The 2nd iHeartRadio Music Awards were held yesterday (March 29) at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and were hosted by Jamie Foxx, who not only brought plenty of laughs but also gave a great performance of You Changed Me with Chris Brown. (Scroll to the end of the post to watch the performances). Taylor Swift was the big winner of the night, taking home 3 awards and Justin Timberlake received the Innovator Award.
Rather than boring you with a huge story about the event, we present the ‘Unforgettable Moments’:
Rihanna’s first performance ever of her brand new single Bitch Better Have My Money and she steps out of a helicopter! And she was dressed head to toe in green Versace – stunning!
Jennifer Hudson sexually frisks Iggy Azalea during their performance of hit new song Trouble.
Taylor Swift and the legendary Madonna join each other on stage for an acoustic rendition of the Queen of Pop’s new single Ghosttown.
Taylor get’s down to Snoop Dogg’s solo stage time and sexual-inuendo-filled new rap track Peaches N Cream.
Nick Jonas is brought out in massive chains by two intimidating female officer body-builders… to perform his song Chains.
Oh! And the whole stage is basically on fire while Jason Aldean slays his country song Burnin’ It Down.
Last but not least, the Left Shark from Katy Perry’s Superbowl performance makes an appearance and has a dance challenge. It doesn’t get better than that…
Now for the awards:
The soon-to-be Dad Justin Timberlake, breaks down in tears during his acceptance of his Innovator Award. Aww!
He then emotionally pretends to accept Taylor Swift’s award for Best Lyrics, and nobody can stop laughing!
Of course, Taylor won Artist of the Year AND song of the year for Shake It Off. The Best Lyrics Award was for Blank Space.
The Best Collaboration award unsurprisingly went to Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj for their highly energetic party track Bang Bang.
Sam Smith won Best New Artist. Woo!
Jason Aldean snagged the Country Song of the Year for Burnin’ It Down which he performed that evening.
The Hip Hop/R&B genre Song of the Year went to Jeremih featuring YG for Don’t Tell ‘Em.
Calvin Harris received the Dance Song of the Year award for his summer anthem track Summer.
The sombre and powerful Take Me To Church by Hozier took the prize for the Aternative Rock Song of the Year.
Best Fan Army went to 5SOSFAM – 5 Seconds of Summer
and the Renegade Award was won by Brantley Gilbert.
Snoop Dogg’s latest release is definitely interesting. Peaches N Cream featuring Pharrell Williams and Charlie Wilson takes you to a land we could only describe as ‘wake and bake.’ You’ve got to be some kind of high to write that song, collaborate on it and create the video concept. The visual directors Aramis Israel and Hannah Lux Davis, captured the song’s vibe dramatically, creating a psychedelic adventure with the help of lots of neons and a wild imagination.
Despite its strangeness, we’re totally digging the Snoop Doggy Dogg original style. There are musical and lyrical undertones in this song which correlate to all of his past material and is unquestionable to his uniqueness. That’s what draws you in and makes it so likeable. If you are a long time fan of Snoop, then you’re definitely going to love this track.
Remember these days? Snoop & Pharrell collaborating 13 years ago in their song Beautiful from 2002!
Fast forwarding back to 2015 where Snoop’s new album Bush is set to be released May 12. The album contains yet another collab with his buddy Pharrell titled Roll My Shit. Appropriately. Snoop has described this new album as having a ‘Funkadelic Glow’ and we couldn’t think of a better description!
Adam Levine is now well into his 30s and seems to be improving with age like a fine wine. His career has never been better, his appearance has never been more on point and his musical journey has reached a peak that will leave a mark on the charts and in the history books. Dabbling in all avenues of the industry, there’s not a field he won’t explore, and it’s that attitude and charisma that has kept him on top. That same attitude however, has landed him in lots of trouble, but when you hear him explain himself it really doesn’t seem all that bad. After all, he is an artist.
“I can be a huge pain in the ass, huge pain in the ass. That’s part of who I am and there’s not a person I know who doesn’t think I’m a pain in the ass. But I’m also really nice and a completely affable and socially adept person. There’s a difference between being an asshole and a pain in the ass.”
“You wouldn’t be a complete band without a slightly cocky frontman, would you?”
“There are two kinds of men. There are men who are fucking misogynist pigs, and then there are men who really love women, who think they’re the most amazing people in the world. And that’s me. Maybe the reason I was promiscuous, and wanted to sleep with a lot of them, is that I love them so much.”
