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  1. BUT IN “REBELLION” THERE’S A SPARKLE OF TRUTH. This week marks the ninth anniversary of producer Christopher “Notes” Olsen’s untimely death. The rising hit-maker helped Britney create the controversial song, which eerily points out the control gripping her public and private life since launching to super stardom at 16-years-old. Notes also worked on “Outta This World,” featured on 2007’s Blackout, tour mixes used during Brit’s low-key House Of Blues Tour and is responsible for her cover of Elvis Presley’s “Trouble” – used in the intro to her head-tilting performance of “Gimme More” at the 2007 VMAs. Britney and Notes closely collaborated during a time in the pop star’s life when she asserted personal and artistic independence, and that is extremely special. Following In The Zone, Britney flexed her creative guns when she recorded music that entertained themes of autonomy and self-reliance, but mistakes in her not-so-distant past at the time proved to be tools that those closest to her would use as leverage. The songs Britney recorded pre-Blackout, known as the Original Doll era, were scrapped minus a couple of one-offs, like “Mona Lisa” and “Chaotic.” In many ways, “My Prerogative” is “Rebellion’s” older sister – “people can take away everything away from you, but they can never take away your truth…” Fortunately (depending on who you ask), a trunk of these shimmering gems left on the recording room floor to collect pop dust have spilled onto the Internet. Who obtained them or how they’ve leaked are mostly a mystery, but I can shed light on how “Rebellion” surfaced. Without permission, Britney requested the song appear on her official website, BritneySpears.com, Notes’ sister Angelica tells BreatheHeavy. In June 2006, artists couldn’t hop onto social media to share their work at will. It required a couple of calculated steps for the pop star to achieve her rebellious mission. Britney side-stepped her imploding management team and surprise released it in ferocious fashion. When fans visited her site, an alarming animation of Britney’s face fading into a tiger appeared, with startling roars, and “Rebellion” would play on loop. It was made available a short while after Britney posted a self-written poem titled Remembrance Of Who I Am. In it, she talked about being manipulated and seemed disturbed by shadowy figures practicing “voodoo” (both themes on “Rebellion”). Some of the words appeared on another unreleased song – Britney’s cover of Ace Of Base’s “All That She Wants.” “Rebellion” briefly existed on her site before it unexplainably vanished. Angelica claims, according to words form her brother, that Britney’s team “made them” pull it. Britney’s manager Larry Rudolph told Notes via email that “Rebellion” wasn’t the direction JIVE Records was looking to take Britney in. According to Angelica, Notes said he “absolutely knew Britney [wanted] to be raw…. She wanted to be this kind of rebel… she [was] ready to grow.” She also mentioned Notes briefly lived with Britney and ex-husband Kevin Federline during the creation of K-Fed’s debut album, Playing With Fire. Where is "Rebellion?" Fans have searched high and low for the entire track, which Angelica believes exists, however despite having Notes’ hard drive of music with more than 17,000 files on it, she’s unable to produce something longer than the 50-second clip that has existed on the Internet since ’06. “Y’all have just as much as I do,” she said, noting that she has “everything my brother has ever [created].” “We’ll find it,” she continued. “It’s gonna get surfaced.” The 50-second clip could very well be all there is, however there’s reason to believe an extended version with additional verses exists. During a joyride in her convertible in 2007, Britney flipped through a demo CD containing several songs she recorded for Blackout, including “State Of Grace,” “Baby Boy” and what appears to be “Rebellion.” You can hear the intro to the track in the clip below: Conspiracy theories. Some wild **** went down post-Rebellion, and it created the perfect storm to brew some wild ideas, most of which, according to Notes’ sister, are just tragic confidences. Notes’ manager was murdered. Several years later, the producer fell to his death at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, CA. One of the song’s other co-creators, producer Scott Storch, became severely addicted to ******* and lost $30 million in six months because of it. And the track’s fourth collaborator, Jeff Dandurand, was silenced by the powers that be and barred from releasing it. “We have to remember the time period this was in Britney’s life,” Dandurand said in an interview posted in 2013. “Very tumultuous and the song is very dark in its presentation. Britney had been messing with some poetry leading up to the recording and came forth with those haunting lyrics.” He claimed the song was “about the evil forces that pull the strings.” Dandurand added that he tried acquiring rights to the track but was “shot down four times with various cease and desists.” He added: “additional lyrics exist but the most pure version has a different intro and does not repeat. It does not loop or go into any other arrangement, The Original Doll project bootleg and the aforementioned BMI promo is the purest of all versions leaked. It’s out there.” These lyrics are rumored to be the missing pieces of the puzzle: You might not believe it But trust me this is true You fall for their poison And become a part of their crew I’m in a rebellion And I’m up against the truth So will you join me? Or will you be taken too? … The eye that is deceiving is the one trapping us in I’m fighting a losing battle and my patience is wearing thin But in rebellion there’s a glimmer of light And nobody claims the crown without some sacrifice Angelica could very well be in possession of the track, but suspects music-publishing executive Jonathan Stone may have it as well. In another strange turn of events, Sam Lutfi, who was in close proximity to Britney in 2007 & part of 2008, posted a photo in April 2019 of a trunk of personal items he collected during his time with the singer more than a decade ago. In one of the photos, fans noted there was a blank CD with the word “Rebel” on it. Several weeks after the image surfaced, Britney’s legal team was granted a restraining order against him. Why “rebellion” is relevant now more than ever. More than a decade since Britney first created the song, she’s never appeared to be more restrained. Britney birthed “Rebellion” prior to a judge granting her father and a co-conservator control over her personal life and finances. That means who Britney encounters, how she spends her money, what doctors and lawyers she meets with, all of it are determined by people her court-approved conservators. It’s exactly the type of situation she feared the most, and was brave enough to not only sing about it, but shed a light on it. “Be wary of others, the ones closest to you” is a haunting cautionary tale that came to fruition. Britney’s family is currently evaluating the restraints placed upon her. Some believe the singer has been overly medicated to further financial gain for those in power – “the poison they feed you and the voodoo that they do” were harrowing, poetic words that came to be, and Britney predicted it. On the surface, it looks like any time she tries taking back some control she’s punished and thus sinks further into an isolating, unforgiving world. “Rebellion” was Britney’s songwriting talents displayed in full force, and despite creating an entire body of work in the years leading up to Blackout… her voice, her visions, her most intimate thoughts translated into song were replaced by a string of ***-laced bangers. Original Doll could have been Britney’s most personal record to date. It could have given her the opportunity to show the general public she’s more than a blonde bombshell with killer abs. It could have shown us that **** was about to hit the fan, but she was silenced and ignored. One thing we’ve learned about Britney in regards to “Rebellion” is that she’s self-aware. If mishandled, fame and fortune can attract dire circumstances that are seemingly impossible to break free from. It’s not in Britney’s best interests to act defiant for the sake of it, however remaining complicit won’t help things either. If there’s anything she should take away from the song, it’s not: “you’ll find it in rebellion…” it’s “don’t just stand there, do what you have to do.”
