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Music Tea w/X Ambassadors

Whether throwing down a hard-hitting electronic pop groove or blessing us with their incredible stage presence, New York based X Ambassadors--Sam Harris(vocals),Casey Harris(keyboards)and Adam Levin(drums)–certainly know how to keep it musically moving in all directions.

Just ask their many legions of fans who’ve followed these fine music gentlemen since their plugged in debut almost a decade ago. Tonight, their Philly fans are certainly in for in a treat when they put it all on display at The Fillmore for a show that’s guaranteed to be a truly rockin’ good time. However, this evening’s X Ambassadors affair is someone of a special night for the guys the as it marks the first official U.S. stop for their latest road venture, The Joyful Tour (it officially kicked off in Montreal last night), in support of their soon-to-be released set, Joyful, which will be dominating headphones across the globe later this spring. 

But what it really comes down to when it concerns X Ambassadors is that they’re simply ready to straight up give it to all of their fans with their upcoming tour and what better place to light it all up other than in Philly, right? Absolutely.

Before they own The Fillmore tonight, they were gracious enough to stop by Philly Mixtape for a spot of music tea, breaking mugs about what fans can expect from their latest stage spectacles, their words of wisdom for all aspiring musicians and whether or not they’ll be able to check out Philly while they’re here. 

Hint–they will…..so, read on and get to know X Ambassadors below.

Oh, and go see them on The Joyful Tour this spring in your city! 

Hey guys, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with Philly Mixtape. First up, how have you been feeling leading up to the big tour kick off? A lot of the dates are already sold out, so it must feel pretty awesome. Feeling good! We had like a month off for the holidays, so we’re all itching to get back in front of our fans. To know that a lot have already sold out is pretty amazing too.

What can fans expect from your upcoming shows? We’re so excited to be playing a bunch of NEW material for our fans… songs from our upcoming album that haven’t been released yet, in addition to the couple that have already come out.

Which musical artists inspire you guys the most? Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Mavis Staples and Drake.

Any pre-show rituals you do before hitting the stage? SH-I always warm up my voice for about 45 minutes, then I use a steam inhaler for about him 20 minutes, then pick out an outfit, then hit stage. I’m pretty regimented when I’m on tour.

Are you guys going to be able to check out Philly while you’re in town? We love Philly so much. We always stop by Tony Luke’s– we’d always stop there on our way back to Brooklyn when we were touring in our van & trailer– and I personally love to run up the Rocky stairs. I don’t know how much time we’ll have to explore while we’re in town, but hopefully we will.

Lastly, what words of advice would you guys to any aspiring musician in this crazy world right now? Whatever you do– don’t stop. Perseverance is key. And never forget that, as the artist, you have all the power. This is a very tricky industry to navigate and there will be a lot of people who will pretend like they know what’s best for you… but no one is going to be as passionate, or know what’s best for you and your career, than YOU.

For much, much more with X Ambassadors, get down with their official website right here. 

Cover photo courtesy of AXS.com 

 

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Happy Singles Awareness Day!

Today is Valentine’s Day! 

And of course as everyone and their Hallmark mother knows that when it comes to the love game of sexy Cupid (right, Ms. Gaga?), it can certainly go many, many different ways. 

For all the lovers out there, it’s a day filled with red roses, most likely followed by an evening filled with wining, dining and some good ol’ fashioned boots knockin.’

For others, it’s a day when, um, dating apps like Tinder, Scruff and Grindr will be on in full force in hopes of baggin’ up as much of that V-Day booty as humanly possible.

And then….sigh…..for a select unfortunate sad few out there, Valentine’s Day is the worst fucking day of the year because you think of your ex and how could they do that to you and now they’re with her/him and all you want is some brownie batter and/or cookie dough with Courtney Love and Alanis Morissette on full fucking blast. 

You oughta know, indeed. 

However, if there’s one group out there who doesn’t get the appreciation they deserve on this sacred day of love, it’s those who are single by fabulous choice and for them, today is just another day, or as we shall officially call it….Singles Awareness Day

So, to those of you out there who are just doin’ you and don’t need a man/lovely lady by your side to get yours in this life, but you’re confident as fuck and know the right one will eventually come along and you just want to live it up and be free……then these anthems are just for you. 

