Photo: Nate Hertweck/The Recording Academy
Amber Mark On "Mixer," Her Upcoming Single "What If," Being Driven Around By Redman & More
"It's like my baby. I love that song. I've been working on it for two years now," the singer/songwriter told the Recording Academy about her next single
If you haven't yet listened to singer/songwriter and producer Amber Mark's "Mixer," stop and do so now. While you're at it, press play on "Love Me Right" too.
The New York-based artist raised traveling the globe is showing her worldly musical inspirations through 3:33 am, greatly inspired by her mother's death, and 2018's Conexão EP. Her sound is a fresh mix of soul, bossa nova and R&B that she prodcues herself and the world needs to listen.
When she's not creating her own stuff, she's collaborating with creatives like GRAMMY-winning songwriter, musician and producer Andrew Wyatt, who won a golden gramophone at the 2019 GRAMMY Awards for Lady Gaga and Bradely Cooper's "Shallow."
The Recording Academy caught up with Mark at Governors Ball in New York City to talk her next single "What If," what soul music means to her, the advice she has for aspiring music artists and more.
It's your first time here. Tell me what your impression is of Governor's Ball.
This isn't my first time being here, but it's my first time performing, so it's been a whole new world for me. It's really exciting. We just finished performing and I'm still like high from it, from the adrenaline and stuff like that. It's been pretty amazing. We performed on the main stage and it was my first time having like back up dancers and stuff like that. We kind of did it big this time around and I really enjoyed it. I had a really good time. The audience really loved it and now I just got golf-carted here by Redman, so I'm having a really good time.
That's amazing. It sounds surreal. It sounds like a dream that you have.
It's very surreal. I don't feel like I'm actually doing this right now, at all.
"Mixer" is everywhere now and you just released a visual for the acoustic version. Tell us about that song. What does it mean to you and why was it important for you to give it so much love?
It's one of my favorite kind of dancey songs that I've put out ... I'd always put a lot of meaningful songs out and stuff like that and I really kind of just wanted to have fun, kind of like a jam ,vibe song out as a single. Andrew Wyatt approached me with it and said that he thought this song was perfect for me and that he kind of wrote it after he had seen me perform. And that inspired the whole lyrics behind it and stuff like that. I heard it immediately and was like yes, I'm so down, let's do it. And then one thing lead to another you know?
It's a tough act to follow... what's next for you, musically?
I was actually working on a visual for a new song that's coming out called, "What If." It's going to be out next week, it's really exciting. It's like my baby. I love that song. I've been working on it for two years now. So I'm glad it's finally out ... Or will be out. We were working on the visual for that, and I've just been rehearsing like non stop for this show. I've never like done choreographed dance before. So it was a lot of that. It just was a lot of me dancing and rehearsing with the band and visual shooting and all of that stuff.
You've had a huge year since we first saw you last year on tour. What for you personally and artistically has changed in the past year the most?
I think the performances have been like a huge change for me and just how I go about putting out music, I think understanding the flow of that more and my knowledge of production and stuff like that. I think I'm still pretty slow when it comes to that because I really like to take my time with lyrics and stuff like that. But, as far as just not being as nervous of being in the studio and not being as nervous about putting music out and what people will think about it, and all that stuff, really just kind of going from inside and what feels good to me, .I think I've really learned a lot from.
You're such a soulful artist - I'm curious what "soul" means to you. Not as a genre, but just as a term or a concept.
That's a good question... I think soul to me personally is more just expressing what is inside of you, what you're really feeling strongly. A lot of the time for me, personally, I've always had a hard time expressing myself because I wasn't really sure that what I was feeling was the right feeling, or I wasn't really sure what I was feeling at all. That's why I kind of turned to music. I think it's just really gaining understanding of what you feel inside and really just believing in that and being passionate about that, no matter what it is. It could be being a janitor, it doesn't matter. As long as you put soul into it.
Do you have any advice for anybody that's getting into this world? Maybe what you wish you knew?