    23 points
  2. Britney Spears' Instagram is a breadcrumb trail leading us into her world of mystery and seclusion. If you want to know how Britney's doing in 2020, the closest you'll get is the pop princess' Instagram account. There are long gaps of silence followed by an avalanche of carefully curated content. Fans go for months without hearing from her, excluding official business promotion, then get heaps of glamor shots, workout and dance videos and mystical quotes. The captions are often times more self-indulgent than the uploaded photo. It leads to a plethora of questions: Is Britney actually writing said captions... !! 🌸🌸😜☕️ !! or... Is someone pulling the wool over 23.6 million peoples' eyes? This past week was a wild one. Usually, people tend to post photos and videos in chronological time, but Britney's account consecutively uploaded new content where the timeline is unclear. The new posts conveniently orbited around court-related meetings this week. Is it a coincidence Britney's Instagram lit up around Tuesday, February 25th, when a stipulation for a medical expense allowance was issued? Britney's Instagram was also very active with new glamor shots on Friday, February 28th, the day Britney's business manager, Lou Taylor, was scheduled to give her deposition against Britney fan Bryan Kuchar. Taylor sued Kuchar after he allegedly bought a website domain in her name and then posted 'defamatory' claims. The website called Taylor a "Gay Demon Exorcist." It does not appear the deposition went well for Kuchar. He posted a photo on his personal Instagram on Friday that said "God knows I tried." One fan (@Cappycorn87) on BreatheHeavy's Exhale forum correctly predicted Britney's Instagram account would post lots of new content hours before it happened because they knew the deposition was on the docket for later in the day. The belief is that it's an attempt to distract #FreeBritney promoters from the issue at-hand. It's all very hard to follow. In one of Britney's new posts, she was reading letters left by fans at The Zone, an immersive merchandise experience located in Los Angeles. Britney is seen wearing a cast after sustaining an injury while dancing. Later in the day, a separate post indicated she was vacationing in Maui (sans cast). Britney then shared a video of how she injured her foot. The video featured a montage of clips of her twirling and jumping. At the end, wearing a completely different outfit, Britney can be seen landing funny and twisting her foot. There's an audible snap before Britney plummets to the floor. "Haven’t danced in six months so I was full throttle at this spot 🏎💥💃🏼 !!!! And yes …. I know I’m barefoot …. don’t laugh but I grip the floor better that way !!!!," Britney captioned the video. "PS you can hear where I broke my foot here 🙄🙄🙄 ….. sorry it’s kind of loud !!!!!" Yes, very, very loud. I showed this video to a medical professional in-person without explaining what they were about to see. Their first response was that the snap heard in the video couldn't possibly be real. If we are to believe that at face-value, it means the snap was added in later or enhanced in some way... Why? Some conspiratorial fan theories suggest it was a means to not attend The Zone during its 3-month stint. As we fall further down the rabbit hole, there's a photo that's gone mostly unnoticed, but it's worth our undivided attention. On Thursday, Britney posted a picture at the beach, presumably in Hawaii, but after less than one-minute, the photo was deleted. It was re-posted on Friday. In the far-side of the photo, next to her blouse and sandals, is a book titled 'Shout: The True Story of a Survivor Who Refused to be Silenced.' It's a poetry memoir by New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson who advocates and writes for survivors of ****** assault. We don't know when the photo of Britney with the book was taken, but a 20th anniversary version of the novel featuring additional content, with the cover seen in the photo, was released & published in 2019. This picture must be semi-recent. Here's the description of the book posted on Amazon. It's irresponsible to assume Britney is reading Shout because she identifies as a survivor of ****** assault. However, Britney is no stranger to leaving clues on her Gram for fans to decipher. Either she... Finds a personal connection to the memoir Views herself as a survivor in other capacities Is simply interested in the piece, or... The book belongs to someone else and left it on Britney's belongings. Britney has endured personal and financial conservatorships for more than a decade, reportedly against her own volition, and a storyline for the general public is causing confusion. It appears to be on purpose. It's unclear what the next chapter is in Britney's book, but as one of her captions put it best... "Move forward whenever you can my friends !!!!!"
    14 points
  3. Mother Monster has arrived! Gaga just dropped her new song, "Stupid Love," one month after the unofficial version surfaced – they sound identical. While promoting the new tune, Gaga sneakily placed the word Chromatica on her marketing material. Little Monsters suspected that was the album title, and they're right. Gaga confirmed the title in a Tweet and the "Stupid Love" music video. She also opened up about the forthcoming album in a new interview with Zane Lowe. Chromatica drops April 10. "The symbol for Chromatica has a sine wave in it, which is the mathematical symbol for sound, and it’s from what all sound is made from, and, for me, sound is what healed me in my life period, and it healed me again making this record, and that is really what Chromatica is all about. It’s about healing and it’s about bravery as well and it’s really like, when we talk about love I think it’s so important to include the fact that it requires a ton of bravery to love someone," Gaga says of the album title. "BloodPop [who executive produced Chromatica with Lady Gaga] brought it up, and we talked about how Chromatica was essentially on its own when you first look at it, it seems to be about colors and all the different colors and also music is made of a chromatic scale, you know? So it’s all the colors, all the sounds, you know, so we, we’re talking about inclusivity and life and also a lot of what we see around us and what we’re experiencing is math, which is very much like music and and sound is math as well. So we talked about that, and then I sort of went back and I said, “OK, well, yeah, it’s inclusivity but it's really a way of thinking,” you know, it's not just, “Oh, Chromatica, we’re being inclusive with all the colors, all the people,” and when I say, “All the colors, all the people,” I mean way more than we could possibly fathom." "I think that we’re actually operating on a completely rudimentary level where we square things off into very simplified colors when actually we’re all extremely different in a vast variety of ways that stem from both, like, genetics as well as epigenetics, like, we’re all completely different and I thought OK, well maybe, Chromatica is a frame of mind. And that is my frame of mind, and I don’t know that I’ve ever made an album that wasn’t on Chromatica in some type of way, meaning like my frame of mind is always a part of my music, and this is just my way of kind of expressing, even in a both literal and abstract way, that, like, making music and putting it out into the world is my perspective on life, and it’s also my gift to the world in the best way that I can, and I think that everyone on any given day is doing the absolute best that they can do, and this is my perspective, and here it is, and it’s always been my perspective, but now I know that it was my perspective." Hits Daily Double claims Gaga will soon share tour dates. A music exec working on Gaga's new album, Gina Zimmitti, posted then deleted a photo of her in a recording studio with the caption: “🙂🙂 smiles all around! @whiteseamusic wrote & @amiedots orchestrated some beautiful string and brass arrangements for @ladygaga highly anticipated album! #LG6 is set for an early 2020 release. We love these talented ladies!! 🤩” A mid-April release date might be in the cards. DJ White Shadow, who worked closely with Gaga on Born This Way and ARTPOP, says he's heard the new album and called it genius. "I actually am not working on LG6," he told E! News. "I sat this one out. I've heard it. It's not my art to share with you, but I can tell you this, [as] with everything that she does, it's genius. I'm excited for her to put it out. I think that it's really good." At one point, DJWS was working on LG6. He described the record as ARTPOP's little sister, but Gaga has since shifted gears. Grimes also showed the project with praise. Are YOU excited for Popga? Drop us a line in the comments.
