Republic Records

Kid Cudi

Over a decade ago, Kid Cudi dubbed himself “The Man on the Moon” with good reason.

Since 2008, the Grammy Award®-winning multi-platinum trailblazer and trendsetter has cast his influence over hip-hop like a lunar glow. Celebrated by everyone from Kanye West to Travi$ Scott, his 2009 full-length debut, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, has earned double-platinum certification from the RIAA. Cudi followed up with the platinum selling 2010 album Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager. Recognized as a vital force in pop culture and music, 2012 saw him win “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration” for “All of the Lights”at the GRAMMYS®. Indicud captured his highest chart entry on the Billboard Top 200, bowing at #2 and yielding a platinum-selling favorite “Just What I Am”a year later. Selling over 20 million singles worldwide, his influence has only expanded exponentially with time.

2016’s PASSION, PAIN& DEMON SLAYIN’ marked a fiery return to form. “Baptized In Fire” [feat. Travi$ Scott] generated a staggering 39 million streams in six months. His sixth studio offering also drew praise from Complex, Billboard, Pitchfork, and The Fader, while XXL placed it among the “50 Best Hip Hop Projects of 2016.”He scorched late night TV with a powerhouse performance of “Kitchen” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon accompanied by a string orchestra.

He reunited with West on the 2018 psychedelic hip-hop-rock opus KIDS SEE GHOSTS. The union of these two innovators sent shockwaves throughout the culture. Not only did the record bow at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, but it garnered widespread acclaim from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, XXL, Vice, The Guardian, and Entertainment Weekly. As the project took off, Cudi also graced the cover of Billboard.

Beyond his prolific musical output, he’s also appeared on the big and small screen. Not only would he lead HBO’s How to Make It in America and IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang!, but he also starred in Need for Speed, Entourage, and more.

Artist(s): 
Record Label: 
Headline Image: 
Social Networks: 
Awards: 
Award Name: 
Grammy Awards
Award Wins: 
1
Award Nominations: 
3
Award Categories: 
2012 "All of the Lights" Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Award Nom Categories: 
2010 "Day 'n' Nite" Best Rap Solo Performance
2010 "Day 'n' Nite" Best Rap Song
2010 "Make Her Say" Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group
Award Name: 
American Music Awards
Award Nominations: 
1
Award Nom Categories: 
2009 New Artist of the Year
Award Name: 
BET Awards
Award Nominations: 
1
Award Nom Categories: 
2009 BET Award for Best New Artist
Award Name: 
BET Hip Hop Awards
Award Nominations: 
7
Award Nom Categories: 
2009 "Day 'n' Nite" BET Hip Hop Award for Track of the Year
2009 "Day 'n' Nite" BET Hip Hop Award for Best Hip Hop Video
2009 BET Hip Hop Award for Rookie of the Year
2009 BET Hip Hop Award for Made-You-Look
2009 Artist of the Year
2011 "All of the Lights" Best Hip-Hop Video
2011 "All of the Lights" Verizon People’s Champ Award (Viewers’ Choice)
Award Name: 
Beatport Music Awards
Award Wins: 
1
Award Categories: 
2009 "Day 'n' Nite (Crookers Remix)" Beatport Music Awards for Best Indie Dance / Nu Disco track
Award Name: 
MTV Video Music Awards
Award Nominations: 
6
Award Nom Categories: 
2009 "Day 'n' Nite" MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist
2010 "Pursuit of Happiness" MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video
2011 "All of the Lights" MTV Video Music Award for Best Collaboration
2011 "All of the Lights" MTV Video Music Award for Best Editing
2011 "All of the Lights" MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video
2011 "All of the Lights" MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video
Award Name: 
mtvU Woodie Awards
Award Nominations: 
1
Award Nom Categories: 
2009 "Day 'n' Nite" Best Video Woodie
Award Name: 
Teen Choice Awards
Award Nominations: 
1
Award Nom Categories: 
2009 Choice Music: Breakout Artist
Award Name: 
Urban Music Awards
Award Wins: 
1
Award Nominations: 
1
Award Categories: 
2009 "Day 'n' Nite" Urban Award for Best Single 2009
Award Nom Categories: 
2009 Urban Music Award for Best Male Act 2009
Artist About Image: 
We Break Artist Year: 
2009

The Weeknd

Filtering R&B, pop, and hip-hop through an ambitious widescreen lens, The Weeknd quietly took over popular music and culture on his own terms. As a result, the multi-platinum two-time GRAMMY® Award winner has emerged as one of the most successful and significant artists of the 21st century.

Released via his own visionary XO collective and Republic Records, 2012’s double-platinum Trilogy collated three breakout mixtapes—House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence—into his first chart-topping collection followed by the platinum Kiss Land in 2013. Two years later, Beauty Behind The Madness represented a major milestone. This 2015 opus notably achieved a GRAMMY® Award in the category of "Best Urban Contemporary Album," a triple-platinum certification from the RIAA for U.S. sales in excess of 3 million, and 20 RIAA certifications from tracks alone, including “The Hills” (9x-platinum), “Can’t Feel My Face” (6x-platinum), “Often” (3x-platinum), “In The Night” (platinum), and “Acquainted” (platinum). Not to mention, “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)” received an Academy® Award nomination for “Best Original Song.” That stratospheric rise continued as 2016’s Starboy went double-platinum, captured #1 in 90 countries, and shattered the global streaming record at the time in under a week. 

In 2018, his influence continued to expand with My Dear Melancholy. The 6 track project marked his third consecutive #1 bow on the Billboard Top 200, went platinum, and attracted widespread critical acclaim. A worldwide headliner, he has shut down festivals ranging from Coachella to Lollapalooza. In addition, he would be immortalized in his own Marvel Comics graphic novel, STARBOY.

