rising artist spotlight

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Rising Artist Spotlight: Jess Cullen

In: Matt, Music

Vancouver indie star Jess Cullen and her band are set to release their next single this Friday night at Joe’s Apartment. In case you haven’t heard of her, Jess Cullen is one of Vancouver’s most promising rising stars. In 2012 she won local talent competition Davie’s Got Talent and has continued building on that success ever since.

After releasing her first full length album on iTunes last year, as well as a music video (see below), Jess and her band continued winning more local competitions. Most recently they won the chance to play alongside bands like Foster the People at the Squamish Music Festival. Hot off of their performance at Squamish Music Festival, Jess and her band are set to release their next single “At First Light”.

watch video after the jump

Rising Artist Spotlight: Matt Palmer

In: Donovan, Music, Totally GAY!

Move over Frank Ocean. There’s a new R&B singer-songwriter in town and his name is Matt Palmer. Just like Ocean, Palmer is an openly-gay artist. I first came across this phenomenal talent after stumbling his cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me.” Since R&B is my first love, I had to share Palmer with you. He’s been kind enough to give Homorazzi readers a high-quality version of his cover to download for FREE.

After graduating from NYU’s selective Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, Matt’s soaring melodies and heartfelt lyrics led to collaborations with some of music’s most exciting producers and songwriters including Oak Felder (Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown), Fraser T. Smith (ADELE, Britney Spears), and the Jackie Boyz (Madonna, Justin Bieber). After several years of writing songs for artists like Big Time Rush and Leon Thomas, Matt is preparing to release a brand new, 7-song EP entitled Stranger Than Fiction.

The first single, the urban-pop track “Teardrops” produced by Drew Scotty (Fantasia, Dawn Richard), samples Taylor Swift’s first single “Teardrops on My Guitar“, and puts an adult spin on the teenage ode to unrequited love. In the music video, Matt is shown pining for the boy next door, and letting no barrier keep them apart. Stranger Than Fiction will be available in digital and physical formats in May 2014. Check out his “Teardrops” video below which features some sensual man-on-man action.

check out his music after the jump

Rising Artist Spotlight: Victoria Duffield

In: Donovan, Music

Victoria Duffield first popped up on Homorazzi when she teamed up with Cody Simpson for a duet back in 2012. The track was off her debut album, Shut Up and Dance, which achieved moderate success in her native Canada. With her new infectious track, the 19-year-old has the potential to become the next Carly Rae Jepsen. Coincidentally enough, both are from British Columbia.

Despite the cheap looking music video (seriously so cheap, it’s one notch above those tragic videos from ARK Factory), “More Than Friends” instantly hooked me. I found myself unconsciously grooving back and forth while listening to it in the background. At moments during the clip, Victoria reminds me of the love child of Britney Spears and Ashlee Simpson during their early years. Give the track a listen below and weigh in afterward if it has the potential to become a massive hit.

check out the video after the jump

Rising Artist Spotlight: The Vamps

In: Donovan, Music

At first glance they look like another One Direction ripoff. To be fair, it’s kinda true. After all, they are a boy band from the United Kingdom. However, if I were to compare them to another boy band, I would say they’re a mix of Hanson and McFly.

“Being compared to One Direction is no bad thing but we are a completely different band.” – Brad Simpson

Simpson, James McVey, Connor Ball and Tristan Evans, better known as The Vamps, have scored a couple of hits in their native country. With their latest, “Move My Way,” they’re primed to crossover to North America. It’s by far my favorite among the singles they’ve released. It’s thoroughly pop but with a folk sensibility, like most things these days. Give it a spin below, along with their previous music videos.

check out the catchy track after the jump

Rising Artist Spotlight: Kiesza

In: Donovan, Music

What does one do with some ballerina training and time clocked in the Canadian navy as a sniper? Become an electro-pop dance diva naturally. That’s exactly what Calgary native Kiesza did.

The second I heard the 25-year-old’s addictive new track “Hideaway,” I simply had to feature her in our Rising Artist Spotlight. If you love club jams from the 90s, you’ll eat up this delicious piece of ear candy. The impressive one-take shot music video is equally mesmerizing with her working her way through city streets. Definitely check it out below.

“Shooting the video seemed impossible,” Kiesza tells Rolling Stone. “I had less than three days to learn five completely new dance styles. Almost everyone told me that we couldn’t do it. Then to top things off, on the day of the shoot, I broke a rib. I did the video in two takes and couldn’t move for an entire month afterward, but I pulled it off.”

watch the music video after the jump

Rising Artist Spotlight: Owlle

In: Donovan, Music

If you enjoy music from Likke Li, Bat for Lashes or Grimes, Owlle will be right up your alley. The electropop singer has often been compared to the likes of them along with Kate Bush and Zola Jesus. Since winning the InrocksLab competition back in 2011, the Frenchwoman has caught the critical ears of fans and industry giants alike. She’s worked with producer David Kosten (Natalia Imbruglia) and British sound engineer (Amy Winehouse & Adele). It’s not surprising, Owlle is making huge waves overseas and within the LGBT community with her super catchy but shadowy tunes.

With her flaming red hair and enchanting voice, Owlle demands notice. She recently released her album, aptly titled France, on January 20. The throbbing lead single, “Ticky Ticky,” has captivated clubgoers with its dark vibe and infectious beat. Check out the accompanying visual directed Emily Kai Bock. Coincidentally enough, Bock also directed Grimes’ “Oblivion” video. Comitt Owlle’s name to memory. You’ll be hearing a lot from this talented artist in the coming year.

check out her video after the jump

Rising Artist Spotlight: The Preatures

In: Music, Nic

Although a little under my radar, this band has made up for lost time very quickly while I was listening to Triple J (THE BEST RADIO STATION ON EARTH) and catching up on their annual Australia Day Hottest 100 of the year. Right under veterans like Arctic Monkeys, Lana, Lorde, and Daft Punk, and sitting at pretty number 9 in the top ten, The Preatures found their place.

Hailing from Sydney, this fivesome is headed by lead singer Isabella Manfredi’s silky folky vocals. Backed by a lot of danceable rhythms, this pop group is doing pop just right in all the right places, paying homage to the late seventies and early eighties honouring something that feels like Fleetwood Mac and The Pretenders had a baby and it knew how to groove.

Still without a full length album (lest we not forget Haim was exactly in this place last year as well), The Preatures have a couple of EP’s, their latest being the 5 track “Is This How You Feel” that isn’t short of substance for so little music. Their lead single of the same title is hitting me in all the right places.

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Rising Artist Spotlight: MAGIC!

In: Donovan, Music

When one wants great reggae music, Canada doesn’t immediately come to mind. For those who don’t know, Toronto has quite a huge Caribbean community. With T-Dot being such a huge melting pot, it’s only natural musicians in the city are influenced by their surroundings. Ergo, my latest Rising Artist Spotlight.

MAGIC! (hate the all caps) is a Canadian reggae-pop quartet based in Toronto. Lead vocalist, Nasri Atweh, is a prolific songwriter and record producer in his own right. He’s penned hits for Pitbull (“Feel This Moment”), Justin Bieber (“As Long as You Love Me” & “Never Say Never”) and New Kids on the Block (“Summertime”) to name a few. Rounding out the rest of the group are Mark Pelli, Alex Tanas and Ben Spivak.

Their debut single “Rude” is a catchy island-flavored gem. I was instantly hooked and immediately wanted an island vacation ;) It’s shattered through the Top 5 in both Australia and New Zealand. MAGIC! is signed to Sony Music Entertainment. Check out their debut music video below.

watch the clip after the jump

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