Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Voice Season 9: Top 10

Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday at 8/9c on NBC

Last night the Top 10 performed and this was probably one of the strongest nights in the competition. So glad that Gwen decided to cut Braiden's hair and change Korin's hair color because it definitely made a difference.  Here's the MusicLife favs . . . .

Contestant:  Jeffery Austin
Team:  Gwen
Song: Jealous by Labrinth

I loved how it showed his ability to sing in a lower register.  This was his strongest vocal to date!  Sidenote:  Was I the only one that thought he sounded like Sam Smith?

Contestant:  Madi Davis
Song:  Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
Team:  Pharrell

Loved that smooth jazz interpretation she did with this song.  She's only freaking 16.. .WHAT!!!!

ContestantShelby Brown
Song:  Go Rest High on That Mountain by Vince Gill
Team:  Adam

This was such an emotional and powerful vocal performance.  She belted out those high notes with so much power.

Contestant:  Emily Ann Roberts
Song:  She's Got You by Patsy Cline
Team:  Blake

This girl continues to kill it!  Sidenote:  Doesn't she remind you of Carrie Underwood?

Although, everyone seems to be getting stronger week to week, I still think Team Blake is gonna win it this season with another country artist.  I think Korin and Braiden will be the two to go tonight.

Who will make it to the semi-finals?

Monday, November 30, 2015

2015 Soul Train Awards Shows Off R&B and Soul

For those who missed the show last night, here are some of the highlights. . .


As the first performance of the night, my dark chocolate drop did THE DAMN THING up there!!!  He poured his SOUL out there!

Another reminder of Kelly's great catalog of songs.

It was great to reminisce of songs he's done over the years.


Overall, I think the winners were on point.  Here are a few:
Best New Artist - Jidenna
Lady of Soul - Jill Scott
Legend - Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds

To see all the night's winners, click here.

Overall Show

Erykah Badu was a great host.  I loved her energy and how she mixed jokes in here and there.

I loved the addition of the Soul Cypher!!!  They should expand in future shows.  See it here.

Couldn't find a video of Jill Scott's performance but it definitely showed why she's a lady of soul.

Overall, the show made up for last year's very lackluster and random show.

What were your thoughts on this year's show?

Which performance was your favorite?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Voice Season 9: Top 11

Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday at 8/9c on NBC

Okay did I miss something here?  Is this the first time we've had a Top 11 or am I just slow with realizing?  Anyways, tonight was a better night.  I can tell you this, it seems like voters just love country because my gut is telling me that Blake is going to take this home soley based on likeable genre.  Here's the MusicLife favs from last night . . . .

Contestant:  Amy Vachal
Team:  Adam
Song: Blank Space by Taylor Swift

She does it again with her ability to re-invent a song to make hers!

Contestant:  Madi Davis
Song:  Love is Blindness by Jack White
Team:  Pharrell

Her hauntingly beautiful performance was the best of the night for me.

ContestantJordan Smith
Song:  Who You Are by Jessie J
Team:  Adam

I love his soul and theatric vocals he puts on his performances.

Contestant:  Emily Ann Roberts
Song:  Why Not Me by The Judds
Team:  Blake

She has that 'It" factor and as Blake said, she will be around for a long time.

Who will make it to the Top 10?

Rihanna Announces ANTI World Tour Details Ahead of Album Release

While Rihanna fans wait in anticipation of her upcoming LP ANTI, which is slated for a Dec 4 public release (will be released Nov. 27 via TIDAL), she's already promoting a world tour to support it. Travis Scott open the US leg and The Weeknd and Big Sean will open on the European leg.  Tickets go on sale to American Express card members and Tidal subscribers on Nov 30, with a general on-sale date for all shows scheduled for Dec 3.

