If there’s one place to see fresh faced young talent it’s the annual Teen Choice Awards. Always filled with fun surprises and performances, this year the five cutest moments, which was pretty hard to narrow down, and the worst dressed celebs who get an A for effort, were some of the highlights. But on the red carpet is where the special magic happened when we chatted with Carly Rae Jepsen and Big Sean about their picks for VH1‘s Song of the Summer. Read more…
Song Of The Summer
Just yesterday, we released this year’s very first Song Of The Summer chart, which showed Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe”, Katy Perry‘s “Wide Awake” and Maroon 5‘s “Payphone” dueling for summer supremacy. (Want a say in the matter? Vote for the Song Of The Summer, as presented by VH1 and Dove Clinical Fresh Deodorant, today!)
It’s not surprising to see Katy Perry’s name near the top of the Song Of The Summer list, as this is the third consecutive summer that she’s been a fixture on radio. Way back in 2010, “California Gurls” dominated the airwaves, and last year, the fifth single off her multi-platinum Teenage Dream LP, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”, won VH1′s first ever Song Of The Summer countdown.
Music is something that plays an integral part in our lives 365 days a year, but there is something about the summertime that makes music seem a bit more omnipresent than at other times of the years. For most of the year, music consumption is largely a solitary pursuit; it’s something you experience in your house and in your car, and for big city dwellers and gym enthusiasts, it generally exists between you, your iPhone, and your earbuds. However, when summer rolls around, all of a sudden MUSIC IS EVERYWHERE — You hear it at family barbeques in the park, rooftop parties with your friends, blaring from car windows as you walk down the street. And more often than not, you tend to hear the same songs playing in an endless loop, returning us to the days when music was more of a communal experience and not so niche.
To that end, VH1 and Dove Clinical Fresh Deodorant are teaming up to track what song will emerge as this year’s Song Of The Summer, the one song that everyone will always associate with the summer of 2012. Each Monday here on VH1 Tuner, we’ll be counting down the Top 20 Songs of the Summer, as determined by SIX key metrics: Position on VH1′s Top 20 Video Countdown, Billboard‘s Hot 100, iTunes Singles Chart, Spotify, YouTube’s music chart and … wait for it … YOUR VOTES!
Yes, that’s right, we added a new wrinkle to this year’s countdown. Simply visit sots.vh1.com (SOTS = Song Of The Summer, get it?) and cast YOUR vote for your favorite song on either Twitter or Facebook (or both, if that’s how you roll). Do you love some Carly Rae Jepsen? Vote for her! Do you Directioners feel like One Direction‘s “One Thing” or “What Makes You Beautiful” should be higher on the chart? Vote for them! Are you a die-hard Yeezy fan and think that this summer is all about “Mercy”? Then you should definitely vote for it! Don’t see your favorite song on the list? Hit us up on our @vh1music Twitter feed and, if we see enough volume, we’ll add it to our list of over 50 songs that you can vote on.
Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
As I’m sure you know, summertime is a great occasion for music-filled road trips.
I’ve already gone on a couple, and while enjoying music on CDs (yes, I still represent the format), an overstocked iPod, and FM radio; I observed the following:
(A few weeks ago I was on a 1970s music kick, so the next four observations will reflect that era. Groovy?)
Music is the best backdrop to our life experiences, and with the Summer solstice now a week or so behind us, it’s time to finalize those party/road-trip/gym playlists and ease into the season that puts sun on our skin and BBQ on our plates. I’m putting my money on the songs below to make it to the winner’s circle this year, but it’s still early, and only in time will the victors be revealed.
NOMINATION: Kanye West ft. Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz, “Mercy”
EXPLANATION: If you don’t act a little bit foolish when this song comes on, I don’t think we can be friends. Kicking-off the G.O.O.D Music relay race, Big Sean hits his verbal stride first, and whether it’s his wordplay, Pusha T’s unique emphasis while using the word “ho,” Kanye’s obligatory “molly” reference, or 2 Chainz’ phenomenal lead-off grunt, this track has something special for everyone. Not only will we hear “Mercy” blasting out of car and house party windows all summer long, but it puts a stake in the ground for Kanye’s squad as they prep for their unified Cruel Summer project, allegedly coming soon.
Another summer, another sizzling hit from Pitbull. “To these rappers I apologize, I know it ain’t fair / Only ball I drop, New Year’s Times Square,” he raps on the opening to his newly leaked single, “Get It Started,” sounding sure that he’s sunk another one. And with his “Rabiosa” partner Shakira on the hook, he most definitely has.
