Meet Germany-based singer/songwriter XADES with sultry “Locked In” from new EP “Shaded”

XADES, “Locked In”

Germany-based, Netherlands-born singer/songwriter Xades (pronounced “shades”) is off to a fine start with her debut EP called Shaded. What’s quite interesting is that Xades has had a modest career as a DJ in Europe under the moniker MSJY, so she is stepping out from behind the decks to show off an attractive, sultry, sometimes sassy vocals. Latina through heritage, you can sometimes hear similarities to Selena Gomez in her pop approach, though her songs gravitate to the alternative genre.  “Locked In” has kind of a puzzling start, but you’ll quickly get immersed in its hook and atmosphere, thanks to a mix of playful rhythms and interesting synth work. As a DJ, Xades knows what makes a record sound good, and the eclectic mix of electronics and jazzy backdrop in her EP is very appealing. “Locked In” is also available in a truly quirky and transforming techno-based remix by Switzerland’s Atrice.

Denmark’s @Boye_Sigvardt team up with Norwegian artists Jesper Jenset @JJenset and HAYES @thohay_ for “Faded Off”

BOYE & SIGVARDT, JESPER JENSET and HAYES, “Faded Off”

In 2021, Boye & Sigvardt released one of my favourite songs of the year with a real grower called “Microdose”, which ended up at the top of my personal chart near year’s end. “Faded Off”, their recent single, hones more in on a pop vein, in a collaboration with two Norwegian talents, vocalist Jesper Jenset (who has appeared on my chart as well) and new producer HAYES (who as Thomas Hayes, steps away from a steady acting career in his native country). The production is crisp, with some nice guitar sounds as highlights, the sound is mid-tempo and laid back, and Jesper’s vocal (which has moved on from the teen sound of his earlier recordings) is assured, making “Faded Off” a memorable release.

“Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me” teams up UK/Irish producers @Menrvamusic with veterans @PinkPandadjs and Belfast-based singer Jessica Hammond @jessicamusicx

MENRVA, PINK PANDA and JESSICA HAMMOND, “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me”

UK/Irish producers Menrva are on a real roll this year, first with the fun and amazing “Play It Cool” and latterly with powerhouse vocalist MOYA on the buoyant and bubbly “You”. Now the lads unite with veteran UK producers and renown DJ’s Pink Panda and former UK contestant on “The Voice”, Jessica Hammond, for the swinging deep house of “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me”. The song is solid, no nonsense house at its best, with a smooth vocal that really shines. It’s perfectly tailored for clubs and must be eyeing the UK singles chart with the sudden dance presence on that chart currently a welcome sensation. You simply can’t go wrong with a track like “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me”.

“The Boss” is a slick, fun deep house track by France’s @Coopexoff & @djCharlesB with singer/songwriter @RobbieRosenlive

COOPEX, CHARLES B and ROBBIE ROSEN, “The Boss”

What starts out like it might be another fine European-flavoured Robbie Rosen pop/dance track is immeasurably improved even more after 30 seconds when “The Boss” launches into deep house mode. This fun track is brought to you from two rising and prolific French producers, Coopex and Charles B (whose “Losing My Mind” I wrote about a while back), who know their way around structuring a production to maximize what the song has to offer in a scant 2:14. As Robbie has proved time and time again, his voice is highly adaptable to any dance music setting though it’s put a little further into the mix this time to offer a sophisticated edge to the song. “The Boss” is a blast, even providing a surprise salute to Diana Ross’ same-titled 1979 hit along the way. But what it really begs for is an extended dance remix to focus on its killer of a chorus.

Meet USA-based London-born singer/songwriter dhruv @dhrvie with soulful pop song “Blur”

dhruv, “Blur”

Sometimes all it takes is a fine song for an artist’s voice to get stuck in your head. A perfect example of this is dhruv, a London-born singer/songwriter of Indian parents who spent much of his childhood in Singapore. That he has such a subtly soulful voice in his new single “Blur” seems contrary to where he was raised, but he latched onto American and British artists through his own discovery as a teenager. He was signed to RCA a few years back after an early single “double take” went viral on Tik Tok and topped charts in south Asia. He’s since released an album called Jezebel, and it’s taken a while but “Blur” is getting North American alternative radio attention, conveniently on the heels of another rising RCA artist, Steve Lacy. It’s an introspective midtempo song that shows off dhruv’s beautiful tone, which is kind of halfway between Zayn and Troye Sivan. Keep your ears open for more music this year from dhruv.

