After enjoying a week of BANGERS at Winter Music Conference, it’s nice to return home and hear a great vocal record with an incredibly strong set of remixes. Let me introduce to you- Adassa. Fans of Latin music already know her as the “Reggaeton Princess” and she is entering the world of dance-pop with different singles aimed different countries. While other markets are getting records featuring Flo Rida, Pitbull, and Snoop Dogg, US DJs are getting “Backfire,” a record showcasing her strong vocals (think a Latina Leona Lewis) and songwriting skills (a deep, almost confessional record where she considers sabotaging a relationship to ensure a painless breakup). The darkness of the lyrical content fits in the realm of Zedd “Stay the Night,” making a great fit for radio. Of course, DJs are all about the beats, and there is a mix for everyone – Danny Mart (a modern fusion of electro and tribal), DJ Samuel Kimko & Don Candiana (a commercial take on progressive stadium house), JC (bouncy funky house a la Crazibiza), Lucas Reyes (subtitled as tech-house, but sounds more like nu-House to me), and Simec (trap pop). All that is missing is an over-the-top Mariah Carey-ish music video featuring her working hard to get noticed and loved by her unappreciative spouse and we’ve got a major hit contender for the spring.
This one is a bit difficult to write about. London duo Infinity Ink released the buzz track “Infinity” over a year ago. A throbbing piece of minimal electro house with a ’90s vibe (and a possible reference to Guru Josh), the incessant bassline is instantly memorable and similar to heroin with its addictive nature. The spoken male vocal adds to the trippy vibe, as do the two music videos – the kaleidoscopic original video released on Crosstown Rebels and the Trainspotting-esque hallucinogenic video created for major release on Warner a year later.
A plethora of official remixes exist, with Skream’s speed garage take getting a lot of buzz. Over the past year, this track and bassline has been covered, mashed, and reworked in an infinite number of ways – some of which are quite amazing, and in one way that is clearly diabolical – namely “Can’t Believe It” by Flo Rida and Pitbull. It’s not that there is anything innately wrong with Flo Rida and Pitbull’s modus operandi of singing/rapping over electro tracks as it has created some fun party tracks (“I Cry,” “I Know You Want Me,” “Good Feeling,” “Don’t Stop the Party”). However, “Can’t Believe It” is so horrifically bad and lazy – the raps don’t even fit over the beat – and are so smutty as to appeal to middle school boys. Not to mention the video, which rips off “Butter’s Theme.” While Inifinity Ink have received criticism online for allowing their track to be sampled, they said on their Facebook page, “Given the choice between Flo Rida using our original bassline or Flo Rida making an almost exact copy of it, we gave permission for it to be sampled.” With that in mind, we strongly suggest you ignore “Can’t Believe It” and embrace “Infinity” if you haven’t already.
Here’s a simple formula: great producer + great songwriter + great pop artist = great pop song. British singer/songwriter Rita Ora exploded on the scene in the UK first as a featured singer on DJ Fresh’s dubstep pop hit “Hot Right Now.” She then scored solo with the chart topping singles “How We Do (Party)” and “Shine Ya Light.” While she hasn’t conquered the US with such success, her new single “Radioactive” just might do the trick. Written and produced by Sia Furler (who we all know from her solo work along with massive David Guetta/Flo Rida collaborations) and Greg Kurstin (from hits by Kylie and Kelly Clarkson and Tegan and Sara’s recent “Closer”), this stadium house-grooved europop record is love at first listen. With lines like “hand to the sky” and “I feel it” and incredibly strong remixes by Dutch producers Baggi Begovic, Flexican and Lucien Foort, “Radioactive” will definitely generate a lot of DJ love.