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INsiders Guide

INsiders Guide: Jennifer Hudson, Tisoki, Voodoo Bloo, Alysha, Lucia, Dynoro, Jenny Palacios, Kaylee Patterson, Kandle, Melissa Lamm, Theo Tams, Gina Naomi Baez, noelle, B Young, Cubs Refrain, Tongues Of Fire, Maggie Andrew…

Increasing excitement for her portrayal of Aretha Franklin in RESPECT, Academy® Award-winning actress and GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist Jennifer Hudson shares the tracklisting for the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to RESPECT. She breathes new life into 17 Aretha classics, paying homage to the “Queen of Soul” with each recording.

 Hudson shared the announcement on her social platforms last night HERE following her appearance at the 2021 BET Awards where she gave tribute to Aretha Franklin. Watch it HERE.

Check out the full tracklisting below.

She set the stage for the Soundtrack with the new original “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)”—co-written with 4-time GRAMMY® Award winner, Kennedy Center Honoree, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee Carole King (marking their first collaboration) and Jamie Hartman [Lewis Capaldi, Christina Aguilera]. GRAMMY® Award-winning Black Eyed Peas co-founder and mega-producer produced the track. Get it HERE.

 Right out of the gate, it garnered widespread critical acclaim. In addition to plugs from BillboardPitchforkRolling Stone, and more, Vulture raved, Jennifer Hudson’s new song is going to sound so good over the Aretha biopic credits.” It also recently impacted radio.

 Hudson was notably handpicked by Franklin to portray her in the film from MGM, which opens in theatres nationwide on August 13th. The soundtrack will be available on the same day.

 Pre-order the Soundtrack HERE.


  1. There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood
  2. Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive
  3. Nature Boy
  4. I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Loved You)
  5. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
  6. Dr. Feelgood
  7. Respect
  8. Sweet Sweet Baby (Since You’ve Been Gone)
  9. Ain’t No Way
  10. (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman
  11. Chain of Fools
  12. Think
  13. Take My Hand, Precious Lord
  14. Spanish Harlem
  15. I Say A Little Prayer for You
  16. Precious Memories
  17. Amazing Grace
  18. Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)

Following the first single “SENSITIVE” off his debut album ‘01953’ last month, genre-bending producer Tisoki returned to Monstercat today with his dark dubstep track “HOLD ON ME”. An ode to the old-school dubstep that Tisoki grew up listening to, “HOLD ON ME” perfectly merges the robust, low-frequency sounds of classic bass music with the aggressive, high-energy drums of modern dubstep. The soft synths, ambient SFX, and echoed adlibs add a subtle layer of melodic energy to the otherwise ominous second chapter in his forthcoming LP. 

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Tisoki shares, “‘HOLD ON ME’ is the dubstep track I always wanted to make but never felt comfortable enough to. Now it’s part of my album and I’m really excited to share it with the world.

Hailing from the UK, Tisoki has carved a name for himself in the electronic music scene thanks to his out-of-the-box style and sound. Sampling everything from dubstep and bass house, to downtempo and pop, Tisoki’s impressive catalogue has earned him support from major names like DJ Snake, Excision, and Skrillex. His versatility has seen him collaborate with artists such as Borgore, Crankdat, and Grabbitiz, and prior to COVID, has landed him performances on world-renowned stages such as Red Rocks and EDC Las Vegas. With his debut album ‘01953’ on the way and live music making its return, fans can look forward to experiencing his highly-anticipated project soon.

Alternative punk rock band Voodoo Bloo released their second UK single ‘MMA’ earlier this month via PlasticGroove Records.  The single is the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut ‘Her Name Was Human’ released in February. Described as “a fiery ball of big riffs, juicy drum beats and snappy vocals with deep meaning leave you in awe”
Singer / songwriter Rory McDonald says: MMA was also originally going to be called ‘moshpit martial arts’, and is all about those drunken idiots who in an effort to make themselves look cool end up making regretful decisions that don’t mean much until they wake up the next morning.  I feel everyone has let something fall through the cracks that shouldn’t have when intoxicated” 
MMA has been worked on by Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers / Super Furry Animals / Bullet for My Valentine) as mix production adviser. The track was mixed by Scott Seabright (Mumford and Sons/ Broods/Passenger/Neil Finn). Rory, originally from Sheffield, now resides in Wellington, New Zealand. Their sound is influenced by acts such as Arctic Monkeys and System of a Down, as well as some singer-songwriters such as Car Seat Headrest and Neutral Milk Hotel. This combination brings a great blend of emotional and conceptual song-writing with a very catchy and frequently danceable distorted mess. Before starting Voodoo Bloo, Rory was the frontman of Lucifer Gunne, who gained a large fan base from touring, releasing singles & EP’s. He started the new band so he could have creative freedom and because the forthcoming debut album ‘Jacobus’ is a conceptual and very personal record. 