    6 points
  4. Congratulations, you've joined the ranks of all the rest. Hilary Duff has created more glimmering pop gems throughout her near 20-year career than the GP cares to admit. Whether she likes it or not there’s a demand for more new tunes. The problem is… she doesn’t really want to create more of these precious bops. Why, Hilary? WHY? According to the Grammy nominated (hopefully one day) singer, her filming schedule is just too hectic. “[Younger] keeps me so busy. When am I going to tour? How am I going to make a record?,” she said in 2018. Even worse… in the beginning of 2016, Duff said she is “not going to be on a world tour and be the top of the charts because I don’t have the time to put in and that’s not what’s important to me.” Here we are three years later and still no closer to new music minus a couple of one-offs (“Little Lies” is that bop though). It appears Hilary wants almost nothing to do with the music biz, so we’ve decided to write a piece explaining just how great her music actually is and *hopefully* inspire Miss Hilary to reconsider. It's worth mentioning she hopped on a cover of Third Eye Blind's "I'll Never Let You Go" recently with husband Matthew Koma and RAC - there's hope! For someone who doesn’t seem to have a huge passion for making pop music, Hilary has a long menu of incredibly delicious pop entrees that gays and gals have gobbled up since the Lizzie McGuire era. If you didn’t memorize Lizzie’s choreographed dance routine to “What Dreams Are Made Of” did you even have a childhood? The film was the catalyst for Disney execs to reframe Hilary from tween queen to bonafide pop star, and they did it in a way where she didn’t lose her **** (or her clothes). Just a few weeks after Lizzie’s trip to Rome, Hilary dropped her debut album, Metamorphosis (I’m not counting 2002’s Santa Claus Lane and you will deal). It was bubble gum pop rock that was edgy enough for youngsters to feel like they could comfortably move on from Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century’s “Supernova Girl” (also still that bop) and into something more age-appropriate for a freshman in high school. That album put Hilary onto the map in a way we hadn’t see before – she wasn’t being recognized for her after school shenanigans with Miranda and Gordo – people who weren’t already following along started to take notice. “So Yesterday” was a self-assured song that oozed budding independence. It still reminds me to this day to let go of petty dramas constantly ignited by Internet comments or when I’m grilled in the besties group text. The record also birthed literally iconic theme songs for MTV’s The Hills (“Come Clean”) and Sweet Sixteen. Five bucks says you just pictured a mascara tear rolling down LC’s face and some little brat screaming about getting a Mercedes instead of a Bentley. Yea, Metamorphosis was cheesy, guilty pleasure pop music for tweens, and I still jam to it on occasion, but more importantly it grabbed our attention and paved the way for more flawless music to come. Hilary’s 2004 self-titled is arguably the strangest body of work she’s ever put forth (in music and film). She perfectly captured the rebellious angsts of adolescence in a bottle with songs like “Mr. James Dean,” “Dangerous To Know” and “Weird.” Normally, Disney starlets startle parents by stripping off their wardrobe, but Hilary decided to scream on a bunch of songs and get the kids fired up to throw down. Though Hilary Duff was defiantly bizarre, it contained a back-to-back 1-2 punch with “Shine” and “I Am.” The songwriting on this couplet was explorative – she discovers puppy love on the former and self-love on the latter. It was the stepping stone she needed to create her masterpiece… The leap from soda pop rock of the self titled to dark pop with Dignity is under appreciated. Hilary was finally channeling real-life situations into her music, disguising that manicured smile behind electro-tinged beats and icy synths. It’s one of the first instances in Hilary’s music where she flexed her vocal guns, pointed and shot mercilessly. She had a few unsuspecting victims in her crosshairs, and when the time was right… rained fire. It marked a pivot from shallow teeny bops to dance music with substance. Gone were the bratty guitar riffs and sugary sweet choruses – Hilary had an obsession with dazzling electric bangers a la “Play With Fire” and “With Love,” but she sinks her teeth into players on a few other standout tracks. “Stranger” and “Gypsy Woman” take shots at the woman who her father had an affair with. On the former, swirling horns call attention to the urgency in Hilary’s icy stabs. “‘Stranger’ is a song I wrote about how my mom must feel around my dad,” she said at the time. “I made it seem like it was about a relationship I was in, because I didn’t want people to know about my parents, but I’ve realized that so many people can relate to what I’ve gone through.” “Gypsy Woman” is considerably harsher towards the unnamed woman, describing her as a home wrecking ***** that lacks empathy, but hey there’s some pretty infectious middle eastern-style production to distract us from the fact that Hilary is seething with resentment. The album title track may or may not be about Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. “Dignity is a song that is definitely about people in Hollywood”, she said. “I wouldn’t say that it is about [Richie] specifically but it is about people that kind of do what she does and act the way she acts.” You may recall the iconic line, “you’d show up to the opening of an envelope.” It’s Hilary’s angsty rage captured in rare form. Hilary said “Danger” was about one of her friend’s relationships with a guy considerably older in age. A friend wink wink. But Dignity isn’t all pop doom and gloom – it’s got a couple of outstanding rays of sunshine that still light up my workout playlists, like “Outside Of You” and “I Wish” (seems like every album has two phenomenal back-to-back tracks am I right?). All these years later, the album sounds fresh and original to anything currently curating Spotify’s Top Songs playlist. Hilary tried escaping the gravitational pull of electro anthems when she began recording the followup, breathe in. breathe out. Though she ultimately ended up with a collection of warm, pulsating dance tracks, she began with different intentions. Fans wouldn’t get a new album from Hilary for another eight years, and during that time she explored her roots with country-folk pop tracks. Hilary tried captivating audiences with songs like “Chasing The Sun” and “All About You,” both genuinely vibrant feel-good tunes, but she shifted back to a sound that might strike a chord on the Hot 100 and ended up releasing “Sparks” (which it did). Dignity, though on the surface appeared to be YAAAS KWEEN-style bops, was pretty “super heavy” for Hil, so when it came time to record Breathe, Duff set her sights on something warm and cuddly. “The album is a range of stuff,” Duff said in 2015 of BIBO. “I would say definitely in the beginning when I started writing, it was pretty heavy, coming out of my past year of life. It’s changed since then, which is good because I think that the overall theme too – me, personally, I’m not this super heavy girl. You know? I’m one for the sunshine, so it’s shifted a lot and it feels a lot better to me.” The Ed Sheeran-penned “Tattoo,” “Confetti” (co-produced and written by her now fiancé, Matthew Koma. Side note: it samples Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is a Place on Earth,” and that’s pretty special), “My Kind” and “One In A Million” are innocent knee-slappers that steer clear from the chilling introspective topics that take center stage on Dignity. After tapping out from pop rock again, Hilary dyed her hair blue, threw on a leotard, learned some choreography and dove back into pure pop with “Sparks.” “Sparks” had some serious talent behind it – Bloodshy co-produced it (Britney Spears’ “Toxic”) with songwriting provided by Tove Lo (Sweden’s impact). It’s probably the closest we’ve come to Hilary Duff The Pop Star™ in-part thanks to the stylized video. You may recall she initially released a clip for it that came off more like a really, really long Tinder advertisement than an actual music video, so begrudgingly her team released a “Fan-Demanded” version (sans Tinder and lots of dancing) because there was that much outrage. But what it proved is that Hilary isn’t just a one-trick pony, she’s versatile and wide-ranged – maybe not vocally, but great pop music doesn’t require that. If the tables were turned… could Adele pull off “Sparks?” We’ve grown up with Hilary Duff. She personified a young rebellious spirit figuring life out on her earlier works, sharpened her nails with Dignity then went back to singing about sunshine and confetti on breathe in. breathe out. She’s in an interesting position right now in regards to how or when she should release new music. In the time since her last record, Hilary has fallen in love, had another baby, starred in a hit TV show and you know… lived. She has stories to share, and we’re all ears. That is, if she’s willing to tell.
