Tori Kelly

Capitol Records & Schoolboy Records

Capitol Records & Schoolboy Records

Tori Kelly’s Max Martin-produced single “Nobody Love” ended up being the perfect mainstream introduction for the YouTube singer and now she is ready to follow it up with another solid release.

Following the release of the title track “Unbreakable Smile,” Kelly has unveiled the lyric video for the album’s second single “Should’ve Been Us.”

“Should’ve been a fire, should’ve been a perfect storm,” Kelly sings on the made-for-radio track. She sounds amazing despite the fact that the lyrics are incredibly reductive compared to the songs on her EPs.

The lyric video for the single follows a woman as she meets up with a love interest and displays their tumultuous relationship through dance. The catch? We never see above the couple’s torsos.

“Nobody Love” wasn’t a top 40 hit, but it did what it needed to do in getting Kelly’s name out and getting her on major stages such as the one at the Billboard Music Awards.

Let’s just hope she can capitalize off of that now. (With Scooter Braun at the wheel, I’m not too concerned.)

Unbreakable Smile will be released on June 23. Continue reading

Tori Kelly in "Unbreakable Smile" video

Tori Kelly in “Unbreakable Smile” video

Tori Kelly‘s “Nobody Love” is pretty good as far as pop music goes. The feel-good Max Martin-produced track was a great way to introduce the YouTube star to a more mainstream audience. But, if you’ve been a fan of Kelly’s for a while, the single may have left you worrying about the singer’s future sound.

It’s not uncommon for singer’s to abandon their stripped-down, soulful sound the minute they find fame, but the title track for Kelly’s debut album Unbreakable Smile finds the singer promising not to sell out.

Not only is the song more aligned sonically with Kelly’s EPs, such as Forward, but the song also finds the singer promising she won’t be taking off her clothes (“God made me sexy I don’t care if only I know”) or making tabloid headlines any time soon (“I’d rather make them yawn than be a pawn on your chess board”).

Unbreakable Smile is scheduled for a June 23 release. Continue reading

Tori Kelly in "Nobody Love" video

Tori Kelly in “Nobody Love” video

For many people, Tori Kelly’s new Max Martin-produced single “Nobody Love” will be their first introduction to the soulful pop singer.

(Which is sad. She has some amazing material!)

Following the release of the single, the first from her forthcoming album, Kelly has released a feel-good music video.

I’ll admit, the song and the video feel far too polished for Kelly. Her voice is incredible and her EP Forward showed that she sounds best when the production is stripped down. Still, the horns in the single’s production and the dancing in the video is irresistible. Continue reading

Tori Kelly in “Silent” music video

Tori Kelly in “Silent” music video

Tori Kelly has been one of my artists to watch for quite some time now and it looks like she’s about to storm the industry in a major way.

The singer, who is managed by Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, etc.), teased a new song titled “Nobody Love” today and the full track is just around the corner.

According to Idolator, the track was produced by Max Martin, which worries me because I really enjoy stripped down Tori Kelly, but also makes me happy because I know it will likely be a mainstream banger.

Fans can hear the song in full when it’s released on Feb. 8.

Martin has produced hit songs for artists such as Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift recently, so I know Kelly is in good hands. Still, I hope she retains some of her originality and soul.

While we wait for new music, you should take this time to revisit (or visit) Tori Kelly’s 2013 EP Forward. The project was easily one of my favorite EPs from that year.

Listen to a snippet of “Nobody Love” below.

Continue reading

Tori Kelly in "Silent" music video

Tori Kelly in “Silent” music video

No, Tori Kelly’s latest release is NOT from her anticipated forthcoming album, but it’s still new music so I won’t complain.

“My dreams are loud and my heart’s wide awake. And, all I know is, I’m not meant to be silent,” Kelly sings, while playing a simple guitar melody against the beautiful backdrop of the beach. As usual, her voice is the draw here.

Kelly recorded “Silent” for The Giver soundtrack, which also features music from OneRepublic, Capital Cities, Rixton, Aloe Blacc and more.

The singer has started the #NotSilent social media campaign and is encouraging fans to speak out about things that they are passionate about. In a Vine video, Kelly says she is choosing to speak up against human trafficking. Continue reading

Tori Kelly and Ian Eastwood in "Paper Hearts" video

Tori Kelly and Ian Eastwood in “Paper Hearts” video

Every song on Tori Kelly’s latest EP Foreward is amazing, but the track that stood out immediately to me was “Paper Hearts.” Kelly has released a video about the song, which finds her reflecting on a past relationship to the tune of an acoustic guitar and sweeping strings. Ian Eastwood plays Kelly’s old lover and performs a dance throughout most of the video. In between his solos are clips of the two having fun at a carnival, the stomping ground for young lovers.

I wish the video would’ve had more of a narrative, but I still love the song!

Kelly is currently recording for her debut album. Continue reading

Tori Kelly and Ariana Grande perform "Right There"

Tori Kelly and Ariana Grande perform “Right There”

Tori Kelly performed during MTV’s “Artist to Watch” at the House of Blues in Los Angeles recently and treated fans to a fun surprise when she not only covered Ariana Grande’s “Right There,” but also brought out the young singer to help her finish the song! Kelly even rapped Big Sean’s rap verse towards the end of the song!

Both Grande and Kelly released solid projects last year. I’m hoping we get some new material from these talented ladies this year! Continue reading

Sevyn Streeter (Atlantic) | Tori Kelly | Sam Smith (PMR Records) | Jhene Aiko ("Bed Peace" video)

Sevyn Streeter (Atlantic) | Tori Kelly | Sam Smith (PMR Records) | Jhene Aiko (“Bed Peace” video)

Extended Plays (EPs) can be a great way to introduce fans to a new artist or hold fans over until a full project is ready for release. Most of my favorite EPs from 2012 were from established artists, who wanted to silence hungry fans until they were ready to release their LPs (Sara Bareilles took her time releasing The Blessed Unrest and was rewarded with an Album of the Year Grammy nomination!), but this year my favorite EPs are from a batch of soulful newcomers.

All four EPs feature solid vocals and songwriting, but my favorite EP stands out because of its cohesiveness and production value. Continue reading

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In 2003 R&B singer Mya made it sexy to be a stalker when she followed her crush around town, before slipping into his tub and leaving a love note on the foggy bathroom mirror in “Fallen.” The concept feels extremely simple and sweet compared to the over-the-top videos released today. Newcomer and YouTube celeb Tori Kelly released the video for her latest single “Dear No One” today and the video immediately made me nostalgic for the early 2000 music videos like “Fallen.” The video shows Kelly roaming the streets and feeling alone in the midst of happy couples. She spots her dream guy and follows him around town and up onto a roof. This video doesn’t feature nudity or the sexy element of Mya’s video, so it doesn’t feel like an exact clone, but Kelly does manage to evoke the simplicity and flirtatiousness.

Kelly’s new EP Forward is available on iTunes now.

Watch as Kelly imagines meeting the man of her dreams in the “Dear No One” video below! Continue reading

Tori Kelly performs "Dear No One" on The Ellen Show

Tori Kelly stopped by The Ellen Show recently to perform her new single “Dear No One.”  The performance aired earlier today and showed Kelly performing an acoustic version of the sweet song. A few parts were a bit pitchy, but overall it was pretty good!

Dear No One” is currently the iTunes Song of the Week, which means it is FREE. The single is featured on Kelly’s latest EP Foreward.

I’m so glad to see Kelly finally getting the attention she deserves! Continue reading