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Snowblood Drops ‘Freaky Freaky,’ Talks Hyperpop + Millionaires

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Snowblood is feeling a little freaky these days.

The former Millionaires singer-rapper (real name Dani Artaud) has been experimenting more and more with her sound ever since going solo with her self-titled debut album in 2017. What started as an ’80s-hued synth-pop and dark-pop project eventually transformed into something more weird and, dare we say, freaky.

Dipping into hyperpop and happy hardcore territory, Snowblood’s newest single, “Freaky Freaky,” is an aptly-titled celebration of letting one’s freak flag fly, all set to a spacey, sinister electronic soundscape with a helium-high hook.

“It’s basically about a sexy alien babe at a cyber strip club falling in love so hard she wants to leave her promiscuous life behind and be freaky with her new lover forever,” Snowblood shares of the kinky-cosmic concept behind the track.

Listen to the deliciously deviant track song, premiering exclusively here on PopCrush:

The track is the latest taste of new music from Snowblood, who is currently working on an EP “hopefully to come out this fall.”

“I have four more collaborations coming out over the next couple months and I’m planning some shows, both digital and IRL this summer,” she shares. Hopefully, they’ll be freaky, freaky affairs.

Below, Snowblood gets candid about her favorite freaks, why hyperpop is the new frontier, her enduring love for scene style and overcoming misogyny aimed at the Millionaires.

What inspired the sound and production for “Freaky Freaky”?

I’ve been listening to a lot of trance, happy hardcore and hardstyle lately. There’s influence from these genres sprinkled in the track for sure. And I just love dancing to broken beat rhythms, so I was really excited to experiment with this sound with [producer] Mystery Skulls. When that chorus hits I literally cannot not dance!

I produced my vocals on this and I was definitely (obviously, perhaps) very inspired by Britney’s vocals in “Piece of Me.” Such an iconic song. I’ve always been very inspired by her and her music and I’ve been wanting to try this vocal style for a long time.

Do you consider yourself “freaky”? What does being “freaky” mean to you?

I’m definitely a total freak in my own ways, but I feel like this song is a reminder to myself to be even more freaky. To me, being freaky is being sexually free and unafraid to express yourself in any weird way you can possibly think of, never feeling like you have to explain or filter yourself, and defying social norms.

Who are some of your favorite “freaks”?

I’ve always been a huge fan of Cher! Her style over the decades is the definition of iconic. She doesn’t take s–t from anyone and always speaks her mind. I’m also inspired by a lot of freaky artists out there right now like Ashnikko, Slayyyter, COBRAH, Shygirl, Alice Longyu Gao and Dorian Electra, to name a few. I love how artists in the hyperpop scene are constantly pushing boundaries to the most extreme levels — no amount of freakiness ever feels like enough!

What are your general influences when you’re working on new solo music? What sort of sounds and aesthetics do you feel yourself drawn to?

When it comes to writing lyrics, I’m drawn to more fantastical and otherworldly ideas. I’m not very inspired by our current reality, so when I’m writing I go to other worlds in my mind, creating characters in interesting situations and writing from there. When it comes to sounds and aesthetics I’m totally all over the map, so I like to blend a lot of things together. I’m drawn to songs with pop structure and big choruses, but paired with sounds that are dark and heavy like metal, but also bright and dancey like Eurodance.

There’s been a noticeable evolution between your debut album, which had a sort of synth-pop, lighter sound, to your most recent album, which was a little heavier and more hyperpop-leaning. As you move forward into your next era of music, how is your next evolution shaping up? Are you noticing yourself leaning towards any specific style or sound?

It’s honestly so difficult for me to focus on one kind of style or sound, being a true Gemini at heart. I definitely would love to elaborate on some of the sounds from my last album… I think “ANTHR LVL” could be the genesis of a really cool sound for me. I’ve been leaning towards trance, broken beats and experimental noise beats. We shall see what it ends up sounding like!

How did you decide upon the “Snowblood” moniker for your solo music project?

I was very inspired by the Japanese film Lady Snowblood. To me, the word visualizes the contrast between brutality and beauty, which sounds like a fun and compelling character to embody.

In recent years, your music with Millionaires has seen a resurgence and new appreciation, especially with the advent of hyperpop. Looking back on that time and the music from your early career in the 2000s, how do you think it’s influenced emerging artists today?

It’s definitely really cool to hear a lot of newer artists kinda referencing our original sound! There’s so much nostalgia for that whole era right now which is so interesting to see, but I love it and totally get it. Compared to our current reality, it was a much simpler and carefree time. I think people are ready to experience more of those vibes but with a fresh modern sound!

There’s also been a lot of discourse about how women, especially artists and celebrities, were treated by the public and media during the 2000s. I’ve always felt Millionaires faced a lot of misogyny, when similarly “raunchy” male acts received hardly any of the same criticism.

Yeah, definitely. It’s really crazy to look back and realize how many feathers we ruffled. I guess the idea of sex positive women being successful with music that many considered to be terrible and trashy, but really it was future as f—, was just too much to handle for the average person at the time.

