“Any Other Way” is compelling melodic future house from Moroccan electronic dance producers @Choujaa_music and Mariline

CHOUJAA & MARILINE and MARIE FONT, “Any Other Way”

“Any Other Way” examines when you’re deep in love and willing to stick it out through the good and bad.  It’s brought to you by two relatively new and promising names in the electronic dance world from Morocco who have previously recorded together, specializing in future house music, Choujaa and Mariline.  Choujaa’s releases have seen support from Dash Berlin, Sander van Doorn, and Lucas & Steve among others, while Mariline had a hot release last year with Florida singer/songwriter Lauren Mayhew in “We Are Home”, which reached #6 on my personal chart.  Rounding out their techno-influenced melodies is the passionate and sincere vocal by Marie Font – actually a better known ‘mystery singer’ taking a pseudonym for this release.  “Any Other Way” is engaging and melodic house music, the kind of which that continues to make you relive the good times that will one day return in clubs and on dance floors.

Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #607 – February 15/21

Change is afoot at the top of the chart, as new songs make inroads, and recent favourites start to run their course.  My chart is totally based on my opinion, there is no science or method to the chart – what I currently enjoy most is at the top, and I’ve been pleased to share my list with you online for 23 years.  The only rule I’ve had in place is that songs drop off after 10 appearances (20 weeks), to help keep the chart fresh, unless the song starts climbing back upward, which has only happened once (Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” managed 11 appearances and peaked at #2).

Swedish production duo NOTD get their first #1 with vocalist Catello with “Nobody”, which also recently topped the US dance airplay charts for 5 weeks.  Also contributing to the songwriting were Sandro Cavazzo, noted for his work with Avicii, and Victor Thell of Smith & Thell.  NOTD is the first Swedish act to top my chart in over 8 years, since Swedish House Mafia did it in 2012 with “Don’t You Worry Child”!

Swiftly moving up to second place is “Like Gold” by Loud Luxury & Frank Walker featuring vocalist/co-writer Stephen Puth.  Loud Luxury have two #1’s to date on my chart – their rework of Craig David’s “Fill Me In” with Ryan Shepherd, and “Show Me” with fellow Canadian group Nikki’s Wives, while their greatest overall success, “Body” (featuring brando) also got to #2. Will “Like Gold” become their third #1?

Charging into the Top 5 is Japanese-British sensation Rina Sawayama with the Lady Gaga-inspired “Lucid”, moving up 9-4.  Will “Lucid” become her first chart topper?

UK dance legends Faithless obtain their first Top 10 on my chart just shy of 22 years, since “God Is A DJ” (which bowed on this chart in March 1999), with “Synthesizer”, featuring vocalist Nathan Ball, which climbs 11-7.  It’s from their recently released album All Blessed.

Any of the songs ranking 11-14 could find their way into the Top 10 in two weeks.

Rising 14-11 is the dark and mysterious “Sinnerman” (above) by veteran UK producer Hot Since 82 featuring singer/songwriter Ed Graves, from the album Recovery.  The joy of finding synergy and harmony with someone is reflected in “All About You” (also above) by The Knocks and Foster The People, which moves up 15-12.  The dazzling collaboration of Illenium, Toronto’s Dabin, and fellow Canadian Lights is hard at work in “Hearts On Fire” (below), which climbs 18-14.  But the Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to UK producer Bobby Harvey with fellow UK vocalist Danny Dearden for the intense and emotional deep house track “Tell Me” (also below), which soars 21-13.

Out of the songs that debuted two weeks ago, two move up seven places on the chart.  Mahalo’s US dance hit “Not Watching Anymore” (above) rises 28-21, while SoCal electronic dance producer Jay Bird’s personal best to date called “Escape” (featuring Chrxstal Sarah, below) climbs 30-23.

The first of four debuts belongs to Victor Perry, in collaboration with German producers Cal1 and l’essay for the soft and lovely “Stories”, which arrives at #27.  Victor is just finishing off a long run on the chart with “Fantasy” (#25), which peaked at #3.  “Stories” is also a very welcome follow up to last year’s “What I Deserve”, which got to #2 behind Joel Corry & MNEK’s “Head & Heart”.

