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Leah Kate Breaks Out with '10 Things I Hate About You'

The singer is set to play Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores, Alabama

For the first few years of her career, Leah Kate was on a steady rise. Her 2021 album What Just Happened? included fan favorites like "F U Anthem" and "Fuck Up the Friendship."

But recently, things have really taken off. She just finished a European tour with Madison Beer, and her latest single "10 Things I Hate About You" has quickly become a viral hit. Thanks to TikTok, the post grunge-inspired song has accumulated more than 35 million streams in just a few weeks.

Before she plays Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores, Ala. on May 21, the LA native talked to Jordan Edwards about the success of "10 Things" and the evolution of her sound.

Leah Kate on "10 Things I Hate About You" and Hangout Fest! www.youtube.com

Video by Jordan Edwards

Dylan Conrique didn’t want to release “Birthday Cake.” She thought the track, written for her best friend who had lost her mother to cancer, was too personal and specific. But her friend insisted that the world needed to hear it.

The song has helped gain Conrique a worldwide audience and touched millions of lives along the way. Sure, it’s sad; but it’s also about perseverance and getting the most out of life.

Beyond music, she is an actress best known for her role as Tamara Colins on ABC’s The Rookie. Hollywood's post-pandemic world of self tapes and Zoom auditions have allowed her to balance both sides of her career.

We sat down with Conrique to talk about the success of “Birthday Cake” and how she maintains a normal teenage life.

Get to Know Dylan Conrique | Popdust Presents www.youtube.com

It's been a wild last few years for Welsh-born singer Jamie Miller. After finishing third on the UK of The Voice, he received an endorsement from Khloe Kardashian. Then came the single "Here's Your Perfect," which has racked more than 200 million streams and nearly 100 million YouTube views.

Miller is carrying that momentum into the summer with the recent release of his debut EP, Broken Memories, a performance on the Kelly Clarkson Show, and a tour with Jesse McCartney.

The 24-year-old talks to Jordan and Demi about how he got to this point and where he wants to go from here.

Jamie Miller | It's Real with Jordan and Demi www.youtube.com

Photos and Interview by Jordan Edwards

Over the past few years, Sorana has built an impressive songwriting career, with credits including The Chainsmokers, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX. Now she's focusing on her own music. Her debut single (and David Guetta collab) redruM, landed in January. Now we get her first solo single, "Karoake." An epic heartbreaker ready for arenas, the track explores the idea of singing karaoke to get over a breakup.

We talked to Sorana about the song and its stunning video, and what it's been like to start her solo career.

“Karaoke” is sad but empowering. I can imagine the crowd singing it back to you. How did you find the right sound and vibe for this track?
The story of "Karaoke" is very personal to me. I used to go to an old wooden Karaoke bar every night and sing with my friends. I sang for my heartbreak, which I find very powerful and vulnerable at the same time. I sang to get over my shyness too. When producing the track, I wanted it to be as stripped as possible so the song could shine as someone shines when they open up and sing about their emotions. I wanted it to feel old school and have raw instruments. A lot of producers tried until Ali Payami captured the vibe I was looking for.

What was it like working with Ali Payami?
It’s always amazing to work with talented people that share your vision. When I heard his first demo, I thought, "Yes, finally someone understands what I’m trying to say."

The music video features multiple versions of yourself. What was behind that concept and what was it like to film?
The video shows a different layer of the story than the lyrics. Growing up, I used to be really shy, and I would cry if somebody walked in my room while I was singing. Later, I started going to karaoke not to have fun with my friends, but to force myself to get over my shyness. Each character in the video represents a different emotion I was going through while being on that karaoke stage. I felt everything from shy and crying because I didn’t think I was good enough, and getting tipsy just built my courage up to absolute confidence and excitement. NGM creative made filming this video an amazing experience and brought my vision to life. We rehearsed every movement and emotion of each character for weeks. We filmed using this cool robot called Bolt that allowed us to put each version of myself in the same frame. It was hard and rewarding.

What songs did you like to sing, and do you still find time for karaoke?
I loved to sing "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles, "Stepping Stone" and "Warwick Avenue" by Duffy, "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O’Connor, and many more sad songs. I always feel bittersweet when it comes to karaoke, as it reminds me of my first heartbreak.

When your songwriting career was taking off, did you ever feel like your solo music was being neglected?
I never felt like my solo career was neglected because I never neglected it. Being a singer was always my main motivation for writing songs, but I feel proud to have written songs for amazing artists like The Chainsmokers, Charli XCX, David Guetta, and more.

At what point did you realize that music could be your career?
I never had to realize. I always knew. I have a very powerful intuition, and I knew I was going to be a singer ever since I became aware of my existence. Growing up, my friends and even my family would tell me that it’s just a dream, especially because no one really escapes Romania to make pop music in the UK and USA, but I always knew my dream would come true.

