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I have always been a big JoJo fan, ever since I heard Leave (Get Out) in middle school. What I love is that as I grew up, so did she and so did her music. After her record label failed to release her new music, JoJo took matters into her own hands and decided to release a new mixtape. Agape came out last week and I’ve already listened to it more times than I can count.

Agape contains two tracks we’ve already heard (We Get By and Andre) but features some brand new material that really shows off JoJo’s undeniable vocal chops and maturity. JoJo talked with Idolator about Agape and what it means to her.

“Agape means unconditional love without pretense, regardless of circumstance. I just really felt very much that’s what I wanted to embody with this. The recording process and assembling it, and just getting it all in perspective, was very much a process of love and of me growing, feeling very centered, taking care of myself and expressing myself.”

She also mentions that she wanted to create a consistent atmosphere where her fans could just get lost in the music. Having listened to this mixtape from top to bottom, I can attest that it is definitely easy to do so with this material. Lyrically, JoJo keeps it as real as ever and that genuine truth makes you connect with her more than ever.

Stream JoJo’s ‘Agape’ mixtape & download link after the jump.

We’re taking the day off today, so we decided to repost some of our favorite Christmas-themed posts from this and previous years.

With the Christmas season just around the corner (after American Thanksgiving of course), the list of things to do and prepare can get a little long. This in turn can cause some serious stress during the normally joyous holiday season. Not quite sure how to make the most of your Christmas season? Have no fear, Pippa Middleton is here. Yes, you read that correctly. The sister of the Duchess of Cambridge has released a list of Top Ten Tips For The Perfect Christmas.

Pippa writes under a pen name for Party Times magazine and her most recent assignment gives a great list of ways to make Christmas absolutely perfect. The tips range from personal adjustments to how to decorate the house and what kind of treats to make during the holidays. With each tip comes a great description from Pippa herself. Check out the full list below.

Check out Pippa’s Top Ten after the jump.

When dancer and choreographer Brian Friedman decided to expand his ever growing empire in the entertainment industry, it was a no-brainer for him to team up some other industry heavy hitters to create a new production company titled IDentity UnKnown. I was first introduced to their impecable work when they produced our friend Leo Moctezuma’s video for his single, 2 Da Left. (Watch it HERE!)

Now, Brian and his crew have shifted their focus to develop ID’s first solo artist. May I introduce to you, Sarati. This blonde firecracker has just released her debut single This Beat with a music video set to show off just what this gal is capable of.

With both the single and the video, you can see the major influences of pop queens like Janet Jackson and Britney Spears, both artists that Brian Friedman has worked with extensively. Go figure. The video follows the pattern of Janet’s infamous Pleasure Principle video with Sarati dancing around a warehouse showing off some pretty stellar moves choreographed by LA prodigy, Tucker Barkley.

Check out Sarati’s dance heavy music video after the jump.

A year or two back, I was priviledged enough to work with Sharon Leal on the CW show, Hellcats. Many of you will recognize Sharon from her roles in Dreamgirls, Why Did I Get Married, Private Practice and Boston Public. Recently, she finished work on a new film project titled, Addicted- a story that follows a woman’s sex addiction which threatens to ruin her family’s life. I caught up with Sharon to ask her about this new film and her list of super sexy co-stars including William Levy.

“It is such a serious addiction and overlooked,” remarks Sharon after I asked her about studying for the role. I then inquired how she prepared for such a heavy piece. “I slept with hundreds and hundreds of men,” she jokes. “In all seriousness I did research on addiction and immersed myself in research into what drives people to their addictions. I happened to play a woman addicted to sex but the root of why someone falls fall victim to their impulses is the same. Sex addiction is in the same box as to food, drugs, alcohol etc,” she explains.

Movies aren’t Sharon’s only strength. Leal’s also got an incredible set of pipes. She sang in the film Dreamgirls and even leant her voice to a couple numbers on Hellcats but now, she’s ready to release some of her own original material with her debut solo album. Sharon is enlisting the help of crowd funding website Kickstarter to help her go through with the project. Learn more by checking out her pitch video below.

Leal’s Kickstarter video and more of our chat after the jump.

