, was recently released on Decon. The Nigerian/German singer/songwriter’s previous projects have earned her music the title of 21st Century Soul. ‘Soul Is Heavy’, her third album, balances a combination of hip hop beats, reggae grooves, brass riffs and African-pop. Nneka touches on subjects such as love to pain, politics and God. The album features guest collaborations with The Roots’ Black Thought (‘God Knows Why’) and Ms. Dynamite (‘Sleep’). Check out upcoming dates for the ‘Soul Is Heavy’ Tour and the new album’s track listing.

Soul Is Heavy Tour Dates:
3/13 – 3/17 Austin (SXSW)
3/18 Houston
3/21 Chicago
3/23 Toronto
3/24 Montreal

‘Soul Is Heavy’ Track Listing:
1. Lucifer (No Doubt)
2. Sleep featuring Ms. Dynamite
3. My Home
4. Shining Star
5. Restless
6. Don’t Even Think
7. J
8. Stay
9. Soul Is Heavy
10. Do You Love Me Now
11. Valley
12. V.I.P.
13. Camouflage
14. God Knows Why featuring Black Thought (of The Roots)
15. Still I Rise featuring Wura Samba; Mohammed

Nneka 'Soul Is Heavy'

Macy Gray ‘Covered’ Out March 27th

Macy Gray 'Covered'

Macy Gray is set to release her sixth studio album ‘Covered’ on March 27th via 429 Records. The album features the R&B singer’s take on rock hits from bands such as bands as Radiohead, Metallica, and My Chemical Romance. “After my first record I wanted to do a covers album, but I guess covers albums have kind of a stigma, they’re not known to do very well and they’re designed for people when they’re not doing their own thing anymore,” Gray told RollingStone.com about the idea that didn’t fly with people around her until she suggested doing rock covers.

‘Covered’ Track Listing:
1) Here Comes The Rain Again (Eurythmics)
2) Creep (Radiohead)
3) You Want Them Nervous (skit featuring J.B. Smoove)
4) Smoke 2 Joints (The Toyes)
5) La La La (Teaching The Kids) (featuring Layann Al Saud, Avery Albert, Happy Hinds & Siena Stelber)
6) Teenagers (My Chemical Romance)
7) The Power of Love (featuring Hugh Salk)
8) Nothing Else Matters (Metallica)
9) Sail (AWOL Nation)
10) I Try Is Cool And All But…(skit featuring Nicole Scherzinger)
11) Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
12) Love Lockdown/Buck (Kanye West/Nina Simone)
13) Mel Rap (featuring Mel Hinds)
14) Bubbly (featuring Idris Elba) (Colbie Caillat)
15) Wake Up (Arcade Fire)
16) Really? (skit featuring MC Lyte)

R&B Artists React To Whitney Houston’s Death

Several R&B artists are sharing their thoughts on Twitter following the news that Whitney Houston had been found unresponsive in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday afternoon and declared dead after paramedics were unsuccessful performing CPR on the singing legend. Houston was 48. Among the Tweets:

Willow Smith (@Willow_Camille1): R.I.P Whitney… :) we will always love you<3

Rihanna (@rihanna): No words! Just tears #DearWhitney
I honestly can’t think of anything else!!!
Feels so strange being at the Grammy rehearsal right now!!
If I should die this very day… Don’t cry!!! #DearWhitney

Michelle Williams (@RealMichelleW): I don’t know what to say….

Jawan Harris (@singerjawan) Im not even gonna believe Whitney Houston just passed away… Nope?? Not having it.
My heart dropped when I heard about her… Smh.
R.I.P Whitney Houston
Life is short… Thank GOD for what you have, Even if you feel it’s not enough. GOD BLESSED YOU with 1 life. Live it and Enjoy it!?? # ItsOn

Aaron Fresh (@AaronFresh1): I am deeply hurt by Whitney Houston’s death… I love u and u will forever be tee best! #teamfresh

Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys): I feel sick…. Life is precious, we are fragile souls. Let’s love each other! I miss you beautiful Whitney, the whole world misses you!!

Chrisette Michele (@ChrisetteM): It was hard to sing tonight and think of Whitney at the same time. Chicago you were a beautiful audience. I love you.

