So how does a kid from Reston, Va hit it big as a Record producer? Just ask Benny Blanco. This twenty year old Reston native sat down with me for a quirky, hilarious and slightly risque phone call to chat about breaking into the music business as a producer and working with artists from Kylie Minogue and that girl kissin’ sensation Katy Perry to finagling his way into combining Spank Rock with 2 Live Crew. He also talks about what a major influence the late Disco D had on launch of his career.
There are stand up comics who make a career out of other people’s pain; comics who make careers out of their own pain, and comics who make a career out of the story of their lives. Christopher Titus does all three [though in fairness, the other people’s pain comes from the members of his family, and his friends…].
If you watched FOX’s three-season sitcom, Titus, you’ve probably encountered much of this material – watered down, at least in terms of language – before. Or, you might have heard some of it on one of his other CDs, or at one of his concerts. If you have, don’t think you can skip this new two-CD set.
Christopher Titus does something that no other comic does – he makes a childhood that should be tragic and turns it into humor. Whether he’s explaining why fathers are better parents than mothers; suggesting likely occupations for ex-junkies, or detailing the events of his childhood, Titus pulls no punches – in fact, on occasion, he leans into them.
With his machine gun-like vocal style, he launches into moments of heartbreaking poignancy just long enough to turn them into some of the funniest bits you’ll ever hear. Even the title of the album – Norman Rockwell is Bleeding – is a humorous reference to the utterly dysfunctional nature of his family. There are too few comics whose work is actually as important as it is funny. Titus is one of them. If you think your family is weird, you owe it to yourself [and, possibly, your family] to check out this CD. Just don’t be too surprised if some of it rings the odd bell or two…
Final Grade: A+
Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with Billboard chart topper and rising star Colby O’Donis. If the name doesn’t ring any bells, his latest single “What You Got” featuring Akon, should clarify things for you. This talented quadruple threat (singer, songwriter, dancer and producer) is more than just another studio manufactured teen sensation. While Colby is a young guy, he’s also a very talented musician with a solid plan for the future, not to mention making a deep impression in the music industry by teaming with some of the hottest acts out there. Don’t just take my word for it. Check out the interview below and run over to his MySpace (www.myspace.com/colbyo) page and judge for yourself. You wont be disappointed!
EM: So tell me your story. How did you get to where you are? How do you go from a talented kid wanting to be an entertainer to a singer, songwriter and producer making music with Akon?
CO: I started professionally when I was nine and I got signed to Full Force who worked with Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam to N’SYNC to Britney Spears to Usher to Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez…I mean they work with so many artists. Then I got signed to sing on the Stuart Little soundtrack. Before I actually got signed to Akon I had six independent albums that I did on my own so I’ve been at it for a long time. You know I’ve actually been signed to Akon for a little bit over three years now so you know I’m just starting to come out now. It’s a blessing! We’re really excited about it.
EM: Your song “What You Got” is a really hot track right now. Do you have a fully album coming out anytime soon?
CO: Yes. The albums coming out September 16th and the features on the album are gonna be great. It’s gonna be…we got Akon of course, Paul Wahl is on the album, Lil’ Romeo is on the album.
EM: Wow, it sounds like you’ve got it pretty loaded up!
CO: Yeah, oh yeah, definitely going to be an amazing album. We’re really excited about all of this.
EM: It sounds like you’re pretty much snagging all of the heavy hitters right off the bat. Is there anybody you’re looking forward to working with in the future?
EM: Ludacris? Is that the number one?
CO: Oh yeah. I tried to get him on this album but he was actually filming a movie so he wasn’t in the states so he couldn’t get to the studio to do it but next album for sure.
EM: So what music has influenced you over the years? What are you listening to?
CO: I definitely listen to Akon, Usher, Justin Timberlake…a lot of talented people, musically influenced music definitely a great inspiration drives me in what I’m doing right now.
EM: You’re a producer as well. Would you consider producing for somebody else? Have you produced anybody else?
CO: Oh yeah, definitely. I’m doing a lot of stuff with Akon right now we’re working on some big projects together. I wrote 14 of the 15 songs on my album so I’ve been at it and I produced a lot of songs too and I mixed a lot of songs also so I’m excited about this album to show people what I can do.
EM: Don’t you have another single coming out?
CO: Yeah, the second single is called “Don’t Turn Back”. Pretty much it’s about this beautiful girl that’s working a nine to five job and her boss treats her like crap and I’m pretty much telling her to quit the nine to five, let me take care of all the financial needs, take care of all the money issues and let her chase her dream and enjoy life because I don’t think someone as beautiful as her should be breaking her back working.
EM: That sounds wonderful to me! Sounds like an awesome song and I can’t wait to hear it.
CO: It’s actually on my Myspace (www.myspace.com/colbyo). You can check it out!
For more on Colby’s latest tracks check out www.colbyodonis.com or go to iTunes to download his latest single “Don’t Turn Back”.
EM Interview by:
Tiffany N. D’Emidio
“It’s so cool that we’re finally coming to play in America. We can’t wait to rock for all of our fans, and make some new ones, in San Francisco and L.A.”
