Still Lovin’ Mahalia

Hello friends and family, hope you’re all well.

Today’s post is going to be another artist spotlight. I haven’t done one in a hot minute, most of them have been interviews from up and coming artists, so it’s been a while since I just shared an artist I’ve been genuinely enjoying.

That said, here we are with precisely that, and if the title didn’t allude to it enough, I’m gonna be rambling about Mahalia.

As of recently, she’s announced that she’ll be releasing her debut album, LOVE AND COMPROMISE in September, so now we truly have something to look forward to.

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I first discovered Mahalia when she released Sober in 2017. It’s the slanky type of RnB that I just love, throws you right back to the 90s, and I instantly fell in love with her voice. The acoustic version came shortly after that, as well as the Jarreau Vandal remix, and I was obsessed.

The next song to really have me hooked was I Wish I Missed My Ex which she put out in 2018. The music video to date, is still one of the coolest ones I’ve seen.

 

It took me a little while to jump onto the Mahalia train straight away, and unfortunately, it was in this time that I attended Falls Festival, where Mahalia had a set. And I missed it. I can’t even remember what I saw instead of going to her set, but in short, I didn’t see her when I had the chance. Lesson learnt.

Since then, I’ve become obsessed with several of Mahalia’s songs. That’s OKSimmer which she released super recently, Do Not Disturb and one of my absolute favourites, Honeymoon. 

There’s something about Mahalia that violently throws me back to being a little kid and listening to artists like Ne-Yo, Brandy, Destiny’s Child, Usher, Alicia Keys and so many other incredible RnB artists from the 90s and early 2000s. However, she does so without compromising what makes her unique and so current today. All of her songs have ridiculously catchy hooks and melodies and the musicality in her records is always impressive, regardless of how subtle it may be.

Her EP, Seasons, which she released last year is a collection of five songs which I reckon were a great way to really introduce Mahalia to a brand new audience who were only just discovering her. The five songs are all so cohesive with each other, but have their own little things to celebrate, whether it’s the incredible chorus in Honeymoon, the simplistic structure yet impressive lyrical rhythm in That’s OK or the smooth jam that is Good Reason.

Most recently, her single Simmer, which features Burna Boy has been really stuck in my head, and it’s made for a great warm, summery tune to keep me going through the winter that’s been keeping us all hostage here in Melbourne. If you haven’t had a listen to it already, I can’t recommend it enough. Get around it.

I think everyone, especially fans of soul music and RnB like myself, should take the time to listen to the EP and definitely the album when it comes out, all the way through, back to back. I’m genuinely so excited for what Mahalia’s going to be sharing with this upcoming record, what she’s delivered so far has really hit it’s mark.

She’s a front-runner for 2019.

x

Priya

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Nick Lopez // One To Keep An Eye On

Nick Lopez // One To Keep An Eye On

Hello everyone! Today’s post is going to be dedicated to a singer/songwriter who genuinely excites me, Nick Lopez.

I’d initially heard of Nick through Justin Escalona’s Daily Docs, which is how I also came to discover Christian French, so when I was given the opportunity to chat to Nick about his latest single, Posters, a song that’s been over a year in the making, I couldn’t pass it up.

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Posters is a song that perfectly slips into that cruise-y, atmospheric pop sound, as does a lot of other songs Nick as released. The story behind the song, which features LA singer Dominique, is equally as beautiful. “It’s about missing someone important to you, and “making friends” with things that remind you of them”, according to Nick.

The song is the product of a completely new and fresh collaboration for Nick. “Me and Dominique were introduced at an event and we set up a writing session
with one of my favourite producers Midi Jones. The first time we ever worked
together we made this song!”

“It was a duet from the get go. I knew it felt right.”

Nick is no stranger to the music scene though. Having written for artists like Lady Gaga, ASTN, Annie LeBlanc and You Should Hear favourite, Christian French, it’s always a little different releasing music for himself. “Releasing my own music is great because I am in complete control and people are fully aware that it’s me who wrote the song, but I also love writing with up and comers like Chris and many others because they are so talented and bring their own unique abilities and vision into the session.”

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However, his experience means he’s already a professional at pulling together these contagious songs that stick in your head, garnering himself fans all over the world.

His 2016 single Pink Champagne found huge success in China, and finally getting to go over there was an experience in itself for the LA artist. “Most insane experience of my life. Every teenager in the country knows that song. You walk around the mall and hear it playing, in restaurants, bars, on the radio, everyone knows it. They freak out when they realise it’s me haha. I can’t wait to go back.”

