Red Hot collab: “No Hands” by @itsdiffmusic & @ForeverMCmusic featuring @iamBlackBear and @MAXgschneider

it’s different & FOREVER MC featuring BLACK BEAR & MAX, “No Hands” (free DL)

The creative folks in the R&B, hip hop and dance/EDM genres know that sometimes it’s best to combine forces to create a one-of-a-kind record.  Such is the case with “No Hands”, a red hot collaboration between mystery production duo it’s different, Utah rapper Forever MC, L.A.’s smoking hot Black Bear, and NYC’s own MAX.  “No Hands” comes large and in charge and doesn’t for one second let you give up the ghost to think any less of it throughout the entire song.  The three vocals blend somewhat seamlessly despite the diverse backgrounds of each, and the bassy/trappy mix is as risk-taking as the intent behind the lyrics.  “No Hands” is an inventive pop hit in the making that will sound equally as wonderful on radio next to Drake and Kendrick Lamar as it would next to Calvin Harris and David Guetta.  It’s a free download for now at the link above; get it while it lasts!!

Published in: on August 14, 2017 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #515 – August 7/17

My final week of vacation begins with a new chart, and the Top 10 gets turned inside out a bit as a new #1 leads the pack.

The Top 10

  • Bright Light Bright Light gets his 6th #1 on my chart since 2010 with the spectacular “New York Pretty”.  And he also has one of four debuts on the chart with a second song from the Tales Of The City EP with “Into The Night” (below) at #26.  Both videos are stellar, heartwarming, and important statements about loving yourself and self-empowerment.  “New York Pretty” was preceded at #1 by BLx2’s 2010’s “A New Word To Say” and “Love Part II”, 2012’s “Waiting For The Feeling”, 2013’s “An Open Heart”, and 2014’s “I Believe”.  He ties Simon Curtis with most #1’s on the chart – though one of Simon’s songs, “8bit Heart”, got to #1 twice in two different versions.

  • If “New York Pretty” had lagged behind by two weeks, then Axel Mansoor would have got a second #1 with “Out Of My Head”, but it has to settle for a 3rd appearance (6th week) at #2.  More to come thought from this great new singer/songwriter!

  • Martin Garrix gets back-to-back Top 5 songs on the chart as his pairings with Troye Sivan and Brooks, “There For You” (above) and “Byte” (below), climb to #4 and #5 respectively.  All of Martin’s songs that have appeared in the chart have reached the Top 5, with two, “Animals” and “Proxy”, getting to #1 in 2014.

  • Cosmos & Creature continue to be one of the most prolific pairs in music today, either through creating their own work or collaborating with others.  Their most recent single “Bad Drug” climbs 8-6.

  • Like Martin Garrix, every song that has appeared for Anton Ewald on this chart has reached the Top 10.  The sinfully catchy and funky “L.I.L.Y.” (like I love you) keeps it going by moving 12-18.
  • The last new entry into the Top 10 is a first for Florida’s Tipsy label.  Danish producers Boye & Sigvardt and singer Uhre, as well as Scottish producer MAGNÜS leap 13-10 with the infectious and engaging “Astronauts”, with remixes now available.

Movin’ On Up

  • “Magic” by UK singer Sean Smith, in its classic house Andy Sikorski mix, is headed for the Top 10 as it climbs 15-11.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is the last chart’s highest debut by Oregon’s CVBZ with “Be Like You”.  In its ‘bedroom bass’ Sean Turk remix, “Be Like You” bounds 20-12.

  • In a common theme with this week’s chart – some excellent videos, starting with those by Bright Light Bright Light above – the colourful and sexy visuals for Dan Talevski’s “Birthday Suit” all came to life recently and a really great time was had by all.  “Birthday Suit” climbs 19-14.

  • The Killers announced their latest stadium tour as their single “The Man” continues to rise 21-18, feeling very much like when the band arrived in 2004.  It’s from their upcoming 5th album Wonderful Wonderful.
  • Toronto’s Blajk makes its first appearance since playing the NXNE festival in June.  The quartet rocks The Drake Hotel on Thursday August 10, and new single “Gunshot” rises 24-20.

  • “Suitcase” marks Matthew Koma’s 10th appearance on this chart since 2012, and it moves up 26-21.

