Tag Archives: Afrojack

RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (July 2015) (Part One)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new singles will be lighting up the national charts during the month. Which tracks will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a small selection of new songs being serviced in July on the CHR and Hot AC formats in the first part of this month’s Radio Report:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

Demi Lovato
DEMI LOVATO – “Cool For The Summer” (July 7) (*)
Label: Safehouse/Island/Republic/Hollywood
We have a number of singers on the chart at the moment that are (or were) associated with the Walt Disney family, as Lovato has a partnership with both her longtime label and a new home that was set by her manager, Phil McIntyre. “Cool” is a slick single for the season that was co-written and produced by Max Martin. Fun and fresh, it’s bound to be a big hit in her catalog. Soak it all up.

Afrojack
AFROJACK featuring MIKE TAYLOR – “SummerThing!” (July 14) (*)
Label: Def Jam
Dutch DJ/producer Nick van de Wall stands a very tall 6′ 10″, and his last main-credited single to reach this particular chart, “Ten Feet Tall”, propelled him to new heights when it peaked at #19 last year. Now, he’s throwing his hat into the ring with a “summer” title that could face some competition from Lovato’s new song. However, he and newcomer Taylor are ready for some radio rays.

Alessia Cara
ALESSIA CARA – “Here” (July 14) (*)
Label: Def Jam/EP Entertainment
Newcomer Cara, born and raised in the Toronto area, is poised to see some huge numbers later this year as her single develops at radio across several formats. (It is also building at Rhythmic and Urban radio at the moment.) Spotify has been one of the driving forces behind its success, having accumulated millions of streams before ever being serviced. She and her song are “Here” to stay.

Avicii
AVICII (uncredited vocal by SIMON ALDRED) – “Waiting For Love” (July 14) (*)
Label: PRMD/Island/Republic
Late last year, the Swedish DJ/producer released an EP called The Days / Nights, which featured two cuts that were either pulled (“The Days”) or tanked (“The Nights”) when released to radio despite positive streaming numbers. The latest attempt to launch a new album titled Stories is this single, already a #1 in Austria, Norway and his native Sweden. Let’s hope U.S. radio remembers it.

Little Mix
LITTLE MIX – “Black Magic” (July 14) (*)
Label: Syco/Columbia
The former The X Factor winners from the U.K. have been very successful across the pond and on the Billboard 200, where their two studio albums thus far have both debuted in the top ten, but the quartet has yet to receive a big pop radio hit here. “Wings” is still their highest charting cut, peaking at #24 on the format in 2013. Still, this pop potion may cast a spell on more programmers.

Travie McCcoy
TRAVIE MCCOY featuring SIA – “Golden” (July 14) (*)
Label: Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic
After McCoy’s “Rough Water” swam up to #20 in late 2013, things have been, well, rough for the performer at pop radio. After a second single failed to chart, two of his features stalled in the 40’s earlier this year. Luckily, things are shining brighter for the 33-year-old now that he’s teamed up with the red hot Australian singer/songwriter. It could be a fall favorite for fans and radio alike.

Icona Pop
ICONA POP – “Emergency” (July 21) (*)
Label: Big Beat/Atlantic
It felt like you couldn’t escape this duo’s “I Love It” in the spring and summer of 2013 as it slowly climbed up to a peak of #2 at the format. Though the two have managed a pair of charting singles since then, nothing’s come close to the love for “Love”. The latest single from them could ring the musical alarm, a solid dance sound sprinkled with an uncredited vocal from the great Erik Hassle.

Tove Lo
TOVE LO – “Timebomb” (July 28) (*)
Label: Island/Republic
The Queen of the Clouds has ruled over CHR radio since last year with the #1 “Habits (Stay High)” and a recent top five follow-up in “Talking Body”. Now, I suppose we’ll be talking about this third single, which has fans divided based on the reaction thus far. It may not be the most popular pick, but the tune will likely gain for some time given her momentum. Will it stay ticking or explode?

Which of these new songs would you like to see on top of the charts? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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POP! Goes The Interview: Wrabel

He's a "Tall" cool one.

He’s a “Tall” cool one.

“Sideways”:

You know him as the voice behind Afrojack‘s current chart hit, “Ten Feet Tall”, and perhaps you just saw him performing during Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series. He’s a talented pianist and vocalist and an all-around nice guy; at least, according to his Twitter description he is, but I can definitely confirm that. His featured spot has propelled him into the national spotlight, but as far as a budding solo career, he’s ready, willing and Wrabel.

