Gucci Mane - Truth (Young Jeezy Diss) (Official Music Video)

On November 19, southern rap legends Jeezy and Gucci Mane will battle on the season 2 premiere of Verzuz. Fellow Atlanta emcee T.I. was Jeezy's original opponent, but swapping him for Gucci Mane has piqued rap fan's interest more than the original matchup. Because, unlike a majority of the previous Verzuz's battles, this one has a lot of personal history attached.

Many in Hip-Hop believed Jeezy versus Gucci Mane would never happen. Their relationship deteriorated almost instantly after their first time working together. In 2005, their collaboration on "Icy" became a hit in the southern region. Animosity grew when both men were gearing up to release their debut albums and felt "Icy" should appear on their respective projects.

"Icy" wound up on Gucci's album Trap House. Jeezy stated that he didn't receive royalties. Both men have denied that their differences started over the song's ownership, but the tension between the two would make its way to wax shortly.

Keep ReadingShow less
Music Features

Interview: Dayglow Makes Sugary DIY Earworms—Just Don't Call It Bedroom Pop

Sloan Struble of Dayglow talks to Popdust about growing up in small-town Texas, selling out a tour that got canceled, and the viral success of his single "Can I Call You Tonight?"

Dayglow - Can I Call You Tonight? (Official Video)

Things haven't really gone according to plan lately for Sloan Struble.

The 20-year-old singer-songwriter-producer is calling me from Aledo, Texas, a 5,000-person town just west of Fort Worth. Not too long ago, Struble was an advertising student at the University of Texas at Austin. After his song "Can I Call You Tonight?" went viral, he left school to pursue his indie-pop project, Dayglow, full-time. But things took an unfortunate turn when—as with just about every active artist you can think of right now—Dayglow's sold-out tour scheduled to begin this spring was canceled due to the worldwide health concerns. So Struble packed his things and headed to his childhood home, the same place where he self-recorded his debut album, Fuzzybrain, which is out now.

"I'll definitely look back at this past year and think, what the heck happened?" Struble tells me with palpable disbelief, referring to both the current pandemic (which prevented this interview from happening in-person) and his rapid rise to indie notoriety. To Struble, a job in advertising was a tolerable back-up plan—maybe he'd make commercials or music videos—but after his cousin showed him the magic of GarageBand when he was ten years old, a career in music was his main goal.

"I've always definitely wanted to do this," Struble says. "But it felt really out of reach. So I felt like once it was really obvious that I was not going to do advertising and be a musician instead, that's when I would do it."

Dayglow - Can I Call You Tonight? (Official Video)

With mentions in a handful of local blogs, a shoutout from Gen-Z tastemaker Emma Chamberlain, and an album reissue on innovative record label AWAL, a path in music was undeniable for Struble. Below, he tells Popdust about those revelatory moments, how Fuzzybrain came together, and the future of Dayglow.

Obviously, Austin is known for its music scene. How did living there shape the way you make music?

I actually moved to Austin about a year and a half ago for school at UT. There's really not much of an artistic scene here [in Aledo]. It's kind of, like, Friday Night Lights-ish, where football is the thing that everybody does. So I kind of felt creatively isolated while I was growing up. I spent most of my time just seeing what people were doing with music via the Internet, and not really from anybody who was actually around me, which would have been the case in Austin.

Which artists in particular inspired you while making Fuzzybrain?

I was really trying to lean into, like, 2009 to 2011 big indie pop names. I thought that was a great era that went by really quick. Phoenix, I still love a lot, but I was really into Phoenix while making the record. Passion Pit a little bit, too.

Tell me about how "Can I Call You Tonight?" started going viral.

I was going to be an advertising student in school, so I can't help but think about advertising and marketing tying in with music, because that definitely is a part of being an artist, for better or worse. I was very careful in the way that I presented it, but I didn't do too much in terms of promoting it. I just kind of had faith that if I just let it go and the timing was right, then it would kind of just fit into that pocket of YouTube and Spotify. I emailed a couple of small blogs. There was one in particular called Honey Punch, who is awesome—it's run by two sisters. I sent them an email, and I was like, "Hey, I have this song, I feel like you might like it." And they posted about it. At the time, I didn't have any related artists on Spotify, but because they wrote about it at the right time, all of my related artists afterwards were COIN and other big indie names right now. I think all of that somehow got it into the algorithm—it sounds kind of like the matrix when I'm like, it's in this algorithm!—but yeah, I feel really, really blessed. I mean, I don't want to discredit my hard work because obviously I spent a lot of time working on it, but I also feel really lucky that it just worked, you know?

