Sam Smith Has Dance Hit With R&B Pop Duet "Dancing With A Stranger" Feat. Normani

Out singer/songwriter Sam Smith drops his latest, “Dancing With a Stranger,” an R&B-influenced pop duet with former Fifth Harmony member, Normani.

Speaking to Billboard, Smith shares the new song “Bottles everything I was feeling whilst juggling my personal life and touring.”

”It is also such a beautiful moment for me as I’m a huge, huge fan of Normani and everything she is,” said the 4-time Grammy Award winner. “I’m so excited to watch her light shine.”

Normani returned the mutual love telling Billboard, “I never thought in a trillion years that I would be able to state that I have a record with this extremely gifted being.”





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You have to imagine there are echoes from his breakup last summer with 13 Reasons Why star Brandon Flynn mixed into the recording as Smith sings: “I don’t want to be alone tonight, It’s pretty clear that I’m not over you, I’m still thinking ‘bout the things you do, So I don’t want to be alone tonight.”

In September, Smith shared with The Times, "I'm still trying to figure out what I took from that relationship and what it meant to me.” 

He added, "It's still quite raw."

Listen to Sam Smith & Normani’s “Dancing With a Stranger” below.



(h/t Billboard, The Times - image via Facebook)

Parker Matthews' Soulful Sounds Has Us "Feelin' Right"

Out indie pop artist Parker Matthews is currently “Feelin’ Right” and he wants you to be right there feeling it with him in this exclusive Instinct premiere.

The Pittsburgh native has displayed notable versatility with previous singles “Lost With You” and “Hit and Run,” which we featured on Instinct back in May.

For this new release, the soulful singer switches up the beats - this time taking the listener on an intimate, private flirtation.

Instinct caught up with the handsome indie artist to chat on his new, sexy groove.

Instinct: Your last single, "Hit and Run,” was an upbeat, bouncy bop. Your new track, "Feelin’ Right," is like liquid sex. What was the inspiration for the song?

Parker Matthews: For this record, I want to take things a little bit deeper and show you a side of me thats more sexual. The song is about becoming obsessed and almost addicted to the way  someone can make you feel when you’re in that moment.   It’s when you find that person to get you through the night and keep you feelin’ right.  

Instinct: What’s your favorite part of the creative process? Writing? Recording? Production?

PM: I really do love it all, but recording is my favorite part by far.  I get to be in the booth, in that moment, with just the mic and me.  

When I was recording this record, I had all the lights in the studio turned off and some candles lit to really set the tone.  When you record material like this, it’s about giving the perfect delivery right up close and personal to that mic.  Recording is when you can truly make the song your own.  

Writing is a close second though.  Lyrics mean the world to me, and when my team and I have writing sessions, I like to go off into a different room, lock myself away, and let the words speak for themselves. 

Instinct: Who’s currently at the top of your list of ‘dream collaborators?’ And why?

PM: There are so many amazing artists out there right now, and I am always open to collaboration, but in the rap game, I’d be down for a collab with Nicki Minaj because I love her tone.  

In the pop world, Jessie J, Ariana, or my hometown girl, Christina Aguilera, all have a such amazing voices. And that’s something I have the ultimate respect for. 

For “Feelin’ Right,” Matthews’ silky smooth, sensual vocals sit right in the pocket for the bulk of the low-key song. The bridge introduces an accelerated heartbeat (you know where this is going) that leads to the climax of the song, leaving just enough time for some post-romantic after-glow.

The entire track oozes a confident sexual vibe that borders on intoxicating without crossing the line into being heavy-handed.

This enthralling follow-up proves he is definitely more than a 'hit and run.' We expect to hear much more from Matthews.

You can check out this interview with The Randy Report podcast where the Pittsburgh native shares how his own personal experiences influence his approach to making music.

You can follow Matthews on Instagram here, Facebook here, Spotify here, and check out his official website here.

"Feelin' Right" is currently available on all digital download sites including iTunes.

Check out the lyric video below.

Chase Sansing Covers "We Are The World" To Highlight LGBTQ Youth Homelessness

With a shooting in Maryland today, and worries about the Supreme Court, now's a good time for music that can lift us up.

Out country artist Chase Sansing has released a new music video to raise awareness of homelessness in Nashville. 

The remake of Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie’s mega-hit “We Are the World” was filmed throughout Music City by Sansing himself.

The new music video also features Nashville musicians Kelsey Malone, Rae Cecil and Justin Shaw trading verses similar to the original USA for Africa video released in 1985.

“I chose to re-record ‘We Are the World’ because I wanted shine a light on the issue of homelessness in Nashville, but this is a problem seen around the country especially among LGBTQ youth,” said Sansing. "It seems like the problem keeps getting worse instead of getting better."

According to a study by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, one in 30 youth ages 13 to 17 and one in 10 young adults ages 18 to 25 endure some form of homelessness in the U.S. each year. 

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth had a 120% increased risk of experiencing homelessness compared to youth who identified as heterosexual and cisgender. This often stems from a lack of acceptance that young people experience both in and outside of the home. 