Artist(s): 
Record Label: 
Headline Image: 
Social Networks: 
Awards: 
Award Name: 
Grammy Awards
Award Wins: 
2
Award Nominations: 
8
Award Categories: 
2016 "Beauty Behind The Madness" Best Urban Contemporary Album
2016 "Earned It" Best R&B Performance
Award Nom Categories: 
2016 "Beauty Behind The Madness" Album of the Year
2016 "Beauty Behind The Madness" Best Urban Contemporary Album
2016 "Can't Feel My Face" Record of the Year
2016 "Can't Feel My Face" Best Pop Solo Performance
2016 "Earned It" Best R&B Performance
2016 "Earned It" Best R&B Song
2016 "Earned It" Best Song Written for Visual Media
2014 "Remember You" (Wiz Khalifa) Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Award Name: 
Academy Awards
Award Nominations: 
1
Award Nom Categories: 
2016 "Earned It" Best Original Song
Award Name: 
American Music Awards
Award Wins: 
2
Award Nominations: 
8
Award Categories: 
2015 Favorite Male Artist - Soul/R&B
2015 "Beauty Behind The Madness" Favorite Soul/R&B Album
Award Nom Categories: 
2015 Artist of the Year
2015 New Artist of the Year
2015 Favorite Male Artist - Soul/R&B
2015 "Can't Feel My Face" Single of the Year
2015 "Beauty Behind The Madness" Favorite Soul/R&B Album
2016 Artist of the Year
2016 Favorite Male Artist - Pop/Rock
2016 Favorite Male Artist - Soul/R&B
Award Name: 
BET Awards
Award Wins: 
1
Award Nominations: 
4
Award Categories: 
2015 "Earned It" Centric Award
Award Nom Categories: 
2013 Best New Artist
2014 Best Male R&B/Pop Artist
2015 "Earned It" Centric Award
2015 "Earned It" Viewers' Choice Award
Award Name: 
Billboard
Award Wins: 
8
Award Nominations: 
10
Award Categories: 
2016 Top Hot 100 Artist
2016 Top Song Sales Artist
2016 Top Radio Songs Artist
2016 Top Streaming Songs Artist
2016 Top R&B Artist
2016 "The Hills" Top Hot 100 Song
2016 "The Hills" Top Streaming Song (Video)
2016 "Earned It" Top R&B Song
Award Nom Categories: 
2016 Top Artist
2016 Top Male Artist
2016 Top Billboard 200 Artist
2016 "Beauty Behind The Madness" Top Billboard 200 Album
2016 "Beauty Behind The Madness" Top R&B Album
2016 "The Hills" Top Selling Song
2016 "The Hills" Top Streaming Song (Audio)
2016 "The Hills" Top R&B Song
2016 "Can't Feel My Face" Top Hot 100 Song
2016 "Can't Feel My Face" Top Radio Song
Award Name: 
iHeartRadio Music Awards
Award Wins: 
1
Award Nominations: 
9
Award Categories: 
2016 "Earned It" R&B Song of the Year
Award Nom Categories: 
2016 Male Artist of the Year
2016 R&B Artist of the Year
2016 "Beauty Behind The Madness" Album of the Year
2016 "Can't Feel My Face" Song of the Year
2016 "The Hills" R&B Song of the Year
2016 "Earned It" R&B Song of the Year
2016 "Earned It" Best Song from a Movie
2017 Male Artist of the Year
2017 R&B Artist of the Year
Award Name: 
People's Choice Awards
Award Wins: 
1
Award Nominations: 
7
Award Categories: 
2016 Favorite R&B Artist
Award Nom Categories: 
2016 Favorite Male Singer
2016 Favorite Breakout Artist
2016 Favorite R&B Artist
2016 "Can't Feel My Face" Favorite Song
2016 "Beauty Behind The Madness" Favorite Album
2017 Favorite Male Artist
2017 Favorite R&B Artist
Award Name: 
MTV Video Music Awards
Award Nominations: 
5
Award Nom Categories: 
2013 "Wicked Games" Artist to Watch
2013 "Wicked Games" Best Visual Effects
2015 "Earned It" Best Male Video
2015 "Love Me Harder" (Ariana Grande) Best Collaboration
2015 "Can't Feel My Face" Song of Summer
Award Name: 
NAACP Image Awards
Award Nominations: 
4
Award Nom Categories: 
2016 Outstanding New Artist
2016 Outstanding Male Artist
2016 "Beauty Behind The Madness" Outstanding Album
2016 "Can't Feel My Face" Outstanding Music Video
Award Name: 
Kids' Choice Awards
Award Nominations: 
3
Award Nom Categories: 
2016 Favorite Male Singer
2016 "Can't Feel My Face" Favorite Song Of The Year
2017 Favorite Male Singer
Award Name: 
Soul Train Music Awards
Award Wins: 
2
Award Nominations: 
5
Award Categories: 
2015 "Beauty Behind The Madness" Album of the Year
2015 Best R&B/Soul Male Artist
Award Nom Categories: 
2015 "Earned It" Video of the Year
2015 "Earned It" Song of the Year
2015 "Earned It" The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award
2015 "Beauty Behind The Madness" Album of the Year
2015 Best R&B/Soul Male Artist
Award Name: 
JUNO Awards
Award Nominations: 
5
Award Nom Categories: 
2017 Artist of the Year
2017 "Starboy" Album of the Year
2017 "Starboy" Single of the Year
2017 JUNO Fan Choice Award
2017 "Starboy" R&B/Soul Recording of the Year
Award Name: 
Teen Choice Awards
Award Nominations: 
5
Award Nom Categories: 
2016 Choice Music: R&B/Hip-Hop Artist
2016 Choice Music: Breakout Artist
2016 Choice Summer Music Star: Male
2016 "Earned It" Choice Music: R&B/Hip-Hop Song
2016 "Earned It" Choice Music: Love Song
Award Name: 
MTV European Music Awards
Award Wins: 
1
Award Categories: 
2016 "Starboy" Best Video
Award Name: 
Number One Singles
Award Categories: 
2015 "Can't Feel My Face" 9 weeks
2015 "The Hills" 17 weeks
Award Name: 
Number One Albums
Award Categories: 
2015 Beauty Behind The Madness
Award Name: 
Sold Out Tours
Award Categories: 
2015 The Madness
Artist About Image: 
We Break Artist Year: 
2012
Affiliated Label: 

Ariana Grande

Grammy winning, multi-platinum recording artist and international superstar, Ariana Grande, is the first artist to hold the top three Billboard Hot 100 spots since The Beatles in 1964 with “7 Rings,” “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored,” and “Thank U, Next.”

At age 27, she has delivered five platinum-selling albums and surpassed 35 billion streams –she’s Spotify’s most streamed female artist of the past decade –while rapidly becoming one of the biggest pop stars of our generation with her powerhouse vocals and unmatched presence both on stage and with her fans.

In 2019, Grande embarked on the Sweetener World Tour and performed over 100 shows throughout the year, including headliner sets at Lollapalooza and Coachella -where she was the youngest headliner in the festival's history.

In 2020, Grande debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100 with "Stuck with U" (with Justin Bieber) and "Rain On Me" (with Lady Gaga), making Ariana the first and only artist to have 4 singles debut at #1 in the chart's history.

At 15 years old, she landed the role of “Charlotte” in the Broadway production of 13. From there, she was cast in Nickelodeon’s Victorious which led to a spin-off starring Grande’s character in Sam & Cat. Other television credits include voice work in Family Guy, Winx Club and Underdogs with on-camera roles in Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens and a guest role in Jim Carrey’s Kidding. In 2016, Grande starred as “Penny Pingleton” in Hairspray Live! for NBC. That same year she performed double duty as host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live.