U.S. Tour Schedule

February 26 - San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena
February 28 - San Jose, CA @ SAP Center
March 1 - Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena
March 4 - Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center
March 5 - Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
March 6 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
March 8 - New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center
March 9 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
March 12 - Jacksonville @ Jacksonville Arena
March 13 - Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
March 15 - Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
March 18 - Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
March 19 - Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena
March 20 - Charlotte, NC @ The Time Warner Cable Arena
March 22 - Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
March 23 - Buffalo, NY @ First Niagara Center
March 24 - Auburn Hills, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills
March 26 - Hartford, CT @ XL Center
March 27 - Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
April 2 - Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
April 3 - Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo
April 5 - Quebec City, QC @ Centre Videotron
April 6 - Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
April 9 - Baltimore, MD @ Royal Farms Arena
April 10 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
April 13 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Center
April 15 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
April 18 - Winnipeg, MS @ MTS Centre
April 20 - Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
April 21 - Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome
April 23 - Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
April 24 - Seattle, WA @ KeyArena
April 27 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena
April 29 - Las Vegas, NV @ Mandalay Bay
May 3 - Los Angeles, CA @ Forum
May 7 - Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena

European Dates

June 11 - Amsterdam, Holland @ Amsterdam Arena
June 14 - Coventry, United Kingdom @ Ricoh Arena
June 16 - Cardiff, United Kingdom @ Cardiff Stadium
June 18 - Sunderland, United Kingdom @ Stadium Of Light
June 21 - Dublin, Ireland @ Aviva Stadium
June 24 - London, United Kingdom @ Wembley Stadium
June 27 - Glasgow, United Kingdom @ Hampden Park
June 29 - Manchester, United Kingdom @ Emirates Old Park
July 4 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Tele2 Arena
July 7 - Copenhagen, Denmark @ Refshale Island
July 9 - Hamburg, Germany @ Volkspark Stadion
July 13 - Milan, Italy @ San Siro
July 15 - Nice, France @ Allianz Stadium
July 17 - Frankfurt, Germany @ Commerzbank Arena
July 19 - Lyon, France @ Grande Stade
July 23 - Lille, France @ Stade Lille
July 26 - Prague, Czech Republic @ Synotip Arena
July 28 - Cologne, Germany @ Rhein Energie Stadion
July 30 - Paris, France @ Stade de France
August 2 - Berlin, Germany @ Olympiastadion
August 5 - Warsaw, Poland @ PGE Narodowy
August 7 - Munich, Germany @ Olympiastadion
August 10 - Vienna, Austria @ Ernst Happel Stadium
August 12 - Zurich, Switzerland @ Letzigrund Stadion

Click here for ticket info

Monday, November 23, 2015

Singer/Songwriter Kenyon Dixon Creates R&B on His Own Terms, Without Compromise

"I create based on what I believe.  I'll never just strip myself from everything I believe to make what everybody else considers is a good record."

Photo Credit: Tyshon Lowe
For the Tyrese fans, if you've grooved to songs like Don't Wanna Look Back and Gonna Give You What You Need off the new Black Rose album or Hurry and FYH (one of my favs) off the TGT album Three Kings, then you've already been indirectly introduced to Kenyon Dixon, the 26-year-old Grammy nominated songwriter.  Currently, he's working with Mary J. Blige and Brandy on their upcoming projects.

But what about Kenyon, the singer?  As a background vocalist, his worked with and/or toured for Nick Jonas, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Pink, Kelly Rowland, Usher, Tyrese, John Legend, Faith Evans, and Pharrell just to name a few.  But his main commitment and focus right now is to re-establish himself as a solo artist, which includes dropping an upcoming EP entitled SUPAFLY to accompany his previous works Higher Ground and Twenty Four.  Kenyon's vocals are pure quality, from his tone to his runs and falsettos, all of which are beautifully executed with ease.  His sound. . . think Tyrese, Raheem DeVaughn, and Tank, you know that sophisticated, grown, sexy, R&B!

