The weather may be dreary, but things are heating up here at VH1, thanks to the voice of January’s You Oughta Know artist, Allen Stone. The deeply soulful singer-songwriter brings a unique spin to everything from accessories to his blonde-haired, blue-eyed stamp on the rhythm & blues, capitalizing on the crave for funky, retro sound that has been so kind to acts like Amy Winehouse, Adele and Bruno Mars in recent years.
Having honed his performance skills before church pews in small town Washington, Stone has experience winning over crowds and is comfortable taking time to preach to the unconverted. Inspired by—and often compared to—Stevie Wonder, now he’s giving the likes of Miguel and JT a run for their money in the panty-dropping department thanks to his ability to blissfully distract us from everyday stresses with a rich timbre. His is also a warm and inviting sound that welcomes us in a cozy embrace, and encourages to stay put all winter long.
Ace VH1 photographer Lauren Weissler followed Stone throughout his whirlwind day here in New York City just before the holidays, which included which included a festive stop by Big Morning Buzz Live and some quality catch-up time with his cell phone. Check it out below.
In “Gimme Sympathy,”Emily Haines asks: “Who would you rather be, The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?” A fine question, sure, but we have always known that the answer is actually Metric, who happen to be our December You Oughta Know artist. Having come out of New York in the 90s, Metric’s Haines, Jimmy Shaw, Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott Key are about as cool as they come. Their music pulses with synths that will keep you shimmying through the night, and oozes the glamor (or, in honor of their Canadian roots: “glamour”) with which they carry themselves. Just hit play on their latest single, “Breathing Underwater,” and have a look at them and you’ll see what we mean.
Our intrepid photographer Lauren Weissler tagged along with the band as they unloaded for and rocked through their You Oughta Know Live session, all along the way capturing that special glow they’ve got.
Our November You Oughta Know artist Delta Rae runs with a crew six deep, bonded in part by blood and in total as a band. The Hölljes siblings make themselves apparent (see: all that fair blonde hair), but when the count runs down and the music kicks in, the connection between the band as a whole is so strong it suggests a family anew. And their gravity, when they are in-synch like that, is seriously strong. Just watch them perform their gripping and gospel inflected “Bottom of the River,” like they have recently on Big Morning Buzz Live and Conan, and you will feel the strong pull of their orbit, too. And you might just like it.
Our tremendous photographer Michele Crowe spent the day with Delta Rae, snapping away as they warmed up for and then rocked their You Oughta Know Live session last month. You’ll see the love they have for each other and their music — and hear it and feel it, too.
Our ace photographer Lauren Weissler trailed Carrie as she prepared for and performed her five-song Unplugged set here in New York City back in August. Carrie’s radiant beauty and majestic voice was on full display all day, and we hope these pics help satiate your appetite for VH1 Unplugged: Carrie Underwood until tomorrow!
On repeat all the while, “Anna Sun” kept our summer synch-drenched and charged with Neverland-like fantasies of ghost towns rattled. And now with fall is upon us, we are excited to announce that twotimeBig Morning Buzz Live veterans Walk The Moon will represent as September’s You Oughta Know artist! And so alas, the fun does not ever have to stop. The Cincinati foursome dropped by VH1 headquarters last month to play an high energy and hard working — also, sweaty! — You Oughta Know Live set, which we’ll roll out throughout the month. And until then, our photographer Lauren Weissler tagged along, capturing their day, down time, perspiration, face paint and all, to give you a peak behind the scenes. Have a look!
Performing in front of glowing climbing nets, the Gym Class Heroes looked and sounded great at their VH1 Unplugged taping here in New York City a few weeks back. Stripped down to acoustic guitars and a brush sticks, they got us going with a set that included new favorites like “The Fighter,” old favorites like “Clothes Off,” and special guests like the beautiful Neon Hitch and Fall Out Boy‘s Patrick Stump (with whom we spoke to exclusively before the show). The Heroes, Stump and Hitch go way back, and so in addition to the unplugging, there was also lots of catching up and goofing off. Our photographer Brendan Tobin was there to catch all. The warm up, the big show, the cool down — check his pictures out below!
VH1 Unplugged: Gym Class Heroes will make its online premiere tomorrow, Thursday, July 12, at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. You’ll be able to catch it on VH1 that night at 12 a.m. ET/PT.
The Lumineershad us at first “Ho Hey,” but their visit to VH1 headquarters a few weeks back really got our hearts and feet thumping. Looking the part in soft chambray shirts and suspenders, and with big smiles on their faces, they played a few songs before sitting down to talk about their move west from Brooklyn to Colorado and about hearing their music on television for the first time. All the while our photographer, Lauren Weissler, was tagging along to catch them setting up, hanging out, plugging in, and playing. We’ve named The Lumineers our You Oughta Know artists for July and August because we just can’t get enough of their warm, roots-revival rock; the rest of you, though, who have helped to propel their album to the #3 spot on Billboard’s Folk chart and #4 on the Indie chart, might have your own reasons for loving them. But check out the photos below and tell us: aren’t you so charmed, too?
On Sunday, Rihanna closed the festival with a spectacular set of her own. On an Egyptian-themed stage and in cut-off fishnets and a leather jacket, RiRi surprised the crowd by bringing back Jay – in a black leather Brooklyn Nets cap — out for three songs at the end of her set. They did a reprise of “Run This Town,” and then gave “Talk That Talk” its live debut, before launching into their now-classic hit “Umbrella.” This run of songs, spanning Jay-Z’s 2009 Blueprint 3 to Rihanna’s current Talk that Talk to 2007′s Good Girl Gone Bad really goes to show just how deep that Barbadian star’s catalog goes at this point. “The Roc is in the building, and we love you so damn much,” she said, thanking the umbrella-baring audience. After delivering his verse, Jay slipped off and Rihanna sent fans home with “We Found Love” and a fireworks show. It’s safe to say, not Roc fan left disappointed.
We’re not gonna lie, everyone here at VH1 is pretty smitten with Elle King. So much so that from the moment our Creative Music Integration (CMI) team heard this 23 year-old’s raw, soulful-beyond-her-years voice on “Playing For Keeps,” they knew that it would make the perfect theme song for Mob Wives: Chicago. Elle came by our offices last week to celebrate the release of her brand new, eponymous EP, and our own Lauren Weissler spent the day trailing Elle and taking these gorgeous photographs —some of which come with commentary from Elle herself!— for the latest entry in our ongoing Music Seen series.
“Usually at 7 am my make up is the same from the night before. I was also really excited that for the first time I got to look and dress how I wanted and really be myself.”