Who needs Cupid, anyway? 

Pussycat Dolls/”I Don’t Need a Man”    Just do you, boo…it’s the only way. 

Beyonce/”Single Ladies(Put a Ring on It)”  “Oh, oh, oh, Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, Oh, oh, oh.” No further statements. 

Demi Lovato/”Confident” Because what’s wrong with being confident, bitch? Just sayin.’ 

Jason Derulo/”Ridin’ Solo”   The only way to be…now get out there and own it. 

Destiny’s Child/”Independent Women(Part 1)”   Gurl, who knew you could get down like that on Singles Awareness Day? Everyone. 

Destiny’s Child/”Independent Women(Part 2)”  Keep gettin’ down, gurl. 

Usher/’U Don’t Have to Call”    Nah, we don’t need ya ’cause we out here on the floor gettin’ ours. 

TLC/”No Scrubs”  Ewwwwww….gross. 

Snoop Dogg/Bruno Mars/Wiz Khalifa/’Young, Wild & Free”   Let’s party. 

Natasha Bedingfield/”Single”  Hey there, Ms. Bedingfield, it’s certainly nice to hear from you again..especially today. 

Mary J. Blige/”Real Love”   Because it’s all business when it comes to searchin’ for that Ms. Blige style real love. But until then, let’s all live it up in the name of Cupid and of course, copy every god damn classic dance move from this video. 

And then let’s dance some more and be free. 

Happy Singles Awareness Day! 

 

Oh, and this. 

 

 

 

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60th Annual Grammy Awards Predictions

Last year we had Adele vs. Beyonce………..and this year we have Jay Z vs. Kendrick…and Bruno, too! 

Yes, in just a short while, the 60th annual Grammy Awards will be singing their way into our lives…and this year is shaping up to be quite a spectacle.

Besides seeing how many trophies Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z will be making room for on their mantle places from their respective eight and nine nominations each (in pretty much the same categories..see below), we’ll also get to find out if Ms. Kesha will take home her very first Grammy and just which red-hot music diva will take home the Best New Artist trophy….Alessia Cara? Julia Michaels? SZA? Only tonight will tell. 

Your host with the most English Breakfast tea sipping sass this evening will once again be the fabulous James Corden, but with the true scene stealer being the backdrop of New York City as music’s biggest night is returning to the Big Apple for the first time in fifteen years by giving it all to us live from Madison Square Garden. 

Oh, and yaaas….there’s also a ton of performances along the way tonight including Jon Batiste, Gary Clark Jr., Eric Church, Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, DJ Khaled, Rihanna, Bryson Tiller, Elton John and Miley Cyrus, Kendrick Lamar, Little Big Town, Lady Gaga, Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid, Patti Lupone, Bruno Mars, Cardi B, Pink, Sam Smith, Chris Stapleton, Emmylou Harris, Sting U2 and Ms. SZA. 

And of course, because you’ve asked for it, Kesha will be hitting the stage with Camila Cabello, Cyndi Lauper, Julia Michaels and Andra Day for a rendition of “Praying” that we already know we’re going to be living for. Only at the Grammys, kids. Let’s do it. 

And your nominees and boldly predicted winners for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards are….

Record of the Year

“Redbone”-Childish Gambino-Will Win? 
“Despacito”-Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber-Will Win? 
“HUMBLE.”-Kendrick Lamar-Will Win? 
“The Story of O.J.”-JAY-Z
“24K Magic”-Bruno Mars

This one is a tough one as Childish Gambino might pull the upset. But the one to least worry is Mars as he’ll no doubt be grabbing Song of the Year trophy for “That’s What I Like. Jay and Kendrick might cancel each other out this one, with the massive “Despacito” taking home the crown. But then again…this is the Grammys we’re talking about here so you truly never know with this category. 

Album of the Year 

Awaken My Love -Childish Gambino
4:44-JAY-Z-Will Win
DAMN-Kendrick Lamar-Will Win
Melodrama-Lorde
24K Magic-Bruno Mars

The good news is that either Jay or Kendrick will win this one…but who? Our money goes to Jay who not only delivered us with a powerful, relevant record, but a Grammy win would further prove that the legendary HOV just can’t be stopped. 