Posters is a step away from the upbeat pop track however, and Nick describes the sound perfectly. “It’s a lot more mature in my opinion, it’s also the first “moody” song I’ve ever
made, it’s slower, more emotional, less mainstream pop.” The maturity of the song really makes the lyrics stand out with this song, and it’s something Nick is excited for fans to hear.

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You can stream Posters HERE, and make sure to follow Nick on Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube!

x

Priya

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GIG GUIDE 2019 // SO FAR

GIG GUIDE 2019 // SO FAR

Hello hello hello!!

Hope you’re all well and good – today’s post is an attempt at the subtle brag. It’s not entirely subtle, but I’m sharing it as humbly as I possibly can. I’ve shared a Gig Guide before, if you’d like to check out my 2017 Gig Guide, you can find it HERE, and for the basic Gig Guide for 2019, which has changed a little bit, you can find that HERE, but for the most updated version of what’s happening with me gig wise in 2019, keep on reading!

Why suddenly share another Gig Guide post when the year is only half way done, you ask? Because today, I bought tickets to four different gigs. In one day. Define; insanity. Also, define; impulse spending. That said, I’m insanely excited for literally all the gigs I’ve got lined up so far.

So let’s get into it!! Any gigs with applicable posts will be linked, I highly suggest you check them out!

FEBRUARY

LANEWAY FESTIVAL
Honestly, 2019 started amazingly. I started the year at Falls Festival, which you should definitely check out HERE, and by February, I was ready to keep the momentum going, which came in the form of Laneway Festival. Laneway was a fantastic festival, with a stellar lineup, and despite a rocky start to the day I had a fantastic time. I saw some amazing acts like Masego, Rex Orange County and DJDS, and had heaps of fun with my gal pals taking photos, hanging out and chatting and listening to amazing music.

LAURYN HILL
Lauryn Hill. The queen. She’s one of my favourite musicians ever, so getting to see her live, especially now, was a once in a lifetime opportunity – that said…I’ve seen her twice??? She was amazing, and it was a masterclass in musicality.

MARCH

JOHN MAYER
John Mayer, may just be God’s gift to the world. I say this about a lot of people, but I mean it this time. I mention in my recap of the concert, but he’s one of those artists who’s just been there forever, if you know what I mean? There are so many songs we love by John Mayer, but never think about until you hear them. Not only is he a musical genius, but he’s truly been a huge part of my life in terms of his songs, his artistry and his talent.

APRIL

MATT CORBY
Again, a magical, magical man. This was one of the most beautiful live shows ever. He was so humble and gentle when speaking but put so much passion and power into his songs. I was completely still for majority of this concert, just in awe of the musician on stage.

BLUESFEST
I promise, a BluesFest post is coming. I’ve said it a million times, but it’s one of the heftiest posts to do, which I learned last year, but I promise it’ll come up eventually. BluesFest was so amazing, this year was definitely better than last year for several reasons, but there were some incredible acts for 2019. People like Hozier, Ocean Alley, Allen Stone, they were all such class acts, and I’m so glad I got to see them.

MAY

G FLIP
What. A. Cutie. G Flip put on such a great show, with the perfect balance of energy and vulnerability between all her songs, many of which were unreleased. The energy of the show was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

LAUREL
I got the chance to see LAUREL through my university placement, at a magazine where I reviewed the gig. She has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard and it was a great opportunity to see her live. She didn’t disappoint and I’m still obsessing over her music.

THE FORECAST – AS OF TODAY (12/06/19)

So there are quite a few shows I have lined up for the rest of the year, since I haven’t been to them yet, I won’t really expand on them – but definitely keep an eye out for the posts when I do go.

JUNE

KIM CHURCHILL

JULY

ELIOTT
KAIIT
CHILDISH GAMBINO

SEPTEMBER

JULIA MICHAELS
BRUNO MAJOR

OCTOBER

SHAWN MENDES

NOVEMBER

JON BELLION
SPILT MILK FESTIVAL

So there you have it! I’m clearly super excited about the music I’m experiencing this year – I honestly doubt the list will stop here, you’ll probably end up seeing a few more gig reviews than predicted as of now, but that just means more content for you!!

Hope you enjoyed this post, let me know what your favourite gig of the year so far has been! I’d love to know what everyone else is heading to!!

x

Priya

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Another Jon Bellion Post

Another Jon Bellion Post

Hello friends! Hope you’re all doing well, it’s your resident President of the the Jon Bellion fan club here, coming at you today with a brand new song, from the gift that keeps on giving, the man himself.

