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Cheryl Gatward

Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass

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Have a problem with your body image? Meghan Trainor’s debut single “All About That Bass” should help. Tons of airplay and a general buzz about the track have sent it straight to the top of the iTunes charts and to Nº8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The pastel-pink, adorable video stars Meghan and a sassy troupe of dancers who have no problem flaunting “all the right junk in all the right places.” Also featuring in this clip is Vine superstar Sione Maraschino – watch the video and you’ll see that he can shake his booty just as well as the ladies!

Meghan Trainor is a singer-songwriter from Nashville and this debut single is bringing her into the realm of pop star. The positive message behind the song is so needed these days: It doesn’t matter what your body type is, as long as you know how to work what you’ve got. «I’m here to tell you that every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top!”. The song is very retro, R&B with a Motown blend.

Meghan, in a interview with Billboard magazine, said that she wrote the song for herself: “I wrote it for me, as well, because I’ve struggled with [body image] since I was very young. And, my best friend is a beautiful goddess, but she’ll pick on herself in the mirror. «My forehead’s too big,» or, «My shoulders go out too far …» So, if other girls can relate to the song, it makes me feel even better. It’s unreal that I’m kind of helping people.”

“I saw a feature on The Ellen DeGeneres Show about that model who was Photoshopped to have extra-long arms. I was like, this is getting out of control. Someone needs to say something! So, when I got my record deal, and with this song, I was like, perfect, I have the opportunity to say something to the world. I’ll take it. This is the best message I could say.”

All About That Bass debuts at No. 13 on Streaming Songs with 4.2 million plays (up 141 percent) and posts the biggest jump of the week on the radio-based Pop Songs chart (37-23, up 77% in plays). Meghan has seen a 68 percent rise in new Twitter followers last week alone and a 433% gain in Twitter mentions! She’s hot!

Meghan has been writing songs since she was 11 years old. She released her debut album in 2011 – “I’ll Sing With You”, but it wasn’t till this year that she found fame. L.A. Reid heard Trainor’s demo of “All About That Bass” and immediately signed her to Epic Records.


The Expendables 3

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Get ready for the last ride! The Expendables 3 hits theatres this month and although most critics have torn it apart calling it a ‘geri-action’ adventure with a threadbare plot, if it’s action you want – you’ve got it!

The reviews haven’t been great – Rotten Tomatoes have given it a miserable 33% and IMDB slightly better at 6.4 out of 10.

Digital Spy: “If it wasn’t for a nostalgic affection for the cast and their previous endeavours, The Expendables 3 would be borderline unreleasable. The big name involvement ensures that the movie is watchable, but the underdeveloped script and unconvincing direction do them a great disservice.”

Hollywood Reporter: “With no higher purpose than generating cash and allowing for a few shared laughs among old buddies on repetitive assignments to take out tyrannical despots and nefarious arms dealers, the Expendables lack the dimensionality of enduring screen characters, despite the iconic roles many of these actors have played in other films.”

Whatever the reviews say, as Stallone says “Let’s do what we do”. This movie is mindless entertainment – and that is said with the greatest respect, because mindless entertainment is great fun! The action starts really early and never stops, the explosions are awesome and it has everything a good action movie should have.

Actually, it’s closer to a show that a movie – it feels like the lads are back together for one last run, to show us that they’ve still got it. And they’ve still got it! They might be geriatric, as many are saying, but there are teenagers who don’t look as good as this bunch.

There is also talk of a spin off – The Expendabelles – which is due to start shooting early next year. Speaking at the premiere in central London on Monday producer Avi Lerner explained: “We are writing the final lines of the script, we’ve got lots of ideas about who is going to be in it. We’re going to do it at the beginning of next year, that’s all I can say about this movie right now.”

The Expendables 3 hits theatres in the US on August 15.


The Script – Superheroes

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The Script honor everyday Superheroes in their new music video shot in Alexandra, Johannesburg. A Heartwarming song with an equally inspiring video.

Superheroes is the first single from their upcoming album No Sound Without Silence. Directed by Vaughan Arnell, the video celebrates the everyday heroes of the city and in particular a father on his workday.

The lyrics are beautiful: “When you’ve been fighting for it all your life / You’ve been struggling to make things right / That’s how a superhero learns to fly / Every day, every hour Turn the pain into power.”

Superheroes is a song full of hope and was one of the first tracks to be written for the new album – inspired by the highs the band experienced as they came off stage at the end of one of their sold out stadium shows in the US.

No Sound Without Silence, the bands fourth studio album, is actually the sound of the Script firing on all cylinders. It was written whilst the band were touring in 2013 – they used a specially built mobile recording studio. The tour lasted 11 months and they played to sold out audiences in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia – including two special shows at the O2 in London. As soon as thy finished touring they took a couple of weeks off and then hit the studios again in London and Dublin to finish the work.

The Script have achieved a huge amount of success globally, selling more than 20 million records – all three of their albums have gone multi-platinum worldwide. They have done particularly well in the US where they have sold over one million albums and have 5 platinum singles.