Born Stephen Wrabel, the performer who bills himself by just his last name currently records for Island Records (radio via Republic Records) and this past Tuesday, his EP titled Sideways became available. The four song effort features a solo cut of “Ten” as his voice smoothly glides along with the piano, absolutely worthy of some AC and Hot AC play. (Hope his label is taking notes!) The effortlessly beautiful “Sideways” starts on a calm stride before packing a pop punch, while the smooth “Give It Time” and wildly impressive “Into The Wild” make for a great listening experience in a mid-90’s piano pop meets modern-day production set. It’s certainly a nice introduction before his eventual full-length album is issued.

Between all his plane flights and performances this week, Wrabel graciously took a few moments out of his release week schedule to answer some questions about his new EP, songwriting, the charts and more for a PGTC interview. Enjoy!

PGTC: Thanks for taking the time to do this! How exciting is it to finally have an EP of music out there ready for people to listen to?
SW: absolutely! thank you. ah i can’t even express how glad i am to have some music out there. it’s a crazy feeling seeing my face next to some of my favorite artists on the “new releases” section of iTunes. i guess we picked a good week to release! haa. quite intimidating, but also just so crazy. hard to believe, really.

PGTC: I really enjoy “Into The Wild” and (EP title track) “Sideaways”, but there are some great melodies and fantastic vocal performances. It captures the best of both worlds, a straightforward piano-driven pop sound and a more experimental nature. What was it like crafting this batch of songs and is there one in particular that’s your favorite?
SW: well thanks! it was an…interesting process. the EP has been a long time coming for me. i’ve been writing and writing and really just searching for those moments of magic. i’ve found while writing that you sometimes encounter some sort of unexplainable…something…that comes out to play. you can’t force it and you have to just run like hell after it as it comes. i was given such an incredible opportunity to travel so much making the record — something that has impacted the sounds and emotions in a big, big way. you mentioned “into the wild” — a song i wrote with one of my favorite artists actually, dan black, and one of the best guys i know (and most talented…) drew pearson, in dan’s studio in paris. it came after a long day of work on another song that seemed to be stuck. “sideways” was a very special day with jim eliot and dan mcdougall, both of whom also co-wrote “give it time” with me. hmm. a favorite, i’m not sure i can say. it was important to me that every song selected for the EP (and the upcoming full length) be something special. i think i can say that? haa. i consider every song a sort of snapshot…maybe like a scene in a movie. something that is this one moment here and now. this is what i’m feeling. this is what i’m thinking. this is what i wish i could say, but just can’t seem to get out right. insert the BIGGEST thanks to all of my collaborators here. without them, there is nothing. did i ramble? i tend to ramble.

PGTC: The success of “Ten Feet Tall” has been amazing to watch, both in your solo version and with Afrojack’s remix. When you originally wrote the song a few years ago, did you expect it to connect with as many people as it has?
SW: short answer: no. long answer: nooooo. haa. “ten feet tall” has been a special one for me since about halfway through the day chris braide and i wrote it. i could just feel it. he could too. it’s so rare to feel that. but so, so fun. i came in that day and he was just playing the opening piano theme and i sat down, pressed record, and started singing. it was one of the only times i’ve come into a session with a title. i had “ten feet tall” all in my brain. what could it mean? how could we say it? what does it sound like? it was a little over two years later that nick (afrojack) heard it at the universal building. he told me later on something like “this is how i heard it” — referring to what is now his first US single from his new record. nick is so gifted. brilliant, really, at capturing the emotion of a song and just playing it up and up and up and up. that song is a permagrin for me now, and it’s been so rewarding to see people’s reactions to it. to see that many people dancing, smiling, singing along…it’s unreal. i’ve even gotten a few messages on facebook // twitter from people that are using “ten feet tall” in their weddings. i cry. i just cry. haa.

PGTC: A number of outlets have picked up on “Ten”. I myself saw a clip of the video riding in a taxi in New York City a few weeks back. However, the journey of this song got a major boost in February when it was featured in Bud Light’s Super Bowl ad. What did you think when you first heard about the plan and how was it for you actually seeing it come to life?
SW: i think my first words to my manager were something like, “HOLY SH*T. WAIT WHEN IS THE SUPER BOWL?” … i just didn’t know. i don’t do football, really. ok let’s move on. i couldn’t believe it. the super bowl? THE SUPER BOWL? it’s just crazy. that’s just what it is. and re: the new york cab bit — i plan on hiring taxis until i find one with it playing. hehe. i mean c’mon. that is nuts. “ten feet tall” in a taxi??