Born and raised in Watts (LA), CA in the Jordan Downs housing projects, Kenyon grew up in a strict, church, and musical family.  At the age of 7, he was technically trained as a dancer from hip-hop to tap and traveled internationally and by 12, he was teaching master classes.  In middle school, Kenyon wanted to be a rapper but it wasn't until high school that he decided to pursue singing.  Although having family in the industry got him a foot in the door, he still had to prove himself worthy of that opportunity.  His first gig was doing background to fellow Cali native DJ Quik.  Working with Tyrese on his Open Invitation album gave Kenyon the chance to write professionally.

In talking with Kenyon, you can tell that he stands on a solid foundation and is serious and passionate about his craft and music in general.  Through social media, Kenyon is very vocal on his thoughts on the music industry and R&B so I had to ask him more about it.  He definitely dropped some deep musical perspective. . .

MusicLife:  You recently quoted on Twitter 'I've learned the secret to creating great R&B records is to be sensual without oversexualizing.  There's a fine line.'  Nowadays, so many artists are going over that line.  How do you maintain a medium and make sure that you don't go overboard in your music?

Kenyon Dixon:  For me, it has a lot to do with my standards and values as an individual.  There are certain things I live by and certain content I'm not even comfortable putting out there as I have a certain respect and perspective for myself.  So based on my upbringing alone and what I view as an honorable person, I try to maintain that.  I think that has been the reason why we hear a lot of people say R&B is dead or it's not as prevalent as it was before and I think that's because it's become extremely oversexualized.  And what happens with that is, for lack of better words, it's easy to be nasty and say vulgar stuff.  The creative part of it is to find a way to translate this without just saying it that way. So when you take that away from it, you take the quality away from the music.  I create based on what I believe.  I'll never just strip myself from everything I believe to make what everybody else considers is a good record.

MusicLife:  You stated also on Twitter that we overthink R&B and you gave props to country music's ability to say what makes sense.  So why do you think R&B is so different?

Kenyon:  I know how particular and meticulous the country genre is as far as their creation process. You have to really known something about them to be involved in what they're doing.  They aren't very open.  They're true to who they are and their culture.  The problem with R&B I feel we're so open to anybody just because we want a hit record so we allow people to take over our genre as far as our culture.  So what happens is you have people who don't have the experience and we trust them to come in just so it makes sense sonically.

If all that wasn't impressive enough, Kenyon is also passionate about giving back to aspiring artists through career based workshops called “Thee Master Class.”  Through these classes, geared around entertainment (singing, songwriting, artistry, etc.), he's created a network to share professional and life experiences and give access to resources to prepare them for success.

Kenyon is the real deal and definitely gets the musical seal of approval from me!  Listening to Higher Ground for the first time was like a Jerry McGuire moment as Kenyon had me at "hello" so to speak. Don't believe me?  Check out Kenyon's vocal works on his SoundCloud.  Visit Kenyon's website here to learn more about him.  Don't forget to follow him via Twitter @kennygotsoul, Instagram @kennygotsoul and Facebook.

The Recap Report: 11/23/15

The Art Of The 'Clean Version' - Learn about the process of making the clean edits part of a song.

#BlackLivesMatter has now inspired a pole dance—and it’s beautiful - A pole dancer and personal trainer creates powerful routine as interpretation of the brutalities against people of color.

10 Things We Learned From Timbaland's Candid New Memoir - Get a taste of what's addressed in Tim's new book.

You can judge me if you wanna, but this performance by Justin was impressive!

Friday, November 20, 2015

New Release Friday: 11/20/15

Adele - 25


~MusicLife Pick~
The MusicLife jury is still out on this on so I can't get you a solid review.  However, at first listen, it's not better than her previous efforts.  I still have faith so it will still be a pick.  FYI, currently the album is not available through streaming.  Listen to:  River Lea, Love in the Dark, Hello

Preview album here

See what upcoming albums will drop on our New Album Releases page


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