You have such a unique aesthetic. Who do you look up to in terms of style?
My inspiration for my look was always Sailor Moon. That’s where I got the idea for the super long pigtails. I don’t only love the cartoon for the aesthetic, but also because it’s all about girl energy and girls with superpowers sticking together. I kind of manifested that in my high school girl group. Me and my six best friends were always together, up to no good, and always on an adventure. I’ve always loved to live in my fantasies.

You’re mostly known as a pop singer-songwriter. Are there other genres you’d like to explore?
I don’t think of songs in genres. I love great songs with big choruses whether vocal or instrumental, hooks and memorable lyrics. But those could be wrapped in any type of instrumental. If it’s good, it’s good. Right now, I’m loving guitars and raw instrumentals with old school sounds.

What have you been listening to lately?
Lately I’ve been listening to Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, old rock songs like "Nothing Compares 2 U," "Zombie" by the Cranberries, the Pixies.

Sorana - Karaoke (Official Video) www.youtube.com

For more from Sorana, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

For nearly 30 years, G. Love (Garrett Dutton) has moved fluidly between the blues, hip-hop, and alternative worlds. His last album, The Juice, received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

His latest single, “Love from Philly” pairs him with Philadelphia rap legend Schoolly D and Chuck Treece. The track is part of the upcoming album Philadelphia Mississippi, due out June 24.

G. Love (on dad duty!) talks to Jordan and Demi about the new album, staying creative, and venturing into the NFT space.

G. Love | It's Real with Jordan and Demi www.youtube.com

Photos by Meghan Marshall
Interview by Jordan Edwards

Shuba gained fame for her uncanny impressions of performers like Ariana Grande, Celine Dion, Shakira, and Eminem. Now she's ready to concentrate on original music, something she's been releasing for the past five years.

The Chicago native's latest single, "Icon", announces her intention to be known beyond her viral videos. We caught up with her in LA shortly after its release.

You just went skydiving. How was that? I say next time you record a freestyle on the way down.
I feel like next time I want to try and challenge myself to sing on the way down! I don’t know how my friend Jax did that though. The wind is crazy when you first get in the air! Skydiving is something I’ve always wanted to do and I feel like Dubai was the absolute perfect place to do it, especially over the Palm. I’d definitely go again!

Your voice is ridiculous. Not only can you sing in different styles, but you have a really big range. How much of it is talent, and how much of it is work?
Thank you! I think it’s a combination, but I do believe with singing, it’s primarily dependent on what you naturally have and how you use it. I think learning through impressions was how I started developing a more diverse voice for sure though, and that did take a lot of work and re-listening to singers I love over and over again.

What do you do to keep your voice in shape?
I try to stay hydrated and watch how often I use my voice! Shouting or talking too loudly can hurt your voice, singers!

Your latest single "Icon" acknowledges your talent beyond the vocal impressions that helped make you well known. Are you done with impressions?
I don’t think I’m “done with impressions” necessarily but I do think I’m always evolving as an artist and creator, and at this time, I have a lot to say through my own music! Of course, my inspirations will always come out, and it’s super fun to do my Celine Dion voice to shock people every now and then, but I’m especially excited to share my own story and music with the world.

"Indian Summer" is such a smooth track. It sort of reminds me of early Outkast. Where did the sound of it come from?
The original beat for "Indian Summer" was just a guitar loop that my producer and friend HOMI music made. I thought it had a cool western flare to it, and I was spending a lot of time in a desert region at the time, so the guitar line just felt so heat wavy/hazy to me. It was the perfect vibe for a “feeling yourself” type summer track.

When I interviewed Raja Kumari, she talked about the strength of the Indian Diaspora and how it helped build her audience. Have you felt the Diaspora get behind you too?
I definitely have! I love when I see messages of people having listened to "Icon," for example, and saying that they feel heard and/or seen. We’re all trying to figure things out and it’s amazing to be able to speak to that community through my music.

You’ve received recognition from several well known singers and musicians. Which one thrilled you the most?
This is a hard question because I admire everyone so much and without them, I wouldn’t have the artistry I have now. I think my most emotional reaction, where I cried, came from getting a DM from A.R. Rahman when he saw the video of me ordering pizza as Shakira. I grew up listening to A.R. Rahman’s compositions, so they not only remind me of my childhood, but also are so beautiful and hit the heart. Seeing that someone I’d respected my whole life resonated with something I created was surreal.

You have a lot of fun with your sponsored content, like singing as different Snapple flavors. How do you choose which brands to work with?
I honestly go by feel! I love when brands seem like they’ve also done their own research and propose fun ideas that would realistically work with consumers, because people want ads to feel natural or spark some sort of emotional connection.

What’s next? Maybe a full album?
Right now I’m mostly working on getting as many singles out as I can! I’ve been writing pretty much every day and working with a lot of cool people to get out my ideas. There will be lots of new music videos and lots of live shows (a tour in the fall) for sure!

Shuba - Icon (Official Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

For more from Shuba, follow her on TikTok and Instagram.

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