The Remaining 3 Debuts

  • The highest debut on the chart at #22 is “Show Me” by Toronto production duo Loud Luxury featuring fellow Torontonians Nikki’s Wives.  If you haven’t yet caught the fun video, Ron Jeremy stars in his second appearance in recent years – remember the video for Armin van Buuren & Trevor Guthrie’s “This Is What It Feels Like”, which got to #6 on my chart in 2013?

  • One of the most aimiable songs of late is an independent release that has suddenly become a national hit in both Canada and the UK – we’re waiting on YOU, USA!  American singer/songwriter Lauv arrives at #27 with “I Like Me Better” – check out both the original above and Canadian producer Famba’s recent remix below.

  • The final debut is one of the most unique songs of 2017.  Its video was released last week and is a travel ode to Los Angeles.  Iowa’s Kid Froopy precedes his upcoming EP with the single “Drive Slow” which bows at #30.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Planet Radio Canada is on hiatus and will return http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂

Silky UK soul meets deep house in “Lost Without You” by @iamJamesCarter1 featuring #ILIRA

JAMES CARTER featuring ILIRA, “Lost Without You”

19 year old producer/DJ James Carter has been on the tip for the last year or so, acquiring support from folks like Matoma and The Chainsmokers in the process for his remixes.  He’s also released a number of originals, which continues with “Lost Without You” featuring vocalist ILIRA.  It’s bright deep house with catchy drops all in the right places.  But I suppose what’s most attractive is how James has used ILIRA’s vocal to create a late 80s/early 90s UK R&B vibe, that clearly recalls people like Lisa Stansfield and Mica Paris.  In the UK this style is extremely successful, but in North America it has a niche market and always sounds refreshing and vibrant.  The lyrics are familiar but with a few kicks in the mix too.  Get to know James Carter’s music as I think you’ll be hearing it more, so start off with “Lost Without You” at the link above.

 

Published in: on August 3, 2017 at 3:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pop/R&B singer @MarcoFoster_’s live NYC show, and his new romantic single with @TastyTreatMusic “Selfish”

TASTY TREAT featuring MARCO FOSTER, “Selfish”

I’ve been listening and writing about 23 year old NYC singer/songwriter Marco Foster these last few years and got to witness his talent as an acoustic performer last week in NYC on the eve of his new single with L.A. producers Tasty Treat called “Selfish”.  Marco exudes plenty of confidence whether he’s also playing guitar or keyboards or singing a duet with promising newcomer Mia Gladstone.  He can shift seamlessly between pop and R&B, featuring several other new songs that could veer in either direction.  But he really cleaned up the floor with a bang-on rendition of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”, a song that you don’t mess with unless you can sang it!  “Selfish” (above) is a deliberately sparse-sounding but romantic song that is easy to warm up to.  Following last year’s “Sideways”, Marco and Tasty Treat seem to have a good thing vibing together.  Timing is everything even for independent performers, but it looks like Marco’s time to weigh in to the pop/R&B scene is coming soon!

Published in: on July 31, 2017 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #513 – July 10/17

The chart has a new #1 and a high-flying debut to watch in the coming weeks!

The Top 10

  • “Attention” by Charlie Puth slides in at #1 as the title for his upcoming second album has been announced:  Voice Notes.  The song’s slick bassline and honest delivery made it a sure thing for the top of my chart.  Like many of you, I hadn’t known of Charlie Puth till I heard “See You Again”, but he’s a stadium concert headliner in the making 🙂  Catch him on tour opening for Pickering, Ontario native Shawn Mendes (below), who also arrives at #10 this week with “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”.

