It’s “10/10” #19: @Gina_Naomi_Baez @MikeLindup #Fubu & @DannyDeardenuk @omgRainMan & @PeteChosen @RobertBallmusic @OsvaldoSupino @TommieSunshine & @theDiscoFries (remixed) @LindaVargmusic @djKarazey & @EstyRichard @iamWiese

It’s time for “10/10” edition #19!  July has been an incredibly busy month for releases and in order not to get overwhelmed or to miss any songs that I think you need to hear, I’ve compiled 10 reviews into one neat blog post package.

For those not familiar with10/10,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.  I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually, and they are not listed in any particular order.  Writing 10/10 posts means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about.

  • GINA NAOMI BAEZ, “My Time”

There’s a good chance that you’ve seen NYC’s Gina Naomi Baez on “Orange Is The New Black” or Netflix’s “She’s Gotta Have It”, on Off-Broadway, or caught one of her viral You Tube videos that have given her a substantial social media following. However, you may not know Gina the singer/songwriter, and “My Time” is about to change all of that. It’s an immediately inspiring song that challenges you to make the most of your time and strive to new heights for yourself and no one else. Being a cancer survivor as a child, having to challenge herself regularly must be second nature to Gina, and her glorious vocal, which at times recalls the power of Sia, is certainly a knock out. “My Time” is also co-written and produced with extreme precision by Matthew Tryba (Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande).

  • MIKE LINDUP, “Time To Let Go”

If you’re a fan of 80’s pop, R&B or jazz, then you already know keyboardist Mike Lindup as one of the principals and vocalists in the amazing British group Level 42 (“Something About You”, “Lessons In Love”).  If not, then his new solo effort “Time To Let You”, is as good a song to get to know him and his fluid style as a new Level 42 song – and he and Mark King still head up the band to date, which performs live now and again, mainly in England (I saw them perform live back in the 80’s too).  “Time To Let Go” harkens back to earlier fan-favourite Level 42 records such as their self-titled album or The Pursuit of Accidents with its rhythmic jazz-R&B fusion, and will also appeal to fans of jazz masters of that era such as Pat Metheny or Jean-Luc Ponty. Mike’s recognizable tones and falsetto sound marvelous here, and I hope there is more to come!

  • FUBU and DANNY DEARDEN, “Under My Skin”

UK singer/songwriter Danny Dearden returns to “10/10” territory this time in collaboration with Scottish producer Fubu for “Under My Skin”.  You know a solid partnership has occurred when the producer and singer can elevate a song to be more than the sum of its parts.  In other words, Fubu’s no-holds-barred rhythms and Danny’s totally infectious vocal make the most of a song that in other hands could have been… ordinary. Fubu cut his teeth revitalizing songs like Lumidee’s “Never Gonna Leave You”, Blu Cantrell’s “Breathe” and “Freak Like Me” by Adina Howard, so that pedigree speaks for itself. “Under My Skin” is a fine release by a team-up worth repeating.

  • RAIN MAN & PETE CHO and REBECCA BRUNNER, “Over It”

“Over It” has designs on transporting you out of pandemic fatigue to either get prepared for or back out into the night life, depending on where you are in the world.  Chicago’s Rain Man and Pete Cho along with vocalist/co-writer Rebecca Brunner will make sure that you get there with a brisk rhythm track and zesty synths gliding underneath Rebecca’s world-weary but encouraging vocal. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from either Rain Man or Pete Cho, so “Over It” marks a welcome return for both. Rain Man of course had a huge dance radio hit a few years back with “Bring Back The Summer” (which landed on my personal chart too) and, as its third original member, was also the anchor of Krewella’s initial success with their hit “Alive”. Pete has had sporadic but consistently solid releases over the past few years after being a successful restauranteur for many years. I think club DJ’s will love “Over It” as a part of club goers’ return to nighttime living.

