Little Mix

Since 2011 Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall have established themselves as one of British pop’s brightest acts. You'll be pleased to hear their new album ‘Glory Days’, led by the glorious and cheeky lead single 'Shout Out To My Ex', is only going to make this fact even more glaringly obvious. 

Signature hits including ‘Move’, ‘Wings’ and ‘Black Magic’ - the latter becoming their third UK chart-topper, stubbornly spending three weeks at the top last summer - have helped the Number One-selling girlband score over half a billion YouTube and Vevo views worldwide, alongside massive tours of the UK, Australia, Japan and the US – where their debut album smashed a record the Spice Girls held for almost two decades. 

In many ways, however, it was their third album, 2015's 'Get Weird', that was the real turning point. Released in the hugely competitive month of November it crashed into the chart at Number 2, spent the rest of that year in the Top Ten and by August 2016 had become the biggest-selling album of their careers. Even now it's currently nestled happily in the Top Ten selling albums of 2016, outselling the likes of One Direction, Sia and Rihanna. Rather than seeing their careers plateau or start to diminish with each album, Little Mix are revelling in bucking the trends of the more typical pop acts. 

Bolstered by the retro loveliness of 'Love Me Like You', the heart-rending ballad 'Secret Love Song' and a re-worked version of anti-dickhead anthem 'Hair' featuring actual legend Sean Paul, it's an album that cemented the band's confidence in their own sound. Its ridiculous success also meant they could head out on yet another arena tour, this time playing an incredible 60 shows across Europe (including another two sold out dates at London's O2 arena), Australia and Asia, and selling over 500k tickets. 

But what of the present? How does the world's biggest girl group maintain that status? If their new album is anything to go by it's by pouring their emotions into gargantuan pop songs that sparkle and snap in all the right places. Effervescent lead single 'Shoutout To My Ex' is a knowing, yet perfectly pitched, kiss-off that turns their experience of heartbreak into pure pop gold with a chorus that could crush buildings. 'FU' and 'Nobody Like You', meanwhile, continue their trend for vocally magnificent ballads, with the latter plucking on the heartstrings like a harp. Then there's 'Touch', a throbbing, thoroughly modern-sounding dance goliath that quite literally pulsates. 

Pop acts like Little Mix don't come along that often. Growing better and bolder with each new album, they understand the brilliance of pop music and how it relates to their passionate and loyal fanbase. Not interested in just chucking music out for the sake of it, their songs are personality-packed, carefree when they need to be and emotive at just the right moments. Hold on tight, things are about to go properly interstellar. 

 

Niall Horan

Niall Horan - Flicker

Flicker unveils a never-before-seen personal side of Horan” – Rolling Stone

 

Fresh from a US radio No.1 and an AMA nomination, Niall Horan releases his debut solo album 'Flicker'.

The 10 track album includes the global hits “This Town” and “Slow Hands” plus Niall's new single, “Too Much To Ask.” 

Other stand out tracks include the breezy mid tempo "On The Loose",  the beautiful "Seeing Blind" featuring country star Maren Morris and the deeply personal title track "Flicker".

Niall collaborated with producers Julian Bunetta, Jacquire King and Greg Kurstin to develop the distinctive sound he envisioned for the album.

 Niall says: "I wanted this album to be completely personal and the best way for me to get what I wanted out of the songs was to write them with friends. I’m very influenced by Americana, folk and country, and I wanted to make an album that’s based on these influences".

Apple Music’s latest short film, "On The Record: Flicker", offers an insight into Niall's creative process and this watershed moment in his career. Available exclusively on Apple Music, it features candid interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from recording sessions and acoustic rehearsals.

“This Town,” the album’s first single, has sold more than three million track equivalent units globally and combined streams now surpass 450 million worldwide. The follow-up,“Slow Hands,” went straight to No.1 in 44 countries. Named one of the “Best Songs of 2017 So Far” by Billboard, it topped the US Top 40 radio chart and has had more than 820 million combined streams worldwide. 

