Pop is dead; meet the new pop. More »
Despite gifting fans earlier this year with a wide selection of music on 7, David Guetta has decided to adorn his fans with a follow up to one of the more prominent tracks from the project. This time, it’s a wild new video for his Bebe Rexha and J Balvin collaboration “Say My Name.” The newest landing is the fourth music video release for the French DJ’s seventh studio album, following “Don’t Leave Me Alone” with Anne-Marie, “Flames” with Sia, and “2U” with Justin Bieber.
Directed by Hannah Lux Davis, the video has all the makings of an underground jungle rave, with its outpour vibrant colors, exotic uniforms, and some palm tree-bound Iguanas and Toucans. The party appears to take place in several locations, including an empty, abandoned pool, and what can be perceived as a giant furnace burning behind Guetta and Balvin’s Throne Room.
Guetta’s two-sided 7 saw his darker, club-oriented sound from his more nascent production stages reborn alongside his modernized dance pop signature. 7 is his first album since Listen in 2014, with the former including features from Jason Derulo, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, and more.
Ekali‘s Crystal Eyes tour may have come to a close, but the producer is keeping busy with his very own Awakening Radio series. The most recent installment sees the swiftly-rising act hand selecting all of the tracks on Soundcloud that inspired him to start making music at the start of his career, showcasing his diverse range of influences in the process. It mix begins with a commanding rap track that falls into a delectable mix of hip-hop and other low-end music that culminated in Ekali’s artstic vision. Per the full tracklist he posted on Twitter, and it spans from Justin Bieber remixes to his own collaborations with Aywy.
Awakening Radio 004 – Soundcloud Nostalgia Edition. Airs Monday pic.twitter.com/5qNRZ3C2kL
— EKALI (@EkaliMusic) November 1, 2018
The name Ocasio derives from the Spanish “ocasión,” which means what you think it means: an occasion, a time. According to Ancestry.com, most people named Ocasio are Puerto Rican, in heritage if not in residence, and the word’s “meaning as a surname” is unclear. More »
We’re inching closer to Skrillex’s imminent return, and while his now-canonized debut LP, Recess, is nearing its fifth birthday, he’s carved out a Hall of Fame career since his momentous mainstream breakout. He’s become one of the most in-demand pop producers of the modern day, while managing to keep close to his post-hardcore roots, build on his electronic music legacy, and explore new sounds all at once. This year, in celebration of turning 30, Skrillex took a much-deserved year off, though a not-so-secret comeback is beginning to take shape, and signs suggest OWSLA’s head honcho could be primed to change the game all over again very soon.
In the meantime, label recruit JOYRYDE is snapping a shorter hiatus as well, linking up with the boss man for his upcoming album’s lead single — the long awaited “Agen Wida.” The pair more than deliver on their new joint effort, so to celebrate, Dancing Astronaut put together an additional 11 (unranked) Skrillex-assisted classics. See if your favorite Skrillex feature made the list below.
Mr. Oizo and Skrillex – End of the World
A few weeks after the release of his highly anticipated Rick Ross feature, “Purple Lamborghini” (not featured) for the ill-fated Suicide Squad soundtrack, Skrillex switched gears and went full experimental house with veteran French mastermind, Mr. Oizo on “End of the World.” Somewhere between cheeky setlist tool and thumping club cut, Mr. Oizo and Skrillex link up for a memorable house cut featured on Oizo’s 2016 LP, All Wet.
Skrillex & Habstrakt – Chicken Soup
Featured on OWSLA’s 2017 label compilation, HOWSLA, “Chicken Soup” finds Skrillex linked with French bass-house linchpin Habstrakt. The collaboration originally received a live debut during a surprise Skrillex set at Coachella’s DoLab and would eventually come to be one of the biggest tracks of the year. Skrillex’s house output often takes a backseat to some of his heavier studio hallmarks, but “Chicken Soup,” launched Skrillex towards a considerable club-leaning kick, and has since grown to be a fan favorite within a sprawling catalog of monstrous bass hits.
Hundred Waters – Show Me Love (Skrillex Remix) ft. Chance The Rapper
Taking on Hundred Waters’ 2014 standout from Moon Rang Like a Bell, Skrillex reunited with Chance the Rapper, the frequent to breathe new life into “Show Me Love,” with help from vocalists Moses Sumney and Robin Hannibal. The remix, which became Hundred Waters‘ most commercially lauded track to date also served as Skrillex’s directorial debut, crafting a feel-good adventure feature for the cameras, rounding off the remix effort with a perfectly complementary video for “Show Me Love.”