    3 points
  5. Britney gave us something to remember. BreatheHeavy has an energetic history with the track. Producer Dr. Luke (this was prior to his name becoming synonyms with filth), co-produced the song with Max Martin (“Baby One More Time”) and Billboard. He revealed the title to fans on February 5, 2011, in a not-so-cryptic Tweet. It was love at first fansite. Luke actually campaigned as much as the Britney Army did to make “Inside Out” a single. A fan Tweeted at the time, “Inside Out has its very own Wikipedia page, thats how much of a kick *** song it is…lets put pressure to see it as a single,” and the producer’s public response was “agreed.” Another follower doubled down. “So was it decided early on that Inside Out wouldn’t be a single? INSANITY that it wasnt on the tour, wasnt a single, etc.” Luke responded again: “i agree…. i love that song..” (Receipts) Luke’s feelings were shared by the Britney Army, and since 2011 fans have moved on from the electro breakup anthem staying out of single status, but we haven’t forgotten. It’s worth mentioning that at the time, Britney posted a poll on Facebook asking fans to vote for the fourth official single between “Criminal”, “(Drop Dead) Beautiful” and “Inside Out,” and “Criminal” took home the win. I’d like to point out more people voted for Hillary Clinton than Trump. Luke, Max and Billboard co-wrote “Inside Out” with Jacob Kasher Hindlin (he also co-wrote “Ooh La La”) and Bonnie McKee (Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream). McKee also contributes background vocals on the track, along with Myah Marie, an infamous character in Britney’s post-Blackout discography. The song details love’s bittersweet purgatory. Britney’s relationship is on the brink of destruction, yet there remains an undeniable physical attraction. So much so, that despite the inevitable emotional turmoil, she find an excuse to link up with her man to lay it down in the sheets. If you’ve ever been in love, but know it won’t end in Happily Ever After, “Inside Out” is too relatable. It’s not hyped enough to be a banger, but not slow enough to be considered a power ballad. It was a dizzying, icy tune before chill pop was in season. “Inside Out” is versatile. Sonically, it could’ve easily fit on In The Zone, Blackout, or Circus, but walks a fine line between being polite and overtly ******. That balance makes it radiate on Femme Fatale, a record filled with dubstep-laced bops about the tail-end of a dissolving relationship. Interestingly, Britney’s engagement to ex-fiance Jason Trawick ended not long after the era concluded. Justice for “Inside Out,” because it whole-heartedly deserved to be in the spotlight and receive a video treatment. But regardless, Britney and co. gave us a shimmering audio gem that fans will forever cherish.
    3 points
  6. Decades of music journalism has shunned the pop world with the perception that many of its stars are just pretty faces that sing pre-packaged, banal hits. From the beginning of her career to the present, few artists have received more criticism in this regard than pop princess Britney Spears. However, Britney has always been involved in her career, from the iconic schoolgirl look in “Baby One More Time” to her unique and distinctive vocal performances. Few people outside of her fanbase have taken the time to look into her writing credits that are woven into her discography. But an in-depth look into these credits reveals a keen ear for melody and a talent for intriguing lyrics. Britney’s first writing credit came from the B-Side to her second single “Sometimes,” a teen pop ditty called “I’m So Curious,” co-written with early collaborator Eric Foster White. It’s an eternal mystery why this noteworthy tune was left off the …Baby One More Time album proper, although it’s a well-regarded deep cut from die-hard fans. It’s a song about the anticipation of a crush and ultimately does the job better than Britney’s second writing credit off of Oops!…I Did It Again, the closing track “Dear Diary,” which is somewhat infamous for its saccharine lyrics. However, most tracks became a jumping off point for Britney’s venture into writing more tracks as she prepped for her third album. Britney is the first album where we have an album’s worth of unreleased material, most of it with writing credits from Britney. Tracks such as “She’ll Never Be Me” and “When I Say So” would have been certified hits if included on the album and demonstrate Britney’s ability to write a solid pop song, deliver provocative lyrics, and play on her already controversial image on “Am I A Sinner?” These were cut for unknown reasons by her label, beginning a theme in Britney’s work with her label. "You know that I'm one of a kind." As it is on the album proper, Britney includes surprisingly personal lyrics for someone just shedding their teenybopper image. “Let Me Be” is an extraordinary statement of identity and defiance, themes that are also present on tracks such as “Lonely” and “Cinderella,” both fan favourites. The latter track’s spoken word middle eight is an album highlight for many fans. In addition to declaring her independence, Britney also used her writing chops on lovestruck tunes such as “That’s Where You Take Me” and “Intimidated” (sadly relegated to being the international B-Side to “I’m A Slave 4 U”). However, the highlight of the album for me is the bonus track “Before the Goodbye” – an odd tune thanks to the production by BT, but featuring a solid melody and strong lyrics that absolutely pull on your heartstrings. Give this underrated track a spin if you haven’t. Britney truly came into her own with her fourth album In The Zone. Unreleased tracks from this era show her ability to write tracks in pop’s numerous subgenres, such as pop rock (the kiss-off “Rockstar,” allegedly directed at Fred Durst) and urban pop (“Get It”), among the numerous other unreleased tracks from this era. The album itself showcases her writing strengths with highlights such as the rapid-fire pre-chorus on “Me Against the Music” and the melody structure on “Early Mornin’” demonstrating the work of Britney and collaborators to create a vivid musical landscape. “Touch of My Hand” is an absolute masterpiece of a track – sometimes written off as “the ************ track,” the song is simply beautiful, with a lovely melody line and lyrics that aren’t skeevy, but rather focus on the emotions of the moment. Fans will recognize “Everytime” as Britney’s first released song entirely written by her. It’s an exquisite track of asking for forgiveness, even as collaborators encouraged her to release more brash tracks regarding her break-up with Justin Timberlake (including the unreleased track “Guilty” and “Sweet Dreams My LA-Ex,” which ended up being recorded by UK artist Rachel Stevens.) The song has an enduring legacy as one of the best ballads of the early 2000s and there’s a reason for that: it’s a damn good song. "She's the original." In the interim between In The Zone and her fifth album, Britney released a greatest hits album, a remix album, and an EP for her reality TV show. Each of these included a track written by Britney, with Chaotic featuring two standout tracks in particular, in “Mona Lisa” and “Someday (I Will Understand),” with the latter being another track entirely by Britney herself. “Mona Lisa,” allegedly once the lead single for her scrapped album Original Doll, is well-known among fans for its intriguing lyrics – Britney sings, “She was taken under drowning in her sea/Running like an angel, she was crying and could not see/Now see everyone’s watching as she starts to fall/They want her to breakdown be a legend of her fall” in the second verse, foreshadowing her own public issues in later years, again demonstrating her ability to assert herself among controversy. The lyrics were changed (some might