 “Last July, a close friend of mine for many years, took his own life while I was away overseas. This was obviously a massive shock to myself and the people around me but being isolated from my friends while in a different country led me to writing a lot of lyrics during one of the strangest and scariest points in my life. The writing of “Jacobus” was a very cathartic process at a time when I didn’t have many people around me to talk to.”  

New Zealand currently has one of the highest teen suicide rates in the world and recently the band played multiple charity shows for Lifeline Aotearoa (an organisation focused on suicide prevention and mental health treatment). 

Following the success of her recent dream-bop “Bump”, rising songstress Alysha re-turns to unveil her latest smooth slice of R&B, “Florence”. Reminiscent of early 90s R&B, the London born Cuban-Indian singer continues to showcase her talent for curating effortlessly cool vibes, layering pulsating beats with her signature velvety vocals. With emotion at the core of her songwriting, Alysha en-trances the listener into a neo-soul, hypnotic haze, as “Florence” describes the sweet early beginnings of a crush – from the excitement of a first meet to the ongoing lust as they linger in your mind.

“Florence is so close and dear to my heart..” says Alysha. “I was deeply infatuated with this guy who had a girlfriend, I remember listening to love songs on my way to and from uni and writing lyrics. It just felt right to use the words over this beat, they just vibed well with one another.

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Diamond and multi-platinum certified Lithuanian DJ and producer Dynoro makes an epic return with the Taisia Deeva-directed video for new single “Monsters”—an inspiring and uplifting EDM banger with a fiery feature from the red-hot US rapper 24kGoldn. Released via B1 Recordings / Sony Columbia Germany, “Monsters” also landed on over 30 New Music Friday playlists and the list keeps growing. 

This unlikely collaboration between two acclaimed mega-hitmakers is something that can’t be missed. The verses get your head nodding. The booming bass gets your body shaking. The anthemic chorus sung by a children’s choir lingers long after the song is over. Throughout the track, Dynoro employs subtle style changes from trap drums to echoing electric strings, reminiscent of another contagious EDM smash hit, “Where Are Ü Now” from Jack Ü (Skrillex, Diplo) and Justin Bieber

Noah was written after I had gone on a date for the first time in forever. It came a bit later in life, when things were way busier, ‘turbulent,’ and a little more jaded.

This sounds wildly corny, but I remember feeling a sense of smitten infatuation that night, like I used to feel as a kid, when every little thing was romantic and important. 

The flame died the same night it started, but I couldn’t let go of how special things felt. I couldn’t find a song to sing or cry to, because things really weren’t that deep, but there was still weight to how bittersweet everything was. 

So I thought I’d give it a go myself. Instead of writing a song about heartbreak, I wanted to capture what Noah made me feel in a bottle.
Co-produced with Phoenix Arn-Horn (Softcult), play Noah now.

☆彡 ☆彡 

Watch the official Noah music video on YouTube.
I just kept picturing the essence of film noir while writing, and once we began conceptualizing the music video, that vibe continued to pop up.

I am super excited to say that I showed this song to the real Noah who took me out on that sick date and they were so stoked on it. Noah has their namesake’s blessing.

Thanks for listening,

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Jenny Palacios

My emotionally charged and liberating new single, “Not Sorry,” produced by Jay Century (Kaskade, Duckwrth, Starley) is available now! Check it out on your preferred platform.

I had broken up with my abusive ex of six years and while this was a long time coming, it led me down a long, dark road of self-doubt. My first relationship, my first breakup – the crippling guilt of ending things was unbearable. After the initial pain and sadness faded away, I found that I didn’t have any of me left.

One day, about a year later, I woke up and suddenly the guilt was gone. I found myself not thinking about him for long periods, or compulsively re-reading our old messages. Writing “Not Sorry” began my journey towards forgiving myself and active healing.