Michael Kong’s yourefaceinsideout explores themes of possession, over saturation, displacement, detachment, and connectivity in the constraints and rules of a wolf pack. Weather themes are abstract or literal the notion of rejection and disability are apparent in a haunting journey accompanied by live DJ Aaron Kelsh.

Vancouver’s vibrant dance community is coming of age. Populated with a new breed of exciting dancers and choreographers, the local scene has never offered such high calibre, innovative and daring exhibitions. Three of the community’s newest artists, Katie DeVries, Michael Kong, and Erika Mitsuhashi, with the support of the Simon Fraser University Dance Faculty, present The December Projects. Three separate dance works created by these emerging artists exemplify all that SFU, as a premier educational institution, has to contribute to arts and culture in Vancouver. For the past year, Katie, Michael and Erika, in collaboration with interpreters, musicians, photographers and new media artists, have developed this show as a finale to their achievement of an honours degree in Fine Arts. Join them at the show, December 7 @ 8PM, and December 8th @ 2PM, 2012, at the Goldcorp Centre for the Performing Arts, SFU Woodwards, 149 West Hastings St, Vancouver.”

I had the privilege of being invited to a rehearsal for the show and I was amazed by the choreography, concept and overall performance from the troupe. A collection of truly passionate and talented artists makes up quite the company to allow the audience to me wrapped up the amazing movement. If you are a fan of contempoary dance or the arts in general, this FREE SHOW is not to be missed. Check out a promo video, a few shots of the company and a message from Michael Kong below.

Promo vid, photos and more from Michael after the jump.

Bruno Mars is gearing up to release his new album Unorthodox Jukebox real soon- like December 11 soon. So, to gear up his fans for the new disc, he’s been pumping out tracks from the album left right and center. The latest track to be released is When I Was Your Man which sees Bruno in a more reflective state accompanied by nothing but a beautiful piano instrumental.

Penned alongside Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine and Andrew Wyatt, the track focuses on Bruno singing about mistakes he’s made in relationships past.

Same bed, but it feels just a little bit bigger now
Our song on the radio, but it don’t sound the same
When our friends talk about you all that it does is just tear me down
Cause my heart breaks a little when I hear your name
And it all just sound like uh, uh, uh

I think this may be one of the strongest cuts from the album. Listen below.

Hear Bruno’s new piano-driven single after the jump.

JoJo Sings About Her ‘Andre’

In: Music, Tyrell

I think that Agapé may be one of the biggest mixtape I am looking forward to next year. My girl JoJo released the track We Get By last month which Donovan shared with us. For the second cut from the compilation, JoJo has once again recorded an absolutely commanding vocal for her Andre 3000-inspired, Andre.

The Outkast member’s influences are undeniable in the synth work and drum kit. Even the spacey bridge is fresh like Mr. 3000. In the chorus she sings, “Always fly as he wanna be / Cooler than a mother… People think he’s strange / But he never try to hide it / That’s my Andre…” This is the JoJo I remember and love.

To catch you up, earlier this year, JoJo was anticipating the release of her new album, Jumping Trains which was to feature some previously released tracks like Disaster and The Other Chick but was later scrapped by the singer to pursue a more authentic album and sound. Gotta love JoJo- staying true to who she is instead of selling out.

Listen to JoJo’s newest jam after the jump.

I have been watching The X Factor regularly this season but I was extra sure to tune in tonight for one special reason. No, it wasn’t to see if once again, Paige Thomas or Cece Frey dropped the musical ball. But instead, it was to check out the world premiere of and Britney Spears’ highly anticipated new music video for Scream & Shout. After the few little sneak peeks we had received, I was ready for it.

First things first, Britney looks absolutely stunning every time she appears on screen. Her movements are characteristically Ms. Spears and fit perfectly into the kaleidoscope-like effect the entire video portrays. What’s hard not to notice is the incessant product placement of the technology throughout the entire clip. But hey, a man’s gotta make that paper right? And that iPad typewriter things is pretty cool.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the song when it first was released but in all honesty, it has completely grown on me and the accompanying video is definitely fun to watch. I wish there was bit more of Britney partaking in some full-out choreography but hey, we can’t have it all right? Check out the brand spankin’ new clip and share your thoughts in the comments. Do you think this clip will up it’s placement on the charts?

Watch the video after the jump…

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