Andrew Allen

Andrew Allen is pretty determined to be heard. So determined in fact, that he cut his first album in his living room with GarageBand, a Mac-based, DIY music production software. That album, aptly titled The Living Room Sessions, was inspired by Allen’s travels throughout Canada and the UK, in which he went into homes and performed in living rooms. By playing in places where people naturally loved to gather, he was able to take his music to a more personal level and develop relationships with people he wouldn’t normally have met playing in a crowded club.

Allen’s intimate, guy-and-his-guitar sound is similar to the likes of John Mayer and Jack Johnson, but instead of the whispery vocals, he belts it out Maroon 5-style, putting on quite the pop/rock show when he is on stage. Self-described as a fun, upbeat, sunny, happy guy, Allen writes and performs his songs so that each musical moment matters – truly taking into account how his listeners will feel when they hear his songs. Says Allen, “it doesn’t matter what you think your song is about, other people will be moved by it in whatever way they feel. That alone is inspiring – to see what others see in your art!”

Raised in British Columbia, Allen began his musical career playing piano at age 5. Since then, his sound has gone through some fairly significant changes. From classical piano to punk, Allen finally settled on the sound he has now. The year he spent working on a Carnival Cruise ship with his wife may have something to do with the beachy, acoustic tunes that populate his albums.

He caught his first big break in 2009, when “I Wanna Be Your Christmas” cracked the Top Ten in Canada. After spending most of 2010 on the road, Allen signed with Epic Records and began his first U.S. tour in January, opening for Joshua Radin and fellow Canadian Justin Nozuka. And this spring isn’t going to slow down – Allen’s playing shows with Secondhand Serenade, One Eskimo, Quiet Drive, Jason Reeves, Andy Grammer, Lifehouse and Train and releasing an album early this summer.

But how’s he going to do it all? Allen’s limitless energy and determination will carry him through – no doubt straight to the top.

Keep up with Andrew by becoming a fan on Facebook!

You can preview and purchase Andrew Allen’s new single, “Loving You Tonight,” here.

Check out the video for “Loving You Tonight” below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR_0URQKHIY

NKOTBSB

It’s a bird – it’s a plane – it’s bigger than anything you’ve ever seen before! It’s NKOTBSB, a boy band supergroup comprised of all the members of New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys. That’s right – it’s time to channel your inner teeny-bopper and get excited!

Joey McIntyre, A.J. McLean, Jordan Knight, Howie Dorough, Jonathan Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, Brian Littrell, Danny Wood and Nick Carter came together at the 2010 American Music Awards and performed a medley of both groups’ hits to get people excited for their upcoming summer tour together. It certainly worked – and rumors started swirling about the possibility of a combined studio effort.

Those rumors came true in December 2010, when, during the Backstreet Boys Cruise, McLean and Littrell gave their sea-faring fans a quick listen to a sample of “Don’t Turn Out the Lights,” the first single from the supergroup.

Now fully released, “Don’t Turn Out the Lights” is a catchy dance tune that life-long New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys fans will recognize as true to the bands’ roots and that youngsters will enjoy for its smooth, Jason Derulo-type styling.

This single is the first off NKOTBSB’s debut album which is slated to drop on May 24, with the tour beginning one day later on May 25. The bands are currently going through rehearsals for the summer-long effort. The guys will be performing hits from both bands’ as well as all their new songs. Jordan Knight explains, “It’s going to be nonstop back-and-forth action. We’re really going to play off each other.”

Whatever NKOTBSB has in store for the tour, it’s certain that what’s turning out to be one of the most talked about musical pairings of the year will be energetic, fun-filled and full of screaming.

For more info on tour dates and to keep up with all the NKOTBSB news, be sure to check out the website, www.nkotbsb.com.

You can preview and purchase NKOTBSB’s new single, “Don’t Turn Off the Lights,” here.

Three Days Grace

It’s a rare thing to find – a band that’s been together almost 20 years. But Three Days Grace is among the few bands that can claim a two-decade long run. And they’re showing no signs of stopping.

In 1992, high-schoolers Adam Gontier, Neil Sanderson and Brad Walst got together with some friends in their hometown of Norwood, Ontario, and formed Groudswell, a post-grunge band that managed to put out a full-length album together. In 1995, they changed up some members and changed up theirname, calling themselves Three Days Grace, which according to Gontier, conveys a sense of urgency – “If you had three days to change something in your life, could you do it?”

That same sense of urgency spurred the band on to move to Toronto and attempt to get the ear of music execs. After meeting producer Gavin Brown who helped them polish their sound into a marketable demo album, Three Days Grace eventually signed with Jive Records.