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Louis Tomlinson

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Fresh from his recent MTV EMA win for 'Best UK & Ireland Act', Louis Tomlinson today releases his brand new single 'Miss You'.

Louis will perform the song on TV for the first time this Saturday night on The X Factor finale in the UK.

'Miss You' is an bittersweet ode to partying away the pain of missing someone you love.  Louis wrote the song with longtime One Direction collaborator Julian Bunetta, and it is produced by Afterhrs.

Louis says: "I wrote this song about a time in my life when I was going out partying every night. In hindsight throughout that time I was pretty numb and just going through the motions. Deep down it was always in the back of my mind that what I really missed was the girl that I loved. It was important for me to write something really honest. "

Louis's recent single 'Back To You' featuring Bebe Rexha and Digital Farm Animals has been a global smash reaching No.1 in 37 countries, being streamed over 220 million times and selling over 1 million copies. 

Louis is currently recording his debut solo album, due for release in 2018.

 

RAYE

What do we expect from stars in 2017? Do we want head-spinning bangers, full of character and an indefinable swagger? Do we want them to showcase their songwriting chops on their own songs as well as knocking out some gold-plated hits for other people? Do we want them to lend their vocal talents to other people's songs to take them from a solid B+ to an all-out A*? In an ideal world, the answer to all of the above is yes.

Thankfully for the future of pop there's one new superstar-in-waiting that can do all of those things and more. Actually, thinking about it, she's already done all those things. That perfect popstar is RAYE, an 18-year-old South Londoner who's current CV includes two stellar EPs, a monstrous single in the shape of I, U, Us (co-written with Charli XCX), a writing credit on a future banger (Charli XCX's own After The Afterparty), a collaboration with Nas on the soundtrack to The Birth Of A Nation, features on huge tunes by the likes of Jonas Blue and Jax Jones, and a rib-rattling collaboration with UK rap ballbuster Stefflon Don on an off-the-cuff cover of Desiigner's Timmy Turner (RAYE also co-directed and edited the video). All this from someone who knows she has several absolute smashes up her immaculately designed sleeves (she's also got her own fashion label, don't you know) and is supporting Jess Glynne on her upcoming arena tour. “It sounds stupid but I want to be as big as I can be,” she states. “I want to be massive. I'm 18 and I'm just starting so let's go.”

In many ways RAYE's musicality was pre-determined. Her dad and granddad were both musical, the former playing keys in a band while both of them wrote songs. She'd also caught the songwriting bug from an early age, with piano lessons helping her formulate songs as she moved into double digits. “I started writing songs with my dad and we had a little mic and an interface to record stuff down. I have songs from when I was 10 singing about bullies in the playground and silly stuff.” Headstrong and determined, it was around this same time that RAYE decided she wanted to go to the Brit School. Of course she got in, but even before that – at the age of just 14 – she'd landed herself a manager. Once ensconced in such a creative environment, her songwriting talents flourished. “When I was at the Brit School I was doing recording sessions after school and on Saturday and Sundays. My first ever session was with Eg White [Adele, Florence & The Machine], which is mad.'

Itching to get started properly, she left the Brit School at the age of 16. More songwriting sessions followed, and while a career as a successful songwriter beckoned, RAYE knew she wanted to be an artist in her own right. She also knew she could offer up a different type of popstar to the ones she could see being successful. “I definitely always knew I wanted to be an artist. It's been a bit of a battle, more because of how you're supposed to look as an artist; skinny and conforming to how other pop stars are meant to be.'