Artist(s): 
Record Label: 
Headline Image: 
Social Networks: 
Awards: 
Award Name: 
Grammy Awards
Award Nominations: 
4
Award Nom Categories: 
2014 "My Everything" Best Pop Vocal Album
2014 "Bang Bang" Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
2017 "Dangerous Woman" Best Pop Solo Performance
2017 "Dangerous Woman" Best Pop Vocal Album
Award Name: 
Billboard
Award Categories: 
2014 "Yours Truly" Top 200 Song #1
2014 "My Everything" Top 200 Song #1
2014 Artists 100 Chart #1
2014 “The Way” Top 100 Song- Top 10
2016 “Dangerous Woman” Hot 100 Chart- Top 10
Award Name: 
Billboard Music Awards
Award Nominations: 
9
Award Nom Categories: 
2014 Top New Artist
2015 Top Artist
2015 Top Female Artist
2015 Top Hot 100 Artist
2015 Top Social Artist
2015 Top Streaming Artist
2015 "Break Free" (featuring Zedd) Top Dance/Electronic Song
2016 Top Female Artist
2016 Top Social Media Artist
Award Name: 
Billboard Women in Music
Award Wins: 
1
Award Categories: 
2014 Rising Star
Award Name: 
iTunes
Award Categories: 
2016 “Dangerous Woman” iTunes Overall Top Song #1
2016 “Dangerous Woman” Top Pop Songs #1
2014 “The Way” iTunes Overall Top Song #1
Award Name: 
Billboard.com Mid-Year Music Awards
Award Wins: 
2
Award Nominations: 
3
Award Categories: 
2013 Best Newcomer
2014 Iggy Azalea, Ariana Grande and Charli XCX at BBMAs Best Televised Performance
Award Nom Categories: 
2014 "Problem" (featuring Iggy Azalea) Best Music Video
2014 First-Half MVP
2014 Most Anticipated Music Event of 2014's Second Half
Award Name: 
American Music Awards
Award Wins: 
3
Award Nominations: 
2
Award Categories: 
2013 Best New Artist
2015 Favorite Female Artist (Pop/Rock)
2016 Artist of the Year
Award Nom Categories: 
2013 Best New Artist
2015 Favorite Female Artist (Pop/Rock)
Award Name: 
iHeartRadio Music Awards
Award Wins: 
2
Award Nominations: 
9
Award Categories: 
2014 Young Influencer Award
2015 "Bang Bang" (with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj) Best Collaboration
Award Nom Categories: 
2014 Young Influencer Award
2014 Instagram Award
2017 "How Will I Know" Best Cover Song
2015 Artist of the Year
2015 "Problem" (featuring Iggy Azalea) Best Collaboration
2015 Best Fan Army
2016 Best Fan Army
2017 Female Artist of the Year
2017 Arianators Best Fan Army
Award Name: 
Spotify
Award Categories: 
2014 "My Everything" Spotify Charts #1
Award Name: 
MTV Video Music Awards
Award Wins: 
1
Award Nominations: 
11
Award Categories: 
2014 "Problem" Best Pop Video
Award Nom Categories: 
2016 "Into You" Best Female Video
2016 "Into You" Best Pop Video
2016 "Let Me Love You" Best Collaboration
2016 "Into You" Best Editing
2016 "Into You" Best Cinematography
2015 "Love Me Harder" Best Collaboration
2015 "Bang Bang" Best Collaboration
2014 "Problem" Best Female Video
2014 "Problem" Best Collaboration
2014 "Problem" Best Lyric Video
2014 "Problem" Best Pop Video
Award Name: 
MTV Europe Music Awards
Award Wins: 
3
Award Nominations: 
8
Award Categories: 
2014 "Problem" (featuring Iggy Azalea) Best Song
2014 Best Female Artist
2016 Best US Act
Award Nom Categories: 
2013 Artist on the Rise
2014 Best Pop Artist
2014 Best New Artist
2014 Best Push Act
2014 Biggest Fans
2015 Best Pop Artist
2016 Best Pop Artist
2016 Biggest Fans
Award Name: 
People's Choice Awards
Award Wins: 
1
Award Nominations: 
6
Award Categories: 
2014 Favorite Breakout Artist
Award Nom Categories: 
2014 Favorite Breakout Artist
2017 Favorite Pop Artist
2017 Favorite Female Artist
2017 "Dangerous Woman" Favorite Album
2015 "My Everything" Favorite Album
2015 "Bang Bang" (with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj) Favorite Song
Award Name: 
Brit Awards
Award Nominations: 
2
Award Nom Categories: 
2016 International Female Solo Artist
2019 International Female Solo Artist
Award Name: 
Platinum
Award Categories: 
“Problem” Six Times Platinum
“The Way” Triple Platinum
“Bang Bang” Platinum
Award Name: 
JUNO Awards
Award Nominations: 
1
Award Nom Categories: 
2017 "Dangerous Woman" International Album of the Year
Award Name: 
BET Awards
Award Nominations: 
1
Award Nom Categories: 
2014 Best New Artist
Award Name: 
Kid's Choice Awards
Award Wins: 
3
Award Nominations: 
4
Award Categories: 
2014 Favorite TV Actress
2015 "Bang Bang" (with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj) Song of the Year
2016 Favorite Female Artist
Award Nom Categories: 
2015 "Problem" (featuring Iggy Azalea)
2015 Favorite Female Artist
2017 "Side to Side" Favorite Song
2017 Favorite Female Singer
Award Name: 
Teen Choice Awards
Award Wins: 
6
Award Nominations: 
13
Award Categories: 
2014 Choice Female Artist
2014 Choice Song: Female Artist
2015 "One Last Time" Choice Song: Female Artist
2015 Choice Instagrammer
2016 "Dangerous Woman" Choice Song: Female
2016 Choice Selfie Taker
Award Nom Categories: 
2013 Best Breakout Artist
2013 Summer Music Star: Female
2013 "The Way" (featuring Mac Miller) Love Song
2014 Summer Music Star: Female
2014 Female Hottie
2014 "Break Free" (featuring Zedd) Break-Up Song
2015 Choice Female Artist
2015 "Bang Bang" (with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj) Choice Song: Female Artist
2015 Choice Summer Music Artist: Female
2015 "The Honeymoon Tour" Choice Summer Tour
2016 Choice Music: Female Artist
2016 Choice Summer Music Star: Female
2016 "Into You" Choice Love Song
Award Name: 
Radio Disney Music Awards
Award Wins: 
5
Award Nominations: 
3
Award Categories: 
2014 Chart Topper Award
2015 Best Female Artist
2015 "Problem" (featuring Iggy Azalea) Song of the Year
2015 Most Talked About Artist
2016 "Focus" Best Song To Dance To
Award Nom Categories: 
2014 Breakout Artist
2014 Most Talked About Artist
2015 Artist with the Best Style
Award Name: 
MTV Millennial Awards
Award Wins: 
3
Award Nominations: 
2
Award Categories: 
2015 Global Instagramer of The Year
2015 "One Last Time" International Hit of the Year
2016 Global Snapchat of The Year
Award Nom Categories: 
2014 "Problem" (featuring Iggy Azalea) International Hit of The Year
2016 Fail of The Year
Award Name: 
MTV Italian Music Awards
Award Wins: 
1
Award Nominations: 
2
Award Categories: 
2016 Best International Female
Award Nom Categories: 
2015 Wonder Woman
2015 MTV Awards Star
Award Name: 
ASCAP Pop Music Awards
Award Wins: 
1
Award Categories: 
2015 "Problem" (Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea) Most Performed Songs
Artist About Image: 
We Break Artist Year: 
2013

Amy Winehouse

"It was a thrill to record with Amy Winehouse and when you listen to the recording of "Body And Soul", it is a testament to her artistic genius and her brilliance as one of the most honest musicians I have ever known." - Tony Bennett

Following her tragic passing on July 23, 2011, some of the producers and musicians who worked closely with 5x Grammy Award winning artist Amy Winehouse, among them Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, spent time listening over the many recordings that Amy had made, before, during, and after the release of albums Frank and Back To Black. It was said by all who worked with Amy that she never sang or played a song the same way twice. It quickly became apparent to both Salaam and Mark that they had a collection of songs that deserved to be heard, a collection of songs that were a fitting testament to Amy the artist and, as importantly, Amy their friend.

Lioness: Hidden Treasures, the third album from Amy Winehouse, without question one of the most talented, original, and best loved artists to emerge in popular music for decades, was released in the United States on December 6th through Republic Records. The 12 track collection features previously unreleased tracks, alternate versions of existing classics as well as a couple of brand new Amy compositions, and has been compiled by long-time musical partners Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson in close association with Amy's family, management and UK record label Island Records. Lioness: Hidden Treasures proves a fitting tribute to the artist, the talent and the woman, and serves as a reminder of Amy's extraordinary powers as a songwriter, a singer and an interpreter of classics.

After hearing the album Amy's father Mitch Winehouse had this to say: "I spent so much time chasing after Amy, telling her off that I never realized what a true genius she was. It wasn't until I sat down with the rest of the family and listened to this album that I fully appreciated the breadth of Amy's talent, from jazz standards to hip hop songs, it really took my breath away. "Halftime", I'd never heard before, is just incredibly beautiful. If the family had felt that this album wasn't up to the standard of Frank and Back To Black we would never have agreed to release it. We believe it will stand as a fitting tribute to Amy 's musical legacy."

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the album will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation. www.amywinehousefoundation.co.uk

"Our Day Will Come (Reggae Version)" and "Like Smoke" featuring Nas are among the first singles featured at radio this week.

Lioness: Hidden Treasures track-listing:

"Our Day Will Come (Reggae Version)" - reggae re-working of classic 60's doo wop song produced by Salaam Remi. Recorded May 2002.

"Between The Cheats" - new Amy composition recorded in London in May 2008 for potential inclusion on album three produced by Salaam Remi.

"Tears Dry" - originally written by Amy as a ballad, this is the original version she recorded in November 2005 in Miami with Salaam. The later uptempo version appears on "Back To Black".

"Wake Up Alone" - the first song recorded for the "Back To Black" sessions. This is the one-take demo recorded in March 2006 by Paul O'Duffy.

"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" - Amy's beautiful reading of the Carole King written Shirelles classic. Produced by Mark Ronson and featuring the Dap Kings with string arrangements by Chris Elliott who did all the strings for Mark's tracks on "Back To Black". Recorded in September 2004.

"Valerie" - one of Amy's jukebox favorites. This is the original slower tempo version of the Mark Ronson produced post "Back To Black" single. Recorded in December 2006.