Kelly Rowland (@KELLYROWLAND): I am beyond heartbroken. Whitney Houston was undoubtedly one of the greatest singers & performers of all time & such a huge influence on me. She embraced me when I first started out with Destiny’s Child, with love, with encouragement and with that powerhouse voice. My deepest sympathies and prayers go out to her daughter, her mother and to all of her loved ones.

(more…)

Etta James Dead At 73, Twitter Condolences Flood In

Several fellow artists and celebrities are reacting to the news that Etta James passed away in Southern California’s Riverside Community Hospital from complications of leukemia. The soul legend was 73. “This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world,” Etta’s manager Lupe De Leon said announcing the sad news. Among those who expressed their condolences on Twitter:

Deborah Cox (@Deborah_Cox): So sad. Amazing legacy. #RIP RT @gerardbush: Etta James passed away today.RIP to one of the greats.

Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH): RIP Etta James

Shay Mitchell (@shaymitch): R.I.P Etta James. I’ll keep playing your records over and over again, especially this song :) youtube.com/watch?v=_1uunRdQ61M

Duff McKagan (@DuffMcKagan): RIP Etta James. A WARRIOR of a woman. A talent without equal.

Keri Hilson (@KeriHilson): Rest In Peace, Etta James.

Nathan Followill (@doctorfollowill): RIP Etta James. One of the greatest voices of all time. Thanks for the many romantic moments your music created.

Ashley Parker Angel (@ParkerAngel): RIP Etta James – one of the greatest female singers of all time. Thank you for your gift to the world. usat.ly/zqrL0S

JoJo (@JoJoistheway): Wow wow wow. We lost a legend today. #RIPETTAJAMES … she is one of the reasons I sing today. Major major inspiration. Peace be with you.

Marie Digby (@mariedigby): What a huge loss today in the music world…Etta James you will be so missed ??

Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum): RIP the beautiful Etta James RT @nytimes NYT NEWS ALERT: Singer Etta James Has Died

Eric Hutchinson (@EricHutchinson): Sad to hear Etta James has passed away. Huge fan of her and that voice. Listening to the “At Last” album in her honor.

Jessie J (@jessiejofficial): Just been told the legend that is Etta James has passed. Thank you for your voice your dedication to us and your gift. Your voice is timeless and will forever live on. I will always look to you for inspiration. R.I.P <3Greta Van Susteren (@gretawire): #EttaJames was great! download the song #AtLastChristina Perri (@christinaperri): Etta James, I hope you're resting your sweet singing soul in peace. thank you for everything you gave us.

Mindless Behavior ‘Christmas With My Girl’

Mindless Behavior 'Christmas With My Girl' single cover

Mindless Behavior will be releasing their holiday single ‘Christmas With My Girl’ on Monday (November 21). The track from the American R&B group was described by Cambio as follows:

The tune incorporates classic sleigh bells, xylophone and piano with a mid-tempo beat that Prodigy, Princeton, Ray Ray and Roc Royal sing and rap over. The love song is all about blending R&B and hip-hop with the sounds of Christmas, and we’re sure fans won’t be disappointed.

Mindless Behavior will be going out on a Scream Holiday Tour just after Christmas with dates running until New Year’s Day.
12/27 Moran Theatre (Pre-Sale 11/16) Jacksonville, FL
12/28 BJCC Concert Hall (Pre-Sale 11/17) Birmingham, AL
12/29 Municipal Auditorium (Pre-Sale 11/17) Nashville, TN
12/30 Special Events Center (Pre-Sale 11/17) Greensboro, NC
12/31 Chrysler Hall (Pre-Sale 11/17) Norfolk, VA
1/1 Gaillard Auditorium (Pre-Sale 11/17) Charleston, SC

Amerie Creating The Songs First On ‘Cymatika’

Amerie 'In Love & War'

Amerie checked in with her Twitter followers (@itsameriie), giving them a taste of what to expect on her upcoming album ‘Cymatika Vol. 1’, the follow-up to her 2009 album ‘In Love & War’. The 31-year-old Tweets:

For much of #Cymatika, I’ve been creating the songs first (lyrics/melodies/arrangements), & then building the instrumentals around them.

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