So what was the timeline of all of this?

I think I put "Can I Call You Tonight?" out on Spotify in late January 2018, and then I made the music video a couple months later. And then those, hand-in-hand, started growing. It's been seriously pretty mind-blowing, because it blows up more each day. It's reacting a lot stronger now than it did initially, and it's almost two years old. So it's pretty cool that it's still growing and seems like it still has a lot of room to grow, which is really exciting.

Dayglow - Listerine (Official Video)

You'd be on tour right now if it weren't for everything going on, and I know a lot of independent artists are taking a huge hit because of it. How are you coping, and how can fans help their favorite artists in lieu of tours?

I really, really love playing shows, and I think a very big part of why I want to do music is so I can be on stage and perform. But thankfully for me, most of the money I'm making right now is from streaming. Touring is new for me, so personally, I'm not necessarily taking a huge financial hit, but I know a lot of other people are, and my bandmates are. I think it's been pretty encouraging how the first question everyone's asking is "how can we help you?" I think that's pretty awesome that everybody's concerned about artists, and that makes me feel good. But buying merch [helps]. People are probably listening to a lot more music now that they have the time at home, so just keep listening to music. Hopefully this ends soon, and I can go on tour again, so come to those shows!

You originally self-released Fuzzybrain and recorded and performed everything yourself. Why did you go that route?

Since a very young age, I always thought it'd be really cool to be in a band, but I didn't grow up in a place where a lot of people had that same idea. I was making music on GarageBand, and I kind of reached the point where I had used all of the loops GarageBand had available. So I was like, "If I want to make music, I have to know how to play these other instruments," because I didn't really know anybody else that wanted to. So I taught myself the bare minimum of each instrument, and over time, I've just gotten better at each of them. But yeah, it just came from a very personal passion. It's just something I love to do and I love being in creative control.

You get associated with a lot of "bedroom pop" artists, which of course is a very literal descriptor in your case. I remember around the time that Clairo's first EP came out, she said she felt limited by the "bedroom pop" label. How do you feel about that term?

It's hard to address, because bedroom pop is a very specific sound, I think. And I just really don't sound like it, in my opinion. I know I'm young and making music in my bedroom, but I definitely don't think I associate with the bedroom pop scene. It totally makes sense why I've been placed in it, but I think recently, people have kind of realized that I don't really fit into that. I still want people to know I'm really creatively involved in DIY, but I also feel like bedroom pop a lot of times is made to be played in a bedroom, you know? It's mood music, or for when you're chilling out—I want my songs to be festival songs. But that's interesting that Clairo said that. And now she's playing shows with MGMT and Tame Impala! I'm so jealous.

That's a good segue into my next question, because you have a song seemingly about wanting to run the world ("Run the World!!!"). Is there any truth in that?

[Laughs] It's very sarcastic. I mean, I think I'm a fairly levelheaded and humble person when people get to know me. I obviously put that song out without knowing so many people were gonna hear it. It's a song that I knew people close to me were going to hear and immediately laugh. But now it's strange, because people who have no idea who I am hear it, and I'm like, "Do they actually think I think that?" But I think it's always fun to be ironic and sarcastic with music because I want to be optimistic and show people that I'm having fun with what I'm doing. But in order for the optimism to not be ignorant, I think you have to address things like [narcissism and pessimism]. I think it's fun to poke fun at things without being mean.

How have you been adjusting to people who don't know you listening to your music, and making assumptions of you based on your art?

It's really strange, if I'm being honest. I think it's incredible that more people are listening, but nothing can really prepare you for it. At the end of the day, I'm just a person, but it's a really weird thing when most of the people who know who you are only view you as an artist. It's taken me a while to view myself as a person who makes art. It's an incredible opportunity, but it's definitely a weird transition.

