In case you missed it, the less important version of the Oscars was last night! The Golden Globes were three and a half arduous hours of acceptance speeches and praise for what felt like the same three movies and shows. If you didn’t get to see the entire awards ceremony, don’t worry. I sure did. Let me catch you up.
Keep ReadingShow less

Can someone please tell me just what it is about those Netflix series that cause us to adapt our entire personalities to a show - particularly surrounding its release? Wednesday had everyone in an all-black haze…but move over, because Emily in Paris has returned for Season 3.

Keep ReadingShow less

​Prince: Piano & A Microphone Review

Prince's first posthumous release offers a vulnerable look into the artist's process.

Singer Prince performs in concert. The Revolution, the band that helped catapult Prince to international superstardom is reuniting in his memory.


On June 7th, 1958, the world received the gift of the Purple One, TAFKAP, Love Symbol (unpronounceable), The Artist Formerly Known as "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince," Skipper (to his family), the one and only: Prince.

After his death in 2016, it seemed unlikely that we'd ever hear new music from the velour-clad icon. This year would have been the Grammy Award-winner's 60th birthday, and while you probably celebrated by blasting "Purple Rain" and rocking your fluffiest shirt, Prince's estate and Warner Bros. Records celebrated by announcing the release of a new Prince album, Piano & A Microphone 1983.

Released Friday, the nine song collection features Prince at the piano in his home studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota in 1983. By this time, Prince was already on his way to super stardom, having reached the Top 10 list a year earlier with his double-LP 1999. Piano & A Microphone 1983 shows Prince workshopping early versions of songs that were fated to become hits, as well as some classic covers like "A Case of You." The recording is disarmingly informal, you can almost picture yourself holding a glass of wine in the '80s icon's (hopefully purple) living room.

He improvises while the tape runs, moving almost seamlessly between songs like "17 Days," "International Lover," and even an early version of "Purple Rain." A notoriously talented pianist, his playing seems more an extension of his soaring vocals than an accompaniment. For example, the seventh song on the album, "Wednesday," is perhaps the greatest treasure Piano & A Microphone 1983 offers die-hard Prince fans.

In a lilting, almost childish falsetto, Prince sings along to a mournful piano. Suddenly, he seems to grow tired of the slow number and experiments with jazzy, incongruous riffs. While they don't necessarily make sense in the context of the song, these tangents are perhaps the most adequate representation of the pop star's improvisational talent ever to be recorded. The performance is so gloriously impulsive and deeply felt, the listener can almost see the electric impulse of creative genius moving from his mind to his fingers.

The session is intimate and vulnerable, and since we don't know if the singer would have ever willingly released Piano & A Microphone 1983 had he lived to do so, it even feels invasive at times. But deliciously so. Prince murmurs instructions to the engineer, experiments with pitch as he sings, and plays the piano reactively. This is Prince as only a privileged few have seen him: unpolished and embroiled in the creative process. It's just Prince, a piano, an engineer, and you.

Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.

POP⚡DUST | Read More…

Cannon V. Kanye – And the Beef Goes On

Bert and Ernie, More than "Just Friends?"

Michael Kors is thisclose to Buying Versace


#WCW | Terra Naomi Interview

The singer-songwriter is taking on one year of a Trump presidency and more in her music.

Say It's Possible - Terra Naomi

"I think it's not so much an issue of being a woman in the music industry as it is just being a woman, period."

Women are killing it in the music industry, and the world of song lovers couldn't be happier! In our column, #WomenCrushWednesday, we'll feature an awesome lady whose tunes are blowing up our playlists and ask them about their musical journey.

We spoke with Terra Naomi this week about her most recent, politically charged release, and her projects coming up in the future. Through her songwriting, she had been able to discuss her anger and frustration toward a number of problems in our society, including issues that hit closer to home. There is a reason her songs have gone on to become global treasurers, and likely will continue to do so with the upcoming release of her next album. Read on for even more.

Keep ReadingShow less

#WomenCrushWednesday: Jocelyn Alice Interview

This artist is dedicated to releasing music to support women around the world.

Jocelyn Alice - I Know (Official Video)

"It's unfortunate that sometimes women have to work even harder just because they're women, but that's also exactly the reason we're so strong."

Women are killing it in the music industry, and the world of song lovers couldn't be happier! In our column, #WomenCrushWednesday, we'll feature an awesome lady whose tunes are blowing up our playlists and ask them about their musical journey.

This week, Jocelyn Alice celebrates the release of her latest music video by chatting with us. From the influences of her Canadian background to her days in a duo girl band, Jocelyn has experienced a lot in the music industry. Now, her solo work is leading to even more accomplishments, including more new music heading our way soon. Continue to read about her feelings on the music industry, her passion for girl power, and so much more!