As if an album, a magnificent album too, Glory Sound Prep, wasn’t enough, Jon had to drop some ridiculously reasonably priced merchandise – I’m talking $70 total for a hoodie and t-shirt – with shipping to Australia included – he also then had to announce a tour. A tour I’ve been waiting for, for close to five years. And because that wasn’t enough, without any promotion or warning he dropped a surprise documentary about the make of GSP, and now? Now he’s gone and released another track.

It’s obviously been a wild couple of months for me, as you can tell.

Let’s just get into the song.

Crop Circles.

It’s honestly so good, and I’m not just saying that because I’m unprofessionally biased. Jon shared a few videos on Instagram and Twitter of him setting the song up, finding loops and percussion pockets, which by now, we know he’s somewhat a god at.

It follows the story of a relationship that just seems  to crumble, and the different stages of it coming to an end. There’s some wicked sampling and production in this song, but are we really surprised?

It’s another collab with his producers Mark and Volta who’ve contributed heavily to the creation of this sound that Jon’s seemed to have nailed down. I feel like this song has the potential to reach All Time Low success. I mean, I hope so.

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CROP CIRCLES MIDNIGHT

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The chorus is such a contrast to the verses, which have so much energy and punch to them. That’s not to say the chorus is any less impressive than the rest of the song. It’s a nice stretch of Jon’s beautiful vocals and I love the rhythm within it, especially towards the end of the song where it keeps vamping and vamping.

I’ve been so impressed and inspired by all the developments and growth that’s taken place with Jon and his music since the release of The Human Condition in 2016. Instead of remaining comfortable with the success he’s achieved and how well that record did, it’s like he used everything he gained from that to push the envelope even further.

I’m so excited for the tour man. Can’t wait.

 

x

Priya

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An Evening With Ms. Lauryn Hill // Live

Hello hello!

Today’s post is gonna be a rundown of one of my most anticipated concerts this year, Lauryn Hill’s 20th anniversary tour for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, one of the most iconic albums released ever in my opinion.

I spent most of the day of the concert listening to the album and a few other songs from Lauryn, before getting ready and heading into the city to meet my cousin at Flinder’s Street Station. It was getting pretty chilly so I was very grateful to have a jacket with me for the little walk we had around the city.

We decided to find something to eat for dinner before we headed to the concert, so stopped at The Oriental Teahouse, where we enjoyed some of the best fried rice, prawn and ginger dumplings and san choi bao I’ve ever had. We also had the cutest brewed ice teas in giant mason jars. It was a great dinner and a great way to start off the night.

Finishing up with dinner we jumped on the tram and made our way towards the Sidney Myer Music Bowl were the concert was being held.

It was already pretty busy by the time we got inside the grounds, but we still had plenty of time to head to the merchandise stand where I got the sickest t-shirt ever and my cousin got a really cute, high quality tote bag. Lauryn Hill did not mess around when it came to her merch. After a quick stop at the toilets before the show, we made our way down the hill and found a spot further up the back which gave us a great view of the Music Bowl as well as plenty of room to both sit down on the grass while waiting and stand up and have a boogie when the show started.

 

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Nas was the opening act and he did an incredible job of hyping everyone up, performing plenty of his older classics as well as his more recent songs. It was the perfect opener for Lauryn Hill, clearly, and he got the crowd hyped and ready for the main show.

There was a short DJ set following Nas, where plenty of old school RnB and hip hop songs were played, and then finally it was time for Lauryn Hill.

She sang so many classics man. Lost Ones, Forgive Them Father, Final Hour, Every Ghetto Every City, Superstar, even a cover of Frankie Vallie’s Can’t Take My Eyes Of You. She obviously sang Ex-Factor and I was really hoping she’d rap over Drake’s Nice For What which he samples the song in like I’d seen her do at a concert online, but sadly she didn’t.

She made up for it by singing To Zion though, just as I was reaching peak enjoyment, and I think everyone around my cousin and I could hear us singing (screaming) along. After The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill she got Nas onstage to perform If I Ruled The World which had everyone going mental. Lauryn fans and Nas fans all collectively lost control and screamed the entire song back to them.

 

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Watching her on stage, squinting to see her in the flesh or even watching her on the huge screens, was mesmerising. She was so in control over everything little thing that was happening on stage, and her band were incredible in keeping up with her, taking note of when she decided to improvise, pushing through when she asked more of them.

