meta-script2020 Newport Jazz Festival Lineup: Norah Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall & More | GRAMMY.com

Norah Jones

Photo: Sergione Infuso/Corbis/Getty Images

news

2020 Newport Jazz Festival Lineup: Norah Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall & More

The first wave of performers for the legendary festival also includes Khruangbin, Angélique Kidjo, Robert Glasper, Jimmy Cliff, A Christian McBride Situation and more...

GRAMMYs/Feb 12, 2020 - 06:53 am

Since 1954, Newport Jazz Festival has showcased incredible artists in a beautiful setting, and 2020 will be no exception. The legendary three-day fest announced it's first wave of performers, let by Norah Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, who will close out the day of music at Fort Adams State Park in Newort, R.I., on Aug. 7, 8 and 9 repsectively.

A slew of addiotional performances have been announced in this first wave, including Khruangbin, Angélique Kidjo’s performance of Talking HeadsRemain In Light, A residency by Robert GlasperJimmy Cliff, Makaya McCraven, A Christian McBride Situation, Cory Wong, Hiromi and many more.

Curated by McBride as Artistic Director and founder George Wein, Newport Folk Festival is in its 66th edition, and continues its legacy as a breeding ground for great music in jazz and beyond. 

“This year’s Newport Jazz Festival continues the tradition of presenting jazz, as George Wein would say, “from J to Z.” ,” said McBride in a statement. “For three days in August, all eyes and ears in the jazz world focus on what happens at Newport. It’s a thrill to present everyone from the great Wynton Marsalis, who’s making his first appearance at the festival in 9 years, to Diana Krall, who’s making her first appearance at the festival in over 20 years. We welcome back old friends like Charles Lloyd, who served as our artist-in-residence in 2018, and Robert Glasper, who serves as this year’s artist-in-residence.

"Newport Jazz has always featured artists from all areas," McBride continued, "From Chuck Berry to Mahalia Jackson to Aretha Franklin to James Brown to Led Zeppelin to the Allman Brothers. Since 2017, artists like The Roots, Common, Living Colour and George Clinton and more have all played the festival. This year, Newport Jazz presents reggae legend, Jimmy Cliff. Oh yes, this year’s going to be deep. Norah Jones is back after her smashing 2016 Newport debut, Avery*Sunshine makes her debut, as does vibraphonist Warren Wolf. There’s just way too many great artists to name. Just make sure you come. You won’t be disappointed!”

Tickets are available now, along with the latest linuep info, via the festival's website.

Leon Michels, center, poses with Black Thought, Kirby and members of El Michels Affair backstage at "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon."
Leon Michels, center, poses with Black Thought, Kirby and members of El Michels Affair backstage at "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon."

Photo: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC via Getty Images

interview

Behind Leon Michels' Hits: From Working With The Carters & Aloe Blacc, To Creating Clairo's New Album

Multi-instrumentalist turned GRAMMY-nominated producer Leon Michels has had a hand in a wide range of pop and hip-hop music. Read on for the stories behind his smash hits with Norah Jones, Black Thought, Kalis Uchis, Aloe Blacc, and others.

GRAMMYs/May 27, 2024 - 03:17 pm

A child of New York’s ultra-niche soul revival scene of the early 2000s, multi-instrumentalis turned producer Leon Michels has had an extensive reach into global pop music. As both producer and session man, Michels has worked with the Carters, Norah Jones, Black Thought, the Black Keys, Kalis Uchis, and Aloe Blacc — to name a few.

He has held to a specific creative vision for more than two decades, first through his heavily sampled El Michels Affair projects and a healthy schedule of releases through Truth & Soul records and later, Big Crown, the label he co-founded with DJ Danny Akalepse in 2016. He runs a studio in upstate New York called the Diamond Mine North, where he does most of his work since relocating from New York City in 2017. He has two GRAMMY nominations to his name, for Mary J. Blige’s Good Morning Gorgeous and Lizzo’s Special.

Trained originally on piano, he took up drums and eventually saxophone through the guidance of his high school music teacher, Miss Leonard. "[She] is actually the person I owe it all to. She started this jazz band when I was in fifth grade, and there's no drummer, so she asked me if I would learn drums," he tells GRAMMY.com. "I did that, and she would give me Duke Ellington cassettes, Sydney Bichet, Johnny Hodges. She would just feed me music."