say “lobotomized”) for the song’s release on Chaotic. “Someday” is a much more digestible track about the birth of Britney’s first son. A piano ballad about learning to trust in God’s plan, the song is serene and a demonstration of Britney’s sincere writing style – in another universe, she might have transitioned to being a singer-songwriter after this and “Everytime.” There’s some inclination towards singer-songwriter music in the unreleased tracks from Britney’s fifth album, such as with “To Love Let Go,” “Untitled Lullaby,” and “Little Me.” However, the album itself trends more towards Britney as the dance-pop queen. While serving as executive producer, Britney only has a writing credit on two songs, “Freakshow” and “Ooh Ooh Baby.” The former is a great track that, like many of the tracks on the album, plays on Britney’s personal life and relationship with the paparazzi at the time: “If they wanna know/Tell ’em mind their own/But if they wanna look/We can give ’em an encore.” “Ooh Ooh Baby” is classic sultry Britney, with a pleasing melody over a Latin guitar. Despite the explicit lyrics, the song never feels like it goes too far. Circus features some of Britney’s most unique writings. “Mmm Papi” and “Mannequin” are two of the most interesting tracks in Britney’s catalogue, including an unsteady melody lines and off-kilter lyrics. Despite their unconventional nature, they’re still flawless pop songs. Deluxe track “Rock Me In” also demonstrates that even after her personal struggles, Britney can still write a sick hook. Femme Fatale featured only one track with a Britney writing credit, the Japanese deluxe track “Scary,” although I would argue that this is the album’s strongest track, featuring lines that are very Britney (“It’s turned me into a monster, like I’m Jekyll & Hyde”) and a dope hook. Not only should this have been on the standard edition, it could have been a solid single choice. Sadly, we’ll never know what lead to its status an international bonus track. The 2013 album Britney Jean is much maligned for its production being dated on release, but Britney has writing credits on every song on the album. There are definitely instances of brilliance in the writing for the album. Album opener “Alien” is an out of this world track about finding love after a long period of loneliness, co-authored with industry legend William Orbit. The “Go call the governor” section in “Work *****” is pure pop bliss and clearly plays to Britney’s strengths. Second single “Perfume” is a ballad with deeply personal lyrics, playing on the common theme in Britney’s work of the pain of adultery – “Where Are You Now” and the Britney-penned “Guilty” being other examples. Numerous other tracks on the album, such as “Body Ache” and “Tik Tik Boom” would have slotted nicely in 2009, demonstrating that Britney can still write an ear-pleasing hook. Closer “Don’t Cry” and deluxe track “Brightest Morning Star” are excellent demonstrations of Britney’s potential as a singer-songwriter. "150 miles away, singing out my lungs." Glory features less personal lyrics, but Britney’s tracks on the album once again prove that even twenty years into her career she can craft expert hooks on tracks such as lead single “Make Me…” and “Private Show.” Even as much of the album focuses on *** and hook-ups, “Just Like Me” (a devastating track about being the victim of cheating) and the French track “Coupure Électrique” show that Britney still has the chops that made “Everytime” so memorable. Britney’s able to function in two different lanes, as a creator of bombastic pop singles that rely on their hooks and an earnest singer-songwriter with a flair for confessional lyrics. In another universe, perhaps we see Britney exert more control, as she did on In The Zone, and receive a push from her label to transition her away from the image of a manufactured pop star. However, as it stands, we have a collection of Britney penned tracks that demonstrate her abilities and are appreciated by many fans. Britney’s career has been marked with claims of artificiality; yet, unlike many one-and-done pop stars, she’s stuck around and developed a strong fanbase. Beyond just her likeable personality and unique vocal style, her writing shines as a reason for this. It’s no surprise that In The Zone attracted much of her adult fanbase and fans hunger for her scrapped stripped-down album The Original Doll. Her frequently excluded or demoted credits add to her allure: to knowledgeable fans, these hidden gems demonstrate her often-forgotten hidden depths that have only been allowed to shine in the public consciousness by way of “Everytime.” Britney’s underappreciated artistry creates a bond with her fanbase that keeps us fervorous between eras and among transitions in her career, inspiring dedication that few pop stars can muster over twenty years into their careers. By Carol Scott
    3 points
  7. Dyllan White first popped up on BreatheHeavy with a mashup of a few Britney Spears classics. Consider it a stealthy debut for the up-and-comer. Britney is one of the most polarizing pop fixtures on the planet; anything that orbits close to her stardom gets judged with a magnifying glass. Dyllan's remix was no different – the Britney Army had a lot to say about his release, and the reaction was a mixed bag. Dyllan is one of BreatheHeavy's newest Creators. If you are interested in becoming part of it, please email me at Jordan[@]breatheheavy.com. Creators shines a light on independent pop artists. I caught up with Dyllan to gauge his reaction following our premiere post. As someone who's dealt with hurtful Internet comments for more than 15 years, I understand his position. Nobody wants their work judged negatively, but it's also an inseparable piece of the puzzle. Greatness is forged from the push and pull of good and bad, but why does the negativity cling, haunt and sabotage us more than the positive? Check out my interview with Dyllan about that, then let us know what you think in the comments. And while I've got you... keep an eye out for another Dyllan White music premiere post on Valentine's Day. 👀
    3 points
  8. The princess of pop’s perfume empire expands. Britney Spears is reportedly taking 2020 to focus on regaining control over her personal life, but the Britney Brand is still producing products for purchase. Every six months or so, the pop star’s company releases a new perfume. The latest is Glitter Fantasy: a spin-off of Fantasy. It’ll reportedly debut worldwide this month or early February, though some fans were able to get their hands on it already. Fragrantica.com has it up for sale. It’s unclear if Glitter Fantasy will be made available for purchase in the US. "This sparkling scent glimmers with twists of sophistication," reads a note from the perfume brand. "Flirtatious red fruits mingle with a radiant floral bouquet. Seductive woods and enveloping musks glisten for a moment of surprise and delight." A reviewer of the fragrance says it smells like Red Berry Melody, Red Plum, pink Puff Violet Accord, Lotus Blossom, Heliotrope, Musks, Agarwood and Benzoin Resinoid. There’s also a rumored promotional composite photo of Britney, though no one can confirm if it’s official or not. However, the photo in the header of this post is official. The marketing team in charge of Britney Spears’ fragrance empire deserves a raise, because they’re relentless. The Fantasy fragrance line has 18 versions now. They include Fantasy, Midnight Fantasy, Hidden Fantasy, Circus Fantasy, Fantasy Twist, Island Fantasy, Fantasy Anniversary Edition, Fantasy The Nice Remix, Fantasy The Naughty Remix, Fantasy Stage Edition, Rocker Femme Fantasy, Fantasy Renner Edition, Fantasy Intimate Edition, Maui Fantasy, In Bloom Fantasy, Sunset Fantasy, Fantasy Pride Edition and now Glitter Fantasy. Are YOU buying Glitter Fantasy?
