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Skyelyfe’s 20 Best Songs of the 2010s, Ranked

December 11, 2019

(via Unsplash)

When it comes to selecting a personal “best” song, there’s so much more that goes into it than how far it charted on the Billboard Top 40. In fact, that doesn’t play a role to me at all.

What matters is how I felt about the song during its prime, if I feel the same way about the song now, if it had a legitimate “moment” in my life and if it brought some kind of unique sound or formula to the table. With each of these factors in mind, I’ve spent literally all of 2019 jotting down all my most monumental songs of the decade in a notebook as I thought of them.

With 10 years to account for, obviously a slew of songs came to mind. And while I’d have to say music basically died after 2014, the earlier years of the decade brought some of the most iconic songs of all time. Keep reading for skyelyfe’s 20 best songs of the 2010s, ranked. *Note: I left out all remixes even though some were absolutely amazing.

20. ‘Wide Awake’ – Katy Perry (2012)

While probably the last single you think of when you look back on Katy Perry’s iconic Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection album, “Wide Awake” was not only a powerful ballad from the characteristically gimmicky singer, but also one that came out during a trying time in my personal life when I felt like the world was crashing down on me and I was trying to recover from a rough patch. I found the song to be therapeutic in many ways, and I highly respect that this is a detour from much of the singer’s other work.

19. ‘Ice Tray’ – Quality Control, Quavo, Lil Yachty (2017)

This is simply the quintessential song you want to hear on a night out. I can’t tell you how many times I danced to this after-hours. The dark, pulsating track even managed to make Joe Budden relevant again for a hot sec. Had the song come out earlier in the decade, it would have made an even bigger impact, but it definitely holds a special place as one of the best of the latter years.

(via YouTube)

18. ‘I Met You’ – Anna Lunoe + Flume (2012)

2012 was such a year for electronic music. The genre expanded in so many ways, and I was absolutely obsessed with this track. I remember playing this and No. 17 interchangeably nonstop all throughout my work days that year. I very much miss this musical moment.

17. ‘All My Life’ – Gigamesh f./ Jana Nyberg (2012)

Much like the aforementioned track, this was on my Spotify rotation nonstop in 2012—so much so that the app listed it as my most listened to song of that year (not shocking!). Still when I hear it to this day, I don’t like it any less.

(via YouTube)

16. ‘The North’ – Summer Heart (2011)

Summer Heart seemingly came out of nowhere, and this song is hands down one of the most beautifully melodic tracks I’ve ever heard. Not to be fooled by the artist’s name, this song had every bit of a solemn fall vibe, accompanying the season swimmingly that year.

15. ‘Dreaming’ – The Knocks (2014)

The Knocks stole my heart in 2014, and I’ve seen them live countless times since. Their infectious energy lights up a stage, and I truly can’t think of a livelier duo. “Dreaming” is every bit the upbeat track that got me on my feet in 2014 (even when the year got me down).

(via YouTube)

14. ‘Nocturne’ – Wild Nothing (2012)

Seriously bless Wild Nothing. They were my most listened to act of 2012 on Spotify, and have truly never let me down since. They encapsulate everything I could possibly want in a band, with their light, dreamy alt. rock melodies. I can seriously listen to “Nocturne” (and its album of the same name) forever. Just thinking about it makes me happy.

13. ‘Silhouettes’ – Avicii (2012)

Avicii’s tragic death last year was by far one of the most impactful and saddening. Not only a legendary trendsetter in electronic music, the Swedish DJ didn’t seem to have a bad bone in his body (at least from what we know). On top of it all, he created some forever memorable tracks, including what I consider his most underrated, “Silhouettes.” This song takes me back to his then-signature sound when he first hit the scene with “Levels” in 2011. RIP, Avicii.

(via YouTube)

12. ‘Operate’ – ASTR (2013)

Short-lived electronic R&B duo ASTR was an act I found from my old-school favorite indie music blog BitCandy, and I instantly fell in love with them. They disbanded after 2015, but in their time together, Zoe Silverman and Adam Pallin released two insanely outstanding EPs that will forever hold a place in my heart. “Operate” was the first single they released, and therefore the most legendary. I got my entire group of friends hooked, and therefore they definitely made a large dent in my musical memories of the decade.

11. ‘L.A. Lights’ – Grum (2010)

There’s no song like this one (or like the album Heartbeats) on this list. In a shocking move, Grum (aka Graeme Shepherd) went from a retro synth sound to joining the Anjunabeats label going full-force trance. Prior to his musical transition, he released “L.A. Lights,” a beautiful melody that felt ever so fitting to my many late nights under the… L.A. lights.

10. ‘I Get the Bag’ – Gucci Mane f./ Migos (2017)

Out of what was one of the most atrocious years in hip-hop (hip-pop?) came “I Get the Bag,” the Metro Boomin-produced track that made me give Migos a fair chance (I wasn’t big on “Bad and Boujee”). As a longtime fan of Gucci, he absolutely delivers here, on what was one of the best rap songs of the latter part of the decade.

9. ‘Your Love Is My Drug’ – Ke$ha (2010)

And this is where we cue the tears! 2010 was such a magical year for music, and Ke$ha (with then-dollar sign) was a huge proponent of that. Her album Animal came out on the very first day of the decade, setting the precedent for what was probably the best year of my life. This song, album, era brings back so many memories. I know the singer’s in a much healthier, better place now, following her horrifying experience with Dr. Luke, but there’s no denying her songs from the early 2010s will never compare to anything present.

(via YouTube)

8. ‘In the Morning’ – ZHU + Kaskade (2016)

This was my No. 1 song of 2016, and there’s no doubt in my mind why. I only knew like one song by ZHU at this point, but the collab with Kaskade was perfectly executed into melodic bliss, setting the tone for not just my Coachella vibe that year, but for the year as a whole.

7. ‘Slow Love’ – MØ (2014)

I found MØ on the brink of her No Mythologies to Follow album release, and it was a game changer. The unique style of songs is solid from head to toe, and Slow Love sounds like nothing else I’ve heard from her (or any other artist for that matter). According to Spotify, it was my most listened to song of 2014, and according to my blog, the song and the album were both my No. 1 picks of that year.

6. ‘Skin’ – Rihanna (2010)

Name a sexier song of this decade—I’ll wait. Rihanna took her provocative nature to new heights with this dark, alluring melody and bold lyrics to match. While definitely one of her most underrated songs of all-time, it’s hands down one of the best (especially if you were around to improvise an accompanying music video with my group of friends).

5. ‘Loyal’ – Chris Brown f./ Lil Wayne + Tyga (2013)

This classic came out at the very end of 2013, but definitely made its mark the following year. Between the video and Nic Nac beats’ music production, this trio of artists nailed it on what became the party anthem of 2014, in an otherwise lackluster year of hip-hop.

(via YouTube)

4. ‘What’s My Name?’ – Rihanna f./ Drake (2010)

Whenever these 2010 songs come up, I get super nostalgic. I literally remember exactly where I was and how I felt at the peak of these tracks. Rihanna’s Loud album was a surefire favorite of that year, and this was without question the best song that came from it. Major fall/winter vibes I will absolutely never forget.