No Sound Without Silence is a phrase derived from an idea put forward by the band, lead vocalist Danny O’Donoghue said «The time we’ve been away touring, we’ve had time to contemplate about what we want to say to the (music) industry. There is no sound without silence. You can’t have anything good to say if you don’t think about it first».

No Sound Without Silence will be released on September 12 in Ireland and September 15 in the UK by Columbia Records.


Ed Sheeran – Don’t

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Ed Sheeran has released a new video for Don’t which features a seriously flexible dancer who pop locks his way from rags to riches in Los Angeles.

Following Ed’s video for ‘Sing’ he only makes two small cameo appearances in this video. The dancer wakes up in the ghetto and slowly makes his way into better and better homes, changing his clothes as he goes. He finally ends up in a beautiful LA mansion, gets suited and booted and then shows off some serious matrix-like dance moves.

The song might be inspired by a break-up but the music video, directed by Emil Nava, is quite inspirational. In an article by Rolling Stone Ed explains that the song is about a real-life romance with another singer who slept with one of Sheeran’s close friends while they were staying in the same hotel. And it definitely was not about Taylor Swift, contrary to internet rumours. «It’s 100 percent not about Taylor,» he said. «Taylor’s one of these people that if you piss her off and she writes a song about you, it’s not good news for you. I’ve never dated Taylor. I’ve dated a few singers, though.»

Don’t is the second single from Ed’s hugely popular second album X which has now been at Nº1 on the UK charts for six weeks – it’s the biggest selling album of the year in the UK.

The ‘Don’t’ EP is slated for release on August 24, and it includes a Rick Ross remix of the track as well as ‘Be My Husband (live at Glastonbury)’ plus ‘Everything You Are’.

Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence

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Lana Del Rey takes on the role of a bride in her ethereal Ultraviolence video. Only problem is, where is the groom?

In line with Lana’s recent videos, this video is set in early 60’s Americana and the footage is grainy with washed out colours, which certainly gives it the ‘home video’ vibe. In fact, the whole video was shot on an iPhone. It’s a very dreamy visual and goes so well with the music.

The whole video sees Lana in a low-cut wedding dress walking slowly through a forest (was she inspired by the Kardashian-West wedding?) en route to an altar. And even though no one is there when Lana finally arrives, the video still manages to be hopelessly romantic – despite lyrics like «He hit me and it felt like a kiss.»

Lana explained her reasons for singing lines like this in her Rolling Stone cover story. «I’m very selfish. I make everything for me, kind of. I mean, every little thing, down to the guitar and the drums. It’s just for me…”

Lana is the only person to feature in the video though you do see a man’s hand – possibly the Director’s, Francesco Carrozzini.

Ultraviolence is the title track from Lana’s third studio album, released on June 13, 2014 by Interscope and Polydor Records. The album debuted at Nº1 in twelve countries and saw first-week sales of 880,000 copies. Sales now exceed one million worldwide.

Zhu – Faded

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The mysterious LA-based producer & vocalist Zhu now has his first UK Top 10 – new in a Nº3 this week – with ‘Faded’. The black-and-white, arty music video is a racy romp through the Paris club scene, filmed in the Montemarte districts’ subterranean Social Club.

This is Zhu’s first music video and the world still doesn’t seem to know who he really is. He doesn’t appear in the video (although we’re not sure of this either) but the video does take the viewer on a rather dreamy journey. It seems that being a mystery producer is very ‘de moda’ these days. Everyone’s doing it. Look at Daft Punk or Deadmau5 with his huge mouse head hiding his identity or Jai Paul and Burial who won’t even play live.

Last year Zhu had a twitter, Facebook and page and then they all mysteriously disappeared, being replaced by new accounts that are empty. I guess ‘Watch this Space’ is the only advice!

Zhu released an EP ‘Nightway’ in April this year, he is now zooming up the charts and we still have no portraits, no live performances, just his distinctive logo and a music video for Faded. The website doesn’t give anything away either – there is just a soundcloud player and an email sign up.

Apparently his name is Steven Zhu and in his one sole interview with Triple J he mentioned he might be visiting Australia for a live show. «We’ll be over there, I can’t say when, but we will be over there this year at some point,» he said. «I’m very excited; it’s kind of another home (away) from home because you guys were the first to embrace it.”

He also said in the interview that this might be his last interview as he does prefer to keep a low profile, both on and off the stage. When asked whether he would reveal himself during the show, he had this to say: «Whether it’s anonymous or not anonymous, we’re going to definitely bring a great experience,» he said. «Whatever complements the music, you know people definitely see fog in this music and see smoke. We’ll definitely be aware to make sure every sense is getting touched during the show.»

Janelle Monae – Electric Lady

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Janelle Monáe has just released a new music video for Electric Lady. The futuristic clip features a host of stars, soulful horns and plenty of groovy dancing!

The song is a great showcase of Janelle’s talents – she even demonstrates her rapping skills. Janelle took the opportunity to celebrate the important women in her life – her ‘Electric Ladies’ and the video features cameos from T.I., Estelle, Esperanza Spalding, T-Boz, Monica, Kimbra, Joi, choreographer Fatima Robinson and Monáe’s mother.