Where do you see your career headed?

I have no idea. That's the thing—I wish I could get my mind to think of something [regarding the future], but everything so far has just blown my mind so much that I can't set goals. I want things to keep going the way they are. I hope people are still listening and I'm still making things that I'm proud of. And I guess that's all I can try to do.

What's been your favorite memory over the past year or so?

Everything's so wild right now. I mean, I guess the most iconic thing is that I had a completely sold out tour that didn't exist. It's kind of funny, but obviously terrible. But I played Austin City Limits last fall, which was the biggest click of, like, "This is crazy!" That was a really big moment for me.

Dayglow - Hot Rod (Official Video)

Atlantic Records

Ava Max, the powerhouse behind "Sweet but Psycho," is continuing her reign as "PRINCESS OF POP."

In 2018, that debut single took the world by storm, topping the charts in 26 different countries and breaking through the Billboard top 10. Her latest empowering anthem, "Kings & Queens" aims to do the same and serves as a promising teaser from her highly anticipated debut album, expected to drop later this year. “I wanted the fans to listen to the album and really get to know me because it's my debut album," Max told Popdust. “And I also wanted to connect with them on that level."

Download or stream "Kings & Queens"HERE:

POPDUST: Super excited to talk to you today! I consider myself a big fan and was ecstatic when we were contacted about the new song!

AVA: Oh my God, thank you. I'm just so excited for all the music coming out and for having "Kings & Queens" come out. It feels like a dream. Finally, it's coming out.

Tell us a bit about how "Kings & Queens" came to be.

Every song that I've put out, they all have very different vibes. The version you're hearing of the song is after like 10 different versions that we tried–different melodies and production. This one felt very empowering and strong with the lyrics. It's really about not caring and doing you. It's actually a similar message to "So Am I," but it's more just about queens and that we should rule because, in fact, the world would be better if queens ruled it.

I'm totally in love with the guitar solo and the choice to include it. Though I'm biased because I'm a guitarist.

Oh, nice! You should come play on the tour [laughs].


I really wanted some real elements. I released a lot of pop electronic music, and I feel like I wanted some real guitar elements in there. It's funny, I don't play guitar, but after hearing the song and having it for 6 months, I was like, "You know what? I'mma learn electric guitar."

That would be sick if you pulled that out on stage.

I'm not even kidding you. I am about to take lessons can I not learn electric guitar?

I was going to say, I'm totally available for lessons if you want…

Or, I can just bring you on tour!

Absolutely! That would be a dream [pretends not to be a fanboy]...Changing topics, do you have music video plans for this song?

I actually do...You know, I can't say much about it. All I can say is that…it's going to have a lot of dancing in it.

Speaking of things that you probably can't talk too much about, this song is going to be on your debut album. What can you tell us about that? Is there a title yet?

There is, and I've had this title for a year now, and I definitely can't tell you what it is. But I can tell you that if you look at my hair, you can kind of understand what the album is going to be. It's a little bit of this and that. The whole album is kind of based on, like, "I can have my cake and eat it, too." Where there's lightness and light, there's also darkness.

"Kings & Queens" is another collaboration with the producer Cirkut, who is credited on many of your songs. Can we expect more collaboration with him on your album?

Oh, yeah. I mean he produced the entire album. He is executive producer of the whole thing.

Can we expect any exciting features on the album?

There actually are no features. And the reason why I did that is because I do features all year round, and I love features. I think for me, personally, I wanted the fans to listen to the album and really get to know me because it's my debut album. And I also wanted to connect with them on that level.

Speaking of connecting with fans, what is the best or most shocking thing you've ever received from a fan?

Oh, this is a tough. I got a lot over the past year. The most shocking thing… you know what? A fan, it felt like we were so connected. This was actually when I was in Singapore. This guy gave me a shirt that was cut in half, and–I'm not even kidding you–for my merch that was exactly what I wanted to do. I was like, "I think you read my mind." We were so connected in that moment, and it felt crazy. I just thought that was really cool, to connect with a fan and that he made his merch that I had thought about, too.