3. ‘Super Bass’ – Nicki Minaj (2011)

Ah, simpler times. “Super Bass” epitomizes the old-school, inspiring, happy-go-lucky vibe Nicki Minaj’s music brought the world when she first stepped on the scene. Her Pink Friday album felt so pure, and to this day, no “love song” in the hip-hop genre has topped “Super Bass.” Every bit upbeat and sweet, even in my crazy year known as 2011, this song helped keep me sane.

(via YouTube)

2. ‘Ayo’ – Chris Brown f./ Tyga (2015)

This song needs no introduction. If you’ve ever been in an Uber with me, at a house party or in my living room, then you’re no stranger to this Nic Nac beats-produced track. As my most-played song of the whole decade, it absolutely deserves this No. 2 ranking.

1. ‘Teenage Dream’ – Katy Perry (2010)

And now, for the ultimate tearjerker… talk about the good ol’ days! “Teenage Dream” epitomizes carefree bliss and everything light that pop represented early in the decade. It’s easy to forget Katy Perry released one of the best pop albums of all-time, and I think I speak for everyone reading this that no pop song (or Katy Perry song, for that matter) will ever compare to this one.

(via YouTube)

Listen to the entire playlist below (and come back next week for my top 20 honorable mentions of the decade):

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Music

Skyelyfe’s 17 Favorite Songs of 2017

December 21, 2017

Photo Credit: Unsplash / Alice Moore

Each year, I do two separate lists: one that features my top songs of the year, and one that features my least liked songs of the year.

Welp, this year proved a challenge because the songs were overall so bad and so homogenized, that I truly could not break down my 17 most despised. Whether it was anything touched by DJ Khaled or Selena Gomez (sorry, y’all—wasn’t feeling either of them this year, and I used to be the biggest Khaled fan back in the day), or “Bad and Boujee,” “Congratulations,” “Despacito,” “Location,” “Redbone,” those crappy, blink-and-you-missed-’em Katy Perry singles, and obviously anything Chainsmokers, etc., etc., etc., this year was musically rough.

That said, I did manage to hear 17 tracks that brought a smile to my face, and they definitely deserve mad recognition.

Below, in order from the bottom, my 17 favorite tracks of 2017:

17. “Winter” – PVRIS

I only got into PVRIS this year, but it was most definitely love at first listen. Their hard, melodic, dark rock brings an incredibly unique sound, but lead singer Lynn Gunn‘s vocals are a standout on every track. I saw them in concert earlier this year, and it only intensified my adoration for this rising band. “Winter” is just one of the many songs that truly represents this group’s signature sound.

16. “Gimme the Highlights” – Hortlax Cobra f./ Sibille Attar

If you love electronic music, but not all the crap that sounds the same, I’ve been raving about Hortlax Cobra (aka John Eriksson from Peter Bjorn and John) for years, and how HC has managed to still fly under the radar is beyond me. He released a full-length album this year, and “Gimme the Highlights” is my favorite—mysterious and melodic, this song just can’t go wrong.

15. “You Got Me” – SNBRN, BLU J, Cara Frew

Sexy, dark, progressive and melodic, this song epitomizes the formula to success. And in an era where everything in this “EDM/Dance” genre sounds the same, this song miraculously manages to stand out.

14. “Clap Your Hands” – Le Youth f./ Ava Max

Lively and upbeat, this track is what Billboard describes as “infectious funk,” and I’ve got to say I agree. Ava Max brings beautiful vocals, while Le Youth brings his signature delicious dance vibes.

13. “Falls” – ODESZA f./ Sasha Sloan

Appropriately and coincidentally released just before fall, this chillwave track was the perfect calm that the season needed. Whether on in the background while hosting guests, or as the soundtrack to my lengthy drive to and from work, this song epitomizes ODESZA‘s way of working their musical magic.

12. Kaleidoscopes – Transviolet f./ Reo Cragun

There’s something bittersweet about this this melodic gem. Expressing both love and heartbreak, this is an emotional track, but easy on the ears.

11. “Don’t You Feel It” – Sub Focus f./ALMA

I definitely had this one on regular rotation early in the year. Whether getting through a day at the office or while getting ready for a night out, this uplifting electro tune kept me in good spirits.

10. “Plain Jane” – A$AP Ferg

This song came through in the clutch at the very end of 2017, and there’s no doubt it will fly high up the charts in the year to follow. I can’t imagine anyone hearing this and not getting up to dance in the middle of the club, in their car or in their living room, as this is the ultimate banger!

9. “I Get the Bag” – Gucci Mane f./ Migos

When I heard “Bad and Boujee,” I was like hell no with these Migos guys (btw, I still wouldn’t be able to point them out in a crowd, and it took me months to learn Quavo is a part of Migos and not a separate entity altogether), but I’ve gotta say a few of their songs grew on me. “T-shirt” isn’t bad, “Motorsport” is good (that Cardi B again!), and “I Get the Bag” is a legit banger. Ok, to be fair, my boy Gucci definitely adds a lot to this track, but overall, slick flow, love the dark melody, I’m into it.

8. “No Limit” – G-Eazy, A$AP Rocky, Cardi B

It pains me to put G-Eazy on a top-anything list, but alas, here we are. That said, the real star of the track (and of the year) is obviously Cardi B, and I knew this would be a hit the second I first heard it. It’s getting mad radio play, and you know what? I say play away. I don’t see myself getting sick of this one any time soon.

7. “Bodies” – Wafia

This came in towards the end of the year, and has been playing on my rotation ever since. It’s super light, Wafia’s voice is incredible, and it’s just an all-around solid song.

6. “Devil in Me” – Halsey

Consider Halsey my unexpected breakout star of 2017. Had you told me a year ago that she’d make my Top 17 (No. 6, for that matter), that I’d pay to see her in concert and that I would speak very openly and frequently about her songwriting and skill, I would have said you were clearly joking. But after spending seriously the entire year listening to hopeless. fountain. kingdom. and BADLANDS, I’ve gotta say, I’m a wholehearted fan. Do I think the whole G-Eazy relationship is trashy? Yep. Do I think her radio singles get super old? Yep. But overall, Halsey’s music was basically the soundtrack to my year, so here’s to that. “Devil in Me” is my favorite track she released this year (“Strangers” in close second). This song is raw and powerful, a definite must-listen!

5. “Don’t Take the Money” – Bleachers

I found out Lorde is a co-writer on this song, which I never would have expected, but that said, right up there with “Sit Next to Me,” this song’s melody is an instant jolt of happiness. It also reminds of a particularly upward point in 2017, so many positive associations there!

4. “Sit Next to Me” – Foster the People

This song sparked immediate excitement in me when I heard it for the first time, and has continued to do so every play thereafter. This is without question my second favorite FTP track of all-time (“I Would Do Anything for You” being the first). It’s oddly difficult for me to listen to music when I’m not in the best mood, but this song is an exception. I can listen to it any time, any place, as an instant mood-booster.

3. “Reminder” – The Weeknd

This one’s a rare Weeknd radio single that didn’t get overplayed—which may be why it reigned supreme in my book. No, but really though, the melody on this track is A+. And hearing The Weeknd’s soothing vocals on anything is icing on the cake!

2. “Nirvana” – Ryder

Like the title suggests, this song is heavenly. It is so incredibly beautiful from start to finish, I feel like I’m floating on a cloud as I hear it. It came out at the very beginning of the year, so it’s been a minute since I’ve had it on heavy rotation, but listening to it again brings back all sorts of fond memories and happiness. This track will never get old.