The video is set at a futuristic college party where Monáe hits up an «Electra Phi Beta» sorority house party and from there the whole party erupts into fantastic dance routines – including light sabres and marching bands.

The press release included two quotes from President Barak Obama and the First Lady:

First Lady Michelle Obama on Janelle Monáe:
“First of all, I am honored to be the first Electric Lady. I got my letter in the mail — I framed it; it’s up. I love that she is one of the young artists here who is making music that means something. She has a message. She has a voice. She has a power in her. And she understands the responsibility she has within her grasp to take these opportunities and just take off with them. She serves as a role model and an inspiration to so many young people. And I am happy to call her my friend. I am so proud of her.”

President Barack Obama on Janelle Monáe:
“Janelle has performed at the White House, like, 15 times. There’s going to be an official Janelle Monae room in the White House. We love her. Michelle and I love Janelle. We love her energy. We love her talent. But we most of all love her character. And anybody who gets a chance to talk to her, this is just a remarkable, strong, smart young lady. And I have to say nice things about her because she may be the only person in possession of a video in which I try to keep up with her and Usher on the dance floor. Now, this is top secret. She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.”

Guardians of the Galaxy

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In theatres this weekend the smart, tongue-in-cheek space opera ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. A bunch of unlikey superheroes are on a quest to save the cosmos in Marvel’s latest cinematic adventure.

The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Dave Bautista (Drax), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Vin Diesel (Groot) and Bradley Cooper (Rocket).

Marvel has brought us the blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, and now comes a brand new team – the Guardians of the Galaxy. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded into the cosmos! Chris Pratt leads the unlikely heroes – Rocket, an aggressive gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly Gamora and Drax the Destroyer. “If we are going to save the galaxy, we’re gonna have to do it together.”

As is now expected from Marvel Studios the inclusion of special post-credit sequences at the end of the movie are worth waiting for. We don’t want to spoil things if you haven’t seen the movie, so suffice to say, remember to stay for the credits, you won’t be disappointed. It’s one of the best post-credit sequences, ever.

We love the soundtrack – it’s quite retro, suggesting that the Studio are expecting ‘middle’ youth, not just teenagers to enjoy this epic adventure.

The best character in our opinion is Groot, played by our favourite actor Vin Diesel – “I didn’t realise how much I love trees” – Vin said of his role.

The movie website IMDB have given the movie a 9/10 rating and Rotten Tomatoes have given it a whopping 90%.

Initial Release: August 1, 2014 (USA)
Running Time: 122 minutes

Katy Perry – This Is How We Do

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Katy Perry debuts a wacky pop art video for her new single #thisishowwedo. It’s a wonderful explosion of art, vintage fashion, pepperoni pizzas and even twerking ice creams! Some serious eye candy here!

After problems with her last video ‘Dark Horse’ which caused a lot of controversy, Katy has wisely steered away from presenting any ethnic groups, instead she has opted for pop culture references, with her Pee-Wee Herman-inspired backup dancers and vintage art-inspired outfits. We love the tribute to Aretha Franklin’s inauguration hat!

The video begins with Katy as an art masterpiece – she then circles through 5 stunning looks in just 30 seconds! She wears everything from Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic Mondrian dress to a pepperoni pizza swimsuit! Her back up dancers look pretty amazing as well – especially the super cute guys dressed in smooth grey suits and red bow ties.

Don’t worry about some of the lyrics – which are a teeny bit cringe-worthy “Now we’re talking astrology / getting our nails did all Japanese-y,” just enjoy the show! The combination of visuals and beats works really well – Katy rocks it in this video!

‘This Is How We Do’ is the fifth single from Perry’s recent chart-topping album Prism.


Bakermat – One Day (Vandaag)

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Dutch producer Lodewijk Fluttert, known by his stage name Bakermat, is on course for his first UK Top 40 hit with One Day. The track was a huge hit across Europe last year and is now breaking out of house music circles and entering the big leagues! The song samples Martin Luther King’s most famous speech “I Have a Dream”.

The song was originally released as ‘Vandaag’ in August 2012 as a single and reached the top 10 in Austria, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. It was then rereleased by Sony this year as ‘One Day (Vandaag)’ and immediately became a hit in Germany and Austria and now – it’s edging up the UK charts, currently sitting at Nº12.

Bakermats masterful use of the saxophone melody, overlaid with samples of the speech gives the track an almost ethereal feel. We interviewed Bakermat in November last year and spoke to him about the use of this famous speech: «I think it’s the best speech ever written and narrated. The speech is music itself. I thought it would be nice to ‘remix’ it and so, I started the track “Vandaag” from scratch, with only the speech to draw inspiration from. I made the chords and built stuff up around it. Martin Luther King remains one of the best speechmakers ever.”

Read the full interview here.

Upcoming Bakermat concerts:

Saturday 06 September 2014 – O2 Academy Brixton, London, UK

Saturday 20 September 2014 – L’Olympia, Paris, France

Saturday 11 October 2014 – Sunday 12 October 2014
Escape Music Festival 2014 – Pier 9, Brooklyn, NY, US

Saturday 25 October 2014 – Parc des Expositions, Caen, France

Saturday 01 November 2014 – The Garage, Glasgow, UK