  • ROBERT BALL, “I Need A Man”

Toronto-born singer/songwriter Robert Ball is not a new name to performing or to Canadian music, having performed in theatrical productions at Stratford, Ontario, on Royal Caribbean cruises, and opened for or recorded with fellow Canadians such as Shawn Desman, Keshia Chanté, Maestro, and Saukrates.  And as a gay man, Robert lays his soul bare with his new single “I Need A Man”. It’s as if someone had transported early 70’s cabaret through the soft and sultry voices of Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross and Jeffrey Osborne into a passionate, expressive song whose vulnerability will reach beyond LGBTQ2S+ audiences, making Robert Ball a vocalist to watch for and remember.

  • OSVALDO SUPINO, “Lights Down Low”

It’s been a few minutes since I’ve written about the songs of Italian LGBTQ2S+ singer Osvaldo Supino, who had some memorable moments in the last decade with beauties such as “I Have A Name” and “Goodbye”.  While he’s continued to record since that time (sometimes in Italian too), “Lights Down Low” came to my attention recently.  The song’s production endows it with a much-needed mystique to support Osvaldo’s soft but enticing vocal.  The video above also shows what you can create with a variety of costume changes to enhance his performance. “Lights Down Low” is another solid addition to Osvaldo’s repertoire and I think dance mixes could help send it over the edge at clubs.

  • TOMMIE SUNSHINE and THE DISCO FRIES, “Don’t Look Back” (Gerd Janson vocal remix)

When you just see the artists’ names, you know that a track like “Don’t Look Back” simply can’t miss. But what you might not know is that this is a remix of a song that Tommie Sunshine and The Disco Fries originally released in 2011, reviving Avicii-era vibes in a progressive remix by veteran German producer Gerd Janson.  Gerd melds the vocal track creatively with layers of synths for intriguing and contemporary results, making this one an easy mixing choice for club DJ’s.  Tommie and the Disco Fries guys have both made signature leaps and bounds over the years and “Don’t Look Back” is a cool choice for a revival.

  • LINDA VARG, “Standing In The Middle Of The Road”

Currently taking a path that isn’t often pursued these days, Sweden’s Linda Varg has massive music industry pedigree which includes being a finalist in Swedish Idol in 2010 and having a major label deal with the group Supernatural. “Standing In The Middle Of The Road” is a straight-forward, even retro-sounding pop-rock track with synth elements that give it a rich scope, and it will appeal to fans of Bebe Rexha and One Republic. “Standing” has a strong message and imagery – don’t wait for people to run over you and shatter your dreams, and, as Linda says “don’t live as a victim of your own bad thoughts.” Her unique persona and this energetic song (co-written by one of Sweden’s best internationally known talents, Ulf Nilsson, with whom Linda has previously recorded) should help Linda acquire worldwide attention.

  • KARAZEY and ESTY RICHARD, “Through My Mind”

“Through My Mind” is a breezy, effervescent pop/dance track brought two you by two artists from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, producer Karazey and vocalist Esty Richard.  With its delightful, pulsating rhythm and a vocal by Esty that could remind you alternately of Halsey or Emily Warren albeit with some gentler tones. Karazey is another producer who is coming to your attention while still a teenager. He knows how to build good momentum and provide focus on the strong vocal while creating a backdrop that’s not flashy while still being memorable. “Through My Mind” is a fine introduction to both artists.

  • WIESE, “Hear Me”

The positive post-lockdown songs of the pandemic continue with “Hear Me” by Norwegian producer Wiese. He’s from Bergen – the same place from which hail Kygo and Alan Walker.  He’s definitely got a talent for creating a mix influenced by R3HAB and Imanbek in “Hear Me”, an uplifting song about all of the possibilities life still has to offer post-pandemic. Wiese’s mix of deft female vocal and pitched-down male vocal – likely by the same uncredited singer, Erin Jarvis – offers a welcome dynamic, and “Hear Me” works well for the dance floor with radio potential too.