PGTC: I imagine that since “Ten” is ranking on several airplay surveys here, along with international lists, that you’re checking some of them out. How avid of a chart watcher are you with both your own releases and songs that you’ve written for others?
SW: i’m guilty of a stopped-at-a-red-light-check-the-charts kind of thing for sure. i try to stay off of them for the most part, but have definitely started paying more attention now that “ten feet tall” has been charting. when i saw that the “now: 50” album — featuring “ten feet tall” — came out at no.1 on billboard, i was sure to grab a few issues of that week’s billboard and mail them to my family…maybe kept one for my coffee table…

PGTC: Since the World Cup is still going on, are you partial to any sport in particular or is music still your favorite workout?
SW: let’s go with the latter… i had some friends over to watch a world cup game and ended up leaving to go to a bookstore about twenty minutes in. playing the piano can burn around 171 calories an hour. that’s about all the sport i need.

PGTC: Final question – everybody’s waiting on whatever could be the next “surprise album” to be released. Who do you think could do it next and would you ever entertain the idea?
SW: why not beyoncé again? she nailed it the first time. it was such a fun feeling to wake up to a new beyoncé album // whole set of videos. i’d like to have that feeling again someday. if you guys see her, let her know. green light. hmm i’m not sure i would // not sure i wouldn’t. i’m pretty up for whatever — any way to get music out there and keep things interesting.


Thanks again to the music man himself for some great answers and be sure to check out the new tunes and his ongoing adventures by clicking the links below.

Download the Sideways EP at these digital retailers: AmazonMP3, iTunes

Follow Wrabel on social media: Facebook, InstagramTwitter

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TURN IT UP MONDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (May 19)

Viva la Coldplay.

They keep it chill.

There’s a battle brewing on the schedule this week with at least three acts looking to put up six figure numbers — perhaps one would call it “a sky full of stars”, yes? (NOTE: some releases may still not be out until Tuesday dependent on record label availability/iTunes response time.) Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of May 19:

  • Call it “Magic”, call it new: today marks the release of the new album from Coldplay, Ghost Stories, which has been streaming on iTunes for the past few days. At nine tracks in length, it’s the band’s shortest album to date. (A Target exclusive deluxe edition lifts that total to twelve.) The current radio single from it is “A Sky Full Of Stars”, co-produced with Avicii. Expect this to debut at #1 on the album chart just as their last three albums have. (iTunes) (Read my review of Ghost Stories)
  • Following in a close second place is the latest effort from Country singer Brantley Gilbert, titled Just As I Am. Lead single “Bottoms Up” recently topped the Country chart and second single “Small Town Throwdown”, a collaboration with Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, just made a significant debut on that same chart as aided by a first day Clear Channel deal. Will it reach Platinum status as Halfway To Heaven did? It could happen. (iTunes)
  • Former American Idol winner Phillip Phillips goes Behind The Light on his sophomore album, which features the current top ten Hot AC hit, “Raging Fire”. Though the song hasn’t garnered as much airplay or sales as “Home” or “Gone, Gone, Gone” as of yet, the album is a lock for a high debut thanks to his large fan base. (iTunes)
  • Looking to score their seventh top ten album on the Billboard 200, The Roots are out with their latest effort, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. I’m sure you’ll be seeing them promote it at their late night home, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, this week. No singles from it have charted thus far. (iTunes)
  • Move over, Frozen, there’s a new soundtrack in town catching a lot of early attention. It’s a collection of songs from the forthcoming film The Fault In Our Stars, due in movie theaters on June 6. The set features all original songs by acts like Birdy, Ed Sheeran, Grouplove and more. (Feels sold separately.) (iTunes)
  • Other releases out this week include: Afrojack‘s Forget The World (iTunes), Conor Oberst‘s Upside Down Mountain (iTunes), Hedley‘s Wild Life (iTunes), Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band‘s Goin’ Home (iTunes), Melanie Martinez‘s Dollhouse (EP) (iTunes) and the original Broadway soundtrack to The Bridges Of Madison County (iTunes).

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “Bartender”, the first single from the forthcoming album by Lady Antebellum. (iTunes)
  • “Keep Us Safe”, a live track from Country singer Carrie Underwood. (iTunes)
  • “Get Her Back”, a new single from Robin Thicke. Wonder who this song is about? (iTunes)
  • “Love Someone”, new from Jason Mraz‘s forthcoming album. (iTunes)
  • “Mission”, a new single from rapper Lupe Fiasco. (iTunes)
  • “Somethin’ Bad”, a collaboration between Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. (iTunes)

Mariah Carey‘s Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse comes into the light next week, while Austin Mahone makes a splash with his EP titled The Secret. Which musical mystery will take the crown? A full preview is coming on Tuesday!