"Like Smoke" featuring NAS - Amy and Nas became really good friends after Amy name checked the New York rapper on "Back To Black's" "Me & Mr Jones". "Like Smoke" is finally Amy doing a song with one of her favorite artists. Produced by Salaam Remi. Recorded in May 2008.

"The Girl From Ipanema" - the first song the 18 year old Amy sang when she first went to Miami to record with Salaam. Salaam remarked that "the way she re-interpreted this bossa nova classic made me realise that I was dealing with a very special talent. Her approach to the song was so young and fresh, it really inspired the rest of our sessions." Recorded in May 2002.

"Halftime" - Amy had talked to Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson of the Roots about working together. "Halftime" is a song that Amy and Salaam had worked on since the Frank sessions. The result is beautiful. Recorded in August 2002.

"Best Friends" - "Frank" era live set opener produced by Salaam Remi. Probably the first song that early Amy fans would have heard live. Recorded in February 2003.

"Body & Soul" with Tony Bennett - cover of 30's jazz standard with hero Tony Bennett. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios London in March 2011 and produced by Phil Ramone. Amy's final studio recording.

"A Song For You" - heartbreaking and emotional version of the Leon Russell classic made famous by Donny Hathaway. Hathaway was Amy's all-time favorite artist and the song was recorded in one take, just Amy and her guitar, at her home in London during the spring of 2009 as she battled her demons. Produced by Salaam Remi.

Artist(s): 
Record Label: 
Headline Image: 
Social Networks: 
Awards: 
Award Name: 
Grammy Awards
Award Wins: 
7
Award Nominations: 
3
Award Categories: 
2008 Best New Artist
2008 "Back to Black" Best Pop Vocal Album
2008 "Rehab" Record of the Year
2008 "Rehab" Song of the Year
2008 "Rehab" Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
2012 "Body and Soul (Tony Bennett)" Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
2016 "AMY" Best Music Film
Award Nom Categories: 
2008 "Back to Black" Album of the Year
2013 "Chery Wine (Nas)" Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
2017 Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
Award Name: 
Brit Awards
Award Wins: 
1
Award Nominations: 
6
Award Categories: 
2007 British Female Solo Artist
Award Nom Categories: 
2004 Urban Act
2005 Best Female Solo Artist
2007 "Back to Black" British Album
2008 "Valerie" British Single
2013 British Female Solo Artist
2016 British Female Solo Artist
Award Name: 
Mercury Prize
Award Nominations: 
2
Award Nom Categories: 
2004 "Frank" Album of the Year
2007 "Back to Black" Album of the Year
Award Name: 
MTV Video Music Award
Award Nominations: 
3
Award Nom Categories: 
2007 Female Artist of the Year
2007 Best New Artist
2007 Video of the Year
Award Name: 
Teen Choice Awards
Award Nominations: 
1
Award Nom Categories: 
2007 Breakout Female Artist
Award Name: 
mtvU Woodie Awards
Award Nominations: 
1
Award Nom Categories: 
2007 Woodie of the Year
Artist About Image: 
We Break Artist Year: 
2007

watt

“Every once in a while, an artist comes around and knocks you out of your shoes,” says John Varvatos. “That artist has memorable songs with great hooks, a voice that soars, and the musicianship and stage presence of a seasoned veteran—a new and desperately needed rock hero. You have that and more in Andrew Watt. He’s the real deal.”

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Watt takes musical undertones from the seventies and the nineties and infuses them into a decidedly modern sound that’s both mysterious and magnetic, putting the guitar riff back into the landscape of popular music.

His work in California Breed piqued the interest of John Varvatos Records. Varvatos personally signed Watt in early 2015 as one of the new label’s flagship artists.

The New York native’s kinetic style developed while touring and writing with a plethora of different artists across genres since the age of 16. In 2013, he formed California Breed with Glenn Hughes [Deep Purple] and Jason Bonham [Foreigner and Led Zeppelin], releasing the group’s acclaimed debut and touring alongside Slash and more.

“I never met anyone so excited just to be playing,” says Bonham on working and recording with Watt. “(In studio) he was just on fire, like he was doing this big gig inside his head, running round, soloing, kicking over chairs. I was like, ‘This kid is such a free spirit.’ So cool, he just oozed charisma.”

On his own project Watt entered producer Alain Johannes’s [Queens of the Stone Age, Chris Cornell, Them Crooked Vultures] Los Angeles Studio to record the debut EP, Ghost In My Head.

Johannes says, “It’s an immense pleasure to work with Andrew Watt. Not only is he a badass guitarist, singer, and songwriter with an amazing sense of melody and ear for hooks, but his passion and joy in music exude so strongly that he brings out the best in you.”

Watt personally played all of the instruments on the record except for drums. Given the music’s energy, the throne behind the kit beckoned Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Joey Castillo—ex-Queens of the Stone Age, Danzig.

Smith smiles, "Lotta Watts! Born in the nineties and raised on the seventies, he's a modern man, but knows where the shit comes from. He's a truly dedicated musician who's not only smart, funny, and handsome, but this motherfucker gets it done. Get with it people!"

“Andrew is like my little brother,” adds Castillo. “He’s one of the hardest working and gifted young musicians around today with a great knowledge of classic and modern music.”

“Having Chad and Joey play on my record meant more to me than I could ever truly describe.” exclaimed Andrew “These are players I idolized and learned the beginnings of what I do now from. They were just as excited as me to be there …that was really the coolest part for me. The energy exuding from the live room was absolutely insane”

The single and title track “Ghost In My Head” catapults forward on a sidewinder guitar riff before crashing into a stunning and soulful refrain. Meanwhile, “High” shimmies between a striking falsetto, jagged guitar, and syncopated beat. It has a fun, sexy, and bluesy vibe.

On “Ghost in My Head” Andrew says “Anyone who has ever been on tour understands this,” Andrew sighs. “You’re in a fucking bubble. You lose touch with reality and time. I’d get home, and so much of my friends’ lives had changed, and mine was exactly the same. It made me ask, ‘Where did the time go? Where did my mind go? Who are these people in my life? What’s going on?’ It was influenced by this disconnect wondering what I’d become. It’s about being lost in the music and the life of a musician on the road.”

Watt’s road is wide open. However, he’s got one thing that’s bound to move everybody, and that’s the rock ‘n’ roll that he lives and breathes. “I don’t really have a choice” he says. “It’s in my blood.”

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Of Monsters and Men

You think you know the Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men, but you have no idea. Within the first minute of their new single 'Alligator' you'll be wondering if this huge anthem is the brainchild of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs fronting Arcade Fire – all thumping drums, brimming guitars and a call-to-arms chorus about taking control. During a day of final mixing at the LA studio of their co-producer Rich Costey (MUSE, Vampire Weekend, Chvrches), the five-piece gather in stages. The first to walk in are joint vocalists/guitarists Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdóttir, Ragnar Þorhallsson and bassist Kristjan Pall Kristjansson. They're here to put the band's forthcoming third album 'FEVER DREAM' to bed. It's been in the offing for three years but – finally – it's soon to be out of their hands. Shortly behind them like a pair of mischievous school stragglers are the remaining members: drummer Arnar Rosenkranz Hilmarsson and youngest of the pack – guitarist Brynjar Leifsson.

To dub the story of this band a “fairy tale” does a disservice to the amount of determination and grit it's required to get them to where they are in 2019. When reminded that it's almost ten years since the beginnings of the band (from the ashes of Nanna's solo project), they exclaim: “Jesus Christ!” The past decade has been a whirlwind completely beyond their collective imaginations. It started when a radio station in Philadelphia – Radio 104.5 – began playing a demo of the song 'Little Talks' in 2011. OMAM were very freshly formed, but suddenly they were on the tip of every industry person's tongue. They signed with Republic, went to SXSW in a van and left in a fully- fledged tour bus. Their debut album – which by everyone's admission was essentially scrappily made in one weekend – followed swiftly, titled 'My Head Is An Animal'. It went multi-platinum. Thereafter the band toured, developing a live reputation all over in huge venues and at massive festivals. Their plaudits were on a par with rock bands three albums deeper.