1. “Privacy” – Chris Brown

Breezy has reclaimed his throne after a lackluster 2016. “Privacy”—which led up to the release of his hotly anticipated double-album Heartbreak on a Full Moon—was my jam, and Spotify seemed to agree, listing it as my most listened to song of 2017. While this sexy, dirty little ditty doesn’t even come close to my love for “Ayo,” this is for sure a banger and I’ll most definitely be listening for years to come.

Listen to all the favorites below:

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Music

44 New Songs to Be Thankful for This November, Including Tracks by Ghost Loft, MØ and Bon Iver

November 7, 2017

November is without question one of the best months of the year.

The laidback feel of fall, combined with the excitement leading up to Thanksgiving, can produce a wealth of happy emotions.

While we’re in thankful mode, why not add new music to our list of necessary gratitude? As we know, music warms our soul, keeps us dancing, heightens our mood, helps us capture memories and is the soundtrack to our relationships. So, take these 44 new songs I bring you this month and embrace not only the beautiful season, but the wonderful vibe these tracks create.

Not to mention, listening to this playlist will give you something to do when your relatives get the best of you at Thanksgiving dinner!

Keep scrolling for fresh new music from Ghost Loft, , Bon Iver, Autograf, Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign, The Brinks, Miranda GloryMansions on the Moon and many more:

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Music

Chris Brown’s New Documentary Answers Every Question About His Rihanna Relationship—Including the Infamous 2009 Incident

June 7, 2017

Photo Credit: @ChrisBrownOfficial Instagram

Chris Brown is a man of few words (at least publicly), so it was incredibly fascinating watching his new documentary, which candidly recounts his many lifetime trials and tribulations.

I attended a VIP screening of Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life last night at Regal Cinemas in Downtown L.A., and was truly blown away.

The controversial hip-hop star goes into detail about everything from hearing his mom get beat every night by her boyfriend when he was a kid, to the volatile drama that transpired with Robin Roberts at GMAto losing ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran by impregnating a brief fling during the one month they split up (a decision he says he wouldn’t change for the world because it gave him his precious baby Royalty, who he proudly said god made just for him).

But by far the most compelling portion of the 95-minute Andrew Sandler-directed film—which features guest commentary from his longtime lawyer Mark Geragos, Jennifer Lopez, Usher, Mary J. Blige, DJ Khaled, and a few other music industry influencers—was when he spoke about his relationship with ex-girlfriend Rihanna. You could tell he was a little nervous talking about it, as he fidgeted the entire time with a lighter. But he certainly seemed to speak from the heart and he told their former love story (and its tragic ending) from start to finish.

Photo Credits: @ChrisBrownOfficial Instagram / @BadGalRiri Instagram

Keep reading for everything you’ve ever wondered about their relationship:

1. He Asked Her to Be His Girlfriend After Months of Hanging Out and She Initially Didn’t Take Him Seriously

According to Chris, he and Rihanna first met at an event and he liked her unique voice (speaking voice, that is). They exchanged info after talking a bit, and then as time went on, they started performing at more of the same events and started hanging out one-on-one. After months of kicking it, Chris eventually asked what the deal is between them because they obviously liked each other and he told her he wanted to be her boyfriend. She said she didn’t think he was ready and that’s when he said “I love you.” She laughed, but they ended up getting together.

2. They’d Been Secretly Dating at the Time of Their 2007 VMA Performance and After It Went Smoothly, He Stopped Caring About Keeping Their Relationship a Secret

The then-couple’s 2007 VMA collab was pure fire, and leading up to it, the pair played coy about their eight-month relationship. After its success and the pair’s evident chemistry, Chris thought they were in the perfect place to be a little more open about what was going on. That performance and their dual success, for him, was what pretty much solidified them as a power couple.

3. He Was Ready to Propose

Once their relationship went public, the couple was everywhere and on everyone’s mind. The duo was super smitten and even at their incredibly young age, Chris was ready to marry his love. But he didn’t want to propose without being completely honest with Rihanna about everything.

4. His Decision to Be Honest is What Led to Their Relationship’s Downfall

Chris said when the duo first started dating, Rihanna regularly questioned him about having a history with someone he worked with. He denied they had anything more than a working relationship, but when he realized just how serious he was about the “We Found Love” singer, he decided to come clean and admitted that indeed he had sexual relations with her. Rihanna flipped out, and that’s when their happy-go-lucky relationship turned toxic for good. They were constantly fighting from that point on, but remained together for the time being.

5. Their Infamous 2009 Domestic Dispute Occurred After Rihanna Found a Displeasing Text in Chris’ Phone

On the night of the 2009 Clive Davis Grammy party, Rihanna and Chris (who were still technically together but not on the best of terms) attended, but turmoil ensued when the woman Chris previously slept with showed up at his table to say hi. Rihanna began crying uncontrollably and Chris (who says he had no idea the girl was going to be there, nor did he want her to come up to him) finally calmed her down and the two left in his Lamborghini. The duo was arguing incessantly and Chris swore to her that he wasn’t keeping any secrets. He begged her to go through his phone and sure enough, she came across an unopened text from the girl at the party, indeed telling him she would be there. Rihanna flipped out and the two were going back and forth. It got so intense that he punched her with a closed fist and left her lip bloody—blood that she spit in his face. It didn’t stop there. She grabbed his private parts and he bit her arm. He stopped the car in Hancock Park and she looked like she threw his keys out the door. He went looking for them, and next thing he knew, she was in fact sitting on them. She then grabbed them and started scratching all of his CDs that had his yet-to-be-released music—music he could no longer retrieve because it was before the days of recording music to your phone. She then screamed that someone was trying to kill her and a neighbor heard and called the police. As we know, the rest is history.

6. The Two Had a Prior History of Domestic Abuse Leading Up to the Infamous Night

The Clive Davis night will forever be ingrained in Chris’ (and much of media’s) mind, but the singer admits this wasn’t the first time such a debacle went down. He said that the couple (yes, both of them) got physical often and many times had to make excuses when they were publicly seen with a scratch or bruise.

7. After They Finally Split for Good, He Kept Trying to Call Her and She Eventually Said to Go Away

The pair reunited very briefly (and very publicly) following their initial split, but once it fizzled, he still tried hitting her up to get her back. He admits she finally told him she had a new boyfriend and wanted him to leave her alone. That’s when he met Karrueche, who he dated for a few years before their nasty split. Although he admits he was still in love with Rihanna at the time he started dating his new lady, he does credit K (along with his mom) for getting him through his toughest times.

**For more on this and Chris’ life now as a doting dad, check out Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life in 450+ select theaters nationwide tomorrow, June 8, on a one-day-only release.

Music

Dance Through April Showers With 45 New Tunes from Chris Brown, Betty Who & More!

April 5, 2017

April isn’t just for rainshowers and tiny, scantily clad tweens plowing through Coachella.

This month also brings on a slew of fresh springtime tunes, and I’ve gotta say, there’s a pretty solid selection going on right now.

Chris Brown, who I am beyond stoked to see live at The Forum on May 23 (!!!) just released the very explicit “Privacy,” and this blast-worthy jam obviously has me all sorts of excited for what else is to come from him at this time.

And another musical fav, Betty Who, just released her latest full-length album The Valley. Sticking true to her signature poppy sound, the selection of 13 tracks is every bit upbeat and carefree. I’m especially feelin’ “Some Kinda Wonderful.”

