Timeflies – More Than Just Youtube Famous

I’ve talked before about youtube being the greatest place to find new artists. With youtube you can make a song and a video and share it with the world and if it’s good people will pick up on it and share it with others. With the duo Timeflies they have been building an audience of subscribers for the last couple years that tune into their weekly, Tuesday released videos titled, Timeflies Tuesday. Most of the videos are covers of popular songs and many generate over a million views. With this popularity the question is can they harness that popularity into mainstream success with original music?

Judging from their recent track, Swoon, I would say that yes they have the talent to break out beyond youtube fame. The duo is made up of New York natives Rob Resnick (producer) and Cal Shapiro (vocalist). They are both white, Jewish Americans and their music can be described as hip hop with electronic influence.

So what can we expect from Timeflies in 2013? Well last month they partnered with Island Def Jam records to create their own label called Forty8Fifty. With this new label they plan on releasing another full length album this year.

Please listen to some Timeflies and tell me what you think. Are they a sick new music artist and are you looking forward to hearing more new music from them or do you think this duo should stick to the weekly videos on Youtube?


TIMES ARE CHANGING- The YouTube Effect

So I’ve been keeping an eye on the Billboard Hot 100 to see how many weeks Macklemore could stay at #1 and I was surprised to see a new #1 song this week. Before I go into the new #1 I have to explain a change that was made this last week that impacts how they determine the Billboard rankings. The Billboard charts have been around for over 50 years and many factors go into determining which song ranks where (sales, airplay, etc.) This last week, however, a new factor was added to the criteria, YouTube streaming data. It just so happens that this new addition had a huge role in the fate of the #1 spot this week. Macklemore  and Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Shop was bumped to #2 by none other than Baauer with the viral sensation, “Harlem Shake”.

You would be living under a rock if you haven’t seen one of these Harlem Shake videos and maybe you’ve even participated in one. Since every one of those home-made videos uses Baauer’s track, all of those millions of video plays count toward his Billboard ranking. The thing you need to know about the song by Baauer is that the track was released last June and didn’t crack the top 100 ever until this week, from nowhere to #1.

The reason I’m bringing this up is that, I think, it signals a huge shift in how we get our music and how we separate the good from the bad. For new and up-coming artists this is a very good thing. We saw in the last few weeks that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis could have the #1 song for 4 straight weeks and they made it happen without a record label, by producing their album, The Heist, independently and shooting all of their music videos on their own dime. What I see is that all of the walls are coming down and anybody who wants to be heard can be heard. We live in an amazing time where you can make your own music and share it on the internet and reach millions of people without jumping through the hoops you used to have to just to make your music available.

For Baauer it was about a video trend helping his song to be at the right place at the right time. Does that make Baauer an amazing artist? I don’t think so. Music isn’t always about just being good, it’s about being good at the right time. Will Baauer have another hit? I’m pretty confident in saying no. The same can be said for Psy’s Gangnam Style. It was just the right time for that specific song and the odds of another hit are not very likely. To think of it another way, let’s imagine that Skrillex was born in the 1960s and put out Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites in the 1980s, Can you imagine what the reaction would have been to that kind of sound at that time. If you can’t imagine it all you need to do is play it for a parent or grandparent and watch their face. Music has to be good and it has to fit the time.

With YouTube, iTunes, and the internet in general anybody can do it. If you are a musician, or want to be a musician, hopefully you realize how lucky you are and take advantage of all the opportunities available to put yourself out there. If it doesn’t happen right away just keep working on getting better and building a fan-base. People like us are listening and waiting to tell as many people as possible about you. Baauer might have felt discouraged after he released a song last June that wasn’t a hit. Now that song is the #1 song in the country and the whole world is dancing to it. It could happen to you or it could happen to someone you know so keep working hard and supporting artists who put themselves out there.

Please comment with your thoughts on this post and the future of music. Below is a compilation of some of the best Harlem Shake videos and also the video for the full Baauer track if you want to hear more than just the 30 seconds that made it popular.


