At the moment, there is no more formidable team in music than Katy Perry, Bonnie McKee, Dr. Luke and Max Martin. During the 2009-2010 writing/recording sessions for Perry’s Teenage Dream album, this group wrote four songs together — “California Gurls”, “Teenage Dream”, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” and “Part Of Me”. All four of those songs went to #1.
So when it came time for Katy to put together Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection earlier this year, she made sure to enlist the help of her dream team when it came to writing the sole “new” track for the record, which ultimately was titled “Wide Awake.” Back in March, she told our friends over at MTV News that the team wrote and recorded the track over the course of just four days. “I can’t wait eight months to be able to put out this feeling that I’m feeling right now,” she explained. “Not only did I write the song because I needed to flush that out of my system, but I wrote it for the film as well.”
Katy debuted “Wide Awake” at the Billboard Music Awards last night, and then dropped a brand new lyric video for the emotional track after the show. There is a “real” video for the track on the way, but as a way to satiate the masses until its release, this lyric video was released. It does not refer to the lyrics of the song directly — lyrics in which Katy comes to painful grips with her recent divorce from Russell Brand — but is notable in that it’s the first video to take on the look and feel of Facebook’s new(ish) timeline feature. And hey, if you pay close enough attention, you’ll see that VH1.com even gets a shout-out in it. Look ma, we’re finally famous! Read more…
So far Nicki Minaj is holding it down with the summer boo anthem “Right By My Side” featuring Chris Brown. Nicki puts aside the characters and trades in the over the top costumes for pretty frilled dresses in the the fun, hold-hands-with-your-significant-other video. Instead of going with Chris Brown as the obvious romantic interest, Nicki opts for Nas to play her leading man. The track alone instantly sparks a warm fuzzy feeling of wanting a beau “right by [your] side.” With the complement of the on screen couple showing affection through hugs and strolls walking arm-in-arm, we’re feeling a double side of warm and fuzzy. On the rocks. Read more…
We’re totally swooning over how fine Adam Levine looks in the “Payphone” video featuring Wiz Khalifa. (Admittedly, the repeat button was abused.) It’s all shoot ‘em up bang bang in this hot new vid, which is the lead single off Maroon 5′s upcoming Overexposed album. The story begins at the ending. A scraggly Levine attempts to reach a woman on the payphone. Although this happens first in the video, in the timeline of events this really occurs after he plays superman at the bank to save the woman he loves from robbers. He escapes a hail of gunfire only to find the police outside, and guess who they think is the culprit of the robber? Surprise (not really): Levine.
Shortly after Wiz valet parks his drop top Levine steals the car and take the cops on a high speed chase leaving his lucky woman behind. Hence the “I’m at a payphone, trying to call home” chorus. He eludes the cops and makes it to the desperately needed payphone. “Payphone” is without a doubt action packed — a gun fight, police chase and exploding cars all withing less than five minutes. Is Levine trying to tell us something regarding acting aspirations? We totally envisioned this as a movie. A predictable one, but a movie nonetheless.
Nelly Furtado is larger than life in her new video “Big Hoops (Bigger The Better).” Furtado walks around the city in stilts as onlookers stare in awe of the freak attraction, which is kind of a neat concept. In the song Furtado talks about partying, meeting a guy and not wanting to talk about sex. “I don’t want to talk about sex when I express myself tonight,” she sings. But don’t expect to see the typical party scene with a bunch of hot guys fawning over her beauty. Furtado is way too cool for the ordinary. Read more…
Leave it to Kanye West to unexpectedly release a video to “Lost in the World” from his multi-platinum album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which was released in November of 2010. It’s not that we’d forgotten about the album, as it is an undeniable masterpiece. But lately we’ve been preoccupied with his new shocking (not really) relationship with Kim Kardashian, and the G.O.O.D. Music cuts “Mercy,” “I Don’t Like” and “Way Too Cold.” However, we’re totally okay with him revisiting his pre-Watch The Throne project, and on this video, he teamed up with with fashion filmmaker Ruth Hogben to create a black and white aesthetic experience, because calling it a music video would be an understatement.
Jennifer Lopez has come a long way from the self-proclaimed Jenny on the block, or Fly Girl from “In Living Color.” She teams up with reggaeton duo Wisin & Yandel in the action packed video for “Follow the Leader” directed by her 25-year-old boyfriend Casper Smart. And every last one of them turn the heat all the way up! The 42-year-old mother of twins still got “it,” evident by her incredible athleticism as she runs through Acapulco, Mexico. Her acting chops are nothing to snuff at either. From hopping over a pickup truck, jumping through a window feet first, swinging from stairwell bars and jumping from roof to roof eventually escaping the guys chasing her, J. Lo knows how to make even the action shots look hot.