    3 points
  9. 'Witness' has long been regarded a very difficult album to love, and “Bon Appetit” is perhaps the best example of why. “Bon Appétit” is a decidedly left-field choice for a single that eschews the candy-coated formula of prior Perry eras. However, that’s precisely why the track deserved more than its lukewarm response, and also why Witness remains one of Katy’s strongest albums. Let’s be clear: the era was a mess and Katy made some truly ridiculous missteps during the promotion, but don’t get it twisted—despite the few duds it encloses, Witness is an album stacked with capital-b BOPS, among them this oft-neglected flop—by Katy’s standards, of course. The track has recently been making waves on streaming services, though. UMG gave “Bon Appétit” an inexplicable marketing push and YouTube’s mercurial algorithms have also favored it as recommended viewing, insofar that it jumped into the top-15 videos on YouTube with almost 5 million daily views. It’s collected almost 700 million now, a stupefying fact given the collective shrug most pop fans offered in response to the track and Witness two years ago. The song’s disarmingly fetish-filled music video is decked with user comments reflecting on how well the song aged, and for once they’re right: “Bon Appétit” is an overlooked gem in Katy’s history of bombastic pop singles, both more experimental than her prior work and less bizarre than Witness’s more fearless deep cuts. Underneath the echo-chamber acoustics of the track’s minimalist electronic instrumental lies a killer earworm hook and one of the more noteworthy music videos in Perry’s videography. As had already become custom for Perry in 2017, the clip for “Bon Appétit” juxtaposes the ludicrous with the provocative, the ridiculous with the erotic. Food, fittingly enough, becomes the medium in which Perry communicates the song’s flirtation with tropes of aphrodisiacs and ****** consumption, expanding on the more simplistic symbolism of her phallic breasts squirting whipped cream in “California Gurls.” Here, there’s a marked juxtaposition between desire and lunacy, readily apparent via the opening shot of red liquid that suggestively squirts out the title, only to be followed by the illumination of a neon sign indicating that what follows is “NSFW.” The cinematography of the clip follows up this dualism, marrying tongue-in-cheek close-ups of Perry’s face mugging with orgasmic pleasure and the more objectifying wide angles showing various parts of Perry’s voluptuous curves covered in flour and being kneaded like dough or tenderized like meat. The message is clear: Katy Perry is a fancy feast, but she willingly objectifies herself only to emphasize that she exists as much to devour as to be devoured. Perry eats throughout the video, often from the garnishes she is literally being served with, plucking berries and oysters from the triangular serving dish between her legs. She’s shrink-wrapped to a bed like pre-packaged meat in the video’s first shot of her, but she wakes up before the chefs puncture the plastic, smiling as if to invite what’s to come. Whatever the frivolity of the song’s lyrics, the video thus becomes a definitive commentary on agency: throughout the meal-prep sequences of the first half of the video, Perry’s character enjoys and participates in the processes preparing her for consumption, anticipating the video’s final twist: she is the one who will be consuming. Perry after all is the one sitting down to eat at the close of the video, while body parts protrude from the beastly pie steaming in front of her. Just as there’s more to take from the video than the surface themes of foodie fetishes, the track warrants a closer look, especially given that one of the biggest complaints against “Bon Appétit” was that it never goes anywhere as a song. While prior Perry singles often served as blueprints for instantly-memorable hooks and radio-ready pop-chorus belting, “Bon Appétit” is a more subtle beast. It opens with a primary synthesizer theme, heavy on the treble, which evokes early 90s house music, a la Perry’s own “Walking On Air” and Erotica-era Madonna. A second synth theme begins at 0:44, and its chirp-like sparkles usher in the track’s reverb effect and its delicious use of percussion. After the track goes quiet for the bridge, the percussion returns for the second verse, which builds in intensity as the tempo gradually accelerates. By the 2:15 mark, the track at last blooms into a holistic menagerie of the various elements at work: there are two basslines, the twinkly synths, the 90s house keyboard line, and the reverb effect all working to create a downright hypnotic banger subtler and more controlled than virtually anything on the radio in 2017, let alone now when trap has all but usurped the glory days of dance-pop of the early 2010s. Where the track most surprisingly shines, however, is on the feature. (Who would have thought? But let me explain.) As each member of Migos takes a turn in the spotlight, the music not only adjusts, it progresses. Initially it sounds like the energy of the track disappears at the first rap verse when the trap bassline appears, but as each member of Migos takes over, the prior elements of the song slowly creep back in, most notably increasing at 2:45, until the slinky bass of the last rap verse signals the calm before the storm at 3:12 when all the prior elements raucously return. By that point, the track has less than a minute to wrap up, and when it does, my immediate reaction is always to play it again. It’s by far the most experimental single Katy has ever released, and as such it’s an ideal catalyst to re-explore Witness, which sees Perry exploring far more than she’s given credit for doing. Get beyond the laughable singles “Swish Swish” *facepalm* and “Hey Hey Hey” (really, Sia? f**king really?) and there are many tracks equally beguiling that unfold much like “Bon Appétit.” The album, like the song, rewards repeat listening. The song’s recent success is a welcome reminder that even the most formidable of pop stars is not immune from the cruel counterpoint to stan culture: fans and the general public alike turned on Katy at a moment’s notice at the very moment it was most important for her to try something new. It wasn’t enough to chastise her for daring to have a political opinion when we apparently preferred her as the vapid songstress providing the bubblegum soundtracks to our summers from 2009-2012. We also were encouraged to write off the album without any serious engagement. Given the track’s history, it’s hardly surprising that Perry’s visual, with Zedd, for recent collaboration “365” unfolds the way it does: cyborg Katy is created to please and devoted to doing so, but Zedd, who stands in for the general public, is unmoved and regards her disposable precisely at the moment when she is most vulnerable. She is disposed of and a replacement is brought in from the assembly line of newer, fresher, less emotionally vulnerable pop-stars in waiting, “fresh out the oven.” “Bon Appetit” foreshadows this narrative: while the clip ends with Perry about to devour a pie stuffed with the body parts of the men who had been preparing to eat her, a more compelling interpretation might be found in observing that Katy does not entirely escape becoming collateral damage down the line, as we see in “365”’s visual. The same process that empowered her has been used against her, and the song itself reflects the same principle. The success of Katy’s standardized pop format from One of the Boys through Prism was seriously challenged in Witness, despite that formula being the one with enough commercial success that she was empowered to experiment more. Fortunately, although it took a few years, the song has earned a second glance and closer consideration. “Bon appétit, baby!” By Thomas Simpson
    2 points
  10. A judge ruled Kesha defamed Dr. Luke and also cited a breach of contract after she texted Lady Gaga that Katy Perry was ***** by Dr. Luke. She must pay $373,671.88 in interest for breaching her agreement and failing to pay him $1.3 million royalties. According to previously-filed legal documents, the text Kesha sent to Gaga “falsely stated that another female recording artist [Katy Perry] had been ***** by Gottwald, and again repeated the baseless assertion that Kesha had been ***** by Gottwald.” Luke adamantly denied the claim and asked a judge to allow him to add a defamation claim to his ongoing lawsuit against Kesha for the “malicious purpose of further damaging [Dr. Luke’s] reputation and business.” The text that says the other recording artist was “***** by the same man” did not specifically state his name, but Luke's legal team says it's clear he's the one being referred to. "There is no evidence whatsoever that Gottwald ***** Katy Perry or that Katy Perry, whose sworn testimony is unrelated, must not be believed," the newly-filed docs say. You can read the docs in full here. “Today's important decision by the Court in Dr. Luke's lawsuit brings him closer to the justice that he seeks,” Dr. Luke’s attorney Christine Lepera said in a statement. “First, the Court has now ruled that Kesha made a false and defamatory accusation about Dr. Luke when she baselessly claimed that he ***** Katy Perry. Second, the Court rejected Kesha's attempts to invoke legal technicalities to avoid responsibility for her statements. And third, the Court also correctly held that Kesha breached her contract with Dr. Luke's company.” In 2018, a judge unsealed several pages of Katy Perry's testimony in the Dr. Luke x Kesha legal battle (despite the pop star formally requesting the entire document remain under lock and key). According to the transcript, Perry denies the defamed producer having ever ***** or ******** harassed her in any way, shape or form. Lawyer: Are you aware that Kesha has made a statement that Dr. Luke ***** you? Katy: Yes Lawyer: Did Dr. Luke ever **** you? Katy: No. Lawyer: Did Dr. Luke ever ******** assault you? Katy: No. Lawyer: Did he ever give you a roofie? Katy: No Lawyer: Did you have a ****** relationship with Dr. Luke at all? Katy: No. Lawyer: A romantic relationship? Katy: No. Lawyer: So Ms. Sebert's statement that Dr. Luke ***** you is false? Katy: Yes, ma'am. Dr. Luke's legal team emailed BreatheHeavy a statement at the time, saying: "In 2014, Kesha filed a bogus Complaint against Dr. Luke - which she has voluntarily dismissed - falsely claiming that he drugged and ***** her in 2005. Now, after four years of litigation, it is Dr. Luke's defamation claim that remains. Evidence is now publicly available to show that Kesha's Complaint was filed pursuant to a "Press Plan" and PR media blitz, designed to create the maximum negative public pressure on Dr. Luke in order to get him to give in to her contract demands. Having done all of the damage publicizing her false claim of **** for years, Kesha now has asked Dr. Luke to not speak publicly about the evidence just being revealed... even though this is the first time Dr. Luke has the opportunity to do so with some of the actual facts. Ironic, indeed." Kesha recently released her new album, High Road.