 

Hoodie Allen- WATCH THIS KID BLOW UP!!!

I had been meaning to write about Hoodie after having his track, No Interruption, on repeat and then I heard his new track with Chiddy Bang called Fame is for Assholes and figured I better write something before this kid really blows up.

Let me start by saying that this guy is a white rapper. That raises a red flag for some and rightfully so. It’s a thin line that white guys who want to rap have to walk. They have to straddle a line of  not being corny white without pretending to be black. The secret to doing this is ultimately being talented and being yourself. Eminem is a great example of how to do it right, but more recently Macklemore has shown how to succeed by being real and working hard.

Hoodie Allen is someone that needs to be watched. The music is a mix of hip hop and pop that I think I’m going to have to start calling hip-pop. It’s fun, it’s catchy, and the rhymes are clever. If you love hard-core gangsta rap then you probably won’t enjoy Hoodie, but if you like artists like Drake or Macklemore that do a combination also do a combination of hip-hop and pop you will probably enjoy Hoodie Allen.

The track that I like best is “No Interruption” mostly because it has a sick beat, he references Workaholics, and it’s just super catchy.Check out the video below. I also posted the new video that came out this last week for Fame is For Assholes by Hoodie Allen featuring Chiddy Bang.

Let me know in the comments section if you like Hoodie Allen or if you just aren’t feeling his music.


 

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – 4 WEEKS AT #1!!

UPDATE 2/14- 4 WEEKS AT #1….. OFFICIALLY A HIT!!
UPDATE 2/13- 3 WEEKS AT #1 NOW! CONGRATULATIONS GUYS!

Okay, so Macklemore and Ryan Lewis usually would be the type of artist that is too mainstream to write about on this website, but I can’t help but give them a shout because I am so excited for their success. Their song, Thrift Shop, has been #1 on the Billboard Charts for 2 weeks straight now and I think it’s a really special achievement from 2 very special dudes.

The reason it’s special for me is that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are from Seattle, like me. Aside from the fact that I had been listening to them for a while what I really like about their success is that Seattle and the Northwest haven’t had any real commercial or radio success in hip hop since the days of Sir Mix-Lot with Baby Got Back… and that was a long time ago. So for the last, almost 20 years, I’ve been watching new hip hop acts putting Houston, Chicago, Miami, etc.. on the map with breakout artists and now Seattle has an artist that they can claim to represent the Northwest.

What also makes these two so special and worth writing about is that they produced their album independently. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you really look I think you will be hard pressed to find many other artists who produce their own album and have the #1 song in the country. These two have been working so hard for the last few years and it shows in everything they do. To create their latest album, The Heist, they rented out a small studio space and put in long hours to reach their goals. Most of the featured artists on their album come from the Seattle area as well. I was reading that the featured singer, Wanz, on the track Thrift Shop, was a local software test engineer before jumping on the track when the boys said they needed someone with a smooth, Nate Dogg esque, sound.

If you love or hate Thrift Shop you gotta hear more from these two. They have two sides to them. If you want to hear their more sensitive side please check out the track, Same Love, if you haven’t already. If you like the fun, party feel, of Thrift Shop, then you have to check out, And We Danced.

My fear is that people might disregard Thrift Shop as a “One Hit Wonder”, but I assure you this is only the beginning and even if you don’t like these two I have a good feeling we will be hearing more of them in the future.


Laurent Wery Feat. Swiftkid – Hey Hey Hey – Official Video – Swiftkid’s

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1hHKyXecCs&feature=relmfu

 

Click Here!!

Another veriosn with Dev! New Video (read more link belowfor the video)

Laurent Wery feat. Swift K.I.D’s ‘Hey Hey Hey’ has been buzzing around for over one year. UK-label One More Tune (Warner) has picked the tune up and has produced a new version with extra vocals by Dev

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r74uRo3LU0