HITS Daily Double
The 19-year-old up-and-coming U.K. producer DEVI just released his latest track, "Librium." He's putting it out via his own label, Illusiv, in conjunction with Access Records. The track, which you can listen to below, features vocals from emerging singer/songwriter Y.a.s. DEVI has produced remixes of Aaliyah and Drake cuts that have picked up more than 3m SoundCloud streams (and 2.5m on Spotify). Official remixes for ZAYN, Rudimental, Lion Babe and more have since followed. He's also seen some BBC Radio 1 airplay from high profile names including Danny Howard and Annie Nightingale. "Librium" follows two releases on Illusiv and a collection of official remixes and bootlegs, including a rendition of Calvin Harris "Bounce," which garnered 8.5m+ streams. Expect to see more original releases from DEVI come 2018, and check out his current stuff here.
Seattle-born duo Crater has released the premier single off their forthcoming sophomore album, Unearth. "Novocaine" is the first taste of new music from Kessiah Gordon and Ceci Gomez since the trance-y ode to feminism "My Body" came out via SoundCloud in April. You're encouraged to check it out below. The women of Crater have been known to do West Coast tours that are a treat for those of us stationed in Los Angeles, but they don't have anything currently on the docket. They did, however, just play the KEXP stage at Bumbershoot and have received plenty of accolades since forming. You can look forward to the release of Unearth, which they're dropping independently on 1/12/18.
The debut of Tropicalia Festival in Long Beach, CA went off with next to no hitches. With plenty of free tacos to gorge upon, a diverse lineup and a sold-out venue, set against the legendary retired RMS Queen Mary ocean liner, it’s safe to say the inaugural event was a success. Hosted by The Observatory—the folks behind Day N Night and One Love Fest—the event, appreciated for its intimate and easygoing vibe, took place on 11/11 at the Queen Mary Event Park. While the lineup leaned heavily on Latin acts, such as Chicano Batman and Kali Uchis, the festival also featured local experimentalists like Cuco and Madlib, as well as acts from the hip-hop and urban contemporary corners of mainstream music. With minimal lineup scheduling conflicts, HITS' own Ranya Khoury hit up as many performances as she could between tortilla-filled breaks. In a bittersweet turn of events, Squaaash Club's GoldLink, whose single “Crew” is certified platinum, had to cancel his set to welcome a newborn son into the world. Meanwhile Mom+Pop's Alina Baraz had a characteristically smokey set, featuring songs from her & Galamatias' collaborative EP, Urban Flora, as well as the debut of her new single, “High.” She also covered an acoustic version of Drake’s "Passionfruit," that left the crowd speechless. Jhene Aiko closed down the festival with vibrant energy and songs off her latest album, Trip (Def Jam), plus earlier standard “The Worst,” making for a perfect end to Tropicalia.
Once again, Ranya Khoury is bringing you nothing but cuts with the HITS Playlist of the Week, so pop on those headphones and buckle-up for some rollicking-good tracks. For many of us, music represents a form of self-expression and escapism; a doorway out of the banality of modern life. Whether that's found behind an instrument or inside a set of headphones, it becomes part of who we are. Martin, owner of TUNE Music, has a similar philosophy when addressing the question, "What does being a playlist curator mean to you?" After sitting down and learning more about Martin's personal and professional journey, it's clear how impactful music has been for him. "Curating playlists gave me a sense of purpose, as my life has been limited by poor health for a number of years, due to a neuromuscular disorder." His Spotify profile first started out as an outlet for his friends to discover new music, but fast forward a few years and it has now transformed into a discovery outlet for people all around the world with 19k followers. For Martin, it's all about creating a footprint. "I get the greatest sense of accomplishment from seeing an artist or band who I've given early support to go and achieve some success. Not that I think I play much part in that, but every little activity helps." Though, his 15k monthly listeners might disagree with the self-ascribed limits of his role. TUNE Music’s first and main playlist, New Music Stream, has accumulated quite a roster—which is why it’s featured as this week’s highlight. The playlist was inspired to be an alternative version of Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist. While the playlist is centered around Indie/Alt tunes, you’ll still be able to get your R&B, ambient and dance fix in. And since it’s updated every Friday, you'll be well stocked with new cuts for the weekend—call it a party trick. This playlist is proof there's no magic formula for creating playlists—passion has to be the catalyst. To learn more about TUNE Music, look into Martin’s Spotify and Soundcloud pages. Martin also has a collaborative playlist, where you can submit tracks for consideration. This week’s roster includes artists such as STRFKR, Klangstof and Bicep, and you can check it out for yourself here.
If you haven't seen the gutsy and high-energy trio that is Dream Wife deliver some pop/rocking punk yet, you're in luck (if you happen to live in Los Angeles). On 11/13, Lucky Number's London act is coming to a hip basement near you, namely The Echoplex. Other 2018 plans include Atlantic Ocean-adjacent gigs in N.Y., London and Leeds; dates can be found here. Just off runs with Sleigh Bells and The Kills, they recently released a new fan fave, "Let's Make Out," which will inspire you endlessly below. Or you can hit up their Spotify for the rest of the Dream Wife catalog. Get tickets to witness this powerhouse band's L.A. show here. But be warned. You might face a run-in with HITS' Eastside crawler, Kenz Meadows. Feed her Two Boots and she'll probably leave you alone.
If you’re wondering about that catchy AF song on Google Chrome’s new Chromebook ad, presenting “Mona Lisa,” by Curb’s pop siblings OBB. The trio (whose moniker is short for “Oswald Brothers Band”) is repped by Cherrytree Management’s Martin Kierszenbaum and Scott Enright; fellow Cherrytree Management artist and Grammy winner Dave Audé has crafted a new remix of the track that’s available on all DSPs now.
