Estella Dawn delivers a sweet spin on her acoustic love song, “Ain’t Like Me.” Avoiding the cliches often used on gushing ballads, Estella takes a fresh approach to admitting her love for someone else while also acknowledging her self-love.
Born and raised in New Zealand but residing in the US, the singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist brings a depth of talent and ability to the new pop scene. Wholly encapsulating the art of a life devoted to music, the working creative writes, records, and produces every one of her releases.
Coming off the back of their new project, ‘This is not a drill’ is a tapestry of elusive raw energy.
R. City skillfully melds music cultures together in this new track. “WAPA” embraces island slang and the unique facets of identity that make Caribbeans the smoothest in the game.
The incomparable Alicia Keys joins Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 to discuss the 20th Anniversary of her GRAMMY-winning multi-platinum sophomore album, ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys’. She opens up about collaboration over the years, dives into the process of creating ‘Diary’ fresh off the heels of her GRAMMY-winning first album, and reflects on how she kept that momentum going. Keys also opens up about how her husband Swizz Beatz helps her celebrate her wins and shares how Clive Davis has impacted her career.
I’m reflecting back to ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys’. I’m reflecting back to this being my second offering to the world. There was so much that changed for me. There was so much that was different than it had ever been before in my life. Obviously a girl born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen in Harlem, never had travelled like that. You don’t travel like that. Where do you go? You go to Jersey. Maybe you’re going to get to Connecticut. There’s not really a tonne of places that I had gone at the time, but thanks to the Songs in A Minor. I travelled the whole world. Here I was kind of coming back. I remember things like washing my dishes, doing my laundry, going shopping.
I remember that moment so vividly. I was coming from whatever airport, because I was coming from whatever airport, getting into whatever car. There was a boy, a boy. He was selling candy. I was like, “Yeah, I’ll buy the candy.” You know what I mean? He was asking me if I would buy some candy. Then I was like, “Yeah, I’ll buy the candy from you.” I started asking him about himself. “What’s your name? Where are you from? Where’d you grow up?” I just asked him all these questions. His energy and his vibe at the time, I wonder if he remembers this the way that I remember this, but his energy and a vibe at the time, I could tell that things weren’t the easiest for him. He had been through a lot.
I also remember just feeling like who was asking him anything about his life? Who was asking him what he had experienced or caring about what he might be losing sleep over or scared about or anything like that? I remember leaving that moment with that young man, and that’s what made me write ‘Nobody, Not Really’. The first line is, “Who really cares when I talk, what I think, what I feel? Nobody, not really.”
That was just what I felt, and even for myself, people care about what benefits them, but a lot of times people aren’t really actually interested in what you are really going through.
Listen, I learned a lot from him. I’ve learned a lot from him and I really appreciate… He said to me one time, he interviewed me and he said to me that he always approaches everything with how can I, he’s talking, how can I ensure the win? He’s making sure that everything he puts his hand on is going to win. Every single thing. He’s going to make sure every dot is… Everyone one is dot, every T is crossed. He’s going to make sure that every… I learned a lot from when he said that because I think a lot of the times as a human, definitely as an artist, a lot of times we are just reacting to what’s happening to us as opposed to ensuring that whatever is coming our way is by design.
We were so shocked that I don’t even feel like we celebrated like that. I remember after the GRAMMYs, that first GRAMMYs, I remember we all just went home. I remember I sat in my hotel room. I was just like… Because it just felt like that. What are you supposed to do? It’s shock. It’s shocking. It’s literally shocking. I don’t know that we celebrated as much as maybe we should have even because I think I learned how to celebrate myself more way later. Way later, I started to celebrate, and that was more…
Swizz taught me that. He definitely taught me that. You know, he’s right. You do have to have take a moment to give thanks and be grateful. And enjoy the times that you have to enjoy because it’s rare that you get those moments.
Man, so much was different between that first one and that second one between, ‘Songs in A Minor’ and ‘Diary of Alicia Keys’. The second one, I was just starting to discover who else I could be beyond what I thought that I already was. I wasn’t ready to really be fully that person because it was new. If you even notice down to the details, it was the first time I… The Songs in A Minor, my hair was all braided. In ‘Diary’, my hair was half braided. Again, that was just me even first experimenting with what does it feel like when I change this? People knew me so specifically for cornrows.
