Tag Archives: Jay Sean

RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (February 2017)

Radio Report - February 2017

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new releases will be lighting up your local station’s playlist during the month. Which tunes will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here’s a selection of new singles being serviced in February in this month’s Radio Report:

GNASH featuring JOHNNY YUKON – “Home” (Atlantic, February 7 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Singer Garrett Nash, along with Olivia O’Brien, had a slow ride up the chart in 2016 with “i hate u, i love u” (#5).

JAMES HERSEY – “Miss You” (Glassnote, February 7 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Hersey was the vocalist on Dillon Francis and Kygo’s “Coming Over”, which quickly peaked at #36 in April 2016.

THE VAMPS & MATOMA – “All Night” (Island/Republic, February 7 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: The British group has struggled at the format; their biggest hit, “Somebody To You”, briefly got to #50 in 2014.

HARDWELL featuring JAY SEAN – “Thinking About You” (Epic, February 14 – CHR/Top 40)
Album: TBA
Past CHR History: Sean had a run of five top 40 hits between 2009 and 2011, but has struggled to find an audience in recent years.

GROUPLOVE – “Good Morning” (Canvasback/Atlantic, February 7 – Alternative)
Album: Big Mess (2016)
Past ALT History: The California band was in the top five late last year with “Welcome To Your Life”. Will they be welcomed back?

AMERICAN AUTHORS – “I’m Born To Run” (Island/Republic, February 14 – Alternative)
Album: What We Live For (2016)
Past ALT History: The quartet last charted at this format in 2014 with “Best Day Of My Life” (#18), a #1 song on the Hot AC listing.

COLD WAR KIDS – “Love Is Mystical” (Capitol, February 14 – Alternative)
Album: TBA
Past ALT History: Some stations just can’t get rid of “First”, which spent seven weeks at #1 in 2015. Hope they make room for this!

DEPECHE MODE – “Where’s The Revolution” (Columbia, February 14 – Alternative)
Album: Spirit (2017)
Past ALT History: They’ve had an incredible stretch of 19 chart singles since 1989, with four reaching #1. They last charted in 2013.

Which of these new songs would you like to see on the charts later this year? Let me know!

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Ahead Of Their Time: Song Titles From The Future

What year is it again?

What year is it again?

Already a sleeper top ten hit on the Rhythmic survey, “3005” by Childish Gambino is set to crossover to CHR radio in roughly a week and a half as the first pop release from his album of last year, Because The Internet. You might remember that in 2012, his song “Heartbeat” gained some pop play and wound up just below the top 40. We’ll see what happens with Glassnote’s latest attempt to break the rapper at the format. (Thus far, it’s just scratched the Hot 100.)

The year 3005, as found in the title, doesn’t occur for another 991 years, and it got me thinking about other chart hits that were ahead of their time. Of course, I mean in terms of a year in the title, not in terms of content; that’s a whole other post or five. So, enjoy as I go reelin’ in the years from some of these Billboard top 40 time predictors:

“In The Year 2525”, Zager & Evans (1969)
Denny Zager and Rick Evans formed their duo several years before recording their epic hit, the tale about a world plagued by the dangers of technology and the future of a dehumanized race. Despite a dark message, the single connected with the buying public. “Year” spent six weeks at #1 during the summer of ’69; a followup, “Mr. Turnkey”, just missed the Hot 100.

“1999”, Prince and the Revolution (1982-3)
A funky party from the future came into our lives three decades ago and it’s still all over the airwaves in 2014. As much of a classic as it is today, the first single from the Purple One’s album of the same name actually peaked just below the top 40 in its first chart run during the fall of ’82. In a rerelease the next summer, it rose to a better #12 before it was “out of time.”

“Year 3000”, The Jonas Brothers (2007)
Remember when these guys were still around? Before the underwhelming solo careers and the messy group split before a series of concerts last year, the trio of Joe, Kevin and Nick were riding high on the Hot 100 with this song, originally done by another trio – the U.K. band Busted. With a few minor lyric adjustments, the three Brothers took their version to #31.

