Sam Smith

Jessie J covers Sam Smith's "Stay With Me"

Jessie J covers Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”

Remember when Jessie J used to release breathtaking acoustic videos on Youtube? I’m glad the “Bang Bang” singer has grown as an artist, but I sure do miss those days!

J’s recent cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” made me want to go revisit those videos. The singer keeps her vocals soft for the most part, but the cover is still stunning. Her signature melismas adds some texture to the popular single.

Jessie J is currently on the promo trail for her forthcoming album Sweet Talker, which will be released on Oct. 14. Continue reading

Sam Smith's "Restart" video

Sam Smith’s “Restart” video

Sam Smith is currently touring the United States in support of his critically acclaimed debut album In The Lonely Hour.

The singer’s latest music video seems to be one song-length commercial for the tour in which he plays festivals, sings Beyonce’s “***Flawless,” eats and walks the beach with his band mates and a few familiar faces. And all while the 80-inspired In the Lonely Hour cut “Restart” plays.

If this video makes you want to head over to Ticketmaster to buy tickets, I have some bad news. The remainder of Smith’s U.S. dates are sold out. Continue reading

Instagram (@TheRealMaryJBlige)

Instagram (@TheRealMaryJBlige)

So far this year Mary J Blige has teamed up with both Disclosure and Sam Smith for excellent rewordings of their hit singles (“F For You” and “Stay With Me,” respectively) and now the artists are teaming up once again.

Ahead of her new album, The London Sessions, Blige has released “Right Now,” which was produced by Disclosure and co-written by Disclosure, Smith, and Jimmy Napes. While the song doesn’t necessarily sound like Smith lyrically, it’s production has the Disclosure’s musical footprint all over it. It’s the perfect blend of their House influence and Blige’s R&B roots.

Blige’s desire to team up with London artists to create The London Sessions is smart considering the crazy amount of talent coming from their right now.

“The music is free over here the way it used to be in the States,” Blige said about London. And she’s so right.

I think we’re in for a treat. Continue reading

RCA

RCA

Pentatonix has mashed up the two songs that put Sam Smith on the map before the release of his debut album In The Lonely Hour. The a capella group is known for doing fun covers of popular songs and their latest work is definitely no different.

Teaming up with British producers Disclosure and Naughty Boy, Smith was able to generate some buzz with “Latch” and “La La La” before he released any solo work.

In addition to this new cover, Pentatonix also released a cover of Ariana Grande’s “Problem” recently.

Both covers will be featured on their EP PTX, Vol. III when it is released on September 23. Continue reading

Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj perform "Bang Bang" at the MTV VMAs

Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj perform “Bang Bang” at the MTV VMAs

The MTV VMAs wasn’t spectacular this year, but it wasn’t terrible either. It was fun, but not particularly memorable (Beyonce aside). Honestly, we all know that how well an awards show is received is directly related to acceptance speech antics and performances. This year, everyone kept their acceptance speeches short and shade-free and the performances, while good, weren’t instant classics, either.

Ariana Grande opened the show by coming out of a spaceship and performing her intergalactic Zedd-assisted hit single “Break Free” from her sophomore album My Everything, which is out today. Ironically, Grande’s kid friendly performance gave way to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” where the singer humped the floor and recreated the video’s chair sequence in a green two piece. Minaj ran off the stage to change as Grande joined Jessie J on the stage for their major collaboration “Bang Bang” just minutes after the product placement-heavy video debuted online. The rapper made it to the stage for her verse, but she didn’t have time to zip up her dress so she just held is shut with her hands for the end of their set. Aside from Beyonce’s 15-minute-long performance, this was the performance highlight of the night. Wardrobe malfunction and all. Sam Smith, 5 Seconds of Summer, Maroon 5, Usher and Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora all delivered solid, albeit conventional, performances, too.

Surprisingly the night’s biggest disappointment performance-wise was Taylor Swift. The good news is she didn’t twerk. The bad news is she just twisted around the stage with a bunch of men in suits to her new single “Shake It Off”. If it wasn’t for the commentary about the dancer who was bitten by a snake during Nicki Minaj’s rehearsal the day before (The anaconda boa constrictor DID…), the performance would’ve been a total snooze. Swift, you’re a full on pop star now. It’s time to step completely outside of the box.

Watch the performances below. Continue reading

Island Records

Island Records

Luke James takes on the no. 3 song in the country this week. The “Options” singer uploaded a cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” to SoundCloud moments ago and it’s a bit more soulful than the original version.

James transforms the piano ballad into a barren production, belting out the tale of loneliness atop a melody created by layered vocals.

I still prefer the original version, but this cover showcases James’ severely underrated vocals so I’m definitely here for it. Continue reading

Sam Smith and Disclosure perform "Latch" on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Sam Smith and Disclosure perform “Latch” on Jimmy Kimmel Live

“Latch” is the electronic hit that just won’t quit.

Although the Disclosure single was released over a year ago, it’s still gaining popularity in the U.S. and the boys are still doing promotional performances. The Disclosure brothers and Sam Smith stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live to perform the hit single last night.

It’s definitely a treat to watch the duo work their magic and hear Smith belt out that infectious hook, but I can’t be the only fan ready to move on from this single.

“Latch” is currently at no. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, while Smith’s “Stay With Me” is currently sitting pretty at no. 3. The British crooner’s latest single “I’m Not the Only One” debuted at no. 69 on the chart this week following the release of the song’s emotional music video. Continue reading

Sam Smith in "I'm Not the Only One" video

Sam Smith in “I’m Not the Only One” video

Sam Smith doesn’t get much airtime in the video for his latest single “I’m Not the Only One,” but for good reason. The stunning visuals focuses on a woman’s (Dianna Agron) day after her husband (Chris Messina) leaves the house to rendezvous wit his mistress.

She cries. She drinks. She sets things on fire. It’s all very heartbreaking and cinematic.

It was going to be hard to follow behind the video for “Leave Your Lover,” but these visuals definitely match it, at least aesthetically and plot-wise.

“I’m Not the Only One” is featured on Smith’s debut album In the Lonely Hour. Continue reading

Apple

Apple

The 2014 iTunes Festival is looming and the first round of performers have been revealed.

Sam Smith, Pharrell, Kylie, Maroon 5 and Beck, 5 Seconds of Summer and Kiesza are just a few of the artists whose names are currently on display on the festival’s official website.

The month-long festival takes place in September every year and is streamed live to Apple customers from London.

The festival came to the United States for the first time this year at SXSW with performers like Coldplay hitting the stage.

RCA

RCA

Sia scored her first no. 1 album on the Billboard 200 this week with her sixth studio album 1000 Forms of Fear. The album sold 52,000 copies in it’s first week.

The songwriter’s latest project features the lead single “Chandelier” and the Diplo-produced “Elastic Heart,” which was previously featured on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack in 2013.

Speaking of soundtracks, the Frozen soundtrack rose from no. 5 to the second spot on the chart this week with British crooner Sam Smith’s debut album In the Lonely Hour rounding out the top three.

Billboard