  • While Axel Mansoor had to give up the top spot held by “Wasted My Love” during June, he glides to #2 with its follow up, “Out Of My Head”.  Like “Wasted”, “Head” is a free download, as are many songs in the upper reaches of this chart 🙂
  • When you can sing a good, interesting story, it resonates and stays in your head.  Such is the case with “Silent Games” as sung by Hawaiian singer Zekt, and produced by Germany’s Lars Beck and Henri Purnell.  It soars 11-5.
  • Right behind “Silent Games” is Bobby Nourmand’s summer song “D U S T”, which climbs 10-6.  Bobby has new music coming very soon for Potion Records once again, so you will know where to read about it!
  • The third entry into the Top 10 is “Byte” by Dutchmen Martin Garrix and Brooks.  It’s a feisty instrumental that doesn’t let up and is accompanied by a flashy video.  “Byte” rises 12-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • Cosmos & Creature – Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore to you and me – appear to be on deck for their first Top 10 as a lead artist under this project name with the engaging “Bad Drug”, which sails 17-11.  The duo got to the Top 10 (#7) as a featured artist on Vicetone’s “Bright Side” last year.  We need to see C&C more on the east coast please!!
  • Sweden’s Anton Ewald is also heading for the Top 10 – where all of his charted songs have landed in the past, but as high as #2 – with “L.I.L.Y.”, or “like I love you”, promoted by a video that is all Anton.  The song’s obvious Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake influences are more inspiring rather than obvious borrowings.  “L.I.L.Y.” moves up 20-14.

  • Martin Garrix’s second entry shows the best of his pop side, and with Troye Sivan on vocals for “There For You” it’s taken to another level entirely.  It’s his best ‘pop’ single to date, aside of course from “Animals”, and charges up the chart 22-15.

  • “Astronauts” is one of the catchiest and most energetic songs of the year, EDM or otherwise.  It’s brought to you by a wide collaboration of three Danes and a Scot:  Boye & Sigvardt & MAGNÜS – the lone Scot – featuring vocalist Uhre.  It leaps 23-18.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is a classic house remix with an equally classic piece of storytelling to make it all gel.  I’m talking about former Same Difference member Sean Smith’s “Magic”, which in its Andy Sikorski remix, soars 28-20.

  • You can now check out the video to The Killers’ latest single “The Man”, which moves up 27-24.

Three New Entries

  • He’s back and stronger than ever, a fixture on the BILLCS Top 30 these past 7 years, Bright Light Bright Light.  Following his album Choreography, he’s just released his second EP as well in 2017, Tales Of The City, which is a huge warm musical hug for NYC and to anyone who feels they are simply not good enough for even themselves 🙂  And he’s given the city a new theme song, “New York Pretty”, with a vibrant video that makes the package a full circle.  BLx2 has already had 5 #1’s on this chart, will “New York Pretty” be his next one?  It arrives out of the gate at #16.

  • While previous single “I Wonder” still hangs in at #28, Dutch duo The Him are back with another impressive single, the R&B-flavoured “Secrets”, featuring a glistening vocal by L.A. singer Cub Rayan.  It bows at #23.

  • After enticing us with thoughtful but sultry singles like “Guilty As Sin” and “My Religion” in 2015, Toronto’s Dan Talevski is back with the fun and light-hearted “Birthday Suit”.  Debuting at #25, we’ll have to see if the upcoming video is saucy or playful or a bit of both 🙂

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Planet Radio Canada is on hiatus and will return http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂

“The Future” is uplifting electronic R&B from @SanHolobeats featuring @JamesVMcMorrow

SAN HOLO featuring JAMES VINCENT McMORROW, “The Future”

After the massively successful reaction to last year’s earworm “Light”, The Netherlands’ San Holo continues with a different shade of positive vibes with “The Future”, his first major label release for Sony.  He scored Irish singer James Vincent McMorrow for the vocal after James previously ventured into dance music territory on Kygo’s “I’m In Love”.  James brings a similar understated elegance to “The Future” that drives the hopefulness of the lyrics home.  His sweet vocal is also in contrast to the always engaging melody that San Holo builds right through to the end with lots going on in the background, coming close to the blueprinted method previously used in “Light”.  “The Future” is one to watch and be sure to give it a solid listen above – remixers will look to have their way with this one too.

