We’d like to introduce you to our March You Oughta Know artist, Graffiti6. Hailing from London, the duo (made up of Jamie Scott, pictured above, and Tommy “D” Danvers), are a breath of fresh air with their soft, guitar-led pop. With a sentimental edge to their persona, the band released their debut album, Colours, in January, and we’ve been hooked ever since. Even though the band only started making music in 2009, there’s a wealth of maturity in their dulcet, tonal sound. With a hint of nostalgia in Scott’s folksy vocal, we’re falling in love with Graffiti6, and here are five reasons you should too…
1. The video for “Free”
We just loved the video for “Free”, the first single from their debut album, Colours. You can watch the video below, and read what we thought about it here.
2.Their famous friends
Before Jamie Scott and Tommy Danvers were Graffiti6, they worked with some pretty high profile collaborators. Danvers remixed tracks by Michael Jackson and Bjork, and had worked alongside his wife arranging and orchestrating concerts and recordings for super stars like Kanye West, Jay-Z, Adele, Beyonce and Noel Gallagher. He went on to produce the number one chart single, “I’m Too Sexy,” for Right Said Fred, before writing several songs for KT Tunstall, Corinne Bailey Rae, Janet Jackson and Kylie Minogue before joining forces with Scott to make music for Graffiti6. Scott, no less accomplished, has toured with Alica Keys and Kelly Clarkson with his previous band, Jamie Scott & The Town. With such full resumes and a cast of friends worthy of pop royalty status, we’re excited to see what future collaborations Graffiti6 might have up their sleeves!
We’re going to sound like a broken record saying this, but the truth is the truth and there’s no way around it — Gotye and Kimbra sound just as impeccable live as they do on record. And we should know — we got to witness the pair playing live for us in an intimate setting at our Times Square offices when they came to visit last week. While You Oughta Know artist Gotye played solo songs from his new album, Making Mirrors, and even an old favorite, “Heart’s A Mess,” we were blown away by “Somebody That I Used To Know,” featuring the dexterous vocals of Kimbra.
The pair gave us a compelling, moving experience in the intimate setting. While playing live with his band, tinkering with the menagerie of instruments surrounding him, the impresario Gotye crooned the lyrics, vocally gymnastic in the ease with which he switched from a whisper to a shout. When Kimbra joined him for her verse, emotions were high, as the two breathed life into the heartbreaking lyrics, giving real import to the occasion.
This week, we’re not only welcoming February (and maybe an early spring if you live in New York), but also our newest You Oughta Know recruit, the Australian sensation Gotye. Gotye is the stage name of the Belgian born, Australian raised Wally De Backer, who has been a household name in Australia since his 2006 album Like Drawing Blood made a hit singles out of “Heart’s A Mess” and “Learnalilgivinanlovin.” His 2011 release, Making Mirrors, however, sent Gotye into the stratosphere of superstar status in the home land, with the lead single, “Somebody That I Used To Know” making the most sales of any track Australia wide for 2011 and earning him various accolades and awards.
And now the rest of the world is standing to attention, too. Making Mirrors is taking the US by storm, currently sitting pretty at #12 on the iTunes charts, with “Somebody That I Used To Know” in the iTunes Top 10 singles chart. Gotye’s unique brand of emotional pastiche electo-pop paired with his power vocal have the world talking, and that’s why we’re telling you this is one artist you definitely oughta know! With many high profile covers and celebrities Tweeting their praise for Gotye, we’re thinking that the hype train has only just departed the station, and will pick up speed as Gotye launches his 2012 US tour (including a performance at Coachella and a stop at our NYC headquarters next week) with his “Somebody That I Used To Know” collaborator, Kimbra.
Finding fame when their song “Beauty’s Running Wild” was featured in an episode of CSI: New York, closely followed by another of their tracks, “Heart On Fire,” being chosen as the lead song on the current season of Grey’s Anatomy, Scars On 45 are now VH1′s featured You Oughta Know artist. So if you’ve been wondering who was responsible for the great songs on your favorite TV shows, well, now you know!
Last month, Scars On 45 released their video for “Heart On Fire,” which you can watch above. The song itself is romantic and moody, and will resonate with anyone who’s ever been in love. The video is a dramatic combination of smoke and blue-lit black ground, interspersed with gripping imagery of firemen rescuing victims from a burning building. With their first full length album set to drop this year, we’re excited to see more epic videos to accompany the band’s pervasive sounds. And we were lucky enough to have Scars On 45 pop into the VH1 studios to play live last year, as they moved us with their stripped down performance of Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” Scars On 45 imbibed the club banger with an altogetherly different vibe, truly making it their own with nothing but the lyrics tying their rendition to the original.
