Taylor Swift is reportedly ecstatic that her beau Calvin Harris has her back.
Earlier this month Calvin got into a war or words with One Direction abdicator Zayn Malik, after Zayn supported quotes Miley Cyrus made about not caring if people bought her albums as she’s made enough money.
The statement was in direct contrast to Taylor’s stance. The country-turned-pop singer decided to remove her tracks from Spotify in 2014 over issues surrounding the free nature of the streaming service.
“Taylor’s never had a boyfriend stick up for her like this. She wouldn’t want to wade in on Zayn’s comments – she’s made her position about streaming clear, and doesn’t feel she’s to blame for the vitriol her comments inspires. Taylor would never ask Calvin to get involved, but she loved that he has her back,” a source told British magazine Grazia.
Calvin was quick to condemn Zayn’s views, telling the ex-boyband member to consider artists who aren’t so successful and still need to make money.
While Taylor stayed out of the online argument, she’s no stranger to Twitter rows. She got into a spat with Nicki Minaj in July over a tweet Nicki posted venting her frustration at being overlooked for an MTV VMA as a black artist.
The singers quickly resolved the issues, but Nicki went on to favourite one of Zanyn’s recent angry tweets.
“Taylor is the first to admit her tweets to Nicki were misjudged, whereas with Zayn she felt unfairly attacked. She’s been fighting her own battles for so long, it’s comforting knowing that Calvin is on her side. She’s increasingly convinced that he is The One. Since they got together, Calvin has been nothing but loyal and she says he’s been her rock lately. They are really happy together and having fun,” the insider said.
Of all the folk festivals held up and down the country – there’s more than forty of them every year – the magnificent and world renowned Cambridge Folk Festival, now in its 51st year, firmly remains the leader of the pack.
It’s easy to work out why … think of everything that you’d always wanted from a folk festival and it’s there. Held close to the city centre, in the grounds of Cherry Hinton Hall, with a capacity of a mere 10,000 it never really gets to be over crowded; with great facilities for camping, easy parking for your car or bike, clean toilets and showers, good and moderately priced food outlets, an efficient and smooth organisation, friendly and helpful stewards, all manner of workshops, activities and fun things to do for young and old alike and, most importantly of all, the feeling of ‘love’ everywhere! It should be good after a half century of practice and once again it didn’t fail to impress.
The music was pretty good to, with the big hitters – Joan Baez, Joan Armatrading, Wilko Johnson, Passenger – and the lesser well known, but just as impressive in their own way, in attendance. But you won’t have needed to be a folk aficionado to have found something you liked as this festival is pretty well known to stretch the so called folk genre to the outer limits of the imagination. Once again this year, a large serving of extra-curricular musical goodness was on offer, whether coming from the Main Stage – The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain, for example, providing their quirky reinterpretation of just about every musical genre known to the civilised world – or from visiting Stage 2 or the Club Tent which hosted a great range of artists (more of that later), or even chilling in The Den for a while, where you’ll have found the raw talent of many stars in the making.
Starting with raw talent, Fabian Holland couldn’t fail to impress, his simply stunning guitar playing as accompaniment to his high calibre and accomplished vocal style and interesting, mostly historical based stories in lyrics, makes him a potential tour de force of the folk scene and we look forward to his blossoming in the fullness of time.
Another notable talent, and there were so many worthy of mention, was Jaron Freeman Fox, the young Canadian nomad from remote parts; he utilises his five string violin in a unique way, almost as a surrealistic art form blending musical (sometimes not) expressions of mystical string and bow interpretation of life forces and events way beyond our simple minds.
We also particularly liked Dan Walsh with his folksy bluesy numbers and brilliant command of a claw hammer banjo; he’s surely a talent to look out for. Check him out.
Fridays main stage hosted the two men from Glasgow whom, as we all know, would gladly walk 5000 miles and 5000 more to perform; there repertoire of familiar past hits and songs taken from their most recent album was loved by all. As was Wilko Johnson’s exciting performance, indeed his appearance at the festival, since his miraculous recovery from terminal cancer was so wonderful. Frank Turner provided a workmanlike performance, perhaps not as Olympian as it may have been, and next time it may be worth him thinking about slightly reworking his non-accompanied solo rendition of Barbara Allan.
Sunny Saturday saw Gretchen Peters giving a strong performance with steel string country numbers and great harmonising, piano infilling and foot tapping in abundance, a great entertainer and thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd.
The Australian roots and jam band, The John Butler Trio gave an outstanding performance, and, of course, included their acclaimed ‘Ocean’, which brought about a standing ovation – and rightly so.