Throughout all of this year and most of last year, all the feedback I heard about Lauryn Hill and her show was that she was a huge diva. I’ll say this, definitely see how that could be the case. But, whoever is doing her sound system and backline should lift their game. There were a few sound issues towards the start and throughout the concert it was clear that Lauryn was trying to tell them she couldn’t hear herself or anything coming from the fold-back, regardless of how flawlessly she was performing. It was only by the last half of the set that everything slipped into place and settled, but for an artist such as Lauryn Hill, that should not have been an issue in the first place, so if she was being a diva? Damn right she should be a diva. Her messages throughout the concert of acceptance and love and social responsibility were spot on and got everyone cheering for her, so to be fair, I can handle her being a bit of a diva if it means she puts on the show that she did.

She really decided to end with a bang, performing Doo Wop (That Thing)  next, which kept the momentum going. By this point I don’t think anyone was left sitting down, my cousin and I and everyone around us were all up having a groove.

 

The final song she performed was Killing Me Softly and I swear I nearly started crying. It was such a great song, she performed beautifully and it blew all my expectations and memories of Blues Fest out of the water.

 

x

Priya

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Laneway Festival // 2019

Laneway has been running for approximately 15 years, and what was once a self-proclaimed ‘hole in the wall’ speakeasy, has transformed into one of the countries most beloved day festivals.

I’ve been keeping an eye out on the Laneway line-up ever since I first became aware it existed, and 2019 is finally the year I got to go.

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So on the 9th of February, I was up and getting myself ready in the morning, prepared to be at the station by 10:00, rain, hail or shine. It was rain, thank god, not hail. Not exactly shine the whole day, but there was definitely rain.

I met up with Jess, Kate and Kate’s younger brother on the train, and we rode into the city where we met up with my younger cousin and her group of friends who we were accompanying into the festival, and our favourite here at You Should Hear, Mia!

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It definitely wasn’t an act heavy day for us, we were quite selective with who we went and saw, rather making the most of the great food and drinks available, the covered areas to sit and have chat, do some people watching and commentary, take photos and generally enjoy the vibe of the festival. We managed to catch a bit of G Flip’s set as we walked in and wandered around the festival, and the sounds of Skeggs, Smino, Camp Cope, Mansionair and The Smith Street Band accompanied us throughout the day, as well as a few other of the artists who were playing at the festival.

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The first act we really saw was DJDS, a DJ duo from the US. Most of in the group had never heard of them before, but I can guarantee I probably enjoyed them the most. They played a great set, filled with amazing songs, some incredible remixes and they were one of the firsts artists from the festival I searched on Spotify when I came home.

After DJDS, it was straight to the stage right next to them to watch Masego, who was one of my most anticipated acts of the entire festival. Considering he started with Tadow, it was safe to say I went insane and had one of the best times of my life watching him play the sax, having a boogie myself, staring in awe as he pieced together songs bit by bit and play nearly every instrument up on stage.

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After Masego it was a bit of a break with some more drinks, and soon we found ourselves gearing up and joining the ever-growing mosh pit for the one and only Rex Orange County. Rex has continuously been mentioned here on You Should Hear, so I was super duper excited for this set, and I think my friends all gathered that from how much I screamed when he walked onto the stage. It was such a great set. He sang some of my favourite songs, as well as some songs I haven’t listened to half as much, as well as a beautiful cover of No-One by Alicia Keys which nearly had me sobbing as everyone sang along. It was phenomenal.

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Unfortunately, I had to be at a friend’s engagement party the same night as the festival, so I was out of there by 8:00 and changed into a fancy dress and heels half an hour later on the way to the engagement, but nonetheless, it was a fantastic day. The music was great, I had an amazing time with my friends, drinks weren’t super expensive like I had thought and the fried chicken was an absolute winner in my opinion. What more could you ask for?

x

Priya

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Ariana’s Gift To Us All

Ariana’s Gift To Us All

Hello, hello.

Unless you’ve been living under the world’s largest rock recently, you’d be aware that Ariana Grande currently has the world in the palm of her hand, and is killing the game. I thought 2018 was her year, but 2019 has barely started and she’s already claimed this year as her own.

She recently released her album, titled after the first single she dropped, ‘thank you, next‘ and my god, this album is everything she’s been promising and more.

I’ve never considered myself a ‘fan’ of Ariana Grande if we’re being honest. Up until last year I only ever really listened to her when she popped up on the radio, but I rarely went on to Spotify with the intent to literally binge her entire album, which up until today, I could never say I had done. That’s over.