“It’s impossible for me to sing something I don’t feel, which is why my videos usually have an emotional pull on them," says the 25-year-old. 

"Kelsey, Justin, Rae and I all agreed this is a very important issue we all believe in. If we all lend a hand, maybe we can help decrease the number of homeless LGBTQ youth in our country.”

Watch the music video below.



New retro-pop from lo-fi artist 'pronoun'

Alyse Vellturo, who goes by the recording alter-ego “pronoun,” has released her latest track, “wrong.”

A graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, the lo-fi pop singer has enjoyed strong reviews from the music industry.

Stereogum praised the new track as “soaring and persistently catchy,” displaying a "complicated mess of emotions.”

Billboard has called the Brooklyn-based artist “a shimmery retro-pop act.”

Uproxx described pronoun as “a polished sound that echoes Tegan And Sara’s recent music.”

For those unfamiliar, Lo-Fi is short for low fidelity, which refers to the quality of the sound recording. Many music fans feel the modern music industry has meticulously over-perfected the art of audio recording, to the degree that recordings are ‘flawless.’ 

There are music aficionados for whom perfection is, in a word, boring. Lo-fi recordings attempt to regain the character, heart or connectedness of the music.

In “wrong,” the singer is in conflict with her own feelings, chronicling that moment when you see yourself reflected in someone else you’re angry at, awash in sympathy for them even though the relationship has changed:

You can’t go backwards

Guess I couldn’t ever relate

Now I’m sitting feeling sorry

For somebody that I hate

And it feels so wrong

The track’s strong pop beat coupled with an anxious, repetitive guitar riff feels true to the artist’s previous work but in a fresh, almost new wave vein. We like.

pronoun described the impetus for the song, born out of a breakup with an ex-girlfriend, like this: 

“For the longest time I was so angry at her, and the news that should have been the final straw actually just made me feel really bad for her which spun me in to the weird emotion of how can you feel sorry for some one you “hate”? How is that even possible, do other people feel this way? I guess in a way it’s what I would want to say if I wanted to talk to her – which obviously I don’t – so I wrote this song instead.

"wrong" comes from pronoun’s upcoming release and follows the track, "run", which got picked up the New York Times, Stereogum, NYLON, Uproxx and more.  

Following a massive SXSW, pronoun has just come off the road after a 40 city tour.  More info about pronoun at the official website here.

Check out “wrong” below.



Eli Lieb - Music & Memories Collide

Out and proud indie singer/songwriter Eli Lieb recently released his new album, The Nights We Lived. 

In July of 2013, Eli got the attention of the music world with his power pop anthem, “Young Love.” Music blog Idolator called it “an instantly catchy, uplifting pop/rock anthem that sounds like a cross between Katy Perry and Bruce Springsteen.”

Thanks to its strong pop hook and a message of living out and proud, the song and the video struck a chord with many people. The music video for “Young Love” since garnered almost 8 million YouTube views.

In October of 2013, Eli was inspired to record a cover of “Wrecking Ball” that went viral in just 24 hours. The video was promoted in social media by singers Adam Lambert and Lucy Hale, and celebrities Rosie O’Donnell and Bob Harper. Eli’s cover of “Wrecking Ball” reached one million views in under a week, and at this writing the video has over 5.3 million views. 

I recently spoke to the handsome artist about his work.

Asked if he sets out to tell a specific story in his music, Eli says, "A lot of times my songs really do just come out. When I look back at it, it's almost like I don't really remember writing it. Whatever comes out, I just let it be, and it'll very quickly start to manifest and I'll understand what it's about."

"I write songs and I somehow have managed to be able to put experience into a song." 

Having spent some years in Los Angeles, and although he acknowledges good friends there, Eli is open about how it wasn't a good fit for him.

"It was just so dog-eat-dog and every cliché you hear about it is true. It's very, very hard to find a genuine relationship and to trust a genuine relationship because everybody has some ulterior motive, and if they think you're a shiny object, they're all over you," says Eli. "And then the second they see any kind of scuff in that shine, they're gone."

You can check out my interview via podcast below:

Eli says the title track of his latest album, “The Nights We Lived,” is his most intimate recording yet.

“It documents specific time periods in my life,” he said. “I picked this song as the title track to the album because the whole record is an accumulation of experiences that have lead to who and where I am today.”

The music video uses footage spanning 15 years as Eli takes a musical look back, and it's a life full of ups and downs, including a complicated, abusive relationship:

When I was 29 I fell in love with a monster

Hidden in the sly cloak of a charmer

Plotting to destroy all of me

That's when I learned what love and abuse was

Yeah I think I still have a few of his scars

If you look closely you can see

The track, authentic and raw in its emotional landscape, delivers fat, rich production with 80s power anthem vocals. 

As a journalist who loves mainstream pop music, I'm happy to share Eli's latest music with you.

As a pop music fan, I can honestly say I personally plunk down my money to buy Eli's music. I think he's great. He connects; he's open; and he understands the power of music.

And as an LGBT activist, I'm always jazzed to see an artist as talented as Eli present our lives and loves so fully in his music.