While we’re on the pop theme, please tell me you’ve given a listen to Charli XCX‘s incredible new album Number 1 Angel. It came out at the beginning of March and I do not feel like it’s been given the proper attention it deserves. OMG, I’ve been jamming away nonstop to “3AM (Pull Up)” f./.

You can listen up to aforementioned three tracks, along with fresh selections from Spirit Twin, Fickle Friends, Gryffin f./Daya, Little Mix, Party Nails, Crystal Bats and plenty more with the 45-song playlist below!

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Music

Jam Out in January to 18 New Songs by Yo Gotti, Krewella, Adventure Club and More!

January 4, 2017

yo-gotti-they-likeIt’s time to accept the hard truth that the holidays are behind us, New Year’s Eve isn’t for another 350+ days and it’s back to the grind of the workday.

But, hey, what better way to get us into the groove (pun intended—ha!) of 2017 than with some new tunes?

Yo Gotti brings us some fresh hip-hop with “They Like,” featuring TFN Lucci, while Big Sean, Chris Brown and Post Malone also bring some tracks of a similar sound.

If you have a case of post-NYE blues and still feel the need to dance, give a listen to “Save Me,” by Adventure Club, “Team,” by Krewella, “Closer to You,” by Tyzo Bloom and Jnna and “Feels Right (Galloway Remix),” by Jocelyn Alice.

Regardless of what you’re into, there are 18 new tracks to keep you going during those tough adjustments into 2017. Let’s hope these set the tone (once again, pun intended!) for better music to come all throughout the year than we had the (dis)pleasure of hearing in 2016.

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Music

Skyelyfe’s 20 Best Songs of 2016

December 22, 2016


songs-best-2016
Time to bid adieu to 2016, the year rap and hip-hop officially died.

The genre has been getting increasingly worse over the last few years, but this year really solidified its transition into an auto-tuned genre of its own called hip-pop. Yeah, I hate it. And unlike in 2015, this year we didn’t even have a Nic Nac Beats to swoop in and save the day with his supremely produced Chris Brown tracks. Whether it was rap, pop, electronic or otherwise, there definitely seemed to be more bad than good (in fact, you can check out my worst songs of 2016 list).

But, not all is atrocious. After much thought, I’ve managed to scrounge up a handful of redeeming tracks I genuinely love, and I’m sharing them below (in particular order):

20. “Champions” – Kanye West, Gucci Mane, Big Sean, 2 Chainz

Not a fan of Kanye solo, but I’ve always said that when he collabs, his songs tend to be much better—and this song is no exception. Great track-mates, great hook, great song.

19. “Might Not” – Belly f./The Weeknd

Honestly, this track may have made it higher up on the list if it weren’t for that gawd-awful 2 Chainz remix. Like if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it! Ugh

18. “Into You” – Ariana Grande

This song stands out because it is says OK, I can be sexy and I don’t even have to be trashy to do so! A rarity for this artist. Great track.

17. “Black Beatles” – Rae Sremmurd f./Gucci Mane

Mike WiLL Made-It + Gucci = no-brainer recipe for perfection

16. “Say It (Clean Bandit Mix)” – Flume f./Tove Lo

If you read my Worst Songs of 2016 post, you will see my distaste for nu-school Flume. But this track happens to be great, and might I add that Tove Lo’s Lady Wood album (though this song is not part of it) is the best of the year.

15. “Want You” – Bearson f./Cal

While Bearson definitely identifies with “electronica,” he hasn’t nailed a signature sound, which is great, because I love all of the varying tracks he sends (via airwaves) my way—and this song is no exception.

14. “Either/Or” – Mt. Si

If you dig Classix, you’ll love Mt. Si.—which makes sense, given that 1/3 of this trio is Michael David of the incredible electropop duo. Seriously, it does not get better than this sound.

13. “The Winds of Change” – St. Lucia

Granted, nothing by this artist compares to “Elevate,” but this jam is pretty darn awesome. If you like that sound, you’ll love this, too!

12. “Valley of Dreams” – Cavaliers of Fun

See No. 4

11. “Be the One” – Dua Lupa

Dua Lupa has a beautiful voice/face/hair/sound etc. That is all.

10. “Freeway Lights” – Goldroom

I’ve been listening to Goldroom since he first debuted in 2012—and while it was definitely weird (and a little hard) to see his album featured at the Interscope pop-up shop at Hollywood & Highland alongside Lady Gaga, among others, I refuse to call him a sellout, because while perhaps slightly more produced than before, his sound is overall the same, and this a very light, sweet track that should appeal to everyone.

9. “Bullet” – Chelsea Lankes

How this girl is not a household name is beyond me. Each of her songs are well-produced, well-articulated and relate to everyone. This track is super uplifting and empowering.

8. “Let Me Love You” – DJ Snake f./Justin Bieber

Personal woes aside, Justin Bieber is an incredible artist. Granted, this track goes to DJ Snake, but Bieber’s vocals are definitely an invaluable asset to this recording. This is a genuinely wonderful song from start to finish. It’s pretty, powerful and poignant.

7. “Innerbloom” – RUFUS DU SOL

This is your universally appealing track. I can’t imagine anyone not liking it.

6. “Into the Night” – Cardiknox

This track is fun and light. Do NYE makeup in your mirror to this! It will get you pumped up–promise!

5. “Goin Up” – Deorro f./DyCy

Let’s be honest—when we think of Deorro, we think “Five More Hours,” right? Welp, he’s got a catchy new little jam called “Goin Up,” and (no pun intended), it’s quite uplifting.

4. “Astral Division” – Cavaliers of Fun

Like their name suggests, these guys (guy?) are quite fun — well, at least judging by their music. Granted, I don’t know what this song means and I don’t know anything about the people (person?) on the track. They’ve done quite the job of maintaining a mysterious presence (we’re talkin’ 249 Twitter followers, folks!), but that’s what makes them all the more fun! Anyway, they are the only act to make this list twice (see No. 12), and I really hope to hear more (maybe learn more?) of them in 2017!

3. “Somebody Else” – The 1975

How this song wasn’t nominated for a Grammy is beyond me. Not only are the lyrics hard-hitting, but the melody is exceptionally beautiful. I will forever stay stumped while blasting on repeat.

2. “Kiss It Better” – Rihanna

I believe Rihanna was still dating Chris Brown when this song was in production, so it’s your guess as to whether or not he is the subject matter of this incredibly powerful song. But the highly underrated track allows you to feel both her desire and pain.

1. “In the Morning” – Kaskade/ZHU

I love this song from start to finish. I don’t think I’d ever get sick of it. It’s so reminiscent of old-school Kaskade, circa 2004. If all songs were like this, the world would be a much happier place.

**To note: “The Middle” by DJ Snake technically came out last year, so it was no. 3 on last year’s list, even though it didn’t break out until 2016. I feel the need to acknowledge that so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle 😉

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Happy Birthday Breezy! Celebrate Chris Brown’s Big 2-7 with a Playlist of His 27 Best Tracks!

May 5, 2016

RoyaltyWe poppin’ like aaaayo because it’s Breezy’s birthday, and it gives us an excuse to listen to his music on repeat all day today!

The incredibly controversial (yet oh-so-talented) multi-hyphenate turns 27 today, with lots in store.

