Music

Music

MusicHow blossoming N.J. star Charlie Puth became pop's ascendant hit-makerPlease Amy Schumer and other entertainers, stop bashing Donald TrumpN.J. pop star Halsey will perform at Nobel Peace Prize concert

http://ftr.fivefilters.org/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fftr.fivefilters.org%2Fmakefulltextfeed.php%3Furl%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fblog.nj.com%252Fentertainment_impact_music%252Frss.xml%26max%3D5&max=5 New Jersey Entertainment on NJ.com http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/01/charlie_puth_blossoms_into_njs_hottest_pop_star_th.html http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/01/charlie_puth_blossoms_into_njs_hottest_pop_star_th.html <div><img src=”http://image.nj.com/home/njo-media/width620/img/njcom_photos/photo/2016/01/13/19541143-standard.jpg” class=”ff-og-image-inserted”/></div><p><a href=”http://nj.com/music”>RUMSON</a> — Since April, <a href=”https://twitter.com/charlieputh?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor” target=”_blank”>Charlie Puth</a> has prowled super-stardom’s border, emboldened by two incredibly successful pop collaborations, and a third single that continues to gain widespread favor.</p> <p>Most of America has already heard the Rumson 24-year-old’s striking voice, from the delicate chorus in Wiz Khalifa’s <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgKAFK5djSk” target=”_blank”>”See You Again”</a> — arguably the most dominant hit-radio jam of 2015. Puth provided the piano melody and glossy hook for the smash, which enjoyed 12 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard, a near-record 1.4 billion plays on YouTube and four platinum certifications in the U.S. alone. “See You Again” is nominated for three Grammys this year, including the coveted Song of the Year award.</p> <p>”I’ve always weaseled my way into Grammy parties to network and everything, but now I have a legitimate reason to be there — it’s so cool,” Puth says in a recent interview with NJ.com.  </p> <p>The Berklee-trained singer-songwriter followed his first mainstream splash with the romantic Ben E. King-inspired tune <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igNVdlXhKcI” target=”_blank”>”Marvin Gaye,”</a> accompanied by pop star Meghan Trainor, last fall. The song was less successful — a mere 220 million YouTube plays and one platinum score.</p> <p>Not too shabby for the jazz pianist who this time last year was best known as a viral artist, whom <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsF-HgEHAU4″ target=”_blank”>talk-show host Ellen Degeneres had signed</a> to her eleveneleven Records in 2011.</p> <p>Now, Puth is poised for a further acceleration into ubiquity — not as a bolster to more famous acts, or as a cover singer, but by propulsion of his own infectious, soul-inspired solo tunes.</p> <p>His anticipated debut LP “Nine Track Mind” (Atlantic Records) will be released Friday, and comes loaded not only with “Marvin Gaye” and his current radio soldier <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxuY9FET9Y4″ target=”_blank”>”One Call Away”</a> (No. 26 on Billboard), but with an arsenal of sinfully burnished hooks and vintage sensibilities set to refresh the mainstream, with something a little old, a little new.</p> <p><iframe width=”100%” height=”360″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/igNVdlXhKcI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””>[embedded content]</iframe></p> <p>While the refrains of “See You Again” and “One Call Away” remain relatively simple — breezy singalongs wrapped in traditional pop progressions — Puth strives to achieve a balance between his pop market and a life of classic musical training, built as much for Carnegie Hall as Madison Square Garden.</p> <p>During his “Nine Track Mind” sessions, the singer says he drew inspiration from fellow Berklee grad John Mayer’s 2001 breakthrough “Room For Squares.”</p> <p>”It wasn’t safe, it was musically complex — I wanted to make my debut album like his, in that it wouldn’t be too complex, but just enough where it would sound differently from other pop music,” Puth says. “And you don’t want to overwhelm people, who don’t want to drive to work at 5:30 a.m. and hear the most complex music on the radio. They want something that’s digestible.”</p> <p>In Puth’s world, “digestible” seems to translate to “addictive” as <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsCgTPEkPMo” target=”_blank”>”We Don’t Talk Anymore”</a> — a track released Monday and set appear on his new album — melds a tropical house dance-pulse, flirtatious undertones and a smoky verse from superstar pal Selena Gomez into a tightly wound banger.</p> <p>Much of “Nine Track Mind”‘s radio-ready gleam stems from Puth’s newfound confidence in his own writing and production, a self assurance that has worked its way into his live sets.</p> <p><iframe width=”100%” height=”360″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/bsCgTPEkPMo” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””>[embedded content]</iframe></p> <p>”When my (2015) songs took off, I really got a lot of performance swagger, and I learned how to perform,” he says. “Now I can get on any stage and not think about it, and put on show.”