Awesome! I asked people on Instagram to send me questions they would like to ask you. If it's cool with you, I'd love to run through some of those.

Absolutely, let's do it!

Great, so this one comes from @sophie_pia_, who asks, "Would you rather be able to fly or breathe underwater?"

Oh my God. That's a tough one. I'd say fly.

I'm with you on that one. @loveavamax, one of the fan accounts, asks, "Have you ever sung at a major sporting event?"

Um, yeah, actually I have. Tennis.

Fair enough. @Avamaxbr says, "If you could describe your debut album in one word, what would it be?"

Oh man, one word? Can I do one sentence? Best of both worlds.

Is that the title? You're not allowed to tell me, right?

[Laughs] No, it's not. It's not the title!

So @Avamaxbr wrote in again and asked, "Any plans to come to Brazil?"

It is on my to do list. I really want to go. It's one of the places I dream of going. So, yeah.

Okay, @iamcoyoteeyes wrote in - she's actually a fellow singer/songwriter - and she asked about your vocal technique.

I run almost every day, even if it's like five minutes. I run just to get my blood flowing. And I stretch my mouth and my neck. It really helps actually, stretching your mouth and your neck, as goofy as that sounds.

I'm with it. @Aliceellagram - another fellow singer/songwriter - asks, "How to feel inspired on the bad days?"

Oh my gosh, we got bad days. Um, I think about my family and how much I love them and how I want to just retire every one of them. And, yeah, I keep going.

So, a lot of people just sent the "fire emoji" as their question.

Oh, fire back to those people!

Will do. A couple of my friends in LA just DMed me with some questions. Are you in LA right now?

I am!

Okay, so Grace sent: "Ask her why it's taking me over 90 minutes to drive from Echo Park to Santa Monica. Isn't everyone supposed to be working from home?" Can you comment on that?

Oh my gosh, I know, I agree with her.

Rory sent in: "Ask her about where she gets the ideas for her makeup. She does interesting stuff with her eyeshadow."

So, I like to do things I've never seen before. I kind of really push myself to think about something I've never seen before...even if it's just a line on my cheek. It's funny, my makeup artist will be like, "What are you doing? Like, this doesn't look okay." And I'm just like, "I like it, let's start a new trend." So I'm always up for starting new trends.

Very Bowie-esque. That reminds me! Who are some of your biggest influences, both for yourself as an artist and particularly for this album?

I grew up listening to Mariah Carey and a lot of pop divas like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears and Beyoncé. So you know, I feel like I got a little bit of each of them into my music and my voice, even. 'Cause I sang so much Mariah Carey in my basement when I was younger that I feel like sometimes when I sing, "Alright, snap out of it. You are not Mariah Carey." Even in my pop music you can kind of hear the soul, because I sang her a lot. And a lot of Whitney, a lot of Christina. I love to growl. So yeah, the pop divas, for sure.

Awesome. Finally, do you have tour plans set up? I mean, I need to know because I guess I'm going on it, so…

Okay, well I'll just tell you soon. In a few months, definitely.

Cool, just DM me the details or whatever. Anyway, thank you so much for your time today. Congrats on "Kings & Queens" and we can't wait for the album!

Thank you so much!


Music Features

Corinne Bailey Rae Was Ahead of Her Time

On this day in 2006, "Put Your Records On" had taken over the world. What happened to Corinne Bailey Rae?

Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On

A soft-spoken singer-songwriter named Corinne Bailey Rae was geared up to take over the world.

Keep ReadingShow less

Moses Sumney Embraces Complexity on "grae: Part 1"

Moses Sumney's "grae: Part 1" contains a kaleidoscope of sounds and meanings.

Moses Sumney - Virile [Official Video]

Moses Sumney's recentPitchforkcover story might've proclaimed that the musician is on his way to becoming a superstar, but his new album grae: Part 1 indicates a desire to avoid the algorithm-friendly mainstream.

Keep ReadingShow less

Get in to Lena Stone's 'Personal Space'

The pop-country singer is beginning her year by opening up.

Photo by Logen Christopher

Lena Stone is a singer-songwriter who knows how to let you in.

Keep ReadingShow less