I think you should really follow your heart. I think that's really important because I think that's what people will really direct towards, is you being yourself. I think just put your music out there, don't feel like you need to go to a label and stuff like that. I just put my stuff out there after waiting years and years and realized that I don't need to rely on people. And that's when people started coming to me. So, I think that's the most important part, and just always believe in everything that you do.
Anything else you wanted to mention, or talk about that's coming up?
Redman is driving a golf cart, so if you're here, you probably won't know this because I don't know when this is coming out. But he's driving a golf cart here, and it's pretty insane. And I'm freaking out!
Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More
The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'
In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.
"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.
Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.
"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."
Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American.
"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."
Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images
Rosalía Announces First Solo North American Tour
El Mal Querer Tour, named after the Spanish pop star's latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances
Rosalía is set to perform at some of the most popular music festivals around the globe, including Primavera Sound in Spain, Lollapalooza (Argentina and Chile) and Coachella, but the Spanish pop star isn't stopping there when she gets to the States. Now, she has announced her first solo North American Tour with a string of dates that will bring her to select cities in the U.S. and Canada.
El Mal Querer Tour, named after her latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances. Then she'll play San Francisco on April 22, New York on April 30 and close out in Toronto on May 2.
"I’m so happy to announce my first solo North American tour dates," the singer tweeted.
Rosalía won Best Alternative Song and Best Fusion/ Urban Interpretation at the 19th Latin GRAMMY Awards in November and has been praised for bringing flamenco to the limelight with her hip-hop and pop beats. During her acceptance speech she gave a special shout-out to female artists who came before her, including Lauryn Hill and Bjork.
Rosalía has been getting some love herself lately, most notably from Alicia Keys, who gave the Spanish star a shout-out during an acceptance speech, and Madonna, who featured her on her Spotify International Women's Day Playlist.
Tickets for the tour go on sale March 22. For more tour dates, visit Rosalía's website.
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala
Photo: Rick Kern/WireImage
Listen: Tame Impala Release New Track "Patience"
It's been four years since we've heard new music from Tame Impala, but their new release has come just in time for festival season
Tame Impala have released a new single appropriately called "Patience." The GRAMMY-nominated music project by Australian singer and musician Kevin Parker had not released any new tracks since 2015's Currents.
The long-awaited latest release embodies the exact feeling of having to wait for something: "Has it really been that long? / Did I count the days wrong? ... I've been waiting here / Waiting for the day to come," Parker's soft voice sings on the track featuring an equally soft piano.
Parker, who has come to fame for the psychedelic, dreamy pop sound he shares as Tame Impala, teased the single on Instagram last night. "New track. 1 hour. Speakers/headphones people," the post said.
"I'd be really disappointed if we didn't have something out by then." Parker told Matt Wilkinson on Beats 1. "I love playing the songs live, I love playing Currents songs I love playing Lonerism songs and everything but I think I'm ready to play some other songs live."
Lila Downs Announces New Album Paying Tribute To The Chile Pepper, Releases Tour Info
The announcement was made with the release of the first single, a cover of the Peruvian cumbia classic "Cariñito"
GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Lila Downs, known for her eclectic mixture sounds from Mexico and beyond, has announced that her latest album, Al Chile, will pay tribute to the chile pepper and will drop May 3. The news came with the release of the first single, "Cariñito."
Al Chile, produced by the GRAMMY-nominated DJ and producer Camilo Lara (Mexican Institute of Sound) and mixed by Mario Caldato Jr., who has worked with the Beastie Boys and Jack Johnson, is not a joke; it sincerely shows love for the fruit.
"Yes, the music is a tribute to the fruit that causes us so much craving and suffering, but that we really love!" Downs said in a statement. "We fry the chile, add beats from the city, then saxophones, trumpets and drums from the Mexican coast to keep the dance going. The village and the city are united by the same beat. With a mezcal in hand, we dream of a place with a palm tree where one falls in love and reflects."
The first single is Down's take on a Peruvian cumbia classic. The singer also released dates for the album's supporting tour that will take her to Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall, New York City, Seattle and other cities across the U.S.
For more information on the tour, visit Downs' website.