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #618, July 19/21

If you haven’t already done so, get those dancing shoes ready for the rest of the summer because there is plenty of hot dance music of all sub-genres for you to enjoy, and part of the fun is finding out about it through sources like my blog or the ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post).  Once again, we have a new #1 from an artist who has been to the top before and just released a new album on Friday!!

That artist of course is Denver-based electronic producer Illenium, whose fourth album Fallen Embers dropped on Friday. While not as strong a release as Ascend, it has plenty of highlights and emotional shifts that will keep you totally engrossed.  Illenium’s recent single “Sideways”, which is now a North American dance radio hit – a bit surprising considering it’s usually harder than what dance radio normally plays – featuring Valerie Broussard’s stunning vocal and production partner Nurko.  You can also check out the album opener “Blame Myself” below, featuring an out-of-character but bang on appearance by Tori Kelly.

Trying to get a place in line for the top is the glorious “The Feels” by Cash Cash and the amazing Alex Newell, which rises 9-4. Though not a single – a strange move by the record company – it can be found on Cash Cash’s latest album Say It Like You Feel It.

Also contending for the top is “Can’t Stay Away” by Sweden’s Darin, his first English language release in about eight years. It soars 14-7.  It’s his highest peaking song since 2009’s “Girl Next Door” (#5).

I’m totally loving Greyson Chance’s quirky and infectious “Hellboy” from his album Trophies, which moves up 11-8 to become his second Top 10 on this chart following last year’s “Dancing Next To Me” (#2).

Arriving in the Top 10 for the first are social media stars Nessa Barrett and jxdn, who have two great voices that deserve attention with “La Di Die”, which climbs 13-10.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is some deep house bliss from England courtesy of Charlie Lane, Gold 88 and vocalist Kate Wild with “Give Me That” zipping up the chart 19-11.

Toronto indie pop/rock duo Crash Adams have a new personal best on the chart.  “Symphony” rises 15-12, surpassing the #13 peak of last year’s “Too Hot To Touch”.

While “Myself In You” yields the pole position to “Sideways”, “Slip Away” by French producer Kislaw and NYC singer/songwriter Victor Perry continues to build momentum, up 17-13.

“You” by Regard, Troye Sivan and Canada’s own Tate McRae is one of the more distinct songs you’ll hear on pop and dance radio, and it climbs 21-15.

The “Reprise version” of Moby’s “Natural Blues” as passionately sung by Gregory Porter and Amythyst Kiah moves up 24-17, from Moby’s recent album of retooled songs called Reprise.

New Toronto solo artist CMagic5 continues to climb with her recent “Love Me If You Can” (23-18) from her independent release Ready To Run.

And look who gets the Highest Debut – Ed Sheeran!! I’m highlighting this because it’s the first time he’s appeared on my chart and “Bad Habits” is one helluva way to do that, bowing at an exceptional #20.  It’s definitely one of the songs of Summer ’21. He’ll continue with the mathematically-titled albums with The Quadratic Formula, coming soon.

Premiering at #28 is one fun song that doesn’t let up, thanks to its party vibe and multi-lingual versus (sung in Portuguese, French, and African language Bambara (check out the cool video above, which just dropped today).  It’s “Mon Cheri” by US dance music mainstays and Grammy nominees Sofi Tukker in collaboration with fellow Grammy-nominated Mali duo Amadou & Mariam.  It’s culled from the new Red, Hot + Free album, which has proceeds going to three LGBTQ2S+ charities: The Trevor Project – http://www.thetrevorproject.org The Ally Coalition – https://theallycoalition.org; and SAGE – https://www.sageusa.org. “Mon Cheri” is Sofi Tukker’s first chart appearance since their 2018 #1 with Benny Benassi “Everybody Needs A Kiss” and fourth overall.

The third debut at #30 is “Back To You” by Chicago electronic dance producer Aash Mehta with fellow producer Charlotte’s ephem, a terrific house track for summer that’s guaranteed to make you dance.  Regular blog readers know I’ve been writing about Aash’s music for about five years and it’s his first appearance on the chart. 

