INTERVIEWS

Sam Smith Discusses His Sound, Growth, Success and More on “The Sound of 2014″ Special with Zane Lowe

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UK singer-songwriter Sam Smith has grown to be on of the most lovable acts to hit the scene in the past few years. Not only has he received praise from fans for his debut album In The Lonely Hour, but celebrities from all avenues have shown overwhelming amounts of support for his talent.

Nominated for six Grammy awards, the impressive vocalist has had the type of year that only some artists could dream of. Receiving crossover success, collaborating with Mary J. Blige, rubbing shoulders with some of the greats, and more, Sam’s current journey literally embodies the word success.

Sitting down to chat with Zane Lowe of BBC Radio 1 for “The Sound of 2014″ special, the 22-year-old singer touched on his amazing journey to stardom, growth in the industry, breakout album, and more.

Get to know Sam a little more below!

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Mary J. Blige Talks New Album ‘The London Sessions,’ Working with Sam Smith, Disclosure & More

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Mary J. Blige stepped out of her comfort zone for her new album The London Sessions, not by the request of a label or fans, but for her own creative mind. The album, which was released earlier this month has been received well by critics and fans alike. While continuing to promote the new project, the Queen swung by Hot 97 for a new interview with Ebro In The Morning.

Speaking about her reasons for doing the album Mary said: “I’ve been doing this for a while, and I’ve been doing the same thing for a while. Queen of Hip Hop Soul, R&B, blah blah blah. I needed a change. I was beginning to feel like I was stuck and things were just stagnant for me, and knew people would accept me regardless if I put another R&B album out, but that wouldn’t have satisfied Me.”

Mary went on to share details about the making of the album in London, including a strict regimen to record the album over a short amount of time. She spoke about the Sam Smith-penned single “Therapy,” and working with her collaborators on the LP, including Smith, Emeli Sandé, Disclosure and Sam Romans.

Learn more about where MJB is now in her life and career with the interview below:

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Eric Bellinger Talks Indie Grind, Grammy Noms, What Fans Can Expect from New Album ‘Cuffing Season’

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Returning with the hot new club single “Focused On You” this month, rising R&B star Eric Bellinger visited the ‘New @ 2′ show on Power 106 in Los Angeles for an interview with Yesi Ortiz.

After talking about his songwriting credits (again), Eric spoke about the new single, which samples the early 2000s classic “Oochie Wally” by Nas featuring Bravehearts. He also gave some insight into his grind has an independent artist, getting his break as songwriter and transitioning into a full-time artist as well, but knowing his worth and not just taking any deal.

Eric is gearing up to release his next album, Cuffing Season, which is expected Spring 2015, and he spoke briefly about what fans can expect from the upcoming album.

Check out the full interview below:

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Exclusive: Johnny Gill Talks New Album ‘Game Changer,’ State of R&B & New New Edition Album!

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R&B veteran Johnny Gill is gearing up for the release of his seventh solo album Game Changer, due in stores December 9. The legendary singer has given R&B fans hit after hit as a member of New Edition, LSG, and as a solo artist. Now, Johnny is back not only with a new solo project, but also with a forthcoming New Edition album as well.

ThisisRnB recently caught up with Gill to discuss his new album, longevity, the state of R&B, New Edition’s new album, and much more.

Check out the full interview below!

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Exclusive: Recounting the “Crazy, Sexy, Cool” of TLC’s Classic Diamond-Selling Album, 20-Years Later (with Commentary from Chilli!)

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Nov. 15, 1994 there was a musical explosion. One of the greatest R&B albums of all time was released. That album, was the legendary TLC‘s sophomore effort, CrazySexyCool.

The album was a collaborative work by some of the most profound writers and producers of the time, including Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, and more.  The LP’s title delivered a relatable identity for fans as Left Eye represented the “Crazy,” Chilli the “Sexy,” and T-Boz the “Cool.”  Laced with sexy and sultry ballads, and some up-tempo flava, the album will live on forever as a staple in the R&B genre. TLC’s pioneering blend of R&B, Hip Hop and Pop music resonated extremely well with mainstream audiences as fans rushed out to buy the Atlanta trio’s sophomore project.

The album stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for more than two years and simultaneously went diamond, making TLC the first girl group to achieve this success. To date, CrazySexyCool has sold over 23 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album by an American girl group, and the second best selling album worldwide behind the Spices Girls’ Spice. All four singles from the album reached the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, two of them reaching number one.

As the double-diamond certified album turns 20 this month, it’s only right that we reflect on the amazing Crazy, Sexy, Cool of TLC’s second album!

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Mary J. Blige Shares Her World In New ‘Billboard’ Cover Story

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Mary J. Blige has become one of the most legendary singers in the R&B genre to date. From her relevancy over the last 20 years to overcoming her own personal battles, the life and times of MJB has been an incredible story to watch. And, if you’re as lucky as some of us, you’ve been able to watch it from her arrival on the scene in the early ’90s, up until where she is now in 2014.

Covering this month’s issue of Billboard magazine, The Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul took some time to discuss her 13th album, The London Sessions, as well as her expansive and interesting journey through the music industry. Opening up about her tremulous past, the icon stated: “I was ready to just check out. It was a moment — I can’t get into it — but I saw my life going and I was grabbing for it. I was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no.’ That’s when I realized that I don’t want to die. And I switched, and I started praying and crying, and my life shifted right there.”

Now, two years sober, Mary told the famed outlet, “Sometimes I go to dinner with my sister and my friends, but it’s very light now because I don’t drink and hang out anymore,” she says. “So you know I can’t be in a club. If I ever felt like going out and dancing, I could do it. I could sit around everybody while they’re drinking, but I just don’t want to.”

In addition to touching on her past, MJB the MVP, talked receiving advice from her go-to man Elton John, her budding friendship with Sam Smith, what she keeps in rotation, Amy Winehouse, and much more. Perhaps one of the best interviews she’s given recently, you can’t help but love Mary even more after reading this.

Take a look at the pics and behind the scenes footage of the shoot shoot below! And, if you’re looking to read the full interview, click here!

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Hot 97 Presents: 97 Seconds With Usher (Video)

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Hot 97 was graced by Usher as the next guest to appear on their “97 Seconds” series. Opening up with his feelings on what makes a real R&B artist, the veteran singer spoke about his childhood days in Atlanta, moving to New York to work with Puff, working with Jermaine Dupri, his favorite performance, and more.

“R&B is not something that anybody can do,” said Usher. “Writing a great record is something that a lot of people have been able to do. But, to be a R&B artist is far more than just being a great singer or having a hit record. You gotta really have the soul, you gotta feel it and hear it in the music.”

Usher is currently traveling North America on his “UR Experience” tour, which will make its next stop tomorrow in Los Angeles, where fans should definitely expect some surprise guests.

Check out the interview below:

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Timbaland Talks Aaliyah Biopic, New Projects on ‘The Breakfast Club’

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The travesty that Lifetime released this past weekend as Aaliyah’s biopic received heavy criticism, however the interest in the movie and all the social media attention led to it being one of the networks most successful releases with huge ratings.

Adding to the slander was legendary producer Timbaland, who was a huge character in the movie, but was never even contacted to offer any suggestions or details about the late singer. While visiting NYC this week Timbo stopped by Power 105.1 to talk with ‘The Breakfast Club’ about the film, his feelings on not being contacted, relationship with Aaliyah and details about her life and career, posthumous music and more.

Tim also spoke about his new artist, Chicago rapper/singer Tink, who he has been working with heavily and is really, really excited about.

Check out the full interview below:

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