Daptone Records co-founder Gabe Roth recruited and mentored Michels while he was still in high school, and the teenager soon became a regular touring member of what would become the Dap-Kings, backing singer Sharon Jones during an early run of success in the mid-2000s. " I joined Sharon Jones when it was the Soul Providers. We went on tour in Europe with them. Somehow my parents let me do it. I don't even understand. Gabe came over and sweet-talked them."

Michels left the group in 2006 after seven intense years, wanting to spend more time recording than enduring the grind of touring. His chosen timing caused him to miss out by mere "months" on the group’s recording sessions for Amy Winehouse’s four-time GRAMMY winner Back To Black. Despite what appeared to be a major missed opportunity, he turned his focus to his group El Michels Affair after initial encouragement from the 2005 album Sounding Out The City, released on Truth & Soul, the label he had co-founded. 

Finding his inspiration in the intersections of soul and hip-hop, as a fully committed instrumentalist producer, he was able to develop an analog soundscape that quickly caught the ears of artists including Raekwon and other Wu-Tang Clan alumni, with whom he toured in 2008. This led to the follow-up album Enter The 37th Chamber in 2009. Samples from El Michels Affair, including those by Ghostface Killah, Jay-Z, Just Blaze, J. Cole, and Travis Scott quickly proliferated and opened doors. Via the Lee Fields album My World, Michels' work caught the attention of Dan Auerbach, with whom he and his longtime collaborator and bassist Nick Movshon toured from 2010 to 2012.

Producing the Aloe Blacc song "I Need A Dollar" in 2010 further enhanced his credentials and provided the financial stability to allow him to be true to his creative spirit, which he has done successfully over the last decade.

Leon Michels spoke to GRAMMY.com about some key career recordings, including his latest release with singer Clairo.

Clairo – "Sexy to Someone" (Charm, 2024)

I met Clairo almost three years ago. I made a record with her that took three years to complete, which is actually one of the longest stretches I've ever spent on a record.

She’s made two records before this. Her first record, Immunity, came out when she was 19. It's a pop record, and it was very successful. But she's a total music nerd like me. She’s constantly scouring the Internet for music. The way people, especially young people, ingest music these days is just insane. She's got great taste.

Her first record was super successful. She made her second record, Sling, with Jack Antonoff, and it was an ambitious folk record, and a huge departure from her first record. I think it caught her audience off guard, but it was kind of a perfect move because now she can make whatever she wants. 

When she came to me, I was excited but slightly confused. What do I do? Because in those situations, you think, well, I need to facilitate a successful pop record, but she just wanted all the weird s—.

It’s this cool mix of pop elements, but some of the music sounds like a Madlib sample. All of it is steeped in pretty cool references and older music, but her perspective is a 25-year-old’s, and she’s an incredible songwriter. It's a really cool mix.

Norah Jones - "Running"  (Visions, 2024)

Norah used to hit up me and Dave Guy, trumpet player in the Menahan Street Band and the Roots, if she needed horns.

As we were coming out of the pandemic, she hit me up and wanted to make some music. We made a few songs and then after that, she asked me to produce her Christmas record, which was super fun because I've never listened to Christmas music. I started to enjoy it, which was weird because I had thought I hated Christmas music. I mean, once you start to dig for Christmas records, pretty much all of your favorite artists have them. I was listening to Christmas music from March to October the entire year. 

After that, we made Visions, which is all original stuff. Norah's just so talented. Her musicianship is actually some of the most impressive I've ever seen or worked with. She's so good that when I play with her, I get intimidated and I forget basic harmony and music theory!

Read more: 5 Inspirations Behind Norah Jones' New Album 'Visions': Nightly Dreams, Collabs, Harmony Stacks & More

We cut that record,  mostly just the two of us. There's a couple of songs where we got a band, but most of it was in my upstate studio. She would just come over from nine to three. She would come after she dropped her kids at school and then have to leave to pick them up. It was super fun to make, essentially just jamming all day.

[Overall] it’s not a huge departure for Norah, but sonically it is a departure, and it's got this very loose, "un-precious" quality. That's maybe a little different from her other stuff.