Justin Bieber – Sorry (prod. by Skrillex)
The unconventional nature of Skrillex and Justin Bieber’s creative partnership was perhaps what made the duo so enticing at first. But after a proven knack for crafting hits together, there’s no denying that when the two link up, they’re bound for radio-ready gold. Such was the case on the tropical chart-topper “Sorry” from Bieber’s inescapable Purpose. The album wound up being a massive commercial success and catapulted Skrillex to untouchable pop producer status alongside Bieber for a second time.
Yogi & Skrillex – Burial (feat. Pusha T, Moody Good, TrollPhace)
Undoubtedly one of the most memorable cuts from the entire OWSLA catalog, the boss man orchestrated a super-collaboration remix of Yogi‘s “Burial” that will probably never get old. It’s just too damn good. It has even become Arby’s unofficial theme song. The 2015 posse cut came after the Aftermath-championed production outfit had already collected remixes of the track from Moody Good and Trollphace. So mashing every rendition together with the additions of Skrillex, G.O.O.D. Music president Pusha T, and a cameo from Denis Rodman in the music video rounded this one out at full blockbuster status for the final product.
RL Grime, What So Not, Skrillex – Waiting
What So Not and RL Grime‘s “Tell Me” will always be remembered as the defining emblem of the year trap music took over the EDM zeitgeist. The track is still a hallmark in both producer’s catalogs, though after their first booming collaboration, the world needed a second. In fact, it was practically demanded. So when RL and his Aussie counterpart finally did link back up, they brought along Skrillex for “Waiting,” which became one of the most anticipated tracks of the year in 2016. The track played on the same bombastic trap theme from a few years before, and managed to recreate most of the magic from trap’s extended moment in the sun.
ZHU x Skrillex x THEY. – Working for It
Long before the Mind of a Genius roster was crushing the music world, Skrillex pulled up for “Working For It,” a now legendary posse cut with ZHU and THEY. handling vocal duties. The track combined ZHU’s twanging guitars and ludicrously crisp synth lines with signature Skrillex bass stabs. The result was a certified late-night ready club anthem that hits as hard on the thousandth play as it did on the first.
After striking Top 40 gold twice with Justin Bieber, and creating unique collaborations with artists ranging from K-pop heavyweight CL to Chance The Rapper on 2014’s Recess LP, Skrillex solidified a knack for bringing his productions into a featured vocalist’s unique world. 2017’s “Favor” is a prime example, as Skrillex and Vindata combine Jack Ü-inspired percussion with an lush instrumental that lets NSTASIA’s breezy lines float effortlessly on top.
Vic Mensa – No Chill (prod. by Jahlil Beats and Skrillex)
Roc Nation rapper Vic Mensa is joined by Jahlil Beats and Skrillex for a collaboration that was essentially the OWSLA head’s 2015 follow up to “Wild For The Night” with A$AP Rocky. Scratching the itch to make another repeat-worthy rap-meets-electronic anthem, Skrillex and Jahlil Beats proctor a cinematic trap beat for Mensa to deliver his bars over, that winds up being one of Skrillex’s more unique, albeit less hyped, features in the rap space to date. The final product was then turned over to Zane Lowe for his debut premiere on the newly launched Apple Music platform.
JAUZ and Skrillex – SQUAD OUT! ft. Fatman Scoop
Skrillex has a history of head-turning video concepts, though his animated joint with JAUZ for their Adult Swim Single “SQUAD OUT!” with Fatman Scoop may take the cake. The video is directed by Adult Swim veteran Adam Fuchs, whose credits previously included Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Ugly Americans for the network, as well as music videos for artists such as Flying Lotus and Neon Indian.
The video, unsurprising given its director, is an extension of Adult Swim’s trademark gonzo animation. It opens innocuously enough, with animated avatars of Skrillex and JAUZ riding an elevator. It doesn’t take long though, for things to get very weird. The collaboration was a standout to begin with, and the video made it even better.