Aside from celebrating his birth on Cinco de Mayo, Chris Brown just released the first single off his new album, which is reportedly titled Heartbreak on a Full Moon. The new jam is called “Grass Ain’t Greener,” and my guess is there’s a chance he’ll perform it tonight during his scheduled appearance at Sutra night club in Orange County, CA. Scroll to the very bottom of this post to hear it.

Although there is much negativity associated with Royalty Brown’s dad, today is strictly about the music. So, lets celebrate one of the most gifted artists in history with the playlist below of his 27 best songs (in no particular order):

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Tegan and Sara, The Chainsmokers, Galantis, LIGHTS & 14 More Artists: New Music Monday!

April 11, 2016

Tegan-and-sara-boyfriend-skyelyfeIf you’re based in L.A., then yes – I get it – your only focus this week is weekend one of Coachella, which kicks off with festivities on Thursday.

Rest assured, there will be a fitting playlist to come for your listening pleasure, but for today, I encourage you to lend your ears to an amusing selection of 18 new songs, ranging from pure poppy fun in Tegan and Sara‘s “Boyfriend,” to acoustic beauty by LIGHTS with “Same Sea.”

Scroll through the playlist below for this week’s New Music Monday, which also includes tracks by Midi Matilda, MadukThe ChainsmokersGalantis, Erik Hassle, Benny Benassi f./Chris Brown and Skizzy Mars f./JoJo (yes, that JoJo!).

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Year In Music: Here’s a Playlist (with Explanations) of My Top 25 Tracks of 2015

December 28, 2015

Fav_tracks_2015_skyelyfeIt was the very beginning of 2015, and Chris Brown and Tyga‘s “Ayo” was the first new radio song I’d heard of the year. I remember driving down the 405 with so much energy, thinking, “Wow, I love this song!”

Well, nothing’s changed since that fateful January day, and the carefree club track has remained not only my favorite song of 2015, but among my top five in the last five years.

But I obviously didn’t limit my listening to just that one track, and below is my list (actual Spotify playlist at the very bottom) and explanations of the 25 songs that best managed to bring a smile to my face this year. Note: These are in no particular order (well, except for #1 of course).

1. “Ayo” – Chris Brown & Tyga

If you’ve ever been with me in an uber, house party or anywhere with an auxiliary cord or some kind of Spotify connection this year, then I’m certain you know this song from start to finish. “Ayo” was definitely my anthem of 2015, and even with the new year upon us, I am certain this will forever remain a going-out classic.

2. “All I Need” – Sneaky Sound System

This song didn’t come out until the end of this year, but it wasted no time making its rounds on my Spotify spins. Sneaky Sound System (who now apparently just goes by Sneaky) has never let me down, and this uplifting song is no exception.

3. “Middle” – DJ Snake & Bipolar Sunshine

I was surprised this incredible track never made much of the radio rounds, following the immense success of Snake’s “Lean On.” “Middle” is far superior in my opinion, but it’s probably for the better that it hasn’t been played out (yet).

4. “Bad” – Alexx Mack

Not to be confused with former Nickelodeon character Alex Mack, this young lady, who I had the pleasure of interviewing back in February, brings out edgy pop at its finest. I fell in love with her sound after hearing “Bad,” and everything she’s released since has been nothing short of fabulous fun!

5. “Talk to Myself” – Avicii

I was really impressed with Avicii’s eclectic Stories album, which pleasantly took a little detour from that strictly country sound he had been going with in his previous material. “Talk to Myself” was my favorite from his latest project, and it definitely received a high dose of my Spotify spins during the month of its October release.

6. “Zero” – Chris Brown

Not much more to say than how can you turn away from a funky, high-energy track that makes you want to dance? Well done, Breezy!

7. “Planes” – Jeremih & J. Cole

This Grammy-nominated track provided the perfect combo of a sick beat and a smooth-flowing verse by J. Cole at the end. No complaints here!

8. “Trippin (Deep Hamilton Remix”) – Hedvig & Hamilton

This sexy little electro tune resembles Kygo‘s sound and was on my regular rotation for the first three months since I’d heard it.

9. “The Less I Know the Better” – Tame Impala

Tame Impala had a breakthrough year with the release of their Grammy-nominated dream-pop album Currents. The 13-track compilation that I think was the best of the year is easy on the ears from start to finish, but “The Less I Know the Better” definitely got my attention the most.

10. “Take Me Over” – Peking Duk & SAFIA

It was a tough call between this track and Peking Duk’s “High,” but I had to give SAFIA some love after hearing this incredible Australian indie-electro band for the first time on several tracks this year.

11. “Midnight Sun” – Kate Boy

Kate Boy wows me with every song release. The Swedish synth-pop duo has a signature sound that can’t go unnoticed, and “Midnight Sun” was regularly stuck in my head since its debut.

12. “Chasing Heaven” – Bassnectar

Dark beauty at its finest, Bassnectar’s melodic dubstep is always a must-listen, and “Chasing Heaven” was the best off his “Into the Sun” release, in my opinion.

13. “Sunglasses” – Alexx Mack

Mack makes the list again with her equally catchy “Sunglasses,” which is about hitting up a party and having a good time. Nothin’ wrong with that!

14. “Pink Medicine” – Bearson

Odesza fans should give this fun track a listen because there’s a major sound similarity.

15. “Will You Dance?” – the bird and the bee

I had the pleasure of interviewing the bird and the bee’s singer Inara George this year for Billboard, and not only was she soft spoken and delightful, but her long-awaited “Will You Dance?” album was the perfect light and airy selection of songs I needed to kick off summer months. “Will You Dance?” (which was also the album’s lead single) was every bit the sweet and deliciously sappy track that perfectly complemented carefree fun in the sun.

16. “Gemini” – What So Not & George Maple

This song dominated my drive to and from Coachella this year. I saw George Maple at a small show shortly before the festival and knew immediately this song would be on my heavy rotation.

17. “The Other Boys” – NERVO, Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears, Nile Rodgers

Kylie Minogue + anyone, typically = gold, and “The Other Boys” is no exception. The dance track is perfect for getting ready to go out, driving on the freeway, or pretty much anything else.

18. “The Music” – Gigamesh

Known mainly for his electronic remixes, Gigamesh released a track of his own this year with the delightfully dance-y “The Music.”

19. “Run” – Alison Wonderland

This SXSW artist‘s own music didn’t hit it big until this year, but the moment I heard “Run,” I needed to hear more. Known for her edgy style and equally hip sound, this Australian electro artist definitely has the potential for a bright future.

20. “Where Are Ü Now” – Jack Ü, Skrillex, Diplo, Justin Bieber

Arguably one of the biggest songs of the year, this release was not only Justin Bieber’s first step toward a comeback, but it also introduced some of the most unique and cutting-edge sounds in music (especially on the radio).

21. “Been You” – Justin Bieber

This upbeat little number was by far my favorite track off of the Biebs’ successful “Purpose” album. Honorable mention goes to his earnest intro ballad “Mark My Words.”

22. “Falling Away” – Seven Lions & LIGHTS

You can’t put Seven Lions and LIGHTS together and not expect a beautiful piece of work. This melodic electro track has been on my regular rotation since its August release.

23. Want to Want Me” – Jason Derulo

File this one under guilty pleasures, but hey, it produced some pretty awesome memories (and dance routines) for me this year, so I really cannot complain!

24. “Fetty Wap” – Trap Queen

Another guilty pleasure track that I’m sure I’m not alone in listing. Although I got sick of it after probably the 100th listen, there’s no denying that this was one of the catchiest radio singles of the year.