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 🙂

ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES

Radio GTA – listen to The Big 20 from 10pm to Midnight EST as “The Musicman” James Rogers and I bring you the latest in new songs mixed with classics and songs you haven’t heard in a while.  And on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 6pm I bring you “Your Weekend 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! It’s a different mix from Radio GTA’s show, and like that one it is also commercial free, proudly brought to you by Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge in Georgetown, Ontario!

Planet Radio Canada – currently on hiatus but returning in August, listen to the “3D Variety Show” with “The Musicman” James Rogers. I’m featured every Tuesday between 7 and 7:30 pm with my New Music Pick of the Week, and I also join occasionally for looks at music from our past as well as the occasional live segment.

 

“Again” is a striking collaboration between electronic dance producers #PurpleGuns and vocalists @JessicaChertock and #YoungJae covering @NoahCyrus and #XXXTentacion

PURPLE GUNS, JESSICA CHERTOCK and YOUNG JAE, “Again”

“Again” is a brand new release guaranteed to make you turn heads. First, it’s an unforeseen (but very welcome) cover of a 2017 release by Noah Cyrus and XXXTentacion. Those who know that song however might enjoy this version even more. Second, if you’re not familiar with the original, “Again” is truly a breath of fresh air. Purple Guns are a production trio from Russia who constructed hybrid slap house/deep house rhythms and potent synths to make the music impressive all on its own. Add NYC singer Jessica Chertock, whose engrossing vocal has amazing pitch, and Florida’s Young Jae, who provides his own character and some wicked harmonies without even trying to be similar to the late fan favourite XXXTentacion, and “Again” really shines.  I’m hoping that dance music radio will discover “Again” because it will fit snugly in their mix.

“Locked In Your Love” is infectious deep house from Northern Ireland duos @Glass_Keys and @Menrvamusic with vocals by @iamDaniSenior

GLASS KEYS, MENRVA and DANI SENIOR, “Locked In Your Love”

Glass Keys and Menrva are two dance production duos from Northern Ireland who collaborate regularly, and have some wicked bass grooves up their sleeves if “Locked In Your Love” is any indication. The sharp and alluring vocal is by the UK multi-talented co-writer Dani Senior, whose voice glides through the mysterious but engaging backdrop.  The producers like to add in some dirty synths – but not too dirty – for good measure, and “Locked In Your Love” would make a solid companion in a set to tracks by Gryffin, The Disco Fries, Cash Cash and other dance music favourites.

French electronic dance producer @Nezzymusic releases radio-friendly “Back To You” with vocalist @TimSchoumusic from new album “The Walk”

NEZZY and TIM SCHOU, “Back To You”

After releasing singles recently on Armada and Soave, 20 year old French dance producer Nezzy may have saved the best for his own independent album release The Walk.  From that album, “Back To You” is hands down a friendly, feel-good light house track that has oodles of potential for radio play.  It’s aided immensely by Danish singer and co-writer Tim Schou’s warm, rich tones, which make the song stand out.  Even the esteemed Timbaland shouted out Nezzy’s music on Twitch last year long before The Walk was released. “Back To You” has a great summer vibe and should be a no brainer for club DJ’s looking for a straight-forward song that will get their audiences up and moving.

Published in: on July 17, 2021 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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With future house rhythms and from-the-heart lyrics, “Don’t Want Perfect” by @Kayliox and @RobbieRosenlive is a winner

KAYLIOX x ROBBIE ROSEN, “Don’t Want Perfect”

If you’re looking for that great dance song that will ultimately let you end up in a warm embrace, then “Don’t Want Perfect” by Kayliox and Robbie Rosen is just for you! Its fast-paced future house rhythms and pulsating synths are just itching to make you groove, while Robbie’s sincere lyrics and golden vocal performance will pull those heart strings. Both artists are on a roll, with Quebec City’s Kayliox following up his late Spring release “Lighter” with Jessica Chertock, while NYC’s Robbie continues to release at least one song per week in a variety of dance styles, with two songs appearing concurrently recently on my personal chart (“When I Lost You” and/or “Waves” and/or “Habits”). Both artists continue to bring you high quality releases but “Don’t Want Perfect” is definitely among the very best of them.