This is the first rocket ship into a new world, infused with heartbreak, sadness, and sarcastic humor. Stay tuned for my debut EP this summer. See you on TwitterInstagramFacebook & TikTok in the meantime.

– Kaylee Patterson

Kandle has been on quite the rollercoaster ride since starting a band as a teenager, but sometimes stereotypes are true. “Welcome to the music business,” she laughs, having become fairly accustomed to the highs and lows it has thrown her way. From a sparkling new-artist frenzy and tours across Europe to the shackles of corporate contracts and being broker than broke, she now embarks on a new and wholly independent path choosing to turn her exploitative experiences within the industry into fuel for her creative fire. The singer-songwriter from British Columbia sees her admission of struggle as a powerful showcase of resilience rather than a nod to defeat. Clearly she prefers not to demure from difficult subjects, instead choosing to commune with her darkness through a honeyed vibrato and distorted electric guitars. Honesty is Kandle’s strength as a songwriter.

She was a self-confessed late bloomer, but as a child was moved by the musical environment she was immersed in. Growing up as the daughter of Neil Osborne (54-40) provided Kandle with a unique lens, spending much of her formative years backstage at gigs and hanging out in recording studios. “It was so exciting and inspiring to me, especially being in the studio. I felt completely at home there. It was a playground for sound. You could do anything.” But at first she kept her budding creations to herself, staying in the background learning to play guitar, writing poetry and songs.

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I spent last summer’s lockdown on my balcony in Toronto, and wrote a song about it.

I had just gotten married before the pandemic, and was dreaming of a honeymoon abroad. When lockdown hit, my husband and I abandoned our plans of a far away vacation, and made our own little paradise in the concrete jungle.

Balcony” tells a humble story about making the most of wherever you are. You may not be able to spend your summer on a tropical beach or sightseeing abroad, but sitting on a modest little balcony with someone you love can be a perfect time – even if you aren’t doing anything at all.

Listen to “Balcony” on your favourite streaming platform.

Watch the official music video for “Balcony” on YouTube.

I love full pop sounds but chose to take a more chill and stripped down approach to this recording, which is about enjoying the simple moments in life.

Sometimes I look back at last summer and feel nostalgic about my time spent on my balcony, and this year I’m honestly looking forward to another summer spent doing absolutely nothing staring down at Toronto sidewalks with the person I love.

However you spend your summer, wherever you go (or don’t), and whoever you’re with, I hope it’s absolutely perfect.

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Thank you for listening,

Melissa Lamm

Theo Tams is rediscovering his identity as an artist. With his upcoming EP, the Canadian singer/songwriter demonstrates a remarkable command of R&B-laced pop music, his silky tenor the unwavering guiding light. As evidenced on lead single, “Therapy,” a sticky mid-tempo jam, Tams slides across the melody with an enrapturing charm, and his vulnerability is as much on display.

Two years since his last record, 2018’s Call the Doctor, what is most evident is his fearlessness to cannonball right into fresh sonic waves. “I knew that I really wanted to just dive into this evolution and a different sound. All the new music was an exercise in the spirit of saying yes to new things,” he says. “There’s so many times that I feel the industry or public perception put me in a box. Going into this project, I realized regardless of whether they put me in a box, it was my job to burst out of it.”

Tams also needed to rearrange tendencies to fall back into his own self-imposed creative categories. His songwriting remains at the heart of this new strain of pop, yet he peels back layers in ways he hadn’t explored before. “I just don’t know how to love you / Just don’t know how to be / Committed to you, baby / So effortlessly,” he sings, grappling with a resurging self-sabotage.

The first single from Lucia Cifarelli’s forthcoming solo album, ‘Girls Like Me’ is an ode to female empowerment; the track celebrates the divine mystery that lives within all women. Inspired by the diverse sisterhood Lucia has come to know on tour and through her engagement on social media, the song is a celebration of all that is feminine, dark, joyous and wild.

‘This song is a love letter to my sisters all over the world, dedicated to their unique magic, intrinsically connected to who we are’ Lucia Cifarelli

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Infused with hot electro/house and EDM energy, ‘Girls Like Me’ was mixed by the internationally acclaimed mix master Veronica Ferraro, best known for her work on the Grammy-nominated hit ‘When Love Takes Over’ by David Guetta and Kelly Rowland, written by Lucia, Sascha Konietzko of KMFDM and Dan Connor of Rational Front, and recorded and produced in Hamburg by Lucia and Sascha.