“Instinctively, monogamy is not in our genetic makeup. I have cheated. And you know what? There is nothing worse than the feeling of doing it.”
“I spend most of my life naked. In fact, I often have to be told by the people around me that it’s inappropriate to be as naked as I am.”
Wheel of Musical Impressions on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Adam does not disappoint!
Adam Levine, Keira Knightly & Mark Ruffalo goof around promoting their movie 2013 ‘Begin Again’
On revealing his least sexiest traits.
Adam & Blake Shelton get personal when chatting about The Voice.
Ad-Am or Ad-Not? Levine plays a self-named game in discussing his likes and dislikes on Radio Fresh 102.
Another self-named game is played on the Ellen Degeneres show ‘Let Me Ad-Am!” With a sneaky surprise.
Some of his cutest moments captured on camera.
This playlist is available in Creation 5 under “Playlists”.
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Aaron is a 21 year-old London based singer-songwriter. She writes classic pop songs with an alternative electronic sound, wherein synthpop meets eighties R&B. Her work is characterised by lyrical prowess, honesty and emotion. In her personal style, her live performances and her dreamlike, ethereal music, Aaron belongs to the dream pop genre. One can also hear early 80’s Madonna, Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins influence scattered through Aaron’s work.
You’re now 21 years old with a practically fully formed look, sound and attitude. What has the last 5 years been like for you and what major differences do you see in yourself between then and now? Both musically and personally speaking. Just like any kid figuring out what they want to do, it’s been arduous and wonderful in equal measure. In hindsight I was pretty naive, both in my outlook and songwriting, but in that time I’ve transitioned from a girl to a young woman so naturally the themes and subtext of my work have changed dramatically. Personally, I think if you can accept the skin you’re in and realise there is no boundary to your capability, a lot can change for the better. That applies to being an artist as well, too many are under the impression that they must transform into something they’re not to garner the recognition they deserve, whereas for me it’s purely about being honest, personal and having the courage of conviction to stick with it.
In an Interview with WonderlandMagazine, you defined your sound Dream Pop as ”an ethereal wall of sound; full of breathy vocals, sharp bass, warm pads and hazy synths. It’s all layered, textural and lovely. It relies on that as much as it does melody.” We found this to be such an accurate description. We’re curious as to how this genre developed within you… Were you always dead set on making dream pop tracks? Oh, thank you and no, I didn’t know it would be dream pop. I started writing at 15, without the first clue of where I was gonna sit genre wise. It began in some of my early sessions in the studio, working with producers. Instinctively I would lean to those sort of sounds more than any others and was quite headstrong about it. At that time I didn’t have a name for it, I hadn’t spent years immersing myself in those dream pop records and labels, it came out of me spontaneously, without effort and has now evolved into this magical hybrid of my favourite artists/influences and sounds.
What do you find is the hardest thing about being a new artist to the scene? Getting people to take you and your work seriously. Attention is gained and lost so quickly, what with the media and the technology age we live in. It’s so different to five years ago and has changed the game for a lot of new artists. I think its a good thing though, especially for independent artists, you have to be way more creative with how you get your music out there. It seems you’re more likely to succeed if you’re anti establishment about it, there’s an element of punk now.
We have to express our obsession with your song Holding Water. it really is quite magical, captivating, and definitely what we would call a ‘repeat without defeat.’ Meaning no matter how many times you repeat the song, you don’t get tired of it. Could you share some insight about the creating process of this track? Thats sweet of you, thanks. Yeah of course, I wrote it with the incredible songwriter/producer Niall Lavelle (Raffertie), he’s a very accomplished musician and percussionist also, which you can hear in the rhythm section of the track. We started with this super moody warped synth line you hear in the verse, we wanted to create a stark difference between the verse and chorus, light and shade, so it had depth. The line Holding Water came out of nowhere and encapsulated everything I wanted to say and was feeling from the music. Sometimes I write and begin with lyrics like prose or I’ll just vibe on different melodies and words will spring out of them. Once I knew what I wanted to say the rest was pretty quick to follow.
Tell us the story behind your debut E.P title Letters to Jonny Letters To Jonny is a conceptual EP, a culmination of the work I was doing last year while writing for other artists. The music is heavily influenced by the songwriter/producer Johnny Jewel (Chromatics, Glass Candy, Desire) and is also where the name came from. The idea is based upon a girl who’s in love with a guy who doesn’t really exist. Her mind and relationship unravels as the record progresses, I don’t want to give too much away because you’ll hear it soon enough, but the track Jonny pieces it all together.