Meet new electronic dance producer @weareNightro with “Don’t Like It” teaming with @PhilPhauler and @AleksandarVida

NIGHTRO, PHIL PHAULER and ALEKSANDAR VIDA, “Don’t Like It”

“Don’t Like It” is a short but notable new dance release by NYC-based Indian producer Nightro in collaboration with fellow producers Phil Phauler and Alexandar Vida.  It’s got moody, dirty rhythms and dark, edgy vocal effects which surround a well-sung vocal by an uncredited female singer. “Don’t Like It” doesn’t waste time in packing musical punches early on in the song, and it could lift up just about any set during a club evening.  Nightro is receiving particularly strong reaction to “Don’t Like It” in India, so it’s now time for the rest of the world to show up and embrace this one.

UK vocalist @NatalieShay_ returns with pop radio-worthy “Medicine Boy”

NATALIE SHAY, “Medicine Boy”

Natalie Shay has a sharp, powerful voice that screams Taylor Swift-meets-Haim (and yes I know they have recorded together hehe), and she’s back with a super-catchy pop song called “Medicine Boy”.  The UK singer/songwriter often skews country flavours with her songs but has a diverse voice that has also graced some electronic dance releases. But “Medicine Boy” goes for the gusto, a song that compares having a relationship with recreational drug use, with the main point being that even a mediocre relationship can have addictive qualities about it that you will ultimately have to break in order to get something (and someone) better for yourself.  “Medicine Boy” has a striking, energetic arrangement full of bright synths and a memorable melody that should continue to help Natalie Shay move to the next level.

Published in: on July 16, 2021 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Get to know new Dutch singer/songwriter @NanaMRose with “4 AM” from her EP “Morning Drops & Lemon Seeds”

NANA M. ROSE, “4 AM”

With such a beautiful pitch-perfect voice, it’s no wonder that Nana M. Rose is receiving lots of her attention in her native country of The Netherlands, including with radio play.  Her song “4 AM” from her brand new EP Morning Drops & Lemon Seeds is a delightful pop showcase in which the singer longs for the memorable times being out with friends till the wee hours. It’s a common theme among young people during the pandemic, and as some of the world starts to emerge from its shadow, we’ll be able to make more memories. While the song is relatable, it does take a few listens to stir you inside because all of your attention is on Nana’s lovely vocal. In fact, she has been selected for this year’s “Popronde” in The Netherlands, a prestigious showcase festival with various shows happening between September and November this year. While she’s already played in the UK and New York City, let’s hope that will be a springboard for touring additional cities once that is possible later this year or in 2022.

 

Published in: on July 16, 2021 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Two years later, “Feels Like Summer” by South Africa’s @SamuelJackmusic is a social media sensation

SAMUEL JACK, “Feels Like Summer”

With social media, you can never predict what will happen that will suddenly engage the public.  I wrote about Samuel Jack’s “Feels Like Summer” on June 30, 2019 and in the excerpt below, indicated that it was a summer winner:

Recently, the song became a sensation on Instagram reels, which snowballed into Tik Tok, and since then the song has started appearing not only on viral streaming charts, but sales charts too (I checked iTunes Canada today and the single was #82 today, which is quite good for an independent release). Well, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer song, and I hope the Instagram and Tik Tok attention will parlay into radio play for “Feels Like Summer”, which would be well-deserved. Watch Samuel sing it live (above), and now there’s are two remixes (below) too!

 

 

 

Published in: on July 11, 2021 at 11:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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