"Running" was her choice as a single. When it comes to singles — the songs that have actually been most successful — I've wanted to take those off the record. I have no idea what's going to be the hit or not.

Black Thought - "Glorious Game" (Glorious Game, 2023)

That was a total pandemic record — at the start of the pandemic when everyone was completely locked in, we had no idea what was going on.

Black Thought texted me out of the blue, and I think he was just trying to stay busy. So he just said, "Can you send me songs?" I sent him maybe two songs and then he sent back finished verses three or four hours later. Most of that record was just me sending him s— and him sending it back, and then going like that. We had probably 20 songs. 

The time I did spend in the studio with him was, he's a total savant. He sits there while you're playing a song, and it kind of looks like he's on Instagram or f—ing around, you know what I mean? Does this guy even like this song? And then 45 minutes later, he’ll be like "Aight, ready." And he goes in there and, and he'll rap four pages of lyrics in one take. It's insane. He remembers everything;  we'll do a song and then three years later, he'll have to redo it, but he'll know the lyrics from memory.

There's a couple of things that I figured out on that record. One: The thing I love about sampled hip-hop production the most is it's almost always pitch-shifted, which makes a giant difference in the sound. And if the piano has decay or vocals have vibrato, when you pitch it up, it becomes something that is so uniquely hip-hop. The second thing was, with hip hop, one of the best parts about sampling is the choices a producer has to make when they are limited to chopping a two-track mix.  If you have multi-tracks, there are too many options. 

I think that record resonated with people who are hip-hop aficionados who really love the art of emceeing. 

Aloe Blacc - "I Need A Dollar" (Good Things, 2010)

We had just recorded the Lee Fields record, My World. Eothen Alapatt, who used to be a label manager at Now Again, was a friend of mine. [Jeff Silverman and I] started Truth & Soul, but we had no infrastructure. We thought My World would have a bigger reach if Stones Throw took care of the press and distribution. And so Eothen said "Yeah, we can do that, but instead of paying us, just make a record with this artist we have, Aloe Blacc."

I had no idea who he was. And so that was the business deal. We didn't get paid for the record initially. The payment was that they were going to promote Lee Fields record for us. So [Aloe] came to New York, and I did it with my partner at the time, Jeff Silverman, also Nick Movshon, who played on the entire record.

He wanted to do this Bill Withers thing. "I Need A Dollar" was probably my least favorite song on the record. I think I have this aversion to anything that's slightly cheesy, but I've gotten better at it. But at the end of the day, it's just a good song. It got picked up as the theme song to an HBO pilot called "How To Make It In America." And then, it just blew up in Europe. It was No. 1 everywhere. But it never hit in America.

It kind of set me off on a weird path for a minute, because I got a taste of success. And made some poor career decisions. I tried to a do lot of songwriting sessions with strangers.  It was maybe four years until I decided to just make El Michels Records.  

The Carters - "SUMMER" (EVERYTHING IS LOVE, 2018)

At the time, I was making these sample packs and sending them out to producers. One of them was this slow jam, and so the producers called me up and said "We used one of your samples. It's for a giant artist. We can't tell you who it is. You have to approve it now. And you can't hear it, but it's going to change your life." That’s what they kept saying to me. Then they said "It's coming out in two weeks."

So I figured they used one of my samples and chopped it up and did their thing to it.  And so when the record came out, it was Beyoncé and Jay-Z. It was the first track on that record they did together, the Carters. And it was mostly just my original sample with some new bass and string section. So basically it was just Beyoncé and Jay-Z over an El Michael's Affair track. The track was called "Summer," and my original never came out. 

So just hearing Beyoncé, hearing these giant pop voices that I associate with absolute hits, over my song, that was pretty cool.

Liam Bailey - "Dance With Me" (Zero Grace, 2023)

Me and him just have a very crazy chemistry when it comes to music, because it all happens super fast and with very little thought. Sometimes I'll listen to Liam's stuff, and I actually don't know how we did it. That is actually the goal. That’s why Lee "Scratch Perry" is the greatest producer of all time, because he could access that instant input, instant output type of creativity. It just passes through him and then it's on the record. Making music with Liam is like that; I'll make some instrumental, or I'll have an idea and then he'll freestyle lyrics one or two times.