The very popular Skatalites had everyone bopping around with their unique style of Jamaican reggae. These guys have been on the music scene for fifty years and have been the backing band for many major artists including Bob Marley – one wondered whether they had brought their own fans along!!
The voice of Rhiannon Giddens, this time returning to the festival as a soloist, was a wonderful surprise, with an unexpected range and power and clarity. Interpreting in her own style, songs made famous by Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline or Odetta, and accompanied by her own accomplished fiddle and banjo playing, together with a five-piece backing band. Coming from the Carolinas, she’s imbibed a Gaelic influence from the Scottish folk community there, and used this to treat us to some Scots mouth music.
The Unthanks, sisters Rachel and Becky from Northumbria were a ‘yes please’ for us. Haunting and creative arrangements in a traditional folk style, stunning harmonisation, and accompanied by a great backing band, captivates your mind and take you to dreamy places you would never have imagined. All rounded off with a dessert of clog dancing.
Another wonderful sunny Sunday kicked off with De Temps Antan (‘of olden times’). This Quebecois trio were fresh, exciting and effervesced with energy, injecting the Sunday morning listeners with a shot of musical caffeine (required) – excellent!
Then it all changed when the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain turned up. A touch of incongruous light relief from this suited and booted very popular group of accomplished musicians whose singing, playing and glib humour caused mayhem! It really is amazing what you can do with eight ukuleles!
Danu hit the audience by storm and whisked us into a full blown Sunday afternoon Ceilidh – nobody that expected, or resisted! Their spectacular musicianship had us all whooping for more – this was Irish folk at its very best. Wow!
Last year’s Radio 2 Folk Singer Of The Year, the Derbyshire singer songwriter Bella Hardy proved once again what a versatile and impressive performer she most certainly is. Accompanied by an intriguing mix of her own fiddle, banjo, brass and percussion, Bella treated the audience to many of her most loved songs and reworked traditional folk, including ‘Jolly Good Luck to the Girl that Loves a Soldier’, on which the heartbreak of the German nurses and Verdun widows fits perfectly with the tales of failed personal romance Hardy describes elsewhere.
Joan Armatrading, who has opted to ‘go solo’ on her last (?) World Tour, was one of the big names and such a pro in every sense. With her unmistakeable voice, and just two guitars and a piano at hand, she held the audience in love and affection throughout her entire performance. ‘We love you Joan’ was the chant of the evening.
Passenger (Michael David Rosenberg) as usual, took the audience in the palm of his hand, engaging and toying with them, making them laugh, while treating them to his amazing array of ballads, combined with a funny and gentle display of his well-known angry traits.
And finally what can be written about the Queen of Folk – Joan Baez – that hasn’t already? This occasion was her fifth appearance at the festival of visits spanning a period of thirty three years. The purity and simple beauty of her voice and almost virtuoso twelve string acoustic guitar performance, enthralled and captivated the entire audience. Holding and engaging the audience, is her great talent, ensuring all joined in to the chorus of some of her own and other well-known songs of old. Including ‘Freight Train’, ‘Imagine’ and ‘House of The Rising Sun’ was a great way of getting the audience to do her singing for her. Shakespeare must surely have been thinking of Joan Baez when he wrote ‘Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale’…..
So, altogether another great Cambridge Folk Festival with its now almost to be expected broad range of musical inclusions. Go next year, take your guitar, banjo, violin, accordion, ukulele … anything!
Priest J was the former owner of Stoneroom Recording Studio in Shepherds Bush, London, working with great artists including Wycliffe Jean, Todd Terry, Leftfield, Arthur Baker, Shola Ama, Martin Degville, Basement Jaxx, Rihanna, Alexandra O’Neil, Lee Ryan, Carter Twins, Patrick McMahon, Glen Goldsmith, Ollie J, Stunt Masters, Esteem, Max Romeo, Hariharan, Anup Jalota, Pritam, Jaidev Kumar,Sumeet Tappoo, Lomac, Beverly Knight, Kinane, Rozallla, Ariel, T-Power, Rita Campbell, Debbie Malone, Joe Smooth and many more.
Priest J has also worked in television production with companies including Evian Water, British Airways, Door (Gaby Logan), Tibet Foundation, Star Plus, Zee TV, Sony BVU, Elephant Atta, Royal Sweets and Top-Up Foods.
Mark Smith aka DJ Lantan grew up in Jamaica and is now based in London.
DJ Lantan started his career performing freestyle and counteraction rap at open mic competitions, which he says were raw and fiercely fought for prize money.
His growing reputation attracted DJs who took him to cut his first record at Jaro studio alongside Ninja Ford and Predator.
