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Watch “are you?” by zeph

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I have New Zealand singer-songwriter Thomston to thank for an early introduction to Maryland-based bedroom pop auteur zeph (Zephani Jong). She featured on Thomston’s recent, dreamy offering “Magnolia” (review here), providing a splash of liquid gold harmonies to the sonically driven piece. She is also the latest artist to be snapped up by Neon Gold Records as a part of their fantastic roster of artists and has released her first single on the label. The catchy and fresh alt-pop track “are you?” arrives ahead of her forthcoming debut EP slated for arrival in the Autumn.

Her vocals are shimmering and hypnotic, with a notable breeziness about them. The best way of describing her style is that it is really, quite indie-pop angelic. And she is into creating vibes from the ground up. The debut “are you?” is written, recorded, and produced by, Zeph herself. She also exudes some quirkiness, which I love to see in pop artists (in fact applies to people in general). I am, loving that quite a lot of quirkiness has spilt over into the music video also. It is sweet and adorable to watch and is making me want to jump into the screen to join her because it looks like Zeph had the best kind of fun making this Erik Rojas (Isaac Dunbar, Rich Brian, Jessie J) directed video.

Listen on Apple Music

The track endearingly broaches the topic of relationships. Does this guy still want to be with Zeph? If only he would quit the mind games. Speak up, reciprocate with some answers and not be so vague and distant, Zeph politely inquires.

Zeph has a voice that is sweet enough to charm. Yet her honest, straight to the point style of lyricism is her weapon of choice and the embodiment of her signature style. This is the winning formula that culminates in the whimsical banger “are you?“. Dive into this fiercely cute pop track now. I guarantee after just one listen, it will be in your head for the rest of the day.

Connect with Zeph
Twitter: https://twitter.com/zephanijong
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zephanijong/





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Elton John announces new feature-length documentary

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Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour
Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour poster

A brand new documentary telling the story of Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour as well as the singer’s early years has been announced.

The generously-titled Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: The Final Elton John Performances And The Years That Made His Legend has been co-directed by RJ Cutler (The Oval Office Tapes, The War Room) with John’s partner, David Furnish. The feature-length documentary promises to include previously unseen concert and behind the scenes footage.

“What a thrill and an honour it is that David Furnish and I get to create this intimate and unique look at one of the world’s most celebrated artists,” Cutler told Rolling Stone. “As it has for so many others, Elton John’s music has had deep meaning for me for decades, and this opportunity is nothing short of a career highlight and privilege.”

“Elton and I could not think of a better collaborator than RJ. Cutler for a film that represents more than just Elton’s career – it’s his life,” Furnish added. “From the Troubadour to Dodger Stadium, we knew that RJ would help guide Elton’s story and its many layers in a way that feels authentic and evocative. We’re ecstatic to be working together.”

A release date for the documentary has yet to be announced, but it’s expected to get a limited cinema release before heading to streaming service Disney+.

Read more: Top 40 Elton John songs

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Listen to “This Hell” by Rina Sawayama

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Recent days have seen much talk about it. Last night pop’s brightest star Rina Sawayama launched her new era with “This Hell.” The first taster of her upcoming second album, “Hold The Girl” (releasing 2nd September via Dirty Hit). Debut album “Sawayama” saw much critical acclaim. A pivotal release, not least because of the diversity of music styles covered. Rina was initially denied eligibility for The Brits and The Mercury Prize because she is not a British citizen but has lived in the U.K. since she was a child. With the success of the album these rules changed.

Rina just literally wrapped up the stateside leg of “The Dynasty Tour” in New York. The next hot minute, the follow-up era begins.

“I’m so excited to finally share the first song of the new era, I wrote and produced this last year with Paul Epworth, Lauren Aquilina, Clarence Clarity and Vic Jamieson in a converted church. I wanted to write a western pop song that celebrated COMMUNITY and LOVE in a time when the world seemed hellish. “This Hell” is better with you.” Rina said over Instagram.

Listen on Apple Music

I love Rina’s pop chameleon ways and that we never quite know what comes next with her or the music. Although, rest assured the stylizing will be immaculate. True to form, “This Hell” when premiered last night as Hottest Record In The World on Radio One with Clara Amfo. Is another masterclass in hybrid pop, Sawayama does so expertly well.

Sawayama soaks up musical influences like a sponge. Nowhere is this more abundantly transparent than in the song “This Hell“. The outer shell of the track looks to Shania Twain, country pop and Lady Gaga for inspiration. On which Rina further adds her own power-pop twist and unshakable hook. Her pop-culture referencing in the lyrics is strong.

Flame red carpet moment. Posing for the paparazzi. Fuck what they did to Britney To Lady Di and Whitney.” She sings.

Despite their attempts to shield her from success, they soon turned about when realising, that Rina is incredibly worthy and shaking up pop like no one else. Coming out the gate fast with “This Hell“, is Rina reissuing a statement of intent. Rina Sawayama is game on!

The album “Hold the Girl” comes out via Dirty Hit on September 2nd – Pre-order HERE

Also revealed is a brand new UK and Ireland tour, for this October and including a show at London’s O2 Academy Brixton.

Exclusive first ticket access starts Wednesday 25th May – 10 am details HERE

General sale starts Friday 27th May – 10 am details HERE

Connect with Rina Sawayama
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rinasawayama
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rinasawayama
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rinasonline/





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Watch the video for the new song from Betty Boo, Shining Star

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Betty Boo Shining Star
Betty Boo Shining Star

Betty Boo has shared the video to her new song, Shining Star.

The track is the singer’s second release after her triumphant comeback back in January with Get Me To The Weekend, her first single in nearly 30 years.

Betty Boo (real name Alison Clarkson) broke through in in 1989 when she appeared as a guest vocalist on The Beatmasters’ No.7-charting Hey DJ – I Can’t Dance (To That Music You’re Playing). Under her own moniker, she released two albums, 1990’s Boomania and 1992’s GRRR! It’s Betty Boo, and enjoyed a No.3 smash with Where Are You Baby? and a No.7 hit with Doin’ The Do.

Speaking to Classic Pop in 2019 about her stage name, she explained that it came about because of certain haircut that made her look like 1930s cartoon pin-up Betty Boop.

“That’s when I started keeping that name,” she told us. “It seemed fine, cos when you’re a rapper you need to have a persona. I just decided to drop the ‘p’ because I didn’t want to get sued.”

In 2006 she formed the shortlived duo WigWam with Blur’s Alex James, though they released just one self-titled single before disbanding.

“I met Alex at the Groucho Club and we just got on,” Clarkson said. “Blur were working with Ben Hillier on Think Tank and Ben’s a brilliant producer, he thinks outside the box. I think we wanted to make it into a project, but nothing quite gelled because, to be honest with you, Alex is a really good bass player in his group, but not necessarily a songwriter, so there wasn’t enough for us to make it work as a proper project. So it was just a bit of fun really. 

“Alex and I did argue a bit, we’re a bit like brother and sister. He’d want cars picking him up, whereas I would go I’m driving myself somewhere! That was the way Blur were treated, like royalty, whereas I’m probably a bit more down to earth.”

You can read Classic Pop’s 2019 interview with Betty Boo here.

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