    2 points
  11. Bus, Plane, No Sleep, Club, Another Club, Anxiety, Paparazzi, Concert, No Sleep, Photoshoot, Depression, Body Dysmorphia, Concert Bombing, Album release, Bi-polar disorder, broken marriage, Award Show, next place, trauma, another concert. We’ve all seen the headlines. Demi Lovato suffered an overdose after years of sobriety. Lady Gaga has PTSD. Katy Perry chopped her hair off yearning to be just Katy Hudson again. Ariana Grande shared a catscan of the trauma in her brain compared to a healthy one. Julia Michaels and Selena Gomez put out a song called “Anxiety.” Britney Spears checked into a mental treatment facility last year. What does it mean to be a public figure in the music industry dealing with mental health? How do you handle the pressures of fame and managing your career while also navigating your own experiences with Depression, Anxiety, and so much more. Before we dive in any deeper, we need to acknowledge there are a lot of layers here. There is of course a component of how the media projects a sense of perfection onto popstars. If you are a popstar, you are automatically obligated to adhere to an unspoken set of unrealistic expectations and standards. You have to be a role model, somewhat modest, ****** enough for the men to fantasize about you, but edgy enough for the women to admire you. Then of course, we need to think about how society draws lines in how we view and react to physical health compared to mental health. Think about how Selena Gomez undergoing surgery during battle with Lupus was reported compared to Justin Bieber taking solitary strolls in a park. Then, we get to the modern social media savvy popstar, many of whom have become unapologetically forthcoming and authentic in how they present themselves and their personal struggles with mental health. Finally, you have the evolution of how fans and the general public consumes all of this along with the music to get a comprehensive product by their fav. Our expectations for what makes a popstar genuine and relatable versus a snake are changing. But we need to ask ourselves, how does a popstar’s truth about their mental health impact how we perceive them? Does it help or hurt their Brand? And at the end of the day, is it any of our business? While, as a society, we should always be striving for empathy, compassion, and kindness – mental illness remains a taboo. We have come a long way in the last several years and we are seeing more and more work being done to end the stigma around mental health. 1 in 5 Adults have a mental health condition. Youth Mental Health is worsening, with 76% of youth left with no or insufficient treatment. More than 56% of adults with mental illness don’t receive treatment. However, celebrities and popstars have the benefit of getting a platform to address some of these things using their visibility. As more public figures come forward with their stories and personal battles, more people are finding comfort in realizing they are not alone. Just like with menstruation, ****** assault, racism, homophobia and many other “taboo” subjects, we are starting to see emerging dialogue to help discuss and educate to make progress in removing stigma from mental health related issues. Over the last two decades we have witnessed an evolution in pop music. I can remember a time when a popstar was supposed to embody perfection. The girl next door type with not a single hair out of place and a smile plastered on their face – oh, and they can also do full choreographed dance routines, meet and greets, world tours, and fragrances. That archetype of a popstar started to change with the introduction of social media. No longer was the only access to a popstar a well-rehearsed TV performance or edited interview. Suddenly, you could see what your fav had for lunch, who they are hanging out with, and what they look like with no make-up. This is where things got a little more personal. But this is also where we started to see that veneer of pop perfection crack and reveal the humanity behind pop diva personas. We, are consumers of pop music, can get so caught up in the glitz and glamour of it all, it’s hard to wrap our heads around even the most unlikely of divas struggling with mental health. Mother Monster, Lady Gaga, might be known for her pop bangers and over the top fashion. But she has also been fighting for women’s rights, the LGBT, and one of the leaders in the fight to end stigma around Mental Health. She has been incredibly outspoken about her own struggles with PTSD and trauma. During the the SAG AFTRA Awards in 2018, Lady Gaga had some powerful words to share with the audience: This was one of many occasions where Gaga has used her platform to start a dialogue around Mental Health and the stigma surrounding the subject. It’s something that has definitely resonated with her Little Monsters and ultimately, it’s a bond Gaga shares with her fans that transcends the music she makes. It’s not just about bopping to the “Bad Romance” singers edgy pop records. There seems to be a feeling of comfort, security, and empathy that Gaga shares with her fans. What’s more impressive is the fact that this isn’t something that she stopped doing after she wrapped up the “Born this Way” era. Whether she’s sitting down with Prince William, or accepting an award for her music or acting work, she constantly uses her platform to talk about those suffering with mental health issues and shedding light on how we need to come together and make a difference. Gaga founded the Born This Way Foundation and with the help of her mother, there are always initiatives in motion to make a difference in the community. “The time has come for us all, collectively, to tackle the causes and symptoms of mental illness, and provide care for those who suffer from it,” she declares in a piece she had published on the Guardian. Anxiety, depression, and stress getting you down? Well Ariana suggests that we “just keep breathin, and breathin, and breathin.” Issa bop and issa a relatable anthem for music listeners all over the world. Ariana Grande is another example of a popstar diva, who has been very transparent about her mental health. We have seen the “7 rings” singer whipping that luscious ponytail around and commanding the stage with such a fierce presence. You would never suspect that she gets stage fright, that she worries about looking awkward while doing choreography, and that she struggles with anxiety like millions of people around the world. In the span of the last 2 years she has also had to deal with a terrorist attack, the death of an ex, and the dissolution of wedding. Despite these very difficult hardships, Ariana has kept a forward momentum in her career. Ariana’s got a major support system in her friends, family, and dedicated fanbase. She uses music as therapy and a creative expression to process her trauma – and Ariana Grande is the queen of Social Media. With hundreds of millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter, she has candidly shared her journey with managing her mental health. Fans have questioned how Ari is managing it all and she has been an open book about her entire journey. When asked about therapy, she had this to say to a fan: She also talked about it in interviews. She’s done hour long interviews on the Zach Song show where she talked about her struggles with anxiety and depression and how she channeled that into her records. She has done some interviews with major publications too where she candidly talked said, “When I got home from tour, I had really wild dizzy spells, this feeling like I couldn’t breathe,” she told ELLE magazine during an interview after wrapping the Dangerous Woman tour, “I would be in a good mood, fine and happy, and they would hit me out of nowhere. I’ve always had anxiety, but it had never been physical before. There were a couple of months straight where I felt so upside down.” Strangely, success does seem to be tied to artists who can be incredibly transparent with their struggles with mental health. Following some of Ariana’s major incidents, she has gone on to release Sweetener and Thank U, Next. Two very personal albums that were passion projects that organically came together while she was trying to find a way