J. Lo oozes sexy without much effort. She enticingly sings, “I’ll make you lose your cabezo.” Not to mention she’s topless with fake tattoos around her neck and mid-back. Both Wisin & Yandel elevate the flavor with their beautiful Spanish verses. The reggae, dance pop song explodes on the screen because of its up tempo sound and high energy video. The video is only a glimpse of what’s to come from these three because this summer J.Lo co-headlines a summer tour beginning July 14 with Enrique Inglesias, and Wisin and Yandel are the openers. How’s that for some summer heat!
Justin Bieber‘s new single, “Boyfriend,” is currently sitting in the No. 7 position on the Billboard Hot 100. The teenage heartthrob finds himself in an awkward position, with his protégé Carly Rae Jepsen AND UK boy band bad boys The Wanted all sitting above him on the charts. A few years back, he had the screaming teenage girl marketplace all to himself, but now that he’s getting to release his sophomore album, Believe, in June, he’s got some competish. Not that’s he’s sweating it in the slightest.
“Boyfriend” is a decidedly more adult song than the material that appeared on My World, and the video for the song reflects Bieber’s new manly passions; namely, cool cars and hot chicks (though no sign of Selena Gomez). Set to the subtle strains of Ying Yang Twins style whistling, the video for the Mike Posner produced jawn takes place on a rooftop of what appears to be a parking garage. You see, the Biebs sort of serves as a Pied Piper kind of figure in the video, a dude who is compelling enough to attract hundreds of hotties (both guys and gals) to a parking lot that lacks any exciting features or scenic views, but also one that is too cool to do much more than nibble on some necks and strum his acoustic guitar. Sure, he dances a little bit, too, but he’s not exactly Timberlaking it up here or anything. Rather, he seems content to let the action come to him, which is his prerogative of course, but also seems to be a little bit lazy for someone who is comparing himself to Buzz Lightyear?
One of the biggest hits of last summer came courtesy of Selena Gomez & The Scene, a track in which she promised a paramour that she would “Love You Like A Love Song” (a song that we kept hitting re-pe-pe-pe-peat on over the last year). Now, just in time for Summer 2012, the bubbly pop singer Colbie Caillat has just released the video for “Favorite Song,” another ditty that uses the metaphor of a song to represent a growing relationship. Only this time around, the singer is comparing herself to a song (as opposed to her object of affection), asking/promising that “You can turn it up and play me all night long.” Of course, this is Colbie Caillat we’re talking about, not Rihanna, so that line is nowhere near as dirty in the context of the song as it reads on the page.
Adding to the friendly, summer-y vibe of the song is Common, who contributes two verses, one in which he pronounces “The winner of the Best Duo is us” (meaning, him and Colbie). We love the confidence, and we have a feeling that listeners will likely end up agreeing as we make our way into Song Of The Summer season.
Foster The People‘s debut album, Torches, was released on May 23 last year. In that time, the album has spawned one certifiable smash (“Pumped Up Kicks”, which Best Pop/Vocal Duo Performance Grammy this past year) and three other singles that all performed well on the charts, particularly “Don’t Stop (Color On The Walls)” (which has been hanging around the upper reaches of our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown since its release in December). Aside from all of the accolades and the sold-out shows, the band found themselves as an answer on a recent episode of Jeopardy, so what more could they ask for?
Well, from the looks of their new video for “Houdini” —the fifth single off Torches— it seems like what the band is in need most of is a break. The video begins with Mark Foster and his People shooting a music video on a soundstage (meta, right?). Well, the party comes to a crashing halt, quite literally, when a beam comes hurtling down from the rafters and crushes the band to a pulp. Well, we all know the first rule of showbiz is that “The show must go on”; in this case, that truism applies even when the band is, well, dead. A mysterious group of Japanese businessmen —it’s important to note that the band is on Columbia Records, a subdivision of Sony— arrive on the scene, and utilize a combination of CGI, robotics and human puppeteers to film a video and put on a concert with the now deceased members of Foster The People, Weekend At Bernie’s style, with the audience presumably being none the wiser. It’s certainly a bite-the-hand-that-feeds-you kind of statement from the former You Oughta Know group, but one that’s also playful and well-directed. Hopefully, after being worked to the bone for the last year and change, the guys will get to get some time to take a much-deserved vacay this summer.
Jilly from Philly is still churning out singles from her Billboard No. 1 album The Light of the Sun that was released last June. “Blessed” is Jill Scott’s soulful fourth single, her way of singing her gratefulness for all of the blessings in her life. Boy, does she have a lot to be grateful for, including her album, which was indeed a commercial success. The success is all the more sweet following a four year hiatus, where she worked on movies like Why Did I Get Married, and Hounddog, not to mention a starring role in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Series. She collaborated with producers Terry Lewis and JR Hutson for the album and will be promoting it with her Summer Block Party tour.
On May 21, she will kick off VH1′s 16th season premiere of VH1 Storytellers. In the meantime, she is fabulous as ever. How cute is the dressed up moose, an ode to her son, whom she sings about in the first verse. Singing in her Biggie t-shirt, Jill reminds us why we love her. She is working those different hairstyles (three to be exact. Duh, we counted). Bow down to Ms. Scott.