Jamaican-American singer and songwriter Sean Kingston is back in a big way, rejoicing and reclaiming life in the spotlight, now that he has fully recovered from his near-fatal accident in May of 2011. Featuring rapper T.I., Sean Kingston sings about living life to the fullest in his brand-new single, “Back 2 Life (Live It Up)” which dropped 28 May 2012 on iTunes, and the Radio edit is featured in our Urban Express Spotlight this week.
Sean’s new track is the first release taken from his upcoming highly-anticipated third studio album, also titled “Back 2 Life”, scheduled for release August 2012 via E1/Beluga Heights/Epic Records.
The new single, “Back 2 Life (Live It Up)” is produced by Jonathan “J.R.” Rotem, who also happens to be Kingston’s mentor and label director. From the very beginning, the sample of Soul II Soul’s 1989 massive hit single, “Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)” can be heard, and this classic beat floats throughout Sean’s new, emotional and uplifting track.
Kingston sings with positivity and passion as he expresses his strong will to overcome his life-threatening experience when he nearly died in a jet-ski accident in 2011. Rapper and record producer T.I. lends a mighty guest appearance, rapping with force about the need to make the most out of life.
“I basically used social network to get where I am right now,” Sean Kingston recently told a very charming child reporter during the 2012 Disney’s Dreamers Awards Ceremony. Sean was referring to his getting noticed and receiving acclaim, thanks to MySpace. He added, “My musical style is a Reggae and R&B fusion, and I feel it sets my whole style apart.”
Born Kisean Anderson in 1990 in Miami, Florida, US Sean Kingston moved to Kingston, Jamaica with his family when he was six years old. In 2007, Kingston made quite a name for himself with his chart topping, smash hit, “Beautiful Girls”. Thanks, in large part, to the mentoring given by Beluga Heights record label head, J.R. Rotem, Sean Kingston was on his way to great heights in both Pop music and R&B until his accident in 2011. Now that he’s recovered, and ready to make it big once more, the sky’s the limit for Kingston.
For tour information, news, and more on Sean Kingston, check out his official site at www.seankingston.com.
by Jill Reyna-Jones
Punk-Pop rockers All Time Low swoop in for an appearance in our Rock Express Spotlight this week with “Guts”. The latest single is taken from their 2011 album “Dirty Work”, which was release by Interscope Records.
The band, Alex Gaskarth (vocals/guitar), Jack Barakat (lead guitar), Zack Merrick (bass) and Rian Dawson (drums), enlisted the help of some big shot producers to oversee the boards on the latest LP, such as Mike Green (Paramore) and Butch Walker (Dashboard Confessional, Pink). The current single, “Guts”, also features an appearance from Maja Ivarsson of the Swedish indie-Rock group, The Sounds.
While raised on a steady diet of Blink-182 (they covered Blink songs when the band first started out in high school), the boys have branched out into much wider and deeper influences, including lyrical notes to Jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald’s classic recording of “Paper Moon”, and a nod to the genre-bending, anything-goes, guerilla style of ’70s and ’80s rockers, The Clash. Speaking of The Clash and their influence on the sound palette of All Time Low, Gaskarth says: “They played a vital role in a few songs on the album. I really admired how they broke all the rules. They helped me realize that you can change up your sound and you don’t have to be afraid of holding yourself back.”
All Time Low is also a band that likes to tour, and when they hit the road, they go with the folks who’ve been with them from the beginning. Says drummer Rian Dawson, “Sure, we could’ve hired Axl Rose’s sound guy, but then you’re just stuck on the road with this stranger. When you surround yourself with friends, it’s so much more fun and keeps you from turning into some kind of rock star douche bag.”
All Time Low will be on the Van’s Warped Tour in the US through early August 2012, then off to Europe in late August for stops in Belgium, Austria, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland and also the UK, where they will play the world-renowned Leeds and Reading festivals.
For more on All Time Low, check out their official home on the web at www.alltimelowband.com
by Jill Reyna-Jones
Dave Baxter is the supreme creator of the indie Folk Rock project known as Avalanche City, and his creation story of the band is simply extraordinary. It’s hard to believe that he was able to achieve so much while rising to meteoric heights, all thanks to his hardcore dedication, and deciding to lock himself away to learn to sing music, write music, and record a debut album along the way! The second single, “Sunset”, featured in our Rock Express Spotlight, is from Avalanche City’s debut album, “Our New Life Above The Ground”.
Avalanche City’s new track, “Sunset”, follows the certified Platinum debut single, “Love Love Love”, which immediately became a chart-topping hit in New Zealand, and made a huge splash in the UK, in large part, due to all the air time it received on the BBC’s Radio 2. In no time, listeners were attracted to Avalanche City’s rich, thoughtful, emotional lyrics, excellent musicianship, and refreshing mix of music genres.
Born in the UK, Dave Baxter’s family moved to New Zealand when he was an infant, and he’s been there ever since. Early on, he learned to play multiple instruments, and formed a hardcore Metal band in his youth, before setting out to create Avalanche City. In this project, Baxter writes, conceives, produces, records, sings, and plays every instrument on “Our New Life Above The Ground”. Quite a formidable achievement, especially given his determination to create such great music while alone, and away from daily distractions.
Once Baxter’s hugely successful debut album was released, he recruited five new band members to make Avalanche City a full band, allowing for great live shows with members playing multiple instruments. Avalanche City is now made up of drummer Ben Duncan, bassist Johnny Brock, keyboardist Ben Tolich, guitarist Strahan Cole, violinist and percussionist Romelli Rodriguez, and of course, Dave Baxter.
“I didn’t expect to be here and have a No. 1 single. I’m just happy that people like my music and just hope people keep liking it. The most important thing for me is to just keep on doing this, and just have fun with the audience and the fans,” said Baxter recently.
For tour information, news, and more on Avalanche City, check out their official website at www.avalanchecity.com.
by Jill Reyna-Jones