Soft, romantic, and ever-so-sweet: “No One But You” is new R&B-pop for your soul by @justinnozuka and @mahalia

JUSTIN NOZUKA & MAHALIA, “No One But You”

I’ve noticed in the past several months, there has been a real absence of romantic songs, probably in keeping somewhat with the current ongoing situation. So bravo to Toronto’s Justin Nozuka for releasing his first new music in over two years in the form of an R&B-pop ballad with UK singer Mahalia that recalls his cover of Sade’s “By My Side” called “No One Like You”. In years past, this would be called a ‘quiet storm’ track, and could easily be played next to classics of that sub-genre. It’s a lusciously simple song about anyone’s special someone, and it’s complimented by its video above, which reminds us of all of the gentle, sensual, romantic, and often basic aspects of a relationship that take place. “No One Like You” is pop music soul food. This collaboration with Mahalia is certainly one-of-a-kind. She has had her own major label album release to show off her Erykah Badu-meets-Lauryn Hill style, and has recorded with Jacob Collier, Ty Dolla $ign, Kranium, Ella-Mai, and more. I’m so glad to hear new music from Justin, who is always unpredictable but creates from the heart. Listen for more coming soon.

Published in: on October 18, 2020 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“Wicked Games” is a strong, club-worthy collaboration between Swedish producer B3NTE @benteby and NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry @wallflowerPerry

B3NTE & VICTOR PERRY, “Wicked Games”

Their work together on the recent faithful cover of Modern Talking’s “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul” went so smoothly that Sweden’s B3NTE and New York-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry are back with an original follow up this time, called “Wicked Games” (not to be confused with The Weeknd track of the same name). It’s a buoyant progressive electronic dance track this time too carried by Victor’s convincingly-sung story of betrayal. Its catchy, big synth work stands out but does not overpower the prolific Victor’s effortless vocal. “Wicked Games” is another winner – keep ’em coming, guys!

Join the journey with R&B singer/songwriter Niki Darling @NikiDarlin with new single “Take You There”, also in a 90’s favoured @_blacksilence house remix

NIKI DARLING, “Take You There” (original and Black Silence remix)

The last four years have created nothing but once in a lifetime opportunities for American R&B singer Niki Darling. Although you’re likely to hear Tina Turner-meets-Lady Gaga with a dash of Prince (obviously, that name…) in her voice and style, I would also add the diversity of Chaka Khan, Sia, and Kelly Rowland into the mix. Her talents have taken her from leading NYC hip hop group Pants Velour to numerous destinations around the world, including Morocco, Beijing, and Ibiza, working in a full-time career in music. In fact, she was in London when the pandemic struck, and, as was documented by the BBC at the time, she was unable to return to the US for several weeks.

Her new single and video (up top) for “Take You There” document her journey as a message that shows you can overcome struggle and achieve your passion through commitment and lots of hard work – an old ethic, but it works. Her powerful tones resonate throughout “Take You There” and are totally suited for the percolating 90’s flavours that British remixer Black Silence adds to the song to make it highly club-worthy (link below). The well-edited video gives you a sense of something I firmly believe in – when one door closes, another opens. And another door for Niki Darling is set to open when a full album arrives in 2021.

Published in: on October 17, 2020 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Life-changing things can happen on “Tuesdays In July” according to Canadian singer/songwriter @Jeymon_me

JEYMON, “Tuesdays In July”

Waiting to put some spunk into your Autumn playlists is British Columbian singer/songwriter Jeymon with his debut single “Tuesdays In July”. It’s got a playful, sometimes linear-sounding melody that will resonate with you with subsequent listens. Not only that, but the song evokes a special time for the singer (previously known as JMON) when he encountered someone special on a Tuesday in July after a club event. So all of a sudden, Tuesdays in July became equally special, and he shares that happiness he found in this song. Fans of the lighter sides of The Weeknd and Miguel will enjoy the crossover pop-R&B-hip hop music of Jeymon, and you can also appreciate some melodic influences from his Punjabi heritage in the mix. Trading in his accounting education for music, you’ve got to appreciate a guy who offers this quote: “All I want to do in life is cheer people up with my music, literally just vibe and eat unlimited amounts of dried mangoes.”

Published in: on October 17, 2020 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #597 – September 28/20

This week, the BILLCS Music Blog turns 11! And this week I will be working on a new project that will support the blog and chart, and a great deal of new music and artists, if it all works out. So watch for more news on that front.