What kind of music in todays scene do you have the most distaste for and why? I don’t care much for EDM (I know thats a broad term) or these new pop boy bands with guitars, though I’m not one to slate other artists for giving it a go. If you have the courage to put yourself out there, then good on you.
Who would be your dream collaboration, dead or alive? David Byrne, Todd Rundgren and Dev Hynes.
What’s the most annoying thing people assume about you and/or your music? That I didn’t do that much of the work when I’ve written every song and co produced in parts. Sadly, it is unsurprising as it happens to far too many female artists (Bjork, Grimes etc).
Share some of your goals for the future, what you’re working towards, and ultimately what you want out of life? I want a career with longevity, I want to release several or more credible albums that I’ve written and produced and take them to as many countries around the world as possible. I want to keep writing, developing and learning. I’ve recently started playing guitar so it’d be cool if I do well with that. I’d really like a pet tortoise too.
Santa season last year here at Creation 5 was kept classy with the classics. This year we’re still keeping it classy, but slightly more contemporary. We hope you enjoy our 2014 Christmas Holiday playlist, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
If you are already using Creation 5, you will find this playlist inside the app. (If you don’t have Creation 5 you can find download links at the bottom of the this page.)
What does it take to make a historically relevant rock song? The recipe seems to include an instantly recognizable guitar riff, a loud anthem backdrop and a kick ass band to perform it to a crowd of natural born rock lovers.
Listed as one of the greatest songs of all time, it ranks highly in all the relevant rock accolades, winning a Grammy Hall of Fame award among many others. When this single hit the charts it stayed there for an incredible 15 consecutive weeks, peaking at Nº4. It was the band’s only song to become a top 10 singles hit in the US.
This was their 3rd single off the ’87 debut studio album Appetite for Destruction. The bands then bassist, explains how the song came about: “The thing about ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine,’ it was written in five minutes. It was one of those songs, only three chords. You know that guitar lick Slash does at the beginning? It was kinda like a joke because we thought, ‘What is this song? It’s gonna be nothing, it’ll be filler on the record.’ And except that vocal-wise, it’s very sweet and sincere, Slash was just fuckin’ around when he first wrote that lick” – Duff McKagan, 1988
This 1965 mega hit written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards refers to sexual frustration and commercialism. That world famous three-note guitar riff was intended to be replaced by horns, good thing they kept the guitar in! The single held strong for 14 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, taking the Nº1 spot for four of those weeks. In an interview for Rolling Stones Magazine, Jagger states: “It sounded like a folk song when we first started working on it and Keith didn’t like it much, he didn’t want it to be a single, he didn’t think it would do very well. That’s the only time we have had a disagreement.”
As Cream’s only gold-selling single in the United States, this 1967 release was one of their proudest accomplishments. Jimi Hendrix performed an instrumental version as a setlist staple throughout his concerts in the late ’60s and the legacy lives on in the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, as well as The Rock and Roll Hall of Fames’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.
Written by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon, it is considered one of rock music’s definitive love songs. Layla was inspired by the persian story of Layla and Majnun by 12th century poet Nizami Ganjavi. A tale of a moon princess who was married off by her father to someone who was not in love with her, resulting in her madness. This struck a deep chord with Clapton and the result was a chart peaking ”Greatest Ever” list surfer.
A two-week straight running Nº1 on the UK singles chart, it was the group’s breakthrough hit. Prior to this the group had released two singles which had flopped. As a result they were under tremendous pressure from their record company Pye. 14 years later, hard rock band Van Halen recorded a cover for their 1978 debut album. Safe to say the song helped jump-start the band’s success.
The video to this song was considered ground breaking as it was one of the first uses of computer-animated human characters back in 1986. Band member Mark Knopfler never wanted to use music videos of any kind. His opinion was that videos would destroy the purity of the songwriters. All he wanted to do was perform. However, after it won Video of the Year award (among many other nominations) at the MTV Video Music Awards, we are guessing Mark might have had a change of heart. The track dominated the charts across the globe, reaching Nº1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, US Billboard Top Rock Tracks, US Cash Box, and Canada Top Singles.