25. “Fine By Me” – Chris Brown

Like “Zero,” this track from the just-released Royalty album makes you want to get up and dance! I’m so glad I closed out this year seeing Breezy’s concert at the Hollywood Palladium.

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Bag Raiders, J. Cole, Retro Culture & 22 More Artists: New Music Monday!

December 21, 2015

bag_raiders_friend_inside_skyelyfeI’m still on a musical high from Friday night’s Chris Brown concert at Hollywood Palladium. But even if you didn’t have a chance to see adorable baby Royalty hit the stage with her dad at the end of the show, you can still get in the Breezy spirit by checking out his new album (named after his little one), which dropped on Friday.

I personally think the already-released radio tracks from this album are his best of the latest options, but I’ve included his song “Anyway,” featuring Tayla Parx as part of this week’s New Music Monday.

Also in the mix this week are Bag Raiders, J.Cole, Death Team, The Toxic Avenger, Great Good Fine OK, Coyote Kisses, Diiv and Nora en Pure, among many others.

I must point out that up until this week, I was unfamiliar with Retro Culture and P’ARIS, but I’m totally in love with their songs “Cold” and “Focus” (respectively).

Click below for the full list of 25 fresh tracks, and check back tomorrow to get my list of songs perfectly fitting for the chill of winter!

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Dive Into December with 21 New Songs from Sneaky Sound System, Major Lazer, Wild Nothing and More!

November 30, 2015

sneaky_sound_system_all_i_need_skyelyfeOh my goodness! Tomorrow is December 1st. That means the next turn of the months will also mean turn of the year!

But before we dive wholly into Christmas carols and dreidel classics, let’s kick off holiday month with some brand new “regular” music, shall we?

I’m thrilled because a longtime favorite of mine, Sneaky Sound System (who has apparently shortened things to just Sneaky) is out with a funky new dance track “All I Need,” while another fav, Wild Nothing, brings their signature indie dream pop sound with “TV Queen.”

Also on the list of 21 new songs this week is Chris Brown‘s “Fine By Me,” off of Dec. 18th’s Royalty (Deluxe version) album. I had the pleasure of previewing the 18-track LP over the weekend, along with his 34-song baby-making mixtape Before the Party. Fans will not be disappointed!

And here’s a little unexpected throwback love: Third Eye Blind released a new single “Rites of Passage.” The “Motorcycle Drive By”-loving high schooler in me will forever have a soft spot for Stephan Jenkins and anything he does. And fans of the rock band will be happy to know this fresh track does not stray far from their classic sound.

Click on the playlist below to hear additional new music from Wild & Free, HONNE, Mr. Little Jeans, Major Lazer, Chelsea Effect and so much more! And then scroll to the very bottom to hear the newest melodic hip-hop track from my Nashville boy Foster!

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New Music! Mutemath, Wishes, Hailee Steinfeld & Much More!

November 16, 2015

mutemath_joyrides_skyelyfeI don’t know about you, but everyone around me seems to be getting sick. Even I’m coming down with a case of the sniffles, which only happens to me once a year. That’s why I’m depending on some new music to keep me smiling even during times when I’d prefer spending the entire day in bed.

This week, I have 16 New Music Monday songs, including pop by Justin Bieber (yes, his Purpose LP is pretty awesome – and “Been You” is the one of the most energetic tracks off of the overall mellow album), Hailee Steinfeld (her four-song Haiz EP shares raw emotion with impressive vocals and catchy hooks. I included “Rock Bottom” on the list) and One Direction (their easy-on-the-ear “What a Feeling” is reminiscent of the guitar-heavy, slow pop from the ’80s).

There’s also a bit of of disco-influenced dance tracks and tropical house to share as well. I really love Mutemath‘s “Joy Rides,” along with Cheat Codes‘ “Follow You” and Matoma‘s “Find Love,” featuring Donkeyboy.

Click below for the full playlist, which also includes Chris Brown, Wishes, Pierce Fulton, Sugar Joans, Elohim and astronomyy.

And scroll to the very bottom to hear a brand new hip-hop joint “Midnight Love,” from my pal Foster, a Nashville-based artist I interviewed earlier this year. His latest features melodic vocals by Kae Kae.

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DJ Snake, DJ Khaled, GEMS, White Sea & More: New Music Monday!

October 19, 2015

DJ-Snake-Middle-ft.-Bipolar-Sunshine-skyelyfeWoohoo! I’m seriously loving this week’s fun mix of New Music Monday tracks!

If I feel like kicking things up a notch, I’ve got DJ Snake‘s “Middle,” featuring Bipolar Sunshine. I also have Bit Funk‘s “Off the Ground,” Jacob Plant‘s “Reflections,” and Maduk and Logistics‘ “Solarize.”

If I feel like mellowing out, there’s “w/o u” by GEMS, “Never a Woman,” by White Sea, Monogem‘s “Gone,” Kill J‘s “You’re Good But I’m Better,” RAC‘s mix of On and On‘s “Drifting,” Dinka‘s “Breathe” and Leisure’s “All Over You.”

And I’ll never turn down a good hip-hop track. This week, we’ve got DJ Khaled‘s “Gold Slugs,” featuring Chris Brown and August Alsina – and Goodbye Tomorrow‘s “Noone or Nothing”

Click on the playlist below for 19 fresh tracks, also including , Minnesota, Andrew Ripp and Chairlift:

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Avicii, French Horn Rebellion, Tinashe, Lost Kings & More: New Music Monday!

October 5, 2015

Avicii_talk_to_myself_skyelyfeAvicii fans should be pleased with his latest album Stories. The eclectic mix of 14 songs incorporates some of that country sound he’s produced lately – but, it also includes some really fun, melodic, party-starting tracks like my favorite, “Talk to Myself,” which I’ve included on today’s New Music Monday playlist.

And speaking of lively music, I’m all about French Horn Rebellion‘s disco-heavy “Classical Baby” and Lost Kings‘ “Bad,” featuring Jessame.

For a bit of a slower, sexier sound, there’s Rufus Du Sol‘s “Like An Animal,” SAINT WKND‘s “Lost,” featuring INGLSH, and Kyler Slater‘s dark R&B jam, “Black Eyes.”

I’m also digging Tinashe‘s new “Player,” featuring Chris Brown. Usually Breezy outshines the main voice on the tracks he lends his vocals on, but I’ve got to hand it to Tinashe on this one. She is definitely the star of this song.

Click on the playlist below for 16 new songs, also including music by Paul Wall, Selena Gomez, Kisses, Janet Jackson and Hot Natured.

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Chris Brown, A-Trak, Zhu, Erik Hassle & 17 More Artists: New Music Monday!

September 21, 2015

chris-brown-zero-skyelyfeI have already proudly proclaimed my love for Chris Brown‘s latest track “Zero,” an upbeat, empowering breakup jam that has such a catchy beat, I can’t help but dance in the car. But if for some reason you still haven’t heard it, be sure to check it out in the playlist of 21 new songs at the bottom of this post.

Also making the list is “Love Left,” by 16 Bit Lolitas, fresh off the newly released Anjunadeep 07 compilation. Everything about anything Anjunadeep just screams fall and it puts me in the best mood. Also good for the new season is Erik Hassle‘s sexy R&B electro track “Natural Born Lovers.” But much more on fall-esque tunes later this week when I post my fall 2015 playlist.