In the meantime, the new chart had four new entries while the upper region continues to look similar to the past four weeks of music.

What will Joel Corry do next for dance music, following the success of “Lonely” and “Head & Heart”, which continues at #1 on my chart for a third appearance (six weeks). Collaborating with co-writer and singer MNEK was definitely a blessing, and I hope they will reteam in the future. In the meantime, who will be next?

“Dancing Next To Me” by Greyson Chance is a dance anthem for anyone who’s been cheated or denied their opportunity to be with someone of mutual attraction. It moves up 3-2.

Greyson or the song at #3 seem poised to challenge “Head & Heart” in two weeks. And that song is “Undo My Heart” by Karen Harding & Digital Farm Animals, climbing 4-3. This one can go side-by-side with the likes of “Nobody’s Supposed To Be There” or “Un-break My Heart” in my books!

Also moving up from 6-5 is “Naked” by another dream team, which is British producer Jonas Blue and NYC singer/songwriter MAX. Both artists had huge events this past week. Jonas performed the virtual show Electronic World this past weekend; long-time fave and chart veteran MAX released his new album Colour Vision, and performed all of the songs virtually (and solo, where there are usually collaborators). Check out MAX’s amazing song with BTS’ Suga called “Blueberry Eyes” below.

UK indie singer/songwriter Benedict Cork has more new music this week just ahead of the release of his new EP Piano Tapes Vol. II. “One Last Song” continues its upward movement, rising 10-8. Watch for “Wild One” on Wednesday!

Giiants obtain their second Top 10 on my chart with their latest single “Waiting For You”, which climbs 13-9. They previously reached #3 with “Small Talk”. And of course two of the members, Cam and Adam, also recorded as DATABOY, who had three #1’s here in the last decade.

The Fastest Riser on the chart, for the second time in a row, is a blazing instrumental that will make you get out of your seat and move! That is mission accomplished for “House Is Happiness” by Germany’s Stan Sax, which soars 18-10!

L.A.-based trio Fames have a catchy winner with “scared of the dark”, which moves up 25-20.

“We Are Home” by Florida-based singer/songwriter Lauren Mayhew and Moroccan producer Mariline moves up a brisk 27-22. It’s also the second entry on the chart for indie dance label Tipsy Records!

The Highest Debut on the chart is the first entry for Sweden’s Pawl & Discrete with the irresistibly infectious, snappy house track “Type Like That”, which arrives at #24. It’s also the first release on the chart for dance label LoudKult.

Returning for the first time to the chart as a solo artist since 2011 is Sweden’s Agnes Carlsson with “Fingers Crossed” at #26. She of course was part of Avicii’s belated but amazing “Tough Love” last year, which got to #3. Agnes’ “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was her last solo entry, which reached #7, but her first entry in 2009, “Release Me”, went to #1.

Debuting on the chart are the brothers Lynch, Ross and Rocky, aka The Driver Era, with the beautiful “Take Me Away” at #27. When she was a pre-teen, my daughter was a big fan of Ross’ TV show from early last decade, “Austin & Ally”, and I became acquainted with his music and additional talent by taking her to a couple of shows by his family band R5. Since then Ross has developed quite a resumé as an actor – I watch him in episodes of “The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina” – and as a singer, even recording with the likes of dance producers Tritonal a few years ago. The Driver Era is a cool alternative pop/rock project that deserves to flourish.

The fourth new entry is by another one of my chart veterans, Bright Light Bright Light, who has been going strong in my music world since 2010! With the recent release of his fourth album Fun City, there is so much great music from which to choose, but the unbridled anthemic joy of “It’s Alright, It’s OK” resonates with me and it arrives at #28. It’s a collaboration with a trio of talented women from Montreal called Caveboy. The first single from Fun City, “This Was My House”, peaked at #5 this past summer.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station 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 2020 🙂  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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

Check out @BretSears’ minimalist hip hop flavours in “Breaks My Heart” from his EP Imperfections

BRET SEARS, “Breaks My Heart”

Baltimore’s Bret Sears has shifted back and forth between electronic dance pop and hip hop in past releases which I’ve written about in the last few years. He recently released an EP called Imperfections, which almost anecdotally touches on a number of relationships in five very short songs. “Breaks My Heart” is the standout, drawing from influences from the likes of Justin Timberlake, Bryson Tiller, Party Next Door, and others, in a sheer, minimalist production that captures the isolation which takes place when a relationship is ending. Though the song sometimes seems more like stream of consciousness without a centre, it still works well and demonstrates Bret’s ongoing close attention to his craft.