Best New Artist

Alessia Cara-Might Win 
Khalid
Lil Uzi Vert
Julia Michaels-Might Win 
SZA –Yas 

While it’s easy to hand the trophy over to gigantic songwriter-turned-pop diva Ms. Michaels (and maybe, just maybe, Ms. Cara?), sizzlin’ SZA is the one to beat in this category as RiRi’s “Consideration” bestie is just everywhere right now…let’s hope it stays this way because ya know, this category. Isn’t that right, Xtina? Sigh….

Song of the Year

“Despacito” — written by Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi and Marty James Garton (Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber)
“4:44” — Shawn Carter and Dion Wilson (JAY-Z)
“Issues” — written by Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels and Justin Drew Tranter (Julia Michaels)
“1-800-273-8255” — written by Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury, Khalid Robinson (Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid)
“That’s What I Like” — written by Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip (Bruno Mars) *-YEP.

All tea, no shade, but the other four nominees just don’t stand a chance when it comes to just how obsessed the Grammys are with Bruno Mars. Place your multi-million dollar bets, kids. 

Rap Performance

“Bounce Back”-Big Sean
“Bodak Yellow” -Cardi B-Will Absolutely Win 
“4:44”-JAY-Z
“Humble.”-Kendrick Lamar
“Bad and Boujee” -Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert

Since J and K will definitely be winning win or two trophies in their other respective categories, this one is all wrapped up in Cardi B since we’re all still bobbin’ to ‘Bodak Yellow.” Besides, this makes up for the fact that she wasn’t f@#king nominated for Best New Artist….seriously, doe…

Best Rap Album 

4:44-JAY-Z-Will Win if Kendrick win’s Album of the Year 
DAMN.-Kendrick Lamar-Will Win if Jay Z Wins Album of the Year 
Culture- Migos
Laila’s Wisdom-Rapsody
Flower Boy-Tyler, the Creator

No further statements. 

Pop Solo Performance 

“Love So Soft”-Kelly Clarkson
“Praying”-Kesha–Will Absolutely Win 
“Million Reasons”-Lady Gaga
“What About Us”-Pink
“Shape of You”-Ed Sheeran

Congratulations on your very first Grammy, Ms. Kesha. Besides the other four artists on this list already have plenty  atop their mantles and you absolutely deserve it after fabulously emerging from the evil spell of that POS. Yes, gurl.

Rap/Sung Performance

“Prblms” — 6lack
“Crew” — Goldlink featuring Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy
“Family Feud” — JAY-Z featuring Beyoncé*–Will Absolutely Win 
“Loyalty.” — Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna–maybe? 
“Love Galore” — SZA featuring Travis Scott–Although…..

A no brainer since the Grammys always favors a Jay and Bey duet. Although keep yours ears out for a Kendrick sneak and possibly Ms. SZA as signs are pointing in her favor to be the newest Grammy Queen…hey, there’s always one….

Best Pop Vocal Album 

Kaleidoscope EP — Coldplay-No
Lust for Life — Lana Del Rey-Not quite
Evolve — Imagine Dragons-possible
Rainbow — Kesha-even more possible
Joanne — Lady Gaga-but yes
÷ (Divide) — Ed Sheeran-and yes? 

Deciding the clear winner on this one is a more complicated than Avril, but if we had to pick one….Lady Gaga for the brilliant career reinvention that was Joanne much like the reason Madonna won in ’99 for ‘Ray of Light?” Although you have to admit….Sheeran’s “Shape of You” is the sh@t from an album that is equally suitable for the win. Maybe Kesha for the tie then? Guess we’ll find out tonight…

Country Song

“Better Man”-Taylor Swift, songwriter (Little Big Town)Will Win because Reputation wasn’t eligible to be nominated this year and she has to win, like something 
“Body Like a Back Road”-Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Sam Hunt)
“Broken Halos”- Mike Henderson & Chris Stapleton, songwriters (Chris Stapleton)
“Drinkin’ Problem”-Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne & Mark Wystrach, songwriters (Midland)
“Tin Man”-Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert & Jon Randall, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)

For much more Grammy goodies, check this out and then tune in tonight at 8 p.m on CBS! 

Cover photo courtesy of CNET