to heal. She’s put out songs like: No Tears Left to Cry, Get Well Soon, Breathin, Ghostin’ and Thank U Next, which touch on Ari’s struggles with depression, anxiety, and loss in an incredibly raw fashion. This vulnerability seems to have translated into chart success for the popstar, who seemed just as surprised but relieved when she discussed this on the Zach Song Show. Similar parallels can be made to when Britney Spears went through her very public breakdown in 2007. While the tabloids watched her every move, she somehow managed to make time to get into the studio and release what is still considered to be one of her greatest record, Blackout. And while the Blackout era did not get the video treatment and proper single promotion that it deserved, it is interesting to note, when she made her infamous “comeback” from the breakdown, she landed a #1 hit with Womanizer. What does this say about us as a society? As much as trauma and mental struggles are a taboo to discuss openly, there seems to be a strange fascination with these very public figures who open up about it and let us in. Perhaps some part of it resonates with the masses, that part that makes these pop deities human and relatable. Or perhaps subconsciously there is a more sinister driver here – the public’s desire to watch someone so candidly dealing with mental health issues, fail. Regardless of the reasoning, one thing is for sure. How we look at popstars is evolving and there is almost an odd sense of entitlement to have full access to celebrities and their struggles. While, I applaud artists like Ariana for being for forthcoming, it’s also absolutely her prerogative to not share any details about her personal state of mind with millions of people. But at the end of the day, what do you want from your popstars? Just some bops and a picture perfect persona? Or does it help to see our pop divas advocating for mental health and showing those struggling with these issues all over the world that they share a commonality. By Mohammad Mumtaz
    1 point
  12. The *****cat Dolls are hard at work on a new album. The group just released a fiery, choreo-heavy music video for their comeback single, "React," and have more in store. “Our music has always been very diverse,” PCD front woman Nicole Scherzinger tells People. “So we’ve just been playing around with a lot of songs that we feel are very strong and anthemic and very dance-driven because we are typically known as a dance group. We’re just kind of taking one thing at a time.” She added, “We knew that we were excited for the comeback and to get the single together and the video and now we’re focusing on the tour. So with the music, we’re just seeing where that takes us.” It's worth mentioning Variety confirmed an album is in the works. Us Weekly previously said they'd release an EP. The Dolls revealed they'll likely perform new material on tour. A lot of fans complained Scherzinger's voice overwhelmingly dominated "React." Hopefully their new tunes feature the rest of the girls equally. Are you excited for new PCD music?
    1 point
  13. Whether you're an independent artist, a new business owner, or pushing yourself to try something new, breaking through the noise can prove difficult. We tend to look towards our past for evidence of what can happen in our future, but that'll only result in more of the same. The flip side is having laser focus on what's to come, setting goals and working towards them... but then we miss out on defining moments unfolding in the present. How do we find success if it's continually leading the race? Up-and-coming singer Dyllan White and I unpack that conundrum in our latest video chat together. You may recall seeing our posts about his Britney Spears mashup and dual-video premieres. I asked him how he defines success and failure, where inspiration comes from and more. Check out our interview together below, then come back on Friday, February 28, for the premiere of his latest video, "JuNgLe." Thoughts? Drop us a line in the comments.
    1 point
  14. Dyllan White is uninhibited in his new visual for "JuNgLe," the latest single from the rising independent pop artist. Dyllan is one of BreatheHeavy's newest Creators artists. Creators is a BreatheHeavy application that highlights and promotes up-and-coming artists. It gives readers a break from the constant cycle of pop titan news, instead providing an opportunity for fans of pop to sink their teeth into something unseen. Following our video interview together is Dyllan's magnetic new clip for "JuNgLe," a lush pop track that showcases our new find's range from obscure to ferocious. "It’s such an animalistic song and I liked the idea of keeping the concept simple," Dyllan tells BreatheHeavy. "I really went back and forth w the concept for this video. Do I actually go make it in the jungle? Do I wear native garb? Should I be all roughed up? I decided to go for a slightly 70s acid trip meets a little bit Coachella. We added the animation afterwards and it really made the video come together." He adds: "It’s definitely a vibe. The music itself is a great walking song, and has good *** appeal. It has a tribal and raw animalistic feel to it." "This song really came together with adding animal noises and layering of my voice to give that tribal feel. This is definitely one of my most 'pop songs' and I hope y’all enjoy it." Thoughts on "JuNgLe?" Let us know what you think in the comments! If you're interested in becoming a part of Creators, please email jordan@breatheheavy.com for more information.
    1 point
  15. Hilary often reminds us she has no plans to release new music, but it appears she's had a little change of heart. The BIBO singer recorded the chorus on a cover of Third Eye Blind's "I'll Never Let You Go" alongside singer-songwriter hubby, Matthew Koma, and RAC. YUP, Hilary is singing Third Eye Blind and all feels right in the world. Duff wasn't originally meant to feature on it, but once she heard Koma and RAC's work, she "weaseled" her way onto the chorus, as she put it. Listen to the full cover below: Do you like it? Hate it? Let us know what you think in the comments!
    1 point
  16. Dyllan White is an up-and-coming independent pop singer with a frenetic energy that's as contagious as it is savage. He's a part of BreatheHeavy's budding Creators program, an initiative to highlight artists on the rise. If you are interested in joining, please email Jordan[@]breatheheavy.com. In case you missed it... Dyllan and I had a video interview chat about how the Internet can be a wondrous yet terrible place some times in regards to releasing your art. Keyboard crusaders have a lot to say now don't they? Side-stepping the haters is an important piece of the puzzle (and a sign you're on the right track), but it's not all about the meanies. Fans of indie pop can feast their eyes on two delicious Dyllan tunes: "shhh I’m Hot!" and "Get Bk @ That." Whether you're with someone on Valentine's Day or not, feel yourself to these. Check them out / read our Q&A together below, then let us know what you think of the songs/videos in the comments. Get Bk @ That: "We all have a crazy mother ****er inside ourselves," he said. "I made a joke about selling an ex’s pet to get back at them and all my friends were dyin with laughter," Dyllan continued of why he wrote "Get Bk @ That." "I was like, yeah that’s goin in a song, so I built a song around that idea." He added: "I wrote half the song while I was in the studio.. and that was the line that really got me in my writing zone... This song was sooo much fun to write and record. To really tap into my dark sense of humor." ****! I’m Hot!: "I was in need of a new confidence track, so I made one. Just something fun to listen to and to sing along to. Get yourself hyped," he said of "****! I'm Hot!" "I want people to listen to this when they need that boost of confidence. Listen to this song when you're getting ready for something that you may be nervous / insecure about. Listen to it when you’re getting ready for a night out, doing cardio in the gym, prepping for a first date or an interview." "This song is to motivate you and give you that last push of 'I CAN DO THIS!'"
    -1 points
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