DJ Lantan has worked with many producers including Keith Wint, on Wint’s Maccabees label, Dennis Brown and John Holt, Calvin Francis at Milestone Productions, 2Bad Productions, Smokeshop Productionz, JBmixx, Stone Room Productions, Rebel Sonix, Skorpion Productions,Tropical Bass, Interstellar Troublemaker, the legendary Stevie V, known for his single Dirty Cash (Money Talks). Artists he has collaborated with include Vybz kartel, Nitty Kutchie, Wayne Marshall, Anthony Que, Troublesome, Mc Li,Barry, Micron,Tenza, Rebekka Gayle, Cherry, Ms T Rey, Danielle, Twila J, Gee Morris, Helen Rogers and Liana Wall.
Since 2000, DJ Lantan has released tracks on vinyl including My Life and Take It Off, produced by the legendary Stevie V. His debut album The Furnace, released on Hotta Flames Records, led to him touring on both side of the Atlantic, Europe and Japan.
With favourite artists such as Bob Marley & Shabba Ranks, Lantan found inspiration by hanging out in recording studios in Kingston Jamaica such as King Jammy’s Studio and at Sugar Minott’s Youthman Sound Promotions, who formed the first dancehall crew and featured the Nottinghill Carnival.
ACM Records released various albums including Truly Magical and Fusion by DJ Lantan and Jbmixx after they met and formed Black/Smith Productionz in 2007. Previously, when he lived in Helsinki, JBmixx had formed the band 3rd Nation with Charles Salter and Kari Kaivola and was signed to Mercury Records and he has also worked with Anastasia and Lionel Richie.
As well as his record sales, DJ Lantan featured on a UK TV talent show hosted by Fearne Cotton and judged by Jamie Cullum, Sharleen Spiteri and Dizzee Rascal called Must Be The Music. DJ Lantan’s song Facebook Love, performed at Hackney Empire, wowed the crowd and earned him Internet notoriety.
Priest J and DJ Lantan’s latest single “Handz In The Air” will be released on 27 July by Matchbox Recordings with distribution from Universal Music Operations.
Check out the video:
Social media for DJ Lantan
Emy Perez is a Venezuelan singer/songwriter known for her crazy looks and quirky pop songs.
At a young age Emy lost herself in music and pursued that dream in the USA. In her native Venezuela, she supported headliners and went onto to sign to an American record label. This led to her performing alongside such great artists as Shakira, Eros Ramazotti and Earth, Wind & Fire.
In North and South American, Emy toured live, wrote songs for other artists and worked with well-known producers Shane Stoner and Steve Morales, who produced Enrique Iglesias, Christina Aguliera, Ricki Martin and Celine Dion among others. Shane Stoner says, “Emy is an amazing songwriter. She knows how to capture the essence of a feeling into words.”
Emy produced an album with Ricardo Eddy Martinez, who provided horn arrangements for Miami Sound Machine, and platinum winning producer, Keith Morrison. Unfortunately this album was never released and Emy moved to Europe to study music at Conservatorium Alkmaar in the Netherlands. There she gathered all her strength and planned a comeback with a bang.
Now in the Netherlands, Emy rediscovered herself by writing and performing music live. She celebrates life and tells her story on her latest EP recording, which will be released in September 2015.
Emy’s songs bring a mix of many influences including Latin, pop, funk and jazz. The songs are best described as eclectic indie pop but definitely happy festival music that makes you want to move.
The single On The Down Low will be released on 27 July 2015 with distribution from Universal Music Operations and the EP will come out in September 2015.
The songs are produced and co-written by Jasper Zuidervaart, Ferry Lagendijk and Emy Perez.
Find it on iTunes
Christina Milian is thrilled by how her daughter and boyfriend Lil Wayne ‘recognise each other’.
The 33-year-old Turned Up star shares five-year-old little girl Violet with her songwriter ex-husband The-Dream.
And although she and 32-year-old rapper Lil Wayne have only been dating for a year now, Christina is happy about the relationship he is developing with Violet.
“They know and recognise each other — he’s very much a part of my life and Violet is very much a part of my relationship,” she explained to Us Weekly magazine.
“She is very close to her dad, so Violet has her dad in her life, she has us in her life, so in time [they’ll develop a closer bond]. It’ll take some time.’
Christina has her hands full this summer, as she is recording a new EP and orchestrating the launch of her We Are Pop Culture clothing store.
Even though she is constantly busy with professional projects, the AM to PM singer still manages to find a little bit of downtime.
She prefers to enjoy leisure activities with loved ones.
“I’m pretty busy right now but I have to live in the moment and go on vacation later,” Christina detailed, noting she loves hanging out with Lil Wayne and Violet simultaneously. “Our time together is like a vacation no matter what.”
Christina’s little girl is busy this summer too, even though school is out.