Published in: on September 25, 2020 at 10:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #596 – September 14/20

The new, post-surgery chart is here, and will hopefully serve as stimulation for more blog posts in the coming weeks, since I could only manage to craft a handful before my surgery last week.

I think it’s increasingly important to point out that almost half of this chart is comprised of songs either released independently by the artists themselves, or released independently without a major label distributor. It’s critical for me to continue to write about these artists and performers on these labels’ rosters because they are making as solid recordings as the major label releases. You really owe it to yourself to incorporate discovery into your listening time so you don’t miss out on these and other performers.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that none of the Top 3 songs have changed. Joel Corry and MNEK’s irresistible “Head & Heart” (above) gets a second appearance at #1, while Victor Perry’s beautifully earnest and emotional “What I Deserve” (below) and “Dancing Next To Me” by Greyson Chance hold at second and third.

With two consecutive dance bangers at #1, is there room for a third? “Undo My Heart” by England’s Karen Harding and Digital Farm Animals puts that case forward as this huge dance record soars 10-4.

I will have words about Canadian producer Dezza’s latest release called “Getaway” later in the week. In the meantime, “Carry Me”, featuring co-writer Mike Schmid on vocals, climbs 11-7. Dezza, among other artists such as Matt Fax, has announced a 40-artist new music compilation which you can pre-order called Colorscapes Volume 2.

The hard-hitting, futuristic banger by Australia’s Fisher called “Wanna Go Dancin'” (above) moves up 12-9, while UK indie singer/songwriter Benedict Cork gets his second Top 10 with “One Last Song” (below) rising 16-10. Benedict’s “Breaking Hearts” reached #3 last year.

Inching closer to the Top 10, up 15-11, are the wacky antics of Greece’s The Prince Karma with “Superstar” and its “Night at the Roxbury”-inspired video.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is one that should immediately put you on your feet to groove with all of its marvelous saxophone playing. It’s by Germany’s Stan Sax called “House Is Happiness”, which vaults 27-18.

If you haven’t delved deeper into Troye Sivan’s latest EP beyond the interesting singles that preceded it, you owe it to yourself to soak in its meltworthy title song, which is “In A Dream”. It moves up 26-21.

The Highest Debut of two belongs to new L.A. trio Fames with their big earworm called “scared of the dark”. It arrives at #25.

The second debut will wrap you up in a big progressive electronic hug. “We Are Home” is the latest from Florida singer/songwriter Lauren Mayhew in collaboration with new Moroccan producer Mariline, and bows at #27.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station 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 2020 🙂  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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

Victor Perry @wallflowerperry has two for you this week: “Call Me” with Italian producer @DannyDarkomusic, and “Desire” with newcomer The Peed

DANNY DARKO & VICTOR PERRY, “Call Me”

THE PEED and VICTOR PERRY, “Desire”

It’s seems that Victor Perry’s music is everywhere in 2020, for a new song that he’s written and sung appears almost weekly, which is great exposure for the very talented young NYC-based singer/songwriter.

First up is “Call Me”, one of Victor’s most beautiful compositions created in partnership with music by Italian producer and musician Danny Darko. Danny released his first new music in 2020 after a few years, and has millions of streams and hundreds of monthly Spotify listeners to his credit, sometimes under the name Starchaser. The song really takes roots after the first minute when Victor’s voice begins to soar and the story unfolds. Although it doesn’t have anything to do with the movie or book, the refrain of the now popular phrase ‘call me by your name’ is very touching, and with the lilting, almost tropical sounding guitar and synths, the song works well as a whole.

Next, there is “Desire”, made in collaboration with new producer The Peed. This one is quite different for Victor in subject matter and vocal. He sings most of the song in a lower range, which completely suits the song. The song has a deliberate, sultry vibe that’s perfect for a mid-to-late evening setting. Like with “Call Me”, “Desire” contains an ear-catching guitar riff that offsets the rhythm and compliments Victor’s vocal nicely.