Off their 1972 album Machine Head, it made it to the Rolling Stone magazine’s famous list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Perhaps the most epic use of the song has been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1994 – in Canada 1,322 guitarists gathered to play the world-famous riff all at the same time. Then in Kansas City 2007, the record was topped by 1,721 guitarists. Then again in Germany with over 1,800 people! It goes on… In 2009 Poland out numbered all the previous record holders when 6,346 guitar players, joined by current Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse, performed the song during the Thanks Jimi Festival.
After Hendrix’s death in 1970, Voodoo Child, using the title Voodoo Chile was released in the UK, becoming his only Nº1 single in the British Record Charts. In an AllMusic song review the track was described as ‘The perfect example of how Hendrix took the Delta blues form and not only psychedelicized it, but cast an even more powerful spell by delivering the lyric in the voice of a voodoo priest’.
The song was written for AC/DCs former singer Bon Scott. Brian Johnson, his replacement, was asked by the band members to write a lyric for this song. The band had said to him ‘It can’t be morbid – it has to be for Bon and it has to be a celebration’. Brian recalls to Mojo magazine: “I just wrote what came into my head, which at the time seemed like mumbo, jumbo. ‘Nine lives. Cats eyes. Abusing every one of them and running wild.’ The boys got it though. They saw Bon’s life in that lyric.” The song got to Nº1 on the UK Singles Charts and US Hard Rock Digital Songs (Billboard). We won’t even begin to go into the explosive success of the album which was named after it.
The single achieved platinum certification for over 1 million copies which were shipped in the US. Sales of 30 million+ copies, slingshot the band into global popularity. AllMusic critics declared it ‘One of Metallica’s best moments. A burst of stadium level metal that, once away from the buildup intro, never let’s up’.
Certified double platinum, by September 2010 the song had sold over 1.75 million downloads. Rated 9th Greatest Guitar Solo ever by over 25 million readers of Guitar World magazine, also 9th on the list of the 40 Greatest Metal Songs by VH1. In 2009 it was named the 23rd Greatest Hard Rock Song of all time, also by VH1 which is the highest placement by a solo artist on the list.
Their 1970 release off their second studio album Paranoid turned out to be one of their greatest ever hits. It was the second Black Sabbath single in the US, getting very little radio play but that didn’t stop the development of a cult following, which led to enough sales to give it a chart position. Funnily enough, the track was originally named Iron Bloke by vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. Osbourne remarked that “It sounded like a big iron bloke walking about”. Later it was changed to Iron Man, with Geezer Butler writing the lyrics around the title.
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Kina Grannis burst into the world of YouTube in 2007, when her video for debut single Message From Your Heart won the Doritos Crash Superbowl contest and aired to nearly 100 Million viewers during Superbowl XLII. Shortly after, Grannis released her first full-length album Stairwells and on the strength of the record, played sold-out across the globe. In the fall of 2011, Grannis was catapulted into the limelight again when she released a stop-motion music video for In Your Arms off of Stairwells. Made with more than a quarter of a million Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, the video went viral and has since amassed more than 11 million views. This May, Kina returned with her sophomore full-length effort Elements. Elements landed in the Top 50 on the Billboard 200, #4 Folk Albums (Billboard), and #2 Singer-Songwriter Album (iTunes). Recently, Kina broke the 1 million subscriber mark on YouTube and boasts an incredible 150,000,000+ views.
Tap any video title to open it in Creation 5.
Kina, you’ve just wrapped up the first leg of your Elements tour. You’ve been all over Europe meeting fans and giving intimate performances. You’re now back in the states and gearing up for more shows. Tell us what shows you have lined up for this last month of 2014 and what you loved about your tour time in Europe? December should be a great month! I’ve got a short run of shows down the west coast of North America that I’m really looking forward to. After that, it’s basically straight into Christmas time! I’m very much looking forward to having some down time at the end of the year with my family.
The Europe tour was one of my favourites yet. We had just enough time to wander and explore in all the cities, which was amazing, and the crowds were just the best I’ve ever had. So much fun!
Our most favourite thing we’ve read about you is that you first debuted your performance skills in front of stuffed animals at the adorable age of 4. Now you’re touring the world and practically becoming your own brand. When did what you love doing turn into a career? Haha, yes, that was certainly a favourite pastime. Music didn’t become my career, however, until about a year after I graduated from college when I started sharing my music on YouTube for the first time. From there, things really took off.