Lucia invited women round the world to send her videos of themselves which she has cut together with her own, sharing this message of love, solidarity, and women celebrating each other in all their messy, glorious diversity.

Since founding the band Drill, Lucia Cifarelli has proved herself a force to be reckoned with; her dynamic performance style coupled with an incendiary vocal range was unlike anything else in the late 90’s alternative scene, but it was with her addition to the lineup of Sascha Konietzko’s MDFMK in 2000 that her star power began to truly assert itself. She is now one of the primary creative forces behind The Ultra Heavy Beat, known for her vocals but also for her songwriting skills, moving effortlessly from sweetly sung melody to acerbic’ riot grrl’ fury to bold political outrage.

Born and raised in Long Island, Lucia developed her love of singing, songwriting and performing as a child; ‘Girls Like Me’ is the first single from her forthcoming album “I Am Eye’.

Gina Naomi Baez is an actress, singer/songwriter, YouTuber and influencer from New York City. With a flourishing acting career having landed roles in Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It, Orange is the New Black and numerous Off-Broadway and Regional theatrical productions, Baez has been a name on everyone’s radar. However, her love and passion for songwriting and music has always been the true driving force behind her creativity, with the artist using her platform to spread messages of positivity. Pushing boundaries and defying genres, Baez’s music beautifully blends pop, country and folk, creating a sound reminiscent of Sia meets Taylor Swift. 

“My Time” is the ultimate power ballad, providing a beacon of light and declaring words of wisdom. Dubbing this song as a pep talk to herself, the single was written following a period of intense self-doubt and low confidence. Baez confides, “The music is inspired by my life experiences and facing bumps on this road we all call life. Being a childhood cancer survivor, I’ve always felt like I’m a fighter and warrior. Literally, Nothing can stop me.” 

Embodying the strength of “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten, one of her inspirations for the single, “My Time” is no short of powerful. Written and produced alongside Matthew Tryba (Taylor Swift, One Republic, Ariana Grande), the song enters with a delayed vocal distortion giving off 1989 Taylor Swift-esque energy. The dynamics take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotion, as the track builds with subtle, electro, raindrop synths and echoing vocals flooding the soundscape, Baez lets go, showing us her stunning, power-house vocals. The inspiring artist shares, “If you’re feeling down I think it’s a song that can bring back your confidence and help you find your inner strength.”

Baez has also seen great success with her YouTube channel which has built an impressive following. Her infamous “Lizzo’s Truth Hurts x Hocus Pocus” parody music video went viral after LIZZO herself reposted it, as well as Bette Midler. The channel features creative, unique original music videos, covers and parodies of popular songs and has garnered worldwide recognition from the likes of PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly, Access Hollywood, The Huffington Post, MTV, Perez Hilton, FOX, E! ONLINE, Ryan Seacrest, Yahoo News!, Stylist and much more! Propelling in all areas of the industry, Baez is clearly a force to be reckoned with. 

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Therapy” represents being there for someone you love who’s going through a hard time – reassuring them that they can trust you. No matter what they’re going through, you’ll be there for them.

This song is very true to me. Since I was little, my favourite songs to sing were always ballads. I took a raw and emotional approach to “Therapy,” with the intention of providing healing.

It is so important to let people in and get the help you need, whether that’s traditional therapy or confiding in someone close to you.

There are people that care about you and are there for you, even in your darkest moments.

Thank you for listening,


B Young continues to ‘Come Alive’ with his latest single, this conceptual and passionate track, provides a hint of Afro-wave combined with his indulgent and signature sound. With potential to overthrow the previous bars he has set; B Young has arrived with further evidence of his hitmaking ability. An explosive track with a perfect summer vibe for his forthcoming album ‘Differences’, the long awaited and debut project is nearly here!

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2017 saw B Young come into the spotlight following a run of hits that led to a viral stardom. The East London rapper, singer, songwriter is culpable for UK street anthems such as ‘Jumanji’ and the ‘Wanna Know (Remix)’. Crossing over the boarders of sounds, B Young fuses afro wave and dancehall influences, which is evident on this single and his upcoming album.