The juggernaut didn't let up from there. After those explosive first years in which they toured relentlessly, conquered many festivals, wowed TV audiences most significantly with an SNL performance in May 2013, the band retreated to Iceland, their studio and their instruments to make a follow-up 'Beneath The Skin’. That second album catapulted them around the world even more, contributed to OMAM being the first Icelandic band ever to hit 1 billion streams on Spotify and even earned them a cameo appearance on season six of Game of Thrones in 2016. None of this, of course, is regrettable. And yet it hasn't been until recent months that the fivesome have really begun to realize that their trajectory has been relentless ever since 'Little Talks' – a mega hit that was never really intended to be the song. Everything up until 2017 had somewhat existed to serve that initial momentum. The past two years have allowed them to re-posture, re- group and step away from a reaction stance. They've learned not just who they are as musicians but how to fall in love with music again.

First, let's consider the music. There's a preconceived notion about the typical Of Monsters and Men sound: stadium folk flourishes, choruses of “hey! ho!”s and metaphors about extreme landscapes. But there has never been a typical Of Monsters and Men sound. Their back catalogue outside of their signature singles has showcased a diverse palette of balladry, danceable belters, and weirder synth moments. On their third album, that will be a fact too front and centre to ignore. They began working on it in the Spring of 2017, after they stopped touring in winter of 2016. It's the longest gestation period they've ever experienced while making an album.

“We immediately started to do it differently,” says Nanna of their process this time around. OMAM operate as a democracy. In the past that manifested as the five of them being in the rehearsal space, working on one idea until everyone had their own instrumental stamp on a song.

It was arduous, it was stressful and it was very difficult. This album has been hard work too: it's been a long winding road, and required a lot of patience. However, in so many respects it's the more satisfying version. The pressure within the democracy required a different type of

vulnerability among them. Rather than being forced to show themselves to one another on the spot in that previous rehearsal space, this time they all spent an extensive period apart, and each contributed ideas they'd produced at home on laptops. This was completely novel to them and a far vaster challenge.

At first there wasn't a clear-cut direction, just diverse ideas informed by five people with very different tastes. Ragnar, for instance, is always influenced by the staying power and sonic identity of a band like The National. Nanna, on the other hand, took her maverick inspirations from artists equally as integrity driven: Solange and Childish Gambino. “The driving force for this album was curiosity,” says Nanna. “Curiosity to do things in a new way – not using a guitar to write, finding something else that excites me.” Even Ragnar put down his guitar, no longer feeling like he needed to justify his presence in the band via one instrument. “I would play acoustic guitar on every fucking song on the album,” he says. “Now I have no idea what I'll be doing live, what instruments I'll be holding, or if I'll be holding any!” Nanna smiles. “We eliminated the roles we had in the band and not in a bad way. It's more open. It gives you more space to explore yourself as a musician.” It's grown the trust they have in one another too. “Having everyone's fingers in everything can flatten things,” says Ragnar. “If you mix every color together you just get brown.”

The songs themselves are certainly not brown. They're also not couched in one style. Arnar: “If one song wanted to be a full-blown 80s track, we'd allow it to be that. If another wanted to be a rock track we'd allow it to be that.” It is reflective of the landscape of big rock acts now too that genre has become less debilitating and doesn't stipulate that bands need to perform within a certain framework. “We've always been drawn to that,” nods Nanna. “When a lot of people hear our name they think of us as a folky acoustic band. We've never been one thing. These days, we feel free to go to extremes.” Brynjar agrees. “We wanted to explore everybody's palettes and do what we wanted to do: just try everything.”

Lyrically the album is more personal than ever, which makes sense when Nanna and Ragnar reveal that this is the first album they've written lyrics for apart from one another. In conversation it's hard for them to get too specific on details. “For me, they're about personal struggles.” The way Ragnar has written his lines has been inspired by gut emotions. He'll take a thought and run with it to its completion and no longer hides from his feelings. In the past they'd workshop lyrics as a joint exercise until they were masked enough to apply to everyone. For Nanna, her lyrics' meanings reveal themselves to her over time. “You sing something and you think it's gibberish, then weeks later listen and think it's the most spot-on thing you've ever said. This time we only came together at the end to help each other where we could.”

That co-counselling speaks volumes to their friendship, and the power of music within their most intimate dialogue. Despite the struggles, the band wanted the songs to contain more light and joy – a catharsis to push through the anxieties they're expressing. The way in which Nanna's voice relates that dialogue to the world is the most evolved of anything here. It's almost beyond recognition. Her voice growls like there's something between her teeth. It's a confidence thing, admits Nanna. “I'm at the point where I know what works for me and what I want.” 'Alligator' is the first indication of that.

“We could have just gone on for years and never made any decisions,” laughs Ragnar of doing these final stages with Costey. Of Monsters and Men are a band who are in it for the long haul and have taken the time to craft their sound, culture and universe. “We don't want to repeat what we've done,” says Nanna. “It's important for us to have a long career, make albums we're proud of and take our time.” It's a statement that's comfortably at odds with the fast-paced music scene of today. In the end it'll be all that matters. Most of all, the band are itching to get back out into the live arena – and to learn how to celebrate and let loose more. They bought an inflatable lifeboat

years ago for Nanna to use for crowdsurfing. It never got used. “I would love to crowd-surf with the boat!” she exclaims at the reminder. Anchors aweigh, Of Monsters and Men are ready to set sail.

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2012 "Little Talks" Best Art Direction
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2012 Best Push Act
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2013 "My Head Is an Animal" Best International Newcomer
2013 "My Head Is an Animal" Best International Rock/Pop Group
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2013 "Little Talks" Video of the Year
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2013 "My Head is an Animal" Top Rock Album
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2016 “Beneath The Skin (Deluxe Box Set)” Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
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2012

Post Malone

Post Malone stirs a mix of genres into his own sonic sound that’s both intoxicating and invigorating on his RIAA platinum certified full-length debut album, Stoney [Republic Records]. His uncanny ability to cook up a 21st century “sauce” of genres transformed the multiplatinum Dallas, TX maverick into the “#1 Debut Hip-Hop Artist of 2016.” Upon release, Stoney bowed at #1 on the iTunes Overall Top Albums Chart and Top 10 on the Billboard Top 200. In just a few months, the debut album has accumulated over 1 billion streams and went platinum in the U.S. and globally, while the RIAA minted his breakout single “White Iverson” four times platinum, “Congratulations” double-platinum, and “Go Flex” platinum. As he turned up with a whiskey- soaked warbly flow, orchestral trap production, and an acoustic guitar in hand, he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times, Complex, Vibe, The Fader, and more.

Along the way, he served as direct support on Justin Bieber’s worldwide “Purpose” tour and collaborated with the pop superstar on Stoney’s “Déjà vu.” It’s all in the “sauce,” as Post would say...“I describe what I do as sauce,” he affirms. “You can turn up to it. You can chill to it. You can do anything to it. It makes you feel some type of way, or it makes you want to party. It just comes naturally.”

He’s been grinding since his childhood in Dallas, and his work ethic brought him from humble beginnings to worldwide superstardom. He grew up listening to his dad’s Metallica Megadeth,

Johnny Cash, UGK, and The Notorious B.I.G. records before trading his Guitar Hero controller for an electric guitar at eleven-years-old. After graduating high school and releasing his first mixtape online, he picked up and headed west to Los Angeles, which would become his current home. Despite “partying too much” and not “having any money for cigarettes or Ramen,” the 19- year-old met production duo FKi and started making music.

“I wanted to create something everybody can get down to and get drunk to,” he continues. “People who like hip-hop will like it. People who like folk will dig it. People who like pop will be into it.”

One day, Post created the beat for “White Iverson” in his bedroom, laid down the vocals, and uploaded it to Soundcloud in 2015. The response proved overwhelming. Before he knew it, the budding star had Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller tweeting him, Noisey and Hypebeast singing his praises, 14 incendiary SXSW performances under his belt, and major labels knocking at his door.