Next up at #28 is the quirky delight “Space Melody” by Germany’s VIZE and Sweden’s Alan Walker, partnering this time with fellow producer Edward Artemyev and vocalist Leony.  VIZE reached #2 last year with the infectious “Never Let Me Down”, while Alan Walker gets his third appearance on the chart, one of which of course was “Faded”, which peaked at #3.

Also making his third appearance on the chart is NYC indie pop-dance-soul singer/songwriter Reigen with the dark and dreamy “blue” at #29.  Both of Reigen’s other songs have reached the Top 10, with “Come Back To Me” climbing to #2 and his cover of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” peaking at #10.

Making his debut on the chart is Toronto R&B/pop singer/dancer D!XON with “Arms Around Me” at #30.  Be sure to check out its diverse and well-choreographed video above, which totally suits the bold and sexy vibe of the song.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

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

 

 

 

“Head Over Heels” is a pop delight from Russia-born L.A.-based multi-talent @CooperPhillip1

COOPER PHILLIP, “Head Over Heels”

“Head Over Heels” is a 90’s inspired R&B-flavoured straight up pop confection, courtesy of Russia-born, L.A.-based multi-talent Cooper Phillip. It the song has that seamless vibe that is at the root of a good bop, it’s because Cooper’s talent comes from her pre-teen years and being raised by a family of classical musicians. Her main influence, somewhat surprisingly, is Ella Fitzgerald, and she eventually enrolled at the prestigious Moscow State Classical Academy where she studied classical piano, music theory, harp, jazz, blues, ballet and voice.  She left Russia at age 17 and ended up in L.A. after accepting a life-altering gig. The video has a flirty and fun premise to accentuate the song’s empowering lyrics about seizing the moment when you want to make a go at romance, even if you screw up a bit and have to backtrack.  “Head Over Heels” is a delight and be sure to put Cooper Phillip on your pop radar.

Published in: on February 10, 2021 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Meet Sweden’s @flycktmusic with the snappy inner battle of “Love Is Overrated”

flyckt, “Love Is Overrated”

Some of you may already know about Swedish singer/songwriter flyckt as a member of Urban Cone or Moodshift, but he has a winner with his snappy solo pop/dance single “Love Is Overrated”.  The song is about the ongoing inner battle about the importance of love in one’s life.  Love can be fleeting, cruel, harsh, and amazing, and it can also be all-consuming.  “Love Is Overrated” questions if you should sacrifice life for love or vice-versa, and how people will feel about this will differ.  flyckt’s voice reminds me sometimes of Justin Bieber in its semi-soulful moments, and at other times Norwegian pop singer Jesper Jenset. The video takes us for a late night brooding walk to ponder the circumstances, providing a strong showcase for flyckt.

Published in: on February 10, 2021 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Is 90’s house music in comeback mode? Are new releases by @InnerCitydet & @IdrisElba @officialTenCity @Ritontime and @ChrisLake, @ArmandvanHelden and @ArthurhBaker starting a welcome trend?

IDRIS ELBA & INNER CITY and STEFFANIE CHRISTI’AN, “No More Looking Back”

RITON & NIGHTCRAWLERS and MUFASA & HYPEMAN, “Friday” (Dopamine re-edit)

TEN CITY, “Be Free” (Emmaculate and Shannon Chambers mix)

CHRIS LAKE & ARMAND VAN HELDEN and ARTHUR BAKER & VICTOR SIMONELLI, “The Answer”

Are we in store for a big 90’s House Music Party that we don’t quite know about yet?  All signs are pointing to a lot of fun ahead if these four new songs and even the resurgence of Crystal Waters’ classic “100% Pure Love” in recent weeks on RuPaul’s Drag Race are any indication.  So enjoy this digression from my usual blog posts!

Kevin Saunderson and his revamped Inner City project team up again with Idris Elba for “No More Looking Back” in follow up to the Inner City album release We All Move Together.  Using the stellar vocals of Steffanie Christi’an once again, “No More Looking Back” is an amazing marriage of classic house and disco styles with a dash of early 70’s soul meshed with today’s technology and sounds.  Once clubs are back, if they aren’t blasting this one, then they are missing out big time.