To me, it sounds gibberish, but then he'll go through it and change one or two words and all of a sudden has this crazy narrative, and it's about his childhood [for example]. When I’ve worked with him, he has this same process where it's just kind of "hand to God" s—, just let it happen. I was trying to make something the way Jamaicans did, [like] that brand of Jamaican soul from the mid-'60s. 

Brainstory - "Peach Optimo" (Sounds Good, 2024)

I met those guys through Eduardo Arenas, who's the bass player from Chicano Batman, and he had recorded a couple of demos from them. And they had one song in particular that really caught my attention, which made it onto their first record called "Dead End."

They’re three jazz kids. Their dad was a gospel singer and loved soul and Stevie Wonder. So they grew up on all that stuff as well. Producing a band like Brainstory is super easy, because they rehearse all the time. Most of their songs are written; all I have to do is maybe shuffle around sections or just essentially cut stuff out. Because a lot of times when bands write music and rehearse every day, they just love to play, so sections are endless. 

I'll…have a sound in mind for the record, some reference for me and the engineering hands to kind of work from. And in the case of Sounds Good, the reference for the whole sound of the record was that this is Gene Harris song called "Los Alamitos Latin Funk Love." This is kind of the vibe of the entire record. We just cut that record over the course of a year, but it was two sessions that were maybe six days each. 

Kevin is the main vocalist and he's amazing. He can do that sweet soul background stuff perfectly. And when he does [his own] background vocals, it's this thing that not a lot of people can do where he changes his personality. So he becomes three different people. Then the background sounds like an actual group. 

Behind Mark Ronson's Hits: How 'Boogie Nights,' Five-Hour Jams & Advice From Paul McCartney Inspired His Biggest Singles & Collabs

Norah Jones
Norah Jones

Photo: Joelle Grace Taylor

list

5 Inspirations Behind Norah Jones' New Album 'Visions': Nightly Dreams, Collabs, Harmony Stacks & More

On her iridescent new album 'Visions,' out March 8, Jones embraces a newer collaborator in Leon Michels, and brings the stuff of phantasmagoria into immediate, organic relief.

GRAMMYs/Mar 8, 2024 - 03:06 pm

Not all Norah Jones fans know this, but her debut 2002 album Come Away With Me was recorded in its entirety a whopping three times. Her latest, Visions, is no less detailed or exacting. But in true Blue Note fashion — it's out March 8, via said label — it sprang from an improvisatory, immediate space.

"I didn't really have a lot of preconceived ideas," Jones tells GRAMMY.com over Zoom, as a typically oppressive winter in New York blurs into spring. ("I like winter," she says. "Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one.") Despite this dearth of advance material, "We just wrote and played," Jones continues. "And, honestly, he's one of the most fun people I get to play music with."

"He" is none other than producer, multi-instrumentalist and two-time GRAMMY nominee Leon Michels; Jones, a nine-time GRAMMY winner and 19-time nominee herself, previously worked with him on her first-ever holiday album, 2021's I Dream of Christmas.

Highlights like "Staring at the Wall," "Running" and "I'm Awake" show Jones is clearly the same artist who made classics like Come Away With Me and 2004's Feels Like Home — but in the ensuing decades, her work has assumed layers of adventurousness and dynamism.

"I love playing music with people and collaborating and trying new things, and I feel very at ease with myself and as myself in all those situations," Jones says. "Which is why it works, I think. I'm not trying to be somebody else when I do this. I'm comfortable, but I love to just try new clothes on musically."

Read on for a breakdown of people, concepts and things that inspired the making of Visions.

Her Podcast "Norah Jones Is Playing Along"

Over 32 episodes and counting, Jones has sat down with everyone from Jeff Tweedy to Seth MacFarlane to Laufey for extemporaneous collaborations and conversations. Jones notes that they're gearing up to release more episodes.

While she doesn't expressly note the podcast as a direct influence, its one-on-one format harmonizes with the dynamic between herself and Michel on Visions.

"I think anything you do influences you in some ways, even if you don't realize how," Jones says. "I've always been a pretty open musician, but I just feel like I get more and more open."