Work began on a self-titled debut record which was released in 2003, and followed by a solid two-years of touring. During that time the band struggled internally, facing the prescription drug addiction of lead-singer Gontier. With the support of his family, friends and band members, Gontier entered rehab in 2005 and underwent treatment for his addiction. But from these ashes, the band’s second album, One-X, began to take shape. Healed and ready to get on the road, Three Days Grace started touring again in 2006 following the release of One-X.

Getting back in the studio in 2009, Three Days Grace recorded their current album, Life Starts Now, a more optimistic and fresh take on their signature sound. “The new album is basically a commentary on the last couple years of our lives,” says Sanderson. “Life Starts Now reflects that feeling of redefining what life is and what it means to be alive.”

This spring and summer, the band is heading out with Avenged Sevenfold, because for this group of lifetime musicians, what being alive means is touring, putting on a good show and giving back to their fans.

You can preview and purchase Three Days Grace’s new single “Lost In You” here.

Keep up with Three Days Grace on Facebook by becoming a fan!

Jessie J

Jessie J – is she a pop artist? R&B maybe? What about hip-hop? The answer is yes. But above all, this vocal chameleon is a super-gifted singer with the song-writing skills that will take her to the top.

Hailing from Essex, England, Jessie J got her big break in the music industry writing songs for pop royalty like Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus. In fact, Jessie co-wrote the platinum-certified “Party in the U.S.A.” But up until early this year, performer-Jessie remained mostly known only to her fellow countrymen – she topped the BBC’s Sound of 2011 list and received the Critics’ Choice award at the 2011 BRIT Awards.

But Jessie J’s going worldwide with her debut album, Who You Are, which she began recording six years ago. Finally finished in January of this year, Jessie’s released two singles off her first effort – the second, “Price Tag,” has found its way onto the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and at the top of the charts in Scotland, New Zealand and Ireland.

The driving force behind her success has been the combination of her soulful voice with thoughtfully penned lyrics that truly come from her heart. In fact, the first song Jessie ever wrote came from a very poignant moment, when, at age 11, she shared a hospital room with a younger boy who died. “I knew I wanted to write a song about that experience,” says Jessie. And the song has stayed with her; “Big White Room” is a crowd favorite when she performs live.

Learning to adapt her sound has also proven to be a huge factor in her success. When Jessie first began touring with high-profile and varied artists like Macy Gray, Girls Aloud, Chris Brown, Cyndi Lauper and Taio Cruz, she had to appeal to diverse audiences. “I never had a band. It was me, my CD, my heels and a huge stage to fill,” says Jessie. Her sound could go anywhere, could be tailored to whatever that particular night’s audience would enjoy.

Now Jessie’s got her sound down, her lyrics are tight and she’s ready to take on the world. Don’t miss out – preview and purchase her new single, “Price Tag.”

Keep up with Jessie J by becoming a fan on Facebook!

Check out the video for “Price Tag” below:

Hot Chelle Rae

This group of guys from Nashville has something they want you to hear. And that something is pure rock and roll – bold guitar riffs, driving beats, clever lyrics that culminate in power choruses and a swaggering charisma that is impossible to ignore. Hot Chelle Rae front man Ryan Keith Follese admits that the band wanted their sound to be “explosive and new and fun and be better than anything out there.” Seems like they got their wish.

Named after their most avid and devoted MySpace fan, Hot Chelle Rae began taking shape in 2005 when singer-songwriter and future front man Ryan Keith (R.K.) Follese met up with guitarist Nash Overstreet to try and get some of his lyrics set down to music. Interestingly, the meeting didn’t go so well. Based on appearances alone, the two were polar opposites. But, style preferences aside, Follese and Overstreet eventually got over their differences and formed the first incarnation of Hot Chelle Rae, a start-up called Miracle Drug. They performed their first show in 2006 which went so well that the pair decided to continue making music together.

Before they could go further, both Follese and Overstreet recognized that they needed to nail down some talent in the rhythm department. Overstreet brought in his childhood friend Ian Keaggy, a guitarist who didn’t actually play the bass until he joined the band, but whose latent skills on the instrument have proven to be truly a clutch part of the band’s songwriting process. Follese’s brother Jamie came in on drums to also help round out the sound.

With the line-up of band members complete and an Internet fan base already in place, the next step could only be to sign with a label – in this case Jive Records in 2008. Hot Chelle Rae hit the studios to begin work on their first album, Lovesick Electric, which was released in October 2009. They followed up the release by going on tour with Third Eye Blind, and have continued doing tours and openings with bands like Owl City, Cobra Starship, Boys Like Girls and Parachute.

Now the band is back to the studio, just recently releasing “Tonight, Tonight,” their first single off the brand new effort. You can preview and purchase the new single here.