It was a big, big thing. I spent hours and hours in my day braiding my hair. It was like a special ritual. You know what I mean? To become who I already was, but this kind of presented version of myself. Then I started to undo that, and in a lot of ways I was undoing what I thought that I was and discovering who I was becoming.
It’s a pain in the ass. It just is. I know. I feel it is, but there was also like, yes, the action of practice, practicing anything, a practice that you’re dedicating yourself to and having to be dedicated to in order to find momentum in… Is definitely highs and lows. You have the joy of accomplishing something that you never thought you could at the beginning. The beginning when I would open these pieces or try to play them, I was so scared of them. I was terrified of them. You have to see the black and white notes on the page, and they look endless. There’s 16, 18, 25 pages of music that you’re needing to get through in order to complete this entire suite or this opus. Or whatever it might be, or these movements. At first I’d be terrified, but as you find yourself pushing yourself through one measure at a time, I’m going to learn these two measures. And I’m going to learn these next two measures, and then I’m going to put them together.
I cannot believe this, but I’ve really only made one record with Timbaland. But Heartburn is such a special energy. It really does capture the soulfulness of Timbaland. I’ve always loved Timbaland’s songs, and I think that there’s such a frenetic energy that he captures in even the most soulful ways. It just doesn’t make sense. Today, Swiss will be on the phone with Tim and be like, “Yo, listen to this.” And Tim will be in the studio doing something crazy. I think just being in that space with him and being able to create and taking that moment, it was so simple. It was just-
I definitely saw my own growth between ‘Songs in A Minor’ and ‘Diary’ vocally. Vocally, because I was the first time that I was toured so extensively, and the first time that I was able to really understand what it takes. Probably the first time I was able to watch myself and say, “Ooh, we got to be tighter with this or better with that, or.” You don’t get to see that if you’ve never done it before. And so I really grew a lot from that experience, and I saw myself really growing. And part of what I think is one of my own writer techniques is that the song is always going to be a little bit out of reach.
And ‘Diary’ was an anomaly. It was definitely writing itself on the ‘Songs In A Minor’ tour. And I would sit down every day and I would be like… And I knew it came naturally. And I couldn’t write it for the whole time, I couldn’t write it. The chorus were there and I knew they were so beautiful, but I didn’t know what they wanted to say.
It’s crazy, this record and I love this song so much. And I love how people have loved this song so much, even to the point where all over TikTok, you’ll see people reenacting the entire talking part of the record. It’s incredible. But working with Kanye at that time, he was a baby. We were both definitely babies. I’m still a baby. Exactly.
But at that moment, we just were just all passion and all love and it was so cool to be able to experience that moment where we were both just finding out who we were. And so ‘You Don’t Know My Name’, which definitely was that vibe, I’ll never forget that day in the studio with him. That was the first time…
As promised, Jonzing World’s new artist Gdzilla released his debut single today called ‘High Tension’. Over the Amapiano-style production featuring infectious rhythms and soulful melodies, the recently unmasked Lagos State artist sings in his local dialect on the hook about giving naysakers full pressure and high tension that seems to match the pressure of the “gbedu” drum. To catch the groove, stream the uptempo dance track below. It is the lead record from Gdzilla’s forthcoming EP, set to come out next Friday, December 8.
Today, South Africa’s latest sensation, Tyla, released three new tracks, including ‘Truth or Dare’—a record she has teased on social media for a few weeks. Alongside her exciting rollout, with delight, the ‘Water’ vocalist has also shared her vivacious COLORS performance with fans. Nominated for the first GRAMMY in the Best African Music Performance category, Tyla is up against Nigeria’s Asake and Olamide, Davido, Burna Boy, and Ayra Starr, who she once collaborated with for a track called ‘Girl Next Door’. Lastly, the Afropop/Amapiano artist is the first African female soloist to earn a top ten spot with ‘Water’ on the Billboard Hot 100. Not bad for a twenty-one-year-old.