Her Creative Synergy With Leon Michels

When Jones had a shred of an idea — a few lyrics, a sketch of a melody — she would sit at a piano or guitar, Michels would get behind the kit, and they'd jam it out, garage band-style.

From there, the collaborators would add "a ton of harmonies" — more on that later — as well as bass, guitar, horns, organ, or whatever else would elevate the songs.

"The live energy you feel on those recordings is from me and him playing drums and piano or guitar," Jones says, "and just having fun."

Subconscious, Subterranean Zones

As Jones noted in the press materials, Visions came from a space beyond wakefulness.

"The reason I called the album Visions is because a lot of the ideas came in the middle of the night or in that moment right before sleep," she said. She then evoked the lead single: "'Running' was one of them where you're half asleep and kind of jolted awake."

"I think it just all flowed really fast," Jones says in retrospect. "There were some songs that I had to tweak the lyrics more because they were slower to come, but most of them were pretty fast."

Stacking Harmonies — Christmas Style

Two years and change ago, I Dream of Christmas displayed a newer facet of Jones' sound: dense, layered harmonies. It worked so well on those yuletide tunes that Jones and Michels expanded on that concept for Visions.

"I'm always hearing harmonies, and I'm pretty quick at adding them," Jones recalls, and he's always, "Add a harmony, add a harmony, add a harmony." It's really part of the sound of the record."

Jones says this comes straight from her record collection. "It does come pretty naturally. It comes from years of loving music," she says. "I mean, I used to imitate Aretha's background singers. I think it was Cissy Houston. I love that kind of harmony." (Plus, she sang in jazz groups and high school and college, with 10 vocalists as a united throng.)

For Jones' upcoming tour dates on the East Coast, which span May and June, Michels won't be present. But those shimmering, layered vocals will.

Bringing Two More Singers To The Party

Along with four-time GRAMMY-winning drummer extraordinaire Brian Blade and the great, indie-oriented bassist Josh Lattanzi, Jones will perform alongside singers Sasha Dobson and Sami Stevens, who will also chip in on guitar and keys.

"We had our first rehearsal yesterday, and it sounds incredible," Jones says, aglow. She then considers the nuances of bringing studio creations to life onstage.

"Sometimes, you want to hit all the parts and sometimes you can and sometimes you can't," she says. "And you have to strip a song back and it sounds just as great, because it's a good song, and that's always a good feeling."

Onstage, though, Jones says they'll have all the resources to pull it off. Call it Visions come to life, and made material.

Norah Jones On Her Two-Decade Evolution, Channeling Chris Cornell & Her First-Ever Live Album, 'Til We Meet Again

Jacob Collier
Jacob Collier performing in 2023

Photo: Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns via Getty Images

list

New Music Friday: Listen To New Music From RIIZE, Norah Jones & Dave Grohl, Mr. Eazi & More

As we hurtle into spooky season, listen to these spooky tracks from Mr. Eazi, RIIZE, Norah Jones & Dave Grohl and more.

GRAMMYs/Oct 27, 2023 - 04:56 pm

As Halloween approaches, this New Music Friday offers a potion of nostalgia, emotions and fresh sounds.

From RIIZE — K-pop's rising stars, who are mesmerizing listeners with their pop hit "Talk Saxy" — to Norah Jones & Dave Grohl uniting for an unexpected collaboration with "Razor," many different genres are being represented today.

Keeping old times alive, Taylor Swift released her highly-anticipated Taylor’s Version of 1989, and Duck Sauce is bringing back their 2011 "Barbra Streisand" sound with their new dance single, "LALALA."

Listen to these seven new tracks and albums that will gear you up for spooky season 2023.

RIIZE - "Talk Saxy"

K-pop’s rising stars, RIIZE, are making a vibrant musical return with their new single, "Talk Saxy," a hypnotic dance track that adds a level of depth to their sound even including a catchy saxophone riff. The lyrics focus on attraction to a stranger, and wanting to get their attention.

"Talk to me exactly what you feel / Hide nothing, show me all and everything / It’s okay, let your heart do what it wants / Get it straight to the point / Talk Saxy," RIIZE croons on the chorus.

