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Forgot About Friday/Donna Lewis

Feels like…..

……the raspy-yet-oh,so-angelic voice of the late ’90s wonder that will always be raptured in Donna Lewis never left us whenever we press aaah on her life-defying Billboard chart owning smash, “I Love You Always Forever.” 

And that keyboard owned middle breakdown? Bitch still betta werk our CD Maxi-Single‘d existences. 

Sorry, there’s just no sugar-coating it when it comes to a full year of forgotten about music memories that still take over our lives….much like the memories of Ms. Donna still indeed do. 

So, let’s begin to serve out the 2019 Forgot About Friday music truth, shall we? And this year’s journey (let’s face it, the list is already complete…right, Tweet, Ft. Minor, Akon, and Ms. Sophie B Hawkins?) all begins with a late ’90s rasp that we all fell in love with and will never forget. 

Born in Cardiff, Wales, Ms. Lewis was not only gifted with that voice, but with a strong musical background as her jazz pianist father got her into taking piano lessons at age six. While in high school, Lewis further owned her craft, giving her try-and succeeding in–writing a pop tune or twelve. Soon, the future soul snatching diva would earn her music degree from the Welsh College of Music and Drama, where had majored in classical composition for piano and flute. 

Just think…that is all most likely where that fabulous “Forever” breakdown got its first pearl clutching notes…yes

But of course, it was that voice again that sparked everyone’s heartbeats-and-eardums, and by the late ’90s, the future “Love” owner developed a loyal fan base and begun recording demos of her songs in her home studio. It wasn’t long before a demo of “I Love You Always Forever” caught the upright attention of Atlantic Records chairman Doug Morris, who purportedly flew Lewis to New York for an audition and quickly signed her to the label…and the rest is pure Now in a Minute history. 

Catapulting right into our late-summer–of-’96 lives (you remember), Lewis’ lead single was a Billboard bulldozing number two smash, where it would go on to spend nine weeks in the runner-up position.

So, what other monster single was keeping Donna from the top, you ask? A little dance ditty diva named “Macarena.” Oh, the ’90s…what bliss. 

But still….we lived for “Love,” and Minute album sales only further continued to rise when the equally dreamy, “Without Love” stormed the charts, eventually landing at number twenty-four. 

And let’s not leave out Lewis’ heavenly single release the following year, ‘”At the Beginning,” which was not just inspired by the Disney classic, Anastasia, but featured the one, the only, Mr. Richard Marx….priceless. 

And the moment when Donna Lewis met Donna Martin on a very, very special episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, well, it may be second to Color Me Badd as being one of the best television episodes of all time. Take a seat, Friends…because this 90210 montage is speaking. 

Of course, the late ’90s were nothing like they actually seemed, and Lewis had a bit of a struggle with the charts when her follow-up record, 1998’s Blue Planet, wasn’t the sophomore success (electronica, though?) any of us were hoping for. Although the single, “Love Him ” did turn out to be a moderate Billboard dance hit, but soon, all of us came to realize that we forgot about Donna….nah, never. 

The ’90s pop goddess did serve out a handful of records in the early ’00s, but none could ever take her back to the lightning-in-a-bottle that was instilled in her debut record, Now in a Minute, and its still ridiculously heavenly lead offering, “I Love You Always Forever.” 

And it’s a music memory that we’ll all love always and forever, and one we shall never, ever forget. 

Cover photo courtesy of the still epic video for “I Love You Always Forever” 

For much more forgotten about music memories all year long, throw it back to Philly Mixtape right here and here

 

 

 

 

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Table Talk w/Marti Gould Cummings

Stunning………fierce drag diva…….political activist…….hilarious comedian…..loving husband…..trailblazer…..pioneer and….yes, bitch……this year’s rightful snatcher of the Entertainer of the Year Award at this past Monday night’s Glam Awards in New York City

Yes, kids, kweens, guys and gals from the all around the just-be-who-you-be globe, these are just some of the many, many accomplishments acquired on the local drag and-then-some resume of not just one of the hardest working queens in NYC…..but of the whole entire country, Marti Gould Cummings

But perhaps Ms. Cummings greatest accomplishment is that voice.

And it’s not just a voice that knows how to slay a jazzed up rendition of a Brit Brit classic (keep spilling), but a voice that has reached across the political world and has inspired others to be who you are and to be heard like nobody’s f@@king business…and she’s certainly doing one hell of a fabulous job.

Of course, it’s all while slaying our drag entertainment lives at the same time. 

Ms. Cummings was also ridiculously kind enough to show a little NYC-to-Philly love and took time out of her slaying schedule to spill some tea with Philly Mixtape, where the two of us sat around the table and read tea leaves about humble beginnings, The Glam Awards, where this is all heading, and just why, oh, why it’s just so important for you (yes, you) to keep finding that voice and let it reach from beyond the distance….