And the songstress marvels at how active Violet’s life is.
“What is she not doing?” Christina wondered. “She’s learning how to swim and is full of character. She just surprises me every day.”
The Savannah line-up is Liam Ball on vocals, Jason Lewis playing guitar, Tom Jones on bass and drummer, Harry Neat.
‘Rockin the gaff’ is Savannah’s game since they formed in 2013 and played venues including 02 Academy in Birmingham, The Shed in Leicester and The Robin 2 in Bilston. Savannah have also played various festivals including Farmer Phil’s and Oakfest and supported bands such as The Troggs, Bad Manners, Big Country and members of The Jam.
In two years the band have created a wealth of original material with just a few of these songs featuring on their self-titled Savannah EP. The Savannah EP was produced by Gavin Monaghan at Magic Garden Studios, Wolverhampton.
Previously, Savannah released their first official single “Move” at the Town Hall in Telford. The music video for Move features the band recreating a top of the pops feel by using vintage 80’s cameras and hiring a bus for their fans.
Savannah are reviving the spirit of rock and roll by taking one pub, venue or festival at a time.
The “Savannah E.P” is out on Hartfield Records and features the new singles “ Back Street Robber” and “Live your life”.
Their upcoming tour dates include:
10th July, The Sallopian, Shewsbury
14th August: Farmer Phil’s Festival, Rattlinghope
Video for double A Side Back Street Robber // Live Your Life
Get the single/album on iTunes:
Coracle is a project by Leeds based producer and professional pianist and keyboard player Jonathan Doherty. He has written and performed for various original bands and played for tribute acts and theatre shows across the UK. He is currently playing summer festivals with folk / hip-hop band The Demon Barbers. He is also a composer and has recently completed his first feature length soundtrack for Australian thriller Vital Signs. Coracle is Doherty’s first solo project.
“Come Alive” is the debut EP from Coracle. This 5 track E.P is Coracle’s first official release and follow up to his first song also called ‘Come Alive, which became a Record of the Week on Amazing Radio and won a competition to be on the Summertime Compilation by Paris label So French Records.
Come Alive was supported by Tom Robinson on BBC6 and playlisted by various Radio stations including Mixx FM in Charleroi, Belgium. Subsequently, Coracle’s track Everything to Live For was given an exclusive first play during an interview with BBC Radio Lancashire’s Glen Hunt.
Another track “Running” also received similar blog attention and radio support and was released on So French Records’ Wintertime Compilation earlier this year. The EP includes also includes a new and unreleased song called Sun’s Coming.
Come Alive is an EP of summer-inspired escapist soundscapes, down-tempo house beats and quirky electronica. It is as much of an escape from reality as a depiction of real life and is semi-autobiographical in lyrical content. The EP is inspired by Coracle’s travel adventures such as his time spent as a student in the French Caribbean, as well as his recent work as a musician in Leeds’ vibrant music scene. The music is therefore optimistic in outlook but combined with a nostalgic and restless quality.
Coracle composes all the music and lyrics and collaborates with as many of his musician friends as possible in the recording process. Guest vocalists include Emma Lucy, Jen Armstrong, Rachel Cook and Matthew Addison, all from the Leeds area, and various live instrumentalists, including Tom Regan, who plays saxophone and flute on White Sand.
Other musicians on the project include Emma Lucy, who is a singer songwriter from Leeds, who has spent much of her recent life working internationally as a singer and entertainer, particularly in the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. She is currently taking part in an Artist Development programme and her debut E.P. is due for release later this year.
Jen Armstrong is a vocalist, pianist and violinist who has toured with artists such as Billy Ocean, The Vaccines and Jools Holland. She is originally from Yorkshire, UK, but is now working in L.A. She won Rock The House in 2012 and has also been nominated for a Hollywood in Music and Media Award. Jen has over 300,000 hits on Youtube, has cuts on a recent Scandinavian platinum-selling, which charted at number 1, and she is endorsed by Nord Keyboards.
Rachel Cook is a singer songwriter from the North of England and a founder member of Scarlett Street – an all-female barbershop quarter who have supported artists including Ruby Turner, Mark Knopfler and the Sugababes. She was once described by BBC6’s Tom Robinson as ‘a Northern Lily Allen meets Ella’ and is due to release an E.P. with her solo project Ruby Lane later this year.
Matthew Addison is a vocalist from Beverley in the North of England. With a background in musical theatre, Matthew formed Hull Indie Rock band The Johnsons in 2005, and since their split has been focusing on tribute and function band work as well as solo writing projects.
“Come Alive” is out on 27 July 2015 on Matchbox Recordings with distribution from Universal Music Operations.
Come Alive can also be previewed on Soundcloud