Your YouTube channel has some crazy numbers going on. Right now you’re at almost 159 million video views and over 1 million subscribers. How long has it taken for these numbers to get to where they are today? It’s definitely been a slow and steady. I started my YouTube channel just over 7 years ago. For my first 2 months on YouTube I did a video a day, and then switched to a video a week for a long time.
How many original songs have you made since you were first capable of creating, writing and recording your own material? There must be a few hundred at this point. (Most of which no one will ever hear.)
Out of all of these songs, which is your favourite at this point? Can never pick a favourite. They’re all just parts of me.
It’s interesting that your new album is available on vinyl. Why did you decide to have this option available to fans, and do you plan on releasing more material on vinyl in the future? People had been requesting vinyls for some time, and I personally had always wanted to release something on vinyl as well – it just seemed like the right time. The problem is that pressing to vinyl is a lot more expensive. I hope I get to offer more music on vinyl in the future.
Can you tell us a bit about the triangles featured in the artwork of your new album Elements, how the album title came about, and how it all relates? The triangles are the symbols for the 4 elements – earth, air, water, fire. The album logo is actually a combination of all 4 (and just so happens has a K in the middle of it as well). The name Elements came to me very naturally when I was driving one day. I was thinking about the song titles – winter, dear river, the fire, write it in the sky, and I realized that there were a lot of natural and elemental themes in the songs. On top of that, these songs are really about what’s most important – love, loss, future, past, growth, beginnings, endings – all the many elements of life.
Speaking of your music videos, the emotion filled vid to your song My Dear shows beautiful clips of your wedding day. We are assuming the song was written about your husband, Jesse Epstein. When you wrote the song, had you already planned out how it would be filmed? Or was it the other way around? Also, how did Jesse react to it all? The idea for the music video for My Dear actually didn’t come to be until long after the wedding. We’d had all that footage taken for ourselves to look back on, and at some point it just seemed like it would be a really special thing to get to share it with everyone. Jesse and I made the decision together, he’s always been very supportive of me, whether it’s wanting to keep things private or share things.
It’s pretty cool that Jesse is also very musically talented and you two have collaborations together. Is this how you met?
We actually met in high school at a community service event. I later taught him how to play guitar (and he quickly became better at it than me).
Speaking of collabs, you’ve done many which can be seen on YouTube with different artists. Do you have anyone on your wish list that you haven’t paired up with yet? The #1 collab of my dreams would be with Imogen Heap. I admire and respect her so much as a musician and I would just about die to be able to collaborate with her in some way or another.
Your song Little Worrier off of your new album is very nurturing. What inspired the lyrics to this song? To make a long story short, I went on a writing retreat by myself in the woods, the sun went down, I realized I am by no means brave enough to be alone in the woods at night, I heard footsteps downstairs, I was paralyzed and thought I was about to be murdered, and then… it was a mouse. The next day, I realized I’ve always been a worrier – whether about the past, future, friends, what other people are thinking, etc–so this song is a reminder to myself and other worriers out there to just let it go. Worrying doesn’t change anything, it just makes now more sad/stressful/scary.
Going back to your younger years, what were your earliest musical influences, and do you remember when you first discovered Indie music? My biggest early influence was a Belgian band called K’s Choice. None of my friends knew them, but they felt like my little secret. They taught me how important music could be to people (namely, me).
Your style seen on tour and in music videos is so trendy and wacky, yet entirely unique and simplistic. Where do you get your clothes and accessories? My current favourites are Topshop, Urban Outfitters and Madewell.
You have your own clothes/Kina merchandise available in your online store. Would it be a dream of yours to have your own clothing line some day? I think that would be incredibly fun.
2014 has kept you pretty busy with a new album release, loads of YouTube videos and touring. What is in store for Kina in 2015? That is something I am very interested in finding out, myself 🙂 I guess we’ll just see how it unfolds.
Elements (Deluxe Version) tracklist 1. Dear River 2. The Fire 3. My Dear 4. Winter 5. Oh Father 6. Little Worrier 7. Throw It Away 8. Forever Blue 9. Maryanne 10. Write It in the Sky 11. My Own 12. This Far 13. Sorry (bonus) 14. Home (bonus) Elements Extended Trailer Digital Booklet
Megan Davies is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. At 24, she recently graduated from Belmont University, where she studied songwriting and classical guitar. Spending her days in classes and her nights recording in her room, she has amassed dozens of demos culminating in the release of two EP’s: Writing On The Walls in 2008, a collection of acoustic songs written during high school, and Apartment Sessions in 2011 which consisted of demos recorded in her dorm room while studying at Belmont University.
