Black Coffee throws scerene drums and melody at 2000’s R&B chart dominator Usher, in an infectious new after hours groove titled, “LaLaLa,” landing on Ultra Records. This is the first single from the South African producer since his 2018 track “Wish You Were Here,” and similarly Usher’s first offering of 2019.
“La La La,” carried by plucks and twirling air, is guided nicely towards a familiar, soothing pop-inspired backdrop. Then, joined with a vibrant afrobeat appeal, the track comes together to make for a sensual dance between voice and rhythm. Swinging percussion elements accent the track’s crooning vocals as the chemistry seems effortless between Usher and Coffee.
After skipping the 2019 iteration of the festival, Florida’s beloved Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival (OMF) will return in 2020 to Sunshine Grove. Soundslinger, the founders of OMF, have partnered with North American festival leader Insomniac to bring the destination multi-genre music and camping event back to its picturesque home on March 5-8, 2020.
Okeechobee is known for its eclectic festival lineups, which have included artists like Travis Scott, Usher, and Khalid all of the way to ODESZA, Skrillex, and Kings of Leon in the past. In addition to OMF’s three main stages—Be, Here, and Now—dance music fans will gravitate once again toward Jungle 51, a dusk-’til-dawn dance party nestled in the heart of the jungle that has hosted some of the biggest names in house and techno in recent years.
During the day, OMF attendees will again be able to experience Aquachobee Beach, situated in the scenic background where Sunshine Grove’s jungle meets the white sand beach, that will give Okeechobee-goers the chance to catch daytime live music sets while swimming and sunbathing.
Passes are on sale for all ticket and camping types beginning Aug. 23 at 10 a.m. ET here. The festival has released a video to get fans excited for the 2020 edition of the event, which potential festival-goers can view below.
Recently, in Stereogum‘s cover story on the artist, Daniel Lopatin explained that Usher came to an Anohni show, who Lopatin had been working with at the time, and complimented a two-minute noise interlude that Lopatin had written, even going so far as to say that was he wanted his next album to sound just like that. Unfortunately, Usher — and arguably mainstream pop music at large, save for a few figureheads like SOPHIE, Let’s Eat Grandma, etc. — has yet to embrace experimental noise, so the artist never used Lopatin’s work — though it eventually went on to become Age Of‘s”The Station.”
Recently, in a note on Twitter, Lopatin resurfaced the original demo and gave some background on its creation. “In 2016 I was on tour with Anohni and wrote a demo then called ‘dejavu’ in a hotel room in London,” he goes to say. “This song became the record ‘The Station.’ The topline which was written for Usher is insinuated with the right handmelody. The final version of the song has a much different topline and a loopy coda that’s kind of a metaphor for train tracks. In 2016 it was just some nice chords and melody.”
Recent converts to electronic music in the last few years may not realize exactly what has transpired in the last half decade or so. The short of it is essentially a massive worldwide overhaul in dance music’s popularity — one that happened seemingly overnight. Dance music completely transformed from a historically underground network to a colossal entertainment subset that’s raking in nearly $10 billion globally every year, and growing. On a cosmic scale, it all happened in a snap, but a new documentary, What We Started, aims to dive deep into dance music history over the last 30 years and examine exactly how we got to where we are today.
What We Started is set to bow in Miami on March 22, followed by a New York premiere the next day, and finally show on March 29 in Los Angeles. The new feature, co-directed by Bert Marcus and Cyrus Saidi, offers in-depth interviews with industry pioneers including Carl Cox, Tiësto, Moby, and Pete Tong, juxtaposed by the trajectory of bright new torch-carriers like Martin Garrix and discussions with frequent dance music contributors like Ed Sheeran and Usher.
Stitched together by archived footage from the rave scenes of the 1980’s and 90’s, What We Started may provide an important history lesson with informed look back at where this all came from, and perhaps a hopeful look at where we might be going from here.