Thursday, February 28, 2013

Behind the Scenes: "Lose To Win" (Fantasia)

AXSLive recently caught up with Fantasia on the set of her video for her single "Lose to Win" and during the behind the scenes feature/interview, Fantasia opened up about the video, her new style, writing on her forthcoming album Side Effects of You, her lead single "Lose to Win," and so much more. Peep the behind the scenes feature and interview below and lookout for her new album this April!

Live Video of the Day: "If You Think You're Lonely Now" (Bobby Womack)

Best known for his classic 1981 hit "If You Think You're Lonely Now," from his fifteenth studio LP "The Poet," Bobby Womack's "If You Think You're Lonely Now" is one of those timeless classics that comes along ever once in a while. Watch his sublime performance of his cut below and Enjoy!

Playback: "Skyfall" (Adele)

Since Adele took home the Academy Award for Best Original Song this past Sunday during the Oscars, I thought it would be appropriate to take a playback to her Golden Globe and Oscar winning joint. With that said, "Skyfall" has already peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and while it currently has fallen out of the Top 40, I bet that the momentum from her performance and Oscar win might help push it back up the charts. Either way, take a playback to "Skyfall" below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Crown Royal" (Jill Scott)

"Crown Royal" - Jill Scott
  • Writers and Producers: Jill Scott and Lee Hutson, Jr.
  • Record Label: Hidden Beach Recordings
  • Featured on 2007's The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3

Remix: "Bad (AfroJack Remix)" (Michael Jackson)

In honor of the 25th anniversary release of Michael Jackson's iconic album "Bad" and it's accompanying title single, Pepsi has requested that several DJs craft a remix of Michael Jackson’s classic 1987 single "Bad." With that said, Dutch DJ and producer AfroJack has created a  techno/electronic remix of Jackson's classic in part of Pepsi's "Bad 25th anniversary campaign," and you can take a listen to it below!

Live Clip: "Don't Let Me Down" (Solange)

Solange hit up Late Night with David Letterman last night to promote her "TRUE" EP and during her stint on the show, Solange performed a solid rendition of her joint "Don't Let Me Down." Lifted from her EP, Solange and her band rocked out the NYC crowd with the smooth mid-tempo and you can watch it all go down below!

Live Audio: "The Glow of Love" (Luther Vandross)

Back in 1980 a then unknown Luther Vandross continued his journey from behind the background  vocalist slot to headliner and with the assistance of Change and their debut album "The Glow of Love," Vandross helped position himself to garner a recording contract. Helming lead vocals for the title track as well as their single "Searching," Vandross' vocal work with the group would help lay the foundation for his legendary career. With that said, on his live album, Vandross opted to close out the album and show with the upbeat number that helped launch his career. Listen below to his live rendition of "The Glow of Love" and Enjoy!

Cut: "My People" (Angie Stone featuring James Ingram)

As we close out Black History Month, I thought we would take it back to Angie Stone's fourth album "The Art of Love & War" to visit one of my favorite cuts from Angie Stone. Entitled "My People," this thumping anthem from Stone and James Ingram is the perfect jam to start your morning to and you can take a listen to this cut below!

Second Listen: "Little Things" (India.Arie)

Back in 2002, India.Arie released the lead single "Little Things" from her second studio album Voyage to India. Peaking at 389 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Little Things" earned India her first Grammy award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance. While we currently await her forthcoming fifth album, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit "Little Things" below.

Amazing Cover: "We Are Young" (Kelly Clarkson)

During Kelly Clarkson's tour last summer, the Grammy-winner and original American Idol  performed a sublime rendition of the Fun's Grammy-winning hit "We Are Young," that featured Janelle Monae. With that said, peep her amazing cover of "We Are Young" from her concert in Vancouver below and Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Live Audio: "Who You Are" (Ed Sheeran)

2013 seems to be the breakout year for Ed Sheeran here in the States although he's been making some serious moves in the UK since 2011. With that said, Ed Sheeran covered Jessie J's "Who You Are" back in 2011 on BBC Radio 2 and offered his own acoustic take on the powerful ballad. Take a listen below to his sublime take of "Who You Are" and Enjoy!

