rising artist spotlight

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Initially, I was turned off by Pia Mia. I know she can’t help it, but I found her name borderline annoying. Silly, right? Anyway. Despite my attempt not to like her, the 19-year-old singer won me over with her Chris Brown-assisted single, “Do It Again.” She’s followed that up with an even more fantastic offering.

If you like “Sorry” by Justin Bieber, you’ll love “Touch.” Since the track was co-produced by BLOOD, the same person who assisted Skrillex on The Biebs song, it’s not surprising both tropical house-tinged tracks sound quite similar. In her case though, the summery vibe is fitting given her exotic heritage.

For the accompanying visual, the diva from Guam chose to film in Australia. Wise decision given her previous track charted quite well Down Under. Pia looks great in the Dave Meyers-directed music video, but the choreography is a bit pedestrian. Doesn’t really matter though, because “Touch” is sensational. It’s my new obsession. Check it out below.

watch video after the jump


If you’re hoping this is another dig aimed a Katy Perry, you’re out of luck. This “Bad Blood” is a hot new track from rising artist Nao.

The British R&B singer debuted her new single on BBC Radio 1 earlier this week. The track, produced by Grades, is off her forthcoming debut album. If you love the slinky soul jam, be sure to check out her EPs- February 15 and So Good. There’s also her Disclosure collaboration, “Super Ego.”

Commit Nao to memory. This rising talent is surely here to stay. Check out “Bad Blood” below. If this blows up, I can totally see some mashup artist mixing it with Taylor Swift’s hit single. That would be epic.

listen after the jump


Tom Aspaul is a rising singer and record producer whose recent writing credits include penning tracks for Little Boots, Karen Harding and Kylie Minogue. He steps away from his pen for a moment to stand in the spotlight. The Brit teams up with XY Constant for a new banger title “Do It Well.”

My friend from across the pond recently shared this track with me and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. I get a Years & Years-type of vibe from it. Looking forward to more from these two talented individuals, especially Aspaul. Love his sweet innocent-sounding voice. Check out “Do It Well” below.

listen after the jump

Rising Artist Spotlight: Maliibu N Helene

In: Donovan, Music

Can’t really explain why, but I’m kinda obsessed with these two chicks. How could I not? One of them spells their name, Maliibu with two ‘i’s. Can’t get any more ghetto fabulous than that 😉

Maliibu N Helene are an exciting new duo signed to Island Records. Helen Britany is a Cali-via-Jersey songstress while Maliibu Miitch is a South Bronx rapper. Together, they’re poised to make a big splash this summer. Especially, with their hot new single, “Figure 8.”

“The fact that our partnership does work and that we truly enjoy each other’s company and love making music together shows that it doesn’t matter where you grew up or what you’ve been through,” Helene says. “Music is the one thing that can bring people together. It’s universal.”

Figure 8” is another DJ Mustard-produced masterpiece. DJs have been pushing this hardcore at the clubs recently which will no doubt translate to a strong showing on the charts.

The accompanying clip is a fun romp that boasts some simple yet fun moves. It’s all about the choreography during the chorus. Not surprisingly, I’ve dropped those moves several times since seeing it. Check out their music videos below.

watch video after the jump


Back in 2013, I questioned if Tori Kelly was the one American Idol let slip through their fingers. The California native auditioned for the ninth season of the FOX singing competition, making it to Hollywood but failing to make the Top 24. Simon Cowell called her “almost annoying” during her audition. Fast forward years later and it’s the 22-year-old who’s now having the last laugh.

After Idol, Tori became a huge YouTube personality. Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, scooped her up and guided her to a record deal with Capitol Records.

The infectious lead single, “Nobody Love,” off her debut album is building buzz and destined to be her breakout hit. That shouldn’t be a surprise given that it’s produced by Max Martin. The Swedish hitmaker has crafted hits for Taylor Swift, Britney Spears and P!nk to name a few.

Commit Tori Kelly to memory because mark my words, she’ll be pop’s next big sensation. Check out her “Nobody Love” music video below.

watch video after the jump

Let St. Lucia ‘Elevate’ You With His Hot New Track

In: Donovan, Music

I’m calling it now. “Elevate” is going to be a huge summer hit in 2014. That’s right. 2014. No typo here. Just like Ellie Goulding’s “Lights,” Emeli Sande’s “Next To You” or countless other international tracks, it’ll take a year for North American radio to embrace this talented (and cute I might add) South African singer.

St. Lucia is actually a one-man band fronted by Jean-Philip Grobler. He’s opened for acts like Ellie Goulding in the past and released a successful EP last year. He’s back and with a hot new track to boot. “Elevate” reminds me something Phil Collins would’ve done back in the 80s but with a modern twist. It’s tropical synth-pop. Is that even a genre? Regardless of what category you’d put him under, there’s no confusion that his new single is fantastic. Check it out below.

listen to the hot track after the jump

While Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes are cautionary tales of what could happen to former child stars, there are some that prove being a complete hot mess isn’t the only option. Malcolm David Kelley proves you can transition into adulthood gracefully. If the name sounds familiar but can’t figure out exactly why, he’s Walt from Lost. Remember the kid who was kidnapped by “The Others” on the first season finale. The 21-year-old actor just dropped his latest music video and it’s surprisingly catchy.

MKTO is comprised of Tony Oller and Kelley. The two met while starring on the TeenNick series Gigantic. “Classic” is the follow up to their debut single “Thank You” which broke into the Top 10 in Australia and New Zealand. As the track title suggests, their latest is a fun timeless pop track. Oller smoothly delivers the verses while Kelley adds some urban swag during the rap interlude. Check it out below.

watch the music video after the jump

Meet The Aussie One Direction… The Collective

In: Donovan, Music

Since The Collective placed third on the Australian edition of The X Factor, naturally comparisons with One Direction will come up since the boy band also came in third during their competition. You might think a rivalry might exist given 1D’s feud with The Wanted. No hatin’ going on here. 1D gave their seal of approval when they popped up during the judges’ home portion of the Aussie reality show. There’s always room for another boy band, right? Especially when one of the members is Zach Russell. He’s the cute 23-year-old on the far left.

The Aussie group dropped their first single “Surrender” back in December which became a Top 10 hit down under. They’re back with a brand new track which I believe might garner them attention outside their native land. DNA, the genius behind Ricky Martin‘s “Come With Me”, has crafted a winner for the quintet. “Another Life” is a slick track with a catchy hook that could easily win over pop lovers around the world. Check out their latest below.

give them a listen after the jump

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