L.A. based multi-talented violinist Esther Anaya puts her stamp on electronic rendition of “Adagio For Strings”

ESTHER ANAYA, “Adagio For Strings”

Colombia-born Esther Anaya has spent her life in the entertainment business. From age 6 she has been immersed, which has led to performing as a singer (opening on Maluma’s worldwide tour a few years back), actress, violinist, and producer/DJ.  Now based out of Los Angeles, I saw her recently open for Cash Cash in Las Vegas in a DJ set, in which she pulled out her violin and gave another dimension to some classic dance tracks over which she played. I later found that she had recorded a version of Samuel Barber’s classical piece “Adagio For Strings” – and despite having already been interpreted by Tiësto and Armin van Buuren – Esther puts her own stamp on it, bringing the mix down a few times for listeners to soak in her exquisite violin playing, before relaunching into a whirlwind of trance-flavoured synths. Be sure to check it out!

Meet new British electronic producer Rory Carney @Carneysound with disco-flavoured “A Little Magic”

RORY CARNEY, “A Little Magic”

“A Little Magic” is intent on putting a smile on your face while you strut your stuff to its old school disco rhythm. It’s by London-based electronic producer Rory Carney, who so far has released a handful of singles after working behind the scenes in the biz for a number of years. “A Little Magic” is a rather straight-forward production with a compelling hook, a singalong chorus, and an ear-catching vocal by Matilda Mae.  In these days in dance music which often means huge synths and big effects even in independently released productions, sometimes less is more when the song is strong enough. Such is the case with “A Little Magic”, and though a touch long at over 4 minutes, it could get a big boost from a more uptempo remix to match its happy vibes.

#BILLCSTop30 #646 – August 15/22

As older favourites depart, new ones arrive, so in this edition of the BILLCS Top 30 there are five debuts. There’s all kind of movement throughout the chart and it’s fun to identify your surprises every two weeks.

Make sure you read about my frequently updated ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post)!

However there are no surprises at the very top.  Harry Styles’ “Daydreaming” (above) is locked in at #1, while “Superstar” by Sweden’s Darin (below) stays tightly put at #2.

“Dusk” by Manila Killa and Lights (above) moves 5-3 and is a song to keep your eyes on, while the enduring “Memories” by Conan Gray (below) climbs 7-4.

Three songs land in the Top 10.  First up rising 11-7 is Francesco Yates’ fun tribute to all things Hendrix called “Jimi”. Francesco is currently in the US opening for the Backstreet Boys on their tour.

Then moving up 12-9 is Javi’s delightful cover of Sade’s “Cherish The Day”.  It’s Javi’s third visit to the Top 10 in one form or another. He had a solo #3 with “Situation” (Monsieur Adi remix) in 2010 in the days of free downloads, and then later provided vocals for Native Underground’s “Till It Hurts” which peaked at #9 in 2011.

The Fastest Riser on the chart soars 26-10 and it’s the latest from Jessie Ware, “Free Yourself”. It’s her 11th Top 10 on this chart, and with that big jump, has designs on the top of the chart. Check out its new video above.

Petawane’s gorgeous soul song “Music” is also off to a grand start, climbing 22-15. Try to count how many songs and performers the song name-checks!

“Let’s All Dance (Our Last Summer)” by Canadian-German electronic duo Lola Dutronic moves up 23-19 and is a grower that will sneak up on you.

“Summer Nights” by DVBBS and Brandyn Burnette rises 28-21 and also is just outside of the Top 20 on the Canadian Top 40 charts. It’s a great song for both radio and festivals.

The Highest Debut at #22 is tailor-made for festivals and clubs and is destined to be an enduring electronic classic.  Burning hot British producer/DJ Fred Again.. collaborates with Swedish House Mafia in reworking Future’s “Turn On The Lights” as “Turn On The Lights Again”. This one is so powerful it would generate cheers even if you didn’t know the song, and is definitely Fred Again..’s ticket into the A list club of producer/DJ’s.  It’s only Swedish House Mafia’s second time on this chart, their first of course being with the #1 “Don’t You Worry Child” almost 10 years ago.

Another huge producer, Paul Van Dyk, scores his first chart entry since 2008’s “Let Go” (#4) with the cover of the 80’s Depeche Mode track “But Not Tonight” at #26. The vocalist is Christian Burns, who last appeared on the chart in 2007 with Tiësto on the #3 “In The Dark”.  Christian was also a member of British pop trio BBMak back in the day, and they reached #6 in 2000 with “Back Here”, the first of three entries for them.