How has promoting music on social media/online changed or evolved since the MySpace days?

A lot has changed for sure. Mainly back then it was only MySpace; now there’s a handful of different social media platforms you have to exist on simultaneously to maintain a certain level of presence. There was no algorithm back then and also a lot less artists in the new underground internet music scene, so it was much easier to be noticed and heard. Now it’s a bit more saturated so it’s more challenging to get people to pay attention.

Scene style is seeing a resurgence on TikTok. Harking back to your “DaniGore” days on MySpace, what advice would you share to the new crop of scene kids?

I’ve totally been seeing this and I love it! I think the core of the scene style was very DIY for sure. You’ve gotta color your own hair, make your own customized clothes and try weird makeup and styles you’ve never seen before. Always gotta be about taking your look to the next extreme, the freakier the better!

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Queera Nightly – ‘Pillow Talk’ – Essentially Pop

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Late last year Bay Area musician Queera Nightly released her album, ‘The Girl Who Fell‘. Now she returns with the follow up, ‘The Girl Who Fell Pt. 2’. The new album features the sultry single, ‘Pillow Talk’, which is out now.

Queera Nightly’s sound is sexy and sultry; her gravelly and drawly voice has the sound of someone who is slightly tired of life yet at the same time, they’re holding on for that one last adventure. The late 50s/early 60s style guitar conjures up visions of those old movies set in the days of endless summers. Think Elvis, Cliff Richard, even Gidget. Queera Nightly is a world-weary Sandra Dee, holding out for a white picket fence with Troy Donohue, but knowing deep down that he’s just all talk and is never going to stay the distance.

Speaking of her new album, Queera Nightly says,

“These songs are personal for me, reflections of a moment on my life when I was lost. It was me who was chasing her, her freedom and softness and expression. And when we finally met eyes, it was as though we had never been apart. Heaven and Hell. Love and Violence.”

‘The Girl Who Fell Pt. 2’ is out now. Stream and download on Bandcamp. Find out more about Queera Nightly and her music online on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and her official website.





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Emmanuel Ndawula Releases Latest Single ‘Thrills Of My Life Version 2’ – Essentially Pop

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‘Thrills Of My Life Version 2’, by Emmanuel Ndawula, is the new version of his single, ‘Thrills Of My Life’, which he released two years ago. The original has been transformed from its upbeat tempo to a more soft, ballad style track; entirely wholesome and filled with joy and happiness, the song is accompanied by a heartwarming music video, focusing on Emmanuel as he sings and plays piano.

Emmanuel Ndawula originally trained as a microbiologist, but music always lived strong in his heart. Now retired from his former career, Emmanuel has thrown himself into his music, and released his debut album, I’m Happy’, back in 2012. Not satisfied with letting the grass grow under his feet, he has also published his autobiography.

Emmanuel shares his musical aspirations and medical knowledge via his large social media following, which is particularly strong on Twitter. His happy attitude to life is infectious and catchy, and working with his two sons, Emmanuel creates music from a variety of genres, including pop, reggae, soul, easy listening, ballads, R&B and dance, with samples available on his website.

Watch the music video for ‘Thrills Of My Life Version 2’ below, and stream and download the track here. You can find out more about Emmanuel Ndawula and his music online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Apple Music, Spotify, and his official website.





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Emily Vaughn Finds ‘Silver Linings’ on Breakup-Driven Debut LP

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Like most of us, Emily Vaughn had a rough 2020. The independent pop star was in Norway working on her second EP when lock-downs forced her to retreat home to Los Angeles and confront the demons in her relationship at the time. Rather than getting closer during quarantine, Vaughn’s beau apparently retreated to Las Vegas and cheated, sending Vaughn into a tailspin. Somewhere along the way, after distilling her many feelings into her music, she made her first album.

Vaughn first made her name with catchy pop anthems and Bitch Bops, as she called her first EP, that put her independence and unapologetic attitude at the forefront, earning over 20 million Spotify streams.

On her debut album Silver Linings, she goes harder than ever — literally, at times. Joined by established hit-makers such as Lil Xan and fellow up-and-comers, such as her BFF Bronze Avery, Silver Linings sees Vaughn embrace the mess she’s created with the help of her loved ones.

From the mournful “Fix You” to the self-reflective “Healthy,” Vaughn goes through all the phases of ending (and dipping back into) a relationship with sleek synths, hypnotic melodies and jaw-dropping one-liners.

Below, Vaughn opens up about finally creating her debut album, why she’s chosen to stay independent and the weirdest encounter she’s had with a celebrity.

Finally, you’re releasing your debut album. Did you intend for it to be a breakup album?

I think so, I don’t think there was a moment in my head where I was like, “I’m only going to write breakup songs.” But I’m just very momentary and intense and passionate. When I’m in something, I’m 100 percent. If I’m in a relationship, I’m 100 percent. If I’m going through a breakup, I’m 100 percent. If I’m liking someone new, I’m 100 percent.

What pushed you to finally make this your debut? Did you have a light bulb moment where you realized you were making an album?