Live Video of the Day: "I Love You Porgy/And I Am Telling You/I Have Nothing" (Whitney Houston)

Back in the 1990s, award shows would let the phenomenal Whitney perform medleys of her hits and covers because there was and will never be anyone like The Voice.  With that said, watch her sublime medley below from the 1994 AMAs where Whitney performing rousing renditions of the classic "I Love You Porgy," the Dreamgirls' showstopper "And I Am Telling You," and her hit "I Have Nothing" from the Bodyguard and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "We All Will Know" (Kindred The Family Soul featuring Raheem DeVaughn)

"We All Will Know" - Kindred The Family Soul featuring Raheem DeVaughn
  • Writers and Producers: John "Fresh" Bradden, Fatin Dantzler, Raheem DeVaughn, Aja Graydon, & Tremaine "Six7" Williams
  • Record Label: Shanachie 
  • Featured on 2011's Love Has No Recession

Second Listen: "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)" (Soul II Soul)

Back in 1989 Soul II Soul released their biggest hit to date "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)." Lifted from their album "Club Classics Vol. One," "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)" went onto peaked at #4 on Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot R&B Songs. With that said, take a first or second listen below to "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)" and Enjoy!

New Video: "Only You" (Cee-Lo Green feat. Lauriana Mae)

While Cee-Lo's forthcoming Everybody's Brother album is a ways off, he's just given the set's lead single "Only You" the official video treatment. Directed by Ethan Lader, the official visual for "Only You" features Lauriana Mae and was recently shot using downtown Los Angeles as a backdrop. Peep the video for Cee-Lo's "Only You" below and lookout for his upcoming album Everybody's Brother later this year.

Cut: "I Believe In Music" (Donny Hathaway)

Back in 1971 Donny Hathaway released his sophomore Atco release entitled "Donny Hathaway" and while the disk is probably best remembered for Hathaway's sublime covers of "A Song For You" and "Giving Up," one of my favorite gems from this record has to be "I Believe In Music." While it will never appear on a greatest hits album of Hathaway's, "I Believe In Music" is a solid mid-tempo from the later crooner that deserves a "rediscovery" in my opinion. Therefore take a listen below to Hathaway's "I Believe In Music" and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (Lauryn Hill)

Back in 1967 Frankie Valli had a huge hit with his ballad "Can't Take My Eyes Off You,"  fast-forward 31 years later and Laruyn Hill enjoyed similar success with her sublime take which would go onto earn her a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and peak at #35 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart and #2 on the Rhythmic Top 40 chart in 1998. With that said, take a listen below to her amazing cover of Valli's classic "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and Enjoy!

Playback: "I Can't Let Go" (Jennifer Hudson)

Last night on NBC's "Smash," Jennifer Hudson's character performed a riveting of a song entitled "I Can't Let Go." While Hudson prerecorded the song for "Smash," these are the songs I think her powerful voice warrant and hopefully her forthcoming third album will feature some powerhouse joints like "I Can't Let Go." With that said, take a playback to "I Can't Let Go" below and Enjoy!

Album Stream: "Boom Bap & Blues" (Jared Evan)

Jared Evan has just released his first full-length album in the form of Boom Bap & Blues with the assistance of producer Statik Selektah. With that said, he's released a free stream of the entire album and a free download for a limited time of Boom Bap & Blues before it hits iTunes later this week. With that said, take a listen below to the entire albums stream of Boom Bap & Blues and Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Live Video of the Day: "Locked Out of Heaven" (Bruno Mars)

Earlier this week, Bruno Mars appeared on Germany’s "Wetten, dass..?" and during his time on the German show, Mars performed his #1 hit single "Locked Out of Heaven." Watch his thumping performance below with his solid band on "Locked Out of Heaven" and if you like what you see and hear, you might want to check out Mars' forthcoming tour dates for "Moonshine Jungle Tour." Watch below and Enjoy!