“Friday” by veteran British producer Riton reinvents The Nightcrawlers’ smash “Push The Feeling On” as a new theme for the weekend, with fun interjections from Mufasa and Hypeman, making it an easy sell to today’s audiences while still soaking in its 90’s house roots.  Dance music radio is all over it in the US and deservedly so.

Ten City, the always dynamic duo of Marshall Jefferson and Byron Stingily, returns for the first time in 25 years with “Be Free”.  Not to sidestep Byron’s own solo successes, it’s like the pair parachuted in right out of the 90’s and comfortably into today’s slicker sounds to capture exactly what they were best at with sophisticated classics like “That’s The Way Love Is” and “My Piece Of Heaven”.  “Be Free” is breezy, soulful fun that should not be missed by house music fans.

Like the Inner City track, “The Answer” by Chris Lake and Armand Van Helden with Arthur Baker and Victor Simonelli emphasizes a soulful early 70’s-inspired vocal over 90’s house-flavoured rhythms.  Longtime club veteran Chris, surprisingly, is the novice producer, if you will, among the other three heavy hitters, and this collaboration just flows so beautifully. There’s just so much to enjoy about this song and it’s no wonder that it’s bubbling at US dance radio.

I think there will be a lot of happy house music lovers and club DJ’s if these tastes of 90’s house develop into more of a trend.  I also hope these releases serve as inspiration for producers looking for a creative jumping off point in dance music!

Canadian producer @Kayliox returns with the melodic deep house of “Lost Control” with Victor Perry @wallflowerperry on vocals

KAYLIOX x VICTOR PERRY, “Lost Control”

Quebec’s Kayliox cemented himself in the electronic dance music scene in the mid 2010’s with a steady stream of fresh songs and remixes as well as club and festival appearances around the world, including at Tomorrow World and Paradiso.  After a bit of a break and becoming a master sound engineer, Kayliox returns with the soulful deep house of “Lost Control”.  From its piano beginnings till its last sung note, it’s 2:48 of pop bliss – if you’re in the mood for something lyrical and melodic, or a club banger, it’s all tidily rolled into one.  The icing on the cake is Victor Perry’s sweet, varied vocal, which has a few showcase moments unto itself and is decidedly different from his lovely new solo song “Stories”.  The chemistry between Kayliox’s beats and synths and Victor’s singing is of such high calibre that I’m sure we’ll hear it again sometime soon.

Published in: on February 6, 2021 at 11:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Meet L.A.-based singer/songwriter Elise Go @nihaoelise with the punchy pop of “Undefined (Don’t Call Me)”

ELISE GO, “Undefined (Don’t Call Me)”

With its bright melodies and punchy lyrics and vocal, “Undefined (Don’t Call Me)” by San Francisco-born, L.A.-based Elise Go will not only catch your attention, but it will stay with you long after you listen.  Elise is a cum laude Berklee College of Music graduate (having won a songwriting scholarship to study there), a veteran of several professional vocal competitions as a teenager, and, most recently, was cast as Princess Pop on NBC’s “I Can See Your Voice”. 

“Undefined” is a blunt, anthemic middle-finger salute to the behaviours in vague social media relationships.  Elise says, “I wrote this song of my frustration in being in a situation like this and because I was gaslit in my experience, music was the safest place for me to voice how I felt”.

If the song sounds fresh and driven, it’s because live instruments were used in its making. Taking its cue from a wicked bassline, you’ll hear an entire horn section, which gives the song a soulful, Broadway-like lift.  Elise’s vocal is crisp and on-point, making “Undefined” a sassy, memorable winner.

The singer has also launched an Instagram campaign with a hotline where fans can even call in and talk about their relationship woes! @nihaoelise on Instagram for details.

Published in: on February 6, 2021 at 11:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Miami producer/DJ @Ebaniez returns with tight deep house flavours in “Tonight”

EBANIEZ, “Tonight”

Last year, Miami producer and DJ Ebaniez showed promise with his house track “Here For Me”, which I wrote about.  He’s now back with an even tighter and catchier deep house song called “Tonight”.  This one uses bass synths as highlights to accentuate its snappy vocal chorus.  The song captures a dynamic setting of a neverending evening of fun in a warm climate.  The production has nicely layered instrumentation that is neither understated nor goes over the top.  Ebaniez is also a violinist by profession, so melody comes second nature. Add “Tonight” to your favourite house playlist for some slick nighttime entertainment.