In just six months of its official arrival on Republic Records, “White Iverson” first achieved RIAA Platinum status and he went on the road for Fetty Wap’s “Welcome To The Zoo” tour in early 2016. Kanye West and 50 Cent tapped him for high-profile collaborations, and Jay-Z, Bieber, and many others offered enthusiastic co-signs.

The ethereal soundscape of “White Iverson” gives way to a charismatic and catchy declaration for Post. "The first time I got braids I was like ‘I feel like I'm the White Iverson’; I made the beat and recorded it. The vibe was right, and the stars aligned. The song itself is about confidence. I used to be really shy, and I started to develop this new swagger. ‘White Iverson’ was when we knew we had something people would fuck with.”

Now that everybody’s fucking with him, he’s got his sights squarely set on the crown...

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Platinum
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"White Iverson" Four times Platinum
"Congratulations" Five Times Platinum
"Go Flex" Platinum
"STONEY" Two Times Platinum
"Too Young" Platinum
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2017 "CONGRATULATIONS" RAP CHART #9
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2017 "rockstar" #1 Hot 100 Chart
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2017
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"Rockstar" Top Rap Song
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2019 Record Of The Yeaar
2019 Album Of The Year
2019 Best Sung/Rap Performance
2019 Best Pop Solo Performance
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2017

MIKA

International musical sensation Mika opened his career in 2007 with defining single Grace Kelly, which sold over 3 million copies worldwide and was the second British single ever to top the chart on downloads alone.

The debut album, Life In Cartoon Motion, went straight to #1 in UK and 11 other countries, going on to sell over 7 million copies worldwide, plus over 6 million single sales.

His 2nd album The Boy Who Knew Too Much went top 10 in 11 countries and his 3rd, The Origin of Love released in 2012, saw collaborations with Pharrell Williams, Nick Littlemore and Ariana Grande, amongst others.
Mika has been nominated for and won awards from the Brits, the Grammys, the Ivor Novellos, World Music Awards and MTV’s Europe, Asia, Australia and Japan, Capital Radio Awards, Q Magazine, BT, Vodafone and Virgin Media, amongst others. He is also the recipient of the prestigious French award “Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres”.

His contagious joy and colourful performances have delighted audiences from the beginning and have led to sold out tours worldwide. His videos have racked up an impressive total of over 250 million views!

Mika has now sold over 10 million records and has Gold or Platinum awards in an impressive 32 countries worldwide. As well as being a songwriter and performer, Mika has designed clothes and accessories, is a writer (including magazine columns, blogs and work on a book), illustrator and artist. He is currently working on his 4th album.

The story of Mika……

Both astonishingly musical and profoundly thoughtful, his tunes combine a heady euphoric rush with darker unexpected elements: daytime melodramas and night-time tales of love, loss, abandonment, hope and happiness. Throughout his many releases, these themes all run together for attention, each one a golden nugget.

Mika is a true young internationalist. Born in Beirut in the middle of the 80s, Mika’s family soon found themselves having to move to Paris at the height of the war. When his father was subsequently taken hostage and held at the American embassy in Kuwait the family eventually settled in London. An inevitably turbulent experience for a young Mika, he found himself bereft, lost in the chasm of a displaced upbringing. “It was the combination of moving as well as a horrible time I had at school in the first few years of living in London that lead me to forget how to read and write, and stop talking for a little while.  I was pulled out of school for over six months; in order to sort my self out and find a new school.  This is when music really became important. It got me back on my feet.” He says now that by the age of 9 he knew that songwriting was his destiny. The electric performances that would win over some of the most hardened musical ears on the planet would come later.

“After I started singing as a boy I started to get jobs everywhere.  With the help of a terrifyingly tough Russian singing teacher, I got to be really good at professional gigs.  I did everything from recordings with the Royal Opera House to the Orbit Chewing gum jingle.  I’ll never forget calling up British Airways to get a ticket, only to be placed in a line, listening to my own voice! That was a painful 8 minutes.”

A self-taught piano virtuoso, gymnastic vocalist and born entertainer, Mika has music in his bones and at a prodigiously young age he was ready to go. Mika wasn’t hunched over a radio under his bedclothes or seduced by the glitz of “Top of the Pop’s” on the TV screen when he had his first performance awakenings. Instead, he was catapulted onto the stage of a Richard Strauss opera at 11. David Hockney was pottering around at rehearsals in the background, with models, designing the set (Mika still has the poster for the opera on his living room wall now, signed by Hockney). After near complete social exclusion at school – “I wish I could say I was a self-imposed loner but it was imposed on me” – this was a life he fell in love with, instantly: “It was a magical world that you could live in. A parallel universe for people that is illusory and enchanting and amazing.”

“I grew up listening to every thing from Joan Baez and Dylan, to Serge Gainsbourg and Flamenco. My musical tastes have become more eclectic as I’ve got older, but I’m always going back to great artist songwriters, people who make great records to their own vision.  Prince, Harry Nillson, Elton John, Michael Jackson.  These people make amazing pop records that couldn’t be performed by anybody else and that’s what I always wanted to do.”

However, this musical vision might never have been realised. At 19 he left home to study for an academic degree at The London School of Economics. He quit on the afternoon on the first day and enrolled at The Royal College of Music two weeks later. An obsessive songwriter as a student, he would gate-crash parties and take to pianos to deliver 5 song sets, unannounced. One such occasion led to an early development deal, which he now sees as essential to his progress as an artist. Amidst the struggle to get his own voice and vision heard, he wrote what quickly became his signature song, “Grace Kelly”, a spoof 4/4 opera set to a technicolour pop backdrop. “It was a f***-off song to people that I was working with at the time,” he explains now. “It is where the line ‘shall I bend over, shall I look older, just to be put on your shelf’ comes from. I was so angry. That company had every resource except a soul.” The infectious pomp and deliriously catchy chorus of Grace Kelly became a benchmark for where he wanted to go. “You can’t be afraid to stand out. If no one was going to take a punt on it, then so be it. I would do it myself.”

Unafraid to stand alone, his intimate first person and third person storytelling connect with outsiders while subverting the mainstream from within. Attention to detail. Personal care and attention. Making sure everything is sitting in the right place. These are the watchwords at Mika’s heart. His artwork, developed with his older sister Yasmine, is the first key that unlocks his work – and the music will do all the talking.  Enveloped in an imaginative musical world of his own creation, he is one of the few British male pop stars of his age that doesn’t run with the pack. Classically trained, racially mixed and prone to theatrical physical gesture, he has become a scion of ambitiously delivered self-expression. He says his music can be condensed easily, ‘the basic principals are that it is joyful and empowering and doesn’t cowtow to fashion or convention,’ calling to mind an old and almost forgotten pop notion: individuality.

If his debut album ‘Life In Cartoon Motion’ was the brazen calling card of this individuality, then its follow up, ‘The Boy Who Knew Too Much, was the maturation of an unapologetic pop sound that he made entirely his own. ‘My biggest mindset when I set about making (TBWKTM) was not to be reactive,’ he says, ‘I had to go back to the start, when people hadn’t given me their opinions on what it is that I naturally do.’

Second time out, the songs may be different, but the attitude remains the same. With huge choruses, nods to 40’s Disney soundtracks and 80’s synth-pop, up-beat disco and melancholy reflections on personal experiences, Mika’s music continued to be underpinned by an open-hearted and accepting idea of what living in the 21st century means in all its contradictions and complications.

‘The first album, to me,’ he continues, ‘was about childhood. It had that innocence. For this one we have moved on ten years and into the adolescent mind. Adolescence is one of the most glorious times in your life. It is when those life experiences, like sex, drugs and relationships, are still new and untainted. If I was to think about these things in song I knew that I had to become more personal.’ Mika has stepped aside from the character based storytelling of Life In Cartoon Motion for album number 2. ‘I still believe in mystery and I don’t feel like I have to justify anything about my life anymore. Because it is all in my songs. Songwriting for me is a way of catching up with myself.’