Her instincts were quickly proven correct with the release of 2014's independently-funded Welcome To Winter EP, which housed Bet U Wish (over 1.8m Soundcloud plays) and Hotbox (half a million plays), the latter helping her secure a deal with Polydor after Olly Alexander from Years & Years told the head of the label it was his favourite song. 2016's Second EP, a brilliantly bolshy collection of in-you-face pop bangers centred on a dickhead boy, featured collaborations with Charli XCX (the aforementioned I, U, Us) and Stormzy (the low-slung defiance of Ambition). The steady shift in sound and a move towards something a bit more pop is all part of her masterplan. “I want to be a massive pop artist and I've always wanted to start in the right place so that's with the music I love. I've always wanted to do it in my own way, on my own terms.”

 

 

One Direction


It’s been five years since One Direction became third-place winners of The X Factor.

At that moment, the world fell in love with these ordinary boys who dreamt of becoming singers.

Since then, they’ve notched up 137 number ones, over 61 million sales worldwide, over 1 billion Spotify streams, 25 million Twitter followers and 38 million Facebook fans later - and the boys have succeeded in making their dream come true.

In November they released their fifth album, Made In The A.M. The one they say they are ‘most proud of’.

Their first album as a four piece comes at an exciting time for the band. Each of the 17 tracks featured on the Deluxe Edition came together with Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis at the helm. Countless hours were spent in studios all over the world while touring – and these are the 17 songs that best represent them.

“We are all incredibly proud of this album,” explains Niall. “We definitely believe this is our best yet and cannot wait to share it with all our amazing fans.”

To say One Direction is one of the hardest working bands in the industry is an understatement. A lot of sweat - and even some tears went into making this record.

‘[Harry’s] song was quite emotional for me to do,’ says Liam. ‘I may have shed one or two tears.’

Featuring on the album is yet another string of much loved collaborators, including Julian Bunetta, Ed Drewett, Jamie Scott, John Ryan, Wayne Hector and TMS  - a true testament to the boys’ place in the music world.

Lead single Drag Me Down went straight in at the top of the charts in the UK and 90 other countries. And as a special treat to fans, Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis have made album track Infinity available to download instantly while pre-ordering.

alice

Watch The Stunning Intro Video 'My Name Is alice' Here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=gl-joRBUP38

Pocket rocket pop newcomer alice is aiming high. We’re talking Madonna, Beyoncé and Lady GaGa levels of triple-threat superstardom, all on-point choreography, high-concept videos and attitude-laden vocals that aren’t afraid to belt. Bored of a modern pop landscape that’s rigid and way too-cool-for-school, alice is here to shake things up, with the help of some of pop’s biggest names: Max Martin’s right hand man Rami Yacoub; fellow Swede Carl Falk; Years & Years’ producer Mark Ralph; Katy Perry collaborator Bonnie McKee and Mozella, who penned Wrecking Ball. Alongside her every step of the way has been her songwriting mentor Kee Ingrosso, wife of Sebastian Ingrosso, and co-writer of J.Lo’s On The Floor among others. Not bad. If that’s not enough, she impressed will.i.am so much after a one off meeting on a night out that he’s become a mentor, helping kickstart a major label rush that was won by Virgin Records in the UK and Capitol Records in America. 

“I’m inspired by real entertainers,” she continues. “Those are the elements I grew up with. I love the old music videos where the choreography was so fierce and of such a high standard. I want full on choreography, theatrics, acting, and absolutely loving being a pop star. I'm also heavily influenced by old Hollywood glamour. I love that aesthetic, so there's always a nod to that too."

Visual intro video 'My Name Is Alice' comes with a video that screams superstar in big letters. “It's a visual introduction to me and welcoming you to my Alice world,” she says excitedly. So why is there a massive spider in it? “The spider is called ‘Baby A’, and the spider is the fierce side of me, because sometimes I can be a little bit shy or goofy, but when I'm ‘Baby A’ I can fight my demons and be a fierce woman who doesn't take any bullshit.” 

And that right there is alice’s M.O: a proper, multi-faceted pop star who can actually properly sing, dance and perform, who is as vulnerable as she is fierce. “I just love pop bangers that make you feel amazing and make you want to dance,” she says. You can’t say fairer than that really.