Published in: on July 4, 2017 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #512 – June 26/17

The Top 10

  • L.A.’s Axel Mansoor acquires another rare feat on this chart in his second appearance at #1 with the pensive “Wasted My Love” (above).  He scores a simultaneous Top 5 entry with the soulful post-breakup song “Out Of My Head” (below), which also has designs on #1 but I’m afraid may have to wait its turn.  The best thing about all of this is that both songs are available for free download – get ’em while they last!
  • Charlie Puth’s bass-laden “Attention” climbs to #2 and appears to be the successor to “Wasted My Love” at the top, but we will see in two weeks…

  • Not to be discounted, Philadelphia’s NiGHTS keep it going, rising 5-3 with the quirky and infectious indie release “P A R T Y”.
  • Bubbling under the Top 10 has paid off for “Never Been Better” by Dutch producer/DJ Steve Void, which climbs 11-8, becoming Steve’s second Top 10 solo entry following “Chemistry” (#10) earlier this year.
  • UK producer Murky arrives at #9 with the lovely “Heavy-Hearted”, featuring Polish singer Anuka, currently available as a free download.
  • And another free download gives L.A.’s Bobby Nourmand his second Top 10 entry, “D U S T”.  It follows the #1 hip hop/EDM grabber “D E E P in NY”.

Movin’ On Up

  • There aren’t many ‘story songs’ on the dance music scene, but one that works very well is the tell-it-like-it-is “Silent Games” by Lars Beck & Henri Purnell featuring Hawaiian vocalist Zekt.  It climbs 16-11 and is also a free download!

  • Besides Axel Mansoor, Martin Garrix is the other performer in the chart who has two entries.  The fun instrumental club banger “Byte” (above), with fellow Dutchman Brooks, soars 19-12, while Martin’s pop collaboration with Troye Sivan on “There For You” (below) moves up 29-22.

  • Welcome To The Hotel’s indie pop release “Darlin”, featuring vocalist Brandon Serafino, gets transformed with a clubby sax break by remix duo Saxena, and climbs 22-15.  It’s available as a free download too!
  • The fastest riser on the chart should come to you as no surprise.  Cosmos & Creature are BILLCS Top 30 chart veterans Molly Moore and Brandyn Burnette with their best collaboration yet “Bad Drug”, which vaults 26-17.
  • One jam you should definitely give a chance is Anton Ewald’s “L.I.L.Y.” (Like I Love You), which climbs 27-20.  Check out the flashy ‘all Anton’ video directed by his fiancée.

  • Singer/songwriter/actor Reeve Carney continues on his club tour in North America to support his debut album Youth Is Wasted.  From that album, the soulful and gritty “Truth” moves up 28-21.

Three Debuts

  • The highest debut on the chart at #23 looks to be a long-term favourite of mine for 2017, the joyous “Astronauts”.  It’s a collaboration between three Danes and a Scot and it’s absolutely magnetic.  It will be hard to remember the artists – Christian Boye & Christian Sigvardt & MAGNÜS featuring vocalist Uhre – so best to go pick it up at your favourite digital store now!

  • The second debut is the first appearance on this chart by Las Vegas’ Killers since 2009’s “A Dustland Fairytale”.  Brandon Flowers are back in the form that we enjoyed them best with their new wave/disco splashed “The Man” at #27.

  • One half of the UK X Factor contestants Same Difference, which achieved some popularity domestically, is singer Sean Smith, who is now solo with the gorgeous “Magic”, which has international club potential thanks to a thoughtful remix by Andy Sikorski.  “Magic” bows at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Planet Radio Canada is on hiatus and will return http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂

 

Philadelphia’s @NiGHTS_official kicks it back with “W A V E”

NiGHTS, “W A V E”

If you think Philadelphia duo NiGHTS were strictly all about play, with their infectious song “P A R T Y” riding high at #5 on my personal chart, then for contrast purposes         “W A V E” might just be for you.  This is a softer, midtempo song for just after midnight, in what we used to call the “quiet storm” setting back in the day.  It draws from 90’s R. Kelly, Aaliyah, Timbaland, and a lot of other songs by performers who laid some of the groundwork for R&B today.  By the way, the ‘wave’ here ain’t the one in the water.  Check it out at the link above.

Published in: on June 20, 2017 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #511 – June 12, 2017

The new chart is definitely shakin’ and stirred – many songs make big leaps while other favourites tumble.  Yet there somehow is still room enough for four debuts.

I’m not sure if this has ever happened before on my chart in its 19 year history, but the both new #1… and the fastest rising song on the chart… belong to one performer, who happens to be L.A. indie singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor.