The Game – El Chapo (prod. by Skrillex)
To assist on The Game’s The Documentary 2, a follow up LP to his debut solo project from a decade earlier, the OWSLA boss served a trunk-rattling dose of bombastic bravado on “El Chapo.” The Recess producer brought his half of the Escobar-ian swagger with a latin-flavored horn loop and shattering subs providing the perfect backdrop for The Game’s snarling bars. The cartel homage was a little harder than the previous rap features in Skrill’s repertoire, but on his joint with The Game, he proves he can undoubtedly run with the big dogs on “El Chapo.”
If you remember any scene from the trailer for Bradley Cooper’s new A Star Is Born remake, it is almost certainly the one in which Cooper’s character, declining roots-rock god Jackson Maine, calls from a car window to Lady Gaga’s aspiring singer, identified only as Ally. It’s a scene that’s appeared in all four(!) versions … More »
Every few years, a major national publication will publish an overview of the Christian music industry. This week, Kelefa Sanneh has a good one in The New Yorker. Sanneh’s history of Christian rock and pop begins way back in the 1950s, with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s advice-column exhortation that gospel and the devil’s … More »
There often comes a time in great artists’ careers when they have acquired a certain level of devoutness from fans that allows them to truly feel free from the confines of an appealing facade or obligation to appease. Three decades into his into his artistic journey, David Guetta surpassed that milestone many musical epochs ago. Yet, with his Big Beat-housed, double-sided 7 album, Guetta endeavors to show the world there is uncharted sonic terrain worthy of the trek.
The two-disc album is certainly indicative of the different hats Guetta has worn over the years, most broadly as a ubiquitous dance-pop deity and more recently, the reveal of less radio-ready stylings from his alter-ego, Jack Back. Disc-one is Guetta as the world knows him — in all his prophesied pop eminence. Riddled with weighty collaboration, the first side of the venerated French powerhouse’s new studio work features a slew of larger-than-life joint efforts, including his previously released, immaculately sung “Flames” with Sia, a reunion preceded by their sublimely successful 2011 smash, “Titanium.” Guetta seems to cover all his streamability bases in this first portion, enlisting equally exalted dance pop sharks like Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Martin Garrix on “Like I Do” and the Steve Aoki-assisted “Motto.” Guetta casts a wide net of appeal, following commercial counterparts like Major Lazer in sprinkling in some ever-so-timely Afro-pop, bolstered by the South African Black Coffee, on “Drive.”
Guetta’s recently unraveled side-project, Jack Back, drives home disc-two, which is comprised of groove-heavy, largely atmospheric tech-house. With winding, instrumental tracks like “Overtone” and “Afterglow,” it stands as an ambivalence-inducing paradox. On one hand, it represents the mainstream dance circuit’s acceptance of a more avant-garde product, of the scene’s most prominent figures’ willingness to deliver a raw, less-calculated extension of themselves. On the other — succeeding fellow icons like Calvin Harris, who recently announced he’d be receding back to his club-adept roots — this return to form can easily be construed as an overdue attempt to delineate oneself from the improbably saturated, monotonous sea of over-compressed bass drops. Tech-house, following progressive, future bass, and future house, takes its place among one of the most recent sub-genre crazes. The resurgence has been actualized by the likes of longtime devotees like Claude VonStroke, Carl Cox, and Green Velvet, who have been championing the jazzy, instrumental sound for decades. David Guetta plants his flag on side two. He’s earned the status to return to a less commercially viable aesthetic. What’s more, fans deserve something potentially more stimulating from such high-held superstars. Our palates are savvier than they were in 2010, and radio-ready blockbusters can only take an artist so far, and Guetta uses the back half of the gatefold to address that shift.
Yes, two years in the making, 7 is Guetta’s seventh studio album. But the French DJ/producer wears the number as a badge of continuity.
“7 is a magical number and represents a full cycle to me. When you’re just starting out as an artist you go step by step and it’s only positive energy; passion, love, challenges,” says Guetta. “…This is why ‘7’ is a perfect name to me, because I feel like I’m going back to my original energy which can be heard in this album.”
Existential turmoil aside, whether Guetta has been biding his time to showcase this doubtlessly more nuanced side of his artistic repertoire or he simply seized a timely opportunity to reinvent himself, 7 performs as a spacious snapshot of contemporary dance music.
Justin Bieber is off the market now. Sorry, everyone. The pop star reportedly interrupted his slow-motion evolution into shop-class hesher long enough to tie the knot with his fiancée Hailey Baldwin. Baldwin is a model and also the daughter of Stephen Baldwin, the Usual Suspects star who became a loud and public fundamentalist Christian and … More »