Headphones: Everyone Loves an Underdog

As an EDM artist, it can be difficult to separate yourself from other sounds and styles. Cashmere Cat has no issues in the department of individuality, and has proven so with his new 35-minute long debut album. 9 is refreshingly contemporary, featuring amazing artists on almost every track.

DJ Khaled has collaborated with three other talented artists to create the hottest single right now (‘Anotha One!’). Imagine Dragons are making a characteristic, inspirational comeback with the release of their new single and music video, ‘Thunder.’

 

Album of the Week: 9 – Cashmere Cat: The 10-track record is emotional and progressive. Several tracks feature sultry, pretty feminine vocals with very strategic and appropriately placed synths. Kehlani begins and ends the album in an intriguing way. The intro ‘Night Night,’ puts a classical twist on Cashmere's producing tendencies. Kehlani’s voice is soothing and strong. She absolutely captivates listeners and demands attention when her voice is heard.

Next comes ‘Europa Pools,’ a slow, robotic track featuring Kacy Hill. This song has a graceful and pure sound with a wondrous melody. Cashmere's talent really stands out during the breaks in Hill’s voice, incorporating teasing percussion prompting Hill's every word and overall pace of syncopation. This track is one of the strongest included in the record. The vocalist, Kacy Hill has a subtle, sexy sound, and Cashmere knows the perfect beats to compliment her.

The third track ‘After Coachella,’ is a more upbeat, escalatory track. SOPHIE sounds young and in love, reciting lyrics like “You’ll never be mine.” A hard EDM beat resurfaces throughout this track to what sounds like glass shattering and destruction. The irony of SOPHIE’s incredibly soft voice against the ominous music, works.

Almost every track explores the pain of being in love with someone else. The Weeknd is one of four male singers to be featured in this new, cutting edge record. The Weeknd harmonizes with Francis and the Lights over one of the most abstract tracks on 9. The most popular track, ‘Quit,’ is comprised of Ariana Grande’s stunning voice. With this track, the female artist sings intimate lyrics like, “When you said, ‘Baby I just want you to lay me down and we’ll fuck the pain away…’”  This inclusion of explicit lyrics make the song that much rawer and authentic to listeners. ‘Quit,’ is heartbreaking, exciting and upbeat all at the same time. How is that possible? Cashmere Cat – that's how.

Differing from the emotional EDM vibe, “Infinite Stripes,’ featuring Ty Dolla $ign, takes more of a slowed, R&B vibe. Dolla $ign is strong from start to finish, perfectly on time and patient at the right moments. The song continues as an R&B/hip-hop track until the last minute, where Cashmere's cuts off Ty with several incandescent futuristic sound bytes, followed by the melody turning into a groovy 20 seconds and abruptly ending afterword. This vibe is carried out to the next track titled ‘Victoria’s Veil'; the groovy tune speeds up to a funky dance song, then includes what listeners would think is a drop, and replaces your expectation with a graceful tune.

This album should be appreciated for its natural flow from track to track. Cashmere keeps the dance, percussion-heavy edm music in the background. Tory Lanez and Selena Gomez turn up the heat in the song titled ‘Trust Nobody,’ exploring the relationship between sex and trust. Their vocals in this track make the song sound enticing and sexy.

You wont want this album to end with Kehlani reciting, “Let’s stay until the last light fades,” in the final track, ‘Plz Don’t Go.’ Cashmere really finished off his piece of original art with the last song. The music in this track will literally flow through you in perfect waves of harmony. 

Single of the Week: I’m the One – DJ Khaled ft. Quavo and Justin Bieber

This fun single is long overdue. It’s overdue simply because we’re all curious why this is the first time these artists are collaborating. ‘I'm the One’ was the second single released from Khaled's upcoming album Grateful. Grateful will be produced by DJ Khaled himself, and executively produced by his infant son, who is featured on the cover of the record.

Khaled begins the song and music video on the phone with Chance the Rapper. Khaled tells Chance to, “Let Justin Bieber know, and let Wayne know, and let Quavo know—My house. We’re going to celebrate life, success, and our blessings.” The track is meant to be a fun celebration; simple, relaxed and informal.

 Bieber’s delicate voice sounds good over any melody—but especially this tropical background produced by DJ Khaled. Quavo takes the first verse, setting a solid tone for the extremely popular single. Quavo has strong raps in ‘I’m the One,’ and keeps a constant rhythmic pace. Chance comes in bubbly as ever in the second verse. Chance doesn’t surprise anyone with his skill and way with words. Lil Wayne concludes the verses in a playful way, and also carries strong flow in his verses--coherently touching upon different topics like money, women, and his ease as a famous rapper. Justin Bieber finishes the song tastefully reciting, “Don’t you know girl/ I am the one for you.”

Music Videos

 Thunder -- Imagine Dragons:  This music video was directed by Joseph Kahn and released on May 2. ‘Thunder’ is a catchy, inspiring track by Imagine Dragons. The video was especially filmed during the groups time in Dubai, featuring famous locations all across the city. The video is completely in B&W, and features alien-looking creatures. The music video is a great illustration of the lyric, encouraging people to be the thunder they are—powerful, strong, confident, unwavering, and in this video—different.  

Update: 41-year-old bass player for American indie rock outfit Granddaddy Kevin Garcia, died on Tuesday, May 2 after suffering from a massive stroke.

In 2016, Latin America made history in music growth, facing the highest increase in revenue over any region at a growth rate of 12 percent. The IFPI just released a global music report for the year 2017. The reports revealed a 57 percent increase in streaming sales in Latin America.

Chance the Rapper will be canceling his European Tour “due to scheduling conflicts beyond his control,” according to a statement made on Way out West’s website.

Quavo incidentally revealed an upcoming collaboration of Migos and former One Direction band member, Liam Payne during an interview with Tim Westwood. The rapper disclosed this collaboration by sharing, “I just came from a video today. My boy Liam from One Direction. We just shot that. Crazy vid. Crazy visuals. Crazy team. Cool guy, nice guy. It’s goin’ up. I wasn’t even supposed to say that. It’s gonna be a surprise though.”

Linkin Park has announced a 2017 North America tour.

Miley Cyrus has a new single in the works called ‘Malibu,’ to be released on May 11.

MusicRyley Fabber