rising artist spotlight

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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

Rising Artist Spotlight: Broods

In: Donovan, Music

Move over Lorde, there’s another Kiwi act primed to invade North America. Meet brother-sister act Broods comprised of Caleb and Georgia Nott. They’re like Haim meets Ellie Goulding. If you’re into moody alternative music, this talented duo will be up your music alley. Two tracks, “Bridges” and “Never Gonna Change,” have been uploaded on Soundcloud and both are fantastic. The former has a cool chamber music vibe to it.

In December 2013, they signed with Capitol and Polydor Records. A debut EP will become available on January 28, with a full-length album scheduled for August. With collaborations with music producer Joel Little, I expect big things from Broods. Little produced Lorde’s mega-hit “Royals.” Give their music a listen below and be sure to weigh in afterwards on your thoughts. Side note: How cute is Caleb? WOOF!!!

listen to a couple of tracks 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

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