Tap a video title to open it in Creation 5.
In the summer of 2013, Megan began uploading covers to YouTube – collaborating with both her younger sister Jaclyn and other singer-songwriter friends in Nashville. Since then, she has amassed over ten million views and one hundred thousand subscribers. The Coffee House on XM Radio voted Megan and fellow artist Emily Hackett’s cover of Lorde’s Royals the Best Cover of 2013. Her covers have also been featured on websites such as RyanSecreast.com and Buzzfeed.
Megan is inspired by everything from commercial pop to indie folk to experimental rock. Currently she is playing shows and working on writing and recording more songs. Most of which are posted on her SoundCloud and YouTube.
When did you first discover YouTube and how big of a part of your life has it become? I’ve always been a fan of YouTube, way before I started posting videos. A lot of what I know on guitar came from watching my favorite players on YouTube and trying to learn what they were doing. It can be an incredible learning source for so many things. Nowadays it’s become a huge part of my life, in addition to adding this whole other visual component to what I do.
With almost 10.5 million video views, you’ve got yourself a huge internet fan base. Did you ever picture yourself taking off like this? Never in a million years. I still remember being excited when Jaclyn and my mashup of Radioactive and Pumped Up Kicks hit 1,000 views.
Your sister Jaclyn can be seen in a lot of your videos singing with you. Were you two singing together growing up, or is this something you discovered later on? Yeah we sang a lot together growing up. I was always writing songs and wanting her to sing them with me.
You’re currently living in Nashville, but originally from Pennsylvania. What sparked the move and how has Nashville living been treating you? I originally came to Nashville to study guitar at Belmont University. I absolutely love the city. There are so many talented people around, it’s inspiring to live here as a young artist.
Along with posting videos to your channel, making music and everything else, you also do shows. Where can people go to catch one of your shows? Right now the majority of my shows are in the Nashville area. However, I’m planning to do some out of state touring in 2015. The best place to stay up to date with those shows is on my Facebook.
Your enchanting song Dive In is a smooth mixture of melancholy piano, and heartfelt lyrics. Where did the inspiration for this song come from, and what came first; the words or the melody? Thanks for the kind words. For that song the melody and lyrics came at the same time, which is a rare thing for me. But I think because I knew what I wanted to say, that made it a lot easier. The message is about taking risks and not fearing the unknown, which is something I’m trying to do more of these days.
If you could describe your own personal sound in three words, how would you describe it? Raw, Passionate, Acoustic
Do you feel that your sound has fully formed with a strong, definite identity, or do you see yourself evolving? Evolving, but towards a definitive identity. This past year has been the biggest growth for me musically. When you discover an audience, it gives you confidence to be who you are. You stop second guessing yourself, and you just create.
We love your new cover of Heroes (We Could Be) featuring Landon Austin. How did you two meet each other and can we expect more collaborations with him in the future? Thanks. Landon and I actually went to the same school, though he was a few years ahead of me. Being the YouTube newbie I am, I reached out to him when my channel started growing just to get some advice. A few months later we did two covers together, one for each of our channels. It was a fun experience, and I hope there will be more in the future.
Who in the music industry has influenced you the most throughout your musical growth? So many. Musically I love Imogen Heap, Radiohead, and more recently Ed Sheeran. Some of my favorite guitarists are Tommy Emmanuel, Jerry Reed, and Kaki King.
What can fans expect from Megan Davies in 2015? Lots of new music!
Finally, looking back over 2014, what memories make you the happiest? Working with friends. I love creating on my own, but everything is more fun with friends.
Combining her love of classical music with EDM, hip-hop, and dubstep; violinist, dancer, and performance artist Lindsey Stirling is a one-of-a-kind. Born in Santa Ana, California, Stirling grew up in Arizona and began studying classical violin at the age of five. In 2010, she appeared as the “hip hop violinist” on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. After finishing in the quarter-finals of the show, Stirling worked with director/cinematographer Devin Graham and produced her first series of videos on YouTube. Crystallize, was her first major hit, and has been viewed more than 107 million times. In 2012 Lindsey independently released her self-titled debut album, which sold over 200,000 copies in the United States and was certified Gold in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. After successful concert tours throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and Russia, Stirling signed a deal with Lady Gaga’s management firm, Atom Factory, and reissued her eponymous debut album through Universal Music. Lindsey’s second album, Shatter Me, arrived in 2014.