Making reference to Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky, the (former) welterweight boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, and his multiple passports, Pitbull declares himself once and for all Mr. Worldwide. “I went from evictions to food stamps … To a passport, flooded with stamps,” he raps, sizing himself up.
As for Shakira, she’s into this jet setting attitude. On the chorus, she teases: “Everytime I look into your eyes/I feel like I could stare in them for a lifetime/We can get started for love.” And the Afrojack and RedOne conjured beat is so big and celebratory that you, too, will be immediately on board, and all your weird feelings about Tom Cruise forgotten. It’s going to be a hot summer, might as well “Get It Started.”
Summer, summer, summertime…time to sit back and unwind. Hey, if that’s how Will Smith recommends to spend the months of June, July, and August, who am I to argue? As my colleagues Bené and Zara have attested, summer’s a time to be spent outdoors with friends, preferably with a boombox in proximity. We’re going to start counting down the 2012 Song Of The Summer very soon, but for now, here are three songs that I’ll be hitting repeat on all summer long.
NOMINATION: Icona Pop, “I Love It”
EXPLANATION: Why do Swedes make the best pop music? Someone really ought to research this! While we all anxiously await for someone else to do the heavy lifting with that essay, I’m going to be bouncing around my apartment cranking this electro-pop earworm all the way up to 11, shouting “I DON’T CARE!” like a madman. The pulsating beats that dare you not to bounce up-and-down while pumping your fists (not fist pumping, though, because that’s lame), the crazy catchy sing-along melodies, the fact that it clocks in at exactly 3 minutes … all of these ingredients create a perfect recipe for a summer jam.
While watching the Canada’s MuchMusic Video Awards the other night, we wondered if Carly Rae Jepsen might be in danger of running herself into a rut. That night, she took home three awards and was on stage many more times than that. She performed “Call Me Maybe” and sounded great, and then she joined Flo Rida for “Wild Ones” and sounded great again. For many of us, though, that was a first chance to hear her sing something besides “Call Me Maybe,” and we sort of wished she could have tried something new so we could really see what she’s got.
Well, today we get our wish: here’s a new song that features Carly Rae Jepsen that is not named “Call Me Maybe”!
Music sounds better in the summer, everyone knows this. It gets bigger, so we can bang it from our cars; and other times it gets weirder, because the sun’s got us spinning anyways. Most of all, the promise of Labor Day —when we can put away our ”Call Me Maybes” with our white pants— begs repeat listening. Thusly, if you need me, I’ll be listening to one of these Song Of The Summer this summer:
NOMINATION: Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend”
EXPLANATION: So what if it’s not really “chilling by the fire while we’re eating fondue” season? There is nothing this season so sweet as this falsetto bridge “I like to be everything you want / hey girl let me talk to you.” While being a little amateurish, his breathy rapping recalls the Ying Yang Twins’ “Whistle Song” in all the right ways; and the Justin Timberlake-like guitar picked chorus isn’t so bad, either.
With or without the facepaint, Cincinnati indie-rockers Walk the Moon‘s “Anna Sun” sounds like a party. More specifically, the sort of party we want to drive us into the melting 90-degree days that are upon us. The lead single off their eponymous new album —which hit shelves yesterday— – “Anna Sun” takes its name from a professor at Kenyon College who was inspiring, lead singer/keyboardist Nicholas Petricca tells us, and it tells a story about growing up. The song mourns a race lost, a house falling apart, an a time when summer could erase it all. And then, over sun-drenched synths, the chorus signals a charge regardless. “We’re gonna rattle this ghost town,” Petricca sings in a falsetto that recalls the Killers’ Brandon Flowers. And “Anna Sun” is going to rattle our summer.
In the video for “Anna Sun,” Walk the Moon used facepaint to give the project a feeling they describe as “Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, Neverland sort of vibe.” Forever after, though, it’s like the paint hasn’t quite washed off. Instead, it’s kind of become their thing. “We tried to recreate the video in a live setting, and it was just so much fun that we did it again and people started coming to shows in facepaint,” Petricca says, warning also that unknowing concert-goers might get a pre-show, endoctrinating slather. “It’s kind of a thing to get you energized and ready to go,” explained bassist Kevin Ray.
Despite performing on the Late Show With David Letterman AND in front of a sold-out crowd at New York City’s Mercury Lounge last night, these four Ohio boys showed up to our Times Square offices bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. And soon as the driving beat of “Anna Sun” hit, we fell immediately into the performance, which was pared-down slightly from the album version — less synth, more thump, all the same soaring energy. “We want it to be fun,” Petricca says. ”We want the record to be a party as much as the concert is.” The facepaint may be optional, but the fun? That’s inescapable. Read more…