New Joint: "Attracting Files" (AlunaGeorge)

AlunaGeorge are back yet again with a solid joint and this time it is in the form of the thumping mid-tempo "Attracting Files." Featuring a solid production from George Reid and cooing vocals from Aluna Francis, "Attracting Files" is a refreshing joint from the duo and will definitely increase the already building buzz for their forthcoming July 1st Body Music album. Take a listen below to "Attracting Files" and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Every Little Step" (Bobby Brown)

"Every Little Step" - Bobby Brown
  • Writers & Producers: L.A. Reid, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
  • Record Label: MCA
  • Released in 1989 "Don't Be Cruel"
  • Peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart

Amazing Cover: "Can't Get Over You" (Joe)

For the Frankie Beverly and Maze tribute album Silky Soul Music... An All-star Tribute To Maze F/ Frankie Beverly R&B crooner Joe covered their classic "Can't Get Over You." While I agree that Joe doesn't get the credit he deserves, this cover to me proves that point tenfold over other works that he has put out recently. With that said, take a listen to his smooth cover of the classic "Can't Get Over You" below and Enjoy!

Album in the Works: "Side Effects of You" (Fantasia)

After releasing the album cover for her forthcoming fourth album, Fantasia has now released the official tracklisting for Side Effects of You. The Grammy-winning songstress' latest album features 13 joints that were all helmed by producer Harmony and will feature appearances from Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott and rapper King Los. In addition to the 13 standard tracks, Target will include two bonus tracks in the form of  "Haunted" and Kiss Bang Boom." Peep the official tracklisting below for Side Effects of You below and lookout for the album when it's released on April 16th.

Side Effects of You Tracklisting

1. "Make Me Feel" featuring King Los
2. "Ain’t All Bad"
3. "If I Was a Bird"
4. "Girl Talk (Interlude)"
5. "Without Me" featuring Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliott
6. "Side Effects of You"
7. "Get It Right"
8. "So Much to Prove"
9. "Change Your Mind"
10. "Lighthouse”
11. "Lose to Win"
12. "End of Me"
13. "In Deep"
14. "Haunted" (Target Exclusive)
15. "Kiss Bang Boom" (Target Exclusive)

Live Audio: "Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business)" (Aretha Franklin)

There is nothing better then hearing a live recording of The Queen of Soul during her golden era. With that said, take a listen to Ms. Franklin getting down on her classic "Dr. Feelgood [Love Is A Serious Business]." This nearly 8 minute opus is full of classic Franklin wails and runs that will have you feeling real good. Listen below and Enjoy!

Remix: "It's Not Right, But It's Okay (Thunderpuss Remix)" (Whitney Houston)

Though Darkchild originally produced "It's Not Right, But It's Ok," the Thunderpuss remix to her third single gained enough radio play that it became the definitive version of Houston's Grammy winning hit, that went onto peak at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. With that said, take a listen below to this sublime Thunderpuss remix of "It's Not Right, But It's Okay" below and Enjoy!

Cut: "Soul" (Gary Clark Jr.)

After listening to Gary Clark Jr.'s Blak and Blu LP, my favorite cut from his album has to be the last "bonus" track on the deluxe version entitled "Soul." The smooth instrumentation and vocals really capture a mellow mood that warrants a listen from music fans and casual listeners who might've just listened to the standard edition. Therefore, take a listen below to my favorite cut from the album "Soul" and Enjoy!

Live Clip: "All Over Me" (Monica)

This past weekend, Monica appeared as a part of So So Def's 20th Anniversary live concert and while she was there to celebrate JD and his label's unprecedented success, Monica also performed a phenomenal rendition of one of her latest hits "All Over Me." Watch her powerful performance of her ballad "All Over Me" below and Enjoy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cut: "Turn Me On" (Norah Jones)

Back in 2002, Norah Jones released her debut album "Come Away With Me" to tremendous critical and commercial acclaim, netting Jones 5 Grammy Awards and selling over 26 million copies worldwide. With that said, the last single released from her set was "Turn Me On" in late 2003 and while it did not chart here in the states, "Turn Me On" is one of those gems in Jones' discography and you can take a listen to it below!