We’re excited to let you know that VH1 You Oughta Know artist Ximena Sarinana will be performing via live stream tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET. The live stream will be an intimate experience with the Mexican singer-songwriter, a dream for fans and newcomers alike. With many of our You Oughta Know artists moving on to big things (like Grammy nominations), this is a special event you don’t want to miss — get on board with Ximena Sarinana so you can say you always loved her when she becomes a household name!
You can watch the live stream here at 1pm EST on Tuesday December 13.
VH1′s You Oughta Know Artist, Scars On 45, stopped by the VH1 headquarters recently to play a short set of songs for us. We’re brimming with excitement to have the British quintet join our You Oughta Know stable, as we’ve been loving their new EP, Heart On Fire. The band was formed by former professional soccer player Danny Bemrose after an injury sidelined him from the game, and his new career direction is off to an incredible start. Scars On 45 have already had their songs featured on hit TV shows like CSI: New York, Grey’s Anatomy, and One Tree Hill, and their debut LP is set to be released sometime in early 2012. With a certain sincerity, Scars On 45′s sentimental brand of music embraces both the bleeding heart and classic rock, with an earthiness that speaks to the elemental qualities of the natural environment of their homeland in England.
During their stripped down set here in the heart of Times Square, between their endearing banter and heartfelt performances of their own songs, the band took a moment to cover Rihanna and Calvin Harris‘ number one smash, “We Found Love”. Admitting to the audience that they’d forgotten the words to the song when performing it live in concert the night before, Scars On 45 seemed confident regardless, and although they expressed a giggly trepidation, they took on Rihanna’s dance anthem head-on and didn’t miss a beat. However, Scars On 45′s rendition was no dance anthem — quite the opposite really, pairing a guitar-led, folksy sound with Rihanna’s lyrics, giving the song a completely new dimension. Pared back, slow and melodic, the song, but for the words, was barely discernible from the original, taking on a new, powerfully romantic poignancy. The rest of Scars On 45′s live performance will be coming soon, and we’ve got plenty of more whimsy where this came from! Read more…
Soul music veterans Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings are VH1′s latest You Oughta Know artist, just in time for the release of Soul Time!, the band’s forthcoming release of rare tracks and b-sides. Since 1996, Sharon and the Dap-Kings have been at the forefront of funk and soul revivalism, capturing the spirit of the genre as it blossomed in the ’60s and ’70s. Using traditional analog recording methods and equipment, SJDK have no use for modernity, and are loyal to the authenticity of their sound.
The band was originally formed by Philip Lehman and Gabriel Roth as the Soul Providers in the mid-nineties, and discovered Sharon Jones during early recording sessions for their first album, after she recorded back-up vocals for one of the Lee Fields tracks. So impressed were the Soul Providers with Jones’ vocals that the album, Soul Tequila, was released in 1996 featuring two solo Jones tracks (“Switchblade” and “The Landlord”). Shortly after, Roth and Lehman started a new label, Desco Records, in Brooklyn, New York, and reissued Soul Tequila as Gimme The Paw and began championing New York performers, creating an entire scene around Desco. As the reputation of Desco grew and more records were released, it eventually came time for Lehman and Roth to split in 2000 — and for Roth to start his own label, Daptone Records, with current Dap-King tenor saxophone player, Neal Sugarman. You can see where this is going, right?
However, the evening’s best moment didn’t involve pandering to Hollywood (Blake Shelton’s raucous version of “Footloose”) or even a huge, pyro-laden production number (sorry, Miranda Lambert!). It occured when Kenny Chesney and VH1 fave Grace Potter each slung an acoustic guitar over their shoulders, hopped on a stool and duetted on a positively gorgeous version of their hit, “You And Tequila.” Of course, we’re suckers for any and all things Grace (those stems!), but the way these two harmonized last night reminded us why we listen to country music in the first place. There’s no slick production, no glossy radio sound, just two great voices (and some palpable chemistry) blending together to make something special. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
New Orleans band MUTEMATH brought the blues to the VH1 studios for an intimate You Oughta Know Live performance recently—check out their cover of “Fallin” by Alicia Keys—and we recently selected them as our You Oughta Know artist thanks to their catalog of soulful, dusty, all-American tunes. Bringing joy, laid back cool and their infectious sounds to New York City, MUTEMATH (tailed closely by our photographer Colin Gray) personify dirty, heartfelt rock. After the jump, see MUTEMATH performing under ambient light, laughing in conversation, and some special moments between the band mates and their special ladies.