I really think it was being in the midst of a lock-down and having all these different emotions that I’ve never had to just sit down with. I looked at the group of songs I loved that I created over the past two years and I was like, this is an album. This is the story that I’ve written for myself. It just ended up being a whole f—ing life story of my past two years and all the different emotions, whether it’s being in love or happy or heartbroken or angry or feeling unapologetically sexual and fun.

Where did the album title, Silver Landings, come from?

I was going to bookstores in Silver Lake and reading through poetry books, feminism books, anything that related to who I am as a person, hoping that a title would pop out at me. It didn’t. With Bitch Bops, it was the most effortless — I gave it no thought. For this one, I went through so many options. Then one day I asked, for every song on this album, what’s the one thing in common? I realized it was the silver linings of every situation from the past two years. In every single song, there is a silver lining that’s brought me to where I am.

Tell us about your creative process. What was the first song you wrote for the album?

I think it was “Fix You,” because I was writing that when my ex and I were still on a break. I was in the process of deciding, “Should I stay with this person? I don’t feel like I want to…” Then we fully broke up, and next came “Harder Than Ever.” I went from, “I don’t want to miss you,” to “Peace out, kiss my a–, miss me harder than ever.”

Speaking of, where did that song come from? You really do go harder than ever.

My ex and his best friend had gone to Vegas with other girls. The girl his best friend was dating and I found out at the same time, so we freaked out and had a whole “bad bitch” moment. She texted me and said, “Peace out, kiss my a–, miss me harder than ever.” I was like, “Bitch, if you think I’m not going to make that a song right now, I’m absolutely going to.” She’s not even a songwriter, and I put her on a percentage of that song because I wrote the whole song based on that.

Tell us about the last song on the album, “Healthy.” How healthy do you feel now?

The point of “Healthy” is that I don’t know that I am healthy in a lot of ways — and realizing I don’t know how to be healthy in relationships right now. That was a weird thing to accept. At the time, I was in this new relationship thinking, “This is going to be healthy, I need to hone in on it and hold onto it.” But I wasn’t happy, and it’s not what I want. “Healthy” came from writing not being sure how to be healthy right now, and that’s okay.

Who provided the voicemails on this album, and why wasn’t I one of them?

You’ve never left me any voicemails, otherwise I would have! Right after I broke up with my ex, I dated this boy in New York for two seconds, another thing I knew was not correct for me. He sent me the voicemail on the intro of “Love Me Later.” It’s funny looking at that song. I was not ready to be in a relationship but I met this person who was crazy about me, so I thought I should be with him. I wrote this song about how I thought it would end up happening later, and then after taking that space, I realized there is no later and I was better off without it. On “Fix You,” that’s my Nana, who is just iconic and stays giving me advice. It’s incredible. I’ll call her and tell her what’s up, and she’ll be like, “I don’t know if you know this already,” and throw in life advice all the time.

Are you scared to be releasing your debut album without a label?

I think it’s second nature. Obviously, it’s scary. I’m just sitting here stressing out about it, because you pour your heart into something and you want it to do everything. But even this morning, I was sitting in the sauna and I was like, “I think this is going to do what it’s supposed to and reach the people it’s supposed to reach.”

Why do you choose to stay independent?

Since I put out [debut single] “Better Off,” I’ve gotten hit up by basically every label offering me something like a 360 deal. I’ve always wanted to have creative control because my music has been very true to who I am, and I think I’ve been able to accurately represent that being independent. Honestly, it’s f—ed up seeing Raye tweeting about how she’s been making music for five years and wasn’t able to put out an album. Having to fight the f—ing system to put out music you’ve written about the sh– actually going on in your life is just so incredibly f—ed up. That’s why I’ve really enjoyed being independent and learning the system and my rights as an artist and how much I can do for myself without primarily men having their hands on everything.

What were the best and weirdest encounters you’ve had with celebs in the industry?

I met with Doja Cat a few times because she was friends with some of my friends. We would have Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations. Two years ago, we did karaoke together in full Santa costumes, and we have a boomerang where we’re sitting on Santa’s lap. Just honestly iconic. The weirdest one is that Jason Derulo blocked me on Instagram for no reason. I met him once, we shook hands and I asked him, “What’s your Instagram?” Why did I ever ask that question? At one point, we were both in Miami and he was like, “Come to the studio.” But I was watching the show YOU and I was paranoid, so I didn’t go anywhere. And that was it.

How do you think you’ve grown since you released your first singles?

I could blow your mind with how I had no idea to be in the industry. Now, I’m just proud of myself for taking that younger version of myself that had a dream but no idea how to execute it and becoming someone that fully understands what I’m doing and how to navigate emotions enough to be able to write an album I’m proud of.

When I first started, I was coming from a very religious background that I had to undo. Originally, I wanted to name the album “Altar,” because I always felt like I needed to alter myself to fit in this box of this perfect little sweet girl that I’m comfortable not being now. I know I can still be a genuine person, but also write a song about sex. Whereas before, I don’t think I could’ve understood or been genuine about that.

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