Live Video of the Day: "Lifetime" (Maxwell)

Check out Maxwell performing his song "Lifetime" from his album "Now" on The Late Show with David Letterman. Maxwell croons out a phenomenal version of the song from back in 2001 and shows why he is considered one of the top male vocalists of our time. Watch his sublime performance below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Last Chance" (Ginuwine)

"Last Chance" - Ginuwine
  • Writer: Adonis Shropshire
  • Producer: Bryan-Michael Cox
  • Record Label: Notifi Records, Warner Bros. Records
  • Released in 2009 from "A Man's Thoughts"
  • Peaked at #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

Second Listen: "The Best Man I Can Be" (Ginuwine, R.L., Tyrese, & Case)

Back in 1999 Ginuwine, R.L. from Next, Tyrese, and Case joined forces for the ballad "The Best Man I Can Be," which was lifted from the official soundtrack for "The Best Man." Written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Big Jim Wright, "The Best Man I Can Be" was a minor hit on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #77 and #20 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. With that said, take a first or second listen below to "The Best Man I Can Be" below and Enjoy!

Remix: "Automatic (Remix)" (SNDCLSH (DJ Lupe Fiasco x DJ Sky Gellatly) featuring DJ Kue)

DJ Kue and The SNDCLSH have collaborated once again, this time with a remix of the classic Pointer Sisters hit "Automatic." The original Pointer Sisters track first appeared on their seminal album Break Out, released in 1983.

A favorite of Lupe, Sky, and Kue, "Automatic" won the Pointer Sisters a Grammy Award for "Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices" in 1985. The SNDCLSH x DJ Kue Automatic Remix is for promotional use only, and is nothing more than a tribute to the widely-loved Pointer Sisters' hit.

The trio of DJ Kue, Lupe, and Sky felt that it was only fitting to drop their homage to this Grammy-Award Winning track, and to the venerated vocal trio, on the first day of Grammy Award week back in 2012. Once a classic, forever a classic.

Take a listen below and Enjoy!

Behind the Scenes: "At S.O.B.'s in NYC" (Bridget Kelly)

I had the pleasure of seeing Bridget Kelly open for Brandy this past Friday at Club Nokia and the day before she performed in LA, she headlined her first show at NYC's S.O.B.'s as a part of  Hot 97's "Who's Next" showcase. With that said, Bridget shut it down and in this brief behind the scenes feature, she shows you some of the preparation behind the scenes in addition to celebrating after her successful headlining gig. Peep the footage below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "What You Won’t Do For Love" (Jessie Ware)

Featured on the deluxe edition of her debut album Devotion, Jessie Ware's cover of the Bobby Caldwell classic "What You Won't Do For Love" in this acoustic performance is a solid rendition of the 1978 classic. Watch Jessie's solid performance of "What You Won't Do For Love" below and Enjoy!

New Joint: "Live My Dream" (JRDN)

Artist-on-the-rise JRDN has released a smooth joint "Love My Dream" and the thumping slow jam is an inspiring manifesto about wanting to live his dreams in addition to seeing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dreams realized. Take a listen below to JRDN's "Live My Dream" and if you like what you hear, click here to find more about the Canadian hailing singer/songwriter.