HITS' designated playlister, Ranya Khoury, is back at it this week to make sure you've got all the hours of curated tunes you need to get you through the weekend. Thanks to the digital revolution, it’s never been easier for us to access and discover new music. Our days of burning and sharing mixtapes are long gone and instead the ability to follow, save and share any song, album or playlist is right at our fingertips. Daan van Rossum, a one-of-a-kind Spotify curator, emerged into the new-found streaming world early on. Originally from Amsterdam, Rossum discovered Spotify and its capabilities to create and share playlists long before most of us had access to it in the States. "From the beginning, I knew Spotify would revolutionize the way we discover music—having painstakingly downloaded music for years, all of a sudden we had the opportunity to listen to almost every song in the world.” Rossum’s new discovery led him to create genre and mood-focused playlists, not just for himself, for people all around the world looking to discover new music. Accumulating over 18k followers across his diverse roster of playlists, Rossum was able to watch the careers of many exciting artists grow right before his eyes. To top it off, he created a playlist for the widely respected media, film and music festival, SXSW, arguably marking his most noteworthy moment as a curator. "The idea that hundreds of new artists would be discovered during this festival, and knowing that people wanted to listen ahead, made the decision to curate a playlist a no-brainer. The effort paid off when I saw thousands of people subscribing to the playlist.” Rossum’s most recognized playlist, Coffee Shop Chill, has been so widely used that it’s collected over 7k followers. And better yet, he’s even heard it play while at his local coffee house. Truly a one-stop (coffee) shop, the playlist spotlights names both big and new, such as alt-J, The xx, Sampha and Morcheeba. Check it out, along with others like it, on his Spotify profile.
BY NICOLE GHAPGHARANNowadays, all it takes is a laptop and some space for a couple of collaborating electronic musicians to put their music into the world, but what if you can’t be in the same room? This is what the L.A. based vocalist Roméo and London-based producer/multi-instrumentalist Linden Jay face when the pair decided to turn a one-time collaboration into a full-blown partnership called FARR. Crossing paths at a one-off studio session, the two had an immediate chemistry that resulted in “Down,” their debut single and a partnership that has independently released three singles so far. The transatlantic duo heavily relies on technology, bouncing vocals and loops between different time zones. Working via FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp and Voice Memos—in between studio sessions— has produced work that’s garnered over 2.3m streams. The duo has a soulful take on electronic music, incorporating alternative pop and R&B elements as well, comparable to Mura Masa and Two Feet. FARR’s first release, “Down,” instantly landed on Apple Music’s Future Sounds and Vibes playlists, where it remained for a couple of months. Follow-up “Blades,” their most streamed track, emerged on Breaking Electronic the day of its release; their latest single, “Rebel Soul,” was promptly placed in the #1 slot on the Future Sounds playlist accompanied by an alluring video. FARR is also claiming spots on Spotify playlists like Alternative R&B, Young & Free, Friday Cratediggers and Fresh Finds. If anything, living on opposite sides of the world has informed their creative blend and added to their buzz on both sides of the ocean. With their infectious basslines, soulful vocals and transatlantic vibe, their presence is only going to increase. Keep an eye out for the budding duo, as their Instagram hints at new music. Follow them on Spotify here and watch the vid below. Rebel Soul (Official Video) by FARR on VEVO.
Every week HITS playlist expert Ranya Khoury curates your guide to noteworthy curators. Enjoy this week's morsel on Work Hard Playlist Hard. Big breaks are few and far between for electronic artists and producers. With competition in big names like Kaytranada, Rufus Du Sol and Odesza and a slim shot at radio-play there aren’t a lot of ways to breakthrough. Michael Warner, the owner of Work Hard Playlist Hard, says that's why he started curating playlists in the first place. “Helping independent artists release their music is the most rewarding part of what I do,” says Warner. “It’s really cool helping someone and seeing their numbers go up.” With over 30 user-generated playlists, a submission hub and a blog, the artists aren't the only ones whose numbers are going up. For Warner, it’s all about the vibe of his playlists. Which includes everything from the theme, artwork and title to the songs. And when one of the diverse 500+ weekly submissions doesn’t fit in with one of WHPH’s more mood-focused playlists you’ll find it in Fresh Picks. “I came home one evening, overwhelmed with how many great music submissions I had heard, but there was one problem−I had nowhere to place them. When you come down to it, it’s all about the songs you like and the music that deserves to be heard.” That music has made Fresh Picks WHPH's most-followed playlist. Fresh Picks includes new wave acts such as LANY, Rue, Grizfolk and Warner's new favorite, BVRGER. You can check them out on Spotify, Deezer, and Youtube. Submissions can be sent here, and it's worth noting Warner listens to every song in the order it's submitted, ensuring equal opportunity. If you’d like to learn more about Work Hard Playlist Hard, visit them here.
Warner Bros. siren Bebe Rexha's off to a strong start with single "Meant to Be" f/Florida Georgia Line. The track, from EP All Your Fault, Pt. 2, is Top 10 overall at iTunes, Top 3 at video, Top 5 at iTunes Pop and has earned 4m+ video views. It's at Pop and Hot AC radio now. Rexha has earned some 3.25 billion total global streams and 10m overall single sales. "Bebe has earned this career-accelerating moment on the chart after ‎writing, producing, and featuring on over 6 global hits in the past couple years," says manager Adam Mersel of First Access Management. "'Meant To Be' is a true testament to her massive talent, star status, and genre-bending ubiquity."
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