Check out the music video for “The Nights We Lived” below. You should definitely check out more of his music on his YouTube channel here. ("Zeppelin" totally kills...)

Eli's new album is currently available at all digital download sites.


Singer Matt Zarley Feels The Pull Of Sara Bareilles' "Gravity"

Woofy singer/songwriter Matt Zarley drops his new music video for "Gravity" 

The track comes from Zarley's latest album titled, The Estrogen Sessions, which honors of the female pop divas most influential in his career.

About recording "Gravity:"

This is one of my all-time favorite songs and it was the first song I actually recorded for the album. 

Fast forward eight or so months later, I go back to revisit the song, listen to it, make any little changes that I needed to, but I wasn’t able to access the files. The hard drive was corrupted. So I had to re-sing the song. I was not that upset because I love this song so much, so I was game for it. 

At the end of the session I went to save the files and my computer froze. Well, I felt pretty confident that the session was going to be saved. I was wrong the entire session was gone. 

I was so livid that I decided to re-record the song then and there. It was 2 AM. 

In the end it actually turned out better than before, so all ends well.

In creating the music video, Zarley shares he had originally planned out a whole narrative to drive the music video but after shooting the loft footage decided for a more minimal approach and let the song itself tell the story.

"The song has always had an ethereal quality to it…very haunting," says Zarley. "I wanted that to take the focus."

Stripped down and primarily acoustic, Zarley's production work on the project showcases the strength of the songwriting and his own effortless vocals.

"As I began to arrange these tunes, I made a conscience decision to strip the songs down and reinterpret them with all live music, nothing programed - real piano, organ, guitar, drums, bass and strings," says Zarley.

The entire album is imminently listenable. The emotional landscape is soulful and wide, with each track showcasing Zarley's rich, fluid voice. He shifts from plaintive, affecting intimacy to expansive vocal brawn with equal ease.

Check out more from the album here and you can get the first look at "Gravity" below.



Years & Years Perform Futuristic Cabaret In "If You're Over Me" Video

The last music video for synth-pop trio Years & Years introduced us to an imaginary society where androids control the world and humans exist for the purpose of entertaining the androids.

The pop group returns to that dystopian world for the second video, “If You’re Over Me,” from their upcoming album Palo Santo.

The music video begins by explaining the role that humans in this futuristic society play. “The human cabarets of Palo Santo are attended by androids, all hoping to experience real emotion,” reads the text. “Human performers can find themselves dancing the same routines for weeks … months … years …”

In a glittering, sci-fi cabaret, out frontman Olly Alexander presents a choreographed, sexy three-way number while fellow band members Emre Turkmen and Mikey Goldsworthy present a magic trick. The talent show is meant to help the androids attempt to experience real emotion.

The song itself is an bouncy, electro-pop jam about getting straight with an ex-lover. “This is a song about trying to stay friends with an ex,” Alexander told NME. “Spoiler alert -- it doesn’t often work. In fact, in my experience, the relationship often ends up ruined.”

 “Yesterday you said I’m the one, but now you say you’re done,” Alexander sings. “Stop telling me what I need baby, if you’re over me.”

Watch "If You're Over Me" below. You can check out the new album Palo Santo (due out July 6) at most digital download sites.



Music Video: Pop Singer Parker Matthews Is No "Hit And Run"

Out pop artist Parker Matthews was touched by the power of music at a very early age when he saw Whitney Houston sing “I Will Always Love You” on the 1994 Grammy Awards.

From focusing on creativity and music in school to staying up nights writing songs, he knew music would be a driving force in his life.

Parker's latest single, “Hit and Run,” combines top-shelf production, pop-synth goodness and a hooky chorus with smooth vocal delivery. 



With musical inspirations that include Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Adele, Jennifer Hudson and Jessie J, Parker says his music is about the message of human connection.

And speaking of connections, he was one of Music Connection Magazine’s “2017's Hot 100 Live Unsigned Artists & Bands.”

Others in the media like what they hear as well:

“An infectious slice of pop music.” - Music Is My Radar

"Pop music just might have found its next star in Parker Matthews." - The Musical Hype

“’Hit and Run,’ decorated with sticky drum loops and fluorescent synth makeup, embodies classic dance music but dispatches a crucial, heart-pounding message.” - PopDust

In a recent interview with The Randy Report podcast, the Pittsburgh native shared that everything in his music comes from his own personal experience and he finds the process of writing to be therapeutic.

He also found his music to be a safe place for him as his younger years were impacted by bullying and depression.

“I realized if I ended things, I was just going to let ‘them’ win, and that wasn’t allowed to happen,” Parker told Music Is My Radar. “I picked myself back up, and truly moved forward with my life. It’s not about being sorry for me, or trying to find pity, but realizing your past is what constructs you into the person you are today.”

Instead of letting the bullies win, he pulled himself up and uses those dark times as an inspiration to advocate for LGBTQ youth by supporting The National Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

You can follow Parker on Instagram here, Facebook here and check out his official website here.

"Hit and Run" is now available on iTunes and all digital download sites.


‘I never wanted to be normal. I wanted to be me’ @kellyelainephoto .

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