“2012 (It Ain’t The End)”, Jay Sean featuring Nicki Minaj (2010)
After two big U.S. radio hits with “Down” and “Do You Remember?”, this British performer played into the theory that the world would end on December 21, 2012 for his third Stateside single. However, like that daunting event, the notion of this song blowing up didn’t actually happen. Released too early to make a significant impact, it quickly peaked at #31 that fall.

Which one of these top hits from the time machine leaps forward on your playlist? Let me know! Comment below or click on the “Get Social!” tab above to find PGTC on Facebook and Twitter.

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POP! Goes The Interview: Kevin Rudolf

"Don't Give Up" on him.

“Don’t Give Up” on him.

In 2008, a then 25-year-old Kevin Rudolf landed all over the airwaves with the hit “Let It Rock”, featuring rapper Lil Wayne. It went to #5 on the Hot 100 and garnered download sales of over 4 million copies in the U.S. alone. Though he had been in the industry for several years prior as a session musician, most notably on Timbaland‘s 2007 album Shock Value, “Rock” gave Rudolf his first taste of success as a solo act. Through collaborations with acts like Birdman and Jay Sean (“I Made It”) and Flo Rida (“You Make The Rain Fall”), he built up his name in the industry and on both the sales and airplay charts. He’s accumulated five top 50 entries on CHR radio to date. He was also behind hits for Cobra Starship, Lifehouse and Selena Gomez & The Scene, and the guy keeps on working at it as he should.

Although Rudolf originally brought a sound that mixed rock and R&B elements, that has evolved over the years. In 2012, he released the light and poppy “Don’t Give Up”, and though it wasn’t an overwhelming success, it did show another side to him. Now, he returns with the single “Here’s To Us”, co-written by Rudolf and Larry Nacht, a song reminiscent of offerings by the Plain White T’s (“1, 2, 3, 4”) and The Lumineers (“Ho Hey”). It may be familiar musically, but at the core of it, the song is a genuine reminder to live for the good times even in the worst of them. It’s an anthem for the underdog and the misunderstood. So far, radio seems to like both the message and the single: in the past three weeks, “Us” has accumulated adds at 18 CHR stations and currently sits in the top 100 at the format. I talked the him via email about his latest project and this fine change in direction — but don’t call it mellow yellow (as I did not so quite rightly.) Read on below:

PGTC: “Here’s To Us” takes you in a new direction musically, which is a lot mellower than some of your past material. What inspired the change?
KR: Things change; if you stand still, you die. Besides, what’s mellow about it? I mean, anything you play on an acoustic guitar’s gonna sound “mellower.” Or folkier. Or whatever. Nirvana sounded softer when they played acoustically, but it still kicked ass. It’s the words, the feelings, the whole idea – and if anything, it comes out more when you strip it down a little. That’s where the real power is. When you really listen, I’d actually say this rocks harder than anything I’ve ever done.

PGTC: Since you’re in the process of putting together a third album, is “Us” indicative the sound of it or is it more of a mix of genres?
KR: I let the marketing people figure out the genre. The sound is really dictated by whatever gets the idea across better, and that’s not really up to me either. I mean, I could craft a good song, but, to get the magic, you gotta just leave yourself open to it. I’m not thinking, “Is it hip hop? Is it rock?” etc. I’m thinking, “Is it true to me?” Whatever I gotta do to get at that truth, I’ll do.

PGTC: Most people know you as a singer, but you also produce, write and play the guitar. Which one of these do you like to do best?
KR: Wait, I do all those things? Then, I gotta get paid more, man. No, I don’t think of it that way. They all go hand in hand. If I’m playing a riff on guitar, I’m already producing it, ’cause I’m thinking about how I’m going to make this sound like what’s in my head, you know? So, yeah, I’m kind of a one-man band when I’m writing, playing and producing, but I don’t really separate it into different jobs like that. It all kind of happens simultaneously.