</p> <p>Puth announced earlier this month <a href=”http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/01/nj_breakout_star_charlie_puth_will_rock_red_bank_o.html” target=”_blank”>a headlining tour,</a> with a finale date set for <a href=”http://www.countbasietheatre.org/” target=”_blank”>Count Basie Theatre</a> in Red Bank April 8, where he attended jazz camp as a teen.</p> <p>Puth was a devoted member of several Monmouth County musical programs as an adolescent, including his jazz ensemble at Forrestdale School in Rumson.</p> <p>”He had a brilliant ear … until then, I had never had a student with perfect pitch,” says Forrestdale music teacher John Lebitsch. “He could construct these incredible jazz improvisations (on piano) as part of the ensemble band, but he never showed off, or tried to show anyone up.”</p> <p>Puth, who now lives in lavish home he recently purchased in Hollywood’s hills, recently visited Forrestdale during a holiday break, to chat with students and perform a surprise concert.</p> <p>The return to New Jersey was a necessary one for Puth, who desperately missed his family, as well as his favorite restaurant, <a href=”http://anjelicas.com/” target=”_blank”>Anjelica’s in Sea Bright.</a></p> <p>”I’ve been to Italy a few times and still haven’t had better Italian food than at Anjelica’s,” he laughs.   </p> <div id=”asset-19629911″ class=”entry_widget_full entry_widget_”><span class=”adv-photo-full”><span class=”photo-data”><span class=”caption”>Charlie Puth, at age 12, during a jazz workshop at the Count Basie Theatre’s Cool School, in Red Bank, 2004. (VIC YEPELLO/THE STAR-LEDGER)</span></span></span> </div> <p>Charlie’s interest in music was almost immediate, as his mother Debra began teaching him classical piano at age 5.</p> <p>”He was always so interested in sounds,” Debra Puth says. “He’d tell me the sound of the wind, or the sound of a dime dropping on the floor, and say ‘Mommy, that’s an A flat, or a D sharp.'”</p> <p>Years later, Debra Puth played soothsayer of sorts.</p> <p>”I’d tell him, ‘I just want you to write a song the whole world will sing,'” she says. “And now he has. I’m just happy he’s happy, and gets to do what he loves.”</p> <p>Puth will be back with his family soon again, to rock Count Basie — a venue that may quickly become too small for his growing fan base. Amphitheater or arena tours could be next if “Nine Track Mind” catches fire. But Puth would rather stay humble, even incredulous toward his expanding fame, for now.</p> <p>”I still don’t believe that’s even going to happen,” he says of becoming a true household name. “I truly, truly don’t believe it. And that keeps pushing me, so it’s unfortunate, but I’ll never be completely happy with all that I do.”</p> <p><iframe width=”100%” height=”360″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/BxuY9FET9Y4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””>[embedded content]</iframe></p> <p><em>Bobby Olivier may be reached at bolivier@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter </em><a href=”https://twitter.com/BobbyOlivier”><strong><em>@BobbyOlivier</em></strong></a><em>. Find </em><a href=”https://www.facebook.com/Star.Ledger?fref=ts”><strong><em>NJ.com on Facebook</em></strong></a><em>.</em></p> <p><strong><a href=”https://blockads.fivefilters.org”>Let’s block ads!</a></strong> <a href=”https://github.com/fivefilters/block-ads/wiki/There-are-no-acceptable-ads”>(Why?)</a></p> Thu, 28 Jan 2016 15:11:00 +0000 <span class=”author vcard”><a class=”bl” id=”name_author” href=”http://connect.nj.com/staff/BOlivier/posts.html”> Bobby Olivier | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com </a></span> How blossoming N.J. star Charlie Puth became pop’s ascendant hit-maker Puth is poised for further acceleration into ubiquity — not as a bolster to more famous acts, but by propulsion of his own infectious, soul-inspired solo tunes http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/01/charlie_puth_blossoms_into_njs_hottest_pop_star_th.html article http://image.nj.com/home/njo-media/width620/img/njcom_photos/photo/2016/01/13/19541143-standard.jpg en-US text/html http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/01/charlie_puth_blossoms_into_njs_hottest_pop_star_th.html @entertainment @monmouth-county MTMobile music music-news is-featured http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/10/please_amy_schumer_and_other_entertainers_stop_bas.html http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/10/please_amy_schumer_and_other_entertainers_stop_bas.html <div><img src=”http://image.nj.com/home/njo-media/width620/img/new_jersey_opinion/photo/21332656-standard.jpg” class=”ff-og-image-inserted”/></div><p>A memorandum to musicians, comedians, actors — any performer given a non-political platform and the mass audience that often accompanies it: please stop berating <a href=”http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/10/the_donald_unshackled_trumps_worst_week_in_23_pulv.html#incart_river_index” target=”_blank”>Donald Trump</a>.