For today, though, there seems to be more lively music than chill. A-Trak‘s “We Fall Down,” featuring Jamie Lidell is the perfect party starter. Ty Dolla $ign and Fetty Wap‘s “When I See Ya” will give you your hip-hop fix. And Ellie Goulding‘s “On My Mind” is ever the perfect electro-pop tune.

Click below for the complete list of new music, which also includes Yacht, Zhu featuring AlunaGeorge, Skylar Spence, Timeflies, tyDi and my buddies The Ruse:

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Seven Lions, Chris Brown, Goodbye Tomorrow & 30 More Artists: New Music Monday!

August 17, 2015

seven-lions-falling-away-skyelyfeI have 33 new songs to share for today’s New Music Monday!

Lights is the perfect vocal accompaniment to Seven Lions‘ melodic “Falling Away,” and of course I am all over Chris Brown and Rita Ora‘s “Body On Me.” Ok, the song technically came out two weeks ago, but I feel like it hasn’t gotten enough play yet, so I’m still considering it brand new.

Dillon Francis has a new song “Coming Over” with Kygo – and if one new Kygo song isn’t enough, give a listen to Hamilton and Hedvig‘s “Trippin.” The sound has a striking resemblance to the “Cut Your Teeth” artist’s.

If rap or hip-hop is what you are craving, give a listen to Goodbye Tomorrow‘s “The Way,” B.o.B.‘s “Back and Forth,” Tory Lanez‘ “Say It,” and Mac Miller‘s “100 Grandkids.”

Check out the playlist below for a wide variety of EDM, indie-electro and pretty much everything else in-between from GEMS, Deorro, Allegories, Cazzette, Robyn, Duke Dumont, Michael Brun, Attlas and many more!

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Casper Smart’s Music Video Love Interest Haifa Wehbe Talks ‘Enjoyable’ Experience Working with J.Lo’s Man

July 14, 2015

HaifaLebanese pop star Haifa Wehbe has some interesting ties to Jennifer Lopez. For starters, she had the pleasure of featuring Lopez’s boyfriend Casper Smart as her love interest in her music video for “Breathing You In” (scroll to bottom). Additionally, Wehbe – who is in her early forties – says she’s “often compared to” the American Idol judge, with journalists even referring to her as “the Jennifer Lopez of the Middle East.”

Skyelyfe caught up with the singing sensation, who dished on everything from the Middle East’s pop music scene, to favorite L.A. hotspots when she comes to town. And of course, it was necessary that she shared her “enjoyable” experience teaming up with Smart.

Get to know Wehbe below:

skyelyfe: What is the electronic and pop music scene like in the Middle East? And the music scene in general? What is most popular? Which American artists are big out there?

Haifa Wehbe: The music scene in the Middle East is very diverse. From hip-hop, to pop, to electro, to rock, both local and international artists have big fan bases in the Middle East. The electronic and pop scenes are continuing to grow in the Middle East. I am proud of the accomplishments of other Middle Eastern pop artists, including Ahlam and Wael Kfoury. American artists who are big in the Middle East include Snoop Dogg, Akon, Nicki Minaj and Pitbull.

SL: Who are some American artists you personally enjoy listening to? (It doesn’t matter if they are popular or not)

HW: I really enjoy listening to Rihanna, and my favorite songs of hers are “Diamonds,” “We Found Love” and “Only Girl (In The World).” I also like Britney Spears (“Womanizer,” “Gimme More” and “Till The World Ends”) and Chris Brown (“Run It,” “Look At Me Now” and “Turn Up The Music.”)

SL: How did you end up working with Casper and what was that experience like?

HW: I was actually introduced to Casper through my record label, World Music. The label’s co-CEOs, Tarik Freitekh and Mostafa Sorour were already friends with Casper and they thought it would be a good idea to have him in the music video. When we were introduced we immediately found common ground which made the process of working together on the music video for “Breathing You In” so enjoyable.

SL: What are your thoughts on Los Angeles and what are some of your favorite places to eat/drink/shop in this city?

HW: I love, love, love Los Angeles – what an amazing city. When I visit Los Angeles I stay at my favorite hotel, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. I have been staying at that hotel for so many years and it is centrally located to my two favorite shopping areas: Rodeo Drive and Melrose. When I am in town for longer stays I actually travel to Newport Beach to visit with friends and, of course, shop at Fashion Island. My favorite restaurants in Los Angeles are Mastros and Nobu in Malibu.

SL: Where in the Middle East do you live?

HW: I live in Beruit, Lebanon. It is an exciting cosmopolitan city often referred to as “the Paris of the East.” It is a “high energy” coastal city with amazing restaurants, art galleries, museums and shops – it is actually a very popular tourist destination.

SL: How did you first get into performing?

HW: When I was very young, I knew that when I got older that I wanted to be an entertainer – I had a real passion for singing and acting. I first got started by modeling, which gave me great exposure. From modeling I was able to springboard into singing with the initial release of three singles (I have since released eight albums total). I then branched out into acting having been in four very successful feature length motion pictures including Halawet al-Rooh.

SL: What is the story behind “Breathing You In” and how did the song come to be?

HW: I knew that I wanted to release an English-language song that had meaning – that reflected something deeper about how I live my life. The song is an anthem for how to manage day-to-day challenges. By breathing in and breathing out, you can instantly find peace and create a permanent sense of calm. The lyrics reflect my personal philosophy about dealing with difficult times  – breathing, for me, is about finding my center, my balance.

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Kate Boy, Major Lazer, Borgeous, Chelsea Lankes & 18 More Artists: New Music Monday, 3.9.15

March 9, 2015

kateboyhigherDid Daylight Savings Time leave you feeling a little unenergized this AM?

Fear not, because I have 22 songs that are certain to get you going today as part of this week’s New Music Monday!

There’s a little something for everyone this time around, ranging from that Houston rap sound you know and love by Paul Wall (featuring Alley Cat and Frank Wyle) to some disco house by Kali, pop by Kelly Clarkson and pure soft melody by Cinnamon Chasers.

What I’m especially feeling this week is Kate Boy‘s “Higher.” The Stockholm-based electro-pop trio has been featured on skyelyfe before. They’ve only released a handful of songs since coming on the scene in 2013, but everything they touch is pure perfection, so I’ll accept quality over quantity, as much as I’d like to hear more!

Major Lazer‘s upbeat collaboration “Lean On” with (a favorite of mine) and DJ Snake was a huge cyber success and I am also a huge fan of this debut track off ML’s forthcoming album.

In addition, Borgeous featuring Delane‘s melodic EDM track “This Could Be Love” is catchy, and I’m still totally digging sexy-sounding Chelsea Lankes (who I also wrote about last week). This week, give a listen to her latest, “Too Young to Fall in Love.”

And if you’re a fan of Deorro‘s “Five Hours” like I am, you’ll love “Five More Hours,” which is a vocal extension of the original and it features Chris Brown (so the combo of the two is just perfect!)

Scroll through the playlist below for a slew of fresh tracks, which also includes a poppy melodic “Problems Problems” by Frankie, Urban Cone‘s “Come Back to Me,” featuring vocals by Tove Lo, and much more!