Stream Tyla’s new tracks ‘Water’, ‘Butterflies’, and ‘On and On’ below until her debut album arrives.
According to Hola!, Sebastian Stan (Pam and Tom, Captain America, and Gossip Girls) will portray former American President Donald Trump in a new film directed by Ali Abbasi. The award-winning director’s film is called ‘The Apprentice’; “appears to be based on Trump’s life and the formation of his real estate empire.” The multilingual publication also states that Maria Bakalova (to play Ivana Trump, Trump’s late wife) and Jeremy Strong (to play Roy Cohn, an attorney who had a close relationship with Trump when he was younger) will co-star.
Today, Beyoncé released a surprise song called ‘My House’ made for the balls, darling. In tandem with the launch of her concert film—Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé—the Queen of Pop continues to showcase her versatility by rapping and singing about what she wants and why her face card never declines, chile. Stream the surprise four-minute track with chants below that openly exudes her dominance.
Today, the latest news from DPrince’s Jonzing World label is the announcement for his new artist Gdzilla, an artist the visionary launced in August on social media. Sending critics and fans in a frenzy, they’ve shared thoughts about him, the snippet of his first track, and even speculate about his real identity.
Even lagbaja get breathing space, but Gdzilla no fit even drink from his cup. 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/ubAkHnybsh
— AFRO NIGERIA 🇳🇬 (@afro_nigeria2) September 11, 2023
Jonzing world signing be like
Rema Full face
Ruger one eye
Gdzilla no face
Next signing fit be spirit 😆
TOTO Esther Banky Black Sherif Nigeria sexyy Red Kylie Chelsea Travis Scott
— 7DNaija Media (@7dnaija) August 30, 2023
Jonzing World is best known for giving the world the talents Rema and Ruger. Therefore, there’s a standard to uphold—exciting us as African music superfans. Luckily, we would not have to wait long since ‘High Tension’ is out everywhere tomorrow, December 1. Following its release, Gdzilla’s eponymous debut EP will also land.
David Guetta released the official music video for his recent collaboration with 2024 GRAMMY nominated artists Ayra Starr and Lil Durk today. Over the polished production, each artist sings about relationships. The Beninese native, known for Afrobeats hit like ‘Rush’ and ‘Bloody Samaritan’, stays on theme and sends an apt forget you to a past lover who obviously seems to deserve it. Chicago’s own decides to go the other route to show appreciation to his lover and takes it up a notch to celebrate her mother for giving birth to her. Check out the video directed by Shapxo below.
Today, Busta Rhymes announced his North American tour dates in support of his new album ‘Blockbusta’. When the Hip-Hop legend completes the remaining dates on 50 Cent’s ‘Final Lap’ world tour, he will embark on his twenty-four-date tour on March 13 at The Masonic in San Francisco, California. It ends at the Paramount in Brooklyn, New York, on April 21. As it mentions on the advertisement, his longtime hypeman, Spliff Star, will join him alongside DJ Scratchator. Pre-sale tickets are now on-sale. General pre-sale tickets become available on Friday, December 1.
3/13 San Francisco, CA The Masonic
3/15 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Palladium
3/16 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
3/17 San Diego, CA SOMA
3/19 Las Vegas, NV House of Blues
3/20 Phoenix, AZ The Van Buren
3/22 Denver, CO Fillmore Auditorium
3/24 Dallas, TX South Side Ballroom
3/26 Austin, TX Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
3/28 Houston, TX 713 Music Hall
3/30 Atlanta, GA Coca Cola Roxy
4/1 Orlando, FL House of Blues
4/2 Miami Beach, FL Fillmore Miami Beach At Jackie Gleason Theatre
4/4 Raleigh, NC The Ritz
4/5 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore Charlotte
4/7 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore Philadelphia
4/8 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore Silver Spring
4/9 Boston, MA House of Blues
4/11 Detroit, MI The Fillmore Detroit
4/12 Toronto, ON HISTORY
4/14 Chicago, IL Radius Chicago
4/17 Nashville, TN Marathon Music Works
4/18 Cincinnati, OH Andrew Bradley Music Center
4/21 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Paramount