The beat is led by a masterful saxophone and supported rhythmically by a drum pattern with an Afro beat resemblance. Proving his ability to write and perform a timeless hook ‘Come Alive’ is another unique display of B Young’s rich and delightful vocals, switching from skippy melodic rap to a more extensive singing style throughout the track. This dynamic approach, matched with the romantic vibe that B Young portrays, really expresses the distinctive talent at his disposal.

B Young offered his own insight into the track, relaying that he finds most of his beats “browsing through YouTube and I came across the producer INQBOI, he’s very cold. This beat specifically ticked all the boxes for the perfect summer vibe. I did what I always do. Zone out in my bedroom studio, let the feelings guide the melodies and lyrics, then mix it all on the spot.” After letting his feelings guide the music he landed on the concept “about the low-key women that have a wild side to them, and really know how to enjoy and come alive when the times right.”

Taking his fans on the holiday; the video is set in sunny Marbella. This inviting visual counterpart quite literally transports the viewer to this satisfying setting. The charming performance from B Young and additional characters, also boasts dramatic views and ideal villas.

With over 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone which has helped the accumulation of 300+ million views and streams across all platforms. He is a true pioneer for melodic rap in the UK and he is innovating once again with this stylistic track. One for the summer and a building block towards the upcoming album, ‘Differences’.

We’re excited to share with you our new song Ladylike – a quirky anthem about authenticity and breaking the mold

Stream Ladylike below!

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Check out the visualizer for Ladylike on YouTube.

In writing this song, our band member, Erin Roblin, reflected on her own experiences with society’s expectations of her as a woman, including the fight for control of her own choices in her life and career.

We tell a story with Ladylike through the lens of a female gendered robot (inspired in part by the humanoid robot, Fiona, from the TV show Silicon Valley), but the song empathizes with anyone who experiences the struggles of external pressure.

This fun, empowering pop song champions owning your own personal power and expression.

We hope that this song can provide that same strength and empowerment to those who need to hear it!

Cubs Refrain

North Carolinan post-punk group Tongues Of Fire today announce the August 27th release of their Burn My Body Clean EP via Florida’s Godless America Records. Alongside the announcement they share the lead-off single/video Room. The track is set in a period of depressive self-isolation that the group’s songwriter Lowell Hobbs entered following his mother’s untimely passing to cancer. He notes “Believe it or not the song was written pre-pandemic. It was super cathartic to be able to express those feelings and it’s also kind of beautiful in a way that my very personal singular experience became a collective one because of COVID too.“

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LA-based pop artist, songwriter and creator, Maggie Andrew, has released part 2 of her 3-part trilogy, “ILMIHM,” out now. This trilogy is an in-depth musical, visual and emotional experience, inspired by her own life, that will
introduce fans to a world they can immerse themselves in. Directed by Grammy nominated director, Andy Hines [Kanye West, Lizzo, Logic, Luke Combs], “ILMIHM” comes fresh off the release of “Honda Civic” part 1 of the MAGGIE ANDREW TRILOGY. Maggie states; “Honda Civic is about me leaving Nova Scotia and starting a whole new life, leaving my old life behind, including my Honda Civic and my toxic ex boyfriend who tried to hold me back from chasing my dreams. It’s a song about saying goodbye to the old me and the old reality I used to live and stepping into a new array of self love and confidence.”

Red Bull Records is thrilled to announce its partnership deal with acclaimed producer, songwriter, and music executive Ebony ‘WondaGurl’ Oshunrinde and her label imprint, Wonderchild. The news of the exciting new partnership follows WondaGurl’s history-making win at the 2021 Juno Awards, where she became the first Black woman to receive the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year Award.

The first deal of its kind for Red Bull Records, WondaGurl will work alongside Red Bull Records executives Greg Hammer (Managing Director) and Kenny ‘Tick’ Salcido (Senior Vice President / Head of A&R) to sign fresh, exciting new talent. Toronto rapper JUGGER will serve as the first artist to sign to the label, with his highly anticipated full-length project executive produced by WondaGurl out later this year.

“We couldn’t be more excited to announce this partnership with WondaGurl,” says Hammer“As one of the most groundbreaking producers in her field, we look forward to investing in WondaGurl’s creative vision and championing her future signings. Our first joint signing JUGGER is the perfect embodiment of our partnership, and as a pioneer of the ‘death trap’ genre, his sound is one that is truly innovative and unmatched.”