The Top 10

  • The sweet-voiced pop/R&B singer who tells it like it is climbs to #1 with a song that draws you in from first listen, “Wasted My Love” (up top).  And not too far behind at #8 is his follow up, the lovely and resolute “Out Of My Head” (below), the fastest riser on the chart, soaring 21-8 in its second appearance.  They are both free downloads for now so pick them up while you have access to them 🙂  Axel is a talent who won’t go unnoticed!
  • Also making a huge move 15-3 is a number one contender, “Attention” by Charlie Puth, becoming his highest placing song on the chart thus far.  That R&B bassline seals the deal!

  • I still can’t get enough of Alesso’s “Falling”, which is up a notch 5-4.

  • The song that moves up 11-5 has a wonky kind of charm with its rhythm, matched up with a soulful vocal with a dash of grit, and a chorus that will get stuck in your head and stay there.  It’s by Philadelphia duo NiGHTS with “P A R T Y”.
  • L.A. based producer/remixer Spirix is getting comfortable again in my Top 10, following last year’s #5 “Take Me Apart” and a #1 remix of Brandon Skeie’s “So Bad”.  Paired with Floridians Xuitcasecity “Runaway” has a lot of charm and climbs 8-6.

  • L.A. pervades my Top 10 with Virginian transplant Eddy Faulkner obtaining his first Top Tenner here with “Cruel” moving 12-9.  Though his voice is front and centre, I love the rich backdrop of production that surrounds it.

Movin’ On Up

  • It’s hard to stop listening to a song that’s been out for a while but has a killer vocal and rhythm track.  That happens to be “Never Been Better” by young Dutchman Steve Void, which continues to rise, up 14-11.
  • One of the most downright intriguing songs of the year is “Silent Games” by German producers Lars Beck and Henri Purnell, with vocals from Honolulu native Zekt.  Remixer UOAK recently gives it a lush deep house flavour while retaining the song’s mystery.  Get it for free at the link below.  “Silent Games” rises 20-16.
  • Martin Garrix and his Dutch bro Brooks move up 24-19 with their hard-to-ignore instrumental “Byte”.  And joining it on the chart is “There For You”, with Martin’s other bro, one Troye Sivan, and it bows at #29.

  • The other two debuts from two weeks ago will be contenders in the coming weeks.  I honesty never thought Shawn Mendes would appear on my chart but he’s here with the Bryan Adams-ish “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” up 27-21, while right behind it is the Saxena house remix of “Darlin'” by Welcome To The Hotel featuring singer Brandon Serafino, climbing 28-22.

The Remaining Three Debuts

  • Despite Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore’s own many chart entries, their duo Cosmos & Creature lands on the chart with an original, the total winner “Bad Drug”, at #26.  CnC first appeared on the chart as featured in Vicetone’s “Bright Side” about a year ago.
  • Sweden’s Anton Ewald returns with just his first name but also with a very hot R&B-influenced song (and a flashy, all-Anton video), “L.I.L.Y.” (aka “Like I Love You”) at #27.  It’s his first appearance in about two years, and all of his songs that have appeared in this chart have reached the Top 10.  “L.I.L.Y.” looks like it could follow that trend 🙂

  • He’s played Spider-Man on Broadway, and both Dorian Gray and Rocky Horror’s Riff Raff on TV, but before all of that he was a NYC local with his brother in their band Carney.  Reeve Carney finally has his debut solo album out called Youth Is Wasted.  I got to see his set and meet the man a few weeks back, and “Truth” is a highlight from the set and the album, arriving at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Planet Radio Canada is on hiatus and will return http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂

UK hit “When The Bassline Drops” puts @CraigDavid (featuring @BigNarstie) back in form

craigdavid2

CRAIG DAVID featuring BIG NARSTIE, “When The Bassline Drops”

It’s like a homecoming when a talented performer finds the right song to get his groove on again.  Such is the case with “When The Bassline Drops”, which would be no special event had the stylish vocal not been by Craig David, who deserves a place back on international radio with this one.  It’s slick business that would sit comfortably next to Craig’s earlier smashes “Fill Me In” or “7 Days”.  UK hip hopper Big Narstie’s break is not out of place and helps move the song along.  Remixes could help this one get to the top of dance club charts too.  Do yourself a favour and pick up this surprise on iTunes.

Published in: on January 13, 2016 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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