Keep up with the band by becoming a fan of Hot Chelle Rae on Facebook!

Parachute

You know those bands – the ones who play songs that make you feel good inside from the moment you first hear them? The harmonies are tight, the lyrics are soulful and the music just makes you want to rock out? Yep – that’s Parachute.

Formed while attending the University of Virginia together, the band (then called Sparky’s Flaw) busted onto the Charlottesville music scene with their feel-good sound – a blend of old-school and new with catchy melodies and driving rock anthems that make every note count. They developed quite a following while in college, and upon graduation in 2008 the band officially changed their name to Parachute and started non-stop touring to promote their debut album, Losing Sleep.

Parachute’s soft and sweet ballad “She is Love” launched them into rotation on the radio, combined with their relentless touring schedule that introduced them to people around the world. And relentless is the right word – post-graduation, Parachute has toured with O.A.R., Switchfoot, Duffy, Matt Nathanson, Jon McLaughlin, 3 Doors Down, The Script, Kelly Clarkson, Secondhand Serenade, SafetySuit, Joe Brooks, Hot Chelle Rae and most recently the Plain White T’s. Parachute even joined Kelly Clarkson again for her European tour throughout the U.K., Germany, The Netherlands and Denmark.

But all this exposure is just what the band wants. “If no one’s going to listen, why even play?” asks Will Anderson, lead singer/songwriter/guitarist and piano player. In fact, as part of a campaign with Nivea, Parachute played at Times Square on New Year’s Eve 2010 in front of more than one million people. Talk about exposure.

The band’s album, The Way It Was, released in April, has impressed listeners with hits such as “Something to Believe In (Jeremiah),” “What I know,” “American Secret,” “Philadelphia” and “Kiss Me Slowly,” which Anderson co-wrote with Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood.

“The joy for us is in winning people over with our music by getting in front of them any way possible,” Says Anderson. “And have them spread the word to their friends.”

So there you have it – your mission from Parachute. Start spreading the word!

You can preview and purchase “Something to Believe In,” the first single from Parachute’s new album here.

Check out the video for “Something to Believe In” below:

Keep up with the band by becoming a fan of Parachute on Facebook!

 

Andy Grammer

Gifted with an infectious ability to make your head bop and your toes tap, Andy Grammer is making it big in the music world through his hard work, sincerity and actual music-making talent.

A native of upstate New York with songwriter-parents, Grammer learned from an early age that great music is built upon the ability to write lasting lyrics. He cites Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel and The Beatles as his earliest songwriting influences. Now, Grammer is being likened to Maroon 5, John Legend and Coldplay – songwriting company he’s more than honored to keep.

At age 20, Grammer packed up and headed to Los Angeles with a dream of growing in his music ability and being found by the right people at the right time. Discovered while busking at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Grammer’s dream became reality. Since then, he’s worked tirelessly, playing in a 100-college cross-country tour as well as opening for the Script, Plain White T’s, Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen and Josh Kelley. And his loyal following has him continually packing out some of L.A.’s hottest music venues like the Roxy, the Troubadour and the House of Blues. Recently, the singer has been touring the U.S. and Canada with Colbie Caillat on her “Less is More” tour and has performed on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and on “LIVE! With Regis and Kelly.”

In June 2011, Andy Grammer, now 27, released his self-titled album with S-Curve Records, featuring the single “Keep Your Head Up.” The album was produced by Matt Wallace (Maroon 5), Matt Radosevich, Dave Katz and Sam Hollander (Gym Class Heroes). The single debuted at number 94 on the Billboad Hot 100 and peaked at number 54. “Keep Your Head Up” reflects Grammer’s positive attitude about seeing the light in heavy situations. It’s a groovy little number with a hook that can make even those in the sourest mood smile. He comments on the hit tune, saying, “I don’t have a dismal outlook, but I don’t aim to make positive music. It’s just what I am.”

And the video for “Keep Your Head Up” (which guest stars The Office’s Rainn Wilson) is yet another testament to his hard work ethic. Shot in multiple upon multiple takes over two grueling days, the first-of-its-kind interactive video let people choose which scene they want to see next through series of pop-up windows, and the most watched combination

became the official video. It’s a thoroughly fun, choose-your-own-adventure music video that will hopefully pave the way for more like it. (The video can be seen in its original interactive format here.) The video won most innovative video at MTV’s Music Awards in 2011.

While Andy Grammer’s tireless work ethic and natural talent are what got him onto the music scene, it’s his creativity and sincerity that will keep him there. Grammar’s signature sound blends music styles and is paired with thoughtful lyrics, creating something that’s hard to come by in pop music – genuine originality.