This track follows their debut single "Get a Guitar," which launched their announcement that they’d signed with RCA Records. RIIZE is the first boy band group to hail from SM Entertainment since Kpop group NCT. RIIZE members, Shotaro and Sungchan, are notably from NCT, and departed from the K-pop group this year.

Norah Jones & Dave Grohl, "Razor"

Dave Grohl, the frontman of Foo Fighters, graced jazz-pop singer Norah Jones’ podcast with special musical performances, including a cover of "Razor," a rare gem from the Foo Fighters 2005 In Your Honor album.

The track features a calm beat with a tranquil melody and guitar strings and piano, blending their strengths seamlessly. This track follows their collaboration on the In Your Honor track "'Virginia Moon."

During this podcast, Jones announced the release of a Black Friday Exclusive LP Record dropping on Nov. 24. Featuring a collection of podcast episodes with fellow musicians, this looks to be a real treat for fans of Jones and/or her estimable guests.

Jacob Collier feat. Michael McDonald and Lawrence - "Wherever I Go"

Jazz musician Jacob Collier has dropped the song "Wherever I Go," a look into his forthcoming album, Djesse Vol. 4. A track inspired by idols from his childhood including the Doobie Brothers, Stevie Wonder and more, he’s made a standout collaboration with Michael McDonald and Lawrence to craft a memorable record.

The two-minute track, which includes a strong bassline and soulful vocals, paints an illustration of loneliness from their lover.

The four-part journey of Djesse has gained him five GRAMMY awards and 11 nominations. With Djesse Vol. 4, collaborations such as "Little Blue" with Brandi Carlile to Ty Dolla $ign and Kirk Franklin are showcasing Collier’s versatility and knack for genre syntheses.. He also announced a 2024 North American tour with musicians Kemba and Emily King, celebrating the release of this album.

Mr Eazi - The Evil Genius

Afrobeats sensation Mr. Eazi has unveiled his debut album The Evil Genius. The 16-track record shows Eazi’s ability to blend his rhythms from his hometown Nigeria, with hypnotic grooves from Ghana where he spent most of his years.

The Evil Genius takes listeners through his roots, family, love and loneliness in three acts. His skill in blending different styles of music like Gospel and Ghanian styles, makes him the global phenomenon he is. Eazi chose 13 African artists from eight countries to collaborate on this album, bringing together different parts of Africa.

Enhancing the music album, he has introduced a global art exhibition in Ghana, which features work from young artists across Africa.

Tiësto with Tears for Fears, NIIKO X SWAE, GUDFELLA - "Rule The World (Everybody)"

American DJ & singer Tiësto dropped a fresh new track with Tears For Fears, NIIKO X SWAE and GUDFELLA for a reimagining of the 1985 "Everybody Wants To Rule The World." This heart-racing banger has blended stylistic worlds to imbue a classic song with an even catchier, dance-flavored beat.

NIIKO X SWAE originally released an unofficial remix on Soundcloud, which then went viral on social media.. "Rule The World (Everybody)" could certainly become a new party anthem to put on your ‘Halloweekend’ playlist.

Maria José Llergo - ULTRABELLEZA

Spanish singer María José Llergo released her newest album ULTRABELLEZA, following her 2020 Sanación. The album features songs that transverse between genres like "NOVIX," which features a intricate, Latin rhythm and "Superpoder," a star-studded pop song.

"Flamenco is like the blues," she said in a NY Times interview.  Liergo discusses how she incorporated Flamenco, a Spanish art form, into her album in hopes of keeping her cultural traditions rooted in the lyrics that "tell stories of survival — it’s always been a way for the most oppressed to escape."

Duck Sauce - "LALALA"

The hitmakers behind 2010 classics "Barbra Streisand" and "Big Bad Wolf" are back with another dubsmash single called, "LALALA." This duo has made another infectious dance track, which makes listeners transports them to the wildest party of their dreams. "LALALA" feels reminiscent of their past collaborations together, keeping up the nostalgia theme on this special Friday.

The GRAMMY-nominated producers behind Duck Sauce, Armand Van Helden and A-Trak, have recently joined Defected Records’ D4 D4NCE imprint. Keep checking GRAMMY.com on Fridays for a sampler platter of new sounds!