Part of the beauty of Mika has always been attempting to trace the correlation of his own personal insecurities or hang-ups into the choice of characters that he sings about. They often revel in or battle with their own difference, something he has done since he was a child. That outer layer has been replaced, but there is no lesser sense of grandeur or intrigue to the new, more open performer. A generic call to arms for people to throw a little glitter on their differences and celebrate them has been one of pop’s most tremendous gifts to music. Mika’s come with their own unique darkness too.

At the start of 2011, Mika packed his kitbag to travel to Montreal to make his third record. The music that he had pulsed around the globe as an artist had been fuelled by ringtone appropriate hooks, streaming out of his musical mind like twisted nursery rhymes. In Montreal, that was all about to change. The sounds made by Nick Littlemore, the Australian electronic pioneer behind Pnau and Empire of the Sun, had caught his imagination and Mika went in search of this potential new collaborator. ‘Before meeting Nick, I was my own taskmaster,’ he says now, ‘I didn’t know how else to work. I was a 22 year old making up sounds in the corner.’ It was just Mika, his piano and his imagination. In the intervening five years since Grace Kelly went astronomical around the world and span off two multi-million selling albums and five global tours in its wake, a personal shift had occurred. As a songwriter and human being, Mika had grown up.

For album number 3, a sensational collection of nimble, multi-faceted and spruce electronic noise has been fashioned. As a counterweight, Mika found himself enthralled by the Laurel Canyon sound of the 70s, the airily utopian noise of pastoral idylls in a new bohemia. These two strands have fused to form a sweet, harmonious new soundbed for Mika’s songwriting. A certain lightness of touch has been found, though always adhering to Mika’s clever signature rule for the record: ‘A lightness of touch does not have to mean a lightness of substance.’ Within all this something intentionally intimate emerged. Mika matured into an artist that no longer needed to hide behind costumery and artifice. In fashioning this acoustic/electronic sound-clash with Nick in Montreal he ironically made his most human sound – on The Origin of Love, his imagination has been fuelled by reality, not fantasy.

‘In a strange kind of way it makes sense. It was about expanding my musical horizons. Nick allowed me to go somewhere I hadn’t been before. There’s more humanity in taking a sound you have made and manipulating it electronically or digitally than there is calling up a session player and asking them to play bass guitar for twenty minutes and taking what you want from that and putting it on a record. I loved the atmosphere Nick curated in the studio. We danced. You don’t dance when you are alone. It made me feel endless. It was a great starting point to be in a studio set-up where everything felt possible and there were no rules.’

A brace of songs emerged in Montreal, fluctuating on the subject of love, tolerance and joy. First single Celebrate could not be more joyous in its evocation of the transformative powers of love, a call to arms in a cynical world. If Celebrate is The Origin of Love at its most straight-up dance-pop, Lola is the acoustic-driven Fleetwood Mac-inspired flipside given free reign.  He found inspiration from unusual triggers. The rasping build of Heroes was summoned from reading an A E Housman poem on returning war veterans. The hypnotic swell of Underwater was inspired by a 90s Michel Gondry denim ad, a seemingly slight but beautifully realised 90 second polemic on the idea that when you are in love it consumes you so much you can breathe below sea level. ‘That is exactly how it feels,’ he points out. ‘That undercurrent of ecstasy will see you through anything. I had removed myself from the isolation of being alone in front of a piano.’

‘I am a difficult artist,’ he says, ‘I know that. I make artist-driven, alternative pop music. I do this sincerely, in a time when so many album statements are incomplete and insincere. I am not from the Brill Building school of pop. These are my own statements.’ Inspired by the incredible human emotions conjured in electronic experimentation by Laurie Anderson and Steve Reich, Mika wrote his most open-handed and clear love song yet – Make You Happy, opening with a robot voice repeating the line ‘All I want to do is make you happy.’ It was released virally as a taster for what was to come. ‘This was about people being able to approach my music clean. The first bit of new music that anybody heard around the world was sang by a robot. That was cleansing. It is quite fundamental to the philosophy of this record. My campaigns are slow, sometimes quite hard. I make alternative pop music that’s not easy to promote. But if it wasn’t hard then I wouldn’t be doing it. It’s every single fibre of my being. There is nothing else.’

The Origin of Love was a deeply important record in the career trajectory and personal journey of Mika. ‘What we have done here is joy catching. Every moment on the record reflects how joyously I feel about my life and what I do.’

2014 and the start of 2015 saw Mika working tirelessly on his fourth studio record, ‘No Place In Heaven.’ Mika enlisted long-time collaborator and Grammy nominated producer Gregg Wells (Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Adele, Rufus Wainwright) to produce the new album.  The pair created a mature new record that exhibits Mika’s incredible song writing talents and breath-taking vocals, evoking memories of classic 70s pop albums created by acclaimed song writers Billy Joel, Todd Rundgren, Elton John etc. The album was released to critical acclaim in June 2015.

Mika has spent the past couple of years conquering the hearts of audiences across Europe, appearing as a judge on the X Factor Italy, a coach on The Voice France and topping the charts in France with the release of “Boum Boum Boum”.  In addition to his musical achievements, Mika has been working closely with global watch company, Swatch, as their creative ambassador to create some unique designs for their collections.

Following the release of the record, Mika went straight to work with a summer of festivals, a European tour in the Autumn and another season of XFactor Italia underway, as well as undoubtedly a few surprises….. The year ahead is set to be an exciting one!

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Julia Michaels

Over the past few years, no songwriter has had more of an impact on reshaping pop music than Julia Michaels, a 26-year old Iowa-born, California-raised artist whose razor-sharp perspective on love, loss, and the wide spectrum of the human experience has deservedly catapulted her to the forefront of her industry.

Lauded for her work on hit singles by artists like Selena Gomez, Dua Lipa, The Chicks, Britney Spears, P!NK, and more, Julia has spent the last decade honing her craft and delivering fans some of the most evocative music of a generation. A Julia Michaels song pulls no punches, each breath purposeful and powerful in equal measure. Singularly skilled in intuiting artists’ innermost feelings, Julia has become known for songwriting that plumbs emotional depth without pandering. “That's the joy of songwriting: being open and being vulnerable,” she says.

In 2017, Julia embarked on a solo career separate from her work synthesizing the stories of the stars around her with “Issues,” her 5x-platinum selling debut single. A year later, her peers recognized her stunning work with Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Song of the Year. Committing to her solo work, Julia released a series of critically acclaimed EPs, including 2017’s fan-favorite Nervous System and 2019’s critically acclaimed Inner Monologue Part 1 and Inner Monologue Part 2. She also embarked on The Inner Monologue Tour, which marked her first-ever headline tour throughout the U.S. following an enviable run touring the world with an incredible array of artists including Maroon 5, Keith Urban, Shawn Mendes, Niall Horan, and P!NK. 

 In just three short years, Julia has established herself as one of music’s most exciting voices both lyrically and sonically. The only peak she’s not yet scaled, she says, is releasing a full-length debut album. So a month into the pandemic this spring, Julia Michaels had a thought: no matter the circumstances, she didn’t want to make an album over Zoom. A few months prior, she’d begun writing new music  with the help of Top 40 hitmakers The Monsters & Strangerz. “At the time, I was asking myself questions: What do I want to do? How do I want to go about things? What do I want to say?” she says. “And then it just clicked.”

Penned in June after rapid testing made it possible to write and record safely in-person again, first single “Lie Like This” is a bouncy and lovestruck new entry in Julia’s fast-amassing storybook, evoking pure dancefloor energy with a rapid BPM and sparkling neon synths. “It’s about being hesitant about this new, beautiful thing and just giving in anyway because you know that it's really special,” Julia says. “There are so many spectrums of love. One minute you're crying on the floor because you've been broken up with or something didn't work out the way that you wanted to, and then, all of a sudden, you're kissing in a park and you're holding hands with someone new and you've got all these butterflies. It's just such a broad spectrum, such a range of emotions, love, and I wanted to distill its essence into a song.”