That said, let’s get into this play-by-play rundown. Sadly this isn’t a reaction post, because I was too busy hyping every second of it to think about typing down my thoughts. But it’s close enough.

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imagine
Ok. I know this song is cute. I know it’s a sweet lil tune, and heaps of people are around it. But it’s taken me way too long to get into it and now I’m only just jumping on the bandwagon. It took me a little while to even bother listening to it, even though it was released as a single. I don’t know. I just wasn’t hooked straight away.

needy
Did someone say me? No, they just said ‘needy’, but that’s practically the same thing. This song gets me. The simple piano is something that makes it such a catchy song, and the record just sounds like a dream, really kick-starting the entire ethereal aesthetic of the overall album. I kinda want to do a cover of this song, plainly for how simple it is, but how great it is to listen to.

NASA
How genius. This is a great tune. Such a great song. The play on words and the open-ness about just needing, space? I love the content of this album, Ariana’s so honest and raw in it, and it’s an honesty that I think her audience have come to expect from her. I think with everything she’s been through, in such a short time span, she can’t afford to be anything other than honest and true. However she still manages to do so in a way that gets you off your feet and bopping.

 

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bloodline
This is undoubtedly, in my top three songs on this album. The trumpets, how simple and catchy the chorus is, the story-line, everything. This song to me, in a nutshell, throws all the necessary shade at Pete Davidson, in one, pent up go. Considering how many times Pete decided to use their ended engagement as the butt of a joke, compared to how silent she kinda was, the whole ‘letting go’ part of the song kinda points fingers at a comparison between the two and how they handled the ended relationship so differently. Regardless, the song is a really fun anthem, and I find myself searching for it while I’m getting ready to jump in the car, purely so I can sing along.

fake smile
I love the intro to this song. So much. I mean sampling Wendy Rene?? Yes please. This song is probably one of the most honest songs on the album. She’s so candid about that fact that she’s been through hell. So much, and for someone so young who’s constantly on show, being scrutinised every second, it’s gonna be hard regardless. The song remains cute and playful, but provides a really vulnerable insight into Ariana’s mind.

bad idea
This song’s just really strong and energetic, but in a ridiculously cool way. She doesn’t sound like she cares at all and funnily enough it’s what I love the most about it. I don’t know if this song reaches as high as some of the others on the album for me personally, but it’s a good song to fit into the middle of the record. It genuinely fits the aesthetic of the record and I think a lot of time has gone into crafting the perfect selection of songs that contrast yet still manage to compliment each other.

make up
We love a cheeky play on words.

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ghostin
Possibly the saddest song on the album. It’s all about giving someone so much and getting little in return, and I think it’s possibly one of the strongest yet vulnerable songs on the album for how much it says. I think the song could possibly be about how much she had to go through, especially considering she was in a relationship while at the same time dealing with fall outs and issues from other relationships. The song is so clearly about that balance between Pete Davidson and Mac Miller, and the repercussions of his death not only on her personally, but also possibly on her relationship, and the fact that’s she’s so open and honest about it is a bold move considering how much flack and hatred she received when Mac passed away.

in my head
I think Ariana’s killing it with the introductions on all her songs, as well as the sampling. It’s all done tastefully, there aren’t any voice memos included simply because it might sound good, and samples are being used in a fresh way for her music. The fact that the voice memo is of her close friend Doug who ‘was a major help’ to her through some of her hardest moments speaks volumes. I think the song could be speaking about the way she sees someone, compared to way the rest of the world sees them, and the reality in between all of that, and I love it.

7 rings
A bop. An anthem. I sing this song all the time, nearly once a day, and it’s constantly being rewound and played back again. At first I was kinda confused, but then the confusion passed, the clouds moved away and I saw the light, and now I can’t get enough.

thank u, next
The song that shook us all. The song that announced her rebirth, her resurrection, her re-brand. A lot of love for this song, man.

break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored
Ah yes, we’ve arrived. My favourite song on the entire bloody album. I feel like this song is the bad-ass sister song to thank u, next, which is quite subtle about it, but this song is so in your face, I love it. I haven’t listened to it as much as 7 rings, but boy am I getting there.  Wait for this song on my February Tunes, cos it’ll be there, I promise.

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So yeah! That’s my song-by-song wrap up of Ariana’s album, thank u, next. I’ve been loving Ariana and her music since she released God Is A Woman and I’m sure she’s gonna give us a lot more in 2019. Let me know what you think, in the comments below.

x

Priya

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