…….because that’s exactly what she’s doing for all of us. So, take a seat, take a sip, and get to know this extraordinary East Coast owning talent…you’ll certainly be glad you did. 

Kicking off our spill, and first, I personally appreciate you showing a little NYC-to-Philly love on the site! Okay, so….how did the fabulous world of Marti Gould Cummings all come to be?  Oh, gurl…it all started on a farm in Maryland and then I landed in NYC right out of high school. I accidentally fell into drag and it changed my life! 

Let’s break some fine mugs about The Glam Awards in NYC that were held and served this past Monday night……….condragulations on taking home the Entertainer of the Year Award! Spill on just how was the show in all of its fabulousness…..and what went through your mind when you heard your name called? The show was lit! It was so major having bob the drag queen and peppermint there as host. I loved getting to see so many from our community gathered in one space. The performances slayed and showed how powerful and diverse NYC nightlife is. When my name was called I felt a wave of joy through my entire body. It was an overwhelming moment of gratitude. 

The last part of your acceptance speech was very heart warming and moved this butch kween to a tear or twelve. –thank you. Without my damn self ruining its magic, send that message for the kids about the powerful words you served… I spoke about a moment of going to my home town in drag and meeting young people there who are coming to terms with their own identity as queer.  We never know the impact of our drag. Drag is powerful and important.

Okay, gurl, let’s gab about Andy Cohen. You’ve been to the Clubhouse for WWHL …and I just have to know….is it big? The studio, I mean, well, maybe….spill your tales of Ms. Andy….It is actually a very,very small room but looks big on TV! It’s always a lot of fun being there. Getting to be on TV with Goldie Hawn and Carol Burnett was insane and wild!

And then there was a video of you I saw of you werkin’ those vocals out to a jazzed up version of “Oops..I Did it Again,” if I’m not mistaken? What was going on there?  At the beginning of January,  I was performing at Lincoln center as part of the Big Apple circus series they were doing with queer artist. My husband, Mr. Blake Allen, arranged all of the music and conducted the band! 

Okay, onto a serious sip..and it’s all about owning your voice, and you certainly do. Why is it so important for not just you, but for everyone to be heard?  I always say the election may be over, but the revolution has just begun. We must stay loud and visible and not allow history to repeat itself.

Do you think we’ll ever get the fuck out of this..mess?  I think the young people will safe our nation and world.

What else is on your 2019 agenda this year? I can imagine…everythang.  Oh God, stay tuned! 

Sum up your 2019 ambitions and goals in one word or sassy little phrase….   Be booked, blessed, beautiful and don’t be afraid to speak out! 

One last sip….when are you coming to Philly? I hope soon! 

Cover photo courtesy of Ms. Marti Gould Cummings

For much more with Marti, sashay on over to her website and Insta pages right here and here! 

And for much more shenanigans like this all year-long and beyond, follow Philly Mixtape right here and here

 

 

 

 

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Rewerk Wednesday/R3hab

Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, (“Work!!”), Bruno Mars, Calvin Harris, Halsey, Dan + Shay, Lady Gaga. 

Those are just a few of the many names that EDM producer DJ Fadil El Ghoul–otherwise by his stage and world tour dominating name, R3hab--whose original tracks mixed, mashed and serve our feet with all to move on the dance floor of life….

……and this Saturday, he’s about to do all of that and so much more when he takes over Haven Nightclub in Atlantic City in the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. 

Jumpstarting his career in 2008 producing the tracks, “Mrkrstft” and “Blue Magic” alongside fellow DJ Hardwell, R3hab would eventually link up with Afrojack in 2011 on “Aces High (Prutata), and it was pretty much thanks to that trio of monster club hits that he would come to werk with all of those names listed above.

And when it comes to his slay alongside Aussie DJ Diva Havana Brown on the ever-so-classic, “Big Banana?” Fucking priceless. 

Over the years, R3hab certainly been a master of his own material releasing several records on Afrojack’s Wall Recordings label, but it was his later partnership with Spinnin’ Records that would not just lead him to his own weekly radio show on SiriusXM, but also a handful of International Dance Music Awards that led R3hab even greater stateside notoriety. 

These days, El Ghoul continues to be a dominating force on the festival circuit (hey there, Coachella) and will no doubt continue to own our fist pumpin’ lives forever. For much more with this globally dominating DJ, you must dive into his latest record, The Wave, right here and his 2017 set, Trouble, here, as well as on this playlist of rewerks below. 

And going to witness him take over Atlantic City this weekend wouldn’t hurt either, if it does, you know it would only be the good kind of pain brought on by the one-and-only, R3hab

For much more local entertainments goings on this year and beyond, be sure to hit the floor like J,Lo with Philly Mixtape right here and here

Cover photo courtesy of thehive.asia