Published in: on September 7, 2020 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Too Busy” marries future bass with soulful vocals from Australian producer @Noymusicau and singer @Sophiegrophy

NOY and SOPHIEGROPHY, “Too Busy”

“Too Busy” packs an immediate double-whammy punch thanks to rich production by Australia’s Noy and ear-catching vocals by Nigeria-born, New Zealand raised Sophiegrophy, who is a new singer to me but one I will be on the lookout for again. It’s a rare happy mix of future bass with pop/soul, with big and fresh synth sounds from Noy which lend a commanding presence to Sophiegrophy’s voice. Every year there are always surprises that come from talented Australian musicians and singers like these. “Too Busy” is a follow up to Noy’s collaboration with Jordan Burns which I wrote about this past July on the solid progressive electronic EP Like Me.

Published in: on September 7, 2020 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #595 – August 31/20

In less than a month, it will be Autumn! But I’m not going to say goodbye to the summer and all of the great new music that it has given us, despite our ongoing COVID-19 circumstances.

There is a switch-up at the top, and it’s a big one! Joel Corry and MNEK soar from 6 to 1 with “Head & Heart”. This banger is one of the biggest hits of the year in the UK and on dance radio in North America. This year has been full of songs like “Head & Heart” which have great hooks or choruses.

Victor Perry obtains his highest placing in this chart as the enthralling “What I Deserve” (above) climbs 3-2. In the wondrous never-ending slew of new music by or featuring Victor, check out his new song with British producer Ficci called “Gone” (below). This electronic alt.soul is a perfect accompaniment to Victor’s solo EP Rewind.

“Dancing Next To Me” by Greyson Chance (above) also climbs up a notch from 4-3. Literally, it would be #1 had two stronger songs not been in front of it, so it’s a very ‘high’ #3! Also check out Greyson’s latest single, inspired by his personal and ongoing battle against anorexia, called “Bad To Myself” (below).

Toronto’s Francesco Yates will be following up his Superbad EP with more new music in September. In the meantime, “Bad Decisions”, the fun second single from that EP, holds at #5, and it’s Francesco’s highest ranking song on the chart to date.

Both Jonas Blue and MAX are back in the Top 10, this time together with “Naked” rising 12-8.

Florida-based progressive electronic producer Trivecta acquires his first Top 10 on this chart with “Leave It All Behind” (featuring vocalist/co-writer Fagin) moving up 11-9.

The Fastest Riser on the chart puts three huge bangers in the Top 10. Next to “Head & Heart” and “Rain On Me” there’s “Undo My Heart” by British artists Karen Harding and Digital Farm Animals. It vaults 23-10.

“Carry Me” by Canadian producer Dezza and vocalist/co-writer Mike Schmid continues to show resilience and climbs 17-11.

Right behind two weeks in a row is manic Australian producer/DJ Fisher with the irresistible “Wanna Go Dancin'”, rising 18-12.

In any other week, the beautiful “One Last Song” by UK indie singer/songwriter Benedict Cork, would be the fastest riser as it climbs 26-16. More new music is coming from Benedict this week!

It’s steady as it goes for another UK indie singer/songwriter, Jazz Mino, as her thoughtful and unique point of view in “Like A Drunk Girl” moves up 20-17.

L.A.-based production trio Giiants settles comfortably in the Top 20 as “Waiting For You” (above) rises 24-18. Even newer from Giiants is their collaboration with Disco Fries on “Believer” in a Giuseppe Marcellino remix (below).

While the more experimental nature of Troye Sivan’s new songs is certainly interesting, I had to wait for the arrival of his new EP In A Dream to find a song that’s as captivating as in either his albums Bloom or Blue Neighbourhood. The simply gorgeous title song, “In A Dream”, bows at #26. It’s Troye’s 8th song to appear in this chart.

If you want dance music that is nothing but sheer fun, then look no further as German producer Stan Sax’s “House Is Happiness” arrives at #27. It’s an instrumental full of saxxy goodness and a slamming beat. While Stan has been on the chart before as part of Saxity and, more recently, in his other pseudonym of ZEROBADDAYS, he has appeared on the chart one other time under the current moniker when he gave a refreshing remix to Fabian Luttenberger’s “Vague”, which got to #10 in late 2016.

The third debut belongs to new Philadelphia trio Time For Three with the beautiful “Vertigo” at #28. The lead vocal alternately reminds me of Steve Perry of Journey or Dennis De Young formerly of Styx. Love the strings arrangement!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station 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 2020 🙂  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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!!