Keep ReadingShow less

#Wome​nCrushWednesday | Ella Vos

Learn more about who 'Rolling Stone' has called 'an artist to know'

"I think our environment was so comfortable that it quickly became a safe space for me to be really vulnerable."

Women are killing it in the music industry, and the world of song lovers couldn't be happier! In our column, #WomenCrushWednesday, we'll feature an awesome lady whose tunes are blowing up our playlists and ask them about their musical journey.

Ella Vos chatted with us this week before heading out on her U.S. tour starting at the end of February. Although songwriting wasn't always a part of her musical life, Vos fell into the habit while pregnant and turned it into a new passion. This work is shown on her latest album, an interesting creative process that she brought us into. Read below to find out what her experience has been in the male-dominated music world and what she loves about her debut full-length.

How did you get interested in writing and performing music?

I grew up playing classical piano and started playing in bands in college, so performing has always been a part of my life. It wasn't until I found out that I was pregnant that I began writing songs. I knew that I would need a new way to express myself as my life changed, and writing my own music was the best way to do that. To be honest, I had always wanted to write music, but I was too scared to share my lyrics with people for fear of what they might think or say. But knowing that your whole life is about to change is a good motivator to follow your dreams!

What artists have inspired you the most?

There's so many I could say it's hard to choose. The first one to come to mind is Lana Del Rey. I can think of several times throughout my life where I was listening to music and thought, "I need to do what they're doing," and the most recent experience was when I first heard Lana Del Rey. Like something deep inside me just screamed out, "You have to be a musician, you have to write songs." Her songwriting is so incredible, and I'm just always in awe of it.

[BAWSSG1516154034] Danielle Ernst

Rolling Stone labeled you as a new artist to know in 2016, taking note of your SoundCloud presence. How do you think platforms, such as SoundCloud, have changed the music world for emerging artists?

There's an opportunity, now more than ever, to successfully release your music independently. Platforms like SoundCloud and Spotify playlisting have given listeners the opportunity to discover your music on their own, and feel apart of the journey from the very beginning. It's something I'm really grateful for!

What has been your experience as a woman in the music industry?

I hate to say it, but it's a lot of what I expected it to be. That being said there's a lot of cool things happening. Generally, the industry is as misogynistic as you think it is, and as much as people are excited to be associated with a strong woman who says and does what she thinks, it scares them (the old white men that is), and they still ultimately want control. In some places there's still a crazy imbalance where it feels like there's only so much room for a new female artist (or executive), but endless room for men. Fortunately I've seen a lot of that start to change, and it all begins with having a woman in the room, at the table, calling the shots, and ultimately us choosing to lift each other up and supporting each other. I've a met a lot of different women in music this year (in press, sync, agencies, A&R, touring, etc.) and I'm excited to see them really shine; I think they're going to take over the industry.

You recently released your album, Words I Never Said. What was the writing and recording process for that like?

The songs were written and recorded over a period of twenty-two months in my producers studio, which was a room not much bigger than a bedroom. Sometimes my son would come with me and would sit in my lap while I recorded, and other times I recorded vocals sitting on the couch because I was so tired. I think our environment was so comfortable that it quickly became a safe space for me to be really vulnerable. The first song I released, "White Noise," helped me open up about my own personal experience with Postpartum depression. Being open and honest about that song inspired my writing for the next couple songs I wrote. It wasn't until I released my fourth single that we decided we were writing an album. "White Noise" was the beginning; it was hazy and unsure but it was a spark of something new. Everything that followed it was like a journey to figure out how to make sense of other difficult experiences in my life. The last song I wrote for the album is called "Suddenly," and it's where it all comes together and I feel clarity.

This was your debut full-length. What were some of the challenges you faced in putting it together as opposed to just releasing singles?

The biggest challenge was deciding whether to release all of the music at the same time or not. Since releasing singles was working so well for me and is what got me to where I am, I decided to release most of the album as single songs—all but three tracks were released before the album release date. The biggest challenge was how to tell the story of the album, to show that these songs aren't randomly bunched together, but are actually meant to be listened to as a whole.

[AUB0991516154034] Joanna Rentz

Do you have any favorite tracks off of the album?

This answer is always changing for me because they're all my favorite! Right now I really love "Words I Never Said" (Part 1 and Part 2) because they're so different from the other songs and sound a bit effortless to me (in a good way).

You'll be hitting the road this spring. What are you most looking forward to about going on tour?

Meeting my fans! There's a lot of fans that I talk to through Instagram weekly (even daily), and I'm really excited to meet them in person.

What else do you have planned for 2018?

I'm looking forward to releasing new music and seeing where it takes me!

Follow Ella on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Keep ReadingShow less