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Skylar Grey: A Grey Sky Is Moving In

Skylar Grey

If you look back on the past couple years of hip hop hits, you’ll hear one very familiar voice.  A voice that is so intensely mesmerizing that it’s almost always guaranteed a hit song.  That voice belongs to Skylar Grey (formerly ‘Holly Brook’).  She has managed to write and sing some of the biggest hits of the past few years, while still remaining virtually unknown among the mainstream.  Below, I have highlights of the past few years of her career:

2004 – Skyler (age 18) moves to L.A., records a demo for Brad Delson‘s record label (guitarist for Linkin Park).  Shortly after that, she was asked to sing the hook on Fort Minor‘s hit single ‘Where’d You Go?” which was released in 2006; #2 on Billboard Hot 100 and Pop 100.

  • Where'd You Go - Single - Fort Minor
  • Amazon MP3
    [youtube width=”425″ height=”349″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk5jIDzWv_s[/youtube]

2006 to 2008 – She releases her own album and tours as the opening act for: Duncan Sheik, KD Lang, Teddy Geiger, Daniel Powter and Jamie Cullum.

2009 to Now – She writes ‘Castle Walls’ for T.I. (featuring Christina Aguilera).

  • Castle Walls (feat. Christina Aguilera) - No Mercy (Deluxe Version)
  • Amazon MP3
    [youtube width=”425″ height=”349″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW4oRyS68Uk[/youtube]

She co-writes ‘Coming Home’ with Jay-Z and J. Cole. The track ultimately becomes a mega hit for Diddy-Dirty Money.  (#1 UK R&B charts; #4 UK Singles charts; #12 Billboard Hot 100)

  • Coming Home - Last Train to Paris (Deluxe Version)
  • Amazon MP3
    [youtube width=”425″ height=”349″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-ImCpNqbJw[/youtube]

More after the break.

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Rock For S.E.A.T.H.

Guitar Player

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been helping organize a benefit concert for 15 year old Seath Jackson who was murdered in Summerfield, FL a few weeks ago.  A friend of mine knew that Seath’s friends played in a local rock band and contacted them about this idea.  They teamed up with a few other bands and created “Rock For S.E.A.T.H.”.

When working with a non-profit organization, I quickly realized that without media coverage, it’s virtually impossible to gain support for the cause.  Hanging flyers, posting Facebook invitations and word-of-mouth absolutely isn’t enough advertisement to fill a venue.  I’ve heard countless non-profit organizations resort to begging for donations because “the general public doesn’t care”.  Plain and simple, the general public can’t care for a cause that they don’t know about!  Some individuals may be under the impression that advertisement is extremely expensive and non-profit organizations have little/no discretionary budget.  As a matter of fact, that is absolutely incorrect.  I’ve spent the last few years working in television & radio broadcasting and each station allots a certain amount of time each day to PSAs (Public Service Announcements).  These are commercials that run for the sole purpose of raising awareness of a public issue, hoping to stimulate action for this cause amongst the community.  These PSAs are 100% free and (as dictated by the FCC) have to run every single day.

Last week, I spent a few days reaching out to our local media outlets to help promote “Rock For S.E.A.T.H.”.  Within only a few days, I secured two major radio interviews, LIVE television coverage for the day of the event, newspaper coverage and a few mentions on community websites.  It seems to me like the general public is under the impression that you have to coax the media into helping your community, when in reality, the media thrives off local events.  Members of the community need to contact the media about stories like this because realistically, stations need new reports every single night.  So, why not your story?  The next time your community needs help, consider calling your local media.

Rock For S.E.A.T.H.” managed to raise over $1,400 that went directly to the family of Seath Jackson.  If you’d like to help, you can still donate by contacting Colton at OcalaBand.com.

Thank you to the members of the media who covered the event:

Charlie: My Favorite Peacock

Charlie Peacock

Charlie Peacock has written a few of the biggest contemporary Christian crossover hits of the past 20 years.  Most notably, he wrote Amy Grant’s early 90’s mega-pop hit ‘Every Heartbeat‘.  He also discovered the band Switchfoot and co-wrote their massive hit ‘Dare You To Move‘.  His song ‘In The Light’ was covered by dc Talk back in 1995, and is absolutely one of my favorite songs.

Check out Charlie’s acoustic version of ‘In The Light’ below.

Charlie Peacock ‘In The Light’:

[youtube width=”425″ height=”349″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8u18D39NhNs[/youtube]

DC Talk’s version:

[youtube width=”425″ height=”349″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dProAJbetmY[/youtube]

‘The Band Perry’ slapped me in the face (and I liked it)

The Band Perry

In 2008, Bob Doyle (Manager of Garth Brooks) helped a Mississippi family trio record a few tracks for their new album.  Doyle was so impressed that within a year he managed to help them land a major Nashville record deal. The Band Perry’s first single “Hip to My Heart” peaked at number 20 on the “Billboard Country Songs Chart” soon after its release.  A few months later, they released the single “If I Die Young” (written entirely by lead singer Kimberly Perry).  It managed to reach #1 on the the country music charts and crossed over onto “Billboard’s Hot 100” chart (#19).  After their quick rise to stardom, I was curious to see whether or not they could maintain their momentum with another hit single. In January they released “You Lie”, a track written by The Henningsens.  “You Lie” has already reached number 9 on the “Billboard Country Songs Chart” (and is slowly crossing over to mainstream music: #52 on “Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart”).  Like I mentioned in this week’s podcast, The Band Perry writes those simple songs that just make you feel nice.  They’ve been able to write music that immediately establishes a personal connection with the listener.  It’s nice to see a group of such talented musicians and songwriters finally get to see the fruit of their labors.  Check out The Band Perry on tour this summer with Tim Mcgraw.

Music Links:

Check out The Band Perry‘s “You Lie”:

[youtube width=”425″ height=”349″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCwLsXZnFl4[/youtube]

Bedouin Soundclash covers themselves in ‘Santa Monica’

Bedouin Soundclash

I really like Bedouin Soundclash‘s track “Santa Monica”.  Well, last year their lead singer (Jay Malinowski) put out a solo album with a new version of the song.  Believe it or not, I actually like it more than the original.

Check it out: Santa Monica - Bright Lights & Bruises

Jay Malinowski ‘Santa Monica’

[youtube width=”560″ height=”349″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeju–BGgNk[/youtube]

 

The original:

Bedouin Soundclash ‘Santa Monica’

[youtube width=”425″ height=”349″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hhCKG4pyB8[/youtube]