LF System’s “Afraid To Feel” arrives at #27 and is starting to make big noise on dance radio in North America at last.  It’s been #1 in the UK for six weeks, quite a feat for producers Conor and Sean right out of the gate.  The song samples the American R&B group Silk’s 70’s track “I Can’t Stop (Turning You On)” featuring vocals by Debra Laws.

Greyson Chance returns to the chart for the fourth time in three years with “Athena” (#28) from his upcoming album Palladium. Greyson is now recording independently with releases on Lowly Palace. “Athena” follows the #2 “Dancing Next To Me” and the outrageously fun #3 “Hellboy”.

And with a warm and inviting message, Dutch dance producers Showtek are back, this time working with NYC rapper MC Ambush for “Welcome Back Home”, which bows at #29. It’s Showtek’s fourth chart entry, and their first, “Cannonball (Earthquake)” (with Justin Prime and Matthew Koma), got to #1 in 2013.

 

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! You can also follow me on Spotify at the following link:  BILLCS Top 30 Songs.

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES

You can hear me and many of my blog choices on this growing list of online radio stations and features! Links to all stations appear later in this section in blue.

Radio GTA

Listen to The Big 20 from 10pm to Midnight EST on Wednesdays as “The Musicman” James Rogers and I bring you the latest in new songs.  The show also repeats on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. EST and Sunday mornings at 2:00 AM EST.

On Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 6pm EST I bring you “Your Weekend New Music Mix” six hours of commercial-free music from the 2000’s including many song choices from this blog.

Halton Hills Online

“Your Weekend Music Mix” has a second home on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 8pm to Midnight EST! It’s a different mix from Radio GTA’s show, and like that one it is also commercial free. “The Big 20” also airs on this station at 6pm EST Saturdays.

The 3D Variety Show by Planet Radio Canada

I’m featured Tuesdays between 7 and 7:30 pm EST with my New Music Pick of the Week which debuts every week on “The 3D Variety Show” with “The Musicman” James Rogers, and I also join occasionally for looks at music from our past through some live segments.  A repeat of “The 3D Variety Show” airs on Wednesdays at 7pm EST on Radio GTA.  NOTE: “The 3D Variety Show” is currently on a 3 week hiatus, returning on Tuesday September 6!

My New Music Pick of the Week also now airs on:

On Hunter Wilbur’s “Modern Hype” show on the following stations:

  • Radio GTA, Saturdays after 11pm EST
  • Mix88.ca, Saturdays after 11pm EST (different edition of the show from Radio GTA above)
  • WXNZ, community radio in Maine, Mondays after 10pm EST
  • Free 99, Tyler, Texas, Fridays after 11pm EST
  • 98.6 The Mix, Houston, Texas, Saturdays after Noon EST
  • KSKO Public Radio, McGrath, Alaska, Tuesdays after 11 pm EST and Sundays after Midnight EST

More new affiliates are joining and I will post them as I compile the information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get to know Toronto-based DIY electronic pop artist Analias with the direct “Stay Away”

ANALAIS, “Stay Away”

I’ll say it right now – “Stay Away” is one of my new favourites. It’s brought to you by enigmatic singer/songwriter/producer Analias (as in “an alias”), who has been releasing music for the last three years or so and previously was a contestant on France’s “The Voice”. What I like best about “Stay Away” is its well-produced breezy synth melody, which is in turn countered by some direct and sincerely sung lyrics as the singer clearly doesn’t want someone close to him to get hurt. The chorus is “stay away / stay away from all the fuckboys” and it packs a unique and unexpected punch. So as is, you won’t hear the song on the radio, but then again readers of this blog know that the best songs aren’t on the radio anyway! But if you’ve ever known someone who’s about to enter a life of trouble, “Stay Away” could’ve been their musical guide. Analias has also achieved another feat with “Stay Away” – making you want to hear more from him.

UK-based singer/songwriter @iamAlicePisano channels dating app experiences into bubbly new single “Boys Like You”

ALICE PISANO, “Boys Like You”

A while back I introduced you to Italy-born, UK-based pop singer/songwriter as someone to listen for with her acoustic track “September”. “Boys Like You” shows another side of Alice, as she channels personal experiences with dating apps into a sympathetic song that masks regular heartbreak and lack of self-confidence behind rebellious lyrics, punchy beats and a deft synth melody. It’s Avril Lavigne meets Lights via Dua Lipa and Becky Hill, so-to-speak, with Alice’s highly likeable vocal and personality leading the way. She’s already scored quite a following on Tik Tok, so I’m sure we’ll hear much more from Alice Pisano.