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From Soccer Pro to Sexy, Soulful Pop Sensation On-the-Rise, Meet Devin K

February 26, 2015
Photo credit: Alex Owen aka Zandy Photo

Photo credit: Alex Owen aka Zandy Photo

Soccer and music aren’t known to go hand-in-hand, so when it came down to choosing between his two passions, Devin K (born Devin Kirtz) knew the “transition was inevitable” to move solely in the direction of becoming an artist.

“Everybody would be out partying and stuff after our games and I was just kind of in my hotel room, writing at all times,” the former New York Red Bulls soccer pro tells skyelyfe. “I had to put 100 percent into one or the other, and music wins every time. It’s not even a question.”

So now, with four years of living in Los Angeles under his belt (he originally hails from nearby Long Beach, Calif.), the multitalented musician is ready to make a name for himself in the sound space – and he’s starting to make waves with his latest single “Move” (more on that at the bottom).

The 26-year-old – who already has some minor tracks from years past on his discography – spills on everything from his dating status and musical influences, to his cooking skills and his full sleeve of tattoos!

Photo credit: Darin Rios

Photo credit: Darin Rios

SL: What was the influence behind “Move?”

DK: I was on much more of a poppy path when I first moved to L.A. It was definitely an eye-opener. I didn’t really know what to expect. It was kind of everybody directing me in where they thought I should go as an artist, but I thought what better way to show my [own] style than to just ask people if I make them want to move.

SL: Who are some of your artist influences?

DK: I’d say huge, huge influences of mine aside from all oldies are Robin Thicke and Lauryn Hill.

SL: What’s your plan with releasing new music?

DK: I actually have way too many tracks and we’re just trying to decide what’s going to be next. I think I’m going to start off with an EP, as well probably four or five other tracks. We haven’t decided yet.

SL: Are you going to stay with the sound of “Move?” What can we expect?

DK: I want everybody to expect soul-pop mixed with a hip-hop influence. Almost soul-pop R&B with lyrical meaning. As I release more songs, you’ll see the lyrical context get deeper.

SL: Being from Long Beach, which isn’t far from L.A., but yet still so different, what was the move and adjustment like? 

DK: Everyone out here seems to be from somewhere else. I feel like I’m the exception being from Southern California. But it’s crazy how it’s 45 minutes away and it’s a whole new world. It’s been a crazy transition, but I definitely have not looked back. I love it. I love downtown and the beach. Growing up in Long Beach, I’m always, always at the beach.

SL: Can you talk a little about the inspiration behind your tattoos? Have you always been a tattoo guy?

DK: I got my first tattoo in a garage when I was 15 in Long Beach. My friend did it with a safety pin and India Ink. It was so sketchy [laughs]. I grew up very religious. My first tattoo was of a cross and then after that, the same guy legitimized himself and got his first tattoo machine. Then when I was 17, I got a soccer ball with an Argentina flag. My mom’s from Argentina. And then there are three songs I ended up turning into my whole sleeve. My three favorite songs: “Yesterday” by The Beatles, “Man In the Middle” by Michael [Jackson] and then Stevie Wonder.

SL: A sexy guy like you – single? Taken? What’s the status?

DK: I’m not in a relationship. Music is my girlfriend, wife, everything at the moment.

5 FUN FACTS

Last time I couldn’t stop laughing: “Ok, people didn’t think this movie was funny, but maybe I just watched it at the right time or whatever, but The Interview was so funny. I was dying watching it.”

Last concert I attended: “I just attended the best show I’ve ever seen. It was the day before the Grammy’s. I saw Big Sean at the House of Blues in West Hollywood. On one stage, he brought out Chris Brown, [Justin] Bieber, Meek Mill, Tyga, J. Cole, Kanye West. It was everybody on one stage and I was like, ‘What is going on?’ ”

Last thing I cooked: “I cooked chicken parmesan on Valentine’s Day. The boy can cook! I’m telling you, it turned out really well!”

Last time I was injured: “I just ruined my foot playing flag football. It was because of my manager. I’m running straight at him and he kind of ducked the other way and my foot went right into his shoulder.”

Last present I bought for someone: “My mom and I hike a lot. So I got her some hiking shoes for Christmas.”

Check out the sensual, desert-themed video for Devin’s latest single Move, directed by Rob Witt and Alex Delgado:

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Passion Pit, Gucci Mane, Kygo & 17 More Artists: New Music Monday, 2.23.15

February 23, 2015

passionpitExhausted from Oscar weekend? Luckily, I have plenty of new tunes to help you relax on this post-party Monday!

For the hip-hop lover, Gucci Mane just put out his Brick Factory 3 album and Chris Brown and Tyga released “Bitches N Marijuana” off their brand new collaborative effort, Fan of a Fan the Album

And move over, Taylor Swift! Passion Pit is also giving a little shoutout to one heck of a decade with new song “Lifted Up (1985).”

Continuing in the theme of chill music, one of my longtime favorites, Late Night Alumni, released “This This This,” keeping true to their signature dreamy sound. Kygo also came out with “ID,” Monogem finally released their self-titled EP (I’m digging “The Glow”), Allies for Everyone released “Bunker,” Lord Huron released folky “Fool for Love” and much more!

From SomeKindaWonderful to Mr. FijiWiji and AVAN LAVA, check out the playlist below of 20 new tracks!

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Music

Grammy Nominees 2015: Here’s a Playlist of Skyelyfe’s Favorites

February 6, 2015

Little_Dragon_-_Nabuma_RubberbandAh, yes, Grammy weekend has arrived! My version of Oscars weekend. All music, all fun people, (mostly) non-stuffy parties.

With that in mind, here’s a playlist of my favorites of the Grammy nominees this year.  If you’ve read my previous posts, you obviously know how obsessed I am with X by Chris Brown, so it’s no shock that I am very excited about his nominations (best r&b performance, best r&b song, best urban contemporary album). How X wasn’t nominated for best album is beyond me, but I am happy with Beck‘s nomination in that category for Morning Phase. He is consistently golden.

I am also pleased with most of the dance/electronic nominations. Nabuma Rubberband is regularly on repeat, but then again, I’ve never complained about anything done by Little Dragon. Right up there with LD for best dance/electronic album is Royksopp and Robyn with Do It Again. 

And I am beyond thrilled about Schoolboy Q‘s nominations. His sound is so ridiculously on point. I am shocked that he hasn’t really blown up yet. He reminds me of the good, real rap from back in the day. I do wish “Man of the Year” had been nominated, though.

Here’s a list (and playlist) of my favs:

Haim – best new artist

Basement Jaxx – best dance recording (“Never Say Never”)

Clean Bandit f Jess Glynne  – best dance recording (“Rather Be”)

Duke Dumont f Jax Jones – best dance recording (“I got U”)

Little Dragon – best dance/electronic album (Nabuma Rubberband)

Royksopp & Robyn – best dance/electronic album (Do It Again)

Beck – best rock performance (“Blue Moon”), best rock song (“Blue Moon”), best rock album (Morning Phase), album of the year (Morning Phase)

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – best rock album (Hypnotic Eye)

Chris Brown f Usher & Rick Ross – best r&b performance, best r&b song (“New Flame”), best urban contemporary album (X)

Jhene Aiko – best r&b song (“The Worst”), best urban contemporary album (Sail Out)

Lecrae – best rap performance (“All I Need Is You”)

Schoolboy Q f BJ The Chicago Kid – best rap/sung collaboration (“Studio”), best rap album (Oxymoron)

I love Makonnen f Drake – best rap/sung collaboration (“Tuesday”)

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