“I want listeners to walk away feeling like they just heard something real,” says Grammer. His catchy tunes grab listeners’ attention, but his honesty is what keeps them listening – even when his songs aren’t so peppy. But whether it’s happy days or sad times, as Grammer says, “it just feels good to be real.”

Click here to visit Andy Grammer’s website, and if you like the song, purchase it here.

Bruno Mars

Singer, songwriter, musician, producer – Bruno Mars has earned himself quite a few titles for a 27-year-old. But one look at his musical up-bringing and and it’s clear that Mars was always destined to be a star.

A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Bruno Mars (born Peter Gene Hernandez) got on stage for the first time at age four to sing an Elvis song. After that momentous day for Mars, the performance bug had bitten and there was no looking back.

Growing up musically in Hawaii was ideal for Mars as the islands are a sort of hub for just about every type of music, from reggae, rock and folk music to Motown and the latest pop hits. But once he finished high school, it was off to Los Angeles to try to make the dream of a music career into a reality.

Mars’ solo career at first took a backseat to his songwriting and producing abilities, working on songs for artists like Travie McCoy, Adam Levine, Sean Kingston, Brandy and Flo Rida – specifically his 2009 hit “Right Round.” But Mars’ smooth falsetto couldn’t stay hidden behind the words for long, and he was featured in B.o.B.’s “Nothin’ on You” and Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire,” both Top 10 songs.

His second album, Unorthodox Jukebox” was released in December. Mars says it’s “darker and more aggressive” than his first, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Check out Bruno’s latest video below and click here to buy the album.

One Republic

Take a rock band that plays pop songs, throw in some R&B undertones and you’ve got OneRepublic, a self-proclaimed “genre-less” band that is certainly not fan-less. Within the last three years, OneRepublic has skyrocketed to limelight with hit after hit and a little help from unexpected places.

When frontman Ryan Tedder decided with guitarist Zach Filkins to form a band during their senior year in high school, neither one knew just what was in store, especially after going their separate ways after graduation. But seven years later they met again in Los Angeles, deciding to take another crack at making music together. This time they ended up getting signed after nine months and filling out their sound with Eddie Fisher on drums, Brent Kutzle on bass and cello and Drew Brown on lead guitar. Together, the five formed OneRepublic and went right to work on recording their first album.

Then, just as they were getting ready to release, their label dropped them. But thankfully, the band was a MySpace sensation and a number of labels, including one headed up by renowned R&B producer, Timbaland, were interested in signing them. Becoming the only band of its kind on the label, OneRepublic ultimately joined with Timbaland, which would prove to be a major factor in the band’s success.

Dreaming Out Loud was released in 2008 with their first single, “Apologize.” However, it wasn’t until Timbaland remixed the song and released it on his album, Shock Value, that listeners started to take notice. And take notice they did. The song became one of the most-played in Top 40 radio history, remained at the top of the Billboard chart for eight consecutive weeks and reached number-one in 16 countries. The band’s breakout success continued with their second single, “Stop and Stare.”

A year later, OneRepublic released their sophomore album, Waking Up, as well as two hit singles, “All the Right Moves” and “Secrets.” OneRepublic has also had music from this album featured on a number of TV shows like “The Vampire Diaries”, “One Tree Hill” and “Gossip Girl.” And “Secrets” played a significant part in the promotions for “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, as well as in the actual film.

Now, getting out and touring is OneRepublic’s primary focus. The band was with Maroon 5 this fall, opening up for all their North American shows, and is heading over to Europe this December to share their unique sound with the world.

P!nk

You know her for her feisty, rocker-girl persona and outspoken swagger, but Pink has always made a point to assert her femininity as what makes her so strong. Her distinctive look and sound, combined with her honest and spirited songwriting, have catapulted Pink to the top of the music kingdom.

Born Alecia Moore, the singer, songwriter and part-time acrobat grew up in Doylestown, Penn. She starting singing along with her father and his guitar at an early age, and it wasn’t long before she was performing in Philadelphia clubs at the tender age of 14. Two years later she and two other girls formed Choice, an R&B group which actually caught the eye of top music exec L.A. Reid. The group never released a record, however, and Reid eventually persuaded Moore to go solo. It was then that she decided to go by “P!nk,” a nod to the character Mr. Pink from the film Reservoir Dogs.

With her signature cropped ‘do and her just as recognizable gritty singing voice, it’s difficult not to notice how Pink has taken the industry by storm. She’s been in the music-listening public’s ear for more than ten years and shows no signs of stopping. In fact, with her new album The Truth About Love, it’s clear Pink has big plans for what’s to come.

Check out her latest video!