Following the success of this summer’s “If the World Was Ending,” her hit single with JP Saxe (certified platinum, with over 1 billion streams, the song is currently Top 10 at Top 40 radio and as it approaches the Top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart), “Lie Like This” is the first glimpse at this new chapter in Julia Michaels’ life. But she’s quick to note that just because she’s in love doesn’t mean she’s lost her edge. “It doesn't change the fact that I still have depression and anxiety and I'm still this punk-rock, grungy bitch at heart,” she says. “But that doesn't mean that I can't be loved the right way or I can't love the right way. I want my fans to know that too.”

 

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2017

John Mellencamp

Throughout his career, John Mellencamp has had to fight, whether it was for the right to record under his own name or for respect as an artist. Of course, he never made it easy on himself. Mellencamp began his career in the late '70s as a Bruce Springsteen clone called Johnny Cougar. As his career progressed, his music became more distinctive, developing into a Stonesy blend of hard rock and folk-rock. His musical development coincided with his growth in popularity -- by the time "Hurts So Good" and "Jack and Diane" became hits in 1982, Mellencamp had created his own variation of the heartland rock of Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Bob Seger. While he had the record sales, it took several years before rock critics took him seriously. For some artists, this would be easy to ignore, but Mellencamp had the desire to be a serious social commentator, chronicling the times and trials of Midwestern baby boomers. Scarecrow, released in 1985, fulfilled his wish of being taken seriously, and his subsequent records were greeted warmly by critics. Furthermore, he sustained his popularity over the ensuing decades, only occasionally experiencing dips in record sales.

A prolonged, acclaimed career seemed an impossibility when Mellencamp released his first album under the name Johnny Cougar in 1976. As a child in Seymour, Indiana, Mellencamp had suffered a number of setbacks, including being born with a neural tube defect called spina bifida that necessitated a lengthy hospitalization as a baby. As a teenager, he was rebellious, often getting in trouble with the law. He formed his first band at the age of 14, and continued to play throughout his teens. When he was 17, he eloped with Priscilla Esterline, his pregnant girlfriend, and proceeded to try to support his family by working a series of blue-collar jobs. By the time he was 24, he had decided to move to New York City to attempt to break into the music industry.

In New York, Mellencamp became a client of David Bowie's manager, Tony DeFries, who signed him to a lucrative deal with MainMan/MCA. Mellencamp recorded an album of covers called Chestnut Street Incident. Upon receiving the finished album in 1976, he was infuriated to learn that DeFries had billed the singer as Johnny Cougar. Chestnut Street Incident was a bomb and MCA immediately dropped the singer. The fiasco of his first album was enough to sour Mellencamp on the industry for the remainder of his career. Two years later, he signed with Riva Records, releasing A Biography (1978) to little attention. However, Johnny Cougar (1979) spawned the Top 40 hit "I Need a Lover," which also became an AOR hit for Pat Benatar a few years later. Steve Cropper produced 1980's Nothin' Matters and What If It Did, which contained the Top 30 hits "This Time" and "Ain't Even Done with the Night."

Mellencamp's next album, 1982's American Fool, became his breakthrough, both commercially and musically. More focused than his earlier records, American Fool rocketed to number one on the strength of the number two hit "Hurts So Good" and the number one single "Jack and Diane," both of which were supported by videos that became MTV favorites. The success of American Fool meant that he could add "Mellencamp" to his stage name, and 1983's Uh-Huh became the first album credited to John Cougar Mellencamp. Uh-Huh was released while American Fool was still high on the charts, and it became a hit, peaking at number nine and generating the Top Ten hits "Crumblin' Down" and "Pink Houses," as well as the Top 15 "Authority Song." He supported the album with his first headlining tour.

While he had commercial success, Mellencamp made his bid for critical acclaim with his next album, 1985's Scarecrow. Scarecrow displayed a greater social consciousness and musical eclecticism, resulting in his best-reviewed -- as well as his biggest -- album to date. Peaking at number two, Scarecrow generated the Top Ten singles "Lonely Ol' Night," "Small Town," and "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." Following the release of Scarecrow, Mellencamp became an outspoken advocate of the American farmer, organizing Farm Aid with Willie Nelson and Neil Young. He also became known for his anti-corporate stance, refusing to accept tour sponsorship offers from beer and tobacco companies.

Mellencamp continued to explore social commentary and new musical avenues with 1987's The Lonesome Jubilee. Featuring a distinct Appalachian folk and country influence, The Lonesome Jubilee was a melancholy elegy for the forgotten Middle America, and while it was more adventurous than its predecessors, it was another hit, peaking at number six and generating the hits "Paper in Fire," "Cherry Bomb," and "Check It Out." Mellencamp continued to explore American roots music on Big Daddy (1989). While the album received generally good reviews and peaked at number seven, it failed to produce a big single. Two years later, he returned with Whenever We Wanted, which was another moderate hit, peaking at number 17. Human Wheels (1993) received some of Mellencamp's strongest reviews, yet the record didn't generate a hit single and quickly fell down the charts after debuting at number seven.

Mellencamp bounced back into the Top Ten in 1994, when his duet with Meshell Ndegeocello on Van Morrison's "Wild Night" peaked at number three. Its accompanying album, Dance Naked, became his biggest album since Big Daddy, going gold only months after its release. Mellencamp planned to support the album with an extensive tour, but he suffered a major heart attack in late 1994 that necessitated its cancellation. Mellencamp spent 1995 recuperating, re-emerging in 1996 with Mr. Happy Go Lucky. Produced by Junior Vasquez and demonstrating a slight dance influence, Mr. Happy Go Lucky was greeted with positive reviews and featured the minor hit single "Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)," which helped the album go gold. The album was his last for longtime label Mercury, and he moved to Columbia for 1998's John Mellencamp. Rough Harvest, a collection of unreleased material, appeared a year later.

Cuttin' Heads, his second album for Columbia and 20th overall, followed in 2001 and spawned a radio hit with "Peaceful World," featuring neo-soul singer India.Arie on backing vocals. Also in 2001, he won the Billboard Century Award for creative achievement. Inspired by his performance of Robert Johnson's "Stones in My Passway" at an October 2002 tribute concert for the late music journalist Timothy White, Mellencamp recorded a covers album, Trouble No More, in 2003. It was released that summer and topped the Billboard blues chart. The impressive Freedom's Road appeared in 2007, followed by the T-Bone Burnett-produced Life Death Love and Freedom a year later in 2008. An eight-song live set drawn from that album's songs, Life Death Live and Freedom, appeared in 2009, and a deluxe package combining both the original album and the live disc was also released at the same time.

A four-disc box set covering Mellencamp's entire recording career, On the Rural Route 7609 (he released his first album in 1976, thus the number in the set's title), appeared in 2010. Also appearing in 2010 was his second collaboration with producer T-Bone Burnett, the critically acclaimed No Better Than This. Mellencamp's next project was an ambitious collaboration with novelist Stephen King. Termed a "Southern gothic musical," Ghost Brothers of Darkland County was scripted by King, with the music by Mellencamp, a collaboration that was a bit left-field for both artists. The official set was released in 2012, and included a full audio reading of the musical as staged on two discs, with a third disc of recordings of the songs alone, all of which were again produced by Burnett. A box set of all of Mellencamp's albums called 1978-2012 appeared in time for the holiday season of 2013.

In May of 2014, Republic Records announced that they signed John Mellencamp to a "lifetime" recording contract. Although specific details regarding this deal were not publicized, the releases started soon afterward, with the archival release Performs Trouble No More: Live at Town Hall appearing in July of that year, followed by the brand-new album Plain Spoken in September.

Mellencamp developed a spirit of camaraderie with singer and songwriter Carlene Carter during the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County sessions and on the score he composed for the film Ithaca. She was his opening act on the Plain Spoken tour as well. They began working together and jointly performed two songs on the tour -- "Indigo Sunset" and "My Soul's Got Wings" -- hinting at a more formal future musical partnership. The pair began to record at his Nashville, Indiana studio. About half the tracks were sung as duets. The finished album, titled Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, was billed to John Mellencamp featuring Carlene Carter and was released in April 2017; it debuted at 11 on Billboard's Album charts. In December, Mellencamp issued Other People's Stuff, a collection of covers, many previously released; it debuted at seven on Billboard.

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