PGTC: This summer now marks 5 years since “Let It Rock” first made the airplay charts, which is amazing, but a lot has changed in the industry since it was released. Would you change anything about your career if you could go back and fix it?
KR: A lot’s changed and nothing’s changed. It’s still about doing a good song and getting it listened to. It’s still about trying to reach a lot of people with your message. There’s just a lot more ways to do that now, and that’s cool. “Rock” was massive, which is why we’re talking about it. Luckily, there were quite a few other hits that I either wrote or produced, plus a few more of my own. So, that paid the bills and I’m able to do what I want on this album. I wouldn’t change anything. I’m quite happy where things are.

PGTC: Alright, last question, since everybody seems to be fixated on it at the moment. Weigh in: the duel of the divas. Katy Perry’s “Roar” vs. Lady Gaga’s “Applause”. Which one are you liking better?
KR: Well, Gaga was just starting when I had “Rock” blowing up. She actually went and bought it at the time. So, I kind of owe her.

So, he might live for the “Applause”, but he also lives to entertain, as he’s doing on his new single. Thanks to Mr. Rudolf for his sense of humor and for willing to do this! You can watch the video for “Here’s To Us” and download it below. Plus, keep looking for more interviews and music news right here on PGTC!

Music Video:

Download “Here’s To Us” on these digital retailers:
Buy “Here’s To Us” on iTunes. / Buy “Here’s To Us” on AmazonMP3.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (June 25)

He's a "Bad" boy.

He’s a “Bad” boy.

There’s a little R&B and a little rock on the update this week, even if it’s not the most interesting set of releases. Here’s what’s in stores today, June 25:

  • Next week’s highest debut, though probably not at #1, will be the latest album by rapper Wale. His 2011 album Ambition went Gold, and now he returns with The Gifted. First single “Bad” features Tiara Thomas and a remix of it features Rihanna. (iTunes)
  • Christian rockers Skillet went to #2 with their last album, 2009’s Awake. Well, awake they are, as they Rise up the charts with their new album. (iTunes)
  • Performing her hits like “Girl On Fire” and “No One”, Alicia Keys is out with her session for VH1 Storytellers in a both a CD-only edition and CD/DVD combo. (iTunes)
  • Soul singer India.Arie is back this week with Songversation, her first effort in four years. The lead single, “Cocoa Butter”, is wrapping up a run at Urban AC radio. (iTunes)
  • She and her siblings lit up the Hot 100 in the 1970’s as the Staple Singers; now, 73-year-old Mavis Staples has a new studio album out, One True Vine. It’s produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. (iTunes)
  • With their first album featuring new lead singer Todd La Torre, Queensryche return with a self-titled effort that’s already garnering a lot of buzz in the rock world. (iTunes)
  • Rockers Middle Class Rut are out with Pick Up Your Head, featuring the recent Alternative single, “Aunt Betty”. (iTunes)
  • Other albums out this week include: Amon Amarth‘s Deceiver Of The Gods (iTunes), the Jerry Garcia Band‘s Garcia Live Volume Two (iTunes) and the Mermaids Of Alcatraz Tour Edition of Train‘s California 37 (iTunes).

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

  • “Drinks After Work”, the latest from Country superstar Toby Keith. (iTunes)
  • “Drunk Last Night”, new from the Eli Young Band. (iTunes)
  • “Entertainment”, a fresh digital single from rapper Sean Paul‘s forthcoming album. (iTunes)
  • “First Time”, the second single from a new album by the Jonas Brothers. (iTunes)
  • “Forget You”, from pop singer Cady Groves. (iTunes)
  • “Knock It Off”, the first single from K-Ci and JoJo in over a decade. (iTunes)
  • “Tie It Up”, a country ditty from Kelly Clarkson. (iTunes)

Next week’s big album is one you can get for free via Samsung: Jay-Z‘s Magna Carta Holy Grail. However, there are also new albums from Joe and Relient K, so come back in seven for all the new stuff!

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