That’s Glay’s lead singer Teru, talking about the rock group’s highly anticipated and very first American appearances.
Glay’s American limited tour concert series is starting this off on August 12th, 2008 at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore at 8:00pm, before arriving in Los Angeles for two consecutive nights at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip — Friday, August 15th and Saturday, August 16th, 2008, starting at 9:00pm on both nights.
GLAY are hitting these U.S. venues hot on the heels of the recent June 11th release of their latest album, Verb, which contains the hit title track as well as their stunning rendition of the classic U2 song, “With or Without You.”
The band was formed in 1988 by high school friends, guitarist Takuro and vocalist Teru. After moving to Tokyo and recruiting guitarist Hisashi and bassist Jiro, they made their major label debut in 1994 with the EP Rain. In 1996, their second album Beat Out! debuted at #1 on the Oricon Chart, the Japanese equivalent of Billboard that represents the official sales statistics of music releases in Japan. Their greatest hits album, Review, was released in 1997 and sold 5,000,000 copies–the greatest selling album in Japanese chart history at the time.
For more information on ticket sales, please contact Erik Stein
To hear music by Glay check out ‘Glay: Frustrated!’
In this day and age of MySpace, YouTube, and iPod commercials pimping the latest track it’s pretty rare to hear new music on the radio that I get too excited about…until three weeks ago when I was driving home from work and turned to Hot 99.5 with this kick ass song playing. It was “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry. The DJ introed it by saying we should be on the look out for Katy and that she got mad love from Madonna. I loved the song instantly and when I got home went online to hear more and sure enough not only was Madonna, Queen of pop music, endorsing her and singing Katy’s praises but the rest of her tracks were just as good.
“One of the Boys” features hits like “I Kiss a Girl” and “UR So Gay” both climbing the charts and making a splash online and over the airwaves. The album has a good mix of fun, defiant rock, pop and punk-tronic beats with splash of style due in part to Katy’s killer pipes and the other part from her love of vintage 40’s clothes. I believe what you wear can influence ever aspect of your life so the clothes definitely make this woman. “One of the Boys” is now available so check it out in all the usual online spots and definitely check out her website www.katyperry.com. She’s got a blog section with crazy video blogs that will keep you coming back for more. From her personal entries on the road to her crazy fans, you’ll be completely entertained. Katy’s currently performing with the Warped Tour through August so get up off your ass and grab some tickets!
Final Grade: A+
The day after John Lennon was killed outside his New York home, The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder aired his last televised interview, which had been aired five years previously, along with appearances by journalist Lisa Robinson and Lennon’s producer, Jack Douglas. Interviews with Paul and Linda McCartney and two other members of Wings, and Ringo Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach, briefly touch on John and The Beatles. Plus, Angie Dickinson…
When Mick struts onstage, he resembles a Gerry [Thunderbirds] Anderson marionette on crack, while good ol’ Keef looks like he might not make it to his next solo – but The Rolling Stones can still rock the vast majority of today’s bands under the table. Martin Scorsese’s Shine A Light is more of a concert film than a documentary – though it does cut to some ironic and even prophetic clips from the early Stones.
Robyn Hitchcock has been releasing his ever-so-slightly skewed music for well over twenty years – spread across three decades. Robyn Hitchcock: Sex, Food, Death and… Insects is a documentary, from The Sundance Channel, that will be released on DVD on March 25. It features interviews with a number of Hitchcock’s co-conspirators and the first real look at his songwriting process.
One who is a fan of Hip Hop music will immediately recognize the name Irv Gotti. In the rare case of not knowing who this music biz impresario is, here is the skinny. Irv Gotti, whose birth name is Irving Lorenzo, rose to fame after forming a once bustling record label, Murder Inc. There, he was the overseer of the careers of Ja Rule, Ashanti and a number of others. Producing countless hits, Irv Gotti’s imprint became a household name.
Then, in 2003, Irv and his imprint ran into legal trouble, when his offices were raided by the FBI due to allegations of a business association with a known drug kingpin. In late 2005, Irv was acquitted and went back to business as usual, so he thought. Continue reading Reality Series Gotti’s Way Ends on an Emotional, Redundant Note
Beneath the infectious lights and beating pulse of New York City, a number of music industry events took place on Tuesday, December 18. But none could compare to the ambience of Bryan -Michael Cox’s sleek 30th Birthday fete at the W Hotel, Union Square .
The festive event, sponsored by W Hotel and Men’s Vogue, shut all competition in the Red Apple down that night — as it boasted the attendance of hundreds of fabulous people. From key Tinseltown elite and music execs to tastemakers and artists, no stone was left unturned at this hot ticket celebration. Clearly, every facet of the entertainment industry was dutifully in attendance to celebrate with the highly acclaimed producer. Continue reading Impresarios, Insiders and Artists Turn out to Celebrate with Producer Bryan-Michael Cox
Here’s a little music to brighten your day, it’s a music video from the recently released Into the Wild, which
has been getting some amazing notices. This is from Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder’s “Hard Sun.”
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Into The Wild Music Video from Eddie Vedder