Live Clip: "The Ladder" (Ledisi)

As Ledisi is hard at work on her followup to her Grammy-nominated LP Pieces Of Me, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit her aw inspiring performance of "The Ladder," which was originally recorded for Pieces Of Me, though it did not make the final cut. Lifted from her appearance on last year's BET Sunday Best season finale, Ledisi

New Joint: "Are We Almost There Yet?" (Jared Evan)

I've posted about Jared Evan before and now the rising singer/songwriter is back with a new joint, "Are We Almost There Yet?," which is produced by Statik Selektah. Lifted from his forthcoming debut album Boom Bap & Blues, Jared even spits a few bars on his solid mid-tempo joint "Are We Almost There Yet?" and you can take a listen to it below!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Live Clip: "Oscar Musical Medley" (Jennifer Hudson)

During the 85th Annual Academy Awards, the Oscars honored three of the most memorable musicals of the past ten years including Chicago, Dreamgirls, and Les Miserable. With that said, Catherine Zeta-Jones kicked off the celebration with a solid dance routine to "All That Jazz," followed by a standing ovation inducing performance by Jennifer Hudson on "And I Am Telling You," which was then followed up by the cast of Les Miserable. Jennifer Hudson hands down offered the best performance of the night (2:56) and you can watch it all below!

Live Video of the Day: "Skyfall" (Adele)

Earlier this evening Adele added Oscar winner to her resumé as the Grammy-winning songstress picked up an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the theme song to "Skyfall." With that said, before she picked up her Oscar, Adele performed a stirring rendition of "Skyfall" on the telecast and you can watch her stunning performance below!

Song of the Day: "Power of Love/Love Power" (Luther Vandross)

"Power of Love/ Love Power" - Luther Vandross
  • Writers: Luther Vandross, Marcus Miller, Teddy Vann
  • Producers: Luther Vandross & Marcus Miller
  • Record Label: Epic
  • Released in 1991 from "Power of Love"
  • Peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #1 on the Hot R&B Singles

Behind the Scenes: "Forrest Gump" Grammy Rehearsal (Frank Ocean)

While Frank Ocean underwhelmed a lot of views at this year's Grammy Awards with a pitchy vocal performance of "Forrest Gump," which is lifted from his Grammy-winning Gold certified album channel ORANGE, the famed crooner has just recently released some behind the scenes footage of his rehearsals for the Grammys. With that said, peep his strong rehearsal footage of "Forrest Gump" below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Angel" (Ruben Studdard)

It has been a minute since we've heard from Ruben Studdard and while the velvet teddy bear as he was known on American Idol is potentially working on a followup to 2012's Letters from Birmingham, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit his sublime cover of Aretha Franklin's classic hit "Angel." Why Ruben hasn't recorded a cover version of this yet is unbeknownst to me, but in my book he definitely should. With that said, Ruben's heartfelt and emotional cover of Aretha's "Angel"is in my opinion one of, if not his best live vocal performance to date. Written by Franklin's sister Carolyn, this tender ballad has a soft spot in the Queen's heart and the way Ruben sang it really touched her that night as you can tell from the clip. Even though he was sick, Ruben brought the soulful depths that few can these days and you can watch it all go down below!

New Joint: "Eyes Like Sky" (Frank Ocean)

Having picked up two Grammys and a BRIT Award for his debut album channel ORANGE within the past week, Frank Ocean is already 10 songs deep into his sophomore followup and now a previously unreleased joint from his channel ORANGE sessions has hit the net. Entitled "Eyes Like Sky," the mid-tempo acoustic guitar led joint is a solid banger from the famed singer/songwriter and you can take a listen to it below.

New Video: "Shake Her Hand" (Eric Roberson)

A few days late on Eric Roberson's latest video for "Shake Her Hand," but better late than never. With that said, Eric recently dropped a solid visual to accompany his smooth jazzy cut "Shake her Hand," which is lifted from his latest album Mister Nice Guy and you can watch it below.

Live Clip: "I Look to You/Amazing Grace" (Kim Burrell)

Kim Burrell paid tribute to Whitney Houston by singing a medley of her last hit single "I Look to You" and "Amazing Grace" earlier this year during a Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration event at NJPAC in Newark, New Jersey. Having almost been a year since laying her sister Whitney to rest, Kim Burrell's touching vocal tribute on "I Look to You" and "Amazing Grace" are truly touching and warrant a view below.