This year, after an 8 week US tour, you then went on to tour for 6 weeks in Europe. Your european tour brought over 100,000 of your fans to come see you live in action. How was this whole experience for you? and are you planning on taking a break to recharge now that you’re back home? It was absolutely incredible; I felt so honored to be able to perform for so many of my fans all over the world. The fact that that many people were excited and even willing to buy tickets to my concerts still floors me haha; I couldn’t feel more blessed.
Speaking of living out your dreams, one of our favourite videos of yours is We Found Love which was filmed in Kenya and features some fantastic vocals and authentic African sound. You say that this was one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Through the video we experience that with you, and that’s what’s so great about it. Tell us a bit about VenTribe and how you came to do this song and film in Africa? I was dating Devin Graham (devinsupertramp on YouTube) at the time, and he was doing the project with VenTribe and convinced me to come with him to Africa for the project. I figured I might as well participate in the promotion and make a video while I was there, so I contacted Alisha Popat, who is an amazing singer and even more amazing as a person. She strives to be an example to women in Africa and teaches young girls to love and respect their bodies, which I think is amazing. The children I met there were absolutely beautiful, happy, and thriving. I know that not all villages in Africa are like that, but their example was a testimony to me that true happiness can come from loving and being grateful for what you have. These people had so little, and yet they took such pride in the work they did and what they were able to do and contribute in their communities.
Going back to your worldwide popularity, you now have over 5.7 million YouTube subscribers and over 815 million video views. Did you ever imagine yourself becoming this huge? I always dreamed of it, yes, and I saw it in my mind and I hoped for it, of course. Did I believe it could happen? Of course I did 😛 I was raised to believe that anything is possible. Does it still shock me when I see how far I have come? Every day. I can’t even begin to describe how humbled I feel by my success, by all of the supportive people in my life, and for my faith in God who guided me where I needed to go.
A lot of your initial popularity stemmed from the time you were on America’s Got Talent. Shockingly, Piers Morgan told you that you weren’t good enough, and Sharon Osbourne commented that what you were doing was not enough to fill a theatre in Vegas. Boy were they wrong. This reminds us of Simon Cowell’s criticising comments to the now very successful Tori Kelly when she auditioned on American Idol. What was going through your head while the judges were dishing out those harsh comments? How did it affect your self esteem at the time, and ultimately, when did you decide to not let that block your road to success? It absolutely crushed me. I felt humiliated. At the time I wanted to hide under a rock and cry and never come out again. But as the days went by the shame and the hurt fueled the kindling within me into a blazing fire. I knew I could succeed, with or without their approval or help. So I resolved to prove them wrong.
Speaking of AGT, you returned earlier this year, giving a powerful performance of your hit song Shatter Me alongside Lzzy Hale. You make playing the violin flawlessly suspended in mid-air look so easy. How cool did it feel to be back and bigger than ever? And did you get any feedback from the judges for old times sake? Man… I gotta admit, it felt massively good to perform for AGT as a successful artist. I didn’t have to say a thing, but everyone there knew it was a massive “in your face” moment for me XD #thankyouagt
Let’s talk about your Master of Tides video. You’re playing the violin, whilst dancing like a gymnast, whilst submerged ankle-deep in water, surrounded by mer people, who are also dancing like gymnasts. There’s some crazy choreography happening- oh, and there’s a guy who cartwheels on his trident. Pretty spectacular. How did you manage not to slip over through all that? Believe me, I was nervous! Slipping was a definite possibility, so I put on my best shoes, prayed like crazy, and went for it haha.
Where did you learn to dance like that? Tell us the story behind your moves. I used to love to improve-dance when I was a little kid; I loved watching figure skating and “dancing” shows on TV and I would mimic their moves. As I got older I watched YouTube tutorials and had one or two private lessons.
Through your experience, what would you say is the greatest and hardest part about being an independent recording artist? I’d say the pace. It’s easy to get left behind in this industry if you aren’t putting out new stuff on a regular basis. Fans want new songs/new videos/new material, and of course I want to make my fans happy. So I work really hard to do that. It’s easy to get overloaded and sometimes I have to force myself to slow down. The greatest thing about being an independent artist is that I have so much creative freedom, and the ability to mold and channel my career how I see fit.