Santa Ana based singer-songwriter Ali Coyle has an uncanny ability to create introspective yet relatable indie pop. Her music is best described as cinematic poems, each song taking influence from photographic memories of nature and of the human experience. From self doubt, finding your identity, achieving forgiveness and healing, Ali Coyle succeeds in crafting songs that inspire us all to ask the tough questions to reach deeper meaning.Ali Coyle grew up as a first generation Irish American in Orange County, California. From an early age, she gravitated to music and performance, learning classical violin and then ultimately the guitar, where she found her freedom of expression. After a life changing trip abroad to Ireland at 17, Ali connected with her roots and began to write and sing folk music in her first band. Soon later, Ali met her musical mentor and collaborator, producer Dave Tweedie, who is an intricate part of her life, and musical journey. After moving to east Los Angeles and performing in a series of bands while living in an artist warehouse, Ali’s community was ultimately separated from each other. Feeling drained and disheartened, the singer/songwriter moved to Santa Ana where she faced an “epic existential crisis”. Channeling these intense emotions and struggles, she soon began to write and record her debut EP Songs for My Therapist.Songs for My Therapist is a stunning blend of indie folk and rock with an infectious pop sensibility. The six-track EP is influenced by her discovery and self-acceptance behind being an openly queer woman and her intense feelings surrounding love, heartbreak and healing. The first single “Trust Me” is about “having hope, falling in love and taking a chance,” confides Ali. Featuring blissfully warm vocals, atmospheric soundscapes and mood-setting saxophone, “Trust Me” is an affectionate ode to new romance. Then there is “On My Way Again,” which is a more bluesy, roots-inspired indie pop tune all about navigating the darkest of times and coming out stronger and with heightened awareness. On “Clear Water,” Ali Coyle finds solace in existence, connecting with water as the ultimate healer. “Clear Water” was recorded primarily using my looping pedal with sounds pulled and reversed to create orchestral-like effects that made the raw and emotional vocals carry extra importance,” says the songwriter.

The EP is an enthralling debut body of work from a prolific songwriter. Songs for My Therapist tells the promising tale of an individual who was struggling to find herself, and ultimately did.

Worlds collide as LA-based indie-bedroom-pop artist Grady teams up with alt-pop-rockers lovelytheband for “The Idea of You” out now via TMWRK Records

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What do you do when the person you’re infatuated with doesn’t believe that you’re in love? The answer for Grady: write a song about it, grab a drink, and know that you can lean on your friends. Together Grady and lovelytheband have captured the essence of the honeymoon phase, that is until it all goes south. In just under three minutes, the guys commiserate about the highs and lows of newfound love—from the butterflies to the uncertainty about if your partner feels the same to questioning if you’re in it for the right reasons afterall. The end result is a lush, layered, and sincere yet playful track featuring a sweet acoustic guitar and an earworm of a chorus. 

When asked what inspired “The Idea of You,” Grady shared, “I wrote it after telling a girl I had a shaky history with that I still loved her. She said, ‘I think you love the idea of me’ but even if that was the case, just thinking of her made me feel fuzzy and that was enough.” Throughout the song the Grady attempts to validate the authenticity of his feelings, vulnerably crooning, “my head feels warm when you’re on my mind… maybe I’m not like the guys that you pick most of the time but I know that I make you smile, that much you just can’t deny.”

Taken from his ‘Floors And Ceilings’ EP, MONOGRAMS is very pleased to reveal one of its curveball delights: “Cruel Summer”.

Offering his unique take on the 1984 hit, the alias of Ian Jacobs transforms the Bananarama classic into an altogether darker proposition in his own “nuke-wave” image.


Speaking about the choice of cover and how it came to light, Monograms says:

“Cruel Summer was a song that I started casually exploring in the wake of last summer. Looking back at those summer months in 2020, as I was living in NYC through all the strife and isolation, the content felt fitting. I also just always dug that song. A perfect pop song from the 80’s, when songs like that were anthems. As I kept working on it and started moving around the rubik’s cube of the track’s tonality into something that felt a bit more comfortable for me, I also realized how bubbly of a tune it seems but then when you peel back the top layer and read the lyrics on their own, the content is actually pretty dark, which was more appealing to me… even though now i’m hoping this summer is a bit less cruel.”