</p> <p>This is not the same hackneyed plea that now suffixes every entertainer’s Trump-bashing: “just sing/tell jokes, we don’t want to hear about your politics.” Freedom of speech is intrinsically American, and if you feel the need to slam a brutish political candidate before an arena full of people, you are, of course, allowed to speak your peace without persecution beyond a stream of irate YouTube comments.</p> <p>But comedienne Amy Schumer’s <a href=”http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/trump-fans-boo-walk-out-on-amy-schumer-in-tampa/2298412″ target=”_blank”>extended, anti-Trump shtick in Tampa, Fla.</a> Sunday night, which included the onstage grilling of a fan and Trump supporter on why he plans to vote for DT, perfectly illustrates why this increasing current of political mockery — see also recent celebrity thrashings from Bono, Bruce Springsteen and Robert <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lZ0r1-mvMY” target=”_blank”>”I’d like to punch him in the face!”</a> De Niro — desperately needs a sound check.</p> <p>Look no further than the climate of the day: We are just three weeks from the polls, and voters’ heels are dug in deeper than in any election in recent memory. By now you are either a fervent passenger on the rumbling Trump train, or you anxiously await the next derailment. If Donald’s <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-Rr7CO59HY” target=”_blank”>recent “locker room talk” video</a> leak, <a href=”http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/women-step-forward-sexual-misconduct-allegations-trump/story?id=42815475″ target=”_blank”>sexual assault accusations</a>, or <a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/us/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-drug-test.html” target=”_blank”>overall performance in the first two presidential debates</a> hasn’t already swayed you, nothing this side of a murder charge will shake your faith in the next 21 days.</p> <p>So when Schumer calls Trump an “orange, sexual-assaulting, fake-college-starting monster” at Amalie Arena in Tampa — the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention — and pro-Trumpers boo, rejectors cheer, and dozens exhausted by the trudge of public derision reportedly walk out, what’s being accomplished here?</p> <p><iframe width=”100%” height=”360″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/mp_2aaA999A” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””>[embedded content]</iframe></p> <p>Schumer can crack jokes in protest all she wants, but at this stage in the campaign cycle, all she’s really done is unnecessarily divide a room of her fans. And once the video clip of her rant hits the web and is shared thousands of times, her voice only bolsters outrage in both directions, just as Trump himself has for months.</p> <p>The same goes for Bono, a Clinton donor, <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnFnPMbqiYo” target=”_blank”>yelling “you’re fired!” to Trump</a> on a Jumbotron at a charity event last week, or Bruce Springsteen two weeks ago <a href=”http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/bruce-springsteen-goes-deep-on-revelations-in-new-memoir-w443387″ target=”_blank”>telling Rolling Stone</a> “the republic is under siege by a moron.” Please stop; you’re all making this political nightmare worse — and far more inescapable.</p> <p>The circus-like debates have become our entertainment, and our ostensible pop-culture hideaways too often devolve into peripheral rallies for one candidate or the other. The <a href=”http://strangerthings.wikia.com/wiki/Upside_Down” target=”_blank”>”Stranger Things” Upside Down</a> terror-land seems apropos.</p> <p>But an artist’s stage should be a place we come to unite in the name of culture, and evade the pundits for a few hours. For sake of our own sanity, the conversation must migrate toward homogeneity, and to the idea that for better or worse, we’re still in this country together and can enjoy a concert en masse in spite of the immense hate milling around us. You know, sticking it to the man, fighting the power, all that.</p> <p>Singer Florence Welch of <a href=”http://florenceandthemachine.net/” target=”_blank”>Florence and the Machine</a> — a British rock band that toured America through the spring and summer, just as the race truly began to boil — was perhaps the greatest unifier I’ve seen in this respect.</p> <p>To <a href=”http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/06/florence_and_the_machine_delivers_timeless_perform.html” target=”_blank”>a June crowd of 25,000 in Camden</a>, she shouted, smiling: “the world needs your love, and from what I can see, you have so much to give.”</p> <p>Though we all know a flower-power edict only stretches so far. Maybe a little bit of fist-thrusting punk anger is really what we need.