Published in: on February 4, 2021 at 11:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #606 – February 1/21

It’s been a long January, particularly for those of us in lockdown or with stay-at-home orders, but we will all get through it, and thank goodness for the shortest month of the year, February!  While some long-lasting favourites depart and will move down the chart in the coming weeks, there’s no shortage of great music to succeed them!  Edition 606 has four new entries and lots of movement particularly in the Top 10.

“Give It Back” (above), the powerful house banger by The Disco Fries, Giiants and Allison Park obtains a third appearance (six weeks) at #1.  Looking to replace it are either NOTD and Catello’s “Nobody” (steady at #2, below) or “Like Gold” (also below) by Loud Luxury, Frank Walker and Stephen Puth, which charges 11-4 and is the Fastest Riser on the chart.  It’s also Loud Luxury’s fifth Top 5 on this chart, and Stephen’s second (“Sexual Vibe” peaked at #5 two years ago).  

 

This is quite an amazing Top 10, with new peaks from Francesco Yates’ “Late Night Love” (5-3, his personal best on the chart), Jerome Price and Cally Rhodes’ deep house zinger “Chasing Feelings” (6-5), 2020 carryover “Chew On My Heart” by James Bay (9-6, above), and Why Don’t We’s “Fallin’ (Adrenaline) (8-7, below).

Karen Harding gets her second Top 10 with “Let’s Get Together”, this time in partnership with Scotland’s Illyus & Barrientos (12-8), following last year’s #1 “Undo My Heart”.

Soaring into the Top 10 for the first time is Japanese-British sensation Rina Sawayama with the heavily Lady Gaga inspired “Lucid” climbing 15-9.

Lastly, Oliver Heldens and Party Pupils both land in the Top 10 for the first time too with “Set Me Free” (14-10) featuring vocalist and one half of Party Pupils, MAX.  It’s MAX’s 9th Top 10 on this chart, either as a solo or featured artist!

Three unique dance tracks by British artists make other waves on the chart as they move up.

“Synthesizer” has a cruel and droll sense of humour about it, but the riveting new song by dance phenoms Faithless and vocalist Nathan Ball climbs 16-11.

Another veteran dance producer, Hot Since 82, is going gangbusters on the chart with “Sinnerman” rising 20-14, featuring vocalist/songwriter Ed Graves.

Watch for “Tell Me” by producer Bobby Harvey and vocalist Danny Dearden to break out further in two weeks.  For now, “Tell Me” moves up 27-21.

I, like the rest of the world, cannot resist the many charms of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License”.  The heartfelt and beautifully produced ballad bows on the chart at #25.

L.A. based dance producer Mahalo has become a mainstay on the chart over the past few years, and I usually appreciate his darker, deep house tracks.  One of those is “Not Watching Anymore”, which arrives at #28 and becomes his 9th chart entry.

I’ve written about a few Indian producers, or those of Indian descent over the years.  The first one to be born in India to appear on this chart is DJ Shaan, with vocalist Londin Thompson, with the pop-flavoured dance track “By Heart”, which arrives at #29.  Other producers of Indian descent to appear on the chart in the past include Spirix (born in the USA) and Panjabi MC (born in England).

At #30 is the new winner from SoCal producer Jay Bird, about whose music I’ve written these past few years.  His songs haven’t appeared on the chart till now, and that has all changed with his new personal best for me called “Escape”, featuring an outstanding and soulful vocal by Chrxstal Sarah.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2021 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

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

Check out “Sugar”, the catchy, teasing pop/dance release from Dance Yourself Clean @DYCtonight and Michael Medrano @stachepapi

DANCE YOURSELF CLEAN x MICHAEL MEDRANO, “Sugar”

“Sugar” sparkles like all of the glitz and glamour we imagine when we think of the warm fantasyland that is Los Angeles.  It’s a fun, teasing pop confection brought to you by Seattle producers Dance Yourself Clean and SoCal vocalist/songwriter Michael Medrano.  We’ve heard Michael move from style to style pretty effortlessly over the past few years, and “Sugar” is a winner that would be played in clubs if they were open. The production draws from 70’s disco flavours and Michael’s falsetto gives it a huge lift. 

Published in: on January 29, 2021 at 10:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,