Becoming something of a fan-favourite in Monograms livestream sets over the past few months, Jacobs was encouraged by his friends and label (PaperCup Music) to give it an official studio release. Appearing on the ‘Floors And Ceilings’ EP, the track is one of seven brand new compositions that will materialise later this week. Alongside the cover version, the tracklisting for the EP includes the incisive Capitol Riots-inspired electroclash of “Speak And Spell”, the mutant americana of “Overflowing” and foreboding darkwave of “For Safety”; plus a slew of remixes by Hiko Men, Dante Fiero and Hexadiode.

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As with his full-length album of last year ‘Only A Ceiling Can Stay Inside Forever’, the original material for this EP was written, recorded and produced entirely by Monograms at his home studio in Brooklyn.

Trilogy II is a collection of songs that are each unapologetically me. The EP includes “Quit U Love,” one of the most personal songs I have ever written.
This was the song that really started my journey into sobriety, which is where I am now.
I was at the height of my alcohol addiction when I wrote this track. Drinking constantly, I reached a moment of clarity where I started to see my addiction for what it was – an abusive relationship that I just didn’t know how to leave.
The next morning, I woke up early, packed my laptop and microphone, then walked to a lookout point on a hill where you can see for miles.
I chose to record the demo at this spot – a place where I could see into the distance – because so many areas of my life felt like they had come to a standstill.
Trilogy II, featuring “Quit U Love,” is streaming now on all platforms!

Watch my live performance of “Quit U Love” for the Slaight Sessions on YouTube, as well

I know that it hurts so good, but baby if I could I would leave and save myself
It was important for me to be honest lyrically because “Quit U Love” was written during active addiction, not afterwards when the mess was cleaned up.
There is a really chill ease to the music – I wanted the melody and the production to completely juxtapose the subject matter.

I hope that you can find your own meaning in the songs on Trilogy II. To me, this project is about vulnerability while still creating music you can catch a vibe to.

Thank you for your time,
Theo Tams

Born in Toronto, Robert Ball is a multi-faceted singer/songwriter with a soulful voice and jazz sensibilities. Inspired by everything from Broadway, pop and world music, to R&B and country, Ball has toured the world, performing in over 60 countries as a featured vocalist and a headliner with Royal Caribbean International. His velvet tones and smooth, hypnotic delivery are reminiscent of Luther Vandross, D’Angelo and Erykah Badu. 

 His latest single “I Need A Man” narrates wanting a deep soul connection with someone. The song talks of wanting the real deal, not just a short term fix, with Ball sharing, “I wrote this song about being fatigued of people only desiring sex and “something casual” rather than truly desiring a deeper connection with someone who knows your pain and will hold you and stay with you.”

Working alongside Grammy Nominated musician Marito Marquez and accomplished producer Eric Lundgren, “I Need A Man” has a soothing, calm, late night feeling. From the shimmering chimes and groovy bass to the gentle, tender harmonies that ooze soul and passion, everything about the single is dripping in lust and longing. The melodies reflect both the excitement and pain of finding love, while the guitar glides over the restrained but bold drums as Ball’s soft, rich voice fluidly moves across the ocean of sounds.

Robert Ball hopes that his music will encourage listeners to feel, to breath, to think deeper and to gain further understanding of the layered emotions and complexities of himself as an artist, a man and in particular a gay man. He confides, “There are so few examples of ‘this’ type of vulnerability, tenderness and intimacy from black men…” 

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 Having attended Claude Watson Arts Program and later studied at Humber College, Ball has since dedicated his life to music and the arts. He has been a part of various Musical Theater readings and workshops working with Tony Winner Lillias White & Grammy Nominee Carol Woods. Opening up for artists such as Mary Mary, Karen Clark-Sheard, Maestro, Keshia Chante, Shawn Desmond, Mya, Big Freeda among others. His original music has appeared in ‘Degrassi’ and has aired on radio stations in Europe, Canada & the United States and he has toured many PRIDE circuits including Brooklyn Pride, DC pride and Jamaica Pride, as well as making numerous appearances on TV outlets across the country.

Hey Neill,


Bedside Love Song” brings to mind two lovers on a simple Sunday morning.
They share a romantic connection in its most natural and beautiful state.


There’s nothing better when I first wake up to your lipstick stains
on a coffee cup by my bedside underneath the morning light


Bedside Love Song” captures a moment of love, bliss, and peace.
Hear “Bedside Love Song” via SoundCloud ▼ Apple Music ▼ Spotify

Thank you for lending this song your ears,

Frank Moyo

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