Global Spin: JINI Is Impatient In Love During This Passionate Performance Of Her Debut Solo Single, "C'mon"

news

New Music Friday: Listen To New Music From Norah Jones & Dave Grohl, Mr. Eazi, RIIXE and more

As we hurtle into spooky season, listen to these spooky tracks from Mr. Eazi, RIIZE, Norah Jones & Dave Grohol and more.

GRAMMYs/Oct 27, 2023 - 02:35 pm

As Halloween approaches, this New Music Friday offers a potion of nostalgia, emotions,  and fresh sounds.

From RIIZE — K-pop's rising stars, who are mesmerizing listeners with their pop hit “Talk Saxy” — to Norah Jones & Dave Grohl uniting for an unexpected collaboration with “Razor,” many different genres are being represented today.

Keeping old times alive, Taylor Swift released her highly-anticipated Taylor’s Version of 1989, and Duck Sauce is bringing back their 2011 “Barbra Streisand” sound with their new dance single, “LALALA.”

Listen to these seven new tracks that will gear you up for spooky season 2023.

RIIZE - “Talk Saxy”

Kpop’s rising stars, RIIZE, are making a vibrant musical return with their new single, “Talk Saxy,” a hypnotic dance track that adds a level of depth to their sound even including a catchy saxophone riff. The lyrics focus on attraction to a stranger, and wanting to get their attention. 

“Talk to me exactly what you feel / Hide nothing, show me all and everything / It’s okay, let your heart do what it wants / Get it straight to the point / Talk Saxy,” RIIZE croons on the chorus. 

This track follows their debut single “Get a Guitar,” which launched their announcement to signing with RCA Records. RIIZE is the first boy band group to hail from SM Entertainment since Kpop group NCT. RIIZE members, Shotaro and Sungchan, are notably from NCT, and departed from the K-pop group this year.

Norah Jones & Dave Grohl, "Razor"

Dave Grohl, the frontman of Foo Fighters, graced jazz-pop singer Norah Jones’ podcast with special musical performances, including a cover of “Razor,” a rare gem from the Foo Fighters 2005 In Your Honor album.

The track features a calm beat with a tranquil melody and guitar strings and piano, blending their strengths seamlessly. This track follows their collaboration on the In Your Honor track “'Virginia Moon.”

During this podcast, Jones announced the release of a Black Friday Exclusive LP Record dropping on Nov. 24. Featuring a collection of podcast episodes with fellow musicians, this looks to be a real treat for fans of Jones and/or her estimable guests.

Jacob Collier feat. Michael McDonald and Lawrence - "Wherever I Go"

Jazz musician Jacob Collier has dropped the song “Wherever I Go,” a look into his forthcoming album, Djesse Vol. 4. A track inspired by idols from his childhood including the Doobie Brothers, Stevie Wonder and more, he’s made a standout collaboration with Michael McDonald and Lawrence to craft a memorable record. 

The two-minute track, which includes a strong bassline and soulful vocals, paints an illustration of loneliness from their lover. 

**The four-part journey of Djesse has gained him five GRAMMY awards and 11 nominations. With Djesse Vol. 4, collaborations such as “Little Blue” with Brandi Carlile to Ty Dolla $ign and Kirk Franklin are showcasing Collier’s versatility and knack for genre syntheses.. He also announced a 2024 North American tour with musicians Kemba and Emily King, celebrating the release of this album.** 

Mr Eazi's - The Evil Genius

Afrobeat sensation Mr. Eazi has unveiled his debut album The Evil Genius. The 16-track record shows Eazi’s ability to blend his rhythms from his hometown Nigeria, with hypnotic grooves from Ghana where he spent most of his years.

The Evil Genius takes listeners through his roots, family, love and loneliness in three acts. His skill in blending different styles of music like Gospel and Ghanian styles, makes him the global phenomenon he is. Eazi chose 13 African artists from eight countries to collaborate on this album, bringing together different parts of Africa.

Enhancing the music album, he has introduced a global art exhibition in Ghana, which features work from young artists across Africa.

Tiësto with Tears for Fears, NIIKO X SWAE, GUDFELLA - "Rule The World (Everybody)"