A very special aspect to your music is the diversity of it. You’ve featured in practically every genre under the sun, with loads of artists on different ends of the spectrum. You’ve single handedly proved that violin can accompany pretty much any type of music track and make it better. How does this process usually unfold? Does the artist send you the music and you fill in the blanks? or do you both work together in the creating process? It’s usually a collaborative effort/I’m allowed creative freedom, but there have been times when I’ve been given material and asked to stay “true” to the writing. In my collaborations with Pentatonix, for example, the violin parts were pre-written for me and I was asked to play them as such.
On the subject of collaborations, your cover version of Radioactive with Pentatonix won Response of the Year in the first YouTube Music Awards in 2013. Did this achievement spark the new cover of Papaoutai featuring you and the a cappella group? Fans want to know if we can look forward to more songs with PTX? We’re pretty obsessed. I absolutely love those guys; if they’re up for another collab I’m all for it!
A day in the life of a successful musician is no piece of cake. Are you playing the violin every single day? How intense is the practicing, and do you ever need to take a break from it all? It’s honestly been difficult to the find time to practice very much on tour due to the insane schedule. I still take private lessons whenever I’m stationed in Los Angeles, which is a great motivator for me, and I plan to practice several hours a day now that I’m home and off tour.
What was it like joining Cirque de Soleil earlier this year for the annual One Night for One Drop in Las Vegas? That was definitely a unique opportunity; absolutely loved it! Loved the costumes, loved the people, loved the whole production. I was honored to be part of it and I highly recommend.
We want to know what your favourite meal is, and is there a favourite person to sit and eat it with? Here we are indirectly asking about your dating life ;). Cereal! I don’t really have a dating life at the moment haha, so I think I would choose to eat with my dad. Only I would order him a hamburger because that’s his favorite (“No sissy cereal for me,” he’d say).
From the start you’ve been very open and honest with your fans and the general public about your life. One struggle you had to face in your early adulthood was an eating disorder. What would be your message to others going through similar struggles right now, and how did you personally overcome it? #1 would be that everyone struggles with something, and you absolutely have to be able to admit you have a problem before there is any hope of overcoming it. #2 Know that you are never alone and #3 It is absolutely critical to ask for and be willing to receive help. We all need it 😉 That’s what we’re all here for …we need each other.
Finally, what are you most looking forward to going into the new year 2015? I’m looking forward to touring again, making more music videos, and maybe producing a Christmas album.
If you’re an animal lover, you’re certainly going to appreciate this list of music videos we’ve put together starring man’s best friend. A great deal of training went in to some of them, a great deal of comedy went into others, but a great deal of cuteness is present in all of them.
OK Go never fail to impress with their brilliantly choreographed one-take music videos and catchy anthem-like tracks. They really went up a level with this one though as it features a bevy of incredibly well trained rescue dogs… and a goat.
A possy of practically perfect pedigree pooches prowl the urban sprawl in the dark of night, stopping the bad guys and protecting the innocent. They’re out to save the world one heroic act at a time. You’ve never seen a set of more adorable vigilantes.
German musician Herr Tischbein got the mixture of trumpets, comedy and canine just about right in this classy vid. He definitely set out to put a smile on the viewers face, and so far he’s been very successful. Guaranteed to make you giggle.
This very sweet, light hearted and cleverly done rendition of We Could Be Heroes was made to raise awareness for pet cancer. Not only is it definitely worth a watch, it’s also worth donating to the charity who organised it’s production: http://www.pettrust.ca
Will Young starts off being embarrassed by his seemingly not-so-well trained show dog at a very important competition. As the video goes on, the greatest thing happens. This could be classified as a tear jerker… You’ve been warned.
The bulldog featured in this one gets showered with a plethora of bones – yay! Then some mailmen show up and start breakdancing, as they do… and then some sexy human kittens in heals pop up and start grinding on each other, as per usual. Safe to say the dog is confused, or so we think. Wait, is that band member wearing a steak? Keep watching to see how this bulldog ends up saving the day. More doggy power!
This is a cute video showing how if you get dumped, your dog will be there for you. But remember, he’s still a dog, and not a boyfriend replacement. Don’t be too upset when he doesn’t appreciate you getting him a takeaway coffee at the park. He’s going to want to run around at some point!