</p> <p>”We’re here to call bull—- on all the f—ing politicians tonight,” was the spoken purpose of <a href=”http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/09/green_day_nj_concert_review_2016_starland_ballroom.html” target=”_blank”>Green Day’s Sayreville concert</a> last month. While we shouldn’t look to eye-linered frontman Billie Joe Armstrong to solve any world crises, at least his plan to dismiss all the pols equally was on the right track.</p> <p>But ultimately, the credits have already rolled on this horror flick. Entertainers no longer need to tell us what they think of the monster; instead look to the future and pull us out of the dark.</p> <p><em>Bobby Olivier may be reached at <a href=”mailto:bolivier@njadvancemedia.com”>bolivier@njadvancemedia.com</a>. Follow him on Twitter <a href=”https://twitter.com/bobbyolivier”>@BobbyOlivier</a> and <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/BobbyOlivierNJ/”>Facebook</a>. Find <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/NJ.com”>NJ.com on Facebook</a>.</em> </p> <p><strong><a href=”https://blockads.fivefilters.org”>Let’s block ads!</a></strong> <a href=”https://github.com/fivefilters/block-ads/wiki/There-are-no-acceptable-ads”>(Why?)</a></p> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 21:43:00 +0000 <span class=”author vcard”><a class=”bl” id=”name_author” href=”http://connect.nj.com/staff/BOlivier/posts.html”> Bobby Olivier | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com </a></span> Please Amy Schumer and other entertainers, stop bashing Donald Trump The credits have already rolled on this horror flick. Entertainers no longer need to tell us what they think of the monster http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/10/please_amy_schumer_and_other_entertainers_stop_bas.html article http://image.nj.com/home/njo-media/width620/img/new_jersey_opinion/photo/21332656-standard.jpg en-US text/html http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/10/please_amy_schumer_and_other_entertainers_stop_bas.html http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/10/nj_pop_star_halsey_will_perform_at_nobel_prize_con.html http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/10/nj_pop_star_halsey_will_perform_at_nobel_prize_con.html <div><img src=”http://image.nj.com/home/njo-media/width620/img/njcom_photos/photo/2016/08/14/20915153-standard.jpg” class=”ff-og-image-inserted”/></div><p><a href=”http://nj.com/music”>OSLO, Norway</a> — New Jersey’s latest pop sensation is heading for Norway, and for a crowd that may be far removed from the shrieking teens who normally populate her shows.</p> <p><a href=”http://iamhalsey.com/” target=”_blank”>Halsey</a> will perform at the <a href=”http://nobelpeaceprizeconcert.com/concert-info/” target=”_blank”>Nobel Peace Prize concert</a> Dec. 11 in Oslo, in celebration of 2016’s prize laureate: Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos. The luminous list of past concert performers include Paul McCartney, Elton John, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige.  </p> <p>The news comes as Halsey, a 22-year-old electro-pop singer born Ashley Frangipane of Clark, currently enjoys <a href=”http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/10/7_weeks_later_nj_pop_star_halsey_still_has_the_no.html” target=”_blank”>the No. 1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100</a>, the thumping jam “Closer” with DJ duo The Chainsmokers. </p> <p>The outspoken singer <a href=”http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/08/halsey_msg_nyc_2016_concert_review_photos_video.html” target=”_blank”>delivered a searing headlining performance</a> at a sold-out Madison Square Garden Aug. 13. Her debut LP “Badlands” was released summer 2015 and reached No. 2 on Billboard. </p> <p><iframe width=”100%” height=”360″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/PT2_F-1esPk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””>[embedded content]</iframe></p> <p><em>Bobby Olivier may be reached at <a href=”mailto:bolivier@njadvancemedia.com”>bolivier@njadvancemedia.com</a>. Follow him on Twitter <a href=”https://twitter.com/bobbyolivier”>@BobbyOlivier</a> and <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/BobbyOlivierNJ/”>Facebook</a>. Find <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/NJ.com”>NJ.com on Facebook</a>.</em></p> <p><strong><a href=”https://blockads.fivefilters.org”>Let’s block ads!</a></strong> <a href=”https://github.com/fivefilters/block-ads/wiki/There-are-no-acceptable-ads”>(Why?)</a></p> Thu, 13 Oct 2016 19:32:00 +0000 <span class=”author vcard”><a class=”bl” id=”name_author” href=”http://connect.nj.com/staff/BOlivier/posts.html”> Bobby Olivier | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com </a></span> N.J. pop star Halsey will perform at Nobel Peace Prize concert Past concert performers include Paul McCartney, Elton John, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/10/nj_pop_star_halsey_will_perform_at_nobel_prize_con.html article http://image.nj.com/home/njo-media/width620/img/njcom_photos/photo/2016/08/14/20915153-standard.jpg en-US text/html http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2016/10/nj_pop_star_halsey_will_perform_at_nobel_prize_con.html

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