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Let’s Dance: Producers Taking Over The Pop Scene

Tired of hearing the same old Calvin Harris and David Guetta-produced songs on the radio day after day? After a while, they all seem to sound the same. Well, here are four producers who haven’t seen a lot of chart success to date in the U.S., but watch out! They’re climbing towards the top of the turntables (and station playlists) with their new releases to the CHR format. Check them out and don’t be afraid to shake a little something once you pump up the volume.

You've got a "Friend".

You’ve got a “Friend”.

AFROJACK & CHRIS BROWN – “As Your Friend”
Current Position: #36

25-year-old Nick Van de Wall has been on the charts in his native Netherlands since 2006, but is slowly finding a following in the United States. You probably best know Afrojack from his 2011 single, “Take Over Control”, featuring vocalist Eva Simons, though he also had a featured credit on Pitbull‘s big smash “Give Me Everything”, which went to #1. His latest single is another big anthem featuring Chris Brown, which will likely discourage some listeners from pressing play. However, the guy’s a decent singer and I’m trying to separate the personality from the musician. (I obviously don’t condone what he’s done in his personal life in the last few years.) I’ve listened to his dance-leaning singles quite a bit like “Turn Up The Music” and “Yeah 3X”, and this one is no exception. It’s big and in-your-face, maybe a tad too harsh-sounding for mainstream radio, but it gets the job done. Brown hasn’t made the top ten on the format since 2011. Let’s see if this one gets the job done. It’s already entered the top 40 despite some fierce competition.

Boys on film.

Boys on film.

BENNY BENASSI featuring GARY GO – “Cinema”
Current Position: #50

Sometimes it takes mere weeks to have hit, sometimes it takes years. The latter statement neatly fits in with this song from Italian DJ Benny Benassi and English singer Gary Go that was originally released in Europe two years ago, yet is just now becoming a hit record at mainstream radio. The highest position it achieved in its initial release was #20 in the United Kingdom, though it made the top 40 in a few other European countries. The song’s sold north of one million copies in the United States as well, but has never made the Hot 100 or the Dance/Club Play Chart. How come? Lackluster radio support, especially at top-40 radio, though it finally seems to be picking up now. By the way, Gary Go‘s 2009 single, “Wonderful”, was a #1 hit on my personal chart. Great tune. The song’s been issued to radio in two forms: the original mix, and a remix done by Skrillex. It’s already built up a good-sized audience given its positioning on the chart, so, don’t be surprised if this one finally becomes the hit it was determined to be for the last twenty-odd months.

"One" more try at Pop success.

“One” more try at Pop success.

AVICII vs. NICKY ROMERO – “I Could Be The One”
Current Position: not listed; just released

Two producers, one track, and neither of them sing on it. Sweden’s Avicii meets Nicky Romero from the Netherlands on this single, which features a Swedish studio singer named Noonie Bao on it. Bao’s been credited as the main vocals on other album by Swedish acts in the past few years, though none of them have hit Stateside. Romero’s never released here either, and Avicii made a minor hit in the States out of “Levels”, the original composition that sampled Etta James‘s “Something’s Got A Hold Of Me” before Flo Rida started rapping all over it in “Good Feeling”. Of course, with that kind of feeling, it went to the top. “One” has already been a top five hit in Finland, Ireland and Sweden and is likely to be the new #1 single in the United Kingdom on this weekend’s chart reveal. Whether that will translate into perhaps a late spring or early summer hit in the U.S. has yet to be seen, but it’s already zipping up the Dance/Club Play survey with an impressive 44-22 leap on the February 16 edition. As the title suggests, it could be the one to break them all here.

Not a hot John Mayer remake.

Not a hot John Mayer remake.

ZEDD featuring FOXES – “Clarity”
Current Position: not listed; below the top 50

Anton Zaslavski is only 23-years-old, but he’s made a name for himself as Zedd, releasing singles for about three years now. He’s also the main producer behind Lady Gaga‘s forthcoming ARTPOP album, due later this year. The Russian-born producer made a minor splash on the mainstream scene last year with “Spectrum”, which featuring a vocal from Matthew Koma, but it quickly faded away despite a #1 placing on the Dance/Club Play chart. (Koma is best known as the boyfriend of pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen.) This new release topped the same chart, but this time, it’s Foxes singing the song, an English dance artist who hasn’t seen any exposure here before. His star is definitely climbing fast; in fact, he co-produced the recent Justin Bieber/Nicki Minaj top ten entry, “Beauty And A Beat”. The song goes for adds on March 5, but is already starting to rise on iTunes and get a little bit of pre-impact play. Look for this one to do the damage that “Spectrum” couldn’t last year.

Are there any other EDM favorites you could see doing well on popular radio and the Billboard Hot 100? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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